Thursday, September 26, 2013

He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills

I don't know how many of you have read the Scripture verse from Psalm 50,

"I will not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine."

or sang the song,
"He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in every mine;
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell -
He is my Father so they're mine as well;
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills -
I know that He will care for me." 

Well, the phrase, "He owns the cattle on a thousand hills"

was the theme in our home today.
For the past year I have been praying and hoping (on and off) for new leather couches or faux leather couches for our den. We are a family of eight now and we no longer fit altogether on the couches during our family time. Someone (or more than someone) would have to sit on the hard wooden floor. That bothered me. I wanted to sit and snuggle together, but there just wasn't enough room. I have been on the look out for a really great deal and even looked for "free" couches on Craigslist, but the bottom line is we just couldn't afford it. 

So, last Saturday, after months and months of looking and praying, I gave up. I realized that there were more important things that God could use our money for then couches.  But then, the next day, Sunday, Clem  Ferris, (who doesn't know us at all), gave us a word and reminded me that the Lord cares about the things we care about and how He will provide the things we desire for our home. 
TODAY! I woke up and felt in my spirit the Lord saying,

"Today you'll find your couches."
I didn't know what it meant or what to do with that so I got up, dressed into my workout clothes and went downstairs to start my work-out. Some time into it I heard a garbage truck in the neighborhood and
I felt it again-
 "Today you'll find your couches."
I turned off my workout, got the kids in the van and began driving up and down street looking for my couches! (Ridiculous as this may sound to you, it felt very real to me).

As we drove along I shared with my children what I was believing the Lord had for us: a leather couch, love-seat and a leather chair.  And so we were all intently looking out the window as we drove for God's gift. 

But after an unproductive hour of looking, and as I was turning onto my street my son yelled, "MOMMY! I see the couches!" I turned the van around and drove to the street (across from mine) and found that a neighbor had just finished putting a leather couch, leather love-seat, and leather chair on his curb. It was exactly what I have been praying for!!!

Long story on how me and six children got all three furnishing back to my house, (pretty funny though) but we moved out the old, and brought in the new. When my hubby came home from work, I blind folded him, sat him down on the 'new' couch and asked him,

"Does your Father in heaven own the cattle on a thousand hills?"
 He removed the blind fold and humbly said, "Yes, He does."
I have cried on and off today, basking in the greatness of our God! I have sung the the words,
 He is my Father so they're mine as well;
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills -
I know that He will care for me." 
over and over throughout the day today. My children have been giddy with joy. I don't know what I love more, that my Father answered a secret desire in my heart for my family or that my children got to see all that happened today. I never thought for one moment, "What do I tell the children if I don't find the couches?" They got to see my faith and obedience to God in action. They got to see how exciting life can be when we pray and God hear's and answers our prayers. 

 My hope is that you are all encouraged. Understand this, our God cares about the secret desires of our heart. He hears even your unspoken, hoped-for, wishes! He cares about us that much!

Here is the longest couch-
(I jogged this one home by myself!)
(The red curtains and pillows I bought years ago, used for a while,
but then washed them and put away in the attic. Perfect match!)

The chair and...

the love-seat.
(My boys walked the love seat home with the help of a dolly!)

Here is what sits atop my coffee table.
A 'red' and 'cream' place mat, a cream plate,
and red and cream candles that I bought back in MARCH! 
Funny or crazy, but no, it didn't match my other couch set,
 but I loved it so much
my husband said it was okay for me to buy.
The cream and red of this set matches the couches and pillows!

Now this gem of a coffee table has it's own story too.
About three years ago I saw a similar one at a friend's house. 
I fell in love with it because she stored her board games on it's shelf.
She said, "If I don't see my board games 
I just won't remember to play with my children."
I thought, "Me too."
Then I prayed, "Lord, some day can I have a coffee table like that?"
Well, I'm glad to say that about two months ago,
before finding the leather couches,
my husband and I saw our neighbor throwing it out!
(I immediately put our board games and Bibles on it's storage shelf!).

So here it is!
My new den furniture:
complete with a leather couch, leather love seat
leather chair, and a huge coffee table
as a free gift from my Father in heaven!
 Thank you Jesus!

Monday, September 16, 2013

She's Forgotten Me

I never believed it was possible.
I never thought she'd forget me.
I knew I wasn't her favorite.
I knew I wasn't special.
But there were times...times where I made her laugh.
There were times she seemed to want to hear my stories.
I wanted to believe I was special enough not to forget, but I have been forgotten.

