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Archive for June, 2008

Jam Session

Eli helping Gampy play guitarMorgan at the pianoThankfully for my parents and my children, they are all musically gifted.  But unfortunately, the music gene skipped over me.  🙂

Now, don’t get me wrong…I LOVE music and wish I could play an instrument…but my brain just can’t seem to put it all together.

Recently during a visit with my parents, we enjoyed a little musical “jam session” together.  It was quite fun.  Morgan has been taking piano lessons for almost two years now.  She really enjoys it and it comes pretty easy and natural to her.  (Note: the red and white apron Morgan is wearing in this photo belonged to her great-grandmother…so sweet)

Just think, this is what families use to do before electricity, television, air conditioning, video games.

Thanks Nana & Gampy for a fun visit!  We Love you!

~Ma

 

Nana showing us how to pick the banjo!

 Eli playing the mandolin.

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Baby Audrey

Please get your box of tissues.

I wanted to post this link about an amazing family who has walked a difficult road over the past year.  In a world were the sanctity of life is so challenged, the Smith family took a definite stand for the life God created.

Here’s a link to a video/song tribute to Baby Audrey and the Smith family.  You can also view other videos of the Smith’s being interviewed. 

Also, Angie’s blog “Bring the Rain”, chronicles their journey.  Here’s the link to her blog.  http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/

Thank you Todd & Angie for living out such an incredible testimony to me and my family.

We are praying for you and your sweet family!

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Any agricultural project takes focus. A strong, healthy garden has much to do with long hours of  hard work and focus (though the Father is ultimately responsible for the harvest). Likewise, our walk with the Father is much a result of focus. We don’t need to focus on doing stuff but on Him. In the garden, when we loose our focus and allow other things to take precedence, the garden will quickly get out of control Weeding the garden is a necessary task and it must be done for the crops to grow strong and healthy. Weeds do not stop growing when we decide to take a break and sit inside where it is nice and cool. They will continue to grow and will eventually take over the garden and rob nutrients and water from the crops. Our walk with the Father is much the same. When we loose our focus and take our eyes off of Him, our flesh begins to take over. The moment our focus is not on Him, the thorns of our flesh begin to take root. If left alone, they will take over our heart. The weeds and thorns of our flesh will choke out the fruit that has been growing. Mark 4:18,19 says

  Now these are the ones sown among the thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word and it becomes unfruitful.”

Are we not commanded to bear good fruit? Our faith and focus must always be on  the Father. We must be steadfast in our faith that the thorns and thistles of our flesh do not take root. They must be plucked out wherever they are found and at whatever cost.

“Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill; unbelief mars my confidence, and sin make me forget thee. Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; Grant me to know that I live only when I live to thee, that all else is trifling. Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong, and happy. Abide in me gracious God.” – excerpt The Valley of Vision pg 139 “Resting on God”

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Handprints

Here is a poem I have always loved.  My MIL has it posted in a frame in her basement with some cute handprints of Paul and his brother, Brian when they were young boys.  So, I thought I’d share it with you and if you like it, you can get some molds and do handprints of your special “blessings” to remember these days of motherhood with “littles” running around your house!

SOMETIMES YOU GET DISCOURAGED

BECAUSE I AM SO SMALL

AND ALWAYS LEAVE MY FINGERPRINTS ON FURNITURE AND WALLS

BUT EVERYDAY I’M GROWING-

I’LL BE GROWN UP SOMEDAY

AND ALL THOSE TINY HANDPRINTS

WILL SURELY FADE AWAY

SO HERE’S A FINAL HANDPRINT

JUST SO YOU CAN RECALL

EXACTLY HOW MY FINGERS LOOKED

WHEN I WAS VERY SMALL

My three sweetiesHere are my three sweeties.  In these busy days, I must remind myself one day these times will be just a blur.

Enjoy your blessings!

 

~Ma

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So serious!Go ahead, make my day!

 

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Summer Vegetable Garden 2007It’s amazing all the things one can learn in the garden.  Not only great life skills of learning to grow your own food, but when you really get in there and get your hands dirty…there are many spirtual object lessons just waiting to be “un-earthed”.

Lesson One :

Weeds….these pesky things are quite a conversation piece.  When you spot a tiny piece of green that doesn’t appear to be part of the plant…you can try to just break off the green weed on top.  But, if you really want to get to the “root” of the problem you must dig and get the ground broken up to pull out the entire root, or else you will have another weed poking through the surface in no time at all.  What’s interesting is often when you get down to the root, there are multiple weeds connected to the same root system.

So after observing this over and over again, I realized this is a picture of sin in my own life.  Different areas of struggles (weeds) poke their heads through, but often it all stems from the same “root” problem area in my life.

Lesson Two:

Daily cultivating, weeding, watering etc…these activities help to keep the task of having a garden more manageable.  The plants do much better with regular/daily attention instead of letting it go for several days and then trying to fix everything in one day.

This object picture reminded me of our relationships with others in our lives…family, friends, etc.  We can’t expect to have real meaningful relationships unless we “tend” the relationship on a daily (or regular) basis.    For example, with our young children, if we don’t “tend” these relationships when they are very young and continue year after year, day after day, it can get very difficult to “shepherd” their hearts.

Lesson Three:

Man, gardening is dirty work!  This is the first year that I have really gotten in there.  Last year at this time I was 9 months pregnant and my bulging belly kept me from doing a lot.  I did well just to get out there and help with the watering, but the weeds I only saw from a distance 🙂  Thanks to my wonderful hard-working husband and our gracious heavenly Father, we had a beautiful garden and harvest from Summer 2007.  Here is picture of Morgan and me on Father’s day last year (which was June 17, Josiah’s due date…he eventually arrived on June 24th)

Morgan and Amy on baby\'s due date June 17, 2007

This year, I’m enjoying getting out there EARLY in the morning to water and start weeding before the heat of the day.  I like to get out there before the children awake, but my little early bird-country kids seem to wake with the sunlight and are ready to get out there too!

So what insights are you learning from getting your hands dirty in the beautiful dirt God created? 

Until next time,

~Ma

 

 

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We recently had the privilege to talk with an Amish family who is in the same stage of life as us.  They are in their 30’s and have young children.  Even though we live in very different environments, I believe we have lots to learn from each other (especially what we could learn from them).  I even made a comment how we could benefit from their wisdom and the Amish gentleman seemed rather surprised at such a comment. 

Further along in the conversation he made a very profound statement to my husband.  He shared that his mother use to say “The problem is not the HIGH cost of living, but the cost of HIGH living”.  There it was…such a simple statement but it really hit the nail on the head. 

The cost is not always monetary either.  Usually the cost comes in much more profound ways…real meaningful ways, like relationships.  Instead of being together and working together during the days, our family members are apart from each other because dad or mom or both dad AND mom are away at work to pay for our HIGH living rather than just meeting our basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

Then in a multi-generational sense, because of our society’s movement away from the family unit, now extended families are no longer supporting each other as what is referred to in Titus 2 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Titus%202&version=31).

I have more to share on this subject…but for now I can’t get all my thoughts together to write out.  But I wanted to go ahead and post this because I pray it spurs us all to really evaluate our lives and the choices we make.  I pray we can move away from our “instant gratification” mentality and look at our choices in how they affect our families 25, 50 , 100 years from now.

~Ma

P.S. I’m preaching to myself….

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