Saturday, December 7, 2013

It Was A Normal Day...

It was a normal day.  A sunny, quiet day.  Living in the country.  Small town.  Beautiful land.

I don't remember any of the details of that day, save one.  Kathryn went out to get the mail.  A normal day.  A sunny day.  She crossed the street.  Opened the mail box.  Grabbed the mail.  Shut the mail box.  Turned around.  And there he was.  Who?  I do not know.  He sat in his truck.  Window rolled down.  Smoke rising from his cigarette.  Just watching.

A quick assessment.  We live in the country.  No one is around.  Hunting property across the street.  Empty houses next door.  Empty high way.  House is 400 feet from the road.  He came out of no where.

This was a normal day.  She is a cautious young lady.  She is dressed in a long skirt, nice blouse, sweet disposition.  She ran across the street and up our driveway like her life depended on it.  He drove away.

It was a normal day.  But a darkness hovered.  A fear and thankfulness mixed together.  The "What If's" flooding in to my mama heart.

We have no way of knowing what he wanted or what his plan was.  Whether he was just a creepy old man, who wanted to scare a young lady or someone far more sinister than that.

With pornography available on virtually every mobile device, the evils that come along with porn, will continue to increase, putting our children at even greater risk.

We made an assessment of where we live.  Half hour from a main highway.  Isolated.
But we are not unaware.

We have been teaching our children since they were young about the dangers of pornography, about being aware of your surroundings, about telling us if someone makes you uncomfortable, about not going off to hear secrets with other friends...

There is no doubt in my heart and mind, that it was the God of Angel Armies who protected our sweet daughter that day. 

Now, we are more aware of the audacity of evil and the need for boldness and strength in our children.  We are determined to raise children that believe in the power of prayer and the ONE who answers our prayers, who are strong in spirit, and aware of the evil in this world.  How can they be prudent and avoid evil, if they are not taught of its existence???

I am so thankful for this to have happened because I realize that sex trafficking happens in the U.S.  It is a real danger to our children, even here in the U.S.

And in some countries, it is a way of life.  It is the only way to provide food for our children, for ourselves. 

Please consider becoming involved in the solution. It doesn't affect you personally.  But, in one moment, that could change.

In His Grip,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Adventure

The day was planned.  Whatever you want to do, Daddy, was the invitation.  It is Father's Day, so let's do what Daddy wants, right?

A little background information:  My husband and I are perfect for each other.  Perfect opposites in a lot of things.  Adventure seeking, being one of them.  I'm just not...  seeking adventure.  I like safe.  I like home.  I like routine.  Normal.  And if you know D, you know that he LOVES adventure, roller coasters, the unknown, flying by the seat of his pants...  Yep, opposites!

So, I'm called to be HIS helper and to adjust to him, so I pray A LOT!
Daniel started planning this canoeing adventure last year.  He bought a canoe.  Oh, I was irritated!  If he buys a canoe, then we might have to go canoeing.  How can I go canoeing?  We don't have enough canoes for everyone.  How can I take a new baby, a little girl and everyone else canoeing?  What if the boat tips?  What if someone needs me and I can't get to them?  Of course, I never expressed these feeling out loud.  That would sound like I was afraid.  I prefer, responsible, cautious, prudent...  These words sound so much holier than FEAR.

So back to plan to honor my dear husband on his day.  He wants adventure.  I WILL smile.  I WILL keep my doubts to myself.  I WILL trust that God is big enough to handle this.  We went to Walmart to pick up a few things and we picked up a couple life jackets for the boys.  Faith doesn't equal foolishness.

The day came.  We were ready!  We were on our way!  It seemed a struggle.  Why would the devil care about a silly day at the lake?  Flat tire on the trailer.  Fix it in Rose City at the hardware. On our way again!  Unload the trailer.  Fishing poles, 2 canoes, 2 kayaks, food...  We are set!

Father's Day Beauty
Canoes in the water.  Kayaks in the water.  Ryan and Rose in the kayaks.  Kathryn, Gabriel and Anya in one canoe.  Daddy, Mama, Elijah, Bella and Lukasz in the other.  How am I going to paddle AND watch that baby like a hawk?  How is Lukasz going to hold Elijah still?  What if he stands up?  Falls out?  Of course, I don't say these things.  That would sound like I was afraid.  I prefer, responsible, cautious, prudent perhaps...  Definitely much holier than...  FEAR.

But my son, the one that is my barometer.  The one that is too immature to mask his true feelings, is wrestling with his baby brother.  "You HAVE to sit, Elijah!  Daddy, he's moving!"  Eli is fussing.  "Let me GO!"  He seems to say.  "I know that I am missing this adventure, sitting still.  I can't see the water.  I can't touch the water.  I want to experience it all, my first time in a canoe."  Of course, I'm in front.  I am trying to see, to help, but I can't without tipping the canoe.  And there is seaweed down there.  I cannot see the bottom.  Tipping the canoe is NOT an option.  So, I sit still.  I adjust my weight.

Daddy steps in, "Lukasz, let him go.  He'll be alright.  He'll be fine."  Really, I think.  Let a baby wander, explore in this little boat.  "Okay... but I don't know..."  Prudent, maybe...  Cautious...  Nah, just fear...

