Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days - I Made It!

There were days, as I confessed to Vee, that I struggled to get something posted during these 31 days.  Some days the thoughts came to me so quickly, some posts were thought about for several days, and some days I felt dry and that I had nothing to say, yet I had committed to doing this and I wanted to keep that commitment!  So I prayed that God would give me something and He always did, even on those days where the words and thoughts poured forth easily, He was in that as well.

Thank you for praying for my niece Alicia, I thank you for asking about her.  Her lump was on her side/back and it felt soft she said.  The doctor believes it is a lipoma or referred breast tissue.  If it is a lipoma the doctor will want to remove it.  She goes for an ultrasound today.

Kayleigh goes in early this morning for more lab work.  They are checking hormone levels.  The midwife believes that she has miscarried the baby.  We are so sad.  They are thinking of names and we are grateful that we got to know about the baby however briefly.  Psalm 139:16 tells us that  
"Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were

written, every one of them,the days that were formed for

me,when as yet there was none of them."  

I love the promise of this.

 Tonight we have our Fall Fest!  Big, exciting stuff.  I'll take as many photos as I can and see if I can get them posted as soon as possible!

Thank you for your response to this series.  It has blessed me so much.  I really do love this season of life and I am recognizing that God is not finished with me yet.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days - Yet Will I Praise Him

I have an urgent prayer request.  Will you please pray for Kayleigh and our unborn grand baby?  It seems as if she is miscarrying this precious little one.

Pray with us first that God will sustain this pregnancy, and secondly if He chooses otherwise that He would be glorified by our actions.

We know He is the author of life and we are trusting Him.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

31 Days - Preparing For The Holidays

Thanksgiving is a month away.  Then comes Christmas.  

Thanksgiving is generally a one day event, while Christmas around here begins the day after Thanksgiving and lasts until after New Years!  I wish our Thanksgiving wasn't so close to Christmas, but when they were started they both were more of a one day event.

In years past it has been easy to blow through Thanksgiving to the season we all could wait for - Christmas!  But now, I try to focus in  the week before, if not several weeks before, on the purpose of Thanksgiving.  

Of course, we SHOULD be thankful everyday.  We would have nothing without His goodness and mercy to us.  The scriptures say 

"...for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:45

There are so many scriptures that speak of giving Thanks.  I want them to know some of them at least, so they can remember.

I believe that is a key word "remember."  In scriptures we are commanded to remember many things about the Lord and His goodness.

I think holidays are great for this.  One great thing about moving from Thanksgiving into the Christmas season is a sense of remembering to be thankful, and then focusing on the peak of God's mercy to us - the Advent of our Lord Jesus!

If I keep my focus I can help the kids to keep theirs, and the Christmas season becomes less about "Gifts" and more about the GIFT.

As Thanksgiving and Christmas come, I'll post more about that but for now, I just want to encourage you to keep Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It's easy when we are sad, or lonely, or troubled to not want to "do" these holidays.  But I believe that if we focus on Him, it doesn't matter if we can have a big celebration or not.  We can make it special with a pretty table, simple foods, and our attitude.  What if I reach out beyond my own self and invite a lonely neighbor or widow from church to share the day?  Make them a part of your celebration whether large or small.  Doing this means a bit more work.  It means focusing on others.  But in this comes BLESSING.  A chance for us to give because He gave.  

What do you think?  Are you looking forward to the Holidays?

Monday, October 28, 2013

31 Days - Season Of Snuggling

Getting a late start this morning due to this....

She woke early, as her Momma was heading out to work.  I brought her into my bed for snuggles.  We watched a few Thomas episodes, ate some breakfast, then got sleepy again.

It's a rough season of life, but someone has to live it!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

31 Days - Campfire

It's that beautiful time of year where it is a bit chilly during the day, and cold at night!  Ah, we've had great weather lately.  It's the time of year we love to sit out with a campfire.  Tim has been working this weekend, so he was looking for something fun to do as well as read to the kids and have devotions.  So he suggested a fire, everyone was up for that, grabbed coats, boots, hats, and coffee, and went outside.

 Once they saw I was taking their picture they started to pose for me.  This first one is just a normal shot....

 Note Emma in the background with her elegant fireside pose...

 Ha ha - Seems as if Rachel looks the same in all of these....

 Okay extreme pose here!  Crazy girls!

 These two are a blur as they were moving around so much at first and helping Tim chop kindling.  Once he started to read, however, they really did settle down.

It was a beauty of a campfire.  The night was clear and we heard a fox roaming around and crying out.  Tim and Rachel checked on our chickens making sure they were closed up tightly for the night.  That fox isn't going to get our pretty girls, not when they are this close to laying for us!

