Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who Knew?

We have been hard at work on some projects out doors.
We've made raised bed gardens, and planted them (mostly)
I also planted some flowers... Sunflowers, California poppies, Chinese Forget-me-nots and Butterfly weed :)
So I have been out working quite often. (I have the peeling shoulders to prove it too!)

It was Monday while I was mowing some of our 5 acres of weeds that I realized it was probably one of the real quiet times I get! Who knew! Loud as it is, with my ear plugs in even, it is actually a nice time to be stilled within and be quiet. It takes little brain power, so my mind is free to reflect and ponder, and pray.

During this time of reflecting I started considering what the neighbors think of me (little housewife) out there doing quite a bit of manual labor.
First I wondered if they thought I was admirable for taking on anything and everything that needs doing... then I started feeling concerned that they may look down on my hubby because he was not the one out there doing it. That's about when the thought hit me that it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks! Several minutes later I had to revisit the thought of it not mattering, and to be really honest... it happened several times, so I had to tell myself "I distinctly remember being done with that thought!"
Then today it tried to creep back in as I mowed even more yard (and had to fill the gas tank to boot!) but it was squelched faster this time. ;)

On the garden front, we have a few plants that we bought as seedlings that are having a hard time with the strong wind, and we have lost some :( BUT we have started several from seed that are really exciting to watch pop out of the ground! Today I found pumpkin plants growing!!! much to Aliyah's excitement; carrots growing, cilantro and garlic sprouting up more, and a mixed lettuces patch has it's first seedlings sprouting! I can't believe how exciting this has been for all of us! I am hoping that the feelings last so that we keep taking good care of our project!

Thinking of sprouting... proof that I can mess up just about any science project ;) is sitting in my window sill. We have several jars of seeds that have different conditions so that we can see what is needed for growth. So one jar has no water, one is in the cold, one in the dark, one is our control so it has all it is supposed to need, and the last one should have no oxygen. It has a lid, and the steel wool we put in is supposed to have a reaction that removes the oxygen.
Well, can you guess which jar is actually growing well?
The one that has a lid! It may even leaf soon! I can't believe it is the only one doing well! Now I'm not sure what we do with it. The control isn't growing, and one that shouldn't grow is growing! lol Oh well!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Playing with our Pentax

So... I'm no photographer (yet) and we have this nice camera that until recently I have been afraid to touch! But with Mother's Day coming I am working on some pictures for Grandmas :) Now that hard part will be choosing!
So far we have...

This is not a moving picture Bri.
This is not a moving picture Bri...

This is not a moving picture Bri!
LOL




Good Love!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tea Party

We decided to have a Tea Party tonight :)
Grandpa and Grandma gave us strawberries...
which is enough reason to celebrate to me! ;)


This was Punkin's plate :)
She was so excited to have a pumpkin shaped scone!

This one was Brianna's.


Of course, we didn't actually get dressed up to sit down to tea...
(with China dishes and Silverware!)
we just sat down with all the dirt on their clothes from playing outside!
LOL


Ysa helped make the scones.

Neno sliced the cheese.


Everyone helped with slicing the strawberries!
Aliyah was so proud of Brianna for slicing them without help!


This little sweetie needs to head to the bath!
At which time that outfit will mysteriously disappear to the wash!!!
She's been putting it back on even after it made it to the basket...
so I guess I need to take it to the machine instead.

Sunset!



This was too beautiful to pass up!
(Though I did have wet hair still from a shower... so I rushed it a little)

The real thing seemed to have more orange in it to me.
Made me think my Punkin would enjoy it, so I called everyone to look.


That was when I decided it was picture worthy.
Too bad I don't know much about working a real camera!
These might have come out nicer if I did.



This one got more of the oranges in the shot.
It really had the feel of the light over coming the darkness.
Oranges and Yellows (Joy colors) shown out from behind the clouds brilliantly and changed everything it touched with the colors. :)
Made me feel happy and peaceful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Failure

Sometimes I wonder why I write.
I like that you read it Tracey :) but I think we are alone out here... lost in the ocean of information we call the web!
I wonder if my motives are pure. Do I write because I want to help, or because I want reassurance, or praise of men? Do I think I have important things to share, or am I trying too hard???

So I question myself in writing this.

I woke up today feeling like a failure.
I'm failing my kids.
I'm failing my husband.
In doing those I'm failing God.
I'm failing my friends who need me.
I cannot keep up with house work and school work and yard work.
I cannot keep my tongue or attitude from being a snare and a problem.
I am just a failure.

So then I start wondering... where does all that come from?
Well, great expectations play a role. No one can do everything, but I expect myself to do almost everything, without a mistake. hmmm. maybe that's a perspective issue.

I know that I let others words/actions hurt me and allow their opinions too much weight. I really should be looking only to please God, but I find it hard not to want to please people.

