Thursday, June 28, 2007

Unique Opportunities of Serving as a Wife

"The hidden side of church history has been the part played behind the scenes by Christian women. Occasionaly the work fo outstanding single women has been better known, but for those married, and whose lives have been of strategic importance to the kingdom of God, it has generally been their husband's names that have come down to posterity. The work of the men was more public, more documented, and thus more available to the writers of history. The wives, without whom eminent men would not have been what they were, were content to remain little known or remembered."
~Iain H. Murray, Intro to Margaret Paton: Letters from the South Seas

"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
~God's Promise: Matthew 6:1-4
Isn't it amazing that God, who needs nothing, would be the One to notice and reward service to those who are are both least likely to thank, and most needy!? (and if small children aren't needy, I don't know who is!)

"And whatever you do, in word of deed, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. [...] Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the Inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." (wow!)
~More promises: Colossians 3:17 & 23-24

"...God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you showed for His sake in serving the saints, as you still do."
~Still more promises: Hebrews 6:10
"She [Jessie Inglis, missionary to the New Hebrides, late 1800s] was always kept so busy making history that she had no time to write it...She never thought of herself but as an ordinary woman doing an ordinary woman's work." --John Inglis, of his wife
"Next to the support Margaret Paton gave to her husband, her greatest service lay in the nurturing of the children which she gave to the world. The cause of seeking missionaries began in the Patons' own home, and they were honored by Christ in the calling of all their four children to the work of the Gospel. " I think this next part is quite my life goal:
"Her influence over her children was deep and permanent. There was in her nature a rare combination of saintliness and humanness, that made the Christian life very real and winsome to all with whom she came into touch. her life was, in her own words, 'a pure white-heart of love for her children.'" ~Francis H. L. Paton, of his mother
(all quotes from aforesaid Introduction)
Some principles and thought-habits I am trying to cultivate as I prepare to build by own home, because I know that "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish woman tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1--yikes!). I'm enjoying and benefitting from Margaret Paton's example and words. She's very real-- funny at times, and always honest. What a woman! Look her up! :)
--Christina, very happy in Louisville

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


"When you lay me down to die/
I'll open up my eyes on skies I've never known/
In the place where I belong,/
And I'll realize His love is just another word
for Home."
~Andrew Peterson, "Lay Me Down [to Die]"

"And I think my home is just Heaven's reflection/
As long as my home's here with you."
~Michael Card, "Home"

I've left so much-- the big things: my parents, my sisters, a church where I've loved, lost and found again, the comfort of one Tia, Uncle & set of cousins just down the street, and other across town; and the less important but equally present: the home I love, the creek we played in for hours, neighbors I trust, the pediatrician who used to find "kitty-cats" in my ears during checkups, the dentist & dental hygienist that I've gotten to know despite their looking in my mouth every few months, the health-care providers who have all my records on hand, a mental road-map that seldom fails me, a bank, pharmacy, and library that have all my information stored... I don't deny that the thought of "new" automatically provokes recoil in me. BUT despite all that, Melissa heard the intense excitement in my voice as I exited I-65 onto Jackson St. "Melissa! This is going to be my exit for the next few years!" She laughed at me. :) The other night I said something to Ryan about "'til I'm home" and he stopped me- "where do you mean?" I meant Louisville, of course, but why? At first, it was because I did find a place to belong there. I have never felt more accepted and loved than I did in the brief months I spent worshipping and serving with the people of Immanuel Baptist Church. Christ is always 'Home.' But now there's another reason: Ryan.

From now until the day I die, my home will be wherever he is: just as the Church finds Her home; Her rest; Her secure refuge in Her Husband, so I look forward to building my home wherever my Love is. Ryan's love is such a wonderful, tangible reflection of the Love held for me by the Lover of my Soul. My home in his love, in his arms-- what a reminder to me of the way it really is eternally!

And oh, it's good to be home. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An Abandonment to Divine Providence

"Everything helps me to Him."

-Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)

That quote captured my heart, and my heart cried out "Lord, make this my cry forever-- that I would let all things readily bring me to You!" It also came to be a wonderful theme of my trip to Nashville, as I will explain momentarily. Seems like God was arranging a nice little theme for the next 2 days of my life. Speaking further of that quote and that man, John Beevers writes: "...that is a cardinal principal of his. All things are sent and governed by God, and, however troublesome they are, they will, if accepted gladly, lead us surely and quickly toward holiness."

