Oh the Joys

Greetings! I hope this finds each of you well and rejoicing in the love of Jesus. These last few days have been quite full—a good full. And the business we have been experiencing in our household has me smiling with joy. Over what, you may ask? Over the joys of home making. I hope you will not mind, but I feel like creating a list containing the joyful aspects of being at and serving the home. Here I go!

Freshly mopped floors, pulling frozen desserts out of the freezer,
finding a special organized place for each object, washing windows and seeing a sparkle of sunshine enter,
sweeping the front porch on a chilly winter day, changing decorations to match the season,
coffee brewing, seeing the furniture fresh and smiling after a long-needed dusting,
making time to make cards,
candles giving comforting scents and light, white curtains in a feminine room full of morning rays, making time to read a good book,
being able to cook a good meal for a hungry family, being able to whip up no-bake cookies, :o)
resting with family members after a busy day, answering phone calls, an impromptu trip to the bakery with Mommy-dearest,
Christmas lights through a window, poinsettias on the hearth . . .
Have I said enough? 🙂
Oh, I know there are many struggles and difficulties with keeping a home, but can you not agree that there are also many simple, lovely blessings as well? Truly, God was kind and wise in making girls to be help-meets and, if He wills, keepers of the home?
What blessings do you enjoy when helping around your home? Would you like to share?
May Jesus bless you!
With love,
The lovely photo was found at graphicsfairy.blogspot.com

A Long Week, A Good Week

Greetings friends! Today is a beautiful day in Missouri; a day full of sunshine, flowers and greenery, and a light breeze. I hope everyone is having a sunny day too, if not outside than in your heart. 🙂

Well, as the title suggests I had a very long week. I work at a Christian camp as a cook and spend my day preparing and serving breakfast and luch as well as preparing for dinner. You wouldn’t think cooking could be hard, but it is! I really enjoy my job for the following reasons- I work with godly people, I am able to be a blessing to campers and fellow staff, and I am learning valuable lessons (both physical and spiritual) I can use later in life. I find peace and joy because I know this is where God wants me to work. Why? Because He found and brought me to it! We had been living in Missouri for a few months and had been visiting a church in town. I was hoping to apply as a waitress at a nearby resteraunt, but a dear lady suggested I apply at the camp. Well, I didn’t; I procrastinated for a few weeks (feeling guilty the whole time). But praise the Lord I eventually ended up with an interview. And it went on from there! I know that my finding the camp was by God’s grace and I am so thankful to Him!

Anyways, this week as been long and hard due to the humidity, the size of the group (about 45 expectant, hungry mouths), and the fact that this was our first, official camp of the season. I had to adjust from my easy winter work apron and quickly jump into my busy summer apron (figurativly speaking :). However, this was such a rewarding and beautiful week! God is so good in taking us when we cannot offer any more and, by His grace, making us into beautiful sacrifices reflecting Him. I was blessed by my sweet camper’s thankfulness and kindess, the kitchen crew’s willingness and diligence in their work, and by supportive family and staff. God was so good! One special thing the Lord taught me this week was not to fear man and not to worry about my reputation. 

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Prov 29:25
When you are facing a difficult task do you fear tainting your repuation and what other’s will say? I do. For example, on Monday I was to make 1 1/2 batches of sausage gravy and two boxes of biscuits. I wish I could say I went about my task with trust and joy in my heart and a peaceful smile on my face. But I didn’t. Instead, I ran about the kitchen like a mad woman, fretting and stressing.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-8

My stressing and fretting were and are sin. Why am I stressing out–because I am afraid of what other’s think of me. “Will they think I’m a good cook” and so on. This is sin and indeed, the fear of man does bring a snare. Phillipians 4:6-8 speaks of the wonderful and Fatherly love of God. He cares about every tiny detail in my life (Yes, He knows I don’t want the hamstrips to burn and yes, He knows how badly I want the gravy to turn out). God heard my every sigh, praise, and grumble this past week and all the while He wanted me to know that He alone controls this universe and yes, that He alone is in control of my kitchen!

