Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Handmade Christmas Challenge

Is it the men "up on the rooftop" today that is making me think of Christmas (we are having our home re-shingled)? Or is it the oh-so-comfy days we've had around here (all of my children are sick, now on day 3, and we've just been home **delightful sigh** [truly, having all my children home is wonderful for me :)]). Then again, it could be the cooler weather we've had - it sure seems the last few years that September, even October, have been unseasonably warm. But this year it is very normal....cool. That is wonderful for me too!

Whatever the reason, I am thinking of Christmas gifts! Yeah! (This feeling of mine must be rubbing off on the boys, because I was just beckoned to come look at the Polar Express train set they just put together. I think I have a good idea for an afternoon video to watch - Polar Express - special thank you to Grammie for letting us borrow her DVD! We never tire of watching that movie!)

Its possible my list is bigger than the time I realistically have left, but I sure am going to give it my best try to make almost all of the gifts for our family! Let's call it a Handmade Christmas Challenge (anyone care to join me?) I am very excited about it! I have Googled and found all patterns and instructions I need. Now I must make a list of what I need from JoAnn's, and then I will be good to go! Unfortunately because family reads my blog, I can't share with you that list :) If you need ideas, check out the links on my side bar - Handmade Holidays and Crazy Mom Quilts. Fabulous ideas there!

I will put this little ticker below on my sidebar to help remind me of the time I have left - hmmmmm, about 20 days between Christmas and my due date - I better get started PROMPTLY! This will be very fun!

Get Myspace Christmas Countdown

Above it all, I must keep everything in focus. That being two things: remembering and teaching my children about the birth of Christ (we have wonderful traditions that keeps Christ in our Christmas - over the coming months I will share those with you); but also remembering and showing a grateful and cheerful attitude to my family - nothing takes the joy out of gift giving than a grumpy Wife and Mommy, nothing. *Keep it in perspective, Jen - keep your daily priorities to the Lord and your family as you do this, otherwise it is all in vain, yes it is.*

The sun and blue sky is just now peeping out here - what a lovely gift and surprise :) Another lovely gift to our family was my niece, who was born 6 years ago today! Here she is a few years ago, and then here are a few more recent pictures.

My sister made this beautiful dress for her daughter, my niece - didn't she do a wonderful job!

This last picture is of her with her cousins (the blondies are my children) this summer. What a beautiful bunch!

Well, bellies are calling - its off to make lunch! Have a wonderful day!

Love, Jen :)

Monday, September 29, 2008


This picture is a little old, but is a picture of one of the few aprons I have made. They are so simple to sew!

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath,

but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears,

and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears .

When Grandma rocked us to sleep, she would cover us with her apron,

we felt so snug wrapped in it.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fuzzy chicks,

and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow,

bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road,

it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch,

waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something

that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.

Send this to those who would know, and love

the story about grandma's aprons.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.

Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw out.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out

how many germs was in that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an Apron.

The above was an e-mail I received from my aunt. Boy I sure love it and I love my aprons too!

I don't wear one every day, but I wear one often when I cook.

Its also great for when I clean -

I used to do any deep cleaning before I took a shower for the day, in my grubby clothes.

But one too many times someone stopped by, and I was quite embarrassed by my appearance.

How much nicer it is to be dressed for the day, and just take my grubby apron off if needed.

This has inspired me to make wearing my apron more of a daily habit, yes it has.

I find it so romantic and feminine too!

Here are some pictures of my aprons:

I hang our (I have some for the kids too) aprons on my decorated baker's rack.

This is an apron I made for my daughter from fabric I received from free-cycle.
It was "sew" easy ;p (tongue in cheek)

This was my first apron, gifted to me from my parents one Christmas.

A free Home Depot apron that my oldest son received on one of their Saturday workshops.

A cute marker apron I bought for my sons at a craft fair - boys can wear aprons too :)

This is one of two aprons I saved from my Grandmother's things after she went to be with the Lord. My lack of photography skills show as I try to take a full picture of it. I just cannot show its beauty. The embroidery is the best part of the apron anyway, and at least this gives you some idea.
The other apron I saved is more of a "French maid" type. It only covers your lower waist. It is cream and lacy - this pictured apron and the lacy one are for decoration, that is for sure - too pretty and old to use I think!


