Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Most Unusual Christmas

I should have suspected it was going to be an unusual Christmas when we received--

a hand-painted coconut from Hawaii.  Thank you again Tammi, we love it!

Although, I did receive many practical things that I really wanted--

a casserole dish from Brigitta

and books from the Captain, like this one--

 (I took and emailed a picture of the book I wanted. He was very appreciative!)

We also received thoughtful, unique gifts like this ferret-carrier made by Stacey Bug for Mr. Darren.

In addition to the waaaayyyy comfy, soft towels from Tita and Hertsel, we received new shoes from my sister-in-law, Joyce, that works for the Asics corporation.

It's not everyday you get a pair of 'kicks' with characters at a sushi bar on them--

But I have to say, the most...uh, unusual gift to make it into our home was one given by Nana to me.

I saw it at the airport back in July and made a comment about it.

Then I forgot about it.

Nana didn't.

She has waited since July to present me with my very own,

one of a kind,

head turning,

 comment collecting,

purse that is...


look for yourself--


Yes, a chicken bag!

It's not everyday you get to pull your wallet out of a chicken!

What about you?  Did you get any unusual gifts this Christmas??

If so, do tell!

The Apple Isn't Far From The Tree

We were all in a punchy mood yesterday.

Okay maybe not all...

just me.

Anyhoo, Marimba Sticks was over and needing name ideas for a story she is writing.

I took it as an opportunity to play name association.

Someone would shout out, "Archie!"

I would say, "Bunker!" And proceed to imitate the characters from the '70's TV show.

Someone would say ,"Buck!"

I would say,"Rogers! Beedee, beedee, beedee, helllloooo Buck."

You get the idea.

Someone shouted out, "Andrew!"

And I said, "Andrew Lloyd Weber!"

Then, Leisl said, "Isn't that the guy who wrote the dictionary?"


"Nana is that you?"


Oh my.

Apparently, the grand-apple isn't falling too far from the tree.

After all our silliness we decided ice cream was in order
(since it was a balmy 20 something degrees out)

so we piled into the van, went to the grocery store, and came home and enjoyed our treats.

I picked out Ben and Jerry's Banana Split-- So good...

Friday, December 25, 2009

On Christmas Day...

On Christmas Day,
my True Love said to me,

"Yes, I am coming quickly."

Revelation 22: 20

I am His Bride and I say,

"Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Day Before Christmas

The Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

"Then they will see
with great power and glory."

Mark13: 26

Do I realize He will not come as a babe in a manger but,
that He will be clothed in a robe dipped in blood
and His name is The Word of God?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Third Day Before Christmas

The Third Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

"And he said to them,
"Do not be amazed;
you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene,
who has been crucified.
He has risen;
He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him."

Mark 16:6

"Do I remember that death could not keep Him?"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

10, 152 Pennies So Far

We made an appointment to go to the bank today!

Brigitta has collected more than 10,000 pennies so we brought a cart full to the bank to be counted.

Let me tell you--- 10,000 pennies are heavy!!!

Thankfully, we remembered our rolling cart that we use for library books and that made the going easier.

Here Brigitta is waiting for the bank to finish running the pennies through the automatic coin counter. What takes her hours to count, the bank did in 10 minutes.

Here are the bags of pennies after being counted and before they went into the vault.

And a close-up of Brigitta with the check to God's Word for the Nations. The bank was kind enough to donate the fees they usually charge for a cashier's check.

Go Key Bank! Go Brigitta!

We will mail the check off this week and she will continue to collect her next 10,000 penny batch.

She is one step closer to her one million penny goal.

Great job Brigitta! We are very proud of you :)

The Fourth Day Before Christmas

The Fourth Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us."

Romans 5: 8

He died for me...

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... Monday, December 21st, 2009

Outside my window... is our neighborhood-- a very special place that I am grateful for.

I am thinking... strangely enough about Noah and the Flood. Random I know, but there it is.
I'm also thinking about standing in the gap in prayer for a friend who is heartbroken right now.

When circumstances are hard it is so wonderful that other believers can pray prayers of praise and blessing and truly cover another is prayer. A small picture of what Jesus does for us continually.

I am thankful for... surviving The Nutcracker 2009! I'm thankful there weren't any injuries, that the weather cooperated, and that the performers did a great job.

