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It was the end of a packed day, we had just finished conducting an Introduction to Essential Oils class, and we were ready to relax and enjoy something cool and refreshing. Almost as soon as we got seated, a friendly young lady came by, chatting as she sprayed all the surrounding tables for the final cleaning of the night. She was using a typical disinfectant cleaner, but the fumes were over powering. Within a couple of minutes, I could feel my throat begin to feel scratchy and irritated and my nose burned from the smell: we left immediately before more damage could be done. These strong, toxic chemicals are all around us. In fact, it has been estimated that we are exposed to more chemicals in one day than our grandparents were in their lifetime!  If we want to preserve our health, we are going to have to take an active role in removing the toxic chemicals from our home and work environments.

What About Green Cleaners

Removing these chemicals can be an overwhelming task to undertake, however, the health benefits make it all worth it. One of the biggest challenges we faced was finding a non-toxic cleaner that really cleans. The toxic chemicals seem to be the muscles behind the cleaners, so many natural products fall short in cleaning potential.  Read your labels closely because many “Green Cleaners” contain similar toxic chemicals along with natural ingredients.

Want some good news?  Thieves Household Cleaner makes this task a breeze! This cleaner can replace every cleaner in your home, including both laundry and dish detergent, and it is safe to use. Get a few spray bottles, use the dilution chart on the bottle to mix up different strengths and you are armed to tackle any cleaning job in your home.

My favorite things about Thieves Household Cleaner:

  • It smells wonderful- after cleaning it leaves behind a nice, fresh smell instead of a strong chemical odor.
  • It is safe- in fact the FDA has approved it for internal consumption.  In contrast, some studies suggest that over 50% of natural plant based household cleaners contain suspected cancer causing chemicals.
  • It works! Thieves Household Cleaner cleans every type of surface and eliminates stains and odors.
  • It kills mold- “Tests have shown that Thieves oil blend is 97.27% effective in eliminating all species of mold encountered in buildings.”
  • It is economical- make dozens of bottles of cleaners from one bottle of concentrated Thieves Cleaner!

Do yourself a favor, do your whole household a favor~ start your spring cleaning in the cleaning cabinet this year. Get rid of those toxic chemical cleaners and replace them with a safe, effective, economical, good smelling, health promoting alternative; Thieves Household Cleaner makes the transition easy! Give it a try and be sure to stop by and share your favorite aspect or use of Thieves Household Cleaner.



Red Bud Spring is in the air. The birds are singing and the woods around my house get greener every day. I love spring and the renewal of beauty and life that comes with it. I even enjoy the opportunity to do some spring cleaning around the house. For so many of us, spring cleaning has become a tradition that gets passed from one generation to the next. Many people believe that the tradition began centuries ago with the early celebrations of Passover and Unleavened Bread. The Israelites were commanded to get every bit of leaven out of their homes or face severe consequences. This process would have required extensive cleaning, just as it does today; and it would need to be repeated each spring in preparation for those feasts.

Many cultures have recorded information describing the spring rituals of their ancestors. Interestingly, some of these cultures also had a large Jewish population that had been absorbed into their native population.

Regardless of where spring cleaning got its origins, it is a very real and needed part of life today. As the days become longer, our bodies produce less melatonin and our energy levels increase. Usually this happens as the weather gradually gets warmer. This makes it a great time to open the windows and let the gentle spring breezes chase the stale stuffiness of winter out and fill our homes with fresh air. It’s a great time to shake out the rugs, go through things and get rid of the clutter, wash comforters and hang them out to dry, and all those other little jobs that winter weather prevented.

It’s Time to Declutter

As a homeschooling mother, I find that it’s a great time to de-clutter in other ways as well. Spring always brings a time of reflection with it. I spend lots of mental energy evaluating what worked well and what didn’t in our homeschool and in our lives. I ask the Father to show me the progress we’ve made and what areas need more concentrated focus. I go through my books to see what needs to be saved and what needs to be sold. I try to identify those curriculum choices that sit, unused, on the shelf and make me feel guilty that I haven’t used them. Hopefully, you don’t have any of those that seem to call your name and remind you that you spent money on them, but haven’t ever used them. I try to decide to either use them or get rid of them so that I don’t have be bothered by them anymore.

