Saturday, December 31, 2005


Last night I watched a new release - Cinderella Man .

Excellent. Great acting (Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti), great costumes, great director (Ron Howard).

But the best part was the story. You might hear it referred to as a boxing movie. That may be true - it is the true story of James J. Braddock, a Depression Era boxer. But it is not really about boxing. It is a wonderful real life illustration of a strong marriage relationship and a man and woman who pull together to endure hardship for the purpose of family and children. We see modeled that mysterious miracle of unity that occurs when a man and wife allow their lives to become thoroughly intertwined, totally involved and dependent on one another in a Godly fashion. This is a picture of her needing him, him needing her, her love being his strength, his strength filling her need - unable to separate that love from that strength and not being able to tell where one starts and the other ends. Their lives are one in many ways.

This is a husband who is a true man - he cares and provides for his wife and children. This is a first priority for him. He loves them, even more than his work, even more than fame, even more than success. His wife's love means more than anything to him. But even when she fails he keeps focused. He still loves her. He is motivated by his promises to her and the children. He is the real deal.

And his wife. Not the modern day woman. Her life is lived for him and for the children. She supports him through good times and hard times. When he is not able to provide for them, she doesn't dole out blame; she doesn't frown. Instead she encourages and cheers him on. She stands by him. She loves him. She loves the children. She wants them to succeed and prosper. She is strong, beautiful, willful at times, but always there for him. She is strength for him, beautiful for him, and willing to yield to him. She is a real woman.

Do I like boxing? No. It seems hardly worthy to be called a sport.

Did I love the movie?

Sure did.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Proverbs 29.15

The rod and reproof give wisdom: but the child that is left to his own will, bringeth his mother to shame. Proverbs 29.15 NKJV

That's pretty plain advice in my book. Looking at other translations only supports the "black and white" of it. I am aware of teachers and camps that wiggle around the concept of the rod. But my studies and investigations have only confirmed that it is physical discipline. And of course, the Word itself supports itself. Amazing.

Check this out:
Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his sould from hell.
Proverbs 23:13,14 NKJV

Or this more modern translation:
Don't be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won't kill them. A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death. Proverbs 23:13,14 The Message

Yup, that's right. Physical discipline. Beating. Spanking. Not popular these days, I know. In fact, just writing those words causes me to flinch. I have been inculcated with other concepts. But the Bible doesn't follow trends and fashions. It stands on its own. It stands in clear opposition to current philosophies.

So, the choice becomes more challenging. I must choose to live according to the precious Word rather than contemporary fads and trends that change with every whim. I must not shy away from the difficult. Neither should I allow my natural tendency to indulge foolishnness to overrule the wisdom prescribed in God's word.

We must love our children enough to do what is best for them. We must trust God enough to let His wisdom rule our behavior in this cause.

As I near the end of my child training career I find the need to be reminded of lasting principles.

Oh, how I love the Word of God!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Teacher

A quiet day at the homefront as many of my children were in Syracuse shopping and making Christmas returns. They have just arrived home and I enjoyed seeing the booty! Almost as if I were able to go along myself...

I am trying to ascertain the length of this period of discomfort. Most everyone assures me that in time it should conclude and I will simply be left with a bulky, heavy left leg to drag around behind me. That will seem a bit better. Still, it sure makes one appreciate the design that God came up with - it far surpasses this one!

Thank you for your prayer. I am grateful for all your love and support.

Maybe soon I will have some substantive insights to share with you - and then again, perhaps not! But for now, this is it. I sit, I feel a bit dull - to the world around me as well as the Spirit, I spend my energies trying to figure out how to position my leg so it stops aching. Haven't quite succeeded there yet...maybe tomorrow.

And in all this He is holding me. It is not up to me to make the most of this time. That is not my part. My portion is to yield to His working. He will do the teaching. He will cause me to hear. He will lead me beside still waters. It is all Him. I just need to listen, follow, and obey.

Isn't He wonderful? Too, too wonderful?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Just a simple update

Well, this is getting old now. It has been long enough! I think that once the pain subsides the sitting around in a cast thing will be easier to deal with. But for now, every time I move it brings on a new wave of pain. And it is so hard to be perfectly still all day long. So hard...

Because of the need to be immobile, planning, writing, reading, and even thinking seem too demanding. My daughter just asked me to be working on something. I vetoed the suggestion until the day comes when the pain has diminished. For now, I must concentrate on not being overwhelmed by the sensations. It does require focus, you know. Kind of like that childbirth class stuff, remember?

So, a brief post to keep you all praying (rather selfish of me, eh?!) I do covet your requests to the Father right about now!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Sitting Still

Okay - the reality of climbing stairs with crutches for the next several weeks is registering. And it doesn't sound like fun. Imagine that...

