Potluck Post

I’m starting off my post with a prayer request. Kay, who is one of the co-authors of the Mason-Dixon Knitting books and blog, lost her husband this week. She has two children. My heart aches for them because I know how awful the loss of a parent is, and I saw how hard it was for my Dad in the aftermath of Mom’s death. Please pray for Kay and her kids.

We had a bit of excitement around her on Sunday. There was a grass fire in a field across the street from Dad’s house. We sat on Dad’s front porch with the kiddos so that they could see the fire trucks. Several of the firefighters waved to us. Of course, I know many of them, and have since I was a kid. Dad was on the volunteer fire department for many years until he retired. I’m so thankful that we have such a great fire department here in such a small town!

We’ve had geese and ducks frequenting the pond as the weather warms. The geese keep wandering over to the garden plot. They will stay away from it once it’s planted if they know what’s good for them! Goose dinner anyone????

Mr. Q just informed us that, “Someone turned the coal stove off!” We reassured him that it was supposed to be off. “OK,” was his reply as he wandered happily off to play with his toys. What an observant little boy!

I know that this post is a bit of everything, with nothing particularly profound. I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth. I’ve just been busy with the kids and other stuff. It’s been a strange year so far, and it’s getting stranger still! But, I’m not going to ask, “What more could happen?” I made that mistake a month ago, and I found out! Perhaps God is teaching me patience. I wish that I could learn it faster…

Afternoon Baths and Faith

Munchkin needed a bath this afternoon. She is (finally) potty trained, and somehow, when she got up from her nap to go to the bathroom, she dunked the ends of her hair in the flush. There were little bits of toilet paper stuck all through her hair. Yuck. So, she got a nice bubble bath. She didn’t particularly want her hair washed, but Auntie and I convinced her that she REALLY need it done! I still don’t know exactly what happened, and I’m not totally sure that I WANT to know. All of the moms out there will totally understand that.

I wanted to pick up the phone and laugh about it with Mom. I used to always talk to Mom. We would laugh over everything. And if I just needed someone to talk to, well she was it for me. I’m a bit at a loss now. One particularly rough night this week, all I could think was, “I want my Mom.” Because, no matter what, she would have listened, and even if she didn’t agree with me, she would still understand where I was coming from. And regardless, she’d still give me a hug and tell me how much she loved me.

The last month it’s been one thing right after another. It’s been really hard! I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wondering if God really knows what He’s doing. Mom would tell me that of course He does. I know that. But I also know that Scripture is full of people who questioned why God allowed things to happen. We all hit a crisis of faith at least once in our lives. I’ve hit a few, and I have a feeling that more are in my future. I think it’s human nature to question. I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with having doubts and questions. If our faith is real, we will come to the conclusion that there are just some things we have to take on faith. Some days, there are a LOT of things we have to take on faith. I love what Hebrews 11 says about faith.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

That’s the kind of faith I want. The faith to stand the test of time. Being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I can’t see. I want to be like one of those who were still living by faith even through to the day they died. Perhaps it’s the testing of our faith that develops it in us. I hope so. I know that something good will come of all this, maybe stronger faith will be part of it.

Conversations With a Four-Year-Old

 

Kids truly have and amazing thought process. More so than we give them credit for at times!

I had to take our German Shepherd, Sammy, to the vet for a rabies shot. Munchkin was a bit upset, since she remembered when Grammy’s dog was sick and we took him to the vet. He didn’t come back home. I assured her that I would bring Sammy back home and that she would be just fine. After we had left, she had a conversation with her dad…

“I’m going to miss Sammy,” Munchkin sighed.

“She’s coming back, Munchkin. Sammy’s not sick, she just needs a shot,” her dad explained.

“Then why is she going to the vet? We don’t go to the doctor when we’re not sick.”

Good point. The logic skills this kid has amaze me at times, and make me laugh quite frequently!

Munchkin usually hops in bed with me for a few minutes in the morning. Once her dad has gotten up, she usually comes in and starts chatting with me at some point. She crept in yesterday morning and climbed in bed next to me and started talking. She tired of her mostly one-sided conversation after a couple of minutes.

“Mommy,” Munchkin began, “I’m hungry.”

“Mmmmmm….” her mom replied.

