Monday, April 30, 2012


Are you forgetful?? I can dutifully make a grocery list and leave it either in the car or at home. I have done this for years!! More serious than that is our propensity to be forgetful of all the things that God has so mercifully done for us. We don't praise Him as we should and neither do we thank Him after he provides an answer to prayer. We aren't much better than the nine healed leopards who never returned to thank Jesus for healing!!

The other day, I was reading Psalm 106 and looked at it differently than I had before. Isn't that what makes God's Word so precious?? There is always something 'new' and 'fresh' for today, not yesterday. 

I usually see all the promises and praises...the 'good' things rather than the negative. That can be encouraging for me but does it leave room for God to convict me of sin?! I want my life to be constantly moving forward, closer to Jesus. I want to draw nigh to God so that He will draw near me. I don't want stagnation like the overflow of a flooded river when it leaves pools of water in a lower portion without an outlet. Trapped.

"Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea." 
~Psalm 106:7~

The Israelites went and forgot all the mercies of God when He saved them from the Egyptians at the parting of the Red Sea!! How could they have DONE THAT?! Certainly they couldn't have forgotten such a HUGE miracle in their lives as that?! Maybe you or I haven't had such a big experience but we are just as forgetful!! All they could think of was what they were missing from Egypt!! They forgot the pain caused by the slave-masters in Egypt and instead remembered all the worldly, fleshly things from that land. Do you crave the world?? Do you yearn after all that the world offers?? Or are you finished with the world??

God sometimes will give us what we want although it really isn't the best for us. It is like a mother who gives her child what she is whining for although the mother knows it isn't good for the child. The mother knows that the child will learn quicker through making a mistake than if she denies the child any longer. 

"And he gave them their request; 
but sent leanness into their soul." 
~Psalm 106: 15

"They forgat God their Saviour, 
which had done great things in Egypt."
~Psalm 106:21~

"Yea, they despised the pleasant land, 
they believed not his word."
~Psalm 106:24~

"They did not destroy the nations,
concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
But were mingled (with the world??) among the heathen,
and learned their works.
And they served their idols:
which were a snare unto them.:
~Psalm 106:33-36

he regarded their affliction when he heard their cry:
And he remembered for them his covenant,
and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.
He made them also to be pitied of all those that 
carried them captives."
~Psalm 106:44-46~

 When I am forgetful, God is so quick to turn everything around for me just as soon as I repent of whatever He is laying on my heart. All God wants me to do is to observe how much He has done for me and to thank Him and praise Him. He is so quick to be merciful even when I do not deserve it. The negative verses point to the positive verses. Focusing on Jesus takes the burden off our shoulder and places it on His most capable shoulders. He carries our cares and worries.

Next time I forget my grocery list, it will be a reminder to me of all God has done in my life. It will remind me to meditate on how merciful He has been with me and to give Him praise and thanksgiving in return. It will also be a good idea to use that forgotten grocery list to serve as a reminder to practice mercy towards those around me (like my husband and children) instead of giving them impatience.

"Praise ye the LORD,
O give thanks unto the LORD;
for he is good;
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD?
who can shew forth all his praise?"
~Psalm 106:~

~In Christ Alone,

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ponderings of a Mother's Heart

"But Mary 
kept all these things
pondered them in her heart."
(Mary, the mother of Jesus)
~Luke 2:19~

You could say that Mary pondered things in her heart, or that what follows are the ponderings of my heart...but don't most moms have ponderings??

What good advice for a woman, a wife, or even a girl to learn to do!! Watch what goes on around you, listen to what you hear said and instead of doing what most girls and women do most readily - responding impulsively!! Instead -ponder - keeping "it" in your heart for moments, days, years, like Mary did and see how God unfolds the situation.  See the character you will build into your life and the wisdom you will learn as God (you allow God) to work in your heart and life.

Pondering is something that the Lord has impressed on my heart recently. I am learning not to be so fully dependent on another human being rather than the Lord. There have been points in my life where a close friend has moved, leaving me without that special fellowship for two years or more. It has been during these times that I have learned to rely more on the Lord for my sustenance.

