Saturday, January 24, 2015

William the Wonder

Mrs. R:

I was blessed to visit our daughter, Alison, and her husband, Eric, in Boston this week. I had the sweetest time really getting to know William. At 3-1/2 months, he is full of personality. Here are some photos from a mini shoot one morning.

While I was with William's family, the little guy discovered his tongue. In and out it would go, almost too quick to see.

William is already interested in books. Several times during my time in Boston, I read to him. He would sit patiently through three books.

Unfortunately this last photo is blurry. Of all these pictures, this one catches William's personality best. He is such a happy guy, smiling and grinning his way through the day. However, with the big black camera in front of my face I struggled to coax smiles out of him, but here he shared his happiness with me. I thank God for my first grandson. He is a treasure!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Never...No Way for Eric and Alison {A God Story}

Mrs. R:

We all love "A God Story", those rare instances when the Lord allows us to more clearly see His loving care in our lives. We've had just such an amazing tale develop in our family in the past few weeks.

Eric and Alison married at 20 and 21 respectively. Right around their first anniversary, they were blessed to add William Eric to their lives. Suddenly they were a family. With this change, the walls in their 600-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment began to close in.

They were faced with a dilemma. Purchasing an itsy-bitty starter home in the region runs about $300,000. This investment was not even thinkable for two "kids" barely out of their teens. At the same time, renting a larger apartment would significantly slow down their savings for their dream of someday entering the housing market in the expensive city of Boston.

But God swooped in and rescued them!

While they were praying about how to gain more square footage and a second bedroom for their new son, Eric's dad heard about a program offered by the small town in which Eric grew up (and his parents and grandparents still do for that matter). Each year the town fixes up four homes for families whose income level makes entering the housing market in the town nearly impossible. Then in early January a drawing, called a "lottery", is held to determine which four sets of people are going to be given the opportunity to purchase the four homes at a staggeringly reduced rate versus the surrounding market.

January 7 was a very happy day for the young Moores family. The Lord had made the seemingly impossible possible! They learned at a meeting that night that they had been awarded the chance to buy one of the four greatly-reduced homes!

Although in the lottery these folks did not get to pick their own home - rather one was assigned based on a number of factors - God so amazingly gave their favorite house to them!  It is for them a dream-come-true, years before they thought they'd be able to reach the goal financially. God abounds in lovingkindness!

That night they were allowed to see their prize, but, of course, it was hard to get much of a feeling for the place in the dark.

On Saturday, the program director gave Eric and Alison the opportunity to see the house in the daylight for the first time. To the great pleasure of this visiting grandmother, as well as Eric's parents, David and Tara, we all got to tour their soon-to-be home. The kind director even told us we could take as long as we liked so we spent nearly three hours closely looking over the property.

Our first stop was the garage where a garage door opener has already been installed. What a luxury this will be for Eric on icy and snowy mornings!

As we entered the finished basement, Alison was delighted to see yet another convenience that comes with the house -- her very own washer and dryer! Since she and Eric married more than a year ago, Eric's parents have been kindly allowing her to do laundry at their house which is about 15 minutes away from the couple's apartment. However, with all the laundry that their new baby has added, she's thrilled that soon she will have her own machines.

After we toured the basement, we ascended the stairs to the main level. I made my way up first and captured this photo of Grammy and William as they awaited the others.

We turned the corner and stood in awe of God's goodness. We just couldn't believe the beauty of the kitchen. Every detail amazed us...high quality cabinets with soft-close drawers, granite counters, a tile back splash, the huge window over the sink, enough room for a table. The list just goes on and on. This room alone brought to mind the message of Ephesians 3:20 -- God does above and beyond all we could ask or think.

Eric's joy was irrepressible as he contemplated his family's new home!

And, again, Alison rejoiced in God's gift of an appliance that will simplify her life as a wife and mom.

Knowing she'll still spend plenty of time at her kitchen sink, I was so happy to see the large window behind it. In the winter, she'll even have a water view. The house backs up to a bird sanctuary which will never be built on, and a small lake is on that land. You can see the lake to left here.

I was simply overwhelmed with joy as I marveled at this kitchen where so many family memories will be created by Eric, Alison, William and any future children.

Our next stop was the bathroom. Although the house only has one, we found it to be big enough for all five of us adults to fit in the room.

In this photo, the bathroom door is one the left. The kitchen is straight ahead. My back is to the three bedrooms.

Here are Eric's parents and that grandson we share in one of the bedrooms.

Alison marveled at the storage built into the bedroom closets.

As we women finished imagining decorating the bedrooms, the men inspected the attic.

When Grampy came down the ladder, he realized that William's hands were chilly. Grampy found the perfect way to warm the little guy's paws up.

The next room we explored was the living room. The room has a large window with a view of woods.

Here's Grammy and her boy by that same window. This window and the large window in the kitchen are directly opposite each other so the house will be flooded with light throughout the day.

Eric and Alison are both pleased to have a wood-burning fireplace for the cold New England evenings.

After about 2-1/2 hours we realized that William would soon be hungry, and we needed to wrap  up.

