A good day!

A good day!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The start of something new...

Today I start a new life (Lord willing) with less pain and suffering in one area of my life. :)  I leave today for surgery and I am ready for the Lord to work in my body through this.  I pray the surgery is sufficient and that no further treatment will be needed.  I pray for a speedy recovery and better days to come.  He has sustained me thus far and I know He is faithful to sustain me always.  I am so thankful to serve the God of comfort and mercy.  No matter the outcome, I know He has not forsaken me.  Even though there is still unsureness of what's in my cup, I have faith and trust in He who holds that cup...to Him be the glory.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tomorrow is the big day...

This time tomorrow I will be at the hospital awaiting my surgery.  I don't know what the Lord has in store, but I do know I trust Him more and more every day.  He is my Rock and the One who brings me peace.  He has shown His love through other people.  It's neat to see God work.

This liquid diet that they have me on for surgery prep is making me weak.  I thought it would.  I pray that I handle the anesthesia ok and I can eat soon after I wake up and get my bearings.  I'm starving!  Ok, enough of that talk...it's making me hungry. lol

Hunter has been helping me clean the house today in preparation for when I won't be able to.  I think he enjoys dusting best. :)  I have sheets to put on the beds still, clothes to fold, and chickens to feed.  It will get done and I will hopefully get some rest tonight knowing everything is taken care of. ;)

I am going to try and make the best of the rest I have been ordered to take.  I will be honest.  It's going to be hard for me.  I fear I will get bored.  I'm so used to being busy around this ole homestead.  I know the rest will probably help my Myasthenia Gravis, too, and that's a good thing.  Thank you for the prayers.  I appreciate them a lot.  Praying once again that this surgery takes care of the cancer problem and it hasn't spread.  Hey, maybe they will get in there and the cancer will have vanished! :)  Only, He knows...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered...


By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
and confidently waiting come what may,
we know that God is with us night and morning,
and never fails to greet us each new day.


Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
Oh, give our frightened souls the sure salvation
for which, O Lord, You taught us to prepare.

And when this cup You give is filled to brimming
with bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.

Yet when again in this same world You give us
the joy we had, the brightness of Your Sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be Yours alone.

...written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the concentration camp, shortly before his death.

 I want the strength he had during his trials.  To take the cup he was given without trembling.  What a blessing.  I will admit that there are some cups of suffering that are easier to take.  Some can be difficult to understand.  But, alas, that is where we trust that even though we don't understand, we know that the cup was given to us by a Father who loves us deeply and is so good.  We don't have to trust what's in the cup, but we must trust the hand that gives it.  That is where I am today.  I do not understand fully the "why's" of why I have been given the lot I have in life.  I do know that I have never "cursed God" and turned away.  I have cried out to Him, clung to Him, and became more like Him.  I know in my heart that everything is done/given/taken for His purpose and for my good.  I can rest in that these next few days/weeks of uncertainty.  His peace washes over me despite whatever is in my cup....

Monday, September 27, 2010

The successful woman...


Culture paints the successful woman with a briefcase in her hand, a smart suit, with an admirable six figure income stepping on anyone who gets in her way.

But the truly successful woman has a deeper understanding of her calling for wisdom is her guide, the fruits of the spirit is her instructor and her rewards are of eternal significance, not just temporal. She knows that:

1. A woman’s foremost responsibility is in the home, making a success of marriage and family and therefore give her best to those she loves--by doing this she brings glory to God.

2. A woman can best serve her Lord and her country by rearing a successful family--but notice that I did not say a perfect family. Success translates into serving and respecting her husband the best that she can and nurturing disciples that will share God's word with the world.

3. The best workshop for training children in moral and spiritual values is in the home. The mother is the master teacher and she must  work diligently to train them. While this looks different in every home, every master teacher understands that her home is the nursery of civilization--what is taught here is forever imprinted upon the soul to affect thousands, if not millions, with either good or evil.

4. It requires the very best of a woman’s mental capacity to be an ideal wife and raise a successful family so she gives her all to the sacred work that lies in front of her. It is indeed her life's work. She pours into everyone all that she has, she is strategic, she makes the most of every opportunity and she works late into the night and rising early to meet the new day.

5.. A woman’s glory is the esteem of her husband, the training of her children, and the overall success in the ordering and managing of her home and in that she fulfills her duties to the Lord. While she will never have perfected these things she is always working on improving them--she knows her work is a process.

As you begin your week, align your priorities with God. Start on your knees as you ask Him for wisdom and strength and blessings on the fruit of your hands.

And as you pour your all in every aspect of your home from helping your husband to educating your children do not grow weary but know that this is God's good and perfect will for you and He will strengthen and lead you through the sacredness and beauty of it all.
~A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just be still...

That's what I'm hoping to do tonight as I lay down to sleep.  Sometimes I feel alone in things.  I just need to be still and rest in Him. 

Tomorrow will be a busy day for me. The last busy day before my surgery.  I volunteer at church, have to get pre-op blood work, grocery store, make soap, and take Hunter to a program at the library.  I need to cook supper after all that, but that will be my last supper to cook for a while. Bitter sweet.  It's also my husband's birthday tomorrow. :) 

See ya in the morning...goodnight.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Long day...

Helped load up a moving van (actually two, don't ask) for my mom this morning into the afternoon.  It was interesting.  She is moving to Wisconsin.  A lot of things transpired this week that broke my heart, none of which was her moving. 

