Monday, July 25, 2011

Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much.

  I recently read a great little book that has captured my attention.  Food Rules: An Eaters Manual by Michael Pollan.  His book is broken up into 3 categories of simple rules based on the 7 words in the title.  Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.  The 64 rules are super easy to understand which is a blessing to those who may feel bogged down in the world of nutritional information overload.  Here are a few of my favorites.
*Don't buy your food where you buy your gas.
*Eat only the things that your great grandmother would recognize as food.
*Avoid food with words in the ingredient list that a 3rd grader could not pronounce.
 *Don't eat cereal that turns your milk another color.
* Don't eat it if it has ingredients that you would not keep in your pantry.

I have found this book to be a breath of fresh air for our family.  Some really good changes have been made in our kitchen.  I highly recommend this easy, enjoyable book to anyone who desires to make a few healthy changes to their diet.
Mr. Pollan also wrote The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense Of Food.  These would also be great to read if you really want to know the ins and outs and whys of food. He goes in to detail about the modern food manufacturing industry and current farming practices in America.  I scanned both of these books and got a few really good tidbits.  In the end though, I found the Food Rules book to be very practical and helpful in making the much needed changes in the way we eat.  If you get the chance to read it for yourself, let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Motherhood as a Mission Field

Even though I no longer have little people at home this was encouraging to me. I hope it is to you also.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dangerous Practices

Below is an excerpt from a larger blog post by Jim Eliff. This is just too good not to share. I will link the original post  "Southern Baptist an Unregenerate Denomination" at the bottom if you are interested in reading the whole thing.  

Though sacrosanct to Baptists, careful study should be done related to the historical use of the invitation system evangelistically. For eighteen hundred years the church did not use such a method. It was not until its principle originator, Charles Finney, a true pelagian in his theology, promoted his "new measures." Earlier preachers were content to let true conviction play a greater part in conversion. They needed no props for the gospel—no persuasive techniques to prompt people to make a "decision." Instead of relying on a method, their confidence was in the preached Word and the Holy Spirit. Baptist giant, C. H. Spurgeon, for instance, saw thousands converted without the use of an "altar call." His message was his invitation. We should always offer a verbal invitation in our gospel preaching, meaning we must invite people to repent and believe. But there is no real benefit, while there is much potential harm, in our inviting them to the front of the church and then assuring them that their short walk or tearful response proves their conversion.
We don't need better methods to get people down to the front. What we need is more biblical content and more unction in our preaching. You cannot beat sinners away from Christ when God is bringing them in (see Jn. 6:37, 44-45). When as many as 70-90% of "converts" are giving little, if any, evidence of being saved after their first weeks or months of emotional excitement, questions should be asked, both about our understanding of the gospel and about our methods. Forget the fact, if you must, that there is no clear biblical precedent for the altar call. Even considering the matter pragmatically ought to make us quit. Though prevalent in our churches for decades, it has not helped us. (See "Closing with Christ" at
The dangerous practice of receiving new members immediately after they walk the aisle must finally be abandoned. Also, more careful counsel should be taken with those entering in as members from other churches. And add to this a need for much deeper thinking concerning childhood conversion. An alarming percentage of childhood professions wash out later in the teen and college years. For unconverted yet baptized church kids, the more independence they are granted, the more they live out their true nature. (See "Childhood Conversion"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hymn Night

In our house, after we eat supper it is our tradition to sit and talk for awhile.  Lee usually leads us in a time of devotion and prayer.  Lately on Tuesday nights we've been taking turns researching and then teaching each other about a hymn that means something to us personally. It's been a lot of fun and very meaningful to  learn the history behind many of the hymns we sing.   A few weeks ago Gracie chose "Be Thou My Vision" as her hymn.  She taught us that it was originally a poem inspired by St Patrick's courage for Christ in 433 AD.  The poem was set to music (an old Irish folk tune) a few hundred years later.  It was not translated into English until 1905.  It's truly inspirational that it has withstood the test of time. 

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee, and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Give it a listen here:

"Be Thou My Vision": A Tribute and a Reminder

Inspired by an event that helped change the spiritual climate of Ireland, penned by a renowned Irish poet, and paired with the tune of an old Irish folk song, "Be Thou My Vision" stands as a link between Ireland and its Christian heritage. It is a tribute to a significant event in Ireland's history, and a reminder of the sovereignty, strength, and joy of Jesus.

Read more at Suite101: "Be Thou My Vision": The History of a Christian Hymn |

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Baby News!

