Archive | January 2012

Patience and Grace

While visiting with some young moms lately tantrums and terrible twos were part of the conversations.  One mom shared that she feels like she is consumed with staying on top of her toddlers’ shenanigans leaving no time and energy for the rest of her family.  She said, “What makes it worse, is when my 2-year old gets caught in the middle of her naughtiness she runs away giggling!!” I had to suppress my own chuckles as I was reminded of another little girl doing the same, especially if her Poppa was the one who found her.

Another young mom shared that her little one isn’t yet 1 1/2 yrs. and has started throwing tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.  She added, “He’s so stinkin’ cute MOST of the time!” This mom then asked me to pray that she would have patience and grace.

Patience and Grace!?

When my first  born began throwing temper tantrums at 15  months, I too prayed for patience, but not grace.  I didn’t even think of grace.  I just wanted God to give me a quick-fix. “Let this tantrum phase be short lived, God!!” I guess I was more concerned about my pride and the easy road. Well, God didn’t give me a quick fix.  Rather, He gave me numerous opportunities to practice the patience I was begging for and begin acquiring the grace I so badly needed.

It’s tempting to let the defiant scene overshadow the day that was filled with happiness, but that’s where grace comes in. Grace to swallow my pride because everyone at the grocery store saw the hissyfit my kid threw. Grace to forgive and love my child unconditionally just as Christ forgives and loves me unconditionally. Grace to recognize that God blessed me with this little tyrant who is so sweet and “stinkin’ cute MOST of the time.” Grace to learn and grow and become humble through this process called parenting.

How I wish there was a quick cure-all, but alas as soon as you think you have it figured out with child #1, child #2 comes along wired differently and needing a whole new set of rules.  I asked my mother why she didn’t forewarn me about such things, and she said “For the same reason my mother didn’t warn me. If I did, you probably wouldn’t have had any kids!” Hmmm…I don’t know about that, but I do know that although my children have some similarities they are all very different. They responded to discipline and learning differently and as adults handle life situations differently.

I challenge you to embrace the difficult times rather than just get through them. Look for the rose among the thorns and the sun peeking through the clouds.  Allow God to grow you up through the tough times.

Young Moms, I pray God will bless you with Patience and Grace today!

 

A Walk Down Memory Lane

My journals are not fancy – just a stack of notebooks of random colors and sizes. They chronicle joys and sorrows of the past 26 years reflecting my pilgrimage of faith. Some entries are long others only a paragraph, some are tear stained with ink smudged others have scribbles from a precious little one but they all are written to God, my Rock and Savior.

The very first journal entry was titled “Pilgrimage” and dated January 6, 1987. I had been asked to share at a Ladies Group so I wrote out my thoughts. You see, the year 1986 was monumental for me and God walked with me every step of the way. The following is a portion of what I wrote:

 

“…We began the year rejoicing over life because of the new life which I was carrying. But I became aware of a greater appreciation for life in May when we had our farm accident.” My husband got trapped between truck and tractor. He was on the tractor – a small old one without cab. I was in the truck.  “It was only God who kept my husband alive.  I had no idea how I would find my husband as I got out of the truck.  I could not go back there without first breathing a prayer. Immediately, I felt God’s overwhelming peace…I struggled for many months with the fact that I was the one in the truck. I knew it was not my fault, but I could still hear his awful yell, and I felt like I almost killed my husband. I could not understand why God was allowing me to live with this even though I was committing it to Him daily.  It was not until I verbally shared it with someone else that I was released from the torturous thoughts…”Baby #2 was another beautifully handsome boy, but at his 1 week check we found out he “… needed surgery immediately. Yet when he had his blood tested he was anemic.  Lord, what next?  I remember asking how much more must we go through? I can’t be strong much longer! God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  He is our strength. At birth my husband and I prayed over this baby giving him back to God. Yet as surgery approached I began to hold on to him, I daily had to recommit him to God….I hope I never forget how real and great my God is!”

 

I think I just relived some of those emotions again while typing!! After this initial entry, I began to pen prayers and sometimes jot thoughts & scripture that stand out to me during my quiet time.  I have found that too many times if I don’t write things down I forget them. I don’t want to forget how God answered prayer, met me at my lowest, carried me, blessed me…so I fill notebooks. I tend to go in spurts journaling daily and then I may have weeks or even months before I open my notebook again. It helps me stop and take time to really think about my conversation with God rather than always praying on the run.

Sometimes reading through entries of the past reveals God at work when we didn’t feel or see it at the time. Today, as I took a walk down memory lane, I am once again rejoicing over life…baby #2 is now a healthy 6’2″ man, and hubby and I are nearing 30 years of marriage.