Going out to eat tonight with friends to one of my favorite restaurants, Biaggi's. It will be nice to relax and put some things behind me.  I'd like to focus on good things, like wonderful friends, a great church family, being loved as a daughter in a wonderful godly way by someone God has put in our life, a funny son, the beautiful day we had, and a healing spirit God has provided me to deal with the lot He has given.  My husband told me that he loved my fighting spirit.  He said he admires that I don't just give up on things.  I think my childhood has prepared me for the things I face now.  Funny how that works. ;)

I hope everyone has enjoyed their Saturday.  I am plum tuckered out and ready for a good dinner and then a good night's sleep.  I will rest in Him as I lay my head down on that pillow tonight and dream of better days to come...

Friday, September 24, 2010

The glory of her husband...



Eighteen Ways a Wife May be the Glory of Her Husband

1. Ask your husband, "What are your goals for the week?"

2. Ask your husband, "How can I help you accomplish your goals?"

3. Ask "Is there anything that I can do to make it easier for you?"

4. Be organized with your housekeeping. Then your husband will be free to do his work.

5. Save energy for him everyday.

6. Put him first over children, parents friends, job, Ladies Bible studies, etc.

7. Willingly and cheerfully rearrange your schedule for him when necessary.

8. Talk about him in a positive light to others. Do not slander him at all, even if what you are saying is true.

9. Do whatever you can to help him succeed and accomplish his goals. (Ex: Run errands for him, pray for him, organize your day to be available to help him w/projects, make good suggestions--but don't be offended if he does not follow it.)

10. Consider his work (job, goals, hobbies, work for the Lord) as more important than your own.



11. Think of specific ways you can help him accomplish his goals (ex: keep careful record of money spent in budget, take care in recording telephone messages)

12. Consider the things you are involved in. How do they glorify your husband? Ask his guidance.

13. Be warm and gracious toward his family and friends. Make your commitment obvious to them.

14. Do and say things that build him up instead tear him down.

15. Dress and apply your makeup in a n attractive manner that is pleasing
to your husband.
16. When your husband sins, reprove him privately and gently, always give him hope and pointing him to the Lord.

17. Encourage him to use his spiritual gifts in ministry.

18. Realize that just as God is glorified when man obeys Him, your husband is glorified when you obey your husband.

(From 'The Excellent Wife' by Martha Peace, slightly revised)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tired...

I haven't been sleeping well.  I just can't seem to rest.  I have so many things on my mind, so many people to pray for, and then there's that song that just won't leave my brain.  All this contributes to lack of sleep and pure exhaustion during the day.  I know it's God's strength that keeps me going.  I wouldn't be able to move one foot in front of the other right now if it weren't for Him. :) 

It feels like everything is just a blur.  One week from today I will be having surgery, one that hopefully will change my life for the better.  I'm looking forward to all the benefits in the end. I've been struggling on how to deal with the pre-surgery jitters.  I normally would "displace" myself and just withdraw to another "place."  This is how I coped being sexually abused.  I was never "in" the moment.  When I am in excruciating pain, this is how I handle it.  I don't focus on it, but I "go somewhere else"  The trouble with doing that is you lose parts of your memory of the event.  Because you are "displaced" you are not aware fully of what is going on during the pain, etc.  That is my default way to handle it.  The other way would be to stay in the present moment and face it head on, feeling every bit of pain, fear, etc.  I'd like to try this, but it's so easy for me to just "drift off" to somewhere else.  So if you catch me spacing out, it's usually because I'm in some sort of pain....So I'm just not sure.  Not sure if either way is a wrong way.  God made our mind to be a powerful thing. 

I finished up all my applesauce canning for this year.  I didn't really get as much as I thought I would.  A lot of the apples were wormy or just bad.  I don't know how many more canning years I have in me.  It really takes a lot out of me.  I'm pretty much worthless when I'm done and there's always more laundry, dishes, etc to do afterwords.  I enjoy knowing what my family is eating and that I made it, but just not sure how long my body will cooperate. 

Looks like our weather is going to get cooler finally tomorrow, like 80. LOL  I'm ready for some real fall weather and for the leaves to change and fall so I can hear them crunching beneath my feet. Good stuff. :) Give your loved ones a kiss and hug and squeeze them tight.  Let them know just how much you really love them.  They will be blessed for it and so will you. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Am I ready?

For a lesson in self-control?

Went to the doctor today for some pre-op stuff.  Found out that I will have to be on clear liquids a day and a half before surgery. O.O Oh my...I get really hungry and this is going to be hard.  This is where self-control is going to come in.  Not focusing on my hunger and doing something else instead. It will be a test...

Also found out that she decided she is not going to look at the biopsy there in the OR, but instead send it to the lab for analysis.  She said she won't be taking any lymph nodes because even if there is endometrial cancer, they wouldn't take nodes. They would just start chemo/radiation.  So the surgery won't be as invasive since they won't be taking any nodes. (which is good, better recovery)  I will find out a couple weeks later if I have endometrial cancer and not just cervical.  To quote Tom Petty, "The waiting is the hardest part".  But, another opportunity for self-control and to be content.  I'm praying the uterus is clear and all I have to do is worry about recovery and not future chemo/radiation.  I'm not sure how I feel about that one...

As you can see, I talked about my health. :)  I know I said I wasn't going to.  But, you know what...this blog is about my life as a baking homesteader and this is part of it. :)  I have the opportunity to solicit prayers from all over the world here. :) So this is me taking advantage of that! ;)  I would appreciate your prayers for contentment, clear cancer report, quick recovery, future well being, and to learn to accept the lot the good Lord has given me with peace.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to show your love by praying.

