Friday, June 26, 2009

thought... wonderings... & jonah days

June 25th

I have not been having a good day.

I woke up this morning, took a look in the mirror (as I was doing my hair) and immediately wondered if a few cracks in said mirror might improve my image. :-P (I refrained.) That was bad enough. But the worst was yet to come: before breakfast, I had lowered myself by showing how someone was being selfish and thoughtless when it did not need to be done. And it didn't stop there. All day, just when I think I'm doing better and making up for my earlier behavior, a situation catches me unaware and what is in my heart tumbles out for everyone to see. Oh, and when I was entertaining the baby, my leg, which is 99% most of the time, gave me a sudden reminder that it is indeed 99% and not 100%.
You might say my self esteem is rather low at the moment. I feel immature, thoughtless, stupid, ugly, weak and a number of other uncomplimentary adjectives. LOL!

I can't say I have found a remedy other than falling down on my knees and begging for God's grace and mercy. Right now, I feel that all I ever want to do is bring glory to Him and I'm not able to do so.
I'm sitting here, staring at my computer screen, thinking. Wondering. Hoping.
Of course, there is another, better, side to this. Any moment I'm feeling particularly low, something good and wonderful leaps up and shows me how much God loves me...
Sara grabbing my finger and giving me a slobbery grin before stuffing both my finger and her hand into her mouth. (She's fast!) (Believe me, it only took 1/10 of a second to get it all in there... and that much time again to get it out! LOL!)

A mother and sisters who scold me one minute and act like everything's fine and dandy the next (because they forgave my ridiculousness).
Sunshine warming my feet as it shines through the window.
Flowers bobbing in the breeze, reminding me of the wonderful rain we got yesterday.
Letters from dear friends (it doesn't matter if they're old or not, friendship makes all things relevant... )
Phone-calls from friends (which are almost as good as letters)
Water to drink that tastes so, so, good!
Listening to music. (“... so let the sunshine in... face it with a grin...”)
Things working out smoothly for going on the trip.
My increasing strength (yesterday I was able to water all the flowers and make breadsticks before I was tired.)
The last thing should make me feel on the top of the world, if nothing else.

It seems strange... through my failings today, I, in desperation turn to the Lord. There is no other place to go. My confidence has dwindled to nothing. My patience and grace are both at the same level as the former. My temper feels like it could be gaged at 8 (numbers 1 – 10; 10 being highest level) There is nothing left in me to fall back on.

I have asked myself this question for a few years now: can God use evil to glorify Himself? By my mistakes today, I was forced to look to Him. But why did He have to use my stumbling and falling to do that? Couldn't He have used something else besides sin?
The brother of a promising, godly young man wrote an article about his view that God does not use evil to bring glory to Himself or cause something He wanted to happen. This was after the young man was killed tragically by a drunk driver. The brother was insistent and indignant to the people who tried to comfort the family by saying that God was using this to bring glory to Himself.
And yet, through the turn of events later, I could see how many good things probably wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for drunkenness, lack of self control, stupidity, etc. Without those elements in the situation, the man who killed the boy wouldn't have searched so hard for the meaning of life. The family wouldn't have had such a chance to demonstrate the love of God. And around the community, many people heard the gospel message who might not have, had it not been for this boy's death.
But evil is the opposite of who God is. God cannot be evil. So how can He use it? It seems wrong to even think that God could perhaps use evil to accomplish His purposes.

But regardless of what other people's views are, I am praying that God will show Himself strong and able. Because, right now, I feel like I'm on the verge of crumbling... or falling off... or blowing up... or something! Got any dynamite, anybody? J
I know God will come through. He has every time. But the question remains of whether I will let Him do His work in me or not? Is there anything in this heart of mine that won't let Him?
Oh yes! God is ever loving, ever powerful, ever able. But from my experience, I can say without a doubt that He never forces me to do what is right.

The nice thing about “Jonah” days is that tomorrow is usually 78% better than today.

::decides that she's glad there is no chocolate handy for eating because she would be sorely tempted to cheat::

After writing this, I had just gone to get a little book a friend sent to me for my birthday entitled, “The Bible Promise Book”. In it are verses with corresponding headings, such as, “Anger”, “God's Faithfulness”, “Forgiveness”, “Joy” and many others.
As I opened the book, a poem my friend had slipped into the cover of the book caught my eye. On the top, under the title, there are two verses:

“The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” Psalm 147:11
“The Lord delighteth in thee.” Isaiah 62: 4

God knew what I needed to hear... what I needed to realize. He is so good to me. You know how much I don't deserve this? I don't understand why, in my worst moments, He sends down showers of love. Why now? Why not when I've been good?
I don't understand God. I don't understand His love. But I have suddenly caught a glimpse of it and Him through today. I am so thankful and so, shall I say?, in love with my God and King.

