Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Neat Freaks

I have read several articles lately on home management that imply that "messes" are fun and flexible, and neat people are "neat freaks". Humm--is orderliness and discipline freaky? It almost seems that messiness is considered to be a virtue, and neatness is a character flaw these days. However I believe we reflect the Creator in our creatureliness best by doing things "decently and in order". Perhaps that is why people are always "needing" to get away to a retreat so often. A home that is disheveled and messy does not give us a peaceful spirit, or make hospitality spontaneous. Orderly surroundings reflect an orderly spirit. Yes, I work at keeping our home neat and inviting, but I do not think that is freaky, do you?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


That the Great Angel-blinding Light should shrink His blaze to shine in a poor shepherd's eye;
That the unmeasured God so low should sink, as prisoner in a few poor rags to lie;
That from His mother's breast He milk should drink, who feeds with nectar heaven's fair family;
That a vile manger His low bed should prove, who in a Throne of stars thunders above;
That He whom the SUN serves, should faintly peep through clouds of Infant flesh!
That He, the old Eternal Word should be a child, and weep;
That He who made the fire should fear the cold
That Heaven's high majesty His court should keep in a clay cottage;
That Glories' Self should serve our griefs and fears, and free Eternity submit to years,
Let our overwhelming wonder be! by Richard Crashaw

Have a blessed Chrismas, and take time to marvel at the Incarnation!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Today is sunny and breezy, actually cold, but beautiful after a few days of grayness. I read this poem as I looked out our den window and watched the sun and wind play with the fallen leaves:

Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnur-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plow;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, frecked (who know how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He Fathers-forth whose beauty is past change;
PRAISE HIM. (italics mine)

--Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I realize this is not a wild, white rose, but I did not grow any of those! But this is a heavenly blue morning glory that greeted me one morning outside our dining room french doors.

I found a book of poetry compiled by Dr. Bob Jones, Jr. at a salvage store and gave it to my husband. He frequently reads me a poem from it before we go to sleep at night. This is one of those that spoke to me:

It was peeping through the brambles, that little wild white rose,
Where the hawthorn hedge was planted, my garden to enclose.
All beyond was fern and heather, on the breezy, open moor;
All within was sun and shelter, and the wealth of beauty's store.
But I did not heed the fragrance of flower or of tree;
For my eyes were on that rosebud, and it grew too high for me.
In vain I strove to reach it through the tangled mass of green,
It only smiled and nodded behind its thorny screen.
Yet through that summer morning I lingered near the spot;

My garden beds were blooming, but all that I could see
Was that little mocking wild rose hanging just too high for me.

So in life's wider garden there are buds of promise, too,
Beyond our reach to gather, but not beyond our view;
And like the little charmer that tempted me astray,
They steal out half the brightness of many a summer's day.

Oh, hearts that fail with longing for some forbidden tree,
Look up and learn a lesson from my white rose and me.
"Tis wiser far to number the blessings at my feet
Than ever to be sighing for just one bud more sweet.
My sunbeams and my shadows fall from a pierced hand,
I can surely trust His wisdom since His heart I understand;
And maybe in the morning, when His blessed face I see,
He will tell me why my white rose grew just too high for me.

--Ellen H. Willis

May I learn to bloom where I am planted!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Gracen Elizabeth Greene became Mrs. Michael George Collins on July 18th, 2008, just one day before her parents 33rd wedding anniversary. The wedding was beautiful and very God-honoring. Aaron and Caleb took the pictures, and I love this one of Aaron showing Gracen a shot.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Little Gwendolyn Daisy does not look so little anymore--she is the proud "big sister"!

Olivia Mae was born on June 19th to Josh and Nichole.  She weighed a tiny 5 lb. 3oz.  She is a perfectly beautiful baby, as you can see!  It is hard to believe that Josh and Nicky have 4 children.  We praise God for all of our precious grands!

"Children are an heritage from the LORD.  The fruit of the womb is His reward."

Friday, March 28, 2008


When she was in her fifties, Elizabeth Prentiss learned that her husband would be taking a new pastorate in Chicago.  The move from New York meant leaving all their friends and familiar things.  In a letter to a friend, she wrote:
We want to know no will but God's in this question. . . .  The experience of the past winter would impress upon me the fact that place and position have next to nothing to do with happiness; that we can be wretched in a palace, radiant in a dungeon. . . .  Perhaps this heartbreaking is exactly what we need to remind us. . . that we are pilgrims and strangers on the earth."

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Hallelujah!  Christ is risen!
Hallelujah!  He is risen, indeed!

Every year we make a "tomb cake":  it is angel food cake baked in a metal mixing bowl, and the stone for the doorway is baked in the smallest-sized mixing bowl.  Then the kids decorate it anyway they want.  We make strawberry short cake out of it for Easter dessert.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Michael Collins asked Gracen to be his wife at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville on February 5th. As you can see from the picture, she obviously said "yes". We are planning a July 18th wedding in the War Memorial Chapel at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. We are thrilled that Michael is joining our family, and we are joining his!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


"Litanies tend to be both repetitive and comprehensive, and in both of these characteristics there is a certain analogy to housework. . . .My own house and my housekeeping are works in progress, and sometimes it seems that very little progress is actually being made. But I can only imagine the chaos into which my household would long ago have descended if I were less intentional about making time to keep house and if I were less convinced of the inherent value of doing so. We all need the patterns of our lives to echo and emulate the patterns of the larger story that we, as Christians, believe is the true story of the world. Daily involvement in the work of housekeep[ing, the litany of everyday life, is one way of participating in and living out that story." p.21 in Keeping House by Margaret Kim Peterson

I highly recommend this book--very thought provoking. I just finished it this week, and decided that I need to turn around and read it right again!