On to homesteading things...I have a lot of hickory nuts to crack today.  I'm going to be making a maple/hickory nut cake next week with them.  Tomorrow is applesauce making day again and hoping to get more than one batch done.  I want to do light things next week and get too worn out before surgery time seeing as I'm already going to be weak from not eating.  I have some clothes to mend also.  Most need taken in.  I've been wearing safety pins on all my shorts/capris. ;)

Can I encourage you to do something different today? Something you wouldn't normally do (short of sinning of course ;)  Stretch yourself a little and I will, too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To love You from the inside out, Lord...




I really like this song...I want to be consumed by Him from the inside out. He is near...Some days I just need a little encouragement and this song helps me to praise Him and bring it all back to Him. I love when we sing it at church.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Groceries...

Groceries and self-control...
It takes a lot of self-control not to scream at the price of groceries.  Our budget has gone from $75 a week to $85 a week for 3 and it's still not enough! This week I spent a bit over $100! I do not buy junk food.  Well, not really.  My junk food purchases consist of tortilla chips and all natural fruit snacks. That's it.  It is just so aggravating that I cannot manage this better.  I feel like a useless helpmeet.  Even making our own groceries (laundry soap, instant oatmeal packets, applesauce, energy bars, chocolate syrup, etc) it is still costing us a fortune to eat well...healthy.  I'm sure if I bought all processed food and snacks our bill would be cheaper.  That's a travesty.  We wonder why our country as a whole is obese...

What is your grocery budget? Feel free to answer the poll on the right.  What are some ways to keep your budget down?  I need tips.  I'm doing everything I feel I can, but I'm sure there's gotta be something else I can do.  We are living in "depression era times" and the price of food keep going up and up...:(

Self Control...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23

Willpower is a forgotten word amidst most Christian circles today. Many of us are soft, flabby, and fat either outwardly or inwardly . . . or both

The overindulgence and underachievement of our age have created a monster whose brain is lazy, vision is blurred, hands are greedy, skin is thin, middle is round, and seat is wide. Color him baby blue!
What has spawned this strange, pillowy product? The Greeks would say: "A serious lack of enkrateia." That isn't a vitamin, it's a virtue---self-control. 

The word actually means "inner power or strength." Expanded, it includes such things as having mastery or possession of something, the controlling power of the will (under the operation of the Spirit of God), the inner strength to resist and refrain, the strength not to indulge, not to act on impulse.
Paul uses this term in 1 Corinthians 7:9 regarding the control of sexual desire. He refers to it again in 9:25 as he speaks of the athlete's control over his body and its wants during the period of time he is training for a contest. 

Rigid, severe discipline went into such training, mixed with separation and loneliness. Stern soul-discipline was a constant companion of the Greek athlete of the first century. Enkrateia became his middle name for ten long months. 

In Galatians 5:23, this virtue occurs in the list of the fruit of the Spirit. But lest you think it is something God suddenly drops on you without any involvement on your part, allow me to quote 2 Peter 1:5-6 so as to keep everything in balance:
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness.
Observe two things, please. First, this is a series of commands to the Christian---this is our responsibility. Second, the fulfilling of the commands necessitates our "applying all diligence"---this will take sacrificial effort . . . emotional blood, sweat, and tears! 

For the remainder of this reading I'd like to apply self-control to our lives just from the neck up. Naturally, we are the product of what we think about. Our actions and our reactions originate in our minds. What do you think about? Upon what do you spend most of your mental energy? How much independent, hard-core, no-nonsense, controlled mental input goes into your day on the average?

Those sorts of questions haunt me when I consider how a phenomenon like TV watching has so thoroughly saturated our society. Consider the following facts, gathered at the time of this writing:
Ninety-five percent of American households---over 60 million homes---have televisions. An additional 100,000 sets are being added with every passing month. More than 106 million adults find themselves in front of the tube on an average week in America. 

And how often do those TVs get turned on? The American average is 48 hours per week. The average male watches 26 hours per week, while the female watches 30 hours. A national survey reports that the average American high school student spends more time in front of a television in his lifetime than the sum total spent before a teacher from kindergarten through high school. 

I don't have to remind you that I am not anti-TV. I own one and I thoroughly enjoy viewing selected programs regularly as time permits. However, it is exceedingly serious when a nation like ours has become so lacking in self-control that we cannot turn a one-inch knob to "off" and provide our minds and eyes a needed rest from the blast of consistent cosmos propaganda. 

It is a pity that many Christians have the TV schedule better memorized than a single chapter from God's precious Word. Due to our lack of mental self-control, our driving desire is to be entertained and amused, rather than challenged through reading or family discussions or silent meditation or personal planning and goal-setting. 

I suggest that you attack this problem with a loaded rifle, not a sling shot. Take one needy area at a time and shoot it into submission with relentless prayer and determination as the Spirit provides the gunpowder. Let's meet at the rifle range. I think I hear a few shots already.
Don't fail to draw on the Lord's power as you work on self-control, knowing His strength is yours. Understand and believe Romans 8:9-14.
~Chuck Swindoll
There are plenty of times when I don't "set my thoughts on things above."  I can get caught up in thinking about the here and now.  That is a foolish thing to do especially when I cannot change that which I am thinking about.  It does take a lot of my mental energy when I should be using that energy to memorize scripture or to change things I can. I'm going to try to be more self-controlled this week and continue in working on being content...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yummy chocolate chip cookies...