It's hard to believe that exactly a year ago we were sending Caitlin and Holly off on a month long adventure to India.  While they were there they were able to participate in a traditional Indian wedding.  The bride is a friend of the family that hosted our girls in India. 

It's tradition to sit with the bride and her family (possibly for hours) while awaiting the groom.

The beautiful bride

The bride's mother, who helped take care of our girls while they visited.

So here's the big news you've been waiting to read.  The bride just had a little baby boy.  He was full term and only weighed 4 pounds.  That's the little guy up there with his grandma. (No name yet)   Please pray for him and his mama.  Neither of them are faring as well as they should be. They are from a poor family and it is likely that she had no prenatal care and very little proper food to eat.  As far as we know, some of this family knows the Savior but not this little guy's parents (yet).  Continually pray for the team of folks there who faithfully work to help this family and others just like them to know the love of Jesus and His healing power.  

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Love Is A Command

Lee posted this on Facebook today.  He borrowed it from a pastor friend of his. Now I'm borrowing it from both of them.  It's just too good not to pass along.   It primarily addresses men but it is just as applicable to women.   Listen and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Excellent Follow-Up

Below I have linked a talk by Dr. Al Mohler. This is an excellent follow up of the sermon I posted a few days ago called Whose Kingdom Come? Whose Will Be Done?. It is only about 25 minutes long and WELL worth listening to. Let me know what you think.{E9098C4A-EAC3-4CA8-B586-184F99465EE4}


Go Ahead and drink your coffee guilt free!!!

Starbucks, here I come!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Whose Kingdom Are You Building?

Last Sunday our pastor preached a wonderful sermon about building God's Kingdom. It goes so well with what has been on my heart lately. Pastor Brian began his message by asking us: Which one of God's blessings do we often consider a burden when He adds more of that blessing to us? Click the link below to hear the answer.

Whose Kingdom Come? Whose Will Be Done?

Monday, June 27, 2011


It occurs to me that I could have inadvertently hurt some feelings in my So Much More book review post. I would never intentionally set out to hurt anyone especially family members. I cannot be more thankful to my parents and extended family for all that they have been in my life. I have been loved and well cared for throughout my life. I love them very much. As I look back over the years I cannot help but thank God for the path He led us all down. It was that very path that led us to be in right relationship with Him. I sincerely apologize for my words that may have seemed insensitive.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

So Much More - Book Review

I just finished reading a book borrowed from our pastor’s library: So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin.  The ideas in this book have occupied my thoughts for over a week now.  I’m having trouble thinking of much else.  The ideas are very counter culture and revolutionary for the day and time in which we live.  To begin with I will write a short review of the book and then venture to give you a little of my own opinion.  This may be difficult for me to do; I’ve already mentioned that I have many thoughts on this subject.  
The Botkin sisters were teenagers at the time they authored the book.  Their intent is to encourage young girls and to beckon them to be right in relationships; first with God and then with their father and within the family.  They assert that God had very specific and different roles in mind for males and females when He created them in the beginning.  These roles have not changed with the passing of time, just as God does not change.  Men are to provide, protect and lead, while women are to be helpers to the men God has placed in their life (brothers, fathers, husbands), be keepers at home, and bear and help raise children.  The premise is that if these are the God ordained roles for a woman then her daily choices in life should reflect her obedience to these roles.  Throughout the book the sisters teach that this will affect how a girl should dress, how she should be educated, how she should relate to the men in her life (even the would be suitors), where she should live while unmarried and whether she should work outside of the home.  This list is not exhaustive. In other words this belief will affect every aspect of life for a young lady.  
There is also a strong call for fathers to step up to their God given roles and be provider, protector, and authority to and for his daughter.  The proper relationship between father and daughter is spoken of as being crucial in the upbringing of a young girl.  Her ultimate success in fulfilling her God honoring role in life primarily rests on her dad’s shoulders.  Near the end of the book the sisters enlist the help of their own father to write a chapter in which he instructs fathers of daughters.
The major theme is that we as a society have allowed the ideals of feminism and Marxism to poison our thoughts and lead us to believe that God’s original plan for women is archaic and cruel.   Even Christians have let this perverse ideology of feminism creep into our churches and our everyday life because it has become so “normal”.  Society as a whole believes that women have made remarkable leaps forward by attaining an equal plane with men.  The book goes into great detail to explain the damage that feminism has wrought on men, women, marriage and the family.  
Young ladies who wish to honor God with every aspect of their life are instructed to reject feminism completely.  They are called to humbles themselves, and with grace and joy accept God’s design for women.  In practical terms the Botkin sisters are saying that a girl should remain at home under her father’s roof until she is married and allow him to be her provider.  She should be content with her father’s provision and therefore have no need to seek employment outside of the home.  Her job during this time is to be a helper to her parents and to prepare herself for her own future family.  She will dress modestly and in a way that will not draw attention to herself and will be willing to help in the ministries of her church. Her education ideally will be done at home.  The Botkin sisters are far from saying that a girl should not be educated, just the opposite is true.  Their assertion is that her education will simply look different than that of a young man’s education, especially after high school.  Much emphasis is placed on a young lady gaining more than just an education but wisdom and practical skills are highly valued.  A virtuous daughter will also relate to young men differently than is commonly practiced among today’s youth.  She will allow God to lead in the area of romance and be very open with her family about the subject, and will trust her father’s wisdom and guidance in this area.  In essence, the finding of a husband becomes a family affair.  

