Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cleanliness vs Creativity

I know they say children should be allowed to explore their creativity. Mostly I do. After all, I was allowed to make barbie clothes out of fabric scraps and mess up mom's entire laundry room with thread, pins and fabric bits. I was allowed to try every new craft idea that came out and mom graciously nagged me to clean up my creative stations around the house. So why is it so hard for me to allow my kids to make messes? Actually, now that I think about it, the allowing comes easy. The cleanup does not. I just don't like the result of creativity unless it is my own! How controlling of me. Yuck.Here are my kids and their three-roomed fort made out of three tipped over living room chairs and blankets. They are watching a PBS special about a National Geographic photographer. That part made me happy.

What you don't see is a snack haven on the other side of the fort: popcorn all over. I cleaned up the mess. And I wasn't happy about it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Weekend

I'm still recovering from the busy weekend, and it's not even Monday anymore! We packed up the camper, last minute, for a quick trip to Higher Ground on Saturday to enjoy some Christian music and friends. The trip was short--but we got to hear Sara Groves and MercyMe, and a couple other less known groups.



The kids ran around with friends, they all played in a great big blown up "amusement park" the girls got lost (they couldn't find where we were sitting), Mitchell thought he was big stuff to help out in the Pizza Ranch booth, and I got to eat mini donuts! And dessert pizza, and a foot-long corn dog, and a vanilla shake. :)














Sunday we were surprised to see some college friends at church who recently moved back to the states from Taiwan. We had them out to the farm for some catching up and we enjoyed a beautiful evening and sunset together.
(Sorry, I don't have a picture of Sunday's sunset, but here's Saturday's.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

School, to start or not to start

So, swimming lessons are over and we are in the final weeks of summer....Labor day is coming and we are looking forward to camping. Then starts school. Or I was thinking that we should get a week of school in before Labor Day. I was telling a friend this thought, and her response was, in her nice British accent, "You should tell yourself to shut up!"
So maybe we'll wait till after the holiday, or better yet, start after the laundry is done, the camper is cleaned and I feel all rested from a busy vacation. Oh wait, then I'd never start at all! Well, I don't want my kids to grow up stupid, so I'd better start at least sometime in September!

Oh my, I was just typing away and Megan ran in saying there were cows at the end of our driveway! And there were. At least 20 cows stampeding down our country road chased by a four-wheeler. Never seen that before!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Baffling Call of God

I promised to write about Oswald Chambers August 5th devotional, so here it is, at least part of it:

"Jesus Christs' life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God's. But what seemed failure from man's standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God's, because God's purpose is never man's purpose."

"It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because His call is to be in comradeship with Himself for His own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what He is after. The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out his purposes."

"If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer try to find out what His purposes are. As we go on in the Christian life it gets simpler, because we are less inclined to say - Now why did God allow this and that? Behind the thing lies the compelling of God. 'There's a divinity that shapes our ends." A Christian is one who trusts the wits and the wisdom of God, and not his own wits. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God."

I'm sorry to use my blog space for the thoughts of another, but I love Chambers. He makes me think. "the simplicity and leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God." Does that describe the Christians you know? Is that an accurate view? In the past I may have said no, but as my faith grows, I see myself relaxing in the sovereignty of God. As my pastor used to say frequently, "It's all good." Really, in a believer's life, all things do work out for good. Sometimes hard good. Sometimes easy good. But still good. And in the end of ends it will ALL be good.

We with faith in Christ have a HOPE that goes beyond reason!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

the calm after the storm

Sorry I left you hanging there...if you don't know what I'm talking about, read the previous post.

On Saturday morning Robb went out to coffee with his brother. He called me on his way home. "I cleaned out my desk at TREAN." I guess after being married for 10 years, I've gotten pretty good at understanding my husband. I already knew he'd gone to Eden Prairie and done that.
I said, "I know."
He said, "Oh, did you talk to someone?"
"Nope. I just knew."

I can't say I responded well to this. In fact, we argued. Even yelled. That's not normal for us.

But we talked about it, and I understand his heart. Those words were a direct attack where he is most vulnerable. Really, that is any man's most vulnerable area: feeling respected. Once a word is spoken it cannot be erased, and if he went back to TREAN, no matter how hard he worked, Robb would always wonder if it was enough. No matter how many apologies. No matter how many compliments. The words were said.

So we are moving on. We still have PRIME, our promotions storage and shipping and rebate company. Robb is now free to focus on growing our business and he has his life back. He is returning to breakfasts, coffee, and lunches with friends. He may even start exercising! (I'm not holding my breath on that though!)

I don't pretend to understand why this happened. In the August 3rd reading for My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, "We have no conception of what God is aiming at, and as we go on it gets more and more vague. God's aim looks like missing the mark because we are too short-sighted to see what He is aiming at. At the beginning of the Christian life we have our own ideas as to what God's purpose is -'I am meant to go here or there,' 'God has called me to do this special work'; and we go and do the thing, and still the big compelling of God remains. The work we do is of no account, it is so much scaffolding compared with the big compelling of God. "

The next day's devotional says, "The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship."

Hmmm...I just peeked at today's reading. I'll have to post something on that later.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Praise in the Storm

I thought I had learned my lessons on faith and trust, but evidently, I need more practice.

Robb called on his way home from work today in tears. He's had a rough transition to the corporate world, and it doesn't help that he's learning as he goes with no training...just an insurance manual. He's especially had it hard the last two weeks as both the other guys on his team have been traveling and he's been bored. He misses the freedom of his own company. And who wouldn't miss it? When you're self employed you are THE MAN. In the corporate world, he's still a peon. That sucks.
So he called in tears. He overheard the president of his division say he is "as worthless as tits on a boar".

I'm afraid he's going to quit. And I'm tired of change.

So as I'm driving home and mulling this over, God impresses me with the thought of praising him. Give thanks in all circumstances. Hmmm. Don't really feel like it. I flick on the radio. The first words on the speaker are these:


I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.

I came home and downloaded the rest of the song. Here it is:

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”,
and it’s still raining
But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise
You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

God's words for me. Now. When I need them. He is with me. I still don't feel like praising, but I'll get there. And though I don't know the future, He does. And it will be OK.

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