Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Little of This and That...

The other day, I was getting out a cookbook and in that moment, I realized something. The cupboard where my cookbooks are kept is right above the countertop where I usually lay it open. It's to the left of my stove and no bigger than my cookbook, laid open. It is handy, about one step from where I mix things up, but out of the way of splatters, etc. It just "sunk in" how nice that is, and how much I like it. It never occurred to me before.
Next thing I knew, I was wondering how many other simple things there are, like that, that I enjoy without stopping to really savor. Daily, ordinary things, that due to their regularity, I do without thinking... So...I started thinking it over.
I love the smell when I roast corn and grind it. Especially this time of year when it's fresh from the earth...

I love the feel of my teeth, freshly brushed or after you've just eaten an apple...
Of course, clean crisp sheets are delicious to a tired body at the end of a full day!
A hot shower (especially in our huge walk-in-shower)...
I love evening lighting...

I love to eavesdrop on my girls... usually entertaining and sometimes quite informative! :)
Watching my girls savor... (def.: to give oneself to the enjoyment of; to savor the best in life)
Children do a lot of savoring!

There are lots of "littles" that come to mind, and once you are aware, it's like your whole day is stitched together with pleasure...
"We have this moment, to hold in our hands, and to touch, as it slips thru' our fingers like sand..."
Or like water under a bridge.
I want to at least savor the feel, scent and look of it all! No day is ever exactly the same.

I'm so glad of what is sure...
His mercies are new every morning!
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Harvest Time!

The corn is finally ready to harvest, if a bit on the damp side yet.The girls like to have a turn at riding in the combine...

...but the real fun is playing in the corn!!!

When I was a kid, my Dad raised wheat and we played in truckloads of wheat. Did you know if you chew a handful of wheat, it makes wheat gum? Anyway, these girls of ours think this is great fun! I'm so glad they get to do it... it's the closest thing to my memories of playing in wheat..

Interesting fact that I didn't learn till this year:
You know the corn silk on an ear of corn? Each silk is like an umbilical cord for a kernel of corn. If "a" silk does not get pollinated it does not make a kernel. That's why sometimes there are what looks to me like "missing teeth" (kernels) on some ears of corn! Isn't that amazing! It's hard to believe all the perfect ears when you think of it that way... (the pollen comes from the tassels on top). I am in awe!
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Stirred Thoughts...

Getting on Facebook and finding old friends and aquaintances has got me thinking. I wonder how we would feel to get together, would it be awkward. On Facebook you can keep your distance pretty easily. Do we really have much in common... or have we become different enough that we really would have no interest in renewing acquaintance. If we lived next door, or even in the same area, would we be "close"? Sometimes distance helps us preserve a lie. We can hope or pretend we have the same goals, and share a closeness that is based primarily on history. What if that "history" was less than we wish it was?
Being real honest, I guess the feeling that rises in my heart is, "Would I fit in?"
Since that is a question I don’t really have an answer for, my line of thought headed in a different direction...
Where did Jesus fit in?
The "church " of his day plotted to destroy him. He ate and drank with "sinners". Was he careful of the company he kept? He was too liberal for the "conservatives", surely! They wondered why he did "what is not lawful"... He shamed them with his purity, but gave them lots to find fault with.
But He was also too conservative for the "liberals"! He asked for more than the law did! Second mile... love your enemies... your cloak also...etc.
He was discredited by his own people, those who should have known him best. They said he was "out of his mind". Educated folk thought he was possessed.
Those who affirmed him did not rank very high. Crude fishermen, yes, lepers, thieves, and even those who were responsible to carry out his death said, "Truly this Man was the Son of God!"
Where did He fit in?...
But even more crucial... today... where does He fit in?
That’s the question I want to concern myself with.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Prism Living

prism (priz’em) n.1. Optics. a transparent solid body, often having triangular bases, used for dispersing light into a spectrum or for reflecting rays of light. Etc.
Th dictionary definition of prism is prosaic, at best. It does not in any way capture the simple delight of vivid rainbows landing on you, or spinning wildly around the room.
I have one hanging in my kitchen window. It has been working it’s magic on me...
I have loved prisms ever since I first knew what they were. Some years ago on my birthday, my sister-in-law gave me a couple. (Thanks again, Mandy!) I’ve had them hanging in the windows ever since, and have been learning some things from them.
Prisms need direct sun shining on them for their true beauty to be seen. They don’t look any different, one way or the other, but the difference in effect is startling! It takes strong sun shining through them to reveal their true purpose.
They are truly "receivers", and "achieve" absolutely nothing. They are "being", not "doing". The more facets they have cut on them, the bigger and more glorious the rainbows that come from them. They do not strive for attention, quietly unassuming, they simply transmit the sun to us in colored form. They have no color of their own...
God, make me like a prism.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall is in the air!

