October 24, 2011

October Days

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Outside our window...

Sunshine.  (Yipee!) And a  "For Rent" sign for the adjoining apartment.  Scary! especially when I see some of the characters stopping in to view the place.  I wonder who our new neighbors will be?  We will share a wall and a front yard together.  I sigh, and pray and remember that God is in control.  I pray that we can be a blessing to our new neighbors and that they will be a blessing to us.

I am thankful...

That I am in charge of setting my alarm clock or not.  Today, exhausted after a very difficult weekend, the children and I slept in.  We woke up to do chores and had a late breakfast of french toast and pears.  No time constraints! 

I am learning...

That when someone "condemns" me, or accuses me, they are not always telling the truth.  At times, they are merely trying to justify themselves.  It has taken me a long time to learn this and to stop feeling guilty for every accusation made.

From the kitchen...

Nothing made out of a pumpkin! Ha Ha...at least not today.  Tomorrow probably, but not today.

I am wearing...

Shhh! Don't tell anyone...sweats!  And I have the heater blaring too!  What a rebel I am today!

I am creating...

I should say WE are creating an aquarium wall.  Colored pencil art during school

Noah prefers using pens.

I am going...

to rejoice in the Lord always!  I won't wait for the difficult people to get out of my life.  I won't wait for the checking account to be full.  I won't wait for sunny days and lots of energy.  I will rejoice TODAY!

I am remembering...

These words:

You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.

Psalm 139:6

I am reading...

DIY magazines and some cookbooks from the library for fun.

I am hoping...

That I will become a woman who has kindness on her lips.

Today, I realized another "why".  Why do I nag my children so much?  Because, I don't want them to experience consequences and I don't want to administer the consequences.

For instance, if there is a time limit for a job to get done, and I see that the children are playing rather than doing, I will "nag" them to get to work.  "Time is running out!"  "Hurry Up!" "What are you doing?"  "What are you supposed to be doing?"  nag nag nag.  It can be exhausting.

So, no more nagging.  Hoping for kindness only (it will take some deliberate work on my part) and if there are consequences, there are consequences.

I am understanding...

More and more that life is not about conforming others into my image for them, but being (myself) conformed to the image of Christ.

Around the house...

Poetry.  Reading it, copying it, listening to it, and writing our own.

One of my favorite things...

Uncluttered kitchen counters.

A few plans for the week:

Pick up a pack of special markers and a bottle of ink.  We are going to turn some goose feathers into ink pens and also practice the art of calligraphy.

Here are some picture thoughts to share...

Getting ready to feed the calves at a friends house

October 20, 2011

Tea Time

I am having...

A cup of green tea with honey.
I am feeling...

Anxious to leave the house. It is Thursday so we are off to the farm to sell pumpkins.  We will be there the rest of the week.

I love it out there. I have a big Autumn quilt hanging, the wood stove burning, and no distractions.  Even if we don't have a single customer, it is a quiet and precious time.

On my mind...

I was thinking about all the things I want to give my children.  Christmas is coming.  This is a cue for all the Toy and Book companies to flood the mailbox with catalogs.  The children lay on their tummies pointing and dreaming of all the wonderful things in the world that they want.  There are things that they need that don't come in catalogs.

While I was making a mental note of how much I could spend this year, a verse popped into my mind.

And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you;  2 Cor 12:15

There is so much I can give to that does not cost money.  It may cost me sleep, or time, or convenience.  It may even cost me pride.

A Prayer to share...

Lord, What do you want me to give today?  What do you want me to spend?  I know that you will give ME what I need in order to give what THEY need.  Thank you.

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

October 19, 2011

Fall Harvest

Hello! I have been offline for a while.  Life is so different without the internet.  It slows down.  Books get read. Relationships are deeper.  Quiet times are more meaningful because it is not just a pause in the race of life.  

The Santos Times uses the computer for almost everything.  We use it for home school, for entertainment, for research, to pass the time, to communicate, the music we listen to, even some Bible study.  When it is off - truly off - life is different.

The other night Mr. Santos and I sat in the living room looking at the children and at each other.  Naomi was working on a big floor puzzle.  Sophia was engrossed in a book.  Noah was building a road for his cars. 

We didn't talk.  There was no conversation, just a quiet looking at each other. 

Have you ever sat and just looked at your spouse?  For more than a minute?

Try it.  No getting up to turn on the T.V.  No talking.  No time limit.

If you are like us, you'll end up smiling, even if you started off sneering.

Laughing may follow, or smooching,

or both.

We are still enjoying raspberries at the Farm.  Just enough for a happy handful a day. A week of sunshine does miracles over here.  Thank you, Lord!

Raspberries must be eaten immediately.

