Thursday, August 26, 2010

“We sorrow not as those which have no hope”

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:5

Godby Family Reunion in Arkansas Yesterday, August 25, 2010, my Gramps went home to be with the Lord.  There are a lot of details that I still don’t know, but it has been suggested that he had a heart attack or stroke while driving.  Gramps was sick and had a low immune system already, from undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C.  He has had many heart problems in the past.

Grams and Gramps celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2006.  The picture above is the most recent picture of them, from our family reunion in June 2010.

As I was putting updates on Facebook, I was overwhelmed at how many people commented just to say they were praying.  This is the first loss of a loved one that I have experienced.  It means a lot to have so many friends who will pray.  When I spoke to my Grams on the phone yesterday, I told her that a lot of people were praying for us.  She said simply, “God is good.”

Christmas in ColoradoWe have seen God’s hand at work in this trying time.  Someone recognized Gramps’ car (it was an antique Falcon!) and saw him slump over the steering wheel.  They not only called 911, but also notified the family.  My Aunt Leah was just returning from visiting Grams & Gramps, and was able to meet up with Dad in Denver to return to Oklahoma after receiving the news that Gramps was in critical condition.  Dad & Leah drove all night to get to Muskogee, and they were able to see Gramps before he was taken off life support.  Uncle Lewis was there also.  I am so grateful that we were all able to spend time with Gramps this summer at the family reunion.  It was short, but I will remember it. 

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I am so grateful that I was blessed with a Christian family – even my  extended family.  And I am comforted in the words of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 which tells me that I don’t sorrow as those who have no hope.  I do have hope, and confidence, that I will see Gramps again one day.  It is reassuring to know that he is pain-free and in the presence of Jesus right now.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

The funeral is to be on Saturday, and we would appreciate your prayers for our family as we travel and grieve during this time.

Andrea with Gramps 3 months old
Grams with me as a baby

 Grams & Gramps 50th Anniversary
Gramps with his miniature horse “Mr. Ed”

Godbys at White Fence Farm The Godby family in 2008
Zane, Wesley, Dad, Ben, Kenny, Aunt Ann, Uncle Tim
Madalyn, Mom, Me, Kaylah, Aunt Leah, Uncle Marlin
Gramps, Grams, Nicole, & Michael
(Whitney, Kelty, Uncle Lewis, & Aunt Becky were missing)

PICT0073
Kenny, Wesley, Me, Dad, Mom, Grams, and Gramps at my college graduation in May, 2007

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My Great Aunt Charlotte, Grams, Gramps, and Gramps’ brother Uncle Lee.  You couldn’t tell Lee & Gramps were related, could you?

Godby Family Reunion in Arkansas 
Four Generations – Gramps, Dad, Grams, Me, & Elaine
June 2010

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
1 Corinthians 15:54

We love you Gramps.  You will be missed!
Love, Ben, Andrea, & Elaine

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Help! Somebody stole my bagel!

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Elaine and I eat breakfast together.  Today we slept in a bit, so it was more like a mid-morning snack.  I had no sooner set my plate, loaded with a yummy NYC bagel, on the table than it disappeared!  I looked down, and five little fingers had entwined themselves around my bagel.  Elaine’s eyes got really big as she struggle to raise the large “Cheerio” to her mouth.  “This isn’t a Cheerio,” she thought.  “But it’s very yummy.  Mommy’s Cheerios have butter on them!”

So it turns out that I only got half of my bagel this morning.  Elaine tried to return a portion of the other half, but it was so gummed up I declined.

Two of my favorite pleasures about living in NYC are the bagels and the pizza.  They are fabulous!  Someone told me that it is because of the water we have in the City.  Someone told us that Brooklyn water is cleaner than bottled water.  Whatever the reason, bagels and pizza are amazing!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Woman After God’s Own Heart

votwm_book_thumb[5] I was really excited to read this chapter in Voices of the True Woman Movement because it is written by Janet Parshall.  The theme of this chapter is the impact of a mother’s prayers. Janet took the story of Hannah, piece by piece, and drew lessons from each situation.

