Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Just Another Day on the Funny Farm

Originally posted October 24, 2007

This photo has nothing to do with the post.  Just a good Throwback Thursday shot: Our 4 oldest meeting their few-hours old baby brother a few months before this post was written.  

I got up at 6:33 a.m. Never mind the fact that I went shopping at 9:00 last night, got home at 10:00, went to bed at 11:00 and woke up at 2:12 a.m. with a baby boy who wanted to party. Seriously, this kid can sleep through the night - he just has decided he doesn't want to. So, at 3:30, I finally took him downstairs to sleep (or cry) in the playpen. Peace at last.

For three hours.

I quick got dressed and put in my contacts. Hair and make-up would have to wait. My daughter needed me to help her with her new chore - taking care of an 8-year old female goat.

We got her yesterday. It's like having a dog - with horns. Really, she's very sweet. Only thing is, she's...well...having her feminine time of the month.

Yeah, goats have that, too. Who knew? I didn't. Neither did my 8 year old daughter until 7:00 this
morning.  That was fun trying to explain.

Later on in the morning, I went back out to the stables to help coerce this new pet to come outside. If you were to have driven into the farm around 10:00 a.m., you would have seen me leading/dragging/bribing this goat with the help of a leash and a graham cracker. You do what you gotta do.

Mom stopped by around 11:30. She acted like she was happy about the goat, but, she can't fool me. However, we had a nice visit over some much needed caffeine-in-a-cup.

Once she left and the children had finished lunch, I went up to clean my son's room. This wasn't on the agenda for today, just as none of the aforementioned things were. This was a desperation-cleaning as my son's toys seem to have a habit of calling his name during school hours.

He has a habit of answering their call.

So, I had to do the "tough-love" thing and clear them out. Seriously. The kid now only has a bed, dresser, clothes rack, and a table in his room. No more distractions, right?

Around 4:00, his light switch "just falls off the wall." Has anyone else ever had that phenomenon occur in their home? He already had 2 out of 3 bulbs blown and then, I quote: "I was sitting doing my work and the light went out and the switch fell on the floor." If it was going to happen, it only made sense that it would happen today.

5:00 p.m. - I finally clean up the lunch dishes.

By this time, I've already decided that church just wasn't going to be a part of our evening. I hadn't had a chance to lay the younger kids down for their naps, the goat had to be found and put back in the stable, daddy still wasn't home, and the crock-pot dinner that's supposed to cook for 4 hours wasn't even started.

Eric came home. I fed the kids leftovers while he went out to buy light-bulbs and some stir-fry. He fixed the lights and switch when he came home and we ate a romantic candle-lit dinner at 8:00. Well, as romantic as you can get when your youngest is screaming his head off and your oldest is still hashing out his math problems - out loud.

I'm sure I wasn't the most lovely dinner guest - I never did get around to doing my hair and make-up.

Welcome to my life. Come by and visit sometime. We'll let you feed the goat a graham cracker and watch light switches fall off our walls.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Levitical Priesthood vs. The Royal Priesthood: Part One

Lately, my Bible reading has found me in Exodus and Leviticus. That's right - smack-dab in the midst of all the laws, sacrifices and requirements for the priests. While no one would argue that this is a fairly dry area of the Scriptures, I usually force myself to stay focused so I do not miss one of the many nuggets in these passages. 

God had the temple built. God made the laws. God gave the requirements for the priests...those who would represent Him and present to Him. God's personality and desires are all over these 'dos' and "don'ts"

It is on the priests I would like to focus. I have noticed this time more than any other time I have read through the Law the correlation between the Levitical priesthood and the royal priesthood of Christ.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath call you out of darkness into his marvelous light.   -I Peter 2:9

Aaron was called to be the priest of God for the nation of Israel - God's chosen people.  He was made peculiar in the laws he had to follow and in his attire.  Just as Aaron was, we have been called out to shew the praises, glory, goodness, and holiness of God.  We are now the holy nation and, in our lives and our attire, we ought to be a peculiar (odd) people to the world.  We are to be a light in the darkness - just as God's holy fire lit up the night over the Tabernacle in the wilderness.

In Exodus, we learn about the required garments of Aaron and his sons when they worked in the tabernacle.  There is the breastplate, the girdle for the loins and a piece for the head.  We in the royal priesthood are encouraged in Ephesians to put on special apparel, as well. It is known as the armor of God. Among other things, it, too, has a breastplate, a girdle for the loins and a headpiece.

Aaron's breastplate is referred to as the "breastplate of judgment" (Exodus 28:29).  As a part of the armor of God, it is called the "breastplate of righteousness" (Ephesians 6:14).  Righteousness and judgment go hand in hand.  Our God is a righteous judge.  Through wise judgment, right is made.  

