My Country Quest

Follow along our journey back to the land. This is where we will record our thoughts, musings and dealings with terrible dragons right here for your viewing pleasure.

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Location: Missouri, United States

Friday, August 03, 2007

Melancholy Musings

I should really go back and see how many times I've blogged here and have included the word "melancholy" to describe my mood. Ugh. And it's not lack of faith but more likley TOO much faith. Pushing uphill, following a dream, dragging less-than-excited children behind, fighting the demons who would love to see me trip and fall... all this with the belief firm in this thick head of mine that I WILL SUCCEED. Maybe not as the world views it, or even the modern church, but I will not be cast down. I will not lose. WHen the day is done and I rest at last, I believe I will look back and see that the path I wore down for future generations was a good one. Rocky... hard... but a good one. I pray that in that day I will look back and sit beside the Lord and he will say "Well done." :-) I hope. I have faith. I believe.

Still, I'm tired. The fight is a hard one, the journey long and often lonely. Not many understand what I'm about and not many can I even share the vision with. What am I saying? Perhaps 2 people int he entire world actually understand what I'm working towards and what I dream of accomplishing with my life and my children's lives. Frustrating. And maddening. And I'm tired today.

Looks like we have found a bigger house to move into, more land, out in the country. More than I could have imagined ever owning. It is my inheritance... my hill of Zion... my dwelling place. More than an address. I sense that. More than just a place to sleep at night. And I'm not over-spiritualizing it either. God's hand is the ONLY way I ended up with this new place for the price I got it at. It is unheard of. Only God's hand won it for me. I am coming into that "place of abundance" Jehovah-jireh promised so many months ago... and it is beautiful. And lots of work. :-) And I'm tired. I'll post pictures as soon as I get them. Hopefully this weekend.

Sorry to whine at you all. It is a blog afterall. You can't always come away encouraged from my ramblings. :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


deep dark oceans of sweat and tears
towering mountains of crippling fears
I traveled over and through and between
and on my Friend's hand I learned to lean

valleys and fountains they dotted my way
and ravens did feed me by night and by day
there were moments of light when the storms did cease
and I glimpsed that fair land: the city of PEACE

woefully inadequate were my walking shoes
beginning again another path I would choose
but this piece of travel belonged only to me
and another man's map it could not me lead

I view now a new path on up ahead
and though I can't tell where this one has led
I do know the mountains and oceans to swim
will serve to mold me and bring me to Him

Long Time

I hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted anything! SO much going on here. Work, work, work....

I'm still home with the children on a daily basis, still attempting to homeschool though I admit the past school year has been pretty much a wash-out in terms of our original goals. We learned more about communication, dealing with hurts, re-evaluating EVERYTHING. That stuff takes TIME! :-) Anyhow.... Austin is working a summer job in construction - it has been good for him. He is resolved to get serious about school this fall so he can get a job that 1)pays better and 2) realizing he will be old "someday" with education he can work something that is not so physically demanding. hehehehe

I am still plugging along on the midwifery studies, and my EMT course begins in August. I'm nervous about that because it has been SO long since I was in school. YIKES.

The other children are all doing ok. It is still hard somedays. Abby cried yesterday, wondering why "everyone else has a Daddy" and she doesn't. What do I say? I tell her she still has a Daddy, but she is very astute. For all practical purposes she does NOT have one. No one to tickle her at night, tell her she's pretty, take her out for ice cream. Luke asked me just last night "Do all daddy's go away sometimes?" No Luke. Not all Daddy's do.

I am praying about finding some sort of work. I can't seem to shake this inkling that I will be needing some extra money in the near future. That I should make some sort of short term goal for meeting out physical needs. Right now we're ok, but the future is looming dark ahead right now. So pray if you read this, that God would be in ABSOLUTE CONTROL (like He isn't already!) of any decisions I make regarding work/future plans.

Love you all.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Life of a Boy

catching fishes and frog legs
.22 shells and powder kegs...
this is the life of a boy

dirty grins and jars of bugs
sneaking cookies and rootbeer mugs...
this is the life of a boy

having a rabbit's foot for luck
grown-up playthings and buying a truck
this is the life of a boy

favorite jeans and going to proms
killing the big buck and driving to Mom's
this is the life of a boy

admitting he's wrong and making a show
kissing the girl or letting her go
this is the life of a boy

working hard and being a slob
best friends and bass boats ~ that first great job
this is the life of a boy

swimming in summer and playing in snow
shaving his whiskers and letting them grow
this is the life of a boy

knowing he's worth all of his pay
finding arrowheads and a wife someday
this is the life of a boy.

Mother's Manifesto

Always smile and be impressed when your son brings you wildflowers.
Blame the sneeze on the neighbors cat.
Never make a joke about his accomplishments - keep his bragging rights intact.
Gently rebuke him if he uses a bad word, reminding him that his speech is a large part of how the world will measure him.
Give him a hammer and nails, cardboard and glue, a hole punch and stapler - and take pictures of whatever he builds.
Never lie to him, no matter how hard the truth is.
Always trust him with the biggest responsibility he can handle.
Challenge him, encourage him, cheer him on.
Reward him openly for a job well done.
Read to him the most exciting, most adventurous stories you can find, and encourage him to live life BIG when he grows up.
Tell him Bible stories, but leave the "moral lessons" for the Holy Spirit to teach.
Just excite him with the reality of life with Jesus.
Be a living example of the qualities you wish to teach him.
Work hard, tell the truth, keep your word, be noble and trustworthy.
Be the woman you want him to find for a wife someday.
Let your daughter be everything God created her to be.
If it's a scientist or a pianist or a mother of many sons, let her BE.
Tell her she's pretty at least once a day.
And make sure she has at least one dress she LOVES to wear.
Teach her to cook whatever she wants.
A souffle' is NOT too hard for an 8 year old to make.
Let it be her specialty.
Make matching aprons and sundresses, and cloud paint with her in the summer time while you lie in the summer grass.
Teach her to dream big, hold her hand when she jumps and when she falls, then help her get up and try again.
Hang out laundry together, listening to her chatter about her latest project, latest picture, latest best friend, and babydolls.
Never say she talks too much.
A girl has thousand's of words to speak everyday.
Just like a woman does. Be there to listen.
Trust her with a lion's share of responsibility and chores. She will be a mother someday.
Teach her to love Jesus, not because she SHOULD but because she sees you contentedly loving Him.
Be the wife, mother, sister, friend, neighbor that you wish her to be when she grows up. Let her see it in you.
Don't preach, nag, whine, threaten or guilt-trip to try to illicit good behavior from them.
Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
Smile alot. Remember what it feels like to be a child.

Friday, April 20, 2007


I know I have spoken of this often on here - or at least eluded to it - but the most difficult lesson for me to learn has been that of surrender. Not surrender as in a battleground surrender. Not one of defeat or a melancholy loss. But a surrender like that kind you feel when you're in a hot tub. The "every muscle relaxed" kind of surrender. Let the current in that river take you where it will and determine to enjoy the view along the way - that kind of surrender.

