Category Archives: Uncategorized

20

image

20 years ago.

I married the guy in this picture.

(The big one, not the little one,  he’s our son!)

It was the opening weekend of rifle deer season. (Which I heard lots of complaints about from those gents who wanted to get up early the following morning to hunt!)

My own gent was a bow hunter at the time and didn’t care at all!

We’ve seen much in these 20 years.

My dad was killed in an accident almost exactly a year later.

Our four beautiful children were born.

We bought a house.

My husband lost his grandmother and then a few years later his grandfather on his Dad’s side.

My hubby worked full time night shift for years while going to college to earn his mill wright journeyman card.

We sold our house and moved overseas.

We lived for a year in the country our girls refer to as “home” and then moved back.

We walked through extreme physical problems.

(I can’t express the emotion of dropping my spouse at the ER because he thought he was having a heart attack, but not being able to stay because he wanted me to wait with the children a good 45 minutes away.)

Then his health improved.

We walked through owning a business.

We walked through my extreme physical issues.

We walked through the slow process of physical rehabilitation.

We walked through closing our business.

We walked through buying another house.

We walked through another job change.
(Praise the Lord!)

We walked through our children growing and starting sports.

We walked through my hubby working full time and going back to college.

We walked through our first high school graduate.

We walked through our first child getting married.

There is so much more.

So many things.

Over and over and over God has worked and been so present in our daily lives.

Yet, I don’t want to spend too much time looking backward.

I want to look forward to what God has for our future, our family.

I have learned much.

But I know there is so… much more.

More for me to grow in, for me to understand,  for me to learn.

It is good to live in today for the Bible makes it clear.

Today is a gift from God.

Jesus, thank You for my husband. Thank You for 20. Please continue to teach me how to be a godly wife and mother. Please bless our family. Thank You.

Advertisements

Humble

image

I’m choosing that word instead of the one which keeps coming to mind:

IDIOT.

So, I’ll have to back up almost a week to give you the full story.

My sweetheart put up a garden fence so the dogs won’t eat my tomatoes.

( I know, I know. I live in deer country and one would think the veggies get nibbled by them. Nope. Our dogs keep them out of the back yard, however they LOVE tomatoes and I barely got any last year. )

I needed a support for my peas which my hubby simply placed by screwing two wood pieces from the main fence to stabilize the post.

I was thrilled!

The next day I was bent over and carefully tending some seedlings near my peas.

I moved along slowly making sure not to harm them or the pea seedlings on my right.

Then it happened.

I took a step while standing up.

Bang!

Before I realized what had happened I was clutching the top of my head.

I had unwisely walked underneath the support post and when standing up to leave I struck it, hard.

Ouch!

My head was sensitive for the rest of the day.

I laughed at myself and tried not to think about it more than necessary.

The following afternoon I was in the garden with our Anne.

Several times I warned her about not hitting her head.

Told her my head still hurt.

Explained how I’d grown careless which led to the pain.

She was very sweet and listened carefully.

Each time she was over near the peas she was paying attention and avoiding the cross beam.

Then it happened.

I had carefully given her some instructions.

I had just finished with my last chore and went to plant some lettuce.

Just after finishing the lettuce I somehow stood up directly underneath the exact same cross bar.

This time I hit the ground before I realized what I had done.

Ouch!!

My head throbbed and I struggled to get out of the garden to where I could sit down.

Since our daughter had gone out of the garden to do what I asked she found me clutching my head and wobbling toward the house when she came back.

Upon hearing what I had done she replied, “But Mom! You were just warning me not to do that…?”

“Yes! I know.”

The day ended with me going to bed early from a severe headache.

The next day one of my students prayed for me at lunch time, because my head still hurt.

That was Wednesday and today is Monday.

I was in the utility room moving laundry from the washer to the dryer.

We have a tiny space and our stackable washer/dryer are invaluable!

I noticed I had dropped a sock when transferring the wet laundry.

I bent over to get it, stood up and…

Yup.

