Friday, September 14, 2012

Using Treasures and Having Angels

This is a day of rain, cloud cover and cooler temperatures.  I love it.  I am more than ready for fall.  I participate in a food co-op bi-weekly and my last basket had leeks in it on a day that the temps were near 100 so the leeks seemed destined to rot in the fridge.  Today, I have decided that a hatch-chili-potato-leek soup along with the sourdough bread that is in the freezer is on the menu for this weekend. I think God gave us Fall at the perfect time when we have became weary of summer, Spring at the perfect time that we have grown weary of Winter.  He always does things that surprise me and make me feel loved.

Using Treasures and Having Angels!

It has almost been 3 years since my Mom died and I am finally pulling out her treasure trove of antiques and collectibles.  I have been walking past things for years and years but since I have decided to finally make this house a home I have fresh eyes to see those things that she acquired over time and packed and saved to use one day.  I am getting the benefit of finding treasures in joyful exhaltation and I find that I am not sure why she did not use them while she was alive.  Perhaps she had grown tired of them or perhaps wanted to save them for us.  I do not know but it has taught me a lesson to cherish those things that build or represent memories while I am able to enjoy them and to not take anything for granted. 

Now to my dear angels Agresta McGlocklin and Georgina Quirey.  These two lovely ladies began to come to my house as cleaning ladies to help me because my neck injury prevents me from using my arms to clean.  At the time they started, I was very discouraged about my home.  I had been virtually camping here since I moved in after Mom died.  I needed cupboard space but I did not like what was out of the cupboards and the cupboards were too filled with treasures to put anything away.  I was so overwhelmed that I did not know how or where to begin.  Having a pristinely clean home and cheerful wonderful angels to encourage me brought me out of my funk and gave me courage to forge ahead.  I started at first to try to put a few things out here and there but then one day I turned them loose to start decorating and styling for me and my oh my they have done a wonderful job.  Now I drag out treasures over the weekends and leave them out for when they come and they surprise me with what they create.  It is a total transformation and it keeps getting more and more interesting.  Here are some before and after photos.

Left Shelf above Woodbox Before
Shelves after with treasures, now to paint
Shelves after, now to paint

Kitchen utility counter, needs new pulls and paint

View of Fireplace after my angels, paint me please!

Antique bottles on kitchen utility counter
Homier living room crying out for paint!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Thanksgiving Post in July

Hello my dear reader.  I hope that you are reading this with love and joy in your heart.  It is 2:51am and I cannot sleep because my neck and arm are hurting so I am going to post some of what is in my head and heart at this late/early hour. 

This post is a post of deep, abundant thanksgiving to God who shaped my life in such a way that I accepted my Lord Jesus Christ as my savior almost 20 years ago.   

Will and I have embarked on so many adventures in this last 2 years.  It is mind boggling to think of all of the things that we have experienced together.  Last night we were talking and Will said, "I am really happy".  I replied, "I am too". He said. "it is really amazing to think about how happy I am".   I said, "I think we cherish it more because neither of us has ever been happy". 

We owe this happiness, love and contentment to God.  It was God who gifted us with each other.  It is God who has guided us through His Word through the struggles of every day living.  We have trials going on right now.  I have family troubles with siblings.  I have a store that belonged to Mom that has weekly trials to contend with.  I have herniated discs in my ncck which keep me in constant pain and seems to limit my ability to work as I wish.  Will's dear Dad is very sick and there are issues in their relationship from the past that the Lord needs to heal.  Will's son Daulton is a high school graduate and is struggling with the decisions about life, residency and career along with coming to terms with his grandpa's illness.  In spite of all of these trials, we are gloriously joyful and content and know we are richly blessed by God.  A conundrum and probably unbelievable to those that have not accepted Jesus as their savior. 

