Friday, June 28, 2013

Here's to Maine summers.

It seems like this summer we've had rain two weeks out of every three.

With the first glimpse of sun I planted my garden like a wild women.  It just so happened to be on a Thursday, also known as the first day of my work week.  I was just a bit tired that week as I served, but it was worth it.

Somewhere in there, actually growing very well, are some yummy veggies.

And then it rained and rained.  So I now have a french garden.  Not really my idea of a sweet little garden, but it is a garden, so I'm happy.

When the sun shined again it was Father's day weekend.  I scrambled to find a cover for my shift and then we headed on up to the farm for a relaxing day of fishing.

And then it rained.

The next time we had a nice little break in the rain we rushed on over to home depot to rent a sander.  Strong man sanded at dusk while I worked and then the next day I stained and stained until I ran out of stain.  Turns out staining a 24x12 foot deck is no small feat.  I couldn't feel my arms as I carried tray after tray to my tables both that night and the next.

But before I could stain the stairs or support posts it rained. Again.

Then it felt like it had been forever since we last fished and we only had 30 - 50% risk of thunderstorms so we jumped on that 50 - 70% chance of NO rain and hit the brook, bringing with us this very loved tag along. (Three boys in the back seat of a car for long periods of time can bring out some very "interesting" noises followed by fits of laughter...)

Unfortunately the only thing caught was Strong man's behind.  The good wife that I am died laughing as I pulled the hook and worm out of his pants.  The bugs however had found some very good catches causing us to retreat.

As we watched the rain clouds build up for the billionth time we enjoyed the backyard for a few more minutes.

We entered this time into the rain with a family pizza night and some indoor tenting.

Here's to rain, and sunshine, french gardens, and half stained decks, and most of all Maine summer adventures.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Does God have an answer?

Some say God only gives them an answer when He says, "Yes," the rest of the time being silent leaving them unsure if He is saying no or not now.  Some say that God says, "Yes and no."  The quietness is His way of saying no.  Some say that God says, "Yes, no, and wait."  Wait simply means to not give up on your request, but that you should sit back put your feet up and wait for the green light.

What do I think?

I think that God has an answer for everything.  I do understand God often says to wait, but I find that typically it isn't simply just because; He always has a reason.  Not only that but I find that He usually isn't asking me to wait, but rather asking me to learn so that I will be prepared for His answer.  Even more so I find that often after I have learned I see He was giving me His answer all along...(So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. ~Luke 11:9-10)...I'm secure in this answer.

What do you do when God hasn't even cleared the fog enough for you to inch forward?

My dearest boys, remember this:  Sit where you are with the Bible, His words in writing.  Sometimes this is the only truth we can see with both our eyes and our hearts.  Sit, search, study, inquire of Him, and trust that He finds joy in teaching you.  Know that just as I savored your first steps, your first words, and the look in your eyes every time you fully understand.  One day you will be fathers and one day you will savor these moments.  One day as you savor the learning of your children remember He savors your growth as well.  You are after all His little men.

Take this gift of learning that He has to offer and allow Him the joy of teaching you.
The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him.
~ Ezra 8:22b

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A four hour break

A little over a year in a half ago my then acquaintance, Military wife, and I had a burden to build into mother and daughter relationships and encourage the daughters to live pure lives.  Without question our church gave us the green light to make this conference happen.  As we began to plan and search out speakers it quickly became obvious that WE were the speakers God had picked out.  Feeling incredibly inadequate we did it.  (Here are two blog post you can read for a quick overview of our weekend and preparation: An overview and My other half)  That was a very good but VERY intense experience for the two of us.  While we began simply as acquaintances with a similar dream, we ended forever bonded.

Three nights ago we went out to "our" restaurant just because we could.  Lately life has been kind of heavy for both of us in different ways, I think.  That night we just let it all go and for four hours we talked everything and nothing.  Mostly we just simply were and sometimes simply being is what's needed most.

~ Friendships formed by God.
~ Walking life together even if not often.
~ Picking up where we left off.
~ Leaving refreshed.
~ Sushi.
~ Giant chocolate chip cookies and coffee.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


... Laundry piles high and floors are perpetually dirty.
... Brothers antagonize each other and Momma turns blue from it all.
... Mania regains its strength striking again, my soul exhausted yet determined to win this war.
... I spew words of fire, unable to call them back.
... Hearts are heavy as battles rage among spiritual brothers and sisters.
... Some I care for tell me they "would rather go to Hell then become a christian", because they've been hurt too many times by those in the church.
... I stand in the dark asking, "Now what?"

