A good day!

A good day!

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Friday :)

And my boys are out spending the day together shooting and having lunch. What am I doing while they're gone? Glad you asked ;) I crank up the country music and dance around the house while I dust. LOL It's a good motivator and no one's here to laugh at me. ;) They are leaving again tomorrow to spend some time together before Ryan leaves for Haiti, sooooo maybe I'll just be a dancin' again tomorrow. LOL But, I'll be hemming up some jeans for him and doing some more cleaning, like mopping the dog foot printed wood floors. Ugh....

I made some banana coconut bread yesterday that came out pretty tasty. We are running out of jam, so I may be making some while the captain is away in Haiti. I have big plans to keep me busy while he's gone so I don't go missin' him too much (not sure if that's possible) I am going to deep clean, take Hunter to a movie, buy Hunter some jeans because he has grown out of ALL of his pants since Christmas (wow), make jam, and I know I will have to rest in there somewhere. The nights will be the toughest. :(

God has blessed me with perseverance and with His help I will persevere through this time of his absence. I know it will be a turning point in his life and I look forward to the change that will happen in his heart. God is so good to us and I thank Him for all He has done in our life. He has brought the captain and I so far in our marriage. It's exciting to think of what the future holds for us. He has brought people in our life that aren't blood related, but are loved as such. He provides all our needs and even some wants. :) Being grateful for His death for me, His love, His compassion, His remembrance, makes me want to be pure and holy before Him and serve Him all my days and share the love He has given me. With Him by my side, I can do that. He's there to hold my hand and take me down His road. Even though it's hard and rocky, His hand in mine makes it worth the walk. May I hold on tight all my days...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankfulness and joy...

The sun is shining again today and I am thankful for that! :) What joy the sunshine can bring when it seems to have been so dark for so long.

I had a very encouraging evening last night. I was able to witness the work of God in someone's life and it brought such glory to God. It shows that when we put self aside and allow God to work in us, amazing things can be accomplished for His glory. Communication was restored with a loved one last night. I am so thankful for that! And it brings a lot of joy to my heart.

Here's what I've learned over several weeks of not having communication with this loved one...I found tremendous joy in that relationship. And when that relationship was cut off, I lost some joy in my heart. I've learned that that shouldn't be. I should have joy in my heart no matter the circumstances because Christ is my joy. So no outside influence should hinder my joy. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. But I'm glad I had the opportunity to learn it. I learned something about myself that needed a change.

I still find tremendous joy in that relationship, but if it were to be cut off again, I will keep my joy, even though I would be very hurt. Joy must be found in Christ. People and circumstances can cause us to express happiness, but our joy must be rooted and balanced in Christ.

I pray that God will continue to work in all our lives and continue to draw us to Him. I pray I will continue to seek joy in the Lord no matter my circumstances with loved ones, health, finances, etc. I pray I can be a blessing to the ones I love and God's love can be visible to others. May my life be pleasing to the Lord as I continue to strive to be the woman He created me to be...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Trust...

Well, it's another cold, drizzly day here in Central Illinois....can't wait for spring. :) I look forward to beautiful flowers and birds singing and building their nests. (Just this year they can't build near my soffits) What a mess that was last year...

I look forward to the new life that God brings forth every spring. Seeing all the baby animals warms my heart. I find A LOT of peace and joy in His creation. It's truly amazing.

Had a wonderful meal last night with our small group. Had a good laugh, which helped take my mind off some things for a while. I've had a bit of fear in my heart still and I want to hand that totally over to Christ. Why is it so hard? I think it's hard because it's the fear of the unknown...not knowing if relationships will be able to be restored with full communication, not knowing what lies ahead for my sight and health, not knowing how my son's life will turn out, etc...BUT, I've come to realize more and more to TRUST an unknown future to a known GOD. Trust...such a word was brushed off in the past, not really thought about a whole lot. I don't think God liked that I did that...For the past six weeks He has brought that word back up into the forefront of my mind and caused me to examine it very deeply. I did.

It's an amazing word. A scary word. A word that requires FAITH. To trust means you fully believe that the Lord has your best interest at heart. It means to faithfully give your fears over to Him. It means knowing that even if your heart gets broken, God didn't break it to hurt you. He allowed it to fulfill His purpose in your life. It's having faith that even though man crushes you, God is there to pick up the pieces. It's having faith that God still uses His people to show His love and not thinking God somehow mysteriously shows us love in an invisible way that only we can see. (Although the Holy Spirit can stir the feeling of love in your heart for Him invisibly, it will be visible to others on your face) God accomplishes His work through ordinary PEOPLE. For all to see as a witness for Him so He may be glorified.

It's trusting your body to Him to do with as He see fit. It's being faithful to Him even if He chooses to allow my sight to be gone or be diminished. They are, after all, just eyes. I can still see with my heart...which is the best way to see people anyway. :) It's allowing God to do His will in your life and letting Him help you accomplish that will.

I'm not saying TRUST is easy....it takes a lot of faith to let go and just trust. But, we can do it. We may not do it right every time, but we can strive for it. I continue to cry out to the Lord to be able to talk freely to my "dad" again and grow in that relationship (hey I can shoot for the moon ;), I continue to cry out to the Lord for my sight and health and being a good wife to a wonderful husband, etc. He doesn't mind that. He wants to hear us. BUT, once we do that, we need to TRUST Him that His perfect will will be completed in us. It's not easy and when we find ourselves heading back down the road of fear, we need to stop and take a deep breath, turn around, and TRUST. He loves us so...and be comforted knowing that There is a Day...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Haiti and the day-to-day...

It's a sunny day so far here in central Illinois...I hear there may be snow in store though...I guess that's ok. :) More time to cuddle up indoors by the woodstove. I went up to the neighbors with my son to help with the chicken chores while they are out of town. It was a brisk morning, but the sun felt so good on my face and I just love to watch chickens run around. :) I like watching my own run especially in the summer while I'm gardening...

My husband is leaving for Haiti in a little over a week. Please be in prayer for his safety and that God would use Him to do His work. Pray that while he is gone, nothing major happens here. His best friend that I normally would call if something happens when my husband is gone is going with him...I don't know who I would call at a moment's notice if I needed a man for something. So just pray I won't need to. :) Pray that I won't need a treatment while he is gone. I don't like to have them alone...

I'm going to be doing my spring cleaning (Lord willing) while he is away for 10 days. It will be refreshing to take down curtains and wash them and clean the windows and do some deep cleaning. I will take it day by day, but that should be plenty of time to focus and get it done.

Today, I'm trying to get laundry done and folded. I also need to clean the woodstove out and get another fire started. Hunter will be focusing on school then on his room....Ugh, he is sooo messy. I don't know how he sleeps in there at night. lol. It would drive me crazy. So, I'll be trying to keep him focused on getting that done this weekend...pray for me. LOL

I pray you all enjoy your weekend and remember to hold the ones you love close to you and if you can't physically, hold them close to your heart...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Simple things...

With the uncertainty with the future of my eyes, I have been more in tune with the simple things in life. I enjoy a sunrise all the more. I enjoy listening to the birds in late winter seeming to be getting ready for spring. I enjoy the smell of the fresh, crisp air early in the morning. There are so many things we take for granted...

I have had a lot of adversity in my life, it's just the way it is. But, it has shaped me to be who I am. Through that, I have been able to allow the Lord to mold that shape. His hands are gentle in that molding. And, I've had to have a lot of molding...

I want that my life would be a reflection of Him, even through hurt, pain, and confusion. I want my life to be full of love for Him and others. And I want that love to be known...it's up to me to let that love be known...

I have joy and thankfulness in my heart for the love that He has allowed to flow through other people in my life. One way God shows His love in action is through His people. Simple things like a smile from someone you love can mean so much. The comfort of a hug can speak what words cannot. Words of encouragement when fear creeps in your heart from bad news or uncertainty can mean a lot when you are having a hard time finding the good in a situation.

God wants our obedience...He wants us to trust Him....He wants us to be who He created us to be....and He wants us to love others, freely and deeply. Adversity can help put things into perspective. My health has helped me not take the ones I love for granted. It has helped me realize that life is so short not to be obedient to the Lord and so short to not show others how much we love them. My heart aches when I am not able to show that love. But, that doesn't me I don't love.

I'm praying God will allow my heart to stay open and allow me to continue to enjoy the simple things in life. I find so much joy in the simple things...I find so much joy in love...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Struggling a bit today...

I'll be the first to admit I don't have it all together. Today is a hard day for me. I have yet another migraine, which is really bothering my eyes. My muscles are weak and have had a difficult time swallowing the past few days. :( This is where I struggle today....I am really bummed. This, what feels like, constant suffering is getting me down...today. Before you gasp and say I'm not relying on the Lord enough...I am. I just don't like feeling like this. I'm sure I could be leaning on Him more than I am today, though. I wish God would allow me a week of feeling sooo good. Everyday, just about, I wake up suffering in some way. My mind says "Please make it stop." My heart says, "Do with me as you wish, Lord. If you have me to suffer, well please let me suffer with grace."

I love the Lord with all my heart. I am not mad or disappointed in Him. I just don't like this fallen world we live in and have to experience. I know that God is with me during times of suffering. I am very thankful for that. I am thankful that I can tell Him how I feel, happy or sad or even mad. I am actually thankful that He does allow suffering. I don't always like it, but I am thankful. It can put us in a situations where we cannot keep going ourselves and He picks us up like a lamb around His shoulders and carries us. He knows all the hurt we feel. He remembers. God doesn't forget what we go through in this life...

