Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Simply Woman's Daybook 10-23-12

FOR TODAY October 23, 2012

Outside my window... There is a gentle breeze, the leaves are swirling and dancing, the fields are a crisp green and the sun is warming the day up to 70 degrees!

I am thinking... About the needs in my family, my church, my community and my world.  I feel so very small and inadequate.

I am thankful... For the daily blessings God grants me.  I am overwhelmed with His endless grace.

In the kitchen... I'm am making cookie dough and buckeye cookies to freeze to get a head start on holiday baking.

I am wearing...Jeans, flip flops and my 4-H t-shirt.

I am creating... the lesson plan for the art class I teach our homeschool group.

I am going... to take my little girl to a new doctor today.  She may have strep throat and I have been wanting to check out this new pediatrician.

I am wondering... how my son is doing on this fieldtrip without me since I am home with my little girl

I am reading... Grace For the Good Girl by Freeman, A Hunger For God by Piper

I am hoping... that my daughter will get well soon and that I will feel comfortable with this pediatrician.

I am looking forward to... getting together with a dear friend and her family this weekend.

I am learning... that revival in my life can never grow stagnant.  I must never grow content in my relationship with Christ.

Around the house... I smell fresh fall air, I hear the washer going, opera playing and my daughter playing.

I am pondering... why on earth He chose me.  Why bless me with tremendous abundance when there are so, so many others much more deserving than I.

A favorite quote for today... "Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad and a soul that never loses faith in God."

One of my favorite things... fall leaves taking flight, hardwood floors that declare the footsteps of many before me, an exquisitely trained soprano voice.

A few plans for the rest of the week: making snacks for Cubbies, another fieldtrip to the Maltz Museum, getting together with our small group from church and dinner with one of our precious pastor's and his family.

Courtesy of A Simple Woman's Daybook hosted by Peggy

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A New Day

It has been quite a while since I wrote anything for this blog.  There are multiple reasons for that and maybe I will get into it all at a later date.  I have had a desire to resume blogging now for several weeks, but alas, time has not allowed.  So many things have changed and new trials and tests have come, that it seems almost impossible to figure out where to begin.  Soon, I hope, I will be able to carve out a brief moment of time to fill in the gaps.  I just rest knowing that God is good and I am richly blessed!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's Friday . . . but Sunday's Coming!


It’s Friday…But Sunday is a Comin’

“It’s Friday. Jesus is praying. Peter’s a sleeping. Judas is betraying.

But Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. Pilate’s struggling. The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying. They don’t even know that Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd. Mary’s crying. Peter is denying. But they don’t know that Sunday’s a comin’.

It’s Friday. The Romans beat my Jesus. They robe Him in scarlet. They crown Him with thorns. But they don’t know that Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping. His body stumbling. And his spirit’s burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday.

Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil’s grinning.

It’s Friday. The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands to the cross. They nail my Savior’s feet to the cross. And then they raise him up next to criminals.

It’s Friday. But let me tell you something: Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. The disciples are questioning. What has happened to their King. And the Pharisees are celebrating that their scheming has been achieved. But they don’t know: It’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. He’s hanging on the cross feeling forsaken by His Father. Left alone and dying. Can nobody save Him? Oooh, it’s Friday. But Sunday’s comin’.

It’s Friday. The earth trembles. The sky grows dark. My King yields his spirit.

It’s Friday. Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered. And Satan’s just a laughing.

It’s Friday. Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place.

But it’s Friday. It is only Friday.

Sunday is a comin’.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook March 12, 2012

SWDB March 12, 2012

Outside my window... as always it is still very dark (I always seem to blog early in the morning).  I'm still getting adjusted to such a "late" sunrise with the time change.  It seems harder to get moving when it is dark for so many hours when I get up!