Regardless of where you spend your energies performing spring cleaning duties, inside or out, physically, spiritually, or mentally, there seems to be a common thread. It is time to clean out the old, the stale, and the lifeless areas and replace them with the new, the fresh and the life giving alternatives. It’s time to make changes in our lives that reflect the renewing beauty of nature that blossoms every spring. I hope your spring bursts forth with abundant life and your cup runs over with renewed joy.


Chocolate Matzah CrunchIt was the last day of Unleavened Bread and the last homeschool meeting of the year. I walked into the meeting carrying my bag of chocolate matzah crunch. We had all been asked to bring a treat to share and I knew there would be lots of fluffy, leaven filled treats to choose from.

Up to this point, the week had gone by smoothly without any strong temptations to partake of leaven. But as I drove to the meeting, I could feel my resolve slipping, and my mind rationalizing my temptations…”It’s the last day; what’s one little day going to hurt?” I asked myself. Then came the big idea that there is grace for this situation. After all, hadn’t I learned this so many times before during this Feast of Unleavened Bread: His grace is sufficient, even when (especially when) I am inadequate. What should I do? I prayed for wisdom and asked the Father to show me His heart on the matter.

I began to mentally review what Scripture says about this appointed time and what picture it is supposed to paint on the canvas of my mind. During the week of Unleavened Bread, we are supposed to clean the leaven out of our homes. Leaven represents sin in the Scriptures. So while on a physical level we remove the leaven from our home, on a spiritual level we seek to remove the sin from our lives. The spiritual house cleaning is far more difficult than the physical aspect, and each year I recognize familiar culprits that I have allowed to slip back in during the course of the year. Each year I become aware of sin in my life that I have been blind to, or that I have accepted as part of my personality; but each year I acknowledge it, repent and do my best to turn from it.

Leaven Represents Sin

If the leaven represents my sin and I have just celebrated the deliverance that my precious Redeemer offers from that sin, should I be so eager to partake of it? If I couldn’t hold out one more day had I really experienced the deliverance offered to me? In the big scheme of things, did it really matter if I ate a bit of leaven? All the sudden, I was flooded with the sweet shalom (peace) of my Messiah as I thought of our family motto, “As for me and my house, we will serve YHWH!” I didn’t want to serve sin; I wanted the chance to grow in the fruit of the Spirit. In the big scheme of things it mattered more than I could have ever imagined. It mattered because it was a temptation to be ruled by my flesh and I had to make a choice about who I would serve. It mattered because giving in to this temptation would set the tone for the days ahead as I battle with food choices that hinder my weight loss. It mattered most because I had set out to celebrate the week of Unleavened Bread with great joy and thanksgiving for the deliverance I have received from the bondage to sin. Giving up early seemed wrong to the very core of my being. Suddenly, my desire to give in was gone and it was replaced with the knowledge that all things are possible; victory is possible, through Yeshua, who strengthens me!

The Power to Overcome

I walked into the meeting carrying my bag of matzah crunch, the joy of a battle won, and a new understanding of the representation of leaven. A couple of ladies asked what was in the bag and as I explained my treat, I had the opportunity to share about the beauty of celebrating the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread. It was the beginning of a delightful day!

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feast candles

Every year during the Feast of Unleavened Bread I learn something new. And every single year I am reminded of my need for a Savior to accomplish what I cannot accomplish on my own. The spring feasts, Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, give us the opportunity to see the hand of the Almighty at work, both in the days of our forefathers and in our lives today. As a family, we have come to love and appreciate this important time of year. I encourage you to take the opportunity to explore and uncover the richness contained in these special feasts.

