January 31, 2012

The end of the beginning

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

WOW! A whole month of a new year gone and all I did was blink.

Outside our window...

Sunshine! Beautiful Sunshine! It is beckoning me and I am ready to look up into it to be warmed!

I am thankful...

For Mr. Santos

I am wearing...

A plaid skirt and a black sweater, black tights, my hair in a french braid and silver earrings.

What are YOU wearing?

Maybe I need some more color today, after all, the sun in shining! I'll tie a little red scarf around my neck.

From the kitchen...

Not much.  Why do we have to eat so often?  'No eating' would do away with so many chores - shopping, cooking, cleaning.  But then it would also do away with the good stuff, like eating.

Last night I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  Meatloaf is gone, but I think I will turn the leftover potatoes into a soup - add some broth, cheddar cheese and broccoli.  What d'ya think?

You comin' over?

I am learning...

That God decides what I will learn.  He truly is in charge of our lives.  The Bible says, He is the "author and finisher of our faith."  This story called my life is His story, if I will allow it.

What would He write if I gave my life fully to Him...no whining, no fear?

A friend, full of faith in a Great and Mighty God, prays this prayer daily:

"Lord, Anything, Anytime, Anywhere"

I think I am ready to take that jump.  It is so scary.  It means letting go of all my plans.

I am creating...

Hopefully, (at least on most days and by God's grace) a simple life of peace and pleasure and learning for Mr. Santos and three beautiful, strong-willed children.

I am going...

to enjoy the sunshine as much as I can today.

I am remembering...

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

2 Timothy 3:12

I am reading...

My Bible daily and enjoying some of the sermons of  T. Austin-Sparks.  Also, working through the "Little House" books with the children.  We are "On the Banks of Plum Creek" right now.  What joy those books brought me when I was a little girl.

I am hoping...

To finish my Income Tax return today.  The government.  You pay them to work, to buy, to sell.  But they want more than our money.  They want our life too.

Pray, pray, pray.

Around the house...

A place for everything and everything in its place.

The joy of owning next to nothing.

One of my favorite things...

Hopping little Junco's trying to eat up the rest of our chicken's food.

A few plans for the week:

Sophia has her cooking class this week.
Violin lessons
Ladies Bible Study
A visit with a friend

Here are some pictures thoughts to share...

These are my People.  My life would be empty of all pain and all joy without these, My People.  

(this taken a couple weeks ago when we had snow. It has since melted)

My Naomi, baloney.  She made the scarf, hat, and coin purse all herself.  
We are very proud of her accomplishment!

January 29, 2012

A new friend

I wanted to introduce you to one of my new friends.  Here is the story of how we met:


I was sitting alone, the weight on my shoulders making it hard to even lift my head.  Where did this weight come from and why was I carrying it?  I know the scriptures.  Cast all your cares upon me for I care for you. But how?

They call themselves Christians, yet they attack me, berate me, condemn me with lies.  Others, they don't claim Christ, but they know I do, attack me, berate me, condemn me.

All my wounds, bleeding.

All the bruises throbbing.

My mind in confusion.

Where are you Lord?  How long will I live among these difficult people?  Am I in sin?  Is what they say true? Is it all my fault?

Somehow I click to the website.  Somehow I click on the message. Somehow the Lord brings into my life a friend who speaks words of comfort and truth.  Through him (God loves to use his people) I knew to lay down my burden and the sin which so easily entangles to run with patience the race that is set before me.

It was as if the dull grey of the Santos Cottage turned into a bright meadow.  Suddenly, the sun was shining, and my confusion was turned to clarity.  Peace and Grace...Grace and Peace...strength to carry on.

Thank you Lord.

Sermon called "Titles of the Risen Lord" by my new friend, T. Austin Sparks.

Audio link to the same Sermon, by my new friend, T. Austin Sparks

If you, like me are searching for the truth, here is an excerpt:

Now this so much explains, does it not, the very title of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gave Him: “When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come” [John 16:13].  “The Spirit of Truth” – the Holy Spirit is THAT!  He is exact!  He is particular!  He sees through everything.  And if you and I walk in the Spirit, we shall be very true.  We shall be very real.  There would be nothing that is doubtful and false about us.  We shall be checked up on everything: upon maybe an exaggeration – maybe an exaggeration, it may be a pretence, a make-believe, anything that is not true, that is false, the Holy Spirit will check us up on that – not because He delights to bring us into judgment, but simply because it is so very important for the building of that which is going to stand, abide, and go through, and go right through to the end, and come out triumphant at the end.  It is so important that right from the foundation the thing should be true.   

