Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Friday, December 12, 2014

Teach Me!

They say that as we get older, time goes faster.

I have found that statement to be true, however, I am not certain when the "faster" actually began to bother me.

I cannot remember too much of the time speed before school, or my elementary years, but remember time seemed to creep by during the years of waiting to drive.
And then it was waiting for High School graduation.
For some reason, those high school days crept by at a slow rate of speed. 
Time accelerated slightly during the "going to work" years, but didn't go fast enough while waiting to get married.  Acceleration, but still too slow waiting for children and then grandchildren.

Sometime during this acceleration and waiting game, the realization hit that it can't be stopped!  Each stage of life, each time of waiting seems shorter and the acceleration faster and no escape seems possible.

 No matter what stage of life we are presently living in, though, it consists of years, months, weeks, and days.

They consist of days!

Days in which we climb out of bed, perform whatever duties we have for that day and then collapse back in bed.  Did you ever contemplate on how funny that process would look to aliens in outer space holding a big pair of binoculars observing the human race?   
It's dark, there are some humans seemingly unconscious in their beds (yes, I know there are some of us who do not sleep when it is dark), when all of a sudden they are up and racing around doing this and that, and going hither and yonder.  Then all of sudden, they are unconscious in their beds again.  For some reason, that imagined "observance" strikes me silly, especially if it contained no audio.  What on earth are those humans doing?

It can also make me feel very sombre.

Our lives are made up of day compartments and when I ponder about what I do each day, what I don't do, but could, all silliness subsides.  Would those aliens see that my day had a purpose?  Would they be able to make any sense of it?  Would they be impressed or depressed by the human they observed?

Whether we have aliens observing us, some may think so, but there definitely is One who is observing us and He does not need binoculars.  He also has the audio turned on and I can imagine Him sitting silently, shaking his head at times, wondering what this human being is doing.
 I often wonder what this human is doing!
Sundays follow Sundays, January comes after January,and I can't remember what happened to all the days and months in between.  Where did all the days and weeks go?  And if they went that fast, did I do anything productive, meaningful or anything that counts towards the eternal?

Our lives are like a vapor, and as I age, the realization of how thin that vapor truly is makes me beg the Observer.......

Teach me!
Teach me to number my days!

Teach Me to not "climb" out of bed (climbing is work), but to joyfully "rise" out of bed with great anticipation for that day.
Teach me to slow it down, to relish it.
Teach me to fully surrender each one to You.
Teach me to love You and seek only Your approval.
 Teach me Your wisdom and help me apply it to my heart.
  Teach me to take advantage of every single minute in an edifying way.
Teach me to love as You love, to think as You think, to speak as You speak.
Teach me to respect my husband, nurture our children, our grandchildren, to love everyone in my life to full capacity.
Teach me to live each day reflecting You, that when those days build into weeks, months and years, the reflected images would not be of regret and emptiness, but a reflection of a life well lived. 

Teach us, Lord!
Teach us to number our days!

Until next time.........

Sunday, November 30, 2014

30th Class Reunion

The class of 1984 celebrated "30 years since High School" last evening.

I can't figure out how that is possible since we are only 39 yrs. old!  :)

It was a very well organized evening of food and fellowship with classmates whom some we have not seen since we were seniors.  Some appeared to not have changed at all, some we did not recognize.  
 And yes, Dave & I did graduate together.

Sadly, I did not take enough pictures.

Here we are with Mr. Ketch, who was one of my teachers in Jr. High, and Mr. Sakusky (in wheelchair), who was my World Cultures teacher in 7th grade and Dave's football coach.

This was a buddy of Dave's.  They both could tell you about the terrible pranks
they played on their Vo-Ag teacher.

The name tags were great!  Quite a few times we had to look at them to figure out who was who.

My class schedule from 7th grade.

We won this for having the most grandchildren.

We enjoyed the evening and greatly appreciate all the hard work that the reunion committee put into planning the evening.

Until next time..............

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where is the Line?

This has been by far the most difficult post I have ever thought about writing!
It has been in the "writing" for weeks and weeks.  I have changed the title at least four times, deleted paragraphs, added others, changed the main topic, and almost pitched it out of my blog world, but God kept prodding me. 

with HIS help, I am going to attempt to put words to what HE has put in my heart.

For many of my friends, they already know that HE has put in my heart a passion for purity, modesty, healthy sexuality and a hatred for legalism.
Legalism?  How does that word fall in here?
It does and that has been the difficulty about this post - attempting to tie it all together and make any sense to the readers.
Plus, this is very personal to me.  I feel smack nab in the middle of what I am about to share.

There are so many blog posts and articles on the subject of modesty and to be honest, I don't read any of them anymore.  There is such a diverse opinion on what "modest" is and I would like to give a different perspective on it.  You are probably tempted to put your mouse on that red X in the corner and never give me a chance to pick your brain. But, just wait a minute......

Lets go back in time..........

Until the 20th century, hats were part of a man's attire.  If a man did not wear a hat in public, he was not well, nor completely dressed.  The vest and suit coat were also part of the attire. Men dressed up for every day activities. 

  The t-shirt was invented in the early 1900's and it was considered an undergarment.  In the 1950's, it became a stand alone, outerwear garment.  The gentlemen of the early 19th century would have turned over in their grave to see men in public wearing JUST a t-shirt and, of course pants - casual pants, for really!  dress pants with a neatly ironed crease down the front wouldn't jive with a t-shirt.  Or would it?  Well, today it would!  A man can wear a t-shirt with a suit coat over top and it is stylish!

   In the 1800's, if a woman showed her ankles, it was considered shameful.  They also wore hats or some other form of covering on their heads when they went out in public.  The bathing suits looked like a long dress like this one. It was worn with pantaloons and a mopcap and at some beaches they had to be inspected and hem lines measured before the woman would be excepted on the beach.

 over time, the dress standards became more and more lax and the standard of acceptability moved right along with those changes.

Progressive's asked questions like
"What is wrong with change?  What is wrong with eliminating a piece of garment? Or shortening it?  What is wrong with showing the ankles, or going hat-less?"
I can imagine the accusations that were thrown at the conservatives.  After all, weren't the conservatives choosing to be stuffy and legalistic and unwilling to conform to the styles of the day!?
The accusations are still flying around today!

If we see a man wearing a full piece suit, including a top hat, or a woman wearing a floor length skirt, we would say that they are wearing costumes! 
They weren't costumes years ago!

 The public summer dress for men today is a t-shirt or muscle shirt or NO shirt and shorts and for a woman it may be tank tops and shorts (less if you visit the beach). 
 If the folks from the 1800's, or even the early 1900's, were to visit us today, they would be horrified and accuse us of being naked!

Culture changes.

The majority of Christians down through the ages have participated with all the cultural changes, the lax attitude of dress and have even developed the mentality that if they are counter-culture they are "legalistic".  Uh!  There is that word!

Some did resist major changes, even though they, too, shortened dresses, and removed some articles of clothing.  They refused to except the styles and fashions of whatever day they were living in (for awhile anyway).  They saw the change as sinful and scary, for where would it end?  Fear was born!  Fear that someone would want to look fashionable or immodest and then what?  The "then what" would force others to question their stance on the issue and that is an uncomfortable thing to do sometimes!  We would rather feel justified in our opinions and to do that, "rules" are made to force other people to comply with our beliefs.  Does this work at changing the inward most important part of a person?  To encourage people to become Christ-like?  No, it creates legalism and hypocrisy.  The focus turns to submitting to the brotherhood and "fitting in" rather than focusing on a personal relationship with GOD and seeking what HE desires for us.   

However, some of us have a knee jerk reaction to this "legalism."  If we grew up with it and saw the ugliness of it, the desire to run far away from it grows deep.  We don't want to look like "them", act like "them", go places where "they" are!  And in the process of escaping "them" and "it" (legalism) we tend to except and permit ideas that normally we would shy away from.
 We fear being considered legalistic.
This is not right either.

Modesty is dictated by the fashions and trends of the day we live in.
What is modest to us now would not have been modest 100 yrs. ago.
In 20 years from now, maybe even sooner, what will be considered as modest?  And who will dictate that?
Will that generation look at pictures of what we wear today and consider them costumes?


