Saturday, December 31, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Christmas was different this year for Clint and I. It was a time of reflecting on everything that has happened this year and God's presence and goodness through it all. It has not been an easy year, but we have survived it with our faith and marriage stronger than ever. God is good!
Clint and I decided to order the Christmas presents online rather than battle the traffic, crowds and long checkout lines. It worked out! We found everything online, and it all arrived in time!! By combining orders and using coupon codes, we were able to spend less on shipping than we would have in gas. Clint has told me he wants to shop online every year from now on.
As we read over their Christmas wish lists, it became very evident our middle children are growing up. Joshua and Caleb asked for night vision goggles, rifles, bows and arrows, a catapult, spy pens, Army medic bags, etc. Bethany asked for sing-a-longs, play make up, a collectible miniature doll, and a yo yo with trick book. Gone are the Matchbox cars, superheroes, baby dolls, and tea sets.
Emily surprised us with a request for a set of play tools so she can "work beside Dad." Brandon looked at me and said "Well, you know she has the Bailey builder gene!" Clint did not hesitate to provide her with her own set of tools so she can be his buddy on around household projects. Hannah is enjoying the play tools too! And, Caleb tortured Hello Kitty (see picture below) with them.
For all of the children, Clint purchased and is installing a zip line. If they like it enough, he will install a longer one. It would be very pleasant to go from one end of our property to the other on a zip line! I am not going to be able to use it until my shoulder is healed, but one day, I'll be zipping along, laughing like crazy and hoping to not fall on my big rear!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The quilt was made by Gramma Susan Selvage. We love her!!
Clint is helping Hannah run the impact wrench beside me. She jumps and then throws back her head with laughter. There is never a dull moment! :-D
The walking cast I ordered for my broken heel isn't holding up. I've only been wearing it a few weeks. The velcro has eaten through the foot wrap (aka "sock") and is now rubbing my leg. But, that is OK! Breg offers a 90 day warranty on their boots. The Brace Shop, the company I ordered it from through Amazon (click the boot), is sending me a new boot by mail. I will return the one I've worn out in the mailer they will send me. I am thankful they are sending me the boot right away so I do not have to go without the protection for my heel.
The boot is working! My heel feels SOO much better. I miss walking on the treadmill, but LOVE the new recumbent bike! I had to give up the treadmill due to my heel, but the bike doesn't bother it at all.
Friday, December 23, 2011
from our family to you and yours!
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince Of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with Judgment and with Justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Clint picked out the fan while I stayed home nursing my broken heel.
I really like it!
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. I Timothy 1:5
Monday, December 19, 2011
(Brandon had to work.)
If I hadn't been wearing the cast and since no one else was around, I would have been playing on the playground equipment too!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
There is also the challenge of making the claim list. It has to be done within a certain time frame while many other things need your immediate attention. We did the best we could to write down everything we had lost, but dozens of items were left off of the list simply because we did not think of them in time to add them. We think of something else that was forgotten nearly every week. Many people with fire losses tell us this goes on for years!
One of the things we lost and have not been able to replace was our sporting goods for the children. We have been keeping an eye out for used items on Freecycle and thrift stores, but had not come across any. We went to Walmart this weekend to look at prices of new equipment, and were disheartened to see how expensive it was.
This afternoon, Clint and I stopped in a new thrift store on 17 in York County and found several bats, 10 baseballs, a softball, 5 gloves, a sports equipment bag, 2 frisbees, and a soccer ball. We got everything for less than $20. God provides!
No matter what we are doing, if Clint sees someone in need, he will stop to give them a hand. I am very thankful God has made me the wife of such an incredible man.
Friday night, Clint and I were headed out in his car. When we got about 1/4 mile from our house, I spotted a fox laying down in the gravel on the side of the road. I asked Clint to back up in case it had been hit. The fox did not hide or run away. It walked slowly in front of our car like it was disoriented and then sat there hassling and salivating. Then it walked away from us heading straight down the road. Then it turned around and came back. It seemed very confused. Thanks to our rural upbringing, we recognized this and other signs as "passive" rabies (aka "dumb" rabies.) This is why they tell you to stay away from wildlife. If you can approach it, something is most likely wrong! (The Cujo type rabies that attacks is called "aggressive" rabies.)
Concerned for our children, community, wildlife and pets, we called a neighbor who lives very close to where the fox was so he could bring a gun to put it down. He wasn't home. So we called our son, Brandon, who brought our gun. While we waited, we watched the fox alternate between wandering back and forth in the road in front of us and laying in the grass. There is no doubt in our minds that fox had rabies.
Being very slow in my cast, I sat in the car while Clint got the gun and loaded it while standing in the road between the cars. That, of course, is when the fox came out again. It stared, not moving, at Clint, and I yelled him a warning so he'd be aware in case it attacked. The gun wasn't ready. That is the last thing I remember. The next thing I know, I was fighting to keep the car on the road yelling "Did I get it?!!!" It seems I went on auto pilot, got my bulky cast through the tight space between the steering wheel and the seat, put the car in gear, and ran the fox over just off the road. While I am surprised at how fast instinct took over, I don't feel bad about it. Rabies had already claimed the fox. An animal doesn't come back from that. I just stopped the virus from spreading.
Clint finished it off quickly. I am thankful and relieved it didn't get away where it could harm people and other animals.
A few months ago, Brandon told me I was "a sweet and gentle person, and hurting something just isn't in [my] nature." When I took off in the car, Clint said Brandon looked at him in amazement and asked "Did SHE just run over it?!!! Mom did that?!!" Hey, it surprised me too!
