Monday, July 30, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Coleen is 22 months younger than I am and to the right here is a picture of Coleen (right), Greg (top), Brad (middle) and Kevin (bottom right). Oh, and that's me on the left. This picture was taken hmmm... probably when I was in around 5th grade (?) and Coleen was still SHORTER than me. (or is it shorter than I???) Anyway, by the time we were in high school, she was taller than I was. (I am now the shortest one.) So, besides the fact that she was taller and looked older than I did (which is a REALLY BIG deal when you're in high school and everyone thinks you are younger than you really are) here are some other things I should tell you about my amazing sister. First of all, she has 5 (FIVE!) wonderful children who I am priviledged to call my niece and nephews. (Yes, if you noticed, she only has one girl. That means she has 4 boys.) But that's really good, b/c Coleen and I were used to being around boys, seeing as we had 3 brothers, and growing up Coleen was never really afraid of boys like I was anyway. That's all I'm going to say about that. : )
She lives out in the country with cows (if I remember right, 2 of them are named T-Bone and Chuck), chickens, a couple of ducks and goats and dogs and cats (I think... I lose track sometimes.) She also homeschools the older kids. (I told you she was amazing! But no, don't worry, her house isn't always clean and she's not perfect. But she is amazing!) Growing up Coleen and I laughed and LAUGHED and sang and played together (and argued a bit, though we never could stay mad at each other for more than 5 minutes). We were pals and always glad to have each other at new churches or school or on campus in college. To me, she always seemed brave, though I'm sure it wasn't always the case. I especially miss singing with her (though I don't miss the clarinet duets...) She and my mom and I would sing at church quite often AND at home doing the dishes AND driving around town, not non-stop, but ALWAYS in 3 part harmony!!! Sometimes we would sing with our cousin Amy, too. The three of us will never again be able to sing "I felt every tear drop when in darkness you cried and I strove to remind you that for those tears I died" without LAUGHING and I can't even expain to you why because I just don't have time and you wouldn't understand anyway. (But I promise you if Amy and Coleen read this, they will be laughing right now!)
May God continue to bless you, my faithful sister! I love you and see God at work in and through you and pray He will continue to bless you as you serve Him faithfully. Happy Birthday!!!!!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
For a while now off and on I have asked God to help me deal with my pride. He heard me and answered loud and clear. I'm won't go into all the details, but will say that I spent a good amount of time this morning grieving and repenting and trying to remember how to move on after I've blown it. My pride got me into this mess and it is trying to keep me from getting out, too. I feel so embarrassed and ashamed and disqualified and like I should have known better than to fall into thisnot because I'm better than anybody else, but because I've been a Christian so long it just seems I should know better. But that is my pride talking again. It's so sneaky! Telling me others are wrong one minute and telling me I shouldn't have messed up the next.
I'm grateful for God's discipline and for his forgiveness and mercy and grace that I can absolutely count on. He's dealing with this in me because He wants it out of the way so I can walk humbly with Him and be used by Him. How incredible and undeserved is that.
For years the following verse has been a challenge and encouragement to me. It seems extra fitting today: "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." Hebrews 12:11
Amen & amen! Thank you, Jesus, for your unending mercy and grace to me...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
But my point in telling you all this is not too impress you with our green thumbs. There IS such a thing as TOO much fruit. When you can't eat or freeze it or make jam or give it away fast enough, it just goes to waste. But there's actually an even greater danger. Too much fruit can break the tree branches.
When I was out picking peaches last week I was reminded of HOW IMPORTANT it is for me to let God prune me. Thinning out the activities of my life--even ones that appear fruitful!--is essential for my survival and my ability to continue to produce even better fruit. A while ago God did just that and I'm so glad I didn't fight to keep holding on when He told me to LET GO. There is also the reality that things sometimes have to die so the seeds can be planted and new things can grow from them.
How sad would it be if we were so determined to protect a particulary beautiful peach--so we left it on the tree as long as possible, protecting it from bugs and birds, and when it was so soft (and over-ripe) that it was about to fall off we picked it and brought it into the house to keep protecting it and we just kept it and kept it. Do you know what fruit smells like when it's started rotting??? It's so much better to either eat the fruit or let it drop and let the seed grow something new.
Well, I'm rambling a bit, but I feel so strongly that so many Christians are so busy being busy that we don't realize our branches are about to break (if they haven't already) because we are too busy bearing fruit that God wants us to let go of. In John 15 Jesus makes it quite clear that any branch that bears fruit needs to be pruned so it can be even more fruitful. Pruning is painful. But it is oh so necessary if we want to live fruitful lives.
Now, go eat a peach, or come get a plum or some cherry tomatoes from my house--before they're all gone! : )
Blessings to you today!
Monday, July 16, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
While I think of my mom first because she taught me so much about how faithful and good God always has been and always will be, I was struck this morning by how incredible my husband is. He is such a gift from God to me. When I struggled with post-partum and other depression in the last years, he was so patient and loving and helpful. He encouraged me to remember what the truth was and encouraged me to get help from a therapist when neither of us knew what else to do. He is so faithful to our marriage and guards it fiercely (in a healthy way!) He loves me and honors me and encourages me to pursue my dreams even when I think they’re unreachable. He is such a good father and is my partner until death to us part. God is my Rock, my Redeemer and Savior, but my husband is a great great gift to me. In the day to day
struggles of life when we let each other down and step on each other’s toes too often I forget to be grateful for him. Thank you for giving me a chance to remember. : )
I had been thinking lately that I talk a lot about my kids and myself on my blog, but not much about Lowell. He is an amazing husband and I'm so glad he's mine. : )
(I love you Babe!)
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Sunday, July 01, 2007
This being the week we celebrate our country's Independence I thought I should admit I have forgotten everything my 4th grade teacher taught me about where Alabama and the Dakotas and Iowa and Illinois are. Forgive me for being from a state that is so easy to find, but those other ones all get mixed up in my brain. SO I am determined to play with this puzzle every day this week (in honor of the 4th and 4th grade) and see if I can learn it again. Because even if I'm "only a housewife" (yes, yes, I know... I'm not ONLY a housewife and I'm not married to my house, BUT!) I should know where Missouri is!
Happy 4th of July everyone! And God bless America!