Golden and Noble Works

“A wife too should regard her duties in the same light, as she suckles the child, rocks and bathes it, and cares for it in other ways; and as she busies herself with other duties and renders help and obedience to her husband. These are truly golden and noble works."
Martin Luther

Friday, October 4, 2013

Storing A Bountiful Harvest - From Kathy F.

Kathy F. writes:

God has truly blessed us this fall with a bountiful harvest (although much of my bounty didn't come from anything I did....most were a gift from gracious church members and friends).

So what am I to do with all of this goodness?  Save it for canning it....

So that is what I did...
To date, I can canned 16 quarts of pears

32 pints of apple butter (can you say "Christmas Gifts"),  12 quarts of apple juice 18 quarts of apple pie (one of my favorites).

13 pints of salsa, 21 pints and 2 quarts of tomato sauce, 5 pints of pizza sauce,  55 quarts of grape juice (from my husband's vines) and that is just on my shelf, I also froze 15 quarts of peaches (those came from my tree), 24 quarts of freezer pickles and 53 quarts of corn.

We also helped butcher nearly 80 chickens with friends over Labor Day (and we kept our freezer is stocked too).
I think we should be set for winter, right? 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stayin' Alive With Kristi

Okay ladies, I sat on this long enough and just couldn't keep it from you any longer!

Who knew our very own Kristi was so talented!? Check this out:

*Watch the Dancing Queen in the left hand corner and be AMAZED! (Oh and please ignore Pastor K. sneaking off to hide, though he has no reason to be embarrassed by his skillz either!!)

I'm thinking our next EVE Getaway could really use a "Get Your Groove On Workshop".

Friday, July 12, 2013

FREE Church Worker Cottage Retreats - Camp Luther Wisconsin

BethAnn writes:

I just wanted to let all of you know about this great family opportunity.....that Camp Luther of Three Lakes, WI gives to full-time church workers.

This is directly from the camp's

Just for Church Workers
Camp Luther is blessed to be able to offer the following to professional church workers.
FREE Church Worker Cottage Retreats
As part of efforts to support healthy church workers, healthy church worker marriages and families, Camp Luther offers FREE cottage retreats to professional church workers and their family.  Here are the details:
·         A maximum of two cottage retreats per week will be offered during our Retreat Season weeks after Labor Day Weekend to before Memorial Day Weekend.
·         Cottages are available from Monday afternoon through Thursday evening.  Maximum two consecutive nights.  
·         There is no cost; however, guests are welcome to make a donation to camp to cover cleaning and utility expenses.
·         All regular rental policies apply.
·         Intended for full-time church worker and immediate family only.
·         Maximum of one use per retreat season. (Sept-May)
·         Not valid during Christmas –New Year's week.  
·         No program or meals are offered.
·         Not to be used in conjuction with another program or event.
·         For weekends or longer stays, half price discount still applies.

We hope you enjoy your cottage and use this opportunity to rest and rejuvenate with your spouse and family at Camp Luther.
Reduced Rate Cottage Rentals
Cottages available to professional church workers at 50% of our regular rate. 
·         Available after Labor Day Weekend and before Memorial Day Weekend.
·         Not to be used in conjuction with another camp program or event.
·         A credit card or one night's rate is required to hold the reservation.
·         All regular rental policies apply.
Free Program Participation
Professional church workers may attend adult retreats at no cost when they particpate with a group from their congregation.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Emily O. writes:

Life is funny. That phrase, of course, can mean all sorts of things. Life is humorous, life is weirdly insightful, life is downright strange. Sometimes it's all of the above. And pastors' wives often see all of the above in our interactions with church family. 

Take tonight. My dear husband had a wedding rehearsal in which many, many small children were present. Near the end, he noticed that one very tired, very upset little girl was playing in the chancel. Several adults sat a few feet away, watching her but doing nothing to stop her antics. Suddenly, she leaned on the crucifix which stood on its base, and the whole thing started to tip. Feeling like the event was happening in slow motion, the entire group watched Jesus topple forward, the cross crash, and the corpse smash into pieces all over the sanctuary floor. 

A little history: for years, our sanctuary's old processional cross was a source of some embarrassment. The brass was chipped and bent, and it honestly looked like
it had been run over by a truck. That poor cross was so ill-aged (or used, or both) that my husband began asking other local congregations for their processional crosses for funerals and other special services. Finally, a generous gift made possible a beautiful processional crucifix, constructed of solid wood and an exquisite hand-carved corpse from Oberammergau, Germany. This was the cross that cracked.

