Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Poor and Rich

Yesterday I was reading in Psalm a little. A particular part really stuck out to me. I would like to share it with you along with a couple of quotes that I came upon this morning.

Psalm 10:3 "For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts."

-It is not the man who has too little who is poor; but the one who craves more.
-The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.

Sometimes I think about how in the world we are going to have another baby in this so small house. I could want more and more and more, but would I be happy? Alegra was doing her reading lesson the other day, and it was a story about some amish children who wanted a pony. They promised their dad that they would be happy then. But then the truth came out that they would also want a cart and a harness. They wouldn't have been completely happy with just a pony. I have been struggling with a lack of over abundance in money, so we can add onto our house and have more space. I see some families in the world with great incomes and wonder why they have money and we don't. But the verse in Psalm is clear that the enemy can also bless financially. So often we think that it is the Lord who blesses in the financial end, but here we see that the wicked also can be blessed in this. I would rather take a walk down my quiet country road, and know that I am living a life pleasing to my heavenly Father, than have all my heart's desire in the material world filled.

Just something for us all to think about today as times get rougher for some and there are more struggling with a lack of money. Be strong and encouraged that He will take care of you!

Psalm 5:11&12
"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dance to Him

The children and I love to dance in worship to God. The other night I was busy cleaning up from putting away all the camping stuff and was doing some dishes while listening to music. The song, God With Us came on, and we just had to dance. It is such an uplifting song that reminds us that He really is with us, taking care of us, providing our every needs, and teaching us His ways. Joy fills my heart when I watch my little girls dance. Alegra is more coordinated with it than Diella, but none the less, it is beautiful to see them worshiping in such a way. Next time you feel like dancing when listening to a song that fills your heart with joy, dance! The scriptures talk about it, so why don't we do it these days. It's because it's not the norm and people will look at us. At our church, we have learned to put those feelings aside and just dance if the Spirit is leading us to do so. It's usually done in a circle in the back and the little girls usually join us which is such a blessing to see. So, my encouragement for the day unto Him. It would bring Him joy and glory!

Camping in celebration!

Well, last week we had a wonderful time camping for Feast of Tabernacles. We believe that God is more pleased with us celebrating the feasts of the Bible than the traditional holidays that are steeped in paganism. If you have free reading time, check out and . We learned so much during this week. The first day Jonathon hurt his back quite bad playing dodge ball.....he just can't accept the fact that he is getting old. :) It caused him to realize that he puts too much confidence in his flesh, which was a great reminder to rely on the Lord than on our selves. By the end of the week he was better and is doing fine now.

After much studying during the week, we are realizing that we need to study this feast more. Though we had a blessed and wonderful time fellowshipping with our church family, we are still searching out what this Feast has to teach us about the Father. Oh, we learned so much and it was wonderful. Here are some pics. from our fun time.

The children loved riding their bikes around our campsite. And Diella actually rides now without training wheels. That's two with no training to go, and he is too crazy on his bike to go without. They enjoyed the hammock that our friends who camped with us brought along. And the playground always is a hit no matter how small it might be. They had fun on the slide and merry-go-round.

Everybody did good tenting, and thanks to a small heater we stayed warm at night. All in all, we had a great time and were blessed by what we learned during this feast. God has so much for us to learn and grow in. His ways are higher, his thoughts are higher, and we just want to get to those heights of understanding Him.

Like Dads..... ....Like Sons!

Silly Boys! and good times by all!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Celebration of Motherhood

In my very first post I mentioned about organizing Celebrations of Motherhood for pregnant ladies at our church. Last weekend we had another one, and the mother-to-be suggested that I do a blog specifically for ideas and comments from other ladies. I don't know that I have enough information to do a whole blog just on that, but I would like to use this one to share my ideas and hopefully, gain some from our readers. I have broadened my list of ideas just from doing them, but still need more ideas as the list of preggos keeps growing.

What is a Celebration of Motherhood? It's a time where ladies join together to encourage, support and minister to the lady who will be entering motherhood again or perhaps the first time. We have had such a blessed time gathering to do this. They just keep getting better in their own ways, but it not only blesses the mother-to-be, but also, all of us who share with her. Here are some of our ideas. I do try to plan it according to the mothers likes and enjoyments, so since we are all different, each Celebration is different in its content.
Typically, we do the Celebration before the baby arrives, but in the case of the mother below, we had it after the baby was born due to complications towards the end. We always try to have a flower arrangement (I prefer fresh from my own garden) and candles depending on the time of year as seen in the pictures below.
We start out with an introduction of what the purpose of a Celebration is (ministering, sharing and uplifting one another, especially the mother-to-be. Also, I like to read scripture to start us out such as Romans 12:3-? and Galatians 6:10). For two of them I had a lady light candles while another lady shared some scripture. Matt. 5:14 -16 is a good one for this.

We allow daughters to be there as long as they are not a distraction. This is a great time for the young girls to learn what women should be doing according to the scriptures.

These pictures are all of ladies sharing. We generally share advice, a story related to motherhood or something that has always been special to you as a mom. Then we also share scripture with the mother. One that will encourage her and edify her.

