"Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”
~ Jani Ortlund

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Is Mother Culture?


My friend Karen, has a beautiful new blog, called "Moments with Mother Culture."  This is a phrase she has coined.  

To me Mother Culture is the care I take to create a learning environment in my home.  It is the many projects that are on going to make our home a place of beauty, peace and rest for my family - not to gain accolades from the world.  It is the time I take to read a book to my young son, or to take my teenage girls on a surprise night out.  It is texting with my son, a new father, about how amazing his baby girl is.

As the mother of my home, I set the tone and the temperature of my home.  If I am self focused then everything becomes about "me."  If I am thinking of others our home becomes a place of encouragement, fun and ministry.  It is time spent with my children, but also time spent out on a date with my husband.

Now lest you think that all I do is read to my children and create beauty all day long (grin) let me tell you that around our home we work.  We garden, we mow, we paint, we clean up, we dust, vacuum, clean toilets and sinks, we compost, we feed animals and do lots of cooking.  This is everyday life.

But the attitude with which we do it - let me rephrase that - the attitude with which I do it, makes all the difference.  "Hey, little people, let's go out and check the garden."  While we are there we pull the few weeds in the veggie garden and check to see if there are any new ripe tomatoes, how are the squash and beans doing, etc.  This makes it fun, and adventure and not overwhelming.  This leads to the kids going down to check it on their own.  I will say "I wonder if we have any tomatoes today?" and one of the kids will say "I checked.  There are no ripe tomatoes yet."  This thrills me.  They are learning to do these 'chores' in a natural way.

Mother Culture is a skill that is lost to this generation, I think.  We are so busy, rushing here and there.  I find myself having to rethink and remind myself that I do not want to rush around, and so I purpose to stay at home, and to home keep.  Yesterday it was the huge job of mowing the pasture...but then I repainted my mailbox and beautified it from it's fadedness to fresh 'hammered copper'!  

I am still learning and growing.  I hope to never stop.  I hope that my children catch the vision that I daily try to instill in them of Karen's beautiful phrase 'Mother Culture.'  Be sure to pay Karen's blog a visit, and tell her that Deanna sent you.  You will be so glad that you did!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Walking in His Ways

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When we live together as family it is inevitable that issues are going to crop up.  We are, after all, self centered beings who want our way, we want for ourselves to be most important.  

The Bible tells us that "God sets the solitary in families..." Ps 68:6.  God has established the family and the home to be a place of learning, comfort, encouragement, forgiveness, service and sacrifice.  Not that these are the only place that these things take place, but they are the main place.

God has made the family a special place for learning life lessons.  He has given us at least 18 years to walk along side our children and to disciple them, teaching them the things of the Lord. 

One of those things is Ephesians 4:32 - "And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christs' sake has forgiven you."  

This is a hard lesson to learn, one that tends to be on going because it clashes with our selfish nature.  Have you ever noticed that people in a family are not all alike? (grin)  I believe this is part of the genius of God - He puts us together, makes us different from one another, and then tells us to love one another, prefer one another, forgive one another...He puts us together into families because of the ability to live in close relationship with one another and to do some iron sharpening.  Proverbs 27:17 -"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

I love to see wrongs made right, hearts made tender after hardening, love where there was a root of bitterness.  I love to see it among all people, but I especially delight in seeing it in my family.

If you have children who do not get along, or children who do not help each other, or children who are selfish, you have been given the great opportunity to train and disciple your children. Don't neglect it.  Don't listen to those who would say "oh, that's just how kids are."  If children don't learn these lessons while in their training years, when will they outgrow these tendencies?  Adulthood?  Take a look around you - if they don't learn it as children or purpose with God's help to change as an adult, they are going to walk this way their whole lives.  

God wants us to walk in His ways - here is what God says about Himself in scripture:

Joel 2:13 - And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness

Psalm 103:8 - The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy

Psalm 145:8 - The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

Exodus 34:6 - And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth

Numbers 14:18 - The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.

Nehemiah 9:17 - And refused to obey, neither were mindful of your wonders that you did among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but you are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsook them not.

In Proverbs 16:32 we read - He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.

Being angry at someone isn't the only reason we need to learn to forgive others.  Life is hard and sometimes through no fault of our own difficult things happen to us.  However, the Lord would have us do what it says in Matthew 11:29 - "Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls."

