March 16, 2014

Prayer View

I took this photo one morning as I sat by the stove doing my 'quiet time' over scripture and a bible study book.
The light filtered through the curtain as the sun came up burning gold and orange and I was thinking that day how God's mercies are new every morning, regardless of the view out my window.

Over the past few weeks I've been wrestling with some weighty thoughts and struggling to make sense of my emotions regarding changing relationships and to do lists and politics and budgets.  So many things swirling in my head that the noise is deafening at times and I just want to sit and be still under a blanket by the stove.  My mornings in the chair with a Bible (or a kindle) on my lap, sometimes a cat as well - are quiet and still and sometimes I hear from God there and other times the noise in my head drowns out what He is trying to teach me.  I know this and sometimes I can quiet the noise enough to hear and other times I just pray - "God - you know what I need, I can't be still, help!"
Thankfully, I belong to a Savior who is beyond patient with me... and slowly... slowly... the noise in my head is becoming less of a roar.  If he can calm the storm of wind and waves - I'm sure he can handle me and whatever little emotional hurricane is whistling through my head.  And for this truth I am most grateful.
We've now been a year in our new home and I've decided that there are some perks to moving where things are still somewhat familiar.  To be true there are LOTS of new things in our lives, but simple things like the fact that I still shop at the same grocery store chain and big things like the fact that our dearest family friends are right here in town, have made moving so much easier!
We are in a season of learning how good/strong community and healthy/helpful relationships are formed and what that looks like in real life, small town, friends, etc.  I'm reading a really tremendous book right now, Authentic Relationships by Wayne Jacobsen & Clay Jacobsen.  I'm certain God is going to use it in a powerful way for me.

One truth that I learned this week was that I can't be restrictive in my head about how God is going to answer prayer in my life.  I can't be so narrow in my view of what He can/will do that I don't see him using the unexpected to answer prayer - He will do what He will do and I can't say 'do it my way'.... well, I can say that, but I'm very likely going to miss His answer in my stubbornness and pride.
For a long time I'd been praying that God would send my kids good friends and put people in their lives that would walk alongside them in their faith journey, people that loved Jesus and would be encouraging, helpful, and fun.  It took a lot of years and a move to Temple for God to answer - a completely unexpected means of making His answer known, but He is faithful and he DID answer.
We are in a season of praying over several other things and seeking God's answers for us... I'm sometimes slow to learn, but am confident of the fact that He will answer us in His time and I just want to make sure that I'm watching for and aware (as much as I can be) of every means of His provision for our family.

Blessings on the journey~

March 14, 2014

The Look

Saffron - Photo by Steve Wolfe

March 11, 2014

Another Chance to Change the World (or at least a small part of it)

A few years ago I stumbled across a blog with a cool name "The Gypsy Mama" (aka Lisa Jo)... how fun and interesting and real she was to read!  She has since stopped wandering as much to keep the moniker she had and even has become a US Citizen!
Today I still read her blog sometimes and follow her on Facebook to keep up - as I'm pretty well beyond the stage of littles that she is living and my focus is shifting as God leads my heart to different things.  But I'm still a mom obviously and my heart cares deeply about 'mom' things.
So today she posted this on Facebook and I clicked through to her blog to read... and immediately clicked further through to be part of something that God is building on the other side of the world.  Because the moms there matter... to God and so to me.  He is the one that provides opportunities for everyday, ordinary people like me (and you!) to be part of enormous Kingdom projects!  Even if only through our prayers.
Photo from Lisa Jo's site
Blessings on the journey~

February 26, 2014

Happy Anniversary (sort of)

February 29, 1996
A unique date to begin our very unique life together.  A life filled with love and LOTS of laughter.

I am blessed to be married to an amazing man - who loves Jesus, me and our family - beyond measure.  He always puts us ahead of himself and never have I seen him be selfish in anything.  Always can make us laugh and teaches patiently when needed.
THIS is a sampling of the things that make me love him more and more with every passing year.

Happiness is being married to this wonderful man!  I love you Steve!