So my trip to Nashville, right. If you're wondering why I was going to Tennesee instead of my 'new Kentucky home,' it's because my Dad's sister Robin lives in Nashville with her family, and I figured seeing and encouraging her and her family would be worth the detour of a day. I'd gotten gas only a day before, so decided to drive straight out and just stop when I needed to, which I guessed would probably be around lunch time. (I left at 10:15) So off I went, with a marvelously encouraging sermon by Ravi Vander Laan (read an article similar to the sermon I heard) ringing in my ears. "Just how badly do you want to be like your Rabbi!?" He asked. The Spirit whispered to me that today, just like every day, I'd have the chance to become more like Him. And He definitely provided that!

Around 12, I stopped to fill up, and the nice couple in front of me at the pump said "It looks like your hood is smoking." Hmmm... I pulled up the hood, and gasped! My oil-cap had been laid on top of the radiator instead of replaced when the oil was added by my sweet Dad just before I left. Oil was all over the engine- thence the smoke- and worst of all WASN'T in the engine! I quickly added oil (I'm an expert by now) and left the hood up and chilled in the shade about half an hour so the engine could cool off. Immediately I began to think about all the 'what-if's-- what if I'd been going straight to Louisville (through the mountains for the first 2 hours), what if I'd filled up the night before and so hadn't stopped (I usually drive from G-ville to L-ville with no gas-stops), what if, what if... I could very easily have had my engine explode. As it was, nothing happened. What Mercies are hidden in near misses!

About 45 minutes later, just on the other side of Chatenooga, I felt the now-familiar shaking that comes when one loses a tire. "Not again!" I sighed as I pulled off. At least it wasn't raining this time. My right rear tire was slashed-- I either ran over something that sliced through a belt, or it was just a bum tire. I had to laugh, though. How many tires is Dad going to have to buy for me before he finishes the Tweel? How in the world I'd change this tire, especially considering I had no spare with me, and all my tools were under all my stuff in the trunk, I didn't know. So I did the sensible thing. I called my Daddy. Why did I ever think being a Daddy's Girl was such a negative thing?

"You're not gonna believe this..." I started. He was not surprised at all, lol. I think he was expecting at least one minor mishap on this trip. I was overdue for one. Well, let me just tell you that having a father who both desires and is able to care for you is WONDERFUL! He "just happened" to be at his computer, and was quickly able to pull up my location on a map, locate the nearest service station, call a towing company to get me, and pay for any repairs or parts Max'd need. I got picked up, Max got all fixed up, and we were on the road again in under an hour and a half!

While at the service-station, enjoying the air-conditioning at the hottest part of the day (otherwise I'd have been sweating and being further sun-burned in my au natural car), I grabbed the first book I could get out of my bag-- a little book from a dear friend, Jacqui. Its title forms the title of this post, and gave birth to most of this entry's forethought. I haven't finished it yet, but I'll let ya know how it goes. Immediately I was struck by the "coincidence" of me reading THIS book at THIS time, in THIS place. Divine providence indeed.

The service-station guys treated me very kindly, going out of their ways to get "the little lady's" tire replaced lickity-split, and cleaning my engine of the oil that was everywhere. One guy even drew me a diagram to tell me where a little leak in a radiator gasket was. Very cool. They seemed singularly impressed with my Dad's care for me. It actually provided me with an opportunity to be more public in my thanksgiving for my Dad-- letting them know I count it a BLESSING, God's kindness, to have a father who looks out for me. As I left, the owner called out, "You make sure you call your Daddy to tell him you're on the road again, all right?!" And I did.

"It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance..." (Rom. 2:4, paraphrase)

So many near-misses, so many instances where God kept me and even my belongings from serious harm or detriment. In this world of sin there are no guarantees except that bad things WILL happen. But Divine Providence has bound Himself by Covenant to guarantee that each turn of fate's wheel, however minute, is meant to bring the Christian nearer Himself. "In Thy presence is fullness of joy"-- God is always plotting for our JOY! (Psalm 16:11) Every one of those experiences was a chance for me to grow in trust in my Father, to see anew the way He's blessed me with the love of my family, to marvel at the precision and restraint of "calamity" He allows and to give thanks for a joyful spirit, and humor!, amidst all the setbacks. I'd much rather be thankful than worried or stressed!! Makes life much more enjoyable-- most likely because it draws me nearer to Jesus.

I listened to John Piper's sermon, "Ruth: the Best is Yet to Come" (on Ruth 4) this morning, and it was right along these lines. "God is plotting for our joy even as we bellyache at Him!" I am resolved to skip the bellyaching and go straight to the rejoicing. So remind me of that when I don't. :)

Full of joy and fully thankful,

--Christina ...two states closer to Ryan...