I am thinking... about so many things.  I am planning the last minute details for a field trip we are going on tomorrow; I am thinking ahead to the revival meetings our church is hosting in two weeks and I am tweaking our menu plan due to some great sales!  I am also thinking that our cat might be part French.  I have been playing music all morning, but when a song came on in French, she raised her little head and perked her ears up!  :)

I am thankful... for my husband's improved health.  He has almost had 3 weeks of almost no pain!  He hasn't had a stretch that long since last summer.  Praise God!

In the kitchen... I am thawing a bunch of meat.  I am making up a big batch of meatballs today.

I am wearing... jeans, a blood donor t-shirt and a zippered sweater.  I am sure I will lose the sweater soon enough as it is going into the mid-fifties today!

I am creating... nothing crafty at the moment.  We have been crazy busy!

I am going... to the chiropractor today with my hubby and children.  Hopefully, we will also be kicking off our "Ministry Mondays" today and visiting a lady from our church that is in a nursing home after schooling is done.

I am wondering... what God is preparing for me and my family.  He seems to be working in so many hearts.  I am curious.

I am reading... "Surrender" by Nancy L. DeMoss

I am hoping... that Christ returns soon.  I selfishly long to see Him face to face and be in His glory!

I am looking forward to... the warming trend we are seeing in our weather.  It is so refreshing to breath in warm(er) air and hear the birds chirping!

I am learning... too much to put here!

Around the house... it is still quiet.  I am letting the little ones sleep in since they were away this last weekend.

I am pondering...how grateful I am for the many people God has placed in my life.  I have been pondering how blessed I am to specifically have so many godly women in my life.  I long to learn more and more from these women.  If only there were extra hours in the day!

One of my favorite things... joining my husband (when I can) in the early morning milking.  I simply love spending hours upon hours with him.  I think he enjoys the "femininity" I bring to the miking, too.  If nothing else he gets to chuckle at me as I refer to the cows as "ladies" and that I have a tendency to sing to them or compliment how pretty they are or on the quantity of milk they give.  I love that my husband allows me to join him and how he is teaching me more and more each time.

A few plans for the rest of the week: field trip, starting into 4-H for this year, schooling, menu planning, birthday party this weekend, and more.

A peek into my day... We had a brief chance to stop at the park nearby to enjoy the sunshine yesterday with the kiddos.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook March 1, 2012

FOR TODAY March 1, 2012

Outside my window...  It is still dark outside and the wind is howling.  I am anxious for the light of day to see if there has been any wind damage.

I am thinking... that He is I AM.  He is sufficient, He is perfect, He sustains all, He is all in all.

I am thankful... that God is full of mercy and grace and that He has chooses to work in my life.  I am also thankful for a warm, safe house and for my husband that works so very hard to provide for us.

In the kitchen... cinnamon rolls are rising and they are almost ready to bake.  I love it when the children wake up to yummy smells in the kitchen.  I will take my husband's breakfast to him on the farm this morning since he won't have a chance to get away to eat.

I am wearing... sweatpants and an Ohio State sweatshirt.  And thick warm socks!

I am creating...  all things Spring in our home!  Since it is March 1st, I am transitioning everything from Winter decorations to Spring.  I have to put some finishing touches on our Spring wreath and I have to put together our front door decoration (not a wreath per se).

I am going... to stay close to home as much as possible today.  There is so much to get done!

I am wondering... what God has for the two little ones upstairs sleeping.  I yearn for them to follow hard and faithfully after our Lord.

I am reading... Surrender by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  It is not an "easy" book, but needed.

I am hoping... that God will do dramatic and amazing things in my life,  in the lives of my family, and in our church family as well.  We will be having revival meetings at our church at the end of this month and I am anxiously anticipating what God will do in the next few weeks and months.

I am looking forward to... seeing my husband at the end of the day.  He will have a very long day today and I am already awaiting the time that he will be home and able to rest.

I am learning... what it means to fully surrender to God.  In my human will, it seems so scary but who better to trust?

Around the house... not a creature is stirring, not even the cat!  The wind has died down a bit and there is a blissful silence in our home that is only broken by the ticking of the clock.

I am pondering... those loved ones that have already gone Home.  I selfishly wish that I would have had more time with them here on earth.  I think of my dear grandmother and the wisdom that she had.  I would love to hear her voice and be able to seek her advice.  I wish my children would have been able to dance and play with her the way I did.  I have so many memories that make me smile.
I think of my uncle, whom I loved dearly and that loved me as one of his own daughters.  By human standards, his life was cut far too short.  I just wish he could see me now.  I miss his laughter and shining eyes.  I swear there are days that if I close my eyes I can still hear him singing.
I think also of my husband's first wife.  Yet another life that was cut too short.  What an amazing woman she was.  I wish that I would have known her more.  Every once in a while I wonder what it would be like to talk to her.  To seek her advice and to hear her stories.
Someday, we will all be joined together again.  What a glorious day that will be when we will stand hand in hand with those who have gone before and we will sing His praises!

A favorite quote for today... is a long one taken from the NLD book I am reading.
"O God whose will conquers all,
There is no comfort in anything
  apart from enjoying thee
  and being engaged in thy service;
Thou art All in all, and all enjoyments are what to me
  thou makest them, and no more.
I am well pleased with thy will, whatever it is,
  or should be in all respects,
And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair
  I would choose to refer all to thee,
  for thou art infinitely wise and cannot do amiss,
  as I am in danger of doing.
I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal,
  and it delights me to leave them there . . . .
I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed name,
  but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul
  and body to thee."
            ~ From "The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotion"

One of my favorite things... the way my children cannot help but laugh when they are playing together.  My daughter's laugh is simply wonderful and my son has a great sense of humor that causes me to break down in giggles despite myself.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Finishing up Spring decorations; my daughter's "friends" birthday party on Saturday (well overdue since it was postponed due to my son's hospital stay!); planning and then starting a new RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) project with the children called "Ministry Mondays"; and then of course menu planning for the next two weeks!

A peek into my day... The kids love playing down by the creek that runs along our property.  Our dog loves it just as much!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Parenting Paths ~ More Questions Than Answers

