Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Re-Learning Lessons I Thought I Already Knew....

   Wow! Have you ever had a day (or a week) where you feel as if God pointed everything right at you to shout a message loud and clear? I don’t mean in a harsh mean way…I mean a gentle Fatherly loving way?
   I went to our church’s ladies Bible study like I do most Wednesday nights. Tonight we started a new fabulous looking book called Becoming a Woman of Extraordinary Faith. What If You Gave It All to God? by Julie Clinton.
   Well right out of the gate we watched the companion video that shared a woman’s amazing story of how her life and the lives of her family were forever changed by a drunk driver crashing into them. She talked about how her daughter struggles even today, some six years after the accident, with memory and physical issues. She has had to mourn the future she imagined for her daughter. She talked about praying for God to return things back to “normal” for her daughter….But then she realized that God was doing something extraordinary through her daughter the way she was now…She had to let go of the picture of what “normal” would be for her ….
   I have been mourning a few issues lately. Dreams I felt were from God…good things that seem like they would have good godly results for others….situations I felt called to, but the doors aren’t opening in the right direction…feeling the (prideful) need to stand up for my child/children/self when wronged or have our character challenged…ugh this list has had me stressed, angry, confused, sad….and now that I really look at it, struggling with my faith….and pride.
   Yesterday, I read a blog that I “stumbled on” about pride it struck a nerve, but it was really only setting me up for the things I would hear today. Tonight I realized I was waiting for things to return to “normal”. Waiting for the picture I had in my head to play out in real life… and running ahead (and running my mouth) to defend my children’s good name and reputation as well as my own. How prideful of me!
   Even though the things I was wanting and waiting for were not selfish ungodly things, the grip I had on my vision of those things was! If God called me to something it will happen in His time…my waiting for things to change causes me to miss precious time and blessings right under my nose….God will defend my family, I don’t need to help him…
   Well it’s a good thing that I have a long drive home. As I was alone in my car, the rain streaming down the windshield, tears began to fall…I allowed my heart to break for these things I have been desperately grasping. I confessed my pride and lack of faith…I let go…we had a long talk and knowing how music touches me, He spoke to me through the songs that played on the radio. Songs I’ve heard a thousand times, but tonight spelled out a message just for me.
   First was “Come as You are” by Pocket  Full of Rocks:
 He's not mad at you
And He's not disappointed
His grace is greater still
Than all of your wrong choices

You can come as you are
With all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart
Bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

God knew the burden I have been carrying and when I felt I couldn’t come to Him, He came to me!

Then played “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns:
But the giant's calling out my name 
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times 
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. 'Boy you'll never win!'
'You'll never win!'
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, 'Do not be afraid!'
The voice of truth says, 'This is for My glory'
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

I need to listen to His voice, not all the voices out there talking about or against us. I need to listen for His guidance every day instead of my agenda.

Then came Matthew West’s “Strong Enough”:
I know I'm not strong enough to be 
Everything that I'm supposed to be 
I give up 
I'm not strong enough 
Hands of mercy won't you cover me 
Lord right now I'm asking you to be 
Strong enough 
Strong enough 
For the both of us

I don’t have to carry all of this myself, I can walk away from my idea of “normal” but only when holding His hand.

Then I got home and read my devotional…
Psalm 73:23-26
New International Version (NIV)
 23 Yet I am always with you; 
   you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, 
   and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? 
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, 
   but God is the strength of my heart

   and my portion forever.

Tonight, I go to bed knowing the road may be hard, but I am holding the hand of my Heavenly Father, knowing He will be my strength forever…. Do you know that too? I hope so…

For more wonderful scripture's look HERE. You can find lots of good articles on this site

