Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
I was just reading an email from someone who included a thank you to her parents . . . "for being proud of me in my darkest days."
That struck a chord deep within me, because I have been thinking similar thankful thoughts.
I cannot express what a difference is made in my life by the knowledge that my parents think I'm wonderful. They know that I am far from perfect, far from who I will someday be. And yet, I know that they really truly think that I am a nifty, special, accomplished person.
They speak this to me in so many ways - they tell me in written words, in spoken words, in hugs, in looks that say so clearly, "I'm so glad that you're my daughter and I think you're great."
Papa and Mama believe in me. They know God has sooo much more work to do in me, but they see what He's done so far. And they like me.
I want to pass this same gift on to my children.
Lord, help me see the wonderful gifts and strengths my children have. Help me to appreciate them for who they are, Your precious creations. Help me to see the work You're doing in them, and to affirm and treasure them in ways that give them an assurance of my love and appreciation of them as individuals. Please make me a flesh-and-blood representation to them of Your unfailing love and compassion, as my parents have been to me.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Last night was our chapel Game Night. As usual, the canasta game (which always includes at least a couple members of our household) didn't finish up until after 11. Jonathan and I helped clean up and work on various tasks, and some of the kids went out to the volleyball court to look for some missing shoes. When Jonathan went out to check on them, they told him they thought they saw a copperhead snake. I'm so thankful they knew enough to recognize it and to leave it alone (if they hadn't recognized it, they would have tried to catch it... it's in their genes).
I wandered out to the volleyball court after a while to see if the shoe search had been successful and found Jonathan poking around in the grass and trees next to the court, looking for the copperhead. We sent the kiddos to pack up in the van, and shortly thereafter, Jonathan comes up with the copperhead. As he walks towards me with it in his left hand, he's shaking his right hand and saying, "Fast little booger." Apparently, when he first caught it, it managed to keep enough of its neck free to get a fang in him.
We went inside and took some pictures of the snake. I was going to say, "first things first" about that, but the first thing actually was Jonathan sucking and spitting, trying to get any poison out of his finger that he could. After we got pictures, Jonathan went out to let the snake go, and I went out to find some plantain.
After we got some plantain on it, I called the hospital. They said to keep an eye on it and bring him in if the swelling got so bad that it started to constrict his circulation. So we packed up and headed home.
Once home, I went googling for more information. There was so much conflicting information (elevate, don't elevate; ice, don't ice, etc) that we decided to check with Poison Control to see what they recommended. They insisted that we needed to get to the ER right away, and since the bite was so close to his bone, Jonathan was more willing than usual to go in. So Dad and Mom Smith came over to be here for the sleeping Blessings, and we headed out for a late night date!
They didn't really do anything at the ER besides look at him a couple of times. The doctor explained that only in very extreme cases do they use the antivenin, as it can be much more dangerous than the bite itself. So we sat in a freezing cold room for a couple of hours, read, chatted, and waited. After a couple of hours, it was obvious that the swelling was not out of control, and we got to come home. We got home shortly after 5 this morning.
We're a bit frustrated the Poison Control people were so insistent that we go in right away last night, We could have sat together at home for a couple of hours in a lot more comfort than we had at the ER, and for a lot less money! :-) But the Lord knows all about that, so there's no need for us to fret.
Jonathan's actually doing pretty well this (to us) morning. His hand is still very tender, but the swelling hasn't gone past his hand. We have been using some natural remedies, and I think they are making a difference. From what we've seen as we've explored online, it will likely be a couple of weeks before he is mostly back to normal, and a lot of bruising would be typical. We're not sure yet what impact the pain and swelling will have on his ability to work, but we're thankful that he has the weekend to recover somewhat.
Here's Jonathan's blog from when we got home this morning.
Thanks for praying!
The swelling isn't too bad at this point, so we headed home after a couple hours sitting around in the ER. We'll see how much he's able to do over the next couple days and how much bruising develops.
I'll post more after some sleep!
Here are pictures of the snake and of Jonathan's hand a few minutes after the bite.
After we got home, I called Poison Control, and on their advice we are headed to the ER as soon as Dad and Mom Smith get here to keep an ear out for the kids. It's 1:24am.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Anyway, here are some pictures Jonathan caught last night ...
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
My favorite quote from the movie - "Fireproof doesn't mean that fire will never come, but that when it comes, you'll be able to withstand it."
Here's the trailer:
Monday, August 11, 2008
Yesterday, Barak bought wood for a guinea pig cage and he and Jonathan got it built. His plan is to breed/raise/sell guinea pigs. We still have a ways to go before he's ready to roll, but he's excited about this big step.
Here are some pics...
Congratulations, you two!
Friday, August 08, 2008
If you cannot cross the ocean,
And the distant lands explore,
You can find the lost around you
You can help them at your door;
If you cannot give your thousands,
You can give the widow's mite;
What you truly give to Jesus,
Will be precious in His sight.
If you cannot speak like angels,
If you cannot preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
You can say He died for all.
If you cannot rouse the wicked'
With the judgment's dread alarms,
You can lead the little children
To the Savior's waiting arms.
If among the older people
You may not be apt to teach,
Feed My lambs, said Christ, our Shepherd,
Place the food within their reach.
And it may be that the children
You have fed with trembling hand.
Will be found among your jewels,
When you reach the better land.
Let none hear you idly saying,
There is nothing I can do.
While the lost of earth are dying,
And the Master calls for you;
Take the task He gives you gladly;
Let His work your pleasure be;
Answer quickly when He calls you,
"Here am I, send me, send me."
Hark, the voice of Jesus calling
Who will go and work today?
Fields are ripe and harvests waiting,
Who will bear the sheaves away?
Long and loud the Master calls us,
Rich reward He offers free;
Who will answer, gladly saying,
"Hear am I send me, send Me?"
Daniel March, 1868
Monday, August 04, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
14:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of
Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” 6 So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, 7 and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. 8 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. 9 The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.
10 When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. . ."
Read the rest of the passage here and be reminded of how God worked for them and brought Himself glory. Or click the listen button near the top of that page and sit back with an open heart.
Have you listened or read it? Okay...
Today at lunch, the Blessings and I were sitting in the office, listening to Exodus. The beginning of this passage stood out to me at first... God was setting up this situation for the children of Israel so that He could bring glory to Himself. That's significant.
Then we got to verses 13 & 14 - "And Moses said to the people, 'Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.' "
I literally gasped at that last line. The Lord has to teach me this repeatedly. He will fight for me. I must trust Him and be silent. This word is sometimes translated as "still."
Now, being "silent" or "still" does not necessarily mean inaction (though I do think it involves a willingness to suspend action).
For example, in the very next verse, God says to Moses, "Tell the people of Israel to go forward!" They needed to obey, to move forward in faith in Him.
A neat example of being silent and still is in I Peter 3. Really, I would suggest reading the whole of I Peter for context on this one, but here are verses 1 and 2 of chapter 3:
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
Without a word. Silence again! And yet again, it does not mean inaction. It is the wife's conduct (respectful and pure) that wins her disobedient-to-the-word husband. It isn't words (whether wise or foolish) that win him. It is her behavior. And it is the stillness that comes from faith in a Father Whose ways are not our ways that enables her to conduct herself in a winning way regardless of her circumstances.
I am also reminded of the oft quoted Ps 46.16, which says, "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Here it is in context; it is again in a setting of dealing with conflict and fear. Be still. Remember Who is God.
So, the Lord is reminding me today to be silent. To be still before Him. To move forward - be active! - in obedience to His clear direction. And to trust Him with the results.