And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, 
Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; 
and for a sign which shall be spoken against; Yea, 
a sword shall pierce through thy own soul 
also, that thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." 
~Luke 2:34,35~

A mother feels deeply in her heart the connection between her and her child. As she carries her baby for nine months, she grows close to her child often making it emotionally much more painful when something goes wrong in the child's life. When miscarriage happens, or through illness or mishap the infant dies, the mother is so saddened. It is such a grief to a Christian mother's heart when a child grows up and chooses not to follow the Lord. This is  a grief greater than any loss because to face an eternity without Christ is the saddest grief of all.

Mary, Jesus' mother, felt a sword pierce through her own soul, when Jesus died on the cross. What she felt seeing her son die, is unfathomable to me. I only know the pain of my own experiences and can only guess the depth of her piercing pain through her soul. The intensity she felt must have been far greater than anything I have ever known. 

This next verse refers to when Jesus was 12 and was left at the temple talking with the 'doctors.'

And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, 
and was subject unto them:
but his mother 
kept all these sayings in her heart."
 ~Luke 2:51b~

Over and over, I see the example of Mary, keeping all these sayings in her heart. Pondering in her heart. Keeping quiet and not sharing all that she saw happening around her concerning Jesus. Not that sharing with your husband or a friend doesn't have its place. For me this means maybe I should 'err' a little on the pondering rather than the chattering on and on and on to my husband or friend like a blue streak (whatever a blue streak is!!) until I've lost credibility, a listening ear, or said something I shouldn't have said!!

Pondering is not to be confused with worry and fretting. Pondering brings to my mind gentle thoughtfulness over a situation and putting those things aside and storing them for another time. Pondering means to weigh in the mind with thoroughness and care. It speaks of balance, and if you know Christ, it means relying on Him for direction, trusting in Him with all your heart, leaning on Him instead of yourself. It is acknowledging Christ as your 'All in All.'

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
~Proverbs 3:5-6~

"If any man will come after me,
let him 
deny himself, 
take up his cross daily,
follow me.
~Luke 9:23~

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In ev'ry high and stormy gale;
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood.
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

Christ Alone,

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Clean Sweep the Living Room!!

Photo Credit

I get overwhelmed at the drop of a that!! Not that I wear a hat too often, although as a mom, I wear a thousand different hats!! Because of my propensity to get overwhelmed, I keep up on the house cleaning fairly well or I'd have much deeper cleaning to do. It is easier to clean and tidy often, than to have to come in with a backhoe and shovel out the trash!! In case you think that couldn't happen, we once helped a family move who literally had garbage waist deep throughout their home!! Experiences like these teach me invaluable lessons of stewardship of my time, energy, and resourcefulness in keeping my home.

Recently, I had moved the furniture and vacuumed more than just 'the middles' . . . my son actually vacuums every few days. My son learned from his older brother the 'science' of speed vacuuming...which gives reason why once in a while it is time for a 'clean sweep!!'  I remember when we got a new vacuum with a light and I came downstairs to find my son vacuuming in the dark :-) !!

I needed something to do today (what else do when there are no 'Bon Bons?!') and I decided to clean the parts of the room that were neglected!! So, first...I got ready!!

Dressed to my socks (don't tell Flylady) with my hair braided so it won't be in the way, bathrooms cleaned (5 minute rescue), laundry swishing away downstairs, and time with the Lord not neglected. Ready?? I need to find some help!! Remember, I get easily overwhelmed with the easiest task. My children don't realize that's why they always had chores!!

Hmmmm....One daughter is sewing, another daughter is studying for a CLEP test, Then, maybe my son...he vacuumed for me so I can't ask him.  I know....

The Cat!! 
We always forget to call him Sushi!! 
He is just 'The Cat!!'
But he slinked off as soon as he saw me starting to work!!

Lazy Cat!!

One thing I learned when my children were younger,
Was to...
(delegate, delegate, delegate) 
and teach the children to pick up their toys 
(now it is paper and computer trails...ha!!)
The house maybe dusty
 (but who sees dust?!) 
but if before supper the toys are picked up 
all is well!!

This doesn't look so bad...but the picture doesn't show the computer desk!!

Its been worse!!!

My STUFF is piled high under the table...everyday it comes out and is spread ALL over the  kitchen table until it is time to eat supper!! STUFF is spread ALL over the top of the coffee table...and then...I don't NEED to clean it up so we can eat!!

All cleaned up for the picture!!

My stuff is ALL spread over the kitchen table where you can't see it!!

