Saturday, December 7, 2013

I love it!!!

laundry. cooking. cleaning. growing kids. DAILY. Rain or shine. Healthy or sick...DAILY. That is the life of a Mom-and only a Mom knows the full weight of the meaning "DAILY" in this context...mundane sometimes.
and I love it!!!!!
Every minute of it...even when it is hard-when it is thankless-when it is good and when it is bad. When it is painful to watch and even more painful to pick up the pieces. Sick or healthy-rain or shine.
I love it!!!
I love my life!! I would never trade these days for anything else. They are full of drama, pain, joy, fulfillment, brutal reality of poor choices and the fall out, disappointments, twists and turns, let downs, and high points.
I love it!!!
I love watching the kids grow to be adults, making adult decisions and taking on life's challenges with Jesus on their side. And sometimes suffering the consequences of not choosing His path. It's not easy. Standing back and praying that they embrace all that God has planned for them with joy and anticipation of His faithfulness.
I love it!!!
I love seeing God work on them...just like He does on me. Painful yet prosperous. Beautiful but bloody. In all of the baby steps-God is at work to make them more like Himself. Mistakes and all. Poor choices and all. Watching God's perfect chisel as he turns hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.
and I love it!!!
I love seeing answered prayers and depending on God alone to get them home safely-to protect them in body, mind and spirit-to cover them with his grace-to reveal the hidden things. To guide them into being godly and developing a heart for the lost...Knowing all the while, everything is out of my control and mistakes will happen.Jumping off the deep end with a God that has got them covered. Joining Him in what He is doing.
and I love it!!!
I love seeing the God of the Universe create new beings. Light bulbs go on and you can see Jesus working. From the terrible two's to the awesome teens and onward...Daily shaping, molding, pruning. I never realized how DAILY the changes came. Somewhere between diapers and driver's happened. They grew up and I sit back in awe at how God works the good, the bad, and the ugly for His purpose.  
and I love it!!!

So, all of you Mom's out there that are ready to throw in the towel...ready to think that God isn't seeing or knows what is happening. When you think your prayers just hit the ceiling. When you think that it just doesn't matter and your kids are just too far away to be found.
cause your kids are going to
they need you to show them Jesus...DAILY
--so they know where they will


" This will be written for the generation to come, 
That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD."
~Psalm 102:18


MOM--your kiddos are ' the people yet to be created' in that verse...and it is happening DAILY...and HE IS SUFFICIENT, and FAITHFUL to finish what he started in your kids.

We serve an amazing God who gives mama's the opportunity to be His hands and feet DAILY to our families. So today-PRAY. LOVE. SERVE. LISTEN. LOVE. DISCIPLINE.
in His Daily-All Sufficient Grace.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Combine dating Part II

Harvest is over-the bins are full and we are all tucked in for a long winter ahead of us. I love this time of year. It comes just in time for the Holidays-time to relax and focus on celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is SO much to be thankful for this year-I can't count the ways our family has been blessed.

Sunday School was a blessing this week. Everyone shared how God has been MERICFUL to them this year. PSALM 136... "His Mercy Endureth forever." That phrase is repeated 26 times. Notice it doesn't say his LOVE endures forever...or his COMPASSION, FAITHFULNESS (which all those qualities do endure forever!) But... here it says that...IT IS HIS MERCY THAT ENDURES FOREVER.

