Monday, March 30, 2009

O How Sweet!

I've been thinking about ever so many things lately. But in particular about God's providence, His will, and his infinite grace and mercy. The year of 2009 began rather hard for me. I started building up many resolutions, and there were ever so many things that I wanted to do. I am talking about in terms of activities and things like that. However, I saw every single thing that I had planned to do, from January till May, completely dashed. This was because of my mother's ill-condition: she suffers greatly from adrenal exhaustion. Chloe and I had to commit ourselves to staying home a lot, and taking care of her. I had worked too hard on school in the autumn of 2008, so I was exhausted from that, and didn't feel ready to cope with the crisis: that is, accepting God's will or living in rebellion against Him. I knew that if I submitted, I would feel a sweet bliss. I knew that if I continued to rebel, I would be miserable and unhappy. I would find no solace or comfort in God's will when I rebelled against it. So, in late January, I decided to submit, but more because I was afraid of how I would feel if I didn't. Besides, mother's being pregnant again was exciting news for me. But then she lost the baby in early February.

After this the downfall of my plans really began to happen. Even though they were little, they meant a lot to me. But then I thought about all the lessons God had taught me in the past two miscarriages that mother had had. I had learned so much, and I would not take those babies back for anything, because of what I learned. Reflecting on this gave me greater insight into the blissful acceptance of God's will. Finally, I was able to whole-heartedly accept God's will. The idea of laying passive in his hand was so exciting to me, that whatever His will was, I was excited to do. Because whatever I do, and wherever I go will be to glorify God and not myself!

O! This realization is so incredibly sweet, and it leaves me in a state of such bliss and joyousness, that everyday with its disappointments could be counted with joy, if it were only for the sake of submitting with joy to God's will! And how comforting it is, that Romans 8:28 is so true, that everything works out for good, for those who love God and are called according to his will! To me, it is sublimity to rest in his providence. It fills me with wonder, and amazement, and complete and utter fascination that it tends to leave me in a stupor, or a reverie. And that reverie is so sweet that I could live in it forever. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Just So You Know

I have not forgotten that most of the intrigue of a blog is pictures... I REALLY want to post some, but I always seem to be on the wrong computer. :P Hopefully I will have some pictures coming soon of... something... :P

~ Ruby Jean

P.S. I am also on the wrong computer to do my "special signature". :P

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Okay, so putting the blog on private didn't exactly work. ....haha.... I didn't realize that one had to have a google account to sign in, and eventually it got so confusing that I just decided to put it back on the other thing. I guess it's just easier to do it this way. :)

If any of you are wondering WHY I put it on private, I did so because I didn't want a lot of people that I didn't know about reading blog. But I actually think it's fine now. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today :)

Enough things happened today to make it an interesting thing to record.... And that's precisely what I'm going to do (much to your chagrin, I'm sure).

This morning I woke up at 7:00 exactly. The alarm clock is set so that the sound track to Gods and Generals goes off. After the first two songs, I decided I needed to get out of bed, despite the fact that my body was telling me I really needed five more hours of sleep. I stumbled downstairs and did my normal routine. After this I felt a little more alive. Breakfast was nearly ready when I got downstairs at 8:00. Mommy had baked pancake puff, a favorite with the Hopkins family. :) Since it was not quite done, Mommy said we had time to have our individual devotions, which we accordingly did. Then we ate up most heartily, because the Hopkins children are ravenous eaters, and love a good breakfast.

After clearing our dishes, each child went about his/her studies. Daddy gave us the assignment of studying as much about Saint Patrick as possible. I proceeded upstairs. I finished the second to the last chapter of Robinson Crusoe, which me down to Olivia were reading with mommy. (I was behind.) I did this while Chloe was on Peter's laptop researching Saint Patrick. I attempted today to do as much as I possibly could. (I did fail, you know... but I did get SOME things done.)

After this, I read some out of my Paul Revere book because I really wanted to finish it today, until I was called downstairs to finish Robinson Crusoe. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. And then I was free to go upstairs, and finish Paul Revere. Then I did my research for Saint Patrick, and when I finished that, I remembered that I was supposed to write an article for Olivia Howard's magazine, and the deadline was today, and I had done nothing. So I wrote it, and sent it off. Chloe came up when I was just about done, declaring her out-of-character-determination to go running. Of course I went with her, but we ran into a dilemma. There are two pairs of sneakers that are wearable for Chloe and I in this house. One pair belongs to Gabriel, and they are very big on him, hence even bigger on Chloe. The other pair belongs to me, and are only slightly big on me. Well... Gabriel had worn his on an outdoor job, so we only had one pair. Perhaps you didn't need to know all this. But I'm telling it anyways. :) So, I went running first, came back, and then Chloe wore my sneakers (with more than one pair of socks) and she went. Meanwhile, I.... well... um.... Spent some time doing something, but I can't remember what. I just remember that when Chloe came back, I let her use the laptop, and went to take a nap. I don't think I actually slept, but at least I was rested. Then Chloe got ready to leave for a college hockey game, at which the boy choir, of whom daddy is the director and the accompanist, had to sing.