I caught some of the dust bunnies on the ceiling 
but not all this time as my ceiling is 18 feet tall!!

I cleaned the 4 X 6 foot ledge with the wooden rocking horse and doll 
(forgot to take a picture) 
I had to climb a ladder to do this!!

I moved the desk out from the wall and vacuumed all the crumbs of food 
(from the past 3 years to be sure!!) 

You wouldn't believe how tidy this looks because the 'before' picture was on one of the 'good days!!'

I want a home that invites my family and friends to put their feet up.
In all honesty, I do like to clean even though I can become overwhelmed with too much to do all over the house at one time. I have to remember Who I am doing these for!! Yes, I am doing keeping house for my family, but  'Unto the Lord.'  I want my home to be a 'Haven of Rest' for them as comfy as a Bed and Breakfast can be.  My husband and I have stayed in a cozy bed and breakfast. It is inviting, neat,  clean, yet lived in with some books to read on the coffee table. My home is a reflection of my heart. This is something I realized when I was in college and kept a messy room much of the time. I want my heart to reflect the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Beauty!!

Spring is such a beautiful time of the year with all the buds turning into colorful flowers. As you can see, our wooded acres are still drab with the earth-tones of winter. Soon the woods will come alive with various hues of green, contrasting with the browns of the tree trunks and with ferns covering the ground. 

What could be better than watching the Lilacs bud and bloom!! We don't have to worry as God in His infinite mercy cares so much for the flowers that we know He must care even more for us!! These aren't exactly lilies but they remind me of this verse in: 

Matthew 6:28: 
"And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, 
how they grow;
they toil not,
neither do they spin:"

Watching the flowers grow in the spring is a good reminder not to worry because God cares for us!!

I have been cleaning out the leaves from around my flower beds...a little every day is better than not getting around to it at all!!

Watching my Bleeding Heart is the most amazing thing!! Do you know, last week it was quite small and now look at it!!

New life in this Hosta plant:

There were so many leaves around the plants curbing their growth!!
They were packed down, pressed together like blessings...but they are leaves!!
A rake was too harsh on the little plants and so was a small three-pronged rake. 
There is nothing like fingers to gently remove the leaves...

I almost touched something...
I screamed in surprise!!
(Not that I was scared of a silly frog!!)

Dreaming about all the perennials that I could plant here!!

The spring warmth on my feet is thrilling!!
Unless a snake slithers out from under the leaves and bites my toes!!

Well, that was last week, before it rained and brought snow in the mountains a little 
west of us!! Keeping busy inside is slightly warmer unless someone forgets to 
light the wood stove....and who in their right mind wants to do that?! 
After's spring!!


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Monday, April 23, 2012

Love is Kind


 The aged women likewise that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
~Titus 2:3-5~

Love is kind. Jesus is love and He is kind. 

Reflecting back over the years of being a wife, I can tell you that I haven't always been kind. Oh, I thought I was. I thought I was 'justified' when I failed in my love towards my husband, as certainly 'it was his fault!' 

Or was it?!

The sooner we learn as women that there isn't anything 'good' in us, the better!! We are as filthy rags and without Christ dwelling in us, there is nothing but SELFrighteousness in our righteousness. 

"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
~John 15:5~

When I thought of writing about 'Love is Kind', I thought about how we, as women are to be in God's school, learning to be that Titus Two, older woman. 

You might be in your twenties or thirties...When I was in my early thirties, I looked around for that wonderful Titus Two woman this verse talks about. I was homeschooling a bunch of little children, struggling to get it all done, fighting the clutter monster, and simply had no idea how to carry out my role in our marriage!! 

All the older women I knew worked. They were all busy enjoying their hobbies and had no idea of the role God had placed in their life. I decided that I needed to become that Titus Two women, but soon I realized it would take until I was 90 and I still wouldn't have 'arrived!!' 

But I could try!!

Becoming 'kind' is becoming like Christ. It is all about sacrifice and the cross-life. It is NOT about being perfect. 

If I live until I am ninety, I won't be perfect, but I can learn to walk humbly before my God, sacrificially laying down my life for my husband, first, and then my children.

I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a,
living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable,
and perfect, 
will of God.
 ~Romans 12:1 & 2~

You cannot be kind if you are not good on the inside where no one can see. 

