Daily Joys.

Hello! Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father! How are each of you? Busy with summer gardens, fun and work? Life around the Halbert household has been quite full yet in a very pleasant way. Amid the stifling sweat-creating heat I have seen many blessings unfold. Isn’t true that no matter what the season–in weather or in personal life–there are always blessings to be found? I thought I would drop in and share a few with you. :o)
1. This couple.

Oops, no I mean the couple below.
. . .
American Gothic was painted by Grant Wood.
Hmm. No. . .I’m referring to the cute couple even farther down.

Ah, much better. :o) Yes, this is reason #1 for why I love living in Missouri. Meet my examples of virtue and love, Mum and Papi–the rulers, guides, caretakers and gentle-hands which run our place. Please do not mistake me, I have always been blessed to have parents who love the Lord and who have sought to train us to love Jesus. However, since moving to Missouri I have seen God work miracles. He is the binder and the healer. He has rekindled a love–a godly love. A love which is forgiving, patient, slow to anger and quick to kindness. A love which inspires. Since moving to Missouri I have seen a marriage develop which, Lord willing, I would love to imitate one day. And so, dear ones, the sweet couple above is reason #1 of why I love Missouri.
2. Reason number two for why I am falling for Missouri is . . .

Cricket’s insatiable chorus. Wild kittens beginning to trust.

Beautiful sunsets. Cattle on a thousand Ozark hills. Bass in a pond.

Crystal clear swimming holes. Mailboxes at the end of a driveway. Friendly cowboy-boot wearing locals.
Warm, summer air. Homemade, fish-line weight plumb lines suspended from bothersome, ill-placed trees. :o)
These are a few of my Favorite things. 
3. One final blessing of living in Missouri is its location. While I truly loved the state of Alaska, it’s far-far-away position made traveling to family and friends very difficult. Yet, Missouri has proved otherwise. Grandma and Grandpa can swing down from corn-field Illonois for roast beef on Mother’s Day while we can drive to Smokey Mountain Tennessee for a dear friend’s wedding. What a blessing.

So, what are a few of your blessings? Is it the comfort of one’s homemade zucchini muffins (hello Sonja!), the joy of two rambunctious felines crowding freshly washed material (greetings Miss Linda!) or is it the excitement over family research (blessings Mrs. Adams)? Ahem, or maybe it is the excitement of making and giving away a beautiful apron, Miss Shannon?  Hint, Hint! :o)
May the LORD bless each of you as you begin a new week!
With a smile,
Frannie

Blackberry Picking

Greetings! Yesterday we were blessed to have our good friends over for a blackberry-picking fest. We started with supper and then went out in the evening.
Daddy and our good friend Mr. T sitting before a scrumptious and energizing meal of tater tot casserole, salad and garlic sticks is served.

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
Off we go!

A young lady having fun.
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
Our young friend avoiding the thorns.

He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
Mr. T creating a path.
He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
My sister’s beautiful smile next to beautiful berries!
The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
My good daddy picking.
The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

 

Mrs. T, Mommy and Allie helping one another.
Our reward!

That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

Mmm. . .Mrs. T brought a delicious homemade pound cake. What a perfect combination for vanilla icecream and blackberries. :9
Yummy!
That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. 
Psalm 104

 

Thank you all for reading! It is such a blessing to be in God’s world–He alone is responsible for such beauty and life. 
Your sister in Christ,
Frannie

An Excellent Moment to Breathe.

Greetings my dear and sweet friends! I hope this finds each of you growing in our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’s love and grace. I’ve missed chatting with you all, reading what is going on in your lives, and finding encouragement as you pursue your walk with God. So, HOW are YOU? :o) I am doing well; as my title hints I now have an excellent time to breathe . . . school is out! I generally enjoy school, however, once summer began to stretch and bloom all about me, I’ve had a very difficult time keeping my nose to the books. Thank you Lord for seeing me through the year! 
I thought for this post I would now like to share what I learned while at the Ladies Conference! (A true and real thank you to Miss Linda for reminding me! :o) So before I begin, let me skip away to light the candle, push play on the piano music, and turn some lights on because I have something lovely to tell you–and I may get a little long winded. :o)
First, it was such a blessing to spend a day and half with five other ladies from our church. It was Amazing fun getting to know each of them a little better; it was neat because we had ladies to from almost every age group, starting at 19 and going up to 70 I believe! I believe forty was the only age not present. We all met at the church around 4:30 or 5 in the morning and were quickly off on our about three hour drive to Joplin, Missouri. 

