November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving - It's my Birthday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful that today I am forty-something.

(I've decided to stop counting my birthdays.)

I am thankful for a lovely breakfast my amazing children prepared for me.


They included peppers in the eggs even though not one of them enjoy eating peppers. 
They did it just for me! Now that's love!


Noah knows what a woman wants. He dressed up and gave me chocolate!
Can you see the birthday banner in the back?


I love presents!


A cozy nightgown with matching slippers.
Just what I wanted! and my favorite color too!


This was my favorite gift. 
Four balloons representing, the sky, the sun, their heart, the moon.

Why would they want to give so much to me?
With all my faults, my children love me.

I am abundantly blessed.

One minute I can't keep from smiling from all my blessings.
The next minute I can't keep the tears flowing from all my losses.

This is a bittersweet day for me.

Through it all, God is good and I am thankful that He never changes.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes. 
Is only the giving good? 
No. Everything God does is good. 
We cannot measure His goodness by our feelings.

O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever.

November 25, 2013

Tea Time


I am having...

Green Tea with mandarin orange.

What would you like?
Would you rather have coffee or I can serve you hot chocolate with marshmallows?

I brought home some fresh baked cinnamon rolls from my outing.
I'll warm one up for you.

I am feeling...

Glad to be home.

I was in Seattle all morning with Sophia. She now has braces!

Pedestrians, construction, detours, one-way streets, cement, parallel parking, traffic.

...So thankful for my quiet country life.
  
On my mind...

Time.

Wasn't God so good to give us time?

We don't need to forgive or endure in 10 year chunks...just this day, or hour, or moment, if need be.

Conversely,

What a pleasure it is to savor each joyful moment, counting them all and stacking them up as a wonderful treasure to go back to over and over again.

A good and perfect gift - time.

A couple pictures to share...



2013

Before the piano recital


2008

Backyard parade

November 22, 2013

Singing in the...




In keeping with the current craze to list "# of things you don't know about me" I thought I would share ONE.

I sing in the shower.

You too?

OK. I'll share another one, but you probably already know this, unless it is your first visit to The Times.

I enjoy making little songs from Scripture.

I recently wrote a tune using 2 Timothy 4:5-8. I like it. All the high notes echo nicely off the bathroom walls.

"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, 
do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

There's something about singing a verse that helps me to meditate on it more closely.  Today, I was really struck by the seriousness of this passage. Every word of it is amazing, but I will just share two ways this verse worked itself into my day.

Story 1: "I have fought a good fight."

Naomi and Noah are sitting on the couch doing school. Both in 5th grade, they share a book for their reading class. Even days, Middle gets to hold the book while Brother is in charge of the remote. (A Beka Academy on DVD)

Naomi: "I can't see the book. Stop wiggling it!"

Noah: "I'm not! I'm gonna pause the class. You're talking too much and distracting me."

Naomi: "I am not! You talk too much! and You wiggle too much!"

Noah: "No I don't!"

Noah throws his arms up in frustration. Naomi slyly kicks brothers foot. The next thing you know, Wam! Kabaam! "Stop It!" and so forth.

Mother comes to break it up.

"Children! Are you fighting a good fight?"

"YEAH!" they shout in unison.

Mother replies, "No, this is not a good fight."

"What's a good fight?" asks Naomi.

"A good fight is when there is a death or the enemy flees."

The children exchange confused glances.

"You should be fighting your selfishness; or your pride, or your anger. Kill it. Put it off and put on mercy, kindness, love."

~ ~ ~  Have you fought a good fight today?

Story 2: "I am now ready to be offered."

Abraham and Isaac walk up the mountain. God has asked the father to offer his son as a sacrifice. Isaac, the son, carries the wood. At the altar, he allows himself to be bound; to be offered. His father decided; his son yielded.

Isaac's willing readiness for whatever his father wanted is AMAZING.

God intervened; he provided a ram. I thought...

Am I now ready to be offered? Am I willing to yield to whatever my Father in heaven decides?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

Today was filled with the same pressures and conflicts of yesterday...even a couple more. The difference was my spirit was calm, as if I was walking up a mountain with my dear Father beside me.

Singing in the shower can really change the day's perspective!

November 17, 2013

Thinking about Him...

It used to be that when I heard "God's ways are higher than our ways" that I would think of tree tops and mountain peaks.


I would admit that yes, His ways are higher, too high to see from where I am standing, but I could see them in the distance. There was the outline, there was the top, therefore, they were understandable.

I believed that, though His ways were far above me, they were within reach. All it took was a lot of effort, struggle, searching.  When "life" happened and I couldn't understand, then I would crane my spiritual neck to glimpse the distance...to try and see the big picture.

Now I know. Now I know that his ways are past finding out.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33

Having a relationship with God is not like any other.  He's too amazing to visit with only once a week. I want to spend every minute with Him.

I haven't always thought this.

He used to be just a good friend. I was thankful to Him and for Him, and I would often turn to Him when I was in trouble. He usually had good insight to give me. Sometimes, I would do what He said. Other times, I would take the counsel of my friends or more likely than not, take my own counsel.

I knew what was best for me.

But life was hard. And it became harder. It seemed my life was always filled with conflict, fear, and pain. Soon, the counsel of friends fell flat. I didn't know what end was up let alone what was best for me. I turned to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He was an ever present help in trouble. I loved Him. I began to seek and search and struggle to get to the tree tops, the mountain peaks. But I never could!