Allow me to preface my own thoughts on the book with just a little bit of background information.  I was raised in the 1970s.  Like so many of the girls of my generation, we were raised by mother’s who were right smack dab in the thick of the feminist revolution.  At every turn women were being told to break free of the tyranny of children and husbands.  Moms began to buy the lie that they could have it all, be true to themselves and that their families would be stronger and happier for it.  Men were dazed and confused at having to suddenly share roles with their wives that had traditionally always been a woman’s arena.  I recall at the age of 11 being told by my own grandmother that I had better get myself educated in order to be self sufficient.  She said that I was NEVER to depend on a man because they are all scoundrels!  “Look out for number one” she advised.  Fast forward a few years.  Through a series of events and nothing short of the grace of God I saw feminism for exactly what it is -- A Big Fat Lie!  I resolved in my mind that things would be different for me.  I determined to not become a bitter, disillusioned old woman surrounded by nothing but broken or patched up relationships. I wanted more.  Thankfully the Lord drew me to Himself, saved my life and set me on the path of joy and contentment.  He has blessed me beyond measure with relationships that are deep and loving.  
It has not always been an easy path to walk.  There have been times when I’ve been full of pride and wanted to tell Lee that I know better than he does.  I’ve been angry in the past because of his authority over me.  I’ve been belittled by people and accused of laziness for wasting my abilities by “just being a housewife and mom.” I’ve been ridiculed for teaching my daughters at home.  I’ve endured well meaning folks who have doubted that my sweet girls would ever amount to much because I’ve taken a “normal” life from them.  When money gets tight I’ve been known to panic and think seriously about finding a job rather than trust in God and my hard working husband.  I’ve even been accused of taking this “God stuff” too seriously.
So, here is my take away from the book.  Living a life of obedience to the Lord is 1) not easy, and 2) it will look vastly different from what is standard operating procedure of the world.  I want to focus in on that second point.  Today in my quiet time the Lord led me to read Titus 2:1-5.

“But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; that the older women likewise be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-- that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands that the word of God may not be blasphemed”.

in his commentary, John MacArthur has this to say about the phrase, “not be blasphemed.”  He says, “This is the purpose of godly conduct- to eliminate any reproach on scripture.  For a person to be convinced that God can save from sin, one needs to see someone who lives a holy life.  When Christians claim to believe God’s word but do not obey it, the word is dishonored.  Many have mocked God and His truth because of the sinful behavior of those who claim to be Christians.”  

I was struck by the fact that not obeying God’s instruction in these verses on how we are to conduct ourselves would actually malign or blaspheme God.  We think that we can without consequence choose for ourselves what commands from scripture suit our fancy and fit into our modern day lifestyles.  No!  We cannot!  Obedience glorifies God, however disobedience drags His name through the mud.  I’m not talking here about legalism and abiding by a strict set of rules.  I’m talking about loving your Heavenly Father so much that you are happily obedient because you’d never want your actions to malign His Holy Name.  
I encourage those of you who have daughters to read So Much More.  Examine it for yourselves, search the scriptures regarding the principals contained in the book.  Pray and ask God for wisdom on how He would have you apply it in your family.  We are still in that process of thinking it through and praying about it for ourselves. I will tell you this though, I want So Much More than what the world has to offer for my daughters.  I want His best for them.  I want them to choose obedience to Him, and if that choice means that they will be  ridiculed and treated badly for being different then I will do my best to help them learn to endure it with grace knowing that God’s ways are BEST.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Two Down One To Go

After having to wait for weeks after Holly got her braces off, Abbie now has a brand new, shiny, braces free smile. 

No rest for mom and dad's wallet.
Gracie's smile is now a work in progress. 
I love my beautiful smiley girls!