The Lord will take us down, take us down, take us down, all to pieces, and bring us right down to the bottom in order to begin with what is true if there’s a superstructure that is unsafe because it is mixed or because it is not true.  And we ought to be thankful to the Lord that He does that.  I am sure we would say: “Lord, let there be no falsehood in my position, no untruth in what I profess.  There should be nothing that is not absolutely real in what people think about me.”  It’s very important.  You see, the Lord Jesus stands as He does, and as He may, to judge, and to be the Measure because He is the true Witness – the true Witness.  That is, He is the embodiment of the Truth.

Now that is a sombre word.  It’s a searching word.  It is not perhaps a very inspiring and uplifting word.  But, you see, after all, this is a title of the Risen Lord – a title of the Risen Lord.  Why did God raise Him from the dead?  Why could He be raised from the dead? God won’t raise a lie!  God will never even resuscitate a falsehood!  He was raised because He was the true Witness.  He had in His Own Person borne a true testimony to His Father, and to the thoughts of His Father.  It’s a matter of life whether there’s truth, you see.  Life can never go alongside of anything that’s not true.  Life demands the Truth.

January 23, 2012

Dear Lovies,

You are growing up so fast! I miss your chubby cheeks and baby talk.  Those cute and fat days will never return. I have seen that Time flies away quickly,  so, before it is gone, I wanted to write to you that you would know my heart.  I want to talk to you about friends.

I watch you, Noah, playing with "the gang" after violin class.  I love the way you all run to get your toy pistols and dive into the 'Wild West' with all its pretend glory and fun.

Sophia, I have seen the girls around you suddenly become young ladies.  One day they are content to climb trees and play dress up, and the next day it is make-up and "boy" talk. You are soon coming into a time of transition in your life with lots of choices to make.

Little Naomi. Sophia and Noah have been your true friends and playmates since you were born.  But now, they are making other friends.  You may feel left out.  Or, as I've watched you, you may just be friendly and get along fine with new playmates. You are so pleasant.

Life is so much richer and enjoyable with friends. Isn't it fun when we invite them over to spend the day or evening?  Don't you love it when we have picnics or hikes together?  I can't imagine life without friends and it is my hope that you make good friends that will stick by you through thick and thin.

However, there is a friend that loveth at all times, a brother born for adversity. (prov 17:17) See, you will soon find out that no matter how wonderful your friends are, they will not love you at all times.  Even your own siblings won't love you at all times.

You will also find that in the day of adversity, your friends may leave you.  Your problems could be too much for them.  It may even be that their adversity ends your friendship.  They might think you can't understand their pain or suffering.

But guess what? WHAT a friend we have in JESUS!

I want you to know this wonderful friend, the one that will never leave you.  I have already introduced you to Him. But I want you to know him personally.  How sad I would be to know that all you knew about Jesus was "My mom knows Him."

I want you to know him yourself, to be intimate with Him.  Go to His house.  Invite Him to be with you.  Spend time with Him, eat with Him, drink with Him.  Find out all the things he loves and hates.  When He wants to do something with you, do it.  When you want to do something, ask Him about it.  Whatever He tells you, believe Him.  He will always be on your side.

Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Look for Him when you wake up and make Him the last person you talk to every night.

Soon, you will know what I know.  You won't just believe it because I am telling you.  You will know in Jesus are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  How exciting! You will also know that in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  What an amazing thing!

God bless you, my dear children, as you grow and make friends.  Please remember, there is only one Person you can count on.  Only one.  Jesus Christ.

With all the love in my heart,


January 19, 2012

Sleds and Tea!

I am having...

Same old Jasmine Tea. But I made a pot of hot chocolate for the children and Mr. Santos
(who is home again due to ice and snow.)
I am feeling...

Also, a little sore. I used my elbow to stop from crashing into a tree this morning (sledding).
Ouch, it hurts.

But, still content.

On my mind...

This moment.  It is all we have, this moment.  Life is so fleeting.  Have you considered the consequences of that reality?  Am I doing what I should (what The Lord wants) in this moment that He has given me?

When I think about this I forgive.  I smile more.  I soften my tone.  I put everything in order.

A quote to share...

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

I have had tribulation in the past.  More may be coming. But right now, I am safe, well-fed, warm, and healthy.  I will use this time to be THANKFUL!

What I did this morning...

I wish you were here!  We could go down the hill together.  Afterwards, I would serve you a thick slice of pumpkin spice cake with a nice cup of (what else?) Jasmine Tea.

God bless you good today.

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

January 18, 2012

Wondering Wednesday

Mr. Santos home for a "snow day"

Hours making snow forts 
(mother watching from the warmth of the cottage)

Sledding, sledding and sledding. 

Dripping wet snow suits hanging over the tub

Wet mittened hands around mugs of  hot chocolate

Oatmeal cookies made

School work done quickly and without enthusiasm 
(only to get out to the sledding hill again)

Chapters read from Little House on the Prairie

Old westerns watched with Dad
(the good guys won)

Mashed potatoes and gravy

Smoke filled kitchen from burned toasted pumpkin seeds

Beautiful rosy cheeks on beautiful bundled up children


What did you do today?

 our backyard today

 Biscuit and Penny in their basket.  They don't like the snow.

This is Penny (short for Companion) She is our new chicken.

January 15, 2012

Happy Sunday!

We had SNOW today!

The children played in it early then came in to enjoy a hot breakfast:

Fried potatoes, salsa/cheddar omelet, fresh fruit and a large pot of steaming hot chocolate.


Also enjoyed a sermon by  Warren Wiersbe
 on the book of Daniel 3:

Credulous Faith is obedience to God if it is POPULAR
Cowardly Faith is obedience to God if it is SAFE
Commercial Faith is obedience to God if it is PROFITABLE
Confident and Courageous faith is obedience to God if it is RIGHT, in spite of the consequences.

When it comes down to it, only the last kind of faith is based on a real fear of God.  When we have a true fear of the Lord, we will fear nothing else.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

January 10, 2012

First Daybook of 2012

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Outside our window...

It is wet from the rains last night. It looks to be a dry day today.

I am thankful...

For my washing machine. What an wonderful invention!

Then again, we might not have so many clothes without it, or the dilemmas of what to wear because of all our surplus. Still, I am thankful for my washing machine.

I am wearing...

Speaking of clothes, I am wearing brown. A brown suede skirt, brown tee and a blue denim shirt over.  I am wearing my hair down today, in curls and big silver hoop earrings.

From the kitchen...

Oranges. Bought a couple bags on sale last week so we have been eating orange wedges with every meal and in between too.

I am learning...

That it isn't FAITH if we can do it all ourselves.  God puts us in impossible situations so that He can do it.  I am learning He wants to increase my faith; my faith in HIM. So often I am not willing to follow Him into those impossible places because of my own shortcomings.

I think of the feeding of the 5000 in Matthew 14.  The disciples saw a great need.  The people were hungry and there was no food.  They asked Jesus to send the multitude away.  I always do that. I pray "God take this problem away." But what did Jesus do?

He said "They need not depart; you give them to eat."

If I was one of those disciples, I would have said "Uh, yeah. O.K. All I've got (and it isn't even mine to give) is a couple loaves and five fishes. Are you kidding me?"

"Bring them hither to me."

You know the rest of the story.

I am creating...

little creatures and pots out of clay.  There were some clay sets on sale (only 97 cents) after Christmas. Each child (and mom) got their own and we are playing with clay all afternoon.

I am going...

To stand on the promises of Christ my Savior and rest today.

I am remembering...

The wonderful morning the children and I shared.  A simple breakfast of muffins and oranges, then Bible reading and hymn singing.  Today, we didn't just go through the motions.  We really rejoiced in the Lord.  How Good God is.

I am reading...

The Psalms

I am hoping...

To write a little story with the children today.  It begins like this:

There once was a chicken named Biscuit.  She had a small family which included a wise older sister named Sophia, a giggly middle sister, Naomi, and a brave little cowboy named Noah.

Biscuit took great care of her little family.  One day, the three siblings got themselves into quite a mishap and if it hadn't been for her quick thinking, I don't know where the little family would be today.

Around the house...

Are organized and stocked up cupboards.  Sometimes the Lord will tell us to do something and we have a choice to do it or not.  Recently, it was on my heart to ready our house and supplies for an earthquake.

My target date was tomorrow (the 11th) and, by God's grace, I made it.  All is in readiness.  Will there be an earthquake tomorrow?  Who knows?  But I am ready.  If there is no earthquake did I not hear from the Lord?  Hm? Don't know about that.  

I once heard a story about a man that felt God wanted him to go to a friend's place of work and tell him the Gospel.  He was to tell him the gospel and invite him to a church meeting. He knew his friend was hostile to anything about God, but the urge to go and tell was very strong.  He went, absolutely positive that it was the day of Salvation for his friend, confident that his friend would listen and heed.

But, while the friend thanked him for his concern, he had no interest in going to church and believed that his salvation was not a problem.

A bit disturbed, the man remained confident that he had heard God's voice and obeyed.  The results were in God's hands.  It was years later, by a wonderful chain of "coincidences" that the man discovered something special about that event.  There was a janitor behind the counter fixing a broken drawer.  He heard the gospel message and the invitation to go to the meeting which was told to his boss.  It was for HIM. The message was for the JANITOR.  The janitor's life was changed that afternoon by the message.  So, we just trust and obey.