“Mommy, you have to get up and get breakfast for me and my brothers. We’re starving!”

“Mmmmmm….” her mom replied.

She reached under the pillow and grasped her mom’s hand. Gently tugging she announced, “Mommy, it’s time to get up now. We need breakfast!”

Mommy slipped her glasses on and stumbled out of bed, following the chattering four-year-old.

The kids had their breakfast and were playing while their dad was popping some waffles in the toaster. The scent of hot waffles wafted into the dining room where Munchkin was observing my writing.

“Mmmmm. I smell some mighty tasty waffles!” Munchkin exclaimed.

This evoked a great deal of laughter from Mommy and Daddy.

Kids are hilarious conversationalists aren’t they? Chatting with mine is always interesting!

Life Happens…

I’ve survived my daughter’s 4th birthday, and her subsequent illness. Her party was quite fun, with her grandparents and aunt and uncle in attendance. (I have to say, I LOVE having room to entertain!) The next day, the poor kid came down with a stomach bug. Fortunately, it seems to have been just a 24-hour thing, and she has been fine today. I hate it when my kids are sick. I told husband that when she is sick, she just sits there, she’s just not my Munchkin. That’s what I dyislike most about it when my kids are sick, they just aren’t themselves. Here’s hoping that she was athe only one to come down with it… Time will tell.

I know that I promised the next post in a series soon, but as you can tell, a few things have come up! Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to get that finished. Maybe I can carve out some time to do that tomorrow, but I won’t promise anything yet! Stay tuned!

PS– Hope you all survived Valentine’s Day, I have mixed feelings about the holiday. The best part is the chocolate that goes on clearance the day after, LOL!

Seeing it All Again

School with Munchkin is interesting, fun and at times challenging! Of course, just being a Mom is all of that and so much more! We are making progress, and she is enjoying learning new things. I wonder how much of it Mr. Q will just pick up on his own while I work with Munchkin. Kids are amazing.

I finished knitting a nice, wool sweater for myself. With it being so chilly lately I figured that I could do with a warm layer to throw on. It came out quite nice, but the sleeves were four inches too long. So, I just cut off the excess and refinished the edges. Cutting was scary, but it turned out fine, and now it fits perfectly. I think that’s one of the things that I like about knitting. Every project can be salvaged. Even if it means ripping the whole thing out and just using the yarn for something different! Anything can be fixed one way or another.

Yeah, I’m one of those people. A fixer. I like to fix things. If something is wrong, I have the irrepressible urge to FIX it. Problem is, I can’t. I can’t fix everything. I can’t even fix most things! Leaving it up to God to take care of is a challenge for me. I keep wanting to tinker, wanting to get it done faster. (Can you tell that I’m not a patient person?)

I suppose that’s one more thing I like about knitting. It’s been compared to meditation for some. I guess it’s true for me. It gives my fingers something to do, while leaving my mind free. Free to think, to imagine, and free to pray. I like to converse with God while I knit. I sometimes have a hard time just sitting still, and the repetitive motions help me to calm down, and just be. Once I calm down, then I can really pray, or even just meditate on whatever it is that God has been showing me lately.

It’s interesting where God meets us. He meets us wherever we happen to be. That’s so amazing to me. Explaining the concept that God is everywhere to my children has brought back some of the awe of the fact that God is right here, with me, right now. To them it is amazing that He is right here, even though we can’t see Him. Seeing their amazement has brought back some of mine. Telling my children about Him has given me the chance to see it all through new eyes again. That’s one of the gifts that God gives us when he gives us children. The chance to see it all again for the first time. The chance to remember meeting Him for the first time.

First Day of School

Munchkin had her “first day of school” yesterday. Truly, we begin educating our children from the day they are born, but since she is almost four and quite bright, I thought that setting aside some time each day for an actual lesson would be good. It lasted for 35 minutes, which at her age is quite good for an attention span. She learned about the color red, and practiced writing the letter A and a. Writing will take some practice, but I expected that. She did not. At one point she looked up at me and said, “I’m having a hard time learning…” I hugged her and explained that she was doing just fine and it takes some time and practice to learn things. After 35 minutes she declared, “I want to be done with school!” So, after she finished that round of writing A and a, I sent her into the living room to play with her brothers. I think that she expected things to progress much faster! We can’t learn to read overnight, unfortunately! She will do just fine though, and I have no doubt that once she learns to read she will follow in her parents’ footsteps and become an avid reader.

I think that it is impossible to be well-educated without being well-read. I am constantly surprised by the number of people in my age bracket that tell me they don’t really read anything except magazines. I cannot imagine never sitting down with a good book! There is so much to be learned through reading, I could never run out of reading material. The founding fathers of America had impressive personal libraries. I think this is a good indicator of how vital reading is to good education. Already we are establishing our own personal library, and we already have several books that are on the required reading list for our children!

I find it interesting that during colonial times in America, the literacy rate was quite a bit higher than it is now. Rather surprising in this day of compulsory school attendance. That a largely home-educated populous were more literate than we are today is rather telling.

A commonly held opinion in that time period was that it was important for children to learn to read so that they could read the scriptures for themselves. Remember, the abuses of the Church of England was quite fresh in the minds of these people. An awakening was preceding the Revolution in America, and people wanted their children to discover a personal relationship with God through His Word. In fact the Bible was the common “textbook” of the day for teaching children to read. What better first reading material!

The goals of education have changed greatly over the past 250 years. I do not have the goal of simply teaching my kids reading, writing and arithmetic. No, my educational goals for my children go far beyond that. I want them to learn to read so that they may read the scriptures for themselves. I want them to learn history, so that they may see the blessings granted a nation who follows God, and the judgment that befalls those who do not. I want them to learn science so that they may look in awe upon the order and majesty of God’s creation. I want them to learn mathematics so they may understand the just weight and measure that God calls for in the Bible. I want them to learn to write so that they may share with others what God has revealed to them. Most importantly, I want them to learn the Scriptures, so that no man may sway them from the truth.

A homeschooling mom once said it best. The most important things we will ever teach our children cannot be measured on an achievement test. Character cannot be measured by any but God. Our childrens’ character is what we are to carefully shape through education. God commands parents to teach their children of Him constantly. God has entrusted us with a precious child, our greatest task is to point their heart to the cross.

Nostalgia

I always watch some sci-fi on New Year’s Eve. It’s sort of a tradition for me. I didn’t intend to stay up until midnight this year, but Aaron was gone, the kids were in bed, and Netflix had season 2 & 3 of the new Dr. Who on instant watch. I was up until 2 AM…

I like the fun science fiction, not the really scary horror stuff. I enjoy Star Trek TOS, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Stargate, you know, the stuff that’s a little weird and slightly creepy, but mostly just fun. I grew up watching Star Trek every night with my Dad, and Dr. Who every Saturday with him. Maybe it’s nostalgia that attracts me to them. Well, that and an interesting story line. I seriously wonder if ANYONE can write a decent plot anymore… But I digress.

I found myself quite wrapped up in the adventures of the tenth Doctor. David Tennant is a great actor, and plays the role really well. My favorite episodes are those written by T. Russell Davies, one of the old Dr. Who writers. Long-time fans will readily recognize his name. It was quite fun to see the differences and similarities between the new and the old Dr. Who that I used to watch.

I wonder if my kids will want to sit on the couch and watch science fiction with me someday. Interesting the memories that we carry with us into adulthood.

Another great show is the original Twilight Zone. The episode “The Obsolete Man” is quite good. You can watch it online at http://www.cbs.com/classics/the_twilight_zone/video/video.php?cid=649555532&pid=VL5KIZDUNVaYHT24eg1rYVbPBkWVhryg&play=true
It is well worth watching! Aaron and I were quite amazed at the amount of the Bible that was read during the episode. Sadly, you would not find it on network TV today. Another sign of the end times I imagine. At less than half an hour, it doesn’t take long to watch.

I find it sad that our society has come in such a short time from openly acknowledging and thanking God, to ignoring Him, and now, to outright opposing Him. This bodes ill for our nation, and we will most certainly be judged because of it.

Even the older science fiction is quite steeped in humanism, unfortunately. In the realm of the written word there is the occasional work of science fiction written by a Christian that is quite good, but they are few and far between. Seeing much of the new sci-fi that exists is frightening to me, as it becomes more and more steeped in demonic activity and such. I feel sad for the teens today who accept it and become pulled into the evil that they see poytrayed in a positive light.

Then again, what are we to expect when we openly declare war on God. What a futile, foolish thing to do, but Satan has convinced us to join him in opposing God. His lies never really change, and without the influence of the Holy Spirit giving us discernment, we fall for them over and over again. Is it any wonder that Jesus repeatedly told his disciples, “Do not be decieved”? I pray that God will grant his followers a greater measure of discernment this year, as our time on Earth draws rapidly to a close. I agree wholeheartedly with the words of John at the end of Revelation. Even so, come LORD Jesus. Come soon.

Happy New Year!

Does anyone actually make New Year’s resolutions? I’ve never seen the appeal personally. I’m not any more likely to achieve a goal that I set on New Year’s Day. 🙂

I don’t tend to stay up until midnight anymore either. I used to, until I had kiddos, LOL! Now, it’s a LOT harder to stay up that late. Something about little kids makes mommy really tired!

Personally, I think Spring would be a better time for New Year. Spring seems like the real start of the year to me. Everything is being renewed and revived. I look forward to Spring.

Still, since no one consulted me on the arrangement of our calendar, we celebrate the New Year in the middle of the Winter. I wish everyone a Happy New Year, and pray that your 2009 is filled with as many blessings as my 2008 was. 🙂

In the mean time, I will enjoy getting back to knitting things for myself, at least for a few months anyway. 🙂

Happy New Year!

I’ll Have a Diet Religion Please…

Ever heard of Christianity Lite? John MacArthur refers to it in his book “Hard to Believe”. It’s the warm fuzzy version of Christianity. Fewer calories, easier to swallow, what’s not to like about the new “Diet Religion”? When you take the sugar out of soda, you have to replace it with fake (false) sugar. When you take the hard teachings out of Christianity, you have to replace them with false teachings.

Where did Jesus say, “Hey, follow Me, and it will be smooth sailing!” On the contrary, we are told that we must deny ourselves daily and take up our CROSS if we are to follow Christ. Jesus told us not to be surprised when people hate us, because they hated him too. He reminded us that we will have trials of many kinds in this world. Following Christ is HARD! It’s not the easy road that leads to salvation. Nope, that nice, smooth, ten-lane highway leads straight to destruction and condemnation. If we are not following Christ, then we are headed to hell! His way is the only way, hard or not!

Religion won’t save us. Believing Christ and following Him, that is the only Way to salvation.

Why do we think we need to change Scripture in order for people to accept it? The gospel needs no dressing up. The message does not need to be repackaged for the “modern man”. Scripture is God-breathed! It’s powerful! The gospel is attractive to those who are lost and dying, just the way it is. People came to Christ because of the beautiful simplicity of his message. It’s timeless, and anything we do to try and “improve” on it only diminishes that.

This New Year, I’m not going to resolve to go on a “diet”. I’ll take the original faith.

Finding the Joy

Christmas can be depressing. Christmas can be stressful. Christmas can be sad. Christmas can be a myriad of things that make us cringe when we think of December 25th. But Christmas can also be joy. Christmas can also be peace. The question is, how do we find peace and joy in the midst of where we are?

In the midst of trying to pay the heating bill, we can find joy. In the midst of figuring out how to afford the rising cost of groceries, we can find peace. In the midst of the commercialization of Christmas, we can still find Christ.

I think that most of us have at one point or another been through difficult times, and with the present monetary crisis there will certainly be more. Whether you are self-employed, have lost your job, had a serious illness in the family, dealt with disabilities or any of dozens of things, the physical, emotional and financial toll can feel crippling. I think a lot of us at one time or another have wondered where the next bag of groceries was coming from, or how we would come up with the rent/mortgage money. But God has always provided for me, and throughout my entire life, I have never gone hungry or been without a place to live. Often, God’s provision has come from the kindness of people whom I could never sufficiently thank. I have more blessings than I could ever have hoped for, and I’m choosing to be thankful for all that I do have this Christmas.

Matthew 6:25-34 (King James Version)

25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

I will find peace this Christmas, because God knows my needs and will meet them in his own way and time. I will find joy this Christmas because God has made provision for not only my physical needs, but more importantly, my spiritual needs. I will find Christ this Christmas, because like the shepherds 2000 years ago, He is right here, in my hometown, in my humble home, and at my request, dwelling within my heart.