Friday, June 28, 2013


The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This week some things I am thankful for...

  • After a delicious meal this last week Andrew said, "Thanks mom that was the best dinner in the whole world."  I was standing at the sink when he said this and it really touched me because I am not naturally a good cook nor do I especially like cooking (blush).  My husband is the one that usually gets the compliments about how delicious his meals are.  If you are wondering what I made for dinner, we had a cheesy potato and ham soup with broccoli and cauliflower with fresh dinner rolls.
  • After 7 days with Scott home his load cancelled again AND we got another 3 days with him home!  TEN (10!!!) FULL DAYS with my best friend home.  I had so much fun taking care of him and serving him meals this week. 
  • Last Friday morning Andrew got up and made scrambled eggs all by himself and then brought them and a glass of water in a fancy glass to his dad who was still sleeping.  He loves to bless others and I'm so thankful for this.
  • Fresh raw milk from the farm. 
  • For physical rest while I ice my knee
  • For my chiropractor who is helping me with my knee
  • For God's amazing healing plants (comfrey) that is helping speed healing in the bone cartilage in my knee
  • For my boys who are very good at helping out around the house
  • The smell of fresh cut grass
  • The girls that come to my weekly Bible study
  • The entertainment that the kittens give us.
  • A warm cup of coffee with fresh raw milk

Sunday, June 23, 2013


For today:  Sunday Evening, June 23rd, 2013

Outside my window... I can hear the lawn mower as Christopher mows the front yard.

I am hearing... Scott and Andrew playing Scrabble and the pitter patter of the kittens as they race after each other in the kitchen.

I am wearing... Capri's and a white t-shirt and am barefoot.

I am thankful for...
  • My dad who celebrated his 67th birthday yesterday
  • 9 days of having Scott home.  We loved our time with him and he worked hard on the house.
  • That two of our four kittens will be going to the same home together. 

In the kitchen...  I need to do my juicing in the morning and want to make a few salads for the week.  I've been taking extra time in setting the table up for meal times.  It has added a nice touch amid all the construction and hasn't gone unnoticed. 

I am creating... A small commitment book with the book of Colossians (in KJV) in it that I will be working on committing to memory over the next year.

I am going... to sleep very good tonight.  The last 3 nights have been very stormy and we've had Andrew sleeping on the floor of our room and were awakened multiple times a night because of the storm.

I am praying for ... My husbands shoulder.  It has been bothering him for over a year and with the work on the house these last 9 days it has been hurting pretty bad.  He has a separated shoulder.  :(

I am reading... Choosing Rest

I am hoping... enjoy a long hot bath and read a bit before bedtime.

I am looking forward to...  Bed.  :o) 

I am learning... Colossians 1:1-2 this week.

Around the house...   Lots of cleaning and dusting after the construction of the last week.  Since we wont be putting up the sheet rock for a couple of months I've taken the time to put back up my d├ęcor in the kitchen and living room. 

In the learning room...  Back to lessons 3 days this week.  This week we'll be doing Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

One of my favorite things...  Visiting the antique stores with my husband.  I found a courting candle holder and candle for $2 and a new lamp for $10.

A few plans for the rest of the week... A trip to the library, baseball, Bible study and lots of yard work!

A picture thought I'm sharing...

My aprons.  :o)

This post is linked to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Abundant Life

This week the LORD gave me a powerful visual and understanding of His Truth while walking in my yard and gazing up at a tree.  As I first approached the tree there didn't appear to be anything out of order but as I walked and stood underneath I saw one cluster of very orange leaves.  It looked so out of place.  I thought this branch of withering leaves looked how I sometimes feel.  Weak and out of place.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has ever felt like that!  :o) 

The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance the following verses in John 15:1-8

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.   If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.   If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."
We can still be connected to the vine and surrounded by branches (believers) and from the outside appear as everyone else around us.  For a time being that is.  However, over time and with neglect, separation and death would begin to become visible.  Eventually it would become very visible.  