Each spring, we usually spend several weeks doing our spring cleaning as we prepare to remove all the leaven in our home. In fact, I believe that this is where the tradition of spring cleaning came from. One year in particular, I remember we went so far as to clean and polish the silver to use for our family’s Passover Seder. Later, towards the end of the week, we found a piece of silver we had missed cleaning. One of us mentioned that it was too bad we didn’t have any more baking soda to clean it with, so it would have to wait until after Unleavened Bread was over before we could get more. Much to our dismay, one of the children pointed to a bowl sitting beside the kitchen sink and said, “There’s the baking soda we used sitting on the counter!” The whole week it had been sitting in plain view, right beside the sink we had used countless times a day for the entire week. Yet, somehow we had been blind to its presence all week!

At that moment, and at so many times since, the cry of my heart has been, “Oh Yah, show me the sin in my life that I overlook every day!” I know it’s there, but I’ve gotten accustomed to it; even worse, I am comfortable with its presence in my life! But Abba is faithful and continues to show me bit by ugly bit the sin in my life and how He desires to free me from its grip. The God that delivered the Israelites out of the bondage of the Egyptians has made a way for me to experience that same deliverance in my life. That’s what is so beautiful about Passover, it shows how Elohim has been at work throughout history. It shows His plan of redemption, long before He sent His son to dwell among mankind and provide deliverance from the curse of sin and death.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is an annual reminder that I need my Messiah! You see, there has never been a year that I’ve been able to completely rid my home, much less my life, of leaven. Instead I am reminded that without the redemption and righteousness of Yeshua, my effort are as filthy rags and will never be enough to accomplish that which Yeshua so lovingly provided. I am thankful for this reminder; I need this reminder. Perhaps we all do, and just maybe that’s the reason this feast was given to us.

When we first learned of this feast, it seemed a bit extreme, maybe even legalistic. We decided to participate one year just to see the visual pictures, the types and shadows, in it. That first year, we realized the richness of the blessings we experience as a believer in Messiah, Yeshua, the depth of our need, and the beauty of our Father’s love for us. As redeemed believers, we have chosen to partake of this feast because of the pictures it paints so vividly on our minds and hearts. More importantly, we have chosen to participate because it draws us closer to our precious Messiah, it strengthens our resolve to follow Him, and it floods our souls with thanksgiving for His provisions.


Thanksgiving is Almost Here!

The holiday Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, but thanksgiving has flooded my heart already this year!  I find myself overcome with joy at the little things in my life; things that many people take for granted or never even take time to enjoy. Things that my friend who lost her battle with cancer this week will never get to experience again.

What a wakeup call this has been for me!  I am often guilty of not enjoying the good things in life because I allow the things that seem more urgent to occupy my time.  As I take a moment and think about what I want my children to remember about our times together, my priority list changes; drastically! I hope that you will take a minute and reflect on the blessings you have in your life and take time to enjoy the priceless moments as they present themselves each day.

My cup overflows with thanksgiving for these treasures, both great and small…

  • A Savior that has transformed my life and pointed me in the right direction.
  • A loving husband that supports me and wants me to be here nurturing our family.
  • Little boys that still love for mom to pray with them and sing to them while I cuddle them before bed.
  • Wynken, Blynken & Nod goodnight kisses for almost 25 years!
  • The opportunity I had this week to drive a small car while the only passenger was one young enough to want to hold my hand at the red lights.
  • Memories of holding my older children’s hands at the red lights so many years ago…before we drove huge vans and airbags prevented them from sitting up front.
  • Children that look for the opportunity to share from the depths of their heart.
  • Afternoon tea with some of your best friends, who also happen to be my mom and my daughters.
  • Living next door to my parents.
  • Children that are willing to take a stand for what they believe.
  • Friends that encourage me to keep fighting the good fight.
  • Laughter and conversation around the family meal table.
  • Walking through the woods with the boys as we go to see the fort they have been working on.
  • The opportunity to homeschool my children.
  • The fun and adventure that so easily find their way into our homes.
  • The love that fills our hearts and home.
  • This list could go on and on, but those that bless my life so abundantly are waiting for me to join them for homemade peach cobbler!