Monday, January 23, 2012

An Unexpected Icy Sanctuary

    The morning started out pretty rough. I was taking my life in my hands just walking from my door to the car this morning when I left for work. All the left over snow and ice on the ground was now blended beautifully in a glaze of gleaming ice.It was cold but just warm enough to rain and the sun wasn't out yet. I glided my way to the car and managed to get it turned out to the road which was clear and just wet....whew! I  didn't  fall! (I'm sure I was a humorous site to behold...I am not  known  for  being graceful!)
   As the day went on, it warmed up to something like 60ish degrees! Then the sun came out and it was gorgeous! On my lunch break, I ran a few errands and had my car window down! It's January! Pennsylvania! On my way home, it was raining...the sky was dark, but the sun was shining from somewhere behind me..."there has to be a rainbow" I I drove  over the top of the hill heading into  town, I saw it...a beautiful  rainbow...I wished I  was at home out on the  ridge where we see youngest son Colton took a couple of pictures for me  so I could see that it was in fact a full double favorite!  (....and just as soon as we can figure out how to get those pictures off his ipod i will upload them LOL)
   I love that God's  word tells us it is a sign to remind us of His faithfulness, and  I can't help  but feel like  it's  a  big  warm  hug from my Heavenly Father when I see one.

   I wanted to post the beautiful pictures I took on Sunday. I was home from church sick. When I woke up, the house was quiet since my family went to church. When I looked out my bedroom window, the sun was just beaming off everything! A thick coat of ice blanketed everything! But I could see that the sun was warming it all and water was dripping everywhere. I had to get my camera before it was all gone. I must have  been a sight...Pj's...rubber boots...bedhead...Good thing I live in the boonies!
   The fresh air did me good... I felt terrible all weekend, and  hated to miss church, but God and I had a moment  like we often do.... out in his beautiful creation.
   With as warm and beautiful as it was today, there are no traces of the ice-ing we had. But here are some of the pictures I took in the glistening sanctuary right outside my door. God is faithful to meet us where we are and speak to us in a way he knows will touch us. God loves each of us in a personal way...He knows your love language and He will speak to you just have to listen.

....Here is how He spoke to me :)

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Isaiah 1:18

Leave a comment and share  how God spoke to you recently...I would love to hear about it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

If This Chair Could Talk...


 This chair was my grandpa's. I can still picture him sitting in it, laughing at a comedy on T.V. or sitting reading the paper....sometimes looking as if in deep thought, sometimes napping. I was very close with him and there are many days I wish I could just sit and talk with him....ask him for advice...make up a silly song like we used to. Aside form my husband, I have never had the love of a better man than him. He taught me what a good man was...he didn't even try, and probably never knew....but because of his love and godly example, I chose a wonderful man to be my husband and the father of my children.
   My Grandpa went home to be with the Lord right before I turned 19. I remember coming home from a wonderful night with Dave...I was so excited because Dave had just proposed. My Grandpa really liked Dave and he knew I loved Dave before I did, so I was so excited for us to come in and share the big news. He smiled as he looked at the ring...he was happy for us. He asked "When's the big day?" ( it was March when we got engaged) I said, "We love the fall, and want to have an October wedding." He said, "Boy I don't know if I can wait that long!"...I just thought he was excited, but it turns out he hadn't been feeling well, but never told any of us.
   Just a couple of weeks later, and he was gone...he had a massive heart attack followed by a stroke. The doctors said he had significant scarring on his heart indicating he had probably had several small heart attacks leading up to that big one....
  Wedding plans kept us quite busy for the next 7 months. We had a wonderful warm October day when we said "I do". There was a tinge of sadness, because I had so wanted my Grandpa to walk me down the isle...
   Time moved on and we moved to an apartment and then discovered we would be adding to our family! We moved to our first little home in  the country with our new baby boy.
   I was given a gift when we moved mom  and Gram decided I should have my Grandpa's chair. More than a year and a half had passed since he had died. That night I sat in that all hit  me. He  missed our wedding, the birth  of his first great grandson... but here I was sitting in his chair, and somehow that provided a space to heal. When someone passes at  such a busy time, it's easy to not really deal with the loss...there just wasn't any time to let it all sink in.
   Over 18 years later, I still find great comfort in that I'm the one sitting there laughing at the comedy, sitting with my laptop catching up on the news, writing my blog....many times just sitting deep in thought. I have sat there contemplating many things over the years....held my babies, searched through my Bible for answers, cried for my children's broken hearts....
   As I sit here now, I can see the soft blue fabric faded and tattered around the edges and I remember my Grandpa's strong hands on the arms....fingers slowly rubbing the trim when he seemed to be working something over in his mind.... there are some stains on the matching ottoman...but it is one of my most treasured things.
   I've been  spending  time here a lot lately, heart heavy for my family...I wonder if we were in his mind when he sat thinking quietly. Funny how your perspective changes as you get older.
   I am so thankful for so many blessings in my life including this simple, worn, secondhand chair, whose  beauty is  invisible to most.
   How about you? Do you have something that is special to you that ties you to the past?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Liebster Award!

