Monday, October 31, 2011
I'm heading out to the hospital today for 5 days. I am so thankful for the prayers that have gone out on my behalf. It is comforting knowing I'm being prayer for. And a prayer links the person praying with the person being prayed for together with God. Even if miles separate the two, they are still close together through prayer. I pray to be an encouragement to others while there and be a light for Him.
I will try hard to get better and pray for the treatment to be tolerated and work.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Spending the day enjoying time together before I head to the hospital Monday. Ryan is cleaning the woodstove pipe so we can start our fires for the winter. I love the warmth of that woodstove. So comforting.
We are heading out later to buy new bibles as Ryan and I gave away our bibles in Venezuela. Mine was tattered, underlined, and precious to me, but I was blessed to give it away to a Venezuelan youth. They will share the english versions amongst their friends.
I will be packing a small bag to take with me to the hospital. I want to be as comfortable as I can be.
I may not be able to post while I'm in the hospital, but please know I am thinking of you all and appreciate the prayers. I will update as soon as I can.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
We had an interesting time trying to get our coffee we bought out of Venezuela. We bought about 17 packs and they thought we were smuggling drugs with them. Oye. My husband was taken away alone with no english speaking people to have his luggage inspected. This happened twice. After poking the coffee and tasting it, they finally let him have it. LOL. Made a memory. :) We all got patted down, girls by the women security and boys by the men security.
We had lots of tasty foods like Arepas, Cachapas, and Venezuelan scrambled eggs. :) Ryan ate quail eggs and also Capybarra, the worlds largest rodent. Um no not me. ;)
The mountains were amazing. The roads were all dirt though and really rough. We got to see a large monkey in the trees on the way up to the school in the mountains. Pretty cool.
Bats. Oh the bats.
Ants. Oh the ants.
We were unable to renew our vows there. Just never had the chance. Plans kept changing. We will probably wait until our 20th now. :)
We were unable to renew our vows there. Just never had the chance. Plans kept changing. We will probably wait until our 20th now. :)
I have never laughed so much as I have on this trip. There was so much laughter it was amazing to me. I think we as Americans can be so uptight and stressed (I'm guilty) that we forget to just be happy.
Now for the needed prayers. My disease is progressing and the trip just added more to it. I have to be admitted on Monday for a treatment of IVIG. I will be there for 5 days. I am going to another town's hospital in Champaign instead of staying in our town for it. The last time I had this treatment, I was hospitalized for 14 days and was on the brink of death. I DON'T want that to happen again this time. Please go to the Lord on my behalf and ask for me to be spared from horrible side effects of the treatment and that it would help slow down the progression and give me some strength back. Thank you!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I'm baaaaack! What an experience! Venezuela was such a blessing to me. The people there are so hospitable, loving, and kind. The travel part was very hard on me, though. We traveled for more than 24 hours and was up for 48 hours. Not so good on my body. But, I am home now and have one full nights sleep in and boy did it feel good! I will share some pictures with you that speak louder than words, but first wanted to share some of my favorite things about the trip...
Favorite things about Venezuela...Top on my list was coming out of one of the homes bathrooms and stopping to say hello to the lady of the house. She was speaking with another woman who was told at the hospital that she could find hope at the 12th of October Church so she stopped by. She confessed her sins and accepted Christ right then. It was such a blessing to be a part of that. I love how they witnessed to her and got right down to it. :) Her name is Joanna if you want to keep her in your prayers. Other favorite things...the passion and heart of the people for Christ when they worship, the hospitality, scenery in the country, love that was shared, the food, how they love each other, their music, the laughter...I just can't say enough of how blessed I was by them. So glad God was gracious enough to allow me to serve there.
Breakfast first morning at a restaurant.
Little girl with my same name. She was so adorable. :) Got to hang out with her the whole week.
This is how we traveled. Standing in the back of a pickup...I got to sit on a seat back there. :) It was fun!
Getting started on the roof structure.
My handsome hubby!
The half finished roof. We ran out of supplies, but they made it into a beautiful place anyway. Now they are at least covered.
We were given pins and gifts during service. This is the woman who I was blessed to witness come to Christ. Her name is Joana. She wanted to personally put the pin on me. :)
We made so many friends and formed so many bonds that will last a lifetime. :) This is Helys.