February 19, 2014

A Random Childhood Memory & Recipe

A few weeks ago Steve and I were discussing things that we remembered eating fairly regularly as children but that we have never had as adults or fed to our own children.  **Yes - I do realize that this is probably not a normal conversation line for most people but we are not 'most' people.**

One of the items in question was Boston Brown Bread in a can - he didn't remember the can part as he only ever saw said bread on the table but he did remember that it was round and he didn't quite know why.

About a week later J and I were in the grocery store and found it and were compelled to send a photo via text to him just for giggles.

The other day I was reading through a handful of blogs that I enjoy and stumbled on this post about muffins... and in particular THIS recipe.

An actual recipe for Boston Brown Bread muffins!  Yes - I was way too excited about this and vowed to make a batch as soon as I could remember to purchase some rye flour - as it is not something I normally stock in my pantry.
On Monday I finally remembered to purchase a small package of the needed flour and just this morning had the opportunity to bake a batch of the muffins.  I mixed them up according to the HM's directions and even the batter had the same aroma I remembered from my childhood.  Soon the kitchen smelled of molasses baking and even J agreed it smelled good.

After about 15 minutes they were done!

Warm with real butter and ... YUM!

A childhood memory memory made from scratch and so good!  J did try a half of a muffin but was unimpressed.  When Steve gets home from work, he can try them and see if they match his memory and then tomorrow I'll take a few down to my folks when I visit them and see if they remember... I'm sure they will.

January 25, 2014

First Project of 2014

On Tuesday last week I decided to begin working on the upstairs (full) bathroom.  Keep in mind that this is one of the two bathrooms we have in our home and the one that 3 out of 4 of us use daily for showering, etc.
So of course it makes sense in my non-logical brain to render it mostly unusable for the majority of the week.

When we bought the house, this bathroom was painted the same green color that the downstairs (3/4) bath had been with the same off-cream/dirty beige trim paint.

This is BEFORE we bought the house
After 10 months I'd had enough and wanted that green gone.  The walls had been sort of weeping after every shower as the moisture condensed on the walls.  I had scrubbed and washed to no avail.  This time I used Simple Green and scrubbed the walls and then rinsed them all and the applied a coat of Kilz primer that claims to be mildew and moisture resistant.
Priming begun
After a day of letting the primer dry and a few hours of decision making with a pile of paint chips.  The room got a nice fresh coat of paint, a new shower curtain and some odds-n-ends and by Friday we had a 'new' bathroom.

The paint is Behr "Cream Silk" and depending on the lighting is a soft yellow-y cream to pale cream color.  The shower curtain is BH&G "Tranquil Leaves" which is just white with a gray/black design.
Nothing tremendously fancy but it's all fresh and clean and makes me smile.

Our first project of 2014 and this is our 7th major indoor painting project since we bought the house.  I love the progress we are making!

January 15, 2014

Thankful again

Photo has nothing to do with the post - I just love that Piper and Fender are buddies

It is January 15th, which means it is payday at our house.  Steve gets paid monthly and we are a single income family.  We have lived this way for 16 years.
Amazing?  Perhaps ... but I like to think not really.  More I recognize that we have the blessings we have because God has poured them out for our family.  Not because we deserve far from it!

We fully acknowledge that every good gift comes from the One and only God who loves us beyond comprehension - enough that He sent His only Son to die for us.  Because we acknowledge and accept that gift of grace, we know full well that every other gift is from Him as well.
Which makes payday every month a really tangible time to remember and be thankful.  God's math works when it makes no sense for it to work.

Most people will tell you that it is impossible in this day and age to live on one income.  I disagree strongly and can point you to multiple families I know that do and have made it work.  Does it mean you have to make choices?  Of course!  But we all make tons of choices every day.  Does it sometimes mean sacrifice?  Probably, but I think that depends on your definitions and falls again into choices.

Would I ever make different choices that would have meant I had kept my full-time job after J was born?  Not likely.  The benefits of being home...raising and educating these young people... increasing my own skills and knowledge in the process... can never compare to just a paycheck.  No new car or vacation would be worth the sacrifice of the relationships I have with my children.

Every month when the paycheck is deposited and we have the blessing of giving back to God and can pay all the bills and have enough left over to buy groceries & gas and whatnot until the next paycheck.... I am thankful again and again.
Never do I want to take for granted the gifts He pours out for us.

Blessings on the journey~