Those things listed about are everyday things; they are the things that memories are made of and the things that no amount of money can buy. But they are the things that make us rich! They are the things that fill my heart with thanksgiving and joy. Because we don’t know what tomorrow holds, make the most of the time you have today. Live life to the fullest, not out of fear that we’ll miss something, but out of a desire to have abundant life!


A Simple Prayer of Thanksgiving


Forgetting to be thankful for the small things in our lives can be so easy to do. Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful because things aren’t the way we want them to be. This time of year, as Thanksgiving approaches, we are encouraged to look around and take note of the blessings in our lives and to express our thanks to those around us. I want to share a little story of something that happened in our home several years ago. Through the years, this event has been a constant reminder to me that we should make the choice to have an attitude of thanksgiving, despite our circumstances.

No Complaining Allowed!

Everyone has their preferences when it comes to food, which makes finding a meal that pleases everyone rather difficult, especially in a family the size of ours. Many years ago, I got tired of hearing someone state their disappointment as we served the meal, so I simply banned complaints. I made it known that I expected them to eat what they were served without any disgruntled remarks. Their other option was to join us at the table and quietly go without eating.

One morning as I served the oatmeal, one sweet little girl decided to test my resolve in the LittleBrittanymatter. She worked up a really sad face and big puppy dog eyes and told me how much she didn’t like oatmeal, as if I had never heard her opinion on the matter before. I kept going as if I hadn’t heard her while the other children reminded her of the new policy, but she apparently didn’t believe that I was serious, so she continued to express herself and then began to cry. I explained that if she didn’t want oatmeal, the next meal was lunch and she could wait until then to eat but she could not sit there and cry and ruin everyone else’s meal. If she insisted on crying she needed to do it in the comfort of her own room. She insisted! The rest of the family enjoyed their breakfast as she cried in her bedroom.

Mid-morning she let me know she was hungry, but I assured her that she would survive until lunch time. As lunch was served, we gathered around the table ready to enjoy the food and the time together. No one was even tempted to complain this time around and to our amazement the same little girl that had skipped breakfast blessed our meal for us. Her prayer was a simple one that still sticks with me today, “Dear Father in Heaven, Thank you for our food, and help us to be thankful for what we have been gaven! Amen”

The Power of an Imperfect Prayer

That simple prayer, with its imperfect grammar, has been a constant reminder to me over the years to be thankful for what I have been “gaven” even when it isn’t perfect!  Rarely is anything perfect, so it’s far better to learn to be thankful for things as they are rather than waiting until they arrive at perfection. In II Corinthians 12:9, Paul tells how the Lord’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. These obstacles in our lives that are imperfect or show our weaknesses drive us to the Lord so that we may find strength in Him. They provide opportunity for us to grow and develop Godly character.

Scripture tells us to give thanks in all things, not just the wonderful things, but all things. It’s a matter of obedience; it’s a matter of the heart. It’s about deciding that despite the flaws and imperfections of the circumstances, I will make a choice to be thankful. Once the choice is made, my attitude changes and the blessings begin to flow in my life.  It’s a lesson that I have to relearn from time to time, but one I hope I will never completely forget!

Lord, my prayer is that You will help us all to be “Thankful for what we have been gaven!”


Blessing Our Young Adults

Yesterday, we attended the 20th birthday of a young man we have known since he was about two years old. Our families have been through many things together; we have encouraged one another in our homeschooling, in our child rearing and so much more.  It is exciting to see these children become young adults and take hold of the principles they have been trained in since childhood.

His birthday party was far from the typical twentieth birthday party, but very similar to what several of us have had for our children as they turn that age.  We attended as a family, as did the other guests, and the children played and had a wonderful time. There were several great things about the celebration- the worship, a slide show, the fun and the time spent with friends. However the best part was  when the men in the group went forward, one at a time, and encouraged this young man. Some spoke blessings over him, others shared stories that showed his character and how he had helped them when they needed it, and others shared Scriptures to light his path as he continues to walk with the Lord.