Before I head off to go about my day, I wanted to share one of the most beautiful quotes that I've heard in a long time! As you probably know, Paul Newman died this weekend. He was married to his wife for about 50 years! Over the years, when asked what kept his marriage going, he said:

"I have steak at home, why would I go out for hamburgers!"

I LOVE that, and that is such a challenge for me! Today and this week, I'm turning my focus to my husband and our marriage. Am I steak for my man, or do I often present myself as chopped meat. Hmmmmm. Something to ponder and challenge myself with.

One of the best marriage books I have read is Created to be His Helpmeet. A few weeks ago, I started reading it again, and being that I have two sick children, and today will be a lay-low kind of day for that reason, I plan on reading it when I have the opportunity. Great book if you haven't read it!


Lastly, I keep meaning to take pregnancy photos, as I didn't with my daughter, and that makes me sad sometimes. So, here's one, blurry though it is, it will be something I can look back on! And since I've looked the same with every single one (boy or girl), I can just imagine what I looked like with my daughter :)

Have a wonderful God-glorifying day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Latest Family Portrait

I was going to order one of these bumper stickers today, but decided to wait until the baby is born, just in case the ultrasound was wrong :) In the meantime, I had a little fun, and made it look as our family does today.

It is a dreary day in my corner of the world, but it is very comfy and warm at home (I don't mind that it is rainy and dreary! I love it!). I'm very grateful for my husband and son who are out working and learning, as me and the littlest stay here and just be cozy.

After cleaning the house this morning, I started knitting - what I won't say - as it may (or may not) be part of a Christmas gift, for someone who reads this blog :) At the same time, I'm washing some flannel material and shirts to make my little girl some winter dresses. I can't wait to share with you the finished product. I was contemplating taking pictures of the process and posting it as a tutorial, but if you do a search for "t-shirt" dress tutorial, you find plenty already on-line. So rather than slow down my process, I'll let you do the searching :) Instead of t-shirts, I purchased some nice, peasant-like, long sleeved shirts, to be sewn to the flannel. I'll just say, it should be darling, and I can't wait to see my little girl wearing them :) Next week, I may purchase some end of the season t-shirts (if there are any left), both in the size I anticipate my 2 year old daughter will be and in the size of about a 6-9 month old. Over the cold winter, I can prepare a summer wardrobe for them (and should the ultrasound be wrong, I'm sure there will be some baby girl I can gift them to). Although I'm undecided what to do for underclothes for my daughter's winter dresses (I may make bloomers, or buy stretch pants); for next summer, I definitely plan on making bloomers in coordinating (or not so coordinating - I LOVE mis-match fabrics on little girls!), since I love that look oh so much.

The other night, we had a delightful surprise. I'll let my daughter show you:

Look up in the sky!

Ironically, it was almost exactly one year ago, when a hot-air balloon landed in our front yard! We know this, because we were at a BBQ at the school last year, and didn't get to see it! The other night was the school BBQ, when this went over head.

The great thing about this, is I had one of those days on Wednesday. Overly tired from not sleeping well, as I posted. It was simply gorgeous out all day, and yet we just didn't get outside, and I was feeling quite bad about it. Afterall, the nice warm days are limited at this time of the year. We didn't go out at all, until my husband came home around 5:30 to tell us about the hot air balloon. And though we only had 45 minutes before we headed over for Wednesday night church activities, that 45 minutes was fun, and showed me that no matter what, whether it is over-eating, over-spending, spending too much doing anything but what you should, it is NEVER too late to redeem the days, with the Lord's help! Too often, I, perhaps we, are guilty of just giving up because we've blown today already. I'm learning as I grow older and grow in the Lord, that nothing is too late. With the Lord's strength, anything can be redeemed!

Here are pictures of the few blessed moments we had outside on Wednesday, for which I'm very thankful.

He is so handsome! He makes me swoon!

On the way to church, we didn't have to look hard to find where the balloon landed - it was only about a 1/4 mile from our home. One last treat before heading to church.

Oh, and about dinner that night. Thankfully we had bagels and cream cheese in the house, and we ate on the way to church :)

Have a blessed weekend seeking Jesus, and serving your family!

God bless!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Thank You For Luvin' Me So Much!"