If you are reading this and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that something that is in this post will cause you to want to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and recieve the gift of His love and Holy Spirit guiding your life for eternity.  If you are saved, take a moment to rejoice by all means.  I read a book this week that had a part in it where a gentleman asked a young lady to pray that the Lord would help her to want to consider accepting Christ as her Savior.  She had no interest in any part of that life as she was rich and in society and felt Christians were freaks.  She had a crush on the gentleman though and she promised to pray the prayer and did mechanically for awhile but God answered the prayer and caused her heart to change and to want to know more about Christ.  If you have a life that is such that you are not content or filled with joy and peace in spite of trials, what would it hurt for you to pray that God help you consider accepting Christ?  Is what you are doing now working that well for you? 

If you are saved but do not feel close to God or you do not feel His presence in your daily life, what would it hurt for you to prayer that He would help you to grow closer to Him and to thirst for an intimate vibrant relationship with Him?  There may be some of you reading this that think I am a freak, a weakling, or worse names.  I am in love with the Lord and I care only what He thinks about me and how I can serve Him so I do not mind that you do not understand my thoughts and beliefs.  I was you once.  I told my sister that her "god" and her bible were important to her but I was a student of science and I did not need anything she had to offer.  I was so misled, lost, prideful and honestly miserable deep inside. 

I am thankful that I can be bubbling over with love, peace and joy even when life is tough.  I can bubble because I know that no matter what happens in my life good or bad, it has been sifted through my loving God's hands and it will all work out for the best.  If I had been in that theater in Colorado and had been killed or maimed by that man, I would have either been in heaven or I would have had experiences that would have shaped me into a better, more loving, wiser person. 

I want to leave you some verses about peace, love and happiness.  This blog is between you and God, I am just the messenger.

Numbers 6:26
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

Psalm 4:8
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 29:11
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 37:11
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Psalm 37:37
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.

Psalm 85:10
Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Psalm 119:34
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

Psalm 119:73
י LORD Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.

Psalm 119:130
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Psalm 120:6
Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.

Psalm 122:8
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”

Psalm 136:5
who by HIS understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.

Psalm 138:2
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame.
Proverbs 2
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 12:20
Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.

Proverbs 14:30
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 32:17
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

Isaiah 40:28
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 54:10
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:13
All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.

Isaiah 55:12
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Jeremiah 9:24
but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know ME, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.

Mark 12:33
To love HIM with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Romans 5:1
[ Peace and Hope ] Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:6
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in HIM, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 3:19
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 2:2
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,

1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:11
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

James 3:17
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Lastly, I bid good night with this verse:

Jude 1:2
Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Amazing Nieces and Nephews

Hello, I hope if you are reading this that your day has been blessed and that you are aware of all of the circumstances of your life that God has shaped to bring you to this exact moment. I hope that you are thankful for His perfect plan for your life. I know that some of you may be in a place of joy and others of you may be in a place of pain.  I have learned to be thankful for the pain because I draw nearer to God and the painful circumstances always cause my life to make sharp right turns in my path and as I look back, the right turns are the best because they are ALL God and ZERO Tracy.

Today my blog is about my amazing family that I am thankful for.  I come from a big family and my brother and sister have 9 children between them.  I did not have children and was always sorrowful that I did not have children but tonight I am so thankful that I did not have children because I can see why God did not allow me to have children.  The first reason that I am thankful is because God used my aching desire for children to seek His comfort and leading.  That love of children that He gave me caused me to begin teaching children and then He called me to begin a children's bible study at the ladies bible study that I attend.  I feel like I finally have found where I can serve God wholeheartedly and devote my life to His service.  The second reason that I am thankful that I do not have children is that He blessed me richly with the most amazing 9 nieces and nephews.  If I had children of my own, I would not have had time or energy to spend time with my nieces and nephews and would not have been so interested in their lives.

