Thursday, January 24, 2008

Just a bunch of Sickos

Last Friday Ryan woke up with a pounding headache and a fever of 103 degrees. Throughout the day he managed to throw up on my couch and in my car. I knew it wasn't the stomach flu. Ryan will throw up when he has a fever if he drinks water too quickly which is what happened. All day Saturday we fought the fever. The fever is almost always just the beginning so I waited for the other shoe to drop. Boy did it. By Sunday. Taylor and I were down, he with 102 degrees and me with 101. Jenna succumbed Monday. Since then we have been battling the fevers as well as the hacking cough, nasal and chest congestion that showed up too. I hate being sick. I especially hate being sick and taking care of sick people too. Jody was gone from Thursday until Sunday night at his grandmother's funeral in Arkansas so most of Sunday was really hard. I don't know how single parents do it. Jody has been sleeping on the couch all week. So far he has remained immune. Ryan always gets the worst of it. He's had it the longest and right now we are giving him breathing treatments, heavy duty cough medicine, and an antibiotic.
I have kind of lost my momentum on my blog. Hopefully I'll get it back when I feel better. Until then I hope everyone else gets through the cold season without getting whatever this was!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A life well lived.

Sometime yesterday evening my husband's grandmother went home to be with the Lord.
She had suffered from Parkinson's disease for as long as I've known her which has been
12 years. These last few years were especially awful. In saying goodbye we know that we have not lost her. She will be waiting to meet us again. In the meantime we will miss her dearly.
Even just a few months ago she was still making fun with her grandsons, or making fun of may be more aptly put. Deen had a wicked sense of humor, which she imparted down to all of her grandchildren, especially my husband.
The services will be held in Arkansas. It will not be a solemn time. In many ways it will be part family reunion and celebration. We have prayed for so long that Jesus would end her suffering. Now He has, by bringing her home to Him.

"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep or to mourn like the rest of men who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
I Thessalonians 4:13,14

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

First Day Back at School

"UHHHHHGHHHH! I don't want to do school!" This may have been the lament heard around the home schooling world yesterday as we started back up after Christmas vacation. But when you home school, school work can be a little different. Her are a few examples.

On Columbus Day, Taylor and Ryan built their own Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria.

Taylor and Ryan are studying Ancient history this year, so when we talked about Ancient Mesopotamia, they built their own ziggurat(a special step pyramid used in worship and sacrifice around the time of Abraham).

Yesterday we talked about how the Assyrians came out from under Babylonian to conquer not only Babylon, but Canaan and parts of Egypt as well. Paramount in these victories was their ability to bring down the walls of a city. Assyrians designed and built siege towers to help them accomplish this.

Taylor and Ryan made their own siege towers, complete with battering rams and little lego men shouting, "Attack!"

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Part 3 and Jam

In that desert God was teaching Elijah to depend on Him for everything. There was no absolute certainty in God's provisions except through faith and trust. Did Elijah breathe a sign of relief each morning and evening when he saw the birds coming with bread and meat? Did the sound of the brook's babbling give him comfort each day. Was the blessing he prayed at his meals truly the prayer of a desperately thankful man, or a fearful one? Fearful of the silence of that brook and the disappearance of those ravens. We are not given those insights into Elijah's emotions during that time, only evidence of God's faithful provision through each day He told Elijah to stay in that desert. I have to ask myself, am I truly thankful because I have faith and trust in God's provision, or am I fearful that He might not come through?
Another thing God was teaching Elijah about was his place in the cosmic order of things; about Elijah's power and importance. Without God's provision, Elijah would have died. He would have been nothing, because he was nothing. It wasn't until Elijah really knew he was nothing, that he became useful to God. It wasn't until he knew that he was just the same as that dried up brook- dead, unless supplied by a new water source. It couldn't be just any water source, it would be just as subject to contamination, but with a Living Water source, it would never go dry and it would always be pure. It was at this point that Elijah knew that God was all he really had and all he truly needed.
When we realize this, we become owners of the greatest wealth in the universe. Apart from Christ, we are nothing, but through Him, we can do all things!

On that last note, I made strawberry jam tonight! I have never done it before. It still has to cool and refrigerate, but licks of the spoon yielded positive reviews!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Back to Elijah Part 2

Continued from Back to Elijah...

I live in fear of not getting the next paycheck or of some catastrophe that we won't be able to pay for. This is where Satan gets his hooks in, he is a master of manipulator of fear. We must remember the angels' command to "Fear not."- Isn't it interesting that the immediate announcement of an angel in the bible was usually "Fear not." Angels were scary looking creatures is what we can surmise from this. Placing our faith and trust in God can be scary too, but it's worth it. The peace on the other side is truly worth letting go for.
God had some other things He was teaching Elijah in the desert as well. Another interesting thing to point out here is how God's basic training boot camp usually involves a desert of some kind.
Moses, David, and Paul were all desert boot camp graduates.
Let's define what exactly a desert is first of all.

According to Websters, the noun form of this word means 1: arid, barren land; esp: a tract incapable of supporting any considerable population without an artificial water supply.

There is a lot more to this definition but for my purposes in this blog, this first one is sufficient. This definition really stands out to me (and I didn't even use a fancy word study, just a plain old dictionary), because of the mention of a water source.
A desert that has any kind of population in it is going to have an artificial water supply- or at least a man-made way of obtaining the natural water. Of course the big problem here is all the points at which the water can become contaminated.
In our modern world of water filtration systems and treatment facilities, we know our water is made safe by mostly unnatural means like chemical additives. Those can be filtered back out, but the taste of the water cannot even be compared to the water that you find in a mountain lake or stream.
What happens when we do this to Living Water? We can certainly imagine the end product based on this analogy, yet we as Christians are drinking this kind of Living Water. We've pumped it through artificial means, contaminated it, filtered it, chemically treated it, and filtered it again. So what kind of taste are we leaving in our mouths, and how can we know the taste of the Living Water from its true source if we don't earnestly seek after it, if we don't climb the rocky crags and steep cliffs to find the true source and how do we do it?

I am actually just getting started on this, but I'm going to wrap it up for today. I'll add more tomorrow.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pleasant Surprises

My husband and I have done our fair share of finding old friends on the internet mostly through myspace. I have been the initiator on most occasions of this. It's always a little daunting sending that message which, for all intents and purposes despite the actual text, says "Do you remember me?" Imagine my wonderful surprise when I checked my myspace page this morning to find a blast from the past asking if I remembered them. Considering this person was someone I once had a crush on that was unrequited, it made the question that much more satisfying.

I could have replied in a cool, nonchalant, and condescending manner, "Oh, no, I am so sorry, I don't recall knowing you." This is probably a revenge fantasy of many. But I was simply honored that he remembered me and took the initiative to ask that scary question.

This brings to mind the idea that we should all endeavor to make someone's day a little brighter, whether we need to reach into the past to do so or not. My husband leaves me notes in my comments section on my myspace page. I do the same for him, albeit not enough. When was the last time we sent a little encouragement note, email or snail mail? Or a phone call? Personally I hate the phone. I always feel like I'm disturbing people. Notes and emails are wonderful things that allow the sender to edit and polish and the receiver the choice of when to receive it. They are also a great way to avoid contracting the dreaded foot-in mouth disease.
So if you are reading this, I wish you encouragement and I pray that you will pass some along as well.