Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nana Gets A Job

Did I forget to tell you that Nana got a job?

Oops.

Nana is working at a big outlet mall near here at the Cole Haan store.

She is giddy because there is a nice discount at that store and the Nike outlet.
Goooo, Nana :)

Anyway, she just got home from work and was doing her nightly "telling" of her day.

Since it is a retail store, they do not hire a cleaning service to clean the store. The employees are expected to do that.

The employees are required to do everything from sweeping to cleaning the bathrooms.

Sooooo, have I mentioned that Nana is a wee bit OCD?

We never realized what it was when I was a kid.  But, I do remember the day she called me (when I was living in Minnesota).  The conversation went something like this:

**ring, ring**

"Hello."

"Lain!  I'm watching this special on the News.  You know, on the T.V..  He's talking about this thing called C.O.D."

"C.O.D.?  Collect on delivery?"

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no,  not C.O.D.  This, this Obessing Compulsion Disease."

"Ma.  You mean O.C.D.? Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!  Anyway, I was looking at the symptoms.  I think I have it!"

(long silent pause)

"Um, yeah Ma, you think?"

"What?!  You knew I had it?  How come you didn't tell me?!"

~

Aw yes, I remember it well.

Growing up meant getting out of the way when she wiped the counters for the 14th time, checking locks repeatedly when leaving, and lots of phone calls to me while she was at work asking if the iron was off, stove was off, etc...

And lots and lots of cleaning.

Nana's house is very, very c.l.e.a.n.

You could eat off the floors and she is very particular about bathrooms.

Enter into today's story...

"Oh Lain, I went into the bathroom today.  Aye yi yay! 
There was all this *bleck* down, down on the bottom. 
Oh, I cleaned it! 

I scrubbed behind the toilet,
in the toilet,
on top the toilet.

I cleaned the shelves, the sink.

And then, and then, I arranged all the cleaners so they are neat and in a row!

I told the girls (other employees) after I was done...












"You should see the toilet!








It's Smiling!!"







{translation:
It's so clean it sparkles}









p.s. I let her read this post before I posted it and she laughed so hard she was crying.

Now she's telling me more stories about work :)  I'll talk to you later...






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This post has been sanitized by Nana :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Devo from Jon

Hey all,

I know it's been very quiet around these parts. Things have been good here... I guess I've just been quiet.

You're right, that is strange!

I'll try to remedy that soon.

I am popping in tonight because I felt compelled to share tonight's entry from my before- I-go- to-bed devotional.

This year I am doing A Day's Journey ( I use one of the three Jon Courson devos before bed and rotate each year).

The follow is the devo for November 26th... Take it away Jon...

November 26,2010
(From A Day's Journey)

He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
1 John 2:9-11

The new commandment of which John speaks is the greatest commandment of all: to love.

"What is the greatest commandment?" the young lawyer asked the Master.
And Jesus said, "How do you read it?

"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart  and soul and mind and strength," the lawyer answered.

"That's it," Jesus said. "And the second is like unto it: Love thy neighbor as thyself."
(Matthew 22:36-39)


The fresh word for you and me is that we are to love, for if we say we're walking in the Lord and are close to the Lord but have hatred in our hearts towards our brother, then something is not right.

It's a wonderful thing to be able to say, "To the best of my knowledge, I'm not bitter towards anyone, mad at anyone, or angry with anyone because I know what a sinner I am.

I know how much I've failed. I know how gracious God has been to me."

When that's our heart, we know things are right.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pause and Ponder: A Pilgrim's Promise (Link Fixed-- sorry!)

It's Thanksgiving week... thoughts of turkey and cranberries?  Perhaps tomorrow... for today,
pondering life as a pilgrim.


To listen, pop on over to Pause and Ponder -- I'd love for you to join me...











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Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook November 22, 2010

FOR TODAY, November 22nd, 2010

Outside my window...
we are expecting snow!
** Brrrr **


I am thinking... 
about biblical womanhood, Thanksgiving, school, projects... yup, the brain is full!

I am thankful for...
an amazing church family, the God of our amazing church family, and
for the prayers and blessings given to us by our brothers & sisters of faith.

From the learning rooms...
We are entering Week 10
and the Georgia Colony.

We are to make a Peach Cobbler this week-- perhaps I'll finally take some pictures
and get a homeschool post up...