We called Animal Control. They said unless the fox had bitten someone, there isn't anything they can do other than make note of it in case they have more reports in our area. The Health Department will not pay to do the $300 testing unless a person has been attacked. As a precaution, Clint and I are re-vaccinating all of our livestock and pets.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
1John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us; and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."
If God hears Christian’s prayers, why aren’t they answered?
1.) James 1:6-8 “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” We don’t believe.
2.) James 4:3 "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Many times I have had to pray God would help me to get to the place where I could let go of my will (way). Not only does He helps me get on board with His will for my life, but He makes me happy with His will! We can also let someone else's desires (putting them before God), get in the way of God's will for our lives.
3.) Isaiah 59:1-2 “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities (sins) have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that He will not hear.” We have to stop doing what is wrong and live the way God wants. Anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, selfishness, any habitual sin will all affect how God hears our prayers and how He works in our lives. I like a close fellowship with the Holy Spirit and find it a strong motivator to stay close to Him.
4.) Proverbs 21:13 “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” We have to live generously in a way that reflects His love. Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last=JOY!
5.) John 15:7 “If you remain in me and my word remains in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.” We have to live according to His Word with truth, humbleness, love, generosity, forgiveness, kindness, peace, self-control, etc.
6.) Ezekiel 14:3 “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?” We have idols (things more important than God and His will) in the way. We will not receive His blessing or fellowship unless we are willing to humble (letting go of "self" aka pride) ourselves and do as He leads.
James 3:17 “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 “All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
God wants you to be more Christ-like, not more self-like. That means you have to let go of some things and become something/someone else. This can be both a painful and joyful process. It can be especially painful when we hold on to our pride (self) and resist Him. Pride, especially spiritual pride, is very dangerous: I Timothy 3:6 "...he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil."
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I have been telling people for a while about the bedroom makeover, but have neglected to put up any pictures. The goal was to make the bedroom look like a romantic beach cottage. I didn't want it screaming "BEACH," but to have the subtle hints of it here and there.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
I Peter 5:5b-10 ...All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Thursday, December 08, 2011
by Maya Angelou
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."
When I say.. "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say.. "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
There are four Ancient Greek words for love: agápe, éros, philía (aka phileo), and storgē.
Agape is Godly love. This is the kind of selfless love God wants us to have for other believers and is spelled out in I Corinthians 13. It is the kind of love that strives to put others feelings and needs before your own. It is difficult to find this kind of love in your heart when you list their sins against you. It is easier to find when you focus on the love God has for you in spite of the sins you have done against Him and others. This kind of love requires a sacrifice. This is the kind of love that exists and endures when things are not fun or easy. In humans, it is fallible. We will fail each other in this God-love from time to time, but it should resurface. God's love for us does not fail or waiver because He and His love are perfect.
Phileo (philia) love is the loyal love of friends and family. It is known as the "brotherly" love. It is a strong connection and affection to someone. You can have agape love for your enemies but you can not have phileo love for them. Agape love will endure, but phileo love can be crushed by cruelty. Phileo is where Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, got its name. Phileo is "love" and adelphos (delphia) means "brother" in the Greek text.
Eros is the Greek word for passionate physical desire and longing for someone. This is the romantic love between couples. The word eros is not mentioned in Scripture, but is where we get the English word erotic from. Eros is the type of love between the man and woman in Song of Solomon.
Storge is a love of acceptance and understanding. I have also heard it described as an genuine caring and loyalty that exists for a difficult person because you comprehend their behavior or struggles. I have a friend that does things she knows she should not do that trouble me to no end, but I care for her and will defend her because I understand what she has been through and what she is seeking. I also have this kind of love for a dog who bites me frequently. She came from an abusive situation and knows nothing better from human hands than what she has seen. I don't like getting bit and dread working with her, but I patiently put up with it because I understand why she bites. When someone talks bad about this dog's behavior, I defend her.
Having love for someone does not mean you put yourself or your family in harm's way. Harm can be physical, mental or emotional. I find it very plausible a husband can have agape love for his wife and still keep himself and his children away from her abusive behaviors. In fact, I know a woman who has agape love for her exhusband. She was lied to, cheated on, stolen from, beaten until she was put into the hospital, etc, etc, etc!!....and still, she asked me to pray for her exhusband's soul. Her love and concern for his well being after all of the abuse she took is something I will never forget. She was well within her rights to end the relationship to prevent more abuse, but she maintains abiding agape love by caring for his well being and salvation.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving even though Clint and Brandon were both called into work. We found out late Wednesday afternoon and had our meal together Wednesday evening. I usually cook the day before, so we were pretty much ready. I roasted two turkeys which I rubbed with a herbal mix. They received rave reviews!
That was the first time our family was not together at once on a holiday, but that's alright. There are soldiers who are away from their country every year. There are families not together this year because someone died. I can rejoice in what I do have rather than complain about what I don't have.
Since I need to be off my broken heel, Amanda canned the turkey stock this year. I had made the stock, cleaned the jars and was ready to can when my heel started having a weird pain. I asked her if she could take over. She readily agreed and did a fantastic job! We now have 30 quarts of gourmet turkey stock on our pantry shelves. Our family cooks from "scratch" a lot. We use so much stock; it is easier to make the volume we need after roasting turkeys. I save peelings from vegetables for a few months to put into our stock which gives it a higher nutritional content and a better flavor. What is leftover after the stock is drained off is greedily gobbled up by our dogs. Waste not; want not!
I made a very good start on organizing the front shed. The main job left now is for me to sort our huge library of books, decide which will stay and get them organized on the shelves. We have many, many, many books due to our wide range in ages, interests, reading levels and our homeschooling. I am hoping to reduce it by half.
My birthday was very good! I feel very loved and appreciated. Thank you to everyone who contributed to make it a special day!