These chocolate chip cookies aren't your average cookie.  They are lower in fat and low in sugar.  They even have a little added whole grain oats. :)  The bittersweet chocolate is what makes these.

Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c evaporated cane juice
1 egg
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 c flour (I use gluten free blend)
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
3/4 c quick oats
3/4 c Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips
Beat butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla until fluffy.  Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together and mix to wet ingredients.  Stir in oats and chips.  Bake at 350 for 10 to 11 minutes. :) Mmmmmm....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Apple, apples, and more apples!

I had the liberty of picking as many apples as I wanted the other day....I just picked too many! :)  I think my plans are a little bigger than my strength. ;)  I canned up some applesauce yesterday.  It takes me quite a while because I only have one peeler and I do this all by myself.  So only one batch is made at a time so I don't overdo it.  I still have 2 1/2 bushels to do up. :)  Hoping next week I can do a batch everyday except Monday.
The beginning of something yummy. :)




The final result is yummy applesauce to eat made with fresh picked apples. :)

I've really been enjoying these cooler days.  Yesterday had such a beautiful breeze. (Don't laugh at this next thing I'm gonna say)  I stood out in the yard yesterday and closed my eyes.  The breeze was strong enough to steadily blow my hair.  I stood there imagining I was at the ocean and I could almost smell the salty air.  The breeze was just like it was at the ocean. It brought back some happy memories of running along the beach trying to catch tiny crabs.  Feeling the water drift back and forth across my feet.  Hearing the seagulls and finding pretty shells. :)  All this from a breeze...:)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Unknowingly discontent...

This week has been an interesting one for me.  God has been revealing to me quite a bit about contentment.  I honestly thought I was a content person.  But, God has been showing me that I have only been content with His creation.  I didn't realize that I was discontent with so many things.  It really saddens me to think how ungrateful I have been with what He has provided.  I was finding that I wished that I was stronger, that our yard looked nicer, that my body would feel good, that my husband was more gentle and attentive, that my son made more effort in things, that I was in better shape like my friends, that I had a relationship with my dad that was "normal", better finances, great weather all the time, etc, etc....What a fool I am.  I realized when yesterday was such a pretty day and I found content it that, that I was putting my contentment in "things" and not Him.  I wondered to myself if it were raining would I be just as content.  Well, I want to say yes, but I'm afraid that answer would have been no.  But, it's something I am working on.  I know true contentment is found only in Christ.  When we focus our contentment on Him, then all the other things don't affect our mood or contentment. It seems like I always want things to be better than they are, but what if they are supposed to be just the way they are and I am to learn to be content with how God has supplied?  I cannot change situations.  I can only change how I respond to them. I can only change me.  


I have been praying that God would forgive me for my discontentment.  I have been thanking Him for what He has provided and starting to look at all my situations with contentment. Paul said in Philipians that he learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I am learning...


Here is a scripture that reminds me a bit of my situation. 


"I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Paul is not saying this because he needs someone to express their concern. He is content whether they do or not...a place I'd like to be...Although I am truly grateful when someone is concerned for me because they love me.  God wants us to love each other and be there for each other.  But, it's not something I should need to be content.  I can pray for God to move in the situation, whatever it may be, and be content with whatever He decides I need.  This is where growing up in the Lord is hard.  There is still that struggle in me with what that "little girl" wants and what God is willing to give...searching to find contentment in it all. God is working...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cultivating Contentment...

“… I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)

Five-year-old Jack was our next door neighbor. A blond-haired, brown-eyed spitfire whose favorite past time was to ride his bike. His rickety, red, girl’s Schwin bicycle had been handed down through several cousins before making its way into Jack’s garage and heart. Badly in need of repair, it didn’t matter to Jack. He proudly paraded that contraption up and down our block each afternoon. So imagine my surprise when one day, I happened upon Jack kicking his beloved bike as it lay on the ground.

“What are you doing, buddy?” I questioned.” Stupid bike,’ he murmured still striking it with the toe of his tennis shoe. “Cool kids have a bright blue-- mud puppy-- dirt bike, not some dumb old, girl’s bike from their cousin.” And then, it dawned on me what day it was. It was Jack’s first day of kindergarten. And sure enough, at recess the kids discussed what bikes they owned and in Jack’s eyes his prized possession had suddenly turned stupid. His contentment had vanished. Why?

Comparisons. Comparisons deal a fatal blow to our contentment. My house is just fine….until my sister builds one larger and more functional. My clothes are satisfactory….until I see the latest new must-haves of the season. Why even my husband’s not bad of a guy…. until I think of my friend’s handy hubby who can build an addition on their house, while mine can barely fling a paintbrush. You see, we’re usually content with our own red Schwin hand-me-down until we spy our neighbor with her new, bright blue mud puppy.

The great playwright William Shakespeare said it fittingly in his work Much Ado About Nothing, “Comparisons are odious.” That’s right, they stink!! And if we wallow in comparisons long enough … we begin to stink.

The apostle Paul penned today’s verses from a dark, lonely, first century prison, with no internet access or air-conditioned exercise room. Yet just when did Paul say we should be content? When life is clipping along, with circumstances going our way? When we’ve just told Howie we’ll take the deal? No it says in any and every situation.

The Greek word rendered “content” in this passage denotes more than just a throwing up of arms in reluctant acceptance. It means literally “to be satisfied to the point where I am no longer disturbed or disquieted.” This is the calm place God has prepared for us in the midst of life’s storms. He’s waiting for us to lift our eyes off of our circumstances and instead, fix them solely upon Him; to look to our position in Christ for our worth, not our position in society.