I love that phrase "you shall find rest to your souls." Don't you want that?  Don't you want that for your children, your spouse, your neighbors, the world?  When we learn to walk in His ways, it can happen.  At least in your own home.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blue Monday - Hydrangea



Welcome!  We are linked up with Smiling Sally's Blue Monday, once again!

I have been waiting for weeks to show you my hydrangea!  They are so beautiful this year.  They are so blue and some are purpleish and quite frankly, they make me so happy! 

As I took photos this morning, I realized that my camera just doesn't capture the color of these gorgeous flowers.  Here are some photos from Emily's camera...








And these are from my camera...









They are pretty, but don't show the deep blue that they truly are...sigh.



Someone managed this shot last week - I am not sure who, but fairly certain it wasn't my camera that was used! 


I hope you enjoyed seeing the flowers.  Can you believe these were transplanted from a pot of hydrangea I bought about 4 or 5 years ago from Costco?  Every year I would get one or two blooms on them, then this year - tons of flowers.  Such beauty.  A flowering perennial is a gift that keeps on giving!


Have a wonderful day!




Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pink Barn

Well, not fully pink anyway!



Apparently, when they add the color into the primer, they don't leave as much room in the can as they do in the paint cans.  So, the primer comes out pink.



Our paint guy, Joey at G.R. Mitchell, called to see if Tim wanted all four cans to be pink.  They decided to go with grey instead, which meant adding the black pigment instead of the red.



That is why the rest of the barn looks basically like this only some is a lighter grey.


Monday evening it is going to get it's final color which is Jamestown Red.  It will be a lovely color, with the trim being a shade of white.


For our friends and family who read this blog, come by before then if you want to see it in all it's pink glory!

Psalm 139

Kamryn - 10 days old

Psalm 139: 13 - 16

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, 
being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Night Out


Last night we gals went out on the town!  


We went to dinner, then went to the Fulton Opera House, to see 'Phantom'.  This is not Andrew Lloyd Weber's 'Phantom Of The Opera', but a completely different musical.  The production is really well done, and the cast is very talented, but we didn't enjoy the music or songs as well as the other 'Phantom.'  

The Prince Street Cafe was packed afterward, so we went home.  My Mom spent the night and is hanging around for a while today, since she knows her great granddaughter will be stopping by for a visit.

It was such a fun time for us to go out, we women of the family and enjoy one another and make memories.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Around The Cottage

We have been experiencing problems with either my laptop or the wireless modem.  So I haven't been posting as much, but I have been trying to keep up with all your blogs.  I am so thankful for blogging friends.
 
I am thankful for each day and it seems as if I hit the floor running most days!  There is a tired contentment at the end of the day, when I hit my pillow.  Somedays I couldn't even tell you what got accomplished, but the joy of serving the Lord and my family brings the contentment.

The summer weather has come, and with it afternoon thunderstorms.  Yesterday was a doozy - a storm with rotation in it passed our way, we had hail here, but apparently no tornado ever touched down.  It was interesting to hear the siren for the tornado, first time that has happened.

The rain that accompanied this storm was needed.  We are behind on rainfall for June, and the gardens needed it badly.

I have been busy with paperwork for our co-op, membership applications, etc...I sometimes have to remind myself over and over of all I need to do.  I use my calendar more than ever now!

It is still hard to believe that I am a grandma...she is a precious girl and is doing well.  We have long been advocates for multigenerational vision, and the birth of this precious child brings now a fourth generation to us.  How we pray that she will grow to be a faithful follower of Jesus, and that her momma and daddy will too.

Our vegetable garden is growing well.  The lasagna style format for our raised beds has been great - very few weeds!  The squash gets bigger daily!

Our bush beans, tomatoes, nasturtiums, and purple podded pole beans are growing so well.  The carrots and peppers are growing but not as well...we are learning a lot about growing our own food.  We even have potatoes growing.

This is flat leafed or Italian parsley...we use it in our homemade ranch dressing and in salads...

Here is a fun project I completed recently.  It reminds me of the fun things that Manuela does in her garden.  I do not have a fenced in yard, but when I found this plate rack at a yard sale, I immediately thought of doing something with it outdoors. 


