Clarke Clan: The Legend of Matt Burke

*This is a post I wrote in the Summer of 2013 but forgot to post*


What you’ve never heard of Matt Burke!? Well, he is a veritable legend around our house. About on par with Santa Clause (if Santa Clause was an organic farmer with a slightly Amish beard).

But if you are 2 year-old Honora Jane, Matt Burke can give you anything not just organic eggs from happy hens who have been tucked into bed each night and sung a lullabies until they fall asleep, but anything your little heart might desire. As per this conversation.

Honora: “Mommy, I need tea.”
Me: “What kind of tea?”
Honora: “Chai tea from Matt Burke.”
Me: Honora, I make my own Chai from scratch. It’s pretty delish, and I do not get it from Matt Burke.

Like I said, even though Matt Burke grows and sells a delicious variety of fruits, veggies, chickens, and eggs, we mainly just get nutritious eggs from him. Sometimes Ryan picks up our eggs before work. How Honora knows this is beyond me, but she does. Here is just one of our morning conversations as I get her out of bed.

Honora: “Papa is gone.”
Me: “Yup, he went to work.”
Honora: “He went to get Eggs from Matt Burke.”
Me: “Yes, Honora, yes he did.”

And so that is how Matt Burke has reached the realm of “legend” (at least in the Clarke home), and I think that’s how it should be because Honora is learning that real food is grown by real people and doesn’t magically appear in a box on a shelf. And let’s all admit it, growing real food (that you can actually sell to other people) does take just a tiny bit of magic.

So if you like tasty food, go hug a farmer or at the very least buy some zucchini or eggs from him.



Thursday Meditation: Quote by George MacDonald

This has been my prayer this weekend while I was dreadfully sick.

“If I felt my heat as hard as stone; if I did not love God, or man, or woman, or little child, I would yet say to God in my heart, ‘O God, see how I trust Thee, because Thou are perfect, and not changeable like me. I do not love Thee. I love nobody. I am not even sorry for it. Thou sees how much I need Thee to come close to me, to put Thy arm round me, to say to me ‘my child’: for the worse my state, the greater my need of my Father who loves me. Come to me, and my days will dawn; my love will come back, and, oh! how I shall love Thee, my God! and know that my love is Thy love, my blessedness Thy being.‘ ” -George MacDonald*

I think of my little daughter crying over a hurt or offense, and her father kindly calming her down and listening to her, hugging her, kissing her, and speaking truth to her. Sometimes she goes away happy other times she still sulks, but she is secure.

Oh to be that vulnerable with my heavenly Father! To rest in His grace as it renews my heart. This prayer by George MacDonald is my new prayer in time of suffering be it small or large.

Honors sitting in a basket while Ryan sleeps on the floor.

Honors sitting in a basket while Ryan sleeps on the floor.

*qtd in Elizabeth Elliot’s Keeping a Quiet Heart by Revell (bold text my own)


Clarke Clan: April Fools or Parent’s Day to Pull Tricks on Kids 2014

Today we celebrated April Fool’s Day. Yes, two days late but late is better than never.
I decided to make a fun meal that consisted of cupcakes, fruit salad, and juice.

Honora is a HUGE fan of cupcakes. Nothing gets her more excited than cupcakes. She even enjoys watching Cupcakes Wars with me and runs around says 5 more minutes, Folks.

So for our meal, I decided to serve dessert first and of course those were cupcakes.

Meat and Potato Cupcakes

Meat and Potato Cupcakes

I cut up a cupcake and served it to here. Here is a picture montage of her reaction to my April Fool’s cupcake.



First bite

First bite

Something is wrong

Something is wrong

What is this?

What is this?

Not cupcake

Not cupcake

I have been fooled!

I have been fooled!

I basically died laughing. And after I told her what the cupcakes consisted of, she happily ate them up.

It may not be cupcake, but it is tasty.

It may not be cupcake, but it is tasty.

Second course was fruit salad: Avocado, chocolate pudding

Cupcakes, fruit salad, and juice

Cupcakes, fruit salad, and juice

Avocado and chocolate are fruits.
This was also a success.

Next was a refreshing fruit drink to finish off the meal. Honora loves straws so she instantly started sucking the stuff down.
She decided it was too silly and wanted a spoon instead of a straw.

Eating juice jello

Eating juice jello

April Fool’s Day is way better with kids.

Unfortunately Rosalyn was not impressed.

Rosalyn was not impressed.

Rosalyn was not impressed.


Thursday Meditation: The All-Good

I pray.

In fact I like to congratulate myself that I pray quite a bit.

But lately I’ve been realizing my prayers consist of are mostly petitions for myself and others

Instead of taking the time to behold the beauty of the Lord.