When life, like the laundry, piles high.  When standing on my tippy toes I can barely see the Son. 

Slowly I wade through willing myself to keep my eyes steady, knowing that if I blink those piles of life will come crashing down.  The story of Peter defying the laws of science, walking on water to Jesus continuously playing through my mind.  The part where he drops his gaze for just a minute, forgetting to trust.  I may be like Peter, walking on water, mentally speaking, but I am determined to learn from his mistake.  I am determined not to blink.

Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.
~ Isaiah 26:4

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer days are for...

Fresh fruit.

Worms and dirty boys.

Fishing adventures.

Dried up streams.

Grandpa's who carry little boys through grass twice as tall as they are.

Nature's surprise treats.

Naps to end wild adventures.

Picnic lunches in the back yard.

Stories read in the sun before nap time.

Backyard fun.

Sun showers.

Summer is for reviving the soul.

Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him all stars of light!
~ Psalms 148:3

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dad we're watching you


One of your best qualities as a father is how real you are with our boys, admitting your mistakes and teaching them to always strive to be better men.  Thank you for your humility allowing yourself to have a teachable spirit, in doing so leading us to do the same.

Love always and TFA,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A year of savouring

Three nights ago Laughter woke up screaming in the night.  I spent an hour cuddling him in the same small blanket he used as a baby that now barely covers him never mind wrapping him up tight in it.  With his head on my shoulder I listened to the purring of his sleep breathing, something he has done since the night he was born.  As I soaked the moment in I realized it had been eight months since I last had a similar moment.  Then he was sick and I was scared and debated on taking him to the ER more then once.  Eight months ago as I laid with him sleeping I watched him breathe in and then out and watched his ribs and lungs fight for air as he battled whooping cough and pneumonia.  A scary time.  But three nights ago was different I savoured.  These night are becoming few and far between.

In December Laughter turned three and in May Man of the woods turned five.  Both ages are landmark ages for me.  This year I am determined to savour each of them.  In the fall Man of the woods will begin school and Laughter only has a bit longer before he will be fully boy leaving behind the midnight cuddles.

So excited about Mr. Butterfly he didn't even realize he had some how tangled himself in the blinds...

Here's to savouring midnight cuddles and other fleeting moments.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

When the sun shines through

My house is pretty much in disarray.  On the days it is raining I'm catching up on my spring cleaning.  Since it's really been a raining I have time for a really deep clean.  Strong man has organized the basement and the garage.  I have torn apart the pantry/laundry room, the kitchen, to toy room, and one of the rooms upstairs.  Really I've gotten an amazing amount of work done over the weeks.  Even so just like anything else in life things have to get worse before they get better.  So while I have piles like this one below all over my house, on those sunny days or even those days when it's simply not raining the boys and I have been out in the garden.

Getting my hands dirty is one of the best therapies for me.  To hear the birds sing to watch life grow from bitty seeds.  To nurture the soil and protect the plant all the while knowing really it's not because of me that it grows, but the One who created causes the garden to grow.

Strawberry blossoms hold such beauty to me.
I gave each of the boys there very own row allowing them to plant whatever they would like. 

Tomatos may be my most valued plant in the garden.

Laughter planted sunflowers, giant pumpkins, beans-so he can have his very own dilly beans, beats-he is a lover of all things pickled, & flowers of some sort.

Why yes, he is covered in mud, planting in his underwear and standing inside the part of the garden where he already planted seeds...While this boy makes no sense to me at all, I can't help but laugh and love him.

This boy, my wild and crazy full of passion son, dug the bean holes with his toes.  He also helped Mommy plant her cucs.  At first he helped by holding the seeds for there protection and then next thing I knew there were only 5 seeds left as he had randomly planted the rest in some other row.  It only took about 30 seconds for him to do so.  That was round two of cucumber planting so from here on out my motto about those pickles I've dreamed of making for quite awhile is: It is what it is.

With all this rain the garden is becoming a bit of a french garden.  Just like with the cucumbers I shall embrace the same motto: It is what it is.

Man of the woods on the other hand, my serious rational thinker, planted sunflowers, giant pumpkins, beans just so he could have a straight from the garden snack, green peppers, broccoli, boy blue flowers.  He planted in perfect rows exactly the way Momma explained how to him.

