August 31, 2011

They like 'em burned

Someday my children will be out and about at breakfast time and they may be served something that looks like this...


"I thought we were going to eat pancakes?"  They may question.

"These ARE pancakes silly Santos child."

With bewilderment, they will reply "I never saw any pancakes like this before!  Why aren't they black?"


 No, those little black things are not mini-charcoals.  They are plump blueberries.

Oh so you think it is child abuse to serve such a breakfast?  I would argue and say, "Look at Noah and Naomi reaching for seconds!"
The final pancake was a success by typical pancake standards.  But, after all the children had a taste, they shrugged their shoulders and said "I don't know, Mom. It's missing something.  Maybe you should cook it some more."

August 29, 2011

Envy Revealed (part 2)

So after the Lord gently reminded me of the Great Mercy I enjoy, He told me a few stories.  I had heard them before...Many, many times.  But the Lord has a way of telling a story to make it's application so personal.

The first story was Jonah and the Whale.  Click the link to read it all. It is short.  I could hear the still small voice of God tell my heart "Laura, you are just like Jonah.  You would rather endure a great storm than to have someone that you hate enjoy my mercy.  That is greed.  That is envy."

Oh my goodness, I was surprised by this revelation.  I always thought Jonah was so wicked in his disobedience.  I judged him harshly, thinking "Jonah, how could you wish all those people dead?"  But just as it says in Romans 2:1 whatever I judge in someone else, I am guilty of the same.

I hadn't really gotten the full affect of this revelation before my Lord was speaking to me again.

This time it was the story of The Prodigal Son. I stood in the place of the elder brother, angry.  God, my father came out to meet me, to entreat me.  My response?

"No Lord.  I don't want to celebrate his homecoming.  I have been here working hard for you, obeying, serving.  He has wasted all my time.  I could have had a happy life, but he has made it miserable! Now you want to celebrate!"

Gently, always gently, "Laura, my daughter, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." Luke 15:31 Does God take away his blessing from one child to give to another? No.  He is big enough. 

I was starting to cringe a little at this new idea of me being a greedy envious person ~ wanting all of God's blessing for myself and maybe for the "deserving" people too.  But everyone?  My enemies? Hm.

And finally, there was a third story.  This was the clincher.  This was the pounding gavel that declared, without question, my envy.  It was the parable of the Householder who hired laborers for his vineyard. The Lord showed me that I was standing in the shoes of the workers hired early in the day.  After all, I have been a Christian for many years. 

Payday (the blessings of knowing the householder) was coming.  The thought of my enemy receiving the same as me...

There is a reason why the Bible is full of verses like Proverbs 14:12, which reads "There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Deep in my heart I knew that my obedience to God might actually help my enemy to be saved.  He might not only hear the gospel message, but see it in my life.  I refused to obey.  I thought I wanted to forgive.  I thought I wanted NOT to hate anymore.  But God was trying my heart...revealing what was REALLY there.

Ugh.

Gently, yet Firmly, he said to me, "'Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?" Matthew 20:14

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1John 2:16



So what was I envious of? My neighbors beautiful house? Her easy life? Nope. I was envious of the blessings of God. Not willing to share them with people I didn't like or who I thought ought to suffer. Now that I am typing this out it makes me think of how the Jews treated the Samaritans in Bible times. Wow.

Now I know. I have looked in the mirror and seen the truth. Will I be a hearer only? Or will I be a doer?

A doer. I must. God is faithful, he will not leave me here unfinished.

August 28, 2011

Envy (part 1)

When I think of being jealous or envious, I think of coveting.  Wanting other people's things, their looks, their lifestyle.  And for the last few years I would have told you (and believed it adamantly) that I was NOT a jealous person. 

I have been mostly content.  I see that God is in control of what I have and don't have.  If I need it (or even want it) I ask and wait and receive...or not.  It is usually easy for me to go without and "make due". 

But being envious? No, not really, not me.

But God's Word is "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

And also, "The refining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts."  That means The LORD himself,  will bring to surface the dross - the mess - the sin and yuckiness in my heart.

Why does he do this?  To accuse and condemn?  No.  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  But He is making me, conforming me into His image.  He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

~oOo~

I have struggled for years with one person who provokes me to no end.  It is a relationship I cannot avoid.  I have suffered false accusations, injustice, abuse, plain meanness and even humiliation. 

Hate.

Revenge.

But the LORD says...

"Love your enemies"
"Pray for those who spitefully use you."
"If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat.  If he is thirsty, give him something to drink."
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
"Forgive."

These are hard lessons to learn, But with God all things are possible.  Right?  Right?  Then why was I having such a hard time doing them?

Envy.  Envy can keep you from learning these lessons, from obeying God's commands.
"Lord," I prayed one hard night, "I want to obey you. I want to love this person and forgive.  But I am just full of HATE. Help me."

Gently, I heard his reply. "The Lord shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace." Ex 14:14

"I know Lord, You've said that before.  But I don't trust you."  The hate in my heart started to bubble.  I continued praying, "You are so merciful. You will not give him what he deserves! You are so patient and kind...look how he gets away with so much.  You give him so many chances. And I have to suffer for it while you patiently wait for his repentance!"


Gently, "Laura, my Mercy is given to whoever I will. You have benefited from my mercy. Even now you are benefiting from it."


And then, The LORD reminded me of THREE Bible stories that I have heard a 'million' times.  They revealed the jealousy in my heart.  I was full of envy...and this is why I could not love and forgive this person.

Would you like to know what those stories are?  Stay tuned...


Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:1-3

August 26, 2011

Staycation Spot #1

Believe it or not, we don't spend all our days pulling weeds at the farm.  Ha, I think I would go crazy if we did.  We have had fun this summer going on walks.  I thought I would share a few of our favorites with you.

Our Number 1 favorite is the walk down to Anderson Beach.  This trail is only open during the Summer because of the danger of slides and fallen trees. 

Here are the children ready for the hike down, down, down...


Right away we run into some obstacle across the trail.

 About half-way down you can see the promise of the beach waiting for you.

Uh-oh...more fallen trees.

 At the bottom, the trail level out to a fork.  Which way should we go?
 We went right!

 What a reward for our little hike.  Diamonds on the water...and our own "private" beach.

 But then we have to walk back up! It's quite a work-out.


 That's me in my big floppy hat and of course my yummy boy all covered in sand.
 This photo makes us laugh out loud every time...Sophia Lou, we're loving you!
Naomi, my elevator.

August 25, 2011

Tea Time (but just water)


I am having...

Water with a little grapefruit seed extract in it.  Had my tooth removed yesterday so the extract acts as an antibiotic.  It is hot today, YEAH!  80 degrees with a lovely breeze.  Does it get any better?  
 
I am feeling...

Hurt. And Angry. But, I am also feeling...


That it doesn't matter how I feel.  What am I doing?  How am I acting? 

I say...I love my family...what am I doing to prove that?
I say...I trust God...Am I being obedient or doing my own thing because I *really* trust myself more?

On my mind...

The choices we make.  If you are a Christian, you are a member of a body.  When one member suffers ( or sins), the whole body suffers.  When one member rejoices ( or obeys), the whole body rejoices.

A Quote to share...

FAITH, in its simplest, truest, mightiest form, is-to do God's will in the one thing revealing itself at the moment as duty. ~ George MacDonald

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

August 23, 2011

A kind thought from a friend!


For presenting me with an award...


I never win anything.  Well, I guess I shouldn't say "never."  I rarely win anything.

My blog friend Jo, at Stop...have a chat chose me for this award.  I encourage you to visit her site, especially on a wednesday as she does an Art post then.  I have learned so much from her and always enjoy my visits at her cheerful blog.

1. Link the person back who awarded you
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Answer the following questions below
4. Award this to 10 bloggers (it might be a few less than this!)


Seven things about myself:

  1. I love the clothing style of the thirties and forties.
  2. I cannot eat cheesecake or drink coffee.  Too Bad, they taste so good.
  3. I would love to visit China or Spain.
  4. I feel like I am "winging it" in every area of my life.  Thankful for the Lord who is called "Counselor."
  5. I love living in the Pacific Northwest, even with all the rain.  It is the most beautiful place on earth.
  6. I cannot multitask.
  7. But I am very organized.

Name your favorite color-

Red. But I do love looking at a sapphire blue ocean with sunshine diamonds dancing on it. That is the most beautiful color of all...makes me melt inside.

Name your favorite song-

How Great thou Art...almost any version.  I also like Fernando Ortega's version of Great is thy Faithfulness.

Name your favorite dessert-

Pecan pie.

What ticks you off-

I don't like this question. Sounds "out of control."  What makes me angry is blame shifting.  It is a great distress to me to find it in myself too.

When you’re upset you-

Seek the Lord, of course. Cry. Sigh. Call my best friend. Pray. Eat a piece of chocolate. Pray some more.

Your favorite pet-

Is there a pet that doesn't poop? I love birds. We have a pet chicken. I think parrots are awesome (but I don't like loud squawking) There is a parrot at the farm where we pick up our raw milk.  He always says "Thank you very much. Come again"

Black or white-

White. It is clean and neat and bright.

Your biggest fear-

Being deceived.

Best feature-

I don't know! I guess my smile, though I am pretty plain looking.  My smile is usually genuine though, and a genuine smile is a great feature on anybody.

Everyday attitude-

Trusting in the Lord. Everything in every day is ordained by Him.

What is perfection-

Jo said "Only God, only Jesus Christ, only the Holy Spirit", which I naturally agree with.  But in a worldly sense I would say, high quality beautiful stationery.  love it.

Guilty pleasure-

Sorry, but I don't like this phrase.  Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord and if it brings guilt...better not do it. 

I take pleasure in lying on the beach in the sun.  Oh what a pleasure it is (if it is not too hot. I love a cool breeze)

Some blogs that I enjoy visiting: (but may not accept awards)

Ruth at Daily Divine - if we ever meet in real life, I am sure that we will be able to talk for hours
Pleasant View School House - (eye candy and wonderful Etsy shop)
Think and thinkability - a new blog by a lovely lady
Wildflower Cottage - a simple, unassuming, honest woman who likes poetry (and a good friend).

I could list many many more.  I love blogging and have met so many wonderful people (all over the world) through this venue.

August 22, 2011

Monday Daybook


(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


FOR TODAY

Monday, August 22, 2011

Outside our window...

Night.

I am thankful for...

My sister's birthday today.  Happy Birthday Lisa!

  And the birth of Abianne Elaine...Welcome sweet girl!

I am learning...

that "Ungrateful" (that devil) is always justified.  Stay away! Do not humor him because he is so convincing. 

From the kitchen...

The end of leftovers...too bad.  Now I have to THINK about what to make for the next few days.  It will have to be something with potatoes, since we only have a cazillion growing in the garden.

I am wearing...



A flirty blue and white polka dot dress...my husband's favorite...with some flip flops.

I am creating...


A few batches of meatballs to put into a friend's freezer. 

I am going...

to have an infected root canal removed. YUCK. Turns out it has been infected (unbeknownst to me) for several years and the source of many of my health problems.  It is a clear and wonderful answer to my prayers.  I am happy to see good health and vitality on the horizon.

I am remembering...

The time is at hand...Rev 1:3

The end is at hand...1 Peter 4:7

I am reading...

Fascinating Womanhood.  I'm enjoying it and hating it at the same time.  Have you read this book?  What do you think of it?

I am hoping...

To visit my sisters in California next month.  Pray with me!  My little 'savings' is adding up and I am excited to buy a ticket soon.

I am hearing...

the quiet of the night.  Children all tucked in their beds, visions of chores and schoolwork dancing in their heads.  HA HA! 

Actually, not quite.  We still have another week before we really set to homeschooling.

Around the house...

The kitchen is clean, the dryer is humming, and "Biscuit"  our sweet chicken is in her box at the back door.

I know, I know...but we can't leave her outside...all by herself... in the cold dark night...not sweet little Biscuit!

One of my favorite things...

revelations of truth...so satisfying! but sometimes painful.  Still, a wonderful thing.
A few plans for the week:

Going to the county fair, a visit to the beach with friends, more Bible Bee drills (the contest is SATURDAY! pray for dear Sophia) and rest rest rest.  Thankful that my fatigue is not a sign of laziness but a serious infection.  God is so good to lead us.


Here is a video I am sharing...


We had our church service at the park yesterday. It was a beautiful day as you can see in the video. We shared a yummy picnic and good conversations after the service. Mr. Santos took us for a little walk along the trails and we enjoyed a wonderful day of sunshine. It even got a bit hot in the afternoon. Again, I can't say it enough. God is so good.

August 18, 2011

No time for Tea - just a break


I am having...

Nothing right now.  Just sitting down for a break before I head out the door to the farm.  It is COLD (at least for me) Please please don't go away Summer!  I know this is the opposite of what most of the U.S. feels. But, our warm days have been few and far between this year.  
 
I am feeling...

A bit overwhelmed.  You know when you go to clean out a closet, you have to make a mess first?  It seems that way with the attitudes in my house.  Lots of stuff is coming out so we can get our negative attitudes and  thinking cleaned up.  But what a mess it is making...seems like it will never be done!

Thank God, He is the one doing most of the work. Amazing Grace.

We have been practicing "do overs."  Whenever someone is rude or ungrateful we say "do it over."  Then it must be said or done again but in the proper way.  I'm ashamed to say that I have to do "do overs" just as often as the children.  Guess that is why they are struggling so...because of my poor example.
On my mind...
God's eyes are upon me.
God's ears are open unto me.

I am not alone.  Never.  Nothing, (not even this mess around me) can separate me from his love.
A Quote to share...

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

~ 1John 4:7-11

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

August 13, 2011

Summer Album

 This is one spoiled chicken. 
Here she is bundled up for her nap.
 Sleeping soundly
 Every ant, spider, worm or critter for her pleasure alone.
 The flower pots I admire through my window.
 They make my little grey box of a house smile with hospitality.
 Our pumpkin patch at the farm.
 Those little shoots Mr. Santos is walking over are supposed to be zinnias.  There is still a chance they will come up...if we can get some heat over here.  We have had sun, but no heat...only in the 70's
 The main Strawberry and Raspberry harvest is over, but we still go and pick a small bucket every day.
 My sunflowers.  They seem to be doing well.
 They should be taller than me in a couple weeks.
 Our daily berry ration...a sweet pleasure.
 The MEN. Always tending, working, weeding, sowing.  Mr. Santos puts in 3-4 hours an evening AFTER he gets off work.  God bless him. 
 Not only hard workers...But absolutely HANDSOME too.
 Tasty summer meals.  Corn salad with watermelon for dessert.
 These onions are growing in our back yard. 
 Corn...they are growing tall...but all green stalks still...no corn yet. 
 My tomatoe plants.  Dreaming of salsa from my garden.
One rhubarb plant.  I have never cooked this before.  I once had some strawberry rhubarb cookies that were Divine...maybe that will be this plant's destiny.

August 11, 2011

Tea Time



Please join my dear friend Ruth and others HERE for more Tea Time

I am having...

A cup of Jasmine tea ~ There really is no other tea that satisfies. 

Also, a piece of sourdough toast with homemade strawberry jam.  I like saying "homemade".  It is such a comfortable sounding word, don't you think?  This is my first successful try at making jam (nine pints).  I am a little proud of myself for doing something lasting with a harvest.  I usually just give away (or toss out when it rots- shame on me) any extra produce.

I am feeling...
A bit tired.  It is SO early in the morning, LOL. (6:00 a.m.) All summer I have been going back to sleep after sending Mr. Santos off to work...but today I am up. 

Bad habits are easily made with no effort at all...and some pleasure too.
But breaking those bad habits - oh how hard it is...and painful!

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

On my mind...

My sisters.  I miss them.  (If you read this, Hi Cheri, Hi Lisa, Hi Tina ~ I miss you.) 
 
A quote to share... 

Not very long can any family life go on unbroken. Death will visit every home. While we may, we should live together sweetly, patiently, loving and serving each other in all beautiful and Christly ways.


~ J.R. Miller

August 10, 2011

New favorite Color

My favorite color has always been red. I have a red purse, red shoes, red and white quilt on my bed, red kitchen decor, red tulips in the spring, red strawberries in the summer...red red red.  But lately, my heart has been especially pleased with the color PINK.

It's very feminine and really complements so many other colors...like a good friend or helper.  I thank God for the beautiful colors he has made. 












One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

all images from google

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