I remember last summer quite vividly when things were not going well in my marriage. We had tried everything, I had tried everything, I had sought counsel to no avail, nothing was working. I was hopeless. I sat in the back yard, crying my eyes out over the pain of it all, and I had a vision. Now I know, some people don't believe in visions and such, and that's fine. I still know I had one. :-) It lasted only a second. I was up to my neck in a river. The white-water kind of river with my body flailing out behind me as the water tried to pull me in. I saw my terrified face as I grasped to the stony edge. I heard the Lord say, "Let go."

"But I'll drown! This river will kill me!"

"Let go."

"But I can't! The kids need me! I won't give up Lord! I can't!"

"Just let go."

So I did, and instantly the water calmed and I saw myself floating peacefully down a strong current still, but now on my back staring up into the blue blue summer sky, enjoying the clouds as they floated by above me. I was at peace, I was relaxed. I let go. I surrendered. I awoke in my Adarondak chair a bit later still in my backyard, the summer sun smiling down on me. And BOY has it been a RIDE since I surrendered! But it's the kind I want to buy a t-shirt for to remember the occasion! Exhilerating! Scary! Take-my-breath-away shocking at times. But surrendered.

God does not call us to commit emotional suicide in the name of "Christianity" or "being a good wife" or even "being a good mother". He calls us to surrender those emotions. Stop fighting them. They are there. Accept them. Look at them. Taste them, touch them, accept them, understand why they are there. Often they are there as weapons of warfare. Meant to cause our demise or at least wound us. When I let go and look them full in the face I can see them for what they are. Kindof like that shadow on the wall at midnight that looks JUST like a crouching thief but when investigated turns out to be nothing more than a sofa cushion? Yeah. Like that.
So pick up that fear, that pain, that depression. Pick it up like a rock you stubbed your toe on. Taste it. Smell it. Shine the Light on it. Then let go and float on down your river. I promise you ~ the ride will be more than you ever dreamed it could be.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Joy In This Morning

“Joy comes in the morning” the old hymn says. And it certainly has today. It’s 7:12 am and I feel as though I am weightless. Completely carried by something bigger than myself.

You know those little girls you see... every spring? Holding hands and wearing bracelets and wreaths of dandelions all over them? And they dance and sing in a circle until they all fall down? Giggling?

That’s me. It’s a beautiful day because I’m alive. I need no other reason to find my joy today.

Speaking of dandelions, the bane of any yard manicurist’s existence, I love them. They are “weeds” by all accounts and purposes. Yet they shoot up, defying someone to spray them dead or perhaps knowing they will be and choosing to shine out their goldenness anyway. If you look at them though, in-depth like I am prone to, you see that they have an amazing ability to bloom where they AREN’T planted. They bloom wherever they take a notion to! Of course they come from seeds, but no purpose-ness has chosen to place them right THERE or over HERE other than the whim of the wind. And if anyone takes the time to really see them it is noticed that they are quite tasty deep fried in a batter like fried green tomatoes! Lots of nutrients in them, the “hairy” factor goes away in the grease. And you remember don’t you? Picking up that dandelion seed head thingy (sorry for such an unscientific name) and smiling, making a wish and BLOOOOOWING? Watching until you can’t see the little umbrellas anymore as they make their way across the world? Even in their demise, whether it be in a pot of bubbling grease or on the wind as a puff-ball of seeds, they spread joy.

Lord, let me be a dandelion today. :-)


this simple life - the life of ease
floats all about me on the breeze

like maple seeds in early spring
just let go and see 'em take wing

What Does God Require?

About a year ago I came across a list of the 49 commands of Christ. I thought, ‘Wow! That’s awesome! Now I can know exactly what it is that God requires, and I can teach it to my children!’ Yes. It is an awesome resource, and I am amazed that even though I came to know the Lord at 7 years old, I was unaware of some of them. So I’ve learned a lot. But I am in a new season now - one of complete dependence, of SIMPLICITY, of ease?, of trust, of LETTING GO. Because my human-ness is such a dead-weight. My personality is contrary to this "surrendered life". (More on that below). Then a month ago the Lord led me to this verse in my time with Him. And it sums up what it is He wants me to “know” in my head about serving Him.

What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give Him?
Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?
No, O people, The LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
~Micah 6:8

Some might say (and I did) that to “do what is right” we must be in the Word, digging it out, charting our course, planning against attack, etc. etc. Yes and no. Yes because the Word of God is a living 2-edged sword, one we need to be fully capable of wielding during a time of spiritual attack as well as during the daily mundane. No, because the life He calls us to, or at least the one He has called me to, is one of surrender. Complete reliance everyday on Him. Even in knowing what it is that is “right”. And for me, my head gets in the way of doing that. My personality is to research, to dig, to plan, to prioritize, to HUMANIZE the whole process of following after God.

A friend shared a testimony she heard of a woman who recently passed on. She said, “You know, I get up every day and say, ‘Lord, this is Harriet. What are we going to do today?’ “ That’s what I want to say. Every day. That is “doing what is right”. Not offering blood sacrifices or offering up my firstborn children’s lives, or any of the other self-pleasing methods I have employed in the past in my endeavor to “serve God”.

And oh how I love mercy! One reason is because I need it so desperately! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t mess up ROYALLY and need pardoned. I frequently echo the words “Be merciful unto me O God, a vile sinner.” Mercy is one of my favorite attributes of God! It is something I truly seek to offer others too, probably too often as I tend to overlook faults to the point of idiocy (some would say) ! But I don’t share that sentiment. Mercy is something one can never have too much of. Of course knowing that mercy doesn’t always mean handing out a “Get Out of Jail Free” card helps temper my understand of what mercy IS and how to walk that out.

As for walking humbly with my God - goodness, how could I walk any other way? Yet I know, just by really believing that I am walking humbly before God means I’m probably NOT. Hehehe That statement “I AM humble” generally signals a splinter of pride digging in somewhere. So I won’t say “I’ve got this one down. Look at my life!! How could I NOT be humble?” I will say rather that I TRY to get this one down. Everyday.

This verse reminds me so much of the other scriptures in the New Testament where Jesus really brings it home for us. It’s like he’s saying, “Keep it simple, Stupid. Don’t try to create a methodology out of it. Don’t try to create a program. Just keep it simple. Because it is. If it weren’t we’d still be doing the blood sacrifice/priests in fancy robes/thick curtains/keeping you from Me routine.”

Ok. I think I get it now. Goodness, God is working on me. I have the shavings lying about at my feet to prove it. :-)


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Perfection Revealed

Human perfection is, by it's very nature, base and defiled. It stands in the limelight of idoltry's glow and says, "I did it. I arrived. Look at me. Aren't I great? Aren't you proud of me?" And despite the fact that it doesn't even exist, it puffs itself up with each pat on the back. "I worked very hard at achieving this." it says.

Achieving what?

For where is perfection apart from Christ?

And where is success except at the foot of the Cross?

All of my "accomplishments" (and I am hard pressed to think of ANY at the moment) are dust rags. You know the kind? The old socks that are stained and full of holes and otherwise usless for anything but picking up dust? My very best is only "good" on the surface. Look deeper and you'll find something lacking. No doubt. And it is only visibly "good" because of the grace of God towards me, a vile sinner. I AM NOTHING in myself, but through the amazing love of God, I AM EVERYTHING He wants me to be.