The hospitality was amazing! We were blessed to have our meals (aside from a few) in the homes of the local church members. They fixed us traditional Venezuelan food like Arepas, Cachapas, Yucca, Plantian, etc.
The music was amazing! This is a traditional instrument (can't remember the name)
We visited a school up in the mountains and this was all the students. :)
Taking a break. :)
Another worship service at another church we helped out at. We painted windows and set up electricity. The girl with the microphone was helping with translating. :)
Their passion for worship was so refreshing and encouraging!
They presented us with plaques for help. We were taken aback with their generosity. We didn't feel like we needed a plaque for doing the Lord's work. :)
We are going to miss their faces. Hated to see them cry when we left...
Saturday, October 15, 2011
“A woman whose heart is not touched by the sickness of sorrow and whose hands do not go out in relief where it is in her power to help, lacks one of the elements which make the glory of womanhood.”
Heading to Venezuela tomorrow morning...won't arrive there until Monday morning. I covet your prayers during this trip. We will be back home on the 25th. I hope to share our experience with you through pictures when I get home. See ya when we get back!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
On the above map, you will see Caracas, that is where we are flying into. We will fly from Chicago to Mexico City and have a longgggg layover and then off to Caracas. After we land we have a 3 hour drive to where we will be working. Please pray for strength, that it will go smoothly, and my sanity lol.
We will be working on building a structure for the people to worship in as right now they worship outside with no shelter. I will be doing the very best I can. My disease is still acting up pretty good, but I trust He will get me through and teach me many things while there. Even if I can only hand someone a tool, I will be blessed to do so.
It seems like I will never remember everything I need to take to Venezuela. Those of you that know me, know I can be a bit scattered. Yes, I made a list...but how do I know if I wrote everything down I need to take? ;)
I did some sewing (whew, getting harder and harder) so I would have some shorts to take with me, trying to get things squared away here at home, we still have to get food to take with us, snacks for Hunter to take with him to our friends where he will be staying, oh and PACK. Just breathe...oh ya.
It's raining here today and it reminds me of times a comin' where we will be hibernating by the woodstove for the winter and enjoying our time together. But, right now, I am enjoying this time of year. Fall is my most favorite season of all. :) Pumpkins, baked goods, warm fire, falling leaves, the sound of them crunching under my feet, the beauty, crisp air...the list goes on. :)
We are leaving Sunday, so if it's quiet here don't fret, I'll be back. Lord willing and the creek don't rise. ;)
I will miss you all...
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
When we get married, we come under the protection and leadership of our husbands. Let's face it, they have a big job. Being a leader, protector, and provider of a home can be stressful at times. They carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.
They may become discouraged some days. As a helpmeet to him, we can bring sweet peace to them in their discouragement. And even if they are not discouraged, we can still bring the comfort, softness, and ease with how we manage our home.
When he comes home from work, don't dump your days frustrations on him. Greet him with a smile and follow him to where he goes and sit next to him and ask him how his day was. Listen...
Have a warm, wholesome meal waiting for him when he comes home. Good homecooking is always an encouragement. :) Make food he enjoys. And dessert never hurt. ;)
Make sure the house is in order. Having a house in disarray can subconsciously lead to irritation. You or he may start to feel jumble inside because of the house being jumbled.
Be available to him as much as possible. Don't reject him when he initiates intimacy. Be open, loving, tender, and focused.
My husband is encouraged when I am just near him. I don't have to say a word. He just likes being in my presence. He says it comforts him. He likes it when I sit in the bathroom while he is taking a shower and talk with him. Sure, I could be doing a million other things, but he is a priority, so I make time to do what he likes.
Praying for your husband is crucial. This helps us be an encouragement to him. If for some reason you are angry with your husband, praying for them takes the focus off self and on to whom you are praying for. It's hard to be upset with someone you are praying for. Oh and don't make the prayers selfish ones...like praying for them to change. Pray for you to change and be more open to what he needs. We need to pray for their safety, that they would allow the Lord to lead them so they can lead us, pray for their jobs, and pray for their strength. They have a lot on their shoulders.
