Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Beauty Of The Lord

As I "walk along the way", I have the privilege of seeing "The Beauty Of The Lord" all around me. Of course, that's when I'm paying attention. As I've watched this summer FLY by, I wonder how often I've been too busy to notice Him.
One occasion that sticks out clearly in my mind. I bribed the kids... If you do really well with all your chores, we'll go to the beach later. We finally made it to the point at 7 pm. It was chilly. It was windy. But I promised. As I sat there feeding the baby, watching the girls play in the waves, the boys play in the sand, I was anxious. I had so much to do. It was almost past their bedtime. I'm cold. We should have come sooner. Daniel has my camera. The video camera doesn't have batteries charged. I went from enjoying them to thinking to enjoying them to being ready to go to enjoying... You get the idea. I stood up and turned around and looked up. There was the sun, just the rays, peaking through the clouds pointing right at the light house. In that moment, God spoke directly to my anxious heart, "Be still & know that I am God! Relax. I'm here."
God is so amazing...
We went to the beach another time.
It was beautiful.
But that one cloud...
waited out the first shower in the pavilion. The sun came out. We went down to the beach. I sat down. The kids ran into the lake. It started to down pour. It started to hail. I started to laugh. It stopped raining. The sun came out. A dear friend brought coffee. Daddy called. He came to fly kites. The kites got tangled. The kids had fun.
God is amazing...
I watch Daddy, playing with his little girls, telling them how beautiful they are. I watch him swoon over his littlest one. I remember him 6 years ago, scared to death to be a daddy to little girls.
God is amazing...
I watch our lives change, our hearts change, like a butterfly coming out of a chrysallis, struggling to be set free from the chains that bind us... God is working in the struggles... Helping us to see Him... Helping us to relax & enjoy the journey... Helping us to be thankful for each other... Helping us to look outward, to be servants, to be "doers of the Word", to love others, to speak the truth...

I will declare the beauty of the Lord... He's all around...

In His Grip,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's a weed... well, maybe it's not!

As I said in an earlier post, this is our family's first real vegetable garden, beyond tomatoes & peppers. But if you were to drive into our yard, it would become obvious that we've been gardening for awhile. Our yard is full of flower beds. I LOVE the cottage garden look & feel, where there are flowers everywhere with no real rhyme or reason to it all. I love having veggies mixed with flowers mixed with herbs. And I have weeds. Some of these weeds have been pulled over & over but still seem to rear their ugly heads. The past few years, though, I've been letting some of those "weeds" have their way in my garden. Letting them be & discovering some amazing things about them.

Like plantain... ALL over our yard, without weed killer it would be utterly impossible to get rid of this "pest". After a little research into the herb world, however, this little weed has very powerful astringent properties making it a miracle cure for mosquito bites, to say the least!

Another good one is stinging nettle. This thing is PAINFUL!

If you are going to pull this one, you must wear leather gloves, as to not be stung by it's little hairs that cover it's body. After more research, I found it was possibly good as an antihistamine & very good at increasing circulation. This is a short testimony of its healing powers...

I had no idea of the true healing Editor on May 29, 2009

My dad is a type two diabetic. With this he has also been diagnosed with neuropathy. His nerve endings "died" and according to his Dr. was going to have to have fingers, toes, and eventually feet and hands amputated as they died. We were out harvesting stinging nettles for tea a few years ago, when he decided he was going to pick them for me so I didn't have to wear
gloves he could just do it himself. He picked for 45mins. When he started
to get feeling back in his hands. He was so joyous not have had feeling at all for three years in his hands or feet. He proceeded to take his shoes off and walk all over the nettle plants until he started 'feeling' the burn. Praise the Lord! I knew it was good for diabetics as a tea I had no idea of
the true healing power. God is so awesome. Blessings, S. C

Two that I have routinely pulled from my garden are very good & good for you, purslane & lamb's quarter. We have started cultivating them & adding them to our salads.

The only reason I ever thought these were weeds is because someone told me they were. I trusted that someone without ever doing more research on my own.

Reminds me of my own life. What is it that I have believed just because someone said it. I didn't check into it. I didn't do any research. I didn't really even think about it. I just believed. I'm learning though. My husband said to me one time, "The hardest thing for me was to realize that everything I've ever known was wrong." That is a profound statement.