From the kitchen...
Meatloaf tonight, Pumpkin cookies soon, and Thanksgiving foods on Thursday :D

I am wearing...
a black tank with a purple dress thrown over, a long black sweater thrown over that,
and long Ugg boots.

I am creating...
a very fun and funky scarf.
Our Christmas cards.

I am reading...
not much of anything besides the usual Scripture/devotional reading.
 
My brain cannot do heavy reading right now ;P

I am praying...
 


I am hearing...
A very animated Abby telling Charlotte something,
Charlotte eating soup--it must be hot, she is blowing on it,
and Elijah rustling through the silverware drawer to get a spoon.

Around the house...
I can breathe and think again.
The countertop in the familyroom is cleaned off.
It is nothing short of a miracle.

In the living room, the manger is up but is not decorated yet.
(Thanks David!)

One of my favorite things...
 
hot water.
Seriously, I thank God at least once a day for hot water.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
School for the next three days, Thanksgiving with friends,
and more school :)

My Picture Thought...
This is last year's manger set-up.
Lesson learned the hard way-- we will NOT put an entire bale of straw in the house this year.
Wow-- I so could not breathe by the time Christmas day came!
A little sprinkle of straw in the actual manger will be just fine...
 

***






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Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

ECC- India poem

I was cleaning out some paperwork and found a poem that Charlotte wrote when we were doing ECC (Exploring Countries and Cultures).

I thought I'd share... mainly because I am afraid I will lose it so there will at least be a record here ;)



India
by Charlotte M.


India is a precious jewel,
No longer under British rule.
Under golden, yellow skies,
It's a delight to taste and eyes.

In India there are mangoes, bananas, meat and rice.
And lots and lots and lots of spice.
Red, orange, green, and blue.
Exotic colors, gorgeous hue.

Watch the cobra do it's dance,
While the charmer plays it's trance.
The Sloth Bear is big, black, and white,
And loves to eat the tiny termite.

India is a precious jewel,
Reflected in the Taj's pool.
Under the moonlit, inky skies,
Now it's time to say, "Goodbye."





Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Captain and...not Tennille



Unless he is helping out on Science, The Captain doesn't seem to get much coverage here on Mishmash.

I wanted to remedy that.

Since you guys can't all come over (even though you are welcomed to!) I thought I would give you a sneak peek at what you will often find me and the hubs doing in the evening.

We play duets on the piano.

Now keep in mind, I didn't say we play them well.

We just play them because playing together has become one of our favorite things to do together.

I just love the picture of marriage--

each playing his/her part and those two parts making one beautiful song.

Yes, sometimes a wrong note is hit.

Or, timing is off and out of sync.

But, we keep playing... and practicing... and playing some more.

By the time we know it, we've reached the end of the song... and finished well hopefully.

I posted a new duet on Facebook, but this one is Blessed Assurance and one of my favorites that we do.

To all the married couples, keep practicing and playing your song.
It's beautiful to all who hear it-- missed notes and all.

By drawing near to our Blessed Assurance--Jesus, we will finish well.




(It was very cold the night we recorded this... it is our squeaky pedal you hear early on :)
((I didn't want you to think we were stepping on the ferret!))




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Do you tickle the ivories??
 
 
(For you readers too young to know who Captain and Tennille are, they actually have their own website here.  I can't believe they're still playing.  I grew-up listening to them.
She still looks beautiful!
Anyway,  but don't tell me you're too young because I feel old enough as it is! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teach me...and Unite my heart


Hello all :)


There is a *New* Pause and Ponder up exploring Psalm 86:11-- teachability... uniting hearts... me being cold from drinking a glass of milk!  Hahaha

Seriously, if you haven't checked them out before... grab a cuppa, cuppa and come for a visit.
To those pleading broken speakers I say-- Headphones!!

It'd be nice to see your pretty faces over there-- just sayin' :)







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Podcasting from underneath my electric blankie!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook November 15, 2010


FOR TODAY, November 15th, 2010

Outside my window...
it's not raining :)
The wind is blowing and the leaves are whirling...


I am thinking... 
about the word "modesty" and what that means and looks like in
2011 in Portland, Oregon

I am thankful for...
being able to swallow yesterday.  
There was so much  yummy food at home groups!

