Monday, September 04, 2006

Twelve Extraordinary Women & Martha Washington

Happy Labor Day! It's nice to have Jesse home for an extra day this week. He appreciates it too; yesterday was the last day in two of his classes, so final projects were due at midnight. The second was turned in at 11:45 pm, so it's a good thing he didn't have to go in to work at 5 am. The quilt auction on Saturday was a bit of a disappointment. Things always seem to sell higher at the September sale than at the May one. All I bought was a pretty jar for $3. I did however acquire a sunburn on my face that now allows me to glow in the dark.

Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur is a strongly written book detailing the lives and legacies of twelve women of the Bible. I read this book as part of my nightly devotional time, and I truly enjoyed the time with the book. Each woman presented (from Eve to Lydia) is a powerful example of how God works in our lives and what he can do with us. While Abraham’s patience is a given, I had never considered how patient Sarah had to be, waiting for twenty years for her promised son. Hannah is the model of the perfect mother, waiting for a son and loving her husband. MacArthur discusses in several sections the poisonous effects of polygamy on relationships as well. He doesn’t hide his opinion of the Catholic worship of Mary, mother of Jesus, either. But his personal thoughts are always given with love and a great deal of attention to history. I learned an enormous amount from this book that I will take with me day to day from waiting on the Lord to being a better mother and wife, this book is an excellent tool for Christian women (and men!).

Martha Washington: An American Life by Patricia Brady brings life and character to an overlooked woman in history. Martha Washington is one of those people in history that everyone has heard of, but little is known about. I never considered reading a book about her life until I was reading a biography of George (His Excellency by Joseph J. Ellis) and it stated that Martha burned all of the correspondence between them after George’s death. For me, this made Martha a woman of mystery: what was she trying to hide? Brady’s book answers the question: nothing, she was protecting her husband the way she did her entire life. Brady portrays Martha as a loving wife, protective mother, and intelligent woman of her time. Brady does a good job of describing Martha and her life with our first president, but sometimes the book seems to read a bit like an interview that Good Housekeeping or Ladies Home Journal would do with a sitting First Lady: glossy without any depth. Martha suffered through an amazing amount of loss in her life, but the only time Brady taps into that and portrays it with depth is upon George’s death. The book’s only true flaw may be that Brady views Martha with a bit too much respect, but the first First Lady seems worthy of that kind of admiration. This book should help bring her the appreciation she is most certainly due.

School starts tomorrow, and life for everyone goes back to the routine of school and work. I'm kind of glad actually. Summer seems to throw me off.

We were surprised to hear about Steve Irwin's death; it's a sad thing. Doogie's been a fan of his for years, and even Mia knew him through his video with The Wiggles. I'm praying for his wife.