I John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

This morning, God spoke to me through my son - my second born, pictured above. The feelings that come along with the third trimester are starting to reveal themselves more and more these days. I still have a few weeks before I'm there, but the tiredness and weariness is hitting me more than it was this summer in that oh so blissful second trimester :)

One area in my home that has needed desperate attention, but to which I've been choosing to ignore was the playroom/basement. You see, in the summer and on nice days, we don't go down there much, and honestly, whatever state it was left in, was the state it has been for many weeks now. Unfortunately I pass it on the way to do laundry, so it called out for my attention nearly every day.

So this morning, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. In an attempt to not slow down, I asked my son above to build a circle wooden Thomas Train track for his little sister. He was delighted to do it. He is such a wonderful helper, my son.

"You are such a wonderful big brother" I told him.

"I'm a nice big brother because I builded a track for M."

"M, tell C thank you."

"Thank you."

"Thank you for doing as Mommy asked and building your sister a track."

"Thank you for luvin' me so much!"

This was one of those times where I just scratched my head, wondering why on earth does this boy love me so? I feel unworthy because I can recall the times (too many) when I have yelled at him when he didn't deserve it, or didn't give him the time he needed because I was too tired. You know. Yet he still loves me, not because I deserve it, not because I've earned it, just because. And I love him and all my children, just because.

As I sit here on this beautiful autumn day, I'm reminded that this is just a glimpse, a tiny one at that, of God's love for me, for you. I've done absolutely nothing to deserve it or earn it. He loves me, just because. Every day I should be raising my hands in praise to my Creator thanking Him for luvin' me so much! He loved me so much that He could not bear and did not give to me what I deserve, and that is death, eternal damnation, separated from Him. He loved me so much, that He gave His Son, Himself, for this bonafide sinner. All I have to do is believe in Him and accept this free gift! Why do we make it so complicated? Because it is too good to be true, isn't it! Thank God it truly is as simple as that :) Wow, that is something truly to just sit back and marvel at.

Thankfully, God gives us earthly examples of many of His promises so that we can understand it a little bit. To think that these earthly examples don't even compare to His love is truly, and wonderfully, amazing.

Yes, God has indeed given us wonderful earthly examples of people loving each other, just because. What a wonderful God I serve!

Thank You God for Luvin' Me So Much!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Reaping the Harvest

Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

"Don't Give Up!" These were some of the words our Pastor ended with a few weeks ago. To summarize, he was encouraging us to keep doing the right thing, according to God's Word, based on this verse. When I think of autumn, and God's Word, this verse comes to mind. The NIV says we will "reap a harvest if we don't give up." It is very hard to do the right thing, yet in order to be in the center of God's will, I must.

Saturday, I saw a glimpse of the harvest that my husband and I will reap if we continue to train our children up with God as our center for parenting. Let me try to give you a glimpse of the circumstance:

We were at baseball. It was a beautiful, fall day, the perfect ending to a fun day (which I will share pictures of at the end of the post). We were outside, our littlest were running and running and running some more, while we watched our oldest do what he loves...playing baseball. The coach told the rather rambunctious boys to sit on the bench, and no one (so we thought) listened. Most, my son included, were climbing the fence, digging in the sand, everything but sitting as the coach said. For a moment, I ignored it too, since every other parent was, but then it hit me that I was doing wrong by not training my son at that moment, and my son was doing wrong for not doing as his coach instructed. I walked over, and quietly asked my son to sit on the bench as the coach had told them to. You can imagine, his response was "but nobody else is." He was right, nobody else was, but did it make it right? Of course not. One thing I'm afraid I'm not in the habit of doing is praying before I discipline my kids. Often my reaction is very knee-jerk. But that moment I said a two-second prayer, asking for God to speak through me to my son. Don't you know, I noticed one boy sitting quietly at the end of the bench. I knelt beside my boy, and whispered in his ear to look at the end of the bench, and see that someone else was doing the right thing. My son practically leaped on the bench, I suppose drawing strength in numbers, and spent the rest of the inning trying to get the others to do the right thing. My Mama heart was humbled, and so thankful. If I had just given up, like most parents at that moment did.....like too often I do.....I would not have seen the glimpse of that harvest of which I speak. After the game, I was able to tell my son, that sometimes, we are literally alone when doing the right thing, but its what we ought to do to please God. However, I told him, that many times, we are not alone, but it can feel that way. If we had not noticed that other boy doing the right thing, my son would have felt very alone.

God is good, and He is able to give us strength in whatever circumstance we face. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Thank you Jesus for your strength!