From the learning rooms...
We are in Week 9 and I feel the fog of "November" lifting.
We are purposefully interrupting our day to combat
"Homeschool House" and make our home reflect our hearts.
***

Fractions! For Charlotte :)


From the kitchen...
One thing at time...
I hope to be feeling strong enough to do more than just basic survival in the kitchen.

I am wearing...
Tan slacks, a black, thin turtleneck under a black, cabled 3/4 sleeve sweater.
Ugg boots :)

I am creating...
hmmm... not sure yet.  I finished the gray cowl for Kristen.

I'll take pics today.

I am reading...
Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose

I am praying...
for revival in Portland
and protection for so many young girls being...
ensnared in the heartbreaking world of human trafficking.


I am hearing...
the scribble of pencils writing down our memory verses.

Around the house...
we are hopeful that it will look much better at the end of the day :)

One of my favorite things...
hearing my husband teach.
He's such a good teacher :)

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Meeting with the ladies from church, 
a therapeutic massage on Wed (hopefully),
a date with the hubs???

My Picture Thought...


Papa made us a test tube rack!
How cool is that??







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Have a blessed week!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Heart to Understand: Part Two- Organizing My Thoughts

( I am having one of my "episodes" of twitching, etc... Words are difficult to "catch" when I'm like this so please excuse typos, poor grammar, and disjointed thoughts.  Not that you'll notice a difference from my usual blogging ;) haha)

A Heart to Understand is my journey of understanding God's perfect will in regards to biblical womanhood for me and my daughters, whom the Lord has given me.  Part One is here.)


I have a little "exercise" that I do with myself (I talk to myself a lot) when I am either:

a) Facing a temptation/trial

and/or b) the Lord is "pruning" my life

and/or c) generally stressed out about something

So what I do is ask myself,

"What Do I Know To Be True?"

And by that I mean what do I know to be true about God (His character) and about myself (being created by Him and hidden in Him) and about the relationship between us as found in Scripture.

So, after my little chat with Abby, I took some time to ask myself that question.

Off the top of my head, I came up with these:

• God desires relationship.

• Jesus is the means to my having a relationship with God.

• God has given us free will.

• God established boundaries for my relationship with Him.

• God has given me His Holy Spirit to teach me and equip me to live within the boundary He has established.

• God created woman for a purpose.

• God is very protective of women.

• God reveals Himself to women.

• God's ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts.

• God is Faithful to lead and to guide; to correct and to discipline.

• God will complete the work that He has started in my and my daughters lives.

• God is good.

• God is love.

• God will not withhold any good thing from me.

Of course there is more, but for the moment this is enough to put my mind in proper perspective.

Now I start to think about the Bible and the information in the Bible.

I remind myself that there are specific time periods in the Bible which affect the context of the passages I read.

There is pre-Fall-- God's original plan/purpose for woman 

There is post- Fall/ but pre-Jesus/The Church period-- Here there is Narrative (what happened) stories and then there is the Law (God's "marriage vows" as He entered into covenant with Israel)

For these I need to recognize there are things written that apply to me in Letter and in Spirit, but some things that apply to me in Spirit only (having been fulfilled in the Letter).

"In Spirit only" things become clear in the post-Birth of Christ/Crucifixion/Resurrection/Sending of the Holy Spirit time period that make up the Epistles/Parables of the New Testament as Jesus and other NT writers comment or expound OT Law.

Whew... so where does that leave me tonight?

I know that Christ in me (and my girls) will always lead us. I know that it Jesus' work to finish this process of sanctification and being made like Him.

I know that the Spirit of God directs us.  BUT, I also know that the Spirit of God, whose job it is to point to and glorify Jesus, will not contradict Scripture.

The fact that I have unsettled questions leads me investigate what (if anything) the Word of God declares that is part of the boundary He established and that I am to obey.


The journey continues...



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This post was made with great effort with a pounding headache :)


Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Heart To Understand

I'm embarking on a journey to understand God's heart and perfect will for a woman in 2010 (and 2011 since 2010 is almost over).

Lainie dear, you're doing it again.  You've started mid-thought.  Please back-up and tell us what you're talking about...

Quite right... reverse gear...

