Friday, November 13, 2009


Family Photo Session

This past Wednesday we had a family photo taken. The first in three years! The weather was gorgeous for mid November.

This is my favorite one!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Got Maids?

Have you ever read through Proverbs 31 and noticed a small portion of verse 15...the part that says she feeds her maidens? "She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens". When I reread that again, I said,"A-ha! That's how She did it all!She had maidens!" Wouldn't that be nice? Maids? Not one, but two or more? Are you thinking what I am?

Our old farm house has a back staircase, located by the kitchen, that winds upstairs to a small bedroom. This room can be closed off from the other rooms on that level securing privacy. This was the maid's quarters...maid's quarters? Years ago, a family may have hired a maid, who would live here while she worked for the family.

Well, when we moved into this house, I didn't have need for a maid's room - we didn't have any maids! Or at least I didn't think so. We decided to put the laundry room in the old maid's quarters. It was great being close to the laundry makers - five children can keep one busy in the laundry room and no stairs to climb while carrying loaded baskets is a huge blessing. However, it never dawned on me just how much of a blessing it was until we went to a small western North Dakota museum. There I picked up a handout. It read like this:

Grandma's "Receet for Washing Clothes"

Bild fire in backyard to het kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke won't blow in eyes if wind is pert. Shave one hole cake of lie sope in bilin water.

Sort things. make 3 piles. 1 pile white,1 pile cullord,1 pile werk britches and rags.

stur flour in cool water to smooth. then thin down with bilin water.

rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard. then bile. rub cullord but don't boil. just rench and starch.

take white things out of kettle with broomstick handel, then rench, blew and starch.

Hang old rags on fence.

Spred tee towels on grass.

Pore rench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot sopy water. Turn tubs upside down.

go put on cleen dress, smooth hair with side combs. Brew cup of tee, sit and rock a spell and ...

count your blessings.

So, now if you were to visit my house and take a tour, I'd show you my 'maid's quarters'. Yes, I have two hard working maids - my washer and my dryer! Have I learned a lesson? You bet, instead of coveting the Proverbs 31 gal's maidens when the laundry grows to mountainous proportion and things look bleak. I reread the handout now posted above my washer and dryer and thank the Lord for the 'maids' He has given me. And...I don't have to get up early to feed them!

"...and be content with such things as ye have." - Hebrews 13:5

Have a blessed day,

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Patchwork Quilts

Some time ago, I went to a regional quilt show. It was very fascinating. Many quilts were painstakingly hand sewn over one-hundred years ago. I looked closely...I studied..and envied! Some of these were fancy blankets and had colors that were carefully chosen. Tiny precisely cut pieces were placed beside each other in very ornate patterns. Each stitch was perfectly placed in neat,intricate designs.

Other quilts were utilitarian and common - even well worn. They, no doubt, were put together by candlelight, or at best by gas lamp many years ago.

One in particular was extremely old. I imagined some pioneer mom who couldn't sleep at night had probably stitched this quilt, praying for each of her children as she stitched left over pieces of their clothing into her design. She had a purpose for this one - to keep her children warm at night! These bed covers were stitched by tender loving care. Colors that didn't necessarily "go" together; thread that changed colors or didn't match were all carefully pieced. Some fragments appeared to be taken from worn summer and winter clothing. However, when they were all put together, and meticulously stitched, the quilt was beautiful...and well used...most likely deeply cherished by someone; a son, a daughter - a beloved husband.

There were many other quilts, each one unique, each one seeming to tell a story. Each created for a different reason or purpose. Some of these were exquisite works of art for display only, others well worn. Yet, they were all kept here - treasured by someone.

Our families are like those quilts - each member uniquely placed together by the Lord for a special purpose in His design. "And we know that all things"... that He allows in our lives, the blessings, the hurts, the tears, the laughter - "work together"...are stitched together.."for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose." (italicized words Romans 8:28).

As a picture, a friend gave me, so well puts it:

Families are like quilts;
lives pieced together
stitched with smiles and tears
colored with memories
and bound by love.

Have you thanked God for your family and His design for your family today?

Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Don't be Tripped by Troubles!

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Many of us are very familiar with this verse found in the book of Romans. We may even quote it several times a day, especially when trouble occurs. Trouble may come in many different forms. It's the pain and sorrow, distresses, worry and difficulties that occur in our everyday lives. We may worry about meeting our financial obligations, or perhaps we have a wayward child that causes us distress and anxiety. It may be stress over the possibility of an unexpected move (or a flood diversion plan running right through your farm), or a husband's change of job. Instead of allowing trouble to turn us inside out, let's allow God to use it in our lives for good. Trouble really can build our faith. We will never know what God can do for us until we are totally dependent on him. We must truly rely upon Him. We must trust Him that He knows what is best for us. I Corinthians 10:13 tells us "There hath no temptation (or adversity) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer (or allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." Trouble and adversity come our way to help us to get our eyes on the Lord and depend on Him, thus building our faith.

There are many happenings in any given day that may cause us to lose a correct Christian response to trouble: children fighting (Oh, no - never happens in my home or yours, I'm sure), phone ringing relentlessly, boiling over a pot on the stove, a leaking washing machine. Have you noticed that much of the trouble we see in our day really causes us nothing more than inconvenience? Yet, how many times have we come 'unglued' over these bothers? Trouble can develop patience (if we let it). James tells us to "Count it all joy...knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting (lacking) nothing."

Often times going through trials gives us first hand experience, which can give us compassion for others who may be enduring the same thing. God may want to make you the shoulder for someone else to cry on. The Bible tells us to "bear ye one another's burdens" and that we are to "be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another."

Trouble creates humility in us, too. It lowers our pride and our confidence in ourselves. Just when we think we've gotten to where we ought to be, some good 'ol adversity comes knocking at our door. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall build you up" and "be clothed with humility" are a couple of admonitions to keep in mind.

Many of the trials and troubles we see are a result of our own inconsistencies in the Christian life. The biggest instigator of our anguish just may be us! God in His great mercy still forgives us for these self-inflicted troubles. One other thing we can be sure to learn through our own mistakes is to forgive others for their errors and lapses in judgment. "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

The lessons we can learn from troubles are many, but perhaps one of the greatest is this: troubles draw us closer to our Lord and His word. The Bible's very words will have much greater meaning and comfort when we've allowed them to be a blessing to us in our time of need. Then we may be able to say as the Psalmist in Psalm 119, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

While none of us enjoy going through troubles, they enter our lives for a purpose. God has reasons for allowing them our way. Don't let troubles trip you. Just remember Romans 8:28 is still in the Book! "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time off is over........

Wow, time to start up again. Summer is over, school is back in session and I'm back at the computer. I guess it's time to think again...ouch! I really need to get these wintry scenes off here...check back in a few days, friends.