Aaron and his sons had their loins girt with a girdle of needlework "for glory and for beauty" (Exodus 28:40).  Those of us who are of the royal priesthood are to have our "loins girt about with truth" (Ephesians 6:14).  Truth is beautiful.  Truth brings glory to God.  God is full of grace and truth and He is beautiful. 

Finally, the priests of the old testament wore a headpiece which is called a bonnet in Exodus 28:40 and a crown in Exodus 29:6. On the crown was a "mitre", defined as:   a sacramental ornament worn on the head by certain religious leaders on solemn occasions.  On the mitre was engraved, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" (Exodus 28:36).  The armor of God is topped with the "helmet of salvation" (Ephesians 6:7).  Aaron was found worthy to enter into the dwelling place of God - he was holy.  Those of us in whom the Holy Spirit dwells are holy (perfect, entire, made whole) to God in that we have been made "worthy" of heaven by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.    Aaron's mitre  could also be seen as a proclamation to God's holiness.  As Christians, we also are to proclaim the holiness of God to the world. 

We are, indeed, priests of the One True God.  Are you peculiar?  Have you put on your armor?  Are you serving Him today and proclaiming His holiness?

Next time, we will discuss how this relates to a controversial subject amongst Christians today.  For now, go and serve!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Scripture, Sayings, and Suggestions - January 24, 2015


It's Saturday!!!!  Here's a first:  I am excited about getting to deep-clean my kids' bathroom today.  I don't think I'm ill…no fever, no aches or pains.  Just getting my house in order and cleaned these days and today is bathroom day.  I know I will be pretty happy when it's over and my kids have a sparkling bathroom.  Oh, I'll be cleaning my bathroom, as well, but, let's face it…2 adults don't make nearly the mess as 7 children!  After that adventure, I am off to do a bit of shopping with the kids and then a little date with my sweet husband this evening.  We feel like we keep missing each other these past couple of weeks and really need to spend some time re-connecting.  I know we just went out 2 weeks ago…but sometimes, you just need to spend a little extra time, ya know?  But, before I get to my busy day and you get to yours, grab a cup of coffee with me and be refreshed...

Scripture
And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it:  and Moses blessed them."
Exodus 39:43  
What had God commanded me to do?  Have I done it?  If I have, have I fulfilled His command exactly how He commanded me to do it?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Matthew 22:37&39

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be  abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Matthew 23:12


Sayings








Suggestions
 As you probably noticed through the above quotes, I am reading a book by Sally Clarkson.  Her latest, in fact:  Own Your Life.  This is not a title that would normally draw me, but the author does.  I have read a couple of her books and have followed her blog intermittently throughout the last two years.  Though only three chapters into Own Your Life, I have already been blessed by her words and testimony.  I will admit, the Lord has already been dealing with me in many of the areas in which she speaks so much of it, at this point, is confirmation for me.  Check it out.  This time, I got the edition I can hold on to rather than the Kindle.




My kids had some fun directing and "starring" in this short video this week.  Just makes me smile.




Speaking of kids, isn't it awesome when the lessons you teach finally seem to stick?  Those of you with little ones, keep on training.  Keep on teaching.  Keep on loving.  Keep on.  There will come a day when the fruit of your labors will begin to ripen.  I have had the joy of seeing some of that fruit as of late, such as in this blog post by my daughter, Cassia.




I mentioned this challenge earlier this week, but I am going to mention it again.  Because, why not?  Don't we all desire to have a clean house?  Sarah Mae's 31 Days to Clean challenges us to take our cleaning day by day without becoming overwhelming.  I will admit, due to the size of the house and family I have, some of these assignments have taken me a couple of hours…but they are hours well spent and I feel very happy with the results.  This is the reason for my excitement of really cleaning my bathroom today!



I read this post, "24 Lessons I Want to Teach My Daughter (Before She Leaves Home)" last week.  As I have a 15 year old daughter, this resonated with me.  I would have to say to most of the things on this list: ME, TOO!!!



I invite you to check out the new blog, Network of Silver.  This is a blog written by various women in different stages of life with the purpose of encouraging women.  I have already been encouraged and challenged.  It has definitely made it to my daily reading list.  I am honored to be a part of this community and will have a post up in the very near future.  Come, read.  And if you desire to write, there is an opportunity for you, as well.


Well, I have enjoyed my time with you here this morning, but I really must get to my cleaning.  Enjoy your day and may the Lord bless you all abundantly this coming week!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Welcome to…My Life!

Originally posted April 7, 2008

Everyone wants to move out to the country. Away from the noise. Away from the lights. Away from the crime and danger. Normally, this is true. Except for yesterday morning - which happened to be my birthday.

Um, no, it wasn't a birthday celebration out of hand. I just threw that in for some extra comments.

Anyway, back to the country.

