Monday, May 2, 2016

Bloom where you are planted


Have you ever just taken the time to look... I mean really look at the incredible design of flowers? They are completely fascinating. So many varieties and shapes, colors, textures, scents, sizes. I think they are an amazing design of our Creator. Not only were they made to make the world a more beautiful place, many are medicinal, some are edible, and they are so good for the bees, which in turn is good for us!! 
I like the old saying,
Bloom where you are planted.
Sometimes we can get defeated and downtrodden, thinking if ONLY this was different, I would be more content, happier, more stable, more able, and on and on...

If only I had a better job, that would solve everything.

If only I was able to pay this bill off, then I could breath.

If only I was thinner, that would make me happy.

If only I was able to fix this problem, then I really could be happy.

If only I had a bigger house, that would make me content.

If only our cars were nicer... that would be the answer.

If only my husband and I could get on the same page.

If only my kids wouldn't fuss so much.

If only...
If only...
If only....
You know what?
If you/me/us keep on at this "If only" stuff... we will wish our life away. We all know life is a fleeting vapor. As we get older we see just how fast it moves. 
Stop.
Stop and see.
Stop and realize.
Stop.
This life you are given right now, right here is your life. The life you have been given... We have to take what we have been given and make the best of that opportunity. 
If the kids fuss too much, work with them. Don't stick them in front of the tv or give them a phone and let them run off to their own rooms. Give them times of work and play and family. Give them opportunities to work as a team with their siblings and stick close so you can nip any problems in the bud!
If you and your spouse are struggling a little, start making time together. Begin praying together, begin having a devotion together, begin working on making each other a top priority. 
If work is not great, make sure your not the one making it worse. If you go about your work with a terrible attitude, I can guarantee it that it's going to be pretty crummy... But if you go about it with a heart of thankfulness and joy, it will improve. And then what a influence you will begin to have on others!
Mom at home? Enjoy each day. Get up, pray and thank God for these little ones, or not so little ones that you have to raise and train and BLOOM! Bloom in front of their eyes! Show them the joy in you. Show them how important this job of mothering really is and eagerly work. Be their inspiration! Bless them, and by blessing them... you bless yourself, and I believe most importantly, you bless God. 

Mom or wife who works away from home. Make sure to make that home a happy place when you are there. Make sure to spend that time when you are with your children and husband and make it count!
You can do it!

No amount of money or stuff can replace a happy home.
Remember that.
Chas!!!
 Chas, you with the cotton stuffed ears. You who are too busy whining to hear.
Oh, yeah... I remember now.
So bloom.
Bloom and show this world how wonderful life can be.
Bloom and show those around you what the joy of the Lord can do for you!
Bloom and give off a life giving fragrance that is a blessing to those who even briefly come in contact with you. They will remember your encounter. You are a treasure!
Bloom.



Friday, April 29, 2016

Highs and Lows


Life has been busy and scattered around here lately, full of some highs and some lows. Life is like that, some days you are on the mountain top and some days you are deep in the valley. 
Thankfully though, none of this is a surprise to God. He knows each and every step we will take before we take it. He is aware of needs even before we need them. So we can totally trust Him with everything. He doesn't promise us to always stay on that mountaintop, but He promises us that He is with us on that mountain and He is with us when we have to cross through that dark valley.

Each night we get to have supper around the table, we have this thing we do... it's called "High and Low" We go around the table and talk about our most favorite part of the day, and if there is a extremely hard part that is our 'low' we can talk about that too. 
In the past we have talked about both when it was our turn, but now we have try to get our minds focused on the high and if the low isn't too big of a deal we just talk about our highs. 

There has been great work going on in the garden, cleaning and rearranging and hopefully soon, maybe even today... some planting.
Since our camping excursion, the kids have been eager to sharpen up their skills. Abram asked to find a youtube video on knife sharpening and so he worked on sharpening his pocket knife and then the kids worked on some of my kitchen knives too. That was a blessing to me! 

