Tuesday, January 27, 2009
There is nothing sweeter to me than to hear the honest confession of my child as he petitions the Lord who does all things well.
There is nothing sweeter to me than to hold his hand while he lifts me or my husband to the throne room of God.
There is nothing sweeter...
The Lord, does not slumber not does He sleep. He has seen our affliction and He is binding up our wounds.
Well, the leap of faith has officially begun this week. My husband has made the decision that we will be living at the farm and just traveling in to town for spending time with extended family and for church events.
This may sound strange to some of you.
Of course you would live at home and just go into town for certain events, but we have been living an unusual life for quite some time now.
I shared my Town Mouse, Country Mouse post a while back but to sum it up we have been dividing our weeks in half between our house in town and our house in the country. Needless to say, it has been quite stressful, but still good.
In the last month or so, however, it has been increasingly difficult to manage. It truly is like a small move or a short vacation every week.
In short, we can't keep up this pace any longer.
This, by the way, is what we look like each week. :)
The organization that it takes has nearly thrown me into a panic and we are literally losing things are a weekly basis. I have just kept saying to myself that if I could just find the right notebook, organizational tool, chart, gadget, calendar, etc. that everything would be fine. Hahahahahahahaha! (Yes, that is hysterical laughter!)
And, of course, I want to be a submissive gentle wife who follows her husband's lead.
He has a plan to prosper us, not to harm us, a plan to give us a hope and a future!
My husband has been seeing this coming for quite some time, but finally brought the whole things to a head a week or so ago.
Least you think that we have lost our minds completely I want to share that we have already seen this decision confirmed through friends and family almost before we shared our thoughts and ideas.
I am truly thankful for what is happening, but I would ask continued prayer as we sort belongings, add small bits of storage space here, (The house in the country is 1200 sq ft. It really wasn't initially designed for permanent living out here. You'd have to see it to understand.), and for the Lord to show me how to organize better my time to be able to serve Him in this new lifestyle.
Also, please pray for the use of the cabin which we call Restoration House. We are beginning to have people call to use it on a ministry basis (for couples to get away, for prayer retreats, etc.). We want to be used by the Lord in this capacity and we want to be generous with what we have been given.
Thank you for your prayers for us! I love you dearly!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
They are also giving away of wonderful doorprizes!
Check them out come Monday and see what wonderful things the Lord is doing among His people. I am encouraged. I think that you will be also!
I have a button on the side of my blog that will get you to the site.
I found this story on the web and no credit was given to anyone. If I need to give credit to someone and you know who it might be, let me know and I will edit this post. I was so moved by this that I just had to share it with you...
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, "Hi." He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.
I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.
"Hi there baby, hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster," the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks, "What do we do?"
Erik continued to laugh and answer, "Hi."
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.
Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, "Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo."
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. We finally got through the meal and headed for the door.
My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. "Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik," I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's "pick-me-up" position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man's.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, "You take care of this baby."
Somehow I managed, "I will," from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, "God bless you, ma'am, youve given me my Christmas gift." I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.
With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, "My God, my God, forgive me."
I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not.
I felt it was God asking, "Are you willing to share your son for a moment?" When He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, "To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children."
Friday, January 23, 2009
Ding, ding, ding! Attention everyone!
As I was looking for a way to better organize my Bible Quiet Time I found a new freebie of the day!
Are you forever looking for forms to keep you organized in your Bible time and in your home organization?
Check out Overflow Living!
They have quite a few forms that are completely free.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I am not well, but I am not worse!!! Yeah, Lord!
John (my eldest) had hernia surgery today and came through just fine! He is in minimal pain and wanted to get back to his college homework when he got home. That is sooooo John!
Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone who has been praying for me. The prayers have certainly been felt. I could not have made it through today without them.
Blessings to you all,
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I don't like to be sick!
I had plans for today that I didn't get to!
Can you tell I'm not happy about it!
But, I am happy about the way my children handled it!
They took care of me today. And they took care of their little sister, Lydia, as well.
They did an awesome job!
I am so thankful for my boys today. The Lord has really blessed me and my sweet husband. Maybe I am glad that illness came my way today. The Lord has used it to show me how much He loves me--through my children!"Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate."
Please pray for me...
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I John 2 9-11
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
The word is very clear and very convicting today.
If you don't love your brother, even if you say that you are walking in the light, you are truly walking in darkness.
I was reading an article of a very good friend the other day and she commented on how her unconfessed sin hinders her prayer life. She began to also suggest that if her prayer life is hindered then her prayers for the lost, the sick, the hurting, her family, etc. are not being answered. She wondered if she was hindering others' salvation, health, healing, etc. by keeping unconfessed sin.
