Friday, July 31, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to do Your Canning in the Middle of the Night

Top 10 reasons to do your canning in the middle of the night:

10) You get time to yourself.

9) No kids under your feet.

8) It's not as hot at night.

7) No one around to complain about being forced to help.

6) Sometimes it goes faster.

5) You can listen to what ever you want and no one changes it.

4) You can eat whatever you want and no one sees it.

3) You can be creeped out by the "garden bugs" that came in with your produce and no one is around to laugh at you.

2) You can sleep in the next morning because all your canning is done.

1) You are usually awake anyways.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dizzy with Randomness

Well, I do question if anyone actually reads this, and what their thoughts may be. Oh well, I may never know. I am feeling a bit random, so be warned ;)

My dear friend had her baby this week. He is the sweetest little boy I have ever seen, and I have a slight fear of getting to attached to this little gift she is oh so willing to let me hold. I love him already!

My life is busy and crazy.....or is it just in my head? I am trying to slow down, and say No to more things, but so far I haven't been to successful. We have finished our study on Ester, and I was so sad to see it go. I have not been nearly as faithful about getting into God's word since then, although I am better than I was before so I guess I have at least improved. I learned so much during that time, and am still taking some of it in. There was one exercise she had us do that I thought I would post here.
Read Psalm 30:1-3, 11-12 She then had some of it written out and we were to fill in the words missing based on our own experience. Mine looked like this. The words I filled in are in italics

I will exalt You, O Lord for you
comforted me when I was down
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
O Lord my God, I called to You for help and You
restored me
O Lord, You brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from
myself
Your turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth
and clothed me with
Your calmness
that my heart may sing
to you and not be silent
O Lord my God,
I will give you praise forever

Try it see what you come up with, it is very refreshing.

A few of the things I have been doing are: cleaning, cooking yummy things like Toffee Bars, and Fruit Tarts, fresh green beans, and chicken pot pie. I have also been looking at school stuff for my almost pre schooler. We are planning on homeschooling, and I need to get a move on it. Painting, journaling, watching movies with my family, reading....only a little. Life is always busy.

Last Fri night I went with a friend to the Morris Civic Theater. We saw Mama Mia. The Broadway performers were wonderful. Local groups are fun, but Broadway is best! I'm telling you it was so much better live! From there we walked down to the local "Pub" an Irish place called Fiddler's Hearth. It was amazing, I loved it. The performers were there, and signed our programs, and waved to us as they left! It was a place where you have to be friends, there are only long tables and you just sit down with other people. I had a German beer that I can't even pronounce the name of, and fish and chips served in newspaper. Just like Ireland. I got home about 2 am.

Well, I could go on but I'm sure I have made you dizzy with my randomness, so farewell for now.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Opportunities

When God tells you to do something He gives you opportunity to do it.

First, He gives you opportunities to learn how to do it. Then He gives you more opportunities so you can get in the habit of doing it. Then He gives you more so you can grow while doing it.....finally, He gives you opportunities so you will keep doing it. Sometimes, these opportunities come because He loves it when you do what He asks. Sometimes, out of need for you or someone else, and sometimes, well, there are so many reasons God could have, and while I don't know all of them I do know that God tells us to do things, and it all comes together for His purpose.

God has told me to pray. I thought that meant pray for the problem in my life. One thing in particular. So I started praying. Praying like I have never prayed before. God blessed that time with Him, and although I haven't seen that situation change much, I am glad for what it has done to my prayer life.

What I was not expecting was when God decided it was time to expand my prayer life. Don't you love how He does that? Today, I received three calls, all giving me something to pray about. I was able to talk to each person, and even meet with one of them. More than anything though I have felt that little nudge all day to be at Abba's feet, interceding for these precious people. I have been pushed more by God today than I have in a really long time. He presented me with opportunities that have made me grow, and given me a chance to keep praying. I am thankful that God works this way. This is so much different than I would have once responded. God's work goes on all around us, and in us. Isn't it amazing to step back and see what He has done?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Prayer

Alright, well I said I was going to post about prayer, so here it is.

I have never been one who is very good at praying. For a portion of my childhood we were taught to pray before meals, before bed, and when someone is sick. My dad almost always used the same memorized prayers, that I could probably quote to you this day. My mother, who we heard a little less often, prayed from her heart what ever words came out.
I do have very fond memories of a prayer group that my mother went to for years. A group of women from our church met at one woman's home every Tuesday. They spent most of the time in prayer, and although I was required to stay in the playroom with the other children, I didn't always. I would go out and sit and listen to them pray, and there was something so honest and pure about it. I have often thought in my adult life, if I could just be like that...if I could just be like them.

As an adult I have not had a very easy life, and there have been times that I wanted nothing to do with God, and times that I could go no other place but at His feet. Prayer has been a back and forth kind of thing for me. I know it is wrong, but have not known how to stay on track.
Recently, God has again been working hard in my life, and there have been some very worrisome, and painful situations. Just a few short weeks ago I was asking God, "What do I do? How do I fix this? Show me how to make this better."

Well, God just keep pressing on my heart to pray. While I was a the library I was drawn to the books on prayer. While I was working on my daily to do list, I felt pressed to pray. Everywhere and everything felt like a reminder to me to pray. So I did. I prayed to God and told him, "I don't know how to pray. It feels weird to me. I don't know what to do." So I sat down with one of the books on prayer, and started reading. I read about all the different things I could pray about. I grabbed one of my many journals and wrote to God about the first thing on their list. Writing. That I can do. That is a form of prayer. I have done it almost every day since.

