December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Our New Year's Eve was a school day! Every year around New Year's Day, we make lapbooks titled All About Me. I misplaced the CD with files on it we used for our lapbooks last year. God had other plans, and I found some really neat ideas thanks to the web. Some of them include God's recipe for me cards, personalized children's stories, What would I buy if I had..., My heart belongs to..., Things I would like to do when I grow up, These are a few of my favorite things, Helping Hands mini-book made from tracing of the children's hands, and more. I also traced the boys' feet on the back of the lapbooks and we listed all the places those feet go. It was a fun way to get us back in the school groove.

Then as dusk fell my boys grew excited for the New Year's Eve party Snurr had wanted in his room. We snacked as we recalled all the events of this last year good and bad. Then I put up my 2011 year at a glance door calender. We looked at the events coming this year, marked certain breaks, checked what days birthdays and certain holidays fell on, and shared some personal goals. Then came the main event: getting Daddy's model cars down from the attic. The Lord is so precious! On top of the boxes I was looking for was a smaller box marked Collector Cars. The boys were super excited!!! We impatiently opened it and discovered many Hot Wheel cars that Daddy had collected. This was the highlight of the evening for them. We did look at Daddy's models and called Grandpa and Uncles to get more knowledge on some of our discoveries. The boys were able to see his careful, detailed work that took time and patience. It was a sad and sweet time connecting with things that once matter much to Jim. How we wished to hear the stories behind them from his own mouth...

Goodbye 2010! Thank You so much Lord for guiding us through it! Hello, 2011! I don't know what you bring, but I know my Lord is already there and that makes all the difference....

December 29, 2010

Christmas Day

I awoke early and felt a black cloud over my head. I read Bible and prayed. And fell back asleep. When I awoke again, the cloud seemed heavier and darker. Grief waves began to roll in. I could feel the need to cry, yet no tears came. Every effort to get ready for the day, seemed like trudging through a swamp. The thought of getting together with family without my husband seemed too great to bear.

Finally, I made myself trudge through the snow to Jim's grave. And there the flood gates burst open. On top of his memorial bench, there are praying hands carved. I find comfort putting my hand on them. Yet this day, there was ice covering the whole top. I worked and worked till the tears came and the ice broke away. Then I put my hand on those praying hands and let the sobs come. There are emotions words cannot capture; prayers that only the heart can mutter. I don't know how long I stayed. God's amazing comfort came tenderly. I still felt the heaviness of missing my beloved yet I wasn't walking through the swamp anymore. I trudged back to the house. And tended to what had occurred while I had been gone.The tears that earlier in the morning wouldn't flow, seemed to not end at the gravesite. More tears streamed down my cheeks.

Then I popped in a movie for the boys and went to encourage myself in the Lord. I got freshened up and dressed in something I felt pretty in. I sang a precious song that was given to a widow friend of mine called "God's Grace is All sufficient" Then I felt more prepared. We all got ready and loaded the SUV. My sister-in-law called to check on me because I wasn't there yet and they were concerned. Again tears streamed down my check.

Finally we were on our way. We began to sing Christmas hymns as we traveled. And finally I felt the cloud being lifted. The rest of the day went well without tears or sorrow.

I love Christmas! I love Emmanuel coming and dwelling with us. I love visiting with family. It was who was missing from it all that makes it so difficult at times. I recently read this in 2 Corinthians 6:10 "As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing;" and those five words I sum up my Christmas.

December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve


Snipp wanted to have a Christmas party in his room, so much of the day he was preparing his room, rearranging and getting it set up. As dusk came, so did anticipation and they begged me to do supper later and just have the party.


So we began, after I did a little preparation myself, which included dressing up in church attire as I had been requested to wear. Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr were in their army fatigues. As I entered the room, the two older boys were on either side of the door saluting me, and the youngest was inside proudly holding our nations flag. Once I was seated, the older boys came marching in, saluted the flag and held their salute while all three recited the pledge, shouting out, "..Under GOD.."Then the festivities began. We sang songs, opened presents from some friends, but we couldn't open our treasure boxes because Baby Jesus was missing. Baby Jesus always has the key to the treasure boxes. We did find a note though, it said, "Wise men still seek HIM. Go ask the angel about whom ye seek!"


A little history now so you understand:On our first Christmas after we were married, we had no money for presents. So I patched my husband's favorite coat and we rejoice when God unthawed our well pump. That year I started a tradition. I wrote down blessings the Lord had given us through the year and shoved the slips of paper down into our stockings. And each year since then we have focused on our blessing stockings. Till Jim died. Hanging his stocking was just impossible and I didn't want to hang ours without his. So that year, I took a little cedar box and put in pictures or things to symbolize blessings/treasures God had given us. A picture of our van and house, a gold cross, a watch, a Bible, etc. Then the following year, I found the answer. Treasure Boxes!!!! So instead of stockings, we have treasure boxes that each year has a list of treasures/gifts from Jesus. What a joy and blessing to read last years treasures as I prepared the boxes.


Another tradition we added was one Daddy started the last Christmas he was with us. In my stocking was a clue to find my gift. It ended up being in the dryer!!! Anyway, so also in each treasure box now is a clue for example: Go to something Daddy read every day. As we all know, the figuring out the clues and the hunt is about as much fun as getting the gifts. It is also a reminder that treasures have to be sought after. Like the wisemen did to find Jesus. And that we too need to seek Christ to find Him.


Back to our Christmas adventure: "Go ask the angel about whom you seek." So we went to our nativity scene. We asked the angel who told us some of the Christmas story then sent us to Mary. Mary shared more of the story then sent us to Joseph and on it went. Final an old sheep sent us to the camel and the camel gave us a riddle. Snipp was able to solve it and found Baby Jesus in the cookie jar. Back up to treasure boxes. We opened them and read our Blessings. Then the boys read clues and found their three simple gifts. Later by only the light of the Christmas lights, we ate supper. It was fun and special. Later the boys camped out in Snipp's room and I read Luke 2 to them.


It was a good night. We felt held.

December 23, 2010

This was amazing to listen to:
http://www.opbbc.info/sermons.html

Scroll down to December 19/2010
Titled: Sons of Parfitt
Description : The Parfitt Young Men preaching in memory of their father

Please continue to pray for the family of Ken Parfitt

December 20, 2010

I don't usually do this, but I thought this man had interesting thoughts as he drove away from a funeral of a newly widowed family.

http://www.lonsberry.com/writings.cfm?story=3030&go=4
December 20th post called A Call to Service

Please pray for the family of Ken Parfitt.
Thank you!

December 09, 2010

A Decembered Grief

I have been rereading through A Decembered Grief: Living With Loss While Others Are Celebrating by Harold Ivan Smith.