Let me rewind to the beginning of our beautiful day on Saturday. As I had hoped, we were able to decorate for the fall. It was such a lovely, lovely day! Let me introduce you to the photographer that morning :)

He is 6 years old, and is a wonderful young man who already has a heart for his Savior! Last week, I must admit, I had a few rough days with him. I prayed hard for him, even into the middle of the night. My mom has told me that God has kept her awake some nights for all of her kids, and I can say already the Lord has done the same for me. I prayed for God to make his heart tender (he seemed a little hard last week), and as we were driving around doing errands last Thursday (the day when I was in fact weary in doing the right thing, and I was tempted to give up), my son told me that when he grows up, he wants to work at church at night so he can tell others about God, but be home with his family during the day. Thank you Lord, you knew I needed to hear that. That afternoon, he wanted to know all about Heaven, and wanted to know if he would see me there when he gets there. He was so tender, just as I asked God for him to be. I had to be humble, and admit that I didn't know much about Heaven, but I did know that I would be there, and he would be there, because we both trusted in Jesus as our Savior by believing that He died on the cross for our sins. Thankfully the Lord gave O peace with that answer because as I was explaining it, I felt awkward and completely inadequate in answering his question.

O is also a very strong boy. On Friday he had his first series of what will be a long road of allergy shots. Two shots a week (one in each arm) for the next 6-8 months, then it will go to every other week, to once a month, and so on. It will be a 3-4 year process. Anyway, I said he was strong. He prepared himself for the shots and didn't even cry! Also, yesterday while playing tackle football with Daddy and his little brother, his tooth was knocked out (baby tooth thank the Lord, but a baby tooth that wasn't loose yet). You guessed it, he didn't even cry. This is huge for him. You see, he's always been prone to cry easily, over very insignificant things. I've tried to teach him to look at the situation, and pay attention to how he feels first before crying about it. He's come a LONG way!

I digress :) He took the first picture above, a cute little sign in our front garden, and the picture above of himself. As you will see, I may hand the task of family photographer over to him! He is a natural! I love him so much!

Another self-portrait!
Daddy was the official scarecrow pusher inner! What a handsome man my hubby is :) I'm oh so thankful for his devotion to me and our children. He sacrifices much for us, and I thank the Lord daily. He's good, strong and exceptionally caring. I love you SO much!

"Let me borrow the camera so you are in the pictures too!"

Then some pictures of our family!

Here's little M, showing her big brother a flower. She is the flower of our family indeed - soft and beautiful. She is very lady-like, even though she has two big brothers. Nothing about cars, trains or Legos remotely interests her. Rather, give her babies, people, kitchens, shoes, bags, flowers. It is so naturally her and I can honestly say completely not pushed on by us! She LOVES to have her hair done and was in her glory Saturday evening and yesterday when I put her hair in a pony-tail like me. She will be a wonderful helper when our new little girl comes. Although she doesn't seem to understand it one bit, I know she will love helping to "mother" our little girl. I love her to pieces!

Here is C, also helping Daddy with the scarecrows. To me, it looks like he's grabbing the scarecrow by the scruff of its collar about to put him in his place! Here's a sweet story about him. Yesterday we had dear friends from our old home area stop by for a visit. We affectionately call C "the mayor" as he loves to talk (and talk and talk). Yesterday was no exception! He said to our friend Diane, "Excuse me, ummmm, I love my Mommy." C is undoubtedly my child who is the most encouraging to me with his words. I pray every mother has a child like him! When I'm feeling the most unlovely or down, more often than not, C is the one who picks up on it and will say "I love you" or "you're so beautiful" to me. I love him so much!
Here's our dog. Famous for getting under foot, but boy do I miss him when he's not here! When we go away, we usually board him the morning we leave, so I won't have him under foot as I pack. Its then I miss him as he is wonderful for picking up the crumbs :) He's a great help in keeping our floors clean ;p His name is Donald, or as we like to call him D-Dog, which is what our daughter called him when she was first beginning to speak. He is a good dog, and loves us very much (is it possible too much!?!)
I was planning on being the photographer, otherwise I may have tried to attempt to cover the fact of how tired I was - yes, I am up every few hours these days, and have trouble falling back to sleep - you know, God's way of preparing you for when your baby arrives!
And lastly, some other pictures of some of the different decorations. Can I say it enough that fall is my favorite time of year! This week looks to be beautiful! Thank you Lord that I live in an area with seasons :)

Thank you O for taking the pictures for us this weekend! You can tell the ones Mommy took from the ones you did - you are much better at it, no doubt! I know you would love to be the one taking most of the pictures from now on, and after the fine job you did, I think you should! Thank you big boy!

