Monday, November 21, 2005


1 Thess. 4.11:
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life...NAS
Aspire to lead a quiet life...NKJV
Make it your aim to live a quiet life...GNT
Study to be quiet...KJV

Something tells me the struggle I have to live simply is not uncommon to man. What is uncommon is the choice to make it our ambition. We seem to be surrounded with all kinds of other ideas about how to live life. The goal is rarely quiet living. People cram their days full, succombing to the notion that the more we do, the more life we will have experienced. After all, you have to grab for all the gusto you can get, right?

Wrong! Totally wrong!

Many of my clearest and warmest memories from childhood the are the common place, run of the mill happenings. The morning bathroom schedule. The smell of dinner cooking. The nighttime darkness of country living. The Saturday morning Western Jamoboree (to this day I love Westerns!) Grandma's molasses cookies from her cookie jar. The creek running beneath the bridge out in the back field which provided hours of playtime fun. The smells and sounds of the yearly hay harvest. Falling to sleep listening to Enrico Caruso singing great tenor arias.

I want to make sure that my children have special, once-in-a-lifetime memories - but even more, I want them to remember the rhythm of routine life here. And I want it to be full of Jesus, Mom and Dad and family, church (His Bride), and love.

So my goal for the next season is to regain rhythm - a good, steady rhythm. Somehow there is delight in that, and I'm more than ready for it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday's tidings

Thank you, Lidel! This morning we received from you a long wonderful message, filled with the Word and faith, delivered with enthusiasm and fervor, expressing God's love and power. It was just what we needed - really timely in many ways. Is His faithfulness not wonderful? Does He not provide everything we need? Is His hand not always upon us? Are not all the promises Yea and Amen for His children? Yea and Amen, they are! And in all things, every season, He is ever near. He never leaves us or forsakes us. We can rest, knowing that His care is there. It was there for me this morning.


The first major purchase in life made by many young people is a vehicle. Not so in our home. We do pianos. Yesterday we helped a second daughter (Louissa) move her newly acquired baby grand into our home, and moved Danica's into her home. What will I do when they move them out altogether and there is no one left to buy the new one? Will I ever be able to convince Rick that we need one of our own?


Preparations will begin tomorrow for our departure on Wednesday. We will join Rick's family for the holiday, then travel on as a family to Colonial Williamsburg where we will spend a week perusing the sites. Brietta and her family, Danica, Carina, and the rest of us will be visiting blacksmiths, coopers, the Whythe house, Bruton Parish Church, and hopefully a candlelight ball at the Governor's Palace. Everywhere we go we will be privileged to meet Williamsburg townspeople from 1783 - this is a living museum and it is wonderful! It was 10 years ago that we visited and absolutely loved it. And since we will be there for the first Sunday in December we will experience the Grand Illumination - the lighting of window candles and putting out of their famous Christmas decorations as well as music and fireworks - all in early American style! This is something we all love - or at least learn to love!


My honey got a deer! We have fresh venison in the freezer and a happy husband at the table. Hooray!


I got the mudroom cleaned and organized yesterday. It is a small accomplishment, but still an accomplishment. One spoonful at a time, right Helen? Isn't that how archeologists move a whole site? Alas, the only problem with that theory at my home is that for every teaspoon moved there are tablespoons unloaded in the next room! Ah - the maintanence factor. Working on that!


Hope your Sunday is refreshing and restful. I think that's Biblical, right?

Friday, November 18, 2005


We are investing in the future when we make deposits of our time, energy, finances, and creativity in children. The yields will not be seen immediately. This is a time account.

Therefore, we need to look ahead. I have been distracted as of late and am needing to find fresh focus.

What yields do I hope to realize? What kind of dividends do I want to accrue? The investment I make today will determine the premium earned in the years to come.
  • I want to see them come to salvation, entering into the promise of eternity with Him.
  • I want to see them grow in love for Christ and the gospel, which means growing in love for His Church as well as a passion to see the unsaved come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
  • I want them to serve with joy, to willingly give up all they love should He require that of them in order to serve without distraction.
  • I want them to understand living for eternal things rather than temporal.
  • I want them to invest sacrificially in a future generation, faithfully passing the torch.
So I am praying for renewed willingness myself.