Our first speaker was Mrs. Julie Gariss. Immediately, we felt welcome as this sweet lady came upon the
stage. Her first topic was titled “Holi-mess.”  (I quickly felt a connection to that one :o) Some of the verses she mentioned were Hebrews 12:14

“Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
and II Corinthians 7:1
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Holiness–without spot, clean, perfect . . . something so foreign today. Holiness–separated, pulled away, made special. There is so much meaning in this one word. I must admit that lately I’ve been allowing my vision to be divided away from Christ. Idols of self and earthly pleasures have fogged my sight; I have fallen away from seeking holiness. To seek after holiness means that one must seek after God for He alone is holy. I thank God for His renewed mercies and compassion He has on silly me. 
Mrs. Gariss went on to ask “Who is my [your] Daddy?” What are the attributes of God? She lists several verses which wonderfully and fearfully describe our Heavenly Father’s unalterable and unending holiness. 
Exodus 19:3–When God came down on Mt. Sinai
II Samuel 6:4–When Uzziah died for touching the tabernacle
Isaiah 6:1–Isaiah’s vision of the God
Oh, our Lord is an awesome God. He isn’t a sweet old grandfather gently smiling upon his children’s mistakes, He isn’t a jolly old man ready to hand out candy and allow us to live for our complete (and mistaken) happiness. No, our God is holy. He is nothing less and therefore He can accept nothing less. Many choose to ignore the holiness of God but we mustn’t. God’s holiness is one of the foundation of our salvation. We need a Saviour because we are sinners and we are sinners because there is a holy God.

Mrs. Gariss had two quote which I specifically enjoyed. The first is one by A.W. Tozer which reads,

“We  take refuge from God in God”
Isn’t it true? God is not one who gently overlooks sin but He is also not waiting to crush us each time we fall short of His will. No, He is merciful–seeking us as a groom seeks His bride.
“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22, 23
The second lovely quote Mrs. Gariss shared was that “on her I.D. tag it says: I am His and He is mine.”
Oh, such truth and security.  
This first lesson was the perfect way to start the weekend at the Ladies Conference. At the bottom of my notes I quickly wrote, “Who is my God the real holy God?” To learn that my God is holy–to know this, to rest in it would surely change my life. It would mold my character from a holi-mess into holiness. :o)
I hope I made sense in writing all of that down! :o) Lord willing, I also hope to continue posting my notes from the other sessions as the week continues. Thank you all for being so patient with me as I have been finishing up school; each of you are special blessings to me!
With much love from your sister in Christ,

Hello!

Greetings dear friends! It has been so long since I last wrote–I hope you all don’t think I’ve fallen off the earth! No, I haven’t fallen away life has just been busy! :o)  School is almost finished for this year; I am really looking forward to having time for other things–things like catching up on letters and making dresses!

Our dear home is beginning to look more and more home-y. We had HAD a schedule for moving from the basement to the upstairs but the vast amount of rain we received last two seeks ago moved things along. :o)  My family and I had been blessed to travel to Illinois to my grandparent for Easter Sunday (and we had such a good time). But while we were gone we had our dear friends and at the time house-itter call and notify that our basement was flooding!  (Oh No!) I praise the Lord for the help our friends gave us–one family came and vacuumed water out and lifted our belongings off the floor while the poor house-sitters (who got WAY more than they bargained for) did their very best to mop up floors and live in a clammy and moist area. We are truly blessed! The Lord was also good to us in that He was faithful in meeting our needs–His grace was more that sufficient as we were up late vacuuming water.

The first night wasn’t so bad; we got home from our trip and immediately went to work–I think our adrenaline was pumped up. However, when the waters began to seep in the second night I will say that I was tempted to cry a few times! (And while they won’t admit it. . . I think the boys considered doing so too! :o) But God was so faithful and my sweet family kept lifting and encouraging one another. My brother and I kept trying to find reasons to laugh (to keep our spirits up) and so in honor of the situation I compiled a few of our funny ideas and up-beat conversations:

1. “Look on the bright side, it could have been sewer water!”
2. “It’s a good thing we haven’t put carpet in yet!”
3. “The wise man built his house upon the rock . . . and the rains came tumbling down!”  (Notice that the rains did come )
4. Dad: “I think you’re just pushing the water around.”
    Me: “What do you mean? I had to fight the beaver and cross the swamp to get this far!” (After I had been
    mopping a puddle for quite some time).
5. Me: “Well, I guess I can be a farmer’s wife. . .I passed test #3.”
    Brother: “What do you mean?”
    Me: “Well, I’ve plucked chickens (test #1), I’ve done hay (test #2), and now I’ve had to deal with some sort of hardship (test #3). You can’t be a farmer’s wife without passing those. :o)
6. “Teacher, I don’t have my homework finished because it floated away!”
7. “We could have had carpet down here and this could have been sewer water!” (I repeated this one on purpose because out of all of the above I think it was the most important reason to smile!)
8. “At least we have an upstairs to move into.”