I am wearing... Sock Monkey pajamas that Katie-kins gave me for Christmas! They are my new favorites :)

I am remembering... that today is Nana and Papa's wedding anniversary.
Happy 44th Anniversary!!

I am going... to the vet with Mr. Darren for a check-up, last minute errands, Christmas Eve services, and finally, to have a peaceful, quiet Christmas day here with my family.

I am currently reading... Genesis and Footsteps of the Flock

I am hoping... I get some knitting projects finished this week. I'm also hoping my hubby is well rested for the busy week ahead.

On my mind... the coming of Jesus and what the millennial kingdom will be like.

I am hearing... my daughter load dishes into the washer... I'm very grateful.

Around the house... it is very obvious we have been living out of our house the last week. There is lots to catch up on and I am hoping for the energy to do it.

One of my favorite things~ is having my back rubbed after a long week at rehearsals!

From my picture journal...

It is a tradition that the performers in the "chef" roles pass out the cookies to the audience after each performance. This was the girls year to do that and it was lots of fun. The cookies weren't too bad either :)

Merry Christmas!
May the Lord bless you and your families!

The Fifth Day Before Christmas

The Fifth Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

"All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all

To fall on Him."
Isaiah 53:6

Photo by kimbleton on flickr

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Sixth Day Before Christmas

The Sixth Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

just as through one man sin entered into the world,
and death through sin,
and so death spread to all men,
because all sinned-- "
Romans 5:12

Photo by cstein96 on flickr

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Seventh Day Before Christmas

The Seventh Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

"When the woman saw that the tree was

good for food,
and that it was

a delight to the eyes,

and that the tree was desirable to make one wise,

she took from its fruit and ate;

and she gave also to her husband with her,

and he ate."
Genesis 3: 6

Photo by Smittenkitchen.com

What is delighting my eyes?

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Eighth Day Before Christmas

The Eight Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

"Now the serpent was more crafty
than any beast of the field
which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman,

"Indeed, has God said,
'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?"

Do I allow Satan to put a question mark where God has placed a period?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Ninth Day Before Christmas

The Ninth Day Before Christmas,
my True Love said to me,

"And the Lord God commanded man, saying,
"From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
you shall not eat,
for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."
Genesis 2: 16 & 17

Am I discontent despite the bounty He provides?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Tenth Day Before Christmas

(No more pretending... I've finally caught up-- grin)

The Tenth Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

"Then the Lord God took the man and put him into 
the garden of Eden

to cultivate it
                          and keep it.

Genesis 2: 15

Photo from http://www.uvm.edu/~pss/

Do I work and guard what God has given me?

The Eleventh Day Before Christmas

(Again, we're still pretending I'm organized and this was posted on Dec 15th--nudge, nudge, wink,wink)


The Eleventh Day Before Christmas
my True Love said to me,

"And God saw all that He had made, 
and behold, it was very good."
Genesis 1:31

Photo from http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com

The Twelfth Day Before Christmas

So... Let's Pretend I'm Organized...

And that I started this on the 14th when I was supposed to (but didn't due to the very effective half-life of all my medications).

On the Twelfth Day Before Christmas 
my True Love said to me,

"In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth."
Genesis 1:1

Beware of Postmen with Packages

There once was a family of Klusewitz name
To our side of the Island, to meet us, they came.

We hit it off well and had lots of good fun.
But it was such a short visit in the tropical sun.

With email and blogging to us they are near.
Funny stories, cool pictures, and recitals we hear.

Now kindness and giving the ocean can't stop.
They sent boxes of cookies, down our throats we did drop.

But Christmas was coming, what could they do
To show us some kindness and Christmas cheer too?

"Aha," said Mom Tammi with a gleam in her eye.
A clever idea one day she did spy.

So carefully, carefully, with brush in her hand
She painted and painted out as she planned.

Then finally it was finished, a master piece, yes!
To us she would send it, to us she would bless.

To the post office she ran, with a box from her hut
And now here in Oregon our own...

Painted Coconut!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

For today... December 15th, 2009

Outside my window...
it is rainy, grey, and cold.

