Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Sounds

I woke up this morning to silence. The busy mating rituals and territorial calls of thousands of birds has stilled somewhat, and the quiet lazy mornings of summer are settling in. It has rained during the night and every thing is gray and moist. There are cars passing by on the highway but even they are muffled by the wet pavement. I love these mornings. I was out early and hoed the garden, trimmed the grapevines, and tended the flower beds. Now I sit at the computer with a cup of Cafe Lib (the coffee addiction was cured almost two years ago) and wait for the boys to wake up. The skies are ominously gray so it will be a good day for cleaning closets, washing floors and curling up with a good book.

I need to choose a good devotional book to read through too. Summer is less scheduled and I tend to let my devotional life slide a little. I read a few chapters here and there from my Bible, play some good Christian music in the morning and try to convince myself it is enough. After all, family time is important, right? But I need to seek God's face at every step of my life. I need to diligently guard my heart, nourish it, strengthen it. The boys and I are going to study Daniel over the summer. We will haul out the commentaries, listen to some sermons by John Piper ( and just plain read the book through several times. I like to take on a summer project like that. It helps keep us focused and stresses the importance of daily time in God's Word.

No pictures today. Just this.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 


Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Love Letter To My Children

My beautiful family
Ahh, my family. You are lovely. Each one of you a special unique gift from God. You are my first thoughts when I wake each morning. Even before the sun comes up, I lay in bed and count you like pearls on a string, and hold each of you up to God. In the evening, it is the same. I fall asleep breathing your names, one by one.

And I see you. I watch your precious faces as you live out the lives God has given you. There is so much happening just now. You are buying new homes, raising children, marrying, reaching out to others, going to school, growing up. There is so much going on.

I knew when I had seven children, that life would be busy, exciting, full, for me and for all of you...because life is like that.

So you bought the houses, and there are repairs to be made. There are walls to paint and windows to fix, plumbing to update and rooves to shingle. There are missing eavestroughs and old doors, yards to cut and sheds to repair.

There are children to tend to. Noses to wipe, meals to make, lives to shape and mold and fret to bestow at all times, when they stamp their feet and when they smile up at you with their glorious shiny eyes and strawberry red lips. There are tired pregnant days to go through and morning sickness.

There are jobs to train for and work at. There are clients to loose and gain. There are long hard hours in hot weather. There are new plans to make and new experiences to try. There are new neighbors to meet and old ones to leave.

There are new churches and comfortable old churches and new and old friends. There are lives to plan and decisions to make and choices...lots of choices.

There are bikes to ride and places to go and stretching and changing to do.

There is life with all its ups and downs and turns and corners, sorrows and joys.

And it is busy.

In the midst of it all, we have an anchor. A strong solid friend who loves us at all times. In Deuteronomy 31:6 God says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave or forsake you." Psalm 136:1 tells us, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His steadfast love endures forever."

I know, because I have been there, that sometimes the busyness consumes you. Though you love God and long to serve Him, life gets in the way. You say a quick prayer in the morning as you run down the hall to start your day, either soothing a child, trying to get to an appointment on time, or trying to catch up where you left off the day before. You read the Word, but you don't really have time to let it sink in. You hurry to solve your own problems because you just can't wait on God.

I lost so many battles, struggled with so many tears, came up empty so often when I didn't rely on Him.

If I can give you a bit of my wisdom I've learned from my own life, I want to urge you (In the words of A.W. Tozer) to follow HARD after God. Long for Him, weave Him in and out of every corner of your lives. Let Him be the breath that sustains you, the first place you turn, the focal point of every minute of every hour of every day. Dance with Him when the days are glorious and you can't contain your joy. Cry with Him when sorrow overwhelms you. Share Him with everyone you meet, Let your lives speak His name before you even share the words. Let Him love you and comfort you and carry you.

I am so proud of all of you and who you are becoming. Your love for God is evident in all your lives.

As you pass through this journey of your own, know that I am praying for you daily. God has blessed me greatly with such special children and children-in-law, and grandchildren.

                                                                                   Love, Mom

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2 Moves and a Wedding

Spring has flown by. The busyness of life has made it go that much quicker! Our children have been on the move. Two of them have changed locations. Our son and his wife and girls have relocated to the country, and our Ottawa child has moved with her husband back to our hometown. Both families are expecting a child. And last weekend, there was a wedding. One more child leaving the nest. Long grown and a big part of our daily routine, he has left a space that will seem empty for a while. But he has married a great gal.

I could post pictures. I could fill this blog with house pix and wedding snapshots and adorable photos of the grandchildren. However, each of our grown children have their own story they are writing, and although I watch and often actively participate, it is their story, not mine anymore. A new chapter, so to speak. I will keep my story more about the activities and daily living of those of us here at home.

Baltimore oriole in the woods beside our house (Photo by Patrick)

Apple blossoms (photo by Patrick)

Dandelion (photo by Patrick)

Stix, our nearly 3 year old tree frog

Our pumpkin plants

We have mysterious frogs around here that are missing yellow pigment, and look blue

Iris in my 'Wild' garden (photo by Patrick)

Buttercups (photo by Patrick)

Rob and Patrick swimming in the river (57 degrees)

My peony..first bloom in six years! (photo by Patrick)
That said, here are some pictures of spring out near our village that I have personally enjoyed.