Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Windows And Hot Dogs

 Okay, so as you can tell by the name, it's another crazy post of mine ;)

 So, this happened a few years ago.... a little too recent for me to list exactly when it happened ;) (also because I can't remember the exact time) :P

 Our family went to a friends bunkhouse to help clean it, and while we were there the church had Youth Night there at the bunkhouse.

 While trying to get the bunkhouse cleaned in time for the "kids" to come, my sister was washing to sliding glass door.... and she did her job all too well. :P

 While bustling about doing the last minute cleaning, and whatever else need done; my brother, and I think Dad...? were getting the fire pits ready outside for roasting marshmallows and hot dogs.

 Just as the cars our friends were in, were turning down the quarter mile drive way; my sister came running in from checking the fire pits, and didn't realize that the glass door was shut.... and slammed right into it.

 Now, they were all in their cars, coming down the drive way, and no doubt couldn't see her hit the window... but she was embarrassed just the same as if they had seen it.    And I laughed..... NEVER laugh at someone.... it will happen to you... only worse. :P

 Later that evening, I was part of about the largest group of youths, sitting around one of the fire pits, roasting hot dogs.  We had to go inside to get the buns and such to put the hot dogs on... which meant going through that blasted door.... :P 

 The pastor's son was just ahead of me going through the door, so I figured he would leave the door open.... well, I had to think again. :P haha

 I was talking to one of the pastor's oldest sons, and a few of the girls; when he (the son) said something to me as I was about to go through the door.  

 I also happened to be holding my hot dog on a stick in front of me as I walked... and when I turned to see what he was saying to me - I hit the door that the other son had just closed. :P  

 Now, when my sister hit it, it made a small thud noise..... but me? NO!  When I hit, it was a loud KABLAM!! 

 But, not only was it loud... I was talking to a group of people, who all happened to be looking at me at the time.  When they started laughing, Everyone had to look. :P  

 It really would have been funny hitting a window, while talking to several people, and making a loud noise..... if it hadn't been for the hot dog squished on my forehead; and the black greasy smudge left on the window. :P 

 That was super embarrassing for me at the time... but trying to be tough, and not cry over something so silly.... I stood up tall, and walked inside like nothing had happened.  (big mistake)

 Just as soon as I got inside, the pastor's son (the one who closed the door on me :P) seemed to have missed what had happened.... or at least pretended to. :P  And instantly pointed at my head and said "you have black grease on your head" 

 If ever there was a time when I wanted to crawl under a rock, it was then. :P 

 So, I think I effectively learned my lesson.... don't ever pretend nothing is wrong, when the whole world can see there is.  It just makes you look like a bigger fool :P 

   Anyway, I have a million and one more stories like that... but haven't the time to type them all up. :)  And y'all probably don't want to read any more like this. ;) 


                  Just for kicks and giggles. :) 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Finished Baby Quilt

 This is the first block completed.  Everything but the bonnet, arm, and apron is satin stitched. :)
 This is the second block completed. Like the other, all but the bonnet, arm and apron are satin stitched. :)
 This one came third, and even the bonnet is satin stitched on this one. :) So, it took a little longer than the rest of them. :)
 This one was a puzzler, as I couldn't, for the life of me figure how to do the crazy french knots. :P haha
 Unlike some think.... those are both kittens, not dogs. ;)   The heart is added in by imagination. :)
 This is my favorite block, because of the colors, and she just looks gentle, and dainty as little girls should be. :)   The spots on the cat are added in by imagination. :)
 This one, you can't see very well... but the flowers on the dress are a different shade of pink from the rest of the dress. :)
 The wood grain on the trim work, and chair legs was all added in by imagination. :)
 This is the final block for the pillow. :)  The basket is satin stitched with different browns and all.... you just can't see it well in the picture. :P
  This is the front of the finished pillow. :)
 This is the back of the finished pillow. :)  It's a light lavender. :)
 The front of the finished quilt.  With lace added, the seams stitched over with hearts, the white squares tied, and the butterflies quilted on all the purple blocks. :)
 This is one of the butterflies; there is one on every purple block. :) (not the strips... just the blocks)
 Detail picture of the lace around the edge; the tie in the white blocks; and the heart stitching over the seams. :)
 The plain, white back. :)
 The corner of the plain, white back ;)

 So, here are the pictures for you all, because that's probably all most of you will get to see of it.

 All of the stitching was done by hand, excepting the hearts along the seams; that was done with a machine.

 I hand quilted around every one of the little girls, and hand stitched the butterflies.   All the quilting was done before I put the back piece on, so the back is just tied. :)

 After a year spent on this thing, it will be hard to part with it. :/  But the little girl it's going to is so sweet, and precious; and I trust her mother to teach her to care for it properly. :)  So, knowing her mother, this quilt should last for the next generation. :D

 Sorry it took so long to get the pictures up..... I had it almost done, then Mom and my sister kept suggesting other things to do on it.... such as the butterflies..... so, it took longer to finish than I thought. :P

 My sister drew the stencil for the butterflies..... (I could Never draw that good.)  :)

  So there you have it. :)

                  To God be the glory. :)  He's the one who made me able to do all of that. :D

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Proverbs 31 Accountability List

 Alright, this has been running through my head for some time now, and I'm finally getting around to putting it together. :)

 We all know Proverbs 31 is the example for Christian women to emulate.   So, herein I intend to break it up in smaller bits to be better evaluated. :)

 Here I intend to put together a "check list" of sorts, so we can evaluate just how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go.
 To label specifics so to speak, so we can better focus on improvement in certain areas. :)

 Proverbs 31:10-31

1) - Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
 The goal is to be virtuous.  The question to ask is, Am I virtuous? 