If you hear in the news about events in the Pacific Northwest, rest assured, we are prepared. (wink)

One of my favorite things...

pearls ~ so beautiful ~ especially pearl earrings.

A few plans for the week:

Make some more pumpkin bread (I want to freeze a few loaves.)

Here are some pictures thoughts to share...

A chicken alfredo pizza Sophia made at her cooking class.

New Year's Eve walk-n-ride at the beach.

It was COLD that day!

January 07, 2012

How am I doing? Can I do better?

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 
Genesis 2:18

Are you married? Have you considered how you are doing in this area?  I, personally, think about it all the time. But, because of pride I would never ask Mr. Santos how I am doing.  I will ask the Lord and often He will show me areas where I need to improve.  But, no way, would I ask Mr. Santos.  In my mind, I am doing all I can do to help him and  that should be good enough.

But this is wrong.

Our cars need regular tune-ups. Our bodies daily need cleansing. Even nature itself has seasons of renewal. Our relationships (married or not) also need this sort of thing - a tune up, cleansing, special care.

My confession:

I have been lazy in this area, thinking 'Let's just drive it to the end -- Until death do we part.'
I have been prideful in this area.  All the "yeah buts", and "well if only you would's" come to the surface at the mention of a need.
And, I have been fearful.  What if we find out that the problems we have are all my fault?  What if I am going to have to SUBMIT more? Ew!

Again, this is wrong. "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin."

We are negligent in our relationships because of our standards, because of our expectations. Those standards are usually higher than the standards God has for us.

Think about it.

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

God did not wait for us to be perfect before He laid down His life for us.  Yet, that is often what we do, what I do.  I wait until the children are obedient before I praise them.  I wait until Mr. Santos is kinder before I submit to his wishes.  How WICKED of me! Who am I to have higher standards than Holy Creator God? I am but a worm; my life is a vapor.

Are you doing this too? Are you waiting for someone to meet your expectations before you love them with your life?

Jesus commands us to love our enemies; to bless those who curse us.

Here are some definitions of help*

To aid
To assist
To lend strength or means towards effecting a purpose; as, to help a man in his work; to help another in raising a building; to help one to pay his debts; to help the memory or the understanding.
To lend means of deliverance; as, to help one in distress; to help one out of prison.
To relieve; to cure, or to mitigate pain or disease.
To remedy; to change for the better.
To lend aid; to contribute strength or means.

Here are some definitions of meet

To come together, approaching in opposite or different directions

Will you, with me, ask your husband "How am I doing? Is there any way that I can improve as your wife?"

Maybe this question is for your sister or brother or mother, father, friend. God bless you.


* (this post is from my notes on a Bible study called "Godly women in an ungodly world" taught by Janice McBride. If you are interested, her website is www.janicemcbride.com)

January 03, 2012

Thank God for them

I guess we're meant to live with people. Can't get around it. But, there are days when I wish I could live without them. If only I could go to a far away place where no one else is...just me and the trees, some water to look at, and a bit of sunshine.

But, I know, it wouldn't take long before I see something beautiful and want to show it to my children.  Or, I would remember something funny and want to tell Mr. Santos.  Besides, it's cold out there.  I need them to keep me warm.

((loud groaning sigh))

But how do I get around the hurt they cause?

People HURT each other.  They lie.  They get preoccupied. They judge and condemn. They make foolish choices. They are selfish.

I am selfish.

Have you read the book of Philippians lately? Came across this verse today: "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." (1:3).

Oh my. There are some people in my life whose remembrance is anything but good, rather, painful.  The last thing I want to do is thank God for them.  No. It is more like, "God, get them out of my life."

But, I noticed that the scripture did not say, 'I remember how wonderful you are so I thank my God for you.'  Or, 'I thank God every time I remember the good things you do.'

It says, "I thank my God upon EVERY remembrance of you."  He must of remembered some bad things. Just a few lines later he says he is confident that God which had begun a good work will complete it.  He saw the big picture.  He saw that God was in control of the situation -- That God cared for these people and was in the process of changing them...doing a GOOD work in them.

I want to be like that.  I want to thank God upon every remembrance of the people he has placed in my life.  I know He is not finished with me. He is not finished with them either. Be patient.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thess 5:18

We think it is God's will that life be easy and everyone do and be what we want them to. But rather, God's will for us is to be Thankful.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

January 01, 2012

New Year's Resolution

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated Lord to Thee

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
At the impulse of Thy love

Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only, for my King.
Always, only, for my King.

Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages for Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold,
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my love, my God, I pour
At thy feet to its treasure store.

Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Ever, only, all for Thee.


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