August 30, 2009

Waiting


Is there anything harder than waiting? I don't think so. It is miserable HARD.


I have been waiting for a long time. I am discouraged by it. It has been years. Sometimes it is easier. Sometimes I forget that I am waiting. Sometimes the days are so dark I can't wait any longer. I scream out to the Lord that this waiting is unfair. ABSOLUTELY unfair. How good the Lord is to listen to me even then. He hears my cry and strengthens me. Yet, he still says to wait.


What if I never get what I have been waiting for? What if? What then? I think of Abraham - all the years he waited for Isaac. I think of Noah - all the years he waited for the flood, preaching righteousness for 120 years. I think of Jeremiah - a prophet to the people for so many years - and no one listened.


Maybe there is something I am supposed to be doing. Perhaps I am not getting what I want because of sin in my life or because I forgot to "dot my i or cross my t" and I just don't know it. Even as I type that, I know in my soul that is not true. I am waiting because it is what the Lord wants me to do. OH!


Yet, I want to please my Lord. Though it is hard, I will wait. I'm waiting.


Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:14


Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. Psalm 37:24


Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee. Proverbs 20:22

August 29, 2009

Wait on the Lord

Two beautiful young ladies sang this song at our Mother-Daughter Tea earlier this summer. It was such a blessing to me and has become one of my favorite FAVORITE songs.

I hope you enjoy it too.

(Verse 1)
Though the pathway before you uncertain may be
Trust the Lord no good thing to withhold back from thee
He is perfect in wisdom and faithful to bless
Trust His Word: in His time, He will give you His best

(Chorus)
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings as eagles
They shall run and not grow weary
They'll walk and not faint
Wait, I say, Wait on the Lord.

(Verse 2)
Be not weary in waiting for love suffers long
If you faint not, you'll reap when the harvest is come
Run with patience the race as you rest on His Word
For your testing will teach you to wait on the Lord

(Chorus)
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings as eagles
They shall run and not grow weary
They'll walk and not faint
Wait, I say, Wait on the Lord


August 19, 2009

That Naomi Baloney

~oOo~
Answering the phone for the first time: "Hello, Santos presidents."
After the phone call: "Mom, do you think she reckulized my voice?"
~oOo~
The middle of a beautiful sunny day: "Momma, I'm scared. Will you hold me?"
"What are you scared for?" I asked.
"You and Gramma keep talking about blind people walking around leading other blind people. Hold me momma, I'm scared."

August 17, 2009

Discouraged or Devoted?

I have been struggling with this THING for two weeks now (or has it been my whole life?)


Are You Discouraged or Devoted?

Jesus . . . said to him, ’You still lack
one thing. Sell all that you have . . . and come, follow Me.’ But when he heard
this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich —Luke 18:22-23



Have you ever heard the Master say something very difficult to
you? If you haven’t, I question whether you have ever heard Him say anything at
all. Jesus says a tremendous amount to us that we listen to, but do not actually
hear. And once we do hear Him, His words are harsh and unyielding.

Jesus
did not show the least concern that this rich young ruler should do what He told
him, nor did Jesus make any attempt to keep this man with Him. He simply said to
him, "Sell all that you have . . . and come, follow Me." Our Lord never pleaded
with him; He never tried to lure him— He simply spoke the strictest words that
human ears have ever heard, and then left him alone.

Have I ever heard
Jesus say something difficult and unyielding to me? Has He said something
personally to me to which I have deliberately listened— not something I can
explain for the sake of others, but something I have heard Him say directly to
me? This man understood what Jesus said. He heard it clearly, realizing the full
impact of its meaning, and it broke his heart. He did not go away as a defiant
person, but as one who was sorrowful and discouraged. He had come to Jesus on
fire with zeal and determination, but the words of Jesus simply froze him.
Instead of producing enthusiastic devotion to Jesus, they produced heartbreaking
discouragement. And Jesus did not go after him, but let him go. Our Lord knows
perfectly well that once His word is truly heard, it will bear fruit sooner or
later. What is so terrible is that some of us prevent His words from bearing
fruit in our present life. I wonder what we will say when we finally make up our
minds to be devoted to Him on that particular point? One thing is certain— He
will never throw our past failures back in our faces. (oswald chambers)
I am tired of being discouraged. I will take the blame - I know it is not my fault - but what harm would come of it if I just stopped defending myself? I will let the Lord defend me and see what comes.

