Life with You is Awesome

The children and I have been working on this little surprise for Father’s Day, based on the theme song from The Lego Movie. Of course, it’s almost impossible to keep a secret in a household our size. Since Daddy already found out about it, I decided to publish a week early.

You’ll have to excuse the audio. Rap music is clearly not the forte of this classically trained soprano, but we had a great time putting it together, anyway… because “everything is awesome when you’re part of a team.”

And for those who are inclined to sing along, here are the lyrics for our version:

Life with You Is Awesome!

Life with you is awesome.
Life with you is cool — I’m so glad we’re a team!
Life with you is awesome, ‘cause we’re living our dream.

Married life is better when we work together.
Side by side, you and I gonna stick together, in all kinds of weather.
Man and wife, I love you, you love me, we’re both working in harmony.

Life with you is awesome.
Life with you is cool — I’m so glad we’re a team!
Life with you is awesome, ‘cause we’re living our dream.

(Woooo!) 3, 2, 1. Go!

Have you heard the news? Everyone’s talking.
Life is good and people are gawking.
Baby’s due, our family is growing.*
We’ve got love and joy overflowing.

Life with you is full of adventures
I’ll love you even when you have dentures.
Food in my teeth? Oh, that’s just awesome.
Next time, tell me when I need to floss ‘em.**
Love is blind — now I know that’s true.
It’s so awesome to be loved by you (be loved by you).

Married life is better when we work together.
Side by side, you and I gonna stick together, both now and forever.
Man and wife, I love you, you love me, we’re both working in harmony.

Life with you is awesome.
Life with you is cool — I’m so glad we’re a team!
Life with you is awesome, ‘cause we’re living our dream.

Marriage vows, wedding rings,
I just named two awesome things.
Pledged my love, said, “I do.”
You know what’s awesome? Life with you!

Clean, fresh sheets upon our bed, a feather pillow for my head.
Let’s go soak in a hot jacuzzi.
Not too long, or we’ll get woozy.

Pools, tools, jewels.
They’re awesome.
Girls with curls and pearls.
They’re awesome.
Boys enjoy their toys.
That’s awesome!
Every day of life as man and wife
Is awesome!

Life with you is awesome.
Life with you is cool — I’m so glad we’re a team!
Life with you is awesome, ‘cause we’re living our dream.

* As far as we know, there are no babies currently on the way, although it is probably just a matter of time, at least as far as grandchildren are concerned!
** This really did happen, although (thankfully) not at the wedding. It was actually on one of our first dates, when I got a whole black peppercorn lodged between my top central and lateral incisors and didn’t realize it was there until the date was over. Doug still claims he never noticed.

Do You Wanna Have a Baby?

I’ve been hearing daily reprises of FROZEN songs ever since the movie hit the theater last fall. My kids love it and have memorized most of the songs by heart and can even play a couple of them on the piano.

My personal favorite is “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” which I’ve been singing for months — but with homemade lyrics. You can listen below (or scroll down for the words, if you want to sing along):

Do you wanna have a baby?
So cute and cuddly and small
Then we could kiss his little nose
And count his tiny toes
And watch him learn to crawl
A baby is a blessing
From above
You’ll love him, and so will I
Do you wanna have a baby?
I know you’d love to make a baby!
C’mon… let’s try.

Do you wanna have a baby?
So fresh and innocent and new
I bet her skin will be as soft as silk
I’ll feed her mother’s milk
And listen to her coo
I wanna hear her heartbeat
Deep within my womb
Grow stronger as days go by
(Lub dub lub dub lub dub)

Do you wanna have a baby?
With chubby cheeks and downy head
I’ll sing him lullabies and hug him tight
And rock him every night
Then tuck him into bed.
I wanna be a mother
It’s ingrained in me:
What I was meant to do.
Do you wanna have a baby?

Of course, the song makes better sense if you’ve already seen the movie. If you haven't, I’d highly recommend doing so. (Incidentally, the Happy Home Fairy is even giving away a copy on her blog this week. You can sign up for the giveaway by following this link.)

Do You Wanna Have a Baby | Frozen parody music video

Turn Your Thinking Around

Have you bought into society’s low view of marriage? It’s time to turn your thinking around. Read through the following statements from top to bottom, then bottom to top. Which better reflects what you believe? (Personally, I believe this is one instance that backward thinking makes the best sense).