When they had gone (daddy, Peter, Chloe, Gabriel, Duncan, and Luther) I tried to console Tirzah and Olivia (because they couldn't go) by showing them the crocuses blooming in the garden. (I really love flowers—who doesn't?) I then realized that since we were going to have a nice dinner with corned beef and potatoes, the house had better be clean. Well, the four main rooms were rather messy. So, I cleaned them up, and talked to mommy while I was at it. During this time, Mother mended a ripped sheet, and Olivia took a nap, while Tirzah played outside. Finally, when all this was done, I worked on a dishcloth I was knitting, and when I had finished that, I edited the article I sent to Olivia Howard, and then resent it.

I read one chapter out of The Count of Monte Cristo, and was just about to help Tirzah with gingerbread when my grandmother called from New York asking for help with some directions.... and after that, I helped make the gingerbread... and dinner was ready... (at 8:30) and then we ate and it was all very good! Daddy said the concert went well, and Duncan won a T-shirt because he and another boy in the boychoir partook of a contest out on the ice...
Whoever could eat a six inch sub within the space of two minutes first, won. And Duncan won. He didn't have a great appetite, but still ate up just like he normally would.

And then I decided to write this rather pointless post, and if you even got to the point of where you're reading this, good job! You have a large amount of perseverence. :P

(this is a picture of our dinner... corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and parsnips.)

I know it's kinda blurry... but oh well!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day

Many of you know that Saint Patrick's Day is my favorite day of the year. It has been ever since I can remember. It's not because of the corned beef... it's not because I'm a "go green!" kind of person. (Except when it comes to Spring.) I love it because Spring is just around the corner, because it represent Truth and Light coming into the pagan Ireland. I'd love to write my own little summary of Patrick's life, but I don't think that I... can... write... a good thorough narrative... But I do know someone who has written a very good and (I am almost certain) reliable one, and that is Pastor Serven. The link to the article is here. I especially love the poem at the end. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cemeteries of Hickville

Today Rachel, Gabriel, Asher and I went on a confused ramble with the ultimate point of getting to an old graveyard. With every quarter mile or so we decided to change the direction we were taking. But we finally got there, after all. It wasn't even a cemetery, as you can see... Just a few graves scattered here and there, battered, old, unreadable, and probably forgotten by most people. They drifted from early 1800's to the 1900's. Gabriel immediately sobered down and observed, "It seems like we're being watched." Of course this was rather absurd, but we got that kind of feeling. I guess it was because we were on the top of a hill, surrounded by old barren trees, a bunch of dark clouds coming together, and the wind blowing ever so hard. But we did have fun after all, AND GUESS WHAT?! On the way home, it started raining really hard... And we weren't anywhere near the house at all. We got soaked, obviously. But that was really fun. :)

Gabriel meandering thoughtfully around with Asher "for protection against the ghosts" he said.

Okay okay... Gabriels the only one who really LOOKS like he's crying... Rachel and I don't really have a general idea of what we're trying to accomplish. :P

Explanation needed? Well... I was trying to fix my hair... Only place to hold my hat was... there. Gabriel thought maybe sitting on Asher would be fun. But he didn't end up doing it after all, despite of the picture.


Little boy on a country road.

Just finishing telling Rachel what sort of place this really feels like.

Couldn't catch the full name, but this was our favorite grave. The poem underneath read:
"An obedient child,
A Sister dear
A faithful wife
Is slumbering here."

Studying the graves... Trying to read the dates, but this one was so weatherbeaten it was almost just a blank stone.

"Guys... Is this place haunted?"

Good ol' Asher.

He's straying from the straight and narrow path....

Rachel and I.

I really like this picture. She was laughing at... *cough*... Gabriel. He gave us enough to laugh at. :P

No comment.

"Oh, no, I'm not related to him at all. Really... I'm not." :P My wonderful brother...

I get really happy in the country.

We didn't plan that.

"Hi kids!"

Happy Birthday Rachel!!!

(Because, you know, today IS her 14th birthday!)


Hullo y'all,

I have decided to make my blog private... In other words, only people I invite can read it. If there's anyone who follows anonymously, and you still want to, please let me know by posting a comment on this post. This could only be for a few weeks/months or permenantly. I'll put it on private next Wednesday.

Thank you!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Traditional Photoshoots



Rachel arranged my hair for me... She told me it looked good, and like an idiot, I believed her. :P

Rachel enjoys practicing her photography skills on me, since she's constantly doing it to her siblings, and they get tired of it. :P It's fun though... I mean... all those bad pictures. :P

Brotherly Love

A Baby!!