It seems that summer is over... fall is here. I can smell it! Today the house is smelling like concord grape juice, a distinct smell, spicy, all it's own, hardly to be described. A friend has a vineyard and last night Abe and the girls brought home a bushel. I have 10 quarts of pure juice cooling on the counter. I was doing pears before that... Somewhere between peaches and pears, summer leaves and fall arrives. Abe said today that he is hungry for chili, a decidedly fall/winter food in my books!
Another tell tale sign is I am finding acorns around the house. No, we don't have a squirrel problem, it's just we have these "squirrely" girls! This summer it was rocks and "fossils". There is one, or a pile, somewhere in almost every room in the house! Now it's acorns... but I love them. The only place we used to find them when I was a kid was in the yard at Grandpa Amoth's house. I pick them up too, but it seems the squirrels are no dummies! They beat you to the nice fat ones!
Abe is in a lull on the farming scene right now... hay is finally D.O.N.E. for the year! Corn harvest is coming... in the meantime this week he is working on putting stones on the house. We are on the "home" stretch now!
We had one short-lived round of minor colds recently, which got me thinking about how to boost the immune systems for the coming season. We do not want a repeat of last year! One thing led to another and I am on the trail of making my own elderberry extract/syrup. Anyone have any suggestions?
I am looking forward to the lazier days of winter. Long evenings... No weeding, picking, snapping, boiling, stirring, cutting, etc. More reading, writing, drinking chai, possibly sewing, etc. Aren't you glad life has it's seasons?! I am. And they rotate frequently enough that you can always look forward to the next one. So much more variety that way! I can't imagine eternal spring, for example. No fall colors would be a deprivation!
The girls had a song playing last night that says, "God is all around us, and He knows best." I have to agree! ( They had a bit of a problem, one loves to go to sleep listening to music, and one loves the quiet. We worked it out that it is quiet one night and music the next. I like that they love music, but I like them to also not be afraid of silence. To many of us run away from things by being always busy or noisy.)
I think I'd better get off here... I will close with this quote I am enjoying recently by a sometimes profound "bear", Winnie the Pooh!
"Never underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and NOT BOTHERING. (Emphasis mine.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

His house - whose house we are...

Too eager I must not be to understand.
How should the work the Master goes about
Fit the vague sketch my compasses have planned?
I am His house - for Him to go in and out.
He builds me now - and if I cannot see
At any time what He is doing with me,
"Tis that He makes the house for me too grand.

The house is not for me - it is for Him.
His royal thoughts require many a stair,
Many a tower, many an outlook fair,
Of which I have no thought, and need no care.
Where I am most perplexed, it may be there
Thou mak'st a secret chamber, holy-dim,
Where Thou wilt come to help my deepest prayer.
-"Diary of an Old Soul" by George MacDonald

Summer is always a time of busy-ness. This one has been no different. It has been full, and rewarding. It seems God is equally busy... I feel like it has been a seasons of steady "building". Somehow, I have not had the words, or the direction to share them, on this blog. Maybe because, I am not important, or unique. God is building each of us, growing us each night and day, we know not how.
I am looking forward to this winter, when we can enjoy the fruit of our labors. I have a notion that God might feel the same way. He looks forward to enjoying the fruit of His work in us.

"O Christ , my life, possess me utterly.
Take me and make a little Christ of me.
If I am anything but my Father's son,
'Tis something not yet from the darkness won.
Oh, give me light to live with open eyes.
Oh, give me life to hope above all skies.
Give me thy spirit to haunt the Father with my cries."
-George MacDonald

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You've Won My Heart!

