Monday, March 21, 2011
"My servant Caleb... he has a different spirit in him and has followed me fully... " Num. 14:24; Joshua 14:6-10
A few days ago, I had the privilege of working on getting our garden ready to plant with my two boys, Joshua (5) and Stephen (3). I did the best I could to pump them up and psyche them up about “working” outside with dad. As we rode together to Lowes we sang together some of their favorite songs… I’ll Fly Away, Sanctuary, and one of their all-time favorites, Jingle Bells—Shotgun Shells—Granny Had a Gun, She went out to the hunting club, and boy she had some fun!
It was loud and it was great!! While on the way to Lowes I also went over our game plan. I told them what we would be doing in the yard and what we would need to get to finish the job. They got excited about getting dirt (compost). What little boy doesn’t get excited about dirt? But, they really did not connect with the whole “work” thing until I got them a pair of “work gloves” and boy did they get pumped and psyched. Stephen tore the tags off his gloves before I could get to the cashier to pay for them. After purchasing those gloves, the boys couldn’t wait to get home to go to “work.”
I was so encouraged to see them fill their Tonka dump trumps with compost and drive them down the rows in the garden to unload and come back for more. “Working” with dad in the garden was so popular that the girls and mommy wanted to get in on the action as soon as they got home from the grocery store. I’m glad they did because we were “working” together as a family and got a lot more accomplished. By the end of the day we put out 30 bags of compost, installed a fence around the garden, and covered the isles in-between the rows with a paper barrier and hay to keep the weeds down. I just wished I would have bought four more pairs of gloves. The girls wanted to wear the boy’s gloves so bad. Those gloves did something for our boys and girls as we worked together in the yard for most of the day.
It has been said, "They don't make them like they used to." But I say, "They ought to!!" I honestly believe that the days that you and I are living in and the days that our children will live in will require men and women that are of a different spirit. It will be a day in which only the Godly man and Godly woman will be able to navigate. As Caleb, the generation of children today will face days where they must be faithfully fit, emotionally energized, and spiritually sound.
The other day I was reminded of a statement that was made by Wilson Green, a family revivalist for Life Action Ministries, during a Revival Summit at our church in February 2009. The statement that Wilson made was so powerful and penetrating that I wanted to pass along… “To be successful at work and to fail at home is to fail completely.” Let that sink in for a moment.
Now that the Lord has our attention, for you and I to raise boys and girls of a different spirit such as the one Caleb had, many of our children will need to trade in their Nintendo DS, iPod, computer, sport, etc… for a pair of work gloves. And perhaps as parents, we might need to make a few trades for a pair of gloves as well so that we can go to work and raise a generation of children like they used to... because we need to.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
As I finished reading a book to our oldest girls out on the grass with pink blanket and white sheet spread, I became overcome with a deep appreciation and thankfulness for the moments to spend reading to them. Their ears so attentive...not missing a word. And don't dare make a noise, you little ones playing over there, we might miss something! The sun shining bright and the sky so incredibly blue. Just as we would begin to think we were too hot, a gentle breeze would blow our way and we would keep reading.
I closed the book and felt a deep need to fall on my face and thank the Lord for the gifts he has given me. The freedom that I have experienced these 34 years of my life and the lives that sacrificed for it. I also felt deep conviction of the fact that these feelings were all to new to me. At this age? Why so long? What have I missed? What have I taken for granted? Too many things.
It may seem silly that a fictional book based on a character in the colonial times just as the American Revolution was beginning would bring a woman to her knees. Something in it struck a chord. One deep within and I knew that life is hard and sad at times. Sacrifices are made for things we believe deeply in. Sacrifices of wealth, time, family, and our own lives. For things we believe in. For things that we believe will benefit future generations. It becomes more about "them" than about "us".
I think of my family. My husband and children. God has given me them for a little while. I believe in His Word. I believe He is worth fighting for. Fighting for my time to give to them. Fighting to overcome this sin nature that rises up and tries to influence them for wrong. Fighting for joy freely given, love never failing, and grace overflowing. Always fighting. I will always fight, because I am nothing without Christ and He is my only hope.
How can a children's novel bring such a burning and renewing passion for what I believe is my calling in life and a very special season of my life? I don't know, but it did. May we all become stirred to fight for our families. With our time, influence, joy, love, and grace given to them. Don't let the world snatch it away from us. You see, I agree with Ann Voskamp when she speaks of her little girl, "....she is never for me, children never for us, to please us, to fulfill us, but I am for her, to nurture and protect and serve and children are the gift and parents are the ones who give."
