Weekend Thoughts

Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. Acts 12:5
In The Light and the Glory, the authors mention how the Puritans would fast and pray before an election. Up until thinking about this, I had fallen into the resignation that this country would get what it deserved, and God’s course for her future was pretty much set (I did just finish Revelation). But if that is all I think about the way God works, then I’m missing an important piece, demonstrated in the above verse after that little word ‘but’. Prayer changes things. A country, a group, even an individual who is seeking the Lord’s heart on these things and making requests that may be long shots, finds that God’s heart is in those lost causes. He may just be waiting to hear from you.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

A Heritage of Thanksgiving

I’m reading The Light and the Glory, by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, and am having trouble putting it down! Usually I can avoid ‘escaping’ into nonfiction books, but the story these men have researched and have to share is incredibly fascinating. In it I just got done reading about the part of our nation’s history where the Pilgrims left Holland, sailed to the New World, and by God’s grace were able to make a life for themselves and the many to follow on Cape Cod. I am a descendant of a Mayflower traveler, and haven’t before realized how much my ancestor went through to get to America, and remain alive while here. It is inspiring. I plan to spend the next three weeks going through this event with the kids, taking us right up to Thanksgiving. I am so excited to be using one of the workbooks we bought in Plain City. In it are puzzles, coloring pages, and games that reinforce the truthful message that the Pilgrim’s journey was successful because they pleased God and He guided them. Good stuff.

“You Asked For It” Friday

Angela says,

“I can’t wait to hear about your trip to Sauder Village!”

We left Friday late morning, and our first stop was a discount Christian bookstore where we hoped to find homeschool materials. All they had was The Light And The Glory series of kids’ workbooks, based on the books by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. We snapped them up since I was wanting to do some kind of history with God’s providence in mind. I’ve since started reading The Light And The Glory- very interesting stuff. After that, we headed north to Archbold, cruising through Hardin County, among others. That county stood out because every so often, very often, I would see these long buildings- chicken houses. I guess this is the source of many a grocer’s eggs. I’m so excited about our newest acquisition- eggs from our friend Diana’s chickens. She brings them to church on Sunday and has a regular list of people pick them up. Luke likes to razz her about “making God’s house a den of theives”, but it’s all in fun. The first night we stayed at Sauder Village Heritage Inn, a beautiful facility with woodworking throughout, a pool and hot tub, and decent breakfast spread. The hotel package included tickets to the village and dinner at The Barn, Sauder Village’s restaurant. This was probably the worst meal we had the whole trip- it was a buffet like Der Dutchman, but way bad. Saturday we spent walking around the village. It definitely has the ‘Williamsburg’ feel, but on a much smaller scale. I was especially inspired in the schoolhouse, where the tour guide mentioned that children in the early 1900s really only went to school for the winter months, as they were needed at home the rest of the time. I got to thinking about this, and how that would only amount to a year’s worth of ‘learning’ after four years! Why, then, do I get hyper about getting so much done in homeschooling with my littles? It was a reminder to take it easy and keep things simple. They’ll learn as I am consistent, not as I hurry.
Sunday we spent up at the lake, driving and walking around Marblehead. I know it is just a lake, but being by water every so often seems to feed my soul. I love the sounds, the smells, the sights along the water’s edge. I’m into acorns right now, only having recently discovered that they are the seeds to an oak. (I know, how did I ever graduate?) We weren’t sure when the tree dropped these nuts; Luke was pretty certain it was in the spring, so I wouldn’t find any now. But there did end up being some in some unmowed areas around the lighthouse, and I was elated. Then, this week, we took a walk across the field to the woods, and I found more acorns there, gorgeous honey brown ones that had been protected by the leaf cover on the forest floor. I now have a nature shelf full of them, along with buckeyes, hickory nuts, and pumpkins (thanks, Aunt Gwen!).
Here is a slideshow of our trip. Enjoy!

Sauder Village Trip

“You Asked For It” Friday

Angela says,
“I can’t wait to hear the birth story (of baby A)!”

