"There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
The end of July has been a crazy ride. Putting the house back together, spending a week preparing for another school year, starting another school year have all left me wordless. My heart is grateful and full there is just no time to put the words down. So enjoy a few photos from Gold-hearted mom’s summer vacation – I know I have been enjoying them.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Only God’s provision, His deliverance, will satisfy my hungry, thirsty soul. God provides manna – bread – for life in the desert. He also furnishes water for my parched throat. God leads the children of Israel into the desert, they travel for three days without finding water. The water they did find was too bitter to drink. The Lord showed Moses a piece of wood which Moses threw into the water and the water became sweet.
Sometimes my life feels too bitter to swallow. The disappointments and hurts become overwhelming. I become desperately thirsty, God brings the wood to mind – the cross. At the foot of the cross I remember how Jesus body was bruised and his blood ran freely to purchase this wandering child. The water that flows is sweet because God is good and His love endures forever. Deeper into the desert God leads.
“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1
So I seek the Lord by walking across the chapters of Exodus with the children of Israel. It wasn’t long before they were in need of water again. Where God led them to a place where there was no water for the children of Israel to drink. The people were ready to stone Moses, again God is faithful this time bringing water from the rock for His people.
It is not far down the path when I am in need of water again. Needy and longing for more of Him to fill all of me. Moses struck the rock for the children of Israel, Jesus was struck for me bringing forth eternal water. Water that would quench my thirst and well up in me becoming a spring of life for others because of His Spirit at work in me.
“For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
Jesus is bread and water
the wood and the rock
provision in the desert
all hope, all trust
placed on the One who
supplies and satisfies
the hungry and thirsty.
This song has been playing through my head for days. Even though this desert is a place God has led me to, I find myself humming the chorus often.
Streams of Life by Ginny Owens
How many days, Lord, have I walked in this wilderness?
A thirsty pilgrim with no water to drink.
And this barren place is making me crazy,
But as I wander on, I am forced to think.
Seems like I have spent so much time searchin'
In a dry and weary land where there's no Truth.
But I think I'm finally realizin',
That my only hope of water is the well that comes from You, So-
Rain down Your love upon me
Pour out Your mercy on me
Please won't You take me to Your springs of life
'Cause I'm dying for deliverance, only You can save me,
I'm waitin', won't You take me,
To Your springs of life.
Oh God, You are my God,
And my spirit seeks You,
But my flesh has failed You time and time again.
And now I've chosen this desert when Your love was waitin',
But Your stubborn child longs to understand-
So I'll not waste another minute searchin'
In a dry and weary land where there's not truth,
Oh, I think I'm finally realizin'
That my only hope of water is the well that comes from You, So
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world….
I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry…” John 6:32-33, 35
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Do you know your neighbors? Precious husband and I have been blessed through the years to have many good neighbors. Since the beginning of this house/farm project we have gotten to know our neighbors. These neighbors and not just good neighbors they are amazing neighbors.
This past week we were f.i.n.a.l.l.y able to get our house back in one piece. While Precious husband and sons were getting things ready at the log house the crane crew arrived. Sadly their tractor trailer became stuck in the curve leading up to the pasture where our house sits. One of our neighbors went to get his tractor and the other his bobcat. Together they pulled and pushed the truck out of the ditch on the right side of the road.
I stood on our back porch and wept because I knew they did it without Precious husband even knowing there was a problem. These two men took it upon themselves to lend a hand for their neighbor. At the end of a long day Precious husband and I lay in bed discussing the days events. We continue to be overwhelmed at the generosity of these two men.
At the beginning they allow us to move fence and widen the drive in order to get the house up the hill. Now they continually loan their time and equipment in order to help this family they barely know. I sit here now with tears in my eyes thinking of how often over the last 18-months these two men have given to us and asked for nothing in return.
Father – I am thankful our house is back in one piece and now we can start the work of renovating and readying the place to live. But Father, this week I am most thankful for these two men that you have brought along beside us for this part of the journey. I am overwhelmed at your provision and their generosity.
HOUSE BACK IN O.N.E. PIECE
Farmer B. using his tractor so often to help
Bobcat H. who has so generously used his bobcat
both men getting the truck unstuck
unnamed neighbor who cut our ditch this week
Precious husband’s kindness as I have been under the weather this week
Bobcat H.’s wife, D, who brought us cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from their garden
pastor at church we visited answering the phone and talking with me a few minutes
Precious husband fixing the dryer
part for dryer was only $20
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Down this desert path, along the way the Lord has led, things are not as barren and lifeless as they at first appeared. Stretching to the horizon at the beginning of this way the lay of the land looked dry, desolate, and dreary. Heading down the path into the desert there have been places of oasis between the dusty paths from one place to another.
The children of Israel left Egypt and entered the desert because God led them there. If they were looking toward the desert they would see the glory of the Lord. In the desert every morning God provided manna – bread – to meet their daily needs. Thinking about how God met their needs leads me back to poetry, a poem I penned several years ago and fits my wanderings for today.
Bread of Life
Dew, settling and gone,
“Thin flakes like frost on the desert floor”1
Manna, bread for today.
A morning long ago,
Thin flakes of flayed skin on the chilling soil
Manna, bread of life
Provision today and eternity
Every morning is a new beginning with Jesus, Bread of Life, given to supply fresh nourishment for the tasks of the day. I awaken with a hungry soul and a listening heart seeking the food for the day. The needed provision was settled long before I entered this desert. His Words are “sweet to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”2 The taste lingers on my tongue providing sustenance throughout the day.