I thought I would share its Table of Contents to be an encouragement to any fellow grievers who stop in here:
  • Alter-Rather than Abandon-Traditions
  • Anticipate the Holidays
  • Appreciate the Grief Styles and Decisions of Others
  • Ask Your Church for Help
  • Be Alert to the Culture's Obsession with Excitement
  • Befriend Your Grief
  • Befuddle Someone
  • Carolize Your Season
  • Celebrate Sensitively
  • Consider the Needs of Everyone
  • Create New Traditions
  • Create Ornaments or Decorations That Symbolize Your Loved One and Eternal Life
  • Cry If You Want To
  • Define Your Boundaries
  • Do What You Need To Do
  • Donate to Your Church or a Charity in Honor of Your Loved One
  • Don't Fast-Forward to January 5
  • Forgive Those You Believe Are Responsible for the Death
  • Give Your Grief Its Voice
  • Give Yourself Persmission to Say, "No," or "I'll Pass"
  • Guard Your Heart
  • Invite God's Help
  • Journal Your Grief
  • Made Gratitude
  • Minimize the Seasonal Stressors
  • Miss the Invitations to Parties and Other Social Events
  • Nap
  • Network With Other Grievers
  • Nurture Yourself
  • Observe a Quiet Holy Day
  • Organize Your Living Environment
  • Prepare
  • Read
  • Remain Open to Seasonal Surprises
  • Remember Realistically
  • Resist the Temptation to Make It Up to Others for What They've Been Through
  • Rethink Your Holiday Shopping Habits
  • Say Your Loved One's Name
  • Try Events
  • Unplug the Christmas Mania
  • Use Some of Your Seasonal Decorations
  • Visit the Cemetery or Scattering Ground
  • Volunteer at a Social Service Agency
  • Vote Your Choices
  • Watch Children
  • Watch Out for Numbing Influences
  • Weigh Any Criticism of Your Grief Style and Holiday Decisions
  • Worship
  • Write A Year-End Letter to Your Deceased Loved One
  • "Yes" Invitations That Feel Right
  • "Zestize" Your Season

December 08, 2010

Ephesians 3:14-21

Words of Life to me today:

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

December 06, 2010

Eternal Career

I read this blessed quote today:


"Mothering is an eternal career"

November 11, 2010

Cheering Me On

My precious friend Cindy is now rejoicing in Heaven. Life's pain, sickness, and battles are over and she has sweet rest with Jesus. God brought this widow into my life to teach me and encourage me. It was a priviledge to be her friend these past 2 1/2 years. From Heaven she now cheers me on in a different way then she did here on earth.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

November 03, 2010

Ephesians 5:20

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" Ephesians 5:20

Did you catch that? Read it again slower. "...always for all things..."

Giving thanks is easy when a child is born, how about when it takes an early flight to heaven?

Anniversaries are wonderful times to give thanks, how about when you are alone on that day?

How do you express thanks for an accident that killed one man and emotionally and spiritually cripples another?

What about financial troubles?
Death of a young child? a young adult? a relative dying painfully of cancer? A pet dies tragically and sends the children into an emotional tailspin? How hard it is to give thanks in these situations...

I am trying.....the Lord and I have talked about this....and I am trying.

Letting Him lift my head and count my many blessings is a great way to start. And the rest, the hard things to thank Him for.....that is when I plead for grace. Without His power I can't give thanks always for all things. And it all comes back to the verse in John 15:5 "...for without me ye can do nothing."

October 26, 2010

"You Breathe"

"You breathe. I"ll pray."

This is what my precious praying sister told me, as in a panic I told her about the latest tragedy to strike my extended family. Oh, the precious gift of a friend praying over you and over a situation that made you weld up with fear and emotion. By the time she was done, God had given me the grace to be the prayer warrior and messenger I needed to be. And the grace of God continued to hold me up.

As more sad news hit the family today, it was my turn to say, "I am going to just pray," and start praying with my loved one on the phone.

As I look back over this month, there seems to have been more tears than smiles and I wonder if this isn't a sliver of what Job felt.

Questioning God's timing yet knowing His sovereignty.....Feeling He is so far away, yet going to Him in prayer because we know He is so close. Hurting deeply within and feeling so helpless, yet knowing God is going to show Himself strong, somehow and in someway, and make this pain beautiful in His time.

Two quotes come to my mind:

Joni Eareckson Tada: "Your deepest need when you are hurting is to have God, like a Daddy, reach down and pick you up and hold you and reassure you that everything is going to be okay. He lets you know that your life is not in nightmarish chaos, your world is not splitting apart at the seams. Somehow and somewhere there is order and stability to it all. And that's why God never gives advice; He gives Himself."

Samuel Rutherford: "Believe God's Word and Power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flows, but your sea."

October 16, 2010

Reminiscing...

Anniversaries are funny things. Last year was hugely emotional as it had been 10 years since we got married on our front porch. This year I felt fairly good heading in to it, yet emotions overwhelmed me and tears came at inconvenient times as our 11 anniversary approached. This was once beautiful and new above us as we said our marriage vows.







And this is beautiful and new a gift from Jim's mom that brightened my day. A daily reminder that God loves me!!!!
As usual, I was feeling alone and overwhelmed by my beloved Jim being gone from my side. And as usual just when I am at my lowest, my Lord shows me He is right there, waiting for me to reach out, and fill me with a love and peace that passes all understanding....

October 14, 2010

JoySmile

Little Snurr gave me the biggest JoySmile. We were in the restroom and he kindly gave paper towels for me to dry my hands on. Then while he was washing up, I got paper towels for him to dry his hands with. He smiled so sweetly.

Then that cute-as-a-button little guy said, "Will you be my friend forever?" as he slipped his hand into mine. "
"Absolutely, I will!" I assured him.

As we caught up with his brothers he proclaimed, "Mommy is going to be my friend forever!!"

I know that he will not always feel like this. But for the moment I basked in the glow of his smile and his assurance of my friendship.

October 12, 2010

Desperation

For the second time in a week I found myself at my husband's grave weeping in desperation. I wasn't there so much as to seek to be close to Jim, as was to pour out my cares and failures to the One who my husband is present with. Doing this single mom homeschool role is the hardest thing I have ever done.


Each time when I get done pouring out the good, the bad, and the ugly, I keep hearing Christ's sweet whisper to my heart..............


"....apart from me ye can do nothing."


"...love one another as I have loved you......"


Thank You for Your faithfulness and compassion on me, Lord! I am so sorry I try to run ahead of You and do things my way. I sure do make a mess of things.....Thank You for Your forgiveness and mercy and grace.......Grace, oh Lord, how I need Your grace to love others like You love me. I need Your grace to do what You have assigned me to do. Please help me hear Your voice and obey! In Jesus' name, Amen.

October 05, 2010

Early Flight


(I just can't say "it"; that seems so impersonal. So until I am told a name to validate this precious life, just cuz' I am so used to boy babies I will refer to this little one as a him.)


Monday my little nephew took an early flight to Heaven. Grief waves roll in and out, emotions tumble around, as do my thoughts. Once again I cry out to God. And once again His only answer is His embrace.

My thoughts ramble:

I ache for his momma..........

I feel frustrated as she is too far away to give hugs of understanding.........
I remember my own miscarriage.......

Death once again brings separation..........

I miss sharing and praying with my husband on things like this............

