Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mom's Apple Crisp

This apple crisp recipe is great for potlucks or family gatherings! It fills up a 9x13 pan.


Mom's Apple Crisp

8 peeled, sliced apples
1 1/2 cups of sugar (I use sucanat)
6 TBS flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 nutmeg
1 1/2 cups of boiling water.

Put apples in greased 9x13 baking dish. Mix above ingredients and sprinkle over apples. Pour boiling water over apples.

For Topping Mix, combine...

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of packed brown sugar (or sucanat)
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
(my mom likes to add a cup of sliced almonds to the topping mix)

Place Topping Mix on top of apples. Bake at 350 degrees 40-50 minutes or until crispy on top.

I also like to exchange about half of the flour to whole wheat pastry flour. It doesn't change the texture, but it gives you more whole grains.

Enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Digging Deep


I ran across this today and I thought I would share this powerful lesson with you as well.

"We can do nothing to make our own hearts clean and pure. God creates clean hearts from nothing. God does not form clean hearts in us with the existing materials of our righteous acts and self-disciplines. If we had all those things, our human natures would more likely form them into the stuff of self-righteousness and pride rather than purity of heart. God creates pure hearts from nothing in response to our sincerest repentance and desire to be pure before Him."- Beth Moore from her Believing God Bible study

No matter how much I study the Bible and practice my spiritual disciplines, I cannot make my own heart clean. Only the blood of the lamb can do that. I thank God that He did not allow me to stay in my self-righteousness. Since our devastation with our oldest son, God has used it to strip my pride away. I tried to be the perfect parent. I know I self-righteously thought, "Well, if others would just do this, this and this, then they wouldn't be in the pickle they are in with their children." Boy was I wrong! There is not formula. I prayed for my kids, I DEVOURED God's Word. I homeschooled my children to try to protect them from the World's evil influences and yet it didn't matter. My son chose to sin and the consequences of that devastated our family.

Now here we are, 20 months later STILL trying to pick up the pieces. At the beginning of this, I just wanted a plan, a time-line or some indication of when life would get back to "normal". I wanted to be in CONTROL of my life. As we pick up piece by precious piece, I know that God is putting those broken fragments back onto a foundation that is ROCK solid. For I am allowing God to build my family "on the Rock who is higher than I". I don't have to know the plan two days from now, let alone two months, or two years. I just have to go with God's plans for me today. I have to trust that His plans are good even when they hurt.

I choose to look at the blessings in our situation. There are many. Too many to list here. These blessings have been mined through the hardest bedrock. They weren't just lying on the surface, ready to harvest, I had to DIG. But when I got to each blessing, and realized the Work it took to recognize it, I stand amazed at how precious they really are. Beautiful gems that are fit for my King Jesus.

I have been so completely transformed by this experience. There will always be trouble in the world, but Jesus has overcome the world. He is my all in all. He pray He always keeps me humble so I can be a true servant of God.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Asking Questions

 Wow! This school year seems to be flying by. I can't believe it is November already. I keep realizing just how fleeting the time is when you have children. I will one day look up and they will be flying from my nest!

(Picture taken Fall 2009)

The longer I parent, the more I realize just how easy those first years were. Establishing your family is one thing. It is exhausting physically and mentally, but there is so much that you are in control over. Once your children start getting into their tween and teen years, it is truly a whole different ballgame.

I beginning to understand the importance of building close relationships with my kids. When I get after a teenager, I can really hurt them. It lasts longer and I realize that bridges need to be repaired. I have to take responsibility for my snotty attitude, sarcasm or just out-of-control anger. Gee, I sound like a teenager! Maybe I still have some more growing up to do?

I tend to complain to my children a lot. I know this discourages them, but it doesn't help me either. They are kids! Works in progress. If I am constantly focused on the negative things, I am not seeing the special, kind and RIGHT things that they do.

When my kids load up in the van after school, I start asking them lots of open-ended questions. It creates communication other than "How was your day?". It makes them think and open up, but more importantly it makes me listen. I can learn so much just by listening.

If you are discouraged with your kids today, lift them up to God and ask that God to take away that negative, grumbling spirit that creeps in your heart.