Lord, I am feeling a bit weary, a bit despairing. I repent for not looking to You alone. And now I ask You to help me lift my eyes. Let me keep eternity in my focus and let me live accordingly.

I desire good things for my children. I long to be effective in my generation, to fulfill Your plans for me and complete the good works prepared for me.

Renew faith, restore vision, and fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit. I am so grateful to You for Your mercies, for Your arms of love. I find solace in knowing that You are a shield and refuge for those who are battle-worn and frayed. I praise You for all this and for all that You are. Amen.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Nutcracker memories

Seemingly unending columns of large wooden crates line the halls of Crane, filled with costumes: beautiful dresses, colorful clown suits, whimsical fairy fashions, adorable reindeer outfits, ethereal angel robes, and on, and on. Wooden soldiers, toy dolls, Arabian garb, Chinese clothing, Snowflakes and Snow Queen... As a friend said, I wouldn't want to be the costume director for this show!

The stage is outfitted with rafter to floor backdrops depicting an elegant Victorian parlor replete with an enormous decorated Christmas tree, a grandfather clock, and rose colored and gilded furnishings. Beautifully wrapped gifts are apparent everywhere. This gives way to fanciful forests with falling snow and thrones. Snowflakes dance and Reindeer draw a full size white sleigh through the snowfall. Wonderful.

Six Saturday rehearsals caused my children and others to be successful in their performances. They were well prepared, therefore they did well. I like that. I appreciate that. They felt good about what they did, and well they should have. It was great! The angels glided across the stage simulating flight beautifully. And those tiny little reindeer prancing through the scene stole everyone's heart away! The clowns clowned with wonderful choreography and the party children were elegant indeed. These were the roles played by North Country children. What a marvelous opportunity!

The Albany Berkshire Ballet company presented excellent ballet - really wonderful. For those who never experienced live ballet, this convinced us all that it is beautiful indeed. And grueling. From Snow Queens, Cavaliers, and Sugar Plum Fairies to Toy Soldiers and Magic Mice the dancing was superb - they more than earn their money!

As for the music, the Crane Orchestra out did themselves! In all honesty, I was pleasantly surprised. They were very, very good! The Nutcracker is not easy music and I wasn't sure how they would do. I guess anyone who plays in an orchestra recognizes that performing this whole piece with a professional ballet company is a privilege. They really rose to the occasion.

At any rate, it was a marvelous way to open the holiday season for our family. The minute those sparkling melodies that we all recognize as Nutcracker tunes were played in that wonderfully familiar instrumentation - violins, flutes, celestes and all - it felt like Christmas! Nutcracker decorations given as gifts to participants will soon find a place on my mantel (I just learned this word can be spelled either way - mantle or mantel. Gotta love learning!)

But now it is done. Today will be a bit of a wash. Mom and three kids are exhausted. Checking the older girls math and English is on my list, as well as thank you cards made by the Nutcracker crew. But that may be it. The rest we will take as it comes!

Happy Holidays! (Said to the tune of the Sugar Plum whatever... you know... the one with with the flutes and all that...)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Marathon days

Yesterday and today are being consumed with Nutcracker productions. Let's see - I was in Potsdam for rehearsals and performances with pizza dinner in between from noon until 10:30 pm. I will wake them (Liana, Camilla, and Merrick) up soon (8:15ish) and head in for a morning show, home by 1:30pm, and then back again tonight for a final evening performance.

They (L,C, & M)were terrific! The Albany Berkshire Ballet is a fine corps - I was very pleasantly surprised. And, of course, my children and the children of many other friends were the highlight :)

At any rate, I am off once again. So have a good one. Know that He is on the throne and will be forevermore. My heart is filled with thanksgiving for that simple knowledge. What a well-spring of hope, peace, and joy in the midst of this troubled world.