I hit the top of my head on the dryer door I’d left open to receive the sock.

That’s when the word came.

IDIOT!

How in the world can I possibly hit my head so often? Can’t I think before acting? What is the matter with me?!

I texted my hubby that I would be laying down for a bit on account of my own carelessness.

As I tried to get over my frustration with myself I heard the Lord softly speak to my heart.

Humble

I can’t go back and undo the damage.

But I can be humble and move forward to change the danger.

The cross beam in the garden has two ropes to keep me or anyone else from being able to stand up underneath it.

The dryer door will soon have a guard to hold it open and out of the way.

What kind of work do I need to do inside my character?

Was it pride which caused me to warn and instruct our daughter to a danger I was too busy to pay attention to for myself?

Was it my own selfish motives which drove me to hurry in a few garden tasks when I should have been inside cooking dinner?

Was it poor organization which found me trying to rush through switching laundry, because my thoughts were on the company coming tonight?

I can’t go backwards, but I can be humble and see the areas God is using my folly to teach me character.

“Dear God,

Thank You for loving me and not allowing me to hurt myself worse than I already have. Please continue to help me see the areas which need honing so I can avoid carelessness in the future. Thank You that even in moments where I’m embarrassed You can turn it to an opportunity. Let Your name be glorified Lord Jesus!

Amen!”

“God has really blessed me.”

image

This is our Bell.

She’s her own person.

She has the same brown eyes and brown hair as her older sister, but there are a number of differences.

She’s not tall.

I haven’t measured her lately, but I believe she’s 5’2″.

Don’t ask me her weight, I truly don’t know, but she’s got muscle all over.

She’s fairly quiet.

She doesn’t mind chatting with others about everyday things, but when it comes to anything deep or emotional she reserves her comments until she knows exactly what she wants to say.

She can be just a little blunt from time to time, yet it is not seasoned with malice.

Like everyone, Bell has things she’s not too happy about in herself, and works to gain control over them.

She’s an athlete.

When she was in first grade she played soccer for one year.

Then I put all the girls in dance school and said sports was on hold.

She enjoyed dance and thrived.

The year we moved back to the US she played softball and loved it.

The following year their team was undefeated the entire year.

Then she joined track and basketball.

It was much closer to home and when I had a conflict with scheduling the school ran a bus so she had to give up softball.

Yet she found a love for track and basketball.

As our family was so blessed to watch our oldest girl run at the State Track and Field our Bell spoke to me on the way home.

“Next year when I’m in high school, my goal is to make it to State.”

She has been working hard all track season in an effort to keep her goal.

She’s well aware of the stiff competition.

I’ve told her Freshman rarely make State.

Yet everything hung on the District meet in Bend.

If she could get 1st or 2nd in either of her races she’d go.

And she did.

Despite her being ranked at 4th place before the race she took 2nd.

I was surprised to hear from her coach the next day.

He called to let me know she’d made it to State in the long jump!

I was surprised.

She had jumped her best jump ever at the meet, but I didn’t think it was good enough.

So after yesterday’s meet where she jumped in the long jump and ran the preliminary race in the 400 she turned to me.

“God has really blessed me.”

I smiled and reached over to place my hand on her.

“Yes He certainly has.”

Her next words surprised me.

“How do I let people know that I’m just a vessel God is using?  After I race people say, ‘Good job!’ and all I can do is say thanks between breaths.”

“Honey, you tell people about God’s blessing in the other times, those moments when people say, ‘I read your name in the paper.'”

She nodded.

It wasn’t until this morning I began to see another side of the whole affair.

She was able to make the cut and will be running today in the 400, but she didn’t say much about her poor turn out in the long jump. She didn’t even jump a personal record.

She was nervous and her footing off the board wasn’t the best.

Yet as she spoke of the long jump it was the joy of friends she’s made who were also jumping.

In her reflections at the end of the day she didn’t show the least bit of disappointment or discouragement.

She was simply thankful to God for His blessing her with the ability to get this far.

This humility in our Bell has prompted me to look closer at my own heart.

