Friday, August 31, 2007

The End of the Spear, part 2

I've already shared a bit about this great book, but wanted to tell you more before I have to return it to the library.

In this part, Steve was suffering terribly from what he thought was kidney stones. He and his wife were discussing whether or not they should move to the jungle.
If I went on with my plan to spend a week trekking from village to village, I would be doing more walking than I had done since I was a mountain climber in high school. I would be sweating and drinking the whole way. But if I suffered another attack, I knew that I could also end up stuck out in the jungle with no doctor or medical help.
I really didn't know what to do. The only thought that seemed to tip the balance was this one: If God was intervening in our lives and wanted us to leave our home and career in favor of obeying Him in an undertaking that was at best uncertain and at worst a painfully futile exercise, we should probably expect some obstacles and tests along the way.

I wanted to give up and go to my U.S. "home" and a lifestyle that had become familiar. But I realized I feared living a safe but mediocre life even more than I feared suffering beyond the reach of help in the rain forest.

I decided to do the hard thing, which I've found is usually the right thing, and head back to the jungle.

What is the hard thing that God is asking me to do? I realize I too fear a life of mediocrity or a life that is void of meaning and impact for eternity.

Later Steve Saint says, "One of life's greatest blessings for me is knowing what God wants me to do and then being able to give myself completely and unreservedly to it. My time in the jungle had been one of those special times."

Lastly, this quote from one of the men who became as dear to Steve as his own father,
This life is only the opening exercise. The only fundamental, long-lasting aspect of life is deciding which trail we are going to walk in life. 'If we follow our own trail, at the end, where are we? But following Waengongi's [God's] trail, at the end we come to His place. He has made us a place where we all can live happily and in peace.'

The man who said this was one of the men who killed Steve's father.

Oh how deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yes, the air conditioner was fixed on Sunday. However it was so nice outside we decided that we wouldn't turn it on. We made it through the hottest days of summer without it; and we have fun stories to tell about it.

We played outside A LOT. We ate supper out on the patio. Bethany learned to ride her bike without training wheels. Momma learned out to bandage a big toe with a nasty scrape. The library is our new best friend. We stayed there for hours. We all have healthy glows to us that would make" Cover Girl" jealous. We went to our homeschool "park day".

Hopefully we are saving big bucks too--by not turning on the costly beast.

I'm off to continue school planning. The big start day is next Tuesday!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sweating...purifies the body

We are sweating profusely ever since yesterday when our air conditioner said he'd had enough. Enough cooling,
enough running,

Although I know nothing about air conditioners I knew I was in trouble when the temperature was rising in the house and I smelled a slightly "burny" smell. I marched bravely out to the unit and smacked it smartly (that's what they tell you do with cassette tapes when they don't work). When the smack didn't work, I resorted to falling on it pleading for it to come back and cool us once more.

Really, did it have to go on one of the hottest dog days of August?? A person can't predict these sort of goings, I suppose.

So for now, we are purifying our pores with some good ole sweat.

Bethany asked me--when is that air guy coming? SUNDAY, sweetie, not until Sunday. That's a whole lot of purifying.

Sweating makes lesson planning interesting...the paper keeps sticking to my arms, my legs are sticking to the chair, trickles of sweat are running down my neck and gathering in pools in parts unknown. Even our dog Bailey is hot. She is panting and has planted herself strategically in front of the fan. Every person and dog for themselves!

I realize how spoiled we are and so do my children. Marissa commented that she doesn't know how Laura Ingalls did air, no fans, no indoor plumbing. So we are thankful for what we do have--refrigeration, washer and dryer, indoor plumbing and fans, just to name a few.

Well, the sweat is running in my eyes and blurring my vision. Until next time...hopefully blogging from a cooler house.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The End of the Spear

I'm reading this great book called "The End of the Spear" by Steve Saint. It is excellent. Steve writes going back and forth from his childhood to present day and how God worked in his heart to accept what happened to his father and to embrace what He had for Steve and his family.

About the 5 men who died (one of which was his father), Steve said
It is only my conjecture, because none of us can know the will of God, but I think it fit God's plan that all five men died. I know that might offend some who have a narrower opinion of the parameters within which God must operate, but I don't think what happened to my dad and his four friends caught God by surprise. Nor do I think God simply allowed it. No, after learning in detail what happened on January 8, 1956--while I was so anxiously waiting to see the speck of my dad's little 56 Henry airplane appear over Penny Ridge--I believe God was much more involved in what happened than merely failing to intervene.

There are too many factors that all had to work together to have allowed the events to happen as they did. Too many for me to believe it was just chance. I have come to the conclusion that God did not look away. He did not simply allow this to happen. I think He planned it. Though this has not been an easy conclusion to come to, I believe it is the right one.

I personally paid a high price for what happened on Palm Beach. But I have also had a front-row seat as the rest of the story has been unfolding for half a century. I have seen firsthand that much good has come from it. I believe only God could have fashioned such an incredible story from such a tragic event.

What a hard but wonderful lesson about God's sovereignty. Several times while reading this book, I've been struck with the awesome plan and power of God.

House Guest

We entertained another house guest this past week. Everyone enjoyed the visit and it was mostly a relaxing time. I like having guests for lots of reasons, but one practical reason is that I tend to keep up my house better than when it's just us. I also take time to sit and visit instead of keeping busy. Good lessons for me to remember:
  • Keep up the house a little at a time
  • Take time to sit and play, converse, and simply "be" with my family
This week, I'm feverishly trying to get things ready for school. I need to organize our new materials, make the lesson plans for Marissa (going into 6th grade) and Bethany (starting Kindergarten). Exciting times (also a little nerve racking though).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Summer Goodness

We have been having some wonderful times lately. I realize I've been more scarce than kids at chore time, however the days have been filled with such fun and heat that by night, I'm too tired to do anything. So what's been happening here you ask:

Two terrific kids (boy, A-11 years old and girl, S-10 years old) have added to the joy of our family this week. They live in Michigan, 8 hours away and tomorrow I'm driving them half way home. (I have to admit that it will be a sad goodbye tomorrow when we have to drop them off. Although, we are SO thankful for the time we have had with them.) We've had all kinds of fun with them. Actually A. has been with our good friends, Jeff and Lora, and their 3 boys, but we've had him a little bit. He is funny and has a contagious laugh. S. has been staying with us; Marissa and her have had the B.E.S.T. time. It does a mama's heart good to hear them giggle and laugh wildly.

Lora and I took Marissa, S. and another 10 year old girl to a mother/daughter conference about 1 1/2 hours away. We left Friday and came back late Saturday night. God is so good and faithful. He answered so many prayers; the time we spent with the girls was rich and wonderful. Lora has been a loving mentor to my Marissa. I'm ever thankful for her "Titus 2" example. Both Lora and I were reminded of good things at the conference. Things that are needed in our children's lives, but that sometimes we get distracted or "too busy" to do. All three girls came away with things they had learned as well as wonderful memories made together.

Soccer is keeping the mama (and dad) taxi busy. Both Marissa and Bethany are playing--sometimes different times and different locations. We are thankful for the opportunity for physical exercise, team work and learning new skills for the girls. Baby boy is thankful for the huge fields in which to run and make mama chase him.

This afternoon friends invited us to go swimming. Great fun for us and for the two terrific kids staying with us. Baby boy wanted to go off the diving board!! We let him...our friend, Curt, was waiting for him. Startled by the rush of chlorine water up his nose, he coughed and sputtered, but really liked it! :) All the kids had fun and were a bit sad when the time came to go home.

But now we are all showered, in jammies, watching Andy Griffith, munching popcorn.

Ahhh, summer goodness.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Gum and Scrapbooking

While participating in a 6p to 2a crop, I experienced something new. No it wasn't the latest tool in scrapbooking or sticker pack or even a new pen (all things I do enjoy). No, this was a gum chewing experience where instead of taking off the wrapper, you put the whole thing in your mouth and chewed it! (Yeah, you read right, you chew the wrapper.) I thought the girl was kidding, my friend Deb thought we might be on Candid Camera. The girl assured us she was telling the truth and after Deb said, "I will, if you will", I stooped to the level of peer pressure and ATE the wrapper. We concluded that this will cut down on the land fill problem and all but eliminate the litter crisis.

In the words of Big Mama who thanked "Shark Week" for her blog material:
Thank you girl with edible gum wrappers for providing the material for this post.

The gum had a familiar taste, orangey, kind of like a Chik-let (do you remember those?). And the wrapper had a waxy, yet dissolving into the gum kind of taste. Strange, very strange. I had to admit that I half expected my tongue to swell up or go numb or some odd happening, but it didn't. Every once in a while though I had to pick a tiny piece of wrapper out of my mouth. It just would not dissolve, how rude.

All in all, the digestable gum wrapper wasn't too bad; can't say I'll be buying my own pack though.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Beautiful Pillowcases

Anna, at Pleasant View Schoolhouse posted a tutorial on how to make pillowcases. Hers are so pretty and dainty. I'd love to lay my head down on that at night.

I've been scarce around here, mainly because our summer schedule has gotten crazy! Fun, but busy. So, be sure to visit from time to time and I'll be sure to write from time to time. :)