Monday, September 26, 2011

Graces for September

September has been hard on us.  Two rounds of hail, two fires, the destruction of our main vehicle, a return of the inner destruction and the return of school schedules and driving's been hard.  Hard to find the thanksgiving, hard to find the blessing, hard to live the Job's wife experience that I preached about for a week this summer.  Hard to let myself feel the grief of the losses when I'm trying to live the truth of grace and giving thanks.

I did finally have my words with God and let Him know how upsetting all of this was, finally let go of the hurt and grief.  He's still providing for us, there is still food in my cupboards, there will be money in the bank again one day.  Yesterday we heard the truth that we all worship something..what was I worshipping?  Not the saviour, the anticipation of extra cash, the possibilities of what could happen with that extra money...something like that, but it wasn't Jesus, Jehovah Jireh.  I was worshipping the provision and not the provider.  I needed to repent.

To often in my day I am putting the mundane work tasks above the relationships that are so precious to me, worshipping the tasks rather than the task-giver.  I forget to be thankful and I get impatient with the kids and with myself.  I feel sorry for myself instead of seeking the Comforter, who know how weary my spirit is, who knows how crushing this September has been.

Today I feel like I turned the corner, surrounded by my kids and their cousins and hanging out the wash and the smells of yet another batch of salsa.  This is the life I want, surrounded by relationships with people I love and who love me even after I mess up.

Today I can choose the Eucharisteo, savor the hard things and the good things all together.
  Gifts of grace, joy and thanksgiving.

And the weight is suddenly not so heavy.

1160.  4 boys digging carrots
1161.  funny five-fingered carrots found
1162.  singing with my girl as we chop vegetables for salsa, "Got a couple dents in my fender, got a couple rips in my jeans..."
1163.  Francesca Battestelli
1164.  Steven Curtis Chapman's, "Do Everything" Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, 'cause He made You...
1165.  pretty fabric that I forgot I had that will be just perfect for the pillow covers I need to make!
1166.  a friend dropping in
1167.  selling some jars of salsa - always surprised when someone likes what
I make enough to pay for it
1168.  anticipating our trip to Virginia - get to see Amish country up close and personal!!!!!!!
1169.  the new Turtle Top van
1170.  Pastor's Retreat coming up!

Thursday, September 08, 2011


Things have not at all been what I expected over the last two weeks.
#1 - All my little chick-lets off to school.  Expecting to be overjoyed with all the time to myself.

What really happened - I walked up the hill and fell asleep on the couch exhausted on day 1, day 2 of no kids home, I went out with some girlfriends to do some card-making, very fun.  Day 3 of no kids, I got a bunch of stuff done but was un-nerved by the quiet house.  Day 4 of no kids (today), I am blue and missing them horribly and surprised that this is how I feel - missing them horribly was not expected.  When those who weren't playing volleyball arrived home yesterday my motivation flooded back and I had a lovely companionable time with my eldest daughter cutting corn, we read books in the evening and cuddled on the couch and I reveled in the return of my children, that, too, was not expected.

#2 - A bumper crop in the fields that was going to pull our financial sorry-selves back into the black.

What really happened - a killer hail-storm destroyed and/or damaged all that lovely bumper crop in a matter of six minutes.  What was going to be a 30+ bushel/acre lentil crop was a scanty 6 bu/ac crop.  We're working on the canola and it is less than half of what it would have been.  Very disheartening all the way around.  Fortunately the second-wave hailstorm, yes, we got hit by another one a few days later didn't do as much damage since the crops were already wet from rain.  I learned that I was relying a little too heavily on the canola crop to save me rather than the Lord.  Yes, we are in need of some house repairs but perhaps he has another was of supplying those needs that I can't see right now.

In the end it is hard to remember what I preached this summer...thanksgiving is the key to turning ashes into beauty.  The ash is strong in our mouth right now and I am trying to keep my list of gifts handy to remember to give thanks in all circumstances.  I read an excellent post from an unexpected source this morning that reminded me that whatever we feed is what will grow.  If I continue to feed a negative, non-thankful, lazy spirit I will continue to reap and pessimistic, dour, overweight outlook on my life.  If I feed a positive, thankful, good choices sort of spirit I will have a lighter spirit all the way around.

Yes my expectations of harvest have been dashed and my coveted hours haven't been quiet so sweet as I thought they might be, but God is still in charge of me and I will submit myself to His plan for today...

In His Grip

Saturday, September 03, 2011

1132-1159 gifts

1132.  an abundance of apples
1133.  a great cup of chai tea
1134.  laughing and telling jokes with a couple of girls who dropped in for supper
1135.  finding a great day planner
1136.  an amazing group of young people whom I love that I have the privilege of ministering to and with
1137  dear friends who gathered with me to celebrate
1138.  making cards, I love paper and ribbons and buttons and stuff
1139.  getting back into a groove
1140.  my tomato press that works just as well for apples
1141.  my husband, he's so much more than a gift
1142.  a beautiful wedding to remember
1143.  little girls who love to go to school
1144.  the perfect 'schoolgirl' skirt, that was a fun find
1145.  lovely shoes for only $4
1146.  cleaning a room and finishing
1147.  a balanced breakfast
1148.  a good movie discovery that has no killing, blowing things up, weird robots, 
or things that shouldn't be talking
1149.  cooler weather
1150.  grace in the midst of loss

Needed to write down a few gifts to keep from getting discouraged by the hailstorms that have plagued us this week.  It's been a hard gift to accept but one we recognize is from His hand, 'the rains fall on the righteous and the unrighteous'.

1151.  the oats were already wet when the second hail storm came so not as much damage
1152 - 1159.  I still have a roof over my head and a husband who loves me and healthy children, friends and family near by, the love of my Father and the promise of I really need anything more?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Resting Easy

How I am enjoying the peace of this day.  Listening to David Nevue's piano music at the moment.  It fills my soul with light as I listen.  I'm getting lunch ready for just the three of us (it's not a kindergarten day).  My kitchen is getting cleaner, the laundry piles are diminishing and apples are sending a happy smell through my house.  My heart is feeling lighter about our crop disaster after sitting with my farmer/shepherd and looking to the Lord about what we can learn from this.
1.  We can become too dependent on our 'abilities' to grow a good crop. (Like we really had anything to do with it, besides putting the seed in the ground).
2.  We can pin our hopes on the prospect of the profit rather than the prophet who gave us the prospect in the first place.
3.  This loss reminds us to be humble and keeps us on our knees.
4.  We can't be tempted to use that money for something frivolous because it isn't there.
5.  Just a really good reminder that God is our provider and He is in control.
6.  It was good to be obedient and buy the hail insurance that He prompted us to get.
7.  The crop isn't really the important thing.

So as I reflect on the quiet of my day and the peace reigning in my heart I am thankful and feeling full and blessed in spite of the crop damage and the overwhelming load of work to be done.  Today I am resting easy on the bosom of my Lord.