Am I thankful for the blessings or just eager to attain more?

Am I thoughtful as to how to give glory back to God for His gifts or simply smug in the face of those around me?

God forbid that I ever take the credit for His hand in my life.

As I spend my morning in prayer for our day I smile.

What a blessing to have such a humble daughter.

What a gift to be able to watch our daughter compete at any level.

What a joy to hear her praise God for His gifts!

I can say it:

“God has really blessed me!”

Inspired

image

That’s our girl in the black and white.

She took 1st in both her races today.

I  was very proud of her.

Especially since she was throwing up between races.

Yet, I was inspired by another race.

As I stood waiting for our girl to run, the boy’s 800 began.

I cheered for the boys from our school.

Then I noticed a boy from the school I graduated from, Douglas high.

He was running the 800.

Well, most of the time he was running.

As he came around my corner his pace was slow.

Several of his teammates shouted encouragement.

He kept going.

I watched him slow to a walk twice before he began approach my corner again.

He was walking.

Many of his teammates were yelling encouragement.

Told him to keep it up.

Said to finish strong.

Shouted, “You got this!”

Just as he rounded the mark for the last 100 meters a loud male voice came across the field.

He was simply shouting the runner’s name.

He ran across the field and up along side his teammate.

He stayed in the grass, but kept yelling his team mate’s name.

By this time the boy was running.

They ran the last 100 meters side by side.

One on the track the other in the grass.

It brought tears to my eyes as I watched and listened.

The boy in the grass called his friend’s name the whole way.

I was inspired.

***

How often we find the race of life a struggle.

Yet just one person to run alongside and call encouragement can make all the difference.

I want to be like that young man.

As I run towards Christ, I want to run alongside those who are also running towards Him with all their strength.

I want to call encouragement to those He has placed in my life, words bolster their run, to watch them run as fast as they can.

And frankly, I want some people running alongside me, shouting my name.

So, I’m inspired.

I hope this story inspires you.

Run the race.

Run with all you have.

And look for those who need to hear their name, calling them to run as well. 

Joys of the season

image

Yesterday,
we went cherry picking.

Today,
we went to a graduation/18th birthday party.

Tomorrow,
is lunch with Papa and Nana.

It’s a season.

Not just a chance to be outdoors.
Not just beautiful weather and fresh fruit.
Not just a break from the routine.

It’s a season of life.

When it passes something else will fill in each day,
but to miss the joys of the season would be to waste the gift.

Too easy to look forward to what tomorrow will hold.

Too often to look back “when…”

Too precious to ignore, is the season that each of us resides in, whether it be childhood, teenager, adult.

Each season brings blessings even through the trial.

As infants and toddlers I was always concerned with their health, their manners, their clothes.

As school aged the concern turns to friends, academics, and sports.

Teen years have been full of relationships with everyone, emotions, events and life decisions like GPAs and scholarships.

There is a parallel to the seasons of the year.

Summer holds so many good things,  but I never get stung in the winter.

Fall is colorful and often still allows some time outdoors, yet the flowers all begin to die and the business of school crowds the calendar.

Winter brings the coziness of a warm fire along with hot chocolate, homemade brownies, and holidays, but the flu and colds attack reminding each of their frailty.

Spring is rebirth as trees, flowers, and animals all great the world with something new, yet the weather can fluctuate so rapidly that the rains break the flowers and the trees lose their blossoms.

Are we to look at the seasons and focus on the ways it brings discomfort or loss or pain?

No.

Instead we should look to our Heavenly Father and thank Him for all the positive points in each season.

As you walk in this season of swimming pools, travel, and parties or weddings I pray you are able to make a thankful list. Nothing fancy, nothing worth showing off but simply a chance to recall all the various blessings this season brings.

Here’s one I’m starting:
I am thankful to God for:
1. More time at home.
2. More opportunities to be with family and friends.
3. Weather which allows me to walk in the garden.
4. All the veggies in my garden.
5. The chance to read something other than textbooks.
6. The time to bake.
7. Fresh produce to can for the winter.
8. The time to reorganize my house.
9. Enough water to wash clothes, dishes, the dog, or anything else.
10. Longer quiet times with the Lord, my Bible, and journal.