It's Time to Turn Your Thinking Around : Re-examining What We Believe about Marriage | Loving Life at Home

What Society Teaches about Marriage:
(read top to bottom)

Modern day marriages don’t last
That is why
You should only look out for #1
It is foolish to think
You can live happily ever after
By giving your all
To build up your man
Take whatever measures are necessary
To maintain your autonomy
Don’t worry about trying
To give 110%
Always remember instead
That marriage is a 50-50 proposition
Don’t think for a minute
Your husband will respond in kind
If you treat him with respect
That’s a lie
Being a submissive wife makes you a doormat
I don’t believe
Marriage is worth the sacrifice

What Christianity Teaches about Marriage:
(read bottom to top)

“Turn Your Thinking Around: Time to Reconsider What We’ve Been Taught about Marriage”
Copyright Jennifer Flanders, 2014. First published on Loving Life at Home

The Reason for the Season

In an effort to keep the focus on Christ at Christmas, I offer you this poem as a humble reminder of the miracle we celebrate this season. May it ever echo in our hearts!

Heaven Song: May the miracle of Christmas ever echo in our hearts!

Heaven Song

A girl once lived in Galilee–
Let Heaven and nature sing
Whom God sent Gabriel to see.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
Her name was Mary. She was young.
The angel called, “Hail, favored one,
“The Child you bear shall be God’s Son.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Then Mary asked, “How can this be?”
Let Heaven and nature sing.
“I’ve never known a man,” said she.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
“Fear not,” said Gabriel, “it is true.
“God’s Spirit shall o’ershadow you.
“The Babe will bring salvation, too.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

So Mary paused to testify,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
“The Lord’s handmaiden am but I.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.
Then joy within her heart was stirred,
“My soul doth magnify the Lord.
“May it be according to His word.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Soon Caesar issued a decree,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
Commanding all to pay a fee.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
So Mary, being great with Child,
Was put upon a donkey mild
And led by Joseph through the wild.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

They traveled unto Bethlehem.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
The inns there had room for them.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
Yet one innkeeper pity took
On seeing Mary’s heavy look
And showed them to a stable nook.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

There it was God’s Son was born–
Let Heaven and nature sing
In the wee small hours of the morn.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
‘Twas in that dark and dusty place,
The Virgin Mother, full of grace,
First looked upon her Savior’s face.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

As shepherds watched their flocks by night,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
Lo, they beheld a wondrous light,
Let Heaven and nature sing.
To them an angel did appear
Who told the shepherds, “Do not fear,
“I bring you tidings of great cheer.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

“Good will be yours, and peace on earth,”
Let Heaven and nature sing,
“For I proclaim Messiah’s birth.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.
“A Child is born to you this day
“And in a manger now doth lay
“Upon a bed of fresh, sweet hay.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Then hosts of angels filled the sky,
Let Heaven and nature sing:
“All glory be to God most high,”
Let Heaven and nature sing!
And when the angels went away
The shepherds all began to say,
“We must go see this Child today.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

In haste to Bethlehem they trod,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
To find the infant Son of God.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
All wrapped in swaddling clothes was He,
The One the shepherds came to see
With humble hearts, on bended knee.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Some wise men traveled from afar–
Let Heaven and nature sing
Led by a bright and burning star.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
“Frankincense, gold, and myrrh we bring
“As homage to the newborn King,”
They spake as they were worshipping.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

May all join in this song of old,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
The one the prophets long foretold,
Let Heaven and nature sing.
Emanuel, this Babe so small,
Was born within a cattle stall–
The Word made flesh, the Lord of all!
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Almighty God, the Prince of Peace–
Let Heaven and nature sing
Did come to purchase our release.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
He came to open Heaven’s door
To you and me forevermore.
O come, ye faithful, Christ adore!
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Let all creation find its voice–
Let Heaven and nature sing
And in the Lamb of God rejoice.
Let Heaven and nature sing!
Christ came to take away our sin
If we’ll but put our trust in Him
So that we might be born again.
Let Heaven and nature sing–
All Heaven and nature sing!

- Jennifer Flanders, 2013

A Hero in the Making

When my husband and I first married, we had more time than money, so much of our gift-giving consisted of poems and short stories we wrote for one another.

I guess old habits die hard, because we still fall back on handwritten gifts from time to time. Since Father’s Day is just around the corner, I thought I’d publish another poem I wrote in bygone days to honor my sweet husband, and all godly fathers like him:

“A righteous man, who walks in his integrity — how blessed are his sons after him.” (Proverbs 20:7)

A Hero in the Making | a Father's Day poem from Loving Life at Home

A Hero in the Making

Our little one is watching–
Can’t you see it in his eyes?
How he brightens at the sight of you
With happy, wild surprise?
Yes, our little one is watching,
He sees everything you do,
And he’s mimicking your actions
Trying hard to be like you.

Our little one is listening–
He hears every word you say,
Perks up whene’er he hears your voice,
No matter time of day.
Yes, our little one is listening.
And your words, they sink in deep.
They encourage, they inspire him,
And they echo in his sleep.

Our little one is following,
And he shadows every move,
Watching close for your reaction–
How he hopes that you’ll approve!
Yes, our little one is following–
And I thank the Lord above
For your wise and good example,
Your devotion and your love.