We finished the wood floors.
What do you think?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Floating On Air

For 2011 we decided to make birthdays about making memories.  Gracie has been on a hot air balloon kick for over a year.  To her surprise, she got to go up in one for her 12th birthday.  You've never seen a happier kid!

She was thrilled to be allowed to help with the balloon set up.

Daddy was the brave one to go up with her.
He claims that I would have loved it.  Truthfully, I was as happy as I could be with both feet on the ground taking pictures.

Up, up and away!

Now our girl is hooked and cannot wait until she gets to go again!

A.W. Tozer

I just read the most amazing prayer written by A.W Tozer in a book called The Pursuit of God. It is at the end of a chapter where the author talks about us (the created) being in a proper relationship with the Creator.  I would love to be able to pray this prayer with sincerity of heart.  I believe that I will make doing just that my goal.

O God, be Thou exalted over my possessions. Nothing of earth's treasures shall seem dear unto me if only Thou art glorified in my life.   
Be Thou exalted over my friendships. I am determined that Thou shalt be above all, though I must stand deserted and alone in the midst of the earth.  
Be Thou exalted above my comforts. Though it means the loss of bodily comfort and the carrying of heavy crosses, I shall keep my vow I made this day before Thee.  
Be thou exalted over my reputation. Make me ambitious to please Thee even if as a result I must sink into obscurity and my name be forgotten as a dream.
Rise O Lord into Thy proper place of honor, above my ambitions, above my likes and dislikes, above my family, my health and even my life itself.  Let me sink that thou my rise above. Ride forth upon me as Thou did ride into Jerusalem mounted upon a humble little beast, and let me hear the children cry unto Thee "Hosannah in the Highest!" 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bamboo Bamboo Bamboo

Something tells me that by the time we get this house just the way we want it, it will be time to move again.  This month's project: Hardwood (Bamboo) floors in the Dining room, Living room and Den.  Thanks goes out to Uncle Will who ripped up the carpet and tack strips in all three rooms. You Rock!

Holly helping me get the floor ready.

So, Lee took the classes and watched the videos on how to install a floating engineered wood floor.  He was educated and ready to roll AND THEN I threw him a curve ball.  Poor guy.  I had to go and fall in love with a solid wood bamboo floor that has to be glued down.  I couldn't resist, IT WAS ON SALE!!!
Back to the classes my sweetheart went. I just love him.

Here we are spending most of the morning of Day 1 figuring out how to begin.  It was challenging.  You can go ahead and refer to this portion of our day as "marriage therapy".  We're a stronger couple now after weathering this storm.  Don't mess with US!

The spacers are down and the first few rows are laid out. We're ready for the glue... I think. 

Hey, this looks like progress!!
The most stressful part was getting started.
Then the work really began. 
 I did not realize that putting this floor down would require EVERY muscle in our bodies! 

Happy ME!!!!

At the end of Day 1 a little more than half of the dining room was finished.  

 Fast Forward... That's me laying the last board in the dining room. I've never felt such relief and exhaustion all at the same time.

Our dining and living rooms are connected.  It was a challenge to run such long rows and get them straight but we made it work.  
We still have the rest of the living room and the den to conquer but we are giving it a break until the weekend.  Lee only had 2 days off this week and my poor body needs a little recovery time.

Happy Lee!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Teeth Drama

Taken on May 20, 2008 the day Abbie got her braces put on. 
Holly had already had hers on for 2 1/2 months at that point. 
Holly was 13 and Abbie was 11.

Taken February 16, 2011 the day Holly got her braces removed. 
Holly wore hers for 2 years, 11 months and 2 weeks.  
Abbie was told that hers would be removed that day too.  When we got to the appointment the Dr. told her that a tooth in the back had turned. So the braces stay on for one more month. It was a sad day for Abbie.  Hopefully March 15th will be a MUCH happier day for her.

Look at that BEAUTIFUL smile!!!

She was SO happy to have her first gumball in 3 years.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blast From The Past

The girls dressed up for Samantha's 80s Themed 16th Birthday party. We had so much fun shopping for all of these clothes.  We found most of them at the Goodwill store.  Every time one of them would come out of the dressing room I would just laugh!  It took me back to my days in high school.  I cannot believe that we REALLY dressed like this! 

We even found Gracie some gummy shoes.  Remember those?  UGH they made your feet stink and sweat but they were all the rage (thankfully only for a little while).

Caitlin with her acid washed jean jacket, ultra mini w/leggings and of course Keds.  Her curly hair was perfect.  I recall many of us paying big bucks for a curly perm to get that look.

Abbie with her flybacks/wings and her flashdance look.