As I meditated on this and asked the LORD why this was He said it was because although they were connected they were not receiving adequate nutrition and sun (Son) and because of this, the life of this branch was weak and withering.   JESUS (the SON) is the Bread of Life (our nutrition). Our response then is a life surrendered and making sure that we are connected to the Source of life through relationship with Him, we stay connected through consistent study of His Word, its application in our lives and intimacy with Jesus through prayer. 
Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundant (John 10:10) - the abundant life He gives comes through our abiding in Him and He in us. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday

"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee,
my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;"  Psalm 63:1

I had a rough start to my week.  The cares of this world seemed so overwhelming and I started to stress and have small panic attacks.  I longed for quiet and rest and wasn't finding it. 
I wasn't looking in the right place. 
I'm so thankful for the following:

  • Jesus is my rest and peace
  • He came that I might have life and have it abundantly.
  • God is faithful to bring us up out of the muck and mire when we call out to Him
  • That God placed this huge hole in my heart that can only be filled by Him
  • Because of that empty hole my spirit longs to filled
  • He satisfies my longing heart
  • The Lord saw fit to give me some amazing praying friends who have shared godly encouragement with me this week.
  • Spending the night and morning with my daughter
  • Being able to show love to my family by serving them
  • finding fulfillment in serving even when no one notices because my perspective and expectations have been changed
  • early mornings with Jesus
  • the antics of our kittens
  • sweet, soft kitten cuddles
  • sweet tea
  • a hardworking husband
  • that Scott was able to be home for almost an entire week!!
  • watching Andrew take pride in learning a new skill - lawn mowing.  He did an awesome job!
  • Christopher taking the initiative to do something for me simply because he knew it would bring me joy.
  • late night talks with my boys before bedtime.
  • Andrew blessing Christopher with a candy treat from the gas station with his own money and knowing that he couldn't have any of it but still wanting to bless him.
  • the smell of fresh baked dinner rolls to go with our creamy ham and potato soup for supper.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Feline Friday

We are having SO much fun with our kittens.  They are exactly 7 weeks old today and it is going to be so hard to re-home them.  We will definitely miss them.  As I type, they are all napping in the living room.  Emily, one of two white calicos is napping on the window sill next to Lizzy our Yorkie.  Tootsie Roll (my favorite) is napping at the end of the couch and Charlotte, our other white calico and Sad Face, a black calico are napping together  at the opposite end of the couch.  Chloe, their mama is napping on the fire place hearth. 

This is the first time that we've allowed them to be down on the main level for an extended period of time.  Usually they are in the spare bedroom and we just bring them down for play time.  This morning they played and then all found a napping spot so I left them.  :)

Enjoy the pictures our feline friends.

{Emily and Lizzy}

{Emily and Lizzy}

{Emily and Lizzy}

{Charlotte napping in the corner of the couch}

{Charlotte and Lizzy}

{All four of them... Emily and Charlotte are on the arm of the couch and
Tootsie Roll and Sad Face are sleeping on the pillow}

{Tess had just licked Tootsie Roll and then she moved before the picture snapped}

{Sleeping sisters.  Tootsie Roll in front and Sad Face in back}
{Sad Face napping one end and Tootsie Roll on the other}
{Emily & Charlotte}