These Young Adults Have Zeal!

It is so encouraging to see our children, and our friends’ children, grow up and become adults that embrace the things that we have been teaching them. These young people have zeal and a desire to serve the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole life. These are strong young adults that have been faced with challenges and made hard decisions. They have been homeschooled and sheltered in some ways, but they have been trained and guided in the truth of Scripture. As they have been released into adulthood, they have continued to seek wise counsel and have been encouraged to seek the Lord for the answers they are searching for.

These young adults have embraced the faith of their parents and made it their own. They are not trying to ride on the coattails of their parents’ relationship with the Lord. They have made their own decisions for salvation, for righteousness and for the kingdom. It is amazing and I am honored to see such a strong generation of young adults.

Learning to Celebrate Our Differences

One thing that really stood out to me yesterday was the creativity and the versatility of the Lord. As I looked around the room at these young adults, I realized how much they had in common and yet how different they were. The young man who was celebrating his birthday is so different from any of his many brothers. He is louder, more boisterous, and more affectionate than the others. His family members acknowledged those differences and the challenges that they had presented, but admitted that the differences were also a blessing.

The blessings, as well as the words of advice and encouragement, given to this young man were designed to help him embrace being the young man the Father is calling him to be. Everyone there wanted to bless him with the freedom to be himself, just as they have done with the rest of the young people there.  It is interesting to see the variety among them, even within each family; the children can be so different from one another. This variety is given as a blessing, so that we can benefit from one another’s strengths and bless others with ours.

When we learn to embrace our differences this way, we all benefit and life is so much more pleasant. At times, I have been guilty of not recognizing the blessings that the differences can bring and have tried to make myself or my children into something they were not designed to be. Thankfully, none of us ever stayed in the confines of the box very long! Instead, we broke free and embraced the differences and found the freedom to be who we were designed to be.  I hope you have found the freedom to be who you were created to be and the blessings that flow forth because of it! May you delight in your uniqueness and the Creator that designed you that way!


Do you ever resist change?

If so, you aren’t alone!  Today I want to share the struggle with change we faced as we decided to begin homeschooling, in hopes that you will be encouraged to take that step you have been hesitating to take.  Untold blessings could be just around the corner, but you have to leave your comfort zone and begin the journey to experience them.

Twenty years ago this fall, we began our homeschooling journey. It wasn’t something I had always wanted to do; in fact it was something I had to be convinced to do. To be honest, I’m not sure I even knew it existed until people started asking my son if he was starting school that year and he would very confidently reply, “I won’t be old enough to start until next year, but I’m not going, I’m going to stay home and let my mom teach me.”  I would get embarrassed and explain to the person asking that I don’t know where he got that idea. Repeatedly, I told him that was weird and we weren’t  going to do that, but he kept giving that same answer whenever asked.

You know how it is when the Lord is convicting you of something, you can’t escape it no matter how hard you try. He had already gotten my son on His team and then He really began to get my attention.   I would turn on the Christian radio station and there would be something about homeschooling, I couldn’t escape it. I would pick up a magazine in the waiting room of the doctor’s office and there was an article with glowing reviews. It was everywhere!

I still feel a twinge of guilt when I think of the sweet homeschooling mom I met one day when I was really digging in my heels over the decision, she patiently answered all of my homeschooling questions (accusations would probably be more accurate).  Her children seemed well adjusted and happy and she was so calm and nurturing; they were not at all like the strange creatures I envisioned homeschoolers to be.  That sweet soul will never know the impact she made on me that day, and how our family has been blessed by her kindness and patience with me. I wish I knew who she was so that I could thank her personally!

