Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I really am!
I left y'all for a fling with Facebook, which is easier than blogging but not necessarily better.
It is really difficult to blog from a phone, so posts probably won't be lengthy or regular until we get a working computer and internet. But I will do my best!
In August we moved to northern Michigan. Nate took a promotion, and we relocated to this spectacularly beautiful part of the state. We love it here, even though the winters are colder and longer.
God in His great provision sold our home in a timely fashion and provided a super temporary housing situation. We're in a country, small-town setting with acreage and water close by. We added a furry new member to the family in October. Maizey is typical. Naughty, adorable, energetic.
The girls are doing well, growing and changing every day! We continue to homeschool and enjoy it.
Olivia turned 7 in September. She's in 2nd grade and reads everything she can get her hands on.
Ellia will be 6 this June. She's an excellent reader, too, so she breezes through her Kindergarten lessons.
Brienna was 4 in September. She does a modified Kindergarten with Ellia but mostly plays and draws.
I'm learning and growing so much in this new setting. The Lord is a precious Friend way up here, during these times when I experience loneliness or fear. We thank Him for His continued direction and provision!
Posted by Karen at 4:53 PM
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Is there anything in the world sweeter than a child with a heart for God?
I think not.
Trusting faith in Him and a love for His Word--these are always gifts, but they're exceptionally precious when He plants them in the heart of a child.
It's late. 8:48 p.m. on a Wednesday. We don't do much at bedtime, since they've just spent the evening at Wednesday night Bible study. It's quick kisses and hugs, and lights out.
Tonight she asks, "Can I read my Bible to my sisters for a couple minutes?
(We've been making our way through Proverbs together at bedtime. Just finished chapter 2.)
"Sure," I say. "Six minutes, okay? Read a few verses and pray, and then lights out at 8:55."
I sit at the bottom of the stairs, unseen, as she reads through verse 10, giving simple explanations along the way. My mama heart swells as she tells her sisters, "...that means God will be pleased with your actions... and this means God will help you through all your life... shun evil means--well, it must mean not to do wrong things."
And her prayer sent me running for the Kleenex box.
Thank you that you give us wisdom. Thank you that all we have to do is just ask you for wisdom, and you give it to us. You are mighty and strong, and you can give whatever you want. Thank you for always taking care of us. Help us to honor you.
In Jesus' name,
Liz Curtis Higgs is the award-winning author of the Bad Girls series.
Higgs places each of these women in one of 4 categories:
- Bad for a good reason (Jael & Tamar)
- Bad, but not condemned (the adulteress & the bleeding woman)
- Bad moon rising (Bathsheba & medium of EnDor)
- Bad, and proud of it (Athaliah & Herodias)
Friday, February 22, 2013
A big drink of cold water, that's what she was yesterday, and she's just a little thing.
A busy little mama to 5 kids 8 and under, who invited us in for 3 hours. We kept her baby from napping and got out every single toy and toppled the tee-pee over.
We ate up her mini-muffins and I slugged her coffee and asked her one question after another about her home school, her chickens, her garden, and those precious kiddos.
She's just the kind of friend I need, and the kind you need, too. She's the kind of friend I want to be.
It's been a long time, and many things have changed. We do make a little small talk, but life looms large and in every corner of it is God, after all. There is no small talk. The Lord's been teaching her, patiently leading her to trust Him and to obey Him in all areas of life. She says it over and over, "God, He's been so gentle with me."
There is so much I don't know, so many ways in which I need to grow. She is gentle, too. She must sense the hunger I have for deep fellowship and friendship, because she asks a couple of times with concerned eyes, "Do you have anyone?" Goodness, I must seems like a woman dying of thirst. But I know what she means. Iron can not sharpen itself. It is not so easy for one lone flailing mama to pick herself up and go on.
What a messy job this is, motherhood. In all its elation, ugliness, wonder, and challenge, it is rewarding and messy work.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
"No one will marry you if you don’t ever brush your hair and it looks like a bird’s nest back there. And never get married when it’s dark, because you might not see the groom, and marry the wrong person. When you have found your Own True Love, you must ask permission. 'Can I marry you please?' you say. 'Yes, please,' he says."
We will soon be walking into our library not with a tote bag, but with a giant Rubbermaid tub and a dolly. These girls are voracious readers, and I couldn't be more thankful!
