Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thy Lovingkindness, is Better than Life

Psalm 84: 1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her younga place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah

Psalm 4: 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 139:7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

Psalm 63: 1 O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. 3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! 4 I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. 5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.
6 I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. 7 Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Living and Learning

My flowery notebook is listed with the names of five children, keeping track of the times and names of the meds they are given. The house stays messier longer than normal. Dinner times without my big kid helpers (Jake remains feverish and coughing) are a challenge with cranky littles requiring my attention and patience. What was I thinking making oven fried chicken last night? Well, I wanted Jeremy to come home to a good meal, but it was so busy in other ways, I think I should have made something simpler. He loves to come home. He has told me before that when he comes home he feels like he can breathe again. I love to bless him. But last night I was cranky, and so were lots of other munchkins. It would have been more peaceful with a less involved meal.

Nights are presently times for cool cloths, cough medicine, and fever reducing meds. We've even had a bad dream that Daddy lovingly took care of. Have I told you how beautiful our town looks from this view at 1, 2, 3, and 4 am? :) It really does. The lights along the streets, and the town house are picture perfect.

A slow pace at home, not resenting but nurturing the needs, abiding in the Great Love from above, praying for wisdom regarding Dr. visits, activities at home, and simple, simple, but loving, are the things I am gleaning from these days.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thy Will Be Done

Psalm 91
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

"Consecration is the first thing. Not in any legal sense, not in order to purchase or deserve the blessing, but to remove the difficulties out of the way and make it possible for God to bestow it. In order for a lump of clay to be made into a beautiful vessel, it must be entirely abandoned to the potter, and must lie passive in his hands. And in order for a soul to be made into a vessel unto God's honor, "sanctified and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work," it must be entirely abandoned to Him, and must lie passive in His hands. This is manifest at the first glance." Hannah Whitehall Smith

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grape Juice on the Rocks

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

So the morning light brings a new day with a virus making its way through the family members. I bundle the smaller people on the couch under the blankets watching some morning tv of PBS. They like that. I've spoken to two lady friends now, and cried a little. It is nice to reach out and find other compassionate ladies who understand the worries that threaten a mom's peace. It doesn't consume me, but it's nice to know I'm not alone here on the mountain.

So I'm settling down, made another pot of homemade chicken soup, fighting sickness with prayer and attention to the people that need it.

And grape juice on the rocks is a great treat when one is under the weather. Apparently :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Because of who He is

Psalm 121
1 I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
3 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
5 The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"God help me, I might have been improved for my whole life, I might have been made another creature perhaps, for life, by a kind word at that season. A word of encouragement and explanation, of pity for my childish ignorance, of welcome home, of reassurance to me that it was home, might have made me dutiful to him in my heart henceforth, instead of in my hypocritical outside, and might have made me respect instead of hate him. I thought my mother was sorry to see me standing in the room so scared and strange, and that, presently, when I stole to a chair, she followed me with her eyes more sorrowfully still-missing, perhaps, some freedom in my childish tread-but the word was not spoken, and the time for it was gone." from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October gave a party;

The leaves by hundreds came
-The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
~George Cooper, "October's Party"

Trying to keep warm and busy in a season that has suddenly become COLD! The woodstove has been blazing, and the oven has been on. I have been trying to keep a "mommy busy brain" from taking over, and reminding myself to enjoy the days we share. My journaling is in flow again, and reminding myself of all the Lord's promises that are my reality has been a comfort to my heart. We have been eating applesauce, apple pie, and....oh! apples! :) The kids have joined in the fun, and what a treat it was to watch their pleasure as they pushed the cooked apples through make the sauce.

Bella has sprouted enough hair to get a teeny ponytail on the top of her head. Hard to see here, but she was a perfect jack-in-the-laundrybasket Jake carried around. So cute!

Leaves are a real treat. Oh, how I miss our colored maple tree leaves from our red home! They are so colorful and blanket-like. Hannah was reminiscing happy memories of playing in them while I watched from the kitchen making cookies. That made me cry. Sometimes one wonders you know? They noticed. They remember.

Now, I know they will too :).