In all things He never leaves us or forsakes us. Be blessed!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday's Psalm

"My heart overflows with a goodly theme..."

As I think of loved ones and the happy moments God provides for us to share, my heart sings.

As I reflect upon His steadfast love that never changes, my source of joy and peace forevermore, my heart sings.

As I think of redemption purchased through the cross, free for all who would call to Him, my heart sings.

As I recall the faithfulness He has shown through the years, the whispered words of forgiveness, the mercies new every morning, my heart sings.

As I consider His greatness, that He is the Lord of all lords and King of all kings, the Lamb upon the throne, Ruler of creation, Alpha and Omega, my heart sings.

As I remember once again that He is my all in all, and everything I will ever need or desire is in Him, my heart sings.

Rise up, oh soul, and bless His name, for He alone is worthy. Stir yourself, climb the steps of praise, for He is deserving of sacrifice and love. Can any other lay rightful claim to your affection? Look upon Him, remember this day all His benefits, and see Him for who He is - the Lover of your soul.

Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. Amen.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Shopping, Sorting, and blogging

Shop we did. No one could accuse us of a wasted moment. We are top-ranking shoppers - the special unit. The van was overflowing on our return home, the closet is now bulging, the wallet is empty but the return shelf is also full (that means money back for more!), and the list of purchases yet needed is made and filed in my Daytimer.

Ah... few people shop like the Sinclairs shop - only one that I know of - my oldest shopping buddy, Helen, who helped me define what a shopping outing really should look like. When our children were all young we would head to Plattsburgh, Syracuse, or Albany two times a year for those post-season clearance racks, looking to fill our closet with gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Early in the morning we could be found leaving town, armed with lists and wallets and maybe a nursing infant or two, and everytime, we would be the last ones out of the stores. Our husbands would greet us late that night (I do mean late) in wonder at our excitement and energy. No one could outdo us! And all the best bargains were now ours. Ah... few people shop like we shopped. Maybe when the kids are older and shopping with their own children or friends we will pick up the tradition again. I wonder if our minds and bodies could still do it. I'm game to try, Helen, if you are!

I just finished the sorting of my treasures. There is nothing like Christmas and gifts for all those special people in my life.

Presently my front room is filled with young people worshipping and earnestly praying. I sit here on my bed with hubby's laptop and hear them, pouring out hearts of love and devotion to our precious Lord. Oh, God, hear them. Take their hearts, use their lives, accept their committment to live for You. Help them to do this and more.

How wonderful to see young people seeking God. He is absolutely the only thing worthy of their love.

Tomorrow will be busy. I have three children involved in a professional production of The Nutcracker. They are doing well and are quite excited. Merrick has even gotten over his initial intense disappointment at being a reindeer. When I told him that this was his role, his face fell. I was certain he had hoped to be a mouse. When consoling him regarding this he quickly corrected me. "I didn't want to be a mouse. I wanted to be the Nutcracker!" I suppose this will be just the beginning of many disappointments for my ambitious son who wants to do all the best parts. But he is now happily giving his all to the Reindeer corps and is the best prancer there! What a boy!

The bedroom has been found (if you remember it was missing for several months, hidden beneath piles of clothes.) Not that it is totally tidied up, but progress has been made. Now for the kids rooms! But not until tomorrow. My feet are up and I may indulge in some TV or some Pride and Prejudice. Catch you all later!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jots and Tittles

Played Boggle with the family last night so my mind is on all kinds of small words, details, and tittles!


Sorry about the length of yesterday's entry. Didn't want to leave anything out from my journal so you got it all! Hope you have time to "give it a read" (as a lovely British acquaintance would say.)


More shopping is to be had. I am off for another overnight shopping trip - only this time I will be with my two oldest (and married) daughters. In spite of the doldrums I have been experiencing, I am anticipating a great time with them. How special to have two whole days together!