Our little one’s believing–
You’re a hero in his eyes,
And he knows that he can trust you
Like he knows the sun will rise.
Yes, our little one’s believing–
God protect his tender heart,
For he’ll view his Heav’nly Father
As he’s seen you from the start.

- Jennifer Flanders

This is the Tomb

“Do not be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6)

What follows is an excerpt from a children’s Easter book I’ve recently written, which is to be published by Prescott Publishing just as soon as I’ve completed the illustrations. (Look for it in March of 2014).

My husband urged me to post this sneak peek today in celebration of Resurrection Sunday. We pray the day will be a blessed and meaningful one for you. May the risen Christ reign not only in heaven, but on the throne of your heart. Happy Easter!

This is the Tomb

This is the tomb where Christ’s body once lay
All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay….

This is the stone used to seal Jesus’ grave.
An angel stood next to it, fearsome and brave,
And spoke to the women who came to the tomb
All weighed down with grief, full of sorrow and gloom,
As they thought of the garden where Jesus had prayed,
Where he was arrested, abandoned, betrayed,
Then dragged before Pilate, who washed both his hands
And declared, “I can’t find any fault in this man.”
Yet he yielded to people who wanted Christ dead
Who cried, “Crucify Him! Free Barrabas instead!”
Then they drove heavy nails in his feet and his hands.
“O Father, forgive them, they don’t understand,”
Jesus prayed as the crown made of razor-sharp thorns
Was placed on his head by men laughing with scorn
As they lettered a sign to hang over his head:
“This is the king of the Jews,” it read.
It was fixed to the cross, all rugged and stained,
Upon which the Lord of Creation was slain.
Just before a long spear was thrust into his side,
“It is finished!” he shouted aloud as he died.
The women could see where Christ’s body once lay–
But the tomb was now empty! The stone rolled away!
The angel then spoke as their hearts filled with dread,
“Why seek you the living among the dead?”

Yes, Jesus has conquered both death and the grave.
He has died for our sins! He is mighty to save!
Eternity’s ours when his mercy we plead
And confess Christ is risen. He’s risen, indeed!

Enough with the Excuses

I don’t know who said it, but it’s true:

“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Lots of wives have become experts at making up excuses to avoid something that’s extremely important to their husband. Don’t be one of them.

Enough with the Excuses copy

Not Tonight, Dear…

I’ve got a headache.
I’m too tired.
I’m having PMS.
I couldn’t think of making love when the house is such a mess.
The baby’s sick.
Your mother called.
I’ve got too much to do.
I think I’d rather cuddle — is that alright with you?

It’s freezing cold.
My back is sore.
I need to wash my hair.
The children have a soccer game, and I’ve no time to spare.
I’ve got to shop –
Our pantry’s bare.
The kids are still awake.
Besides, we had sex yesterday — tonight, I need a break.

Excuses, excuses! Some are valid, some are lame.
In the end, it matters not – the result is still the same.
We’d find a way, if sex were at the top of our to-do’s,
But since it’s not, we wrack our brains to dream up some excuse!

The toilet’s clogged.
It’s hot and muggy.
I’ll be late for work.
Forget it! I’m still mad at you — you know you’ve been a jerk.
My legs need shaving.
I feel fat.
I’m under too much stress.
We’ve barely finished dinner, Dear, let’s let our food digest.

You must be kidding.
I’m upset.
Just wait for Friday night.
The bills are due. We need a budget. Money’s getting tight.
I’ll miss my show.
Go take a shower.
Please don’t think me rude:
Sweetheart, it’s nothing personal — I’m just not in the mood!

Excuses, Excuses, to keep your man at bay—
The devil will supply them if you can’t think what to say.
When wives won’t give their husbands sex, then everybody loses,
But Heaven’s floodgates open when we stop making excuses!


In Praise of the Manly Man

Doug and Jennifer FlandersMy husband and I had a lovely Valentine’s Day yesterday. He brought me roses and a huge box of chocolates, then took me out for dinner and a movie.

I wrote him a poem.

It’s not the first poem I’ve given him for Valentine’s Day, and it probably won’t be the last.

Although I wrote it specifically for my husband, it is really a tribute to all men like him — men who are not afraid to BE MEN in an age when masculinity is sometimes frowned upon.

So keep up the good work, guys! The world wouldn’t be the same without you!

In Praise of the Manly Man

In Praise of the Manly Man

Hip! Hooray for the manly man!
He is tall, dark, and handsome, and tan.
    Though he’s covered in hair,
    Like a big teddy bear,
    He’s a softy inside,
    Where his feelings reside
    For the joy of his life –
    His dear children and wife –
Whom he loves just as much as he can.
             He can.
Yes, he loves them as much as he can.