So... as you know, our daughter Abby recently started a blog, Castles, Quills, and Cameras, which was nominated for Best Teen blog at HSBA.

Abby was stunned, and I would add rather confused, by the nomination (because her blog is so new).

She went online to see the other nominees.

We didn't talk about the other nominees until Thursday--
when we did some much needed "loads of laundry."

You see, I didn't "check out" the other nominees.

My daughter was nominated, so I voted for my daughter.  End of story.

I had no idea who else was nominated-- honestly, I didn't really care :)

I didn't realize that Abby, not only knew the other nominees (by visiting each blog), but that she cared more deeply than even she realized.

Apparently, all the blogs nominated belong to females except one.

All the female blogs have a similar "flavor" except one.

Abby's blog.

Now we are really throwing this thing into reverse... hold on...

I don't, what you would call, blend.

Meaning, I don't blend in... to the crowd.  And I rarely feel as though I belong or "fit" anywhere.

I, however, am used to not fitting in.  In standing out/apart, I've found my place and I've accepted it and embraced it.

It wasn't easy though.

Briefly, I am half Filipino and half "American."

My mom is a dark-haired, born in the Philippines, lived in Hawaii, accented, four-foot, ten inch brown-y, while my dad is a Wisconsin dairy farm boy, blond haired, blue-eyed white-y.

That would make me...

too brown to be white, too white to be brown.

The half-and-half term is called, "Mestiza."

I heard this term a lot as a child.

Depending on the speaker, I would hear, "Mestiza" with a tone of pity, a tone of envy, but rarely, a tone of welcome.

The only immediate acceptance a mestiza has is with, you guessed it, another mestiza.

I've always felt the "odd man out" even in my own extended family growing up-- until recently.

Now that Jesus has claimed our hearts, we are united in Him, and I feel a sense of belonging that is new and quite wonderful.

But growing up... I was a tomboy, yet not very athletic.

I wanted to be a police man or fire man!

Yet, I was... tiny... kinda scrawny.

I was alone a lot.

I have gotten used to being misunderstood and now take great delight in being unique, rather quirky, and looking for (and finding) acceptance in my Jesus, who knit me together in my mother's womb and knew me, inside and out, before the foundations of the world and unapologetically loves me.


What does this have to do with my daughter?

Well... she has "inherited" my case of "misfit-itis".

Commercial break:

Loved this song and sequence as a kid...
It was kind of my personal anthem...




Okay, where were we?  Oh yes, Abby has also experienced much angst because she doesn't "blend" very well either.

She is a whole lot of "somethin', somethin'" in a tiny little package.

Like her mother, she feels most comfortable with people significantly older or younger.
Peers?  Hmmm, not so much.

She wrestles with her lack of "fitting in" periodically.  I do my best to assure her that as she gets older  the age thing becomes less of an issue.

But she'll always be tiny and brown and tiny.  Did I mention she is tiny?
Oh, and smart.  Scary smart sometimes...

She loves to dance, but lined up in that great big ballet school mirror, the evidence is often overwhelming how much she doesn't "look" like a classic ballerina.

But I love to watch her dance... her graceful movements... the joy on her face.

These blog awards have become another "large mirror" to see her reflection in comparison to other teen girls.

This is where my journey starts... to find concrete answers for my daughter's heart.

See, she doesn't blog about modesty.

She blogs about movie-making.

Yet, she is modest.

She doesn't blog about courtship.

She blogs about cameras.

Yet, her heart is submitted to her parents and she respects our covering in her life.

She doesn't blog about growing into the woman her future husband will need.
She doesn't blog about home making... or baking... or needle crafts.

She blogs about books, about writing, about the passions she has right now and how she desires to give God glory with those passions.

Yet, she is growing, beautifully, into a godly woman who knows how to care for a home and she can cook--mainly because she loves to eat :)

She doesn't blog about how to be a godly teen.

Yet, she is a godly teen-- gracious, kind, tender-hearted, and with great integrity.

But seeing those other blogs... made her "feel" outside.

Outside of God's love, His approval, His will.

She actually enjoys many of the new blogs she discovered on the nominee list and knows that who they are, what they blog about, and what God has called them to be is awesome.

She was just...hesitant... about herself because at first glance, she "looks" different.

We talked much on Thursday about being led by the Spirit... about the radical nature of Jesus... about His peace that promises, proooommmises to lead us.