Today I am trying very hard to remember that God wants what is best for us. He is a Holy God and is not out to punish us. I am trying to remember that my suffering, both emotional at times and physical, will not last forever. God will bring an end to it at the proper time. In the meantime, I want to be graceful in how I handle the suffering God allows. I want my life to be a witness for Christ and I want to show His love to others, not just speak it. I want to grow in the love of Christ and have a strong relationship with Him.

I may be struggling a bit today, but that's ok....I still know He is on the throne and right beside me at the same time. I know He has a tremendous love for His children and doesn't mind when we cry out to Him in our struggles. What an awesome God we serve...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love...

To My Valentine, Cupids with Heart


Valentine's Day is fast approaching. It's a holiday we usually don't pay much attention to. It's a bit commercial for us. But, this year I am trying to look at it in a new light. I am looking at it as a reminder of how Christians should love.

God gave us a command to love one another. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34.

Love, as they say, makes the world go 'round. :) It is how we are known as His disciples. "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35.

We are to spur one another towards love..."And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:24

We are to love one another deeply from the heart. "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart." 1 Peter 1:22 We, at times, will have love for one another that cannot be shown for whatever reason. We are still commanded to love one another deeply from the heart. Our choice of being able to show that love may be taken, but the love that is there cannot be taken from the heart.

We are to greet one another with a kiss of love. "Greet one another with a kiss of love." 1 Peter 5:14. If you are able to do this, I suggest you do. It's a great way to show your loved ones that you love them. A kiss on the cheek for family can go a long way. Your children will carry that love with them into adulthood. It's a great Godly way to show you care.

Loving others is very important to God. And, not just loving our own family. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7 Friends are addressed in this scripture, not just family. We are to love others. Period. Friends, family, and even enemies. :)

Take time this weekend and show love to others. Be kind, thoughtful, encouraging, and compassionate. Open your heart and allow love to come in and then share it with others.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Handling life with grace...

isn't such an easy thing to do...but it must be done.

We've all had some things happen in our lives that either hurt, wasn't fun, mad us angry, frustrated us, made us feel insecure, or confused us. It happens to everyone. It's how we handle it that sets us apart. Do we let our flesh control or do we handle it with grace...

It takes a lot of effort to handle life with grace. It takes being in tune with the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to remind us to live by the Spirit. But, it's so much easier to just let our flesh run a muck. It takes little effort to do that. But, it's not godly. This application comes to me when my husband talks to "dad" on the phone and I get to see him enjoy that communication that I cannot enjoy anymore. It is very easy to be sad and disappointed. But, I choose to turn that around and have joy for my husband that still is able to continue that relationship. It gives me the opportunity to have patience, trust, and to be selfless. BUT, it takes effort and maturity in the Lord to show grace. And that's not always easy, but can be easier when we lean on the Lord.

Handling life with grace means smiling when you are hurt, keeping an open heart, not lashing out when someone hurts you, waking up everyday with a smile on your heart, and knowing that no matter what...God is in control. When we keep in mind that God has our best interest at heart, we can handle life with grace a little bit easier...

I hope that everyday I can be more of a gracious woman and keep love, hope, and TRUST in my heart.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Giving in...

to rest that is...I've been a bit tired today and had a nice list of things to do. I sure didn't get all I wanted done today. I think I just got laundry and dishes done...

Isn't it interesting when you set out to do a lot sometimes God has other plans? I must need the rest. :) I'd rather rest here then in the hospital. ;) Ryan had vaccinations today for Haiti. He is asleep now after that ordeal...It was a longgggg wait. He has a couple more to go and then he's all set to go. He's excited about going to Haiti and I know it will be a great experience for him.

It's snowing here...again. I don't mind it. I actually love to watch it fall. It's just so beautiful. The woodstove is so comforting on snowy evenings like this. I pray everyone is enjoying their evening. I've been thinking about loved ones lately and miss them a lot. Oh how I wish....oh nevermind. No need to wish. :)

God holds us in the palm of His hand and comforts us, guides us, and keeps us. I'm so thankful that I serve a Lord who is compassionate in my times of sadness, doubt, fear, and uncertainty. He is there to lift us up out of adversity and draw us closer to Him. No matter the circumstance, I have hope that the One who has overcome the world is with me. I am so glad.

Hug your loved ones close and give them a kiss. It's such a blessing to be able to do and shouldn't be forgotten. They will remember it forever. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter cave....