There is much to be thankful for! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to actually take time and thank your Creator for the great things He is doing in your life and in the life of others around you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Protect Your Marriage and the Church



Pornography has turned the Christian church into the white-washed tombs that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 23:27-28 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like white-washed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

The statistics say half of Christian men  are actively viewing pornography and about 20% of Christian women, yes, Christian women, are either joining them or doing it on their own. It starts with us, the parents. If we want to protect our children from being enslaved to pornography, then we better be doing the work ourselves. If you are viewing porn in anyway, then Satan has an “in” in your home and in your children’s lives. You may be telling yourself that it isn’t affecting anyone and that it’s just “spicing up” your marriage, but it’s literally letting Satan into the front door of your home. He will wreak havoc on you and your children. Do we want churches that are “full of dead men’s bones?” Or do we want a church that is “alive, clean, not full of hypocrisy, but of the Holy Spirit”? Do we want to “appear to be righteous”, or do we want to actually be “righteous”?

Many women have come to me and asked me “What should I do if my husband wants me to watch porn with him?” The answer is NO! You are letting another person into your marriage bed. It is impure, stained with sin and the Lord will not bless your marriage. It is also extremely hurtful to the woman who is having issues with her body image after having children to be compared with a stoked up, enhanced, flat-tummied, fake  woman.  Husbands are not loving their wives when they are asking her to be someone she is not. They are letting their wives know that they aren't enough and they need more than what their wives can give them.

* 42 percent of surveyed adults indicated that their partner’s use of pornography made them feel insecure. Marriage Related Research,Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1.

* 41 percent of surveyed adults admitted they felt less attractive due to their partner’s pornography use. Marriage Related Research,Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1.

I also know of men who have tried to turn their wives into their own personal porn star. They ask them to do very uncomfortable things that are against nature. It is selfish s*x, and it is out of what they have seen in pornography. They justify asking their wives to do these things because they are keeping it within the confines of the marriage bed.

 Be a godly husband and love your wife as she is, the gift that the Lord gave to you. Sanctify your eyes and your marriage bed. If you have done these things or are engaged in this kind of activity, I pray that for the sake of yourself, your wife and your children that you will repent so that God can raise up and rebuild your family on the foundation of purity, love and righteousness.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This Day


This month has flown by! Where did October go? I haven't been on here much. My main focus has been my family, studying God's Word, and trying to build up and encourage women all around me. It is amazing to me how God uses my testimony almost every day. Somehow, someway, I am able to share with others how He is getting us through a long-term trial. He is good and He won't forsake us.

But every now and then, I get down in the dumps. The enemy taps on my shoulder and reminds me just how far we have left to go. Strangely he does this after each and every victory. When I am on a wonderful God-high and I am singing his praises, these times are when I am most vulnerable for the enemy to swoop in and create doubt and confusion. I am recognizing this tactic, though. I am starting to get ready for him.

God has been gracious and has taught me a thing of two on this journey of pain. He introduced me to Al-anon. Hmmm, you are thinking, oh no, her husband is a drunk! Well, he isn't. Actually, it was because of his issues with food that I started. During our 18-year marriage, I have tried every tactic to try to get him to lose weight. I have been shameless. I have not trusted God with this issue. Fear of being left with six children to raise drove me to new solutions, and manipulation tactics. It was driving a wedge in our marriage. There were many broken promises to change so bitterness has taken root in my heart. My friend, Catherine and my mom, urged me to get an Al-anon devotional book. I had grown up watching my mom read it so I went ahead and ordered it. Wow! I found that I didn't just use this book in my relationship with my husband, I could use this with all the people and situations in my life that caused me stress and anxiety.


It is all about changing YOU! You don't have the power to change anyone else. Everyone has their own bottom to hit. It teaches you have to be supportive and loving, with boundaries. It was a missing piece of the puzzle that God used to set me free.

The One Day at a Time concept has been profound for me. It is a Biblical concept (found in Matthew 6). "Do not worry about tomorrow, each day has enough trouble of it's own". I just had to share this with you...

"There are times when the "poor me" mood is upon us; we're overwhelmed by all the troubles we have to face. This is especially likely to happen when we have begun to try to change our thinking about ourselves and our relation to others. We may, at first, become too analytical and try to solve too much at once.

This day is mine. It is unique. Nobody in the world has one exactly like it. It holds the sum of all my past experience and all my future potential. It belongs to me to do with whatever I like. I can fill it with joyous moments or ruin it with fruitless worry. If painful recollections of the past come into my mind, or frightening thoughts of the future, I will put them away. They cannot spoil today for me.