What is in your heart, will surely come out in your words someday. You know...after the honeymoon, after that sweet baby grows bigger and exhibits a sin nature (shocking!!) and you get a little  edgy...or very edgy!! 

Being a living sacrifice in everyday life could mean:

  • Cheerfully doing the laundry or dishes. 
  • It could be finding that urgent paper your husband needed pronto presto without even a thought of complaint. 
  • It could be wrapping yourself around your husband in bed tonight!! 

I have been reading the book, The Love Dare (re-reading and re-reading the first few chapters is more like it) and here is what it says:

"Kindness is love in action. 
If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, 
kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. 
Patience avoids a problem; 
kindness creates a blessing. 
One is preventive, 
the other proactive. 
These two sides of love 
are the cornerstones 
on which many of the other attributes...
are built.

Love makes you kind. 
And kindness makes you likeable. 
When you're kind, 
people want to be around you. 
They see you as being good to them 
and good for them."
(The Love Dare, p. 9) 

Just remember, that it is the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ working in your  life that makes it possible to really love your husband. It isn't that he is so difficult to love, but because we are filled with selfishness and pride which gets in the way. This is a journey of learning to be a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God. Learning to love our husbands is living and abiding in the Vine, abiding in Jesus, daily. It is the story of our journey of transformation to holiness because Christ lives in you (does He??)

(The Love Dare, p. 9)

Kind & Thoughtful things to do for your husband:
  • A glass of water 
  • Rub his feet
  • Put out his work clothes
  • Turn down the sheets for him at night
  • Make his favorite supper
  • Make his lunch, make his breakfast
  • In other the unthinkable and serve him!! 

I'd LOVE you to leave a comment!!

Since I live out 'in-the-sticks'... friends, like you are a long ways away!!
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In Christ Alone,

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Lord Doth Lighten My Darkness

What a strengthening poem for those times in life that seem so dark. The Lord is our light in our darkest moments, and then it isn't so dark after all. 

By Jennifer Daniel

The Lord doth lighten my darkness
My loneliness, despair
When everything's against me
And no-one seems to care

The Lord doth lighten my darkness
In deep financial strain
I'll turn to Him for comfort
To meet each pressing claim

The Lord doth lighten my darkness
When sickness takes her hold
I'll lean upon His bosom
And there my hurts unfold

The Lord doth lighten my darkness
When I'm misunderstood
His precious understanding
Has been so 'wondrous good'

The Lord will lighten my darkness
Whatever life will bring
To Him 'Eternal Refuge'
 My fragile heart will cling

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

He Lead You Through the Darkness

Poetry can speak to the depth of our heart when written by someone who personally knows the Jesus as their Savior.  Jenny Daniel is a dear lady who has written many poems that have blessed me on just the day I needed it. I hope and pray that this poems and others which I have shared, will also bless you in whatever need you have today.

By Jennifer Rene Daniel

When the night is endless
and light is never more
He'll lead you through the darkness
and to the morrow's door

He'll whisper words of comfort
and stirring words of hope
And so on firmer, surer feet
on Him, you'll lean and cope

I'll never, never leave you
I'm just a call away
To Me this dark and fearful night
is bright and light as day

This weary road before you
I trampled years ago
The tempter also beckoned Me
but I did answer - No

And now in Heavens glory
My race is finished - won
And you - My child - For Me must here
This life's great challenge run

I wait with caring interest
I watch you from above
Each triumph a Hallelujah
To crown your Saviour's love

And when the storms rage strongest
I'll know to say - Enough!
Look up - take care - go on - go on
Your race - your race - is almost won!

Friday, April 13, 2012

His Loving Care by Jennifer Rene Daniel

His loving care - a mantle tender warm
To brave the roughest seas, the fiercest storm
His loving care - when all seems gone astray
And every fibre cries - too much to-day!

His loving care? Yet tears flow through the night
When all seems dark and satan dims the light
Oh bloodwashed child of God, hear angels cry
He loves and cares - do not His name deny.

And when in heaven all is said and done
And thou through trials thy crown hast won
Thy voice will ever long to sing
The loving care and mercy of thy King.

who is an evangelist in South Africa. 
They are humble, godly people 
and I know would just be so blessed to listen to his sermons.
He visits our church annually. What a blessing!! 


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