Friday, June 16, 2017

PS

we HATED Julie of the Wolves.  I know a LOT of people love this book.  But we did NOT.  We stopped about half way through.  Sometimes the beauty of reading is to know when to put down one book and try again with another one.

there is this tree

in my town, I drive by it most mornings when I have an early wake-up.  This tree is almost perfect in shape and size and leaf distribution except for this one limb.  The tree is lush and green, full of leaves and a perfect size to climb.  This limb that sticks out is a chubby limb, thriving, but it's awkward.  It sticks out further than the rest of the tree, noticeably so.  Last summer the city trimmed trees along this road and I have often times wondered why they chose to keep that limb untouched, why didn't they prune it back to fall in line with the rest of the tree?  That is what I would have done.

Early this morning I drove down that same street and had one of my children in the car with me.  She had awoken from a nightmare and so I tucked us both in the car and drove off in search of a special treat.  Hot chocolate for me, pirate cake pop for her.  I know - not the best thing to start off the day with (we did eat a healthier breakfast, I promise)...but as we drove by I remarked on this tree.  As soon as I was done lamenting that branch, I realized, isn't that exactly how life is?  Some things come together beautifully, while others are awkward and stick out and are noticeable.  But you know what?  Those awkward things are not to be lamented, they are to be celebrated.  It means there is life and that God is not done with us yet.  It means that we are growing, some areas faster than others, but God can be trusted to prune back the branches that need to be pruned and to give space to the ones that are growing (albeit awkwardly) in the right direction.  We just have to make sure that we are seeking the healthy soil of His Word to dig down deep into, the running water that He promises is where our taproot needs to head towards and we need to abide in Him because He is the source of our very life.

Psalm 1
John 15
Isaiah 44:3
John 7:37&38
Isaiah 55:1

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Well hello there.  It is almost June.  How did that happen?  This past week my kids and I worked really hard outside at home, getting our "jungle" under control.  We shaved, clipped, sliced, mowed, pulled, raked, and bagged.  *sigh*  We got a lot done.  I have pulled two ticks off of me, one off of my youngest, and one off of our dog.  :( I hate ticks.

We finished up a book about Gladys Alward, sobbing through the last chapter.  I wonder if our neighbors thought someone in our family had died?  All of our windows were open, so I am pretty sure they heard us crying and carrying on.  But that was one of the most beautiful stories we have read.  Ever.  My kids have talked about that book almost constantly since we turned the last page.  We are officially on our light summer schedule which is a good thing because, by the last full week of school, we were SO done.  I am SO SO SO thankful for the year round schooling opportunity that we have with homeschooling, especially when a long awaited break arrives.

I got to have coffee with a sweet friend last night, well I opted for hot chocolate, but it was such a fun way to end a busy, kinda stressful week.

We have a stack of books we'd like to get through in the next few weeks...don't you just love a good story?!?  It is such a neat way to connect to your kiddos as they grow up.

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green

TumTum and Nutmeg series (this is a beloved re-read)

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Anne of Green Gables (CANNOT wait for this one!  I cannot wait to share this story - actually the whole series - with my kids.  I am probably waaaaaay more excited than they are, but that's ok, I have enough enthusiasm for all four of us)

On audible, my kids are listening to Little House on the Prairie and I am listening to At Home in Mitford book one.  It has been years since I have "visited" Mitford, I love that book.

Well, I hope you guys have a beautiful Memorial Day weekend.  May we have hearts that obey the Word as we dig deep into it.

Friday, May 12, 2017

stripping away

Have you ever gone through seasons of what can only be described as a 'stripping away'?  They are uncomfortable, painful at times, and hard.  I feel like I entered into that season late last fall and it is still going on.

I feel vulnerable, exposed.  It is not a comfortable feeling.  Days have been hard, they have stacked up to make weeks that have been hard, which in turn have stacked up to make months that are hard.