I want to brag some about three of them today and about my brother and sister-in-law and my sister and brother-in-law.  I love my brother and sister so much.  Some of you may not have a good relationship with your siblings or maybe your life is busy and you do not spend as much time as you could sharing their lives.  Your siblings are the only people in the world that shared the same experiences that you had growing up.  They are the only people in the world that know every part of you and hopefully still love and accept you.  They are the people who "get you" at a level that is inexplicable.  They are the people that you can give a look and they know what you are thinking or that you know have your back when the going gets hard. They are the people who know the funniest stories of your life.  My brother and sister are great people and they married great people and are still married to those great people 30ish years later.  They also have raised all of their children to be amazing young adults who I love dearly and am so proud of. I am proud of them for raising great godly kids in a society that does not encourage godliness.

Niece number 1 - She was the first and only for four years as a baby and had to forge the way for all those that came behind her.  She is truly a virtuous woman.  She loves and depends on the Lord and it is clear that she has a heart for God.  She is a loving, dedicated mom and is a very loving, kind and supportive wife.  Her life is about making a warm, loving home.  She is an accomplished artist who is sought after for commissioned pieces.  She is a published author. She looks for good in all things.  She notices the little things and is grateful for them.  She personifies loving God, husband, children and family in exactly that order.  I never have heard her be cruel to anyone.

Nephew number 1 - He has always been a complex child.  So very smart and so brave to try new and different things.  He is a godly husband and father and is the head of his household as God calls him to be.  He and his wife are in their 20's and I believe that they are completely debt free.  He is a hard worker and provides for his family so that his wife is able to be a stay at home mom with their 4 children.  He is a master builder.  He is an accomplished musician and a virtuoso on a guitar.  I can watch his videos of him playing the guitar and I am in awe.  I remember buying his first guitar and being very afraid that his parents would kill me for the noise.  He attacks everything with purpose, practice and precision.  His work ethic has always been amazing.

Nephew number 2 - This nephew is the one that I have spent the most time with of all of them.  He and I trekked to hockey games and built wonderful memories.  He has graduated from Pepperdine University and has a very good job.  He has bought his home and is doing some traveling.  He is an accomplished photographer.  The other day, I was looking through his photos on facebook and I found a picture of him speaking to a group of elderly people in a convalescent hospital.  He looked so grown up.  He was holding the bible in his hands and I started crying because I am so proud of how he has grown closer to God as he has matured and is involved in serving God in a wonderful way.  He makes me laugh all of the time because he has a superb sense of humor.  He will make an amazing husband and father when he meets the right girl. 

I hope you did not mind me bragging.  I was overcome by love and admiration.  I have been searching through old photographs at my Mom and Dad's and seeing them as babies but knowing them as adults is a great treasure here on earth and therein lies one of the jewels in my heart. 

I am praying that tropical storm Debby comes to Oklahoma but am thinking I may not get my way.  My next blog will be about my garden and pets.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fire Ants, Guineas and Gardens

It has been so very long since I have posted anything.  I have been very busy and was suffering from severe blogger block.  I finally am back in the mood to post.  I have several things to talk about today as the title suggests. I am going to discuss Fire ants, Guinea Keets and my Garden.

Fire ant mound in my yard

Fire Ants - Oh my, has anyone ever been bit by a fire ant?  I am from California and had not encountered fire ants until I moved to Oklahoma.  They are not native to Oklahoma, they were imported.  Who would import such a vile creature?  They cause terrible itchy puss filled bumps that take forever to heal.  They kill trees and build big mounds that ruin yards, pastures and gardens.  They can kill plants in my garden.  In other words, they are pesky and are so thick on my farm.  I have declared war on them for 5 years and have tried all kinds of poisons and natural remedies.  I have reduced the population but still have a significant battle on my hands. Today I am trying a remedy that Will promises to be successful.  I am hoping that he is correct.  He is a genius at lots of stuff so I think he may be right.  His solution is to mix grape jelly with borax and make a thick paste of it and drop it in balls around the fire ant holes.  I deployed the paste but I could not resist taking my horse training stick and ramming it into the mounds to stir up all the fire ants.  He said I should have probably just put the poison balls around the mound but I am at war!!  He says that the ants take the poison down into the ground and that it kills the queen.  I will let you know if it works.  Everything else I have ever tried just makes the colony move and become more virulent.  Did I say they are pesky pests?