The dryer buzzer went off, and I must go about my tasks for the day. Let's remember today to do the next right thing, and not become weary in doing good as it is easy to do. Although it may be years, maybe even a lifetime, before we reap the harvest, it should be for God's glory anyway, and that is where our focus should be.

Enjoy the first day of fall!

Jen :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Psalm 107:9

"For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."

Isn't it amazing, how I can focus on one little thing, and it can aggravate me so, that I miss out on the big picture? I get so dissatisfied, with something so insignificant, that I take my eyes off of Christ, and well, it goes all downhill from there. I shouldn't be surprised, for the Proverbs tells me, this is the way of man:

Proverbs 27:20b "...so the eyes of man are never satisfied."

I've begun praying that God would help me become perfect. Now, hold on, I'm not praying for perfectionism as we understand it. But I'm praying for perfectionism as defined in Ephesians 4:13-14:

"Till we come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"

This type of perfectionism is defined as mature and complete. A mature woman is not bothered if her bathroom or living room isn't painted (you will see where I am going with this). A mature woman is able to see the needs of her family, and just knows that now, in this season of her life, it isn't the best time for that. A mature woman learns to be content in ALL circumstances (Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.")

It doesn't matter if you are literally rich or literally poor, contentment is separate from those circumstances. I have more in my life now than ever, yet discontentment still knocks at my door sometimes. It takes work, and it is a choice to lean heavily on the Lord to keep discontentment at bay (and it is not something that comes naturally as we see in the above verse from Philippians). We live in a very lovely neighborhood, yet when I hear comments almost weekly about "your house is small to be having 4 kids", it takes nothing but the power of God to not let it bother me. Most of the time it doesn't, but sometimes it just does, for no good reason. "You are going to put an addition on, right?" Well, nothing is being planned right now, and honestly may never be. My husband and I are so comfortable just the way things are. Yes, we don't have a master bathroom (to think!); yes no child in our home will ever have their own bedroom (even if we had 10 bedrooms, for a deeper reason, we feel it is a good thing for kids to share bedrooms anyway). But our home is our haven (and easy to clean without making it an entire weekend affair).

So, to keep from letting the comments bother me some days, I have to look at all the beautiful things (and I know, and try not to ever take for granted, that I am so rich and blessed above and beyond that which I ever dreamed for myself). Today, I would like to show you my most favorite spots of our home. Really, it is almost every spot (except sometimes the color of the paint in my living room and bathroom bothers me - shame on me for not being wise, and letting such petty things even get the benefit of my precious thoughts ;).

The first picture, above, is probably my most favorite spot of our home - our front porch. I love everything about it. I love my $30 wicker set (yes, 3 chairs, a loveseat, and a little table, all for $30 from a garage sale - and the color is just my favorite!). Tomorrow we plan to decorate our porch and home for fall - my favorite time of year :) Oh! Notice the pumpkin leaves growing a top our holly bush on the left? A nice little gift from a chipmunk, squirrel, or some creature - we have two little pumpkins. What a lovely surprise since I didn't plant much this year!

My next favorite spot is my husband's and my bedroom. After selling our last home, we had some money leftover to buy some furniture for the first time. What you get a peek of in the mirror is our bed. I'm so thankful for a soft place to lay my head every night. We especially purchased a king sized mattress a few years ago, when a new mattress was desperately needed, so that any little blessing that finds his/her way in the middle of the night is warmly accepted (yet Mommy and Daddy still have ample room to get a good night's rest ourselves ;) )>