We must stop struggling to change our circumstances. What will make the difference is the peace of Christ living in us, not us living with someone else’s circumstances. Don’t our human minds reason that the opposite is true? You know the audio reels that play through your mind: “If only I had a bigger house … a little more money … mild-mannered children … a kinder, gentler husband.”

Not available in microwave form, godly contentment needs to be patiently cultivated. We must cease comparing and instead embrace our current lot in life, welcoming all that God will teach us through it. Only then we will discover the secret Paul knew; that true contentment is not having what you want; but wanting nothing more than what you already have.
~Proverbs 31 Ministries

A great devotional for me today. This is one area I am working diligently on.  As the writer above says, godly contentment needs to be patiently cultivated. I am turning the soil...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trail bars...


Made these today...They have a good amount of protein in them so I wanted to try them.

Trail Bars.
1/2 c flour (I use gluten free blend)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1/2 c peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c honey
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 T oil
2 t vanilla
2 c rolled oats
1 c craisins
1/2 c almonds
1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips



Beat sugar, honey, and peanut butter together. Blend in eggs and egg whites, oil, and vanilla.  Mix in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir in oats, craisins, almonds, and chocolate.  Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 for about 20 min.

Growing...

Sometimes I learn as I go...God doesn't always tell me whether what I say or do is right or wrong before I say or do it.  He lets me find out for myself.

I woke up this morning at 3 am and had a horrible feeling inside. Like I hurt someone.  It grieved me.  I laid there in the night and let God speak to me.  This was His time to teach me.  He was telling me that even though I'm a transparent person, I don't always have to be here.  He was referring to a couple posts back.  This is the hard part...He told me that my dad was having a good day and I burst his bubble a bit. :(  Not, what I wanted to hear.  He said I should have kept my lesson in discontentment privately this time. Ouch. Of course, the girl I am cried.  It's hard to learn something as you go and I realize I don't always have to share what I've learned when it could hurt someone's feelings...especially someone you love dearly.

This blog has been filled with lots of emotions, trials, life, love, etc.  It's all part of my life.  But, I feel there needs to be a shift.  I will share about God, marriage, cooking, homesteading, etc.  I won't be talking about my health for a while.  It's just not necessary.

I appreciate your understanding and for reading my blog anyway. ;)  You are a gracious bunch. :)  I'm so glad God still speaks, even if it's 3 am...


Monday, September 13, 2010

What is contentment?

Contentment is such a pleasant sounding word.  It conjures pictures of green meadows, trickling stream, peacefulness, and calm serenity.Contentment is a place where all your needs are cared for.  It sounds like fantasy doesn't it?  Is this for real?

I'm here to tell you "yes, contentment is real and it's possible".  The apostle Paul talked about this contentment in Philippians 4:10-12 when he said “have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”. I know this place exists, for I myself have been there from time to time.

What do you mean you've been there from time to time?  Aren’t you content? Yes and no, I can let the contentment go by allowing many things to tempt me to step out of contentment, just like you. What things interfere with contentment?  How about stress, anxiety, worry, striving, jealousy, greed, envy, bitterness, angry, fear, insecurity, or uneasiness?  (See 2 Corinthians 12:19-21, Galatians 5:19-21)

Contentment for me is confidence in the Lord. Psalm 118:8 says “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Resting in Him, relying on His promises and trusting God no matter what I must face each day is how I demonstrate confidence in Him.  (Proverbs 3:26, Proverbs 14:26, Isaiah 30:15)

Contentment is a reward for losing my life to God. Look at 1 Timothy 6:6 NKJV “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” I'm referring to a wholehearted commitment to living God's way.  We learn to give Him everything because He gave His everything that we might live.

How do we get to this place called the contentment?  The directions are easy but the journey may be challenging.  Contentment comes from God.  Therefore the path to contentment always begins with drawing closer to God.  There are many ways to get closer to God: read the Bible, pray, fellowship with other believers, worship, go to church, serve others and on and on.  What you choose is up to you. Our part is to seek God.  God's part is to guide us.  And He is
faithful to do just that.

Next we begin trusting God.  Start by giving to God something  bothering you and then watch how He takes care of it. 

Lastly we act based on our trust in God.  What does this look like?  This will be different from person to person.  God has shaped each one of us differently.  Therefore the action we take will depend on which gifts, talents, abilities, life experiences, and personality God's given us.  When we start using all we have been given we not only glorify and honor God but also demonstrate our trust in him.

~Think on it Bible ministries 


Came across this tonight and it's just what I needed. :)  Even though I'm human and have human feelings, God still guides me with a gentle nudge.  He is faithful in wanting us to grow.  I can struggle with discontentment, but He knows my heart.  He knows I want to be content in all things. 

My husband is blessed...

Who would of thought that I would get an opportunity so soon to apply God's word.  I said this morning that I wanted to be less envious and be more content. I didn't know it would be my husband that I would have to fight those feelings toward.  You see, he has the opportunity to tell our dad how he feels without any fear.  He can tell him he is thankful for him and he can receive it without fear.  I, on the other hand, cannot.  So what do I do about it?  I can rejoice with my husband that he can do those things and be glad in his blessing.  God is stretching me in this area.  I just miss hearing those words that my husband is privileged to hear.  I'm human. ;)  Since I am aware of this, it helps me to realize that it's not about me.  It's about others.  And those others are important to me and I'm glad to see them happy. :)  Besides, I can tell God how I feel and pray before I go to bed at night, like I always do, and maybe God can whisper to him that I love him and I am thankful for even the littlest relationship we can have.  I do often "talk" to myself and tell myself what I do know hasn't changed. I am truly thankful that he will be there for Ryan for my surgery.  I'm glad he can lean on him in such times.  I lean on him, too, just quietly inside. :)

"I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." Isaiah 48:17

*This wasn't meant to make anyone feel bad.  I'm a transparent person. ;) It was just meant to show how the Lord guides us, stretches us, and draws us back to the right way of thinking. Just using my life as an example. :) *

Ahhh...finally.