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Do This, Not That

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."  Colossians 3:2
I really like it when Scripture tells me exactly what to do and what not to do, like it does here in this verse in Colossians.  It's pretty black and white.  Do this, not that.
Although I know and have hope of Heaven I would say my mind is not very renewed in this area.  I find myself thinking more about earthly things throughout the day.
  • What should we have for dinner?  I have to cook again?! :o)
  • My schedule is so busy!  What am I doing tomorrow?  Next week?  Next year?
  • What is the future of our country?
  • What if my husband loses his job?
  • Should I do this or that, or go here or there?
  • The boys really need to mow the lawn, the garden needs to be weeded and I really should clean the house.
  • fretting about finances, health etc.
  • Wishing I were taller, shorter, thinner, had curly hair or straight hair, less freckles, newer cars, better furniture.
I think you get the idea. 
My mind is constantly thinking - this morning during my quiet time I took a few minutes to really think about how many times throughout the day I set my affections on heavenly or earthly things.  It's so easy to do.  Sadly, I am much more inclined towards earthly cares throughout the day.
This verse really is a protection for me against discontentment and idolatry AND even more than a protection, this verse applied will foster a closer, intimate relationship with my Savior.  After all, as the next verse says, "For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God."   I no longer belong to the world.  When I was converted to God, I died and became alive in Christ.  My affections should reflect this.  I ought to be as earnest for eternal things as I was for earthly perishing things before my salvation.
set affection on (5426)
  • to exercise the mind
  • earnest in a certain direction
  • to interest oneself in
  • to be devoted to
above (507)
  • heavenly or divine things
~  I am to exercise my mind towards heavenly or divine things.  When I think of exercise I think of doing something good for my body and health.  Exercise doesn't come naturally to me, I have to be intentional about it and I don't usually enjoy it but am always glad I did it.  The same is true I suppose in my affections and thought life.  I need to intentionally train myself in this area to set my affections on things above.
~   I am to be earnest in my affections being set on heavenly or divine things.
1. Ardent in the pursuit of an object; eager to obtain; having a longing desire; warmly engaged or incited.
2. Ardent; warm; eager; zealous; animated; importunate; as earnest in love; earnest in prayer.

3. Intent; fixed.

4. Serious; important; that is, really intent or engaged; whence the phrase, in earnest. To be in earnest, is to be really urging or stretching towards an object; intent on a pursuit. Hence, from fixed attention, comes the sense of seriousness in the pursuit, as opposed to trifling or jest. Are you in earnest or in jest?

(I love this from number 4, "urging or stretching towards an object; intent on a pursuit."  I am to ibe ntent on pursuing eternal things, so much so that I am stretching (exercise!) for them.) 

~  I am to interest myself in heavenly or divine things.  I enjoy knitting and crocheting and learning about health and wellness.  My husband and boys are interested in football.  My son Jonathan is interested in writing computer codes and web design.  Another son is interested in piano.  When we have an interest in something we spend time learning and studying about it.  As a believer I should be studying and learning about my eternal home and God's will being done here on earth as it is in Heaven. 

~  I am to be devoted to the heavenly and divine.  Because of my love for the Lord, I am committed to Him.  I am to be set apart and dedicated to Him.   Showing devotion to Him.  Here is one definition of devotion as I understand it in the context of our verse and where we are to set our affections: 

A solemn attention to the Supreme Being in worship; a yielding of the heart and affections to God, with reverence, faith and piety, in religious duties, particularly in prayer and meditation; devoutness.

Lots of spiritual food for thought this morning and definitely a practice that will require the help of the Holy Spirit. 

Have a blessed day as you set your affections on Jesus!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A June Daybook (2)

For today:  Monday, June 10th, 2013

Outside my window... The sun is shining!  I wasn't so sure it would make an appearance after this mornings misty/foggy start.

I am hearing and watching...  the Homestead Blessings The Art of Bread Making dvd ~ I borrowed it from the library last week and am finally watching it.  There are some delicious looking bread recipes on here.

I am thinking ...  that my best friend is too far away and I miss her so much!

I am thankful for ...
  • the piano my mom gave our family last fall. 
  • Sound teaching from the elders of our church that teaches and challenges us to examine ourselves in light of the Scriptures.

In the kitchen... fresh cinnamon bread with frosting.