isn't that what we ultimately need from him.
Mercy. Mercy...EVER ENDURING...NEVER GOING TO LEAVE...NEVER GOING TO CHANGE... MERCY in the day of judgement...That is our deepest need at the very deepest core of our being. We need a God that showed his MERCY through Jesus Christ.
So how does that apply to a combine date?
I was walking back to the truck from our lunch date in the combine and looked down to avoid an epic fall over the stalks and my eyes landed on a pretty precious site.
There it was. I knew God laid that little broken cob at my feet for a reason. God does speak in a still small voice.
It has been a really challenging year for our family. He has stretched our faith and taught us how to trust in the midst of real-bold faced-uncertainty in several areas of life. Adoption. He showed himself to us in FAITHFULNESS. Scoliosis. He showed us his MERCY.
That little broken cob spoke to my soul. Not only had the ear gone through the wind, heat, rain & storms this summer but it went through the COMBINE. The stalk was cut off and stripped. The ear was battered and everything of value was taken away... The remains were spewed out the back of the combine. Considered unwanted... and tossed among the refuse. That is not God's children. Those precious kernels stayed right where God had placed them. PERFECT. Broken cob and all. Not a scratch on them. Still attached. Still perfectly placed...still with infinite value. Just the way that they were created... even in the midst of a mess. 
Mercy for the fatherless kids a world away and Mercy for the kids around our kitchen table this morning. Mercy in the brokenness that life can bring. Mercy in the healing that LOVE brings from the brokenness.
Love, compassion, faithfulness ... those things are needed and necessary. Desperately needed and necessary.
But I think this Thanksgiving...Mercy gets the top of my list.
Not that everything worked out perfectly like I wanted.
His MERCY doesn't work that way.
MERCY in the wounding itself.
WHAT?!? How can bad stuff be God's mercy. 
Abandonment isn't merciful.
Scoliosis isn't merciful.
In the wounding, God shows us more of Himself.
In the wounding, God draws us to Himself.
In the wounding, we find that He is the Great Physician.
...and the Father to the Fatherless
And sometimes without the wounds-we would never know the power or the need for Mercy.
For ourselves and for those around us.
So, we thank God in ALL things.
" The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me; thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever; forsake not the works of thine own hands."
 ~ Psalm 138:8
What God starts He is faithful to finish. PEFECTLY.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Trip to the ER

Ok-life on the farm is somewhat dangerous...but our place is ridiculous! We sat down the other night and calculated the grand total of medical procedures our family has needed. The list is pretty impressive. Our latest trip to the ER,a few weeks ago,was for a single staple in the head...a launching from a horse...minor check off of the list. Kid stuff.

Over 23 years our family has had...

82 staples
138 stitches (or more, the math got fuzzy)
4 broken arms
3 broken fingers
2 eye injuries-requiring metal to be removed
4 sprained ankles
1 sprained wrist
1 broken elbow
10 missing fingernails
Lost count on burns...
Immeasurable bruising...
35 days in-patient hospital stays
3 out-patient hospital stays.
4 major abdominal surgeries
2 Root canals
2 sets of wisdom teeth removed
5 broken noses
2 broken heels
4 adult teeth pulled
Foot surgery
Elbow surgery
2 cancer scares
A whomping case of Scoliosis

I am proud to say we are all up-to-date on our Tetanus shots, although we are considering rabies shots...that would be a new thing to add to our list. And yes, we have teenage drivers...pray for us!

How is your list of wounds? Do you spend time counting the people and things that have hurt you?--savoring them? Making a list of how everyone has hurt you? Oh, how bitterness creeps in over the years. 

Jealousy, Anger, Gossip, Envy, Strife, Hurt...all of our ugly comes out when we harbor unforgiveness.  Self absorption has a way of making us miserable and the power of unforgiveness becomes frightfully obvious to others and yet oblivious to ourselves.

We keep really, really good records on others and forget that others have a record on us. Call them OUCHIES or BOO-BOO's or whatever you want but a band-aid isn't going to fix it.

We all know the verse--we KNOW we are supposed to forgive but it is so hard sometimes! Why?! Maybe pride, maybe it feels too good to keep someone else on the meat hooks, maybe we think way too much about what has been done to us than on what we have done to someone else. Either way-Jesus shows us how to forgive. He lived it --died for it and He wants you to extend it to the very person that drives you crazy. Yeah--that one.

I really don't like going to the ER because a trip to the ER means there is a wound that needs healing...something is broken that only a Physician can heal.I am so grateful that I can turn to someone who has the knowledge and skill to heal me.

That wound you have held on to for so long...It's time for a spiritual trip to the Great Physician. Don't you think?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Combine dating

Ok-so it is harvest time and for some strange reason us farm wives become "farming widows" until the grain bins are full. Our men are out there all day and most of the night working SO hard to gather in the crops before winter settles in. 3 generations out there-all working together. Fathers showing sons how to work-no matter what age they are. 100+ years, this farm has been in the family. It's a living heritage. A living tradition. Something to be cherished. But it leaves little "us" time when things get busy. That is when we have to get resourceful.