I am thinking... stray thoughts that don't quite form complete thoughts... my brother, Christmas details, Rendering and Multiplexing, Hebrews study, Nutcracker rehearsal, math... busy brain...

I am thankful for... the relief of my headache and that I figured out that it was because of my neck (again).  Thankful for an understanding husband and family.

I'm also really thankful for my electric blanket.

I am wearing...
jammies and a fleece, snuggly thing but soon I will be in a fancy dress!

I am going... to a church Christmas dinner with Nana (in my fancy dress) :)

I am reading... Christmas cards and letters!  Yay!

I am praying... please see "I am thinking" above :)

I am hoping... for strength, energy, and a healthy pregnancy for a friend.

I am creating...well, I am not creating a different kind of daybook that I was tempted to--
I was going to call it The Broken Woman's Daybook and planned on featuring topics like...

• My current medications are ...
• I am currently hurting in these body parts...
• I am going to these doctor's appointments...
• I have these medical tests scheduled...

You get the idea.

I figured it wasn't very encouraging but it was, at least, mildly amusing to me. 

Pondering these words...
"Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" Roman 7:24  Sorry, still stuck on the broken body thing...

From the kitchen... um,  Can you repeat the question?

Around the house...
it looks like multi-colored sheep have exploded-- lots of yarn... everywhere.

One of my favorite things~
injectable Toradol.

I really apologize for this daybook... I will try to get it together by next week!

From my picture journal...

So... $7.50 gets you a whole LOT of HAY.  Like, wow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's The "Nutty" Time of Year

Tonight was dress rehearsal for Nutcracker... the girls have five shows over the next three days with a combined audience of approximately 2, 000 people.

We didn't have an audience tonight (although it sounded like there was one) after the girls finished their first run through as Chefettes.

Leisl and Brigitta are thankfully next to each other. It makes filming easier.
Brigitta has glasses and Leisl has the perpetual tan and great smile :)

I was working the security desk tonight but was able to sneak away to capture my girls.

For anyone local looking for a good ballet school,
I highly recommend June Taylor School of Dance.
It is a Royal Academy of Dance school.
Both of my girls are currently RAD Grade 5 and are in their 4th year of dancing.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pause and Ponder-- Twelve : Twelve and Thirteen

Ecclesiastes 12: 12 & 13

But beyond this, my son, be warned:
the writing of many books is endless,
and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:
fear God and keep His commandments,
because this applies to every person. 

As a brand-new mom and new Christian,  I wanted to do the best job I could to raise my daughter.
I didn't have, at that time, a living example of what godly mothering looked like.

I knew godly mothers but either their children were much older or I didn't see them often enough to glean practical, everyday help to train up a godly child.

I remember be given a lot of literature from the OB's office and again at the hospital before being discharged.  Although there were some good things written, the overwhelming feeling I came away with is that people were sharing what worked for them with their children and it was simply their opinion.

Before I move too far along, we can and should learn from one another.  Many older moms have spoken truth into my life and have helped shaped my parenting. My hope and desire is that the things I've learned along the way are helpful to other women as I've shared.

But in those early days, I remember feeling so frustrated when two "very trusted" books would have differing opinions.

I wanted to do what was best for my child and the only one who could possibly know what the best was, was the One who created her-- God.

My very first One Year Bible was a gift from a friend and I started to spend each day reading from His Word.  Each day I wrote out the verses that struck me or questions that I had about what I had just read.  I would also write out a simple prayer to the Lord.

I began to trust the peace that settles into your heart when the Lord speaks to you.  I made decisions for our first and subsequent children that didn't always fit with what other moms were doing.
But somehow I knew that it was right for my children.
Although I wasn't always consistent to carve out that time in the mornings, the Lord has always been faithful to show me what I should do.  Now, whether or not I always did it, is also another story.  But I learned, often the hard way, that when I did what I felt He would have me do and I confirmed it by His perfect Word, things were blessed and good.  But when I didn't heed the prompting in my Spirit and what was clearly written in Scripture, it was a bit of a disaster.

Thankfully along the way, I've learned repentance is a wonderful thing and that the Lord is quick to forgive.

As I read the first verse, I was reminded all over again, how faithful God has been to our family to guide us and train us.  I was reminded how when I had no clue what to do, all I had to do was ask Him and He showed me-- either in His Word during those early morning hours or during church service on Sunday mornings or during a bible study.