We talked about the fruit... the evidence of the Spirit's occupation in a life.

With her ten questions, come one hundred of my own!

Am I disobeying God's will for my daughter's by encouraging her to make movies?

By letting her wear pants??

By not teaching her how to can fruit???

I want... no.... I need answers, straight from God's Word, about womanhood.

And so I am on a journey, for myself and my daughters, to learn what God's heart and will is for these two precious young women in my home and very much in my heart.

I love Matthew Henry's comment on the creation of Eve:

If man is the head, she [woman] is the crown,
a crown to her husband, the crown of the visible creation.
The man was dust refined, but the woman was double-refined,
one remove further from the earth...
The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam;
not made out of his head to rule over him,
nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him,
but out of his side to be equal with him,
under his arm to be protected,
and near his heart to be beloved.


I will leave you with this quote from Herbert Lockyer's All The Women of the Bible:

Eve, then, was Adam's second self and differed from him in sex only, not in nature.  Priority of creation gave Adam headship but not superiority.  Both man and woman were endowed for equality and for mutual interdependence.

Often woman excels man in the capacity to endure ill-treatment, sorrow, pain and separation.  Throughout history, man, through pride, ignorance, or moral perversion has treated woman as being greatly inferior, and has enslaved and degraded her accordingly.

Among many heathen tribes today, woman is a mere chattel, the burden-bearer, with no rights whatever to equality with man.

    While the ancient world was predominantly a man's world, woman enjoyed a status in Israel not generally experienced in the East.

The Jews, holding to the revelation given to Moses of woman's endowments, worth, rightful position, were outstanding among other oriental nations in holding woman in high esteem, honor, and affection.

Christianity, as we are to see, brought full emancipation to womanhood, and wherever Christ is recognized as Saviour and His truth is obeyed, woman is esteemed as man's loved companion, confidant, and, in many ways, his better half.

***
















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Do you wrestle with biblical womanhood?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Special Message From My Father's World

I received an email from the MFW office and decided to post it here.

It should be self-explanatory, but should you have any questions, 
I'm sure the MFW office would be happy to answer them :)

And now...

Dear Friends:

Thank you for all you do to share My Father's World with others. We know one of the main reasons MFW is growing is because of moms like you who talk to other moms.

Now that the school year has started many families are beginning to think about their curriculum choices for next year. Others are unhappy with their choices for this year and are desperate to make a change now. We would like these families to get a MFW catalog right away. Will you help us?

Would you consider distributing MFW catalogs to your local homeschool groups? Or sending us contact information for the leader of groups in your area? Do you host a group or blog? Please share this information with your readers.

Also, many libraries have resource tables and will accept educational catalogs from patrons. Would you be willing to take MFW catalogs to your local library and find out if they can be displayed?

We can send as many catalogs as you need. We can also send them directly to a library or contact person if you can provide us with the address. To help, please respond to this email or give me a call (573-426-4600 extension 110).


David (Dee) Phillips

My Father's World

Just for clarity... I am not compensated in any way for this post.  I posted it because this is what we use and what works for us. 

Remember... your curriculum choice should be a tool to help you accomplish your goals for your children and your family.  Your curriculum choice should never be your task master.

May we continue to heed the wisdom the Lord gives us all as we teach our children and may we be led by His peace.




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Frog Dissection Day: Lots of Photos- not for the squeamish

Today was froggy day... the pictures are cool.

I have to say again how impressed we are with the specimen from Home Science Tools

The specimen was great-- flexible, not too messy, not really smelly at all, good price--
we highly recommend.

Preparing the operating room...



 Removing the specimen--



Examining the skin of the legs and...


the feet.



We determined that we had a female by the 
tympanic membrane size (the "ear") which is
almost the same size as the eye.

A male would have a much larger tympanic membrane.




 Here Charlotte is preparing to cut the hinge of the jaw
in order to open the mouth--




Say, "Ahhhh."


The kids were able to feel teeth and visualize internal nares.


Now for the main incision--


Pinning the specimen down first.  We had a layer of cardboard
underneath our styrofoam tray that came with the kit.

This gave more resistance to the pins so the specimen laid down.

It worked great.




Peeling back the skin.
Check out the blood vessels!





And finally here is a little video:



I wish the embedded video was as clear as it is for me here at home...








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This post has been sterilized for your protection.
 
Hahaha

Soup, Salad, and Seven Things

Lynda at My Heart's Desire was kind enough to  give me an award:




Since one of the requirements is to share seven things and I need a little blogging jumpstart, I gratefully receive the award and will now wrack my brain to think of seven things that you don't already know!

But... I didn't just want this post to be about me!  So I will also post a favorite soup and salad recipe!

How not typical of me :D


{{{drum roll please}}}

Did you know that...
#1)  Stash Peppermint Tea is my favorite?



#2) I don't color/dye my hair?  I figure I worked hard for these grays and I proudly display them.

#3) I always wanted to be a Girl Scout?  I think it was the uniform.



#4) I actually enjoy washing dishes by hand?  I think it's the hot water-- very relaxing.

#5) I've always wanted to go to New York?  Always... I don't really know why now.... hmmm

#6) I don't like artichokes?  I had a migraine once and a very sweet and well-meaning person placed a freshly heated artichoke in front of me.  I immediately got sick and the impression it made on my brain was permanent.

#7) I keep my electric blanket on my bed year round?  I'm a wimp.

***

Wow... that was exciting... ahem- Moving on--


One of our most favorite soups: 

Italian Wedding Soup

1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef

(At least) 4 cloves of garlic (pounded or minced)

2 bulbs of fresh fennel (chopped)

1 med/large onion (chopped)

2 T. Oregano

8 C. Beef Broth

4 C. Water

8 C. Shredded Spinach

4 Bay Leaf

1/2 t. Pepper

1 C. Orzo pasta

Parmesan Cheese to top

What to do:

Brown meat and drain most of the excess fat.  
Saute onion, fennel, and garlic.  Add broth, water, oregano, bay leaf, and pepper.  
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 10 mins.  Stir in pasta.
Bring to boil and cook 10 mins.

Pull off heat.  Add spinach.
Serve with parmesan cheese and fresh baked bread.
Yummy :)

(She isn't really blogging any more, 
but I did get this recipe from Mama Hollioni 
before either of us knew what a blog was!)



***

The salad recipe is also on her site and there are pictures.


The only thing I do differently?  Make more dressing!

***

Well this concludes "Blogging Jumpstart" with Mishmash Maggie.

We hope to resume our regularly scheduled broadcasts soon!








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I'm Lainie Magsarili and I approve this message.
 
hahaha

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook November 8, 2010






FOR TODAY, November 8th, 2010

Outside my window...
the light is really strange.  
I almost feel like I'm in the midwest during tornado season.
At least it's not raining :)


I am thinking... 
Sarah (of Sarah and Abraham) and how much I can learn from her life.
I'm also thinking about a cook book/kitchen tips book that I want to create from things I've learned from Nana (my mom).  She is excited about the idea too.

I am thankful for...
 a very supportive husband when I'm not feeling 100% (like yesterday).
And I am thankful our Lord is the Good Shepherd that gently leads His flock
instead of brutally driving.
From the learning rooms...
Well, we made it through Week 7.  
Week 8 here we come... one day at a time.

This time of year is always hard for me.

But I watched two of my previous Midnight Chats and was encouraged to keep pressing on...


( When It's November and It's Hard and Labour of Love)


From the kitchen...
Leftover chili today and beyond that I'm not sure.  
I haven't been up and about enough today to know if my body will cooperate with cooking... 
It might be a Nana-cooking week.  Thank You Lord for Nana...

I am wearing...
Flannel jammie bottoms, a tank, and a brown sweater-- I will be getting ready for the day--soon :)


I am creating...
the same cowl (the gray one).

Our Christmas card.
I am going...
to take it easy this week.  It's a must...

I am reading...
Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose

I am praying...
for my hubby who will be sharing on Sunday night (at home groups).  
We've been studying the Ten Commandments and he has to share on stealing, killing, and adultery!

I am hearing...
nothing but the hum of the 'frig (this new one is very quiet--except the ice maker) 
and the click of my keys on the keyboard.

Around the house...
Um, can I plead the 5th here??

One of my favorite things...
Laughing with my children... especially when they all pile up in my bed.
We... we are a very silly bunch!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
It will all depend on how functional I am...

My Picture Thought...




Join Me at The Homeschool Post!


It's that time of year and my Abby is nominated in Best Teen Blog!

•••






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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Neon Thoughts

I don't know if I have enough energy and brain power to write a cohesive post.

{I am soooo exhausted today}

But I have these thoughts, like flashes of neon lights at a carnival, catching my attention only to fade away as I try to grab on to them.

I have been thinking about

{grace and mercy}

By their very definitions, grace and mercy are given to those least deserving.

Yet, giving grace and mercy are easiest to give to those
that need it the least and hardest to give to those that need it the most.


Then I remember that I deserve God's grace and mercy the least and need it the most. 
As I receive His grace and mercy, I am able to give it away... to receive again from Him.

This requires a willingness on my part.  It's such a wonderful thing-- that my flesh is often stubborn and unwilling makes me sad.

~•~

I have been thinking about

{waiting on God's timing}
It is very difficult to resist the temptation 

to create an "Ishmael" 

while waiting for God and His promised "Isaac."


It is good to remember that Satan's temptation to stumble me, 
is used by God as a trial to strengthen my faith and

trust in Him who is Faithful and True.

~•~

I have been thinking about

{this very challenging home school year}

It appears we will develop persevering muscles this year as we struggle through each week.
My understanding of long-term need of perseverance makes it a little better.

I'm trying not to wait for things to return to normal.

I'm trying to understand that this is necessary for edification and growth.

I'm grateful that my "emergency walk around the block" on Thursday led to a spontaneous "outdoor school" at the park which then led to a spontaneous trip to the Zoo.

What started out to be a very difficult day, ended very well.

His grace is sufficient for me.

~•~


Friday, November 5, 2010

Once Upon A Time... We Made Music Together

Back... back in the day, the Lord did this amazing little thing called,

Women's Fellowship

Wait... let me back-up.

Waaaayyyy back in the day, our family attended a church called Rolling Hills and while leading a bible study, I met a woman who went from student to mentoree (is that a word?) and then, my friend.

This is the story of how I met Andrea.

In the beginning, during the "mentoree" stage, we used to meet every week or two.  
After the group study we were doing was finished, we started doing studies with just the two of us.


Hard studies.  Good studies. Healing studies.
I cannot begin to tell you how much "baggage" the Lord cleaned out in those years.
He healed our hurts.  He mended our broken parts. He gave us hope.

We did this for a long time.

Somewhere early in this, she said, "I've been sharing what I've been learning with my friends.  And they've been excited about it."

To which I replied, "That's nice."  

Okay, I didn't exactly say that, but that's kinda the idea.

I encouraged her to encourage her friends to find a mentor.

And by mentor, I simply mean... two people are walking on the same road with the same destination and someone has to hold the flashlight.

I was a flashlight holder-- holding and pointing to Jesus.

{So all of you reading that have been feeling the "tug" to mentor someone and run away screaming, "I can't!!!"  The question to ask yourself, "Can you hold a flashlight?"  The answer is "Yes."}

Back to story... I got home that night after we had met and I felt the all too familiar tap-tap on my shoulder from the Lord.

"Hmmm... yes?  Talking to me?"

You could do once-a-month.

"I could do what??! once-a-month?"
You could do once-a-month.

Sigh...

Back to Andrea... "Um... I don't have any idea what this would look like or what we would do, but do you think your friends would be interested in getting together once-a-month for something that I have no idea about?"

Yes, it was that clumsy.

She said she would check.  She checked.  They said yes.

I was thinking, "I've got one more possible "out." I'll ask my husband and if he doesn't think it's a good idea, I'll be off the hook and God can't be upset because I'll be listening to my husband.

I can be such a idiot.  Anyway...

"Karl, Andrea and I were thinking about maybe doing something and inviting people she knows... in the evening, once-a-month on a Friday.  What do you think?"

And I quote, "I think that sounds great honey."

Are you serious??!!

sigh

Did I mention that at that point, I didn't particularly like being with groups of women?

I've been hurt several times (since dreaded middle school) by female friends.
I didn't know how to have healthy female relationship.
I preferred hanging with the fellas and talking about tools and Home Depot.

But the Lord... He has His own ideas.  His ways are higher than my ways and all that :)

And that my bloggy friends, is how Women's Fellowship was born.

