An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Here We Go

In His grace, God has brought me back again to Habakkuk to gently redirect me and point out my own sinfulness. How sweet He is with His children, yet never yielding His own glory or sovereignty. How loving He is to hold us in His arms while we hurt, but then show us a bit of His splendor when the tears have been wiped away and our hearts are ready to hear.

"Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak" Habakkuk 2:18 What an idol I have started to create to replace the God of the Bible. My idol doesn't take children to heaven at age twelve. My idol just might not have eternity planned out from beginning to end, including February 18, 2011. My idol just might not understand a mothers breaking heart. My idol wouldn't make their children hurt to pry their hands off of this world and turn their deceiving hearts to needing no other earthly thing, replacing it with their only need being God Himself. My idol needed to be smashed before I carved any more details into it.

"Has not the Lord Almighty determined...." Habakkuk 2:13 Has not the Lord Almighty determined the ways of salvation? Has not the Lord Almighty determined how His glory will be revealed in the most magnanimous ways? Has not the Lord Almighty determined He would answer my prayers and make Trent dwell in heaven for eternity? Has not the Lord Almighty determined that He would prove Himself faithful beyond what I could comprehend without this? Has not the Lord Almighty determined the ways and the end and the depth of this pain and grief, only to prove Himself more faithful? Has not the Lord Almighty declared that this life is a mist, even mine? Has not the Lord Almighty used this as a wake up call for not only me, but so many others for salvation, that in eternity I will praise Him all the more?

"But the righteous will live by his faith...." Habakkuk 2:4b Will I live by my faith? Faith in what? My own ideas and idol of this God of the universe, or the real God who I only know through my Bible? My faith is so small. My mind so quickly forgets His promises. My heart is so easily swayed by the pain. How gracious of God to be the one who is faithful.

"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Habakkuk 2:14 But the earth is not yet filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. We still live in enemy territory. The deceit is everywhere~ it trickles into even the believers heart and makes us lose hope. We live short minded and get discouraged. I forget the end. I only know how to live in the now. But one day, one day, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. One day I will live eternally with my Savior. How I long to be found living faithfully until that day comes. How I long to be trusting and serving until it comes, rather than crying in my bed. How I long to walk it hand in hand with Jesus.

"But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him." Habakkuk 2:20 God knows what He's doing. How I pray for Him to let me trust Him in that. I try to envision Him sitting on His holy throne, His robes filling the courts, the multitude of angels and witnesses, with Jesus on His right side, with Trent before Him, face to face, knowing what I cannot imagine, longing to see for myself. The Lord is in His holy temple and He does know what He's doing. One day I will too. For today I just trust.

"His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from His hand, where His power was hidden." Habakkuk 3:4 "His ways are eternal." Habakkuk 3:6b Splendor that I cannot even imagine. Power that I cannot even imagine. Eternity that I cannot even imagine. I bow, humbled, before this amazing God who loves even me.

"For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told" Habakkuk 1:5b Again, I am humbled to think of how I doubt God's sovereignty. How can I believe what I cannot see? How can I believe when the waves of pain threaten to overtake? Because God said so. I hold on to my life preserver. One day, one day....

"The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights." Habakkuk 3:19 Praise your name Lord Jesus.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Don't Want To

Tomorrow is camp. The first camp without Trent. I don't want to go without him. I don't want another first. I don't want to smile all weekend and I don't want to cry all weekend. I don't want it to be the day before camp without him and have to trust God for this too. I don't want to pack and not pack his clothes. I feel like just packing him a bag anyway because then it's not the first, somehow part of him will be there with us. I don't want to see the zip line. I don't want to be a chicken and not jump off like I said I wanted to three months ago. I don't want it to be three months without him. I don't want to wait the rest of my life to see him again. I don't want to go into the dining hall and not see him first in line. I don't want to sit in chapel and not see his ken-doll locks in the first row. I just want to go back to bed and stay there until I die. I don't want to be strong and I don't want to be weak. I don't want to do this without him. It just hurts. There is no cure for missing somebody, not even time. Do I quit missing my son in three months, three years, thirty years? How do I live for thirty more years missing him? Yes, I trust God, yes I know this is for a purpose, yes I know Trent is in heaven, but I still miss him. Help me Lord, I can't do this today.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friends Like These

Does God provide, or does God provide? I really didn't mean to be whinny this morning, but I was so very grateful when some very special people in my life (who know my morning need for coffee) heard my cry and quickly came to the rescue again. Without warning (shortly after that post and spurred on by his wife) Uncle Jim pulled into our driveway with another one of his gifts~ a brand spanking new coffee pot! And just moments after visiting with him and sending him on his way, my good friend Maddie pulled into the driveway with not one, but two, 20 ounce cups of piping hot black coffee all for me...... my children thank you, I thank you, and I am sure Rob thanks you! If you get blessings for eternity for a single cup of cold water what do you think God has in store for 2 cups of coffee and a coffee pot for a desperate housewife? Thanks guys! I love you! And I'm going to say it again~ thank you dear bloggy friends for all of your sweet words of encouragement, the goofy comments that make me laugh, and your thoughts and prayers as I ramble on. They mean more to me than you will ever know:))

I Found These

God continues to allow us to laugh. What a gift in itself. Through the heartache and the pain God continues to sprinkle in much joy. I was in the classroom hanging up a timeline picture the other day when I happened to look over at Trent's desk. His books and belongings were still piled on top of it, but one tablet had fallen to the floor. It was his spelling tablet. I had intended to just put it back on the desk, but I longed for a bit of him so I opened it up to see his twelve-year-old-boy handwriting, expecting pages full of word lists. There on the first page was an essay he had written and as I continued to turn the pages more essays were mixed in amongst the spellings lists and tests. To think of the days, just months ago, that he wrote those honest, silly words about his bad attitude brought us all near to tears from laughing so hard. This boy, who hardly wrote anything, had left us a bit of himself for such a time as this. How I miss him and long to hear his laughter again.

We Have Horses

Oh that's right..... we have horses. The poor equines have been pretty much ignored around here lately. The animals on our farm are on a "don't work, don't eat" policy, so we figured we had better make some time to ride before somebody got the goofy idea to ship them to the sales barn. Chores were done and most of our school, too, so we packed a picnic lunch and headed out back to the camp sight this afternoon. The boys were happy to walk as they are not fond of riding. The sun was shining and the bugs weren't too bad yet~ a perfect day for a picnic. We enjoyed our lunch then enjoyed exploring and checking everything out while the horses ate grass in the corral. The corral that is still missing it's roof. We dreamed about some day building a little cabin as well as a screened in gazebo if I could just find some more salvage lumber laying around somewhere. We missed Trent as we thought about the past fun we've had out back and the future hopes and dreams. The boys headed back up to the house on foot and the girls and I took the horses the long way home. It feels good to be on the back of a horse again. It's one of the places that make me truly happy~ bareback of course.


Four Wheelin' Fun

The four wheeler is one of the best farm tools that we have invested in. It has been used countless times to haul grain, fencing supplies, lumber and also comes in handy to get us back and forth to the other side of the forty acres. But, every once in a while, it becomes a toy. Every kid likes to play in the mud, even the big kids. (Don't worry~ we haven't taught him how to shift it out of first gear yet.)

How Are You Doing?

How are you doing? I am beginning to dislike that question more and more. Do you mean how am I right now? How was I twenty minutes ago? Do you really care how I am or are you just asking to be polite? Do you really want to know or should I just smile?

Do you know how I am this morning? The coffee pot broke. Ka-put. It's an old time percolator and it may have perked it's last perk. Some days lately it makes black coffee, and some days it makes yellow water. I dumped the first pot today and tried again and got the same yellow water. That's how I am today. I've cried. I've sought God. I've washed laundry. Now I sort. Sort thoughts and theology and plans for the day. Fight the tears again and trust God again. Look away from where Trent always sat on the couch, then look back. Consider, again, seriously looking for an antique trunk to finish packing away the rest of his earthly belongings, then decide I really don't want them put away. I don't want him forgotten in our daily lives yet. I want the reminders surrounding me. I take another drink of my yellow sugar water and consider visiting Russell for some real black coffee. But I need to cry by myself first.

Scripture puts things into perspective. Paul reminds me that God really does know what He is doing, that the most important thing is that the gospel goes forth, that to die is gain~ even for your son, that to go on living in this body means fruitful labor, that God who began this good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. So I commit myself again to wait. I will strive to do everything without complaining, allowing God to work in me, trusting that as I hold on to and hold out the word of life that God will make it shine like the stars in the universe.