It's blustery here in Cental Illinois. We didn't get a whole lot of snow yesterday, but what we did get is blowing all over. It's days like this we stay home in our "winter cave." Our home becomes a place of rest and coziness. I warm the house more with baking and take some time to sew. We even tackle some of the chores we've put off all summer, such as organizing the office. It's nice, too, just to sit inside and look out into the white wonder. It is so pretty. I love all the seasons really, beauty wise, not temperature. LOL

On a different note...This is a picture of Glacier National Park, MONTANA :) I've always, my whole life, have wanted to go to Montana. The beauty I see from pictures is so breathtaking, it actually makes me emotional. God has created something so wonderfully beautiful! It is rustic, raw, wild, and just awesome. It reflects my personality (simple, yet complex, rustic, quiet but has a lot to say, and slow paced) I hope to visit there someday. I'd like to go the fall of 2011. We'll see...


Glacier National Park Pictures, Images and Photos




I pray everyone has a blessed weekend. Enjoy your family and hug them tight. It's a precious gift to be able to do that. Don't take it for granted...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Overcoming fear...

Earlier this week, I lost a bit of sight in my right eye for a bit. The following day I decided to go ahead and go to the eye doctor. They did some tests and found that my cup-to-disc ratio in my eyes are not normal. I have a very large cup and very little disc. The disc is the nerve tissue in your eyes. Anyway, it means glaucoma. In both eyes. This glaucoma is not due to high pressure in the eye. They are not quite sure what has caused this. Possibly poor circulation to the eye. They just have no way of knowing why it's that way, just that it is and it's not due to high internal eye pressure. So I can't take drops to lower the pressure because it doesn't need it. I was told to take baby aspirin to help the circulation to the nerves in my eyes. I will start that tomorrow. There is no reversing the damage and I may have some dimness periodically. The good news is that the damage has not progressed. I will have a recheck in 4 mos or sooner if I have more vision loss. So far it's just been transient vision loss. I'm praying it continues to be a slow progression. The doctor said that vision loss can sneak up on you and one day just be snuffed out. But, with the slow progression and regular checks, hopefully I will have a warning. And who knows, it may progress so slow that I won't experience permanent loss ever. :) The temporary vision loss is ok with me because it comes back. :)

I said all that to say this....I was fearful at first when the doctor told me what he did. I was afraid I'd lose my sight someday. He joked and said "You sure do go for the rare things." LOL I had to let the fear go because I realize that God is in control and if He sees fit for me to lose my vision some day, then that's what He decided and I know He knows best in every situation. It makes me appreciate all the beauty He has created even more. Oh, I have always wondered at His creation for as long as I can remember. I want to see even more now. I believe He will give me many more years of sight. I don't know how many, but I will savor every moment I have. :)

God doesn't want us to live in fear. He didn't give us a spirit of fear. He wants us to TRUST Him in ALL things, great and small. I have had many opportunities to learn that throughout my life. My God is a good God and He gives us what we need for each day. He is compassionate, loving, strong, and has concern for His children. I TRUST Him....and I know, There is a day....

Monday, February 1, 2010

What is your house built on?

Canyon De Chelly - Mummy Cave Pictures, Images and Photos



Canyon de Chelly Pictures, Images and Photos


Is your house built on sand or on the solid Rock?

"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matthew 7:25

Many of you know that we have had a large storm in our lives recently...Through that, we have been able to see what we built our "house" on and how strong our foundation was. We have built our house on the solid Rock. Although it has been whipped by fierce winds, it still stands. Our foundation is strong, but we did see where there may have been some cracks in it. So we reinforce that foundation.

Our "house" suffered surface damage, shingles lost, siding ripped, and some broken windows. BUT our foundation was stable and there was no deep damage. Jesus can repair ANY damage that is caused in a storm. He is a master Carpenter. :) He can repair it to where it was better than it was before. We just need to give up our hammer and nails and allow Him to do the work. Sure, we need to participate in the repair, but just by assisting perhaps by handing him the tools He needs and then allowing Him to do the work. He, after all, knows a lot more about repairs than I do. :)

God is moving and repairing several hearts, including mine. I am so glad He is so faithful to us that no matter the storm, He is always there ready and willing to repair the damage. I am looking forward to the remodeling He is going to do with His mighty hammer. :) He can repair relationships and broken hearts. He can chisel away years of dirt and grime that build up on our "house." I have to TRUST Him that He will finish a work that He has started. I have to TRUST that no matter what happens in my life, He is looking out for me and wants the best for me.

*Side note* The pictures above are pictures of Canyon de Chelly. (pronounced Canyon de Shay) It is in Arizona. We visited it when we were missionaries in New Mexico. It is a breathtaking place to go. Amazing beauty. I recommend a visit someday...

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"There is no place like a farm for raising children, where they can have in such abundance the fresh air and sunshine, with pure living water, good wholesome food and a happy outdoor life" -Laura Ingalls Wilder