Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Merry Heart

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:  but a broken spirit drieth the bones."  Proverbs 17:22
In the past few days, Ian has given us many reasons to have a merry heart!  Martha has added to the fun as well!  Who says "Life is boring"?  They should come visit us for a few days - they would discover that life is FAR from boring - at least at my house!
This past Sunday night, we enjoyed watching the Live Stream service of our home church, Windsor Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, OK.  It was Old-Fashion Sunday.  I think the kids enjoyed it.  Martha didn't say much about it, but certain parts of the service left more of an impression on Ian than I realized at the moment.  When he saw the Ambassadors (the men's singing group from the college) singing, he informed me, "I want to go there and sing behind the cross."  The guys were standing behind the pulpit, which is shaped like a cross.  I told him that maybe someday Jesus would allow him to be part of the Ambassadors singing group while he was in college.
The fun really began when we were watching the "Hallelujah Offering."  For those of you who don't know what the "Hallelujah Offering" is, let me explain.  Several men are chosen for taking up the offering.  Before the actual offering begins, the men have a "practice."  For each monetary denomination put into the offering bucket, a different phrase is shouted.  For example:  a 1 Dollar bill - the men shout, "Amen!" and so it continues all the way to a 20 Dollar bill - which merits a "Hallelujah!"  I didn't realize how impressed Ian was by all of this until I sent him to the bathroom.  After being in there a few minutes, I heard him hollering.  I thought he was yelling for "Daddy!" and it sounded rather disrespectful.  When I asked Matt about it, he told me he was shouting, "Amen!"  Then I heard him very clearly shouting as loudly and deeply as he could muster, "Amen!"  I wish you could have heard him - it was hilarious!
Martha asked me recently what I would do if there were spiders in my house.  Apparently she was referring to a "plague of spiders" as I realized later.  I casually answered that I would have Daddy kill them.  I thought the matter was closed.  She asked me again, "But if there were still spiders in your house,  what would you do?"  Again I answered, "I'd have Daddy kill them."  After asking me the same question about 3 or 4 times, she finally said, "But if Daddy couldn't kill them all, what would you do?"  Seeing that I wasn't answering quickly, she solved my problem for me.  "I'd squash them for you, Mommy!" she calmly replied.  Now THAT's the kind of daughter I like having!
Homeschooling brings its joys as well as its struggles, as you Homeschooling Moms well know!  Today Ian apparently had an identity crisis, because instead of calling me "Mommy!" every time he needed me, I heard, "Teacher!  Teacher!"  And Daddy wasn't exempt from the identity change…today he was "Pastor Matt!  Pastor Matt!" instead of "Daddy!"
I am trying my hand at Container Gardening this summer.  This has been so exciting for the kids to watch!  They have loved planting the seeds and watching them sprout.  Their excitement knows no bounds when they notice more plants sprouting!  We are growing tomatoes, beets, spinach, and pumpkins.  I also have cilantro, oregano, basil, and mint that I am growing - with parsley still to plant.  We have a bucket on the back porch with a potato plant in it.  I look forward to more "merry hearts" for my children as they watch the plants grow!  I am excited about the lessons they will learn from this and carry with them throughout their lives!
Silicon cupcake pans make places for starting plants in for your garden!
Pumpkins planted by Martha and Ian

