Every Woman a Theologian
— Mine is the Earth and Everything In It  —
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Dear friend,
This morning I shared on Instagram:
"We are living in the reality of prayers prayed long ago, faith poured into the Father’s hands before we could see. The trials of a decade, once “billows that roll”, now lap like gentle waves on the sand. The Sabbath I resisted for so many years has become a lifestyle. Somehow, our prayers were answered as we obeyed, and in obedience our eyes were opened to the gifts of God.

Baby goats were born this week, early in the morning in a foggy field. We ran barefoot in the dew to catch them, towel their tiny heads and warm them in the barn.

Nine little girls danced on our grass this week, dresses twirling in golden hour. Addie turned eight. And beneath a bending apple tree she blew out candles on a cake my friend made. Their mothers watched from the patio and I thought: I get to raise babies with these women, these women who love God and others.

We shot off fireworks this week. No other reason than we wanted to — tapping feet to music, watching the sun go down as the trees turn brilliant red and orange, our children running wild under the willow. And all of it, all of it, says His name. All of it speaks His love."
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At the height of my idolatry of production (culminating in chronic illness and the breaking of my leg in 2019) I could not stop to appreciate the presence of God in daily life. There is a phrase from Rudyard Kipling's “If” that used to run like a refrain in my mind:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
So I filled the unforgiving minute. I ran the distance. And I even “earned the earth” in my own meager way. But Kipling's call is not the call of Christ, is it?
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:34-36)
Yours is the earth… and all that is in it.
Gain the whole world… and forfeit your soul.
I was basing my life on a message contrary to the faith I claimed to hold. The tension between who God made me to be and how I was living destroyed me from the inside out. The pace of my life, the choices I made, the lack of respect I had for my time and body – it all culminated in two autoimmune diseases and a wheelchair for three months. Did God break my leg or give me the diseases? No. My own fallen choices made in fallen “wisdom" resulted in my pain. But through that pain God never left me, and through that pain God healed something within me I had heretofore left untouched.
I had to learn Sabbath; to let the Savior be my rest. I had to learn to stop earning and open my eyes to the joy already earned. That lesson was taught through three months on a sofa and five years of a skin disease.
God's way – the “ruthless elimination of hurry”, as John Mark Comer puts it – taught me minutes are anything but unforgiving, and that twenty four hours spent with Him accomplishes more than I could run in sixty seconds. And best of all? 
Mine is the earth and everything that's in it – because I am the daughter of the Living God.
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when I wonder at the empty
the hurt and pain, the envy
of time unstained by evil 
I remember: 

restoration coming
the joy unmatched, the running
to a life unstained by evil
all of earth, but better yet

All this, no pain
All this, no shame 
All this, all gain
All this, all this, all this.
Ask Anything Q/A

  • Does Jesus pray for us? To whom?
    • Yes, Jesus intercedes for us before the Father (Rom. 8:34).Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him. Since he always lives to intercede for them.” (Heb. 7:25) In the High Priestly Prayer of John 17 Jesus prays for current AND future believers. 
  • Should a husband have a say in what a wife wears? 
    • I got this question multiple times this week which makes me think someone talked about it online! I would say… my husband has as much a right to speak to what I wear as I have a right to speak to what HE wears. If something I do or wear hurts/offends my husband, Matthew 18 says he should bring it to me as his sister in Christ. And the same is true from me to him. The teaching on submission in Ephesians 5 says that both my husband and I should defer to one another in love (Eph. 5:21), being built up together in unity and love (Eph. 5:2). So if something distresses him about what I wear, I should defer to him out of love, and vice versa.
  • Where do you shop - your outfits are always so cute!
    • First - thank you! I feel bad answering this honestly but… thrifted! Ninety percent of what I wear is thrifted. Jeans are hard so those I usually buy new from Express. When shopping for thrifted items I look for good brands, in my colors, that I can easily wash (I just wash my dresses like I would a tee shirt, so I can wear them daily). 
Books I'm Reading

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
This book was sent to me by a friend and it's a Bronte classic I've never read. I'm only in chapter three and already sucked in!!! It has vibes of both Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights
Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament: Leviticus
This is Jay Sklar's latest work and I am THRILLED to have it. I used his Tyndale commentary in the writing of The Law of Grace, and this is much more in-depth!
The Spiritual Condition of Infants by Adam Harwood
This is one I pick up and put down because I use it for reference. It is a very thorough treatment of the destiny of infants and children who die without professing Christ (not having the ability to do so). 
The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher
Still working through this one. I have found it rather odd how many people find it controversial… unless there's something I haven't gotten to yet, none of it seems that alarming to me. It's simply about living in close Christian community with discipline, grounded in God's word, offering beauty and truth to the world without being IN the world. 
Other bookish updates: I quit Circe; it was no longer compelling and I would rather read the real Greek myths (I have started giving myself permission to quit books). I started Little Women again, a fave of mine; and am introducing the girls to Anne of Green Gables via the Yoto.
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My Five Faves

  • Bilbo's Birthday Party: This tops the list for this week's favorites but honestly, it was one of the sweetest nights of the year. I guess Saturday was Hobbit Day, but we planned to do this Lord of the Rings themed party whether it was or wasn't! We dressed up, made a massive spread of charcuterie, sausage, snacks and cake, played Irish music, the kids built forts and we shot off fireworks. It was utterly perfect (below and above).
  • Baby Goats: Brandy gave birth on Tuesday, just in time for Adeline's eighth birthday! She had twin bucklings who we named Jacob and Esau (Jacob is smaller, whiny, and quite pushy, and Esau is, well, hairy). 
  • Torani Pumpkin Spice Sauce: This is what I mentioned in IG last week! This stuff is legit. I will not go back.
  • The Grove: Downtown Petoskey is a new beverage cafe. I took Ivan in for a smoothie and I'm headed back this week to try their pumpkin spice latte, which – unlike my Torani syrup – is entirely organic, GMO free, and made from fresh pumpkin.
  • Catherine Booth on ministry: Catherine Booth is one of my heroes. Together she and her husband founded The Salvation Army and raised six children in the faith. I'm reading this book as soon as it arrives on Thursday.
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At Home with Phylicia

I got a lot of homeschool questions last week so here's a round up of what we are doing!
  • Our primary curriculum (history, science, Latin, English overview, geography) is Classical Conversations. We pay for the weekly community as well as the curriculum book, which is very customizable. I customize it with a Charlotte Mason bent to have the best of both worlds and utilize a lot of library books for read alouds!
  • For reading and spelling I use All About Reading and All About Spelling.
  • For math, we use Math U See (Alpha and Beta).
  • For nature, we use Exploring Nature with Children.
  • I supplement history with unit studies from Heritage Mom.
  • I use Ambleside Online's reading lists for the ages and customize what I want to do with our kids. I add in a lot of poetry, music, and classic reading. The girls also take piano and play soccer.
  • Another favorite (that we gave Addie for her bday and are also giving Eva for hers) are the Yoto mini players, which they can use to listen to audiobooks on their own.
  • Ivan does minimal “school” at three, but when I do it with him I use All About Reading Pre-Reading curriculum and Memoria Press Preschool.
for the awakening,