Friday, May 31, 2013

The Stuff of Life...

Life is not always easy, things happen, storms blow in, people change. That nice car you were driving? Gone. That weed free garden that the neighbor so carefully tilled? Full of weeds again. The news is full of tragedy. Young father dying, tornadoes taking lives, children no longer in their parents arms. It is often enough to make one weep. It all looks so hopeless.

When my eyes opened at 5:30, I lay awhile mulling all of lifes struggles over in my mind. I could have spent hours there doing that, but what would that accomplish? Instead I slid out of bed and wandered outside.

 My devotional time with God was sweet. The tea was hot, the sun shining. Birds were singing in the leafy canopy above me. I sat in my nightgown and closed my eyes and basked in the beauty of it all. And I gained strength, enough to get me through the day, enough to carry me on. Enough to satisfy my hungry soul. Sweet.

One thing does not change...the fact that God loved me and sent His son to die for me, that He loves me, unconditionally, always, never wavering.

I am blessed.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Have The Greatest Family Tree...

My grandfather raised goats and rabbits. I tell it to my children proud. Just a small fact about him....and how he lived far off in Holland and he wasn't a very rich man and he smoked a pipe.

My grandmother was blind and she once sewed black pockets on my Dad's brown coat and made him wear it to school. He never said anything because he didn't want to hurt her feelings. She used to put her thumb in a tea cup when she poured tea so she could see how full it was.

I never met my grandfather but I did meet my grandmother once when I was 14.  When I came into the room she pulled me onto her ample lap and praised God for me.

These are stories I share with my children and will tell my grandchildren. These stories are part of who I am.

There are other stories I must be sure to share, one of them goes like this;

'By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.  Hebrews 11:24-29.

Beautiful story of our heritage to put down. True accounts of what a mighty God I serve. I have a whole book of them.

I have an ancestor who was given the task of naming all the animals, one who led mighty armies in faith, one who killed a giant with a small stone, one who built a magnificent temple, one who led an army around a city and its walls fell down, one who killed a lion and a bear; story after story and one special story greater than all the rest, of a God who loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on Calvary in our place.

Put that in when you make up your family tree and when you give the history on your family's past. Breathe out those words of love and share them until they penetrate deep. There is no greater legacy to leave those who follow after.

My Paternal Grandparents in Holland.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Of May and Mothers...

Mother's Day is almost here! Maybe because it truly marks the beginning of spring for me, maybe because being a mom has been one of my main functions for so many years (30), whatever it is, this day is especially nostalgic for me (in a good way).

First of all, I was blessed with the best mother there ever was, really! I'm not just biased. All my siblings would agree. She was a gracious, loving, and sometimes opinionated woman. She loved us all with an unconditional love. And she had a wonderful close walk with God. It showed in her daily living. We miss her a lot and look forward to seeing her again someday in heaven.
Mom Vanderkloet
Then there is my mother-in-law. She too is a very gracious lady and a lot of fun. At almost 80, she still has a ton of spunk and gets around pretty well! She loves to eat at Burger King and visit every Open House in the real estate market. The lines between loving my own mother and loving her have blurred over the years and since she is the only mom I have here now, I appreciate her so much.
Mom Andrews
And me. I have been a mom for 30+ years and I love it. I think I was groomed for it from the time I was little. I grew up as the youngest of 8 siblings...until I was 5. Then began a long line of foster babies my parents took in and finally a nephew who came to live with us and was much like a younger brother. I was also surrounded by an ever growing crowd of nieces and nephews...and I babysat for dozens of children in our community. Shortly after Gord and I got married, I began running a home daycare and we started adding on children of our own. I am in my fifties and still raising children, a 12 year old and a 14 year old. Its been busy but its great!
Me and my first baby, David

What is really neat though, is that I still get to be surrounded by little people and by some very special mom's as well. We have 5 grandchildren now and I love watching the young women who mother them go through the same experiences I did.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there and especially Kaitlin, Stephanie and Rebecca! You are all doing a wonderful job!

Who can find a virtuous woman? She is far more precious than jewels...
Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle.
Her sons rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also praises her:
Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
~Proverbs 31:10, 25-30

Monday, May 6, 2013

Walk This Way

I went for a long walk this morning. It has been three days since I took a good brisk turn around the subdivision. Then I came home and made a cup of tea and settled down to a book that my daughter left laying on the coffee table in the family room. It is called, 'Having A Mary Spirit', by Joanna Weaver. I have read her other book, 'Having a Martha Heart' too and enjoyed it. This one focuses on allowing God to change us from the inside out. In one of the chapters she refers to our weak, giving in selves as 'Flesh Woman'. She points out that we need to conquer Flesh Woman by walking in the Spirit. I love the verse she quotes:'Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. You are good and do good. Teach me Your statutes.' Psalm 119:67 and 68.
I need to stick that verse up somewhere in my kitchen where I can see it often. Too often I give in to unhealthy eating habits, I let my thoughts wander and begin to doubt His promises, I am weak. I want to walk strong and live my life in a way that is pleasing to God. 

The weather was lovely today, so lovely that I gave in to some pretty creative pleading and let my 12 year old go off down the road to hunt frogs instead of hauling out the math book. Apparently the cops were on patrol in the area. One of them stopped a few feet from my barefoot boy and called him over.

 "Son, where are your shoes?"

"Probably in the closet." 

"Why aren't you in school?"

"Because I'm homeschooled and my mother thought it would be a good day for hunting frogs."

Patrick says the officer smiled and sent him on his way. 

Don't worry, though Officer. After he came home and we washed the mud off, he finished all his school work.