I picked up one of the other prayer books, and the first thing it talked about was a man. This man showed his lover so much affection, so much love. He gave her flowers, and poems, letters, good foods, songs, and conversation. She in return talked to him, occationally. The writer then went on to say that this is a representation of how we are with God. He gives us all that He is, and sometimes we talk to Him. It made me so sad, because it is so true. I am trying to show God my love for him in the things I create, in the way I go about my day.

What I am trying to do is change my whole way of thinking. It is hard. It is also very rewarding. I am enjoying the timeI spend writing my prayers to God, creating things, and the new mindset that I am working on. It has even helped me just talk to God. Now I am able to talk to God while I am going about my day. It is not always easy, but it has vastly improved over the last few weeks. I still don't want to pray aloud with others, but I'm sure that will come too.

Of course, God is giving me plenty to pray about. That is one thing I wish would not happen. When God calls you to pray, there will be things that rise up to pray about, and my trust issues don't like that so much.
Yet, one more thought I have is doesn't trusting God, and praying go hand in hand? I guess that is also something he is working on. Trusting him. I think praying is a good start.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Missing

Our town has a mini festival every month. It is called first Fridays, because the first Friday of every month the town comes to life. Vendors come out, live music beckons us, the shops have sales, and the kids run and play. Different events take place every month giving young and old something new to look forward to. If you come, plan on running into people you know, the ones you haven't seen in a really long time. Community fills the streets.
This is what happened to me. I saw people, and enjoyed it. All but one. One tiny little person made my heart break. I ran into a family that we had not seen in a few months. We were at one time close with them, but in the while not so much. The thing is, they have a baby. He was due just two weeks after the baby we lost was due. They would be the same age. It is always bittersweet to see him. I am glad that they have him. I was never one to want others to hurt, but it is always so hard to see him. This time he was so much bigger than I remembered. Still a baby, but not quite as little. He is just at the right size to snuggle with.
I can't believe sometimes how I can be moving in a direction where I think I am healing, and suddenly just lose it all. I stood there next to my friend holding her baby. Stunned into uncomfortable silence, hoping she didn't notice. All I could do for that one moment was stare at him. All I could do was think, this is what my baby would be like now. The size, the way he sat on her hip, the hair coming in, and so many expressions on his face.
Our friends don't argue over who gets to hold the baby, because there is one for each of them to hold.
That horrifying thought in my head, sometimes it just plays over and over. This is what it would be like. This is how my baby would be. Oh my God, this is what we are missing.
God you know best.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Why does the world not stop?

Sometimes I wonder how the world just goes on. I see things in the news, online, and in real life, and I just can't understand how they go unnoticed. Mostly I think about the children in the world that go through so much. The ones with cancer that will never survive. I think how selfish are we that we don't take the time to pray, to encourage, or support them?
You may say, but I don't know anyone in that situation. Well, they are everywhere. I see their blogs daily, parents pleading for prayer for their children. They are in our churches, and around our towns. Do we not notice them because we are to busy or because we have put a wall up in our mind? No one likes to see pain. No one likes to see struggle.

I wonder though, if we were to take the time to notice....to pray, what it would do? A person would be encouraged, lift their spirits! God would hear the pleading for His own. People could come to know Him, and we might be a little less selfish tomorrow. Would that be so bad?
In all the little petty things I do, when do I think of those hurting? I could go all day, arguing, cleaning, reading, playing. Yet, all the while a parent is holding their hurting baby. Why does my day have to go on like nothing is happening to anyone else but me? Why can't I take time everyday for someone else? I'm asking you today, find someone you don't know, someone hurting, and pray for them through out the day. You get nothing in return, and yes it's time out of your day, but when did it become your day? Is it not God's day? Just pray for them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Challenges

Time seems to have passed so quickly lately. So much has gone on in my life, and there has hardly been time to process it all. God has been working in my heart so much, and it hurts!
Have you ever had a time like that? Where the work God is doing in your heart brings about so much that you didn't know was even sitting dormant in there? These last two months have been so challenging, and changing.

We have moved from the house shared with another family into a very tiny apartment above a garage. We now share a room with Lily, and the rest of our space is in another room. It is nice to have our own space again, no matter how small, and I am loving the fact that it is right out side of the town we want to live in. It is a short lease so as time passes it is becoming more of a concern that we will have to come up with the money to move again in just a few short months.

My dear friend is about to have a baby, and it has been an emotionally challenging pregnancy all around. For me personally, I am so glad that she has been given such a gift. It is wonderful to see her happy with the thought of meeting her baby boy soon. It is also hard as we have had issues with pregnancy in our own home, but I am so glad I can be with her through this joy. God is teaching me more, and more that it's just not about me. I have few places to turn to with my thoughts about pregnancy but I am being drawn to his feet more every day, and am learning that He is where my heart needs to rest when it is hurting. While I am laying in God's lap, I also can be at a place where I am able to serve my friend, and for that I am so thankful. I am so grateful for the times that I am reminded by God that it's not all about me.

I have been going through a study on Ester, (from Beth Moore) with 2 of my friends. It has been amazing. I love her studies. It is challenging me to think, dig deep, study, pray, question. It is hard, and time consuming, but so worth it. There have been two weeks that stand out to me the most. Fear, and Wait. Fear has taught me that no matter what is going on in my life, God should be at the end of it all. In other words, if the worst thing that could ever happen to me happens, I should still be on my face seeking Him. Wait was a different lesson, but seemed to go right along with what God was teaching me on fear. I learned that waiting was sometimes what God calls us to because others were not ready and, sometimes because we weren't ready. Yet God always renews us when we wait (Is. 41)

Prayer, oh sweet prayer. I don't even know if I can put into words all that God is speaking to me about prayer. I think I must save that for another post, as I am making lunch....but feel free to share with me, what God has been teaching you.