Friday, July 31, 2009

Blueberries and Butterflies

The picking is still good but is slowing down. I can't believe the berries I have picked this summer. I have a freezer full and have given away a bunch too. We will be enjoying blueberries for many days to come.

Jasmine came home to visit yesterday afternoon and spent the night. She is a wandering dog these days and seldom stays home for more than a day or two at a time, but yesterday evening she hung around and kept me company out in the patch while I picked berries. She ate a few bird-pecked ones, relaxed a bit, and went along with me when I returned to the house. Tonight she is gone again.

It has been nice to have a little bit of summer these past two weeks, to feel the sunshine and gather up some pink on my arms and face. Yesterday I saw this wounded butterfly flitting about my Gooseneck blossoms. It appears to be missing the tails from the lower part of it's wings but flew about as if nothing was amiss. I have yet to see any Monarchs on my milkweed but I haven't been paying especially close attention.

The busy weekend has just begun. Tonight we attended a 30th birthday celebration for my friend Sherri. The tables set up in her backyard were just beautiful. Tomorrow afternoon is another birthday party, this one for a friend of Hannah and then a wedding in the evening. (Bethany's friend is getting married.) To top it off is the church baptism picnic on Sunday afternoon. I'll be tired come Monday!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Pocketful of Stones

they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?"
John 8:4-5

Circumstances have left me thinking again... Do I love like Jesus or do I have a pocketful of stones? And even if my pockets are void of stones, what am I to do when faced with difficult circumstances? How should I respond? What would Jesus do?

And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." John 8:11

I find it interesting that even though Jesus did not condemn the woman in the story, His command was that she "sin no more". He didn't condone her wrongdoing, but He was willing to forgive her. A beautiful story worthy of much more contemplation...

Baby Cakes

He's getting to be a lot of fun. He loves my necklace and hates when we walk away. And he's so stinkin' cute besides!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Mission Field

I had a heart to heart talk with my lovely daughter yesterday afternoon. We talked a little bit about the trip to El Salvador and her heart for missions. It is evident from the glow about her in the photographs that she loves this type of ministry. If she was able she would live on the the mission field, but right now she has a different job to do. She has a husband and a little boy who need her love and care. I assured her that if she can not go away to the mission field, that God would provide her a mission field right here at home, she only needs to ask.

"Sometimes God takes you to the mission filed and sometimes He brings the mission field to you." That's what I told her and today I found it to come true in my own life.

Last night I got an email from a mom looking for a babysitter for her 3 year old daughter starting September. I told her my first inclination was to say yes but I needed to pray first, so I did. When I returned home this afternoon from my day of errands I had a message on my answering machine. It was from a mom looking for a babysitter for her 3 year old daughter starting in September; a different mom who had no idea I had just been asked by the first mom. Funny thing is these two little girls are best friends and have gone to the same babysitter since they were babies. I think maybe my prayers are not the only ones God is answering.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blue In the Face

Blueberries. Blueberries. Blueberries. I spent more time in the blueberry patch today than I spent in the house. When I walked out this morning around 7 am I knew that had just a few hours to pick before Josh arrived. By 10:30 I had picked three bucketfuls, or was it four? It was four. I went back out in the afternoon and picked until my husband decided I needed a break and sent me off to the grocery store with my daughter. Of course, I had to finish the job and so went back out to pick the last few bushes after my return. I am satisfied that I picked ninety percent of what was there and have packed and frozen several bags, a few for my sister and a few for me. Tomorrow James' friend will pick up a few bags for his wife and, yes, Judi, I have also sold a few out by the side of the road. I'm looking forward to Wednesday when Rachel is planning to come over to pick a few too. Oh, and I sent a nice big bag home with Bethany this afternoon. Can't forget my Bethany!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Missionaries Return

Bethany returned from her missions trip to El Salvador this past Wednesday. I have waited several days for her to post and am still waiting. While we wait I thought I'd post a picture or two. I hope she doesn't think I'm spoiling her fun. Ask questions and we'll see if she answers.

This is the group. They're all from our church with the exception of one; he's on Bethany's right hand side wearing shorts. I hear he fit in well with the others and they all had a wonderful time. Rut, (she's third from the right), was the group interpreter/translator as she hails from the Dominican Republic and is fluent in Spanish.