(I keep saying "I" because, it is a post for another day, but I never used to consult my husband about parenting and for years refused to allow him to be my God-given covering. I can be  quite stubborn.)

Anyway, as our children have gotten older, the issues of parenting are different.  Over and over, we find ourselves in unfamiliar waters.  Over and over, we find that God is faithful, to my husband and I, to show us what is right for children at any given moment.

(Yes, the Lord finally got a hold of me and boy, was it painful... good, but painful.)

I used to read a lot of books.  It wasn't uncommon for me to read 25-30 novels a year.  But I've found that I read "books" less and "the Book" more. I find that I reach for tried and true literature and re-read them only to discover more gems that were unnoticed before.

As a homeschooling mom that chooses to share portions of her life on a public blog, I want to be very clear that the things we do are the things that we have prayed about and feel at peace with our family doing. 

Whether it is a book or a blog, I have to remember that the things written are the experiences and opinions of the author and can/ should be used as a jumping off point for prayer or discussion with a spouse or parent (for those unmarried). But that I should, nor would I want my children to, blindly follow something or someone just because someone took the time to write it down.

But my hope, for myself and for my family, that everything we read would be run through the sieve of God's Word to discern whether or not it is good, right, and true.

I've mentioned before that I have to be very careful what "goes in" as far as books, movies, and music.  I hope that you are also careful, not just for yourselves, but for your children, the things that come before their eyes.

We watch and read with our minds as well as our eyes and I can't help but think about these three verses:

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
Psalm 101:3


Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 
Philippians 4:8

and finally,

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he
Proverbs 23:7

All these things lead to me our second verse...

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:

fear God and keep His commandments,
because this applies to every person

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pause and Ponder-- Twelve : Eleven

Proverbs 12: 11

He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues vain things lacks sense.


In case you didn't know... I'm a city mouse, not a country mouse.

Although I have had romantic ideas that I would have loved to have been a country mouse.

Thankfully, the Lord in His wisdom knew the truth--
I am not sturdy enough to be a country mouse.
(Read that-- wimp)

Anyway, I know that this verse has real practical application, even for us city people.
Hard work, generally, leads to sufficient pay so that we do not go hungry.
If we aren't willing to work yet wonder why there is a rumbly in our tumbly,
we're not "playing with a full deck" so to speak.

When I read this verse I briefly thought about the literal land that must be tilled in order to provide eventual bread to eat.

Ah, but what I thought about most is this verse:

"It is written, "Man shall not live on bread alone,
but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

Matthew 4:4

Digging into bible study is a lot like tilling soil.  It's hard work.
Sometimes it harder than other times, but always,
it requires effort, stamina, and patience.

But, like eating the fruit from the land that has been worked,
digging into the Scripture and mining truths hidden in God's Word is rewarded with the satisfying Bread of Life.

In John 6:51 Jesus says,
"I am the living bread that came down out of heaven;
if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;
and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."

Over time I have discovered that reading and study the bible is not so much to learn about "the bible."
I read the bible because it reveals the heart, character, nature, and perfect love of Jesus.

In the same way we look through a telescope and not necessarily at a telescope,
we look through Scripture to see Jesus.

When I make the effort to truly study and meditate of the Word of God,
I am satisfied deep in my soul.

Ah... but I've also experienced the second half of our verse.

"... but he who pursues vain things lacks sense."

The word pursue in Hebrew means, "to chase after; hunt"
and vain means, "empty and meaningless."

I used to watch a lot of T.V..

In fact, as a child I would tell time by T.V.
(let's go back in time shall we?)

My Dad would come home from work and we would have a conversation like this...

Me: Hi Dad, Mom called for you.

(Remember, I grew up pre-cell phone, pre-pager in the land of 10 cents a call phone booths)

Dad: Oh yeah, what time did she call?

Me: Uh, I don't know... Sometime between Andy Griffith and Hogan's Heroes.

Talk about pursuing vain things and having no sense!!!


It was many years ago now, that the Lord had to show me that I don't know how to watch "a little bit" of television.  I get completely sucked in and believe me, it's not pretty.