Now this boy thinks like his Momma and I very much love him for it.

As for the rest of the garden well I decided to try some companion planting this year.  Ever heard of the three sisters?  It's when you grow corn, bean or peas, and something from the squash family all together.  The corn acts as a bean pole and the beans help support the corn in strong winds.  The Cucumbers I will act as a live mulch keeping out the weeds and helping the ground to hold it's moisture.  I've found some other fun tricks too, but I'll write more on that later.

Just today we sampled the first of our fruits.  These berries are deeeelish.  I'm certain like the asparagus these will never make it into the house.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

As each season ends a legacy is born.

Some legacies are wished to be forgotten by the ones who receive them and some just go down in memories possibly being recalled at family reunions, but others can hardly be forgotten.

"You will never know how to live until you are ready to die." written in Grampy's hand in the back of his Bible.
This past month Strong man's grandfather passed from this world to the next.  He was a mighty man.  He fought in WWII taking a bullet for his country and then continued protecting this country by securing our borders.  He lived up on a hill in a little town occupied by, at best 100 people.  When I met him at 89 he was still using the tractor and chainsaw.  (He defied time as his 89th year lasted for at least the first four years of my marriage.)  He knew everybody by name and most of those he knew tried to get a copy of his cinnamon bun recipe.  His character was one that most will never achieve and so was his generosity. 

But as many said their goodbyes, these accomplishments were not the outstanding memory.  The legacy that "Old Grandpa," as my boys would say, left behind was that he loved Jesus and he was compelled to tell every human being he crossed paths with that they should too.

When he left for the grocery store he not only made sure to bring his shopping list but more importantly he brought at least two pocket Bibles to give away just in case he had the chance.  And he ALWAYS turned that chance into a reality, not just when he was grocery shopping but anytime he left the house.  In fact he didn't even have to leave the house, any who would come into his home both friend and stranger could not say they didn't know of the Jesus from the Bible as they left.  Countless will walk through the gates of heaven because he took the time to tell them about his Savior, giving each of those people a small pocket Bible as a gift.  His faith and example to those of us watching is the most valuable part of the legacy he left behind.

This is the reason so many of us passed his name onto our sons. 

I don't know how it is possible but for my Strong Man, he was even more then mighty in character, more then generous, more than spiritually life saving, he was a "man of old," as the author of Hebrews 11 calls the old testament hero's.

 Photo: My grandfather taught me the verse "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path," when I was small.  He didn't just teach me the words, he lived them.

Maybe it's because he spent summers up on the hill with his Grampy, as he called him. 
Maybe it's because he was with him so many times he paused as if nothing were more important but to give one of those Bibles away. 
Maybe it's because he heard those life saving words leave his Grampy's mouth over and over.

 Photo: What better way to remember my grandfather than to spend the night reading the pages he literally wore out of his bible...

I'm sure it's in part the way Grampy and Nana read there Bible and prayed together everyday.
I'm sure it's in part because Grampy made sure to include him as a child and even as an adult into these daily readings.
I'm sure it's in part Grampy's insistence to always pray with him before they parted ways.

Before Strong man would consider me as his wife I had to spend a day up on the hill with him and his Grampy, looking for Grampy's approval of me...I'm sure of the moment Grampy thought I was a keeper.  It was when I solved the dilemma of cleaning the chainsaws hard to reach area's with a Q-tip.  And I'm sure Strong man new I was keeper when I assured his grandfather the lunch he made for us was amazing.  Still to this day I'm not sure what it was we ate, but it did have peas included; the one and only vegetable I hate to eat cooked.  Only later that day through conversation did Strong man learn I detested cooked peas.  Or more likely Strong man knew I was "The One" when Grampy invited me back and I was willing to return.  Shortly there after I found a diamond on my finger and wedding bells in the air.  As we planned we decided there was no better way then to start our life together with Grampy standing before the throne on our behalf and so with a 20 minute prayer limit, Grampy closed our wedding ceremony and birthed us spiritually into marriage.  Sweet memories. 

But even when these memories fade I pray his legacy will live on past my Strong man, into my sons who may pass it to there children, for many generations to come may his love for Jesus, his legacy only become stronger.
Simple reflection on the legacy he left behind proves he "gained approval through his faith."  Yes, I'm sure that if he had lived before the list of the "Men of old" was written he would surely be one of those men. 

I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations;  Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever.
~ Psalm 45:17