I am jealous of this little one being greeted by my husband and son, his big sister and other relatives..............

I am thankful of Heaven and the promises of God.......

I am jealous of this little one being embraced face to face by the Lord............

I am praising the Lord that this child never rebelled against Him...............

Tears flow as I prayerfully take on the burdens of my sister.................

I look at my own blessings and remember their births......................

I stroke their cheeks and remember to be forgiving and more gracious.................

I watch them sleep and long to feel my husband by my side loving them as much as I do.........

I listen silently and hear how God's grace is carrying another wounded soldier of the Lord to endure through the pain.........

I only knew of this precious life for a short time, yet I miss him just the same...............

I grieve the nephew I won't know till heaven.......................

I will think of him often around my birthday as I had hoped it would be his birthday too.....

I explain to the boys that their baby cousin is in Heaven..................

I try to answer their questions.......................

I ask God my own......................

I long for Heaven with no more death and separation..................

I long for the Lord to tarry for others to accept His mercy and grace.........................

Once again tears come at unpredictable times.................

Once again God reminds me He cares and He is with me.

P. S. I recently heard Jon Bishop speak and his words echo in my head. "God is always right and God is always good."




September 29, 2010

Love One Another

Love One Another

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
"And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, And they'll know we are Christians by our love...."

September 17, 2010

Shields of the Earth

Psalms 47:9 The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.



We read this verse the other day and had and interesting discussion about shields in general and this unique phrase "shields of the earth." Little Snurr spoke up and said he thought it was when Jesus wraps his arms around you in a hug, like this he stated and gave himself the tightest hug. "Then you are all cuddled up inside,"he said.



Now there is a pictures in words for you......................just precious to my heart.

September 10, 2010

Butterflies


I went out and visited Jim's grave the other day. It was very peaceful...... I felt close to him. I felt no ache in my heart.....what a very precious feeling. I must be healing; the constant ache is no longer constant. I left some bright flowers there and headed back to deal with this life without my honey. A single monarach butterfly flew by landing on a tree then flinted away.


Several times since that day I have seen this butterfly. Always alone. Looking beautiful. I hope that is how I look to God.

Butterflies have many precious meanings to me. One is of being a new creature. I have been transformed by Christ and am now a new creature. A born-again believer.


Another is the strengthening that comes from trials. A butterfly strengthens it wings when it pushes out of it cocoon. If it is helped out, say by a slit from a knife, the wings are not strong enough to let it fly. Just like my trials make me stronger to soar.



1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


Butterflies also make me thing of heavenly things, like heavenly bodies. An insects seems dead and then rises and soar as a new creature. The Bible says our bodies will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. This terrestial body will no longer be, instead a believer will have a heavenly body.


Something interesting I learned just today. On their flight north, some butterflies never make it. They lay eggs on their way and their offspring complete their mission to their northern destination. That reminded me of Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Another verse Jim had circled in his Bible.....

Psalm 27


Precious Words of Life to me:

Psalms 27:13-14 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

August 26, 2010

Lessons from Joshua

o Face reality ex. Moses is dead
o Hear and obey the call for action ex. Arise, go
o Be strong and of good courage ch. 1: 6,7,9, and 18
o You are not alone v. 5+9
o God’s Battle Plans 1:8
o Rise up early (Be prepared)
o Sanctify (set apart) yourself
o Step into the water in faith
o Remember with stones what God has done in your life
o Realize the power of your testimony ch. 4:24
o Learn from your forefathers sins
o Be lowly and humble. Put your face to the ground often.
o Obey God even when it makes no sense.
o Secret sin always causes others to innocently suffer.
o Destroy sin entirely.
o Value true confession and truth
o Don’t quit; try, try again.
o Don’t be deceived. Always check with God even if all the facts seem to line up.
o Use your Sword well.
o Remember God, not you, gives the victory.
o Have faithful friends who are mountain conquerors.
o Bless others with your words and actions.
o Be merciful.
o Honor those that serve God.
o Give Godly counsel.
o Lead by Example.
o Encourage others to love God.
o Stand strong in the Lord.
o Fear the Lord.
o Chose to serve the Lord and be faithful so your descendants serve Him too.
o Be a man who keeps his covenant.

August 24, 2010

Family Verses

After many family discussions and everyone's impute,
here is a little something we are focusing on as a family this year:

Melodious Words from Friends

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

"Praying for you!!!"

"I will pray"

"God is your strength and your deliverer. Jim is with Him....I know its hard but HE knows you and loves you, and is right there with you NOW."

"Praying for you! Hope you have a good night's rest!"

"A broken heart never heals but Jesus picks it up and holds it close and dries the tears with His faithful love. It is just "awesome". Only if you have been there (on both sides) can you possibly understand."

"Love you. "

"I will be praying for you. Have a great week and time with family....."

"Thinking of you all day-prayed lots-
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills shall be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 53: 10"

August 13, 2010

Blessed Beyond Tears

We have a movie Jim made for Snipp when he was about 2. He jokes around on it, reads a story, prays, and says he loves him and will see him in the morning. We have watched this often, though I mute it sometimes because the younger boys at one point thought that Jim was really talking to them through the tv and I didn't want them disappointed when Daddy didn't come home in the morning.

Well, we watched that movie today and I noticed two things I haven't noticed before. And I have watched this dozens of times because I like watching Jim's mannerisms. Anyway, two things I realized for the first time. 1) He tells Buddy (aka Snipp) to give me a cuddle, lots of cuddles, because mom needs lots of cuddles. Funny thing is that when the boys all learned to read the word "hug" I told them it was one of my favorite words. Snurr was prompted to give me a hug as the movie went on.

2) At the end he says, "I love you, Buddy!" And I always felt bad that this movie seemed to leave the other boys out (they weren't born yet) BUT today I noticed that Jim didn't just say I love you, Buddy! He then points 3 times at the camera and says, "I love you, I love you, I love you!" Snapp and Snurr realized it the same time I did. Daddy loves Buddy, and the three of us too!!!!! Even though he doesn't use their names I am just so blessed to tears that my God prompted my husband to say I love you a total of 4 times so that each of us could feel that he is saying it once to us on that movie. And my Great God did this 3.5 years before Jim was called Home to Heaven. And my God knew that as we recorded it that we would crave to hear that from his sweet lips. Blessed beyond tears is how I felt. At bed time Snurr was even talking about it again:) That was sweet to me especially because the last time we watched that movie he asked me who that man was and oh, how I cried.

August 09, 2010

Sand or Stone


Recently I read a devotional to the boys about forgiveness. It spoke of two friends traveling together. When the first friend hurt the other, the second friend wrote it in the sand. The wind of time ended up erasing it. When the first friend helped and did good to the other, the second friend wrote it on stone. Wow!! There are many applications to this story. Yet what stood out to me was what do I daily write in sand or stone? Do I write a wrong my child has done on stone and only write their sweet compliment in the sand? If so, shame on me!!! How about the insensitive remark from a relative or the ungrateful action of a friend? I need to just write it in the sand. And when those same individuals do something positive and praiseworthy, I need to write it in stone. How grateful I am for individuals in my life that have not written in stone the offensive things I have done against them. Sand or Stone? A question for you, dear reader to ponder. Interestingly enough our pastor also preached recently on bitterness which is the opposite of forgiveness. I love seeing how the Lord ties truth together in our lives! It causes me to look at my heart and view what I have written on stone. Like me, some of you might need to take out the chisel and remove some things from our stones and write them in the sand instead. Then remember the next time you feel offended, think sand or stone? Where does it need to be written?