"Today is my special gift from God. how will I use it? The less I let others affect it, the more serene and satisfying it will be for me."

                                 -Taken from One Day At a Time


Monday, October 7, 2013

Sisters, Be Vulnerable




I am continually amazed at God's goodness and mercy as He uses our devastation for His glory. I went to a women's retreat this weekend. There were many women from our small little church there. We came guarded, shy, and protective. We left with our hearts open and our hands and our faces lifted up. Many of these women were brave, opened up and shared old and new wounds and received healing from the Great Physician. The strong rallied around the weak. The weak were encouraged and began the process of forgiveness. We left encouraged that God IS working in our lives and He IS setting captives free from their heavy chains of bitterness and unforgiveness. I saw strongholds of shame be broken. I was able to share how God has erased my own shame for my child's failures.

I go to church with these women almost every Sunday. Why is it I did not know their pain? Why is it that we don't feel safe sharing with others. One word I heard over and over was "judgment". We live in a small community, they have felt judgment and so they shy back. They hide. They numb their pain in unhealthy ways.

Why must we judge others for their mistakes or for their children's mistakes? God help us!!! We need each other. The enemy's strategy is to trick us into thinking no one would accept us if they only knew what our family is going through. Every person in our church has a story. Some are worse than others, but pain is pain. It is all relative.

It is so easy in group settings to do "safe" prayer requests like asking for someone else's healing. Physical healing is safe. But what about spiritual and emotional healing?

As we went around the room and asked for prayer requests, we started the typical physical healings, at the end, one lone lady (not even from our church) asked for something personal. It was like an avalanche. All of a sudden, people were sharing some terrible things they and their families were going through. It just took one person being vulnerable.

We were given two gifts:

1) We know the person sitting in the pew in front of us is struggling. They aren't perfect and they are hurting. Now we have the privilege of walking beside them, encouraging and praying for them.

2) We get to refresh others with the refreshing we ourselves have received. We are the ones blessed!

Are we called to be safe or take risks? Are we called to keep our testimonies to ourselves or are we called to share them? God has given them to us as a gift. Be wise and never glorify sin, when you share. But we need to rip these perfect "Christian"  masks off our face and start being real. That is where the healing begins.


Take a risk and be vulnerable.
 See what God does with it!



Saturday, September 28, 2013

Refreshed!



I am coming down off of a spiritual high that I can't even describe to you. A church invited me to come and speak in a town about three hours from here. I had the privilege to share our family's testimony to about 40 individuals. The coolest part of this is that 2/3rds of the crowd were men! My audience up to this point has been mostly women.

I freely talked about how to protect our families from pornography. The love I felt well up in me for the Body of Christ was amazing. I've never felt such a protectiveness towards other believers. My heart hurts for them. Many Believers suffer in silence for fear of judgement. I encouraged these men and women to start being real with one another.

Just some of the issues I addressed were:

1) What porn does to your brain
2) Who is viewing porn
3) Porn consumption in the church
4) Pastors and porn use
5) Porn in marriage
6) Triggers and brokenness that lead to porn use
7) Filters and blocks (how do they work and which ones are the best?)
8) Educating our children about porn, how to avoid it, and what to do when they come across it
9) What to do if you child has been caught viewing porn
10) How to move towards your child when they make mistakes
12) How to encourage instead of judge parents whose kids have really messed up.
13) How to kill worry and fear. Trusting God with your family
14) How to fight the good fight and much, much more! There are lots of resources out there now.

I truly believe in the verse that says, "He who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed." I have been refreshed! I can continue on this hard, seemingly never-ending journey knowing that I am equipping others so they do not make the same mistakes I did.

Eight people came up to me afterwards and shared their stories! God is doing something mighty here! I have such hope.

I hear this song frequently ringing in head,

"Where You go, I'll go.
 When You stay, I'll stay.
 When You move, I move.
 I will follow You"

Two precious women traveled almost 60 miles and shared with me how much their small community is being rocked by sexual sin. She has asked me to come and speak to their church, so their church body can be equipped to know how to handle this kind of devastation within their own walls, and to minister to adults and teens in their community. 

People wonder why our teens are out of control. When the adults and authority figures in their lives are leading sexually immoral lives themselves, it creates untold confusion. We have to be having deep and honest discussions with these kids or we are going to lose them. It starts with us, the adults!!!

