Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I was thankful yesterday, that we were able to go up to the mountains to enjoy some Autumn glory with our friends from No Greater Joy Mom. It was so beautiful and the Aspen are right at their peak...startling in their golden color....
There are also some vibrant colors out in our front field.
I want my children to be in the habit of looking at nature around them. I believe that the LORD has given us beauty around us to enjoy, to be amazed by, to wonder at, observe and be inspired by...
but most of all, when I see His glorious creation, I am in awe at His love for me. I NEED His beauty...it feeds my soul. When I am stressed, it helps me to relax and rest, and refocus. Beauty is defined as the combination of qualities that make something pleasing and impressive to look at, listen to, touch, smell, or taste.
However, it is easy to miss the beauty around us. That's why I like photography...it helps me 1st to STOP and look.
Second, I love "capturing" what I am seeing.
It is a habit though, in my business, to take a nature time out...a few minutes, or a long, focused time to "be with" God's glories around me.
And I want to teach my children to look, observe and enjoy also. Sometimes I may say "look at ______. Isn't it beautiful. Do you see the colors, textures, shapes? Thank you LORD, for making such beautiful things for us to enjoy."
This draws their attention to be in a habit of looking...really looking.
As Autumn is coming, what is out your door?
Thank you Kim for your post today that motivated me to go lookin'.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Believe me when I say I did not intend for this to happen. But God does not go by what I think or by what I feel. So this morning I was being a good little girl and doing school like I should be. I picked up this book that Mamma bought me for school and it looked rather boring and not really very interesting so I was not excited to start reading it. Reluctantly I picked it up and started to read the preface and boy did I get a surprise! The book that so surprised me is The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey. It goes through Philip Yancey's journey of discovering the Old Testament and how it is a big part of the Bible. Unfortunately, as Christians we tend to lean more to the New Testament and pretty much ignore the Old.
"The knowledge of the Old Testament is fading fast among Christians and has virtually vanished in popular culture. In a comedy routine Jay Leno tested his audience's knowledge of the Bible by asking them to name one of the Ten Commandments. A hand shot up; "God helps those who help themselves?" Everybody laughed, but no one else could do better. Polls show that eighty percent of Americans claim to believe in the Ten Commandments, but very few can name many as four of them. Half of all adult Americans cannot identify the Bible's first book as Genesis. And fourteen percent identify Joan of Arc as Noah's wife.
More surprisingly, a Wheaten Collage professor named Gary Burge has found that ignorance of the Old Testament extends to the church as well. For several years Burge has been testing incoming freshmen at his school, a premier evangelical institution. His surveys show that students who have attended Sunday School all their lives, have watched innumerable episodes of Veggie Tales, and have listened to countless sermons, cannot identify basic facts about the Old Testament."
Now this I must admit is not much of a shock, sadly. It makes me very sad to think that we are missing out on some of the most amazing and thoughtfully deep parts of the Bible because they make us uncomfortable or we just don't understand them. Now there are those few stories that we take from it like the story of Moses or Jonah and David or the Psalms and the Proverbs. But let's just be honest, we have not learned how to love or to search through it for the truths of Gods love toward a very stiff necked people. But are not we all stiff necked? Maybe we don't pass over most of the Old Testament intentionally, but we do it. And we are missing out on part of the story.
So what am I going to do about it? Well I have opened up my Bible to Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 and I am going to start reading it all the way through Malachi.
Thomas Merton said,
For most people, the understanding of the Bible is, and should be, a struggle: not merely to find meanings that can be looked up in books of reference, but to come to terms personally with the stark scandal and contradiction in the Bible itself….
Let us not be too sure we know the Bible just because we have learned not to be astonished at it, just because we have learned not to have problems with it."
And so that is why I am not just reading through it; I am going to in my notebook start a new area call My Study of the Old Testament. I am going to start writing my own side notes and writing down my own discoveries from the Old Testament. I have to admit I am not really looking forward to the first seven books of the Bible but I am going to do this and maybe I will find something in there for me.
