Ruth Elaine Caauwe

On Monday, Ruth Elaine Caauwe joined our family. She showed just how big a blessing she is by tipping the scales at 10 pounds and 9 ounces. The whole family is delighted. If you’re keeping track, yes, Ruth makes seven.

Obviously, Ruth has also tipped the scales in our family further towards the girls. Most of the kids were hoping for a boy. But I don’t think any of them are disappointed now, and love their sister dearly. We named her Ruth. In the Bible, Elimelech and Naomi had two sons. After her husband and two sons died, Naomi said her life was “bitter” and “empty.” It was about her daughter-in-law Ruth that the women said, “who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons.”

What makes our children—every single one of them—so valuable, is not how they contribute to a well-planned or balanced family structure. It’s not about how well-behaved or smart or even how independent or successful they may someday become. But they find themselves within our family, in this environment where we give and receive love. We care for each other. We forgive each other. And every one—boy or girl—that is received into this family strengthens the network and fabric of that love.

Naturally, every new baby makes me think about my vocation as father. As my daughters grow in size and number, I think especially about the unique relationship that I have with my girls. This past year I read a fantastic book on the subject. It’s called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meeker. It speaks of the unique dangers and challenges that confront girls today, and the unique role that their fathers play in their live. Dads with daughters: I highly recommend this book.

There’s another book which I actually just purchased today that, even though I haven’t read it yet, I am confident to recommend. It’s called Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood by Dr. Gene Edward Veith. Dr. Veith is also the author of the excellent book on Christian Vocation—God at Work.  This is a must-read, and I am looking forward to reading this newest piece.

 

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Moving to WordPress.org

I have moved my blog “A Shepherd’s Story” over from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. The differences are technical, so I won’t go into them here.

What you need to know is that the address will stay the same—shepherdstory.com. Also, if you follow the blog via RSS reader or by email subscription, you will probably have to re-subscribe over at the new blog. Just click over and there is a subscribe by email form on the sidebar. Let me know if you have any trouble.

If you haven’t heard, we have some news in the Caauwe household. Watch the new blog for a new post in a day or so.

Now that to the font I’ve travelled…

Nine years ago today we brought our firstborn daughter Hannah to be crucified and buried with Christ in Holy Baptism. Since that day, we’ve been back to the font many times. Actually, we have been to three other fonts for our five other children. And God-willing, we’ll be back at the font again in just a matter of weeks, as we are awaiting the appearance of our seventh gift of God. Each and every trip impresses on me more and more that “there is nothing worth comparing to this life-long comfort sure.”

But that is not to say that my only trips to the font have been to be baptized, to baptize, or to bring my children to baptism. No, this font is a daily destination. For this is the only water that can wash away what has been wrong today and drown the old Adam who loves to swim. The daily activity starts with the sign of the cross. “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” It confesses “I believe” and it prays “Our Father.” From there, this daily activity gets going, singing a hymn perhaps, busy with vocations like father, husband, and pastor. Until the day is over and again we finish at the font. “Forgive me all my sins, and graciously keep me this night.”