I think I ought to start saving and maybe, if the group returns next summer, I'll go along.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Twilight's Last Gleaning

It's blueberry season and that means it's time to pick blueberries. It is a race between the birds, the bugs, the slugs, and myself. So far, I think I'm winning...

I spent Wednesday morning at church for VBS. I didn't really have a job, but I had to take my kids, who did have jobs, and so I stayed. After an afternoon visit to the grocery store, we returned home. The blueberry patch was calling my name, so before supper I went out and picked a bucketful. After supper James took the kids to church. I stayed home and, while Jasmine and Oreo kept me company, I picked three more bucketfuls. I came in the house when it got too dark to see what I was picking.

Each day I spend a couple of hours out picking berries. I'm never quite sure how long they will last or how much the patch will produce. Thankfully, this year is looking better than last year. I will at least have enough to share with my family. Everyone wants a big bag of berries to enjoy and maybe one or two to put in the freezer for later. Once the picking slows down maybe I'll have some time for baking.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mr. McGregor's Change of Heart

"Now, my dears," said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, "you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor." (from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter)

Did I mention that my father and his garden remind me of Mr. McGregor and Peter Rabbit? It's just a little garden, tucked between the next door fence and the side of Dad's house. The side toward the road is enclosed by a four foot stockade fence. On the backyard side is a wire fence and a wooden gate. Scattered along the wire fence are moth pellets, to keep the rabbits out. Hmm... not working.

The other day Dad went out to look at his garden and whom should he meet but Peter Rabbit! He was nibbling on some beet greens. "Scram!" shouted Mr. McGreg... I mean Dad.

Peter took off running but evidentally had forgotten the way back to the gate. He ran straight for the fence, probably because there was no tool shed to hide in. He was quite certain he was home free until he discovered that although his front end fit through the wire fence rather easily, his back end was stuck fast. His fat little hopping legs and hips were entirely too wide.

Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by Dad. (Mr. McGregor's wife had put Peter's father into a pie, and I'm pretty sure Peter thought Dad had the same idea.) The poor little bunny was much too frightened to back out of the fence the way he had gone in (this part of the story reminds me a bit of Pooh Bear) and it was impossible for him to pass through going forward.

In Dad's younger days he had been a hunter. He's hunted down and eaten all kinds of critters; frogs, turtle, squirrels, rabbit... I wonder if it ever crossed his mind that he could have a free meal? Evidently he has become rather fond of the little creatures that visit and live in his yard, because rather than fetch himself a meal, he headed to the garage for a pair of wire cutters.

Peter screamed and hollered when Dad touched him, but took of like a shot as soon as his back legs were free. Peter never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to wherever it is he lives. I don't suppose he had bread and milk and blackberries for supper! Probably a dose of camomile tea instead.

After watching Peter run across the yard, Dad turned back to look at his garden and there sat Peter's cousin, Little Benjamin Bunny. "Scram!" shouted Dad, and Little Benjamin took off like a shot. Lucky for him he was smaller than Peter!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Salsify, a Funny Flower

I left the house early this morning but on my way out I noticed a familiar ball of fuzz in my garden and took my camera around for a closer look. I was surprised to find not only the seed ball and a closed bloom but also a blossom. Very unusual...

Also known as Goat's Beard or Oyster Plant, the purple variety is native to Europe and Asia and its root is actually edible. They are said to taste something like oysters. The yellow variety, also known as Western Salsify and native to southern Europe, apparently has also spread across North America but is not generally regarded as edible. (Too bad, no sandwiches for me.)

I posted a photo of this plant once before but had never seen the blossom until this morning. By the time I returned this afternoon the blossom was closed up tight. I don't suppose they will ever grace a bouquet, but it was kind of fun and different to find it blooming in my garden today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Berry Blues

Blueberries usually ripen right around Hannah's birthday so yesterday afternoon I wandered down to the blueberry patch with several berry boxes in hand. I must have stood out there for a couple of hours plucking them off the branches and dropping them into my containers. A few have been bird-pecked but overall they looked pretty good.