Hannah lived in the times of the judges, and society was wicked, just as it is today.  We know that she was one of Elkannah’s wives, and she was barren.  “Whenever a society begins to tinker with the institution of marriage, created by God in a perfect environment called Eden, we are undermining a profound and precious gift.”  What a statement!  Marriage is definitely under attack in our culture today!

When speaking of the hard things that God allows into our lives, Janet made the point that we still have to trust the Lord.  It is His perfect plan that _______________ is my situation in life (singleness, barrenness, sickness, family troubles, etc.).  The question to us is whether or not we will trust God.  Even when His answer to my prayer is “no”, will I trust Him?”  I liked the analogy that Janet used – God is not an ATM machine for every prayer request.  I think that too many times I come to Him with that mindset – since I am praying, He is going to say “yes.”

Janet also spent a lot of time dealing with the issue of Hannah’s vow to God, and how she followed through with her vow in giving Samuel back to the Lord.  That must have surely been a hard decision, and one that many of us would have reneged.  In fact, the reality is, that every child is a gift from God, and they never “belong” to us in the first place.  Janet states it this way:

“This reminds us of a profound reality: our children do not now—nor have they ever—belonged to us.  They are God’s.  We are simply the happy participants in His lend-lease program.  He gives us permission to touch their hearts and minds, to teach them, to write truth on the tablets of their life, to help them know the love of Christ their Savior, to inspire in them a love for God and His Word…and then they go.  They’re HIs, and His alone.”

I was reminded that being a mommy is great privilege – for there are many ladies who desire children and cannot/do not have them.  But it is also an awesome responsibility, and I will give account to Jesus Christ for the way I parent Elaine.

There are several lessons learned in this chapter:

  1. Hannah’s story teaches is what it means to be a true woman of God.  She let go of her own plans.  She knew that God was in charge.
  2. Motherhood is actually one of God’s refining fires. 
  3. The reality of motherhood is that it’s a place to learn surrender, letting go, trusting and believe that God is God.
  4. With God in control, our prayers for our children can make a mark on our nation.  For Hannah child Samuel became the judge of the nation Israel.

The third lesson reminded me of a sermon I once heard on Mother’s Day.  The preacher said that a mother’s job is to prepare her children to leave the nest.  I’m so glad my own mother prepared me to be a wife and mother, and that she wasn’t afraid to let me go when the time came for me to leave home.  I hope, with God’s help, that I can do the same for my children.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

For Such a Time as This

votwm_book_thumb[5] The next chapter in Voices of the True Woman Movement is again written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  The basis, as you may have guessed from the title, is the story of Esther in the Old Testament.  The story of a true woman.  Nancy has done a fabulous radio series on Esther, and this chapter reminded me of the some of the lessons I learned in that series!

Nancy starts with the premise that there are always two “dramas” – the one that we see, or the human plot, and the one that we don’t see, or the invisible working of the Kingdom of God.  I needed to be reminded of that, because too many times I look only around me at what I can see, and I forget to look up and trust that God is at work in ways that I cannot see.

While discussing the rise of Esther from the position of unknown Jewess to queen of Persia, Nancy makes this comment:

“And we see that this story is really about God and His agenda, God and His aims, God and His purposes.  ‘What is God up to?’ That’s what really matters.

In looking at the circumstances in Mordecai’s life, we are reminded that nothing happens by chance.  God, in His providence, is always in control, even when things seem unjust and unfair.

Of course, the heart of Esther’s story is that crisis moment when she must decide if she will approach the king on behalf of her people, risking her own life in the process.  The verse for which this chapter is named is Mordecai’s response to Esther’s crossroad of faith: “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (not KJV)

“Whatever your season of life, your marital status, your vocation, your natural gifting, you have been given privileges, opportunities, and a place in the kingdom—the kingdom of man—at this time, to be used to further the Kingdom of God.”  How often we fail to see the big picture, and realize that everything we do in this visible, temporal world is to be done with eternity in mind!

I also like the comparison that Nancy makes between Esther and the Lord Jesus.  Esther was willing to leave the palace and risk her life to save her people.  Jesus did leave His palace in heaven and gave up His life to save you and me. 

Lessons from this chapter:

  1. We are in a battle.
  2. The weapons and tactics of the earthly, human kingdom are different than the weapons and tactics of the heavenly Kingdom.
  3. God has a sovereign, redemptive plan, and it will not fail.
  4. Through faith and obedience, you can be part of God’s plan.
  5. No situation is so desperate that God cannot redeem it.
  6. Don’t judge the outcome of the battle by the way things look right now.

So as women fighting against the popular culture, striving to be true women, we need to remember the lessons learned from Esther!a

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mommy’s Little Helper

It’s been a challenging week here in the Hamilton household.  Elaine has decided to not sleep through the night and that she doesn’t like naptime.  She is getting taller every day, which places more and more things within her reach.

Today she helped herself to my cereal bowl.  She could just get her fingers on it enough to pull it off the edge of the table.  I returned to the room to find Elaine covered in milk and Rice Chex.  She was happy!

She also discovered the diaper changing basket on the shelf of the changing table.  I thought she was being awfully quiet.  When I peeked in I discovered she had worked the cap off the bottle.  Lotion was everywhere – on Elaine, on the floor.  Again, she was very happy.

Elaine likes to play Peeping Tom when I am in the shower.  However, she does not like the shower curtain touching her at all.  So she flings it back and the floor gets covered in water.  Yesterday I got out of the shower to find that she had thrown her teething ring in the toilet.  Based on the squeals, she was very pleased with herself!

Tonight we were making cookies while Ben was working late.  To avoid further catastrophe, I gave Elaine a bowl and some measuring cups.  We finished off the experience by both taking a beater!

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Not to be deterred when she can’t reach something, Elaine gets resourceful!  This is not the first time she has stood in the toy box to get to things on her dresser.

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Elaine is always trying to touch the computer.  In an effort to accomplish some things on the computer today, I gave Elaine my dead laptop (we recently had to replace it with a desktop).  This is what she did:

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERANot exactly ready for college yet!

I hope we made you smile, and if anyone wants to adopt this handful, just come and get her!  Let me warn you, she will give you a run for your money!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bilingual? Not yet..but maybe one day!

Ben used his birthday money, and some precious savings, to purchase something he has been wanting for a while…Rosetta Stone Language software.  Ben is learning Spanish! 

He selected Spanish because I know a lot of it (did you know that?), and because he works with a lot of Hispanic people.  They don’t speak so much English, so in an attempt to communicate Ben is learning Spanish. 

The other night Ben was talking away to his laptop and learning to pronounce new vocabulary when Elaine hollered from her crib.  After a very fussy day, she had gone to bed VERY early, and thus was awake.  Very awake.  So she got to have a Spanish lesson with Daddy!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe one day our little family will be bilingual!  

Monday, August 16, 2010

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

Chapter three in Voices of the True Woman Movement is a history ofvotwm_book the feminist and women’s liberation movement, by Mary Kassian.  I have heard Mary deliver this message before, but I still learned some new things.  Mary details the beginning, purpose, and influence of the feminist movement.  This movement in our country has affected every man, woman, and child today.

Mary starts the chapter by noting the female progression in popular TV series.  In the 1950s it was Leave it to Beaver and June Cleaver, who was the loving housewife.  In the 1970s it was The Mary Tyler Moore Show featuring a female career woman without male attachments.  Then the 1980s brought on Murphy Brown and the loud-mouthed, brash woman as the main character.  This led to the degradation of the Ellen in the 90s who was lesbian and in charge.

An interesting statistic that “shocked” me: “Today, one American child is born outside of marriage every twenty-five seconds.  More than 40 percent of children will go to sleep tonight in homes in which their fathers do not live.”  I didn’t realize it was that high!

About the Feminist Revolution

“It’s important to understand that feminism encompasses much more than the cultural phenomenon of the women’s rights movement.  Feminism is a distinct worldview with its own ideologies, values, and ways of thinking.”

Mary’s foundation for this chapter is that we need to study where we came from, and how we got to where we are today.  Only when we understand the progression can we know where to go in the future, from this point.

The Progression of Feminism

1.  Renaming self – the first phase.  This is where women claimed the right to name themselves and redefine their own existence.  This phase also used consciousness raising – a tactic used by the revolutionary army of Mao Tse-tung!

2.  Renaming the world – phase two. “Whereas the first phase of the movement viewed women’s difference as weaknesses, the second phased viewed women’s differences as a source of pride and confidence.”

3.  Renaming God – feminists took for themselves the right to define God, which actually placed themselves in the position of God.

Summary

Mary turns things around at the end of the chapter and points us to the Biblical definitions of male and female roles.  Gender roles and identity “teaches us about about the relationship between ourselves as God’s people (the church) and God.”

The feminist movement started on the basis that women had unfulfilled desires in the homemaking role.  Mary tells us that we cannot find true fulfillment by returning to the 1950s role of women.  But nor has the modern feminist movement delivered on their promise of happiness and fulfillment for women.  Only when we turn back to our Creator, who gave us longings and desires, can we find fulfillment.  We must submit and say “yes” to God.

“The heart of true womanhood is to understand and agree with the purposes of our Creator.  A woman is a true woman when her heart says yes to God.  The time is ripe for a new movement – a seismic, holy quake of countercultural Christian women who dare to take God at His Word, who have the courage to stand against the popular tide, choosing to believe and delight in God’s plan for male and female.”

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Little Girl

So I know that I am biased because I am the mommy, but I just think Elaine has been especially cute lately.  Every day she discovers something new or surprises me.  Even Ben said this morning, “Baby Girl you are so cute!”

Here’s a couple of random shots…I captured them for my diaper blog, but I am saving them until I am actually carrying this product to sell.

Elaine 9 months in Kissaluvs AIO

Elaine 9 months in Kissaluvs AIO

Elaine 9 months in Kissaluvs AIO
I love this shot because of the light coming in and the concentrated expression on her face!

Elaine 9 months in Kissaluvs AIO 
Don’t worry Mom.  I won’t fall.  I can stand up by myself!

Elaine 9 months in Kissaluvs AIO 
Yup.  Pretty much she is always happy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Offline…

Hey everyone.  Just wanted to let you know that my laptop finally gave up the ghost, and we are in the process of transferring files, pictures, and music to a desktop computer.  So…I will be “gone” for a few days, but I have lots to share when I come back!

Until then…

Friday, August 6, 2010

Small blessings…

This may seem insignificant to many, and you may wonder why I am putting it on my blog.  I want to be able to remember the small blessings that God has poured out so that I can trust Him more in the big areas.

Things are “tight” here in Brooklyn.  We know that God will provide for us, but sometimes we still wonder how it will be possible.  I have been frustrated in the grocery shopping side of things because I can’t get things as cheap, find the good deals, or use my coupons like I used to.  So I prayed specifically for a good bargain on a couple of items that we were in need of. 

There are many “99 cent” stores around here, but most of them are “99 cents and up”.  However, Mrs. M and Agnes from church told me about 99 Cents the Limit over by our church.  This store charges just 99 cents for everything, and they have a food section.  They get things like the day old Pepperidge Farm breads, dairy products, and frozen products.

Today in my shopping trip I was able to get several good bargains at this store to help lower the food budget for this month.  But better than that, I found one of the items for which I had prayed specifically…for only 99 cents.

Like I said, maybe it is small to you.  But God answered my specific prayer in a specific way, and that is a big deal to me.  I’m so privileged to be a child of the King!

Cheerios are a major food group…didn’t you know?

Elaine is in love with Cheerios.  She would eat them all day long if she could!  As you walk through our home you will see little piles of Cheerios in each room.  Elaine has been snacking! 

This smart little nine month old of mine has figured out where I keep the Cheerios box, and it is on her level.  So the other day she decided to help herself!

Elaine 9 months Cheerios “I don’t need Mommy’s help.  I’ll just get them myself!”

Elaine 9 months Cheerios
“Uh-oh.  I’ve been caught!”

I remember old Cheerios commercials from when I was a kid.  The jingle was something like, “Because you’ve got a lot to do…before lunch!”  Elaine just has Cheerios for lunch too, and that makes her like the Energizer Bunny – she keeps going, and going, and going…

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ask the Audience – How do you save money???

Okay, it is really starting to sink in just how expensive it is to live in NYC!  In Va. Beach I was spending $40-50 per week on groceries, or under $200 for the month.  My groceries last month were nearly double that! 