Even as a child, I had learned that God hears me when I pray. But what about when I cherish sin in my heart? What about when I lock the rear door and close out the Father from the deepest recesses of my heart? Will He listen to a heart that is already too full of sinful secrets to sincerely cry out to Him? What was this doing to my relationship with Him?
And how would this affect my intercession? Would my family, church, friends, the lost, missionaries -- and all the others I was praying for actually be hindered in their ministry and possible salvation because of MY SIN?This sounded serious.
Loving our brother is, I believe, pivotal in our continued relationship with the Lord.
It isn't an option.
I can't just decide that I love these people in the body and not those.
If I do, then I have certainly been blinded by the Enemy and I have lost my effectiveness in my daily witness and in my prayer life.
I have a couple of tips to share.
First, I have a dear friend that absolutely refuses to buy anything that is not in her set budget amount. When she goes shopping if the item is more than $10 she will not buy it! She says that their budget will not allow for it and so she prays about the things they need and waits for the Lord to provide the item for $10 or less! I find that wonderful. The Lord even provided her with cashmere sweaters one year for $7 dollars each!
Also, if your children have outgrown their toy boxes don't get rid of them. Use them for extra storage of long term food items. It's like having an extra pantry or emergency stash.
Of course one of the best courses of action when desiring to cut back is to simply stay out of the store! That said, when I do go, bringing just the cash needed for the trip keeps me from spending more. When the cash envelope is empty, that the end!
When my children were little a friend of mine and I would switch off watching the children and the other one would do the shopping. Of course, we both were more careful of our spending when shopping for someone else and the children were not along to be tempted with all the goodies their eyes could see!
I keep a year's supply of paper goods now so that I can wait for a genuine sale. Then I can simply restock. I have gone to using very inexpensive bar rags or cheap washcloths for our paper towels. I have a large supply so that I don't run out between washings. It has already saved quite a bit. I put out paper towels when company comes if I feel that the towels would make them feel uncomfortable.
I also love to use cloth napkins and I feel very feminine and close to my grandmother when I use a handkerchief instead of tissues. My little four year old daughter always asks for a "hankie"! lol They also make lovely little gifts to add to a thank you note or a "just because I'm thinking of you" card.
My favorite saving idea right now I call Once in a Lifetime Soup. Simply put, I use whatever leftovers I have to create a brand new soup that I call Once in a Lifetime Soup. Of course, it is just leftovers with broth and seasoning added, but it always feels like a treat when I call it that. My family enjoys it so much that often when we have a dish now they will ask if they can have it again or is this just "once in a lifetime". By experimenting with the spices in the drawer it has also shown me some unusual things that my family really enjoys! There always seem to be enough leftovers to make a big pot and sometimes that lasts for two meals! Its like dining for free!
All that said, I'd like to share a quote from Jill Cooper, author of Penny Pinchin' Mama.
I grabbed the phone and answered it. It was my daughter chuckling on the other end. “We got another one,” she said, “Another laundry detergent e-mail.” For years now we have one reoccurring question. How can I save on my laundry detergent?So, frugality, as does everything, still comes down to a heart issue. Of course, with the economic crisis that we are facing, the price of laundry detergent matters, but am I being a "good steward" of all that the Lord has provided for me. Am I content with what I have or am a really looking for a bargain so that I don't have to feel the guilt of shopping for things that are not necessary.
This may seem like an innocent enough question, but when we find out the writer’s story, laundry detergent is almost never really relevant to the problem. What we’ve found is that a person who asks about laundry detergent is usually on the brink of bankruptcy, divorce, or losing a job. It’s like some kind of code word or distress signal for “Help Me -- I’m drowning in debt”.
I have tried to understand why in a financial crisis so many people want to learn how to save money on laundry detergent when there are so many more obvious ways they could be saving. Here is what I have finally concluded:
First, by focusing on a trivial issue they don't have to look at the real, more serious problem. It's like putting a Band-Aid on a scratch on your finger while you are bleeding profusely from an artery on your leg. They don't want to acknowledge the real spending problem because then they would have to deal with it.If you are in this situation and you want to be free of it, YOU HAVE TO ADMIT THERE IS A PROBLEM. You are spending more money then you make. It is important to realize that spending impulsively beyond your means is almost as bad as doing drugs. You get instant gratification and pleasure but over the long haul, it will destroy you.
