Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bringing the Glorious into the Mundane

Recently my mind is filled with quotes that I have heard and held onto. One of them was given as a response to a woman asking another woman how she finds time in her overloaded schedule to draw near to God. She replied,

"By bringing the Glorious into the mundane."

This reminded me of the mental picture I have of Susanna Wesley, since the time I first heard that she would sit with her apron thrown over her head in the midst of a long day to take a moment to meet with the Lord.

And this quote and this picture made me remember that I need communion with the Lord everyday, everywhere.

Like possibly some of you I have longed for a quiet long period of time with the Lord lately. I go about my day wishing for this respite and forgetting that He IS with me and I can go to him anywhere at anytime. "Bringing the Glorious into the mundane" is nothing new. The Holy Spirit is with us in the mundane everyday already. He is there while you work with your 2 year old, trying relentlessly to get her to see her need to go on the potty. He is reminding you that you still have dishes on the stove that need washing, when you thought you were finished. He is listening to you muse on something someone said to you at church last night while you fold yet another load of laundry.

"Bringing the Glorious into the mundane" is just tapping into a deep brook that is already at your disposal.

If we are honest with ourselves, truly honest, we sometimes feel like we have a list of obligations to fill. Being a "need meeter" is a fun, tiresome, worthwhile task. The problem comes when we add our relationship with the Lord along with our "Things to do today" list and find him sandwiched in between "ironing" and "packing school lunches." We begin to look at time with the Lord as somethings to be "completed" or checked off of our list so we can smile at the end of the day and feel like we have all of our "ducks in a row" so to speak. We have conquered another day. We are on top of things and we feel a sense of accomplishment.

I have a small ring of good friends. You know the type. They have been with me forever, know my faults and shortcomings but act like I am the sweetest thing that ever walked the earth. In some wonderful way they actually believe that I am something special, and in turn, I them. And as is usually the case with these good friends, you never get to see them as often as you would like to, but when you DO see them, you fall all over them and just seek to find the first thing to sit down on so you can talk each other's ears off completely. There is never time enough to tell them, in only the way that you can, how much has been going on in your life. You can begin with present day and in the same breath laugh with them about something you just remembered from years ago. Time seems to speed by and all too soon you are in the driveway waving them "goodbye," missing them unbearably and watching them go until their car is no longer visible.

Sometimes we look at God as a friend who is visiting this afternoon at such and such a time. He will only be here for a short time and we must cram all of our thoughts, ideas, excitement, worry and the like, into a small chunk of "allotted" time.

Why do we do that????

I will interject here that I do believe that we need long periods of time with God. Time where we are still and silent and we wait on Him. I believe that we need to get into our Bibles each day and pray longer than a prayer thanking God over oatmeal with one eye open watching for anyone eating too soon.

My bone to pick is with the one who started calling the time we meet with God, "quiet time." You know, "I need my quiet time with the Lord." "I'll do that after I have my quiet time with the Lord." "This is where I have my quiet time with God." AGAIN, I do believe that there should be moments where we are still before the Lord, but the emphasis on a "quiet time" pushes us to believe that that is the ONLY time we can meet with God. The only time we can think of Him, talk to Him, think on His Word, etc. Goodness knows that in this small house on Haywood, there ain't a whole lotta quiet goin' on. There have been times when the Lord woke me very early in the morning and I listened, prayed and was thankful for it, but for the most part I am seeking His voice amidst children, cleaning and laundry.

We also feel such a guilt as a Mom if we have not been able to have a desired spot, a haven where the birds are chirping out our bedroom window, where the sun illuminates the pages of our Bible, and where if we strain, we can faintly hear the angelic choir lifting "Hosanna's" to the Lord.

Daily prayer and Bible reading might look more like, "One child on your knee, a broken down blue chair, continual wiping of a nose and covering of a cough leading you to accidentally bump the page you were on and turning you to somewhere in Revelation."

How totally "UNHOLY." Right?

Why is this not a normal portrayal of a daily walk with the Lord? I guarantee you that if you happened upon Mrs. Wesley sitting covered in her own apron, it would not strike you as a "Divine appointment" either.......but it was, and it is, and apart from this time in your day, there are wonderfully many more hours and minutes and seconds that God is there, willing to listen and available!

I have told you before how the Holy Spirit prompted me while I was ironing. That was the "Glorious meeting me in the mundane."

How upset I would be, and saddened if Joel waited for some "perfect situation" to seek my company. The kids needed to be dressed a certain way, the house needed to be in a certain order, the dinner ready, and of course I needed my best hair day and make-up to enjoy his presence.

No, I love that kiss goodbye in the morning. That quick word of encouragement from him telling me that he just knows that I can get that skirt done if I put my mind to it. I love that call after his last class wraps-up, just seeing how my day has been, or telling me something he was thinking about, or asking me to have some work clothes ready for him so he can stop by and pick them up on his way to fix a bus at the shop. All throughout the day I am talking to him, laughing with him, waiting on his call, or calling him myself. You know we DO have a scheduled time to meet. Every Thursday night we have a "date night" where we sit and take time out for just us. And sometimes we are just quiet and enjoy each other's company. I cannot imagine what our relationship would be like if we waited for this time ONLY to meet with each other, or if I felt like I HAD to meet with him or he me for that matter! But in order to cultivate my relationship with him I need to meet with him in the midst of my crazy day, several times a day.

How much more does the Lord, the one who knew us before we were even born, want to speak with us, spend time with us, enjoy our company. How much more should we desire HIS?

I challenge you to look for ways to bring the "Glorious into your mundane." Throw out your Spiritual "To Do" list and begin a new.

The mundane never looked so exciting, huh? :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mater 101

This is mostly for Tam, but for anyone else who thinks canning is a daunting task. Folks if I can do it a monkey can! See, I will show you,

Roma tomatoes are excellent to use. Meaty and perfect

Blanch them in hot water for a minute, then transfer to cold water and the skins will just peel off.

This year we decided to just process them instead of using a Victrola strainer and they were fine.

Here are my peppers and onions cookin' until they are translucent, and then they also were thrown into the food processor.

Here are my spices and such goin' in...

I got such a kick out of the spoon standing straight up. By this time Joel is just rolling his eyes at the pics.....LOL

My POT...seriously one of the best gifts I have ever been given. Thanks Mom.

As you can see we filled 'er up to the brim!

Here are some jars ready to be transferred to the oven to keep warm..

Remember....."Hot jars, hot liquid, hot lids, hot water," and you will never go wrong!

Twenty minutes in a hot bath and they are ready to rest, and YOU are ready to have fun counting the "pops" as they seal.......

While you do THIS massive pile of dishes and such! :)

And while you are doing all of these things, surely ONE of your kiddos will be coloring their face with permanent marker........ it's all part of the canning process.

But it's all good!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Picture Post

I am Lov-ing hearing from you all! Thanks for stoping in and sayin' "Hello." I HAVE noticed some of you are poppin' in and not commenting and I want you to know that I noticed ! LOL Ten lashes with a wet noodle for you few! Just teasing. And the recipies....Mmmmmm many many thanks for those! Who doesn't love new recipes, huh?

I finally unloaded a ton of pics from the camera and thought you might like a peek. You all can see what we have been up to.

Last week we were able to spend a wonderfully relaxing evening with some friends of ours at their house and farm. They were nice enough to allow me to invite my whole family over for dinner. :-) Yes I really did, and yes they are some NICE folks.

I LOVE this picture and this lady. She accepts me, and has befriended me in a very special way.

These are their concord grapes which they gathered to make us some de-lish juice to accompany dinner.

Here's a small glimpse of their garden

One of their goats....I just love goats!!

A quaint view from their hayloft. I sat and wondered how many hours I could pass up here with a good book and a ton of kids snuggling with me. Just loved it!

We all felt so comfortable here......I so enjoy looking at this sight.

My widdle girlies one morning. What you don't know is that I was right in the middle of these cuties just before I wiggled out to take this picture. Is there anything sweeter than sleeping kids piled on you in the wee hours of the morning?

Laynie girl~!

