Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And so we come to Christmas Eve.

I've got some wrapping to finish. I'll do that in a few minutes (while one child is at work and the other still sleeps!). If I get a chance, I might make a couple of stocking stuffers for the knitters in my family. Otherwise, I might knit a bit and simply relax. S is going to be working on the baking, so I don't have to worry about that.

I'm quite ready for this holiday to be over. I don't mean to have a downer spirit about the whole thing, it's just that with each passing Christmas, I realize how far we've gotten from what it's really all about. Changes for next year have been swirling around in my head.

Tonight is our Christmas Eve service. It will be the first time that my son won't be with us. He'll be with his girlfriend's family. It will be strange, but we understand and we will get to enjoy her company tomorrow night. She is such a beautiful young lady, in all ways, with the sweetest spirit. We are very thankful for her!

So, as I ponder next year, I've got a bunch of stockings to knit!

I pray that all who read this will have a blessed Christmas. May you choose to accept the gift that means everything--Jesus Christ!

Luke 2:4-20 (NIV)
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

John 3:3-8 (NIV)
3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'
8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

John 3:16-18 (NIV)
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's another cold, blustery, snowy, and icy day! It seems like our weather systems are setting up much like last year! Who knows, maybe that will change!

I've started a new group on Ravelry, called Solutions. It seems to be going okay. My hope is to keep it positive and work together, despite our differences, to be positive forces in our world. I also want people to see each other individually and not just as members of some ideological group or religion.

I'm behind on stockings, so I'd better get busy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter Wonderland

We woke to a winter wonderland! As fearful as I am about the skies opening this winter and not closing until June, it still is very pretty to see!Liberty says, "Burrrr, it's cold outside!"

Psalm 118:24 (NIV)
24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am thankful for...

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it is only fitting that I give thanks...

I am thankful that God is sovereign and is still on His throne.

Psalm 68:20 (NIV)
20 Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.

Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV)

17 "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

I am thankful that I am not who I was or could have been anymore.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)
18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

I am thankful that I am forgiven.

1 John 2:12 (NIV)
12 I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

I am thankful that God Himself is my reward.

Genesis 15:1 (NIV)
1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward."

I am thankful that it's not me, it's Him!

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I am thankful that I have power over sin through Jesus.

Romans 6:17-23 (NIV)

17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends.

I am thankful for God's convictions upon my heart. I thank Him for challenging me in areas that I thought were alright. I thank Him for showing me what is important and what is an idol. I thank Him for helping me to keep things in perspective. I thank Him that He puts up with me, that He will never leave me or forsake me, that nothing can separate me from His love, that He is for me, and that someday, I will see Him face to face.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth!"

God is so good! My prayer is that people will wake up to that truth. He is just, but He is good! His commands are not for our bondage, but for our freedom. His Word is life, not death. The world's ways bring bondage and death.

I praise Him because He has saved me from death, but He has also saved me from the "freedoms" that others believe make them free, when, in fact, they take them deeper into bondage and pain.

We can make sin look all pretty and fun, but it's brings pain and death. We can live by our feelings, but they rarely speak truth and will lead us down a path of hurt.

I know what it feels like to be deep in the pit of sin. I know what it feels like to deny that sin, to live by my emotions, to seek after those things that I thought made me feel better.

Now that I've experienced the forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ, I want that more than anything for all those I love and for all those that I don't even know. I want that for those who don't understand and I want that for those that are hostile to the message. God is good!!

God is pummeling me from every side lately. His message to me--obey me! While that sounds harsh, it is so not. He's also been showing me that He is FOR me!! He loves me with a love that I cannot comprehend. He is my protector, my defender, the Lover of my soul. He is my all and all! Every breath I breathe is a gift from Him!! How could I not want to be obedient and turn to Him for deliverance in those ugly places of my heart that still torment me sometimes.

There is hope! He'll meet you wherever you are!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I know that I've been quiet lately. I think and I ponder and I write posts in my head, but they never seem to make it to blogger.

I do have a lot rattling around in my head. The situation with gay marriage, the Republican party and it's problems, my faith and how that plays out in all of it. Someday, it will come roaring out.

Currently, I've begun working on my annual order of Christmas stockings. I got this cool organizer to hold all my other WIP's from Patternworks, so today I spent quite a bit of time reorganizing my workspace. I feel a bit more functional now.

