Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Poems by Rebecca and Lydia

Rebecca and Lydia wrote these poems for the local library contest. Neither girl won an award, but I know our heavenly Father is very proud of His little witnesses.

Every line in the poem had to begin with "I am from..."

By Rebecca, age 11

I am from God who loves me.
I am from Jesus Christ who died for me.

I am from peach pie and ice cream, chili and cornbread.
I am from home made bread and tacos.

I am from gardening, bird watching, fishing, horses, and kittens.
I am from climbing trees, swinging, sledding, and running.

I am from artwork, photography, reading, and music.
I am from writing letters.

I am from a family that loves.
I am from a thrilling, exciting, hugging, homeschooling, busy family.

I am from cowgirl boots, denim skirts, jewelry, and home made hair pretties.

I am from all of these things and more.           

Where I am from
By Lydia, age 7

I am from God. And God loves me.

I am from a God who provides for me, and Jesus who died on the cross for me.

I am from a family that loves me.

I am from a family that homeschools.

I am from brothers and sisters who love me.

I am from teddy bears, toys, baby dolls, and remote controlled cars too.

I am from apples, bread, and ice cream.

I am from blue jeans and hair pretties.

I am from everything that makes me Lydia.
  I am proud of my evangelistic girls!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Look at Your Map - an anaolgy

Copied from Facebook, date as shown.

We were driving down an unfamiliar road today and ran into a dead end. WE all do this in our Christian lives. We don't take time to look at The Map (Bible) and just go down whatever road looks good or feels right. Then, before you know it, you are on a dead end road that turns into a driveway with a forbidden house and a terrible dog (Satan). God will take you back the right way. Just look at The Map. Ask for directions (prayer). God will get you back on track.

For Fathers

Copied from my Facebook Timeline, written the date shown:

Dads, you are making a difference. Your unrelenting love for your wife and children will pay off! Some days you may feel hopeless, but God has a plan. Yours can sometimes be a "thankless job," but Jesus can relate to that. He died for some who still have not yet accepted his love. You are making sacrifices too that some of your children can't understand right now. One day those same children will appreciate you and thank you. You are making a difference!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


We have been doing food allergy testing on me and the children. We found out that Lydia has sensitivities to eggs and peanuts. Nelson has been tested too, but we have not gotten the results yet.

Also, the day we found out Lydia's food sensitivities, we also learned that she has an autoimmune hypothyroid condition - like I have.

Then, we have leaks coming into several rooms in our home (which is a rental).

My thyroid condition and adrenal issues are a little crazy right now.

But, good things are happening too.
- God is taking us every step of the way
- God has prepared help for us every step of the way
- someone bought us gas for the big van on Sunday
- we got a care package from friends with healthy food and clothes for Nelson
- during our three months without income our rent was paid and our van was paid
- we KNOW the food issues, so we can get well
- we have good doctors to help us get treatment for health issues
- we have one car that works
- school is going pretty well
- I have luxuries like internet
- I stay in touch with friends with my handy dandy phone

And so on... so, it's all in how you look at it. Maybe things aren't so bad after all.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cleaning the yard - analogy

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We were cleaning our yard today and MUCH grieved by all the garbage that is now visible after the spring rains. Similarly, when we submit ourselves to God, His refreshing rains fall on us. Sometimes it reveals a lot of garbage that was formerly hiding beneath the surface. The good news us that when the garbage is visible we can throw it away once and for all. Friend, Jesus died so that you can be saved (first of all) and cleaned up. For the glory of God!

Sunshine - an analogy

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I was going to write, "the sunshine is back," when I realized the sun never left. Likewise, we cannot say God is good only when we are well and wealthy. God is good every moment of every day, whether we acknowledge it or not. It's just that sometimes we let clouds of sin and unbelief block the radiance of His Goodness.

Friday, April 12, 2013

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God says - Stop obsessing over what you don't have and be grateful for what you do have. I have given you so much! I gave you my son. I gave you freedom from death, sin, and bondage. I gave you my Holy Spirit to comfort you, lead you, and guide you. I give you more than you can see with your eyes. I spare you from more than you will know this side of Heaven. Stop grumbling and complaining. Be grateful. Praise me at all times. Rejoice always. Sing. Bring me a sacrifice of praise. Keep moving forward. Don't get tangled up in these worries. I give you all you need. Be grateful.

Faith VS. Fear

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Hard question- Are you operating out of fear or faith? Fear will hold you back, but faith will send you forward.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Using your gifts

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Using the gifts God has given you blesses others and builds them up and brings you joy! That's what I call a win-win situation!

A Good Father

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While Paul was cutting up potatoes for breakfast, Jeremiah stood reaching up crying. Jeremiah could not understood why Daddy did not share. How many times are we like that with the Lord. Holding our hands out towards what it is that we want, it looks so good to us. But, The Father is saying, "No, Dear One, it is not the time yet." Paul did not scold Jeremiah for asking for food or for crying about it. Likewise, your father knows you have needs too. You may keep asking, and when the time is right, He will hand you what you need.

Friday, April 5, 2013

My advice to Young singles and newlyweds (finances)

It is that time of year again... wedding planning around every corner. It got me to thinking about how it is more important to plan for a marriage than for a wedding. This, of course, takes years of preparations.

This post is not written as an accusation to anyone that I know! Not in the least! It is just what I wish someone would have told me. This is not the sum of my knowledge, just the first dozen or so things that came to mind.

Today's post is limited to one topic - Finances.

I don't know a whole lot about money. I am not a financial guru. But, I can help you learn from my mistakes, and that is my chief aim. Sure, it is a little embarrassing for us to talk about our past, but if it keeps just one person from following our path it is worth it!