The problem of pornography and sexual abuse is in the rise. It is an epidemic that is NOT going to go away. It is here to stay, but we have to remember that God is BIGGER than this problem. He will show Himself faithful to those who seek Him and want to be set free from sexual addiction. He died on the cross to set you free from ANY stronghold that erects itself in your life. You and your loved ones can be free! There is hope!!!
************************************************************************

If you or you know someone who is struggling with sexual addiction, the best book I've ever read is called Surfing for God. I have a link on my sidebar for it. This book really moves from just seeking accountability, to really addressing the brokenness that causes people to seek porn. I have done hours and hours of research and read anything I could get my hands on, but this is the book that I have used with my two older boys and it has helped so much!



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Worrying About Your Firefighter



I just received our copy of" International Firefighter" in the mail today. After gazing at the cover that said "Honoring the Yarnell 19", I flipped to the article. I was so saddened to see the faces of the 19 firefighters that were killed in Arizona this year. It was a terrible year for firefighters. In Oregon, I think we lost around four.

Why am I bringing this up? Firefighting is dangerous. I do not allow myself to think about this part of my husband's job very often. I could drive myself crazy with the thought of him dying in an inferno, but would it do any good? I have been the wife of a firefighter for 18 years, and have learned a few things along the way. I am a person who craves peace. When I am worrying, there is no peace.

Sometimes when I feel afraid, I choose to face my worst fears. When I feel an old or new fear arising, I play a game with myself. I say, "If __________ happened, then God would get me through it". I have even shortened it to "If______, then God." 

It has helped me so much. God will carry me. He will provide what I need. I know my husband is a Christian and where he is going if he dies. Would it be terrible? Hard? Scary? Lonely? Sad? Yes.... But I am never alone. My God will not forsake me.

Ladies, if your hubby has a dangerous job, please do not spend your life worrying. Worrying wastes energy and saps your day of its strength. Love the Lord. Trust your loved ones to Him.

I am praying for the families that have lost their loved ones this fire season. I pray God will envelop them with His love and peace today.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Too


Too

We were much too young
Much to selfish
Much too blind
to make it.

Much to wounded
Much too frightened
Much too hurt
To take it.

Too much we said
When love seemed dead
To go on
And forget.

Too little learned
From anger burned
Too much
We both regret.

Yet God's been...

Much too good
Much too faithful
Much too kind
To walk away.

Much too patient
Much too present
Much too able
 Not to stay.

Too much harm
 To children's charms
To tear our home apart.

Too much time
For nursery rhymes
To give away our hearts.

Too much we've shared
With no one else
To go on and forget.

Too many years
Of drying tears
To do what we'd regret.

Too many laughs when
Thinking back
Remind me what is true
I find that I still love you
And I think you love me,
Too.

-Written by Beth Moore

When I read this, I couldn't help but think of my own marriage. The seasons that we have been through have been tough. I was so young and selfish (barely 20) when we got married. We fought over everything! Then I started to learn about submission. It took me 15 years to finally figure that one out. I would go from one extreme to the other. I finally learned it started with submission to God's plan and will for my life.  

Being the wife of a firefighter and having a large, growing family AND homeschooling them for seven years, meant that I was alone a lot with the kids. I was exhausted. I was grumpy. I was resentful and growing increasingly bitter towards my husband.

Looking back, I see now how I sought to control and change my man. I knew I was supposed to love him the way he was, but I just thought my life would be so much easier if he would just do what I thought was best! Through the help of three amazing women in my life (you know who you are), I received accountability that I so desperately needed. When I would complain, they would patiently listen, but then tell me flat out what I did wrong. They made me think it through after the emotions were not running quite as high. They were for my marriage. They were for Steve and they were for me. I didn't run to people who would bash him. I ran to people who knew the Word of God and would point me to it. I have grown so much because of them. Thank you!!!

Steve and I have entered into a new phase in our marriage. It seems to be based on mutual acceptance of each other's strengths and weaknesses. We don't seem to argue about stupid things anymore. We don't seem to argue much at all. I keep waiting for the other shoe to fall, but I really think this might be a lasting change. If I could put my finger on just one thing, I would say that we both feel SAFE. We can open up our hearts towards each other and know that the information will not be used as ammunition later in a fight. It has not always been this way. 