In the Center of God's Heart

It is easy to be discouraged
When looking at your life,
Perhaps feeling that you have failed,
Or weary with daily strife.
But think about this fact -
And it is really true -
That the great God Almighty
Finds His pleasure in you!

He chose you before creation,
In His image you were made:
And in His love and mercy
His hand on you was laid.
Deeply does He love you,
You are precious in His sight,
But even more than this -
In you He finds delight!

God has His beloved Son,
Heavens glory and all creation,
And yet with joy does He regard
Redeemed “heirs of salvation”.
How mysterious this love,
How magnificent His grace -
That in the center of God's heart
We have found our place.

-- Marjory Windsor

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward. 2 Peter 3:9

If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Psalm 9:10

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:6

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psalm 23: 4 – 5

But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. Psalm 37: 39

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum 1 :7

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Psalm 37: 24

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42: 11

Monday, June 22, 2009


moving takes a lot of effort and great faces... hehe

working in the garden

Miss Ellie ... I love this picture

The hoots of life...

June 21st, 2009

The first day of summer has dawned cloudy with thunder in the distance. Actually, the last one was a little more than in the distance. :-) Last night I fell asleep to it. The storm moved to the south of the house where the lightening was clearly visible from the windows on that side of our room. It obviously hasn't moved since then or it's cousin moved in on it's heels.
And now it rains.
It rained almost all day yesterday... it's wet around here. As it always is when it rains, the mosquitoes were pretty thick in our room when we went to bed. I was just relaxing when Ellie said, “Do you hear that mosquito?” Even though I grumbled, I turned on the lamp and she smashed it. “Hm,” she said, “It was full. Now there's blood smeared on the wall.” What's new? ;-)
And a little later, I was just about drifting off to dreamland when I heard a high whine buzzing around my head. I jumped up and snapped on the light. Tried to smash it but missed. It went upstairs to Ellie but she never saw it. I left the lamp on for a few minutes, hoping for a second chance (“come on, Mrs. Mosquito... come die! I'll make sure it's painless...”) (it's pretty bad when you start talking to mosquitoes). But the second chance never happened and I woke up this morning to a hand that has an itch and a bump. :-P Oh well. :-) There are a lot less mosquitoes in our room than there are outside!
Life has been keeping me extra busy, it seems. I sewed a couple dresses for Cilla and Ruth the past few days. It's so nice to get them done before we leave on the trip. Mom also made a dress for Ruth... it's absolutely gorgeous. Cute pattern... kind of an A-line skirt that's very full. It fits beautifully.
Hannah and I have worked with the flowers, lately too. Thankfully, they are all planted and ready to flourish in the summer season. There is a local lady who has greenhouses and sells many plants. It's late in the season so she is about ¾ of the way sold out (believe me, until she told us that, we thought she hadn't sold hardly anything... that lady has a tremendous amount of plants in those greenhouses!). Anyway, we bought some pansies and some other plants from her to plant around the place. There are some annual flower beds that were nearly empty. Nice to see them filled up at last. :-)
Ellie and I recently read a story out loud to the family (actually, Jesse and Mom were our main listeners :-)). Does anyone else out there enjoy reading out loud? When it's a fast paced story, I really enjoy it. :-)
Last night, I was sitting in our room, getting ready to type a letter to a friend when I spotted an owl landing on a post in the garden. I rushed for the camera and managed to get several pictures of him. I kept walking slowly closer until I was about 30 ft away and got some good closeups. It was great fun. It isn't every day that I get to take an owl's photograph. :-)

We're planning on leaving in about a week so we're trying to get everything done before we hit the road. Mom has a list made up of things she thinks should be done and there are some things that are getting crossed off already. :-)

Life is short. In reality, we haven't much time. Even if we live to be 100 years old or more, we still don't have time to waste. And while I say that, I can see a person reading this and thinking of 'wasted time' as pleasurable time. Not so. :-) Yes, there are things in life that aren't pleasurable that need to get done. :-) But not all of life needs to be duty and pain. They say the secret to life is not to seek things you enjoy but to enjoy the things you have to do. That sounds cliché but it's true.
There's also another side: something I have seen lately is how people fill their lives so full of work and duty and 'good' things that they aren't enjoying themselves at all. They could be enjoying themselves. They don't have to do all they are doing. To me, that sort of a life is a wasted life.