I am wearing... This is the 3rd Monday in a row that I've worn my green t-shirt.  I'm sensing a theme but it isn't on purpose.  :)

I am creating... some pretty spaces in my bedroom.  I sorted through a stack of books on my night stand and narrowed them down to two books and a magazine that I will read from a little bit here and there before bedtime.  I had a stack of about 10 books and it was looking pretty cluttered.  I put the 2 books and magazine in a basket with a doily hanging out the front.  It looks much simpler and less cluttered and makes me smile. 

I also brought in a couple of new items for on my dresser.  My digital alarm clock quit working this last week and I wanted something a bit different so I bought this analog alarm clock.  I love it!  I think what I love best is that if I wake during the night I can't see what time it.  :)  It does have some glow in the dark hands but they don't glow hardly at all.  Instead of worrying over how much time I have left before I need to start my day, I just roll over and fall back asleep. 

The clock looked a little small compared to the space my old alarm clock took up so I placed it on top of this decorative box that used to be in the bathroom. 

I am going... to the library and to take the boys to baseball. 

I am praying for ... my best friend and her family as they begin a new season in their life, in a new state.   May the Lord bless them during this time of transition and give them wisdom and favor. 

I am reading... (I wonder if/when I'll finish this book...) I'm still reading A Love that Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

I am hoping...  that we'll find homes and not barns for our four kittens.  We love them so much.  If only they stayed this little!

I am looking forward to... bed!  I was in bed by 8:30 last night and asleep by 9pm!  It was so nice.  I wish tonight could be a repeat but I know it'll be a later evening because of baseball.

I am learning... to put up barriers - to not be concerned about anything but what God has called me to be doing.  This isn't such an easy thing for me but something I need to learn.

Around the house... Andrew has a selection of readers from the library scattered on the coffee table as well as a word search book and a pen.  The kitchen is clean and our dinner (spaghetti bake) is already assembled and waiting to go in the oven.  The school room needs to be straightened up after this mornings lessons and there is a celery/water science experiment on the window sill.  I've processed and folded a load of laundry and have one load left.  

In the learning room...  We had a full morning of lessons today.  We are schooling Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week and will take Thursday and Friday off.  I need to order a few things for Jonathan but haven't decided on a few specifics for History yet.

One of my favorite things...  family worship, especially when daddy is home in the mornings with us like he was today.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   A trip to the library, baseball, Bible study and lots of yard work!

A picture I'm sharing... our celery experiment.  Moved from the school room to the kitchen window.  Isn't the blue water pretty.

This post is linked to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Growing In Love With Jesus, part 2

As I shared last week in part one of Growing in Love with Jesus, developing an intimate relationship someone takes dedicated intention.  It wont just happen.  Desire to pursue Him and purpose in your heart to find ways to spend with Jesus throughout the day.

As a busy mama this might seem like an impossible task.  Let's think outside the "quiet time box" for a minute.  :)  There are many ways to grow in your relationship with the Lord that don't require uninterrupted quiet and Bible reading although we should be spending time in His word daily.  I'm talking about smaller ways to grow in our love for Him.

  • Find ways throughout your day to be reminded of Him.  There is a beautiful young woman at our church who is reminded of Jesus and His love for her every time she sees a heart.  The Lord has shown her these little hearts in many different situations such as a heart shaped leaf, a paint splatter etc.    How precious is it to be reminded of His love like this.  A few minutes of adoration and thankfulness for His love towards you will help to join your heart to His. 

  • Perhaps you have a certain time in your day where there is a short lull in activity that you could take to spend even just 5 minutes with Him.  My children are older now so I find that I have more "lulls" than I did when they were smaller but I promise no amount of time is too short that could be spent with Him.

  • Are there certain benchmarks in your day, that occur everyday, such as meal prep or laundry, that might normally be seen as just another mundane task but could be turned into opportunities to spend with Him?   Taking this time to talk through your day up to that point with Him.   "Lord, forgive me for my shortness with little Suzy, help me to be patient and loving with her."  or "Lord, what would you have had me to do in that situation, I feel like I handled that wrongly, please show me how you would have me to respond next time."  Share your day with Him, ask for His help and guidance.  He desires to be involved in every part of our life.