I love my kitchen as well. Nothing huge, just standard cabinets and original laminate counter tops. The benefit of being the first family to ever live here with children is that everything in it is in excellent and clean condition. The stove is original, and at first I thought it had to be replaced, but it is (er, I mean was ;o) ) in amazing and such clean condition! Its a waste of a perfectly fine thing to replace it now. Nothing lasts forever, and it will need to be replaced eventually. In the meantime, I'll be thankful for this fine stove.
Another favorite spot is our family room. Most of our indoor time is spent here. Many memories are being created here, and I'm oh so thankful! I am thankful also for an armoire (sp?) (lovingly given to us by my father-in-law) that can close the TV so it doesn't become the focus of our family room.
Our dining room. Another favorite of mine. The family table used to be one of my least favorite spots, as it was a battleground. You know the drill, fighting with your kids to get them to eat something. Well, after witnessing my older sister-in-law and (not older, but older in parenting years) sister, who didn't make eating a battle; and seeing their children eat vegetables just fine now that they are a little older; we decided to make meal time a time to connect, not battle. Oh how our evenings have changed! Rarely am I a short order cook, but instead of cooking with my husband and me only in mind now, I cook with my entire family in mind. I want dinner time to be a daily event my children fondly look back on.
Finally, it is our yard that was the major factor when we finally decided to purchase our home. The yard is spacious, and alive. Plenty of room for gardens when the day comes (it seems every year since I've had children, I've either been pregnant or had a near newborn - this spring I was newly pregnant, next spring I will have a newborn). Thankfully, my husband appears to be getting interested. However, our church just started this year a "Victory Garden" where the land from the church is provided, a neighbor farmer tills the land, the church provides the water , and you as a family can borrow a lot to plant your veggies in. We may do this next year because, in reality, we will have a newborn - our 4th born!

Anyway, here are a few pictures from this week - see those two blondies playing in their favorite spot - the sandbox built lovingly from Daddy's hands. The boys (and our little girl) can't get enough of playing in that sand!

Have a wonderful, full and restful weekend. Let's keep our eye's on Jesus, and He will help us turn from our worries and discontent, so that we can live in Him more.

Trying to find the blessings in it all,

Jen :)

P.S. If you blog, did you know about the draft feature? Wednesday I had a large block of time that I could devote to writing. So although it looks as if I've spent a lot of time the last three days uploading pictures and writing (and if you blog, you know that takes a while - at least for me it does!), I haven't at all. I did on Wednesday when I had 2 napping kids and one still at school, but the last two days I haven't had time like that at all. But on Wednesday, I was able to work on three things that the Lord placed on my heart, and then the last two days it was simply hitting a button to publish! Thought you may like to know that if you like to write like I do!

Thou Art There

Psalm 139:14 and 16 - "I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."
Psalm 8:2 - "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength...."
Isaiah 42:5-7 - "Thus said God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."

Psalm 139:15 - "My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth." (womb)


My feeble mind has trouble grasping that God is everywhere and involved in all of my days. I suppose if I think of this as a mother though, I can understand it a little bit (little being a huge understatement. I can't even compare myself a little to that of my Father in Heaven). Whether my kids are walking close by me, or are away at school, I know their goings on. I have limitations, as I said, but God does not. He understands, knows, and is intimately involved in us, whether we are walking close by Him, or are away from Him. Psalm 139 says this about God:

O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compasseth my path and my lying down,
and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo
O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before,
and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or
whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven,
Thou art there;
if I made my bed in hell, behold,
Thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me,
and thy right hand shall hold me.
Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Try as I might, I cannot run away and hide from God. He is everywhere and is all-knowing. He knows every word that will seep out of my mouth. He knows every thought that I have. He knows every TV show that I watch, every magazine that I read, every song that I listen to.

He also is my Creator (Psalm 139:14), and knows I am dust (Psalm 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.) So rather than trying to be Mrs. Perfect, all I must do is pray for God to search me, and know my heart. I need to be soft clay, willing to let my Creator mold me as He sees fit. As I pray the last verses of Psalm 139, if God reveals that there is sin in my heart or in my mind, I must confess it, leave it with Him, and move on in His arms, doing what is right, in His strength alone.

I pray today, that as I think, as I dream, as I go about my ways, that the Lord would search me, yes, even try me, so that any wickedness can be brought to my attention. I pray that I would be easily molded, and not resistant to His loving discipline as so often children are (am I right mother or father? We know this to be true if we look at our own children). I pray I would understand my own stubborn heart as I shepherd my children today and everyday. Let me be obedient to God so that I can be an example to my children. Let my life not be one of "Do as I say, not as I do" as I go about disobeying my heavenly Father. Let my life be "Let's learn together to draw strength from our God, so that we all can do the right thing." I pray I would fully comprehend "Thou art there", and remember that every thought, dream or statement is fully known by my loving God. Yes, let me live as - W.W.J.D.

Trying to find His blessings in it all,

Jen :)

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow