July 22, 2017

A loving sigh for July

FOR TODAY...

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Outside my window...

A quiet sunny neighborhood. Where is everyone?
Where are all the walkers, bikers, runners?

Probably camping, or boating or enjoying the Lavender festival.

It's a beautiful day, why stay home? 

I am thankful...

For time to think.

I am wearing...

A blue blouse and jeans rolled up to my calves.

From the kitchen..

Asian chicken salad 
(extra cilantro on mine)

Ice cream bars for dessert

In our home school..

Light work

Sophia is maintaining regular Russian studies
N and N do Piano and Math daily. 
But mostly...
riding bikes,
making dolls,
sewing,
drawing,
scrapbooking,
Nerf gun wars...

Playing.

I am learning...

About waiting, and trusting, and hoping against all odds.

My hope is built on Nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, His righteousness


I am enjoying...

This Summer

I am going...

to start a cottage school.


I am taking enrollments for this Fall, 2017
mostly (but not limited to) the upper grades.

Our curriculum will be

Ambleside Online

I  remember...

That Nothing is impossible with God.

I am reading...

"The House of Arden" aloud in the evenings with my family.
It's fun.

and countless texts, articles, assignments for school this Fall.

Around the house...

Clean carpets!
Last Saturday, I came home to all my furniture out on the deck.

What? 
My neighbor had washed the carpets. Such a kind gift.

I am hearing...

The door slam...again.

 The kids either leave the door wide open,
giving generous invitation to flies and mosquitoes,
or they SLAM it shut,
Ensuring  the dishes rattle in my hutch.

It's probably like that at your house too?

A quote to share...

(actually 2 quotes)

“The real secret of an unsatisfied life lies too often in an unsurrendered will.” 
~ J. Hudson Taylor

 For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. ~ Romans 14:7-8

What I am thinking about...


We need silence to come to conclusions.

Technology is loud.
Innumerable ideas and thoughts are passed out in a day.
How many of them are really my own?
How many of them are from God?

For me, the only way to come to any personal conclusions,
I must have silence, particularly from technology.

Children, Teens, need to come by certain thoughts independently in order to own them, to take responsibility for their beliefs.

The best place for this "silence" is in nature, away from technology.

Nature studies will be a big part of my school.


Some of my favorite things...

A view of the water, or the mountains, or a lush forest.

I'm so blessed to live in a place with all these in a single view every day.


A few plans for the month:

Don and Geri visiting all next week...Yeah!

August will have to plan itself.

 A Picture thought to share:


These same fields are in full bloom today...a deep rich purple.
I'll go next weekend when the crowds are gone.

Hopefully, the blueberry bushes will be full for picking too.



July 21, 2017

Waiting for breakthrough?

Nobody wants to hear that Trials or Suffering is good, but God says they work for us, the trials are accomplishing something for us and that it is an eternal weight of glory. (2 Cor 4:17)

Hudson Taylor, missionary to China 100 years ago, wrote, “The issue at hand is not so much the pressure, but that it presses me closer to Christ.”

I picture a "wall", the symbol of my trial, blocking me from what I want, closing in on me pushing me closer to Jesus, but I push against that wall, trying to reach around it to get what I want. Will I have Jesus without my desire?

Sometimes we talk about waiting for breakthrough, or healing, or SOMEthing. Whatever it is we are waiting for may bring relief, or peace, or happiness, but it is all temporary.

"...we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18

Life is eternal. For the Christian, our life is hid with Christ in God. Jesus Christ is our life.

When Jesus died on the cross he said, "It is finished." It is done. That is THE breakthrough. His death, burial and resurrection is the Power, the Way, the Answer to every hope we have.

How can that be, we ask? I need a husband, a baby, money in the bank, a new job. How does His death, burial and resurrection answer my practical needs? All of your practical needs are pictures, arrows, stories of God.

We are created by God and for God.

This is the crux, the truth that determines our peace, our confidence, our direction in life.

Will we believe? Will we submit to this reality? Or, in an effort to keep our own life, will we live as if WE create life and live for ourselves?

I love that quote above from Hudson Taylor because it paints a picture of much of our actual suffering in trials. Sickness? Death? Poverty? Loss? True, the pain of these sufferings are NATURAL and real, but are these so much the issue as the reality that we are not sovereign?

We experience what we don't want so we pray and seek and beg for OUR will, our desires.

Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy will be done," and He lived it when faced with the cross. Sweating drops of blood, asking three times for his desire, yet still, He said to God, "Not my will, but thy will be done."

This is Christianity. Jesus saves us, and then we live...for Him.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." ~ Jim Elliot

Eternal life is just that...eternal. It is forever, you cannot lose it. The value of it is realized through our suffering and in letting go of our temporary hopes.


March 10, 2017

March Again

FOR TODAY...

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Outside my window...

The wind is blowing and I think I see the color blue.
The sun may be making his appearance soon. Will I recognize him?

