Sunday, May 30, 2010

Taylor's Tale

I love books, and I love it when friends share great reads with me. In the past two years, my friend Ellen has passed along some challenging and compelling books. Her most recent loan is Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, written by Taylor's son. The book is comprised largely of Hudson Taylor's own letters and those of his wives and closest friends.

In case you're not familiar (I wasn't) with his story, Englishman Hudson Taylor lived from 1832-1905 and was one of the first Christians to take the Gospel to China. In fact, at age 21, he sailed to China to begin what would be his life's work and the foundation of China Inland Mission in 1856 (now Overseas Missionary Fellowship).

It's tempting to share glimpses of his life story here, but instead I want to focus on two things that struck me most significantly. First is Hudson Taylor's dependence on God for all provision. He doesn't raise funds or secure donors before he sets off on his journey. He never asks people for financial support. No, instead he learns to give more, live on less, and pray with expectation. And the stories of God's timely provision are incredible.

Second, a chapter entitled "The Exchanged Life" addresses the time Hudson Taylor's spiritual life changes profoundly and permanently. Taylor realizes that all of his striving and longing for personal holiness would lead only to failure and disappointment; instead, God reveals the truth of our oneness with Jesus and that faith can only be strengthened by resting in Jesus.

In a letter to his sister, Taylor wrote, "I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has not He promised to abide with me - never to leave me, never to fail me?...The sweetest the rest which full identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient."

The book goes on to say that Hudson Taylor was never the same after this experience...that he had discovered "the secret of soul-rest."

I confess that this book was a timely read for me for many reason. His story is inspiring, his life's work amazing, and his faith is challenging. If I could pass books along to you via this blog, then this is one I would send your way. Thank you, Ellen, for sending it mine.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Field Day Fun

On May 7 and May 14, the boys enjoyed an annual elementary tradition: Field Day. Thankfully both of my boys look forward to this celebration, and they both enjoyed beautiful days for their competitions.

Below are some pictures of Reed as part of Mrs. Lukens' Team Energy. He didn't know how to hula hoop but by the end was hooping with two hoops! Even his mom can't do that!

Check out Seth's field day fun as the Warren Warriors battle against the other fifth grade classes. In the end, they won the "Spirit Award."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Celebrating Seth

Eleven years ago we included this picture on a birth announcement letting the world know that Timothy Seth Tucker had arrived. Now, he stands to his mom's shoulders and proclaims that he will stand 6' tall before long (watch out, Dad!). Seth is a rich blessing in our lives, and it is a delight to watch him grow in all ways. We couldn't be prouder. Happy birthday, Seth!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Happy Mother's Day

I look at my title and think, "Aren't they all?" I am so fortunate to be the mother of Seth and Reed. They bless each of my days with their sweet spirits, unique personalities, and radiant smiles. Thank you boys. My cup runneth over.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Let me introduce you to our new family member...

When Seth turned 10 we promised that we would get him a dog. Now, only 12 days shy of his 11th birthday the time came for us to fulfill our promise. We set our yesterday to "look" for a dog. I can't believe I am surprised that we brought one home with us - this lovable German Shepherd-mix. Seth fell for this sweet 7-month-old pup, and we adopted him into our family.

Now this is the face of a happy boy who has found his first dog. We stressed to Seth and Reed before we began looking that they would fall in love with every dog that they saw. We prayed that we would all know when we found the right dog for our family. Well, Titan wasn't the first dog Seth saw (more like the third), but he was the one who caught Seth's eye and captured his heart. It didn't take long before we realized that this was the dog who would be joining our family.

On the car ride home Titan was a contented passenger, who even wanted to ride up front between Tim and myself. I never thought I'd be one to drive around town with my dog in the van, but I have a feeling it won't take long until Titan is riding shotgun.

The boys welcome Titan to his new home! His first day and night with us have been great, and he is adjusting quickly to life here. The biggest problem seems to be the stairs, which he doesn't like to go up or down. This is a bit tricky as the only way in/out of the house involves stairs. But he is getting braver with the front steps, so hopefully soon he will be taking them without fear.

Even Fred, our cat, has responded more with curiosity than any other feeling. He's only hissed once when Titan came too close. Fred has ruled this roost for a while, so it may take a little while for him to adapt to his new furry companion.

Now the fun begins of caring for a dog! First, with a bath on this beautiful Spring afternoon. A wonder how he (and Seth and Reed) are going to like this!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bull's Eye B-day

Reed's birthday celebration continued with his first-ever sleepover. He invited his two buddies Isaac and Harrison over for the night, and they had a great time having a Nerf war and an Xbox tournament - all supervised by Seth.

I proved there's nothing a mother won't do for her son when I sat through their movie pick: "Furry Vengence." One word: Torture. But they loved it - animal antics, frequent "skunk" attacks, and a man trapped in a port-a-potty - the perfect ingredients for an 8-year-old boy's movie.

On Saturday morning we gave Reed his final b-day present: a compound bow. Here are pictures from our first target practice. You'll see that even Dad had to get in on the action: