This past weekend I housesat for friends while they went to hear Doug Phillips speak at the New Hampshire Homeschool Convention. It was a nice, quiet weekend and I was able to get a lot of work done. I spend time on a secret project for Kayla's wedding and also started to quilt the quilt (imagine that!). On Saturday afternoon I went to see Prince Caspian with the Wardwells and some of the KBT Narnia cast. It was so nice to see them again and the movie was pretty good as well.
One of my duties while house-sitting was to take care of the chickens. This may sound dorky, but I was really looking forward to that. I think I may be a farm girl at heart or something. Anyway, so I set off to the coop in my sandals. Halfway there I thought, I should probably put on sneakers in case the ladies try to peck me! So I did. Lo and behold, they started pecking at my sneakers almost as soon as I got in there! I changed their water and gathered eggs. It wasn't too terribly challenging! I'm sure there is a whole lot more to raising chickens that I don't have the faintest clue about. I would love to eventually have a small farm with goats, chickens, horses and bees. But for now, I am content to be raising herbs, vegetables, flowers and cain... just kidding!
I love history. It's fascinating and so enlightening. We learn so much from the mistakes and successes of those who have come before us. Many times we see that man's ways are not as high as God's ways and other times we see that God's hand in someone's life is what makes the victory just that. It's all about God! I paticularly like to read biographies. People are all different and their lives are all interesting, even the ones who seem as if they would be dull because they had supposed "uneventful" lives. Uneventful is not how I would describe the biography I just finished.
Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce by John Piper is a great read. It was so inspiring! We often associate Wilberforce with his huge contribution to ending the slave trade and eventually slavery itself in England. He did even more than that!
After wasting money and time while in college, a friend lent him a book about Christianity. He understood it intellectually, but only later that summer did he become truly saved. He surrendered his life and his heart to Christ.
As well as abolishing slavery, the Lord used him to restore morality, in part, to a very reprobate England. He was against the suppression of the underclass and thought that wealth should be used for the benefit of those who were suffering. In fact, most of his wealth was given to those who were in great need. He also wrote a provocative (I mean in the thought process) book about practical Christianity. There were many, many people in that era who were Christians in name only and didn't bear fruit as would and should true followers of Christ. He hoped that this book would spur them on to true godliness and true faith.
He had deep faith in the Lord and beleived God to be sovereign above all. He would spend lengths of time in the morning reading his Bible, meditating and praying. Even with guests in the house he would often be late to breakfast because he was spending time with the Lord. This closeness to God was evidenced in his life by his kindness toward others and his perseverence in doing good, despite many physical difficulties. He had several problems: colitis, poor eyesight, and later on developed a curviture of the spine. He continued to fight in parliment against injustice and raise a family.
He was the type of politition that we pray to have seated at the white house. Someone who worked for good for the glory of God and the benefit of society, rather than for selfish gain or hunger for power. He endured malicious slander, yet didn't revile. God gave him a way with words and he captivated his audience. Yet he still had to wait 20 years before the slave trade was abloished and then twenty-six more before slavery was outlawed all together. In fact, the last victory came only three days before he died. So, Wilberforce finished this life with victory and I am sure went on to recieve eternal rewards!
I admire his character and his determination- both of which come from the Lord. I pray that I would be able to do what God has planned for me with as much vigor, perseverence and passion!
Where is it that in such a world as this, health, and leisure, and affluence may not find some ignorance to instruct, some wrong to redress, some want to supply, some misery to alleviate?
Oh LORD, purify my soul from all its stains. Warm my heart with the love of Thee, animate my sluggish nature and fix my inconstancy, and volatility, that I may not be weary in well doing.
The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
He raises the poor out of the dust,
And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,
That He may seat him with princes-
With the princes of His people.
He grants the barren woman a home,
Like the joyful mother of children.
Praise the LORD!
This chapter evidences the glory and awesomeness of God. The middle section humbles me as I am reminded of God's place and mine in it's comparison- He is all-knowing and all-powerful and is to be feared and praised!
God is so good. He has shown Himself to be faithful to our family in many ways recently. Up until a little while ago, I failed to notice when He answered prayers. I don't mean the "big" prayer requests, of course I noticed those, but I'm talking about the little things that we pray for. I was listening to Revive our Hearts the other day and the host mentioned that every time we fail to acknowledge God's hand at work or when we don't give Him the credit, we are robbing Him of His glory. I have done that so many times and I want to stop. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I want to give Him glory for every thing- be it great or small- that He does in and around me.
With that said, I wanted to share a few answers to prayer that we have seen in the past couple of days.
The first one we only prayed for once. We were looking for Ethan's swimming trunks and they were no where to be found. Mom said, "We need to pray that God would provide a swimsuit for Ethan before camp, so he can go swimming!" Not much more was said about it. Two days later, an unexpected package arrived in the mail from Aunt Brenda (my grandmother's sister who lives in California). It was addressed to Ethan and we had no clue what it could be. He opened it up and there was a brand new pair of swimming trunks along with a rashgaurd to match! God is soo good to us- He gave us more than we asked for! (there's a picture of Ethan in them above)
The second answer to prayer is something we had only been praying for for a week or so. We were supposed to go all the way up to Cutler today to help my uncle scrape and repaint his camp. It's a long drive and with gas prices, it was looking a bit challenging. We also had things to finish up around here and Kayla had something she really wanted to go to. So, we took it to the Father. We prayed that our plans would be cancelled. And on Wednesday night, my uncle called and said that he was going to do the roof instead and wouldn't need us this weekend. Another answer to prayer. Praise God!
The last one that I will share is a big one. My future brother-in-law has been studying for a long time now to finish up with his pilot's licence test (that's probably not grammatically correct, oh well!). We've been praying that God would give him wisdom and knowledge and that He would recall all of the things that he learned. There was a lot dependent upon this test. So on Friday morning, he went up in the air for his test and came back down a licenced pilot! I don't know much of the details, but we were all very excited when Kayla got the news! Glory be to God! She's also anticipating going on a flight with him sometime soon! How cool is that?!?
So I will end with and encouragement: pray all the time and for everything. No matter what God's answer is, we can trust that He is good and He is faithful and He will only give us what is best for us and for His glory!
Life is so full. There's always an adventure around the corner. That may sound terribly romantic to some people, but I really like to view it that way. It adds excitement to each new day. After all, when you really think about it, you don't know what is going to happen in the next moment. How mysterious! How thrilling! Even daily duties can be exciting. Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I have the mind of a four year old! Speaking of four year olds, I had the privilege of babysitting my favorite little boy trio this past weekend. Eli, Josiah and Andrew are the only kids I babysit now and I enjoy them so much! Elijah is the smart one- he asks great questions and knows more than I do! I can tell that Lori takes the time to answer his many and various questions. That's one of the great things about being at home with your kids. There is so much you can invest in them. Josiah is the little snuggle bug. He's so cute! And he carries around this little bear, Corderoy. I think he came with the book Corderoy or something, but it makes me smile every time he says it's name. Andrew is the youngest of the trio (soon to become a quartet!!) and he is such a Gap baby! Adorable and beautiful! The picture above doesn't do him justice, but I thought it was cute. He's a very happy baby too! Kudos to Lori- I tried to take his picture so many times, but I couldn't snap them fast enough to get a good shot of his sweet face! Lori must work camera magic!
So my weekend was filled with playing outside, walking through the woods, feeding hungry munchkins and laughing- always laughter for me! When I (Lord willing) get married, I hope God blesses me with an abundance of impish, energetic, lovable little boys! They are a merriment!