As you can see, my earliest opinions of homeschooling were very negative, not because they were based on any real evidence or facts, but because it was different and I was unfamiliar with it. I couldn’t understand why you would want to keep your children away from all the fun of school…until it was my child that was facing all that fun.  Then my mind was full of thoughts of the bullies on the bus that yelled and cursed at the bus driver, threatened physical harm if you sat in the wrong seat and exposed so many young, innocent minds to the ugliness they constantly spewed forth.  Because of where we lived, my children would have spent about three hours a day on the bus enjoying this kind of socialization, not to mention the whole school day with equally charming influences.  Added to the horrors of the bus ride was the fact that my husband would hardly get to see the children during the week because of his work hours and he would miss them so much.   Hmm, these issues alone made homeschooling worth looking into.

As soon as I began to consider it an option, I began to research and look for others that were doing it. Twenty years ago, that wasn’t nearly as easy as it is today, but the Lord brought people into my life that had been studying and researching far longer than I had.  Some of these people became close friends and they willingly shared with me all the information they had gathered.   Uncertainty about the changes, the results and my abilities all took residence in my mind and almost made the decision for me.  Thankfully, my husband encouraged me to trust the Lord and get started.

So we began what I thought would be a short time of homeschooling,  two years to be more precise. I had a plan to build a good, solid foundation and then put them in school when they were older and more prepared to face the challenges they would face- at the ripe old age of 7! Needless to say, here I am 20 years later, still homeschooling!  What wonderful change these twenty years have brought to our lives.  I am so thankful that I didn’t let the fear of the unknown keep me from ever beginning this journey.

As you sit on the brink of making a decision, be encouraged that the Lord will lead and direct you as you seek Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.   In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  Share your thoughts with us below, we enjoy hearing from you!


Don’t you just love it when the Lord starts putting all the pieces together for you! I’ve been praying about what I feel like He is calling me to do, besides being a wife and homeschooling mother. Honestly, I’ve doubted that I was hearing Him correctly. So I have been dragging my feet and explaining to Him all the reasons why it might not work out. Then this morning as I was praying, I kept getting distracted by the words to the song, “Who Am I” and I seemed unable to stay focused. Just as I was about to get really annoyed with myself, I realized that the song held the answers to my dilemma; it wasn’t a distraction at all, it was the answer!

For the last few months I have felt led to start blogging, so we set up the website, and we changed the website, then we changed it again a few more times. Lots of time was spent on the details but I have done very little blogging! I had all kinds of great ideas of what I wanted to write before we had a place to post it, but as soon as we got it set up those ideas seemed to vanish. Then the doubts began to creep in, who would read it, do I have anything worth saying, and most importantly, who am I that I should write to encourage others. So I’ve been stuck on that “Who am I” issue, because the truth is, I am:
• A wife that fails to show her husband how much she values and appreciates him
• Just an ordinary mom, with a few more children than the average
• A homeschooling mother that still struggles in the simple things
• A backslidden health food nut, for too many rounds to count
• A farm girl that struggles to grow a small garden
• A woman after God’s heart, who recognizes her need for a Savior each and every day
• Someone that tries to walk in the Spirit, but allows the flesh to win out too often

So when faced with the reality of just who I really am, it seemed unlikely that the Father would call me to blog to share our life with others. Yet, I couldn’t let go of the idea completely because in spite of the list above, I am also:
• A firm believer in the benefits of homeschooling, with a strong desire to encourage other mothers in this area
• Have a heart to share what I’ve learned in my 20 years of homeschooling
• A mother that has learned from her mistakes and is constantly trying to improve her parenting skills
• A woman that loves the Lord with her whole heart, who will not stop seeking to live a life that brings Him glory, no matter how many times I stumble along the way
• Wanting to see the Fruit of the Spirit increasing in my life daily
• Desiring to experience the joy of seeing all of my children walking in the truth.

But is that enough to overcome the first list of obstacles? These are the thoughts I have been pondering the past few months, trying to figure it all out! Finally, as I prayed and the words to the song seeped into my brain, I got it, the answer I had been waiting for! It’s not about who I am, it’s all about who He is! It’s not about my accomplishments; it’s all about what He has done! He is the one who took me from someone that thought homeschooling was entirely too weird, to a homeschooling die hard; a mother that had a complete family after two children, to one that has eight and would joyfully embrace more. He is the one who has transformed my life and is still at work in me!