At the foot of the cross where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love through the judgement You received
And You’ve won my heart, yes, You’ve won my heart!
Now I can trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down.
This is not the first time I have quoted this song, and it probably won’t be the last time either. The line that is on my heart since yesterday is: "You’ve won my heart..."
I got thinking about it... Is my day to day walk, my experience, my life, going in such a way that my heart is being won more and more to my Savior? Is He "sweeter and sweeter as the days go by"? Is this journey that I’m on leading me closer to Him? Do I stand increasingly more in awe of Him?
If this is not so, then I think we are not actually growing up in the measure of the stature of the fullness of God. We may grow in knowledge of and about Him, also grow in virtue, without growing in Him. Are we feeding on "life" and experiencing it more abundantly? Are we struggling to discipline ourselves to hunger for what we know we should be hungering for? Has He won our heart?
The fact of the matter is, HE IS BEAUTIFUL! If we aren’t seeing it in ever increasing measure, then something is hindering our sight. Do we have eyes to see? Ears to hear? Are we coming to God with a contract we’d like Him to agree to, and sign? Or are we coming to Him with a blank sheet with our name signed at the bottom, BEFORE we ever know what He will fill in the page with?
Let your heart be won by the One who loves with everlasting, unfailing , unconditional love. Let Him steal away your cares as you learn to trust and rest in Him. Responsibility does not rest heavily on a dead persons shoulders. Let your government be upon His shoulders in ALL aspects of your life. Dare to believe He will lead you where He wants you to go and never forsake you in the meantime.
Someone once said (actually more than once) that we have as much of God as we want. At first thought, that pricks. Then as we let it judge us, and acknowledge the truth of it, it becomes a catalyst that spurs us on to dying, so that He can live more freely in us. Mrs. Charles Cowman said, "We get no deeper into Christ than we allow Him to get into us."
We love Him because He first loved us! He is already keeping His end of the relationship. His name has already been’s my turn to give my life away!
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

A New Neighbor

Last Sunday evening when we were strolling down the lane looking for (picking and eating!) wild black raspberries, all at once there arose such a clamor! "There's a nest!" The kids were about beside themselves. It's not even waist high from the ground. Not noticable except to the observant eye, it is in the brush on the bank right behind our mailbox.

About as big as my fist, it is amazing! We have been checking it regularly, ever since. Today was breezy and it swung and swayed. What a lovely cradle to grow up in!

Mostly crafted with grasses and plant fibers, you can tell a spider contributed (or should I say "gave up") it's handiwork.
There are three eggs, white with sparse brown speckles...

According to my bird book, it's a White Eyed Vireo. I have yet to learn whether this is the female or male, in residence. It seems to always be this one. Supposedly very shy, it lets us get up real close as long as we move slowly and quietly. We have no idea when the eggs were laid, or how long they set, so the due date will be a surprise!

Seeing this nest made me think of the Rich Mullins song that says something like this...
"Birds have nests, foxes have dens.
But the hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man..."
We hope to be able to keep catching pictures as this little family grows!
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Blessed Be Your Name

For a while now I have been listening to and singing this song, over and over. I've been wanting to post it, and suddenly realized I should post it today...

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your Name.

Blessed be Your Name
When I'm found in the desert place
Tho' I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your Name

Every blessing You pour out I'll
Turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in, Lord,
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be Your glorious name.

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me,
When the world's all as it should be,
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
When there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out I'll
Turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord,
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blessed be Your glorious name.
You give and take away.
You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say,
Lord, blessed be Your name.
Carolie, you are not forgotten. You are missed. You are loved and longed for. Blessed be the name of the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits. You enrich our lives, from a distance. The only way to be near you, is to be near our Father's heart. One day, we will share His lap.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

New Tradition

For a long time, my brother Dalen kept saying he wants to do "an Isaac breakfast"... cook a bunch of the family favorites that we grew up with for a big breakfast smorgasboard. Well, he finally decided to do it on Father's Day! There were huckleberry pancakes with homemade syrup...

Liver and onions...

Pan fried brook trout caught in the clear streams of North Idaho...

Venison smokies...

There was also braunsweiger (liver sausage, we call it) for with the pancakes, orange juice and grape juice.

It was wonderful! (Especially since all I had to bring was home canned grape juice! I did flip a few pancakes too. :)
Last, but definitely not least, as a Father's Day surprise for the guys, my sister Monica made her much-sought-after eclairs. One for each of us, two each for the "dads".

Needless to say, we decided we need to make this a tradition!
(Hungry, anyone?!)
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Stone Laying Resumed

A week and a half ago, we got going on laying more stone on the house. Abe intended to work on it himself, along with Joe, but the corn needed cultivated and that can't wait! Now it's second cutting hay that needs cut and baled, so it may be another week or so before he gets his hands in the mud. Joe has steadily been working away on it... It is quite a process.

I have been "rock hunting". I feel like I've been thru the "bushes and the brambles" but not "where the rabbits wouldn't go"! Yesterday the girls and I were down in the creek, which they heartily approved of, beings it was HOT!
Before we started putting stones on the house, rocks were rocks. But I have learned to appreciate them a lot more! They are like snowflakes! "What!" you ask? Yes, they remind me of snowflakes, there are no two alike! Some are so pretty and some are nondescript, but they serve to showcase the pretty ones even more.

Somehow, handling these stones keeps working a deeper appreciation for God, in me. What a Creator, Designer, Builder He is!