Because you see, and I am learning, I have alot to offer the world. I have alot to offer my family, my friends, my grocery check-out lady, my postman, my neighbor. I have alot to offer BECAUSE I AM HERE. God PUT me here, so I must have something to give. And I am resolved and SURE, for the first time in my life, that the people who know my will be glad they do someday. Granted, it takes a special type of person to be touched by me and not repulsed or shocked or otherwise appalled by me sometimes, lol. Because it is surely not because of what I can do or can't do, regardless of my "accomplishments" or "achievements" but for the simple fact that Jesus reached down, picked the dirtiest, most hole-filled sock in the pile and decided to use it. And when He picks something up to use, you can be sure that He will "accomplish that good work" which He begins.


I can't wait to see what He does with me.

Resurrection Sunday

It was 6:10 am as I sat down in the back row at my brother and sister-in-law's church Easter Sunday morning. It had been quite an ordeal getting everyone ready and there even close to "on time". Abby lost a shoe, Austin couldn't find his church shirt, etc. When I woke my 6 year old up he said, rather gruffly, "What are we doin'?"

"We are going to chuch honey. Remember?"

"This is crazy. It's still dark outside. God's not up yet."

Hmmm... point taken. hehehehe

We all shuffled into the over 100 year old building, sat down in the back row and began singing along with the hymns. Several things struck me, the chief being the timelessness of Sunday morning Easter services. Everybody is in their "best", little girls hair is curled, flowers poking out of buns, little white gloves on some of them. The boys shuffling and pulling on ties, the women breathing shallow because of girdles and being self-concious as the first of spring dresses show their winter "stores". The men, some still vaugely sleeping, trying to be interested, some obviously moved by the importance of the day, the teens looking for counterparts through sideways glances and blushing cheeks as one and all try to keep their minds on the sermon.

I tried to picture the church 100 years ago. About 1907, in this farming community there would have been horses and wagons hitched and waiting on the post that still stands there for the job. Our cars waited and steamed after being driven just as the horses sides would have been heaving from their work. There was a cold draft at our feet in this old building just like there would have been 100 years ago. I pictured a wood stove in the corner pumping out heat while the older folks and babies were seated closest to it. The thermostat was mounted on the wall taking it's place, doing the same thing. I saw the preacher, then in the formal "preaching" clothes of a Methodist minister, now in a suit and tie. Different, yet the same. I saw the wooden cross that had been erected in the front yard for the occasion, which wore a purple drape of fabric on Friday, now cloaked in shining white. The belfry stood shiny white in the backdrop - the same as it had 100 years ago. The wooden pews and stained glass windows were shiny then as now, and an obvious pride in their community and their faith was on all their faces. I began to take note of the year the hymns were written, and I saw that most of them were "new" 100 years ago but were obviously classics immediately as their message spoke so eloquently of the Cross and it's work.

I watched as the mother in front of me tried to quietly evoke a smile out of her 3 year old as he reeeeally wanted to go to the bathroom or some such thing. Anything to get him out of that hard pew for a moment. She succeeed, as countless mothers have in years past. I saw an older man reach for his wife's hand during a special song, The Lord's prayer was recited, prayer requests and updates of people in the community were shared and prayed over. The same. Just the same.

There is a timelessness to the Gospel that continually amazes me. It's easy to see that basically, it has remained unchanged throughout the centuries. The message is still the same at it's core. Theologically speaking nothing has changed. The Cross is still the Gospel. But it is amazing to me too that the method of the message, at the heart is still the same as well in some churches. Community, caring, pulling together, formalities that may or may not have anything to do with pleasing God come into play ~ dependent on the culture of the people worshipping together. It amazed and humbled me to realize - to really take in and accept, that we are worshipping today much the same as the 1st century believers did. Based on community and local culture, all done through their very real faith and love of God. I could tell, then as now, that if one of those people needed anything, anytime, that group of believers would be there. Quietly, inobtrusively, they would be there for each other.
That sack of groceries would show up just in time with a note saying "God loves you." and be otherwise unsigned. The house that was hit by a tornado would be quickly covered by tarps and immediate needs of food and shelter met. The hard-working and until now self-sufficient old farmer down the road that had heart surgery last week would have his cattle fed without anyone injuring his pride by making a big "project" out of it. The new baby born a few days back would recieve gifts of blankets and rattles and tiny hair brushes. The new mother would find several casseroles on her countertop after the visiting ladies left the house. The newly widowed woman that lives next door to the church would recieve phone calls when she would rather not talk to anyone, all in the name of love. Of community, of Christ. And she would feel better. Comforted. Not alone.
Isn't that the message of the Cross? I think so.
I think so.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Everything and More

I'm trying to figure out, in my mind, something that cannot be understood by this dung heap, though God does give me glimpses here and there.

It is the unfailing grace and love of God
towards wicked, depraved, sinful man.

How could God call David, a fornicator by todays standards, a "man after God's own heart"? Because He is Jehovah Tsidknu, God our righteousness! David did not lean on his own righteousness. God WAS his righteousness. He knew it, and made no pretenses about being anything other than a fallen, wicked, sinful, un-worthy man. David had no righteousness in himself. He didn't need any. God was that in his stead.

How could He love with an everlasting love Israel, who were hell-bent on disobeying and whining? An adulterous and stiff-necked people? Because He is Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider! He provided for them when their disobedience brought them into a place of want!!! He provided the love He sought from them by turning their hearts back towards Himself and forgiving AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.

How could He love me, who has never done anything lovely, never done anything worth loving when examined in the light of God's holy righteousness? Because He IS LOVE. He doesn't need us to bring anything lovely to Him in order for us to be lovely. HE IS LOVE. He brings it with him when He comes. lol I am humbled right down to the floor, my face in the dust, at His mercy, His lovingkindness, His righteousness, His GRACE.

Jesus is like the dinner guest who brings the meal with him and washes dishes when he leaves.

He is like the car you have given to you that comes with a mechanic in the trunk and a lifetime "BUY IT FREE" card from O'Reily's Automotive.

He is like the rain that sends umbrellas and flower seeds down first.

He is like roses that grow bandaids alongside the thorns.

He is the Doctor that never charges, heals everytime, and makes house calls.

He is wonderful. And yes, He does ask things of us. He asks us to "be perfect like I am perfect" for goodness sake. Who can do that? We can. Because the perfection He is requiring of us, HE GIVES US day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment.

He is no imposition.

He brings with Him - free for the taking - everything that He asks me to give Him. Like the Daddy who gives his daughter $5 to buy a Father's Day gift. Just to see her eyes sparkle as she pulls the wrapped box from behind her back.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

1st Encounter

Oh I am so excited!!! We just did our very first "Jesus Thing" in our little neighborhood. There are 8 families that live on our country road. Only 2 are families with a mom and dad living together, at least 2 have a history of incarceration, only 2 couple are married and the other "couples" rotate on a continual basis, with the women being the home owners. It's quite lively here!
So anyhow, the man that lives right next door introduced us to his "wife" about 2 weeks ago. A different "wife" that he lived with the whole time we've know him. Now this newest "wife" had 2 children which he introduced as "his". It's confusing. The children and I smiled politely and wondered what happened to the "old wife"! The boys said laughingly that he must have traded up or something. Then a slience fell over us = a sadness, that this is probably exactly what had happened and we began to pray for Joy (the old wife) hoping she is safe and well wherever she is. Then we began to add the neighbor and his newest wife and children to our prayers at night. Which brings us to this morning!
Abby is learning how to make muffins. She made her first batch this morning with no help from me whatsoever. They were pretty good! Except she broiled the first batch instead of setting the oven on bake. lol Those were crunchy! So there were a few muffins left over and she decided to bring them to the neighbor and invite the children over to play this weekend. It was 10:30. We knocked. He was asleep and came to the door sans shirt, apologizing for the dogs barking at our feet, etc. etc. He was surprised to see us, and when Abby told him the reason for the visit he teared up and explained that his wife and the children didn't live with him at the moment. It seems that her probation officer didn't fancy her leaving the county without his permission and so she was now under house arrest at her previous residence.
We don't know the whole situation, don't need to. It became startling clear to us, a fact which we knew but didn't know what to do about, that this man needs Jesus. Not because his life is full of "sin" and depravity, not becuase he was asleep at 10:30 and isn't working at the moment, not because his house trailer is falling in around him and he sleeps with dogs inside and who knows what else, not because his pickup truck is full of beer cans. But because his heart is broken. Abby articulated this to me better than any theologian ever could.
"Oh mama!" she said when the door closed. "He really needs Jesus doesn't he? I mean, his heart is broken and that kind of heart can only get fixed by Jesus can't it Mama?"
Yes daughter. That's the kind Jesus loves the most.
So we resolved to make a weekly trip to one neighbor on our road with either muffins or cookies, or an invitation for supper with us. This is what Jesus would have done isn't it? We've been listening to the book of Matthew and Mark and a bit of John too, and what stuck me was how unassuming Jesus was. He didn't blast through the door with fire and brimstone and beat anyone over the head with "the Gospel". He WAS the gospel. He lived it, from providing wine at a wedding feast, to healing the hurt and broken. I might not be able to heal anyone, but we can be a balm to the hurting - the hands and feet of Jesus, ministers to the ones the rest of the world has cast aside as useless.
Help us Lord. They need You. Help us be your hands and feet.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Peas & Ponderings

I just came inside from planting peas. There's an interesting thing about peas. No matter how many you plant, there is never enough to put up for next year. At least not around here. I could make a meal of peas with real butter.... mmmhhmmm!!!

The dirt was still cool to my fingertips as I pressed down and tucked in the shriveled little pea seeds. I thought of how it is when we plant seeds of faith in cold ground. Seeds of hope in sterile soil. Seeds of future in the cool chill of memories past. It never ceases to amaze me just how awesome it is to take something SO small and insignificant (have you ever tried to eat a pea seed?) and turn it into some delicious.

It's like that with God of course. Taking the ugly shriveled up messes that our lives are and tucking them into the cool earth of humanity and SOMEHOW turning it into a miracle. Right before our eyes.

I am a walking miracle. Maybe I have a limp now, maybe my head isn't held up quite so high, but I'm a miracle. You know why? Not because of anything I've done with my life. It's quite a wreck actually. You've heard of the Midas Touch? Well... I seem to have been endued with the "Muddy Touch" : everything I touch turns to mud. lol I am a miracle because the God of the Universe, My Jesus, El Shaddai Himself has come down and embedded in me the miracle of faith - the tiny seed of mustard that is growing into a plant that gives shade. That seed of righteousness that can only come to fruition through the fiery trials of this life.

I echo the words of Mary when she said to the angel, "Be it unto me even as thou wilt." Be it as You would have it Lord. Today and for all of my tomorrows, Be it unto me even as thou wilt. And that's the miracle my friends. That seed of faith - that gift from God - has taken root and is growing. Quite miraculous.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Broken Pieces, Beautiful Love

It's amazing to me that Jesus, my very own Jesus, can take the broken pieces of my life - the ruined pieces - the pieces that are useless to anyone else but Him - and make something beautiful out of them. I don't know what He is creating yet, nor how soon I will get to see the whole picture or even glimpses of His master plan for my life, but I see Him working on it.
And I know it's a masterpiece.
So if some of the things you read on here trouble you, or if you think I'm headed in a wrong direction on something and you are tempted to pity my "falling": By all means, share your heart with me. Let's talk. Iron sharpens iron. But know that my heart - the very soul of myself - is seeking to serve and follow Jesus like I never have before. Know that. Trust that I am following the Master. Sometimes His footprints are faint and I have to seek them out, sometimes there is a flashing marquee pointing the way for me. But I'm following close. Closer than I ever knew possible. And for the first time in my life I am EXCITED about what God has in store for me. I no longer fear the future (well, at least not much! lol) I no longer feel the need to micro-manage every detail of my life to make sure I am "right with God". I just live. I just love Him. It is so wonderful.
I didn't know loving Jesus could be this good. I really didn't. And if you don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about - pray for it. SEEK HIM. He's right there. His hand is held out, beckoning to you like a bridegroom does His bride.

"My lover said to me, `Rise up, my beloved, my fair one, and come away. For the winter is past, and the rain is over and gone. The flowers are springing up, and the time of singing birds has come, even the cooing of turtledoves. The fig trees are budding, and the grapevines are in blossom. How delicious they smell! Yes, spring is here! Arise, my beloved, my fair one, and come away.' "
~Song of Songs 2:10-13 NLT

Thursday, March 08, 2007

De-Dragoning Me

"Divorce is like death." all the books say. The radio personalities, the pastors, the counselors, the well-meaning friends, the professionals. But it's not. It's worse. It's sortof like walking around a funeral parlor for the rest of your life. The person (in this case the marriage) never gets buried. Yeah, you have a piece of paper that says something neat and tidy like "Dissolution of Marriage effective on this date blah blah blah." But it never really ends. You have given some of the best years of your life to someone who has cast them aside like a McDonald's BigMac wrapper. Those years don't come back.

And the pain of it all is so very real. The failure. The shame. The FAILURE is the worst for me, signaling a VERY real issue I have with PRIDE. I used to say that "Agreeing to a divorce is like saying I don't believe in God anymore. God can do anything. Even save my marriage." The tricky part for me was excepting that He might not. He wants to, His word tells me that, but there is human will involved. No matter how I'd like to lean on the Sovereignty of God for my agenda and say the HE WILL change someone's heart the way I think He should, it just might not happen. God is sovereign. People are not always obedient to the Sovereign. I didn't want to accept that, and I felt I had to take anything that was offered in order not to thwart God's will.

It's ugly. All this is messy, so very UNTIDY. See, I'm the type that likes to make lists. I rarely get to everything on them, occasionally I even lose them and don't get one thing crossed off, but I like to make them. Boy can I make a pretty, neat and tidy, impressive list! Then there is reality. lol

This divorce business was NOT on my list. Shawn had a vasectomy reversal about 18 months ago, trusting God with our family size. I had a LIST!!!! I wanted more children, I wanted a happy husband, I wanted cheerful, well-adjusted, happy and godly children!!! I wanted my house perfectly in order every minute of the day. I wanted to be the perfect "Debi Pearlite" wife and have a husband who adored me...... lol

Do you see a trend here?

I do.