After 4 days of constant pain, my migraine has finally left the building. :)  Let's pray it doesn't come a knockin' again.  It left just in time, too.  I've got a lot to do this week.  I picked under 4 bushels of apples and need to get them taken care of.  Today, I need to go volunteer at church, go to the bank, the grocery store, and then make some cider.  Tomorrow I hope to get some applesauce canned.  And somewhere in the midst of today, I need to get my house back in order.  It wasn't touched all weekend and it's a deeeesaster...

My goal this week is to continue in gentleness, but also, to be a "doer" of the word instead of just a "knower".  I want to apply more of God's word this week, such as, being content, not comparing myself to others, not being envious, and being quick to listen...I'm so glad He offers us grace.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jesus...

Feeling His presence today...Needing His presence always....

When I said, "My foot is slipping," Your love, O Lord, supported me. Psalm 94:18

I need Your support Lord, some days I feel too physically tired to fight.  But, fight I do, and doing things such as picking apples and gathering hickory nuts take my mind off the battle.  I am thankful for Your creation that allows me to "get away" and feel Your presence...

*After I wrote this, God reminded me of a scripture He just showed me the other day...."The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14  I will be still...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you?

I remember I was on my way to the hospital to pick up some transcription at the time. I had the radio on and I thought it was some sort of joke. Unfortunately, I was wrong. After I picked that up, I was headed to bible study. We sat around the tv and prayed and were just in shock. We all went home and held our loved ones close...


Friday, September 10, 2010

Ugh...rough day.

Today was a bit of a rough day...but should it have been?  Should any of our days be considered rough?  I have been in pain today and on top of that, I have another migraine. :(  I just feel weak and blah, not sick, just blah.  I don't mean to bellyache.  Really I don't.  I don't have a poor attitude or anything.  It's just been a rough day.  I just don't like to hurt constantly.  I can take pain, but it wears you down when it's ever so constant.  I know the Lord is my strength and I do lean on Him during such times.  I'm still joyful, etc.  It's just been a rough day. Lord willing, the morning will come and I will feel better again.  In the meantime, I will try to be presentable at the cookout we have to go to tonight. :)  I have joy knowing that God is working to accomplish His purposes even in difficult circumstances...

Time...

Soft Watch at the Moment of First Explosion, c.1954 Art Print
 
Something the good Lord gives us all equally. We all get the exact same amount of time as everyone else in a day. 24 hours. But, sometimes it seems like some people get more or less than we do. Hmmmm. Could it be that it's what we do with the time He gives that changes our perspective on how much time we actually have in a day?

"Busyness seems in our society to be a badge of honor; that we are so busy proves how important we are, but busyness is an enemy of spirituality and essentially laziness, for it is doing the easy thing instead of the hard thing. It is filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God's actions." Eugene Peterson

Interesting thought...What are you doing with the time God gave you?  What do you fill your day with?  Is He part of the time?  Take a look at your day. Are you too busy to enjoy the things God has made?  Are you just running here and there?  Do you need to change a few things so that you can use your time wisely?  Just something to think about...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Building up our husbands...


There is a spirit of disrespect in our culture.

Children disrespect parents, we disrespect authorities and things that are to be held sacred. Disrespect is rampant and can be found right inside our homes if we look carefully. This is very dangerous for the Christian woman because we must be careful to show respect in all arenas---especially to those which we have been commanded. In Galations 5:33 we see that we are to respect our husbands. We have examples in the Bible of women who showed respect (Proverbs 31 woman, Sara) and those that did not (Michal, Jezebel).

We must know that:

How we respect our husbands is in direct correlation of how we worship God!
If we do not respect our husbands, we are not obeying God and worshiping Him with our lives. Worship is a life lived out to glorify Him, not just singing on Sunday morning! We must make our husband a priority---he comes first after God. Not our children, not our agendas, not our friends, not our ministry, not our parents, not our pursuits, not our homeschooling. We must prioritize our husbands!

We build up our husbands by loving them and we do that primarily through respecting him. Yes, we can make his meals, do his laundry, etc. but if we do this with a disrespectful heart and attitude---it is pointless! Have you ever served your husband a meal and then hurtfully attacked him verbally? This is what I am talking about. We must turn our hearts toward our husbands and respect him.

Scripture teaches that we blaspheme the Word of God when we don't love our husbands (Titus 2). In biblical times, blasphemers were subjected to stoning. Yes, stoning! We know that when we do not obey the Lord we are rebelling. 1 Samuel 15:23 proclaims 'Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft.'

Blasphemer---witchcraft? All these things when I don't love and respect my husband? This is serious...