I forgot to mention that before we start anything, we eat. I usually ask ladies, that I know who will be there, to bring something snacky. Then we have recently started having cake. This last one I did was a keeper and enjoyed by all. Think creatively and make something that the mother-to-be will really enjoy. We also had one that was cupcakes in the shape of a butterfly with a baby made out of frosting or something, nestled in the middle. Very cute, wish I could find the picture of that one.

The next part is my favorite as I feel so humbled to be able to do it. We wash the mothers feet. This, for some reason, does not take place in churches anymore, and I think that it is too bad. This truly is a humbling act, and I'm sure makes the mother feel like she really has sisters that would do anything for her. We have read our scriptures to her at this time while the ladies take turns washing her feet, or we have also sang during this time. I really like the singing as long as I have enough songs planned. Also, I always have a bowl of flower petals right there close to drop into the water. It's especially cute when the little girls drop petals in. And, I give a good foot massage when everyone is done. But we also have had another lady bring her own hand made ointment and also rub into the mother's feet. What a great way to share what God has given us in talents and gifts to bless another sister. Here are some pics. from that.

I also really like having the husband write something about his wife that I have one of the ladies read. This is always touching to the mom-to-be. I have also had the children, if she already has some, write something for their mom. The picture below is one of my favorites as I asked the oldest daughter of the mom to read what her three brothers, one sister, and herself wrote for their mom. She was so moved that somebody else had to read while she sat there and cried. How blessed the mom is to have a daughter that would be so sensitive that the blessing her mom is to her would cause her to be emotional.
What a special time all of this is for our sister. I also try to plan something that would be more down the lines of something that would truly bless them. If I don't know the sister very well, this is when I really rely on the Lord speaking to me on what I should do. If it's a first time mom, we do give gifts. The following are some ideas that we have done with pictures.

We have done fun and cute skits. This one was quite funny . The arms are from another lady who obviously can't see what she is doing. They bathed a baby, got the baby dressed, put the baby in the sling, and is getting her makeup on for the day in this picture.

At this Celebration, this mom was expecting her 6th child. What a blessing! We all brought in store bought and home canned goods, pasta, toilet paper, etc. Some of the items had little poems that went with them that were bits of advice that had the name of the item in it such as, "Use your "noodle" when your children get bored. Quiet time must not be ignored".

This one we had an added bonus. The daughter brought some of the mom's old fancy dresses and the younger girls did a fashion show. Was a cute idea and made for some good pics.

We have also done gifts for first time mom and put a slide show together with pictures of the husband and wife up to that point with a song that the Lord gave one of the ladies about the blessing of a baby.
At the end of each Celebration we gather around the mother, lay hands on her and pray over her. This is indeed a special time for us. What a blessing knowing that your sisters are lifting you up to the Father that all will go smoothly with your pregnancy and labor.

And to wrap this post up, I would like to leave you with some pictures of the wonderful ladies that I have been honored to organize Celebrations for. I may not have known some of them very well before hand, but after serving in the way that we do during these gatherings, we feel as though we are family now. I love you all!

Now we must not forget the ladies to come. I have two more ladies both due in March I think. So, having said that, please share with me some of your ideas. Anything else that would be uplifting to sisters in the Lord and for a pregnant lady just ready to hold that precious little one. Hope you will all send me some ideas to work with! I also just have to include my first belly picture taken at the last Celebration we had. I'm honored to be in the pregnant stages with these two wonderful ladies. It's such a blessing going through it together with those you love the most!

Barefoot and Pregnant!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October Field Trip

For October, we went to Nottawa Fruit Farm just north of Sturgis. We had a good sized group and even though it was chilly, we all had a great time!

Trying to stay warm on our covered wagon ride. We made stops at a sorghum maze and to pick a pumpkin to take home.

They all got to dig for dino eggs which was fun and then on to the musical characters. The children walked in a circle while the music played and when it stopped, they had to get behind one of the characters by using their own heads to complete the character. Josiah was pinocchio for this one (thanks Miss Casie for holding me up!). Onto some tunnel fun.

The straw tunnel was dark but fun. We had to use a flash light and Josiah wasn't brave enough to try this one on his own, so the mom went along. All the boys liked this part of the farm and we could hardly get them to come out.

And a little deer and goat feeding were wet and yucky, but everyone enjoyed feeding them. Then it was time to feed ourselves (after a good hand washing), so we all got our packed lunches and finished out our day. We also did a little shopping in their farm market, buying some apples and cookies to take home. Yum!!!

September Field Trip

Well, we missed our first planned field trip in September to Bonneyville Mill's Celebration due to the rain from the hurricane in Texas, but thanks to another lady stepping up and wanting to host one, we had a great day and lots of fun.
We went up to Parma, MI back in the woods and had lunch, a hay ride, climbed dirt walls, played in the water, and just had fun enjoying nature and each other. Well, maybe I should clarify that "we" didn't do it all, it was mostly the children. Here are some fun pics. from it.

A little climbing action is always fun! They did great, even Josiah braved it and got to the top....with just a little help.
The water was wonderful, with a stream and small falls over rocks. Just beautitul and a great exploration place for the children. Did I mention that Josiah is all boy?!! Some of the older boys made swords, and though it was quite cute seeing the little boys sword fighting, one did get hurt right before it was time to go. What's some good woodsy fun without a homemade sword and fight, right?

And we all enjoyed a great hay ride, complete with stopping and getting gum balls. The sun was so warm, the sky blue, and what a blessing of a day before the cold set in.