2) - The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
 Now, most of us are not married yet, so we tend to think P31 is not for us until then.  Wrong. 
 The goal here is to be honorable so that our husband (now, or in future) can safely trust in us.
 Am I honorable?

3) - She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
 Am I doing good? or am I not really caring about the outcome of my actions?

4) - She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
 Am I working willingly?  Do I work at whatever task comes my way, and doing it willingly?  Am I willing to try new things for the good of others?

5) - She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
 Do I feed my family properly?
 Am I looking out for their health?

6) - She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
 Am I willing to be up all night, or get up early... essentially to give up sleep in service to others?

7) - She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
  Am I creating a home industry that will support my family?

8) - She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
 Am I keeping in good enough health to be of use?

9) - She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
  Am I making quality things, putting effort into them to make them good enough? Or am I slapping it together to save time?
 Am I willing to work long hours to support my family?
 Am I willing to keep my home open to any who are in need? Keeping an hospitable light shining?

10) - She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
 Am I skilled in the necessary things to clothe my family properly? and to make the things they need?

11) - She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
 Am I willing to help whoever God sends my way, regardless of rank, social standing, cleanliness.... or whatever?
 Do I reach out to the needy, and meet them where they are at?
 Do I love others unconditionally?

12) - She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
 (A different twist here) Am I fearing things other than God?
 Am I looking to make things comfortable for my family?

13) - She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
 Am I taking care of how I, myself dress?
 Am I being certain it is modest and covering, enough to not cause others to stumble?
 Or am I settling for second best, and not really caring how I represent my Lord?

14) - Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
 Am I backing my God given authority in his endeavors?
 Am I being supportive of him, and giving him a good name?

15) - She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
 Again; am I being industrious and helping to provide for my family?
 Am I being productive and therein making the world better for others?

16) - Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
 Am I clothing myself with strength in the Lord?
 Am I bringing honor to my God and husband/father?

17) - She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
 Am I watching everything I say, and being certain I say only good things?
 Am I being kind in what I say?
 Is what I'm about to say wise? or is it better left unsaid?

18) - She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
 Am I making sure my home runs smoothly, and keeping busy about my work spreading the love of Christ?

19) - Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
 Am I (going to be) raising my children to love and respect their elders?
 Am I being a good influence on them, or the children of others?

20) - Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
 Rather than thinking - I'm doing better than others... - am I following the highest standard to the best of my ability, caring nothing for this world; but striving to be like my Lord?

21) - Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
 Am I fearing only God, and striving to be like Christ, rather than getting caught up in the vain favor of the world?
 Or am I trying to be pretty, and gain the favor of men rather than God?

22) - Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
 If the works of my hands could be known to all around, would they bring me shame? or would they be praiseworthy?

 So far I am doing very poorly on the above list.

 Now that it is divided out, and broken up as a task list, I can see exactly what I have left to do, and can therefore focus my efforts on those things a bit better.

 How are you doing on the list?  Are you surprised at how much you do have of it? or are you disappointed at how much you don't have?   (no need to answer this here, you are to ask yourself this question) :)

 You see, filling the role of a woman is far from boring.  There is so much we as women are to do.  Why do we compete with the men for their role, when there is so much for us to do?

 There you have my thoughts on this.   I'm certain you wouldn't "translate" some of it the way I did... but you get the idea of what I mean. :)   If you have a different idea of how to do it, please let me know. :) I'd love to see your take on it. :D

         To God be the glory

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Just (don't) Make It Go Away

 When the pain is so intense there is no relief for days.  When memory... racking memory, haunts you.  The future taunts you.  There is no end in sight... what then?

 When fear, and hope drive you into a dark corner, and there is no way out.... what then?

 When the future seems gone, and it's painful to look back at the past; where do you turn?

 It seems there is a rash of hard days... maybe as much as a week; there is such a heavy tugging at your heart - such an empty, hollow feeling.  Empty... searching for something - someone... it's like a vacuum.

 After so many days of intense hardship; being torn between hope and disappointment; fear and faith.  When dying would be easier...

 Just when you hit the breaking point, and everything within you is crying - No more!! Make it stop! Just make it stop!! - then it hits...

 The sudden jolt.

 Nothing seems to matter...

 Almost don't care about anything...

 Feel absolutely nothing...

 You ask yourself - What's next? - and almost don't care if the answer is - Nothing -

 At times there is still a longing for something... but it's like it doesn't matter if there is anything or not.

 It's wonderful to have a break from all the intense pain... all the heartache, and fear...  But part of you seems missing.

 I think it's those times God is saying - I'm what you need. I'm all that you need. I'm the only one that can help you through the pain, and the uncertainties. Only me -

 God wants our emptiness.... because He wants to fill it... He loves us, and is always there to help... if we'll just call upon Him.

 But, it doesn't stop there....

 In all the pain, in all the uncertainties, the uneasiness, fear, and disappointment; we cry out to Him. We ask His forgiveness, and mercy. We ask for His help.  

 But that's only half.

 The empty, feeling nothing, not really caring.... When we're finally quiet... that is when we hear Him.  That is when we listen to Him.  And that is when He speaks truths to us that we wouldn't hear otherwise.

 Yes, He speaks through the trials. He speaks through the testing.   But it's when we take time to reflect, and see what He has brought us through... that's when some more truths are made known.

 Then the pain hits again... and usually worse.  But we know our Savior better because of the quiet time... and we are better prepared for the next onslaught.

 Going through the pain... is so hard!  But the end is worth it!

 We go through a cycle of feeling like we're doing so much... and nobody sees.  Then we feel we're doing nothing, and others are just being nice when they say we're worth keeping around...

 Watching others all around going on mission trips; getting married and raising a family; writing books; keeping up with several amazing blogs; keeping their house spotless; doing all sorts of wonderful things... and here I sit... doing nothing.

 Sure, I have a blog... obviously ;) Yes, I do a bit of sewing, needle work, house work and the like.... but it seems that's it.   Yes, those things have to be done. Someone has got to do them... but my heart aches to be useful; to be part of something big...  But it doesn't have to be big.  It has to be God.

 I have "a way with words" as my family says... where I mean one thing, and say another.  Such as, instead of - When I look at you, time stands still. - I tend to go with - Your face could stop a clock. - >.<

 How is that supposed to do any good?   How is that supposed to help anyone?

 I see others around me hurting... and I want to help.  But what to say?   Yet, it's not what to say, it's what to pray.  There's a big difference.

 It's not what others see us doing... it's what God sees us doing.

 It's not what others think... it's what God thinks.

 It's not what we want... it's what God wants.

 Yes, we want to see the fruit of our efforts now!  But that may not be what God has for us....

 It may be that we won't see the fruit of our labors until we pass into eternity.  

 But that doesn't matter.   We're working toward a Heavenly crown.

 The rewards the world has to offer will one day gather dust, and be forgotten.  They won't be worth a thing.  They won't be treasured, or valued.  They'll be thrown away in the trash heap... and be no more.

 But the Heavenly crown we're aiming for will never be forgotten.  It will never gather dust, or rust.  It will never lose it's value.  It will never be taken from us.   It's there to stay.

 "Though none go with me, still I will follow."  Christ wants our all.  Even the emptiness. 

 I Have Decided
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back. 

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back. 

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.

 Whether the pain is more than I can bear alone, or whether the empty - feeling nothing - feeling is there.... I will press on.

  It is worth it to continue on.   Even if it's just to say an encouraging word to an occasional passerby... it's worth it.  

 Looking back at all that God has been teaching through it all.... I wouldn't trade it for anything.... not even having my dreams come true.... not even that.    Because the end God has in mind is far greater than any I could ever imagine.

 One day He's coming back for me... and I want Him to find me faithful, even when the pain is more than I can bear. Even when I feel worthless. Even when the emptiness gets to be too much at times... I want Him to find me faithful.

 Luke 16:10
 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 

 Rejoice In The Lord
God never moves without purpose or plan,
When trying His servant, and molding a man. 
Give thanks to the Lord, tho' your testing seems long. 
In darkness He giveth a song. 

Oh rejoice in the Lord, He makes no mistake. 
He knoweth the end of each path that I take.
For when I am tried, and purified. 
I shall come forth as gold. 

I could not see through the shadows ahead,
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead. 
I bowed to the will of the Master that day,
Then peace came, and tears fled away. 

Now I can see testing comes from above. 
God strengthens His children, and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care.
Through purging, more fruit I will bear. 

  So as the pain gets worse, instead of hearing me crying out to God with "I can't handle it! It hurts too much. Just make it go away..." rather, you should hear "It hurts! Just don't make it go away... Thy will be done." because of all He has in store for me that couldn't be done without these trials.

            To God Be The Glory.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Confession

 Alright this has been weighing on me for a while, and I've been putting it off.   So, here it is finally, 'twill be done and no need to be bothered by it anymore. :) 

 You all may think of me as the kind that has to be in the middle of everything. And you're right.  But I'm also a watcher.  

 I love to take part in everything that goes on.  Mostly when there is lots of fun. ;)   I love people, and want to be there for them.  Be it goofing off, having deep discussions, or trying to help them through hard times or trials. 

 But, I have always felt that I don't fit anywhere.  So, in trying to fit I get in on everything: debates, joking, teasing, discussions, you name it.  Then when I don't seem to fit in, I get to feeling less than acceptable, and so pull out and don't hardly take part in anything.  So yes, I'm weird.  Always have been. ;) 

 I've always had a need to be with people. One that I'm trying to overcome. (haha)  So in trying to fill that need, I tend to over burden all you dear people. :P Terribly sorry about that. 

 I get in on all the fun, and the debates, or whatever... but I seem to be looking on from the outside.  It's like everyone else is having fun, and I'm looking on.  I don't fit. 

 It always seems I'm looking on. 

 When others are having fun, I'm looking on laughing.  Or else getting involved and spoiling the fun for others. 
 When others are debating, I look on in amazement.  Or else take part, and spout my ignorance. 
 When others are hurting, I look on and ache to be of help.  Or else try to help, and just make things worse. 

 Lately I've struggled with seeing others having fun.... and I don't fit. 
 Struggling with others being so smart.... and I don't fit. 
 Others are hurting.... and I want to help.  But I have my own hurts that need dealing with. 

 For most of my life I tried to just fit in, or make others fit in with me.  That didn't work. 

 The last few years I've realized how selfish I've been... and in trying to fix it, I've just made bigger messes. 

 I've been hurt because of my own ignorance and recklessness.  It's been my own fault.  For a few years I've just focused on that.   Focused on my own shortcomings so much, that now I have trouble accepting who I am in Christ. 

 My focus has been wrong.  And God has been dealing with me on that lately.

 The last three years I started to see the hurt around me, and got the idea that if I could help others maybe I couldn't get in anymore trouble myself....   So I internalized my own hurts, and thought I had gotten over them.   I thought if I internalized them, and just never let them out... they'd go away.  HA!  They just got worse. 

 I've been internalizing my own hurts, and giving, giving, giving.  I feel so selfish if I'm not giving.  

 Now I'm an onlooker in life.  I see fun, but don't seem to fit in.  I see "fights" but can't seem to take part anymore.  I see hurt, but don't know how to help.  I have my own hurt... and can't do a thing about it. 

 I see others enjoying themselves... and I sit back and laugh until it hurts; not because of the laughing... but because I don't fit.  
 I see others debating, and I sit back in awe... until I start to feel guilty for not helping... or else making a mess of it. 
 I see others hurting... and my heart aches because I can't do a thing about it.  And I want to. 

 I see others together with those they love.... and I sit back in the shadows with all my dreams staring me in the face... all those dreams I thought I had given up... 
 When the one you love, loves someone else... what do you do?   How to deal with it?   How do you help them, without them knowing what you're feeling?   How do you know about them being with another... and know how to deal with it? 

 When all your dreams are shattered right before your eyes.  When there is so much uncertainty and heartache... how do you deal with it? how do you help them... when you, yourself need help?   When the only ones you can turn to are too busy... then what?   When the one you love the best  is giving the love you always wanted, to another... then what? 

 When all your dearest friends either move away, or get busy... who do you turn to? 

 I'm always open to new friends... always.  But at times one misses the old friends... 

 So when you, yourself are open and bleeding inside... how do you hide it?  How do you help others when you don't know how?  How do you give to others when you have nothing left to give?  

 I know, I haven't been hiding it well. I don't know how to.  
 I tend to think that everyone knows everything about me, so I go off that assumption and allow things to hurt me that were never meant to be hurtful. 
 But along with that, I go on as if nobody knows any of it.  And so come across as self confident and stuck up. :P   When "self confident" is the farthest thing from my mind. And I'm always straining every nerve not to be stuck up. (which - thus far - has been a failure.) :} 

 I've internalized for so long... I honestly have been afraid to let it out.  I don't know how to let it out.  And to who?  Who is it appropriate to open up to?  Is it right to open up?  Isn't it selfish? 

 I've been telling some of you not to hold it in. Don't internalize.  It's so damaging... believe me. I know.   I've been telling you no problem is too small to take to God, and to talk to others about.   I've been telling you that you are worth it, and no matter how "small" the problem, it's legitimate and needs to be dealt with....

 And I believe that.   I would never tell you something I don't believe.   I could even give chapter and verse for a lot of what I say.... but when it comes to me... I have trouble applying it. 

 I tell you you're accepted by God.  I tell you that when your friends walk away, it's not what you did... it's them that's missing out.  The problem is with them... and I believe that. 

 But for me, I have this thing in the back of my mind, that I'm somehow subhuman.  That I'm not worth it.  That I'm the problem.  That I'm not enough.  That I didn't do enough.   
 All those things I've told you... I can't believe for myself.   Thanks to a "brother" (you know who you are... {see, I didn't use your name ;D} haha) I've been seeing just how wrong that is. 

 In all of this, I've been telling you all to bring your struggles to Him. The Almighty God.   ...But when it's me... I feel I'm not good enough.  My problems aren't worth His time. I'm not worth Him messing with. 

 I pray for most of you daily.  Certain ones of you I do pray for daily.   But me... I had't prayed for me since... I can't remember when. 

 I've been learning through my trials, yes.  God has been revealing Himself to me more, yes... but not to the level He could... because I've put up a wall. 

 I've put up a wall... not just one, many.   Some people I let past the first wall, and no further.  Others I'll let a little further in... but there is still reserve.  There's only one dear "sister" that I've let in most all the way... but even with her, I haven't let her all the way in; because I've been afraid of what people would say if they knew all about me. 

 All of my life, I've struggled with the way I look.  How all you girls around me are so pretty. You're all "raving beauties" in one way or another.  I'm not.  I never have been pretty... "homely" might be too pretty to describe me. :P 

 All my life I've struggled with my weight.  How I've always been "huge" instead of a toothpick and all, like other girls.    I've been called "fat" so many times that I've lost count. (and yes, I was counting for a while :P)  I've laughed it off every time... but inside it cut to the quick.   I can't do a thing about my weight.   For five years I was mowing lawns in the neighborhood.  I was riding my bike two miles to the store and back, every chance I got.   I walked all over town, and did as much bike riding as I could.    The weight is not a lack of exercise by any stretch. 
 I never ran much, because of the over weight "jiggle" that was/is terribly embarrassing;  and because I have asthma, and can't breath after running for only a few yards. 

 I have lost a bit of weight recently. The asthma is getting better. I can run a fair distance now... but I'm still far from normal. 

 For years I've laughed off the insults because, fat people are always portrayed as being wimps, and weepy.  So, when you're fat you don't cry under any circumstances. Ever. 

 When I was little I earned the nick name "Happy Hallie" because I was always laughing.  Well when I got fat, and quit being cute, and couldn't do things the same anymore, and got hurt a lot; I couldn't suddenly change and be serious all the time.    I'm still a bit crazy and all ;)  But certainly not the "Happy Hallie" I once was.  So up until now, I've laughed things off outwardly, and internalized the hurt. 