“The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them” Psalms 89:11
If only I could learn to trust in Him I know my day would be not be nearly as troubling or stressful.
“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psmams 37:3-5

Beyond the fact that God is in control, he loves me and lovingly uses every success and failure in my kitchen for my good.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28.
Yes, every over-boiled hotdog and every not-enough-marshmellows crispy treat is ultimately for my good. And this week I have seen how He has used my failures and successes for my good.  Humility, which I find helpful when defined as “Recognizing that it is actually God and others who are responsible for the achievements in my life (James 4:6),” seriously lacks in my life. God sees this and He desires to work it into me and He will use the kitchen as His tool! He is so good! 🙂
I cannot name all of the blessings which came out of this difficult week. I began to see God for who He is–my loving, caring, and in control Father and I also made sweet friends with some campers who I am going to sorely miss. Yes, it was a long week, but it was a good week.
May the Lord bless you friends. He is a true and living God and I am so excited He wants to change us!
With love, 

P.S. The definition (which I love!) for humility is taken from Bill Gothard’s list of character qualities. Please go check it out at this link.

Praise the Lord I’m done!

Hello dear sisters! I hope this day finds you all well. This is such an amazing time in a my life, a time of spring, a time of being with my family (either physically or in heart!), a time of cleaning, and a time of growing in the Lord (although I must say that He is the gardener, not I).

I’m happy to say that I am officially done with my first year in college. For many of you who don’t know, with the blessings of my parents and the urgings of the Lord, I have been taking classes with the hopes of becoming a teacher one day. This past school year I have been taking classes from a local satellite school two days a week. My momma has even been taking classes with me and tonight I took my last test! Praise the LORD! I also want to congratulate my dear momma who also is done with this year and also finished her associate degree! Congratulations Mommy-dearest!

A second announcement is that I will be attending College of the Ozarks starting this January. I recently received their letter of acceptance. This whole thing is pretty neat because I had applied once before and was not accepted. After applying the second time I felt that I was going to be accepted and was very disappointed when I was not. However, our God works in mysterious ways. You see, during this time I was developing a feministic and “independent of my authorities” attitude which I believe is very dangerous and outside of the will of God for a woman and daughter. So, when I was not accepted for the second time I saw that my heart was in danger and that I desired things outside of the will of God. By God’s grace I asked Him to show me the meek, quiet, submissive, and home-keeping heart I knew He wanted me to have. And praise the Lord He did! So, you see, it is no coincidence that I was accepted only after the Lord did a work in my heart. No, I believe that God knew exactly what He was doing and I praise Him for it. . .even though it involved disappointment in the beginning!

In the mean time I am purposing to become more and more the Christian girl, sister, and servant I ought to be. Sometimes I get so off track! But God’s love is amazing and He pulls me back through His discipline and love. A few goals I have for this summer are: To be a productive and encouraging servant at Discover Ministries, the Christian camp where I work as a cook. To learn home duties and spring clean! Learn how to can and can some things. Write my sister Allie who is working in Wyoming. (Allie we miss you and I hope you are having a splendid time) To grow in the Lord and becoming a godly woman.
And to be a blessing to my family!

Well, off I go to look for some ideas for the give-away. Please don’t forget to vote!
May the Lord bless you all, dear sisters. Have a wonderful day!

Contentment-A Goodly Virtue

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Greetings my dear sisters in Christ. I hope this finds each one of you growing in our Lord and King. I’m doing well. . .simply enjoying spring, our good friend Mr. Rowland’s visit, and spending time with my family. This post deals with contentment because that is exactly what I am being taught during this season in my life. I’ve never thought of myself as a discontented person, but oh, how I was wrong. first, let me start from the  beginning  . . .

Part One- “The Beginning”
We had been living in Missouri for about eight months in a small, but sweet rental home in the middle of Ozark country. Even better, we were settled nicely in Round Springs state park. It was very lovely and I believe God used that close space to bring us closer together. We were a walk away from a spring, river, and cave. . .surely, one would think I’d be content. But we’re so far from town and the road is so curvy! 

Part Two- “The Nice Home Near Town”
This was my complaint and as we began house searching it became louder and louder. Daddy and Momma wanted a nice house with some farm/hunting land, (and we did too) but it was difficult to find those things within our price range. So after some time we found a nice home settled neatly by town, with a garden, a good amount of space, and it was very convinient. Yes, we had found the one (or that’s what some of us thought). We eventually did buy this nice home in town and are here to this day. I was so happy. . .at least for awhile. I began to think of farmland, chickens, a milking cow, and sheep and began to dislike our nice home. Its not nice enough, we we can’t have a cow, no fruit trees, why did we buy this house? This was my self speaking and through the sin of discontentment I began to grumble and complain.

Part Three- “An Opportunity”
After living in this nice home for about six months or so, we recieved a phone call from an old friend of mom’s. “We have a home for sell with 37 acres, surrounded by conservation land, located near the highway, with ponds on it; why don’t you come down and take a look at it?” Imagine, dear friends, our excitement as we went to look at the inviting prospect. First Daddy went, and when he got home his eyes sparkled as he told me not to get too excited. We visited a few times and left wanting it more and more.

An Intercession- “The Realization”
This is where I have to stop, dear sisters. It is during this time that I learned what true contentment is. My discontentment had made me very unhappy during this time. My unthankfulness made me grumble, and most likely, unpleasant to be around. As I stood looking out our dining room window the Lord helped me realize that “If  I’m not happy here I won’t be happy there.” Ooh. . .such a true thought. If I cannot be happy with the good that I have now, will I be if I have good later? I’m afraid the answer is no. I should have been happy in our nice little rental, I thought I would have been happy with our nice home by town, and now I think I will be happy with something else? No, if we are not satisified with what the Lord has given us, we won’t be satisfied with anything else. The Lord gently led me to a place where I realized that I needed to be happy now. . .and I can thankfully say He has helped me!

Part Four- “The Grace of God Brings Joy”
Here I am sisters, joyfully happy with where we are living. I don’t know if we will move, but until then, by God’s able and faithful grace, you’ll find me happily sitting in this home that’s becoming dear to me. Now I can say,  “Oh how nice to be near a grocery store, where I’m able to become friends with the stockers and the cashiers. What an opportunity to witness to my lost neighbors, and to bless the widows nearby. How good it is to have a garden we can ‘practice’ at without having to work new ground. What a blessing to have a sweet country home which has plenty of room for us and guests, is comfortable, and very hardy. And the smallish kitchen I use to dislike?. . .it is so sweet to have a kitchen where every decoration has a nook to rest in and it is nice to be able to work closely with my dear family as we cook up a meal.” Can you tell the difference God has wrought in my heart? Maybe we will never move, and at this time that is okay with me. We are here for a reason and I want to make the most out of it.  

The Conclusion- “A Few Points”
I still have much to learn on conentment and I can say that I do not always apply it like I should. But isn’t God good to help us start? I wanted to share a few points real quick concerning contentment.
~ Nothing will ever fill our hearts except Jesus. We often seek for happiness by buying/sewing clothes, visiting friends, going shopping, eating, and so on, but these things never fill our hearts up. If we allow Jesus to become “all we need” He will bring peace and joy.
~Let us remember that conentment is a good trait we need to practice now–before we get married. For most of us, our parents have provided plenty to eat, a comfortable home, and nice clothing and that is a blessing. But when we get married, dear sisters, life will have challenges. Our husbands will be just starting out and life is difficult. I know my parents had hard times when they began.  So let us learn to be content now, so that, Lord willing, we may be a sweet and happy blessing to our future husband.

Let us continue pressing heavenward as we learn to become the content and joyful maidens God desires us to be. I have much to learn, but God is faithful!
With much love from a sister,

P.S. The above sweet picture I found at brandie-life.blogspot.com. If you would like, pay Brandie a visit–her blog is very sweet!