What brought these thoughts on? My Dad's cousin suddenly passed away recently. She was young... in her early 30's at most. She had a husband and two children, ages 8 & 4. I don't think anyone expected her to die. Perhaps she thought of it somewhat, since she had been ill. But even when you're sick and you think death, it doesn't seem real... somewhat remote. No, I don't believe she expected to die.
It was a bit of a shock to me to hear of her death. We never knew each other that well but one of my earliest memories was of her holding me. I think I was about a year and a half old, crying because I had fallen down and hurt myself. She picked me up and told me it was okay.
It's a sobering reminder of how very short life can be.
Please pray for Terri's husband and children. And her parents, my Dad's uncle and aunt. Terri was their only child.

Today, we went went to church in Endeavour. It's not a very big church but almost everyone in the area attends the church, including most of our neighbors. ;-) In fact, our nearest neighbor is the pastor. :-) He's a hoot. You should hear him tell a story! He can turn anything into a knee slapper. :-) But he's shown himself to be a very serious, tender hearted man, as well. He and his wife have three kids and a farm that has almost everything imaginable on it. He wants to get a camel to fit into the menagerie but he hasn't found one yet. :-)

I have been taking quite a few pictures lately but so far I haven't been anywhere with a good internet connection to post any. Hopefully, I'll get a chance before long because the ones I want to post are adding up quickly. :-)

Here's a random question: Can you get addicted to Saltines?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

short update

Can you believe it's already June 13th? I feel like I'm still back in March. :-) Except for one thing: the weather. It was quite cool... chilly, in fact, until yesterday. We needed the rain but it would have been nice to have a warmer spring. :-) But summer is here at last and today, the family finally started planting the garden. It was tilled the other day by one of our neighbors and now, in even rows, sticks serving as markers stick out of the soil. Beans and corn.
Some of the family took off to go look at the local greenhouses and pick up some parts in Preeceville and the ones who stayed behind finished planting and started to try to water the seeds. Isn't it funny how all those sprinklers decide not to work? They could at least show a little deference... possibly a bit of understanding for our situation. After all, we did take them with us down to Idaho, where they had a year's rest, then back up here to Saskatchewan! ::wink::
Anyway, after some grumbling about cheap junk sprinklers and how the quality of the product at Home Hardware has shown a steady decrease over time, Jesse finally found a sprinkler that worked. Sort of. The spray of water didn't seem to be going far enough. Jesse thought a little height would help. Cilla ran for a five gallon pail and Jesse put it on top of that. Cheered by the success, we were all standing there talking, when suddenly, the sprinkler flipped off the pail and landed on it's side. Jesse got it at close range, right up his pant leg. He must have jumped 5 inches off the ground. Hehe... Uriah said that it was the funniest thing he had ever seen.
And yes, as you may have guessed, we are safely moved and at our new farm. I am really enjoying it. You all really must come and see it. The scenery is beautiful. The house is cute. The yard, although neglected, shows signs of an experienced gardener at one time. The flowers are arranged so nicely in their beds. Along the house, there are red tulips, ferns and columbines. I was able to weed them partially today but already, I am very pleased with how they look. :-) The more I look around the yard the more flowers I find. I'm beginning to realize how Mary felt in “The Secret Garden” the first few days after she found and opened the door. :-)
Today, I also managed to walk out to the dugout and see the creek. The latter isn't running very briskly at the moment but the dugout is good and deep. We bought a cow from the neighbors, which Ellie is milking twice a day. We're getting more unpacked and sorted out every day. We're practicing music for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration, which we will be leaving for in a couple weeks. Life is full and becoming a little more organized. :-)
The four oldest of us girls are signed up for Kenosee Lake Fiddle Camp in August. I am so excited. :-) We attended in '07 and learned a tremendous amount... we also met a lot of great people and made many friends. So I am greatly looking forward to August. :-)
My health is progressing. Not 100% yet but it gets better. I still have bad days but I haven't had a really bad one for awhile. Good is gooder and bad is less bad. ;-) Hehe... Thanks for the prayers. I appreciate them. :-) It helps to remember on my less-bad-days that people are praying. :-)

Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm Perfect and i know it...

Ellie turned 19 on May 3rd. (Yeah, I know. Almost extinct.) Mom was asking us what we should get for her. It was a hard question because it seems that the older we get, the harder it is to find a gift that will hold some significance. I was scratching my head, puzzling over it... but Cilla was brimming with ideas. First she said that we should get Ellie a farm. Then, a second later, her genius streak glowed brightly, “No!” she said, “We should get her a man!”

We all snapped our fingers. “Ah ha!”

A personal ad seemed to be the easiest way to reach the most people, so here goes.

To Qualify, You Must:

Be as perfect as she is.

Victims should click on the envelope icon which is at the bottom of this post. Make sure to arrive gift wrapped.