Part of it may just be an attack, as I try to find things to rejoice over and be thankful always, in every circumstance... maybe this is just a challenge to see if I'll fight and keep on or flee?

When trying to reconcile my thoughts on whether or not to write this, I decided that maybe someone, who needs to hear that they are not alone in feeling this way at times, will stumble across this blog post and be encouraged that others do too sometimes.

I may fail... maybe even frequently, yet I think that even in failing I am not a failure. We learn more from our failings than from our successes... so as long as I choose to learn from those things, they cannot be true failings... can they. ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Greatest in the Kingdom

Tonight we continued looking at the final week of Jesus. Earlier we explained and partook of the Lord's Supper as a family. This evening after our reading about what Jesus did on Maundy Thursday, the littles and I took turns washing each other's feet.

It is a neat practice in some churches that they wash the feet of one other person and have their feet washed before the Lord's Table is served. While you wash, you pray for that person.
It is a really neat experience and I wanted to drive home some points with them about being a servant.

So in the midst of this, I have this fun thought...
The "greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven"... doesn't know that they are the greatest!
They aren't even thinking about that, they are simply serving!
WOW!
What a way to know it isn't me!
So after I posted One Thousand Things last night, I surfed blogs I read and found that Kristy at Waiting for Happy blogged about the same book that day! Only she's actually read the book! LOL

She has also done the more important thing... been thankful in the midst of trials!
It's worth a minute to read :)

Psalm 22

Psalm 22 is a prophetic Psalm, pointing to Jesus. Where as I knew that for some reason it stuck me differently reading it yesterday... I added my thoughts in with the passage below.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

This first line is quoted by Jesus on the cross. I wonder was He pointing those around to look at that scripture???

Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.
4 In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
8 “He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

Did they ever realize that these words of theirs as Jesus hung, were prophesied by King David???

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you
even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast upon you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions tearing their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.

18 They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.

19 But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver my life from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
they who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness
to a people yet unborn—
for he has done it.

~Hope~

This week we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord. The only Hope we have.
But what I really feel compelled to write about is the universality of that Hope.
(Not meaning the doctrine that everyone is already saved, but that Salvation came for everyone to choose.)

The Bible says "There is no one who does good, not even one." and "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
We are all desperately sinful! From a man's eye view we justify our own iniquities with a "I'm not as bad as______" mentality; but from a God's eye view none of us even come close to hitting the mark!

Maybe you aren't a murderer... have you ever hated anyone or wished something would happen to them?
Maybe you don't steal, or lie regularly....
But each of us sins, even if only being prideful of how much better we are than those others who commit those "heinous sins."

But here's where Hope entered HisStory.
God knows we can never measure up, so He took it upon Himself to bring Salvation to us.
So, maybe you are a murderer... He loved you enough to die in your place.
Maybe you do steal, He has brought you, Free of Charge, a new life. A life that will be forever.

When we see that all of us sin it should show us we all deserve judgment, and death; when we see the gift of Salvation we see it covers all who are willing to "take up their cross and follow."

You don't have to live with the guilt of your sin. No one is so far gone that they cannot turn to Christ.
Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.
"Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
Psalm 103
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

A start on One Thousand Things...

I have heard of a book about One Thousand things to be thankful for... little or big, breath taking or common... things you are blessed by. Though I have not read the book, I thought I could start my own list! As things come to mind I can write them down (was thinking I need a special journal for it :) (The more obvious of family and friends I didn't start with...)

1. The feel of a baby's hand close to your heart while they nurse or sleep.

2. The look in a loved ones eyes when they see you. (especially in young children who will have that look even if they saw you 5 minutes ago)

3. The smell of rain.

4. The sunshine on my face.

5. Clean, Hot, running water.

6. The smell of freshly cleaned little girl hair.

7. Cookies baking.

8. Long talks.

9. Walking on the beach.

10. Waterfalls.

11. Watching the stars come out.

12. Picnics.

13. Tea parties.

14. A good book.

15. Sunrise. and Sunset!

16. A bed, roof over my head and the bountiful things I take for granted (like toilet paper and soap!)

Sooo many things to write of... so little time to write! LOL

Another nice quote:

"Play hard, Laugh hard and leave the worries to your Father." ~Max Lucado (my version)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Where My Heart Lies

I have been having quite a few crying sessions lately... not that I am particularly depressed or anything, but that I have been hurting for others. For the loss a friend recently suffered... for the lost little ones who need a family. I don't know if I am perpetuating it by reading blogs of others that keep bring up either loss or the need of these little orphans to be looked after, (or both! on some blogs!) or if the Lord is showing me something.