I couldn't resist this picture. I love being a HOME-maker. Can't you tell?

Friday, October 16, 2009

All because of grocery shopping

I had some time alone grocery shopping. Thinking of Jeremy and certain children, I chose items from the shelves to bring home and store away to take care of the lives that live here. Fresh-as-a-daisy soaps, menu plans of casseroles, soups, sausage bread and snacks, extras for company, and candles tucked into my cart, my mind was occupied with people and faces. Feeding the number in my household, especially growing boys ;), has proven to be a challenge for me in the grocery budget. I kinda like the challenge though. It feels like my job. Being creative and thrifty, but not cheap, is fun to me.

Checkout completed, a bit more than I'd like to spend, but thankfulness and gratitude churned in my heart. Thoughts of my young marriage, Jeremy pursuing a degree an hour and a half away from our home, me in a new place and alone a lot, a small baby, long winters, part of our beginnings, come to mind. God knew where we were going. Now, here we are 15 years later, those early years made a way for these years, years of seven children to love and raise, years of family and friends to share our lives with.

After shopping and spending, sometimes I face some guilt when I'm on my way back to the car (or suburban that folks say is polluting the Lord's earth.) Money worked so hard for, quickly spent, to be consumed in a week's time. In times of guilt, I have those conflicting thoughts of my life, and whether or not I should be contributing more financially to our budget (besides being thrifty). The voices of remarks made to me about the wisdom in having so many mouths to feed are also present. Money, we spend on food for people, not other ways.

I realize right now I'm going to sound really weird ;). I always talk to the Lord about those "feelings" of guilt. He gives us wisdom when we ask Him boldly. "Feelings" aren't real, His thoughts are. :) This time it was in the open, paved parking lot of Wal-Mart. Overwhelmed by the expanse of the sky above me, I suddenly felt so small. My life is a flash. Already I see how it is flying by, my real home be lived in forever someday. These people I shop for, are not me. They are individuals, also born to know the Father, to go home to heaven someday too. How many will they affect for Him? How many people will they love, and then someday, they too will bring into this world? More, to point the way? People are not numbers. They are individuals with worth and value. That is what Jeremy works so hard for, that is why my marriage and respecting Jeremy is not only healthy for me and my family, but it does have lasting value. It's not a disposable institution. A little thing, like making a requested meal, is an act of love, a building block for a wife and mom. We are affecting the world when we affect one. I always say how much I don't want a dry as dust life. It helps to get a vision from God's perspective, and the sparkle from His perspective starts to touch that which I do.

Even when I shop at Wal-Mart.

Psalm 113:9 He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Before they were formed, they were known

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb...." book of Jeremiah

"We are talking of peace. These are things that break peace, but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing - direct murder by the mother herself. And we read in the Scripture, for God says very clearly: Even if a mother could forget her child - I will not forget you - I have carved you in the palm of my hand. We are carved in the palm of His hand, so close to Him that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God. And that is what strikes me most, the beginning of that sentence, that even if a mother could forget something impossible - but even if she could forget - I will not forget you. And today the greatest means - the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion. And we who are standing here - our parents wanted us. We would not be here if our parents would do that to us. Our children, we want them, we love them, but what of the millions. Many people are very, very concerned with the children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child - what is left for me to kill you and you kill me - there is nothing between. And this I appeal in India, I appeal everywhere: Let us bring the child back, and this year being the child's year: What have we done for the child?" Mother Teresa's Nobel Prize Speech

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Apple Donuts

The little ones were reading with me, Bannon was doing his writing, Jake was upstairs with his studies, and our morning break was to be met with a promised event of donut making. My Mom says that her mom made them every fall, and with my oven being out of commission, this along with my bread machine, is as close as I get to having baked goods right now.

As we were about to begin, my Mom surprised us with a visit, and I had her hand to steer and direct us along. In the recipe, it usually calls for milk, but with our recent trip apple picking, she substituted 4 apples pureed in the blender. They were so wonderful! The kiddos all loved them, although I would in the future like to try and bake them, looking to reduce the fat content.
Mom cutting the donuts.
Donuts fried and cinnamon sugared.
Served with two cups of hot tea! :)