Friday, May 29, 2009

Call Back!

With a full heart I finally sit in the blue chair and begin to tell all you sweet friends what God has been doing in our hearts and home. Many of you already know that I am on partial bed rest with baby number 6, which we found out is a sweet baby girl!! I am having some complications and am prayerfully asking the Lord to allow me to carry this baby as close to full term as possible. The odds are against us, the ramifications of this up-coming surgery are great, but this is where the Lord desires to work His mightiest.

As you can imagine, fears can abound, despair, loneliness and the like. But God is sufficient. I wrap weeks of God's provision, workings, and mercy up in that statement. God is sufficient. When everything began to happen the Lord quietly gave me this verse: Ps 94:17 "Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence." Upon close inspection this verse takes on a greater meaning and comfort to me. So here is what some of the words mean, "Unless the (Creator of ALL) had been my (Help- as a mother succors her child) my (mind, emotions, will) had almost dwelt in (complete despair)." Isn't God good?

My heart is overflowing with gratitude for those who have brought meals, told me they are praying, sent me a box of "sunshine gifts" with the intent for me to open one gift per day, and have each taken turns watching my children allowing me to rest and Joel to get his work done, and us all meeting together again at dinner time to be together as a family. My church has rallied around us and encouraged us just as Aaron and Hur must have encouraged Moses, holding his arms up when they were weary. Only God can bless them adequately for their humble service, and we are asking Him to do just that.

With a lot of time on my hands I have had ample time to be with the Lord. Talk with Him, read my Bible, and allow the Holy Spirit to teach me some things. I am glad we gave the amount of children we would have to the Lord's doing, and have thought several times that if it were us who made this pregnancy happen, arranging things when WE thought WE wanted another child, then this whole circumstance would be in OUR hands. But we gave the Lord control of how many children we should have, and thus HE alone holds this situation and we can rest that He knows what He is doing in this. Ps 118:23 "This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes." Isa 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.' We rest in this truth, Ps 72:18 "Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things."

Again, God sustains. I cannot say that enough.

A poem I love God brought to my mind again and I want to share it with you. It never ceases to bring me to tears because it stirs something so deep in my heart, so real to me, and I wish I could have known the author to tell him or her just how much it has ministered to my spirit. It is found in one of my favorite books of all time, "Climbing," by Rosalind Goforth

Call Back!

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back--
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And it, perchance, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say he kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That when the heavens thundered and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.

O friend, call back and tell me, for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin-darkened sky--
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend call back--
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.

It did it again! I had to go back and make sure that my tears didn't make me miss a word or two. :) All of us are that "friend" to someone. We are the one that they look to, to see if God IS what He says He is, if he has given us victory. They need to see our faith strengthened to have the courage to go on. I pray that I will be able to be a good soldier through this and be able to bring glory to Him for all that happens.

Much love to you all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Bird's Eye View of my hilarious life...

I am up way too late missing my husband who is helping a man in our church get a side job done, and I got thinking of some of the hilarious moments my husband and I have shared.

One such memory involves a pine tree in our backyard. This tree is H.U.G.E. I cannot even guess at how huge it is. It is the biggest on our street towering over all of the other houses. Well, I was home and waiting on Joel and the kids and got the smart idea to climb that tree and make them all look for me when they arrived home.

I used to almost live in trees when I was younger so I used a ladder to get me to the nearest sturdy branch....see I told you it is huge, and kicked it over into the grass when I had reached my limb. With cell phone in hand I climbed and climbed and climbed over our barn and house. I found a good branch to rest on and dangle my feet just like I used to when I was little and enjoyed the view.

I will have the last laugh, I thought, and smiled a smile that can only be replicated by the Cheshire cat on Alice in Wonderland. I was having a time remembering days long gone by and how much fun I would have leaning back on a branch and watching the birds and wildflowers way off in the woods from my house growing up....when my memoirs were stunned by a noise.

A noise that didn't sound comforting. It was getting louder and louder and beginning to scare me half to death! It was a mother bird warning me that I was TOO close to her nest of babies.......and sure enough there was the nest.!

And here comes the Momma bird swooping in at me once, then twice, then again! I am batting this bird off with my phone, yelling at it trying to explain to this BIRD that I would not in a million years harm her kids and that I was too old and dumb to be climbing trees anyhow! (Did I ever mention that I tend to bare my soul when in an awkward or scary situation????) I called Joel and relayed the situation.

I was being attacked by a bird.....while in the pine tree...... at least 50 feet in the air~!

There was a pause.

Lo and behold here he came in the drive! The kids piled out of the car and began searching for me.....they couldn't even see me! I finally made my presence known, through shrieks at the bird, and they helped scare the bird long enough so I could shimmy down the tree to safety.

I think this still provokes laughter from my kids and husband and even makes me smile to think that I would want to climb a tree and hide from my family to make them look for me!

You know, I am glad I have a story like this one to remember with my kids. I am glad that I have inherent persnickety-ness that nothing, not even mounds of laundry can eliminate. I want my kids to have a good, fun, full life, with things to laugh at and remember.