Therefore, COMBINE DATING is a must at our place and one of the many perks of being a farm wife. (Hey, not everyone goes on a date in a John Deere with a cute farm boy.)We have a good time... Just the 2 of us. I know I have his undivided attention-and he has mine. He is in an enclosed cab-and unless there is a breakdown-he will stay there until the field is finished or another more pressing matter...(like the cattle getting loose)happens to occur. Ah, sweet time alone. Time to laugh-time to talk about things that matter-time to plan-time to dream-time to connect as a team. We are in this thing called family...building a life, and we do it together.

A few days ago-we had another lunch date in the combine. Camera in hand-sacked lunches-cell phones and I was ready. Little did I know how profound the ride would become. God speaks in the most amazing ways.

If you have never ridden in a combine. It is somewhat loud and dusty-but really fun to watch the machine rip the ears off the stalk and separate the kernels from the cob. It is a violent happening-it's quick. Before the end of the field, it was time to load the grain cart.

That's when I saw it. In plain view, on top of the combine snout. 2 ears of corn. Somehow, they had managed to fall off of the stalk and avoid their untimely dismembering by hanging out on top by the snout guards.
Sure there were some kernels missing-they had been banged up a bit-part of the husks had been worn off from being battered in the harvest. But how beautiful was the golden color that was exposed. A thing of value sat there-safely, I might add. Those ears had bounced along through the field while thousands of stalks on either side of them were being chopped off at the root and fed into a mechanical system that stripped off everything of value. Not them.

It occurred to me as I was watching this sweet little phenomenon that there were 3 of us in the cab that day. One speaking sweet things in my ear-just like he always does on a combine date. Yet simultaneously another One whispering sweet things to my heart. You are safe sweet one...regardless of what is happening around you. Listen to my song and find peace again.

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power WILL BE OF GOD and not from ourselves; we were afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Isaiah 49:16 ~"Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands."

abandoned? discouraged? alone? sin-sick?overwhelmed? not measuring up to the demands of life... or God's commands? Does. God. Really. Care. About. Me??..because if He did...fill in the blank. Each of us have a blank to fill in. Each of us--Believers and non-Believers alike all have the same stuff to deal with everyday.

what would it take to lay my heart out there and give it away with complete abandonment? TO TRUST. TO HEAL. TO SEE OURSELVES THE WAY GOD SEES US.

I. have. no. idea. what this blog is going to be about.(truly!)
I. have. no. idea. who you are at a heart level.
I. have. no. idea. where life has wounded you or  about the joys that surround you.
I. have. no. idea. when I will have time to write or you will take time to read.
I. have. no. idea. how this blog will change us all....and I can't wait!!!!!!

My prayer is that each of us come to know more fully who we are as a daughter of the One True King. That at HIS CROSS we can leave ourselves behind and run into the arms of a loving heavenly Father who delights to call us his own.

So,why? write? this? blog?
Because there is a permanent record in heaven that tells me I am His-forever. A mark of assurance. A mark of victory. A mark of death. A mark on the hands of God himself. A MARK OF GRACE-sweet, unending, undeserved GRACE. Free for me... but oh, so costly for the Savior.

I really like Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotional. He writes in an older style of English that makes you stop and think about what you just read. It's not fast food. It's a thought that is worth savoring-thinking-mediating on. It is NOT the kind of devotional that makes me "check-that-off-my-to-do-list" of spiritual duties. It creates relationship.

The day's verse is from Isaiah 49:16 and it focused on the fact that sometimes we feel that God has abandon us-forgotten us-or is punishing us for not meeting up to his expectations. (isn't that a problem!!) Here is a small portion of what Nov 7th am had to say and what sparked the vision for this blog. I have taken the liberty of replacing the 'thee' thou' stuff to make it just a tad easier to understand.

"How can I (GOD) have forgotten you, when I have graven you upon the palms of my hands? How can you doubt my constant remembrance, when the memorial is set upon my very flesh... 'I have graven YOU.' It does not say "Your name." The name is there, but that is not all;" I have graven YOU." See the fullness of this! I have graven YOUR PERSON,YOUR IMAGE, YOUR CASE,YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES,YOUR SINS,YOUR TEMPTATIONS,YOUR WEAKNESSES, YOUR WANTS, YOUR WORKS; I have graven YOU, everything about YOU, all that concerns YOU; I have put you altogether there." Now, Charles... that is good stuff...

And a perfect place to begin.