Little adorable guinea keets, so sweet don't you think?
 My dear friend called me yesterday and told me that she has to get rid of her guinea keets because the animal enforcement lady in town said they are too loud.  She had ten little guineas and so I went to get them and she let me take them and the ferret cage that they were in.  I have not ever raised my own keets but have adopted Mom's guineas that were here when I moved here.  Guinea moms lay their eggs out in the tall grass and the babies are very tiny when they are born.  The guinea mommas are not very good at keeping their babies alive.  We have had more than a hundred hatch in the last 5 years but only 5 are still alive here.  My guineas hatch their babies but at night they roost in the top of the barn and leave their babies to fend for themselves.  They get eaten by coyotes and snakes or die in the cold nights.  Guineas are amazing pets and are wonderful to have here in Oklahoma.  They eat every kind of bug including fleas, ticks,chiggers, grasshoppers etc.  My neighbor has been infested this spring with fleas and grasshoppers but I don't have any thanks to my guineas.  They also will fight and eat snakes.  They are great watch dogs.  When the hawks start circling, the guineas raise a ruckus and sound the alarm.  I will go out to look and all the guineas and chickens will be under the bushes or vehicles and do not come out again until the guineas sound the all-clear.  I know if the guineas are shouting there is a problem. They are hilarious to watch.  They invented the grid-search that you see law enforcement do.  They chatter and toddle like little ladies and walk in straight lines searching for bugs systematically.  I have been concerned because I have gone from 30 guineas to 5 and so I am thrilled to have these wonderful new baby guineas. 

 My garden is the best garden that I have every had.  I have 6 varieties of tomatoes, various kinds of peppers, cantaloupe, squash, tomatillos, beets, radishes, corn, basil, rosemary, sage, cilantro, plums, pears, peaches, grapes and pecans.  I have already harvested the plums and froze them for smoothies.  I had to harvest the peaches today and put the unripe fruit in a paper bag to ripen because the birds were already having a feast.  I have pickled some peppers.  I have not ever pickled anything so I am unsure if I did it right, I will know soon enough. 

I found all my Mom's old California Cooperative Extension books that tell how to dry, pickle, can and make jams and jellies.  I have all of the fruit jars that Mom left and all of the canning equipment.  I am determined to conquer my fear of canning and preserving this year.  It is intimidating.  I chastise myself every day for not paying attention when Mom was canning, pickling and preserving.  I hope I can learn how.  I want to can salsa, chow chow, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, chili sauce, pears, peaches.  I want to pickle watermelon rind, peppers, beets and okra.  I love to go out to my garden with my puppy dogs in the morning.  It is quiet and the plants are still covered in dew.  It is amazing how much the garden can change overnight.  I love to find peppers I did not see the night before or new budding tomatoes.  I have not ever been able to control the pests and weeds before. This year with the aid of the tractor and tiller and my hoe and yanking, the weeds are few.  The pests are being controlled with diatomaceous earth and lime.  If you have not ever tried diatomaceous earth and/or lime you should.  The diatomaceous earth is very cheap, pests cannot become immune to it, it is all natural and organic and works very well.  It is fossil shell flour and it scratches the waxy coating off of bugs and they dehydrate to death.  It is working so well.  I also use it for mites on chickens, mites in nesting boxes, fleas on dogs, worming chickens and dogs, flies on my horse, as an anti-caking agent to spread lime, as a feed additive for cows and horse to control fly population.  If I were brave enough I could make a paste of it and use it to exfoliate my face.  Maybe next week :).  The lime enriches the soil, keeps the fungus away in the ground, stops bloom rot on tomatoes. 