Be blessed in your holiday making. Start planning now if you haven't already. And remember, This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More reminders

There continue to be daily reminders of the vanity of this world. Last month a dear friend buried her dad. He was a wonderful man, a Godly man, a family man, a man of great character. It was the finest funeral I’ve ever attended. Now, one month later, this same friend is burying her mother. It was sudden, unexpected – with the exception of knowing that for over 60 years they had been partnered in this adventure of life. She knew he was gone. Death had separated them - Death, the final, soon to be vanquished, enemy.

Why do I seem to see the effects of sin and death everywhere I look? Why is this pain so prevalent? Am I missing something or is this real?

I share some thoughts from the Word.


Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Clearly Paul is fixing his eyes on something beyond the present. His telling makes it apparent that we don’t represent the fullness of glory at the moment. (shocker, eh?) He is telling of a time when something even greater will be seen in us, the sons of God. And all of creation is longing for that revelation. Why?

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Creation itself knows this vanity that I sense. It is everywhere visible. The beauty of nature suffers corruption. Death visits, decay sets in, time erodes, and sin stains nature itself.

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

I should not wonder at the pain I feel. It is real and to be expected. The sorrow of time passing - of death separating, of aging and changing - is not to be avoided.

23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Even the sons of God, endowed with promise and the Spirit, are not exempt from this groaning and longing. We above all, as children who count the days until that hoped for occasion arrives, should ache for His return. This world should never hold our affections. We have a wonderful hope to declare because most assuredly it will be seen (and is seen, for those who are willing to see) that this world is passing away. It is corrupt.

24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

It is true – corruption is everywhere present. But He is the answer. He is always the answer, the hope, the cure. And we are His, and all He has belongs to us, if we call on His name. The hope promised is ours!

There will be a new heaven and earth in which righteousness dwells. Did you hear me? In which righteousness dwells. Hooray! Sin will not rule, Satan will be done away with, and He, the great and glorious God of Love, shall reign.

Corruption will come to an end. Decay will cease. There will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There will be no more pain, for the former things (these present things which we see all around us) will have passed away.

Even as we who believe have obtained liberty from the wages of sin and its power, so shall the creation. Creation itself will enter into the glorious liberty of the children of God!

But for now, we ourselves do groan to be further clothed, that mortality might be swallowed up by life. “Even so, come Lord Jesus, come!”

This is a promise, the Spirit our guarantee. Even when we are at home in the body (absent from the Lord) we can be confident.

Therefore, as always, it is the unseen which we must fasten our eyes upon, hoping, “…eagerly waiting for it with perseverance.”


A modern translation of the above passage:

Romans 8:18 - 25
That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead.

Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance.

That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.

The Message

Friday, November 04, 2005

Eternity: the real deal

It has settled over me and my household like a blanket. There is a deep, long-lasting ache. And with it has come a sobriety. The vanity of this world, the pain and emptiness that sin has brought into this life everywhere I look, and the brevity of human years have all been freshly revealed. The masquerade has ended, the bluff is exposed. The enemy played a card but foolishly revealed his hand. Loser. Total loser.

He wants us to play the game. He wants us to live for this...this charade. But lest I become lacking in caution, I remind myself that the game has not ended. We who are still playing must persevere to the finish, to the final card, the last play, watching carefully the subterfuge of this artful opponent. And then we cash in.

And so you can see, the game itself is not really the goal; it is the end of the game for which we play. There may be thrill in discovering the bluff, exhilaration in the challenge, delight in the collected piles of chips along the way, but in the end it is the victor who has the real joy. When the game is finished, when all is said and done, winning is all that matters. The reason we play is to win.

So the opponent blundered; he revealed his hand. His trickery, intended to derail us, causes us instead to look more closely at our own cards. We remember that this game is not a game, not some mere charade - it is the real deal. Time, talent, fortune, and energy are important, but only if they are put in His hand and used to bring us to eternity, to the true reality. And to eternity we must go.

Oh, that we might not get caught up with his charade - this game of life - and lose sight of true reality. The real deal. In the end it's all that really counts.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Every year Rick and I do an overnight Christmas shopping trip. The next two days are "it" for this year - so off we go.

Just wanted to let you know.