 I've always felt shut out... so my solution was to force my way in.  That's wrong. 

 Two years ago, I had the opportunity to be going to a doctor regularly concerning certain health issues.  Not that I like going to doctors... bah. >.<  But because we wanted to see if anything could be done about these issues. 

 One day we had an appointment; a few days before, one of my dreams - which I had finally "given up" - was crushed.  Yes, I had given it up... but it still hurt.  Then we had the appointment, and the doctor half told me that another of my dreams would probably never be... that crushed me flat.  It still hurts. Some days I can't deal with it.  It's one dream that I've always had, and is important to me...  and that dream is... gone. 
 Later that day I saw a friend, that I love dearly.  And I saw my dreams there, crushed. 

 In one weeks time, my whole future was crushed.  There was nothing left of it... and still, there doesn't seem to be anything left of it. 

 But you know... God is still there.   

 When I've fallen short, when I've run out of things to give. When my dreams have been crushed.  God is still there. 

 He does care about me.  I do matter to Him...  No, I'm not worthy His love... but that's not the point.  I don't have to be good enough for God.  It's like Mike Warnke said "do you have to clean up to take a bath?"   I have to be willing for Him to do His will.  And He will make me good enough. 

 A few months ago, a very dear friend told me that I was good enough... but I couldn't bring myself to believe him.  Not only was that dishonoring to him, and saying he was a liar - which he is not! I don't know anyone more truthful, or more honorable. - but it was also dishonoring to God.  It was calling Him a liar!    How wrong of me!

 The last few months, I have started to really pray about my own troubles and struggles.  And God has been helping me. :)   And since He's been helping me, I've been better able to help others of you. :)  

 Tho' I still feel that I'm not doing enough.  I still feel I don't know enough, I don't understand enough.   But that's not what matters.    The other day I was really down.  I actually prayed for strength to get through it, and asked God's forgiveness for not doing/being enough.  And He seemed to whisper to my heart "It is enough. You're doing it in My name, you're doing it for Me. It is enough"  And you know. That whisper, was enough to make me keep pushing. :) 

 Recently some of you have said things like "thanks for being a friend" - "I trust you" - "you always know just what to say. That really helped" - or even when I say "what's up?" and the answer comes back - "oh, nothing... got a minute?"  it's those times that makes my heart sing. It's those times that make it worth while. It's those times life is worth living.   So, those of you who have said that (you know who you are) Thanks! :D 

                                                                It Will Be Worth It All

                           Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,
We're tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;
But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,
All tears forever over in God's eternal day.

 Sometimes the sky looks dark with not a ray of light,
We're tossed and driven on , no human help in sight;
But there is one in heav'n who knows our deepest care,
Let Jesus solve your problem - just go to Him in pray'r.

 Life's day will soon be o'er, all storms forever past,
We'll cross the great divide, to glory, safe at last;
We'll share the joys of heav'n - a harp, a home, a crown,
The tempter will be banished, we'll lay our burden down.

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

 Serving Christ is always worth it. :D  

 So yes, at times I get discouraged, and my spirits are low... but I have Christ walking with me. 

 I may not have much of a future to look forward to... but I have Christ! That's the best future anyone could ask for. 
 I may not know what the future holds... but I know who holds the future.  :)

 No, my trials are nothing compared to others... but they seem more than I can bear at times.  That's okay. Because God helps me carry the load, and He walks with me all the way.  Just as I've said He will for you.... He will for me. :)  

 I don't have to live in a dream world anymore because I can't deal with reality... I don't have to "deal with reality" I can give it to Christ, and He'll take care of it for me.  

 But giving it to Christ is a daily thing.  And while it removes the load, and I shouldn't be bothering with it anymore... that doesn't cut out responsibility.    I'm still learning from it. I'm still having to choose to serve Christ daily. I'm still having to give Him my all. Without reserve. 

 So, there you have it.  Now you know why I bug the lot of you until you just can't stand the sight of me, and then suddenly drop off, and you don't hear much of me for a while. :P haha.  Sorry about that.  Moderation is not part of my character, and is something I need to work on.  But, by God's grace I will conquer. :)

 In all of this I want more than anything, for others to see Christ in me. To see Christ through me.... and I must say, I have not done Him justice. I have not served Him with my all.  And therefore have given mixed messages on many things.   I'm terribly sorry.  That's my faulty human nature coming through. :P 

 And after all of that, if anyone has bothered to read this far down... haha  Thanks. :) 

 After all the blessings God has given, I have no room to complain. :) 

                    To God be the glory!  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There's More...

 Alright... I have this need to write a new post... but am not sure what about. So, we shall see what this all comes to by the end of it ;)

 God has been working on me the last couple weeks, and it's been amazing... yet hard at the same time.

 My feelings have been such a jumble... most days are just hard, and I can't sort things out, and I feel like crying all day.  But other days, I don't feel anything. It's like the emotions have been shut off, and there's absolutely nothing.... nothing. It's weird. To say the least.

 The last few days I've been trying really hard to focus on my feelings, and sort them out... make sense of them... then I remember I'm a girl, and it's hopeless ;) haha
 Okay, back to being serious...

 In trying to sort out my feelings, I realize, there is no making sense of them.  And then God says "that's because your focus is wrong... you're focusing on how you feel, instead of Me"  Wow.  I've been slighting God all week, without realizing it.