Thank you God, for the work you are doing in my marriage. You are so amazing! You are truly a miracle worker, for you know that our marriage has truly been a miraculous! Thank you for being so good to us. I look to You to continue to make me and mold me into the godly wife you would have me be.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Update

 Been a busy summer. I am so enjoying having my children home. I will miss them so much when they go back to school. I plan on helping out quite a bit more in the classroom, if my schedule allows it. 
 We were able to go visit our favorite pioneer cemetery. Here is Jacob trimming the weeds from the grave of two children who died in the late 1800's.
 Here is Miss Lily in her favorite sundress.
 Jessica decided to give her brother and sister a makeover! Oh my!!! Didn't know how much eyebrows can really change your look!

Steve with her kids on Father's Day.

We decided to put our house back up on the market. We want to move closer to our school and church. We are waiting to see what God is going to do. An offer has been accepted on a house we liked, but it is contingent on the sale of our home. Anything can happen, we just want to be in God's Will. Please pray for us!

I just found out my 91 year old grandpa has extensive cancer. He doesn't have long to live. Please pray his passing would be as peaceful as possible. He knows where he is going and he is looking forward to seeing his brothers, sisters, wife, and two sons. It is wonderful to grieve, but with hope.

I hope you all have a blessed summer. I think I'm going to take a break from blogging. Don't know how long, the Lord will let me know. Blessings!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Are We Going To Fight This?

I am just one mom that has been affected by pornography. But according to these statistics, I know I am not alone.  I am so encouraged to see other people who's lives have been torn apart by this terrible epidemic, speaking out and warning others. This generation and the generations to come are going to be raised in this kind of world. Don't be afraid to face it. Don't think, "my kid would never look at porn". Please, please don't be that naive. Educate yourself so that if you stumble upon something your child has been viewing that is shocking, you will be able to come alongside your child and lead them towards healing and forgiveness.

Wake up CHURCH!!!

(On my sidebar there are several websites that you can turn to for help if you or a loved one is addicted to pornography. Check it out!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Confessions of a Guilt-ridden Mother


The definition of guilt is a feeling that you have done something wrong or bad or let someone down, or the state of having broken a law.
  1. The state of having done a wrong or committed an offense; culpability, legal or ethical
  2. A painful feeling of self-reproach resulting from a belief that one has done something wrong or immoral
  3. Conduct that involves guilt; crime; sin
Wikipedia says “Guilt is an effective state in which one experiences conflict at having done something that one believes one should not have done (or conversely, having not done something one believes one should have done). It gives rise to a feeling which does not go away easily, driven by conscience".

I think women in general struggle constantly with guilt. I know I do. I wish it would go away. It tends to suck the joy out of my life. Today I decided to face some things I feel guilty for. Some are big, some are small, and I feel different levels of guilt for each one.

-I don’t pray enough for my family.

-I get angry and sin.

-I am not “quick to listen and slow to speak”. More often, I am already speaking before my kids even finish their request.

-I don’t play enough with my kids.

-I am impatient and expect perfection (even though I say I don’t).

-I am inconsistent with my discipline and seem to change the “rules” on my kids constantly.

-I sometimes feed my kids processed “convenience” foods. I don’t shop in the organic section much.

-I can’t serve in my church as much as I would like to.

-I lack faith in big and small areas. I wish I didn't get discouraged so quickly.

-I didn't spend much time in the classroom with my kids last year, even though I said I wanted to.

-I pick up after my kids constantly, because I don’t want the fight.

-I sometimes pretend I didn't hear the disrespectful look or tone because I just can’t deal with it right then.

-I warn and lecture, warn and lecture because I don’t want to follow through and discipline my kids.

Well, there you have it! Here is a very honest list. The problem is that many things on this list are generalized. True guilt is when you have done something specific wrong and the Holy Spirit reveals it to you.  The enemy, Satan, is the one who throws these kinds of lists of generalizations  in our faces and tries to get us to feel guilty so that he will discourage us and render us ineffective.

So if I go back and examine this list again, I will actually find that yes, I fail sometimes. I have a lot to work on. But that’s the key! I am working on some of these things. There are things that I have to do on this list that are out of my control, such as not being able to serve in my church or at the kid’s school. It’s a season and it will change someday. I can’t help it if organic food costs 2/3rds more than regular food. I am doing the best I can do grocery shopping on a tight food budget. 

Let’s go to the prayer thing. I pray every day for my kids. What is the deal  with feeling guilty about that? Is there some kind of magic number? No! I need to get over this perfectionist type of prayer. It isn’t godly and no matter how much I pray, God will allow trials to come into their lives and I have to remember that my children have such a thing called FREE WILL.

In truth, I am working constantly on my anger and impatience with the kids. It is a process and I am better this year than I was last year.

Yes, my faith is lacking sometimes, but then I look at where I am spiritually today from just a year and a half ago and I can see that I have had tremendous growth.  Refinement happens when you go through some big trials.

I was feeling guilty the other day over something. I was worshipping and felt the Holy Spirit stir within me. I confessed it immediately, confessed it again before taking communion (just to be sure God heard me), and I was still feeling guilty during the message. I kept asking God to take it away. By faith, I knew I was cleansed by the blood of Jesus, yet that twinge of guilt was still there. I got home and called my sister. I confessed my sin to her and she was able to counsel me. You know what she said? “Get over it! Move on!” I guess, I just needed that extra push because I hadn’t let go of it in my mind yet. I hadn't really accepted God's forgiveness. 

What are you feeling guilty over? Can you relate to anything on this list? Is your guilt generalized or specific? When you have identified some of these things, confess it to God! Stop trying to be a perfectionist (like me) and start walking in some freedom. 

Look at the good things you are doing! Are your children fed, clothed, and kissed and hugged? Are you imparting spiritual truths to them as you go about your day? Perfectionists can't see the forest for the trees. Focus and acknowledge the "right" things you do.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."-Phillipians 4:8-9


Get over it and move on into effectiveness!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How Quickly I Sink...

The only way I can describe how I've been feeling lately is through an entry in my journal.
 
7/10/13

Lord, help me to remember all I have learned.

"One day at a time."

"Easy Does it."

"I only have control over me."

"I am only responsible for my decisions."

"If God knows about it, then I don't have to worry about it."

I want to remember all You have done. I am so tired and worry, 'but You, O Lord, are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.'

Keep my eyes on the blessings. You are God and You are holy. You have our lives in Your hands. You have this, Lord.  You are watching my front and You are also watching my back. Strengthen my heart and help me in my weakness. Help me to not be afraid when disasters and inconveniences happen.

Help me to face my reality again. I am in a season of reconstruction of my family. It takes time.

Keep me away from self-pity. it only leads to discouragement and a lack of joy.

Your refuge and strength will always be mine. I pray for that today. Deliver me from my enemy who is too strong for me.

Psalm 77:19 says "Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock..."

God give me more faith. You are leading me through a raging sea, You are parting the way, one step at a time. I can't see You but your physical footprints are invisible, but the results can only be You. You continue to provide for us in amazing ways.

Lord, in Psalm 78:22, You were angry with Israel for not believing and trusting in Your deliverance. Help me to believe and trust You for ours.

Forgive me, Father, I had taken my eyes off of You and turned them upon my circumstances. Place my eyes back on the One who can deliver us. The One who always has our good in mind. The One who gives me VICTORY! Give me contentment and take away the struggle in my heart. Help me to not surrender to the circumstances, but to surrender to You.

How quickly I sink when I cease to trust You to work everything out for Your glory. I start feeling anxious, worried and I can't seem to stop crying. I felt like I was always on the verge of tears.. My spirit had moved from feeling strong to feeling so fragile that even small incidents sent me over the edge. I became angry, impatient, unkind, selfish and immature. The waves kept rolling over my head and I felt like I could barely catch my breath before another one hit.

I praise You, Father! I felt my self drowning and I didn't like it. I cried out to You, O God, first in my mind (while I was under the water) and then out loud when My heart finally bobbed up for a breath. You reached for me, longing for me to have the faith to walk on the water beside You. The second I started to trust You again, believing that You can do all things, I felt my body, spirit and mind being raised out of the deep waters. And if that was not enough,  Jesus, You let me feel the lightness of joy in my feet as I started to walk with You in the water that is ABOVE my circumstances.

My prayers is for You, O Lord, to help me stay there.

I love You and praise Your Holy Name. You are the Great Rescuer. Thank you...
I was reminded once again, just how quickly I can sink.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Rustic Vacation Part 2

 More antlers on the cabin.

 The kids are always flocking to my parent's camper. Nana has always has something yummy for them to snack on!

 This old homesteader's cabin is on the other side of the old road.

 One of the barns, you can see the low clouds on the mountains.

 An old milk can behind the cabin.

 The girls going over the "board" bridge.

 These girls never left each other's side. It was precious listening and watching them play. They are such good friends! They were constantly playing in the creek. I would just set up a chair and watch them. It was so relaxing sitting in the sun and vegging out!

 Here is the pretty little creek that had all the crawdads in it.

 There was this beautiful patch of lupin flowers across the creek. 

 The old school house won't last much longer. That front part was kind of scary when we peeked in. I loved imagining all the kids learning inside of it. I loved how the windows were strategically placed high, so the students wouldn't be able to look out. Smart! Wish I could have done that when I was homeschooling :)

Jackie and I had fun running around on the four-wheelers taking pictures of the scenery! Here she is taking another pictures. She is truly a gifted photography. Here is her blog if you are interested.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rustic Vacation Part 1

 We were so blessed to be able to go up to a cabin on the edge of the woods. Each year we go, the more memories are made. My sister and I saw this old one-room school house and I got this shot of the teasel in front of the siding. Loved it!
 Nana got the kids each a fake mustache to wear around. It was so funny, because she even gave them to the girls. This one is my favorite because Jacob looks like his dad.
Papa enjoyed sitting on the porch, drinking his coffee.
I love some of the rustic touches of this place. Antlers are everywhere in this cabin! It is a definitely a man-cabin. Hasn't had a thorough cleaning in awhile. I prefer the tent. I KNOW what is in my tent!
A new activity this year was trapping crawdads. Josiah (my nephew) brought a crawdad trap. I think they caught up to eight of them! My kids had never seen one, so Josiah had to give them a lesson on holding them so they wouldn't get pinched.
My brother, Jerry and sis-in-law, Sonya, brought up their two little ones. It is so fun having all the cousins together! My brother rocks at putting up and tearing down my tent! It was pouring down rain when we got there, so we had to put it up fast this time.
Jackie (my twin), gave me some lessons with my camera. We have the same one, but she is way more into photography than me. I loved having the time to play around with some of the farm equipment that has been left to rot.
The first day was very raining. We had mud everywhere, which can be kind of fun when you have a four-wheeler! There are so many beautiful places to ride. I am in the process of thawing out my frozen shoulder, so I only took one really good, long ride. I was sooooo sore the next day, but it was worth it! I love riding four-wheelers, especially in pretty country.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

One Busy Spring!

I downloaded some of my pictures from my phone. I thought I would share a few photos from spring.
 Miss Lily learned how to swing on her own! It is so nice to not have to stand there and push her. I love watching her be a big girl!
 We have had lots of time out at the ranch lately. Here we are chucking rocks on a newly plowed hay field. I managed to get all six kids in this one!
 Josh and Marcus each got a bum calf this year. They named them Fred and Sally. They are so cute!
 I took our little friend Sonja to ride four wheelers. She did a good job keeping up with Josh! Did great for her first time.
 Here they are in the old abandoned house.
 We were having a grand time at Easter until Marcus twisted his leg while riding the four wheel and popped his ACL off. I took him the ER and we found out it was a pretty serious break.
 Here is his second splint.
 Four days later he had surgery to repair the ACL. It was a pretty big deal. He is doing well now and is in the throes of physical therapy.
 The day after Easter my Grandpa Fay  who is over 90 years old got into an accident with his team of horses and wagon. He suffered terrible injuries. A broken neck, three vertebreas in his back, six broken ribs and the worst road rash I have ever seen. Four days later he was sent home to recover. He is doing wonderful and just got out of his braces. We thought we were going to lose him, but he is a tough old bird and pulled out of it.
 Mother's Day was wonderful. I was spoiled rotten by all six kids! Josh gave me this beautiful can of flowers. He is getting so tall. He finally caught up with me and now he is officially taller than his dad.
 Lily was old enough this year to appreciate the beautiful spring flowers.
We spent Father's Day out at the ranch as well. We took a beautiful walk to the top of one of the fields. Mount Hood is behind Steve's head. I managed to get all of the kids around Steve for a quick picture.

Ahhhh, life is good. There are hard times and good times. I am learning to go with the flow and hold my plans loosely.
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