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Joy of Being

I would like to share something with you this morning concerning which the Lord has been working on my heart.  It isn't anything new or something we don't already know.  I've heard this principle preached and taught many, many times in my life.  Until recently, however, I didn't realize I was thinking about it, but not actually doing it.  We are all familiar with the phrase "Bloom where you are planted."  Now, I am not particularly crazy about that saying, but it is true nevertheless.  
As I was thinking about that quote, I got to wondering if there was Bible verse to support it.  Well, my faithful Saviour gave me the verse I needed.  Notice I said He gave me the verse I needed - not necessarily the verse I thought would prove my point!  
Psalm 39:7 says, "And now, Lord, what wait I for?  my hope is in thee."
Here is where I started arguing with the Lord.  Why?  I had several reasons (excuses) I offered to the Lord.  "Aren't I living on the mission field like You asked me to?"  "What in the world will people think if I share these thoughts with them?"  "People won't understand, and I hate being misunderstood."  "Do I have to, Lord???"  Let me be perfectly honest....even as I type this, I am fighting the urge to hit the delete button and get rid of this entire post!  I cannot escape the Lord's promptings, however.
The Lord directed my eyes to my house.  "What do you see, Sarah?" the Lord whispered to me.  The question demanded an honest answer.  "I see a house with a family living in it.  A family who has decided to follow You, Lord.  I see a wife/mom who is waiting....."  And that's where the Lord stopped me!
It was exactly what my Lord wanted me to see.  He was trying to lovingly and gently correct an error in my life.  Yes, I am on the mission field.  Yes, praise the Lord, my heart is even here.  I love Peru.  I love living here.  I love the adventure of being a foreigner in a foreign land!  I dearly love the people God has given us to love and to teach.  But at that exact moment in time, I realized I was existing, not being.  Do you see the difference?  
Like the Psalmist said, "And now, Lord, what wait I for?"  I realized that I have been busy "waiting," not busy "being."  I hadn't settled completely.  I've fallen into the trap of "What's coming next in my life?"  I realized that I must "BE" before the Lord can do anything with me or even bring me to the "next thing" in my life.  I thought of my children - what kind of example have I been to them?  Of course I want them to think and plan and pray about their futures, but I want them to be content with the "Here and Now."
So...the next question is, "How am I going to correct my error?"  Good question.  Here's what the Lord has given me for an answer.  I am going to put my hope (my future, my plans, my desires) in the Lord.  With the Lord's help, I am going to have that little garden I've been dreaming about this summer.  I am going to get those pictures framed and hung on the walls.  Naturally, I think..."Well, Lord, I'll do all this and then You'll move me!"  While that may be true, that is still somewhere in the future, and that's where it should stay.  
...And then there was joy!  Joy filled my heart as I thought of how easy it really is to just "BE," and allow the Lord to have my future, as well as my past.  I thought of how we love to quote, "...forgetting those things which are behind...," but what about letting go of the future?  Please understand that I am by no means saying to forget about the future, don't have any plans...just "live for the moment!"  No, we need to have plans and goals and dreams.  I am saying that sometimes we get so wrapped up in those plans, goals, and dreams that they become more important to us than where we are at the moment.  They consume us until we cannot just "BE" what the Lord wants us to be right now.  
The joy of being.  Do you know that joy?  Are you letting the Lord give you that joy every day?  I'm trying, and with the Lord's help I will succeed.  You can too!
Psalm 39:7 "And now, Lord, what wait I for?  my hope is in thee."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Moments of Time

A "snuggle" moment!
Does it seem like sometimes that's all you have - just a moment of time?  Just when you sit down to work on a project of your own, Hubby or Kiddos need something desperately!  Yes, I'll admit, those moments are often moments of frustration to us.  But what about those moments when your son or daughter comes "tearing" into the room like a tornado, rushes up to you and gives you firm (if not rather sloppy) kiss on the cheek?  Those are counted as moments of sweetness.  As we all know, life is made up of moments of time.  Some days we fail and don't use our moments wisely.  Other days, our moments are useful and blessed.  At this moment, my children are playing together, my Hubby is investing in the lives of the Deaf Institute students, and I am using my moment to share some of my thoughts with you.  I had a different topic in mind for this blog, but the Lord hasn't given me license to share that topic with you I'll save that for another moment!  So here are some snapshots of some recent "moments" in my life and in the life of my family!
Martha practicing her witnessing skills
Moment of Silliness!
Reading His Bible
A moment of celebration - Ian is now 3!
A moment of giving - Martha giving her present to Ian
A Moment of Hilarity - the well-deserved reward of the Chef -
finishing the last squirt of whipped topping in style!