 How often have I unconsciously turned away from the lessons God is trying to teach, just because I'm trying to figure out what's wrong?  Far too much.  
 There shouldn't be any trying to figure out what's wrong... there should only be drawing nearer to Christ; and letting Him sort it out.

 There's no being "tough" and just "dealing with it"; I've tried that.  There comes a breaking point...

 We can never know what's ahead for us; we can never sort out our feelings; we can never just deal with it.  It's not humanly possible.  It has to be God.  He's the only one who knows what's going on. He's the only one that knows exactly what we're going through.

 We can be caught in a tangled web of problems, with all kinds of other people mixed in there... and it's hard, it's confusing.   But God knows... even when nobody else does... He knows.  And He has it well in hand. :)

 When no one else sees the hurt, no one else knows the intensity of it... God knows.

 I tend to think nobody can make sense of my problems.  And I act like it.   But God does know. He does care. He is dealing with it.  And it will all work out for the best in the end.

 Some days I'm afraid of the "end" of it all... because of all the ways it could end... and how it's more likely to end in a way that will hurt worse than it does now.

 In short; I'm afraid of the future.  But how wrong of me, to fear such a thing.   I don't need to fear what the future holds... because I know who holds the future.   Shouldn't that be enough?
 I mean, goodness! He spoke, and the universe came into existence!  He squished some dirt together and made man... how then can I doubt His power in this?

 This problem is so small, compared to Him!  Yes it effects my future... but how?  How am I going to allow it to effect me?

 It's so easy to get all dejected, and feel sorry for yourself... but what would happen if we turned to Christ, and turned it over to Him, and left it there?

 In a former post, I went on about learning complete surrender.  Learning it, and practicing it are two different things. :P

 I finally learned to give it all to Him... and leave it there.  And oh how wonderful it's been!

 But it doesn't end there.  It has to be given, and left... daily.  

 I tend to "give" it over to Christ... and then take it back the next day.  I get worried, and start to doubt Him; and I take it back.    This only hinders the work He is doing.    Yes, if God starts a work, it will be finished... but are we standing in the way of it's completion?

 It's like a little child, they get a sliver, and want you to remove it for them.  They agree to hold still, and let you get it out.   But once the needle comes out... they suddenly change their minds.

 Aren't we that way with God?  Yes, we get the sliver out... but it takes longer, because they keep taking their finger back.   Yes, God completes the work... but it takes longer, because we don't like the pain that goes with it.

 I've finally come to the place where I can sing this verse, and mean it...

 Let sorrow do it's work,
 Send grief and pain.
 Sweet are Thy messengers,
 Sweet their refrain; 
 When they can sing with me,
 More love, oh Christ to Thee.
 More love to Thee. More love to Thee.

 It's a tough place to come to... but once you're there, there's a peace that passes understanding.

 God never promised a smooth road.... but He did promise to walk it with us.  Even more than that, He carries us for most of it. :)

 What an amazing, awesome God we serve. :D

         In the service of my Father

P.S. Sorry about it being a bit rambling, and not well put together.  I'm extremely tired, but it seemed this needed to be written yet tonight.  Please excuse the run on sentences. :}

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ice Skating

 Several years ago..... maybe 12?  We went ice skating with some close friends. 

 Went up in the hills to this little pond, and while the adults mostly sat to the side of the pond, drank hot something (not sure what) we "kids" (a few of them were already grown up) were skating. :) 

 The guys all got a game of ice hockey going... which was fun to watch, because they didn't have real hockey sticks.  They used broom handles, tree limbs, whatever they could get a hold of. :)
 While the guys had their wild hockey game going, we girls were calmly, gracefully, falling all over the place ;) haha

 I was very unsteady on my skates, and kept crashing into the guys as they went by... and kind of annoyed them, because it was a set back in their game. ;P

 One of the games we 3 girls were doing, was to hold hands and do the "crack the whip"... which I would not advise for first time skaters.. ;) haha 

 I was in the middle, and lost my balance.  So, down we all went... and cracked the ice. O.o 
 The guys, on the other end of the pond, payed no attention to us, and things were going well. 

 Then, we girls, tiring of our falling, and failed attempts at games on the ice; went on a "tour" around the edge of the pond.  

 As the girls skated on ahead of me, I noticed some cattails growing in the reeds at the far end of the pond, that we were picking our way through. 

 Now.... I love cattails!  They are the most fun! :D  So.... I picked one.... first mistake ;) haha

 Now, being somewhere between 7 and 8, I wasn't thinking about the consequences... nor was I thinking about the guys and their wild game...  and I pulled one... just one little piece of fluff.........

 It is amazing how tightly packed those things are..... and how far they will spread when one is removed.....

 I swear that fluff covered a ten foot circle of ice........

 And, as is normal for me... at that moment, the puck for the hockey game came scooting in among the reeds... with the guys, going full speed after it......

 Now, when the skates are gliding nicely on the ice, they don't take kindly to fluff coming between them and the ice... 

 It was rather interesting to see the far spreading effects of that small lack of intelligence...
 One moment, there were 4 guys with their sticks, bent on catching the puck.... the next; several sticks flying through the air, 2 of the guys sliding through the reeds, and the other 2 tripping, and trying to catch their balance....

