A good day!

A good day!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why do I torture myself?

Every Spring I get all excited about having a garden. As soon as the weather has a hint of warmth in it, I start dreaming. I dream about how wonderful and full my beans will be and how big my tomatoes will be...it always ends up a dream. :(

I start with good intentions. The ground is tilled and made ready. I get the plants and seeds and plant with wonderful visions of providing good food for my family.

Then it happens...the rains, the deer, the heat...Try as I may I just don't have the strength to fight all those. I watch in horror as my dream becomes grass...It's sad, really. I don't even have weeds, just grass that springs up quickly and spreads itself all across my big garden taking over and making it unrecognizable.

We have big plans for next years garden...black plastic and compost. We shall see. For now, I will glean from it what I can and dream about next years bounty.

Hope you all are having a better time in your gardens...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When God speaks...

I thank you in advance for getting through this post. It reveals an ugly side of me, one that I hadn't really seen until God revealed it. I have eyes that see, but was too afraid to look. He has spoken to me on two separate occasions in the last two weeks...very clearly. Here are the two different times and I'll explain as best I can.

Friday....I take Hunter to horseback riding lessons every Friday. He has had several lessons, but on this particular lesson, God decided to open my eyes so that I may see. His instructor is wonderful. I have always thought so. But, on this particular day as I sat in the barn and watched her teach him, I was overwhelmed to tears. (Kinda embarrassing) You see God was revealing to me an ugly side of me and it hurt. I have never seen anyone be as patient as this woman is to Hunter. Her voice is soft, kind, and articulate. There is never frustration in her voice. She laughs with him. She was teaching him how to clean hooves and told him where not to be rough because it is soft tissue. Well, he forgot. (He didn't harm the horse, she caught it) I was thinking "Hunter, she just told you what not to do and then you didn't listen and did it anyway." But, that is me in my sinful nature. This is what she said.."We want to use this tool around the edge of the hoof and not in the middle where there is soft tissue. Here try again." Oh the shame I felt! I am so impatient at times with him. I can get irritated at his lack of focus. God showed me that I don't have to. Here was a living example that I could follow as she follows Christ. It's possible. I was tearful and came to her and said that she was a wonderful example of patience and I wanted to be more like that. She was gracious and gave me a hug and said the horses have helped her learn patience and that next lesson I could fiddle around with one. Wow....God is so good.

The next situation was Sunday night. We had a lady we know sit in front of us at church. I looked at her pants and it happened again. God spoke in an instant...a fraction of a second and my heart was filled with His words. I was brought to tears...again. See, her pants were very modest. I'll try and explain what He revealed to me in that fraction of a second. {He said to me...those pants are ok. They are modest, that's what matters. Why is it you still just wear skirts? To be modest? No, that is not the whole truth, Stephanie. Be honest with Me. You wear them to feel old fashioned and set apart from others. You wear them hoping someone will take notice. It's all about you. You aren't doing this for Me. Even when you are alone and doing your chores in your skirt, you feel self righteous. Wake up from this "sleep" you are in. Be modest. Period. Don't dwell on how modest you are. Dwell on Me.} Ok, by this time I was very overwhelmed and it took all I had to keep it together right there in church. Mind you this all came in a fraction of a second. Neat how God can speak to our hearts that fast. He is right, you know. He always is. It saddened me to see that ugly side of me, knowing it was true. But, He is full of grace. He didn't just leave me where I was...He woke me from my slumber. I pray He continues to rouse me from my sleep and reveal any other ugly parts that need to be given over to Him. Thank you, God for Your grace and faithfulness.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thankful for His comfort...

It's been a rough night...I would appreciate any prayers. God comforts us in our suffering and I am so thankful He does. My husband made a tough decision tonight regarding a relationship we have had and it broke our hearts. God will have to heal my heart because it's broken...I know He can mend it and I know that this relationship if not here, will be continued in glory. I just wish I had more time with this relationship here in the flesh. I cry now, but with God and the help of my husband, we will move past the pain. The pain will cease someday, but the love we have will never cease. It will always be...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Feeling better...