- Do whatever you can to stay out of debt as long as you can! So often young adults enter into marriage with the idea of living to the standard they grew up with - it just rarely works this way. I would bet that your own parents as newlyweds rarely ate "out." Most new married couples (20+ years ago) scraped by without the luxuries of fast food and $4 coffee from a drive through. Trying to live like your parents without their income is a recipe for disaster.
- You can live with less furniture, or used furniture. You really don't need to go buy a new bedroom group, dining room group, and living room group (each with a $2500+ price tag). Craigslist and second hand stores always have cheap tables and chairs that you could clean up, or even refurbish, for very little. Auctions would be a good place to look for furniture too.
- You don't "need" cable and home internet. Cable IS a luxury and you can get by without it. And, you probably already have internet on your phone. You can always use the library for more extensive projects. As for cable, we have been married 13 years and have had cable a total of maybe 2 months that entire time. Take walks, go to a park, read a book, make a picnic, go fishing, learn to garden or hunt, learn to cook, do crafts, there is a lot to keep you busy without cable tv.
- If you are still single - SAVE your money! Don't buy bigger better cars now. Don't waste your hard-earned money on soda and coffee. SAVE it! You will thank me later.
- As much as you can, use shop towels and such to clean spills, and save money on paper towels.
- Before you go enter college or grad school, make sure that is what you really want to do. Ask yourself if you really need a degree to do what you see yourself doing in the future. College loans are a headache that hangs over you for years to come! (I am not discouraging college, I just want you to know that you know that you need to go)
- When setting up housekeeping - Buy used appliances. Washers, dryers, 'fridge, etc. You will be glad you did.
- Buy used cars. With cash.
- Consider doing some things "the old fashioned way" - hang out laundry on a line, cook from "scratch," drink water, use wood heat, if you live in town - walk to work.
- Save credit cards for emergencies, do not use them on consumable stuff like fast food (except in a real bind or when traveling.)
- Buy clothes at name brand stores only at the end of the season, or shop at second hand stores. You can look nice without spending a fortune, or signing up for a Macy's credit card account. (Yeah... ask me how I know... only back then it was called Famous-Barr.)
- Do NOT feel obligated to buy nice gifts for friends at weddings, birthdays, etc. A simple inexpensive gift will do just fine. Consider making a gift, like an apron, or cloth napkins or something. Or, just give a card, and when they are in your shoes (married, just trying to make it week to week), they will thank you.
- After you are married - SAVE as much as you can for emergencies, household items (furnace/roof/etc), a baby, etc.
- Write a budget and stick to it as much as possible. Read books by Christian financial gurus.

Above all - Be realistic. You have the rest of your lives to live out your dreams! It does not have to happen this year, or even in this decade!

A few verses to meditate on: The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave.        Prov 22:7 (NASB)

'You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.'
Deut 5:21 (NASB)
    For we brought nothing into the world,              and we can take nothing out.   But if we have food and clothing,  we will be content with these.
        1 Tim 6:7-8 (HCSB)

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls, 
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord GOD is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.

       Hab 3:17-19 (NASB)

What are your suggestions for newlyweds and young singles?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Summer With the Moodys - Book Review

Image Credit - Amazon.com
Last summer, I ordered Managers of Their Homes from the Maxwell family. In the back cover, there was an advertisement for a set of books written by daughter, Sarah Maxwell, The Moody Family Series. We recently got our hands on book on, Summer with the Moodys, through Inter-library Loan.

I read the book out loud to the children. Eleven year old Rebecca also read aloud parts of the book to the younger children. Overall, the book is very wholesome and entertaining. The Moody family is a Christian, home educating family with 4 children. This first book chronicles the children's adventures during their summer break from school.

What the kids liked:
- The book was very funny.
- It was a page turner, they wanted several chapters at a time

What we parents like:
(- Time spent reading to kids - invaluable!)
- No unwholesome speech or crude humor... Far from any unwholesome speech
- Teaches the children good manners
- No talk of divisive theology (at least in book 1). Nothing about any of those topics that we conservative homeschool families often heatedly dialogue about. (Though the family would appear to be what some label "quiver full," it is never taught or pushed.)

 The family is kind to one another. They love and forgive each other. We could all learn a thing or two from the Moodys. The book is very idealistic, but I guess that's not so bad. Anything that I would say against the book is not really in opposition to the book at all, but only out of frustration from my own (perceived) shortcomings. I decided not to embellish that I-am-a-failure-complex here. I'll save that for another post. {{winks}} 

We will get the other books through the library. Someday we hope to buy them. I think your family will be blessed by them too.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Walking in the Dark

Copied from my Facebook Timeline, date as shown:

Last night when I went to bed I couldn't see in my room. It was just black. Without thinking, I closed my eyes and walked where I needed to go without bumping anything. I even plugged in my phone to charge. The spiritual analogy is this- when you are paralyzed with fear, because your next steps are so dark, stop trying to see it with your eyes. Just like my feet and hands knew the way in the dark, the Spirit within us can keep moving forward. You can walk in faith. Your hands can do the jobs God has for them. When it is dark, stop trying to make sense of the future, just let God lead you forward in the right path.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Progress, Not Perfection

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Let's say that you have a friend who spent her whole life in the suburbs, but when she grew up she decided to be a farmer and grow all her own food. Do you expect her to move to a farm that year and fill her freezer and root cellar with goodies that first year? Of course not. Well, how many of us expect to do this very thing in our Christian lives? The analogy is far from perfect, but I wanted to get your attention. We can no more become sinless creatures overnight than we can become farmers. There are bitter roots that need removed from our fields, we need to plow the soil and remove weeds. We have much to learn and it can't be accomplished in one day, one year, or one decade. Sanctification is a process. It takes a lifetime. Don't expect perfection from yourself or your friends. The work in you will be completed, just not in one day.

"And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Phil 1:6