I couldn't resist one more family photo before we left the interior to take a peek at the yard.

The yard is just the right size for a future swing set, a sand box, a deck -- complete with a grill -- and a garden. How perfect for a young family!

Here Eric and his parents are standing at the property's boundary again taken aback by God's goodness in given them a winter water view.

William's grin captures the joy we all felt as we got a thorough look at what will soon be Eric and Alison's new home. God abounds in lovingkindness. In His goodness He has made the impossible possible for these young marrieds!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Brielle and Bear

 Mrs. R:

During Thanksgiving week, I had the chance to do a mini shoot with our oldest grandtreasure, Brielle. The late afternoon was mild and the sunset colors warm.

As we left the house, Brielle's doggy Mocha was watching from the front door.

Before long, the 2-1/2 year old's interest in the snow left at the side of the road by the snow plow trumped our photo shoot...

...and the real fun began between the two of us. I put the camera aside and tossed the road-side chunks of snow at Brielle's request. She'd giggle and beg for my next snow throw. We continued until the sun sunk below the horizon. Being a grandparent is such a joy!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Mrs. R:

In my last post, I focused on the struggle I was having to slay my pride and honor my husband. We were in the midst of quite a disagreement.

God is so kind. We listened to this sermon by Voddie Baucham on forgiveness together and the biblical truths he shared helped us both to get humble and sorry for our sins against one another. We may have been married for 31 years but we're still learning! (We can't recommend this sermon highly enough!)

God has brought the color back to our one-flesh union after a couple of very gray days!

Friday, January 9, 2015

My Role in Harming Our Marriage {and Polluting God's Name}

Mrs. R:

I love this photo of me and my man. However, this picture most certainly could not have been captured today.

I did much harm to our marriage today as a result of my pride so these words by Puritan Thomas Manton are especially painful tonight:
"Holiness is required, that we may not be a disgrace to God and a dishonor to Him. This sin of God's people stains his honour and profanes His name...Men judge by what is visible, and so they think of God by His servants...Men are apt to think of God by His worshippers, and by the people that profess themselves near and dear to Him; therefore it concerns us to walk so that our lives may honor him...we seem to exalt God much in our talk and profession; yea, but we throw Him down when we pollute him and deny Him in our conduct. Our lives are the scandal of religion, and a pollution and blot to the name of God. So with respect to ourselves, you see that we need to go to God, that He will give us grace that we may please Him and glorify His name." Quoted in Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings, January 9, edited by Richard Rushing (one of my favorite books).
Voddie Baucham so often says in his sermons as He makes a point, "If you can't say, 'Amen.', say, "Ouch!"  Tonight, I have to say a resounding, "OUCH!" I sinned much today. I have much about which to be repentant. I pray for God's grace to clearly see my sin that I might own it and contribute to the healing of our marriage.

What is yet another sadness tonight in addition to profaning God's name? Our children were well aware of what was going on behind our bedroom door which was closed most of the day. I am reminded of a powerful quote I read years ago in a book called, Gospel Powered Parenting by William Farley. He notes:
"To whom do our marriages preach? Of course the first audience is God and His angels. They watch and rejoice, or if our marriage is a war zone, they grieve.
"Who is the second audience? Most of us think about our non Christian neighbors. Maybe they will see our attempts to model Christian marriage and want the gospel? They might, and we hope they will, but actually they are the third audience.
 "The second audience, usually overlooked by most Christians is our children. What is our marriage telling them about Christ and His bride? They see it all. They hear our fights. They absorb our attitudes. They know who or what really sits on the throne of our lives. They watch how we handle resentment. They hear the way we talk to each other. They know when we hear the Sunday sermon and apply it. They also know when we ignore it. The message our marriage preaches either repels or attracts them [to Christ]" pgs. 110,111
 I finish the night sad. I finish the night begging God to convict me of my sin and grant me a broken and contrite heart that will encourage the healing of our marriage. I finish the night grateful that God's mercies are new each morning, and that He is a God who heals.

Monday, January 5, 2015

And He Huffed and He Puffed...

Mrs. R:

On January 1st, we celebrated John's birthday. As the lights were dimmed in the kitchen, and John's dad began lighting the candles, I realized I had forgotten to grab my camera. I went running. As I dashed back, John was patiently waiting for me with Nathaniel at his side.

We were surprised at what an inferno the cake had quickly become!

John gave his best effort to put the flames out. However, the trick candles had a mind of their own...

...and the kitchen began to fill with smoke!

John gave blowing out the candles another try....

 ...but the flames refused to die.

John's siblings begged for the chance to blow out the flames. Despite their multi-person effort, the candles blazed away.

John then decided the best hope for actually getting to eat Christina's rich, chocolaty creation was to take the candles off the cake and drop them in a nearby glass of water. However, he quickly figured out that the cake was too hot to get near.

Dad stepped in with tongs to give the stubborn candles a wet finale. Who new just 23 candles could cause such drama -- and so much laughter? We finished John's birthday with ample servings of smoked chocolate cake!