PRIDE goeth before a fall. God is revealing so much pride in my life. And he is methodically "De-dragoning" me, stripping away the layers of self to reveal JESUS more fully. 'Cause He's in there. Down deep. I talk to him everyday so I know He's there. Now if only other's could see Him in me. I hope I am smaller when the experience is over.

Listen to Me Good

Here is an expert from a book I'm reading for my midwifery studies. Margaret Charles Smith worked for more than 30 years as a midwife to the poorest women in her county, black and white, generally without pay of any kind. Serving God through her gifting as midwife. She generally ahd to work another job too to support herself and her sons - picking cotton, hoeing fields. She remembered the slave days, and they weren't that long ago. Certainly they did not end in Alabama with the Emmancipation Proclaimation. An excellent read for first-person historical narrative - even if you have no interest in midwifery. And a perfect example of community and service as Jesus taught.

Listen to me good now, when the Lord frees your soul, you can't hold it. You got to get out, if you don't do any more than talk to the bushes and posts and things. You don't have a private religion when the Lord frees your soul. You have been forgiven of your sins. He gives you a clean heart. Some folks go to church right today to see how I can outdress you. See So-and-So, and wasn't that dress a mess she had on. Well. That ain't no way to be. You supposed to let your heart go out for the person that doesn't have it. If you could, talk to some more people. Let's do such-and-such for So-and-So. That's what God wants. That's God right there. Right there in that. He loves His children. But some folks go to church just to see if they can outdress you. They work hard and get some fine clothes and just go to church and twist, twist, twist so's you can see it. I just want to be clean and decent. I don't want to be looking like I come out the cotton patch. That's what God wants. Dress? He don't want it. Finery? He don't want it. He wants the pure in heart. Shall see God. That's right. Them's what see God.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Spiritual Elitism vs. Simple Obedience

Spiritual Elitism vs. Simple Obedience
I am living, and so are you, in a world where we take for granted that the denim-skirted-matching-homemade-jumper-clean-cut family sitting next to us in church is born again. It's infuriating to me that we view modesty and apparel as a thermometer for the condition of one's soul. Not SO. The more I see it, the more frustrated I become and the more willing I am to cast off any of the trappings of this life. Denim skirt included. Because I was a Pharisee of the Pharisees.. goodness, I still am. Listen to me rail. Sorry. But I do know that I want CHRIST. Nothing more, nothing less. And I'm willing to accept and obey Him however He wants me to. Please forgive me my rantings. I am disgusted with myself.
Now I am being told in no uncertain terms that for ME (please read that part friends) for me, wearing a skirt all the time was something I was doing to gain favor in God's eyes and mans. A badge of honor. A piece of respectibility. Something that raised my merit, my worthiness. I was trying to convince everyone around me that I WAS a godly woman. And I was trying to do it with the outward apparel. lol Funny, the scripture that says NOT to focus on outward apparel is the one I never cited in respect to clothing!!!

Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; ~1 Peter 3:3

I wanted to believe that I had pursued God, obeyed His every word right down to the clothes I wore. I NEEDED to believe that I had found every little thing I could find to obey and had done so to the best of my ability. And the clothes and hair was the easiest part and the one that "showed".

The energy I was putting into "looking" like God wanted me to look (or so I thought) should have been put to better use. Specifically, as outlined in the following verse:

But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. ~1 Peter 3:4

These Scriptures tell me that what I wear within the realm of modesty shouldn't amount to a hill of beans to me or anyone else. Because it certainly doesn't to God. On the same subject, I just finished reading the book about Amy Carmichael "A Chance To Die" written by Elizabeth Elliot. She was strictly chastized by her sending missions department for adopting native clothing. Not only did it call to question her respectability (no corset for goodness sake!) but also her obedience to authority as a woman AND a missionary. She found no scriptural reasons to maintain Victorian fashion in the heat of India, nor did she find it to be in any way beneficial to her calling there as a missionary. Quite the contrary.

There, as here, there was a stigma attached to English dress. They stood out, were easily identified as "missionaries" and thus the lost they were trying desperately to reach closed their hearts to them. BECAUSE OF THEIR DRESS. They perceived that the missionaries held themselves loftily above them. And many many of them did. This perception closed many doors to the gospel. And many of the doors were closed by "acceptable and Christian attire" that the missionaries wore.
Of course I'm not trying to simplify the issue of reaching native cultures by delegating all of the problems to fashion. Not at all. There were a great many things that hindered the Gospel message then as they do today, the simplest of which is choice of apparel.

What I am saying is that Amy was not afraid to break ranks, to be radical, to slip quietly and unobtrusively into the midst of the lowest of lowlies. She could NOT have done this dressed in over 20 pounds of English costume. Practically or theologically, it would have been wrong and unfruitful for her to have tried. In fact she did. It was quite a long time before she switched over her entire wardrobe to the sari.

But when she did. Look out world!! What blessings and miracles began to flow through her fingers into the hands of the outcasts!!! Obviously, her change of clothes didn't effect this change. Her change of heart did. Her change of "I have an agenda." to "I will obey." changed everything.
And I want to see miracles and reach the lost in my little circle as well. Just as radically as Amy Carmichael or Elizabeth Elliot, or Mary Magdalen, or any of the other women in history who served in their communities through their simple acts of kindness and obedience to the Holy Spirit's leading and His Word.
Let me not be guilty of keeping tradition at the cost of keeping the commandments of God.
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the
commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God,
ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups:
and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them,
Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep
your own tradition. ~Mark 7:7-9

Jesus, Friend of Sinners

DISCLAIMER: I’m going to preface this little essay by making a couple of disclaimers. One) I’m not preaching to you. I’m talking to myself, or rather, regurgitating what Jesus has been telling me lately. So if you take offense at me personally, dig deeper. Get out the Scriptures, pray, seek God. Then feel free to throw tomatoes if you want to. I’m a really good spaghetti sauce maker. ;) Two) I am realizing the amazing ability God has of custom-creating an educational program for each one of us. So if this course I’ve been assigned doesn’t fit your needs, please show grace and allow it to be as it the Lord intended it: for ME. Now… with no further ado…

Jesus said, “Be ye holy, even as I am holy.” If holiness was illustrated in the life of Christ, and none of us will argue his holiness, what did Jesus do while he was here? While he was in the flesh? He was known as the “friend of sinners”. He was ridiculed for that, cast out by the religiously pious leaders of his community, frowned upon. Tongues clicked as He walked by, heads shook. Only the lowly and destitute, the really AWFUL people saw Him for what He was and loved Him. For He was and IS the bodily, flesh and blood epitome of GRACE and LOVE. And that was something the church of Jesus’ day had failed miserably to show them. I am of the opinion that many of us, I at least, have failed in that endeavor as well. I am resolved to be right where Jesus would be if He were walking the earth today. Among the lowly. The cast-offs. The lost and undone. Jesus was holiness in the flesh. And I want to be holy - to keep that command to be holy. So I have to look deep into what holy IS. It’s not what I thought.

In all of my “well-doing” as home school mom, Proverbs 31 Wife-Wanna-Be, I forgot the most important call on my life. To show God’s love and grace to anyone and everyone who would hear it. And I’m ashamed to admit that I was so busy trying to create perfect, cookie-cutter children, molding their flesh and not their hearts, that I didn’t show these things to them either. I delegated “ministry” to men. I sat back on my laurels and consoled myself that making myself, my appearance, appear holy I could be a witness. No. I was wrong. Dead wrong. And I’ll tell you why.

The harder I tried to “look holy” or set-apart, look like a “light” , etc. the more I lose credibility with the world as a bringer of light. Either I’m a light or I’m not. Why am I trying so hard to “look” like something? The world isn’t fooled. Doesn’t matter at all whether I’m a candle, an incandescent light bulb or a florescent tube. If I am in Christ and have His light, then I’ll shine. I will attract the bugs. (sorry, couldn’t resist) The package doesn’t matter unless it dims my light. And I don’t think pants dim my light. In our culture, often I am finding, dresses do with regard to drawing sinners to myself so I can share that light.

When I ask an unbeliever (or someone who we judge to be an unbeliever based on their lack of church attendance) why they don’t want what “I” have. I am finding that many of them already have Jesus. They just don’t want the church. They don’t want the hypocrisy, the fake, the money hungry, the power-plays. Good for them. Jesus and His first disciples didn’t want the modern church either. They don’t want to see a woman in a dress and head covering yelling at her children (not that anyone I know does that) or ignoring and belittling her husband and then have that same woman try to pretend to be “holy“. No amount of calico, long skirts or batiste headgear can cover up the hypocrisy. Often, I am finding, people aren’t rejecting Christianity. Not at all. They are rejecting the church as it exists today. And I was doing more harm than good by trying to stand out, be a “silent witness”. Bunk. Where is that in Scripture???

See, here’s the problem with trying to “look holy”.

People don’t buy it. It’s just too hard of a sell. No one is that “pure”. That “untouched” by the world. No one. Jesus surely wore the clothing of His day, as did the women he was in contact with. Modesty was an issue then, there was prostitution then, and homosexuality, and cross-dressers and pimps. It wasn’t any prettier of a world that Jesus walked into then it is today. Yet he spent all of his time on matters of the heart. Not the flesh. I find it interesting that Jesus didn’t give one sermon on how to dress. Specifically. No. He didn’t. Modesty yes, pants vs. skirts? NO.

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man,neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.
~Deuteronomy 22:5

When I quoted this Scripture (the only one I could find actually) for the “dresses only” argument…BOY! Forgive me LORD!!! I was so WRONG!!!! It is talking about men dressing as women! And women dressing as men! Transvestites!!! Because traditionally in Hebrew culture, men wore skirts. There are roughly a dozen references to men’s skirts. So according to this argument … logically, I am sinning by wearing a skirt!!! And even if one interprets it as is commonly done, then, it could be said that it is part of the old covenant. So do we really want to go there? I can’t even pretend to never eat pork again… goodness. What would I do without bacon? J Can’t obey one without obeying them all can we? (see James 2:10) I think, if it were important to Jesus, He would have told us. Don’t you? He had bigger fish to fry. People were going to hell. Not because of their clothes for goodness sake, nor even of their lifestyle. But because of their HEARTS being far from Him. And I have bigger fish to fry too, since I’ve been hit upside the head with the frying pan (lol).

So there you have it, MY MYTH #1 debunked. I don’t have to wear anything specifically, as long as it is modest, because Jesus judges my heart if He judges anything, not my denim skirt. Don’t panic, my dear dresses-only friends. I honor and accept and respect your position. And I would not for a second try to influence your conviction on the matter. That is the HOly Spirit's job. Not mine. I’m just sharing MY journey here. Not yours. I’m not pointing fingers. Truly. And don’t expect to see me in Levi’s anytime soon. I was raised Pentecostal for pity’s sake. lol But I no longer have an illogical and unproven reason for guilt over wearing them if I choose to. And I am toying with the possibility that they (dresses) may even hinder my ability to share the light if I wear them for the reasons I was wearing them for.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Grace-ful Musings

Just some poems I wrote down about grace and this wonderful world I am waking up to. Of course none of them are very good, but I thought I'd share. Often I can express myself better through a bit of rhyme. ;o)

all about grace i thought i knew
and rode the wind that the holy spirit blew
but i find i sat just on the edge
and the grace that i live now is new
if i answer when god calls
run into his arms to him give my all
he will carry all my hopes
and give them back in a boat that floats
He loves me ~ won't think he loves me not
petals on a daisy ~ a drink when it's hot
He's the one who loves me ~ not the one who loves me not
accept those tears
embrace the fears
jump headlong
into the years
for what comes
is no surprise
to the one
for me who died
"rest in Me" i hear Him say
yet He won't tell me
anything but today!
but then isn't that just it?
a life with christ must be
the life of complete

Thursday, February 22, 2007


If you've never read this book. GET IT... read it. Drink it in, swish it about in your mouth, taste it against the Word, then swallow every drop. Absolutely awesome. "It will change your life." Hate to sound like a New York Time's book reviewer here but it really is a "must-read" if you seek to follow Christ.

by Brother Lawrence

I'll spare you my blather and give a few quotes:

  • "Having found in many books different methods of going to God, and divers practices of the spiritual life, I thought this would serve rather to puzzle me than facilitate what I sought after, which was nothing but how to become wholly God's. This made me resolve to give the all for the all; so after having given myself wholly to God, that He might take away my sin, I renounced, for the Love of Him, everything that was not He, and I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world."
  • "I have quitted all forms of devotion and set prayers but those to which my state obliges me. And I make it my business only to perservere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a single attention, and a general fond regard to God, which I may call an actual presence of God; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God, which often causes me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes also outwardly, so great that I am forced to use means to moderate them and prevent their appearance to others."
  • "I say again, let us enter into ourselves. The time presses, there is no room for delay; our souls are at stake. I believe you have taken such effectual measures that you will not be surprised. I commend you for it, it is the one thing neccesary. We must, nevertheless, always work at it, because not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back. But those who have the gale of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep. If the vessel of our soul is still tossed with winds and storms, let us awake theLord, who reposes it, and He will quickly calm the sea."
  • "I engaged in a religious life only for the love of God, and I have endeavoured to act only for Him; whatever becomes of me, whether I be lost or saved, I will always continue to act purely for the love of God. I shall have this good at least, that till death I shall have done all that is in me to love him."
"At any moment and in any circumstance, the soul that seeks God may find Him, and practice the presence of God."

War Over Me

the demons and the angels
they wage war over me
angel's swords flaming
demon's sharpest darts directed my way

if i ever wondered
how real this god of mine is
i feel His fingertips
as He points the legions away from me


It's so easy to accept what is in our lives. To wake up every morning and take for granted that we are living as Christians just as Christ would have us live. Especially here - our culture herein the Bible-belt has permeated every facet of our lives as women. And it seems odd to me that I never questioned things, never searched the Scriptures, never QUESTIONED. I know why I didn't though - I know now. In my heart I wanted to question but I could not. Because I wasn't ready - it wasn't time. And I didn't search Scripture about alot of things because I was afraid of finding that I would have to swim upstream. And that is tiring. Especially when the life I was already living was UPSTREAM to the world. Being a full-time mom, devoted wife, homeschooling. All of it. But I was afraid of having to swim upstream even among fellow believers. It was frightening to let lose of the shore and I couldn't do it.