This autumn marks seven years...
                      seven years of her forgetting me.

She is my mother- a mother of seven children. Were there just too many of us for her to look after?  -did she have too many children? Did she like the first few and give up after that? Or did she just not like the last one - me?

I am a mommy of six children. I do not have too many. I cannot stop looking after each one- they are all my heart. I cannot imagine forgetting even one of my children. When we walk through stores or busy places like Busch Gardens I am always counting heads, always saying, "Where is ....?" and then the children will inevitably say, "He's right here!" I've had nightmares of one or more of my children passing away and I think to myself, "I will never forget him/her." I even wonder how I would be able to continue life without them.

So, how is it possible for a mother to forget her child?

My conclusion: It just is. There are some women who do forget their own child, and sadly, the Scriptures say it is so. "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:14-16)  God put that Scriptures in the Bible because He knew countless ones of us would have a mother who would forget them. He wants us to know that He, our Father in heaven, is not like our parents here on earth.

The truth is, I have been forgotten by my father too. Actually, he forgot me first. He let me go without a fight. He had had enough, I guess. He wanted peace and quiet. He never asked me a question. Never said goodbye. It was like he pushed me over the edge of a precipice and he never looked back. I was gone.

I have been forgotten by my four sisters. How can it be? Did I mean nothing to any of them? Did I not, in our thirty-five years of sisterhood, make some impression? But alas, I have been forgotten.

"Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" (Isaiah 49:14-16)

He will not forget me. He will not forget me. HE will not forget me.

I have to believe it. My Father in heaven, with all of His millions and millions of children to look after, will not forget me. How is that possible? To be honest with you...I have no idea, except to know that He is God. You would think it would be much easier for a mother to remember one of her own children-I mean she doesn't have millions of children, but she isn't perfect. She isn't God. God is God. God is perfect. God does not forget His children.

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."  (Deuteronomy 7:9)

I love you my Father, my God, my Daddy. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for not forgetting me when so many others have. Thank you for being so faithful. Thank you for being my Rock of truth that enables me to stand each day. My heart, my life, is yours.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Despicable Me" Party!

Despicable Me 2 came out in theaters this past summer and my twins loved it. 
So, with that, it became the theme for their birthday this year. 
I personally was quite excited because
 it would be only the second time since their first birthday that they 'shared' the same theme! 
Now to the planning!

This year we had a quieter friends party at the house.
The plan was to have dinner together,
have a worship and prayer time for the twins,
cake and presents (of course)
and lastly, watch Despicable Me altogether.

The night was planned now for the decorations!
First for the sign.
I was going to make my usual Happy Birthday sign,
but then I thought of this:

Each 'minion' is different.
Some have hair, some don't,
some have one eye, others have two,
and I had to make different facial expressions too!

I cannot tell you how many times my twins thanked me for this!

Then I found on Pinterest the Minion cupcakes!
My girls HAD to help me assemble them! 
Here they are:

Not perfect, but they couldn't have been happier.

Sooooooo happy!

Then came the family party on Sunday. 
The twins asked for ONE cake-a minion cake...

but I surprised my daughter with her own cake- an Agnes cake!

I am by NO means a cake decorator,
but they are always so happy when I try!

Okay, so that's all the fun stuff,
now for the part of their birthday that I really want to share with you.
My twins turned 9 years old- to me this is a memorable birthday.
It is the last year of their entire life where they will be ONE- DIGIT old.

Next year they will be 10
 and from there on out they will be steadily growing up and maturing.
So over the last year I have worked on a special photo album for them.
I had to find old pictures from 35mm film and have recopied,
dig up old cds and go through them, develop them in duplicate,
and put them all in chronological order! 
It really has taken me a year!

I also wanted  album itself to be special.
I got a Lenox photo album that has a Noah's Ark on the cover.
When I was pregnant with the twins I had painted  Noah's Ark
and many, many animals on their walls.
(The Twins Room-that is when they were babies)
The story of Noah and His obedience to the Lord will
always remind me of God's promise to us.
I made this special gift for my twins to help them to not
only see how much I love them, but how very much
God loves them!

The Twins Room, that is when they were babies.

I remember the sunny day back in September of 2003 as if it was just yesterday. I had only two children then, my son who was three and my daughter who was one. I had just finished folding the laundry and was making my way from room to room to put it all away. When I finished tucking in the last drawer, and my basket was empty I headed toward the hallway and saw the empty guest room. I looked at it and passed it without a thought. Going down the hallway I felt something like a tap on my shoulder and heard in my heart, 

"You're going to have twins."