I will be posting about my journey through the Old Testament and I hope that I can give others the motivation to also dig in and start exploring the Old Testament on their own.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I read a blog friend's post this morning...I'm sure she didn't know how much it would stay in my heart!
She always has such beautiful pictures, and wonderful scriptures. I always feel so encouraged as a mother also.
Today, though, the LORD caused me to stop, and listen to something that He has already been telling me.
I'm sure that this blog friend didn't know that the LORD would use her post to stop me and convict me (convict-good; guilt trip-bad).
I use to be a "good mother" (I say that with a chuckle!)...you know, read to my first two children, tucked them in at night with more reading, prayers, snuggles, played games with them. And or course, much time was spent in perfect discipline and teaching.
Or course, with only a few children, I was also a "perfect homemaker" (again, chuckling at my youthfulness). The house was usually spotless except for the toys that the "good mother" had out. I had plenty of time to nurse my babies, read, cook yummies, and do crafts and other fun things. Why, I could even watch an hour of TV every afternoon and still have everything perfectly ready for my husband when he came home. My children were dressed cute and were clean. I took them to baby gym classes, play groups...you know, all the best that we could afford.
Something happened though....the LORD gave us a passion for the orphans of the world, starting with Kiana.
Then two more babies followed her quickly...
I was still doing pretty good at the "perfect" pace I had placed on myself, though I was beginning to get a nervous twitch in my eye-LOL.
The LORD knew and with a twinkle in HIS eye (I'm sure), brought 4 more babies within two years...
Perfection went out the window as I began to look for ways to survive.
Taking care of a large family has been good for me...I have died to my perfection, my abilities, MY desires, my ways...
and I was stripped down to nothing that I could do, except rely on HIM. I gave up all those expectations and "good" ideas of how to do this or that.
Now, with the "slate clean", as they say, the LORD has been bringing HIS ideas to me of "how" to do this or that. I had placed so much guilt on myself because I wasn't parenting or taking care of our home the way I use to....
But that was the point, the LORD was/is pruning those things that will not bear fruit for HIS glory. It's not about MY glory. I am not able WITHOUT HIM.
So how did the LORD use Connie's post today to convict me?
It's time to start "doing" somethings again...only this time in His Perfect Way...relying on Him to show me "what" and "how". But, I haven't quite been listening to Him, partly because I'm tired and partly because I didn't want to get back into the "do it this way to be a good parent...and if you don't, your not..." guilt trips.
I have let the business, and the tiredness keep me from bearing HIS fruit in some areas...
I want the children in bed as quickly as possible so that I can sit...
but I feel that the LORD wants me to start spending a little more time during this precious part of the end of our day.
I don't want to be to busy, or let tiredness, keep me from mothering them HIS way, and enjoying the journey of each day with them. It does take a lot of hard work to manage a larger-than-normal family, however, God has used that to pry my hands off of "how" to do it, and now, I feel more open and ready to find out from Him how to do it.
"Connie, thank you, for your post which has encouraged me to listen to the LORD, and to begin to bless my children and be with them at bedtime instead of rushing them off to sleep."
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"Thank you Larry and Bear for the good times and the memories."
"Father God, I am always beyond grateful to be a mother to these precious little people. To love them, and watch as they grow and become, to nurture and teach. Please give me your wisdom each day and may I always look for and enjoy those little childhood moments!"
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
What a precious time we had the the D Family.
And Colorado showed off for our guest with cold, snowy weather! That didn't stop us though...we dug out some coats for all the children and headed to Garden of the gods. What a beautiful place. I never get tired of the unusual rock structures and the children loved the chance to run and chase each other.
I was so thankful to have this chance to meet Laurel and some of her children "in person"...what fun they are! How very special to have the LORD bring us friends through the blog world and what a blessing to share each others lives and passions! They were so gracious about eating beans and rice with us also!!