I have always believed that being bold was wrong, that sticking up for what was right, was just being a trouble maker, starting problems, being dramatic. Now, I realize that I must stand for what is right no matter how someone reacts. My duty is to stand. Their reaction is not my fault. How freeing! Maybe boldness is not a weed... Maybe the "stinging" that someone feels when I am bold is really God trying to wake their conscience up...

I have always believed that I must say things subtly, trying not to offend, trying to be politically correct. Paul was not politically correct. Peter wasn't politically correct. Jesus was not politically correct. Actually, these men were the exact opposite most times. Maybe being politically correct & sacrificing truth is really just creative manipulation & lying. Definitely a weed... Maybe the truth does hurt sometimes...

I've always thought that if I talked about my feelings, my emotions, then no one could argue with me, because they are mine. But, sometimes those emotions & feelings are WRONG! They are not based on fact, but past experiences, etc. Sometimes, my feelings don't matter. I need to suck it up and obey. Stop complaining & do it.

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Die to my flesh & pick up my cross & follow Him.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Focusing on my feelings instead of on Him is a weed...

There's more... I pray that I will continue to be to be shown things that are weeds & things that are not.

I pray that I will not be open minded but Christ minded. That as I seek the mind of Christ...

1 Corinthians 2:10 - 16

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
16"For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

John 8:32

And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make ye free.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lessons From Our Garden

This is our first year that we have had a big garden. It's the first year that we have planted anything, save tomato plants from the nursery, let alone from seed. I read a few different books about gardening, different types of beds, different ways to garden. After talking with Daniel and a confirmation discussion with a local farmer, we decided on raised beds. This took a lot of extra work in the beginning of the year, but we won't have to build these beds again, just add compost in the fall.

From the beginning, we've prayed over our garden, asking God to bless it, protect it & help it to be fruitful. He is answering our prayers!

We have cucumbers planted with corn planted beans planted with sunflowers planted with beets & carrots. We have squash planted amongst a different type of corn. Carrots with tomatoes, basil with peppers, watermelon with chamomile. Kale, cabbage & brussel sprouts together. It's all so beautiful, planted this way. I wanted to experiment with it, see how these plants grew interplanted, see how well the harvest went.

Some lessons I've learned... Plant the beans at the edge of our garden boxes. It is way to hard to hunt for those beans when there in the middle of the row. Do not plant them next to cucumbers. Can you say "picky"?!? Plant more beans. Plant more peas. Don't wait to put up the trellises. Plant from seed. Even our tomatoes, planted from seed in imperfect conditions, are doing wonderful!I'm sure the lessons will continue. I expect them to.

Some family lessons... Keep it fun! Keep the kids with me. Whatever project we're working on, work on it together instead of breaking up the group to do 2 or 3 projects at one time. Remind them at the beginning of the year how much fun it is to have a scavenger hunt for these cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, beans & especially potatoes. Let them eat it right out of the ground. They love picking the lettuce & eating it for snack!

Another lesson in the importance of the little things... Daniel is insistent on family prayer before meals, thanking God for our food. He is the driving force behind this. I get busy, don't take the time to sit down to eat in the middle of the day, etc & forget, but Daddy does not forget. Gabe & I went out to pick our first potatoes. We spread apart the hay to search for a potato, to see if there were any ready to pick. We found one, then another. We found a huge one & Gabriel picked it up & said, "Thank You, Jesus!" at the top of his lungs. My heart just about burst. And I quietly said, "Thank you, Jesus, for giving us this gift of a child and this gift of food."

I wish I could say that I have been absolutely, 100 % enthusiastic about this whole garden thing. I have not. I've been overwhelmed at times. I've complained about the hard work. I've said, "You just don't understand!"
And yet, through it all, even through my bad attitude, God has been faithful to provide for us, faithful to teach us, faithful to show us His glory & goodness.

I wouldn't trade these lessons for a little bit of free time, for "me time", for a little more "book work", for anything. I asked the girls the other night, "Was all the work in the spring worth it? To be able to go & eat the food that you worked for. Was it worth it?" Their answer was a resounding, "Yes!"

God is good!