What can we do? Here are three things:

1. Ask in prayer for God to clean your heart.

2. Renew your thoughtlife with scripture.

3. Say no to things that will hinder prioritizing your husband (putting others before him, too busy being out)

Lord, help us to love and respect our husbands and help to build them up to be the godly men God created them to be....
~From A Wise Woman Builds Her Home


This is something that I've gotten better at, but I always can do even better.  I try to remember it isn't about me.  My husband comes before me.  We are to put others first and who better to put before you than your husband.  He should also put others first, which would be me.  It goes both ways. But, even if he doesn't, it is my responsibility to be obedient to God and put him first in our family.  He told me last night that this surgery I'm going to have has him more concerned than any other.  He does seem like something is weighing on him.  I asked him if it was because of the circumstances and he said yes.  I need to do my best to be there for him during this time.  As my head, I'm sure he feels like he wishes he could fix this.  I don't talk about it much because I don't want to upset him, so I keep it inside.  But, really there isn't much to discuss.  It's in God's hands.  If the cancer spread, it spread.  If it didn't, it didn't.  Either way, praise God.  He holds every fiber of my being in His hands.  I do pray that this will be a good turning point in our life.  To not have constant pain and just blahness from this part of my body will be a good thing.  We are looking forward to this not hanging over us anymore and to enjoy life in less pain. It may even keep my Myasthenia Gravis from acting up as frequent, and that my friends, is a good thing. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Look...

Take a look around....look up from your computer and look out the window.  What do you see?  You may say "not much, I live in the city."  But, look deeper.  There on that tree.  Do you see that bird?  He will sing if you listen.  There fluttered a butterfly by.  Did you see it?  It's beautiful with it's bright colors.  How about the neighbors flowers.  They are still blooming.  Maybe they have roses.  Oh the smell of them!  Take a walk this afternoon under the warmth of the sun and take a look.  You will be surprised at how much beauty you can see even if you happened to live in the city.  Just slow down and don't look at the houses.  Pretend they aren't there.  Look past them into His creation.  Enjoy this day!

Suffering...

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered … We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.

Does that sound familiar? Can you identify?
WHY did GOD allow this?

quote:

But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God…
If HE wants us relying on HIM,
then HE must be reliable, right?

quote:

He has delivered …
he will deliver us.
On him we have set our hope that
he will continue to deliver us,
(all quotes from 2Cor 1:8-11 NIV)

DO you hear what I hear?
past, present, and future DELIVERANCE
HE cared, HE cares, HE always will care
HE WAS there, HE IS there, HE always WILL BE there!

~From A Wife's Submission 

It can be easy for us to "make agreements" with satan when we are suffering. We can think God has forgotten us, He is angry with us, or He just doesn't care. Don't do it! Don't give satan the satisfaction of the agreement.  God is always with us, He does not punish the believer, and He always cares. Your attitude towards suffering should be thankfulness.  God is drawing you closer to Him by reminding you to lean on Him during the time of suffering.  God is in control of all things.  He knows what you need.  Trust Him.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Surgery update...

I went to go for my endometrial biopsy today and since we decided to have surgery sooner than January, she decided to do it while I'm in the OR. I will have surgery on Sept 30th. If the biopsy comes back cancer in the uterus and not just the cervix, then they will have to do an abdominal hysterectomy to take some lymph nodes. I pray this is not the case. If it stayed in the cervix then it will be a laporoscopic hysterectomy, which is minimally invasive. The recovery is much better. I will be so glad to start feeling better. She did say the ultrasound showed the lining of my uterus to be thick, but hoping that's no big deal.

I am thankful for all your prayers. Please continue to pray that the cancer has not spread and that my recovery will be quick. I am thankful for the doctor God has put in my life that cares about her patients. I am thankful for those who have prayed for me to have peace. I was full of peace this morning as I headed out for the biopsy. The words "I can feel Your presence here with me" was going through my head when I woke up this morning. :)

Enjoy this beautiful day that God has blessed us with. Each day is a gift...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Such a pretty day...

It is such a nice day here. :) The sun is shining and it's warm. :) It was a nice day to go to the store. I usually dread it but I was glad to be outside. It's nice to have a long weekend with the captain. We got some cleaning done around here with some help of friends. Tomorrow we are going to do some target shooting. :) We always like to try and see how much better we can do. It will be good to have some fun before I go in for my biopsy Tuesday. I'll be glad to get that over. :) Still not sure when surgery will be. The decision will be made Tuesday if not before.

I hope as summer winds down, you will have more time to enjoy this time of year. I know things can get busy in the summer. Fall is the perfect time to slow down and enjoy the fresh air, turning leaves, pumpkin pies, caramel apples (mmmm), and bonfires. :) I'm glad I get to enjoy the changing seasons. I pray I get to enjoy many more seasons.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately...I often wonder what God is up to. What are His plans for me? For my family? I just wonder how life will be down the road. Who will be in my life? Who will be no longer? What will God have me do? Nevermind me. :) My mind tends to wonder....

Enjoy this Labor Day weekend. :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A mother's priorities...


"I am sadly concerned that thousands of mothers are so over-burdened that the actual demands of life from day to day consume all their time and strength. But of two evils, choose the lesser: which would you call the lesser--an unpolished stove or an untaught boy? Dirty windows, or a child whose confidence you have failed to gain? Cobwebs in the corner, or a son over whose soul a crust has formed, so strong that you despair of melting it with your hot tears and fervent prayers?

I have seen a woman who was absolutely ignorant of her children's habits of thought, who never felt that she could spare a half-hour to read or talk with them--I have seen this woman spend ten minutes in ironing a sheet, or forty minutes icing a cake for tea, because company was expected.