The family is gathered at the table preparing to give thanks. My leg has just found a comfortable position after several hours of searching for a respite from the achiness, so I have passed on joining them. I am sure it looks beautiful - festive and sparkling!

I think I will be very glad to be feeling better. Perhaps I will take advantage of the required rest time and write. Rick had suggested that we put together some booklets to bring to Spain this March when we share about homeschooling at the conference there. It looked like an impossibility before, but now it may just become reality. That would be exciting!

It has been an unusual Christmas Day, but great none the less. I am looking forward to seeing what God has planned for this next chapter of my life. This much I know: it is not what I had expected, but then, His ways never are!

Be blessed this holiday season as we celebrate our Saviour and look to another year of service to our great and glorious King!

Friday, December 23, 2005


Contrary to what many people may assume, my situation has not caused me to feel stressed. The doctor's orders to "sit with legs elevated" for the next day or two was actually a source of instant relief. Now the demands that I would have put on myself have been necessarily set aside, overruled. And I may be my toughest boss.

At any rate, I sat all day. I will sit all evening. I make lists for others to do. I make phone calls. When I get up for my routine trip to the bathroom, I take a quick glance around and make suggestions for what to do next. And then I sit some more. "Are you sick of this room yet? Are you sick of just sitting around?" he asked. "I could sit for three days in a row and not be bored. I need this," I responded.

I cannot tell you that I am comfortable. So far the pain medication hasn't really been able to handle my discomfort.

Do I panic at all about things that need doing? At times, for sure, I have had to remind myself to sit back and enjoy this because I am going to have to sit back anyways. And it will get done.

But is this going to be used by my Lord? Absolutely. What a wondrous redeemer we serve! All things are subject to His redeeming power. Every trial becomes an object of His grace in my life. It all belongs to Him.

So peace is mine and yours. Because of Him.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

An Unexpected Turn of Events

It's been a day. But now I am sitting next to my fireplace enjoying the warmth of burning logs. The pain in my leg is throbbing but mild. The cast, wet from a leaking ice pack left on too long, is finally drying out. The incision is sensitive but the pain killer is taking care of that.

Today I snapped - or more accurately "popped" - my Achille's tendon in two. Completely severed. It made for an interesting day, to say the least. Tennis which led to injury which led to an ER which led to surgery which led to mu current status. And throughout the whole ordeal His faithfulness was more than evident. It was crystal clear. Everywhere one looked He was to be seen. And so in spite of the adversity I feel safe and cared for. Totally.

He is a very present help in trouble and I will ever praise His name.


The girls will pitch in along with Rick and pull the rest of Christmas together. As Danica just said, "It will be fun." Translated - it will be memorable and it will be family working together. What could be better!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Family Times

Last night we had our weekly Sinclair family dinner/evening at Danica's home. We total 15 these days and had two guests there as well. Actually, one of them was a "practically family member" and the other was Danica's landlord and longtime family friend. Her little apartment was brimming with Christmas festivity. The tree was brightly lit, candles glowed, greenery lined the windows and shelves, and the wonderful meal was finished off with frosted rum logs, white-piped pepparkakor, and yummy chocolate filled Christmas trees. Songs, music, and dance filled the evening hour. It was a fun time!

Although it was our weekly get-together, I guess it sounds more like a party. I remember my good friend, Iris, smiling and saying, "Any time you all sit down to eat there's a party at your house!"

True, true. Happy families are a good thing.

His ideas usually are.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Meltdown Moments

Don't our weaknesses keep things real? Doesn't frailty cause our appreciation of His marvelous grace to be enlarged? Aren't we freshly aware of our need for His strength to be our portion because ours is lacking?

Today I had a meltdown - maybe several. Life was overwhelming me. Actually it was my failure, and the difficulties heaped upon the weakness, that brought me to my knees.

I am blessed with a husband who will pray for me, listen to my ramblings, and then do the grocery shopping in my stead. I am grateful. Very grateful.

Now I am heading to bed with a somewhat bruised soul that has received comfort from Him, and him, and my daughters, and a son. My family is patient and kind.

I will spend some time in the Word, finding solace and help.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Pleasant Lines

Young men are watching a chic flick in my family room (actually, it is a classic - The Importance of Being Earnest.) The snow falls gently outside the window. My three youngest are off sledding with a nephew and brother-in-law. I have been busily wrapping gift after gift, ordering a few more, and helping plan Christmas greetings for far-off friends (I know, I know - a bit late.) Jamie is home and Mom and Dad have joined us, which completes the family in Madrid. We are all here for the holiday.

Life is pleasant today. Even so, I am finding that there is no comfort in that, only temporary enjoyment. I am not trying to be dismal - just real. I accept with gladness such delightful times. But I am accutely aware of the passing of such moments, such days, such seasons.