So, I'm off to enjoy homemade pizza and get back to work on my stockings.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My nephew played "Cogsworth" (the clock) in their school play, Beauty and the Beast, last night. He did a phenomenal job!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Our first snow!!! Not much of one, and it's really not this bright out, it's actually gray and gloomy and cold!

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm leading a new Beth Moore study, Stepping Up. I love it! She's taking us through the Psalms of Ascent--Psalm 120-Psalm 134.

She has us rewrite each Psalm in our own words and to fit our own circumstances, emotions, and/or situations.

I'm stepping out here and I'm going to share mine with "the world" (at least the ones I have done currently).

My Psalm 120

Oh Lord, I cry out to you and I know that You will answer.
Rescue me, Lord, from those who wreak havoc by lying and being deceitful.
You will punish them for their blaspheming, for their deceit.
Like a swift arrow or a raging fire, you will punish them.
Woe to me that I live in a land that has turned from you,
that has turned from You,
that I live amongst those that deny and blaspheme Your name.
It seems like forever, living among those who hate you.
I love you Lord and I want others to also,
but when I speak of You and Your Word,
they scoff.

My Psalm 121

I raise my eyes towards you, Lord.
The journey doesn't seem as long that way.
You will guide and lead me;
despite what my fear and doubts try to say.
Even though I'm not sure-footed,
You will not let me slip or fall.
You hold me up, you don't let go.
You don't need to sleep and I never get to heavy for you.
Lord, you are my protector. You keep me safe.
Nothing in this world can harm me, it can't get through you!
You are with me. All the time and You will guard my life and my heart.

My Psalm 122

I have rejoiced when people have said "Let us go to church and worship."
I have loved and enjoyed those times.
Some days it is more of a struggle now,
Lord, restore your joy!
Guide us from the wilderness we are in.
Convict, bring repentance, renew our first love!
Lord, there is great opportunity where you have placed us.
May we be a light shining in the darkness of our town.
Lord, may those in our small town find joy and peace in You.
May they seek Your face!
Thank you, Lord, that you are right here with us!!

My Psalm 123

O Lord, you are enthroned above all.
Your servants surround you, ready to do Your will.
I will try to keep my eyes turned towards you;
away from the scorn and negativity that is everywhere.
Show me your favor and kindness, Lord!
Keep me on your path.
Be merciful to me, as I have failed You to often.
Fill me with your love and mercy, so that I will remember who I belong to and who is in charge!
Help me to pass on that love and mercy to those around me!

My Psalm 124

If you, Lord, have not been on my side,
I don't know how I would have made it this far.
I would have been an ugly, hateful person,
but, You rescued me from myself!
How can I thank you enough?!
You rescued our family, you gave us hope and a purpose.
Without You, I see only pain!
Even though I still wander and struggle as a result of my own sin,
I know You are for me!
Nothing can separate us!
You will finish the job you started in me and I will become more like you!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I need to be preparing for Bible study (I'm leading Beth Moore's Stepping Up here at home, twice on Thursdays. So far, as usual, it is an awesome study and has literally brought me facedown before God!)

Anyway, I've wanted to blog all week but just didn't have the chance, and really don't right now, either, but here I am.

My oldest child turned 22 on Tuesday. It's somewhat surreal, but it's not making me feel as old as I thought it would. She has had a bit of legal trouble (of her own making, which she completely owned up to and the judge gave her a break for her honesty and contrition), so I finished paying off her fine for her birthday. Hopefully, having that off her back will help her to move forward in a more positive way. She has decided to take on the responsibility of helping an elderly relative for awhile and I'm very proud of her for that. She has always been so good with the elderly and they just seem to adore her, I think it will be beneficial for all involved.

My middle child just got the news (on oldest's birthday) that she has been accepted by SIM mission organization to go to Thailand next year for six months and work at an orphanage/school there. She is very excited, as are we. Now, we have to get all of the legalities worked out (she's already got her passport, but we have to get ours in case of emergency), her visa, etc.. She has to start working on learning the language and lots and lots of lists--what to take, what to ship, what she absolutely needs and on and on.

I am thrilled and humbled that God is allowing her to take this step and use her for His glory. It puts a lot of things into perspective for me. I can't say that I'm not nervous about her being on the other side of the world, but I know that missionaries that she will be working with and I know my God and she will be in His hands and care, and I can fully trust that!! But, it's just so awesome to consider what He will be doing with her in the coming years.