I stopped and went back to the empty room and said to the Lord, aloud, "God, if that is you and I'm going to have twins, what will the theme of the room be?" Immediately I heard, 

"They came two by two." 

I cannot explain the impression on my heart that I hold for my children's bedrooms to be covered in Biblical Scriptures. For each child I have prayed for a Bible verse that would minister to that particular child and have painted it on their bedroom wall. I believe the Lord knew how important that was for me and how funny, as I look back now, that my first question to God was, "What will the room theme be?" Only God could answer that question for me and He did.

A few weeks later my three-year old began praying at night time,

 "Lord, can I please have a baby sissy for me and a baby brother for sissy." 

Every night he began praying for twins, a boy and a girl, without us ever telling him that I felt God was saying we were to have twins. 

We got pregnant that December and made the appointment to get our first sonogram at the ten week mark. My husband and I went in, anxiously waiting to hear the words, "You're going to have twins!" But as the doctor scanned my belly he simply said, "Yup, you're gonna have a baby." We looked at each other with sad eyes. The doctor then asked us what was wrong and we proceeded to tell him how we believed we were going to have twins. He said, "Okay, let me look again."  He checked my entire belly and there he found TWO babies! One lying on top of the other! The funniest thing happened next, the doctor opened the door to our examining room, and yelled out, "This couple prayed for twins and got 'em!" 

 I began preparing the room right away. I gathered animal stamps- as many as I could find. I wanted to make a border of animals marching around the room toward the Ark that was placed in the center of their two cribs. I painted (stamped) the animals directly onto the wall. It was A-LOT of work!

I also wanted the crib sheets and bedding to match, but found that the crib sets were over $100 each and we just couldn't afford it. I looked on Craig's list and Ebay, but could not find a perfect match of two sets. So, I went to the fabric store. I found Precious Moments Noah's Ark fabric! The only problem was that I had NO idea how to make a blanket! I bought the fabric anyway and thought, "Ill just have to find a friend who knows how to sew!" I did. I showed a friend the fabric I bought and she told me alllll the other things I would need to complete the blanket. I got the stuff, she came over and we sewed the two quilts for the twins. One with a pink border and one with a blue border.

I really loved this room for them.
It reminded me of God's faithfulness to Noah's obedience.
It reminded me too of how God protected Noah and his family and how He had a good plan for them.
In the early months of the twins lives, life was tough, but sitting in the rocker with them and looking up and seeing the Scripture and remembering how God prepared my heart months before we were even pregnant always helped me to press on no matter how little sleep I had gotten.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The First Day of School!

I was a teacher for many years,
all primary grades,
and with that comes decorating the windows,
doors, bulletin boards-you name it.

Well, I've still got some of that in me...
Here's a picture of the bay window in my kitchen.

Every year I decorate the windows with pencils and apples.
When September is over I take the pencils down
and tape them onto a new page in my children's scrapbooks.
(These pencils now act as kind of a page marker
of a new school year in their scrapbooks).

On the first day of school,
while the children are showering and putting on their 
"first day of school outfits,"
 I prepare a most delicious breakfast!
I make scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits, and fruit.
We sit together, pray not only for our breakfast,
but for a blessing on our new school year.

After breakfast, well, it's picture time! 

My youngest is now in Pre-K 3!

Among her supplies
is her trusty binky...

and her blankie!

My second youngest is in Kindergarten!

He is quite proud of his lunch bag =)

And for the boy who LOVES animals-correction- JUNGLE animals...
He wants to be Zoo Keeper when he grows up!

My sweet twins are now in the fourth Grade!

(You cannot imagine how much this blessed me!)

And what a great doctor he will make!

Here is my now 6th grader!

This girl has been drawing the most amazing pictures 
since she could hold a crayon.
When she learned how to read and write at age three
she began putting together simple stories.
She has written more children's books than I can remember!
God has blessed her with a true gift and know God will use it!

 And lastly, my oldest child! 
He is in eighth grade.

Here is the class of 2013!

When we finish taking pictures
the children run inside and open their backpacks
to see their new books, new supplies,
and little gifts I have hidden away in their bags!

When do we actually START school on this day?
After chores, but then... 
we get together for our prayer and Bible time
that will begin each day from this day forward.

We thank the Lord for our Land in which we have the freedom to homeschool 
and worship Him in our homes. 
We thank Him for another year that we are called to be home together.
It is a good first day.
I encourage you to make the first day of school fun and exciting!
We love it and look forward to it each August!
Hope you have a very blessed school year!