I woke up yesterday around 4:00 A.M. (yes, there is such an hour) to the sound of a police siren. Interesting. We live on one of those country roads where everyone goes 55 m.p.h or faster and the stop signs are, apparently, optional. The results of this deadly combination are often...well...deadly. Therefore, upon hearing the sirens and noticing my husband had already left the room, I decided to go downstairs to see what was going on.

When I got downstairs, I noticed cars traveling ever so slowly up and down our road shining very bright search lights in the field. Normally, this isn't done for your average lost house cat, so, being the super-sleuth that I am, I knew something more was amiss.

Eric, of course, was outside running in his bare feet down the road trying to catch up with the police officer to see what information he could get out of the guy. These guys, however, have nerves of steel and won't give any information - no matter what grueling interrogation methods your local farmer may use. All Eric could get out of them was that they were looking for "someone."

Very informative.

Little information creates big worries on my part. Eric comes in with this tidbit and I instantly reach back into the Reader's Digest/late night movie department of my memory and begin to envision a murderer running around our fields and possibly targeting our house as a good hostage/ransom/murder scene.

Eric, on the other hand, thinks the whole thing is exciting. He decides to go outside and watch the action first-hand. I beg him not to go out there. For all I knew, this guy is hiding out in our barns with a gun ready to shoot the first person he sees. That's all I needed on my birthday - my husband wrapped up in a body bag. Then I got to thinking of being in the house unprotected if the mad-man decides to go through with the formerly mentioned hostage/ransom/murder plan.

After taking some time out for great consideration and thought on my logical arguments against him going out to the war ravaged country side - Eric left. (Ok, so he listened to my hysterical begging as he got his coat on.) I was now on my own to protect our house.

Soon, we have police cars driving around the farm shining lights into tractors, barns, swingsets, etc. Eric actually got to join the search as the policeman hopped on the back of Eric's ATV and took him around the property and into the woods. Do you know they don't care if you drive without a helmet at night as long as you're helping to search for a crazed murderer? I mean, really, what's a helmet when you could be staring down the barrel of a gun?

At this point, I was seriously considering waking a great woman of prayer from our church with a phone call. Do I or don't I? Lord, are You telling me to call her? If this criminal comes in my house to implement the hostage/ransom/murder tactic, I won't be able to call 911. Yet, if he comes in while I'm on the phone with Alice, she can call 911 for me.

I finally decided to stop wasting time and just pray to God on my own. Seriously, I was praying all along. But, now, I was able to pray with some reasoning. The Lord truly did give me peace.

And my husband came back without bullet holes.

Turns out, the police had pulled over a car for questionable driving and the driver was an illegal immigrant. Somewhere after handcuffing him, he ran off. Must be pretty disheartening to lose your prisoner. Really messes up your morning.

Shortly after Eric came in from his police work, the helicopter started flying overhead. They were still searching for Mr. I. Alien when we went to church. Far as I know - they never did find him.

Cops, escaped prisoners, lights, helicopters, and a husband risking his life for the welfare of the neighborhood. Welcome to...my life in the countryside!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

31 Days to Clean (via sarahmae.com)

photo courtesy sarahmae.com

This is just a quick mid-week post in case some of you would like to join me in participating in Sarah Mae's 31 Days to Clean.  

If you are like me (and, apparently, Sarah Mae), you would rather do anything but clean.  As I experience a great measure of peace in a clean home, I do clean on a regular basis, but that does not mean I like it.  My problem, I find, is that once I start, I have a tough time stopping.  It's the A.D.D. in me.  I start sweeping the floor, then figure I should mop.  Once I'm done with that, the windows look dirty, so I start in on those.  While I'm washing them, I notice the dirty trim around the windows and wipe those down.  Of course, I then notice the dirty walls…you get the idea.  All the while, I am supposed to be helping my children with school, making supper, or some other such necessary motherly duty.  Truthfully, I often rope my kids into the whole escapade, which they just rejoice over - as you can imagine.

Anyway, I saw that Sarah Mae was going to do this 31 Days to Clean thing and it intrigued me.  I ordered the book (Kindle edition) for .99 on Monday, but you don't need to do that.  You can just follow her daily blog posts.  I love the fact that she breaks it down to a job or two a day.  Definitely do-able.

Today, was not a job I love.  In fact, it is my least favorite of cleaning-jobs.  It took me a while because I am an over-achiever and if I am going to do a job, it needs to be done right.  But, now that it's done, I am so glad that it's out of the way…and clean.  And, yes, I had to resist the urge to continue cleaning everything in the immediate vicinity.  My challenge this month is to stay on task and stick to the assignment so I don't become overwhelmed.  