Such moments are horrific and embarrassing. In this case, once the pieces were reassembled, the cross looked like it could be salvaged. The father of the bride is an amazing model-maker, and he offered to put the pieces back together. A local pastor who does woodworking can redo the finish. My husband talked to the mom of the little girl (who was hysterical) and made sure she wasn't hurt (just scared). And I, once I got over the shock and practical concerns, couldn't help but think how funny the whole situation was. Don't get me wrong; I never want fine craftsmanship that's been done to the glory of God and that serves to remind Christians in the pews of Christ's atoning sacrifice to be broken. But aren't we all like little toddlers, tired and worn out and heedless, careening into sacred symbols and wreaking destruction? The real scars we left on Christ's hands marked Him far worse than the damage left on our processional cross tonight. One was a shame, but the other was unthinkable--God dying for us children. 

Truly, you can't make this stuff up--the careening cross or the for-real Savior. And thank goodness for that.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Update on Baby Isaac

Bethann writes:

Thank you for all your prayers. It was definitely an adventure in Omaha. The Children’s Hospital was amazing and made me very thankful for the health of my children. Everyone was very friendly and professional. 

Isaac’s EEG went well but he didn’t like the tape removal at the end. The technician was very good and is a member of the LCMS - which Adam spoke with her about.  I was very thankful that we had a knowledgeable and caring technician.

I am also thankful that my parents were there because Rachel loved playing with them in Kids Camp.

The specialist appointment was good. She has 30 years’ experience with children. She made sure you had all the information you needed. She was gentle and kind. She said his EEG looked like a normal 6 week old baby's, however she is going to have a partner look over the results too. They always double check.  
She said that since she didn’t see any abnormalities that he probably doesn’t have seizures at this time. She did understand why we were concerned because of the family history. She diagnosed him with startle myoclonus. “Startle is a stereotypical response to a sudden and unexpected stimulus. In most instances, the stimulus is acoustic, but other modalities such as tactile, visual, or vestibular are also effective stimuli. The motor component of startle satisfies the criteria for myoclonus. Exaggerated startle, is a feature of various neurologic and psychiatric conditions.” Which in our terms overactive startler. 
He will grow out of it by 6 months. She also told us numerous times if we had any concerns to call the office.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Prayer for Baby Isaac

Bethann writes:

I have noticed some little things with Isaac. I am not going into detail because I am having a hard enough time writing this as it is. However, my sister, my friend, and my mom noticed some things too.
So at Isaac’s one month appointment I told the doctor my concerns. The doctor listened and decided we should look into to it more. So Isaac is having an EEG to see if he may be having seizures.
There is a family history and the things I have noticed are consistent with seizures.
So please pray that our appointment in Omaha at the Children’s Hospital on Friday May 24th with give us some answers.
We would really appreciate it!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

EVE Getaway 2013

Here are a few pictures from this year's EVE Getaway. Thank you Kristi for sharing them!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Welcome Baby Isaac

Pastor Adam and BethAnn and big sister Rachel are proud to announce the birth of Isaac Carl. Isaac was born April 12, 2013, at 12:37 p.m. He was 8 lbs., 4 oz. and 20 ¾ in. long.

Both mother and baby are doing well!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Encouraging Vocational Education 2013 Getaway

I'm sure many of you are looking forward to this year's EVE Getaway for LCMS Pastors' wives, scheduled for Sunday, April 21 and Monday, April 22 in Norfolk, NE.

This year's topic: The Gospel According to Diakonia

The Gospel that proclaims the good news Christ’s liberating death and
resurrection is always embodied in the world through us in love. Both
Jesus and Paul teach that salvation is by grace through faith, but faith is
always working through love. The Gospel comes to us in the concrete
means of grace in the liturgy of the church, as Christ is present for us with
his gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation. Christ continues to be present
in the liturgy of life as we embody his love and forgiveness in the world
through concrete acts of mercy and charity.

Presenting this year: REV. DR. Arthur A. Just

Arthur Just is Chairman and Professor of Exegetical Theology, and Co-Director of The Good Shepherd Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Psalm 51 - Mark, Learn, Inwardly Digest

Through Lent I will attempt to memorize Psalm 51. It shouldn't be too hard since some of it is in our liturgy and will be familiar, but the old brain ain't what she used to be!

To help me I've made up some 3x5 note cards that I glued into a small notebook (I use one of these). I'll only commit 3 verses to memory a week.

If you'd like to memorize this chapter with me, feel free to download the cards for your own use. You can get those HERE.

"Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions. 
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin. 
For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me." Psalm 51:1-3

Verse by verse reflections from Good News Magazine Issue 40 "God's Healing Medicine for You"

Verse 1
"Notice how David comes to God with all his sins. David first acknowledges God's mercy. This is also how God desires that you know him, first as a God of mercy, in spite of you Sin. By reading and reciting this verse daily, the Holy Spirit sill give you increasing assurance of God's mercy, in spite of your many failings.
Verse 2
David is not asking for God's assistance to wash and repair himself. Rather, David asks God to take total control and for God to wash him thoroughly with the water of His cleansing and healing Word and Spirit. David makes this request with absolute confidence that he will receive this cleansing, healing and faith-strengthening gift from God.
Verse 3
David made no pretense of hiding or avoiding any sins. Let David's example be your daily guide. Don't hesitate to confess your Sin to God and do it with the assurance of total forgiveness, even of your most secret sins."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lenten Project for Children

If you're looking for ways to get children to give or think about others through Lent this may be helpful. I came across these ideas in our local newspaper.

Using Christ's words from Matthew 25:

Week One: "I was hungry." Children can collect canned good for a local food pantry.

Week Two: "I was thirsty." Collect can or bottles of juice for food pantry.

Week Three: "I was a stranger." Write cards or letters to residents in area nursing homes or retirement centers. 

Week Four: "I was naked." Contribute diapers, wipes or baby care products and clothing to a local women's or homeless shelter.

Week Five: "I was sick." Donate health products such as shampoo, soap, lotions, toothbrushes and tooth paste to a food pantry or shelter.

Week Six: "I was in prison." Donate paper products, tissues, toilet paper, napkins and paper plates.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Is Respite Care for Us? - From BethAnn

BethAnn writes:

I have been thinking about foster respite care. I am not sure why I have been thinking about this a lot the last few months. I have been praying and have discussed this with others too. I have been in the Word as well. I just can't seem to make up my mind. Part is that my husband is only half way on board with this idea. The second is that I am going to have another little one soon. But it is heavy on my heart, which from my past means that my answer to my prayer is 'yes.'

They are looking for care for families who care for special children, which is my speciality. I have been told they need qualified people like me to help this special population. The following words of our Lord in this Bible account is always heavy in my thoughts and prayers.

"And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:2-4)

I think I should wait until I am done nursing my second child before we go through this process. I just want my husband to see that this would be a good opportunity to share our faith, get a little extra money, and have an opportunity to help a child see that God does provide blessings to all.

Please pray for me and my family as we make this decision. I need some clarity.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Matilda Grace Now with Jesus

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for my cousin's family this week. Baby Matilda's heart surgery went as well as it could but her little heart just wasn't strong enough.

My cousin writes:

"Our Lord sent His holy angels to bear home His sweet child tonight around 10:30. There was nothing else that the doctors could do, but Matilda has been healed by the Great Physician. We could ask nothing more."

Please continue to pray for them. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Prayers Please

My cousin's wife, Kristina, has been admitted to a hospital in Ft. Worth, TX and is scheduled for a C-section in the morning. She is 36 weeks pregnant with their second baby girl, Matilda, who, they learned early in the pregnancy, has a rare heart defect and down syndrome.

Her doctors had hoped Matilda would make it to term but today found signs of heart failure. After the c-section, they will attempt to stabilize her enough to give her the heart surgery she needs.

Much prayer for Matilda, for my cousin Weslie who just began his pastoral call to an LCMS church in Burkburnett, TX and will be away from there a lot during this time, for his sweet wife and for their other baby, Edith who is just 14 months old.

*Update - January 29th - Matilda was born this morning. My cousin writes:
"She's doing better than we had hoped! 5.10 lbs (2530g). Heart rate is in the 140s. Oxygen is in the 80s all by herself."
 Thanks to God for this and continued prayers for what's next.

*Update - January 30th - Matilda's heart surgery began this morning at 8am. Planned to be a 6-8 hour procedure. Hoping to hear how all went soon.

My cousin baptized Matlida yesterday! Praise be to God for all His good gifts.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Welcome Baby Micah!

Renata K. announces the birth of another son! Micah Robert Keith was born at 7:33am on January 7, 2013. 7 lb. 6 oz. 21 inches. Mom & baby doing well. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Meet Sarah

Where do I start?