So many look and say; "Well, your hands are full!" and I wonder at what hubby would think that his wife sits here considering adopting one of the least of these. He feels quite a bit of pressure to provide for the 6 we have... let alone bringing in another, and the expense that is...

But it is for LIFE! Someone else's very life hangs in the balance!!! I'm not a great mom much of the time to even think that I would be the best thing for one of these children... but it would be better than being alone; and there is plenty of love here to share!

This feels like one of the issues where my heart will be at odds with my reality. For now I think I must just pray for God to move! Move me; Move him; Guide us ~Amen!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Neat New Quote :)

Christian Stay at Home Moms: Changing the World, One Diaper at a Time!

I really like that! LOL ;)

Lessons from Job and his Friends

Reading Job can be confusing, and depressing... but there is much that can be gleaned.

The first lesson I learned from Job's friend's years ago was: "Shut Up!"
There are times where that is really the best thing! They got it right for a week while they sat there and were silent supports for Job. Unfortunately, they opened their mouths!

But since they did we may as well learn some more!

They taught us that though we may think we can judge a situation, we should be wary. They attacked Job with their words, slandered him saying he must be in sin because God would not allow such things to happen if he were not deserving of it.
This reminds me of the idea that some people argue: God must either not be loving, or not exist because of the evil in the world. God allows stuff in our lives. Yes, sometimes our sin gets us into a bad spot, but sometimes it is someone else's sin that causes us to suffer.
We all have free will, so that means some will choose evil, whether in action or inaction. Those who choose evil are the ones who are guilty of being unloving. God allows us to walk through those adversities to come out the other side stronger and purer. And walks with us!
Is there hunger in the world? Yes. So what are we doing about it?
Do we look after the orphan and widow? Do we plead the cause of the oppressed?
Does not God expect us to act? Pray, definitely, and ACT!

I have heard trite answers to others difficulties. "Read your Bible." "You must be in sin. If you weren't things wouldn't be going so badly." Yes, there are times where we can point to a causative in someone's life (the speck vs the plank?!?) and say, "Maybe you outta work on that and this will get better." But, really, if there is not a very obvious, spelled out in scripture issue, we should be careful! Remember we will give account for "every careless word!" (Yikes!)

It is vitally important to read your Bible and to pray. I don't want to down play that in the least, but as the answer to difficult issues... well, I don't think it is being very helpful. I think this approach would be better prefaced with, "I really don't know how to help you..." as otherwise it seems to be more of an accusation against a person... "Well, if you'd just read your Bible this would be fine!" God will allow us hardships that won't make sense on this side of them... and some not this side of heaven; so reading your Bible probably isn't going to make a hardship go away if it isn't a clearly sin issue.

From Job himself we learn that God may consider us blameless and upright though He knows we have much to learn still! Job was questioned "like a man" by God, and learned how little he really knew. But God himself calls him blameless and upright twice at the beginning of the book, and in the end Job is to offer the sacrifices for his friend's. SO hey... you aren't perfect either!!! Don't sweat it, God sees those in Christ through His Son and sees the progress you are making. Just keep moving nearer and nearer, day by day.

These are really the newest additions to my lessons, and unrefined... food for your thought. :)
Be Blessed!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Lessons from the Lady Bugs






This morning I did a bit of weed mowing around our acreage.
I noticed several Lady Bugs that I at first started to avoid, but soon found I really couldn't!



Unfortunately, I noticed that though there was certainly warning (wind generated by the mower, noise, vibration, etc) they would stay where they were. They had the ability to fly off and yet seemed to sit and say, "It's not going to happen to me. It's way over there."

For some reason this highlighted the areas of my life where I sometimes think it's ok to be passive.. "after all it is happening way over there, not to me." This didn't work out so well for the lady bugs today! I don't want to find out what the mower feels like!

As I sit, the mower whirs at the rights of parents in other countries to homeschool their children. They are treated like criminals for wanting to impart knowledge to their own kids without the state doing it.

I sit and parental rights in our own country continue to erode. Children are forcibly given medical treatment neither they nor their parents want. Children are taken from parents who are trying to do their best, not only the abusive ones we are all concerned about.

I sit while there are children starving, literally, across the globe right now. While my own children go to sleep in a safe, warm home, tummies full... there is a child on the street, hungry and cold. Are we resting in our decadence? Do we continue to live lavishly; thanking God for our abundance, yes, but what are we doing for the "least of these?"

Amazing how much one (namely me) can be convicted of by some bugs! ;)

Guess God knows how to get me to pay attention.

Ten little fingers


Ten little fingers.
Ten little toes.
Two twinkling eyes.
One tiny nose.
A great big yawn,
a sleepyhead nod.
You are so Special!
You're a blessing from God!


A Blessing.
A Blessing.
You are a Blessing from God!
Precious Karissa,
You are so special!
You're a blessing from God!