:o) I’m so thankful for all of the help we received during that time. We were blessed because we only got about 1 1/2 inches of water in our basement and I believe some in our area got much more.

Since we have moved upstairs alot of progress has been made. I have put some before and after photos for you all.

                                                               Kitchen: “In the Beginning”
Kitchen: Progressing 
Kitchen: Now :o)

                                                                     Left to Right View

Dining Room: Before

                                                                  Dining Room: Now

                                                     
                                                        Laundry room with floor and paint

                                                               Dining room light fixture

We’re getting there! :o)  Soon the appliances will be in (I cannot wait to have an oven to cook in! Hmm…what should I bake first–crescent rolls or cookies? Or perhaps a hearty casserole?)  And I literally am bubbling over with anticipation when I think of being able to use a real sink! Hurray!
Today is a very special day. My dear friend and sister Allie is having her 20th birthday! Praise God!
I have so enjoyed Al–she is growing into such an godly young woman. She is my late night bedtime giggler, my fellow home-keeping trainee, the gardener, the fisher, she is the fire-cracker queen,my sister in Christ, and my friend. God bless you Allie as you enter this new era in life–the Golden Twenties! :o)
I love you!

Don’t leave yet, I have one more thing to share with you all! :o) Missions is something which I feel the Lord has placed a desire for in my heart and I have sought out various opportunities to try and prepare myself. I found out this week that I have been accepted to attend a three month missions training program in Ghana, Africa! Praise the Lord! The program is with Charity Christian Missions–I will spend three months a a student in study and hands-on experience all while learning more and more of what is means to be disciple of Christ. I am really looking forward to this opportunity and I trust that Christ is in control.
Dear friends, please keep me in your prayers these coming months. Pray that I may rest in the Lord’s timing and will and that he would prepare my heart. Also, please pray for my authorities and fellow classmates–that they each may receive a special blessing as they also prepare! And finally, please pray for my family as I prepare to go. . .I think that will be the hardest part! (For both them and myself!) I thank you all in advance for I know you will remember me. . .I’m truly am thankful for you all. Even though I cannot physically see you I am always so excited to be connected by Christ.
Thank you for sticking with me through this longer post! I hope to soon talk about all the blessings I received from the Ladies Conference!
May the Father bless you as you walk in Him! With love, 

Welcome to our Home

Hello friends! I finally have pictures of our new home! God is so good; we have been blessed far beyond want we could even imagine in getting this house (I think!) and I hope to glorify Christ as we settle into this house and make it a home. *Before you begin, know that I have put many photos . . . maybe too many for you to enjoy at one sitting. 🙂  Also, thank you for patiently waiting for me!

Moving Day!

We we so blessed to have four men come and help us move. God was so good in meeting our needs far more abundantly than we expected!

My family after our first moving day! Tired and dirty but happy! 🙂

Welcome to our home!
A long picture of our dining room, kitchen, and living room (from left to right).
To the right of the kitchen you walk into the hallway which has a side door (the door we will use most often). To the left of the hallway is the laundry room/pantry, bathroom, and a bedroom. To the right is a coat closet and the master bedroom. One of our good (and talented!) friends made the arch; isn’t it beautiful?
Bathroom
Laundry room/pantry
Bedroom

Welcome to Allie’s garden! :o)
A walk o’er the estate. :o)
A peep across the pond. I’ve named it Olive Lake. Olive because it is often an olive green color and Lake because it seems so big to me! :o)

An old cup from the past owners burn area. I thought it was pretty!
And here I am trying to take a photo of myself! :o)
Thank you all for sticking in there and viewing the photos! :o) I loved going outside and seeing God’s creation. I hope you enjoyed it too!
Also, I have a innate love for home names. Remember the March family from Little Women?  Their lovely home was called the Orchard House. After seeing a little of what our home looks like maybe you have a suggestion for our new homestead? I would love to hear your suggestions!
Thank you again for reading! With love,