One thing after another would leave me flat in the dust, Humiliated. Devastated. I had no answers.

It was in those humiliating circumstances that God, in his tender mercy, would reveal Himself to me. He would take me Himself to a mountain peak. I had become like a little child, small and dependent, able to be carried on his shoulders to high places. Content with wherever and whatever He wanted for me.

This is the blessing of suffering.

Suffering allows us glimpses into the heart and mind of our Father, of our Jesus, of our all-wise Holy Spirit.

We cannot reach the end of this, one of those "higher ways". Somehow, God takes us at our lowest point and makes it High. It is there, on our face, in the dust, that we learn things, we see things that we would never have seen otherwise.

This marriage separation has been one of my lowest times. I've had low times before, but it seems they were all just steps in a staircase leading down to this. Yet, it is here that God has shown me so much. I have begun to understand Him and know Him like never before.

Isn't that strange? I feel as if I have been walking down down down, but all this time, all this short life of mine, He has been leading me up up up to more of Himself.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

linking up with...

November 07, 2013

It's temporary.

Today is

Bleak, Wet, Cold, Dark.

And so...

I am delighting myself with memories of warm, and bright days.


Isn't Naomi a little "crack-up" in this picture? 
She looks as if she would wilt if not for the popsicle.


The cool joy of a water slide!



Summer enterprises.



Blue skies will come again, I'm sure of it.

I would like to be thankful for the grey dampness. I'm trying.

I'm thankful for a warm house.
I'm thankful for electricity and a warm bath.

Oh my, I'm SO thankful for that! It's one of my favorite things.



I'm thankful for a full pantry and fridge. We enjoy so much abundance.


And I'm thankful for these beautiful pictures Sophia took.



They remind me that Grey Skies are temporary.

And so are Sunny Days.



"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,
 and to sing praises unto thy name O most high." 



I am looking forward to the promise...
"That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."





November 03, 2013

November!

"While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, 
and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night 
shall not cease."
Genesis 8:22



(click on the picture above to join in other daybooks)



For Today

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Outside our window...

A thick carpet of leaves, branches and pine needles.
We enjoyed a blustery storm yesterday.

I am thankful...

For all the lovely comments left on my blog and Facebook.

Thank you, if you are one of the lovely people who commented. You have encouraged me so much, and I am happy that we can share our Times with such loving people as you are.
Thank you, especially, for your prayers.

I think of that time when God comes to Ananias (Acts 9) and sends him to Saul "because he prayeth." God hears and acts on behalf of our prayers...they have worked to sustain me and my family.

I am wearing...

A black skirt and a burgundy blouse. I love this color burgundy ~ red with a hint of brown in it.
I am also wearing antique earrings from my mother...gold stars with deep red rubies in the center.

The points from the stars sometimes poke a person's cheek when I give hugs.
So, if you see me coming with open arms, WATCH OUT!

From the kitchen...

Well, let's see.

I had a simple lunch of fried eggs with shredded Parmesan and sliced avocado.
It was perfect with two pieces of cinnamon toast and Jasmine tea.

The children are not "home."
Is this their home? Or is that their home?
A separated husband and wife causes such chaos in the lives of the children.
Yet God's grace is sufficient. Does that sound like an excuse?

It's not.

It's my only hope.

Anyways, I have some things planned for our menu when the kids are here at the Main House:
French Toast
Tacos (of course)
Soup
Chicken sandwiches
...and more.

I am learning...

That God is glorified by FRUIT.

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; John 15:8

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.

When is this fruit most evident? During the tough times.

The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine.

So, a fruitful life is by God's grace.

I am learning to be thankful for the suffering in my life.
How else can I bear fruit worthy of my Lord?

Love is delicious when responding to hate and rejection.
Joy is nutritious in gloomy situations.
Peace satisfies when fear is looming.

There is no such thing as "long suffering" without tough times.

O Taste and see that the Lord is good! 
Blessed is the man that trusts in him. 
Psalm 34:8

I am creating...

new traditions
new habits
new goals

S.L.O.W.L.Y.

We are living day by day at The Santos Times...one of our new habits.

I am going... 

to finally send off our blankets to VOM tomorrow afternoon. We had a few more trickle in.


I am remembering...

That Sophia and Naomi are waiting for me to make an entry in our "Mother/Daughter" Journals.


They each have their own to share with me.

I am reading...

"Her Mother's Hope" by Francine Rivers. Actually, I just started it today. Picked it up from the library on the recommendation of a friend. We'll see if it is good or not.

Also doing a Bible study with some girlfriends on



Around the house...

It is quiet.
I am getting refreshed for a new week of school and
 music lessons and all the bustle of being
Mom.

A quote to share...

And there are my children! My darling, precious children! 
For their sakes I am continually constrained to seek after an amended, a sanctified life; 
what I want them to become I must become myself”
~ Elizabeth Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward

Some of my favorite things...

Eating lunch with a view of the water, especially if that lunch is Fish Tacos.

A happy, peaceful smile from my children.

A few plans for the month:

Sophia gets braces.
All the kids have their first Piano Recital.
Music Olympics.
Thanksgiving.
My birthday.

Some picture thoughts to share:



On a hay ride with my lovies. You can't tell we are related, can you?



A pretty Autumn view last week.
Can you smell the crisp, cold air?

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