Today was Natalie's 7th birthday party! She had a few friends over, and among them were three girls who had a new born baby sister... Eliza Kneirim. I think she's two months old. Anyhow, we took some pictures. :) And... well... y'all know how I feel about babies. :D She was so cute--absolutely adorable.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Little Things

As a lot of you know, I tend to have a great passion for prayer, that sometimes subsides into a lack of trust in God's providence. Failure to trust in God's promises happens quite easily. "This is too little a thing to concern God." "God's got other stuff on his mind." When I say this, I defy the absolute sovereignty of God. If he is concerned about the lilies of the valley, and the fall of a sparrow, then surely he cares about my most insipid and whimsical desire. God's mind is never too full to notice the littlest thing happening on the earth or in the hearts of men. After all, it's all a part of God's plan.
I began thinking about this a few days ago, when something happened. Now this is not at all extraordinary. A great deal of things happen all the time, every minute of every day. But to me, one of millions and millions of people on the earth, it seemed a rather remarkable thing. As many of you know, the four girls (Chloe, me, Tirzah, and Olivia) share the attic room. At the very top of our stairs is a window facing south. Chloe and I usually sit on the floor beneath the window and do our school. The sun comes through quite conveniently, and so one day I was basking thus in the sun, with fleece blankets and pillows, feeling very lazy and quite like I deserved a rest. But really I didn't deserve anything. Come to think of it, I hadn't done hardly half of my school, and I had ever so much work to do. But really, I was so very tired and out of sorts. I wished very much for some poetry.... I love poetry, especially when I'm out of sorts. I then feel like Tennyson agrees with me.
But there were no poetry books within two feet of where I was positioned. I was very put out by this, because I really did want some sort of poetry--not that seemingly tiresome history book. Poetry, I thought, was just the thing right now. Poetry feeds my imagination--makes me think all sorts of splendid thoughts and ideas! O, I DO need it right now! But of course, I was much too lazy to get up and get it... After all... I was very tired...
The arrangement of our room is such that there is a bookcase right under the afore-mentioned window. It's a rather meager little thing, but it had my Elsie Dinsmore collection, Little House on the Prairie, and others. I languidly picked out a random book. It was Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carrol. How delightful, Lewis Carrol always did right such funny poetry! I disinterestedly opened it. On the first page was a poem. Just what I had wanted! But this gave me a divine revelation (ask anyone... I'm really into those these days): I was being so lazy, and slothful, and I could have jumped up and gotten some poetry immediately, or better yet, finished my school and THEN read some. But I felt like my immediate need was poetry. The first thing that rushed into my mind was, "And God answered this selfish wish?" I don't think it would have been quite right to have prayed, "Please Lord, you know my weakness right now... I can't get the book. But I pray that you would send a sibling up to get it, or bring it to me that I might enjoy myself a little." That is full of selfishness--yes, exactly what I was feeling. But yet, He did answer the prayer. Shortly after I read the poem, I began reading the book itself to Olivia. And then I finished my school.
But this came on my mind--I don't know why God had directed my hand to pick that book, and why there had been a poem in the beginning of that particular book, and I don't know why I was granted a selfish wish, but I do know that a great many thoughts proceeded from this extraordinary thing.
Nothing, not one little thing, is too tiny to take to the Lord in prayer. He loves us, and he hears us, and he answers us one way or another. Our prayers are naturally selfish... If we are worms grovelling in the dust at the feet of the Almighty, then our prayers stink. But if we are asking for a selfish thing (like I was) then we should pray that God would redirect our desires. Or of course, we could just tell ourselves that we are stupid and get up and do the thing ourselves. But that's not my point. *reaches a sticky spot* um... I don't know exactly how to word this. It is my belief that we ought to take EVERYTHING before the Lord, no matter how great or small. I'm beginning to think this doesn't make sense.... But I guess what I'm trying to say is that we all have selfish ambitions, and that our prayers are naturally selfish, but no matter what, we need to pray about the little things too. I have found personally that a result of this is implicit faith and trust in God. When I cease to pray for awhile, my trust decreases. But I think praying is a way that we tend our garden of trusting in God. C. H. Spurgeon said, "I never pray for more than five minutes... but I never go five minutes without praying." Now, I thought, How in the world does he find so many things to pray for? The other half in me answered, How do you find ever so many things to think about?
As many things as there are to think about, there should be to pray about.

Did that make sense? Here's one of my favorite hymns to express my thoughts more completely:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We Live Too Close To The Power Plant

Our computer recently got "relieved by accident" of all the information on the hard drive... So, Luther and Olivia are attempting to re-fill our picture albums with new pictures. :P

You've gotta love those eyebrows of Luther....