Sunrise…Sunset

I may be a bit biased, but Southwest Kansas has the best sunrises and sunsets!!  The horizon stretches for miles and miles with little to nothing obstructing the view. Each morning and evening a new mural is painted by the hand of God.  No two are alike, and minute by minute the hues and patterns mix and change.  Many have tried to mirror the splendor with paint and brush, or capture the radiant beauty with camera, but none can compare.

I don’t  remember when I first REALLY noticed this handiwork of God, but I know I was a young girl. There have been chapters in my life when I didn’t have a clear view to watch the light show of the beginning and ending of day. I missed it, and it caused me to long for the wide open prairies. Now that my children have joined city life, on their visits to our home on the range I hear their “Oohs” and “Ahhs” at sunset.

When I begin and end the day watching the sun, it causes me to focus on the SON. I marvel once again “how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.” (Psalm19:6 MSG) Yes…He warms my heart to faith! Whether I had been up all night because of a sleepless child or snoring husband, or have had a very difficult day, the sun on the horizon reminds me of God’s love and faithfulness. It reminds me that nothing is too great or too small for God.   It reminds me to intentionally  seek Him.

“O God, you are my God,

earnestly will I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you,

my body longs for you,

in a dry and weary land

where there is no water.”

Psalm 63:1 NIV

 

Bountiful Harvest

Seed catalogs are arriving in the mail weekly, if not daily, causing me to long for summer. With hi-lighter in hand, I thumb page by page, dreaming and planning, hoping and praying for a bountiful harvest.

Bedrooms are no longer occupied by growing children lending space to be used differently.  I’m brushing up on tips and tricks for successful seed starting with the hopes of dramatically slashing the number of purchased plants.

A few other ideas I’m pondering are growing herbs in the strawberry pyramid and mixing some “surprises” into flower beds.  The hot Kansas wind has not treated strawberry plants on the pyramid kindly! I think some herbs will grow better, and an added benefit will be a more defined area for the spreading varieties.  I had to remove and harshly prune several bushes in the flower beds, which has left the space empty.  Adding climbing plants and “yard art” should add definition and eye appeal.

As I dream and plan, hope and pray for a bountiful harvest,  my thoughts broaden to the Garden of Life.  What seeds am I planting and nurturing?  Do I need transplanted? Which of my branches need pruned?

Jesus said in John 15: 1-2, 4 (NIV Bible)

                “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Gifts I See and Hear

“I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.  For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 57:9-11

Today, I’m capturing 3 gifts I hear…

The crackle of  burning wood and whistling of hot water turns a cold room warm and inviting.

What sounds are blessing you today?

 

Step Out of the Traffic

Waking early, I eagerly anticipated the day ahead, a fun-filled day with 5th graders.  As a substitute teacher, I enjoy the opportunity and challenge of teaching any grade level.  As I rounded the corner near the classroom, I met the teacher I was subbing for.  After greeting one another, she said “I hope you’re here to sub for someone else because I’m not leaving until noon.”

NOON?!

(It was 7:50 at the time.)

Noon – How did I miss that NOT-so-Little tidbit of information? In the busyness of life, too often we miss important details.

Not long ago, my husband and I debated  whether we were experiencing hearing loss or simply not really paying attention. Did I really not hear or did I not listen?  This has caused me to examine another aspect of my life; my relationship with God. Is my quiet time (Bible study and prayer) an item on my To-Do list, or am I really quiet truly seeking Him? Am I too busy to listen to what God is trying to tell me or to see the many blessings He has given me? He tells me to  “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV) I really like how it says it in The Message:

     “Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
      loving look at me, your High God,
      above politics, above everything.”

That’s why I’m taking the Joy Dare, intentionally stepping out of the traffic, and taking a long, loving look at God. I don’t want to be so busy that I miss HIM. Although, my morning was not what I thought it was going to be, it was a gift from God; today’s “gift that’s Just. Right.”

…and now I am ready for my fun-filled afternoon with 5th graders!

Hello world!

Welcome to Homespun Happenings.  As a new kid on the ‘blog’, my thoughts follow three themes.

Intentional:  Too often I take life and simple blessings for granted.  I am challenging myself with the Joy Dare – intentionally capturing 1,000 gifts in 2012.  I will be sharing some of these gifts of joy with you. For more information and list of gifts to capture in January click here

Inspirational: As the quilt of my life is pieced together one patch at a time, may each stitch bring you closer to the Creator.

Intriguing: I’m just an ordinary gal who loves God, nature and simple pleasures of life. Some of  my interests are gardening, cooking/baking, sewing, crafts and farming.  I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity enough that you’ll stop by frequently.

“To see God in everything makes life the greatest adventure there is.”  So  join me in my Homespun Happenings.