Yesterday was a cooler, albeit still hot day, and it helped with me feeling better. I made some snickers candy bars, cleaned up the house, volunteered at the gluten free store, and finished a book.

Last night we did some target shooting with my brothers, their fiances, my mom, Hunter, and Ryan. It was pretty fun. My older younger brother leaves today back for California. He was talking about talking his fiance into moving here. Why on earth he'd want to move back to central Illinois is beyond me. I guess he just wants to be close to family. I think it's been weighing on them since our step-dad was killed. I just know though that after a while of living here, they would probably wonder why they came to live here in this state. ;)

Hunter has horseback riding lessons today and he's excited to wear his cowboy boots. He really likes riding and I really like it for him. :)

I'm hoping to get outside while I can to get some weed whacking done. It's very much needed. I love being outside where I can see the beauty that the good Lord has created. I know it's strange, but I feel closer to Him when I look at nature and the beauty it beholds. I know it's just a feeling. ;)

I pray you all enjoy your weekend, as I will. :) Let God speak to your hearts and listen with unclogged ears and then act on what He says. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hot Summer days...

It has been very hot and humid here for what seems like weeks. Everyday is muggy to where you feel like you're breathing water instead of drinking it. ;) It has taken a toll on my health a bit. I have become weaker and exhausted. My garden has suffered due to all the rain and heat we've had to which I haven't been able to get out in it and weed. I did do some last night, but I could only do 1 1/2 rows before I got extremely weak and had to go inside. :( The deer ate a lot of our plants and it's been so discouraging.

Today is going to be filled with resting and reading...I told Ryan yesterday that if there was anything they could do for me at the hospital, I would go. I haven't felt like I needed to be admitted in a long time. I'm praying this passes soon and I have my strength back. I've been fighting a migraine for 3 days and my brain is so scattered. I know it will get better....I just hope it's sooner than later. :)

Well, I'm going to go rest my brain a bit...it hurts too much to think of anything else to say today. I just want things to be back to "normal."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Honoring Fathers....





A Little Girl Needs a Daddy

A little girl needs Daddy
For many, many things:
Like holding her high off the ground
Where the sunlight sings!

Like being the deep music
That tells her all is right
When she awakens frantic with
The terrors of the night.

Like being the great mountain
That rises in her heart
And shows her how she might get home
When all else falls apart.

Like giving her the love
That is her sea and air,
So diving deep or soaring high
She'll always find him there.

I understand that not everyone has a perfect relationship with their father, and this day actually stirs up feelings of bitterness, hopelessness or anger---you are not alone. Fathers are imperfect---sinners---like the rest of us. Perhaps you were wronged, abused or even abandoned.

Then I must point you to my heavenly Father---the Father who" is father to the fatherless" (Ps 68:5) and will "never leave you or forsake you" (Deut. 31:8) and whom "binds up the hearts of the broken-hearted" (Ps 147:3) He is the perfect father you have been looking for all your life. He is the one who will fill that empty void in your soul. He is the one who will carry you when life gets tough. He is the one who will love you when you are unlovable and alone. He knows you and every strand of hair on your head. He knows what you will say before you say it and most importantly, the deep recesses of your heart. He gave the ultimate sacrifice of His Son to die for you so that you would be forgiven and their would be nothing between you and Him. His love for you is deeper than any sea or higher than any mountain--it is absolutely immeasurable.

So as we go about remembering our earthly fathers this week, let us take the time to honor, revere and encourage them as they take their place in God's dominion. And as for the ones who have fallen short, let us pray for them and forgive them, knowing that the Lord holds their hearts in His hands and because they need the Heavenly Father just as much as we do......and thankfully, many of us have found Him.




