Monday, June 23, 2008


Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Yes, my father celebrates his birthday shortly after Father's Day. Isn't that cool?

My family's idea of fun is to do something together outside. Therefore, on birthdays, holidays, and vacations, we're heading out to hike, bike, play tennis, swim, sled, etc. My brother Curtis, whose birthday is in December, protests that it isn't fair that he doesn't get to swim - one of his favorite sports - on his birthday....but most on most other special days, we go out in the sun.

Sooooo....this morning, we went to the tennis courts. What fun!

Did you know that 8 people is the perfect number of players for "King of the Court"? That's a good game (at least our version of it) for a combination of young and older players, because everyone plays in pairs. Mom and Dad were together - a perfect pair of good players - and each of us older children took a younger one. The two boys were together, Lezley and Heather were together, and Tiffany and I were together.

I thought that it would be me helping Tiffany, 'cause she's much younger than I am, but it ended up the other way around! Good lesson in humility. I couldn't get that ball over the net! I don't know what went wrong. I'm no expert, but I usually do a little better than that!

Ah, well, as I told Tiffany (trying to console her for the fact that our two-player team was loosing) "It's all about having fun in the game."

We weren't sure that we'd be able to do anything outside today, because the sky was cloudy last night, and thunder kept rumbling. I was praying so hard for it to rain! Not to spoil Dad's birthday, but because we needed it so bad.

Needed. Past tense. Praise the Lord for answered prayer! He indeed sends the rain on the just and unjust alike. His mercies are never ending. Our garden has been spared for a while longer.

The rain barrels worked GREAT. did. Last night's shower was our first really good rain since putting them up. This morning, one of the barrels is so full I can't wiggle it. Dad took the cover off to look, and he told me that it is overflowing. Who knows how much more rain we could have caught if we'd had a bigger container? The trashcan we used (clean!) has a 35 or 37 gallon capacity. That's from only 1/4 of our roof!!!!

But I did mention that we have two barrels in use, right? We don't know how much we got in the other one.

It got a little too full.

Apparently, the base it was sitting upon wasn't strong enough to bear up the weight of all that water. The barrel tipped over during the night... so we only have a few inches in the bottom of it.

If both barrels had worked, that would have been about 70 gallons of water from two drain spouts - half our roof. That's a lot of water!!!!

Dad was the one who thought of all this. He got one of my brothers interested in it, too. Dad and Curtis researched water collecting on the web, got ideas, and planned action. Dad bought the trashcans. Together, he and Curtis turned them into rain barrels by installing spigots near the bottom, cutting rectangular holes in the lids, placing wire mesh over the holes, cutting the drain spouts to fit the barrels under them, and installing the barrels under the drain spouts.

Aren't they smart?

Thinking of all this reminds me of a big need in our culture - the need for women to recognize and respect the headship of men. Not that all men are over all women; indeed, that would be oppressive - but that each man is the head of his house. And he ought to be free to try all sorts of projects, knowing that his wife and children will back him up in anything he feels the Lord calling him to do.

I hear lots of women saying that they will follow their husbands anywhere. I suppose they mean they'd follow him to the mission field or into another profession. That's good. Much better than some.

But what about everyday stuff? I'm not qualified to be a judge in this matter, since I'm not even married, so this is only an observation.... but it seems to me that promises to follow in the major things are pretty empty unless they are proved by action in the minor things.

I see a beautiful example of this between my parents. When Dad wants to try something new - be it a new food, a new plant in the garden, a new store, or a new family project, Mom's actions say "okay, let's go!" She has her ideas too, and Dad is great about listening to her suggestions and treating her as a treasured companion, but he knows he can try anything he believes would be good for our family, a better way to serve the Lord, or just interesting to try.

I have a part in this as a child. My natural personality is very domineering. Mom says I'm creative. That's putting it nicely. Bluntly, the fact is that have a bunch of ideas that I'm rather forceful about suggesting.

A child of God isn't suppose to be controlled by their old nature, but by the Spirit.

Sooo.... I have to learn to be slower to suggest my own ideas, and quicker to listen to others' ideas. Particularly my parents.

My job as a daughter is to do my part to encourage my father to do the things he believes he should do. He's a warrior for God, and woe to me if I do anything to hinder him in his fight! Could it be that my critical attitude might cause him to feel hindered in something, and therefore keeping him from doing his best? That thought makes me cringe. I don't want to cause any Christian's fight to be less than successful, but if that person should be my father? Horror!

Wow. I'm really convicting myself. I have some praying to do.

But before I leave, let me mention one more thing: Brothers.

Yup. Men in training. How can we expect them to grow up as leaders if we are constantly telling them that they aren't good enough, that our ideas are better, that they're suppose to do what we say? It's particularly tempting to act this way when the brothers are younger than us, isn't it?

I don't mean that we don't have a job as older siblings. But let it be a ministry of encouragement and gentle instruction. ...AND let's not be too proud to let them teach us things. They need practice in leading. Practice in being free to follow what they feel God is calling them to do. If we don't give them that practice....who will?

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I'm glad it rained there Amber. It rained here Saturday and Sunday, really hard. I thought about e-mailing you and asking you if it rained. Hereing the thunder kept making me think of you and your familie's garden. So much for people I hear always talking about how God doesn't seem to answer prayer :)