There is so much I can't explain, but Christ is doing a BIG work in me. He has barely begun and yet I don't even recognize the old Kelly. I half expect to look in the mirror and see a different person. Blue eyes or something. lol And I don't understand everything He is leading me towards. Some of it seems, at a distance, so at odds with the life I lived before. Out of this knowing, this resolution, this "quest" to serve the Lord with ALL my mind ~ ALL my strength ~ ALL my life, I run into contradictions. And God said that's ok. I'll understand it better by and by. ;)

broken asphalt
mylar balloon
bright blue skies
gath'ring gloom
broken promise
matching gold rings
roses and wine
glass shattering
pervaid the air
leave them be and
you'll see they're fair
for these and other
unknowns you find
complete the beauty
of the divine

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Please accept this post as a disclaimer. And read what might follow in the days ahead at your own risk. I ambeing challenged on EVERY front. Everything I thought I knew about Jesus has been SO shallow. Sisters, we've been living in a box of our own making. God is bigger than our notions, bigger than our understanding, bigger than we could ever imagine. So from this point on, though the beauty of the mundane will likely show up occasionally, this blog is dedicated to chronicling my journey. My journey, my wide path and narrow way... God's way. So please, before you throw tomatoes or think I've gone completely over the edge promise me 2 things:

1. Read what I write here with an open mind towards the Lord. LET HIM TEACH YOU AS HE IS TEACHING ME.

2. Don't be afraid. If you come across something that can't be explained IT IS OK. Accept it, accept that God is God and you are not. And Don't Be Afraid of breaking out of the boxes you've built around yourself.

So there you go, can't say I didn't warn ya.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

I keep wondering if somehow, I'm missing something important. It's as if the world is suddenly in technicolor. I woke up this morning, and have been moving about in a bubble of sorts. Just out of reach of reality. Don't worry - the children are safe. lol

But all of the lies I've been living with - all of the lies that I accepted as truth - the lies I EMBRACED about myself, about marriage, about husbands and men and relationships.... all of them are dead.

And suddenly the harshness of the world I was living in is gone. Reality is that love exists. It is real. Marriage can be SO much more than a cross to bear. Goodness. Though I'm sure there is an element of sacrifice in all marriages, I think that the sacrifie includes bearing one another's burdens. Not bearing both burdens alone.

So I don't know when, or how. But I am whole again and I will never live half a life again. There are hard things still to come I know. And I'm not living in a fantasy world. But there is LIFE to live. An abundant life in Christ. And I'm ready for it.

Bring it on. :o)

Friday, February 09, 2007


Been up for a few hours, lying there on the couch (I sleep there most nights as even the twin size bed is too big and lonely). Praying, I fasted most of yesterday. God is doing big things... I see it, I know it. Yet still I wonder. My faith is SO weak. I think of what the future might or might not hold and I waver.

A lady put this up on the list I'm on yesterday. It really stuck somehow and as I meditated on it, and did my own study, the Lord revealed alot of what will get me through the days.

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."
Proverbs 31:10

"Virtuous in the strongs concordance is defined as : a force, whether of men, means, or other resources. an army, a wealth, a virtue, a strength- able, activity, a band of soldiers, a company, great forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, substance, to train valiantly, valor, war worthy. Notice how none of the meanings that are used to describe the virtuous woman are the frilly, girly, ladylike descriptions that we usually associate with a homemaker! this is a woman who goes into battle for her family and does so with the power of God in front of her, behind her, and in her. this is a woman who calls on her resources that God has given her to protect, fortify, and enrich her family. she knows the world may be against God's principles but she will not let her family fall prey to that. she goes into battle against all the forces that could come against her beloved." ~ tami who is asking for help in applying this to her own life!

I feel the need to plaster this all over the walls of my house. To keep "His words and commandments always before my eyes". I fall prey to doubt and fear so easily. But why? Why? When the Lord of all Creation is at my beck and call? His hand is not shortened that He cannot deliver me. He hears the cries of the innocent. He is my rock and fortress, I will not fear what man may do unto me!!!

But like a child's playground see-saw (do they still have those old-fashioned things?) I go back and forth, sometimes moment by moment in my mind, between victory and utter defeat. What will my Lord do? What is the design He is forming out of this chaos? Because I know, as surely as I am sitting here, that He has a plan. That He will use this mightily.

Wednesday night this week I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to visit the little country church down the road. We were members and attended there when Luke was born and a year or 2 prior to that. I was welcomed so lovingly and found out that Shawn had contacted a deacon and pastor there to testify on his behalf in our court proceedings. They assured me that they would testify but that the truth wold prevail and not to worry. They offered to pray and fast the days of the court hearings, etc. and to help in any way they could.

My prayer is this, "LORD, make me virtuous. Provide the strength and WISDOM I need to be a force to reckon with for You! Make me all you would have me be!!! Change me!!! Guide me moment by moment as I train my children valiantly and make myself worthy and ready for the WAR that wages around me."

Alot of people wonder, I'm sure, why I haven't tried to find work outside of my home. I've been selling things on ebay, doing what I can here at home, praying for opportunities, being very careful on what money is provided. But the reason I haven't gone out a sought a "job" can be summed up in one sentence:

My calling as mother and keeper at home, my annointing from the Lord, has not changed because the captain of this vessel has jumped ship.

Until HE tells me otherwise I will stay at MY post. My children may have lost a father, but they won't lose a mother too. Not because of anything I do. IF the Lord wills it, then so be it. Sign me up. But until or unless HE does it??? No. I will stay at my post, however weary, destitute and lonely I grow. Lord, give me the strength to do this thing I have worded so prettily. Because it's ugly business. Gorilla warfare. But I have my camo washed and pressed and I am dressed for war today. Help me do so for all the tomorrows that are stacked up for me.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Satuday Morning Update

Goodness, I didn't realize it had been that long since I wrote an update on here! Let me see, what have we been doing...

Abby is better, turned out to be stress related and jsut an infection. We changed the antibiotic and she's fine now. (and drinking lots of kefir to replenish her tummy stuff).

It's winter and I keep thinking that I will have time to knit some more. I have picked up my needles in 2 weeks! I have a wrap for myself that I started last fall that isn't finished yet. At this rate it will be summer before it's finished. Being inside is really yucky... day after day... techinically we could get alot of schoolwork done during this cabin-time, but we spend alot of time squelching fever outbreaks instead of studying. lol Ugh. SPRING!!?!?! Where are you???

I got my first seed catalog in the mail last week so I've been planning my garden in my mind since then. Of course I'll plant too much, the weeds will grow like wildfire, and I won't put by as much as I hope to, but still. It's fun to plan. Our dairy goat kids should arrive in May so we have to get the goat complex finished by then. Err.... of course we'll have to START it before we can finish it.... hhhhmmmm.....

It's s bit cold in here. The east side of the house is still open underneath though so that's why. I haven't had the money to even buy straw bales to stack up there. Straw is really high this year. But I figure only a month more to go and we'll be out of cold weather season. The pellet stove is doing very well but it costs a mint to run. I have to buy a bag at a time sometimes with change from the car's ashtray... lol but we stay warm. God provides.

Speaking of car. It is licensed, insured, bonefide LEGAL to drive and drive it we have been! Lots of errands and counseling apopintments, etc. It so wonderful how we had so few of these things to do when I was without a vehicle and the day I got it back the phone started ringing!!! God is good.