We went to Wendy's for lunch...what a hoot to walk in with 16 children. I ordered 4 of the 10 pack chicken nuggets...and the guy filling the order in the back yelled out "hey, does she know that is FORTY nuggets."
Ha-ha...my answer "yes, and that is only 5 a piece...I hope it is enough."
Thank you Laurel for coming to visit us...God's blessings on the rest of your trip.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Yes, I am getting some ready...actually, we have the colors, but I am waiting for the dye fixative, which was back ordered.
So I am hoping that I will have some ready by next week...the colors are so fun! I can't wait for ya'll to see them!
Monday, September 21, 2009
My parents have blessed us with the loan of this trailer to help haul a family of 12 when we need it, and it has been so helpful for our camping trips!
So, now, with everything in that trailer, we were not sure what was going to happen.
We found someone to take it to someone else to fix the broken whats-it...I know, I sound like a woman....LOL
God provided though....
We needed to rent a trailer if we were still going to make this trip work. We went to the only U-Haul place within hours of us. They were closed...however, after several hours someone reached someone who sooner or later came and got us a trailer....
So, back to the broken trailer to unload and reload. Do you know why this is worth it all?
Cuz, God make this for us to enjoy...isn't is BEAUTIFUL!
Beans and rice for supper....
Bedtime after a wonderful hike....
What can I say...
I love, LOVE Colorado...and I know that God is pleased when we enjoy and take pleasure in HIS CREATION.
So, we left just in time because if turned COLD. In fact, today, here at our home, it has snowed most of the day...it is warm enough to melt quickly though.
We have been busy cleaning up because we have special company coming tonight...some of you know them...want to guess?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Here's the best part...I have lost weight on this bean and rice diet...come'on....did I hear a Yeahhhh!!!???
However, I am going to make up for the "loss" with this delicious recipe called Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet...oh my, you must try this...
Caresse and I didn't even wait for the ice cream...and from the "crazy look" in her eyes, you can see that you want be disappointed.
THIS is why I need another baby...do you see how big he is?
Nature journaling outside...I love it when it is nice enough to do school outside!!!
As I was diligently doing school with the others and NOT neglecting the little ones, by any means...I heard, "Mom....look!"...
"Good, job Sweet Heart, could you climb down like a good little monkey now?"
And, here is a sweet moment with my daughter...I didn't say one bad word...I promise....
see, I HATE to sew...I like to cook,
however, Caresse loves to sew!
Here is her beautiful quilt that I helped with only because she has been "pestering", well, "begging", OK, she may have had a tiny tear in her eye....ANYWAY,
I did my part to help with this beautiful quilt that SHE LOVES.
Back to what I love...
Truly both are beautiful
But I have seen something more beautiful still
Something of which you can never have your fillWater ever flowing on down steep mountain passes
Across fairy glens, so swiftly and truly does it go
Yet I have seen something that flows more truer than water
This thing of which I speak can go as high as the sun and farther
Fire is a power and a force not to take lightly
It lights up the sky with its passionate dance
Fire though in all its splendor can still be extinguished
And yet this thing that burns in my heart is never finished
It twirls and it leaps
Sometimes soft and slow
At other moments explosive and fiery
Each dance is a precious memory
Sometimes it is rocky and rough
And at other times it is soft and sweet
As strong as iron, as unbreakable as steel
It will get wounded and hurt sometimes, yet it shall heal
It binds two people as close as brothers
As inseparable as family
It is a force that draws us to one another
Once joined in this bond, not even death can separate them from each other
Beautiful, Wonderful, Faithful, and Loyal
Powerful, Unbreakable, Unquenchable, and Unyielding
Loving, Forgiving, Understanding, Unfailing.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
if you want to catch up with that 1st...
What if you were:
Had no future...
Had not hope...
"For I was hungry...
I was thirsty...
I was a stranger...
I was naked...
I was sick...
I was in prison..."
Over 147 million orphans worldwide...
We are to be His hands extended in caring for the orphans.