I put it right by my kitchen door - which is, of course, where everyone enters our home.  My husband thought maybe I was losing it a bit, :) but Becky loved it! I really like it - this is a big, wide, empty expanse on the side of the house...I am just having fun with it - the siding is not in great shape, and eventually when my parents add on in law space, this door will actually go into the laundry room and the wall where the plate rack is will be a garage, so I can't really ruin anything!  I say have fun with your home and make the outside a welcoming place!

Well, I must go...a few phone calls to make, a few errands to run, and it's looking like an afternoon for swimming, before an evening meeting.

Have a lovely day! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kamryn Visits Grandma's House


My sweet granddaughter paid a visit to her young aunties and uncle on Saturday.


They were so thrilled to finally see her and to get to hold her!

It was so sweet of Nate and Kay to think of the kids and to go out of their way to bring her by, especially since she had just been released from the hospital!

All of our children love babies, but this wee one is special.  She is a part of us.  The kids big brother's child - our 1st born's 1st born.  Awesome...


Thanks Nate and Kayleigh for your thoughtfulness...she's a keeper!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Prayer Requested

Our granddaughter, Kamryn is still in the NICU.  She has been there since she was born, as they were concerned about infection.  She has NO infection which is great, but she is unable to maintain a proper body temperature when she is in an open bed.  Therefore she has to stay until she can maintain her body temperature.  Please pray for this to happen.

 

My other request is for my sister in law Esther.  She was just diagnosed with ovarian cancerThey haven't staged it yet, but the surgeon feels it is contained.  She had a complete hysterectomy on Thursday. 

The whole family has such peace - the kind only the Lord can give.  Esther told me the night before her surgery that the Lord had impressed on she and her husband Richard not to pray that there would be no cancer, but that they would trust the Lord in what He had for them in it.

Esther is not going to do chemo or radiation, she prefers to do a natural protocol now after surgery.

Thank you dear friends for your prayers.  We are resting in the Lord for all of it.  He is so good, He is sovereign, we trust in Him.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Photos....

Kamryn


I got to hold Kamryn for quite a while today and I got to feed her.  In this photo we were having a conversation about how sweet she is.


She doesn't like it when the flash goes off - 



She has a heplock in the back of her left hand so that she can get antibiotics.  If she can keep her body temperature up, she can go home with Momma tomorrow.


I love her dearly already....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

She's Here!


Kamryn Sheila Rabe
6 lbs 2.6 oz
19 inches

Sweet petite little bug!  She is a real beauty!  I will be back to tell her story after I get a wee bit of sleep.  Do pray as she is in the NICU for a few days due to her Momma having a uterine infection during labor. This is just precautionary, but pray with us that that is all it will be and that the young aunts and uncle around here can hold her soon.

Love
The New Grandma!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday Water Fun

I am linking this post to Smiling Sally's Blue Monday posts, since so many people had blue on in the photos!

After church today, Denny asked "Are we going to someones house or something today?"  I mentioned that yes, people are headed over to our house, and he said "I'm thinking we need to have a water balloon fight or something, it's going to be 90 degrees today!"  We all laughed and agreed, and while we went home and ordered pizza, he went to the store.


Uncle Denny was the ring leader today of everyone, young and older alike.  He not only bought water balloons, but he bought water guns, and a slip and slide!


One of the dads got it all set up and the kids had a total blast on it!






Meanwhile Mikey and Jonathan showed up with some fire power of their own and joined in the filling of balloons...there were so many water balloons!



They not only filled the coolers, but they filled someones shirt as well...

Can you tell who is hiding a water balloon?


Even Pastor Mike got in on the action... here he is waiting patiently to squirt someone!


This little lady loved the guns and the slip and slide today...I think she probably fell asleep 2 minutes down the road tonight!


Kyle had some two fisted action going on, all helped out by that fancy footwork!


Then came some sack races that had the "loser" get crowned by a water balloon...they were all so wet they didn't even care!  Here is the first group with Sarah leading the way.  


Even high school graduates got in on the fun!



Then it was back to the slip and slide fun....which lead to this:
Water Slide from Deanna Rabe on Vimeo.
Pardon my loud cheering and laughing.


We missed you Becky...you would have laughed so hard!  It was a great day...thanks Uncle Denny and everyone else!