Lukasz still fussing.  Now Eli is rocking the boat.  His excitement.  One side to the other.  On his tippy toes trying to reach that water spraying up.  He's reaching it!  I peak at his sweet face, the joy of water on his hand, in his face.  I wish I could capture his look of sheer exhilaration on this little man's face...

Lukasz still fussing.  "I want to go back.  He's rocking the boat.  I don't like canoeing.  I'm never going again."

Now, I step in.  "Lukasz, what are you afraid of?"  Does he know I'm talking to me?  "Let's say he falls in.  He has a life jacket on.  He'll float.  No fish are going to bite him or eat him.  Daddy will grab him.  He might be more careful next time.
It's O K A Y..."

Calm...  Peace...  I start to notice the trees, the spray of the water on the canoe, the stillness, the BIG large mouth bass we floated over, the tree fallen, the island...

The other side of the lake...  The other children...  They are caught.  The wind pushing them.  Inexperience.  Youth.  They can't stop going in circles.  I'm laughing a little.  Letting go of control.  God's got them.  They have to learn that.  We paddle away.  Hand Ryan a tow rope and say, "Bring em back."  We head to the beach.  Don't look back.

Lukasz about kisses the ground when we are back on land.  The land lubber.  :)  I smile.  Breathe.  Thank you, Lord, for this.

Here they come.  Rose and Kathryn paddling the canoe.  Counting strokes.  Working together.  Slow progress.  Gabriel in the center, giving directions.  Ryan towing Anya, in her glory, my adventure girl!  Thank you, Jesus, for this.

Later in the day, "Hey Anya!  Let's go for a kayak ride, just you and I!  It'll be fun!"  And it was!

In His Grip,

If you have not read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann VosKamp, seriously...  The Lord has used this author's journey into thanksgiving to "undo" me.

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

God Is A Healer!

The following blog post is shared with permission of our daughter. 

We feel that what we have learned is worth sharing because it may help just one other person.  It's worth going through the pain, just to gain the experience and knowledge and wisdom.

Kathryn has had very painful "periods" for about a year.  It progressed to the point that she just laid on the bathroom floor for the first day, could barely walk because of the pain, vomiting, etc.  You get the picture.  I knew that traditional doctors would put her on the pill, which is NOT an option.  The health risks are too great. 

We started praying for healing.

We started doing research on what might be causing the problem, dangers, etc.  I did not know of any family history, but soon discovered that my mother suffered from the same problem until she had children. 

I talked to a couple friends, who led me to Be Your Own Doctor by Rachel Weaver.  This book is AWESOME!!!  Her approach is very balanced, helping to discern WHEN a problem is emergent and when a parent can help to solve the problem at home, NOT just take care of the symptoms. 

Kathryn started drinking red raspberry tea, but was not being faithful at all.  I was frustrated.  I was afraid of her having fertility problems later in life.  We talked a lot about the importance of taking care of our bodies BEFORE we have children so that our children are healthy and strong.  We talked about the importance of having children and passing our faith and legacy on to another generation.  We talked about the importance of not viewing this time of month as the "curse".  We are not cursed, ladies.  We are blessed and offering our bodies as a living sacrifice unto the Lord!   Romans 12:1

She started drinking red raspberry tea, but added some spices to make it taste like chai tea, a little more palatable to her taste buds.  Her next monthly cycle started with the normal back pain and nausea.  By leading of the Holy Spirit, Kathryn immediately applied Digestive Support essential oils from Heritage Essential Oils and our homemade red raspberry infused oil on her abdomen, back and legs.  Her pain IMMEDIATELY left and stayed away.  It was the first time in months that she didn't spend the first day on the bathroom floor.  This has been an answer to prayer!

As we talked this morning, I asked how she had been doing.  Her progress report:  She has not been drinking as much red raspberry tea, which she noticed effected her last month.  It was delayed and more intense, but she applied the red raspberry oil three times a day for the first few days and was able to function normally, including going playing tag and having a snow ball fight. 

We consider this an absolute answer to our prayers for healing for our daughter!  God is still a healing God!  He is mighty and powerful!  Jesus healed a woman without His permession when she touched the corner of His coat.  He healed a man from blindness by spitting in dirt and putting the mud on His eyes.  He healed a man when the man's friends lowered him through the roof to where Jesus was teaching.  It is not up to me to decide HOW Jesus will heal, just trust that He does!
Do you know Him?

Red Raspberry Infused Oil
1 quart jar
Fill jar 2/3 full with red raspberry leaves
Fill rest of way with dried lavender flowers
Cover herbs with olive oil (we used high quality oil that we bought at Walmart)
Cover jar with coffee filter and fasten with rubber band.
Let sit on sunny window sill for 6 weeks.
Stir once or twice a week.
Strain herbs and put in jar.
Store in dark closet.

 The Lord promised us life and life abundantly!  May we strive together to live for Him in all we do, from how we wake up in the morning to how we respond when we're sick to how we teach our children! 

Be blessed on this day of love,
Daniel and Laura