Then the Valley of Vision a collection of Puritan prayers entered my life. As I have been praying through this beautiful book of prayers, my own prayer life and devotional life has been greatly encouraged. This has been my prayer and meditation lately.


The All-Good

“My God,

Thou hast helped me to see,

that whatever good be in honor and rejoicing,

how good is he who gives them, and can withdraw them; 

that blessedness does not lie in so much in receiving good from and in thee, but

in holding forth they glory and virtue;

that it is an amazing thing

to see Deity in a creature, speaking, acting, filling, shining through it;

that nothing is good but thee,

that I am near good when I am near thee

that to be like thee is a glorious thing:

This is my magnet, my attraction.


Thor art all my good in times of peace,

my only support in days of trouble,

my one sufficiency when life shall end.

Help me to see how good they will is in all,

and even when it crosses mine

teach me to be please with it.

Grant me to feel thee in fire, and food and every providence,

and to see that they many gifts and creatures
are but they hands and fingers taking hold of me.

Thou bottomless fountain of all good,

I tie myself to thee out of love,

for all I have or own is thine,

my goods, family, church, self,

to do with as thou wilt,

to honour thyself by me, and by all mine.

if it be consistent with they eternal counsels,

the purpose of they grade,

and the great ends of they glory

then bestow upon me the blessings of they comforts;

if not, let me resign myself to they wiser determinations.”




Wednesday Meditation: Isaiah 53:4-5

“And heaven knows, heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord, to suffer like you do
It would be a lie to run away.”
Jon Foreman

On this earth that groans waiting for salvation, it is impossible to keep ourselves from pain. Pain inflicted by others intentional or not, pain inflicted by ourselves, and pain inflicted upon us by the Enemy of human souls. Whether the hurt be insignificant or catastrophic, no matter how hard we try to escape the it, the aches remains.

But Heaven knows, Heaven knows all about pain. And when I meditate on this, my heart is broken with love and gratitude for my Savior. My grief seems so much easier to bear because His grace is strong and my pain remind me of His love.

“Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:4-5


Clarke Clan: New Addition of Rosalyn Olivia

For our second kid, we decided to try out a home birth. I had a great pregnancy, the best midwife and team in the area and the perfect house (not to mention a major hospital and a children’s hospital across the street if needed663) all we were waiting for now was the baby.

She came 5 days after her estimated due date. Since Honora was 10 days early, I was convinced I would be pregnant forever. But no, Sunday morning around 8 a.m. the contractions started and Rosalyn was born by 3:18p.m. weighing in at 7 lbs. and 14 oz. It was a great experience, and the best part was getting to go to bed that night in my own bed.


We named her Rosalyn Olivia Clarke,
Let me tell you, it took Ryan and a long time to come up with that name. It’s not that we couldn’t think of any names; we both had lots of ideas, so our conversations tended to run like this:

Me: “I love the name Gwyneth Ivey. I know it’s just the perfect name for this baby!”
Hubby: “Gwyneth Ivey Clarke sounds ridiculous. I couldn’t even call my child by her name.”
Me: “What!”
Hubby: “I like the name Cecilia.”
Me “This baby is not a Cecilia.”
Hubby: “How do you know?”
Me: “I just do, besides it means blind. How weird is that.”

So another name was chosen that we both liked: Rosalyn Olivia Clarke

Rosalyn (pronounced Roz-e-lin) is a modern deviant of Rosalind an Old English name literally meaning gentle horse, which gives the connotation of being soft and tender yet strong and powerful. The other meaning usually given to Rosalind is beautiful rose (thanks to Spenser).

Rosalind gained popularity in England during the 16-17th centuries due to its use it literature. Edmund Spenser* used it in his first poetic work The Shepearde’s Calendar and then William Shakespeare* gave the name to his famous heroine from As You Like It.

I actually like to refer to Rosalyn Olivia as my Shakespeare baby because Olivia was not just a name that Shakespeare used in his play Twelfth Night, he actually created the name. Olivia means olive branch with the connotation of peacemaker.


Whenever I thought of a name for my tiny babe, verse 26 from Proverbs 31 would come to mind.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (ESV).

My blessing on little Rosalyn is for her to be a strong woman who is wise and kind. God has blessed her with such a sweet personality. Her joy and exuberance is a blessing to our family already.

*Spenser and Shakespeare are two of my favorite English authors.


Monday Meditation: Philippians 1:15-18

15 “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” Philippians 1:15-18

Paul in in prison and this is causing other Christians to become more bold about sharing the Gospel (yay!). Some Christian’s are trying to make his life easier while others are trying to make his life harder (not yay). Yet Paul’s response always blows me away, “…Whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” All he cares about is the Gospel and God’s glory not whether people follow him or love him. This really isn’t natural. What an evidence of the Spirit’s grace poured out in a sinner’s heart.

“Not unto me, but to your own name be glory.”

Happy Monday