We had no idea what we were doing.

But we met and prayed.  I'd share a devotional.

I'd drive home and agonize over said devotional.

I'd tell myself, "You can't do this."

Yet pray, "Lord, if you want me to do this... um... You do it-- I'll just show up."

Repeat the following month.

For the first few months... we always had eight women attend.

Sometimes it would be a different eight... but always eight.

I learned that eight in the bible is a picture of new beginnings.
It was so appropriate.

Vanessa started coming.  She could play the guitar... and sing...at the same time!

We started singing worship first, then a devotional, fellowship, and snacks.
Snacks are good.


One month, one of our "regulars" couldn't make it and asked if we could tape it.

We did-- get this:  On cassette tape!

Wow-- I am so old!

Our eight had become ten, had become twelve, had become fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty...

You get the idea.

We started doing dinners before worship.

Eventually, I would let Andrea know what I was sharing on ahead of time.
She would take it and tweak it for a younger audience.

Moms and their daughters started coming.

After worship, Andrea would take the girls upstairs to share the same devotional as the moms down with me.  That way Moms and daughters could talk about the same thing and what they learned, etc...

It was an amazing, exciting, scary, crazy, busy, wonderful time in my life.

After everyone else had gone home, the small core group of us... Andrea, Stacey, Vanessa, Margeaux, Tanya, and myself, we would stay up (enjoying the "afterglow") and play guitars and sing and laugh and sing some more.

These times... these are ones I cherish in my heart.

One day... the Lord pulled the plug.

Women's Fellowship had served it's purpose and it was time to lay it down.

That was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

I wanted to hold on to it.

I didn't want to disappoint anyone.

I didn't want things to change.

But, more than that, I wanted to obey the One who could see deeper and farther than I ever could.


Did I mention that at this point, I not only liked groups of women, but I loved being with groups of women?  And I especially loved all these women.

And in the, very literal, last two months of WF, realized I loved teaching/sharing with women.
I stopped completely freaking out each month (both before and after) and during those last two months, I actually had fun.

I thought it was fun.

And I thought I would do that for the rest of my earthly life.


That last Friday night, April 1, 2005 (seems funny that it was April Fools' Day, huh?), I wrapped up our teaching portion faster than usual and, very teary, made the announcement that this was to be our last meeting.

We all cried... the little girls cried... the mommies cried.

A season had ended... a new season was beginning.

For me that new season involved much illness, much pain, surgeries, and heartache.

These same women that laughed with me and sang with me would be the same women that cleaned my house, brought me meals, stayed by my bedside, give me sponge baths! (another story for another time), and love on my children when I couldn't.

What helped me through that season was the "fruit" of the season that just ended.

In all of our playing and singing, Andrea and I wrote a lot of music together. 

Usually, I'm the lyrics, she is the music, and she does the singing because she sings like an angel.

Me?  Not so much.  I did sing one song called, "Fear Not."


When I recently had the honor of sharing at our church mini-retreat, I asked the Lord if I could please, pretty please have Andrea for worship.

He said yes... and so did she :)

Andrea has been in her own difficult season this last year.

We are no longer at the same church, we aren't in a bible study together, and except for the retreat, I have probably seen her three times in the last six months.

But the Lord, in His great kindness, let me "have" her for an entire day.

We sang, we laughed, we prayed, and we sang some more.

It wasn't the same though.

She is different.  I am different.
Thankfully, the One that binds us together is the same-- yesterday, today, and forever.

And He gave us such wonderful gifts, evidence, of what He has done in our lives and in our hearts, by the music we wrote and sang all those months and years ago.

I realized I have never shared any of this here and I felt like it was just time.

Now keep in mind, most of these tracks are not professionally recorded.
We made these recordings so that we would have them.

I hadn't listened to them in years... until two weeks ago.

And now... I want to share a few favorites with you...

(1) Good Morning Lord


(2) Into The Holies



(3) Ancient of Days


(4) Woman at the Well


(5) Withered Hand


(6) Issue of Blood


(7) Prayer



(8) Fear Not



(9) Psalm 91-- Makes me cry every time I listen.  This one was all Andrea...



(10) We Worship You



(11) Day and Night (This is the song we did at the retreat)
























Love you Annie...

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