The other day we went to Lowes to get some things and I finally remembered to get a new lamp shade for my lamp in the living room. Remember how awful and ripped it was?? Refer to previous posts if not. Well I got the "bright" idea to wear it home. Yes you heard me right, WEAR it home. Joel was driving and I in the front passenger seat WORE the lampshade all the ride home. The kids had a hoot watching the expressions from those parked next to us in traffic and even Joel doubled over a few times with uncontrollable laughter! It was great!

I love making memories. I love things like having one ten cent York Peppermint patty and trying to split it into 7 pieces so we all get a taste. I love having fun and realizing that my kids will not be little forever.

Well Hubby is home and I am off to bed finally!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pride and the Perfect Pie Crust

Hello all,

I am typing on a Sunday afternoon, with fingers still sticky from getting last year's sweet corn out of freezer bags, thankful for my adorable Mary E apron which right now dons a LOT of flour, and await the arrival of the gang on the bus with Dad.

Not my usual time of writing and catching up with you all, but the Holy Spirit prompted and we all know I am trying to get better at listening to Him so here I sit.

This morning in the Nursery I had such a good chat with some sweet Ladies of my church. I seriously think I love them more and more each time I see them. We were laughing and discussing things we faced in the last week, particularly with our Sweeties, and our own selfish will. Which does not make a good mix if you haven't tried it yet... We really gleaned from each other, remembered that we all have sinful natures and decided to do better this week! Did I mention I just love these ladies???

Well, while I was getting dinner ready, Caleb asked me if I was making a pie. Hmmmmm...... that got me thinking. We DID just get some more frozen pie filling from Mom's freezer yesterday.......maybe I should whip one up. Ok so that wasn't the right way to describe making a pie......maybe work one up is better.

I mixed all of my ingredients up, got the filling out of OUR freezer, (pause in this post to remove splinter and console one of my kiddos who thought they were losing all of their blood.....) and commenced rolling out the pie dough. This is where I have to interject two thoughts. One, at our house Oh maybe a year ago we had an unwritten rule at our house that no one was allowed to speak in the house when Mom rolled out a pie crust. (Think I mentioned that a while back..) Humorous rule? Of course. Important? Unbelievably! Remember I have a 600 sq foot house and 5 kiddos in that space.......

Second, a question. Why don't you make homemade pies???? Why don't most people make homemade pies? We all know they taste a great deal better than store not make them? Some might say, "I never learned how." And I refute that with the fact that 6 or so years ago our church for our Old Fashioned Sunday was going to have a pie contest and I was in charge of it (still am!) and I had NEVER made a pie. I went from Lady to Lady telling them that I was going to make my first ever pie and wanted them to join me for some old fashioned fun. I got the recipe, followed it explicitly, got to rolling out the crust and wept buckets of tears over it!!! Literally. I was mad, sad, depressed and discouraged all in 5 minutes time. Was it fun. No way Jose, but I did it and saying you don't know how is just poor excuse friend.

How about, they are too time consuming or too hard to make. Again, you make time for other things that your family enjoys..... can't get off that easy either.

I firmly believe that the main reason we do not make pies anymore is because we don't want them to look bad. We have this "Mile high apple pie" picture in our minds, with us in a pristine starched white ruffled apron holding the pie in front of our husbands as the children smile with delight and he gives us a look that says, "Honey you are the best!" Kinda like a really cute Norman Rockwell magazine cover. And then the reality of half our crust sticking to the rolling pin, flour just about everywhere, including our stained old apron hits us and we wonder why we even bothered in the first place. We dismiss our "Little House on the Prairie feel good moment," and say we must be crazy to do this sort of thing ever again!!!

We want our pie to look like the one at Giant Eagle and figure that if we can't get it to look like that, then it is worth the 9 dollars to get one and set it in front of our family. We forget somehow that a bad looking pie tastes just as good as a perfect looking pie, that making one at home cost a LOT less, and also that we are deciding not to teach our kids to make them because of our own pride. Yep that is it plain and simple. We are teaching those around us that if we cannot make something that looks perfect it is not worth our time. That seems like an unbelievably high standard to me. No one can attain perfection in any area. So should we stop doing just about everything??? I want my kids to learn to make something like a pie because it is a wonderful way to enjoy Sunday dinner, laugh at the crust sticking to the rolling pin, and thoroughly enjoy the fruits of their labors with a heaping scoop of ice cream.

So I was rolling out my crust and it was breaking and splitting and just before I grumbled I decided to allow the Holy Spirit to remind me of the conversation in the Nursery. Pride is such an ugly thing and not only kept me from being the wife I should have been last week, but almost.....almost, kept me from even a silly thing like making an apple pie to bless my family

I could have looked like this when my Husband and kids came home....

But instead I am thankful that the Lord showed me that pride and vanilla ice cream just don't go well together.

P.S. Just for fun I thought I might add this.... Remember that first pie I ever made, and just about threw away before it even made it to Old Fashioned Sunday??? Well it won first place! Yep, FIRST PLACE! And I held first place for 4 years straight! A sense of humor is a terrible thing to waste!