Okay, I'm running out of time, I'd better get moving!

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's after 10:00 pm, I'm tired, I've had a nasty stomachache all day and this evening, it's harvest and we have to get hogs sorted tonight (hubby and son are doing it) for our first load that goes out at 7:00 am tomorrow morning. I'm pooped.

I'm tired of politics. I'm tired of the bickering, the division, the sniping and meanness. I usually enjoy politics, I enjoy being a part of the process, being heavily involved, but this year, not so much. This country is so divided along ideological lines that it's scary. It almost seems as though we could have a civil war, or maybe we should call it an "uncivil" war, because no one seems to know how to be civil anymore.

One thing I know, God is still Sovereign, He's still on His throne, and I can trust Him, regardless of what happens in this great land of ours.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I know I've been quiet lately. I've been pondering several things in my life and it has made me quite reflective and a little unwilling to expose myself.

But, today, I had a phenomenal God appointment and I'm still reeling over what it might mean.

I was supposed to be going to pick up my natural food co-op order, but realized that I had forgotten my checkbook, again. Since I'm going back to town tomorrow, I decided that the co-op order could wait and instead I just headed for the grocery store. If I had not done that, I would have possibly missed my appointment with an old friend.

Strangely, we had not seen each other for awhile and I've seen her twice in the last week. The first time, it was just sort of in passing, it was obvious that we were both in a hurry. Tonight, we made a point of connecting.

She had a young girl with her and I found out that they had adopted her about 1 1/2 years ago. She's beautiful. In our conversation I found out that this precious little girl had been so badly beaten up until the age of 5 that she couldn't speak. She used a type of sign language that she had created. My heart hurt so badly. The woman that I use to help, the one I miss with all of my being, has a similar history.

That little girl is now almost 9. She is in a home where they love her and are doing their best for her. They have her in therapy and are surrounding her with godly people. I told her about my daughter's ministry and hopefully, she'll be joining us for that in a couple of weeks. I also was able to tell my friend about my new Bible study coming up. God's timing is always so perfect.

I can't explain why God is helping this little one and it doesn't seem as if He helped my friend when she was a child. It hurts to know that she has gone through life so fractured and trapped inside herself. I can only pray that God will heal her mind and her heart and that it will bring glory to Himself.

The church is failing miserably. God helps us.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

While my days have been very non-eventful, the last few evenings have been pretty full. I've been struggling some with my depression and concern over a few issues that are weighing heavily on my heart, but the last few evenings have been fun and a real blessing from the Lord, reviving my spirit and preparing me for another week.

It started on Thursday. My nephew, W, was up for homecoming king at his smallish high school. S and I went to enjoy the parade, pep rally, and coronation.
The marching band. Rather relaxed uniforms.

My nephew and his girlfriend, both on the homecoming court.

Part of the football team. One of the things that made the parade so much fun was the throwing of candy. In my hometown, throwing was "outlawed" some time ago and you have to just toss it or take it to them. Not so at this old-fashioned parade. Candy was raining down upon young and old alike. Lots of "incoming" keeping us on our toes and filled with laughter.

Moving inside, the kids did the chicken dance and the cha cha slide until all the parties were assembled inside.
This was one of the "relays" that the cheerleaders organized. My nephew is to the back of the photo in the red shirt. There were three team members and you basically did the wheelbarrow crawl, only your feet where on the person behind you. A good time was had by all and the seniors won, of course.
My nephew and his buddies performed a rousing lip-sync of "YMCA". My nephew is the cowboy. The did a great job and had a ton of fun.

Look at 'em go!
King and queen ceremony. Unfortunately, they didn't win, but I think W was a bit relieved.

The boys after the evening ended. This was just loads of fun!!

On Friday, J and I went to the sophomore football game to watch one of my best friend's son play. He plays center. Since I rarely miss an opportunity to go to a football game when it presents itself, I really enjoyed the evening. The weather was perfect, a bit breezy with just a nip in the air. I love fall!! Since I have a late meeting in town tomorrow night, I get to go to the JV game earlier in the evening.

While I was at the game on Friday, my mom called to see if I wanted to go to the last race of the year at the Iowa Speedway. They needed to get their front steps done and so they were willing to give up their seats and let myself and S go. I jumped at the opportunity. Football and racing in the same weekend, one of the closest things to heaven on this earth for me.

