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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Saturday, August 30, 2008

End of Summer

It seems hard to believe that we are almost to the end of August and the summer. All right, I know that Fall, doesn't officially start until mid September, but as the local school heads back to being in session starting on Tuesday, it seems like the end of the summer to me. As we soon approach a new season, I still see all that is yet to be accomplished with the house cleaning process.

As I write this I am awaiting my kitchen floor to dry so I can make myself some lunch. My guys have gone to the local Corn Festival, to help out as Boy Scouts, cleaning off tables. While they were gone I figured it would be a good time to tackle some of the cleaning in the kitchen. I was busy vacuuming on top of the cupboards where we have lighting. Then I saw the floor that was in desperate need of a good scrubbing. It took me quite a while to do it on my hands and knees. Next I had to get all the excess water off the floor, and finally shine it with a layer of wax.

I have not gotten as far as I would have liked with getting the house clean and in good order. It has been a slow process. My husband has been and continues to be under constant stress at his job, so I often don't get as many things accomplished as I would like to do. I know that it is more important to be there and be the helpmeet that he needs. So when I have some spare time and I'm not too tired, I try to accomplish a little more with the house.

Keeping the house clean and orderly has always been a struggle for me. I could say it is because my husband and I are both collectors and tend to be on the messy side. But I feel that God has been teaching and leading me into new areas of growth. One of those is trying to get the house clean. It is overwhelming and very daunting at times, but I am trying not to get discouraged by my slow progress.

I see small areas of improvement. I have managed to keep my kitchen sink clean and shiny for months now. Last weekend I cleared off the kitchen counter and worked on sorting a few cabinets. I can't tell you how freeing it was this week to be able to have plenty of counter space to choose from as I work on assembling supper, or various meals, desserts. I wonder why I haven't done this a long time ago? I still have some more cupboards and small areas to clean in the kitchen, but soon it will be completely clean, sorted and organized. I find that when I have a clean open area, I am more interested in cooking and baking. Not something I always have enjoyed.

I pray that as Fall approaches I will continue my journey of getting my house clean, organized and orderly. For now I am focusing on the main floor that we live on. One step at a time, before I focus on the downstairs. But I pray that as I clean, sort, throw away and donate that God will clean out my heart and life and make it into what He what He desires for me to be. May I be a woman with God's own heart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Simple Pleasures

I have been noticing little things lately. The joy of a cool brisk morning to walk and praise the Lord. The beauty of the sun as it is breaking over the horizon. The cheerful chirps of two baby cardinals that daily come to my bird feeder. Their chirps remind me of the baby cardinal that we had around last summer. Here is a photo of him. He hung around our deck throughout the whole summer. By late Fall, early Winter he grew into a bright and colorful male. I can't help but wonder if the chirps I hear these days are some of his children.
Last week I was reading a documentary on Genesis with my youngest son and it talked about the day that God created the birds and how they sing and chirp to bring praise and honor to Him. I can't help but be reminded of that each time I hear a bird outside. Have you stopped and praised God today?

Friday, August 22, 2008

One Year Anniversary

It seems hard to believe that it has been one year since I have started my blog. When I began I don't know that I had anyone reading it besides my husband. Since then I have expanded to a few more readers. :)

Blogging has been an outlet for me. It is the opportunity to write about what I am thinking or going through. I enjoy sharing about the things God is teaching and showing me, as well as giving you a small glimpse into my life and my family.

I have been amazed through the year how many times I have been blessed by a comment that was left for me. Thank you to all you readers that have encouraged me through your words. You have blessed my life.

I pray that in the years to come that you will join me in 'digging for the pearls' of wisdom that God has in His Word for us. May we seek each day to learn more about what it means to follow and seek Him.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Brain Fuzz

Have you ever felt that you are losing gray cells? Somebody has asked you a question and you know you should know the answer, but for the life of you, you just can't remember. That is how I have been feeling lately. Yesterday my son asked me where his new swim goggles were that I bought for him this summer while he was away at camp. Now I remember buying two pairs. I can picture my husband and I as we stood at the check out line to pay for them. But from there on, I can not remember what happened to them. Did I put them away for safe keeping? I have no idea.

I realize that stress often affects me this way. This summer has been one of tremendous stress for both my husband and I. At the moment we see no relief in sight. As I look at our schedule for this Fall I realize that it will bring additional stress. I know that God is not surprised by what we are going through. I know that I can trust Him. But I seek your prayers right now because I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed. Please pray for wisdom for my husband and I and that I will be able to think clearly and not have continual brain fuzz! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Irritants or Pearls?

Last Friday I had a check-up with our family doctor. One of the things that I discovered is that I have an irritant on my left heel - commonly known as a bone spur or calcification. It has been causing me a great deal of pain and discomfort in the past month or so. I notice it when I do my morning walk. I especially know that it is causing me problems when I have been off my feet for a while and then try to walk. Sometimes I can hardly stand to put my weight on it. I was prescribed some medicine as well as exercises to work on that should hopefully help to alleviate the problem. Eventually the calcification should reabsorb back into my body and not be an issue.

I thought of this as I was out walking today. I definitely could feel that tiny irritant as I took each step today. I was reminded of a clam that gets a speck of dirt or sand inside it's body. After months and months of dealing with the the pain and discomfort a pearl can be formed.

We each face different irritants each day. Sometimes they are consistently a part of our life for an extended period of time. No matter where we go we still are faced with the same struggle. At times we want to fight against the pain and discomfort. We rail against God and say, "Don't you care about what is happening here?" But perhaps at times we are able to see past the pain and ask God to use this 'problem' and make it a 'pearl' in our lives instead.

Which will you choose today? Irritant or Pearl?!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Blessing of Friendship

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel." Proverbs 27:9

This verse describes my heart at this moment. I just got off the phone from talking with my dear friend who now lives almost 7oo miles away. She moved almost five months ago and we have still managed to keep in contact via weekly phone calls - one just to chat and another to chat and pray for each other. "Mrs. Quarter" (as my son fondly calls her) was my walking buddy while she lived here in PA, and I greatly miss her.

Today had been a rough day for multiple reasons. I felt crushed, discouraged and overwhelmed in many areas of my life, until I talked with my dear friend this afternoon. Somehow no matter what either of us is facing, just being able to share with someone that you know cares and spend time in prayer for each other makes an incredible difference. I know that she can't solve my problems for me, but I know I can count on her to be praying for me. I know that she cares deeply for me and my family and the struggles that we face.

In this day and age in an overwhelmed, defeated and over stressed generation, it is a true blessing when you find a friend that takes the time to listen. Someone that will come alongside you and help to shoulder your burdens through covering you in prayer. To me that is a blessing that I don't take lightly.

Is there a friend that you have that needs to hear how much you appreciate them? Don't let the day go by without telling them in some way.

Monday, August 11, 2008

First and Last

Today is our first day of homeschool for this school year. It seems hard to believe that I am entering my thirteenth year of home educating my boys. It is a bittersweet day for me. It always is exciting to start on the first day, but this year I can't help but be reminded that it is the first day of my last year with my oldest son.

I wondered where the time has gone as I drove him to cross country practice shortly after 7AM. It was a different start of school for us, with my oldest having a four hour practice before coming home to shower and start on his school work. By the time I returned to the high school to pick him up from practice, my youngest son has just about completed his assignments for the day. We will have a crazy schedule like this for a few weeks before school starts for the local high school. Practice for cross country will then be in the afternoons, which is much more conducive for our homeschool schedule.

I find that I have been praying that this will be our best year of homeschooling ever. I pray that we have lots of fun times as well as memorable trips that we go on throughout this year. It will be a traumatic year with some uncertainties that we have in our lives right now, but I know that God has not forsaken us. I trust that in all we do we will seek to follow Him.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I've Been Tagged

LeAnn at
tagged me. I had never heard of this before. Sounds like a chain letter for bloggers. It is something new so I will give it a shot.

The Rules:
  1. Link to the person who tagged you
  2. Post the rules on your blog
  3. Write 6 random things about yourself
  4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
  5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up
All right, now for the six random things.

1. I have started asking the Lord to wake me before my alarm goes off each morning - well most mornings.
2. This year I am celebrating my 25th high school reunion.
3. Next week I will be starting my last year of homeschooling our oldest son.
4. As a child I loved purses. It is something that I have chosen not to splurge on as a grown up. So I was quite surprised on Monday when a dear friend stopped by with a gift - a new purse! :)
5. I wrote my first novel when I was in middle school.
6. My first thing I ever wrote was about Snoopy.

Well now I guess I need to link to six people. These are fellow bloggers that I enjoy reading as I am able to do so. It has been a busy month so I haven't been able to read as many as I would like to. So here they are:

1. My friend Anne. We met many years ago in Dayton, OH when are hubbies were stationed there for some schooling.
2. I met Melissa when our family stopped by the P31 office on our way home from Florida last March.
3. Lisa is a fellow blogger that designed the header on my site. She is a real blessing to me!
4. I met Zoe a little over a year ago at my first She Speaks. She made me feel relaxed and welcome.
5. I also got to meet Luann at She Speaks. She has challenged me when it comes to being radical with prayer.
6. Micca has been an encouragement to me by the sweet comments she has left on my blog.

Well I just read through the rules and I think I remembered everything. Just in time too. My guys are just getting back from a bike ride. Hope you all have a great day. I will try and post more next week. Right now I am in the midst of trying to get lesson plans written for our first day of home school on Monday. Have a blessed weekend.