The boys wanted to get out in the 'axe-yard' and practice their skills. They are getting so much better already! I've got two fine men in the making. 
And the sweetest sight to see in the evening on my drive home. My little home sweet home with my most favorite people in the whole wide world. The greatest 'high' I can have is being home with my whole family. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Super Simple Fire Starters



When Eli was in scouts he and I made some fire starters for him to take on his first ever campout. He was so excited to come home and tell me that he had won the fire starting challenge! He remembered that experience this past week when we were preparing for our first Trail Life campout and asked if he could make those again!
Being several years older, he gathered the supplies and made them himself. 
It's very simple, but you have to be a bit careful with the hot wax.

Supplies you need are:
Cotton Round facial wipes
Wax paper
Candle wax
Tweezers

Basically, burn the candle long enough that there is enough wax that is liquified on the top then blow out the fire. With your tweezers take one of the cotton rounds and gently lower it down into the wax and coat the outside of the cotton.

Lay each coated pad on the wax paper.

I wish I had pictures of how they are used, but I will explain here.
Gather your wood and tinder and prepare your fire pit. 
Take your fire starter and tear a bit of it so that the cotton is exposed. Lay it down in the fire pit where it can begin to catch the small sticks, leaves, etc on fire and light. 
The cotton will burn and the wax coating will allow the fire starter to burn longer giving the fire more of a chance to get started and stay burning... 

Happy Camping!





Monday, April 25, 2016

Camping

Over the weekend we were blessed to be able to attend a campout with our Trail Life and American Heritage Girls Troop. 
The site was BEAUTIFUL! And the fellowship was sweet.
So many good skills learned and shared while we were there. 
The older kids went on a 6.2 mile hike! 
The older boys had salt cured a roast several weeks back and then they cooked it while at the campground. 

Being able to put up your own tent was part of badge requirements. They did exceptionally well! 

This was a precious moment when most of the group was gathered around thanking God for their food and for their time together. 
A neighboring camp that was empty.






Learning the ettiequte of the axe-yard.
While outside I get overwhelmed by God's creation. I am sure I have said it before... One of my favorite verses of my favorite hymns. The second verse of "How Great Thou Art"

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Mr. Steve teaching the boys the make an incredible chili! 
Look at the size of that pot next to Abram! It was HUGE!!!

I'm so thankful for this time that my family got to spend in the great outdoors and can't wait to go again!!




Monday, April 18, 2016

Sticks and Stones




There is an old saying...
Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

We have all heard it, and we may even say it, but I think it far from truth. 

Words can break hearts.
Words can wound spirits.
Words can damage relationships.
Words can hurt. 
Plain and simple.

We are all so very hard on ourselves most of the time, the extra sharp, harsh words are usually something we may be thinking of anyways, and our greatest fears are unleashed and that is a hard thing to deal with. A fountain of fear and failure comes flooding into your mind and it is a detriment to your spirit. 
I remember this one thing that was said to me when I was a young woman, it cut me to the core... when I get down, and low... those words that wounded me want to rise up and rip me to shreds. 

Friend, that is of the enemy. He wants to wound you and make you feel inadequate and damage any good relationship you have. He wants to tear families apart. He wants to break your spirit and keep your joy for himself. 

The Bible says...

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

It is extremely important to gain control of our tongue and of what we say and what we think. There is great power in words.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 16:24

Words can do all the damage as we have seen... but words can also heal the spirit and strengthen the person!

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

Consider your words before you say them. There is great power in the tongue.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Colossians 3:8

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Proverbs 12:25

Even when speaking the truth, please take into consideration how you say it. Don't speak in harshness or hastiness. Be deliberate of what you say, be aware of the words you speak.

So as you go about your day and you have situations that are difficult...
 and we know that they will come...
Realize that your words can either help or hinder. 
Your words can heal or break.
Your words can be a ray of hope or the last straw...

Words are powerful.
Use them with utmost care.

Especially and most importantly to those who you love.