So that's all I have to discuss today.  I am supremely contented with my critters and garden.  I love how the Lord has blessed my life.  This is the day that the Lord has made, rejoice!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Out of brokenness comes intimacy

Hello Everyone

I have not composed a blog in a very long time.  I had blogger block and could not think of anything to write about.  I also moved all my living room furniture after a fall while walking with Will and the combination herniated 2 discs in my neck and I have been suffering with intense pain and have been ordered bed+rest.  This trial of pain coupled with the forced bed+rest are what I am going to write about to you today.  I do not want to dwell on the trial but on the blessings that have been a result of the trial.

Blessing number 1: As you know, I am the director of a children's bible study in Ardmore, OK.  We have 3,4,5,7,10, and 12 year old children.  I was so very concerned about missing even one week because my heart is so passionate about assisting my amazing children's leaders as they lead these children in their study of Genesis.  I missed one week and was unable to witness the growth in the children but last week I painfully made the drive (driving is one of the worst things that I do).  I was amazed to see how much growth in God's Word and in discipline.  I was blessed to see that the children were hanging on the words of the leaders, they were joyful and I felt so privileged to be given the honor of starting a bible study for children.  Mark 10:13-16 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, He was indignant, and said to them. "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it and He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.

Blessing number 2: Lately, I have been so busy with life that I had neglected my quiet time with the Lord.  We all do that don't we? It is the worst kind of loneliness for me when I am not feeling close to God.  I am on bed-rest now and am in so much pain that I do not sleep well and I decided every-time I am white-knuckling it until the medicine kicks in, I would seek comfort by reading my bible.  I have downloaded an app for my kindle fire that is for reading the bible through in one year.  I love it because it is not a chronological plan, it gives me a mix of old and new testament everyday.  I found that my intimacy with God has grown so much.  I feel a depth of the presence of the Holy Spirit feeding my soul. I have been comforted and strengthened while developing a hunger and thirst for His Holy Word again.  I have been concerned because my doctor keeps telling me that he knows that I am going to end up having surgery but I have been earnestly praying that I will not.  I read this verse today that has uplifted me.
Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  
Isn't that a sweet wonderful verse to memorize for when we are discouraged and in pain?

Blessing number 3: In bible study we are studying Genesis 32 where Joseph is fearing meeting up with Esau because their broken relationship was a result of Esau's greed and failure to recognize the importance of his birthright and because of Joseph's deceptions.  I think Joseph had a guilty conscience and knew that he deserved retribution and Esau was coming with 400 men. Joseph sent messengers, flocks, etc. to Esau ahead of them to sweeten the deal and butter him up but though God had told him to return to the land and that God would be with him, Jacob was still filled with terror.  He finally had to meet up with Esau and in Genesis 33:4 it says about the meeting: But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him and they wept.
I have some broken relationships in my life due to my failures and to the failures of others.  I prayed when i studied this that God would soften the hearts of those that I am distant from and that I would have the courage to ask for forgiveness where i was responsible.  Last Sunday I received a call from a woman that was one of my Mom's friends her entire life.  In 1979 and in 1980, this woman's daughter came to live with my family.  She and I were a few years apart, she was in high school and I had just graduated.  We shared a bedroom and became extremely close. I loved her deeply.  My Dad had stopped drinking before she came for about 5 years and so initially he was very kind to her.  He went back to drinking after she came and when he drank, he was extremely verbally abusive to all of us.  She had come from a sad kind of home with no father and she loved my Dad very much but he abused her and tore her down.  She ended up in a pit with no self-confidence and for unknown reasons stole money from one of my brother's and my Dad made her leave our home.  She went to live with another family and I lost touch with her for several years.  I always wanted to tell her that I was so sorry but never had the chance.  I saw her once at her job and tried to talk to her but she looked so fearful and she was frozen and could not talk to me.  My Mom kept up with her life via her Mother.  We learned that this girl entered an abusive relationship and had some children and then got on drugs and even her mother lost track of her for many years.  Her mother called me last Sunday to give me a message that this girl's life has come full circle and that she wanted to talk to me.  Wow, I am so thankful that I can be in her life again.  She is clean and sober, has moved back to Bakersfield, has obtained a job designing flowers and is in a good relationship with a supportive, kind man.  We wept as Joseph and Esau did.

Tuesday of this week, I received a call from my oldest and dearest friend.  She and I had not spoken to each other in 4 years.  Our relationship was broken because of my failures.  She had left me a message while I was in bible study that she missed me and that I had been on her mind lots lately and that she wanted to put the past behind us and be close again.  I sobbed while I was listening to the message because I have missed her so much.  We had met each other as high school freshmen, she dated one of my brothers for years and had been a dear part of our family.  We had been with each other through our weddings, my divorce, the birth of her children, the failure of our health, moves across the country and then stopped speaking to each other.  To have God restore this relationship as a result of my prayers is so amazing.  She texted me after we had talked "I love being able to talk to you again.  Love you, miss you, hope you are having a Great day." I feel so loved by God that He would work in her heart to forgive me and that we are reunited in love.

The reconciliation of these two relationships caused me to email two dear wonderful friends that I had failed and had not had contact with for 1 year.  I asked for their forgiveness and prayed that God would soften their hearts toward me and that we could reconcile our friendships.  One of them immediately wrote me back.  She forgave me and was very excited to hear from me and we picked up right where we left off.  The other one has not answered yet and I do not know if she has not read the email or if she is not willing to forgive.  I am praying about her.  She and I have been through so much together.  From the time we met, God continually had one of us go through a trial supported by the other one and then later the supportive one would go through the same trial receiving the support, wisdom learned from God and love of the one who had first gone through the trial.  I took her for her 50th birthday to Italy and Greece.  She had not ever traveled abroad and we had a glorious time.  I miss her so much.  I pray that we can be restored by our loving, holy Father. 

Stay with me, I know this blog is long but these blessings really have occurred in this time of trial.  It has been 4 weeks now and it is amazing the bed-rest and intimacy with God can cause these amazing blessings to uplift, encourage and strengthen me. Now to the last blessing.  It is dear so read on.

Blessing number 4:

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  he who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church for we are members of his body.

Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. 

The circumstances of my life that I have written about in this blog have shaped many ways that I go through life.  For all of us, this is true.  Some of the things that I do are a result of my need to survive and they were good things at the time but then in some of my present circumstances they can become hindrances to intimacy with God and with Will.  The one that I am speaking today is independence.  In my life, after my Momma died when I was 7, as a result of her death, in many ways I had to grow up right away. There were responsibilities that fell to me that had to be taken care of.  I remember feeling so grown up, it was not until I started teaching school and bible study and I realized how small and unequipped a 7 year old is.  I never felt small and had to learn to be equipped.  When I married my ex-husband, from the night after we married, he informed me that he had obtained me and the courtship was over and from that point on, he was not going to be a "husband" to me.  He concentrated on his career but was also mentally and verbally abusive and surviving in that environment was pretty tough.  I did survive and I came out of that with more tools in my tool belt and I had walls up that were a fortress really of deciding that I could not depend on anyone and so anything that needed to be done in my life had to be done by me.  Then I met Will who is a man that lives out Ephesians 5:25 everyday.  He craves being that man.  He also craves being leaned on, respected, providing for me, loving me.  In this trial, God has brought me to my knees literally.  Because of this injury, I cannot even lift the coffee pot of water.  i cannot feel my index finger, thumb and now palm of my left hand.  If I lift the smallest thing like a glass of water, shooting pain goes to my shoulder then my elbow and then the muscles in my left forearm feel like they are on fire.  I cannot even blow dry my hair.  In our relationship, occasionally Will has said, "you do everything and it makes me feel useless".  I did not realize until this trial happened that I do everything and do not allow him to be the head of my household.  I make the decisions, I tell him how to do everything, I'm an idiot.  I have watched him blossom during this and grow stronger and happier.  I have learned how special and loved I feel when he does things for me.  He is working nights and one morning he woke me up and I went into the kitchen and he had bought groceries for me, buying all the things I love....hazelnut coffee creamer, cottage cheese, yogurt, granola cereal etc.  He is opposed to dairy because it is acid forming (I will explain that in another blog) but he knows how much I love them and so he bought them for me.  I told him it was like Christmas to receive these things without me asking for them.  He also makes coffee for me so that I do not have to.  He and Daulton cleaned the kitchen and swept and mopped the floors.  Daulton shampooed my carpet today and built me a cozy fire and filled the wood box with wood because we are supposed to have snow and ice tonight. He loves me and wants to care for me and it took this trial to get me to demolish the walls of independence so that we can grow in intimacy so that when we are married I am able to be a wife as described in Ephesians 5:22.  I actually did not realize how independent I was until this happened.  I did not know that when I go to the feed store and bring home 200 lbs of feed and unload it myself that I irritated him so much.  I used to look at clients' and friends' marriages and I always thought something was wrong with me because I had never had a man who wanted to take care of me.  I realize now that it was because I picked men who did not want to take care of me, they wanted to be taken care of.  God has brought me my dream man now though and I am going to allow him to take care of me and love me as Christ loved the church because that is obedience for both of us.  I am going to relish it and cherish it at the same time.

So, take hope from me if you are currently in a trial.  There are blessings that the Lord brings if you seek Him.  Pray that you grow in intimacy with God.  Out of brokenness comes true intimacy.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Whitey the Trick Chicken

Whitey the Trick Chicken

Good Morning All.  My last post I was sick and sad but God met me in the grief and sadness and I am feeling better.    I have been up since 3am sneezing so I decided I would tell you the story about Whitey's Adventure this week. 

Last spring, Will bought me 20 baby hens.  The store told us there were 10 California Whites, 5 black sexlinks, and 5 red sexlinks.  I think the store did not have a clue about what they were selling because I have 9 beautiful golden chickens who have sweet dispositions and are great layers and are very social.  I have Whitey who was part of the group of supposed California White's but she was more white and had an eagle looking head.  I now know that she is an Americauna.  The black hens were actually sexlinks but the red sex links are Egyptian chickens called Fayums I think. 

Whitey is my only hen of the mistaken breeds that lays green eggs.  She is also the only one of my hens that lives in the backyard with the dogs...oops dog...DeeDee.  This last several weeks, my hens have been venturing out of my yard and pasture and have been playing in the street.  Sadly, 3 hens have been ran over so I had to take corrective action.  My chickens have been in lock down in their hen house.  I told them that unhappy is better than dead.  Whitey doesn't live in the hen house though, she lays her eggs there when the doors are open in the morning.  She is always there waiting outside the door eager to get inside the nesting box.  This week when I put my other hens on lockdown, that meant that Whitey could not get in and lay her egg.  This development completely discombobulated her.  The first day, she followed me everywhere and kept standing outside the hen house.  She came into the garage and tried to lay an egg up above the wood box.  She got up on the shelves in the tack room and tried to lay an egg.  It was very like the story of the 3 bears for Whitey that day.  The garage was too busy, the tack room shelf was too hard and the barn was just too strange.  I felt so sad for her that I went foraging for something that I could use to make a nest for her.  There were some buckets that my Dad had quite cleverly converted into chicken nests.  I put new hay in it and put it up on the shelf where Whitey nests at night.  That night, I went to check on Whitey and she was not on her roost.  The hay in the nest had not been disturbed.  I looked everywhere for her.  She is my favorite chicken (but that's our private secret, the others cannot know this).  All night long I kept waking up and thinking about Whitey.  Nellie, my dog, and I took a flashlight 4 or 5 times in the night and looked all over the backyard, in the little barn, in the big barn but no Whitey.  There has been a hawk terrorizing us and I was afraid that perhaps it had captured Whitey.  I was very sad.  In the morning, I went looking for her again.  I looked in all the same places but she was missing.  I thought I would re-check the backyard.  I decided to call her name just in case she was in hiding.  I called and then heard a tiny chit chatter....a little warbling brck, brck, brck.  I looked around and could not find her.  I followed the sound and realized the sound was coming from deep in the back of the bucket but the hay was pulled up so I could not see into the bucket.  I called again and my silly chicken worked her head through the hay and poked her little head out looking at me like "here I am silly Mom!".  I checked the bucket after she had climbed out to have her morning constitutional and there was a beautiful green egg. 

I had to share, I hope you are laughing at my goofiness.  I am going to bake some more yummies today.  I am going to post recipes later after I have created all that I intend to.  Have a wonderful day.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sad Week


I really hope that all of you are having a better week than I am having.  Have you ever been bombarded by bad things in your life all at once?  I know in the bible Job was surely bombarded much worse than I have been and that gives me the encouragment to know that God is in control and that everything that is happening in my life has been sifted through His loving hands.  He never leaves me nor forsakes me.  He uses all things for good for me.  I will see the work of His hand in causing all these things to happen.  I am reflecting today that I need to pray to learn quickly all the lessons wrapped in all these trials so that they will be over and I will not experience them again.  Do you know what I mean?

December is tough for me........really really really tough.  I am struggling to try to make December better this year but I have not had a good start.  December is the month of the year that I am always very conscious that I do not belong anywhere.  It always makes me very sad.  I hope that Will and I can start a new pack of December traditions that will remove the fear of December in me.  He is working nights all month though so I will not see him much this month.  Daulton leaves next week for his Mom's for the Christmas break.  I am going to spend the lonely blocks of time seeking God's fellowship. 

December 2 is the anniversary of my Mom's graduation into heaven.  I am secure in the knowledge that I know where she is and I know she is much better and happier there.  I miss her lots though this time of year because it has been two years and I can still hear her voice in my head exclaiming joy at the first snowfall, giving me advice on how to winterize everything, admonishing me to cover my head, put on house slippers and to not go out of the house with a wet head.  I am smiling while I am typing this to you because I really can hear her in my head. I miss her.

This week we had our first snowfall of the year and it was lovely to wake up to.  I have several employees sick so I had to work but then I caught their yuckiness and was running a fever so I could not attend the blessed TMBS Christmas luncheon yesterday.  Monday we found a hen had frozen to death in the snow.  She was Lucy Goosey and I feel like a horrid mother because I was at work and she was cold and I was not here to help her.  Yesterday, I went out into the little storage room where my outside dogs live and found one of my Mom's dogs, Taylor had died in the night.  I do not know what she died of.  She was only five.  I had bought her for Mom when she had first been diagnosed with cancer so that she would have a little puppy to bring her joy.  She did her job admirably.  I am sad that she has died though.  Daulton helped me bury them yesterday afternoon.  I was glad that Taylor can be in heaven with Mom. Yes, I am a person who believes that all dogs go to heaven whether it's scriptural or not.  I base this on God loving all of His creatures and in my own pollyanna way, I need to believe that I will see my beloved dogs in heaven.  I think that when I am heaven and discover that it might not be true, I will be in heaven and it will not matter to me by then.  Yesterday, one of our neighbors sadly committed suicide.  Yesterday was a completely awful day and to have a day like that with a bad cold and a fever........oh well, today is another day.  The sun is shining, the Lord who loves me is seated on His throne in heaven and I have many blessings to count. 

Today, Wednesday, I am taking Will to the dentist to have some major work done on a terrible tooth that is hurting him.  He is afraid of needles and they are going to need to give him anything possible to help him not freak out. 

I have serious doubts about my abilities and my worthiness for anything today. I do not feel like I am doing anything well so I ask those of you reading this to pray that God will speak to me in my quiet place and help me to yank myself up out of the doldrums and seek God's shining face in the midst of these trials.  Crisis is not fun.  My sister said in her blog this week that crisis makes her run back to God and see the blessings of life with new fervor.  I know lots of people in this world are disappointed in me today.  I really need God's strength to help me to be a person who even I can be thankful for. 

Sorry I had to vent in this blog and write these thoughts.  I hope you can read it and be thankful that you are not having the week that I am having.