"The truly faithful soul accepts all things as a manifestation of God's grace, ignores itself and thinks only of what God is doing." ~J-P de C

Monday, June 25, 2007

'Prayed for Daily'

I found this card from my Mother last week, and glued it in my journal as a perfect summary of the blessings my eyes have become aware of as I packed:

1. there has never been a time when I was unloved-- cards from family, friends, even my babysitter abounded!
2. I've been priveleged with singularly good theological teaching, surrounded by it! What a blessing to have my thoughts taught so young!

Valentine's Day 2004
"Dear Christina,
You are prayed for daily and will always have your mother's love. (heart) More importantly than this is the heavenly love that's promised to you unconditionally. He has shown you great love in these past few weeks through this hard trial. What love to minister to you through so many people, songs, books and His Word. "Oh love that will not let you go!" I love you.

What evidence of love, both hers, and His.
Full of thanksgiving and brimming with love,

In My Father's House

My last morning in my father's house. Quite an alien feeling, to wake up to a room mostly devoid of all the things that made it familiarly "mine"-- the pictures on the wall, the bulletin board covered with snapshots, the carefully organized books, the clothes in the closet. All that remains is a pile of empty boxes/folders/mailing envelopes (evidence of my "stuff"-purges), some random things I didn't have the energy to appropriately place last night, and my overnight bag that will be stowed in the front seat next to me when I stop this afternoon at my aunt's house. My car is packed-- not exactly as full as it will go, but certainly as heavy. My Dad used his keen engineering eye to get it in the best possible way, then went to bed, leaving Jonathan (Suit) and me to realize that he didn't put any of my clothing out half of it came, and we spent the next half hour maneuvering, sweating and just staring from the non-fitting-items to each other. "I assume you have a plan for that?" I asked him at one point as he heave-hoed. "Not really...." he answered. So we stared some more. Anyway we got it good enough. "Don't get in a car wreck" was his friendly advice to me. Yeah. As if I'd want to deal with ALL my stuff ALL over someplace. So I'll be driving safely. :)

So many thoughts as I've packed and sorted. A lot about the freedom that comes from SIMPLE living-- ixnay on the ack-ratingpay from here on out! ... a lot about how blessed I've been to be so surrounded by good teaching and by love fro my entire life. A lot about how weird a little kid I was. :) Creative, but also SUPER-attentive to detail, and slightly addicted to list-making.

I've left before, spent months or even years away from living under this roof. I've called all three bedrooms in this house "mine" at some point or another, and for a while got just the couch over breaks. But this morning is different somehow. I guess it's the knowledge that I won't be coming back-- not as Christina Maria Thompson, anyway. Oh dear, let's hope there are no tears today. I'm trying to save my breakdown for at least another few days. It's time for this arrow to be shot from the quiver. My parents have polished, straightened and sharpened it- me- for the past 21 years. They trust, and expect it to fly straight and true. May I make them proud!

The room grows brighter. It's getting lighter outside. Time keeps passing. I want to leave a clean room for my mama, which is why I'm up early. So I'll go to it then!

Monday, June 18, 2007


"Oh, it's hard to imagine the freedom we find
from the things that we leave behind."
--Michael Card
Trying to get to that point... it's hard to know what's junk, what's worth carting around, what's good enough to give away. Some things- letters, work, pieces of mail, the wacked-out stories I wrote as a kid- part of me wants to save so that Ryan can see them and know that part of my history. We are made up of so many memories, so many pieces. Maybe I think he deserves fair warning. :)

I've hit on a partial solution of stapling/gluing/somehow affixing those momentos into the chronologically appropriate journal. Oh, yes. There are now 40 of them, not including the notebooks full of sermon notes, poetry, and 'collects'! I am nothing if not a chronicler!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Beach Vacation

Well, I've been non- blogging for a while now. I claim the 'I was on vacation' excuse for last week. My family and I went to the beach (my favorite vacation spot every year. except for that time my Dad & I went to Oxford-- that was my favorite that year). It was a sunny, scrapbookin', Boggle-playin' adventure in North Myrtle.

Here's a picture from the week... we're all nice and golden crispy. :) Ok. Back to wedding stuff and packing!! 66 days...

~ Christina

Monday, June 04, 2007

wedding countdown...

75 days to go!!!!


...nothing real special about 75... it just seems rather small! :)