“and in the desert. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Deuteronomy 1:31
1 Exodus 16:14
2 Psalm 119:103
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
It is after 10:00 pm when Precious husband and I take a turn up the hill to the pasture. It has been a long, full week on the farm. A week where Precious husband has actually been here working hard, not at the station. We took the kids out for a Mexican dinner and then to a creek to cool off. Now it is our turn to spend a few moments together.
We gaze at the stars and shining half moon that lights up the field. The crickets are singing their nightly lullaby rather loudly. I think out loud about how it will be when the house, sitting in two parts, is complete and we can sit on the porch and take in the view. He says, one day, knowing how much time and work there is still ahead. I tell him that there is no hurry, it will be done in God’s perfect timing (which is not necessarily mine – daily I am learning to trust).
I breathe deeply and sigh – content – thankful that God has brought us this far. I know the journey ahead will not be easy, but I chose to enjoy the process. I am relaxing into the future, knowing it is all in the hands of the one who alone is able to hold us then and now.
Father, today I am thankful for…
Your presence that walks with us on a path where we only see one step at a time
You know the plans you have for us, we can trust you
Boys to help waterproof the basement
Dad who teaches them how
Neighbor who brings a bobcat to backfill the basement
Neighbor who loans his truck to haul materials (our truck needs a transmission)
Neighbor who brings a tractor to mow the pasture
Neighbor whose granddaughter visits and gives Princess daughter a playmate for the week
Kids flying Junebugs
Dad who teaches them how
Cool evening walks in the pasture with Precious husband
Afternoon thunderstorms bringing cooling rain
A few yellow squash and zucchini from the garden
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Gold-hearted mom travels out west while Helpful son ministers with youth in the inner city of Chicago. Since we have moved to the farm, Darling daughter and family are now an hour away. Challenge son seeks a job with a new place to live and Fun son prepares to attend school in a few weeks. Precious husband works long hours at the station and the farm while two youngest and I tend the garden and our flock of chickens.
My heart and my mind feel scattered. Since moving to the farm there are only three children under our roof. Two older boys stayed behind with Gold-hearted mom. Since 2008 our offspring have taken wing.
Darling daughter married, moved two states away, and has moved back. In 2010 Challenge son moved to the farm. Now we switch and he (temporarily) resides with Gold-hearted mom and Helpful son while five of us move to the farm. I will always be mom2six but the days of being surrounded by them all are gone.
The weeds in the garden grow quickly. On hands and knees I bend to pull them out. Seed scattered over a month ago is beginning to bloom and produce a few vegetables. I feel scattered with the changing times.
Our oldest three are seed that has been scattered, now is their time to plant, bloom, and produce a harvest. I must relax and trust that what has been planted will produce a Godly harvest – that they will tend their hearts well.
With our youngest three there is still planting and weeding to be done. Perhaps being scattered is not such a bad thing. The further the seed blows and drops the possibility of a greater harvest.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26-27
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I love it when God brings dear friends close. An amazing friend and her husband (~M~ & M) have moved back to the state and will be living not too far from the farm. This week I am also thinking and praying for other dear ones who God has granted me to know who live far away. What wonderful people the Father has brought into my life over the years. Some were just wandering through leaving their wisdom, others have become lifelong gifts to my heart even though we are separated by many miles.
Father, this week I am grateful for…
friends far and near
treasure of ~M~ & M
dinner with Precious husband on the lake
boats bouncing on the waves
thick chocolate milkshakes
late night walks in pasture with Precious husband & kids
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Bible is open on the bed in front of me. I have been reading the Scriptures but the words just stay on the page. This is a path that has been traveled before. In the past when my spirit was empty and my soul dry anxiety would rise up. The desire for a quick path to “feeling” the Lord’s presence was strong.
This desert journey is different. Taking a path to Exodus I ponder further the desert wanderings of the children of Israel. They left Egypt on a high note – freedom from slavery with the Egyptians loading them with gold, silver, and clothing. But God knows they are not ready for battles ahead “so He led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.”1
With my spirit and soul feeling dry, May became a month to be consumed with prayer. Focusing on the Lord’s prayer and several books on prayer my heart is quiet before the Lord. Paul Miller’s book, A Praying Life,2 is on the screen of my laptop.
Mr. Miller writes, “God takes everyone He loves through a desert.” God led them by a desert road.
May turns to June and the words for prayers still will not come and I find myself walking wooded trails listening. Listening to the birds as they sing and take wing through the trees. Listening to much needed rain as it falls on the metal roof of the farmhouse. Listening to trees creak as they bend in the wind. Listening to chickens cluck and squirrels chatter. Listening to horses snort and nicker. Listening to the nightly lullabies of crickets and frogs.
Miller writes, “Our responsibility is to cultivate a listening heart in the midst of the noise.” A slow smile spreads across my face, God’s silence through Scripture and worship has my spirit listening. Listening to His voice singing all around in creation.
This desert journey is different. I wonder what it would have been like if the children of Israel would have listened in the middle of the desert wanderings. If the eyes of the heart would have been opened through listening. When the road was dry and their throats were parched, when they were covered in dust from heat to toe, when they were hungry and tired, perhaps they should have continued to look…
“they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in a cloud.” Exodus 16:10b
2Miller, Paul (2009). A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World (Kindle Location 3141). NavPress. Kindle Edition.