Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I believe it.
Since I drowned my camera (accidentally of course!) I have to do without the picture and try to find some words.
I have been enjoying starting some seeds inside to get a head start in the garden. My girls (especially Damaris) are very into the whole process and very regularly they can be seen checking to see if anything more is up, or misting the tender little plants. Damaris even dreamt the other night that more of her seeds were up, and indeed by the following evening, there were more.
Watching all these things sprout has gotten me pondering the circle of life. George MacDonald says you should teach your children that they are a soul, and they have a body. When death happens, it happens to your body, not you.
Looking at what is left of a seed after it is buried and dies, observing how it comes to life, is quite something. I highly recommend it!
Especially big seeds, like pumpkin and squash, make it very obvious and remarkable! Here are a few of my observations... loud messages of hope and life in tiny packages.
As life pushes out of the seed, it erupts the soil around it, it is literally earth-moving, earth-shaking! The plant is being birthed. It is already putting out roots before it comes out of the soil, before anything shows. (Essential) Most of them come up with their "heads" bowed. The leaves are still pinched inside the husk, the shell, that once held the life. (Dormant) As life keeps pushing, insisting, the shell gives way even more and finally falls, it's purpose complete, back to the soil. Those two leaves that were pinched together begin to open, unfurl. They look like a prayer, a giving back, worship.
He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly! May Your life burst forth, no matter how it disrupts me! I want to submit to necesary death in order to know the wonder of abundant life! Break me, Lord, until I am wholly Yours! Then I will be who You created me to be.
Live loved!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Until I'm Wholly Yours

I just finished reading a book by Tamera Alexander titled "The Inheritance". The theme, or should I say "aim" of the story comes out real clear. The heart prayer of the author emerges...
"Break me, Lord, until I'm wholly yours."
It should be a request for ourselves, first of all. As God does this in us, we begin to experience such freedom that we didn't know existed. It is a very inward thing, barely explainable to anyone else, but very real. Soon we begin to ask it for those we love...
I love the word "until" in it...
God has no intent to harm us. He sorrows at our pain. He does not spare for our crying though, because He knows what is to be gained on the other side of it. He knows what we ourselves will know and say on the other side of it, what heights we will gain, what depths of love it will work in us.
I started thinking about it this morning, that God meets us right where we are, yet His dealings with us are on His terms, not ours.
We need to choose dependence on Him. We are not prone to "trusting". We have believed too many lies, gotten too far from "the garden".
Praise God, He is persistent in His love! He is TRUSTWORTHY! We were made in His image. We were made to be dependent! We are! We just choose to depend on the wrong things or people, most times.
Let's yield ourselves to our Maker, depend on Him for whatever we need! Trust Him to safely make us completely His! He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver, after all! He knows the silver is pure when He can see His reflection in it. A moment more, of heat, and the silver would be damaged. He sits, to watch and remove it from the fire at the exact moment! Be secure in His ability, and His plan for you. If you feel like damaged goods, let this truth sink into your heart...
He is your REDEEMER!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

He is Risen Indeed!

Years ago, as a single girl, I worked for some folks who had a sheep farm, during lambing season. My primary job was to get up numerous times at night and check to see if all was well, and if not, to deal with it. Wonderful experience and something I'll never regret! Learning the ways of sheep was an education in itself, but the relationship that developed with my employer was what took the cake! I'm so glad for her and the impact she had on my life! Thank you, Pauline!
I am not here to tell you about my job, but to relate something she told me that I never forget.
She is Greek and from a Greek Orthodox Church background, which I know almost nothing about. She told me how it is their custom, from the Resurrection till Ascencion Day, for 40 days, to greet one another with "Christ is risen!" instead of the usual "hello" etc. The answering greeting was, "He is risen indeed!" (I know how to say it in Greek, just not spell it!)
Somehow hearing that had a huge impact on me... I could imagine how with shock and surprise and excitement that greeting was given and received, and the conversations that sprung from there!
Most of all, I began to question myself...
Does my life say "Christ is risen!"

Pauline had a question I heard her voice numerous times in conversation about christianity.
"Who is their Jesus, anyway!?!"
I never want to stop asking myself these questions. They have motivated me time and again to let the real Jesus into my life and let Him deal with the real me!
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Homeschool - She and I!

Talk about feeling like we're leading a charmed life!!!!... Monday Abi decided to be potty trained!
Up to this point, she was just catching on how to let down and get some results, so she had managed to pee maybe four times. She had favorite hiding places where she hid out to do the other!
She's very good at figuring things out. She learned to walk pretty much on her own. She would stand up on her own in the middle of no-where and we wondered as her balance got better, if she would all of the sudden take steps and walk. That's pretty much what happened.
So now, at the end of a very busy week, with minimal attention from Mom, potty training being the farthest thing from my mind right now, she tells me she has to go and she goes. She's so careful she runs for it even when it's only air! :) No accidents yet. We shopped for "big girl panties" yesterday. She picked "Ariel" ones. She's so excited about the whole thing!
I think what helped a lot, without me realizing it, was a few weeks ago Chloe had checked a book out of the library that the girls got a big kick out of. It is a Sesame Street board book called "It's Potty Time". It talks about who will you tell when you have to go, washing your hands, etc. The punchline is on the last page there is a toilet with a little tab you pull down and the "yellow" disappears. The story ends with "Bye - bye, pee pee!"
She sometimes says, "It's potty time." when she needs to go. Yesterday we risked a trip to town, and when I was at the dairy on the way home, in the milkhouse filling gallons, Maris runs in and tells me Abi has to go. She even managed to go in the outdoors! I have some older ones who still don't like to have to do that. In fact the thought of it seems to scare it back up! Last night I left her in panties for the night and she did fine. I thought she would, because her diaper is usually dry in the morning.
I'll give a bit of a history of the last week and why this is a continued lesson to me, another evidence that I can depend on God to work in astonishing ways!
Last Tuesday evening my sister Paula and her husband Shane and 5 children (ages 16 down to 8) arrived in from Montana. They came with a big Uhaul. The Lord had provided a home to rent before they ever got here, which was a miracle. Four bedroom houses are just not often available, in the country and in a 5-6 mile radius from all the family, no less! We've never before even lived in the same state, since marriage! Paula arrived sick with a bad cold, obviously run down from hard work, little sleep, and driving in hazardous conditions across country. They had snow the whole way, once even an interstate highway being shut down and they had to wait it out in a hotel! (God does know also when we need to quit pushing and stop and sleep!) All told, somehow the trip ended up costing less than they expected!
When they got in Tuesday evening, Monica and Mom led them right to their house so they could unload and plug in the freezer. Then everyone came here for supper and a noisy family evening together. I wish I had some picture but as usual at times like these, I'm busy enjoying and the camera is forgotten!
The next day the guys got the Uhaul unloaded, we showed Paula the place Harv's are building. (Soon I'll post some pics of that...) and we spent a lot of time catching up.
Thursday morning LaCaysha watched the children except Abi while Paula and I did a shopping run. Late afternoon our friend Charity (Kenyan) came from Columbus with her two children, Victor (13) and Mukami (11), and friends Justus (18) and Casey (10). Charity had been wanting to come over spring break and this is when it worked out. We could have said it would be too many, too much, but she's been wanting to come and had some incredible stuff that God is working in her that she was making me wait to hear, until she could come and visit in person! (I'm gonna see if she'll mind if I share a bit of it on here, it's such a faith builder and an encouragement to really die to ourselves! Ouchy but great! Charity, call me and give me a yea or nay!) Anyways, it seemed like the timing was right, as long as I don't do the freak-out about where is everyone going to sleep, what to cook etc.
Right away when Charity called, she offered to cook African food for all of us Thursday eve. (See!) We love it, especially her chipati's which we literally hadn't had in years! Abe was drooling. She got here a bit late because of a job interview and we went right to work, chopping etc. Justus loves to cook and is planning to go to a cooking school this summer, so he was the biggest help. Harv's and Mom came for the supper too and it was all a great hit! Of course Monica made a trifle that is nothing to trifle with. Laced with our home/heart food, huckleberries. (I feel like I almost type "huckleberries" with reverence.)
Through all this Paula was trying to get a bit rested up, Abi had her ears bothering her again and a fever. We kept begging Shane's to just rest a few days and move in at their leisure. So Friday morning Mom and Monica came over so us ladies could visit. Yum! Meanwhile the kids all were outside, going for it, even on the rainy days. The Montana kids and the Columbus kids broke the ice and had a blast!
At least for two nights there were 18 souls asleep under our roof! The girls were all in the loft, the boys on the living room floor and couch, Shane's had Damaris' room, Charity had Dassie and Chloe's, and we were in ours. We still had a couch available in the family room and a top bunk empty in Dassie's.
All the while building this house, I have felt like this house was more house than we needed. It's accommodating and spacious feeling and lovelier than I needed, by far. I have this desire that, as it is God's, that He would use it for way more than just us. We just have the pleasure of being here full time! This last week, in some way felt like a test run, with God at the helm. The meals just decided themselves so simply, one day at a time. And hey, my niece and nephews are an incredible work force! These floors have never stayed so swept before. There were willing dishwashers, and the boys response to burning trash was "oh, cool!", coming from living where they couldn't burn trash.
Charity left Saturday afternoon. Saturday evening all the family was again here for a big bonfire and hot dog roast, and back again for Sunday dinner of ham, potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, salad, buns and desert. Everyone helped with the food.
Monday Shane's were going to knuckle down and unpack, but so much time was lost waiting on phone calls and faxes to get electric in their name etc., that we talked them into staying one more night. Monica had them over to their place for supper. They came back late enough that all our girls but Damaris were asleep and tucked into their own beds, to their dismay come morning! Damaris and Savanna have become almost joined at the hip! She kept peering out the window, watching and waiting!
Yesterday they left and headed to their house and we went to town in the afternoon. We are winding back down to our own family size again. We had the fun of running over in the evening with some groceries and chocolate and wine as a little "welcome". It is actually starting to sink in for me that they are going to live about 6 miles away instead of over 2,000! I have to say I felt a little emotional last evening!
To sum it all up, for Abi it's bye-bye diapers and hello panties, and for me it is a continuation of bye-bye to being "hostess", striving to be organized, etc., hello to depending on God and following His leading. If you do what He tells you, He'll tell you what to do!

P.S. If God leads you to Ohio for whatever reason, and you need a rest, or a place to lay your heads en route, etc. please know you are welcome!

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Leading a Charmed Life?

This last week, this thought landed in my mind and has been going round and round...and I've been savoring it! It feels like we are leading a charmed life!
By that I mean:
So many little things have been happening, both good and bad, that somehow work out in a simple way. It started me looking back over our life and recognizing the pattern... we are being kept in His love, changed into His image from glory to glory!
I think I am beginning to understand what Paul said about "learning to be abased and to abound". I'm thinking that when we actually get it that "all things work together for good to them that love the Lord", in our heart as well as in our head, that's where the "charmed" feeling comes in. Nothing can touch us, but what He allows and knows will work a deeper good in us, also a further opening of our eyes to seeing Him in all His beauty!
And oh how beautiful You are! Great in mercy, rich in love, our Strong Tower that defends us, even from ourselves!
"Amazing Love, how can it be? That You my King would die for me! Amazing Love, I know it's true! It's my joy to honor You, in all I do!"