Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
We had a lot of fun thrift store shopping in Springfield while
Susanne and Beka were visiting for the week!
(L-R: Beka, Susanne, Mary)
I don't know why we do this to ourselves every year!
Actually, I do. It's Mom's idea! And we can't do much about it! :)
and another one about to calve any day!
Above: Ruth washing butter
I guess the carrots, the onions, and the turkey chunks came from the store. :)
And the dressing, for those who use it.
I prefer a simple sprinkle of sea salt on my salad.
Eating home-grown food feels really, really good.
But never, never underestimate the amount of work that goes into it!
(L-R: Thor - one of the little boys we babysit almost daily, Sam, Abe, Noah, Dad, Isaiah)
(L-R: Jemima, Mary, Valarie, Liz)
I'm sooo behind on posting pictures of my life... I'll never catch up.
But for now, you'll get a random assortment from the last month or so. Enjoy! :)
"All unannounced and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles....The evangelist tries to show that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher lever. The modern view is that the new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him!...
The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. In Roman times, the man who took up his cross and started down the road was not coming back. He was not going out to have his life redirected: he was going out to have it ended! The cross did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more!...
The race of Adam is under death sentence. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. Thus God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
that isn't. There
is churning hurt
- and black despair.
No love. No grace.
No power to choose.
I heard a stillness.
I felt a face.
His searching eyes
and would not turn me loose.
then through hot tears
I saw and understood:
He hung cross high,
a spear was in my hand
that dripped with blood,
a helmet on my head.
I watched Him die;
but just before, He said,
"Forgive them for
they know not what
they do" . . .
then He was dead.
Slowly I raised my head:
the clouds were unarranged,
the sky was fair,
the warm sun shone,
nothing had changed:
the hurt was still there
only. . .
the hate was gone.
- Ruth Bell Graham, Collected Poems
Ruth Bell Graham's Collected Poems has become one of my treasured favorite volumes to read again and again. You ought to order yourself a copy. I promise it will be well worth it! :)
Thursday, April 9, 2009
First of all, there are five of us girls who belong here, anyway. And then there's Mom. That makes six. And then we nearly always have one or a couple more here.
We 5 sisters share a bedroom that is just a little bit over full with the beds and the clothes and the shoes and all of the other girl stuff and projects. When I spread my books across the biggest bed to study, and Liz spreads her scrapbooking stuff across the little bit of bare floor between the beds, it looks ... really full.
Since we have additional girls spending the night here as often as not, we've maximized our bed space. There's a queen bed that sleeps two when it's just us, three or even four (if they are skinny!) when extra girls spend the night. When my trundle bed (under Ruth's day bed - the only "seat" in the room) is pulled out, it touches the queen bed, and it can sleep two in a pinch. Then there is room for one sleeping bag to be laid between the two dressers, with Liz's bed on one end, and the door on the other. Getting up in the night and trying to step over all the sleeping bodies and get to the door is a feat in itself.
We've had three extra "sisters" here this past week. The room was really full some nights. But there were lots of good conversations and lots of laughter after the lights went out.
We talked about humility and rebuilding relationships with parents, about getting along with little siblings, about loving annoying people, about forgiveness, about the hard things in life, about God...
I'm glad that I live in a room crammed full of girls. So full of people that the windows need to be opened in the middle of winter. That sometimes there are tears or laughter through half the night and we don't get much sleep.
My sisters and I have so many memories from our cramped quarters that the bedroom is almost sacred space.
And the lives of many other girls contain a compartment of memories from our room.... Some of them good, some of them horrifying, some of them downright embarrassing!
As much as our room isn't much to see, we pray that life will blossom from the little space. We've lived our real lives in front of them, and they've seen the good, bad, and the ugly. Sometimes we've said far more than was necessary or shocked ourselves with our own selfishness and attitudes. But, I hope that somehow, in the midst of our own shortcomings, they've went on their journey with a few bits of lasting, eternal value that they gained in the infamous "Girls' Room" at our house!
This post is dedicated to Valarie, Melissa, Jessica, Melody, Susanne, Christina, Sarah, Sarah, Carissa, Rachel, Rebekah, and all the rest of you dear "step-sisters" who know far too much about us behind the scenes! :)
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
I had determined to work fast and furiously down my to-do list for the day and NOT get distracted with all the wonderful silly little things that leave me frusterated and behind at the end of the day. Before I settled in to answer a ton of overdue emails, though, I was going to clean the living room. Fast. Really quick. It could be done in 10 minutes if I didn't get distracted or answer the phone or anything. Mom and Steve and the girls were out in the garden planting strawberries.
Ready, set, go! I started on the living room. Plumping sofa pillows, re-stacking and putting away the books stacked haphazardly on the rocker.... Legos under the chair that our dear little charges for the day had forgotten when Mom took them to the garden.... Mom's precious cabbage seedlings that they must have bumped over when they ran through earlier....
Suddenly the door burst open. Devin (3) came charging in breathlessly. "Come!" he panted, pulling at my skirt. "Come ou'side wif me! Come!" His voice was urgent, almost as though a rainbow was fading and there would be no time if I didn't hurry.
I could pretend I didn't understand his gibberish, tell him I was busy cleaning... that I couldn't come, couldn't stop. Or tell him to go show my sisters who were already outside with him. But one look at his sparkling brown eyes, the eager expectation of the joy he was about to share with me... How could I not grab his hand and run out the door, eager to see what he wanted to share with me?
I dropped the broom and raced after him. There was no time to ask what it was that I had to see. He was already charging across the yard towards the garden by the time I was coming out the front door. As he glanced back to make sure I was following, the look of sheer joy and happiness on his face was enough to melt my heart.
What on earth? I wondered. What is this treasure that I must see now... this once in a lifetime opportunity?
And then Devin stopped.
Right in front of the trailer backed up to the garden, heaped with topsoil.
I waited expectantly, smiling, nodding... Yes?
He wiped his dirty hands across his little orange shirt, and then threw them up high over his head, sweeping in the panorama. "Dirt!" he cried with a look of utter delight. "Dirt!" he laughed and giggled and grinned at me. "Dirt! Dirt for me and for you... and for evwybody!"
I smiled, then I laughed. This was the surprise.
This is what was so exciting when I was speed-cleaning the living room.
Devin grinned at me. Then he climbed up on the heap of dirt on the trailer and burrowed his hands deeply into the rich, crumbly mass. He giggled again. "Dirt! I garden. I help! I dig dirt!"
And with that he began scooping up the dirt with his hands and filling one of the buckets.
I grinned back at him and touseled his hair. Then I went and found him a little shovel so he could really dig the dirt. He grinned like I had handed him a million dollars and squealed, "Thank you! Now I scoop big dirt!"
I went back into the house... to my busy world of being behind with everything.... or so it seems at times. There were deadlines and studying and project completion dates to stress about. But did it really matter?
We own dirt! Lots of it! Happiness!
I'm trying to keep the Devin perspective. When I think about what I have, I can't help but have a grin like him. :)