And that line is drawn by each and every one of us!
They may look different, BUT you will draw a line, I will draw a line -

a line where we will not go along with the cultural changes, will not except the fads and fashions of the day, you will only go so far excepting the undressing of others.  A line where you will choose to be counter-culture, a non-conformist.
 An odd-ball you will be in the eyes of the progressives!

And the result of NOT drawing a line?
The nudist colony!
The way our culture is leading us, we will arrive at the end of the broad highway that leads to the encampment with an entrance marked
"Welcome to the Nudist Colony Where There Are NO Lines!"
The nudist will accuse the bikini clad, or speedo clad figures of being legalistic, of not conforming to baring it all!
See?  No lines!

And when that destination is reached, my friend, our society will have disintegrated to a low life.
Can you imagine?  I can!  And it is UGLY!

We look with disdain at those who are more conservative than ourselves, who choose to draw their line behind us.
Why?  I believe it is due to fear of legalism, the lifeless life that comes with it, the dislike of being told what to do.  We don't want to be accused of being stuffy and old fashioned.  Or maybe we feel guilty or uncomfortable about their line, because maybe theirs is better.
Maybe we look down our noses at those who have drawn their line way out ahead of us.
Why?  We may believe that they are too "worldly".   Too loose in their living.

Our assessment MUST come from within God's standard.

All of us need to bend at the kneecaps, seriously seek God's face on where the line is for us!
If you are being shoved and prodded along the broad highway, apply the brakes!
Pull over at the rest area, do some "self examination", figure out where your line is and how it compares to God's, and then take a stand.

It is crucial that the line you draw is supported by what is in the Word of God.
It cannot be based on what is in style, what your personal opinion is, what all your friends are doing.
That does not mean that God's line will be dumpy, frumpy and not stylish.
If it is based on God's standards, the line will be beautiful!  And free from legalism!

If the scriptural line that you draw makes you an odd-ball!
Be a steady, happy odd-ball knowing that you are right where God wants you!
 Take a stand, even if it means you are alone!

Will it be easy?  No, but God never promised an easy life!
He did promise a life of freedom, of victory, a life of inward peace and joy!
All within HIS lines!

Where will you draw yours?

Why is this personal to me?  Because I am not a legalist, even though the progressives would think that I am because I choose to be more conservative in my dress and thinking.  The conservatives would think that I am a progressive because I choose to wear a variety of clothing and don't "fit in" by obeying man made rules and laws.

I am an oddball!
An oddball am I!

This is where I am until God shows me that my lines are wrong.  :)

May God add His blessing

Until next time....

Thursday, October 23, 2014

She's 5, He's 21

Yep, more birthdays!
Somehow they just keep happening every single year, no matter what! :)

Oakley turned 5 on the 3rd of October.
She is very much a girly girl and loves fancy things.
So, the theme for her birthday was "Princess."

Happy Birthday, Oakley!  We love you!

Solomon turned 21 on the 22nd.
We celebrated on Sunday evening with an ice-cream cake when we were at family picnic.  

Happy 21st, Solomon!  You are now officially an adult!
We are proud of you!
Hope you enjoyed your birthday working in New Jersey!  :(

Until next time.........

Monday, October 20, 2014

Comical and Abundant Hidden Treasures

In a post back in July, I shared about our tub and trough gardens.

Since we have been having some very chilly nights and even a frost, some of the green turned brown and was no longer pleasing to the eye.

 I decided it was a good day to discover whether sweet potatoes and carrots will actually grow in tubs and troughs.
With great anticipation, I first pulled the carrots, and boy! did several of them look comical!  We had to laugh! 
Since the trough was not deep, the carrots grew wide and very unique!
Don't ask how we will peel them.

Next, the sweet potatoes....

The harvest from the trough with the carrots was not so great.  They were small...

But the tubs produced some larger lunkers....

The results of this experiment prove that the troughs are not good for root produce, but the tubs are.  We have also been eating some nice sized tomatoes from plants grown in the tubs.  See above picture to see how tall some of the plants grew.

On Saturday, Dave, the boys, Kelsey and children dug our white potatoes while I worked at an auction.  Finding these hidden treasures is so fun and the children, large and small :), had a blast.

Along with harvesting potatoes, Morgan was gathering worms.  She presented her "pets" to me with great pride and took them home in a jar.

And then broccoli
I believe it was the best that we have ever grown.
The secret may have been is that the patch was located where we have raised calves for years.  :)   This picture is only half the harvest.

The "green trees" (what mom's like to call it if they are trying to convince a child to eat it) are lightly blanched and then frozen or they can be transformed into the likeness of people...

Very grateful for the Lord's blessings of good food - comical or not!

Until next time.......

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Window into My Past

Years pass by, we grow older, memories are made, but forced into the back of our minds due to the busyness of life.
However, every now and then those tucked in memories unfold and we reminiscence.

Back to my high school years....

In my senior year, I attended classes in the morning and then was dismissed to work at a job.  The job of my choice for a few months was a nurses aid at The Laurel Nursing Center.  I assisted in patient care, which included feeding, walking, changing and bathing the patients.  I enjoyed the work, but was offered a position in a Chiropractic office closer home.

I was hired in January, 1984 (still a senior in high school) to work at the front desk
answering phones
scheduling appointments
filling out insurance papers
developing xrays
typing typing typing

 Over the next few years, I traveled with them to seminars - once to the Fontainebleau Resort in Maimi, and a few times to Georgia to sit under the training of Dr. Harris.  I also got married in those years, but continued to work until November of 1988, a few months before our first baby was due to arrive.

I loved being a stay at home mom, but I did miss the Dr. and his wife, who taught me a lot, and the patients, who many had become good friends.  We stayed in touch for a short while, but as I said before, years pass by, life gets busy and we lose touch with friends that are out of our circles.

This coming November, it will be 26 years since I walked into the office as an employee and the time has arrived for the Dr. to retire.  My mom and I attended his retirement party last evening.
It was so good to see faces from my past, to walk through the office and reminiscence about the fun, busy times of yesteryear, a time that I am very grateful for!

The following was from a newsletter.

May God abundantly bless the Dr.'s retirement years! 

Windows into the past.......

Until next time...........

Monday, September 22, 2014

She's 3, He's 16, She's 24, He's 27

I forgot to post Morgan's 3rd birthday, which was July 29th.
Here she is with her big sister!

 She wanted a Macaroni & Cheese Cake, so that is what she got!
She has a very creative mommy!  :)

What a fun blessing Morgan is to our family!
Love her so much!

I also forgot Gordon's 27th birthday in July and Kelsey's 24th birthday in Sept..  Probably because we didn't have a party for either of them for some reason or maybe just the fact that I am getting old and forgot to take pictures! :(
We are very proud and love both of them very much!

And then we have George, who turned 16 on the 16th of this month.
 A few of his friends came in the afternoon after our co-op and stayed for supper.

We surprised him at his youth group, though! Yes!  So fun!
 Here, Korinne, the youth leader, made him stand on his chair to tell us about his birthday.  :)

Can't believe it!

May this new stage of life, the stage where you learn to legally drive on the road, George, bring many fun and safe times for you!
We love you , too!  :)

Until next time..........

Just Drive!

  Dave & I were once passengers in a vehicle driven by a someone else.  The dear driver loved to talk, which became a huge distraction to him and to all other passengers.  I found it is very stressful to be a back seat driver!!  I wondered if we would arrive home safely or if our children would receive a grim phone call instead.
By the time we returned home, Dave had a pounding headache and I was so tense and stressed all I wanted to do was scream - literally! 
 But, being the kind, sweet mother that I am, I would NEVER think of screaming at anyone, oh no!  Never!
I instead was grouchy, miserable and short with everyone - that is what kind, sweet mama's are allowed to do, you know - take out frustrations and tension on innocent bystanders, while the real culprit is innocently and peacefully eating his supper somewhere.

What it made me realize, though, is that my hubby is not so bad a driver after all!
For you see, it is well known in our family that dad is not the best driver at times, for he is what we call,
"A Farmer Driver."
Farmer Drivers sit in the driver's seat, but their mind and eyes are on the lush pasture, the fatted cow, or tasseled corn field that is zooming by the side windows. 
 The farmer's wife has no idea what is even out the side windows, for her eyes are glued on the road ahead, she becomes light headed from holding her breathe, and when the destination is reached, the ability to be sweet was left among the tasseled corn. (slightly exaggerated  :) but you got the point!)
Farmer & Wife have reached a pact.  
If he feels the need to be curious about how successful the passing farmers are,
 Wife turns chauffeur (and that is not exaggerated!).

Besides Farmer Drivers, there are other kinds of drivers.
Drivers who think that the road was paved just for them - Conceited Drivers.
If they are on the road, you are expected to just deal with whatever you have to do to avoid hitting them.
Such as, whipping it off the side of the road, which has a drop-off, causing the bottom of the van to put a huge gash in the macadam.  The noise of macadam pieces flying around and around in the belts under my hood made me think that van had major problems and was deemed un-drivable by this frustratednowI'mgoingtobelate driver.

I am sure you can think of many other kinds of drivers, including the oblivious one in the passing lane going 10mph slower than everyone else, forcing everyone else to pass them on the right.  Or the hot tempered driver who makes you understand why God sent the flood!
 Of course, the addicted driver is pretty popular today - not always sure if their addiction is alchol or texting - they drive the same.
We can chuckle at the humorous picture that I painted in your mind, but really! it is more maddening than it is funny!

Driving a vehicle is a very serious responsibility!
The lives of passengers in your car and the lives of everyone else on the road (and sometimes off the road) are held in the hands that are suppose to be gripping the steering wheel.  Speaking of gripping the wheel - it is not possible to do so if you are drinking a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper while attempting to drive!
Doesn't work!
It's only a matter of time for these drivers.
Unfortunately, the innocent also suffers from the irresponsibility of these manic drivers.

When you and I are sitting in the driver's seat of any moving vehicle,
whether it be big or small, slow or fast, old or new, our main responsibility is to
 just drive.

Be observant!  
Be Cautious!
Look ahead!  
Look behind (using mirrors, of course)! 
Be in control!  
Be respectful!  
Pull over to eat, text, put on makeup!
Keep your mind on driving!

Having a driver's license with that wonderful, flattering photo means we passed learner's permit test and the driver's test at the DMV, but how do we drive when we aren't trying to impress the cop?
Did our skills go down hill?
I sadly think so!

Until next time.........

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vacation 2014 & 200th Post

Each year, my family alternates between the cabin and my brother's homestead for our vacation.
This year was the year to go to my brother's.
It is nice, for it is close to home, but still "away" and they have a beautiful place with something everyone can enjoy to do.

We had the absolute perfect weather!
No humidity or bugs
Cool enough for campfires
Great food
Good fellowship
Lots of fun

The children participated in a cookie baking contest

The contestants

The judges
Cookies were judged on presentation/appearance, taste, texture, and preference on a sliding scale of 1 being the worst, 5 being the best

#10 Starlight Mint Surprise was the winner!

Corn pit
Did you ever play in one of these?  Fun!

Reading time

Relaxing time

Eating area

Quoits pit

This was so fun!  I hadn't played this since high school!

Story time with Aunt Mary


My dad started this invention before he passed away, but it never was completed until recently.  My brother completed it and we were able to enjoy it's first workout.  Raspberry and vanilla ice-cream was the result! 

Here is a YouTube of it in action
And then, Monday morning it was back to reality and the rat race once again!  Shame, but that is just how life goes, right?  Can't make a living on vacation, or could we somehow?
 Ummmmm....have to think on that a bit.  :)

Thank you, Lord, for providing a wonderful vacation with family once again!

 And about the "post" thing?  Yep, this is my 200th post on this blog.
Thanks for traveling along with me over the years and sharing this "diary" of my life.
 I would love to have you share with me which was your favorite post? 
What do you like or dislike about the blog?
Any other comments

If you comment on this blog post, you will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of the cookbook, "Feeding the Flock" that was put together by my mother for my 40th birthday.  The recipes are from my family and friends.  The winner will be chosen on Sunday, Aug. 31st, so when you comment, make sure you check the box to "Email follow-up comments to......."
(Some of my friends are telling me that they can't leave a comment on here.  My settings are what they should be, so I am unsure why a message can't be left.  I am sorry.  You could also try emailing me using the contact form on the right of the column)

Until next time.........