  • In the small town where I grew up the church bells from the local Catholic church rang twice a day.  During the summer those church bells told us children it was time to leave friends and our play and come home for lunch or supper.  But perhaps they could be a reminder to spend some time with Him. 

  • Bible memorization is an excellent way to spend time with Him.  The Holy Spirit will remind you of those heart hidden Scriptures and you can meditate on them wherever you are!  If you are looking for a good resource to help and encourage you in Bible memorization I enjoyed reading Janet Pope's book, His Word in My Heart.  Nancy Leigh DeMoss has some audio and scripts of her interviews with Janet that are very encouraging on her website, Revive Our Hearts.

Bottom line, recognize the season you are in, ask the Lord what He would have you to do and get creative.  Our goal isn't duty but to intimately know and love our Savior and to keep Him first in our lives.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A June Daybook

For today:  Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Outside my window... a cool, cloudy day.

I am hearing...  the dryer.  Laundry day is in full swing.

I am thinking ...  About these verses from Psalm 73

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

I am thankful for ...
  • cloudy days ~ as much as I would love to have the warmth of the sun, these cooler cloudy days are perfect for our family right now so that Andrew can still be outside without the worry of getting a bad burn. 
  • For my church family.  We are so blessed!
  • My new bike!  I've been biking with Andrew almost everyday.

In the kitchen... I have homemade chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove this morning.  Perfect for a cool a day. 

I am wearing... Capri's, a green t-shirt, socks and tennis shoes.

I  created...  a sheet to keep track of Andrew's medications, supplements and other treatment protocol.  I placed it in a plastic page protector sheet and taped it to the cupboard nearest the bin with all his meds.  I have a wipe off marker in the bin and mark things off as we've done them so that I can keep track of everything.  It is working very well.

I am going... to pick up Lizzy from the groomer after lunch.  Poor thing was shaking in fear when I dropped her off earlier this morning.  I hope she is being a good girl. 

I am praying for ... my best friend and her family as they begin a new season in their life, in a new state.   May the Lord bless them during this time of transition and give them wisdom and favor. 

I am reading... I'm still reading A Love that Multiplies by the Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar a little bit each night before bed.  I am reading through the book of 2 Samuel and Psalms in my Bible reading.

I am hoping...  that I can take a short nap this afternoon. 

I am looking forward to... an afternoon with a close friend and her children tomorrow and a breakfast meeting with my spiritual mama at the end of the week.

I am learning... (keeping this update from last week.  What an amazing truth!!)  No one can comfort like Jesus can.  Other people can only be flesh to flesh comfort but Jesus can reach in and touch my spirit, bring it comfort and peace.

Around the house... laundry, laundry, laundry today.  :) 

The kittens are 4 weeks old now and are ADORABLE!!!  I don't know how I'm going to rehome them.  when I go into the spare room and say "Good morning, babies" they all run to me.  So sweet!  I tried to take pictures of them this morning but they are so fast.  Here is a picture of Emily and Charlotte.  maybe I can get another picture when they are calmer.   Emily is not looking.  These two have the sweetest personalities.  They are very mild and love to be held. 

In the learning room...  I just got a new book for Andrew to read.  It is called Benjamin West and his Cat Grimalkin.  This is quite a big tackle for him and not one he could do on his own but we'll do it together while snuggling on the couch.

One of my favorite things...  cards and letters received from precious friends in the mail.  It is so nice to receive something other than bills or junk mail.  This afternoon I'm going to sit down and write a letter to the sweet little girl, Mariela, that we sponsor.  I found some cute stickers that I will send along with the letter and Andrew drew a picture for her too.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Library day, an afternoon with friends, breakfast with a friend and Bible study here at my house.  I also would like to get my room deep cleaned and clean out my closet. 

A picture I'm sharing... working in my planner this morning.

This post is linked to The Simple Woman's Daybook.