Holly with the acid washed pegged jeans and deck shoes.  Of course she's sporting the ultra popular side ponytail with scrunchy.
They look like they could have stepped right out of my highschool yearbook.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Can you guess which daughter would happily go back tomorrow if she had a plane ticket?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Too Much Coffee Maybe?

I love this picture because The Doty's look so normal and my girls look like I've had them on a strict 2 day Espresso and Jelly Bean diet.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Delight

In what do I take delight?  What makes me happy?  What do I treasure? If I did not give it much thought and quickly made a list right off the top of my head of the things that please me most what would it look like?
Let's take a look.
Things that I delight in:
My Husband and Daughters
Computer time
Free time
The latest gadget or cell phone
Time with friends and family

I could go on but these are the ones that came out before I stopped to try to think of more, so this is where I stopped listing.  Notice what is not on the list?  I do.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in The Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

I have made people and things my delight and the source of my joy.
The problem with that:
Husbands and Daughters sometimes do not live up to expectations
Coffee and Food are a temporary comfort
Sleep is sometimes elusive and isolating
Books are an escape from reality
Computer and free time etches away at my productivity
Money cannot buy me what I really need
Time with friends and family replaces time spent with
God, my truest friend and Father

Neglect and Change

I've been neglectful of my blog lately.  I blame Facebook!  Nowadays when I have a picture to post or something to say I just run to the easy way, Facebook. Originally when I started this blog back in 2006 we lived on the other side of the world and Mark Zuckerberg was probably in the midst of many the battles involved with getting Facebook off the ground.  Back then Facebook was something only teenagers did.  We've come a long way baby!  The blog was a easy and fun way to share the latest news and photos with family and friends back here in the States.  Even when we moved to Virginia I continued to chronicle our life on the blog.  Several things have changed since then.  The first thing is that now we live fairly close to almost all of our family.  Many times they are present for celebrations and get togethers that I would have otherwise reported on the blog.  To get on the computer and blog about that event would almost seem redundant.  Secondly, there's Facebook!  It's just so quick and easy to use.  Anything that I want you all to see or hear gets posted there and usually there is some immediate response.  It has done for communication what the microwave did for food when it was invented.  Instant gratification!!!
I say all of that to say this; I want to get back to blogging and I have a plan.  No, I'm not giving up my Facebook account!  I do however intend to spend less time there.  This past month our church got a new pastor.  His messages are amazing and difficult and convicting. What does this have to do with blogging you ask?  For me it means that each week I am given A LOT to think about.  I think better when I write things down, so my plan is to use the blog to journal some of what I'm thinking and working through spiritually.   Keep reading if you'd like and feel free to respond or leave comments.  The one thing I will tell you is that I will NOT enter into an argument and probably not even a spirited discussion here.  Those talks have their place but here on the blog is not where I consider the right place.  I can elaborate more on that topic later if it ever becomes necessary.  Don't worry, I do still plan to post pictures and funny stories about my beautiful and wonderful girls.
Until then, I'll see you over on Facebook.

What Superbowl?

Earlier tonight there was a crowd in our cozy little house.  A few in the crowd actually watched the football game. The rest of us played a little game of our own called "Pass The Baby"
Sarah brought her sweet little 8 week old nephew over, game on!!

Caitlin and Abbie both got their fill of baby snuggles.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gracie's 12th BIRTHDAY

Click on the picture of Gracie to see the whole album. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ohio Fun

You know how you have pre-conceived notions about places that you've never been?  I definitely had a few about Ohio.  I NEVER expected it to be so beautiful.  We drove through the countryside into Amish country.  It was like taking a trip back into snow covered time. 

As most of you already know, the Browns are tropical people. After 3 years of living on Guam and now Florida, our blood has thinned so that it probably looks more like cranberry juice.  Being in for real, honest to goodness SNOW was a huge deal for us!

Uncle Rob introduced us to the joys of uncontrollably flying down snow and ice covered hills. Also know as sledding.

Abbie made it halfway down at lightning fast speed before she rolled the rest of the way down.
She got up asking for more!

Holly was considering carefully her options. 
"Should I risk life and limb for a moment of absolute fun?

Yes, we ate Heini cheese and we loved it!

Heini's Cheese Chalet was in an Amish community called Bunker Hill.  
We also ate a restaurant called The Amish Door in Wooster and I am not kidding when I say it was one of the best meals I have EVER had.  

Lee was a very happy guy.  He, his dad, Abbie and Gracie went to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in Canton.  He loved every minute of it.  
See all of our Ohio pictures in our Picasa Web Album linked on the right.