I hope this gives you some ideas as how to be an encouragement to your husband. :) It's so important! Next to serving God, serving our husbands is the next most important thing we are created to do. It's quite the blessing!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
We spent some time at the pumpkin patch on Saturday. It was soooo nice out! Beautiful weather. We walked around and looked at all the different varieties of pumpkins and squash. Ryan didn't seem to be too interested...lol.
Hunter, my little photographer, enjoyed taking some pictures. He took some great shots and will be entering some of them into a photo contest this week.
He is getting so big..or should I say long/tall. :)
I enjoy spending time with family. The only thing we are going to have in Heaven that is from the earth is our relationships/people. We need to invest in them.
Looking forward to this Sunday when we leave for Venezuela. I will miss Hunter as he cannot come with us, but will enjoy serving with my husband in a country we have never been.
I hope you all have a wonderful day and remember some things never change.
Monday, October 10, 2011
There is no victory without a FIGHT. Not all things come easy. Most things, to reach victory, require a fight. Which means we can become battle worn. It's ok...
Myasthenia Gravis requires you to get down in the dirt and fight for what is left of your strength. You must fight off negative thoughts and depression. You must fight off feeling alone where no one understands what the disease puts you through. You must fight through pain to win your day. I have done all these things and will continue to. Knowing that God is spearheading this battle, makes me fight all the harder...
Saturday, October 8, 2011
This wonderful post comes from The Humble Homemaker. Great tips!
- See him out the door in the morning. (Something very special about this. It's very hard for me because my hubby is gone by 4:30 AM, then I can't get back to sleep, but I think it's SO sweet.)
- Cook his favorite meals often. (You know the old saying: The way to a mans heart is through his belly =)
- Look neat and clean when he comes home from work. (Being dressed up may not be reasonable depending on the time he arrives, but combed hair and smelling nice is a sure blessing!)
- Handle family gathering details with in-laws. (In our family we're a bunch of women and he appreciates not having to confuse himself in our details. There are usually many details =)
- Spend alone time with him. (If you have small children, it's wonderful that you delight in raising them and care not for leaving them behind. But one day they will be out of the house, and there you will be with your husband. Do you know him the way you once did? Do you have fun together? So long as there is a trusted person who can watch your kiddies, there's really nothing wrong with stepping out with your love. We only get to do this one to two times a year, and we have great fun every time!)
- Massage him. (If your husband has a physical job his muscles need to be tugged on and touched. If he doesn't have a physical job, I'm sure he wouldn't mind your hands rubbing on him!)
- Wear lingerie. (Is there a man on the planet who wouldn't appreciate this?)
- Take interest in his hobbies. (If you are worried about coming off hypocritical, think about it like this: You're interested in him, right? Well those desires of his heart are a part of who he is, so in essence there is a genuine interest.)
- Give him alone time. (Some people don't like being alone, and if that is your husband scratch this one. But it's nice to quietly unwind in our own homes. If he needs this, don't be discouraged or take it personally.)
- Discipline your children. (What a blessing for the man who doesn't have to come home to chaos. Having small children I understand what it's like for there to be a lot ENERGY in the home, but children need to know boundaries.)
- Light some candles. (Candles are romantic, yes, but they also serve to relax the body and mind. Set the stage for your man to relax.)
- Keep your home. (A clean home in my opinion is one of life's greatest things. There is no place like a clean home.)
- Sing or dance for him. (I love how in some cultures this is the norm. In my opinion this is one of the loveliest things a woman can do for her man.)
- Listen to him. (Sometimes we women talk too much. Point blank.)
- Write him a love letter. (Make it juicy.)
- Plan a rendezvous. (Get a baby sitter (without him knowing) and take him out to dinner, or if circumstances allow ~ a surprise weekend getaway would be great!)
- Be spontaneous. (Use your imagination.)
- Pray for wisdom. (The wise woman is an invaluable blessing.)
- Appreciate him. (Genuinely)
- Public Praise. (Not to promote pride in any way; I think it's a great way to re-affirm confidence.)
- Soak his feet. (Do you love pedicures? I do! I don't get them often, but soaking right at home, sitting in a comfy chair or sofa is just as good. It's really a blessing.)
- Look him in the eye and smile. (Let him see that sparkle that tells *I'm a woman in love*! Be giddy, be joyful.)
You know your husband best; some of these suggestions would not be appreciated by him. That's all they are, suggestions, to get the wheels rolling in our minds so that we can continue to be a blessing to God's precious gift to us, our husbands.
How beautiful you are, my darling. How very beautiful! Your eyes are doves.
How handsome you are, my love. How delightful! Our bed is lush with foliage. ~ Son of Solomon 1:15-16
Friday, October 7, 2011
This is how I make whipped cream. PLEASE don't buy it in the freezer section...yuck! It is SO easy to make your own from scratch!
All you need is 1 c heavy whipping cream, 4 T sugar, and 1/2 t vanilla. Use your mixer to whip this up in a jiffy!
Set your mixer on high...
Mine usually ends up on 9 or so...It's about here that I add in a pinch of cinnamon. :)
You want to whip it until you get stiff peaks...don't whip too long or you'll get butter! (Another great thing made from scratch!) :)
I used it on the Pumpkin Cream Tarts I posted in an earlier post. Very yummy! This whipped cream will be great on pies this holiday season and whatever other desserts you love to use whipped cream in. :)
Thursday, October 6, 2011
If you are looking for a great place to find info on facebook, check out my Homemakers and Homesteaders page on facebook. You can find the badge on the right side of this blog above the "About Me" section. :) See ya there!
It is always weakness to be fretting and worrying, questioning and mistrusting. Can we gain anything by it? Do we not unfit ourselves for action, and unhinge our minds for wise decision? We are sinking by our struggles when we might float by faith.
Oh, for grace to be quiet! Oh, to be still and know that Jehovah is God! The Holy One of Israel must defend and deliver His own. We may be sure that every word of His will stand, though the mountains should depart. He deserves to be confided in. Come, my soul, return unto thy rest, and lean thy head upon the bosom of the Lord Jesus.
~Streams in the Desert
It can sure be difficult not to fret, can't it? It's true, we don't gain anything by it. Just more worry. Resting in the bosom of Jesus is the best place to be. When we are still and rest in Him, all our worries fade away. He takes them and replaces them with His peace...
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I got this from Tasty Kitchen and I wanted to share it because it was the BEST soup I have ever made my family. It was so flavorful! Very, very good!
A hearty chowder to warm you up on a chilly day. If you like spicy food, be sure to use hot Italian sausage, but it is just as delicious with sweet Italian sausage.
Preparation InstructionsCook sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat until browned. Remove sausage from Dutch oven and set aside. Drain excess grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Slowly whisk in chicken broth and half-and-half. Bring to a simmer. Add thyme, basil, marjoram, oregano and red pepper flakes.
Add red pepper, celery, carrot and potatoes. Return the sausage to the Dutch oven. Continue simmering for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Add corn and continuing simmering 5 minutes or until the corn is tender.
Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley and sliced green onion.
- 1 pound Italian Sausage (hot Or Sweet) I USED MILD
- 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
- ¼ cups Flour (I USED GF FLOUR)
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 4 cups Half-and-half
- ¾ teaspoons Dried Thyme
- 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
- ½ teaspoons Dried Marjoram
- ½ teaspoons Dried Oregano
- ¼ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Diced
- ⅓ cups Celery Finely Chopped
- ⅓ cups Carrot, Shredded
- 2 whole Medium Potatoes, Peeled And Cut Into 1 Inch Dice, About 2 Cups
- 1-½ cup Corn
- ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoons Pepper
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
"He opened not his mouth" (Isa. 53:7).
How much grace it requires to bear a misunderstanding rightly, and to receive an unkind judgment in holy sweetness! Nothing tests the Christian character more than to have some evil thing said about him. This is the file that soon proves whether we are electro-plate or solid gold. If we could only know the blessings that lie hidden in our trials we would say like David, when Shimei cursed him, "Let him curse; . . . it may be . . . that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day."
Some people get easily turned aside from the grandeur of their life-work by pursuing their own grievances and enemies, until their life gets turned into one little petty whirl of warfare. It is like a nest of hornets. You may disperse the hornets, but you will probably get terribly stung, and get nothing for your pains, for even their honey is not worth a search.
God give us more of His Spirit, "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again"; but "committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." "Consider him that endureth such contradiction of sinners against himself."--A. B. Simpson
~Streams in the Desert