We got there early enough to watch some of the inspections. Mom and R have fan walk passes along with their season tickets, so we were able to go down to the infield anytime we wanted. Love that!!

A look down the garage area.
Coming around for qualifying laps.Strange little Volkswagon Jetta road race. Very little noise. Just weird.

Finally, the real cars were on the track. Love the noise, love the smell.

This fellow hit the wall, not too hard, he walked to the ambulance and was fine.
We decided to go down for the last final few laps. I love being in the infield. I started going to sprint car races in the 3rd grade. My step-dad took me and mom once and then my best friend and her dad started taking me every weekend. I fell in love with racing. By the time I was 14, I was in the pits during the races as much as I was in the stands. I actually had a friend who raced and I would help out by putting "tear-aways" on his helmet. They are like disposable face shields. Due to the dirt, you have to have something that you can just rip away and have a clean shield. Over the years, I've come to enjoy many different kinds of racing, but nothing gets me going like being near the action. I love the sounds and the smells.

This poor fellows night did not end the way he wanted it to.

Restart of the race.
The winner. We had a great time.

Friday, September 12, 2008

We've been home for a few days now. Vacation was wonderful, but to short. The weather was perfect, the mountain air was fresh and crisp, the views were phenomenal.

One day was spent at the Tetons and surrounding area. We went into Idaho. You could see for miles and miles. The kids slept through most of it.We came through Yellowstone and saw several elk.

The next day was devoted to traveling around Dubois, Wy. We went up to Union Pass and saw this ominous sign. We actually barely missed seeing a grizzly in the Tetons, but some guys car alarm went off and the bear left. Bummer!!

At the top of Union Pass, we found the Lake of the Woods. It was gorgeous, but the road there was a bit rough.

We found some awesome petroglyphs. They are kept pretty quiet since they are on private property, but they are cool.We went north of town into the badlands and climbed another mountain. We found some free-range cows, one of which was a rambunctous steer.

The next morning we began our three day trek home by going back up to Union Pass in order to connect up with another back-country road to take us to Pinedale, WY. We had a few false starts, but who was complaining with this kind of scenery.

This road proved to be a dead-end when we couldn't get the Explorer between the trees.

Finally, we found the right road and were on our way. It took us 3 1/2 hours to get about 60 miles and despite the bumping and banging, it was an extraordinary trip through the mountains.
Psalm 90:2 (NIV)
2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Monday, September 01, 2008

We leave on vacation today. We need it. My heart is aching right now and I'm trying so hard to just trust God and not butt my nose in where it's not needed or wanted right now. It's been a rather traumatic weekend. I'm ready to stare at a mountain. Wyoming, here we come!

Thankfully, my uncle will be staying here and keeping Liberty company. That's the hardest part of going on vacation, I hate leaving Lib behind. My uncle, however, adores her, so they should have a good week.

God is good all the time, all the time, God is good!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My dad, my Aunt P, & me.

My cousin J, my cousin K, & my cousin B.

Last night we had a family get-together. We all knew of each other, but the cousins hadn't seen each other since we were tiny children. It was so much fun and we got to know each other. I'm excited to continue these relationships!
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

This has been our focus for over a week. My boy has a new toy.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where/how do you find motivation? I'm totally without it right now. My knitting seems boring and tedious. Nothing is going on at Ravelry. I've got so much to do to prepare for vacation, appointments to set, cleaning to do, lists to make, things to pack. UGH!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Now that the wedding is over, it's been relatively quiet around here. Life issues keep breaking in, though. I've spent several hours over the last two days helping friends and family to hash out issues that are bothering them. Life just seems so complicated anymore. Relationships, church, our homeschool group, and on and on. Nothing is easily solved anymore. People are hurting. People are selfish and not thinking about others. People are living by their feelings and not with facts.

I started my Ravelympics sweater set on Saturday. The day before yesterday, I was this far...
If I can keep at it, I think I'll get them both done. It looks funny because the cutting stitches are in there, I will be steeking both of the sweaters.

Sin=offending a holy God. Just something to think about.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The beautiful bride. My niece was married last evening, to a wonderful young man. It was a nice wedding, simple and filled with love.

Who gives this woman to be married? Oh my, she is a woman. Where did all those years go?

The first kiss!

Presenting Mr. & Mrs.

Can you tell that they are brother & sister?

I add this one because, well, dang, I am blessed!!