 If ever I was in trouble with those guys.... it was then.  Haha
 They were far from happy. ;) 

 Only one of them seemed to think it was funny.... but that was after several minutes. ;) 

 After that, I was no longer allowed on that part of the pond. And certainly nowhere near the cattails ;) 

 It was definitely memorable. :D  And one of my favorite memories from being little. :)   Fun was simple, and cheap (if you were the one who caused it) ;)  And we had lot's of it. :D


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reformation Day

Alright, I suppose I should post something about my character for the day. :)  

 I am Marion Braidfoot Wallace for the day, as her story has made a major impact on me.

 Some would not classify her as a Reformer, as she lived in the 1200's and not much is known about her. 
 But I would assert that she was indeed a Reformer, in that she supported her husband in his endeavors, and thereby preserved to us one of the greatest Christians to grace this earth.

 Marion knew God's Word, and she knew her husband (William Wallace) would follow the laws of his God, and Country at all costs. 
 When his life was threatened, she; being called upon to reveal his hiding place; refused to say. And was herself murdered in his place. 

 Unlike the way these people were portrayed in the movie Braveheart, they were Godly, virtuous people, and worthy to be emulated. :) 

 Lady Wallace was indeed Proverbs 31 woman. She reached out to all around her, from her home at Ellerslie. 

 An excerpt from my favorite book - 

 "Ellerslie was the refuge of the friendless, and the comfort of the unhappy.  Wherever Lady Wallace moved, --- whether looking out from her window on the accidental passenger, or taking her moonlight walks through the glen, leaning on the arm of her husband, --- she had the rapture of hearing his steps greeted and followed by the blessing of the poor destitute, and the prayers of them who were ready to perish.  It was then that this happy woman would raise her husband's hand to her lips, and, in silent adoration, thank God for blessing her with e being made so truly in His own image."

 After Wallace had taken up arms, and rescued a fellow Scot (Lord Donald Mar) from the tyranny of the English governor of Lanark, and in the contest had killed the governors nephew: English troops were sent to Ellerslie to kill him.  Marion knew her husband so well, and trusted him, because he trusted God; that she made these answers to the officer of the English troops which has come.

 In reference to the soldiers who were sent into the house to find Wallace...
 "They obeyed; but others, who had gained admittance to the tower through
the now forced gates, soon ran to him with information that the
murderer could nowhere be found.

"But here is a gay ladie," cried one; "perhaps she can tell of his
hiding-place." And at moment Marion, with Halbert, (Halbert was the faithful servant) appeared amongst a
band of men.  The lighted torches which the soldiers held, shone full on her face.  Though pale as monumental marble, the exquisite beauty of
her features, and the calm dignity which commanded from her eyes, awed
the officer into respect and admiration.

"Soldiers, stand back!" cried he, advancing to Lady Wallace.  "Fear
not, madam."  As the words passed his lips, a flight of arrows flew
into the bosom of the tree.  A piercing shriek from Marion was her only
answer.  "Hah! my lady's falcon!" cried Halbert alarmed, doubly, for
the fate of his master.  A sudden agitation of the branches having
excited an indefinite suspicion in a body of archers who stood near,
with one impulse they had discharged their arrows to the spot.
Halbert's ready excuse, both for the disturbance in the tree and his
lady's shriek, was prompted and warranted true by the appearance of a
large bird, which the rushing of the arrows had frighted from her nest;
she rose suddenly from amongst the branches, and soared away, far to
the east, with loud screams.  (Wallace was hiding in the tree)

 All being again still, Marion hoped that her husband had escaped any
serious injury from the arrows; and turning with recovered composure to
the officer, heard him, with a glow of comfort, reprimand his men for
daring to draw their bows without his orders.  Then addressing her, "I
beg your pardon, madam," said he, "both for the alarm these hot-headed
men have occasioned you, and for the violence they have committed in
forcing one of your sex and beauty before me.  Had I expected to have
found a lady here, I should have issued orders to have prevented this
outrage; but I am sent hither in quest of Sir William Wallace, who, by
a mortal attack made on the person of the Governor of Lanark's nephew,
has forfeited his life.  The scabbard of his sword, found beside the
murdered Heselrigge, is an undeniable proof of his guilt.  Direct us to
find him, and not only your release, but the favor of the English
monarch will await your allegiance.

 "I am Sir William Wallace's wife," returned the gentle Marion, in a
firm tone; "and by what authority you seek him thus, and presume to
call him guilty, I cannot understand."
"By the authority of the laws, madam, which he has violated."
"What laws?" rejoined she; "Sir William Wallace acknowledges none but
those of God and his country.  Neither of these has he transgressed."

 The officer replied, "This night he assassinated Arthur Heselrigge in
the streets of Lanark; and that condemns him, by the last declaration
of King Edward: Whatever Scot maltreats any one of the English
soldiers, or civil officers garrisoned in the towns of Scotland, shall
thereby forfeit his life, as the penalty of his crime."
"A tyrant's law, sir, to which no freeborn Scot will submit!  But even
were it allowed by my countrymen, in this case it can have no hold on
my husband.  That he is a Scot, he glories: and not that he maltreated
any Englishman in the streets of Lanark, do I glory; but because, when
he saw two defenseless men borne down by a band of armed soldiers, he
exposed his unshielded breast in their defense; one of the two died,
covered with wounds.  That the governor's nephew also fell, was a just
retribution for his heading so unequal a contest, and no crime in Sir
William Wallace; for he slew him to preserve a feeble old man, who had
a hundred English swords leveled at his life."