Years ago in Idaho, I admired a small house sided with stone. I always thought of it as a "stone cottage". I loved it, it seemed like such an enduring shelter. I never dreamt...

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Even those unconscious, un-named desires...
Like a never-ending romance, I find God more delightful all the time.
It seems too, He takes delight in our delight.
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The other evening I noticed this tree...

I was struck by the way it has been ravished... the elements have taken their toll. At some point, it has been wounded to the core.
It's heartwood has been exposed.

But it is still a thing of beauty... a testimony to endurance.

With it's scars very evident, it still lives and glorifies.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree..."
Jeremiah 17:5-8
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to You!

Dear Dad,
I hardly know how to put into words what I would like to say... words hardly do justice to the enormity of thought and feeling sometimes. I just want you to know, your legacy lives on! I have never known anyone that demonstrated more deeply and closely the heart of Christ, to me. I keep discovering more truths that I was introduced to by you, they ministered to me then, but it was only a shadow of the reality you were experiencing and walking in. I now know some of why you wept, I weep too. You saw Him in His glory.
Thank you, Dad, for every valley you walked thru with patience. You pioneered paths for us to follow. They led me out of the mainstream, but then that's where God keeps meeting me and coming near. Thank you for never settling for second best, for insisting that the only tree we should be eating from is the Tree of Life!
Thank you for little things like York mint patties. God still sees to them for me, in ways more wondrous than I can hardly grasp.
Because of you, I have a richer view of who my heavenly Father is. Sometimes as I catch on to a new (to me) facet of who God is and how He works, I then see... "Why, He's just like Dad!" but I know it's actually the other way around... you just followed in His footsteps and loved us like He does. I'm forever grateful, to you, Dad, and to You, Abba!
Happy Father's Day to both of you!
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Whatever You're Doing (Something Heavenly)

Now that I have caught up on posting pictures and everyday happenings, I have yet to address all the goings on in my mind and heart the last couple weeks. There are key thoughts that I have gleaned here and there that are going round and round... There are a number of songs that I have been listening to over and over. I'll start with one of them. I'd like to dedicate this to all of you who seek for something more, some thing or some one to make all of your life worth while, your trials worth enduring...
"Whatever You're Doing" by Sanctus Real
"It's time for healing - time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone - Time to begin again
Re-evaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything - I
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time to face up - Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life - something heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but now I can see
This something, bigger than me
Larger than life - something heavenly"

I read something about freedom and independence that got me thinking about how they are not the same thing.
Gleaned from "The Crown of Eden" by Thomas Williams...
"Freedom is precious indeed, and every person is right to desire it. We desire independence because our pride resists authority."
In a nutshell, what I am learning to be true in my experience is that there is great freedom in dependence! Think of this baby here... totally dependent, by taking thought she cannot add one ounce or inch to her size! She is free of care... just like we can be if and when we choose utter dependence in our Father who created us, who clothes the daisies (lilies) and feeds the birds. He will "ripen" each of our lives into what He created us to be, as we surrender... whatever He's doing inside of us!

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Hadassah's Projects

Hadassah loves to draw and make things. She's been in a real streak lately... She comes to me and requests things like - fluff, empty toilet paper rolls, etc. I am learning to provide her with the requested items and sit back and watch! (Feel free to click on any of these pictures to see them larger so you can see the detail she puts into them.) These are all things she decides to do on her own. I have craft books - they just sit on the shelf. In this household - who needs them?! This first picture she calls"
"The Hundred Acre Wood"

This one is pretty self explanatory... by the way, she calls the person on the bottom left, generally known as the "cashier" the "payer". :) When asked where she learned how to draw this, she said she saw how to draw the shopping carts in a "Clifford" book.

This one is : "The Jungle"

This one is a finger puppet. We go through lots of tape around here!

Well, I have posted a lot of things I was meaning to get around to the last few weeks. While waiting for things to load, etc. I did actually put a Peach Cheesecake together. It is cooling in the fridge...
I have a lot of stuff here by Hadassah, but she is just one of the four who keep me entertained. Earlier, Chloe and Hadassah were saying they have headaches. I was a bit dubious about Chloe having one, she likes Tylenol. She insisted she has a headache. She said, "I feel it in my mind." :) She says interesting things.
This spring once she said to me: "I can't wait to get grown up."
Me: "Why, what will you do?"
Chloe: "Wash dishes, clean the floor, cook the stuff. I would still play with stuff. Drive too."
Then as an afterthought... "I would also like to water the plants."
How's that for the dreams of a certain 4 year old!
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