June is here!

June is here!

Yes, it’s true – June is here! I’ve been looking forward to June since January. Not wishing my life away in order to get, here, but just knowing that it would be a wonderful month when it arrived. It’s finally here, and three days into it I have not yet been disappointed. 

Here’s why I love June:

  • Spring has matured into summer
  • I still have a good 3 months of summer weather to which I can look forward
  • The spring rush of life has settled (slightly)

Those are a few reasons and actually, I really love June because of what has happened during this month in past years. June is like a second January. In January, we get to reorder our lives after the dust has settled from the holiday activities and consider the goals and plans for a new year. In June I take a little bit of concentrated time to consider where I am and where I need to be going. This has to be done in snatches of precious time because, after all, the spring rush has only slightly settled. Nonetheless, I find that I need this time to refocus on what the Lord may have for me to do. I have really enjoyed using the beautiful planner pages my mother and sister designed to help keep track of everything. If you haven’t used them before, you may just want to download them (FREE!) and give them a try for the rest of the year. But that was a rabbit trail.

Along with checking up on my to-do list and revisiting and revising my goals are also some other and to me, more important things that the new season of growth inspires. Caring for relationships should be one of the most highly prioritized things on anyones list – first our relationship with the Lord, and then with those around us: our family, the elderly, customers and clients (a real ministry!), students, teachers, friends who mentor us and/or who we mentor… the list could go on and on. 

The springboard for all of this is really time with our blessed Lord, which brings me back to another reason why I love June and summer in general. What could be better than slipping out-of-doors for quality time with our Creator in the midst of His beautiful creation? 

As the road of time twists along out of sight, take some time to consider, and perhaps to reconsider. Where are you going? Along the way, enjoy every day that dawns, but especially those in June.

Encouragement from Psalms

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” – Psalm 84:11

“Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 150:6

“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” – Psalm 115:1

“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” – Psalm 31:3

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

“Being a mother is dangerous. Mothers get stepped on, sneezed on, coughed on, barfed on. Their heads get hit by flying bears and balls. Their toes attract runaway bike wheels and dropped cast-iron skillets. Their ears have narrow escapes from little people whizzing butcher knives by for inspection — ‘THIS is the knife you wanted, Mama?’ 

“Mothers get sat on and stomped on by little lassies in their laps. They get run into by children playing tag and by boys backing up mowers. They get thumped by reckless pirates and rhinoceros hunters.

“Their minds become unsteady from doors crashing near the breaking point, from witnessing their offspring’s bicycle wrecks, and from grabbing carefree youngsters just before they fall off a cliff. Their bodies wear out from lost sleep, babies who wake every two hours, and children who have bedtime hassles or night wanderings…”

(excerpt from Prayers and Peanut Butter by Barbara Classen)

 

Our hearts are full of gratitude for all that our sweet Mama has endured for the sake of us, her 10 children. She tirelessly serves, cleans, shovels gravel, spreads mulch, plans menus, hosts guests, shops for groceries prepares meals, drives all over the nation to give us opportunities in music, talks willingly at any hour of the day (or should I say night), teaches, and teaches again…. the list is endless of the seemingly “small” tasks she does on a daily basis without looking for recognition or compensation. She truly lives and does all “for the glory of God!”

We are also thankful for all the other mothers and grandmothers who are daily setting Christ-like examples for the next generation to follow. Wishing all of you mamas a joy filled (and hopefully danger-free) day! 

The Noble Ones Are My Delight

Walking through this world of sin,

Despair creeps to my heart;

Yet Christ speaks to me within,

And peace my LORD imparts.

“I am with You,” he has said,

“The Comfortor is yours.

Walk the path which I have laid,

And trust my perfect Word.”

Other Christians walk near by,

Their presence I enjoy;

The Noble ones are my delight,

My Portion is the LORD.

New strength through joy my LORD doth give,

And I can walk again;

With songs of praise my heart is filled, 

With joy and hope I run.

“O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.” 

