Friday, December 30, 2005

Hi there!

I'm moving and packing and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Sonoma County is getting quite the deluge of rain. I'll try to get a picture of the back yard so you can get an idea of how bad it is. We are in a pretty good spot here, but there are a few areas close by that are needing to be evacuated because the Russian River is flooding. You can just tell this rain is serious!

Still trying to get it all done by Sunday. That means I have to get off my duff and get busy! See you later!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Packing and the Blueberry Girl

Ok we are packing and I am bushed for the night. I am going to blog, crochet, read my Bible, and go to bed. We plan to be all packed into the trailor by Sunday, then relax a couple of days and leave on Thursday. A few days in Santa Maria, and then Mexico!!!!

Now the bluberry story. It begins with a confession. I let my three year old daughter watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with me last month. A mistake. I had foolishly thought that it would be as appropriate for children as the last one, and Ruth has never been afraid of anything on TV yet. Excuses excuses.

Well, I was disturbed by the creepy Willy Wonka guy--a childlike, effeminate, pale-faced man invites children into his wonderland ranch, I mean chocolate factory. This is way too close to the Michael Jackson hearings for me to enjoy that kind of stuff, but I digress; this is about Ruth's reaction, not mine.

She was alarmed when Violet turned blue. She started to shake, and I reasurred her everything was fine. She seemed to be ok, so I didn't think anything of it. (Except nothing scarey on TV for her!) Back to today. She and her two year old sister were playing in their room, and Ruth runs in to me, "Mommy! Becca's blue!" Of course that kind of thing is enough to send me running. Sure enough there was Rebecca-blue dyed popcicle stick in her teeth, studiously trying to eat it. Her lips and cheeks were bright turquois. Ruth started to cry. I cleaned Rebecca up, took away the stick, and then proceeded to try to reassure Ruth, but she was really upset. She kept coming to me crying. I was a little out of sorts as to how to deal with this because Ruth never gets emotional. When she does, it's usually fake and obvious, but this was real.

I told her Rebecca was fine. I told her to stop being scared. Then she saw that somehow some of that blue dye had gotten on her hands. She freaked. "I BLUE MOMMY! I BLUE!" I picked her up, washed her hands and set her on her feet. Then I quietly told her to look at me. It took a while, but finally she did. I took her chin in my hand to reinforce the eye contact and said slowly, "Mommy will NOT let Ruth turn into a blueberry. Mommy will NOT let Rebecca turn into a blueberry. Do you understand?"

She looked right into my eyes, then said, "OK!", jumped down, and ran into her room, completely fine!

That just made me think of when Jesus said we need to have childlike faith in God to come to Him. When we are terrified and don't understand what's going on, God does, and He tells us, "Be still, and know that I am God!" When we sit still to listen, there He is with a promise like, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." We can try to figure it out on our own-and we can't, or we can just trust Him like Ruth trusted me.

The other thing it made me think was, "Wow! What a responsibility to have someone trust you like that!" Yeeks. I wish I was more like MY heavenly Father.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Christmas to you!

Last Sunday we had a birthday party for Jesus at church, and they asked everyone to tell what Jesus means to them. I was all set to fight tears during my testimony, because I was struggling already, but my daughter saved me from that by puking on me at the beginning. Everyone laughed a little and it was easily wiped up with a paper towel. Then I started again, and suddenly everyone screamed, "NOOO!"

My Elisabeth had found a partially digested fragment of apple on my skirt that I'd missed and delightfully popped it into her mouth.

No chance of crying there.

I will blog again about what I said, just wanted to "share"

We are visiting my dad's church--as you can see, they aren't stuffy people at all.

The picture is Becca and her new haircut!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Another Good Picture

before I get back to work:

My parents have a cool dog, Lasha. Here she gives the baby a kiss. Surprizingly, Elisabeth does not mind getting licked with a warm, slimey tongue the entire length of her face. I think she likes it, which is kind of odd.

Yipeee! Feeling Much Better!!!

And getting packed too! I cannot begin to express the excitement as I get our trailor filled and know that the next time I see those things we will be IN MEXICO!!! Well, got to get back to work, but I wanted to share a good picture with you all before I go.

This is the girls with my parents: proud grandparents!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

'Tis the Season,

To be sneezin'! Oh wow did that bug hit us! I am struggling with a little frustration over not being able to pack. But we are all just trying to get lots of rest.

You never know if you can do what you plan. Sounds like a verse I know, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." I don't know the address and I'm too lazy to look it up right now--read Proverbs, you'll find it!

So without boasting, Lord willing, we will get the work done next week!

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Lots of family!!!

I'm having a great time visiting with family at my parent's place. My sister Becky is here with her three children, and her husband is driving out and will be here next week. My brother stopped in today. There are lots of changes going on with my family right now, My brother in law is planting a church in Santa Rosa California, and we are going to Mexico next month, so there is a lot of moving and visiting going on. We are busy, but blessed! Now if I can just get it all done!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thanksgiving Season!

Oh Thanksgiving was wonderful this year! I think I've recovered from the self-inflicted abuse, and I'm looking to the next day of memorial before me. Thanksgiving is the perfect introduction to a season celebrating Christ. There is no more appropriate attitude we can have when we consider the greatest Gift of all, so in my opinion, this is the Thanksgiving Season. It begins the last Thursday in November with a feast and a day set aside for giving thanks for all God's blessings. Then we have a month to think about the wonderous gifts of God. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Then on December 25, when we single out the most importent Gift of all. Without the Gift of Christ, nothing else matters, all is vanity and emptiness. I praise God for His rich blessing, but nothing compares to the cross. In it I find my salvation, hope, and value.

The Bible holds a great many feast days and seasons of rememberance. Jesus faithfully celebrated them all. While we are not under the law, I think sometimes we forget the importance of remembering God. A holy day is a day set aside for God. Let us not fall victim to the deceptive materialism in the world's Christmas. There is no substance to the celebration in the world. Anyone saved through the gift of God truly has something great to celebrate and rejoice over!

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord"

I typed this out the day after Thanksgiving for my blog, and didn't finish it. Then the kidney stone distracted me a little. I do not, however, want the stuff of life to take away what God has placed on my heart here. It just underlines the message of thankfulness for God's Son. When Ryan took sick so quickly, I had no idea what was wrong with him. I sat in the hospital room with him watching his distress, and the thought came to my mind that he could have something serious, and I could go home alone. All I can say is, the peace of having God's gift keeps me sane day in and day out. I knew that if something horrible happened, God was sufficient. He had saved Ryan, and would take care of me and my babies. The same holds true for our future plans. I have no idea what is ahead of us, but I know that God gave eternal life. I rest on His promises; It's all I can do.

So, to everyone, Happy Thanksgiving Season! Thank God for Jesus!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Is God Really So Good?

Do we really believe God is good? The proof is in how much of our lives we trust Him with. What do we risk for Him? How much of what He gave us do we invest completely for Him, trusting that He will reward us? The Apostle Paul was one of those who did everything with God's reward in mind. Althought he suffered for his service for God, he didn't seem to think the suffering was a big deal. In fact, when he made a list of the sufferings and sacrifices in writing, he was embarressed. No, all of those things were nothing because he knew something about God, and this thread is woven from cover to cover in the Bible. GOD IS GOOD! God wants people to know Him. To know God, is know He is good. Even in His justice and terrible judgement, He is good, and full of mercy.

If we believe God is Who He says He is, we will take what He gives us and do what He wants with it. It's that simple.

Jesus told a story about this. A rich man entrusted three servents with various amounts of money and left on a long journey. Upon returning, he found that two of the servents had put his money to good use and had twice as much money as he left with them. He gave them the rule over their profit. One man now had twenty talents, and the other had ten.

The last servent was a different story. When asked for the money back, was ashamed. He whined and squeaked that the master was a hard man. He said that he was afraid, and he had buried the talent in the ground. When he had retrieved his talent from the dirt where it was buried, he brought it back, wrapped in the dirty napkin, all alone. The master had trusted his servent with what he knew the man was capable of handling, and he was angry. Then, it turned out that the master was indeed a hard man. He took away the talent from the unprofitable servent and gave it to the one who had twenty. He had wanted to reward this servent, but the man had no faith in his master, and had stripped himself of all the blessing he could have had.

God has been dealing in my heart this year about the meaning of this parable. There was a time that I was afraid to submit to God's will for my life. I looked at certain things that others suffered in serving God and concluded that God was hard. That in serving Him, I would have to go throught things that were beyond me. I have seen this attitude in others also. They are willing to live their lives for Him. As long as they get to decide things. In other words, "As long as I'm calling the shots, what I do will be for God. Because if I give God the helm, He's going to take me where I don't want to go." I lived this way for a long time, thinking that God would have to accept me because I wasn't holding back much. There were only a few things that I wasn't willing to do for Him. only a few pieces of myself that I wanted control of. I didn't believe God was GOOD.

There are so many ways that this attitude affects our lives. Sometimes, we hide what He gives us to serve Him with. We pretend it doesn't exist. Sometimes, we try to change God's plan to be more to our liking. Sometimes, we do His bidding, but we hate it. We think God might have a cruel streak for the demands He has made of us.

This attitude is a lack of faith, and it is sin. It will seriously hinder anything we can do for God, making us unprofitable to Him. The essence of faith is believing that God is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

The truth is, God is good. His goodness, grace, and mercy are such a part of our everyday lives, that we don't even recognize that every good gift is from Him. Let me just go through some of the things He has done for me.

*He saved me! I am going to live forever in Heaven!
*He wants me to know Him--me! Know HIM!
*He has a plan for my life--one in which I have
-perfect peace all the time
-a Companion (God Himself) to comfort me in trial
-a Guide, and not just any Guide-this one actually made me to do the things He is guiding me to do!
*a calling, and a good one
*a wonderful, precious family
*confidence-not arrogence
*a promise that God can do something good, even with my gunk! "and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose."

That's the short list. After the first one, I could stop! He still owes me nothing, I still owe Him everything--He could only have saved me from my sins if He was GOOD, but the rest-He is very good.

Hebrews summs it up nicely: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Heb. 11:6

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Going back to Cali!

Lots of work to do! We will be going to California Monday, and then packing for Mexico in January.

I can't begin to express how wonderful my Lord has been to me. This has been an emotional time, a tired time for my family, and I am the biggest sap amongst us! I have so needed the Lord's sustaining grace to keep me in joy. I am tender, but not torn, because my tenderness is protected by God's hand. There, I can trust him to use these times to bring me closer to His side. The sweetness of an emotional down season with Christ at my side is beyond words to describe. What would I do without Him?

Today in church I heard a description of grace: stooping in kindness to an inferior or weaker person.

The weaker I get, the stronger He is in me. I treasure these times, knowing that they will NOT last forever!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Kidney Stone Update

OUCH!!!! My husband's pain went back up last night and he finally fell asleep this morning at 7am, and slept for an hour. He's not in the very best of spirits. Poor guy. Wish I could do something to help. I like to charge in and relieve pain and fix the problem, but I just can't. Stink.

On a lighter note, Elisabeth was watching Dora the Explorer this morning with the girls and when the backpack song came on she concentrated and said, "Backpack!" She was so proud of herself! She's been saying it all day now. Baby genius. (I am not biased! OK Yes I am.)