I picked about seven quarts of the slightly sweet but somewhat sour fruits. I'm not quite sure whether to put the boxes out front to sell, call my friends to come pick, or pop the now bagged fruits into the freezer for tossing into pies and muffins later on. They are best eaten fresh, and since the patch is looking a bit happier this year, I should probably share.

This morning I am feeling a bit "out of it". I'm never entirely sure what my body is rebelling against but I feel like an allergic cloud has descended upon me; achy, slight headache, and generally tired. I suppose the thing to do is to is to take my antihistamines and an ibuprofen and go on with my day. There are tasks to be accomplished, a little boy who needs attention, and... more berries to pick.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sleep Centers, CPAP's and a Fireman's Parade

Today is Hannah's 14th birthday. We haven't had her home for a birthday in two years as she celebrated the last two at camp. Grandma and Grandpa came over for supper and we had a quiet evening together. We'll have a bigger family gathering when Bethany get back home, maybe next Sunday.

A few weeks ago Hannah and I stayed overnight at the Sleep Center in Rochester. They wired her up and monitored her as she slept. This past Thursday we returned to the center for the results of the study. She has been diagnosed with a "moderate" sleep apnea, possibly under diagnosed because of the length of the study. (It took her quite a while to go to sleep and they woke us very early in the morning.) Treatment options are to see an ENT and see if surgery would be helpful, try a CPAP machine, or a combination of both. We have opted to try the machine and schedule an appointment with the otolaryngologist. I pray she will soon be able to sleep a full night with no breathing incidents and need no naps during the day.
After our afternoon outing to the Sleep Center we returned home to find Josh (and his other grandma) waiting for us. Hannah and I thought it would be fun to take him to the Webster Fireman's Parade. He found the firetrucks and horses interesting, thought the miniature cars were great, and stuffed himself with tiny Tootsie Rolls tossed by participants in the parade. (Shhh! Don't tell Bethany!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Family Friday

There is no doubt these two little girls are related, in fact, if I didn't already know better, I might think it was the same child in each picture. One of these small girls came from a family of wealth, the other from a home where money wasn't near as easy to come by. You can tell by the clothes they wear and the not so fancy photo background.

The little girl in the first photo is my grandmother, an only child and the daughter of a man who worked for an oil company. The second is her own daughter, my Aunt Jeanne. Jeannie doesn't have the fancy clothes or pretty necklace that her own mother had at such a tender age, but I think if one had dressed her up in her mother's clothes, no one would have known the difference. Their faces are almost identical.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Giving My Life

Take My Life and Let It Be
Frances R. Havergal, 1874

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;

Take my hands and let them move

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.

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee;
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise;
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own, It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee.

I have been struggling again. Struggling to hold on; and struggling to let go. It is difficult sometimes to believe I will ever make it to the point where I no longer fight to have my own way in life. Letting go of myself and letting God take over... Why do I find that so difficult?

Last night, as I went upstairs to get ready for bed, I told my husband I didn't want to be stretched. Though not entirely true in the big picture, it was how I felt at the time. I didn't want any more exercises in faith; I didn't want to let go of anything old for something new; I didn't want to leave my comfort zone, I just wanted to take my ease and do things my way. I want a house that stays clean, a garden with no weeds, and leisurely strolls on warm summer evenings. I felt tears well up inside. "Why did I want to cry?"

I looked into the mirror and it hit me; the realization that I had once more become a hostage to my own raging hormones. They almost always take me by surprise, these unpredictable emotions, tossing me about and making me feel like a total basket case, but I am on to them now. I am armed and ready to do battle. (I hope.) Deep inside I really do want to let go. I really do want to lay everything down, to pour my life out at the feet of my Saviour, but alone I just don't have the strength. I need His help.

So, this morning I am starting over again. I am taking His hand knowing that wherever He takes me will be a good place to go. It doesn't mean I will never be afraid. It does mean that He will be there. He will help me over rough terrain, carry me when I can't go on, and see me through safely to the other side.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Welcome to Moe's!"

No small children today. The sun is shining and although the temperatures are still cool, I'm feeling much brighter than yesterday or the couple of days previous. The fog of the past few days has lifted. I am actually not feeling like I need to take a nap, although I do need a sweatshirt...

After prayer and Bible study this morning Hannah and I went out for lunch. It was a rare treat. I thought we might go to Panera Bread, but when I mentioned the possibility of a burrito, her eyes lit up. We decided to go to Moe's, buy two drinks, and split one of their giant burritos. We ate outside on the sidewalk where I could take in some sunshine.

After a quick stop at Wegman's for some cheese and coffee filters, we returned home. Coffee,... oh yes, I spilled my coffee all over the front passenger side of my van this morning when I stepped on the brake to avoid hitting a squirrel. I had set the mug on the floor because it is too fat to fit in the cup holder. I hadn't even taken a sip and the cup was completely drained. My rug was covered with sticky vanilla scented coffee. What a mess! God is so good. I was blessed by some carpet cleaners who were cleaning the carpets at church. One of them overheard me tell Nathan about my morning spill and offered to clean it up for me. It was totally unexpected and I am so thankful. The carpet looks great in the front. Now I just have to finish the rest of the van.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oswego Tea

It still doesn't feel like summer but my flower gardens are slowly waking up and smiling into the sunshine, what little there has been. Last summer Apple gave me some Oswego tea and I am enjoying the bright red blooms this week. They really are very pretty and I think the hummingbirds rather like them too. I heard one humming about out that direction this morning. I also have pink and purple bee balm (another name for Oswego tea) but they aren't quite ready to bloom.

My little friend, Josh, was here today. He showed up bright and early, wearing his pajamas, at 7:15 am. He watched his daddy pull out of the driveway and as the van went up the hill and away from the house he said, "Bye, Dad." His mommy has gone away for a few days, off on a missions trip to an orphanage in El Salvador, the same one Nate went to last year. She was just a little bit nervous when they stopped by here on Saturday evening, but I think she will be blessed and come home with lots of stories to tell. Tomorrow Josh will stay with his other grandma. We're taking turns.

Oh, and Priscilla came to visit me today. I don't get too many visitors these days so it was a real treat. I made brownies for the kids and Sara came to visit too, in fact she's still here! She missed us so she rode her bike over to spend some time with Hannah and the girls and then ended up staying for supper.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cotton Candy Clouds

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation 1:7

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Campers Return

So yesterday afternoon I hitched a ride to Oswego to find my van keys and bring my campers home. I found some handsome young men...

and some lovely ladies. (Caleb, with Ben, and his sister, Kara, in the pink, have been friends with my kids since they were born. They enjoy spending a week at camp together and I am more than grateful to their parents who gave me a ride home on Sunday and back again last night.)

I found that sad little cabin that was once my home for a week of camp... and I found my keys, safely stowed away in the camp store. My van windows were rolled up and everything inside was nice and dry. On the way out of Oswego we stopped at McDonald's for a cone. This was when Ben discovered he had left his camera charger plugged into the wall of his cabin. Needless to say, we turned around and headed back to get it. I once upon a time made several trips to Oswego each summer dropping off and retrieving kids for all three weeks of camp, but this year I am only making the trip once.

What comes next?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Family Friday

With all the meme's floating around I thought I'd throw out this possibility.

I find family resemblances interesting. Whether it is an uncanny interest in the same hobbies or a nearly identical facial expression. Sometimes family members look very much alike and sometimes one would never know there was a relation at all.

Both Nathan and my cousin's son, Harim, have an interest in playing the guitar. They are less than a year apart in age and look somewhat similar; tall, blond, similar builds and facial features. Funny thing is they are seldom together, meeting up mostly at family gatherings, usually a July 4th picnic in Penn Yan.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Feeling Slightly Lost

I am feeling more and more lost as the week wears on. Being out in the country, mostly alone and without a vehicle, is somewhat perplexing. I'm even more thankful now for the time Josiah spent here with me on Tuesday. Lucas is here with me today but he is not happy camper. I'm not sure if he doesn't feel good, is tired, or just generally unhappy. He doesn't want to be put down. Neither the swing, the stroller, or his play seat make him happy. Right now he is upstairs in bed, but crying. If he doesn't go to sleep soon I will have to retrieve him.

At this point in my life I am really beginning to wonder which direction to go and what to do. I'm really not sure and to top it off James and I are thinking about selling the house. It is so much to keep up with and selling would help get us out of the debt we have accumulated. It would also make us more fluid and able to do some things that the responsibilities of home ownership keep us from. I guess this adds a little bit to my indecision about what to do. Also being without my van is making me restless.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wherefore Art Thou Summer?

The calendar tells me this is July. The temperatures tell me it might be May or possibly even September. No need for a new bathing suit or window fan this year. As long as my sweatshirt is within reach I'll be all set.

I decided, for fun, to see what was happening on this date in years past and found that last July 8 I met Gudl for the very first time. We shared some dessert at her house and then headed down to the beach at Canandaigua lake for some fun in the water. It was a lovely summer day! On July 8, 2007 I was snapping pictures of Monarch caterpillars and fighting off Japanese beetles. I haven't seen either one yet this year. Finally, on the 7th of July 2006 I was making Hollyhock dolls and enjoying the sunshiney weather. There won't be many hollyhock belles this summer as we just pulled out some rather weedy looking hollyhock plants from in front of James' barn. They just weren't looking pretty this time around.

Josiah fired up the wood splitter yesterday afternoon and while he split wood, I stacked it in a pile. It was good weather for working outside. Warm enough to be out but not so hot that one wanted to collapse. We've also been pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and trying to keep up with our ever-growing lawn. The sun is shining today but I was in for most of it, tending to Lucas. He'll be back again tomorrow and then we're to Friday already. On Friday night I get my van back! I can't wait.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


(Imagine music playing...)
Saturday in the park,
I think it was the Fourth of July...


What does it mean to be truly humble? As I searched my pockets, purse, and van for my car keys the other day; as I wandered in and out of the dining hall and camp store probably looking somewhat bewildered; as I watched others search the ground around my vehicle and answered yet another question about where I had last seen the illusive item; I began to worry that I might actually find them buried in my purse or hidden somewhere inside my van. I was still checking my pants pockets when I arrived home and hoping I wouldn't find them. I already felt foolish enough for losing the keys, I certainly didn't want to look like a complete idiot for having had them the entire time. I know the feelings are normal, no one wants to look stupid, but really that is my own sense of pride showing through again. I have to feel a little bit bad for the woman who found them in the bottom of her purse because I know how I would feel if I had returned home to find a strange set of keys in my possession. I would have felt really low, especially if I knew the other party had to go on home without their car. In spite of that I don't feel at all that she is foolish or stupid. Somehow, unknown to either her or myself, she ended up with my keys. Somewhere in all of this God had a plan. Although we may never know that plan or what circumstances were changed by a set of missing keys, He does. I think that's pretty cool.

"For My thoughts [are] not your thoughts, Nor [are] your ways My ways," says the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8

Monday, July 06, 2009


Please continue to keep our friend, Paige, in your prayers as she continues to fight her battle with leukemia. We have seen prayers answered in positive ways, a perfect bone marrow donor match and her being able to attend graduation, but the fight is far from over. The struggle is exhausting for all. Please pray for strength, for healing, and for encouragement. And, thank you.

A Few Key Thoughts

It has been a busy weekend. On Saturday we drove down to Penn Yan for a family picnic on Keuka Lake. It's always great to reconnect with cousins and I look forward to this gathering every year. Of course Uncle Chuck's crazy bicycles came out as well as stilts and a bean bag toss game. It was a nice day and all our children were there which is pretty amazing.

Yesterday morning Jim left to make his way back to Minnesota. He was headed for Chicago yesterday and will arrive in St Paul sometime this afternoon. We had him home for seven weeks and would have been happy to keep him but he has others wondering when he is coming home on the other end.

Ahh... the key thoughts...

After church yesterday I took Ben, Hannah, and a friend to Oswego for a week at Bible camp. It is a little over an hour's drive east of here. After finally getting them registered in the dining hall and going into the camp store to take care of business there, we headed back to the van to drop their things off at the cabins. That is when I discovered my car keys were not in my jeans pockets. I returned to the store to see if I had left them on the counter. Nope. We checked the van; not in my purse, not under the seat, not between the seats... I went back to the dining hall. They were not on the floor, not on the tables, not behind the curtain with the nurse. They were not in the Ladies' room. No one had seen them and they were nowhere to be seen. Back to the van... Ask the kids to check their pockets again... check the ground... ask more people... go back to the camp store... check the van again... dump my purse... check my pockets... I was really beginning to feel altogether foolish. Each person I asked, asked me the same the same questions, "Where have you been?" "Did you leave them (here or there)?" I hadn't been anywhere since I'd last had them and had retraced my steps so many times that I couldn't even remember where I had been anymore. I must have walked back and forth for almost an hour, talked to James on the phone, had a dozen people looking, and still no keys. James had prayed with me on the phone and I didn't feel any sense of panic, but still my keys were not appearing and we had no extra set at home, just a single key on a rather big key chain which was now gone. "What did they look like?" (Another question...) Large black key with the remote lock control, a green Coleman lantern key chain and some small stars. They had vanished. Some friends from from our old church offered to take me home and I decided I should take them up on the offer. The camp leaders promised to call when the keys showed up,... if they showed up.

By the time I reached home we had missed the evening church service. James and I decided to go for a walk in the orchard. We walked a long way and had a nice time together. Back home a little after 9 pm the phone rang. It was Sherri (from camp) on the other end. My keys had been located. As I had begun to suspect while wandering the grounds between my van and the dining hall, they were no longer at camp in Oswego but in the bottom of a woman's purse in Syracuse. She has a similar key chain but had no idea how she ended up with the keys. Not only that but she has no plans to return to camp this week and is leaving for the mission field today. (All this is too funny!)

God is good and He knows all things. My keys will go back to camp with the camp director, Sherri's husband, Clay, (who happens to live in Syracuse and is home packing to move) and sometime this week I will get my van back. In the meantime, although I have no children in my home and Jim is gone back to Minnesota, I will be unable to go anywhere without help from a friend or family member. That's okay. I have plenty to do here at home and trust that God has a plan in this whole experience. I know that He is working in my life, teaching me, stretching me, and growing me. A few years ago I would have been beside myself at losing the keys and angry that I am trapped here at home, but He is teaching me to trust that He has a plan and purpose higher than my own. I went to sleep knowing my keys will be returned and not having to worry about what to do. I have to smile a little bit though because God wasn't finished stretching me when I went to bed last night. I woke up to a terrible thunder storm with pouring rain. Almost all storms travel east and the windows in my van were rolled all the way down... I'm hoping someone really threw a cover over it like they said they would. Oh well, nothing I can do about it from here...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Oh, My Stars!

In honor of this year's In Dependence Day I am making star-shaped cookies. The plan is to frost them and make them look pretty for our picnic at Uncle Chuck's tomorrow. (Sometimes being patriotic is fun...) I love the yearly picnic in Penn Yan and look forward to it each summer. I wonder what crazy games my dear uncle has planned for this year?

At his brother's request, Jim decided to hang around until after the family fourth of July gathering. It is his plan to set off for Chicago early Sunday morning and then move on to Minnesota Monday morning. It has been great to have him around for the past several weeks and we will miss him, but his roommate is waiting and Jim has his sights set on a job in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. His friend Dan will also be relieved to know Jim is headed back home and just maybe these little girls will think it's pretty cool too. (That's Dan behind them.) They came to visit us last week.

I finished reading my Mary/Martha book about a week ago. It was thoroughly enjoyed, challenged me in many ways, and encouraged me in others. I've started a new book now, Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias. It has been a challenge to my intellect as he likes big words and I am just a humble mommy. I am used to using little words that little people understand. In spite of the challenge, I am also enjoying this book and learning. The best part is being challenged in the area of change in my own heart and attitudes and finding those scripture verses I just read in my personal devotions pop up unexpectedly in the book.

My vegetable garden is finally growing and actually looking pretty good. I'm still optimistic about having a harvest. :) I am slowly working on taming my flower beds and shrubs. By the time I finish the leaves should be falling off the trees.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Broken Chains

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free,
My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns,
Unending love, Amazing Grace.

Slavery, that is what becoming a Christian is to some people, but to those of us who know Christ, it means freedom. No longer a slave to sin, I am free to live for Him.


Bethany's blog made me smile this morning. Actually, several blogs made me smile in recent days. Thanks for the smiles.