Wednesday, February 29, 2012

26 weeks down... 14 to go...

 Time for another pregnancy update!  Since my last update Pregnancy has been progressing quite nicely. The biggest change is the rate that I am changing sizes. I'm actually getting to the point now that some of my maternity clothes are getting snug--a problem that I never realized could happen a couple months ago when I gleefully shopped for maternity clothes. The lotion bottles in the house are emptying about as fast as my belly is growing, as I try to avoid stretch marks. So far, so good. :-)

My big project

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Welcome to Grace





Teachers of Good things is a series of interviews we will be conducting on Tuesdays and Thursdays here at Ruby in the Rough. It is our goal with these interviews to follow the instructions found in Titus 2:3-5 for the "older women" to teach the younger women good things such as: loving their husbands, keeping their home, and conducting themselves with all purity both before and after marriage.  

Today I'll be sharing my own thoughts on the interview questions we've been considering the last couple weeks.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Celebrations




Continuing to count on to a Thousand Gifts with Ann Voscamp. I'm keeping a record of the gifts that God has given me each day--whether small or large, all given from His gracious hand.

228. Days off
229. A good book, read late (too late!) at night
230. Shared smiles over common ground
231. Dinner and a movie
Pictures taken by Forever Faithful Photography
for our anniversary a few months ago

232. the computer/printer working. Finally.
233. Print drivers installed (may seem little, but it isn't!)
234. Keepers gone smoothly
235. Energy to attend church after Keepers--I'm usually wiped out!
236. Community group, finishing a series, best evening yet

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Good Stewardship



Walking With the Lord is a weekly pause we take here at Ruby in the Rough to focus on the things of the Lord. Sometimes it will be a devotional, sometimes a lesson from our church that stood out as being particularly applicable.

Recently my husband taught a Sunday School lesson on the topic of stewardship, and I thought it was particularly impacting. The timing of the lesson was interesting, because starting a couple weeks after he taught on the topic the Lord gave our family a series of financial blessings. Over the last month these blessings have served to keep my mind constantly going back to the topic of good stewardship.

As I've learned more about Biblical stewardship,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grit and Husbands



Joining The Gypsy Mama again for Five Minute Friday. The rules are:


1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.



START

Grit. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of grit is my husband. He's all man--all rough and tumble, ready for anything, sweaty, wonderful man. He makes his own bullets for his own guns, because he can. And because it's fun. Put him outdoors for a week with just a compass and knife and he'd do just fine. He's gritty like that. Man.

But he knows he's gritty, that he is able to handle himself in any situation. And he doesn't have to prove that to anyone. He can leave that at the door--like his mud stained boots, and still be the kind of man that brings flowers to his lady. It's balanced, and good.

While I love the fact that he can be romantic; I also love the grit, the sweat, the man. It's all part of the same package, and it's a package that suits me just right. Grit and all.

STOP

Working Together

Teachers of Good things is a series of interviews we will be conducting on Tuesdays and Thursdays here at Ruby in the Rough. It is our goal with these interviews to follow the instructions found in Titus 2:3-5 for the "older women" to teach the younger women good things such as: loving their husbands, keeping their home, and conducting themselves with all purity both before and after marriage.  

Today it is a pleasure to have Amy Cahill joining us for Teachers of Good Things. Amy is married to Brian Cahill, and together they have four children: Lance, Ivy, Flora and Baby E (due to arrive in early April). You can read more about the Cahill family at their family blog, The Cahills.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What kind of courtship is Biblical?




By far the shortest book I’ve read this year, at 46 pages What kind of Courtship is Biblical?, by Jeff Zakula, was also very thought provoking. Most books I’ve read on the subject of Biblical Courtship start with principles, and then look to scripture for supporting passages. Mr. Zakula takes the reverse approach. He starts this short book by examining the different courtships found in the Bible— considering not only the stories themselves, but also Old Testament law and New Testament passages. The results of this tour through the Bible actually surprised me—and this isn’t exactly the first book I’ve read on the topic. It’s just that most books I read are about Biblical courtship, as opposed to Biblical courtship.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First love? Jesus.





Teachers of Good things is a series of interviews we will be conducting on Tuesdays and Thursdays here at Ruby in the Rough. It is our goal with these interviews to follow the instructions found in Titus 2:3-5 for the "older women" to teach the younger women good things such as: loving their husbands, keeping their home, and conducting themselves with all purity both before and after marriage.  

This week it is a pleasure to have Melody Preuninger, wife of Donald Preuninger, and mama to two little ones--Danielle and Timothy (Timothy due to make a first appearance in early April). Melody is my husband's older sister, and has been married for about three years now. She blogs at Travelers Together. I have always had a great deal of respect for Melody, and it is an honor to have her join us today.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Parties and Blessings




On Saturday my house was full. Eight young ladies came over for a party. It was the biggest party I've thrown since my wedding, and it took weeks of planning. The table was set with finger sandwiches--chicken salad and cucumber. Strawberries, cookies and cupcakes brightened the setting, but not so much as the crystal bowl of punch in the middle of the table. It reflected bright pink off everything. My grandmother's crystal pitcher was brought out as well, and yellow lemonade reflected its own cheerful light.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Are you Love?


Walking With the Lord is a weekly pause we take here at Ruby in the Rough to focus on the things of the Lord. Sometimes it will be a devotional, a poem, or a lesson from our church that stood out as being particularly applicable.

This evenings service was on love, and taken from 1 Corinthians 13. My dad (who happened to be preaching this evening) read through the chapter right before he closed, substituting Christ's name for charity (or love, depending on your translation). Read through it, it's amazing how accurate it is.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Christ, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Christ, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Christ, it profiteth me nothing.

 Christ suffereth long, and is kind; Christ envieth not; Christ vaunteth not himself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave himself unseemly, seeketh not his own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Christ never faileth: but whether there are prophecies, they shall fail; whether there are languages, they shall cease; whether there is knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, Christ, these three; but the greatest of these is Christ.  1 Corinthians 13

 Switching Christ's name for Love/charity didn't change the passage much at all. Christ was the perfect model of agape love. Now here are a few more verses for you to think about:
Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:6, ESV)

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21 ESV)

You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (John 13:13-17 ESV)
We are to be imitators of Christ, walking in the same way he walked, matching our footprints to His footprints. If that is true, and if Jesus Christ is the definition of Love as found in 1 Corinthians 13, then we should be living in such a way that our own names could be substituted for love in that same passage.

 I know that I couldn't substitute my own name in there and the passage still be accurate.  Nonetheless, we are supposed to be growing more Christlike every day, and so we should strive to make this passage true--regardless of whether it is our name or Christ's in there.

Could YOU go through all of 1 Corinthians 13 (esp. verses 4-8) and substitute your name in there as I substituted Christ's? Would it still be accurate? Would it be true? Would it make sense? Or is this an area that you are working on?

Originally published August 3, 2005

Friday, February 17, 2012

Delight yourself in the Lord






Joining Lisa Jo over at The Gypsy Mama again for Five Minute Friday. 
Here are the rules:
 1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you and leave an encouraging comment.
START:

When I think of delight the first words that come into my mind are,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

High School Sweethearts





Teachers of Good things is a series of interviews we will be conducting on Tuesdays and Thursdays here at Ruby in the Rough. It is our goal with these interviews to follow the instructions found in Titus 2:3-5 for the "older women" to teach the younger women good things such as: loving their husbands, keeping their home, and conducting themselves with all purity both before and after marriage. 

Today I am featuring an interview with the woman who has had the greatest impact on my view of marriage--my mother. Having a mom who loves the Lord, honors her husband, and patiently serves her family has been a tremendous blessing to me. As we worked through this interview I realized that she really had a lot more to share than would fit into a single post, so starting in the near future she will be doing a weekly guest post on specific housekeeping topics, following the (general) outline of things that she lists in the fourth interview question.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An open letter to my husband

Three years ago, today, when we were
promised to each other

My dearest Mr. Richard,

It's been three years. Can you believe that? As of today we have officially been a couple for three years. For me this is a day to remember everything the Lord has taught me through you, and the many reasons I have to be thankful for my husband.  Ephesians 5:25-30 says:

  25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body
This passage is an accurate description of the kind of man you have always been to me--both before and after our vows. Your love for me is more than just words,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

And welcome to the new URL! I've been looking forward to the complete unveiling of the new website, and I'm so excited that the project is finally done. Last week the new design was revealed, but I had some snags in getting the new url to work properly. My brother was kind enough to stop by yesterday afternoon to untangle all the snags, and now it's working perfectly!

I still have the old url (www.loveliftedmeup.blogger.com) but it redirects to this link. This way I won't loose any of my subscribers. If you are subscribed, consider updating your link to the new address of www.RubyInTheRough.com.

I hope y'all have a lovely valentines day (I know I have!), and check back tomorrow morning for a special love-themed post I've been saving.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Focusing on the Lord





Teachers of Good things is a series of interviews we will be conducting on Tuesdays and Thursdays here at Ruby in the Rough. It is our goal with these interviews to follow the instructions found in Titus 2:3-5 for the "older women" to teach the younger women good things such as: loving their husbands, keeping their home, and conducting themselves with all purity both before and after marriage. 


Today I am pleased to feature an interview with Amanda Rhoades, bride of Jonathan Rhoades and new mother to Abigail. Amanda has been a good friend for many years, and married my brother just a few weeks before my own wedding. As Valentines Day is on Tuesday,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

January Checkup

Reading Challenge 2012


According to my Goodreads widget, I'm a little behind on my reading goal of 30 books this year. However, currently I'm in the middle of about 4 books (how did that happen???) and making decent progress through most of them.

Here are my reports on the two books I did finish:


Pollyanna: It's hard to believe that this was really the first time I've read this classic story. A friend loaned it to me after I requested some "light reading." Pollyanna certainly filled that. It was enjoyable, fun, and easy to read. Outside of that, however, I was fairly disappointed in the story itself.

Pollyanna comes so close to being a truly inspirational book, but then falls on its face in the last few chapters. She encourages her friends and family (and complete strangers!) to play what she has named the "happy game." She asks them to choose to find a bright side regardless of the circumstances but she never gives them a basis for this happiness!! There was a beautiful opportunity near the end of the book for Pollyanna's character to mature and discover that true joy can only be found in the knowledge in and trust of God's sovereignty, but this did not happen. The result was a sweet but hollow story.



The MoneySavingMom's Budget: As a long time reader of MoneySavingMom.Com, I had pre-ordered my copy months ago. I knew the book would be fantastic, and I wasn't disappointed! Crystal had some great tips and advice to share. Even though I've been reading her blog for years now, there was still plenty of fresh information. It also helped to have some of the familiar tips in a more compact form. This book was so good that I'm planning on purchasing the audio version so my husband can listen to it also. I finished the book feeling satisfied that it had been everything I expected to be.



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vacation!

This past weekend my hubby and I both took a long weekend and spent some time visiting a few local points of interest. We've never done a "stay-cation" before, and we had such a lovely time! Here are a few pictures from our various excursions:




I’d never been to the local zoo before, despite that it is one of the top zoos in the nation. My hubby had been before, and it was everything he’d promised. We saw hundreds of different animals.

The last few weeks we have been taking a class together on creation, and one of the things that really stood out to me from this visit was the amazing variety in creation. The animals that God created are so complex, so amazing, and so varied. Their mere existence is proof-positive of an intelligent creator!

Neither of us had been to the local aquarium before, though I've heard great reviews. I enjoyed the trip even more than I expected to. The bright colors of all the fish were fun to look at—yet again I was impressed with the creativity of our God. The ones in the picture above were my favorites—I loved watching the way they moved. The rays (along with sharks and a few other things) were in a huge aquarium with a tunnel through it. When we walked through the tunnel there were fish above, to either side, and below us. I'd teased Richard about the shark tank beforehand; I didn't realize we'd BOTH end up inside one! 

In addition to some of the big-name attractions that we visited, we also had a chance to visit some local restaurants. It was fun meeting the local people, making connections, and finding places that have a bit more “personality” than the usual chain restaurants.


Monday, February 6, 2012

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Over the next 24 hours I'll be rolling out a new look for the blog. This has been in the works for several months, and I can't wait for the big reveal! We'll have a new name also, so check back tomorrow morning to see what it is!

Blessings,

Sophia

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Marriage--What's a girl to do?

Marriage. It's something as young women we dream of, anticipate, and to varying degrees plan out.  We dream of our future husband's character, how loving he will be, how perfect he will be. Some of us pray for him regularly, or even write love notes to him to be given to him after we are married. I know many young ladies who wear purity rings--a reminder to them that instead of giving their affections to the first young man that shows interest, they are saving themselves for their future mate.

I believe that God has placed in young women this wholesome desire to be married. This desire, in balance with trust in the Lord, can be a beautiful motivation to pure and wholesome living. 

Since I got married I have been approached with many questions on relationships. I am not an expert on the topic by any means, but I do have a heart for single ladies. I married later in life than did most of my married friends, and that time of singleness is still a vivid memory. 

The season of singleness before marriage is such a precious time of life, one that will never be repeated.  Though it contains a unique set of challenges and temptations, the blessings and opportunities are even more abundant. I think this quote from Douglas Wilson sums up the focus of godly singleness quite nicely:

[T]he time a person spends when he is single should be time spent in preparation for marriage. This is important even if he never gets married. This is because biblical preparation for marriage is nothing more than learning to follow Jesus Christ and to love one’s neighbor. In other words, preparation for Christian marriage is basically the same as preparation for Christian living. Christians are to prepare for marriage by learning self-denial, subduing their pride, and putting their neighbor first.

In addition to the usual assortment of posts, I want to take some time over the next year to encourage young ladies during their single years, courtship, and engagement. I'm pretty excited about some of the posts I have in the works already, including a few guest posts from dear ladies who have the same vision.

Stay tuned, because the first post of this new series is set to roll out a week from today, on February 11, just in time for Valentines Day!!