To find out what my least favorite, most detested cleaning job is (that I did, indeed, complete today), head on over to Sarah Mae's blog.  Maybe it's your least favorite, too.  Do what I did…turn up the music and get 'er done!


NOTE:  To start at the beginning of 31 Days to Clean (we're only 2 days in) click on the second link in post. For today's assignment, click on the first and last.  


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Life with Teens

I currently have three teenagers residing under my roof.  In 2 months and 2 days, I will have four.  Yes, four teenagers in my house.  There will be a 10-month span where I will have 5 teens, but that is not for another 20 months, so I just won't think about it right now.

In all actuality, this is the time my husband and I were most looking forward to in our parenting journey.  A bunch of teenagers would be fun, we thought.  I believe my husband's exact words were, "this will be a hopping house!"

Hopping is right.  Let me give you a peek into our life:

-There is a girl usually baking something in my kitchen several times a week
-There is a boy tackling younger brothers or picking them up and turning them upside down several times a day
-Questions whether school work will be done in time for graduation
-Discussions of college courses
-My son talking about buying a vehicle
-Driving lessons - I just have to say, I always thought I would be exempt from this terrifying job.  How wrong I was.  I am declaring right now, though, I refuse to teach parallel parking.  
-Late night discussions about the seriousness and hilarity of life
-Animals I never dreamed would be in my house.  Particularly, pet mice.  Mom, Dad, and babies.  I admit it, I have actually gone to the store and bought mouse food.  Not one person warned me of this.
-Seeing my youngest son sitting happily in my oldest son's lap while the family plays a game
-Seeing my youngest son perched on my oldest son's shoulders
-Planning a graduation
-Having my phone auto-correct the word "no" into "pecan pie" because one of my teens is smarter than I am
-Having a clean kitchen after supper and I didn't have to do anything
-Keeping track of which kid is involved in which ministry, where, when and what day
-Hearing piano duets
-Hearing piano/violin duets
-Seeing my son go off with friends to shop, get pizza, hang out.  I am blessed that he has amazing friends so I never have to worry.
-Girls arguing over a favorite skirt
-Learning to figure out when to mother and when to step back.  This is hard, people.
-Seeing my kids laugh with friends
-Seeing my kids say goodbye to friends not knowing when they will see them again
-Tears...lots of them
-Laughter...lots of it
-Harsh words
-Sarcasm
-Forgiveness
-Watching my three oldest learn to deal with each other with more grace
-Praying harder than I have before.  That God would keep them and use them.  That He would guide me...and them.

We have three teenagers.  This is, indeed, a hopping house.  While I often want to pull out my hair or feel completely inadequate, I sit here now and realize that I truly do love having teenagers.  This part of the parenting journey is a pretty cool adventure.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Scripture, Sayings, and Suggestions (January 17, 2015)


Ah, Saturday!  I will enjoy a leisurely morning in the Word with a cup of coffee.  Then, it's off to do some fun shopping with the kids.  We had a great week with Grandma joining us for dinner on Tuesday, out with friends after church Wednesday night, then a good-sized group of friends gathered around our long table on Thursday for dinner.  Friday night, it was just the nine of us.  We had such a great time fellowshipping amongst ourselves with make-your-own pizzas and then we all played a new Trivia game while munching on popcorn.  Nah, we're not exactly the Waltons, but we do enjoy spending time together!  Hoping you will be spending time with your loved ones this weekend.  But, first - some scripture and thoughts to ponder…..

Scripture

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they failed, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 9:36


Sayings




Suggestions



Did God choose one particular person for you or did He give you a free choice in marriage?  Matt Walsh discusses it this week on his blog.



Yesterday, I told you a bit about the book Unbroken - the biography of Louis Zamperini.  The next few links will lead you to more of his story.  

 In 1976, Zamp was interviewed about his salvation experience at a Billy Graham Crusade.  I cannot get the audio to work on my computer, but the text is written.  A beautiful testimony of God's amazing grace.




In 1998, Zamperini carried the Olympic Torch in Japan.  His story is told in this moving short-docmuntary made at that time.  Interviewed are Louie, his brother Pete, Louie's co-pilot Phil, co-prisoners of war and The Bird.  I will be sitting down with my kids today to watch this 30-minute video.  


Billy Graham introduced Zamperini in his 1958 crusade - 9 years after Zamp accepted Christ - proving that people who have gotten saved do, indeed, remain faithful.  Louie is introduced around the 5-minute mark.  Although, if you are like me and love to hear the "old" Billy Graham speak, you will enjoy the entire 6 1/2 minutes.


I love the Piano Guys!!  I love a lot of their music.  Though "Peponi" is one of my least favorites (basically do not like it at all), I LOVE the behind the scenes video.  The making of Peponi is amazing - a true "cliff-hanger"!  :)


OK - you've spent too long here already.  GO!  Make some memories with your family today!