Friday, January 24, 2014



When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed, 
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one, 
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev'ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, not your home on high.

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, 
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end.

Count your blessings, Name them one by one;
Count your blessings, See what God hath done;
Count your blessings,Name them one by one;
Count your many blessings,See what God hath done.

In Spanish we sing, "Bendiciones, cuantas tienes ya?"  Literally meaning, "Blessings, how many do you have already?"  I love singing the hymns in another language!  For me, it gives added depth and meaning to the songs I have loved and sung my whole life!

Here is only a partial list of My Blessings:
Matt, Martha, Ian, Phebe, the privilege of serving the Lord with my family, my house, clothes for Phebe, water, 41 people in church this past Sunday, 2 Deaf ladies saved this past Sunday, seeing my children sign the songs during church, hearing my children say their memory verses, the privilege of praying, answered prayers…..

My list could keep going and going.  What is on your list today?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Counting or Complaining?

I woke up this morning with a song floating around in my brain.  As my eyes struggled to stay open, I could hear, "Count your blessings, name them one by one….." It was as if the Lord was singing to me this morning, and trying to help me start out my day (and my week) on the right track.  Naturally, I got to thinking about my blessings and yes, I started listing them.  Then the Lord gave me a brilliant idea!  I love brilliant ideas from the Lord - don't you?  And let's face it - counting your blessings is just another name for thankfulness, right?  So…what was my brilliant idea from the Lord?  A way to count my blessings (and the blessings of my family), teach my children thankfulness, and have a math lesson all at the same time!  The Lord is so smart and wonderful!  Yes, yes, you're already thinking, "Well, duh, Sarah - of course He is…He's God!"  But it's even more wonderful when we allow Him to exercise his smartness and wonderfulness in our lives - instead of blundering along trying to do it all alone!
Back to my God-given idea…. I have this wonderful white board hanging in my kitchen.  It gets used for all kinds of things - chore lists (ugh!), an artist's canvas (for my two budding artists), a place to write out family memory verses, a place for Hubby to illustrate a point for his institute classes, etc.  This morning, I turned it into our "Blessing Counter"!  At the top, I wrote "Count your Blessings."  Then I wrote "Sunday."  I've already written some blessings on there, and I can hardly wait for everyone else to be up and around so we can add to the list!  I had to have a place to start - that's why I chose to start with Sunday, but I'm sure we will continue it into today!  I can hardly wait to count the blessings at the end of the day and be surprised at all the Lord has done for us!  Maybe we'll even run out of room on the white board, and have to use the small, portable one also!
As I was fixing my coffee, I was mulling over this idea of literally counting my blessings.  The Lord brought to my attention how many times I start complaining about my "hardships."  Wow!  That was convicting!  I thought of how my children struggle to be cheerful and not complain about every little thing.  Next I thought about how their attitudes are merely reflections of Mommy's attitude - ouch!  Praise the Lord, He gave me the idea that will not only help my children, but help me to keep my attitude in check - especially when it comes to the dishes in the sink!
All of this led me to ask myself:  "Am I counting or complaining?"  It really wasn't hard to answer. Sometimes I count, but more often I complain.  Shame on me.  I truly want to count my blessings.  I want to be able to praise my Lord for all the wonderful things (big or small) that He has done in my life!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It is...

Here is the official announcement we have all been waiting for!  After months of waiting and some lack of cooperation by certain parties, we have finally learned who our new Baby is!  Today, we got to have a 4D ultrasound done.  Mommy gave last minute instructions and permission to Baby to be immodest (the only time in her life that it will be allowed, I might add), and she obeyed!  Yes, you read it right….we are having…. A GIRL!!!!  We are all looking forward to the arrival of our little 
Phebe Anne!  
Ian has had a few moments of regret that we are having a girl!  He rather woefully told me today, "But, I wanted a baby boy!"  I carefully explained that Jesus gives us what we need - not always what we want.  I further explained that Jesus knows that we must need another girl, and we can trust Him!  I also explained what a special place he (Ian) has in our family as the only boy!  He didn't look very convinced at the moment, but I think he'll be just fine.  I wish you could see the look on his face when he talks about Phebe Anne.  He gets this very gentle, thoughtful look on his face.  It is so sweet and precious to see how God is already putting gentleness into the heart of my rough little son.  He has also been very thoughtful of Phebe lately when we are riding somewhere and it is bumpy.  He'll put his hand on my tummy and very gravely inform me that if it gets too bumpy, he'll "tell them, 'Stop, bumps!'"
Martha is beside herself with excitement over having a sister!  She is still counting the weeks until Phebe gets here (11 and 1/2)!  Mommy is counting too!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

End of the Year Fun

I thought you all would enjoy seeing pictures of what we have been doing for fun the past month or so.
Ian's Cupcake Christmas Tree
School Christmas Party
Martha's Cupcake Christmas Tree
School Christmas Party
Ian's new Tractor - Christmas from Pappy
Martha's new Purse - Christmas from Pappy
Me and My Honey on my birthday!
The Yummiest Birthday Cake I've ever had - White Chocolate and Lemon!
My trademark wave on my birthday!
My surprise birthday cake from the Ladies of Efata!
The ladies gave me the most beautiful bowl full of fruit - pineapple, mangoes, bananas, oranges, and grapes - DELICIOUS!!!  (Pictures coming soon to a blog near you!)  I didn't realize the bowl was for me at first.  After coveting the bowl and contemplating not returning it to the rightful owner, I finally asked to whom the bowl should be returned.  I danced a jig in my kitchen when they told me it was mine!  I'm sure it would have been hilarious to see the 6 months pregnant lady dancing a jig over a fruit bowl, but Matt is the only one who saw me!  (Whew!  Giggle, giggle!)

Martha and Ian LOVE the race track Ian received for Christmas!  
Daddy's Big Helper - preparation for all the holiday cooking!
Matt and the kids went on a "Treasure Hunt" - here is the "treasure" they finally found!
(I hid it in the corner of their playhouse on the front porch.  I had to convince them they had been reading the map upside down in order to get them out to the front porch!)
Chocolate soles - can you find a monetary system anywhere in the world that is better than chocolate money?
Digging up potatoes with Daddy!
Mommy's Garden Helpers
My diligent potato diggers!
Delightfully dirty!
The fruit of our labors and patience!  Not much, but enough to encourage us to  grow another potato plant or two!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing highlights from the end of our year!  We are looking forward to all the adventures God has in store for us this year - including a new baby and a short furlough!