I watched one season of American Idol a few years after I stopped watching T.V..
You could not have a conversation with me and not have it turn, some how, to American Idol.
It was so weird.  

I knew I was in trouble the morning I woke up singing,
"I'm leaving, on the midnight train to Georgia."

Talk about red flags! Whoa.

I know for certain that what I put in (reading material, movies, music, etc...)
will come out one way or another.

I pay attention to what I say because I am a living color example of,
"...for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."
Luke 6:45

I want my mouth to speak of the Lord and His goodness.
I want to share how He satisfies my soul and never leaves me lacking.
I pray regularly for the "raining" of the Holy Spirit to make the work of tilling easier.
But mostly, I'm thankful that the Lord is faithful to re-direct me when I'm off chasing empty and worthless things.

Truly, His grace is amazing.

From The Inbox

• What is that tool you used on the "Dem Bones" video and where do you get one?

The tool is called "Crop-A-Dile" and the kit I bought looks just like this one:

What is nice about this tool is the ability for it to quickly and easily punch through book board.
It has two adjustable guidebars (to set depth) for hole punches.  After your hole is punched, you can place an eyelet in the hole and the tip of the tool smushies it together.

I use this tool for our timeline pieces as well.

I purchased mine at Paper Zone.  But I do know they carry it at Michael's.  I'm sure most craft stores would have one.  They also have a Big Bite version (on my wishlist) that can place an eyelet in the middle of a piece of paper.

• What software did we use to make our movie and other videos?

Funny, Leisl and I both want Final Cut (movie making software).  However, we felt we were supposed to use what has already been provided to us when we worked on the film.

So all that to say we use iMovie, which is preloaded on our computer.

• You guys are sweet to ask about my Dad (Papa) and my brother, Joel.  Both are doing well health wise.  Papa is continuing to eat as he should and exercise.  He lovingly serves our family and seems to have made a complete recovery.  Praise the Lord!

My brother is doing okay.  I'm actually not sure if he has made any progress with changing his diet but he has remained "quit" from cigarettes.  Baby steps... baby steps are good :)  No other incidences since his last admission a few months ago.

• And lastly, we aren't "anti-Christmas tree."  I have been praying for the Lord to show us, as a family, how to celebrate the birth of His Son in a more meaningful way.  Everything just fell into place to have our friend David make a manger for us.

I have to say, it is just about impossible to walk by it without thinking about Jesus and His birth.  I never experienced that with a tree.

But, I think that anyone the celebrates the birth of our Savior is doing just that... celebrating.  Whether it is with a tree or without, with an Advent calendar or without, with a Navity scene or without.. we are celebrating a person, our Savior, our Bridegroom Jesus.

May we give Him all the glory He is due.

As an update... the manger is coming along nicely :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pause and Ponder-- Twelve : Ten

Job 12:10

In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?


"In whose hand..."

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;
and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 
"My Father, who has given them to Me,
is greater than all;
and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 
"I and the Father are one."

John 10:27-30

"... is the life of every living thing," 

"The God who made the world and all things in it,
since He is Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in temples made with hands;

nor is He served by human hands,
as though He needed anything,
since He Himself gives to all people
life and breath and all things;

and He made from one man every nation of mankind
to live on all the face of the earth,
having determined their appointed times
and the boundaries of their habitation,

that they would seek God,
if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him,
though He is not far from each one of us; 

for in Him we live and move and exist,
as even some of your own poets have said,
'For we also are His children.'

Acts 17:24-28

"...and the breath of all mankind."

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
Psalm 33:6

Let everything that has breath  praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD! 
Psalm 150:6

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pause and Ponder-- Twelve : Nine

John 12: 9

The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there;
and they came, not for Jesus' sake only,
but that they might also see Lazarus,
whom He raised from the dead.

I didn't realize until today that I could substitute my name for Lazarus' name in this verse.  People that wonder what this "whole Jesus thing" is all about look to His believers for the answer.

Like Lazarus, I was dead-- not physically, but dead in my sins and separated from God.

Like Lazarus, my life...um... smelled bad.
Me thinkest that I was stinketh.
I dripped with sarcasm.  I was vulgar.  In a word-- ugly.

Like Lazarus, I looked hopeless for a good future.
I was broken and groped around in darkness never even knowing it was dark.