~From A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

This Father's Day is filled with uncertainty for me...so I have focused on the dad my husband is and also my heavenly Father. It can be difficult to squelch the desire for an earthly father, but I'm trying. :) I am truly grateful for my heavenly Father who loves me so much!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Get Behind Me Satan...



"Get behind me Satan!" he said, "You do not have in mind the things of God but the things of man." -Mark 8:33b

What kinds of things distract a woman of God?

A bigger home, materialism, covetousness, vanity, discontentment are a few.

We are distracted with many frivolous things of this world all the while bombarded by the media and culture around us to 'have it all'. We are 21st century Eves who crave what we should not.

Buy me, buy me, scream the ads that come in our mailbox---everything from craftily designed television commercials, smooth talking telemarketers, glossy enticing magazines and tempting Craigslist classifieds are demanding we spend our money in the pursuit of their shallow and fleeting happiness.

But to 'have it all' for the woman of God contradicts the definition the world dictates to us. In fact, it is the opposite.

And what things should a woman of God desire? What are the things of God that we need to chase after as the verse above declares?

Wisdom. Knowledge. Love. Humility. Patience. Kindness. Faithfulness. Self-control. Charity. Servanthood. Humility. Joy. Peace. Goodness. Contentment. Forgiveness. Busy at home and sharing Christ with an unsaved world that desperately needs Him is to name a few.

The things of God. Not man..........I am speaking of KINGDOM WORK.

Satan will try to distract us in the same manner he was using Peter to rebuke Jesus as Jesus stated what his purpose on earth was--to die on the cross for mankind, His Kingdom work. Will you allow yourself to be taken off the mission He has called you to?

Many here reading this are feeling off track today, but I exhort you now to get right back on-- to fight the good fight and to finish the race (2 Tim 4:7). Don't become lukewarm in your walk and remember your first love.

The Christian woman must always evaluate her life under the lens of Scripture. Her thoughts, her actions, her desires must always be striving to be in conformity with Gods Word.

What 'things of man' do you need to rid yourself of today?

~From A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Monday, June 14, 2010

Doing what is best...

Our son Hunter is very technology savvy. My mom has bought him most all of his technical devises. He has an xbox, ipod touch, laptop, cell phone, etc. But, there is a problem. He has lost himself in all of it. He no longer reads books, creates things, plays much outside, or does much photography lately....he'd rather play video games. It breaks my heart...

So yesterday my husband put a stop to it. We are selling our xbox and he is limited on his laptop and ipod touch. He was NOT happy about this. He thought we were being unreasonable. We explained to him that we were doing what was best for him. He needed more time to be a boy and do things outside and with his friends. He needed more focus to be able to seek the Lord and what He wants for him. Taking away the drudgery of the video games and the negative affect on his brain (laziness, inability to concentrate, and lack of nurturing it) is going to help him become a strong, focused man of integrity when he gets older.

Telling our kids no may hurt their feelings and seem to them the end of the world, but it's something that needs to be done when it needs to be done. It's what is best...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Whatever is Noble..The Realm of Entertainment..


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipians 4:8

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." Colossians 2:8

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:13-16)

The realm of entertainment is indeed a hot topic among Christians today. There are those who feel strongly that they need to stay in touch with culture and watch the newest movies to keep in touch and abreast with their culture and then there are those who openly teach about the dangers and false philosophies of entertainment. Unless you are living in a bubble somewhere, this subject directly affects all of us.

The three verses stated above have enough biblical guidelines to look at the world of entertainment through biblical lenses. There are many more, of course, but for sake of time and space we will use these three.

There is so much this generation of parents have to face that our own parents did not, our culture is saturated with high technology, that its hard for those who are not savvy in the area to keep up and thus more exposure of our children to evil. The world has truly become more desensitized to the wickedness around it and ridicule us when we reject it. There is good to be found in the below categories but I want us to examine the various choices of entertainment:

TV/Movies--the obvious offenders are evident, lust, sexual immorality, sensuality, foul language, witchcraft, but what about the ones that are not? Feminism, children deemed as superior and parents portrayed as imbeciles, rebellion towards authority and God, homosexuality, and the list goes on.

Books/ Magazines-- glossy pages send strong messages, books can have hidden messages, philosophies and agendas that mom and dad don't have time to read through

Video Games--violence, sex saturated, dark and evil, desensitizing our children, satanic-- now they have video games that access the internet and so we move unto..

Internet sites, blogs, Youtube and Facebook--all which put our children and ourselves on the fast track of information--good and bad. Be sure to have your filters on as a smorgasbord of depravities exists for the unsuspecting. Not only that, but also know what your children are reading and who they are visiting. Never let a child be online alone. I use the 'buddy system' for accountability. No one goes online without someone with them. Sometimes, even blogs for girls/boys (that appear godly) can dive into topics like sex, suicide and such so beware!

Music--Since there are many points I want to discuss here, I will be discussing this subject in a different post.

I have 'cleaned house' before and it is amazing how things still find their way in, it is definitely an ongoing process! Our family has adopted a 'walk beside, talk beside' method of dealing with these things and that in the event if they are exposed to ungodly influences-- we counter it with biblical worldview teaching. We must arm our children with the weapons of war that they will need for their time here on earth as we cannot shelter them from everything.

Children will want to imitate what they watch. Parents must be faithful in being responsible--making sure our children are exposed to and have multiple of sources of entertainment that are good, noble and excellent. We must remember that there is a spiritual war in the media culture and Satan, who has been quite successful so far, wants our children for himself.

So let's be diligent, parents, and keep a watchful eye over them so that none, not even one, will be led astray.

~From A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Finally slowing down...

I have nowhere to go today. :) I don't have to run into town for the store or church or anything else. :) I get to stay home and SEW. Which is MUCH needed. I'm running out of clothes/skirts and desperately need to make some. I also didn't get to putting the laundry away yesterday, so I can catch up on that. I also don't have to go anywhere tomorrow either. :) I think I finally got my schedule balanced out and it feels so good. :)

Yesterday I canned some green beans and made a delicious Fresh Strawberry Cake. It turned out very tasty even though it was gluten free. :)


I'm feeling back to myself...simple, ole fashioned, and productive. So much better than busy, stressed, and overwhelmed. :) It is just such a blessing...

I pray everyone enjoys their day and are able to take time to slow down, breathe, and ponder in their hearts what God has been saying to them. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Wise Mother Guards Her Time....


She was busy running the women's ministry at church. She would rush home and get ready for her MOPS meeting and then later in the day she knew she would somehow try to fit in the desperately needed shopping trip to host the monthly bible study in her home. She also had to run Johnny to soccer practice and little Suzy to her ballet class. She had forgotten to make dinner again and hubby would be home soon not to mention she hadn't touched the growing pile of laundry for days. She was tired, overwhelmed, and burnt out.

With all these seemingly good activites, she felt a gnawing at her soul. She had not read to her children for months, and yesterday she had yelled at her husband because she felt burdened by all the housework that she had to do when she finally did make it home from being out. She sunk despairingly down into her chair and saw an unfinished sewing project laying in a basket nearby and wondered when she would ever have time to even think about when she could complete such a project. She knew something in her life was amiss---but didn't she have the life she had always dreamed of? Didn't she take on these commitments with good intentions to serving her Lord?

Women were designed to be helpmeets, it is within our intrinsic nature to want to be available whenever there is a need. But we often do not pray before we take on new commitments as we blindly nod and say yes to fill someone elses needs. We forget to seek wise counsel and ask our husband what he thinks. Before we know it we have schedules that are swamped with well-meaning duties and obligations that were never intended for us, distracting us from our first responsibilities---time with God, our husbands and our children.

We have forsaken what is good with what is BEST. The days can be filled with many temptations, all enticing our souls, minds and our hearts away what is God's best for us. I believe many of us unknowingly choose such busyness for our lives falsely assuming it is the norm, but what we really need is to just live more simply. Simplicity helps to restore peace and order.

Sometimes we need to pare away the unnecessary things in our lives. This might be saying no to outside activities or events. This might be stepping down from some ministry positions we have found ourselves in. This could be putting some of your favorite craft projects on hold to be able to do some real work around the home. This might also mean taking a long break from the internet if we find it always tugging at our hearts pulling us away from our first duties.

If we find ourselves unsure if this is taking place we should ask ourselves a few questions: Are our homes in order? Are we getting meals to our husbands on time? Is the training and education of our children being neglected? Are the clothes in good repair and washed? All of these things take time and they are important. The mandate in Titus 2 is to love our husbands, love our children, to be self controlled, pure, kind, keepers at home and submissive to our own husbands, so that the word of God may not blasphemed. When we are doing these things, we are doing the Lord's work that He commanded us to do. These things to do not have to perfect, no home with people living in it will ever be, but we need to try to do our best in doing what we can in our circumstances.

Mother, turn your heart towards home!!! If you have a straying heart that always wants to be out shopping and driving all over town, surfing the net, emotionally distracted and absent with the non-important, pray that the Lord will give you a heart to stay home, to be present, to love it and to faithfully learn how to manage it well. It is well known that the woman is the heart of the home------but if she is gone all the time, now the home is lonely and empty. The mother is the one who helps fulfill the vision of her husband and puts into action cultivating the culture, warmth, order and atmosphere of the home, something that is impossible to fulfill being physically or mentally absent. It is hard to look well to the ways of our home and those in it if we are distracted by other so called "good" commitments or pursuits that are not required of us. We must use our best energies toward giving our all to our loved ones, not just our leftovers. May the Lord give us all wisdom on what might need to be eliminated from our lives, or our childrens lives, to preserve the sanctity of our precious family time and to manage our homes well.

This post from ~A Wise Woman Builds Her Home~ really hit home for me. I am working on how to spend my time and learning what needs done and what is important. Good article to ponder on. :) I find myself being a Martha often, more often that I should. I want to be more of a Mary. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Big Rocks...

In the middle of the lecture the presenter pulled out a wide-mouth jar and placed it on the table, aside to some fist-sized rocks.

760377_stones_2.jpg

After filling the jar to the top with rocks he asked, “Is the jar full?”

People could see that no more rocks would fit, so they replied, “Yes!”

“Not so fast,” he cautioned. He then got some gravel from under the table and added it to the jar, filling the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asked, “Is the jar full?”

This time the students replied “Probably not.”

The presenter then reached a bucket of sand below the table, and dumped it on the jar, filling the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. Once again he asked “Is the jar full?”

“No!”, the students shouted.

Finally, he grabbed a pitcher of water and filled the jar completely, asking to the public what they could learn from that illustration.

One of the participants answered, “If you work at it, you can always fit more into your life.”

“No,” said the presenter. “The point is, if you don’t put the big rocks in first. . . would you ever have gotten any of them in?”

"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health - anything that is so important to you that if were lost, you would be nearly destroyed. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles, and the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your wife out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, and fix the disposal."

"Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." Stephen Covey

This was part of our sermon this morning. It got us thinking...I'm sure there are plenty of other things I can be doing instead of surfing the net for recipes, tips, blogs of like minded people, etc. I tell myself I am just going to check facebook while I'm taking a break. But, then my break lasts quite longer than anticipated. I could read a book instead on my break. (When I say break, I'm meaning a break for household chores) I'll be praying and pondering on this for a while as to what God would have me to do with my time and what is more of a priority and what's not. I tend to think housework and such is a priority and can inadvertently ignore Hunter when he is talking to me. Not good. He needs my time and attention more than the chores do...When Ryan gets home from work, I tend to be up to my elbows in dish soap and don't always greet him at the door like I should (and he likes). How important is it to me with what I do with the time I have in a day...do I show it? Do you?