*sigh*

In a somewhat lighter light: this past weekend culminated in a visit to the vet for our puppy after all three of our dogs passed a tummy virus around.  He just couldn't kick it, so he got a shot and two antibiotics and we were told to not feed him for 24 hrs.  This dog LOVES to eat.  He was NOT happy...or as Clementine says N-O-T happy.  :)  On the way home from the vet,  my youngest was really sad because we could not stop and pet the cows that had pushed their way up to the roadside fence.  So she prayed that God would wow us this week.  We have seen bald eagles (3), an armadillo waddled up our driveway, a bunny in our backyard, and a cardinal has built a nest outside one of our windows and it has eggs in it!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh, and a rather large racoon just this morning...so that is who has necessitated the rock on the lid of our trash can :).


that is the dad :)



Puppy Duppy is feeling ever so much better :)



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

sweetness

I have been a Christian for a long time.  Since I was eight years old, although admittedly I did not even begin to comprehend what that meant at that age.  All I knew at eight was that God was my friend that I talked to when I was lonely on the playground at school and that I wanted to be like everyone else in my family; to get baptized, take communion, to belong.

It took the birth of my first child to wake me up to God, to make me seek hard after Him.  But then life began to get hard.  Really hard.  And it has been a bumpy ride since then.  I have imperfectly followed after Him - or rather - He has perfectly sought me, shielded me, kept me and I have been stubborn and full of pride.

 Thinking that I had this all figured out.

Thinking that I could just 'do' the right Christian things and be ok.

But God has, in His mercy and grace, shown me that I am not enough.  I cannot perform enough to be ok with Him.  It is all about Jesus.  What He has done, is doing, and will do.

Lately, I have felt God wooing my wayward heart back to Him.  It's not like I was in full out rebellion, but at the same time, any time I spent with Him was dry and felt full of effort.  I found it hard to pray.  I found it hard to rest in Him.

But then...don't you just love the phrase 'but then'?  But then this spring I heard that Paul Washer had had a heart attack and I remembered that a few years ago I had heard a youtube sermon from this guy and that it had bothered me.  At the time, the sermon made me slow down long enough to ask myself, 'Hey Sunshine, are you truly, truly saved?'  However, I quickly let life take over and forgot about that sermon and that preacher and went trudging along, but the question of my salvation never really abated.  Then when I heard about him this spring I remembered and I googled and I listened.  This time when I listened, I prayed.  I asked God to draw me close to Him, to show me Him in Jesus, to help me understand how salvation works.  To give me the reassurance that I was truly His.

The past few weeks have been so sweet.  Much like that period of time when you and your spouse are connected, and able to revel in the realization that my favorite person on earth, my very best friend, the one that I want to be with more than any other...that person belongs to me, and I to them.  

This spring, God has continually shown me, reminded me, to look to Him.  Now I have heard that phrase before, in fact, one of my favorite psalms is Psalm 105:4 "Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always".  But I have never really grasped that.  So much of my walk has been like that.  Has it been the same for you?  I hear the verse, it is quickened in my spirit, but then I don't dwell there.  I am a hummingbird that flits from flower to flower to flower.  I need to become the caterpillar that stays and chews his way through the leaves.

The past few weeks God has shown me that it isn't about what I am doing, it is about where I am looking, searching.  Does that make sense?  I am not saying obeying is not important, it is.  But it is fruit.  Before you can have the fruit you have to be rooted deep down into the good rich soil, have the water come, and the sun to shine...and it takes time.  God is everything you need for fruit - the soil, the root, the water, the sun, the time, and the vine-dresser.  But you have to look to Him.  Dwell in His Word.  Spend time with Him.

Life hasn't gotten any easier, it is just sweeter when He is near.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Happy May


Lilacs are my most favorite flower.  They remind me of my wedding bouquet, awakening within me the urge to throw open every window in our house to draw in as much of the scent in as I can.  Happy Spring!