Joel getting to feed Alayna at home for the first time. Look at Isaac kissing her head......precious!!

This is precious also. Uncle Greg relishing a moment with Alayna...

My view several times a day. I stand here and pray, praise God, and smile...often.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just a thought.....ok a few....ok get the idea!

hello all, been a while. Yes we are back in the 21st Century and I have STILL not found time to get on and say "Hello." So tonight I told Joel, "I really want to post, but I don't have all of my thoughts together." (wait a I ever????) to which he replied, "Think on THERE." So here we go.

Lately I have been one busy Momma. Joel and I can stop and sit at any moment and try to get Alayna to "Goo" at us. You would think she was an only child. Seriously. She is doing wonderful, Praise God. I have become a "germaphobe," with her and I carry her around so swaddled all the time that you would think I should have braids and be carrying her on my back. Seriously. I will admit to even hugging her so tightly that she whimpered. Ok she cried..... a little. I am spending more time rocking, kissing, hugging and just staring than I ever have and I am taking in each and every moment of this last baby stage. I am so melancholy that I have at times even mourned for what I am going to miss and haven't even missed it yet...... seriously.

I was blessed with almost two bushels of tomatoes....yes TWO, and we are now going into the Spaghetti sauce business.....or we could at least. I have been eating sleeping and breathing sauce and salsa and am glad that an end is in sight. I have pictures forthcoming. Boring maybe, but I needed some comic relief in the midst of the madness so bear with me, will you? I will say that canning with Joel is so fun even though it is a lot of work. He is a piece. Just love him.

Honey and vinegar is in full swing here on Haywood. As I type Joel is on the couch and there he has been all day with aches and a full head. Take my word for it, equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey does the trick. A table spoon in the morning, noon and night will make you a new person.......and it just might grow hair on your teeth. We are presently testing this hypothesis.

Saw the film, "Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed," by Ben Stein. Great. Catch it sometime, it is very eye-opening. It exposes the fact that some scientists have been ousted for presenting the facts concerning Intelligent design in public universities. Gives me a renewed zeal to let folks see where Darwinism leads. To really understand what a world void of God means practically. Scary, but necessary to understand. By the way, Darwin would be 200 years old this year......correction, IS 200 years old this year, somewhere. And somewhere he knows the truth.

Been thinking, been reading, been discussing heavy matters here on Haywood with Hubby. Some things concerning our "circles" our denom disturb me and you will have to wait for another post to catch the whole matter. Suffice to say that there are reasons why often we are looked on with much disapproval by the world, but more than that, even other Christians. And yes I know that if the world hated Christ they will surely hate us. This is different. This is something that we do that hinders any testimony we project and it is coming to a post near you......

I want to bring more cookies. (I just love how I can take this sentence and stick it in anywhere in this post and it look like it belongs....) What I mean is that I want to be the one who offers to bring cookies, and not just bring what I need, but an abundance. AND not just cookies. We have Mission's Conference coming up in a week or two and I want to be one that can be counted on to not just do my part, but do a part and a someone else with THEIR part as well. Boy just imagine you are in charge of something and you asked people to bring some cookies. Now imagine one by one your cookies arrive and as the last lady responsible for cookies comes through the door she has enough cookies for a small army. A wonderfully refreshing feeling would sweep over you. She was a blessing to BE a blessing to you. So I want to bring more cookies. I want to bring them even if I am asked to set them in the church kitchen where no one else will notice....God notices. So go bring more cookies....and while you do...send me a few eh?

Holding hands with your spouse is clinically proven to lower your blood pressure a few degrees. It is just enough degrees perhaps to keep you from selling your trouble-maker on ebay. My question is, "Where do they do these studies and where do we sign up????" ;-)

I am dying to know who all REALLY comes to visit here, so leave a note if you do and then I'll know if most of you were just being kind asking for an invite! LOL Leave me a note and your favorite fall recipe will ya?? Just somethin', anything quick and easy. And if you do.....I will.............I will.............................................I happy? ;-)

Night has fallen and I have the "night before church" rounds to make. Heard a great quote this week, "Kiss your children goodnight even if they are already asleep." And so I shall.