Here is the pumpkin patch before we officially "opened" for business.

 The pumpkin patch "After"  We will be open until the last weekend of October, then harvest the rest for our friends and family.  We've also been able to give all our customers lots of fresh sunflower seeds.  Their children love finding them in the flower and eating them.

Those zinnias behind Sophia are still bringing me joy, especially from a distance.  The color is still there but not the beautiful flower. Most of them are ready to fall off the stem now.

Oh wait. One left. So lovely!

We grew pumpkins at home too.  Why? I don't know. Are we going to be eating 'pumpkin this' or 'pumpkin that' every day for the rest of the year? Probably. God is good. Did you know that pumpkins are rich in beta carotene, potassium, zinc, and many other nutrients?  Even the seeds are good for you.

Now, if only I knew how to cook them.  Always learning!

I saw this book online.   I may have to buy it!

We've been blessed to harvest several baskets full of potatoes.

And lots of onions and garlic.  I haven't taken the time to make it all look pretty, yet.  The garlic is very lovely and very stinky.  Mr. Santos has a home grown onion nearly every day.

Organically grown apples and pears were being sold for a "song" this week. We put up several bins in the shed.  They won't last long.

Even with all this abundance.  There is a greater harvest coming.

Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Luke 10:2


And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
   And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. Rev 14:15-16

October 11, 2011

Communication that Pleases God

Part ONE here,  Part TWO here

We are controlled so much by the comments of another person.  AND, we control others with our comments.

Here are some practical things we can do for Communication that Pleases God. (taken from teaching by Janice McBride)

#1  The foundation for all Godly communication is humility, whether listening or talking.

#2  The person you are communicating with was created by GOD.  Only God creates life.  If God created this person, than he or she is valuable.  For God so loved the world...even the one standing right in front of you.

#3  Be respectful.  You can disagree without being disagreeable.  "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem the other better than themselves." Phil 2:3

#4  Consider if the person you are communicating with is a believer.  We cannot have the same expectations of both.  A non-believer does not consider the things of the Spirit.

#5  Consider how long he/she has been a believer.   You wouldn't expect a three year old to be able to help you around the house as well as a ten year old, or a sixteen year old.  The same goes with your conversation. 

#6  If they are a believer, am I speaking to a carnal mind or a renewed mind?  Are they more interested in satisfying their needs and desires than doing the will of God?

#7  Why has God allowed this person into my life?  What does God want to teach me through this person?

#8  What character weakness is this relationship surfacing in me?  What character qualities does God want to build in me?

#9  Remember that my Peace and Joy are found in Jesus Christ, not in this person.  They may never change.  They may never see things my way. 

#10  Is it important that they agree with my point of view or am I humble and secure enough to listen to their point of view?  I don't have to agree, but am I willing to listen?

#11  Am I willing to admit when I am wrong?

#12  Do I speak the truth in LOVE?  So many times the things we want to communicate are true and right, but they are said in a prideful or mean way.

#13  Remember that communication is warfare.  "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." Ephesians 6:12

#14  Remember that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." 1 Cor 10:4  That means that carnal weapons are mighty through satan for the building up of strong holds.  We don't want to do that!

What are the carnal weapons we use? Next post...

October 08, 2011

Can't control me, I am free! (part two)

This is part two in a series. Read part one, HERE.


I am a slow learner.  But, thank God I am learning: "Little by little, precept upon precept, line upon line."

This lesson began a long time ago, perhaps years ago.  I wrote about it once, HERE. But that was just a beginning.  I didn't know that, like an instrument, I was just learning how to pluck out the notes.  There would be much more practice and instruction needed before I could play a song.

Do you know what makes me a slow learner? Pride.  I don't want to learn. I just want to know. I don't want to practice. I just want to be the best, instantly.  Consequently, it takes me forever to learn something because when I get to the rough spots, I give up or go to something that I know I am good at.  Or, worse, I pretend that I am good at "whatever."

God has been teaching me about walking after the Spirit.

I cannot walk after the flesh AND after the Spirit.  It is only one or the other.

But walking after the Spirit does not come naturally.  It comes supernaturally.  The first thing to be done is to be born again.  OK. Done, by the Grace of God.

The next thing is to "take up my cross and follow Jesus." Hm. This is a bit harder.  It's not that the cross is heavy. The Bible says "come to me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you...for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  It's the whole following thing.  I don't always want to go where Jesus is leading.

There's the key "I don't always want..."

But what did Jesus do about His cross? He prayed, "If there is any other way, Father let this cup pass from me, yet not my will, Thy will be done."

Walking after the Spirit means giving up my will. Doing God's will.

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other:" Galatians 5:17

In other words, there is a battle going on.  A war.  A constant fight between the flesh and the Spirit.

We forget this.

Anxiety and fear, anger and bitterness, controls me.  Or, because of the goodness of God, it reminds me of the war.

But I can't fight in a war! I don't know what to do! I'm not strong enough, or wise enough, or brave enough.

Sometimes, the thing I am up against is worse than a little criticism. Sometimes, I am fighting against big, ugly, cruel, evil.  Sometimes, it is absolute lies from the pit.  Sometimes it is a wolf in sheep's clothing. I am not sure if it is a wolf or a sheep.

Take courage! Fear Not! Stand firm!

God has given me the tools to fight and not just to fight, but to win!  Next post...the tools (practical things to do and say in the war).

October 07, 2011

An answer to one of my Why's

On the outside I live a blessed life.  There are no outward circumstances that are troubling me.  My family is healthy. We have food, shelter, clothing.  We have two cars.  We have a large and safe place for my children to play and to plant a garden.  We run a tiny farm on the side.  My husband has a job that provides nicely for us. We go to church weekly.  We are free. We are not afraid of persecution or death because of our faith.  When it is cold, we have heat.  When it is hot, we have the beach and forests of trees to cool us.  I am extremely blessed.

But there is something wrong.  Sometimes, I am overwhelmed.  Sometimes, I just cry from pain.  Sometimes, I clench my fists and fight extreme emotions and I cry out, WHY?!!


Why am I so anxious?  Why am I so angry?  Why am I so irritated?  Why do I hate?  Sometimes, I just want to run away. Why?

The Bible is full of the answers.  I am so thankful for God's word to guide me.  But, I wanted to know what the triggers were.  What triggered all of this roller coaster battle in my spirit?  And the Lord has shown me.

A few days ago we were sitting in a cafe and my Sophia was blowing bubbles into her juice with a straw.  I shook my head with a smile to tell her that was not appropriate.  She stopped.  She was the oldest at her table (kids at one table, adults at another) and all the littles were copying her.

Someone at the adult table made a comment about her bubble blowing. "Finally, I see your kids acting like kids. They are always so responsible. I never see them play."

Immediately, I was anxious.  My stomach turned inside.  I felt sick and I could feel my face turning red.  Thoughts flew through my brain as fast as bullets. "Oh no, I have weird kids. I must be controlling. We are bad home school representatives. Do we ever smile? No one can see the love of God in us.  Uh, Oh. We must be a legalistic family."

Just a few minutes later, Mr. Santos made a critical comment to me.  It was not out of line, nor was it untrue.  But it was critical and the stomach churning just got worse.

TRIGGERS.  Criticism. Perhaps condemnation. Someone's opinion. Fear of man.

But I am free!  I am free from condemnation.  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

There are two sides to the coin:  one side, when the "triggers" are inflicted upon me, the other side, when I inflict the triggers on others.  Either way, I become easily overwhelmed.

But GOD is good! He has shown me what to do.  He has made a way for me!  No more being controlled. No more controlling of others!

I will tell you how, next post...

October 02, 2011

October already?

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Sunday Night, October 2, 2011

Outside our window...

Rain. Neighbors packing the car with boxes. They are moving...so sad.

I am thankful for...

A good visit with my sister.

I am learning...

the answer to so many of my "why's"

I will not post to this blog again until I can put it into words.  Maybe it will answer some of your "why's" too.

From the kitchen...

Tea and toast and cold cereal.  We are resting up from a packed weekend with visitors.  It has been a restful evening. And the best thing is NO DISHES to wash.

I am wearing...

A grey dress with a cardigan sweater.

I am creating...

a package to mail. My little nephew left his stuffed moose and blanket.  Those are a must at bedtime so they will be shipped out first thing in the morning.

I am going...

to miss my sister.  It was such a short visit.

I am remembering...

How she laughed and screamed on the ferry boat and on the "spinning missile" at the park.

She can always make me laugh.

I am reading...

 blogs and facebook statuses tonight.

I am hoping...

The weather is nice this weekend for the visitors to our pumpkin patch.

I am hearing...

Mr. Santos speaking on the phone in Spanish to his brother.

The children acting out some little skit.

"you be the cowgirl and I'll be the cowboy."

Around the house...

clutter, clutter, clutter

It'll keep until tomorrow.  It is still Sunday, a day of rest.

One of my favorite things...

Happy Family

A few plans for the week:

Oh my, it's going to be a busy one!
School, Violin Lessons, A wedding shower, help a friend, and four days out at the Pumpkin Patch.

Here are some picture thoughts to share...
 A neighbors pet camel.  His name is "Gobi"

 Here are the Santos' feeding him

Sophia demonstrating the spinning missile that made Auntie Cheri and I scream when we tried it.


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