Do you ever have more questions than answers?  More doubts than confidence?  I have found myself in one of those places.  And not about little things like should I have the living room arranged this way or should I change this recipe.  No, my questions and doubts are about my sacred job of raising my children.  I am questioning our discipline, homeschooling, priorities, everything.  I laid in bed last night talking to my husband (my ever loving and encouraging husband), and I told him that I had no wisdom.  I had no more ideas.  What do you do when you come to the end of yourself?  I know the "correct" answer to that is "Look to God!"  He has the answers.  I know that, I do.  I have sought His face day in and day out.  I have sought the advice of godly people.  I have searched the Scriptures.  I have prayed, I have fasted, yet I still have this tremendous fear that I am losing my children.  And I don't know how to stop it.  Is there any worse fear than that?
This isn't about a fear of failing.  This is way beyond being superficial.  This is about the fear of watching my children choose to walk away from the Lord.  Or settle for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best.  I want my children to have this passionate, joyful, faith-filled walk with the Lord.  Wherever that may lead them.  If they grow to have families or if God calls them to stay single.  Whether that is working a mile down the road on the family farm, or moving around the world to serve as missionaries.  Whatever God's best for them is what I want.  But what if they reject it?
Now, I want to clarify that my kids are "good" kids.  Most people would look at them and think that they were going to "turn out" great.  They are loving, kind, sweet, funny, helpful children.  For the most part.  But there are days that I see a much different side to them.  There are days that I wonder if these are the same children.  Yesterday was one of those days.
Things always seem worse when they return from their biological father's home.  They have no real rules, no responsibilities and no limitations.  I will give a brief example of this from this last weekend's account.  Friday they didn't go to bed until midnight (at home it is 8:30 or 9:00 depending on when we get devos done) and Saturday it was 10pm.  They eat macaroni and cheese, pizza, Lucky Charms and peanut butter and jelly.  They watched 5 movies (only one of which I would allow in my home), played video games, played on the computer (unsupervised) and just played in general.  They did not brush their teeth once the entire weekend.  My daughter never changed her clothes.  She came home Sunday in what she was wearing Friday when she was picked up.  My son was never given his prescription medication.  They snacked on skittles and jello cups.  They picked on each other and were generally mean to each other.  They tattle on each other that neither one of them obeys my ex-husband or his wife.  But they tell me all about the video games that are over there (we don't have any) and the new toys and the fun shopping trips.  They come home and they are grouchy with each other and my husband and I (I blame some of this on the basic lack of sleep).  My son was horribly disrespectful to me yesterday.  They disobey, they yell and scream and even hit each other.  As thrilled as I am that they are home again, those days prove to be some of my weariest days.  And I hate that!  I want them to be welcomed into a home filled with joy and enthusiasm and for the rest of the day to be enjoyed together catching up.  Instead, they are welcomed warmly, but usually within half an hour I am having to correct behavior or play referee.
People have told me to simply talk to my ex-husband and wife.  We have.  Several times.  Nothing changes.  Some have told me to report them to Children's Services.  As far as Children's Services is concerned, my children are being well provided for in that home.  They are not being brutally abused, starved or neglected.  There are much more pressing cases.  So I am left with the aftermath.
We pray.  We absolutely bathe them in prayer while they are gone.  God can protect far beyond a mother's reach.  I understand that.  I cling to that.  I also understand that these are the consequences of a broken home.  I am not so foolish to believe that when sin creeps in it does not create chaos and pain even for those who are innocent.  God never promised to put His children in a bubble.  What I don't understand, is how on earth we combat this.  I do not have the privilege of making all the decisions regarding my children's care.  Every other weekend (or so), I turn all my rights, responsibilities, hopes, dreams, everything over to someone else to do as they see fit. My hands are tied and I have to patiently wait to see what stories I am told when they return.  I cannot fret myself with worry (I try to keep as busy as possible while they are away to help prevent this!).  I cannot follow after them and monitor every move.  I simply pray.  A lot.  And then I wait.  I always seem to be optimistic that when they return they will have not only had a good time, but that they will have had proper hygiene and nutrition, that they had not been exposed to inappropriate material via the TV or computer and that they will have been loving, kind and obedient and little examples of Christ while they were there.  That is my hope each time I see them pull into the drive.  Within the hour (sometimes within a few minutes), my hopes come crashing down and shatter into a thousand pieces.
So what am I to do?  I just keep plugging away, trying to do what is best, but what if my best isn't good enough?  I feel such a strong pull on my children's hearts.  Each week that goes by I feel as though they are slipping a little bit more from my grasp.  I try to be wise.  I try to be patient.  I try to be what I think God wants me to be.  But I fail.  Often.  Too often.  I grow weary.  I doubt.  I question.  I fret.  And none of that helps my children.
So, I write.  I share the struggles that we are going through all the while knowing that there will be those out there that shake their heads in disgust.  There will be those that have perfect children and they will only see the many, many mistakes I have made and they will thank the Lord that they are not me.  But to put up a blog filled with all the wonderful things about my little life and family without giving a glimpse of the real life struggles is borderline deceitful.  And, quite frankly, I am selfishly coveting prayers from anywhere I can get them.  So please, even if you are shaking your head in disgust, take a moment to pray for our little family.  Pray for the hearts and souls of my children.  Pray that my husband and I will have wisdom from the Lord as we desperately seek to do what is best.  Pray that God will direct us even today as we make decisions, both great and small.  Simply pray.  And when you are done praying for us (thank you), remember to pray for all those other families around you that may be going through some seriously tough struggles of their own.
Parenting is a tremendously high calling that can take you to both heights and depths unimaginable.  I am so thankful to have the only Perfect Parent available to me.  May He make our path clear and forgive my mistakes.