August 03, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Wow! It is August! July flew by and as I look at my calender I see why. Dentist appointments, eye appointments, chiropractor appointments, helping out extended family, family and friends helping us out, family trip, visit to a distant friend's home, Kids' camp, school prep. work and shopping along with all the daily chores and adventures of raising three boys for the Lord. No wonder time flies and I feel old:)

But oh, the blessings I see.......sermons that spoke life to me, victory in my children's lives, prayers answered, God's perfect timing revealed and just standing amazed at the glimpses I see of God at work.

There is no way I could play catch up with all the fingerprints of God on our lives these past many weeks. Just know that I feel blessed beyond measure!

July 10, 2010

Judges 10

The boys and I have been reading through Judges. We have read about the adventures of Ehud, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, and more. We have read and reread how the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, how He delivered them into the hands of an enemy, they cry out to God, He raises up a deliverer, they serve Him till the deliverer/judge dies, then they again do evil in the sight of the LORD. This morning's chapter was similar yet we are told what the Israelites said.

Judges 10:6-17
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed.

And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. (They were specific in their confession and admitted to breaking the first and second commandments.)

And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. ( A rebuke from a Just God)

And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. (I see humility in this statement.)

And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.(Forsaking sin then choosing to do what is right. The result was God had mercy and compassion.)

Then the children of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and encamped in Mizpeh.

This chapter displayed the amazing truth of Proverbs 28:13 "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."

June 22, 2010

Father's Day #5

This was our 5th time of Father's Day without Daddy here.
It was filled with much activity and fun. Quiet reflections and at times clouds of sadness.
I have added much to this blog tonight and so I will give the nutshell version of our day:

We had morning devotions of God being our Heavenly Father, a Father to the fatherless, a Father to all, and an everlasting Father.
The boys road the church bus to church and we ate breakfast there.
Amazing sermon! (More on that in future post)
Boys wanted to do Daddy's tradition of cheese sticks after morning worship, then we went to where he would sometimes eat his lunch and read his Bible on days he worked.
We travel to a park they visited when I was away and walked a trail in the woods.
We had some orneriness, some ugliness, some sadness, and some joy.
We stopped at the roadside memorial and Snapp's bookmark is still there! It is very faded, but the words I LOVE YOU, DADDY! can boldly be seen. Snapp was thrilled.
We fell asleep exhausted, glad to be home, yet a linger feeling someone is missing.

After shocks are hitting.
Snipp told me tonight, "I feel like I am strapped to a metal table and missing daddy is like a hammer squashing down on me." Now there is a description of grief most books don't say!
P. S. This is the same son who described Christmas as a dinosaur chasing him and he felt like a little lamb. I love how kids can describe such emotions in such creative ways.

June 21, 2010

Protection

In countless ways the Lord protected me this past weekend. I would like to just share the instance that stands out the most in my mind.

I had left the conference and was traveling to a friend's home. As I journeyed, the sky was full of strange and scary clouds to the south and a wall of dark grey to the east. I called family and waited for their return call for a weather update. I approached the town that had the awful looking clouds over it, then turned east. As I drove on, Jim's mom called back and informed me that the town I had just gone through had a tornado warning going on! My friend had contacted me as well and she was down in a basement due to the weather they had been having. The storm that was now in front of me look more ominous! If I drove 55mph, it would rain big splats on my windshield, if I traveled at 50mph, it didn't. This kept up the whole way to my friend's home! So I took my time to allow the storm to go ahead of me. As I finally turned on my friend's road, I looked at the sky that had been behind me and over me. There was a clear break in the middle of the clouds right over the highway!! God's divine protection!! And as I pulled into her driveway, I saw beautiful sunbeams bursting through the clouds. Just precious!

Peace That Passeth Understanding


Recently, I left my children in the hands of dear friends and we spent the next 39hrs apart as I went to our state's homeschool conference. This might sound like no big deal to some of you. But to me it was huge, and healing.


You see, before I knew my husband had died, I placed him in God's hands and trusted God to bring him safely home. God said no and took him to his Home, Heaven. So the devil likes to tell me this lie "You trusted God with Jim and look what happened. Don't trust him with your kids. You will lose them too." So the fact I could drive away and not feel anxious was truly God's peace.


When the speaker was interrupted at the conference that we were in a tornado warning and must stay in the room, I knew I was where I was suppose to be no matter what He allowed to happen.


When I went to bed that night with no children to check on and hug and pray with, I felt peace. Great peace as if they were with my own husband. I knew they were in the Mighty Hands of God. I missed them, but His peace was great upon me.


His peace is such a wonderful blessing. Whenever I lose it, great fear comes upon me. It might come slowly at first, but if I fail to run to Jesus, that fear will pounce upon me like a mountain lion. His peace is the opposite. It is like a boat that just rises with the waves or an eagle that soars higher with the wind. It is truly pass my understanding, yet it is within my grasp. Peace....God says in Isaiah that He is an Everlasting Father and a Prince of Peace.

When you trust Him as your Everlasting Father,
When you let him rule.......He is your Prince of Peace!!

No Fear

In one single weekend God stretched me and taught me much. I hope to share these things in the next three posts.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy1:7

My son's former Sunday School teacher taught him this verse by making it into a song. Recently as I prepared the boys to be staying with weekend apart from me, we sang this song during our family devotions that we talked about fear. I also shared my notes I took from a recent sermon our preacher preached again about fear. I stressed that whenever we feel afraid that is our signal to Run to Jesus in prayer.

I intended this to be a lesson for them as I figured at some point they would miss me and feel afraid. Little did I know God was going to give me a pop quiz. I should have known, but I was surprised when as I drove down to the homeschool conference that God changed my plans on me. Once again He caused me to not depend on another, but to depend on Him. As the fear began to grow in me, I called out to Him as I had been drilling my boys to do. And He calmed my fears. Psalm 34:4 says He would deliver me from my fears and He did.

As I found my way downtown in our state's biggest city


As I got off the shuttle in the wrong place


As the conference was interrupted by tornado warnings


As I road the crowded shuttle back


As the storm clouds billowed up around me as I drove


As I walked alone in the parking garage


and many other little moments..............................

when fear rose its ugly head I squelched it with prayer. And on a few occasions with the song my son's teacher had taught him.