Second, saving on laundry detergent gets rid of that nagging guilt for a little while. As long as they keep trying to save pennies on unimportant things, they don't have to feel guilty about spending thousands on the fun things. The problem is that if they are spending beyond their means, it will catch up with them eventually, which will make the stress and damage all the worse.
Pray for me as I pray for you!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
As I was reading my verses for today, I was struck with the goodness of God, again.
I John 1:9 says,
My little girl Lydia once rubbed peanut butter in her hair. Sensing the tone of my great displeasure in this little childish act she immediately began to beg forgiveness.
Of course, my aggravation was replaced with sympathy and compassion. She is a child. She hadn't realized the consequences of her actions. Even if she had, it didn't matter. She found herself in a mess that she simply couldn't fix herself.
"He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins..."
Obviously, the next step had to be to remove the peanut butter from her lovely dark hair.
Not just a little of it, not most of it, but all traces of the sticky, greasy mess.
I had to wash and dry her hair...and her tears. Her hair needed to be cleaned, but our relationship needed to be restored. For now, only I could do these things.
"and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
I oftentimes find myself in a mess I simply can't fix. Do you?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
My husband and I used to love to go to his Aunt Helen and Uncle Eric’s house. Aunt Helen was always cooking something wonderful and we would go to a little fish place to get smoked fish to eat with special crackers.
Anyway, they had a wonderful, huge dining table with comfortable chairs to sit in. Long after the meal was over, we would continue to talk into the night about whatever happened to be on our minds at the time.
My Aunt Sissie and Uncle Webster had very much the same thing and every summer we would take the boys to visit and reminisce.
My husband and I soon decided that we would have a huge dining table with comfortable chairs if we didn’t have another stick of furniture in the house.
Well, the table eventually became a reality! It wasn’t cheap, but it has been worth every penny we spent on it.
We have shared many happy, laughing, crying, comforting hours at that table with our children and friends and hope to have many more!
Don't miss your chance! Sit around the table for a while!
I was looking at the fact that "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" and cross-referenced to I Timothy 6:15-16.
"...King of king and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen."
This word light in I Tim. is the same Greek word for light in I John.
We are told to "walk in the light as He Himself is in the light" and then we will have fellowship with one another.
For me, the hope I find is that because we have been told to do this, we CAN do this very thing.
To walk in the light is to walk in truth. To capture the "little foxes that spoil the vine". To uncover and share with one another those "seeds of doubt" that the enemy loves to whisper in our ears to cause us to question God's love and the love we have with the brethren.
We have all heard so many sermons on "walking in the light", and it is a deep well to search out, but it is also simply put by John.
If I get up in the middle of the night and don't turn on the light, chances are I may stumble into something. When I turn on even a tiny nightlight, suddenly I am safe from falling or hurting myself.
And if I "walk in the light as He Himself is in the light" I won't stumble around and hurt anyone else!
Have a beautiful day!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I hope it speaks to you as well.
-- 2 Peter 3:18
Let faith increase in fulness, constancy, simplicity.
practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed.
As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward -having
nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with
our Lord and Saviour." He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus,
refuses to be blessed. To know him is "life eternal," and to advance in
the knowledge of him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long
to know more of Christ, knows nothing of him yet.
it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted.
water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of his love. If
you do not desire to know him better, then you love him not, for love
always cries, "Nearer, nearer." Absence from Christ is hell; but the
presence of Jesus is heaven.
increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of him in his
divine nature, in his human relationship, in his finished work, in his
death, in his resurrection, in his present glorious intercession, and
in his future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross, and search the
mystery of his wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect
apprehension of his love to us is one of the best tests of growth in
Friday, January 2, 2009
Check out this quote from D.A. Carson. I found it this morning at Simply Vintage Girl.
Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate towards godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, or delight in the Lord.
We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance;
Toward disobedience and we call it freedom;
Toward superstition and call it faith.
We cherish the non-discipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation;
We slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism;
We slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”
- D. A. Carson
I am absolutely fabulous at making new resolutions!
I make one almost every day!
Yes, I can make them, but I can't seem to keep them. They sound so wonderful at the time, but like cotton candy, they melt quickly away.
But this year, I feel a "call" to something I already do, but not nearly enough.
Mother's prayers. Prayers for friends. The Lost. The Dying. The Poor and the Rich.
Just peruse what Spurgeon has to say in this devotional on prayer:
Come to the mercy seat of God with me this year. Let's see what the Lord will do when we resolve to seek Him each and every day!
I'm getting excited just thinking about it.
Prayer for me as I pray for you!
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.