Liebster Blog Awards

A Farmgirl's View was just awarded the Liebster Blog Award!

My heartfelt Thanks go out to Heidi at White Wolf Summit Farmgirl for passing this along. Heidi writes 2 excellent blogs, her other one is My Simple Country Living. Stop by both of her blogs today for wonderful inspiration. Her Country Garden Showcase makes me  want to get out and play in the dirt for sure!

Liebster means Dearest or Favorite in German!

Now, I get to give the award to FIVE up and coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers! 

If you are selected for this little blog award, it's your responsibility to give it to 5 blogs and share the blog love! This part is VERY tough, narrowing down your list to just five blogs. 

Here are the rules:
1- Choose FIVE up and coming blogs to award the Liebster to. Blogs must have less than 200 followers.

2- Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

3- Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites.

It is so hard to pick just 5 of the many blogs I read but here are the winners.
1.Our Family - A beautiful blog about a beautiful family and their journey through adoption.
2.Living Life As It Unfolds - An interesting blog by a homeschool mom featuring reviews on homeschool products and inspirational thoughts.
3.Flowers in His Garden - An inspiring blog that encourages and uplifts all who read it.
4.Lady Farmer Parables - This is a fun blog that has great ideas and always has a thought provoking message.
5.Imitation by Design - this blog has some of the yummiest recipes ever! You can always find something great here.

Please stop by and visit these wonderful blogs, it will brighten your day!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year Traditions

   Wow! hard to believe it is 2012! I am feeling so hopeful about this year, I don't know's like I have a special peace inside. This makes me excited to see what God will do in the coming year...He's always so faithful to our little family!
   New Year's Eve was a fun night. We always invite our friends over as well as the kid's friends. It is so important to celebrate friendship! Friends are a blessing from the Lord and we should not (but often do) take them for granted. So for us, New Year's Eve is our celebrating the wonderful friends we've had all year and looking forward to the year ahead with them. We had close to 20 over and it's a tight squeeze at times (especially if 4 people are playing Just Dance on the Wii) but that's OK. Hopefully we will have even more over next year.
   Not only do we have amazing friends, but our kids have amazing friends too. It is truly a  pleasure to have these kids over and we have watched them grow up into wonderful people!
   Here are some highlights...
Dancing fun!

Our good friends Kelly & Tony and Brian & Lorilee

Mother/Daughter Dance Duo
( Chelsea & Tammy)

Zach, Brandon, Chels

Great kids!

Playing Spoons!

Intense game of spoons!

Watching the ball drop

Back to playing games :)

Our good friends Tammy & Mark

   New Year's Day we got up and went to church, a few boys spent the night, but amazingly we all got up and out the door on time!
   We are blessed with a great church family and a wonderful Pastor. It was THE way to start the year....After church we went to my husband's parents house to celebrate with family and a yummy dinner. There are always plenty of funny memories being shared and too much fudge eaten by all ( someday I will have to do a whole blog about my husbands Aunt Cook's fudge...and yes it's THAT good!)
.......Somehow I forgot to take my camera for this :(

   Another of our traditions is our Annual Wreath Drop. We have been doing this for the past 5 years and I don't know who has more fun ...the kids, or Dad! I usually stand in front of the house and video or take pictures. Dad runs all through the front of the house "releasing" the wreaths while the boys are outside guessing which wreath will be dropped next.... Mom, of course strongly urging them to not let them hit the ground. I wasn't too worried since I am replacing all the bows for next year. The old ones lasted 5 years so not too bad.
   Here's a visual if it's hard to imagine....

This should have been our Christmas card...maybe next year lol

My wonderful farm boys!

   I hope all of you have a wonderful year this year and that you will walk close with the Lord every step of the way. I'm not big on resolutions...I'm trying to take more time to "listen" to what God would like me to work on and let Him take the lead in making the necessary changes within me. Change is good :)
   Thanks for reading,
Blessings in the new year,