Words of Life to Me

This morning as I was reading Snapp his Bible, these words caught my eye in Acts 9: 31 ....and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost...
I had to underline them in my own Bible and share it with friends. My daily goal and aim.....

a how to focus on my Jesus....


walking= action, I must do

fear of the Lord=fear any sin coming between us, departing from evil

in the comfort= I will be surrounded, immersed in comfort

of the Holy Ghost=comfort that gives comfort not understood by this world, His Presence that reminds us He is near and at work around us


May you, dear reader, too walk in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.

June 15, 2010

Silly Pup


Ever since we had a plane fly very close to our barn, our chocolate lab barks at planes, jets, and thunder. About 4am this morning, he was barking at the thunder as a storm rolled in and he was running off the porch to tell that thunder what for. Silly pup! Yet I thought how often are we like that with God. We bark at him our displeasure over His working, His sending a trial, or discomfort or pain and bark in vain.


Our other dog is more like I should be, how we should be. She puts her ears back and walks submissively in the rain. When the thunder rumbles too loud she scoots off the porch and goes under it.


Submission is always better than defiance. To fear God is better than to try to chase Him away with our words.

June 11, 2010

Isaiah 30

Some verses that spoke to me today:

Isaiah 30
1Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me;

7For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.

15For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

18And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

19For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

21And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

June 09, 2010

The Rebuke

This is not the kind of post I enjoy writing. Chastisment is never enjoyable, yet is always needful, especially when we stray from God's ways. Recently in Ladies Bible study we have been learning about the languages of apology. With that comes unplanned moments of doing wrong to have opportunities to practice what we have learned. Yesterday I had one such moment.


They say "Confession is good for the soul; bad for the reputation." Yet God says "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."


I am deeply ashamed to admit it; I lost it. My patience and my temper that is. I got in the flesh and let my words fly. Death words, my preacher calls them. Words that are not ministering grace unto the hearers. I felt totally justified at the moment and totally grieved and smitten after the Lord's rebuke. I fled outside to vent to the Lord and get back what I knew I had lost. After I had my say, my Lord smote me with these words, "Who are you to speak to MY child like that?" Yikes!!!! The fear of the Lord trembled through me. Yet He is so right. So very right. My children are not my own, how many times have I given them over to Him? He created them. They are His. Deep sorrow and repentance swept over me. Tears burned hot salty trails down my cheeks. And I thought about the damage I had done. Sharp words are deadly and wounding. They echoe in the heart even years later, I personally know this. Yet I had been the inflictor. Shamefully, I confessed my grievous sins to my Lord. I had just gave the devil ammunition. And at any time he will use my words to shoot at this child. There is nothing I can do to take them back. All I can do is now is nurture my relationship with him and train the little warrior so he will be ready and armed when those bullets fly at him.

I am so thankful this child is so forgiving. I am so thankful that my God is too. This child's love language is touch. So it is vital to him in an apology to have those hugs. We headed to our favorite spot, the porch swing where we sat and talked. I didn't hid my tears and he hugged me tight. I held him tight and apologized, and I tried mightily to bandaged up those wounds. I know it will take awhile to heal and I am praying mightily that he stands strong when the devil throws them at him again. And just as mightily I am praying "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."

June 04, 2010

Letting the Peace of God Reign


Colossians 3:15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Let the Peace of God Reign
Grief Share Day 138

Are you letting God's peace reign in your life? Every time something else threatens to take over your life—unwelcome thoughts or emotions—grasp onto His peace and rely on His eternal promises."There's a verse in Colossians that says, 'Let His peace reign in Your heart,'" says Ruth, whose husband died. "Every time I realized I wasn't letting it reign, I would just grab back onto what the Lord had told me and let it reign." It is truly possible to let peace rule your life.

Lord Jesus, I want to let Your peace take the throne of my life. Amen.

June 01, 2010

Lead Me to The Rock



Psalm 61
1Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
4I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.



This is a rock in a farmer's field not far from our home. It is truly higher than I though the picture doesn't do it justice.

Many times I run to the Rock that is higher than I when I am overwhelmed. Jesus is the Rock of my Salvation. How about you?

Sweet Dream

I had a dream the other night about Jim. This is rare. The last dream I had with him in it was over 6 months ago and I woke up crying. This time I woke up with a smile and sweet peace filling my soul. It was a precious gift from God. The memory of it will be treasured and I can still hear his words echoing in my heart, "I am proud of you for facing your fears."



I woke up feeling like his bride again, I woke up feeling giddy and dreamy. When I looked at his pictures I felt emotions again, love and joy, peace and contentment. How long has it been that looking at his pictures made me feel numb.......weeks? months? a year? I don't know, but I know that it is gone, the numbness is melted away and there is a loving tenderness again that has been missing. I gaze at his picture and I feel his gaze touching my soul again. And can't help but smile.



He could always make me smile, no matter how upset or angry I was, Jim had a way of making me smile. Praise the Lord his picture and his memory can still do that. Because I know that I don't smile near as much as I used to. And alot of the smiles I do smile, don't go down to the bottom of my toes like they used to. I know it, I feel the difference...........



Anyway, what a precious dream.

The Outpouring

Break up thou fallow ground
Jeremiah 4:3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

Hosea 10: 12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

I read these verses that evening before I watched a movie. They stood out to me strongly and I wondered what the Lord was trying to say. I was about to get a glimpse of it a couple hours later.

The movie was done. Tears continued to stream down my face. Why? It was more than just parts of the movie that had triggered emotions. A storm was brewing within me and I had to get away. I escaped outside. Grief welded up within me. I knew it was going to be a great outpouring; I could feel the deep agony rising within me. I sought a place that would squelch my cries; I didn't want any children to witness their mother in such a state.

Then it happened. The great outpouring. God split me wide open and I puked emotionally. Moaning, wailing, sobbing and sobbing. So much emotional pain from the depths of my soul that it was physical. A cry that came from the depths of my soul and that I couldn't squelch or stop. It bursted forth from my lips like a woman in travail with child.

Several times I picked up the phone to text or call someone, and each time I felt the answer was no. It would be a way to escape, just God and me on this one. Why now? Why after all this time? Had I really hardened a part of me? Was there fallow ground that needed broken up?Was there sin I had buried so deep that I denied it was there? What was God trying to show me? Teach me? I still don't know all there is to this yet.

The only thoughts that came later as the Comforter comforted me was that God had taken me back to when I was first told of Jim's death and all the grief and pain of that moment came back. At that moment, I had handled it as I hoped I would have quiet strength and prayer, I didn't sink to the floor in a crumble and mourn my beloved. Now I did what I really felt within me at that moment and had stuffed. Now I sank in deep despair and deep mourning. So deep I feared it wouldn't end. So blinding and phyically real was the emotional pain all I could do was wail and cry out to God. How long I sobbed only He knows, Time seemed gone. I couldn't think, only feel the depth of my anguish that my beloved was gone, never to return to my arms, never to hear his voice, never to take refuge in his embrace, never to see those intense eyes that understood my soul.......I always thought if.......if he died before me.......I would be there to hold him when he left this world for Heaven. But God said no and reminded me that Jim wasn't alone......Jesus was with him. He wasn't alone. Comfort........

There is much I don't understand about this, but this much I know. Something is different. I don't know all those cries and groans communicated to God. But I feel like something has been made ready for planting in me. Jim's pictures breath life in me again. And I feel a love deep down to my toes:) and I await to see what God is going to plant and bring forth to yield.

May 27, 2010

Isaiah 40:11

Isaiah 40:11

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."

A sweet friend shared this verse with me the other night and then Grief Share used it in a recent email too. When I was pregnant with my second son, God gave me this verse to calm a fear I had within me about what kind of world this son would grow up in.

After Jim went Home to Heaven, the Lord reminded me of it again, especially the promise that He "shall gently lead those that are with young." A grieving parent needs to be lead gently, because she is a broken hearted person trying to comfort and lead broken hearted children. She is ever mindful that her steps are being followed and she is often very hard on herself.

Once again God reminds me of His promise not only to gently lead me, but also that "the lambs," my little ones, are being carried close to His heart. They are especially dear to Him. Oh, the peace to know that my children are near to the heart of God, the Great Shepherd.

May 25, 2010

Arrows in the Hand of a Mighty Man

Psalm 127:4-5

"As arrows are in the hand of a mighy man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Last week we got out Daddy's bow and arrows. We took turns attempting to shoot feeling like Indians or Jonathans or great hunters.......

We discoverd something interesting. Only three arrows had tips. How appropriate for a man who had three boys.


My mind drifts to an article I read some where
about a father saying how each of his boys was like an arrow. And that there are many kinds of arrows: practice, hunting, war, for show, etc. as I watched my little men attempt to shoot the targets, I wondered what kind of arrow they are and what is God's unique plan for each one. Every once in a while, I get a glimpse of what they might look like or act like as a man. And I see similarities with their dad. Or other male relatives.

Lord, help me to guide them to find their special purpose in Your hands and not compare themselves among themselves. To keep their eyes on You and Your target for their lives.

Spring Flowers

Each spring, the Lover of My Soul, sends me these flowers. And each spring the grove increases in their numbers. Every time I savor their sweet fragrance I can see my beloved Jim riding on the lawn tractor with his straw hat on, his head tilted slightly up, and his eyes shut inhaling the fragrance of these precious gifts of love from God.

May 21, 2010

Three-Fold Cord

I remember well the first time I was invited to go out to eat with two couples. Yikes! To be a fifth wheel! If they weren't Jim's sister and husband and Jim's best friend & his wife, I don't think I could have done it. Knowing that they cared much and were sensitive to me feeling like half a couple helped. But I still felt strange and thought about making up an excuse not to go. I did go and found out the wonderful news that Jim's sister was pregnant again after having miscarried previously. (She has since had my adorable nephew aka Prayer Boy.) Anyway, I was glad I went, but I will admit there was some painful times. Like when we tried to figure out where we were all going to sit (so the guys could talk and yet the girls still sit by their men) and when we prayed ( the girls just automatically reached for their husbands' hands and I just squeezed mine own tightly in my lap). They graciously listened as I shared memories of Jim or chatted about single parenting. It was definitely awkward for me, but it wasn't as bad as I thought either.

I read this in a Grief Share email today:
This feeling of loneliness and the consciousness that you are not part of a couple may cause you to avoid going into group situations where most of the other people are couples. God disagrees with the idea that three's a crowd. He reveals in His Word that great strength is available when three people come together.
(Ecclesiastes 4:12 & Matthew 18:20)

Tonight Ecclesiastes 4:12 really stood out to me. My mom had three kids, so all the time when we were quarreling as a child, I'd hear, "Two company, threes a crowd." I respectfully disagree. I think it is possible for three siblings to get along and be close knit. So I keep reminding my boys, "A threefold cord is not easily broken." It wasn't until tonight, that I realized this was for me as well. Being a third wheel in God's hands is powerful, not disheartening or drudgery.

Ahhhh, how Almighty God can breath life into what seems so negative. And make me see the priviledge it is to be that third person......

May 18, 2010

This Is Best (repeated)

As my birthday draws near, I am reminded of the sweet gift the Lord gave me the first year I celebrated it without Jim. Here is an old post I shared it on.

January 14, 2008

This Is Best
My first birthday without my husband was just months following his death. I was surrounded by family that day, and though their presence was a great comfort, oh, how my heart was aching. I remember just sobbing as the pain seemed to engulf me and no relief seemed in sight.

"Oh, Lord, if I didn't love him so much, this wouldn't hurt as much!" I thought.

Very clearly the response was "I love him more than you, and I said this is best."

"But the boys need their father!" I cried.

"And I love them more than you do, and I said this is best."

"But I hurt sooooo much, Lord!!!!"

And He tenderly answered, "And I love you more than you can ever imagine and I said this is best."

Many, many months have past since that day, but the Lord's words have stayed with me, wrapping me in security and love. He said this is best.I don't have to understand why, or have all the answers. I just know He loves me. It was that great love that held Him to the cross, not the nails. That amazing love that cleanses me and keeps me. And that love is enough.

May 17, 2010

Sowing Tears

News of another family getting swallowed up in life's rat race just tore me up last week. It hurts to see busyness dividing a family, each doing their own thing instead of being unified together as a couple and as a family. And sin is threatening to destroy it. A mental, emotional divorce seems inevitable. It hurts. They need Christ. They need His Word to show them the better way. Oh, they can have it soooooo good. It hurts to see them hurting. It hurts to see them reject Christ's ministry of restoration.
Oh, the burden for them was so great. It literally was bringing me to my knees. All I could think of was Psalm 126:5. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."

Lord, I pleaded, I have sown so many tears for these people through the years and I feel like I am losing the fight. I called on other trusted prayer warriors for I felt the burden just so heavy.

One sweet friend text back encouragement and pointed me to Psalm 5. As the tears rolled down my cheeks, I began to read it....I didn't get far and I had to stop. This was for me.........

Psalm 5:1-3
Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

I stopped and prayed out loud His Holy Word.....and it ministered to my soul. God hears me. I have a listening ear with the King of kings and Lord of lords!! He cares. He loves these people more than I do! He is my King--He rules over all. He is my God, my personal, loving God who knows me better than I know myself. And He reminds me to look up. He is working on this even as I prayed and wept. He was already working on it behind the scenes and I was reminded of truths He taught me before:

1) God is sovereign over satan's attacks; He is in control.


2) God will work and who shall let (stop or hinder) it?


3) Beauty will rise from the ashes.


Peace washed over me, peace that passeth all understanding. And I could rest in knowing He was working. That He was still on the throne and something beautiful would come out of this all.

Blessings

I hesitate to post this, for it seems prideful to mention, yet I also want to testify of God's work in my life.

Recently I was praying and fasting for a friend and her situation. It was a relatively short fast and yet mentally a tough one. God was amazing as usual and worked mightily. Once the "storm" was over I felt the Lord say it is finished and I planned to get some food that very night after an event. Just as we were leaving, a lady who had been recognized for her hard work and given flowers, divided her bouquet and gave me some of the flowers. I tried to decline to no avail. I finally accepted them as a little blessing from the Lord for following His leading to fast and pray. As we left the place, it was down pouring, literally sheets of water! I dreaded the drive home. Yet as we got gas before leaving town, it stopped. All the way home, no rain. Yet ten minutes after being home, down pouring again! Another gift from God. On the way home, we had another blessing. Because of the sudden and heavy raining, there was some flooding, and I suddenly came upon a lot of water on the road completely covering my lane. No oncoming traffic was coming so I could quickly drive out of it into the other lane. Again another gift from God this time in protection.

After I had the kids all tucked in bed, I sat listening to the rain. I felt so blessed. God called me to be a prayer warrior. When He tells me to pray, it is my duty to do so. When He tells me to fast also, it is my duty, as a soldier, to endure it. I didn't broadcast what I was doing. I just let my friend know she was covered in prayer. Another friend was my prayer partner and that was another blessing, we grew closer because of it. But only God knew the specific details of it all. He didn't need to give me anything. Just watching Him at work was enough. Just knowing I had been obedient was enough. Yet these blessings were sweet whispers to my heart, acts of love that said to me, "I am proud of you, my daughter". And what girl doesn't long for her Daddy to say that?!

May 13, 2010

Accountable

Our church's school had their awards program and graduation last night. During the program, Snapp leaned over to me and asked me if I gave an award to him what would it be. I stated it would be the Creative Award. He is always looking at things in a new way and thinking deeply. I later shared that I would give Snipp the Dependable Award because I can count on him to do what I say and help me with things. To little Snurr, I would give the Teachable Award because he has such a thirst for learning and is always wanting to "do school."


Snapp told me this morning that if he could give me a trophy it would be the Burning Heart Award given to those who have a heart that is on fire for the Lord. He went on to say that he would give me the Accountable Award because God can count on me. Too cute! And the Helping Award because I help people. Such sweet compliments from my little man.


It is always interesting to me to see myself through my child's eyes. May I keep my eyes on Christ and be worthy of His reward.

May 05, 2010

No Fear

Again the Lord has taught me something through my children. Snipp and Snapp went together to get our mutt who had wandered away into the woods. I usually go with them, but this time Snurr needed my attention. Less than eight minutes later, Snipp emerged triumphant with our dog on the leash. But where was Snapp? About two minutes later, here he came. I thought he might be upset for being left behind in the woods. We had seen coyote tracks by the creek previously and I thought he might be fearful of them. Nope, he trudged over to the porch swing and climbed up next to me exhausted. Chasing down a mutt is hard work:) I asked him if he was scared when Snipp who was pulled by the dog home left him alone in the woods.

"I wasn't scared; if a coyote or wolf got me, I'd go to Heaven. And if they didn't, I knew you'd be here at home. "

His words reminded me of a story I heard of a woman who was so calm as the ship she was on was caught in a violent storm. When asked later why she was so calm, she explained that she had one daughter in heaven and another waiting for her at port. She knew she was going to see one of them soon, she just didn't know which.

Help me, Lord, to trust in You and have no fear.

May 02, 2010

I Will Work Part 2

Finally, right? Finally I will add part two of "I will work".
A visiting preacher preached this message and I will simply type out my notes as I wrote them:

Isaiah 43:10-13 10

Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. I am a witness to the world for my God; I have a personal relationship with Him and am chosen to testify of Him. To tell the world there is no other saviour besides Him! Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?



God asked Isaiah to do some crazy things for him; God does the abnormal:)

"I am he" God is reminding them of Himself. He defends Himself. Asking, Do you remember Me?

God is not only defensive, He is offensive. God pursues us, God seeks us! We separate the God of the old testament and of now, that is our own fault. God is the same God with the same heart for us.
I will work and who will let it? "Let" means to stop it or hinder it.

I--The PERSON

On my best day, I will disappoint you. There are people stronger than me, things stronger than me. Thankfully I am not making this promise. God is and that changes everything. God is the "I am" He told that to Moses and in the new testament He was telling the people "I am the way, I am the good shepherd, I am the bread of life" John 1:1 says He took nothing and made something.


Will--The PROMISE

My word is not like God's Word. Core men crumble; we are attacked. Our word means less and less. This is not a promise of a man. He will.......He has all the power of the God!!! Hollywood's idea is that there is a power struggle between God and satan. That is not truth! God has ALL Power!! With one breath He could inialate all evil. The devil doesn't influence God's Word. he can't change what God has said. It either has or will come to pass. It is settled in heaven.

Work--The POTENTIAL

We say try harder, try harder; yet they are just flesh and blood. In this flesh, I have nothing better. God says I will work. There is a law in scripture, God does the work. Man rests on the finish work. Rest on God. God's work is above what we can dream. Eph. 3:20 says before you even thought of it, God was at work. He tells us, I am able to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we ask or think. We don't think like God. God is not like us. When He makes a promise, He keeps it!

God works to build faith. Proving Himself over and over again. How many times you cry out to God and He answers. Then the next time you think, Oh, I don't think He can do it." God is working a work of holiness in us. Yet often when God works, we don't like how He does it. God is at work. He did a work, remember Elijah at Mt. Carmel? God has done a work in ME! God doesn't need my help; God is doing something and I want to be with Him to see it! God is not done with this church or with your family...He just doesn't work the way you do or think. God can resurrect the dead!! There is no greater work than the resurrection.

Who is going to stop God's work? Not you..you won't stop God. It is my loss, my missing out if I get discouraged. God will raise up another. He will work. God will put you thorough the fire. Where was God when Joseph was in prison? Oh, He was there; He put him there. See God was at work.


I Will Work


(The Person) (The Power) (The Potential)

May 01, 2010

It Is Well

Remember "I will work" and how I said a visiting preacher preached a message on it? Well, in that message he gave another truth right before the meat of his message. We had just finished singing "It Is Well With My Soul." I knew the story of deep grief behind the song, so I wasn't expecting him to tell us that the first woman to say that was the Shunimite woman in the Bible.

The story in a nutshell is Elisha the prophet would often stay at this family's home and they ended up building a room and furnishing it just for him. In thanksgiving for their kindness, he asked God to give them a child as they had none. As a result, they have a son; later he gets sick and dies. After the boy dies, the mother goes to find the man of God. On her way, she is asked how she is and she replies, "It is well." She knew that God had breathed life into her womb and she had a son. That same God could breathe life into her son again. She knew God was going to do something. The preacher went on to say this, "Trials don't ruin a person; they reveal a person. When it looks dark for you and your church, God can breath supernatural life! In the darkness say, It is well! It is well because God is still on the throne. So it will always be well."



Wow! Powerful words.......today I was speaking with another person who grieves a loved one. She commented on God soveriegnty becoming more real to her and seeing more of His goodness every day. I agreed; it is like I can breathe again. It took me 4 yrs to reach this point; it took her 7 yrs. The Lord gets a person to this place in His timing as He has many personal lessons for each of us on the way.

Changing Word For the Year


Some of you know that my word for the year was consistent....well last year my word was focused and God changed it to prayer. It took me 5 months to accept it, but I finally have accepted that God has changed my word for this year to counsel.

Follower of Christ, Godly Widow, Godly Single Mother, Effective and Fun Homeschool Mom, Prayer Warrior, Praiser with song, and Counselor with Words of Life.........these are the many roles I feel I have been given by God. Yikes! Emaculate housekeeper didn't make the list...LOL. On a serious note, all of these are impossible without My God and surrounding each calling in intense prayer is a must.

So, dear readers, if you think of me-- pray for me to be worthy of my calling and to be a clear window for Him. So that when others look at me doing these roles, they see through me and see the beauty of GOD.

April 26, 2010

Isaiah 43

The last two days I have been mediating and rereading Isaiah 43. There are some beloved verses in it. Verses that speak to my heart. I chose to share just those verses instead of the whole chapter this time. This is some of what the Lord has been "doing" in my life:

Isaiah 43
1But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
Another reminder that God created me, formed me in my mother's womb, called my name, redeemed me, and I am His!!! WOW! When I think of all this, really, why should I fear?

2When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. A well known verse when going through overwhelming times. Again God's promise to be with me!

4Since thou wast precious in my sight.........God views me as precious, His only Son's life was given for me!
5Fear not: for I am with thee.....In case I didn't get it all the other times, God is reminding me again, not to be afraid, He is with me, I am not facing anything alone!

7Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. I am called a Christian, a child of God, I was created for His glory, not my own, for His. And every work He does in my life, even the things I feel are bad, are for my good and His glory.
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10Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
12I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.
I am a witness to the world for my God; I have a personal relationship with Him and am chosen to testify of Him. To tell the world there is no other saviour besides Him!

13Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? There it is again, that verse. I still need to share part 2 on that. Anyway twice in the last week God brought this verse to my attention again. God, the Almighty God, will work. No one can stop Him, not me, not other sinful men, and not the devil.

15I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. My king, too often I focus on the Lord as my friend (which He is) and neglect to reverance and fear Him as my King.

16Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;
This verse always makes me think of this song: "God can make a way, when there seems to be no way, He works in ways we cannot see, He can make a way for me. He will be my guide, hold me safely to His side, with love and strength for each new day, He can make a way, He can make a way."

19Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Two thoughts came to me as I read this: First, that God has done a new thing in my life. He took my dreams and hopes for the future and created them into something new. If He had asked my permission to turn my life upside down and take my beloved husband home, I would have shouted No, defiantly in His face. Thankfully, He didn't ask. This new thing, this walk of young widowhood, has been like a walk along a river in the desert. If I wander away from Him, I get very faint and thirsty, my mind gets confused and mirages of lies lure me away from my source of life. But when I stay close to Him, He keeps me refreshed and makes beauty show up in a desolate place. This new thing, has been good for me as He promised (Romans 8:28). The second thought was another chorus, "My Lord know the way through the wilderness, All I have to do is follow...Strength for day is mine all the way, all I have to do is follow.."

25I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. My sins are many, dear reader, as are yours. I don't have to tell you mine, and you don't have to tell me yours. But the God who created us knows our sins, they grieve Him, they must be atoned, they must be paid for....thankfully God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to come from Heaven to die on the cruel cross for my sins and your sins. Do you accept this wonderful gift of love? Do you believe Jesus was the Son of God and rose from the grave? He is at the right hand of God right now, awaiting all who will repent and call upon Him. Then.....he blots out all our sin by His blood and remembers them no more.....
Wow!
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April 18, 2010

Reminds Me of God

Recently my son lovingly looked at a toy I had purchased for him. In his childlike seriousness, he spoke, "Mom, this toy reminds me of God, Daddy, and T.(His new friend)

He went on to explain what features of the toy reminded him of each person. I smiled at his creativeness and depth of thinking. It reminds me of his sentimental daddy.

Oh, the lessons we can learn from children.

When was the last time I looked for God in everything I saw? Now it is easy on a beautiful morning with the birds singing, or the hug from a friend when we are sad. But what about the ordinary things of the day? When I erase something, do I think of God erasing my sins? When I slip on my shoes, do I think of how God protects me where I go? When I answer the phone, do I think how God never is too busy to listen to me? When I get a drink, do I think about His Love that quenches my thirst? When I eat, do I think of His Word that nourishes my soul?

Like I said before, the lesson we can learn from children.

Lord, help me be more like my son and see you in everything in my life.

Approved

We all know that feeling....you are standing at the checkout and you have swiped your card. You wait for the little "Approved" message to flash on the screen. Most of the time it shows up, but at least once in your life it will say "Denied." Oh, the shock, the embarrassment, the frustration, the anxiety, the fear.....

Recently at the checkout, as the word "Approved" flashed for me and I busied myself with my parcels, a still soft voice whispered to me. "Someday everyone will look at the Creator and await His answer. Approved or denied......."

Oh, the Spirit of Truth is always.........so true:) I praise God that the blood of Christ will speak for me and because it covers my sin I am "approved." For without that blood, I am too vile and sinful to enter and would surely be "denied."

As the old hymn says, "Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power, Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb, Are you full trusting in His grace this hour, Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"

It is my prayer for you, dear reader, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved! So when you stand before the Great Judge, you will be approved.

April 12, 2010

The Bullet Creek Boys


I was teasing Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr today that they are the Bullet Creek Boys. We love the Sugar Creek Gang series and enjoy reading through the books out loud as a family. Lately with the weather so nice we have been exploring the creek near our home. Today they longed to do it again. I was curled up in my warm bed reading a book when Snipp came in and asked if we could go down to the creek.

I will admit my first thought wasn't yes. But I went and watch some crazy boys play in the chilly water.
Just like a couple days previous when Snipp asked me to play football after he got his school work done. I hesitated to say yes then too. Though I did end up saying yes. We had a grand time playing catch and a one-on-one game with me losing 18-30.

Some people say I need to turn away from the past and move forward. Yet the past is the key to going forward.

The day before my husband died, the boys wanted to take a walk in the woods. I had just done that with them 3 days previous and wasn't excited about the idea. Actually I didn't even plan on going; I felt exhausted as being pregnant will do to you. I planned to take a nap naturally. But the words of my husband stopped me and I went anyway. We had a great time exploring the woods and made a memory the boys have cherished. I almost missed it. It scares me I almost missed it. A little over 24 hours later, Jim was gone from us.......

What powerful words did Jim speak that changed my plans?

"What is so important?"

And that is the same thought that made me skip housework and play football.
It is the same words that echoed in my head and got me out of my comfy bed and set my interesting book aside.

"What is so important?"
Words from the past that are keys to the future.
A future in which I plan to leave a legacy of the kind of mom I dream of being.

So what is so important?
Many things but at the top of my list,
right under Christ are my Bullet Creek Boys.

Thank You, Jesus, for the sweet, funny, adventurous, deep thinking, brave boys You have blessed me with. Though parenting them can seem exhausting, they have been tools in Your hands to make me a better person. They challenge me to stick close to You and be brave.
Like Papa Piccolo says, "Oh, the adventures we have!!!"