That's all for now, I think. Lots to do before spring, and still, not much I can do UNTIL spring.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Wicked Words

We have had a not-so-recent outbreak of calling names among my children. I always abhored the practice but when one of the parents was doing it, well... it was impossible to train out of the younger children in the house until now. After a few days of spanking for each offense and praying about it I came up with this idea:

It is a small bottle with a dropper in it full of apple cider vinegar. It tastes absolutely awful but does no harm. I have them swish their mouths out after a few minutes of "thinking" about what they've said in order to gt the acid away from their teeth. The label reads:

Wicked Word Medicine

Treats: lying, talking back, sarcasm, disrespect,

arguing, hateful words, calling someone names, not saying "Yes, Ma'am."

Ingredients: instruction in righteousness (non toxic and benefical to the child's health)

So far it really seems to be working. Luke especially reeeeeally tries to avoid having to have some. lol He tells the older ones, "oh! Oh! Oh! Say yes ma'am or your gonna have the wicked word medicine!!!" :o)

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Have you ever had one of those days where absolutely NOTHING goes right? I'm sure you have. Well, here is my list of mishaps for Sunday, January 21,2007:

Actually it started at about 1am Sunday morning when I awoke to a loud CRASH beside the wood stove. I jumped up. Abby had accidently knocked over the floor lamp. Austin picked it up (he came rushing downstairs too) and we went back to bed. We woke up an hour later to the smell of heavy smoke in the house. Abby's dearest American Girl doll had met her demise. She had inadvertantly landed off of Abby's bed with her forhead leaning against the stove. RIP Dearest Doll. Joshua wishes to add "What a waste. That thing cost us $111 and only lasted a year."

We woke up to about 4 inches of snow on the ground but decided 3 weeks was longer than we were willing to go without fellowship so we ventured out to church. Our favorite radio station was out (who knows why) so we listened to another christian station. Yawn.... ended up listening to Oldies 95 all the way to church instead. :o) We needed the laughs after dealing with death so early that morning. the children didn't know I was old enough to know all the words to those songs. LOL I'm not but I couldn't convince them of that since, afterall I DID know all the words. lol (That was pretty much the extent of my teenage rebellion. Listening to classic rock & roll. lol)

Luke was like trying to hold onto nitroglycerin during church on Sunday. I had to sit down during the song service because he was so rowdy and anxious! Shawn came by Saturday to try to pick them all up for an overnight and it really set him off. Anyhow, after a couple of loud "Ow!!! You hurt me!" 's (from touching his hand) I just sat down and kept his hands on his lap and his legs still for the rest of the service. At least that was my mission for the rest of the service. I didn't succeed but I didn't give up. That counts right?

Joshua and Abby kept asking to go to the bathroom and Abby really needed to because of her kidneys hurting her so badly (we're not sure what is wrong but they are going to do a sonogram on Tuesday morning). Joshua just THOUGHT he needed to.

I left the lights on in the car that had been lent to me for the weekend so they made an announcement from the puplit about that. It was obvious whose car it was. Shuffle, shuffle.... run outside.

The service was wonderful. Translation: convicting sermon. Ouch. This pill never ceases to be bitter. PRIDE. And there was potluck dinner afterwards which, though I remembered there was on Saturday and cooked something for it, the event slipped my mind on the way out the door Sunday morning so we had to mooch.

On the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart. Abby didn't feel well so I sent Austin and Joshua in. I've done this before with no trouble at all. Well, not today. Austin apparently thought it was great fun to hit his little brother in the back of the head with a loaf of bread while standing in line. Joshua then (being shorter by 2 feet or so) resorted to gorilla warfare and tried to trip him for his trouble. Did I mention they were in the middle of WAL-MART on a busy Sunday afternoon?

My debit card was lost (by my 2 sons the day before) so I could not buy gasoline for the car until I got back into town. We didn't make it to town. After walking up the road a bit to a nearby house Austin got ahold of (guess who??) lovely Ms. Cherie Norris and the Norrismobile headed our way for a rescue. We went and bought gas but had no funnel so had to improvise with a 20oz empty pop bottle. (Gordon was impressed.) The car started and I made it to the gas station.

There I let Austin pump the gas while I went inside to write a check. I looked up as the cashier shreaked, "Oh! OH! OH! OH! OH!" to see the car rolling slowly down the parking lot. Austin was giving chase, pulling on the bumper to try to stop it. Joshua bailed out the back door... Austin jumped in in time to stop it from hitting the curb. [Dear Mr. & Mr.s Feltenstein, Your car is still in working order. Do not worry. Well, at least not much. Just pray.]

I then got home and we couldn't find the house key. I only have one so that was a slight problem. Austin climbed in another way (don't ask) and unlocked the door.

When we got inside it was quite obvious to our sense of smell that Reuben (our cute Christmas puppy **NOT**) was left lose in the house all day instead of being put in his kennel. Yuck. Lovely puppy. He left of "gifts" all over the house.

We changed clothes and had started "Project Dog Do-Do" in time to receive a call from the doctors office saying Abby is on the wrong medication for her kidney infection and to go asap to pick up a different med. We packed up into the car only to find it had a flat front tire.

So, of course there was nothing to do about that. The children payed in the snow for the rest of the evening while I creid and prayed, prayed and cried, thinking single life is NOT what it's cracked up to be.

This morning I took another look at the car tire. Hmm.... just maybe.... we found the hole - obviously from a nail - and took a short sheetrock screw. Just right! Austin screwed it in, we put air in from our air tank and drove to town to have it fixed. It was still full of air after the 11 mile trip to town. FYI, this does work in a pinch.

Oh my... I'm tired all over again just from reading through this entry for typos. If I missed any, please be kind... and pray for my brain function to return to normal soon. The children are beginning to worry. :o)
Also, some are wondering why I'm still borrowing a car when one was so graciously given to us a week ago. Well, it is going to cost quite a bit more than I have to license it so it sits until I have the funds to buy the license and pay the title fees. "More than I have" being $3 to get me through the week. lol And I'm out of laundry soap too. lol oh well... we'll see if that marketing line for selling water filtering systems is true. "There's alot of soap residue in your clothes Ma'am since you don't have a water softener." I'll let you know.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Latest, Greatest Moment

It occurred to me that the greatest moment of my life comes each day at dawn when I wake up, make coffee, sit and read my Bible while the children filter downstairs. I get a sleepy good-morning from all of them then I start cooking breakfast.

I have the greatest children on earth. No. Really. I do. I get tired and worn out, and think, "This is exactly why God ordained 2 parents to raise children together. It takes the energy of 2 people!!!" Whew. I could use a break, I get tired, I yell a little then sit down and cry because the weight of everything I'm going through right now bears down awfully hard on me. And do you know what my children do?

Abby makes me a cup of tea. Austin comes and hugs me and says, "You just need to rest Mom. Please go sit down for a minute." Joshua takes Luke by the hand and goes off in the corner to play quietly with him. But first Luke comes up and kisses me and says, "You're my best friend Mom."

And then every morning, God's mercies are new and I wake up to be blessed again by just being "Mom" to the best kids on the planet. Spilled oatmeal, broken glasses, skinned knees, not enough money to go 'round and all. Blessed I am.