Three cheers for the masculine male.
Yes, he cares for his family well,
     A-sweatin’ all day
     As he labors away,
     Comes home when he’s able,
     Puts food on the table:
     Potatoes and meat –
     That’s what he’ll want to eat,
Just as soon as he’s looked through the mail,
             The mail,
He will dine when he’s done with the mail.

Give it up for the gentlemen’s gent!
Whether living in mansion or tent,
     His home is his castle
     And packed with a passel
     Of children who love him
     And think highly of him,
     And brag that their dad
     Is the best to be had.
(They’d go on, but their breath is all spent –
             All spent –
They’d say more, but their breath is all spent).

All hail to the heart-throbbing hunk!
He has oodles of vigor and spunk!
     He’s brave. He’s courageous.
     His laugh is contagious.
     He brings his wife candy;
     With tools he is handy:
     Have burgers? He’ll grill ‘em.
     See spiders? He’ll kill ‘em.
Flat tire? The spare’s in his trunk.
             His trunk.
He’ll exchange it for one in his trunk.

Bravo for the noblest knight.
In his armor, so shining and bright,
     He is savvy and smart,
     And he has a big heart.
     He provides and protects
     And he likes to have sex
     With his wife who adores him
     And never ignores him.
‘Tis perfectly fitting and right.
             So right.
To ignore him just wouldn’t be right.

Hurrah for the hale husbandman –
A sublime and superb speciman.
     His wife knows her place
     And she fills it with grace,
     Her heart full of pride
     As she labors beside
     This burly, this brawny
     (His muscles aren’t scrawny),
This strong, strapping stud of a man.
             A man,
This amazing, magnanimous man.

He’s a man among men,
So let’s hear it again,
For this jovial jock
Of superior stock!
     This gallant galoot
     With his size-13 boot.
     My captain. My chief.
     My heart-stealing thief.
How blest to be wedded
And faithfully bedded
By so great a talent,
So virile, so valiant!
     He’s stable and steady.
     He’s rugged! He’s ready!
     Robust and red-blooded!
     My heart’s simply flooded
With love for this marvelous man.
             This man.
This magnificent, masculine man!

            - Jennifer Flanders
              February 14, 2013

You will find a bookmark size version of this Manly Man poem on My Printables page. I printed mine (double-sided) on parchment and laminated.

In My Thoughts and Prayers

MemoriesMemories are curious things. A person or event from our distant past can lie dormant and forgotten in the deepest recesses of our brains for literally years at a time, only to be stirred to life in a split-second by a glimpse or sound or smell of something that calls that memory to mind.

When the face of a friend or acquaintance whom I’ve not seen for decades springs suddenly and unbidden to mind, I cannot help but wonder why. Rosalind Goforth, the wife of a Canadian missionary to China, put forth one explanation in the following poem, which I love and long-ago learned by heart:

I cannot tell why there should come to me
A thought of someone miles and years away,
In swift instance on the memory,
Unless there is a need that I should pray.

Perhaps just then my friend has fiercer fight,
A more appalling weakness, a decay
Of courage, darkness, some lost sense of right;
And so, in case he needs my prayers, I pray.

This is something I strive to practice in my own life. When such a memory is triggered, I take it as a signal to pray. Most of the time, this just entails my asking God to pour out His blessings and strength and grace upon my friend, then going on about my daily business with nary a second thought. But on a few occasions, I’ve been privileged and amazed to later learn how urgently those prayers were needed and appreciated at the very moment they were offered.

I find this very comforting. Because I know that the God who impresses me to pray for others just when they need it most will likewise prompt others to intercede for me in my time of need (which, incidentally, is 24/7 and is also the reason God gave me a praying mother — but that's another post for another day).

When others are in our thoughts, shouldn't they be in our prayers, as well?

Putting It in Perspective

I don’t know who wrote the following poem, but it is a good reminder that we should “not despise the day of small things.” This season of life will be over before we know it, and won’t I miss it when it’s gone!.

My days are days of small affairs,
Of trifling worries, little cares,
A lunch to pack, a tea to make,
A room to sweep, a pie to bake,
A hurt to less, a tear to dry,
A head to brush, a bow to tie,
A face to wash, a rent to mend,
A meal to plan, a fuss to end,
A hungry husband to be fed,
A sleepy child to put to bed.
I, who’d hoped someday to gain
Success, perhaps a bit of fame,
Must give my life to small affairs
Of trifling worries, little cares.
But, should tomorrow bring a change,
My little house grow still and strange—
Should all the cares I have today
Be swept, quite suddenly, away—
Where now a hundred duties press
Be but an ache of loneliness,
No child’s gay ribbons to be tied,
No wayward little feet to guide,
To heaven I would raise my prayers,
“Oh God, give back my little cares.”

~Author Unknown