On Sunday Dad asked Mom what she would like to do after church. Normally we have a potluck (or potblessing as our Pastor calls it), but due to Mother's day, it was cancelled. Mom decided she would like to go to the ocean. So we set off. We had to make a few pit stops along the way (Georgio's, a gas station, and somewhere else I can't remember) and we took a slight detour which was actually quite pretty. But we finally arrived at our beloved ocean. Fort Popham is usually our choice of beach. It has a picnic area, it's free, it has a really cool fort that is great for pictures, it's free, and it has a great beach and swimming area. Oh yeah, and did I mention that it's free? It was a lovely day and the breeze wasn't too strong, but just enough to make it pleasant. There is something so wonderful about the salt sea breeze blowing through your hair- it's almost as if God were breathing on you. I've decided that when I am a rich old lady (which is very improbable) I want to buy a little cottage that sits on an island off the coast of Maine. Dream on girl! While we were setting up our picnic lunch, mom looked out near the shoreline and spotted a seal! I was soo excited and I had my camera with me- thank goodness for digital zoom! I snapped a few pictures of this guy (i.e. a seal, not a "guy"- just to reassure you!). Upon looking around we discovered a whole group of seals! Kayla counted at least 17 of them. There must have been a lot of fish in that area, because there were cormorants and seagulls gallore as well. We got to see a comorant scarf down a fish- really cool! It was such a blessing. In all my growing up and visiting the Maine coastline time after time each year, I have only ever seen one seal. So this was monumental (well, sort of). We walked along the coast and Kayla was the first to dare to put her feet in. It was freezing! But not as cold as anticipated. We went to the fort and took lots of pictures there. All in all it was a great Sunday- really a restful day. And being by the mighty ocean only made us ponder more how great our God truly is!
This is the reason that I didn't do any blogging last week. In the past 10 or so days I have put several rows on the quilt. I'm enjoying the process and it's so nice to see it slowly growing larger and larger. It's a sort of small sense of accomplishment each time a row is completed. I only have four rows left to put on and it will be ready for the back! I'm looking forward to sitting down and quilting it- I suppose I shall imagine that I am Besty Ross sewing together the American flag (it will make me feel more important!).
If anyone is interested in Already Not Yet, the magazine my dear friend Jenna is looking to publish as a quarterly, please email her pronto. If she doesn't get enough interest, she will be unable to print them.
I've always loved that quote. I can't really tell you why. It's simple and there is absolutely nothing profound or earth shattering about it. It might be because I can honestly say it. I do love a laugh. I especially love the ones that bring you down to the ground on your knees because you just can't stand up anymore. The one where you shake uncontrollably and you can't get anything out vocally. I'm chuckling just thinking about it. I shared such a one with my sister the other day. We were attempting to do the twist and the jitter bug and we kept messing up or hitting things. It was so much fun and so funny that we hit the floor rolling! Kayla has a great sense of humor. There have been so many late nights when we stayed up talking and giggling and then laughing hysterically over something that happened that day or even times past. I can be goofy, but Kayla is one of the best of the best and I feel so blessed that God allowed her to share the past 20 years of life with me. Soon, there will be no more late night talks. But that is a sad thought and I WON'T allow it! Our pastor has been teaching from Genesis 27 the past couple of Sundays. He has been giving us lessons from the story of Jacob and Esau. One of the things that has stuck with me is about gifts. He said, "We spend our lives wishing we had someone else's gifts." That is so true of me. I'm always jealous of this person's gift of hospitality or that person's compassion or so-and-so's musical gifts. I don't want to be jealous anymore. I want to carpediem and use my gifts to the best of my ability and to the glory of God. I wonder if laughter is a gift? If it is, then I think it is one of mine! The doctors order: drink your water, eat your veggies and laugh as often as you can!
This is a short little Psalm, but it is great! God really has shown great mercy and kindness toward us- not in the least in sending us His Son and saving us from our sinful selves. With the upcoming election, I've been thinking a lot about our country and the state that we are in. We are just gluttons for punishment, yet the Lord has not given us what we deserve. He is so good and this chapter reminds us to give Him glory and praise!