But then came my Jesus.

He came to my spiritual tomb and called me to Him.

It's taken me a long time to be free from the tangle of burial cloth that bound me up. 

Thankfully He gives us other believers to help with the "unwinding" process.

All the while, there are people watching.

Sometimes they listen.  But it's been my experience that unbelievers watch more than they listen.

The people in our verse today wanted to see Lazarus.  Was he really alive?  Were his burial garments really gone?  Was he living like a man given a second chance with a resurrected life?

Those are the questions I asked myself today.

Do I live as a woman who was once dead and bound up but is now resurrected and free?

I don't have a neat and tidy ending for this post.

Sometimes I have great days and can lay my head on my pillow at night content that I was about my Father's business that day.

But there are too many other days, where I wonder as I drift off to sleep, if I take for granted my resurrected life.

 On those days, I can only cry out, like the psalmist David--

Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 

Do not cast me away from Your presence, 
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, 
And sinners shall be converted to You. 

There is no better witness to the lost than for believers to live fully in the joy of His salvation full of grace and truth.


Dear Lord,
Help me to not quench Your Spirit.  By Your power and great mercy, may I live each day as a testimony to Your goodness. Lord, teach me to love that the world would know You are in me and I am in you. Amen.

Kurt's Quotes

Yesterday, Brigitta accidentally punched herself in the head.

Kurt said (loudly), "It's because you're too tall!

You're over-grown!!

Tomorrow when you wake up, you're gonna be a giant!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In loving memory...Pause and Ponder: 12:8

Luke 12:8

"And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men,
the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God;"

I know someone who is being confessed "before the angels of God" today.

Papa came over this morning and very simply and sweetly stated,
"Today is a day for rejoicing."

I looked at him only slightly puzzled and replied, "Yes it is.  What's up?"

"My mom went Home this morning."

My Grandma.

My last remaining grandparent has now entered into her rest.

A mom who raised seven sons on a dairy farm and was a servant of all deserves some rest!

In our verse for today, the  word "confesses" simply means to agree.
According to the New Testament Word Study by Zodhiates, it is an agreement or acknowledgment of a covenant.

God made a covenant (contract, promise) with us.  It was made by the blood of His Son and the "earnest money" is the Holy Spirit.

My grandmother lived out the promises of God by faithfully loving, serving, and most importantly, praying for the people in her life.

I pulled this out tonight...

It's an old Arch book about the life of Esther.  I didn't grow up in a bible reading home.  I didn't know about Queen Esther or other stories from the bible.  But I read this book and all the others that she faithfully sent over the years.  I know that she sent them because inside the cover of each book is an inscription similar to this one's:

 She not only sent me books that told of God's Word but she prayed for me and my family.
Over the course of her lifetime she saw her sons walk with the Lord.

Then she, heartbreakingly, saw them walk away from the Lord.

And then rejoiced as one by one, the prodigals returned home.

But that's not what you would say on a dairy farm in Wisconsin.

What Papa told Pastor Jim tonight was,
"All the cows are back in the barn by milking time."
Right where they belong!

She didn't get a lot of encouragement to keep living the life of faith that she lived but, she lived it anyways.

And she lived it faithfully.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Give my Grandma a big hug and kiss for me okay? 
And tell her I said, "Thank you" and that I love her.

Irene Johnson, my grandma

May 28, 1916 - December 8, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

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For today... December 7th, 2009

Outside my window...
it is COLD! I feel like I'm back in the Midwest. Seriously.

I am thinking... about what a goof-ball I am! Why do I wrestle with the Lord, give the Enemy an opening, and make myself miserable? I'm so glad the Lord is long-suffering with me!

I am also thinking there is a whole lot that is going on that I can't see and that trust and obedience to the Lord are of the utmost importance (especially right now).

I am thankful for... the unexpected visit by David and Kristina today. David came and built our very first manger. I never thought I could be so happy not having a Christmas tree. I'm thankful he was also here to help move the couch! :)

Oh, I'm thankful I'm feeling better and I'm especially thankful I don't have the flu.

I am wearing...
jeans, black turtleneck, black cardigan, Sock Monkey hat, and the boiled wool cloggy things.