I will try to find joy in being poured out like a drink offering for God's glory, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I will press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus because I know that my citizenship is in heaven, not on this earth, and I eagerly await my Savior from there. Again, I will rejoice because I know that my Savior is near and that He will guard my heart and my mind and will meet all my needs according to His glorious riches. Armed with that knowledge I will face the day, the kids, the schooling, the chores, the critters and the coffee pot for round number three. Lord willing.

Encouragement this morning from the book of Phillipians, NIV.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Cry of my Heart

I should change my name to Anna, and maybe I'll add Simeon as a middle name or a last name. I might just move into the temple, too, and spend all my time fasting and praying, worshiping God night and day. All the more the only thing I find myself doing is looking for the Lord's return, longing for that trumpet call, waiting and worshiping my God. My hands and my body are moving, they continue to find work to do to keep them busy, but my heart and my mind are constantly with God. How long, oh Lord, how long? How long do I have to keep hurting? How long until my Savior comes, bringing His rewards with Him? When will I see your righteousness and your glory for myself? I call upon you, Lord, and will give you no rest until I see you. My heart cries out for you in my distress, save me, in your love and mercy redeem me, lift me up and carry me. I take delight in you, oh Lord, I rejoice in you. How long? How long, oh Lord? I am tired of this world. I am tired of sin. I am tired of pain. I am tired of being prim and proper rather than screaming the insanity from the rooftops. I am tired of faking it. I am tired of pretending. I don't fool you, God, for you know my real heart. In you I am who I am, who you made me, there is no pretending, only joy and freedom. Let me be all the more in you. Use my tears, dear Lord, let them be turned into a crown of splendor in your hands, a royal diadem in the hand of my God. Let your righteousness and your glory be seen through them. Let me see your righteousness and your glory through them. Let me see past the hurt and the pain and see you.... see your hand and your plan and your end results. Hold me in your arms, in the palm of your hand. Just love me, Lord. I can't figure out the theology and the rights and the wrongs of it all today God. I just need you.
The cry of my heart as God lead me to Isaiah 61-63 this morning. The tears and the pain turn to trust and joy as I lay my burdens down at the cross and wait once again for my Savior.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

So Often

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
and we never even know we have the key.

~ Almost Gone by the Eagles

Cole's Silkie Farm

Cole's living the dream, baby, he's living the dream! Last fall we gave him some Silkie chicks for his birthday (what else do you get a chicken lovin' farm boy?). Despite several casualties and some new stock, plus the issue of having too many roosters, he has successfully raised 5 hens who started laying eggs for him a few weeks ago. Not only has he taken on the responsibility of purchasing all of their feed and taking complete care of them, but he also set up the incubator and has carefully been monitoring the heat and water and was rewarded with new chicks for his efforts. Over the last couple of weeks he has been so excited to have several little Silkies hatch out. He has standing orders for them already and can't hatch them fast enough to keep up. He is looking into the possibility of branching out into Barred Rocks, besides the hopes of raising some Light Brahmas once my young hens start laying, and then there are the White Leghorn pullets he is raising for sale later this summer. There's a reason we call him Cole the Chicken Man!

Little Suckers

My mornings and evenings revolve around these two little suckers. Barnabas, the black calf, and Tuff, the little white calf from Traci. They are four week old Holstein bull calves that we are raising on goats milk. They each get half a gallon of milk morning and night along with all the grain they can eat, hay and fresh water. The hope is to wean them at 6-8 weeks old then send them out to the big calf pen and start all over again with another calf, continuing until we run out of fresh milk. We will raise three for butchering and sell any others. And did you see the nice stalls that Rob built? Yours truelly designed it so that calves (or goats) have to put their head through to eat versus having to crawl into the stall to feed calves. The hay feeder is on chains and can be folded up if need be. It works great!

Riding the Waves

Sad. Happy. Crying. Exhaustion. Joy. Remembering. Forgetting. Rejoicing. Anticipating. Holding On. Struggling. Missing. Longing. Praying. Memorizing. Trusting. Waiting. Processing. Laughing. Loving. Just Living. Then I get out of bed and make the coffee.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Some More Tractor Pictures

The kids were excited to ride the little tractor with David yesterday while he sprayed the fields.

He said he would teach them how to drive the big John Deere 4640 today.

Their pretty excited!

And I think David is too! Big boys and their toys!