New Blog

Inspired by Tracy, I’ve started what is intended to a be a picture-a-day blog. I’ll link to it on my sidebar soon, but in the meantime, you can find it here.

Too exciting

This morning while in the kitchen, I heard bloodcurdling screams coming from the back deck. Looking outside, I realized that they were coming from Barak, our child who rarely gets vocal about pain. But sure enough, there he is, screaming like crazy and waving his arms and legs around like … well I don’t know like what. But it was impressive.

My first thought was that he must’ve been stung, and sure enough, that was it. Once on his arm and once on each leg – whopper stings that looked like they drew blood.

I ran out in the yard to get some plantain and dashed back, chewing as I went. I didn’t realize how many times he’d been stung, and I had to send Siah out for some more. Once I put the chewed up plantain on the stings, it was obvious the pain started to lessen, but he already had pretty impressive swelling. Within a couple hours, there were just little red bumps at the sting spots. Yay for plantain.

And yes, we had a little chat about the fact that flailing one’s arms and legs like a wild thing when one has been stung by something is generally not to one’s advantage. 🙂

Thoughts on Gentleness

God has really been working on me lately in the area of gentleness. I find this in some ways ironic, because the following passage has long been a favorite of mine, representing some of my biggest goals…

I Peter 3.1-4
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

A couple of weeks ago at church, I Peter 2.4 jumped out at me. Referring to Jesus, it describes Him as “a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God.”

I was overwhelmed by the thought that the same expression is used of Christ as is used of the “spirit” that God desires of me. To have a gentle and quiet spirit (true beauty!) is precious in the sight of God. As Christ, our living stone, is precious in the sight of God. That wows me.

And then…

I’m reading Joyce Landorf’s Richest Lady in Town right now. It’s an older book that I’ve had for years and never read. If my family knew what I’ve been missing…

Landorf talks in one chapter about the whole gentleness issue, stating that she was not naturally a gentle person, and that for years she refused to even adopt gentleness as a goal. Then one day, she saw a young mother completely lose it with her children in the store. As the mother ranted and raved, and employees and patrons alike tried to clean up the rack of items the little boy had knocked over, Landorf watched him sneak his blue blanket out of his mother’s bag. In the midst of the chaos and the yelling, this little boy found refuge and gentleness in his blanket. Landorf realized how sad it was that the mother was not the one to give her son gentleness. Somehow, that experience was so impactful that she begin to actively pursue gentleness. And do you know what?? That especially included gentleness with her children.

And that’s when she went to meddling.

I’ve long pursued a gentle and quiet spirit. Folks around me have even given me feedback indicating that the Lord’s making good progress with me in this area. But do you know what? They don’t see me behind closed doors when my beloved Blessings have me ready to pull out my hair. And they don’t see me when I fail to forgive my husband and let bitterness grow until it explodes.

I have such a long way to go.

The wonderful and encouraging thing is that I have a faithful God who is constantly working to conform me to the image of His beloved (precious!) Son. He has started a work in me, and He won’t stop until He completes it.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~ Jesus~ Matthew 11.29

Template help

I just realized I still have my little ticker for Stephen Wayne at the bottom of my blog. I can’t remember how I put it there or figure out how to get it out. 🙂 Any help?

Locks of Love

We were inspired by a friend, and Kate and Ellie decided a couple weeks ago to get their hair cut for Locks of Love. We finally got it done today, and I thought I’d share some pictures.



And after:

We took them to the local cosmotology college, and think they did a nice job. The only thing that made me less than happy with it is that they took off way more than they needed on Kate’s. Her ponytail is over 12″ long, and they only need 10″ for L o L. If the girls want to do it again, I’m taking my own ruler. Thankfully the student realized that the comb was longer than 6″ and pointed it out to the teacher before they cut Ellie’s hair – she didn’t have the extra to spare. 🙂

Big bonus – it ended up being free! Though I asked when I called if they did comp cuts for Locks and Love and they said no, she said when they got done that there would be no charge. A wonderful extra blessing.

A New Lesson

Psalm 131 has been one of my favorite sections of Scripture for many years. And just now, the Lord has reminded me that He always has new things to teach me, even from verses that I have had memorized for over a decade!

~~Psalm 131~~
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.

And my lesson for today? Verse two says, “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul…” Guess what??? That’s an action! An act of the will, by God’s grace and power.

More pictures!

But this time of our little man…

In the third shot, you can see his birthmark. It’s not like any I’ve seen before. Here’s a close up –

Anywhoo… he’s such a sweet little fella. He’s happy and is growing like a wildflower (it seems so rude to call babies weeds, don’t you think?). He’s around 10# now, which I’m thrilled with since he was 7# 2oz when he was born almost 7 weeks ago. God is so good, and I am so blessed!

Buz Kiefer

I was sorting through my Favorites folder today and was reminded of this photographer’s work. He has some amazing pictures. His Smoky Mountain Photos gallery is my favorite, but his other galleries are impressive too. Here are a couple samples to whet your appetite:

North Carolina Trip

We got home last Saturday morning from a wonderful trip to the mountains of North Carolina. I’m never quite sure how to handle that type of thing on my blog. I mean, in general, those of you who read here are my friends, and I try not to be paranoid about “web security.” At the same time, just in case some wacko is just waiting for our house to be empty (lol), I have a hard time saying ahead of time, “Hey world, we’re leaving town!” So, anyway…

There was no work here, and Papa and Mama had tons of work (and a really tough job last week), so we took them up on their offer for us to come down and Jonathan work with them for a week. Shockingly enough, it ended up being mostly Papa and Jonathan working. Mama and I and our Blessings had party time! 🙂 And Beka and her Blessings came over for a few days and partied with us. It was so fun to see the cousins playing together and having fun. Eric even managed to drive over and play with us on Independence Day.

We left Friday morning and took our time going through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of our favorite spots. We did some shopping in the Pigeon Forge area (three cheers for the Pfalzgraff clearance store!), and then headed home. It was after 6pm before we left the Pigeon Forge area and started the serious driving… got home around 3am. But it was fun! 🙂

Here are pictures from our trip – enjoy!