When the mother, a good orthodox Christian, shall appear before the Great White Throne to be judged for the "deeds done in the body," and to give her report of the master's treasures placed in her care, there will be questions and answers like these:

"Where are the boys and girls I gave thee?"

"Lord, I was busy keeping my house clean and in order, and my children wandered away."

"Where wert thou while thy sons and thy daughters were learning lessons of dishonesty, malice and impurity?"

"Lord, I was polishing furniture and making beautiful rugs."

"What hast thou to show for thy life's work?"

"The tidiest house, Lord, and the best starching and ironing in all our neighborhood!"

Oh these children, these children! The restless eager boys and girls whom we love more than our lives! Shall we devote our time and strength to that which perishes while the rich garden of our child's soul lies neglected, with foul weeds choking out all worthy and beautiful growths? Fleeting indeed, O mother, are the days of childhood, and speckless windows, snowy linen, the consciousness that everything about the house is faultlessly bright and clean will be poor comfort in that day wherein we shall discover that our poor boy's feet have chosen the path that shall take him out of the way to all eternity."

--Author Unknown

Definitely something to think about...I know I like to have a tidy house and a good meal on the table every night except Sunday, but I pray that I don't get lost in it and remember who lives there....

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's official...

I'm the mom of a teenager! 13 years ago today we were blessed with an 8 lb 7 oz son. :) I'm so glad God decided to entrust us with such a sweet boy. The doctors didn't think I'd be able to carry him and told me not to get my hopes up. They said I was too weak. I protected that little guy while I carried him. At five months along, when I felt him kick, I suddenly knew that God was going to allow me to carry him just fine. Even when I went preterm labor at 7 mos, I knew he would be ok. They stopped it and then he waited too long and they had to induce me. ;) He came screaming with strong lungs. It was difficult for me to deliver him and I did it all natural with no pain medicine, but it was worth it. I loved being pregnant. I'm so glad God blessed us with him knowing he was going to be our only one we could have.

He has a heart for others and cares about other people's feelings. He is very smart. :) He is kind and loving and sweet. I pray he allows the Lord to guide his life. We are going to continue and teach him His ways so he can grow up to be a strong, loving, godly man. I am so thankful that even though he doesn't have a grandpa, he has someone he looks up to as such. He gets love and wisdom from him and that brings all of us joy. He was blessed with a wonderful gift and card from him and that just made Hunter's day. I walked in his room last night and he was laying on his bed with his hands behind his head pondering what was written in his card. He said, "that was really nice." I said, "It sure was..." and walked out of his room and left him to his pondering.

We are having cake and ice cream tonight and I'll post a picture later of his cake. He wanted me to make him an apple logo cake, so I'm going to give it whirl. He thinks I do a good job. :)

I want to encourage you all to enjoy the time you have with your family. I know sickness can cause you to realize that relationships with others is all you take to heaven. It's so important to grow them. Be intentional with them. Don't just tell them you love them, but show them. It can be as simple as a hug to show them you love them. I am loved and I hope my loved ones know how much I love them and always will. I intend to be more intentional with my actions in showing them. Live for eternity....invest in it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rain and values...

It's raining today here in central Illinois. The captain is patiently waiting to see if the rain is going to stop so he can go on to work. Hunter and I were going to go to the zoo this morning, but not sure if that is going to work out. We are heading down to Arthur this afternoon with a friend to get some supplies. It's hard to believe it's already September and the holiday season will soon be upon us. It's a time of year that I really enjoy. The smells, the tastes, the fellowship, and the crisp air.

God continues to draw us closer to Him. He keeps reminding us that He is all we need, to keep things simple. I think back to times since past and try to learn from them. People were hardworking, kind, neighborly, patriotic to their country, family oriented, etc. There are people like this today, but it seems more rare. Today it seems people are more about careers, being selfish, don't spend time with their kids, and could care less about soldiers. I remember reading about "victory gardens" and how people were encouraged to grow their own food to support the troops in WWII so they could have more of the mainstream food supply. People were proud to have a victory garden. Nowadays, people are discouraged from growing their own food and there is a looming threat that family gardens are going to be regulated by the government...

Our family wants to keep old fashioned values, which shouldn't even be called "old fashioned" because they should have never gone out of style. It can be a struggle when others can see you as "better than everyone else" for doing so. That is sad. But, I know God wants us to stand firm in our simplicity and if that convicts someone (without even saying a word) then I guess that is between them and God. I don't tell people they have to do what I do...never have. I have only answered questions when they are asked. :)

Our hearts desire is to serve the Lord and honor Him with a life that He would be pleased with. To love others as He has loved us, to enjoy the creation He has made, to raise a family that loves Him, and allow Him to be head of it all....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Karma...

God's provision is not based on "karma" (works). If you have a bad day it's not because you did something wrong. The man who built his house on the rock did everything right, but the storm came anyway. Suffering isn't random. It is allowed by God and He has a purpose/plan. Karma is believing what you do, whether good or bad, comes back to you. With God, it doesn't matter if you do good works or if you don't. The storm comes either way. It rains on the just and the unjust. It's having faith in the One that makes the rain and knowing He can provide shelter if you base your life upon Him.

So the next time you have a bad day, don't think it's something you did or didn't do. Don't think that you are suddenly out of God's favor. If you are His child, your standing before Him never changes. He loves you. When that bad day comes (just because), remember to lean on Him and seek shelter in His wings.

I am learning so much through my own suffering. I have come to see it as a blessing. God has chosen to draw me to Himself in this way and to that I say, AMEN!

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I'm a sucker for wildflowers!
"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