My due date came and went, no surprise there, since five of the previous six had done that. I’m getting pretty good at staying as busy as possible- there is of course plenty to do around our house, but it is also mentally therapeutic to have as many other things to think about than the baby that is not here yet. Monday morning we headed to the library, and I could tell I was getting close to being in labor, but still didn’t know how close. I spent the afternoon peeling and pureeing tomatoes for sauce, an activity that can be very calm and enjoyable when everybody is napping. 🙂 Good thinking time. My hopes for the coming years are for an increase of us growing our own food and depending less on the grocery store, and I would plan and dream while I boiled, iced, peeled, and squeezed.
Late that night I woke up after a very painful contraction. Luke was still up, so we sat in the living room and started to time them. They were consistent, but even after so many children, I am never sure that “it’s time”. I felt ill, another indication this probably was the real deal, so we left for the hospital. How wonderful to be living with Carol- we only needed to tell her we were leaving, not wait for someone to drive over. She makes my life so convenient; whatever will I do when we are on our own again?
We got to the hospital, and I was still having the pains. Here’s the thing, and don’t hate me: they really weren’t all that painful. Now, maybe I am somehow getting used to what this feels like, or getting good at relaxing through them (because panicking through a labor pain can make it much worse! Trust me, I know. That would be labor with Big A, all 12 hours of it.) It was confirmed I was in labor, and I settled into the hospital bed. One really neat song came to mind at this time-
Jaci Valasquez’s I Will Rest In You:
Oh, I want to be
In the place that I once knew as a little child
Fall into the bed of faith prepared for me
I will rest in You
I will rest in You
I thought about how this was one more act of faith on my part- if the pain got worse, if something went wrong, no matter what, my faith-full response should be just like that of a little child- I would rest in Him.
Luke kidded you not- it was over rather quickly. Partially due to a nurse annoying me in the final moments of pushing, partially due to Baby and body being good to me. But all due to my loving Father’s watchcare.
When Baby C was born, Staple’s Easy Button slogan kept coming to mind- “That was easy!” Now that I have had two relatively pain-free labors and deliveries, I’m completely overwhelmed at God’s mercy.

Tune in next time when Angela says, “I can’t wait to hear about your trip to Sauder Village!”
Is there anything you want to hear about? You, too, can have your request granted on “You Asked For It” Friday!

Daily Beans

I’m hoping to increase my fiber intake. Not only does roughage help things run more smoothly (ahem), studies show it aids in weight loss. So, I am thinking of ways to get more of it in my diet. Beans come to mind as one way. This would be doable if I knew how to make more than Baked Beans (open can, pour into pan, heat…), a dish that isn’t that nutritious after I doctor them up. What is your favorite way to eat beans that is somewhat healthy? I’d like to have enough variety to have them every day for lunch.
You don’t have to post a whole recipe; I’m just looking for ideas. Unless you are Jenny- I lost that recipe for southwestern rice and would love to have it for this.

Weekend Plans and Weekend Thoughts

Luke and I are headed out to Sauder Village tomorrow for a much-needed getaway. We try to do one of these every so often, and it is a shot in the arm for our relationship. I look forward to a trip like this; it is easy to be grateful for special things. Funny how when it comes to routine household and family tasks, my attitude switches from “wow, I get to” to “arrrgh, I have to” and the joy in every gift of God is easily lost. Some examples:
I have to do laundry vs. I get to wash clothing shared with me by others or bought with money given me by God (sure would be cold to go around naked!)
I have to cook dinner vs. I get to prepare another meal for my family thanks to God’s provision
I have to change a diaper vs. I get to raise a child to the glory of God
…and the list goes on. The disconnect between things we want to do and like to do can go deeper, too, to the motives behind loving people and making priorities. If I’m just dwelling on “my duties” as a wife and mother to love, many of the recipients can see right through it and not feel loved, even though all their needs are, technically, being met. This requires an attitude adjustment, just the kind of thing to be pondering over a weekend alone.
That is what is on my mind- what is on yours?

Turned Back

Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to [Moses], but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
~Stephen in Acts 7:39

During busy times in life I often am drawn away from God, when I should be closer to Him. This is detrimental for a number of reasons, but one is that it draws attention to the reality of my heart.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
~Jeremiah 17:9

I’m coming to realize just how changeable my heart is, and how easy it is to fall away if I am not spiritually disciplined. How dare I put myself in danger of this repeatedly by ignoring what I know are the right things to do. Not only do I suffer from the consequences, but my family as well. Thankfully, there is hope.

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall through following the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do…Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
~Hebrews 4:11, 12, & 16

The Harvey Gene Has Passed Us By

…Each time that an imaginary friend has appeared in our home, I’ve been thrilled by their appearance as a sign of a healthy, thriving imagination and creative mind…it’s fun to have these special guests.
~Amanda Blake Soule, The Creative Family

When I was in my teens, I became very interested in old movies. Harvey, with Jimmy Stewart, was a favorite, about a grown man who has an imaginary friend in a six foot white rabbit. When I came to the above quote in the book I am currently reading, it occurred to me that I never had an imaginary friend. As far as I know, my brother and sister didn’t, either. Sure, we visited exotic places and were fascinating people, all in our minds, but no pretend playmates. Luke says his childhood and that of his siblings is the same. So, I’m wondering if any of you, or your children, have had imaginary friends. And I’m also curious to see if it sometimes is a matter of not having a real playmate, in the case of only children or only girl or boy in the family. Leave a comment. We want all the details, too- name, age, special powers…

Swamped

This week has ended up way busier and crazier than I intended it to be. Funny thing is, the chaos is due to just about everything else but the newborn. This is the reality: she is easy, but getting everything else to fall back into place takes a while. The song below really speaks to me in times like these; I hope it encourages you other mothers out there, too. To hear the completed song, buy the album. I highly recommend it.