All I know for sure is grey, white, wet.

I am thankful...

For my life.
With all it's trials, it is a blessed life.

I am wearing...

A turtleneck sweater: my uniform, lately

From the kitchen..

Smoothies a la Sophia

 Vegetable Beef soup

Bakery fresh bread with homemade pear butter

In our home school..

Book reports.

John Muir tales,
A Tale of Two Cities,
Cranford,
The Mandie Collection

I am learning...

How often we, Christians, act like Cain...like in the story of Cain and Abel.

We want God to accept our ideas, our offerings.
When they conflict with scripture (which an "Abel" may point out), the common
response is to rise up against our brother or sister in Christ.

We accuse them of being legalistic, or heretics, or worse.

Why don't we all just let God be God? Do what He says? Do things His way?

Perhaps it's because, in reality, we want to be God, or make God into our own image.

I am enjoying...

Coffee in a pretty cup and saucer

I am going...

shoe shopping for the kids then to the dentist for a crown.

Shoes and teeth...always on the To-do list.


I  remember...

Our neighborhood field trip to Great Wolf Lodge and
The Howling Tornado water slide I was coaxed to go down.
Why? oh Why?

What is so attractive about one's inner organs dropping to the floor while the rest of the body hovers in mid-air? I don't get it, although, once my knees stopped knocking together, I did laugh.

I am reading...

Missionary stories.

Going to begin one about Wilfred Grenfell.

The kids and I will start reading Hamlet aloud.
Not everyone is on board, but I think it will be fun in the end.

Around the house...

Emotions, Ideas, Jokes, Shenanigans, Fights, Emotions, Nonsense, Goals, Dreams, Emotions: Life with teenagers.

Still, they aren't as volatile as I was at their age, thank God.

I am hearing...

Noah preparing a cup of hot cocoa,
The fire crackling in the stove,
The silence of the girls in their books and drawings.

A quote to share...

The realm of God is not going to be refined self, reformed self, or any kind of patching up of self. It is going to be none of self, and all of Christ. ~ T. Austin Sparks (sermon titled "Furnace of Affliction")

I wish more Christians believed this.

What I am thinking about...

The word "Seem"

Seem: to give the impression of being.

To seem is only impression. It does not mean IS. Yet, so often I live, or feel, or decide based on how things seem rather than how things ARE. I can trust God because He is I AM, even when He seems like something else.

Do you understand?

Some of my favorite things...


Sunshine
Sun
Warm Days
Sunny Days
Sunbeams
Heat
Light...and

Sun.

A few plans for the month:

Naomi's birthday...14!

School,
Work,
Errands,
Discipleship studies,
Teach PeeWees,
Teach at the Prison
, Drive, Drive, Drive and Drive.

Dream of sunshine.

 Picture thought to share:


Naomi baloney, my sweet macaroni, You're my pepperoni!

Happy Birthday, Lovey




January 31, 2017

The end of another beginning

FOR TODAY...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Outside my window...

Beautiful Sunshine!

Also, an Akita that cannot decide whether to bite or play.
He is afraid of me but, aggressive towards the kids.

Who does he belong to, I wonder?

I am thankful...

for sure footings, solid foundations, clear paths.

I am wearing...

a heavy shawl.

Even with the sunshine, I'm COLD.

From the kitchen...

 Pots of tea and a warm apple crisp.

In our home school...

Our daily grind:
Math
Reading
Physics
History
Music
Art
Poetry

I am creating...

Preparations for a few gatherings in my home this month.

I am enjoying...


Thoughts of my future. Can you believe it?
Laugh with me, it's been a long time.

I am going... 

To make a good trade with Noah.

Cheers to a clean car!

I  remember...

a recurring dream in which I face an intense temptation.
I usually wake up disappointed in myself wondering about the purpose of the dream.
Last night, however, I faced the temptation head-on with strength and determination.

I woke up rejoicing!

What was the point?
An imaginary conflict, an imaginary victory...
but real adrenalin, real joy?
 Life is a mystery at times.

I am reading...

My usual friends.

Around the house...

Three teenagers engaged in their projects

I am hearing...

The crackling of the fire, the blowing of the fan, the mumblings of quiet conversations.

A quote to share...

"In every man there is a loneliness, a chamber into which only God can enter."

~ George MacDonald

I used to avoid that lonely place, but now I often run there for peace, or direction, even joy.

What I am thinking about...

People believe what they want to believe.
Truth doesn't matter...only desire.

If the Truth doesn't feel good, just get rid of it.

An uncomfortable rock is exchanged for soft sand...sinking sand.

Some of my favorite things...

Sunny days
Snow capped mountains
Singing birds

Spring waving hello from a distance.

Come closer, Spring!

A few plans for the month:

Visits with old and new friends,
Teaching at home and the prison,
Parties and classes.

And pansies...for my table, for my kitchen window, for my dresser.

 A Picture thought to share: