Tag Archives: Blessings

He Loves Each One

God loves each one.

It’s a truth I’ve been told. A truth I have told. A truth I repeated and taught. Not one I always believe, especially for myself.Chive Blossom

I saw this truth in a new light yesterday.
My neighbor Carol has become very dear to me over the past few years. It started with my husband plowing her driveway. He never charged her. This confused her. “Why would you do that?” He always said it was because he had a snowplow and she had a driveway that needed to be plowed. God loved her and so he loved her.Busy Bee

On one of these visits about four years ago she told him she had been diagnosed with stage 3-B breast cancer. That’s where my story with Carol starts. I went to find out how I could help. We prayed. We helped her pack and winterize her house as she decided to go to Washington and do a special diet among other alternative treatments.

Over the years my family and I helped with food preparations, cleaning, moving, and gardening. There were doctor visits and trips to the airport.Pink Columine

She lived a lifetime of adventures. Mushing the Iditarod trail with a friend. Teaching English in China.  Always studying and learning. I only got glimpses of her adventures,  they were often overshadowed and forgotten by the battle to stay alive. She and a friend were planning a summer long float trip on the Yukon river when she was diagnosed.

She had a great sense of humor. Most days she made me laugh, all the way to the end.White and Purple

She was full of paradox.

Carol was almost always cold yet one of her favorite memories and places was in the Alaskan interior with only her dog team at -40.

She didn’t want to be around people but she loved them, and as I recently learned was well loved by many.

She had issues with everything in her life being someone else’s fault. She seemed to alienate people. She didn’t trust easily. She denied the existence of God.White Poppy

She became so dear to me.

On many days of trying to help her and her not allowing me there was no reason for this love but the love of God Himself for Her. There were many days I didn’t want to go do another seemingly pointless task. God repeatedly reminded me I was serving Him, obeying Him so it didn’t matter if I thought it was pointless.

She went into hospice Thanksgiving weekend. God had been breaking down her isolation. The people serving and pouring into her were beginning to connect, to find out the others existed. Going into hospice really brought everyone together.Pink Poppies

I was astounded to see the faithful believers God had placed in her life – for her whole life. I used to think, “How has she missed it all these years?”

Now I see something else. God loved her all along. I would have told you that was true. Now I see more clearly how  it was true.Pink and Yellow Columbine

She has come to know God’s love for herself. She has finally been able to forgive and let go of bitterness that she has carried for decades. It took her weakened physical state for her to gain spiritual strength and healing. People come to see her, send her cards, and call. New friends have been made, many of whom share God’s love for her.

Carol dreamed of having a home. Through complicated details I won’t explain she started one this summer. When she went into hospice they moved her to a friend’s house. She wanted to get her house finished enough she could go home. When she accepted Jesus’s forgiveness I realized God had a home for her. He hadn’t just started on it either. He knew she would be coming home.Progress in the Garden

I guess it is a living illustration of Romans 5:8. While Carol was denying his existence He was loving her. He was sharing with her the beauty of His creation. He was surrounding her with people who loved her with His love. People  to love her and show her truth while she denied His existence for over 60 years.

I think it is His love that did not let her live in regret for wasted years. She is in heaven and knows only good and beauty. She can’t “what if?” or “if only”. She has no pain,  no sorrow. She is at peace.  I choose peace.  I will celebrate.Lady Bug Poppy

One day she was talking about her life, everything falling apart. I saw God holding out His hand catching every piece.  He was holding them to make something beautiful. At an informal service for Carol a pastor shared the verses he read to Carol just before she died.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

John 10:27-29

King James Version
by Public Domain
emphasis mine
Another was of the beautiful aspen trees over her house being God singing over her. She enjoyed it so but could never tell it was Him.
My son had this picture for her.

Holding Shame and Guilt

He told her the message.

This is a picture I was given for you. You are in the black cloak. The black cloak is sin, unbelief, anything bad you have done and everything bad that has happened to you. The cloak blocks the beams of light, God’s love and forgiveness, from reaching your heart.
The man in white standing next to you is Jesus. He is waiting to take your cloak. Before He can take your cloak and give you His white robe of righteousness you have to ask Him to take it. He won’t ever force you to take it off. As soon as you are ready to take it off He will help you.
Removing the black cloak and putting on the white is submitting to Him without necessarily understanding it all.
She said thank you for telling me but I don’t believe that.

Now I wish I had drawn her accepting Jesus’s offer. The reality that happened the Sunday before Christmas,  her finally giving Him her guilt and shame. His glory shining in and transforming her. Transformation she felt during her last three weeks.Accepting the GiftTransformation went beyond her. Sisters who hadn’t talked in years reconnected.  A neighbor was able to minister to Carol while her own sister suffers with cancer thousands of miles away, ministering to her heart where she had felt helpless.Chocolate lily

God loves each one. Those who love Him and those who don’t.

I was so blessed to know Carol, to meet some of the people who loved her for years and for days, to love her myself.

My Life: December 2014

 Here we are the last day of 2014. Final post of the year.
I pray your year has brought you closer to God and family.

I love this time of year.  I love holidays and time with friends and family. I love reflecting on the blessings and lessons of the past year.  I also love dreaming and planning for the year ahead.

Looking around:

The trees are still up. Yes, trees. My daughter set up both small trees, the smaller of which ridiculously has three sets of lights on it.
Gifts have not found homes.20141231_094629
We expanded the living room, thus shrinking the dining room. Not sure when we’ll recover from that. Yes the love seat and the table are touching. Yes we need to use that side of the table.Shrunken Dining Room
The rest of the house is showing we have been in holiday mode and chores are not being done.
Time with family and friends has been especially precious.

Looking back:

A year of building,  working,  struggling, learning, growing
So many things to be thankful for, so many things to regret.

Preaching to myself. I am not my failures. I am a work in progress.
Preaching to myself. I am not my failures. I am a work in progress.
Lessons learned and lessons to continue walking out.

Favorite posts:

I share about losing a son and "seeing" him in heaven.I share about losing a son and “seeing” him in heaven.

Fire of Grace:

A prayer we prayed on our building site before we broke ground.
Fire of Grace: A prayer we prayed on our building site before we broke ground.

Looking ahead:

I love to set goals, make resolutions, daydream of ideals. I haven’t had time to do that. I haven’t had success in living them out. I haven’t even had success in being encouraged to keep trying. So I now try to focus on progress.
I sense God has a different strategy and I have to let go of the fact that it is not crystal clear for me to write-up in some idealistic way on New Year’s Eve.
I have a few plans for 2015.
My One Word for 2015 has to be Authority. God won’t let me get away from it.
I plan to use Dr. Caroline Leaf’s 21 day Detox plan to intentionally renew my mind.
I plan to keep writing My Life posts.
I have more to share on Ready. Set. RUN!
God is calling each one to be fully what He designed you to be. Get ready to run.
God is calling each one to be fully what He designed you to be. Get ready to run.

I’m stepping out to lead a women’s group at my church. I am looking forward to God using the amazing team of women I am working with to help me grow. That is one lesson I am learning and learning to walk- relationships are vital to my growth.

How is your house after Christmas?
How do you prepare for a new year?

My Life August

God-Sized-Project-008-Week-13-&-14  Just the fact that this post contains almost all the blessing updates from the month gives you a good idea of my life this August.

Christian
More arguing and figuring than faith, I am sorry to say.

Much more letting go than I ever imagined I could or would have to do. Letting go of understanding, timing, expectations, desires, rights. Letting go means tears, lots of tears.

IMG_2236

Yesterday felt like something shifted. I saw this graphic by Intentional Living on Facebook. Saying, thinking and living from who I am instead of how I feel, feels wonderful. It is very freeing. I am sure I knew that, have been told that no less than a 1000 times but something actually shifted yesterday and I felt more free and encouraged than I have in months. If you are not already, or at the moment, you should try it.

I am living from who I amWife
This month its been more like general contractor and crew leader. The great thing is we like working together and look forward to doing it more. Most of our time together is focused on our shop, our God Sized Project. We work together on his days off. He makes sure I know what needs to be done and how to do it for the next week. The kids and I get as far as we can on it each week.

IMG_2288 IMG_2318Mom
This has been the crew leader. Most weeks this month, and half of last I think, the kids and I – especially the boys – have put in many, many hours on preparing for the concrete to go in the footings and now to get the entire floor ready for concrete. We are getting closer and so is winter. We will finish leveling the pad with sand today. Then we need to lay vapor barrier, insulate, lay heating tubes, and lay rebar. Then we will be ready for the final pour of concrete! I never would have imagined it taking us all summer to get this far. More letting go.

IMG_2324This is what the kids and I did to get the footings ready for concrete.imageIMG_2238 IMG_2246 IMG_2253 IMG_2285 IMG_2296 IMG_2323 IMG_2324image

This is the list we are currently working on.

I’ve been forcing myself to make plans for school, too. The plans are now in order, other than when I am going to make time to actually have them do their school work. I guess the boys are doing school now. They can log all their work for a construction class.

Author
Not really anything to say here. I miss writing. I look forward to things slowing down and making time for it again. I’m not sure how far out I am looking though. We are hoping to get the building closed in so the weather won’t keep us from working inside through the winter. I have no idea how long that will take.

Blessings Week 13
Aug 3 – 9

  • Hard working boys
  • family foundation
  • My almost 80 year old Dad being willing and able to help shovel

IMG_2335Blessings Week 14
Aug 10 – 16

  • concrete
  • pump truck
  • concrete trucks
  • fair weather
  • Use of generator and stinger
  • Dump truck

Blessings Week 15
Aug 17 – 23

  • Sand spread – 20+ yards the boys have shoveled every grain of it. My girl and I have spread most of it.
  • Plumber willing to design the heating system, get us parts at cost and teach us what to do and just at the right time!
  • Dump truckIMG_2334

Blessings Week 12

God-Sized-Project-Week-12July 27 – Aug 2

I am a bit tired this week so I am sure I missed some of the blessings God poured out on us this week. Here’s what I remember or got written down.

  • Free rebar, about enough for 2 full runs
  • Extra time on the excavator
  • Brian wanting to teach the boys what he knows
  • More free rebar, looks like enough for all the long bar in the footings
  • Gloves
  • Returning parts
  • Strong boys
  • Hard working familyIMG_2146 IMG_2148 IMG_2149 IMG_2152 IMG_2158 IMG_2160 IMG_2166 IMG_2171 IMG_2179

5th Week – July 2014

This week I’d like to introduce you to four Alaskan authors. They have some other things in common as well.
They are all moms.
They love Jesus and families.
Their writing blesses me.
I know them all in real life.
They share a passion to encourage moms.
So here you go.
Check them out.
You will be blessed.
Copperlight Wood
Shannon shares her faith journey at Copperlight Wood. Homeschooling, parenting, international adoption, and attachment issues stretch her to trust God more and more.  Her writing makes me laugh and cry. It stirs deep.
When life allows she sends out a newsletter with content that doesn’t post on her blog. I encourage you to sign up.
 

 

Photo: Free Resource: Become the Mom You Truly Want to Be!

Sign up here: http://bit.ly/1tlJydL

Join me, Ashley Brendle (mother of 7 amazing kids) as we'll be tackling these 3 core areas of motherhood that have transformed my life:

1. Connecting with God's presence and power during the impossibilities of motherhood
2. Accepting and receiving the provision you already have to overcome the obstacles blocking you from the mom you want to be.
3. Accessing God's wisdom and revelation for the problems you're facing right now!

With this free course, you'll get tools to move from survival mode to empowered as a thriving mom in the difficult challenge of motherhood.

Click here to get started: http://bit.ly/1tlJydL

  

Ashley is a short time Alaskan. Since she moved here just over a year ago she has become very dear to me. Last summer I joined a study she led through her book Supernatural Mothering: Where God’s Presence and Power Invade Motherhood. It was transformational.

You can read her blog, listen to her podcast at Supernatural Mothering and even sign up for a free course (link above) on partnering with Jesus in your mothering, and the rest of life really, but when you are a mom sometimes that seems to cover it.

The Masterpiece Mom PodcastAmanda and I met years ago in MOPS, an amazing ministry to mothers of preschoolers. She continued to minister with MOPS long after I moved on. Amanda writes about homeschooling, life as a mom, adoption and of course resting in the masterpiece God has made each of us to be.

I also met Anne-Renee through MOPS. She shares Amanda’s passion for moms to see themselves through God’s eyes. She is a sweet joyful soul. She’s a working, non-homeschooling mom so she brings a different perspective than the rest.

Amanda and Anne-Renee have started a podcast. My summer’s been busy so I haven’t listened to as many as I would like. They offer encouragement and remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, we’re all only human.

I hope you enjoy these mom’s and their ministries.

I know I do.

Blessings Week 11

This weeks work was the plumbing that goes under the floor. We had a long weekend but it’s mostly done.God-Sized-Project-Week-11IMG_2042 IMG_2076IMG_2092

  • Given rebar and wire ties.
  • Loaned wire tie tools and rebar bender.
  • Professional help with plumbing
  • Great scheduling on God’s part. The day we planned to plumb it rained all day and we would have had no help. The day God worked out gave us beautiful weather, help, and more time with the excavator.
  • Great help at the plumbing store.
  • Made it to the plumbing store while they were still open.
  • Favor with the equipment rental store.
  • Favor with the steel company.
  • Stirrups for the foundation are done.
  • Making it form 10 am to 6 pm before having to make a run for more plumbing parts.
  • Finding pieces and ways to make things work.
  • Excavator to do most of the digging
  • Getting under the footing where we forgot to bury a pipe without too much trouble.

Blessings Week 10

  • God-Sized-Project-005-Week-10Sales tax exemption for building supplies
  • Connection at electrical supply store
  • 8 ft foamIMG_1956IMG_1909 IMG_1867 IMG_1881 IMG_1888 IMG_1891 IMG_1906
  • The Hydratrack saved much shoveling
  • The waterline is buried
  • Good meeting with concrete finisher
  • Good advice on concrete
  • Custom cut foam
  • Connex to work in
  • Tools we need, saws, transit, pipe clamp
  • Old screws
  • Scrap wood
  • Pretty rocks in the rain
  • Hardworking husband
  • Hardworking family
  • Forklift IMG_1973 IMG_1958 IMG_1954 IMG_1949 IMG_1945 IMG_1944 IMG_1942 IMG_1936 IMG_1933 IMG_1931 IMG_1925
  • Square form boards
  • Level form boards
  • Straight form boards

Blessings Week 9

God-Sized-Project-004-Week-9
It is so good to look back at the pictures of a week ago when I am feeling like we didn’t get as much done as we wanted to this weekend.

Blessing list July 6 – 12

  • Custom cut insulation
  • Kids who know how to work
  • Watching my boys learn about construction and working hard, working together
  • The breeze: It was hot for us Alaskans. My crew was melting.
  • Remembering the drain pipe under the center footing before anything had to be redone to get it in
  • More free expert advice on concrete and electrical
  • Barb helping with construction and food

    IMG_1823IMG_1809IMG_1807IMG_1801IMG_1800

Blessings Week 7 & 8

God-Sized-Project-002-Week-7-&-8We transformed our beautiful, flat pad into a construction site. The blessings for our project keep coming. God is so good!
IMG_1789Here is a quick list for the last two weeks.
Week 7 June 22-28

  • Meeting Rich at SBS on his day off
  • Discount on materials for footings
  • Foundation design
  • Free expert advice on foundation design
  IMG_1784 IMG_1772 IMG_1764 Pad: Thursday Morning Breaking ground again IMG_1757 IMG_1756 IMG_1743 IMG_1737 Just below the surface

Week 8 June 29-July 5

  • Given a $1,000 check, $100 check, & $20 gift card
  • Figured savings on insulation for the foundation at around $27,000
  • Saved hours of work by not having to compact, move sand, re-level footing trenches
  • Concrete stakes to use
  • Use of trailer for moving excavator
  • Boys learning well and working hard to put in nice footing trenches
  • Karissa learning to help
  • Barb working inside and out
  • Long holiday weekend, paid days off
  • Footings dug
  • Saved money on used copper waterline
  • Given some new copper waterline