Finally, the pieces of the puzzle fit together and I get it! This blog is to be a place to encourage mothers in their high calling, to encourage them to love their husbands and their children, to help them see that the struggles of today will only last for a season, and to share from our lives, our adventures, and our mistakes the joys and blessings that come along with seeking to live a Fruitful Life! This is a modern way for the older woman to help the younger woman. It’s not because the older one is perfect and has all the answers, but because she has been around long enough to realize how much she has yet to learn. It’s because she loves the younger ones enough to share from her heart! I am thankful that the Lord has given me understanding and clarity in what He is calling me to do, and I hope that it will be a blessing to others, old and young.

Here are the lyrics to the Casting Crowns song “Who Am I?” and here is a link in case you want to listen to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=othmFqaw0Yk

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
‘Cause I am Yours
I am Yours


Twenty eight years ago today I nestled my arm in my dad’s, as he smiled lovingly down at me, and together we walked down the long aisle of the church. I remember that day as clearly as if it was yesterday. Song looked incredibly handsome as he waited for me to join him, and I loved the way he watched my every move as I approached him. He was nervous and his voice shook as he started saying our vows, but after we giggled a little about our nervousness, he was fine.

The ceremony was short, but it seemed to be an eternity before we were officially pronounced, “Mr. and Mrs. Song Brown!” Finally, the moment I had waited for; we were finally married after dating for three years! We were young; I was not even twenty, and Song was in his early twenties. The fact that we were broke didn’t faze us….we were in love and that was all that mattered!

As I look back over our early years together, I think about the trials we endured and the mistakes we made, but most of all I think about the fun we had growing up together! Those years of living in university housing or basement apartments taught us many valuable lessons. The challenges we faced made us stronger and brought us closer together.

As a young bride I had dreams and ideas of what our lives together would be like, but as I sit here now, twenty-eight years later, I can’t help but think how differently our lives turned out. I had always said I wanted to be a stay at home mom and we always joked about having a dozen children, but in my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine anyone having more than three children!

Three years later we were expecting our first child and I was graduating from college. My advisors didn’t hesitate to tell me that it ruined my chances of getting a decent job and that it was a terrible mistake, but we knew better. It was the beginning of something wonderful! We had our first child late that fall and then our second child came three and a half years later. As we were getting ready to leave the hospital, our pastor came to visit and told us all the reasons we should stop having children. He reasoned that we had a boy and a girl, that’s the perfect family. My own grandmother had told me the same thing repeatedly while I was pregnant and even encouraged me to have my tubes tied immediately after giving birth. You know, go ahead and kill two birds with one stone and only have to recover once. Something about their advice didn’t sound right to us so, thankfully, we put off making that decision. After all, I might possibly decide to have one more baby if everything went well with the two I had.

There I was, a delighted stay at home mother of two feisty, strong-willed children, living the life of my dreams. I attended Bible studies, got together for play dates, and scheduled regular “Mom’s Day Out” outings. All was going along as planned and then it happened, something inside me changed and my life has never been the same. I came to the realization that these children weren’t prized possessions to display and fit into my schedule, they were blessings from our Father in Heaven and we were blessed to have the responsibility to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With that in mind we opened up our lives to receive the Father’s blessings.

So here we are many years after that turning point in our lives celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary. When we started our family, I thought we would be experiencing the empty nest stage of life at this point. But instead, we are enjoying a candle light dinner prepared for us by some of our eight delightful children, all of whom are joining us for our celebratory dinner. They all still live at home and we love having them here. The love and laughter, the fun and fellowship in our large family fill our days and our lives with treasures that money can’t buy. Our life together is far better than anything my young mind could have fathomed!

I started our marriage as a young, naïve bride of nineteen with visions of the typical American family with two, maybe three children. All these years later, I’m a not so young, naïve bride who thinks this is what the typical American family ought to be! In hind sight, I’m glad we had the opportunity to grow up and hopefully, grow old together, I wouldn’t change a thing!