I am going... to the library tomorrow... must. return. books.

I am reading... sewing/project books in addition to my usual... Footsteps of the Flock, and assorted verses from the bible.

I am praying... for continue strength and energy to serve the Lord and my family. I'm praying Nana gets better soon. And I'm praying for protection while I write these devotionals. Yikes!

I am hoping... for my brain to be still.

I am creating... a few Christmas gifts. The sweater is almost finished. I bought buttons today :)
The DVD cover is almost done, too. I did re-cover this pillow from a sweater I got at Goodwill.

This sweater plus...

this tired pillow equals

this :)

Pondering these words...
"The Lord is good..."

From the kitchen... experiments with the new Demarle Flexible mold pans I just got. These things are incredible!

Around the house...
"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

One of my favorite things~
finding great deals at Goodwill with a good friend!

From my picture journal...

We still need to get fresh branches and straw. Plus, we'll also add more lights but this is our manger so far.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A very late Pause and Ponder: 12:7

I've been wrestling with this verse for over 24 hours.

Mark 12:7

"But those vine-growers said to one another,
'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!'

I didn't want to write about this verse.

I wanted to write about Luke 12:7 which says,
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows."

Isn't that a much better verse? I thought so.

I have no idea how many hairs are on my head!

Do you?

Just another verse to remind me that God knows more about me than I do.
"Do  not fear" is always a good reminder.
And of course who doesn't want to hear they are valuable to God?

Ah, but this is not the verse for today.
And God knows more about everything than I do so here we go--

The verse for today is about the vine-growers that tend the fields of a "man."  They have beaten and/or killed all the servants that were sent to collect a portion of the harvest.

Verse 6 of Mark 12 says, ""He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'

And of course, our verse--verse 7, reveals their plan.

Isaiah 5:7 identifies the vineyard as Israel and the servants that were sent are the prophets sent by our loving God to preach repentance to the nation.

The nation of Israel, being lost in idolatry, didn't want to hear that message so they killed the prophets and eventually killed the Christ (or Messiah) who is Jesus our Lord.

The reason I did want to write about this verse is I thought it wasn't applicable to me.

As I have wrestled and struggled with this all day, I've come to understand a few things.

My brains are fried from being crabby all day.  Please forgive the bullet points.  It is all I can manage ;)

• Jesus is God's Beloved Son and He is also referred to as The Word in John chapter 1.

• There are religions that edit their "bibles" whenever they come across a reference to the deity of Jesus.  They omit those verses because they don't like them or agree with them. It would appear that whether they are true or not has little to do with it.

• I must be very careful that I don't do the same thing but in a much subtler way.  I would never think to cut out or black out passages from my bible.  But do I gloss over the verses that are hard (on my flesh) to read?

Oh, this is where the Lord had me today.

2 Timothy 4: 3 & 4 sum it up very well...

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but wanting to have their ears tickled, 
they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

  I think I have to be on guard and very cautious that I don't adopt a "buffet" table attitude towards the Word of God.  At a buffet, I can pick and chose what I want and have as much of the stuff I like.  I don't have to pick anything that doesn't look appealing (even though I have never tried it). I can eat my fill of sweet stuff or in my case, "meat" stuff!

But God's Word is not a buffet.

It is a perfectly balanced and portioned meal. 

There are things written in the bible that don't look appealing to me.

But have I tasted (for myself-- very personal-- no one else can eat for you) and seen that the Lord is good?

Submission to my husband didn't seem very appealing when it first showed up on my "plate."

Oh, but now I know it is delicious and perfect.

But as today was witness, I seem to be pushing "Do everything without complaining or arguing," around with my fork.

God "peeked" under my mashed potatoes and said, "It's good for you.  Try it and see."

He's right.

I know that complaining is like a cancer for the soul and arguing just makes my flesh grow-- like the Rumor Weed in Veggie Tales.

I've been absolutely miserable all day.  I don't make a very good "god" for myself.

Once I "tasted" the truths in this verse, I felt free and at peace.

I'm praying that the Lord continues to show me the "calamari" verses of my life.
(I'm sorry but it jut looks creepy to me!)

And that I would trust Him enough to know that He desires good for my life and not evil.

But I still don't think I can bring myself to try the calamari!

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