Psalm 16:2-3

All to the Glory of God

All to the Glory of God

The glory of God is like the ocean, into which all activities of our life flow as rivers. If an action has its source in God’s will for your life, then you may be sure that that action will flow into the ocean of God’s glory and be used for the benefit of His kingdom.

Sometimes we find ourselves “stuck” in the humdrum of life, doing the daily necessities but not feeling particularly useful. On days like these it can be especially meaningful to trace the current of purpose through the tasks. I find it especially helpful and encouraging to see how one small task – like preparing a meal – can be taken down the river bed into the ocean of meaningful Kingdom work.

We all must eat if we are to be able and fit to labor in the spheres to which we are called, and it is a tremendous gift to be able to feed a band of growing children who will one day be the leaders of the next generation. Or perhaps you are feeding people who are the leaders of the current generation – equally fulfilling when done in Jesus’ Name.

When we operate within the will of God for our lives, all that we do can be used for His glory. This is such a kind provision from our Lord. Trace the rivers in your life, and “whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Slow Cooker Pancakes

One day last week we needed supper in a slow cooker for ease of preparation when the dinner hour actually arrived. This is our preferred way of food preparation, anyway, but some days it’s just a necessity. Pancakes were all I could think about – they just sounded so good! But who ever heard of pancakes in a slow cooker? Well, it can be done, as I was thrilled to find out! A combination of all different recipes later and the family had happily consumed almost an entire 6-qt slow cooker full of the tasty baked good. This recipe doesn’t make any pretense about being beautiful – it’s really kind of… not. But it tastes incredible, especially if you are a pancake-loving person, like most of us are. The best thing about this recipe is that it is very allergy-friendly, being wheat, dairy, and sugar free. You can also change up the suggested spices and extracts to create your own unique flavor. Tastiness! 

Ingredients:

6 cups oats, blended to flour

3 cups unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup erythritol & stevia blend (or sweetener of your choice)

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon blueberry extract

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Combine all ingredients ina large bowl and stir until well combined.

Pour into a greased 6-qt slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or until done through (insert knife in center to check).

Serve hot with your favorite pancake toppings.

Purpose

“Thank God for purpose in life. So many purposes come into existence when one works the will of God, that there is no excuse for the laziness or wasted time. He is redeeming our lives, as well as our souls.” – Jim Elliot

Snapshot of Adventure

Snapshot of Adventure

It’s a very simple thing to think of, really, but the simplicity of it is what makes it sparkle in the sunshine of life. There was a pile of firewood to move: not dirty firewood, but very clean, attractive looking firewood. It had been left behind on a site at the RV Park and it was time for it to go. Rather than walk 1/4 mile around the Park to the usual storage area, why not carry it through the creek? It would be a little shorter and much more interesting. So we did. It was a sisterly adventure, and the lovely feeling of water around our ankles, mud between our toes, and a field of blooming bugle to cross made the afternoon one to remember. Spring is here, and opportunites of every species and variety abound!

Musings from Psalm 119:81-88

Musings from Psalm 119:81-88

Have you ever felt like the weight of life was bending you low, wearing you down, and discouraging you?

As I was wandering around the property a few days ago, I noticed the daffodils. They were bright, yellow, and fully bloomed, yet they were weighed down and bent over from the storm the night before. Water drops remained on their leaves.

Do you ever feel like that ~ weighed down, blown over? Like one more little circumstance, perhaps as small as a water drop is to a daffodil, will make you completely bend? Or like one more gust of wind will break you?

The Psalmist had experiences and feelings like this. But what did he do? Read Psalm 119:81-88.

My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.

“All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.” Amidst the persecution, affliction, and distress, he did two things. He chose to think on truth (“I hope in Thy word… I do not forget Thy statutes…All Thy commandments are faithful.”) and prayed (“help thou me… quicken me after Thy loving kindness”).

So whatever the trial you may be wrestling through, take the Psalmist’s example ~ focus on the truth of God’s Word, and pray. These two things are just what the enemy of our souls does not want us to do. But the Lord will strengthen you to endure and persevere!

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