Morgan Cheek and On Milk and Honey

Posted by on May 27, 2017 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

I just completed devouring a book I’ve been told I needed to read for a couple of years because the author was our former (because our boys grew up into men) pediatrician’s daughter-in-law and my birthday group friends had all read it and I was left out of their conversation over her wisdom as a young mom.

So I finally bought Morgan Cheek’s On Milk and Honey: How God’s Goodness Shows Up in Unexpected Places and downloaded it to my Kindle and I was hooked from the opening pages. I should have known to read it much sooner by the title alone (God’s Goodness? Hello!!)

The book is well-written and conversational in style. The story of Morgan and Hugh Cheek’s life as new parents to twins is raw and honest as she lays out coming to terms within the first 16 months of their lives over God’s mysterious ways in their creation and how a desire for a diagnosis for them is a hope and at times a struggle with her needing information, yet all the while firmly grasping God’s sovereignty in ways far beyond most her age and circumstance.

I’d rather honor their story by not giving it away and encouraging you to check into it for yourself.

Most importantly and a needed reminder that refreshing is that God is on display as their faithful creative Father for Hugh, Morgan, Ally, and Bailey Grace as she shares solid biblical foundation for grasping all that God writes in our stories whether similar to theirs, simpler than theirs, or more strenuous. Comparison is not the heart, nor self-pity. God is.

She openly shares the struggles with her desires for solutions and diagnoses at times as they’ve learned to parent two unique and precious girls. But, Morgan always comes back to how God sustains, provides, and is glorified in lives if we will just open our eyes and see Him at work.

Morgan uses the English Standard Version of the Bible as her translation mostly and that gets my attention. Call me a translation snob, but so be it.

She also draws quotes in from biblically grounded people who have lived before her. No prosperity gospel is happening here.

Her doctrine is solid and their family story real and raw.

Find more of it at her blog His Hands, His Feet, His Heart. She’s also on Facebook and Instagram.

Be encouraged and be hope-filled as you read Morgan’s story and see God writing your own. After all, He is the author and perfecter of your faith if you are His child. Although my own story is different from that of the Cheek family, I have seen firsthand God at work penning the happenings of my own life and seeing it all unfold for my good and His glory.

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We Named our Home

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Life on the Hill | 1 comment

Rosemary in the planters on the porch seems happy.

Our house has a street address, but Rob and I recently decided we wanted to give it a name.

Much has happened in our family since we moved here almost four years ago. Most importantly, three babies have come along, one of whom celebrates his first birthday today!  (Happy birthday to our sweet Eli!) Already the walls here seem more full of the laughter the grands bring to us than they can hold, but the plaster and paint contain it all so nicely and I like to think that any cracks that appear are only because of the bulging those walls endure thanks to the happy spirit dwelling within.

The porch has added more rockers (Cracker Barrel gifts) and two benches (fine craftsmanship from Longleaf Woodworking). Dear husband and I sit there in the early evening to review the day and catch up. It the sun is too bright and hot, a shift to cushioned chairs on the New Orleans style patio out back is in order and we enjoy hearing the fountain gurgle as the birds chirp overhead.  A warm Valentine’s Day afforded the excuse to dine alfresco by candlelight this year. The old lamp on the post outside was replaced a while back and we use the older one to hold candles at the table out there now.

A rehearsal dinner, baby showers, and birthdays have been celebrated here with family and friends gathered. Meals with friends accommodate happy and full hearts over fellowship. And the ability to comfort the tired and hurting happens here also. Lunches occur most Sundays following church as we gather around and devour the fare of the day.

This older home, built in 1950 by Dr. and Mrs. Thompson, has its charm and quirks, and I yearn to know more of its story from its beginning and then through a few more owners.

Birds and squirrels count the feeders and baths their own. A family of owls graces us most evenings with their hoot calls. The greenery tells a story of past owners’ garden favorites in the tiered beds with tucked away spots for sitting. Camellia varieties and hydrangeas take up yard space along with boxwoods, hollies, gardenias, a tea olive, magnolias, oaks, cedars, and pines. There’s even a peony on the premises. Delight!  It seems only fair that our name for the place relate to a favorite plant that we are incorporating into the landscape.

My husband named it and I approved of it.

Welcome to Rosemary Hill.

Rosemary is a luscious and fragrant herb, the oils of which linger on the hands almost as long as chopped garlic or onion would, but without the offense. This particular herb is a way to mark remembrance in bouquets. As roses mark love and affection based on color, so rosemary signifies remembering of another. In our case, we cite rosemary as a standing stone of remembrance to God’s goodness and faithfulness to us as his children.

For now we have rosemary in the porch planters and a few varieties of rosemary planted around the property. All are useful for culinary enhancement and I am enjoying the stew out of them. Young grandson Quentin is even aware of the plant and how the fragrance brings me such pleasure. He’s been taking our front porch day’s end review time with us this week as his baby sister Sarah Joy spends some time mending in the hospital and he runs his fingers over the green-filled stems then sniffs letting out an excited, “Ahhhh, Mamy, smell!”

And I happily oblige the opportunity to stop and smell the rosemary. Thanks be to God for his goodness and his grace that we experience at Rosemary Hill.

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Dry Spell Rained Out

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Blog Posts | 6 comments

Isaiah via She Reads Truth, New Inductive Study Bible (ESV), and my bullet journal keep my quiet time well watered lately.

Do you ever have a dry spell, spiritually speaking?

I have been in one that was rather long lasting and I realized that much of my desert living was due to not being intentional in my relationship with God. My spirit was struggling and parched.

I finally confessed to God that I was absent in my relationship with him and was desperate for change. I told him that my Bible pages were dusty and my prayers stale. I asked him for a bit of revival and asked him what steps to take.

I’m that kind of person. Give me a detailed plan and I’m there. Most days.

Of late, however, I am in the school of flexibility and spontaneity. (A challenge for me.) I make plans and they have to be able to change quickly. Plans for a great and lengthy quiet time are not realistic, and as much as I would like to blame my spiritual desert dryness on unplanned things, that is a pathetic excuse.

It is my own neglect of quiet time that interrupts refreshing time.

So here are my steps for reviving a desert slump of spirit. Ready? It’s game-changing.

  1. Read the Bible.
  2. Pray.

TAH and DAH!!! Amazing?!

Read the Bible

That book. The one that God wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the pens of men. Not a book about it. But THAT book. Pick a smaller portion of it, but read it. For me, Isaiah is where I am currently camping thanks to She Reads Truth’s beautiful Lenten version. No muss and no fuss, but beautiful (and yes, more that I should have spent but I splurged anyway). I led a study on Isaiah a few years ago, so it is actually refreshing to read for the sake of reading rather than for the sake of leading. If you teach Bible studies, you’ll understand that.

Pray

I journal my prayers and I also pray them out loud. To sit still and journal pray or pray silently or aloud takes time and discipline. It takes work and I have been slacking at it. But, once I pulled out my pen and paper and began jotting my prayers as bullet points, the words began to flow in written form. And those things so personal that I dare not write, turned into pauses on paper as words were spoken.

Nothing fancy and no gimmicks, either, are involved in reviving a quiet time. Just plain and simple prayer and Scripture reading have turned on the showers and my spiritual dryness has been rained   out.

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