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!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

1 John

I have been listening to Paul Washer a lot this spring.  And he often preaches from 1 John.  I never really spent too much time in 1 John, I have read through it a few times as a part of a larger Bible reading and I have used it to answer fill in the blank questions for various Bible studies...but I have never just hung out in and meditated on 1 John.

What a mistake on my part!

There is such reassurance, such direct instruction.  Especially if you question whether or not you are truly His, truly saved.  It is a weighty matter to question salvation.

Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.  1 John 2:6


PS - please, please take the time to go read this post today.  It is by far one of the most beautiful, most beneficial blog posts that I have read.  Hands down.


Monday, April 24, 2017

loneliness and tidbits

Why is it so hard to make friends, good friends, as an adult?  I know part of my particular circumstance that makes it difficult is the fact that I have three kids with varying special needs and that, by its very nature, means we have unpredictable days.  And we spend a lot of time at home.

But still...it is HARD.  

And lonely.  :(

But through it all, God has provided.  I have this one friend who lives near me that I absolutely adore.  I have found so many neat books and blogs recently.  And my husband, although very busy, is literally my favorite person on the planet.  He is my very best friend.  I am so thankful for that. :)

Do you ever have those moments where you realize you aren't as smart (or clever) as you think you are?

Did you know that a linking verb 'complement' is indeed spelled differently from the word 'compliment'...that is was not a printing error in the teacher manual.  Ha!

Did you know that you can do one small test to know for sure whether a verb is a linking verb or an action verb?  If you are not sure try substituting a form of the verb "to be" in place of the verb in question, if the meaning is altered...the verb is a linking verb.

Example:

Is tasted a linking or action verb in the following sentences?  Well, let's check it out....

The sandwich tasted yummy.     The sandwich is yummy.  Obviously tasted is a linking verb here.

I tasted the sandwich.  I am the sandwich.  Tasted is an action verb here because I am most certainly not a sandwich :).

Thursday, April 6, 2017

National Poetry Month

Did you know April was national poetry month?  I didn't until just a moment ago, when I read a post from Modern Mrs. Darcy...and I found this really COOL list of ideas to celebrate it!

We read a bit last month, not as much as I had hoped to, but any progress is progress no matter how small, right?  I think someone famous said that at some point, but I am not sure who.

When I was younger I would pick up one book, read it all the way through before moving on.  As I get older, I rarely have the luxury of picking up and reading a book from cover to cover in my "free" time.  I have also noticed some days are "non-fiction" days and some days "fiction" days, whereas in my youth and early 20's it was rarely a "non-fiction" day, week, or month, and certainly never a year.  :)

Anyways on some days I will struggle more with one thing than another, so I have quickly learned to treat books as friends and mentors.  I will find trusted voices, steeped in the Word of God, and I will glean from them.  I am not as careful with my fiction choices as I am with my non-fiction choices, that is something that I am actually struggling with right now.  When is it ok to enjoy a book that is fiction, and when is it time to draw the line?  I am of course talking about the not so obvious topics, but this is a post for another day

My Books for March :

The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp - I just finished chapter four.  I started this book several months ago.  I am purposely reading it slow because I want to think it through.  I am a very fast reader, but since I devour books, I don't remember a lot of what I read.  I get caught up in the story or someone's words and enjoy them in the moment, but rarely pack away things for later.  I wanted this book to be different.  I want it to impact my life.

The Prayer of Protection by Joseph Prince - this was a gift to me.  It is one I am hoping to finish this week, but will have to go back through again and dwell on the truth of Psalm 91.  I love the Psalms, there is literally a Psalm for just about every feeling you can have.

On The Edge by F. Parker Hudson- this is a tough book to read through.  I just finished book one and am going to make myself go on to book two, but ACK.  This was recommended to me from someone else, and I am stunned by the realness of the unseen battle, but it weighs heavy on my heart.

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter - This is my first Gene Stratton-Porter, I have wanted to read her books for years, but never got around to it.  However, I got so mad at the Momma in this book I had to put it down.  Will she ever come to her senses?!?!  I plan to finish this in April.

The Curate of Glaston (trilogy) by George MacDonald.  This book also was a recommendation from someone else and it arrives at a very interesting time.  I just listened to a sermon this past weekend by Paul Washer  and it goes hand in hand with this book.  I have to think some more and read some more before I share my heart.

I have been invited to read through The Celebration of Discipline, this is a book I have had on my shelf for years, but have never gotten around to reading.

To My Kids -

Five Children and It - we are delighting in this book by Edith Nesbit.  We bought it on audible, speaking of audible, have you signed up for Sarah Mackenzie's kindle/audible deal alerts?

We are (sadly) finishing up the last Clementine book.  We have read this entire series by Sarah Pennypacker as read alouds.
 
We are currently reading through the Magic Treehouse series with my youngest.

The Secret Unicorn by Kathleen Duey.  My oldest is reading this aloud to my youngest.

Ginger Pye - we started this book but had to put it on pause, so I will more than likely just start over from chapter one.  It looks like it's going to be a great story.

What are you reading?