Monday, November 17, 2008

Our First Real Snow Fall

We've had little flakes come and go a couple of times, but this morning it actually stuck to the ground without disappearing. It was a steady dusting of powdered sugar for a while.

Scooby couldn't wait to go out and take a better look, but quickly came running to get out of the cold. He has short hair so it couldn't keep him warm for very long. Then in the evening it came down almost like a white blanket for a short time and made sure everything was covered, but I didn't take a picture of that.
It is so pretty, like a gift floating from heaven. I know that shortly we will look at it differently, forgetting how pleasing it is today. We'll get tired of it's coldness and trying to drive in it, and having it limit our time outdoors.

Does that remind you of how our attitudes change about the many new things and experiences that come into our life? Like maybe even our first desire to learn everything about the One who had just redeemed us. That hunger to study every word and dig as deep as you can go. That thirst to be what He wants you to be. That attitude of gratitude which kept Him in the forefront of every decision and emotion.

There are so many different things that can slow down our spiritual maturing process. We all probably know what our weaknesses are, it doesn't take very long for the devil to figure them out and use them against us. It takes an effort to make the decision to rejoice in the day that the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24), and to do what is necessary to grow my spiritual life and attitude. God says if I acknowledge (know, depend on) Him in all my ways He will direct my paths. Keeping that desire to become like Christ doesn't just come upon us with our physical maturity. He said I need to use His words as my guide in all matters. When I know Him more I will love Him more and will walk in His path.
So when our growth has been stunted, and spiritual attitudes are getting off track, God has graciously provided the way for us to continue being guided by Him in a new life as a new creature - Pro. 3:6.

Tuesday morning - after having fun jumping around in the beautiful new snowfall, Scooby is ready to get warmed up.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recipients Of His Blessings

I promised some pictures and finally had time to take some and put in a couple that Steve took, too. The 2nd one is a view of our street. Most of the houses can't be seen until you come up to their yard. Getting our new house in order has been going very slowly. Since we no longer have a basement to "pack-rat" in (the kids have thier aparment on the lower level), I'm constantly deciding what I can live without. When I'm done, having less "stuff" in my life will be a good thing. But, right now it feels overwhelming and makes me want to ignore it. That's why I think this may take me several months.
One nice thing is, when I do want to escape for a while, there is plenty of yard to meander around and find a small project to get interested in. Like pruning some of our overgrown black raspberry thicket, that will be in another post.
Here are the views of our back yard that I get to look at every day, all day. The first one is from the entrance stairs of our bi-level (we have different chairs ordered). The living room picture window and the dining room doorwall are like large frames for the serene landscape. The next two are the view from our kitchen. We hope to see deer sometime.
I don't know why the Lord has blessed me with so many good things in my life. Like great family and friends, His protection time and time again, etc. . . and especially salvation!
Every time He heaps another one on me I think about how much I DON'T do for Him. He knows it will turn my thoughts to how gracious and merciful He is, that He would lavish so much on the undeserving. He knows, that being yet unperfected we will fall short of living the life He deserves from us.
It makes me remember songs like "Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus" and others that praise His amazing grace.
1. O the deep, deep love of Jesus,vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

2. O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

3. O the deep, deep love of Jesus, Love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean vast of blessing, ’tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Birthday Girl

Today I reflect on all the great characteristics that makes our little girl such a wonderful young woman. We love you Deliverance.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

When It Rains . . .

As of yesterday, we have all our things moved over to our new house, but most of it is still in our new garage. Although the rooms here are a little bigger and the house is in perfect shape, we have less storage areas here and have to sort through more of what we can do without, and look through the home stores for organization ideas. But we are just going to relax and take things slow for a while because things have been too hectic for too long.

During the last week of our move, we consistently felt overwhelmed with how much we had to do. To save some money we hired a couple of moving men to move only our heaviest things. Well they never showed up and never returned my calls. (stress #1). But another company squeezed me in for the next day. They sent 2 very young men that seemed like they had very little practice at it and I was afraid for their safety when they struggled with our refrigerator. I was as unsure of them as they seemed to to be of themselves (stress #2).
One of Steve's friends let him borrow his truck so we could get a lot moved over ourselves in less trips, and while following him in the car I bumped into the back of it when Steve had to stop suddenly when someone cut him off. The trailer hitch of the truck poked a hole in the front of the car, but it was Steve's work car instead of our good car, and we were relieved it only left a small dent in his friend's bumper, but I felt horrible about it. (stress #3). Then when we were returning the truck, it was dark and a deer popped out of the woods and into the front side of the same car. Of course it shocked me since I didn't even see it come out of the woods, and for a split second I thought it might kill me. But it rolled onto the hood, and as I braked it rolled onto the road ahead of me. For a few seconds it tried frantically to get up, which broke my heart. Then suddenly managed to run back into the woods (stress #4 - and a cry, poor deer). Steve hadn't seen me hit the deer and didn't notice I was no longer following behind him, so when I started down the road again I called his cell phone. After a mile, I realized I should have waited there for the police and I pulled over at a cross road, out in the middle of nowhere (stress #5), until Steve came back to me and called the police. Well, the car is still in the shop, and since we still had stuff to move, we opted for our insurance to pay for a rental. They didn't have any cars, so they gave us a deal if we took a truck (which we really needed anyway) for $5 a day. I ended up finding out from our insurance claims person that we didn't need the extra insurance the rental guy persuaded us to buy, and I think the stresses had my nerves wearing thin, so I confronted him pretty firmly (for me) and insisted he take that charge off our bill for the 7 days we've had the rental so far (I even told him he lied to us, which shocked Steve). I know Steve was embarrassed but in the end he was glad the bill would be $85 cheaper now. So, I DID have to put up with a day of Steve calling me "Iron Lady", making me walk in front of him so I couldn't shove him around, and whenever I seemed agitated with something he asked me not to hit him.

Finally, with only a few days left to finish things up and needing about a week, Steve's mom's boyfriend died from a breathing problem. I took the funeral day off from moving to be with her and our family, and Steve ended up cutting his moving time short to help his mom with a problem. But we were glad to be with his them during their own stressful time.

For most people these interferences wouldn't seem like much, but I'm not used to having stress in my day, I usually avoid it quite well. I know things don't happen unexpectedly to my Heavenly Father. He knows what I'm going to have to deal with daily and that it will all be used to shape who I become. He is an umbrella, protecting me from more than He has prepared me for, and it's good to know He has the power to make things go the way He wants it to.