Tea time with the Lord

image

Recently,
I was enjoying a cup of tea,
while reading my Bible
and came across a scripture which puzzled me.

So I stopped to reflect.

“When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry…And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand,  his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters,  the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So when it came to pass,  when they had brought them outside,  that he said,  ‘Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains lest you be destroyed.’ ”
Gen. 19:15a, 16-17

The story goes on to tell how Lot stood there an argued with the angel to spare the city of Zoar because he  was afraid to go to the mountains. He even said, “I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die.”

The angel agrees and Lot and his family make it to Zoar. When they do judgment comes in the form of brimstone and fire to every other city in the area but not Zoar as the angel promised.

For some reason, Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Yet the story continues. Lot becomes even more afraid and flees to the mountains, the very place he refused to go in the first place.

I understand being afraid.

What puzzled me was his inconsistent choices.

First, he refused to obey despite the fact these very angels had saved him previously from an angry mob by striking them with blindness.

Then he sees the consequences of his wife’s disobedience to their direct warning to not look back.

Yet he flees for his life from the refuge of his own choosing.

It is obvious he was running, scared blind.

What was blinding him?

The Lord answered,
“His perspective was off. He couldn’t see that which had been done just to preserve his life, he kept making choices based on emotion.”

–Sigh–

I did the exact thing this week.

One problem after another I simply ran to “fix” but all my effort was in vain for I would get to the problem and find God had already answered.

My running had caused nothing but stress and frustration.

My perspective was off.

Praise the Lord,
I finally noticed as I was relating the troubles to one of our teachers.

“I have been running around like crazy, when I should have been saying,  ‘Wow, this is a problem, I wonder what God is going to do through it?'”

Since my cup of tea with the Lord,
I have been praying
for perspective.

I don’t want to choose out of emotion,
I want to follow God’s direction.

Prayer

image

What is it?

How does one pray ?

Does it work?

Why is it important?

First,
prayer is communication with God through the Holy Spirit.

Too often prayers are sent as if the person who is praying has no idea who they are talking to,  but they hope to be heard and granted their request.

If you write a letter and place it in an envelope with no address, you can be certain it won’t leave your mailbox.

God has placed in every heart a knowledge of something higher than humanity.

It is clear when one looks at the history of mankind, man is always finding something to worship, because in every heart there is a God size whole yearning to worship.

The Bible tells us that we should know and understand God and in our prayers and recognize who we are speaking with.

God tells Abraham about Himself. Gen. 17:1

He tells Moses about Himself. Ex. 10:2

And Jesus told us about God in ways the world had before never grasped. Matt. 5:1-16, Matt. 6:5-15, Matt. 7:21-24

When in prayer God wants to be addressed.

Jesus said: “In this manner,  therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven,  Hallowed be Your name.” Matt. 6:9

He is holy and merciful.

He is just and loving.

He is good and kind.

When praying, stop and recognize the same God who created the entire universe is listening to your heart and cares so much for you that nothing is too “small” to bring to Him in prayer.

But remember,
this is a conversation,
look for ways He is responding,
whether it’s in the Word,
or in yourself and your perspective,
or in the circumstances of the day,
He wants you to hear Him.

So stop.

Take some time.

Make a list,
of who God says He is,
of what things He has already done in your life,
and thank Him.

Use the list as a spring board to prayer.

The Psalms show us that David often spent his time in prayer simply reflecting on who God is and what He had done.

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You
in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;”
Ps 63: 1-4a

From these verses David speaks of God’s power, glory, and loving kindness.

David shares of his need for God, comparing it to thirst.

So as you pray,
think of the Addressee.

Remember to thank Him for at least one thing He has given,  even if it as simple as “thanks for the breathe to pray”.

Because He wants a relationship with you.

What better way to begin than with time invested in conversation?