 The officer paused for a moment, and then, ordering his soldiers to
fall further back, when they were at a sufficient distance, he offered
to take Lady Wallace's hand.  She withstood his motion with a reserved
air, and said, "Speak, sir, what you would say, or allow me to retire."
"I mean not to offend you, noble lady," continued he; "had I a wife
lovely as yourself, and I in like circumstances, I hope in the like
manner would defend my life and honor.  I knew not the particulars of
the affair in which Arthur Heselrigge fell, till I heard it from your
lips.  I can easily credit them, for I know his unmanly character.
Wallace is a Scot, and acted in Scotland as Gilbert Hambledon would
have done in England, were it possible for any vile foreigner to there
put his foot upon the neck of a countryman of mine. Wherever you have
concealed your husband, let it be a distant asylum.  At present no
tract within the jurisdiction of Lanark will be left unsearched by the
governor's indefatigable revenge."

 After this Hambledon left.  But Heselrigge came himself later, and confronted Marion. 

 "Woman!" cried he, "I am the Governor of Lanark.  You now stand before
the representative of the great King Edward, and on your allegiance to
him, and on the peril of your life, I command you to answer me three
questions.  Where is Sir William Wallace, the murderer of my nephew?
Who is that old Scot, for whom my nephew was slain?  He and his whole
family shall meet my vengeance!  And tell me where is that box of
treasure which your husband stole from Douglas Castle?  Answer me these
questions on your life."

 Lady Wallace remained silent.

"Speak, woman," demanded the governor.  "If fear cannot move you, know
that I can reward as well as avenge.  I will endow you richly, if you
declare the truth.  If you persist to refuse, you die."
"Then I die," replied she, scarcely opening her half-closed eyes, as
she leaned, fainting and motionless, against the soldier who held her.

 "What?" cried the governor, stifling his rage, in hopes to gain by
persuasion on a spirit he found threats could not intimidate; "can so
gentle a lady reject the favor of England, large grants in this
country, and perhaps a fine English knight for a husband, when you
might have all for the trifling service of giving up a traitor to his
liege lord, and confessing where his robberies lie concealed?  Speak,
fair dame; give me this information, and the lands of the wounded
chieftain whom Wallace brought here, with the hand of the handsome Sir
Gilbert Hambledon, shall be your reward.  Rich, and a beauty in
Edward's court!  Lady, can you now refuse to purchase all, by declaring
the hiding place of the traitor Wallace?"

"It is easier to die!"

"Fool!" cried Heselrigge, driven from his assumed temper by her steady
denial.  "What? is it easier for these dainty limbs to be hacked to
pieces by my soldiers' axes?  Is it easier for that fair bosom to be
trodden underfoot by my horse's hoofs, and for that beauteous head of
thine to decorate my lance?  Is all this easier than to tell me where
to find a murderer and his gold?"

Lady Wallace shuddered; she stretched her hands to heaven.

 "Speak once for all!" cried the enraged governor, drawing his sword; "I
am no waxen-hearted Hambledon, to be cajoled by your beauty.  Declare
where Wallace is concealed, or dread my vengeance."
The horrid steel gleamed across the eyes of the unhappy Marion; unable
to sustain herself, she sunk to the ground.

"Kneel not to me for mercy!" cried the fierce wretch; "I grant none,
unless you confess your husband's hiding-place."

A momentary strength darted from the heart of Lady Wallace to her
voice, "I kneel to Heaven alone, and may it ever preserve my Wallace
from the fangs of Edward and his tyrants!"

 "Blasphemous wretch!" cried the infuriated Heselrigge; and in that
moment he plunged his sword into her defenseless breast. "

 "There sleeps the pride and hope of Ellerslie, the mother with her
child!  O my master, my widowed master," cried he, "what will comfort

 If Marion had not taken the word the Lord seriously, and obey them; if she had not been in support of her husband, and been willing to shield him with her life... one of the greatest Christian's in history would have died before he had completed the work God had for him. 

 The story of Wallace yet inspires others to emulate Christ, as he did.  But we wouldn't have his story, if it hadn't been for Marion. 

 Women played a large role in the reformation.... through being in support of their husbands. 

 "Scotsmen!" cried Wallace, waving the fatal sword, which blazed in the
glare of these northern lights like a flaming brand, "behold how the
heavens cry aloud to you!  I come, in the midst of their fires, to call
you to vengeance.  I come in the name of all ye hold dear, of the wives
of you bosoms, and the children in their arms, to tell you the poniard
of England is unsheathed-innocence and age and infancy fall before it.
With this sword, last night, did Heselrigge, the English tyrant of
Lanark, break into my house, and murder my wife!"

 This is what was said of Marion, even when not mush is known of her...

 "Many tears followed his (Halbert's) recital; not one of his auditors was an
indifferent listener; all had individually or in persons dear to them,
partaken of the tender Marion's benevolence.  Their sick beds had been
comforted by her charity; her voice had often administered consolation
to their sorrows; her hand had smoothed their pillows, and placed the
crucifix before their dying eyes.  Some had recovered to bless her, and
some had departed to record her virtues in heaven." 

 We women can emulate Marion, in that she emulated Christ.  She was willing to lay down her life, in obedience to Christ.  We can do the same. 

 Marion was a reformer, in that she challenges the conventional idea of what it is to be a woman. And how we, as women, can obey God, and let Him do a work in us, from our own domains... the home. 

 *Quotes taken from the book Scottish Chiefs by Miss Jane Porter
The book may be found here...

 I will hopefully be posting more about Marion in the near future.

   In the service of my Father