**Sally Lloyd-Jones doesn't know me, and she didn't pay me to promote her books. We just love 'em!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
No grandparent would be disappointed in a sweet Valentine photo book...
...so long as YOUR face appears only once!
*NOTE: Snapfish did not pay me to advertise for them; I just like their stuff. That'd be cool, though!
Friday, January 25, 2013
Sometimes your heart tells you to do crazy things. I've always hated the popular mantra, "Follow your heart!" Our hearts ARE liars, after all, more dastardly and evil than we can understand. But not always. The Lord lays people and situations and needs on our hearts through His Spirit, and when that happens, there's no choice. You either act on those promptings, or you are disobedient and therefore miserable.
I've got a longing love for a bunch of kids who aren't even my own. I think about them every day, multiple times a day. I wake up in the middle of the night, wondering if they're warm enough and worrying about their hollow bellies. And I hope someone locked their front door tonight, and I wonder if anyone will wake them in time for school tomorrow, because certainly no one's making sure they go to bed at a decent hour. And I wonder if I could talk my way into teaching them for summer school--I'm sure I could get them reading pretty quick. And boy, I wish they wouldn't watch so much garbage on the TV.
I'm so crazy, I'd scoop them up--all 5 of 'em--and bring 'em home for keeps, if I could. There's talk of sending them away in a year or two, for good, to live with relatives anyway. Why not?
But maybe that's not "for" everybody. I gotta be honest here: I don't even know what that means. Is that just one way of saying "I don't want to"? Doesn't God "call" all believers to act like Him? To step in and rescue those who can't rescue themselves? We know God has a special place in His heart for those fatherless, pitiful ones. How can I call myself a Christ-follower if all I ever do is shake my head and tsk-tsk and say, "Aw, I'm prayin' for you, you poor, pathetic little things."
Have you ever looked up all the references in Scripture? The ones with the words "fatherless," "orphan," "children," and so on? Staggering, I tell you. That, THAT... is "for" everybody. There is no list of qualifications or pre-requisites to love on a child. If you've been graced with the love of God yourself, then you turn around and give it away, even if you have to go out of your way. Is it not that simple?
I come away from all those verses believing this: There's no way God does NOT want me involved here, in some way. So I will keep bringing bags of snacks for them and keeping them over the weekend, stuffing them til they're sick. I will keep explaining to the almost-five-year-old girl why it's so important to wipe, every single time, and really, you should always sit facing forward, not to the side. I'll keep offering to do laundry for the mother, five pungent loads at a time. And my sweet husband will keep reminding those boys that the way to take a shower is to actually stay in the shower. And no, you don't wipe off the suds, you have to rinse them off. IN the shower.
But it isn't even about meeting all those basic needs. The underlying burden is for their souls, their eternal destiny. They are trapped in that vicious, damning cycle of rebellion. They're blind, helpless to rescue themselves. But they're strong, every last one of them, and boy can you IMAGINE the impact that those five rescued souls could have on the world? They are so upset if they miss their ride to church, and they are learning SO MUCH. It's astounding! In their own fumbling way and in their own ghetto-speak, they tell us what they're learning about the God we claim. I want so badly to be able to share Christ with them all day, every day, in every situation.
None of the possible solutions is easy. But a couple of them are unacceptable. I can't be hostile, and I can't be passive. Were it not for God and for grace... I would still be blinded by my own sin as well.
I don't know all the right answers. But I do know a few of them.
To serve a needy child (or anyone, for that matter) is to serve God Himself.
God loves those who give cheerfully.
God will honor those who honor Him.
God's Word will do what He says it will do.
We are not to grow weary in doing right. The harvest will come.
To serve selflessly with compassion is to model Christ.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
In his book, The Truth About Grace, author John MacArthur performs a rigorous academic study of grace. This is not a feel-good book or an easy read. Many criticize the book on this basis, but I appreciate the attention and the detail paid to the subject.
It seems to me to be ideal for a pastor or a teacher, as sort of a topical reference guide. The Truth About Grace is just one book in a series, "designed to give readers a focused experience that centers on God's character and how it applies to their daily walk of faith."
It's a short book--105 pages and 5 chapters--but again, not a quick or "easy" read.
MacArthur doesn't disappoint. He's thorough, focused, Biblical, and passionate!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Booksneeze.com as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."