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of reading and little girls and almost young ladies listening and begging for more. These moments are precious and today the children have given to me without knowing it and so maybe we are giving to each other. As we do, may we give praise and thanksgiving to the One "from whom all blessings flow" and to the One who sacrificed it all that we may have life and life more abundant.
Monday, March 7, 2011
He saw something in me that I didn't see myself. Still does.
While still engaged he told me, " I will help you beat this thing." I had nowhere else to turn. And he did.
In sickness and in health, he promised. Those first few years of marriage tested that promise. He did.
5 daughters and 2 sons later he has been my protector and provider, my lover and my laughter, my encourager and embracer, my knight in shining armour.
He has loved our children deeply. He has loved me deeply.
He has led our family with a faith unshakable.
We have grown, we have changed, we have shared, we have journeyed.....and we still do and will.
For this momentary relationship that should personify the mystery of the Love of Christ and sacrifice of His life and the submission and respect for Him from the Church of the Living God to a lost and dying world. For this momentary relationship that has all the potential to bring glory to God and pleasure to his countenance, I am forever grateful for this man who turns 38 today. What a privilege to have spent the last 14 years of it with him. I pray for many, many, many more.
The children are grateful for their daddy's.....
The prayers for little Joshua and Stephen as he puts them to bed.
The times he has taken them hunting.
That he is willing to stay longer in the woods for the one who is determined to get a deer.
The times he plays with them.
Days that he is off from work and at home with them.
Cheers for them at their soccer games.
Organization of family soccer games, kick ball, basketball, etc...
Role as their pastor and principal.
Willingness and work toward being a GREAT father!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Keith!! We love you very much!
Nichole, Madison, Morgan, Mallory, Meghan, Joshua, Stephen, and Maleah
Saturday, March 5, 2011
"Stephen" Nicholas Boggs turns 3!
Chocolate Pot de Creme!
Our sweet little Stephen turned 3 years old on March 1st. I can't believe our little guy is growing so fast. He isn't much shorter than his older brother, Joshua. He is an affectionate little sweety one minute and a bull-headed little sweetie the next! When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner, all he could say was, "Chocolate Pot de Creme". And he would say it perfectly clear every time. For someone who has never had or heard of chocolate pot de creme, they would have known exactly what he was saying. I was just trying to figure out what to fix him for our meal and all he could think about was chocolate! Well, we finally did get hot dogs out of him. He loves those things and we never have them.
Keith had mentioned a couple of weeks earlier that he would like a chili dog and so here I am faced with the possibility of serving hotdogs for our meal. I know you are telling me to get real. What will one meal hurt? Well, I agree. But, I did decide to go out and look for a healthy hotdog and then try some homemade whole wheat hotdog buns and wahlah...we have turned a terribly unhealthy meal into something that I felt like we could consider to do pretty regular. Especially since two of my favorite guys in the whole world asked for them. I was a bit nervous that Keith would tell me to never do the wheat hotdog buns again, but he didn't! He said he like them and so I will have to share those with you another time, since this post is really about chocolate pot de creme and not hotdogs!
Ok...Pot de creme actually means "pot of cream" and is a traditional French custard typically served in a pot-shaped cup. So, a special thank you goes out to all the French people out there. This is one dynamic, easy, delicious dessert! It is a family favorite and is requested for birthday treats and special meal times at our house. I hope you will try it and I hope you enjoy it.
Just like any other recipe, the best cream and chocolate you can find will take this dessert to another level. When I can't get a hold of some raw, fresh, organic cream then I usually buy Horizon's organic heavy cream and I also look for the organic chocolate bars that are on sale that have atleast 60 percent cocoa in them. A couple of favorite brands of ours are "Green and Black" and "Newman's Own".
Chocolate Pot de Creme
2 cups whipping cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup sucanat
4 beaten egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
White Chocolate Curls (optional)
In a medium heavy saucepan combine the whipping cream, chocolate, and sucanat. Cook and stir over medium heat about 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to boil and thicken. GRADUALLY stir all of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs. Do this slowly, so you don't cook the eggs. Stir in vanilla. Divide the cream into 8 sake cups or 8 3-ounce ramkins. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours before serving. You can garnish these with little curls of white chocolate. You could also add a a tablespoon of instant expresso coffee powder to whipping cream and turn this into a Mocha Pot de Creme.
So easy and so worth the wait. It is just enough because of the richness of it and it will finish off any meal with a bit of pleasure all around the table. Even if you serve it after hotdogs.
Enjoy and God Bless,