As I am often found to say, "Some day we will all be in heaven." Oh, what eternal and everlasting joy that will be. And oh, I do long for such a day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sand and The Hour Glass

Time and change are inextricably intertwined - at least in this present age this is true. Their relationship is indissoluble. Time passes and there is change. Change occurs and time has passed. It can be no other way. The sun moves across the sky, continually shifting position. With the change the day passes away and we grow older. We accept this. This is our world.

Some change is welcome; some is not. One day we are wishing time away; another day we would will it to stand still.

By His grace we adjust to change. Recognizing the vanity of this life leads us on a quest for something more lasting, something eternal, if you will. And hopefully with the passing of time, the difficulty of change, the acknowledgement of desiring something better, we will learn to look to Him.

Oh, if we would always look to Him. Perhaps then we would be like Paul and say that our best and finest hope is to be present with the Lord. All else pales in comparison.

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13.8


Looking forward to posting some thoughts but tonight will not be the night. Party and movie are finished, and it is past bedtime. Ah! The pillow awaits! I'll return in a day or so...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Lists and Things To Do

Brietta and Daniel have not yet moved into their new house, but it is close to the time when they will. Tonight they hosted a Christmas party there for the college ministry life group. So for now we consider it the "party house". Not many of us have a separate home just for entertaining! Danica and I were playing Elf by helping decorate this afternoon. What fun! It is so cozy and cute!

My son, Jamie, returns home on Wednesday. We excitedly await his arrival - he is missed by all of us!

My shopping was done, but now, as usual, I am thinking of more things to add to the list of things to give. I may be curtailed by the budget, but it is worth dreaming about!

I have no plans yet for cards or newsletters. Liana made a beautiful pen and ink drawing in art class that I may get printed. It is always so special to send out a homemade greeting!

This week is not planned. It needs to be. But then again, the plans must be flexible. Here's what's on the agenda so far. Tomorrow Danica and I will help Brietta look for some furnishings. Kids also have music lessons. Tuesday I meet a good friend in Potsdam for coffee. That night is Louissa's Christmas party for her piano students. And at 9pm we will all sit and watch "A Boyfriend For Christmas". Yep, that's right. Hallmark mush. We saw it last year and thought it was cute and fun - so we will catch it again this year!

I think the rest of the week is somewhat open. I promised my son-in-law that I would go shopping with him to help him get gifts for his new wife, Danica. There are tons of presents to be wrapped. And some school to do. And I do want to add some white status or baby's breath to my greens - but first I need to put out some greens.

Oh, my mom and dad also arrive Wednesday! So Brietta will have to be out of the apartment by then!

Cookies will need to be made and menus planned for parties.

I need to find a red plaid tie for Merrick.

A Williamsburg style centerpiece needs to be assembled.

Tomorrow I better sort out my gift closet and get my lists up to date. I shop for my Mom as well. It gets tricky, keeping it all straight with all these kids!

Well, now that I have publicly rambled on, trying to collect some thoughts, I must go. Once I get through some of these things I may have something more substantial to write!

But for now, this will do. It is part of my world!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Because of Him

My soul sings.
My soul knows peace.
My soul finds hope.
My soul is strengthened.

In the midst of a sinful generation, a passing world, these things are mine.

Because of Him.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Trees, Sleds, and Family

Tree day was today. First thing this morning several of us bundled up in our not so glamourous "tree cutting down" garb. There is a wonderful farm just beyond Canton where you find stacks of sleds outside the barn with saws hanging on the wall. Trails lead to fields of white pine and spruce trees. A simple venture up hill and down eyeing every tree once or twice is all it takes. You pick the one of your liking, saw away, strap it to the sled, pull it home - and - voila! You've got yourself a tree!

My family room now smells of fresh cut pine (could it be any fresher?) and the decorations have been hauled out. "When will we hang everything up?" squeals my excited six year old. "Put it right here - that's where we always put it!" (Little does he know that last year was the first year it was there.)

Jingle Bells is being played on the piano and cookies are being frosted in the kitchen in preparation for trimming the tree tonight. How can it be done without rum logs and music they all ask. I guess some things just won't be allowed to change if they can help it.

So in spite of the messy rooms and lack of sleep (we just landed home from several days vacation last night at 10:00pm) the Christmas season has arrived. The kids have made sure of it.

And I am glad for their joy!

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Williamsburg, Virginia is a beautiful town for a lover of history and culture. It is brimming with period significance. Stories and places important to history are everywhere to be seen and heard. It is totally delightful and we have all enjoyed it immensely. But, alas, tomorrow will be out departure day. Once on the road home the reality of the Christmas season will set in and thoughts of cookies making, wreath designing, and gift wrapping will set in.

Right now we are comfortably situated at the home of Tom and Gail Wells, old-time friends from way back. It is total joy to see them and share family time together. What a blessing are tried and true friends. A gift from above.

See you back in the North Country. At the moment music is playing and beckoning me, as the guitar is passed around and the tin whistle added in. Fun!