August 12, 2009

Perilous Times

The other night Noah came into our room because of a bad dream. "Momma, I dreamed we were in a Hairacane" I let him sleep with us for a few minutes. That same night, around two a.m., Sophia woke up. "Mom, I can't sleep. I feel worried." Hmm. "Well, let's pray and then go back to sleep." I noticed Mr. Santos had gotten up to turn on the fan. Later in the night, he got up to turn it off. He wasn't sleeping very well. With all the sleeplessness in the family, I was up quite a bit too. Several airplanes flew overhead. That was unusual for our area and for the time of night. Naomi slept soundly but very heavy. In the morning I shook her, "Naomi, wake up." She wouldn't wake. There was an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I shook her hard and yelled "NAOMI! WAKE UP!" She woke with a start and began crying. "Mommy why are you mad at me?"

Sophia said, "Mommy, is something going to happen today? I feel like something is going to happen - something bad."

"I don't think so, but let's pray," I said.

Do you ever get those bad feelings? Like the sky is falling or about to fall?

We did have a storm that day, a grey day filled with thunder. There was some tension in the family because we were all so tired. There were last minute "issues" to deal with. Mr. Santos was getting his final term paper written, I was faxing documents to our Taxpayer advocate, and trying to return some phone calls, but all in all we had a normal day. The sun came out and nothing bad happened outside of a few bad attitudes.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 Timothy 3:1

What kind of perilous times? Are these the last days?

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power therof: from such turn away.

What a list.
What a perilous time.
Don't you think we are already there?

For men shall be lovers of their own selves...

It's easy to think this means other people - "Yep. We are in the last days. Everybody is so in love with themselves..." But I see our own Santos Times struggle with this daily. I also see this in the church when families stick to themselves and do not invest time and energy in the body.

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks...
"I don't want to." "I just want..." "Will you give me more..." "Why can't I have just a little..." "I want..." "I just want a..." Did I mention "I want..."

I sit back and listen to my children talking to each other. I listen to the comments made by me to Mr. Santos - to the comments he makes to me. It only takes one wrong turn to get off track. One day we're driving down the straight and narrow - living Holy lives - and the next we are on some wide and easy street with lots of activity and company. Little do we know that we are headed for destruction.

How do we stay on the narrow path - the ancient path? Jeremiah 6:16

We walk. It is a narrow path and ancient. The Bible says "few are those who find it." I'm sure we won't be able to drive on it or find it by some convenient fast way. It will be slow going. One foot over the other. Thank God for his promise "...they will walk and not faint."


It's lonely. The path is narrow. I've noticed that sometimes we tend to put off holiness or thankfulness because no one else is doing it. We reason with ourselves "Well, it seems o.k. for SO-and-SO to dress like that, I guess I don't need to be so modest. They let their kids watch that show, it must be o.k."

God's word tells us over and over "...walk after the Lord" "do not walk after false gods" "do not walk after the customs of this world" "walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh" Another promise echoes in my heart "I will never leave thee or forsake thee."

Making plans for how you want to live life? Clearly, we do not make our own paths. We FIND the strait and narrow - however, few are those who find it - and then we FOLLOW after the Lord. He leads the way. When we get off track, it is because we are not following.


In the last days, perilous times shall come for men will be lovers of self...

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Jeremiah 6:16

August 10, 2009

Why being 'poor' with nothing to do is good for the kids



~ They make their own laptop computers with paper and cell phones with wood. Each letter on their homemade keyboards includes a drawing for the sound. An apple for "A". A ball for "B" etc. I love how they mimic texting. It's a riot. (BTW this was their idea - not mine)

~ They work. A slumped shouldered little one comes into the house and utters the outlawed statement "I'm bored." Immediately, the offender is given work to do. Laundry gets folded, drawers get reorganized, weeds get pulled and of course a little character gets built in the children too.

~ They invent. Yesterday, the children lounged around sitting upside down on the couch or with legs lazily thrown over the coffee table while they laid on the floor. "Oh we could make a snack maker! All you have to do is push a button and out would come whatever you wanted to eat." "How would it work?" "Well, one compartment would be for the milk, another for the sugar and flour" etc. They thought of everything. In the end they could have made a million "real" snacks instead of inventing them in their head. Benefits? Critical thinking skills, imagination, problem solving, creativity, communication etc. etc. - and no sugary calories consumed.

With a little more brainstorming, Sophia invented a special closet you could enter for undressing and dressing. In this closet you always come out with a great outfit and you never have to fold, iron or put away clothes.

~They act. The other day our neighbor friend came over and with the girls put on a 5act play. It had something to do with a mayor and rats and a tea party. I don't exactly know what it was about, but at the end of the day, there were lots of giggles and "Oh yeah's" from recounting their costumes and the fun they had. I liked seeing our 12 year old neighbor forget all about her cell phone and act like a "little girl" again.

~They explore. The children packed up for an adventure with sleeping bags, machetes, and the new BB gun on their backs. They went for a walk on the "trails" with Mr. Santos. We only live on five acres, but somehow the adventure lasted two hours. The family came in breathless with the fun they had and the stories they wanted to share. "Mom were home! It was so fun!" I took advantage of the "home school" moment and made them write their memories in their notebooks. They were more than eager to. In fact, our neighbor came right on over when she heard all the commotion. She helped write the stories adding her own little embellishments and ideas to spruce it up.

August 07, 2009

Summer School

One of the characteristics of homeschooling is that learning is a part of everyday life. We have not really found "our groove" yet, but one thing we have discovered in homeschooling is: just because summer rolls around and workbooks rarely come out - the learning never ends.
We have even learned that we don't always get to choose the curriculum. Some of the lessons going on at The Santos Times are:

~NUMBERS~
Math, I think, is the most versatile subject. There are so many many ways to study it. Since it is such a part of everyday life, it seems that would be the best way to learn it - in everyday life. The kitchen is a great place for learning numbers and math. "Sophia, cut the loaf into 12 equal parts." or "Naomi, how many cookies does each person get if there are 15 left?" This Summer, we have been playing lots of games - mostly cards and Monopoly. We have fun haggling and bargaining over properties or rents. Because we always make Sophia the banker and mortgagor, she has really gotten good at adding numbers and understanding money and change.
But boy - it takes a lot of time. A game of Monopoly easily lasts a couple of hours and it's very convenient to say "I don't have time to play right now." Well, at those times we get out the cards. Cards are good because all the kids can play - and they can also play without mom and dad. (wink) With each game the children brush up on sorting, adding, subtracting and critical thinking skills.

~LISTENING~
Mr. Santos is taking a class called "Interpersonal Communication." How interesting. Our eyes have really been opened to different types of ineffective listening and their labels.
Some of them are: Psuedolistening - this is when you nod and smile on the outside but on the inside you are thinking of a myriad of other things - maybe even how you can stop listening to whomever is talking to you. Stage-hogging is when you listen only long enough to figure out how to turn the conversation to yourself. An example would be - "You think your house is a mess? Have you seen my hall closet? Let me just tell you, blah blah blah."
There are many other types and just discussing some of them has been like going to marriage counseling - a little intense, a little revealing, and a little healing.

~MOTIVATION~
The Bible says that man makes his plans but the Lord directs his steps. How true. Another class Mr. Santos is taking is called "Human Relations". The team he works with at school has been studying motivation in the workplace. However, Mr. Santos and I have been able to apply some of this new knowledge to The Santos Times.
It would be nice if we could do our best all of the time, but a little motivation can go a long way. Somehow, (is it pride or high expectations?) we fail to provide that little "light at the end of the tunnel" for our loved ones. Children need motivation to get their chores done, even to obey. Wives need motivation to do the same mundane things over and over (and over) again. Husbands need motivation to step out of their comfort zones. These summertime courses have not been easy, but they have been so good in stretching Mr. Santos and me. Stretching is good - it allows you to be more flexible, to do things you never thought you could do.

~LONG-SUFFERING~
Love suffers long. Love is patient. Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4 I guess we can take courage in this verse - that our Merciful God is making us perfect when we are in "long-suffering" situations. But isn't it tough? I'm not talking about enduring long lines or traffic. That kind of patience is for babies. I'm talking about being patient with the child who refuses to obey and being consistent day in and day out. It's the spouse that checks out and you are still to love her or respect him. It's when there really is no 'motivation' to go on - yet you do. That's the tough trying of our patience. I heard one person say they couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel because Jesus was blocking the view. They were walking so close to Him that they could not see the end of their suffering. That is how it should be.
Elisabeth Elliot defined suffering as "Having what we don't want and wanting what we don't have."
~BUILDING~
We have a big green plastic bin of blocks, legos and lincoln logs. This summer we have been getting them out and building different things. A farm, a carnival, a train station. When it comes to building, we do it brick by brick. When it comes to tearing it down, a kick, a swoosh of the arm or a KABAM! (if you are Noah) will do.
Through wisdom is an house built; and by understanding it is established: Proverbs 24:3
Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1
This is how we build our homes too. Word upon word, precept upon precept, line upon line. SIGH. I think the lessons in building are much easier if you have blueprints. What kind of home would we have if we just placed a brick randomly here and there? Thank God, we have His word to teach us.
~oOo~
So there you have it - Summer school at The Santos Times. Don't you wish we were taking enrollments? LOL.

August 02, 2009

Enjoying life

Sorry about the infrequent posts lately. The Santos Times have been busy times. Nothing exciting - just life. Relationships take time. Homework takes time. Broken cars and cameras and computers take time. Eating popsicles and fighting over the seat directly in front of the fan takes time. So you can see that we have truly been busy here in the Santos Household.

Not to mention the continuing saga of....



Our TAX AUDIT! This has taken up a chunk of our mental energy. I can barely say my name after dealing with all the goobly goop and mumbo jumbo with this mess. But, praise God, we are working our way through it. The IRS is still insisting we give them all our money, an arm, a leg, and a few organs - and we are still insisting that we do not owe them anything. So far so good. I think the final round in this battle is here. Only a few more weeks and we will see who comes out on top. Either way, the Lord provides. Should we unjustly have to pay this BOGUS debt, we will do it to the glory of God. Please pray for us.

~oOo~
I wanted to share with you some beautiful artwork that I have come across. I just love these paintings and could stare at them forever.
This one is by Eugene de Blaas. I love the colors and the details. If you click on the picture you may be able to see it more closely. Look at the floor, the way he painted the bricks, and the walls. Doesn't it seem like you can just reach out and touch them? Or pick up that little pink baby?


This is another by Eugene de Blaas. I really like the lazy feel from this painting. Wonder what the net menders are talking about as they listen to the gentle picking of the guitar in the background. Notice the brick in the wall and the detail of the rolled up net. And the clothes, I love looking at women's clothing. All the women pictured here are completely covered - and yet they seem so attractive and feminine - and hard working too.


This is Hans Gude. (1825-1903) I am so thankful to have discovered his artwork. Look at that sky and the rock. I like to look at paintings and try to figure out the color combinations the artist might have used for certain parts - like the grey in the cloud shadow and the rock cliff - they are both grey, but how did the artist get the texture so different? Amazing.



Isn't this Hans Gude beautiful too? Look at it long enough and then you can take off your shoes, wade in the water and watch the clouds move in the sky. You can just imagine the spot of light on the water moving with the shifting clouds.
Anyways, hope your family times are good lately. There is always something to enjoy and be thankful for.

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