Friday, June 4, 2010

The True Wife's Kingdom...


Home is the true wife's kingdom.

Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife.
  • Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere.
  • Her hands fashion its beauty.
  • Her heart makes its love.
And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be . . .

the light,
the joy,
the blessing,
the inspiration,
of a home.

The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.

A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness.

God sends many beautiful things to this world,

many noble gifts;

but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows

in a mother

who has learned love's lessons well,

and has realized something of the meaning

of her sacred calling


~ J. R. Miller, "Secrets of Happy Home Life, 1894" ~



And as always, remember that Christ needs to be the center of the home in order for true peace, love and happiness to abound!

He is our everything!


~From A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Disheartened...

We had my brother and his girlfriend over for supper last night. It was good catching up with him since I hadn't seen him since soon after my dad was killed. I could see through his weak smile that he was hurting inside. He said he feels so lost since our dad died. He was just starting to build some deeper trust with him and then he suddenly was killed. I think it has left a hole in him.

He said he had talked to our real dad after his heart attack. I asked him if he had mentioned me at all, and he said no he never asked about me. :( I don't know why I thought maybe he would have asked my brother how I have been or something. I just thought maybe....

The most disheartening part of the evening though was my brother telling me he doesn't believe in God anymore. That he doesn't believe in anything. That we only exist here and there is no God or devil. He said no one could answer his questions he had and said people just say we will never fully understand God, blah, blah, blah. He said the bible was just a bunch of stories and there are other gods like Zeus, etc...He is very mixed up. I told him we would have to get together again soon and I will answer his questions, but he has to keep an open mind. He agreed to that, but said it won't change how he feels and that he has felt this way for years. Sigh. His girlfriend is a believer, but won't claim to be a Christian right now because she is living in sin blatantly and doesn't want to be a hypocrite. But, she still believes. She is a very sweet girl and I'm glad my brother has her. I invited them to church Sunday and they will come if not for only this Sunday though. She may come without him. God only knows. I asked my mom if she was coming and she said she wasn't sure that she might be doing something. Sheesh. Just a disheartening night in that aspect.

We did have fun shooting my crossbow and just talking in general. Him and Hunter hit golf balls out back and had fun doing that. When I took them home, he showed me some of his music. He sings and does different things on the keyboard. It would play different instruments, like a fiddle ;), and could mix them together and such. Kinda neat.

I know I just need to be in prayer for him and I will be. But, it hurts to watch your family on the edge of an abyss....

There are a lot of emotions running through me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spiritual Pride...



Chanin shared with me a quote from Jonathon Edwards regarding spiritual pride:

"Proud people tend to speak of other's sins, the miserable delusion of hypocrites, the deadness of some saints with bitterness, or the opposition to holiness of many believers. Pure Christian humility, however, is silent about the sins of others, or speaks of them with grief and pity. The spiritually proud person finds fault with other saints for their lack of progress in grace, while the humble Christian sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts. He complains most of himself and his own spiritual coldness and readily hopes that most everybody has more love and thankfulness to God than he."

"One under the influence of spiritual pride is more apt to instruct others than to ask questions. Such a person naturally puts on the airs of a master. The eminently humble Christian thinks he needs help from everybody, whereas the spiritually proud person thinks everybody needs his help. Christian humility, under a sense of others’ misery, entreats and beseeches, but spiritual pride commands and warns with authority."

-Jonathan Edwards- Spiritual Pride

She also gave me a wonderful list from Nancy Leigh Demoss that I know you will enjoy and learn from:

List of 41 Evidences of Pride



~From A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

After reading the above and the list of evidences of pride, I find I am a prideful person and hadn't really realized it. I have much to work on! Praising God for Him to show me what I need to get rid of in my life that is prideful.

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