I have discovered that I don’t get the same great coupons, and stores don’t run the same great deals.  While I have scoured out the best milk, eggs, and meat prices, I am struggling finding the deals and cutting the budget on other items. 

I went to Target today because I had a list of needed toiletries and paper products.  After three hours and no bargains I was very disappointed.  I think the grocery store and drug stores run better sales, and things are definitely marked better!

SO…I thought I would poll my readers.  If I can’t use coupons to score the same bargains I am used to, what else can I do to save money?  We’re only using the A/C part time, and I don’t have a clothes dryer.   Water is included in our rent, and internet is free.  Anything else you all do to save money besides use coupons? 

Leave me a comment – I’d love to hear it!

“You’ve Got Mail!”

In college Danielle and I would quote great movie lines to each other.  We had a line for every situation.  Something would happen, one of us would quote a movie, we would crack up laughing, and reminisce about the movie.  Of course, our selections were usually “chick flicks!”  Confession: my favorite movie of all time is the chick flick You’ve Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.  (Disclaimer: you need to watch it with a TV Guardian).  Bookstores, New York City, an email romance with someone who turns out to be your enemy…does it get any better?  This movie is just full of wonderful, quotable lines!

Danielle Visits NYC - Cafe LaloOne of the best parts about You’ve Got Mail is that it is set in the upper west side of Manhattan.  Danielle and I loved everything New York City in the movie!  There is one seen where the main characters meet at a cafe…Cafe Lalo.  It is a real place on 83rd and Amsterdam Ave.  I thought it would be fun to go there when Danielle was in town.  So we did!

Danielle Visits NYC - Cafe Lalo Everything is just exactly like the movie, right down to the twinkle lights on the trees outside!  According to the internet, Cafe Lalo’s claim to fame is their cameo in You’ve Got Mail.  They are also known for fine dessertsDanielle Visits NYC - Cafe Lalo

made by H. Lalo.  It is a sit-down cafe, but we were able to order our coffee to go.  There are pictures in the front windows from the filming of the movie.   It was a lovely experience!

The hostess stood outside on the steps.  It appeared as if her main job was to take pictures of everyone underneath the sign.  Well at least that’s all I saw her doing!

Danielle Visits NYC - Cafe Lalo Me & Danielle at Cafe Lalo

Danielle Visits NYC - Cafe Lalo Elaine wasn’t nearly as thrilled as I was…the movie pics are behind us!

Danielle Visits NYC - Cafe Lalo

Danielle Visits NYC - Cafe Lalo

Some memorable lines from You’ve Got Mail:

  • “Don’t you just love New York in the fall?  It makes me want to buy school supplies.  I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address…”
  • “What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You've got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.”
  • “We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine!”
  • “The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”
  • “Do you know what? We are going to seduce them. We're going to seduce them with our square footage, and our discounts, and our deep armchairs, and... Our cappuccino. Do you know why? Because we're going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants. In the meantime, we'll just put up a big sign: ‘Coming soon: a FoxBooks superstore and the end of civilization as you know it.’”
  • “I love daisies. They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?”  (and that is partly why daisies are my favorite flower too!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country…”

Danielle Visits NYC - Statue of Liberty and NYC Skyline

It has been three years since I have been to the Statue of Liberty.  We were not able to secure tickets to visit the pedestal or the crown, but we still had fun.  It was the first time for Danielle, Evan, and of course, Elaine to visit Liberty Island.

We were glad that Ben had the foresight to reserve ferry tickets, because the line was a snake that seemed longer than the two hours which they were announcing!

Danielle Visits NYC - Statue of Liberty and NYC Skyline Me, Elaine, Danielle, and NYC skyline

Danielle Visits NYC - Statue of Liberty and NYC Skyline

Danielle Visits NYC - Statue of Liberty and NYC SkylineIt’s an interesting perspective, but I like it!  Evan captured this shot of our little family and Lady Liberty!

Danielle Visits NYC - Statue of Liberty and NYC Skyline

Danielle Visits NYC - Statue of Liberty and NYC SkylineMy all-time, undisputed, favorite picture from the whole day!