I suppose I can start by saying how awesome it is to have ladies to be able to relate to. And a huge thank you to Aubri for starting this blog to get us together and help each other through things!
My name is Sarah Seymour. I have no Lutheran roots in my family at all, and it was God's will for me to make them. My husband, Ryan, and I got married January 18, 2003 and I planted my Lutheran roots pretty deep. Having no church in my life as a child, I was so hungry to learn God's Word!
I often compare my husband to Jonah. He knew that God was calling him, but he was running in the other direction, trying to find something else. After the birth of our first son, Caleb (9), I told him he needed to go. Follow God's plan, not his. So when Caleb was 2 (2005), we moved to Mequon, WI for undergrad. 
 On June 2, 2006, our first daughter, Hannah was born. When Hannah was 2(2008), we were FINALLY done with undergrad and moved to Fort Wayne, IN for Seminary. 
 4 weeks before vicarage, on June 28, 2010, Zoe was born. SURPRISE!! 
 Ryan had his vicarage in Lincoln, NE with Pastors Clint Poppe and Lance Berndt. Needless to say, it was an amazing vicarage and I fell completely head over heels for Nebraska. 8 weeks before our FINAL move, April 27, 2012, Jude made his appearance to our family! 
 Talk about keeping it hectic... one week after he was born was graduation, two weeks after was call night. Being emotional is an understatement.   
We moved 10 hours away from family and friends to rural Nebraska. Our smallest city has been Danville, IL (our hometown) of 40,000 people... so moving to a tiny town was a culture shock, but a FANTASTIC one! I have fallen in love completely and I'm not sure if i'd recover if we ever moved. But after moving around so much already, I have told people that i'm not going anywhere. Ryan is pastor to two churches, and we have acquired such a huge support system with two fabulous church families. 
My hobbies.... well, when I HAD spare time, I LOVED to paint. Acrylics, Oils, Watercolors... just don't ask me to paint you a person... because I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to tell what it was... I LOVE taking pictures. I was blessed to receive a great camera, and I can honestly say I never have to pay for pictures of the kids again! I love to crochet. although trying to find time to do that is a chore, and by the time I get a chance to sit down and do it, I am so tired from the day of four kids, basketball practice, dance class, this, that, and the other things, that I don't even want to. :)
When Jude is in school, I want to start school myself. Ryan and I got married when I was fresh out of high school, and I told him that God's plans were more important than my own, and I'd wait for him to graduate from seminary to go to school, and now, I can't imagine trying to go to school with kids at home. I might find time in a couple of years, but I'm in no rush, my vocation as a stay at home mom is fulfilling enough :)
I love pretty sunsets, which are plentiful here in rural NE, coffee, chocolate, and spending time with my husband. Those moments that we have to actually hear each other in a conversation without a child needing something, or the reminders going off for tomorrow, are so wonderful, that sometimes(most times) we spend those moments in silence. 
I'm excited to have a place to come to for advice and encouragement. I picture needing quite a bit. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Care for Us

A pastor's wife writes:

It’s almost midnight and he just left.
I should be sleeping, alone, but instead I am here at my computer with my questions.
God has heard them before, but I ask again:

Why ,God, would you do some miracles for this woman, and then just… not?
Why, God?

I ache for the family suffering out there, where pastor-daddy is. (Care for them,
Father.) I ache for the family here, too, where pastor-daddy is not.

I was the one who read the bedtime stories, said the prayers, and tucked the covered
tightly around the children. They nodded brave faces when I told them that daddy had
to go "be with the sad family" yet again. That's why our plans changed tonight. Yes, I
know he has been gone a lot lately. I miss him, too.

I respect and support this man, and the work God does through him, but that doesn't
mean it isn't hard.
The children do not understand why dark hospital rooms win out over family nights,
but for a pastor, they do, they must. I spare them the details of the sad situation he
faces in the hospital.

They say goodnights without complaint, except for one boy. He cries quietly into
his pillow. When I lean over to kiss him, he clings tightly to my robe, and I hear his
muffled confession, "Mommy, I wish that daddy was something other than a pastor."

Father, what am I to say to this child?

You have promised to be with us always, even in times of suffering. Help your child,
the one who is called to be a pastor to the sad family, because I can see the weariness
in his eyes, and I cannot help him. Uphold him, Father.

And help your child's other children, the little ones who share in the suffering through
tiny sacrifices, the little ones who do not understand. Care for them through other
hands when daddy is away-- through mine, through your Word, through your other
children. Care for their little hearts, that they may learn to lean on you in times of

The needs are here are more than I can meet, Father.

Care for them, Father.
Care for all of us.