I am thankful for nights like this.

31 Days - Loving In Spite Of Differences

Many of you know that our son is engaged, a dad of our darling 3 year old granddaughter and now they are expecting a second child.  

Just for the record (they already know) this is not the order we would have wanted these events to play out.

That said, these children are gifts from God, and we welcome them.  It's a humbling thing to trust God for all the details and to set aside potential anger and bitterness for love.

We're not perfect at this.  In fact, I've spent way too much time this past year being upset that things weren't moving along like I thought they should and feeling resentful at times.  God has convicted my heart, showing me that he has given me another daughter to love and mentor, and I haven't been doing it.

Just days later we found out together, in the ER, that I would become a grandma for the second time.  Kayleigh had been having a pain in her chest that was getting worse so Emma and I went with her to the ER.  Turns out she has some inflammation of her cartilage on the ribcage, and it will heal itself.  But in the course of wanting her to get a chest X-ray they had her do a test to determine if she was pregnant.  She is.

I am sure that many of you have been in the situation of having someone you love making different life choices that you would want for them to make.  I'm certain that you've struggled.  Know this - that God is not taken by surprise by anything and He already knows. 

We can cast our cares and concerns on Him.  He will carry them, and He will give you what you need to love and help your loved ones with what they need.

Is their situation what we feel is ideal for them?  No.  Is God able?  Yes.

Now we are anticipating a new baby grand in May.  May is the month of our family birthday craziness.  Did I tell you that since the first moment we found out, I've had boy on my mind?  Don't know why.

Welcome to the Rabe Family baby.  You'll fit right in.

Friday, October 25, 2013

31 Days - The Season of Preparation

The season of preparation can mean different things to different people.  It does to me - sometimes at the same time!

I am currently in a season of preparation.  A cousin of mine mentioned last week that there were 10 Saturdays until Christmas!  Oh, man that got my attention!  Now there are nine Saturdays!  Yikes!  

This has got me knitting furiously on a lovely scarf made from my bargain bin chenille. 

I found two skeins of this lovely yarn at a local craft store for $1.00 each!  Love that and I know it will make a nice gift.  

I want to do more hand made gifts this year, or at least give things that are meaningful.

Another preparation is underway here, but that is my husbands' department.  It is preparing for cold weather by making sure we have plenty of wood for our wood stove to burn.  He does this for my parents as well.

All year he works on wood - getting it for free by taking a tree down for someone or removing a tree that is down already.  Its neat how the Lord provides and Tim is willing to do the work necessary.  

The wood goes from looking like this, 

to looking like this!  Oh and there is more - much more, this is just the wood in the wood rack close to the house.

We are thankful for this preparation as we have a freeze warning tonight, and our furnace is in need of a repair.  The house is toasty warm inside.

I am also beginning to prepare for our Ladies Tea in December and for our annual Fall Fest next week.  This is a family sponsored event for fun with our friends.  Hay rides, dancing, campfire, apple recipe contest, pumpkin recipe contest, fun.

What kinds of preparations are going on at your house?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days - Trusting In The Midst Of Uncertainty - Update

My nephew's wife Alicia is a godly young woman, mama to two sweet boys (ages 4 and 2) and a loving wife.

She told me this week that she found a lump in her breast and that it seems to have grown quickly.  It sounds like she may have a cyst, but her mother had breast cancer in the past so Alicia wisely is having it checked out today.  
**Just talked to her and it's not her breast it is on her side/back**

She is trusting God in the midst of this uncertainty.

Will you pray with us?  We are praying "the prayer that never fails" - Thy Will Be Done.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Days - Loving Good Things

What is a 'good thing?'

Someone famous used to use this phrase when she was giving tips on something on a TV show.  But I think it encompasses so much more than just tips.

A good thing is something that edifies - builds up - our families, our homes, our lives.

Reading the Word = a good thing.  Reading trashy 'romance' novels = not a good thing.  You could make it into legalistic rules, but that would be a bad thing, don't ya' know.

There is one list in the Bible that give us a guideline to what we should be focused on.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, 
whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is
pure,whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if
there is any excellence, if there is 
anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

During any season of our lives this should be the guide for what we think about, participate in, watch, listen to.  There is of course, variation allowed - God is the creator and has created with such immense variety, that we are allowed to like a certain artist over another and still focus on what is 'lovely.'  We do not all have to love Picasso.  I love that about God!  No clones!

Some of the Good Things I love are:




Home Keeping








So what Good Things do you love?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days - I Am Thankful For Fresh Mercies

Thankful for a late night of talking with one of my daughters and having her open her heart to me, though it was hard.

Friends, let me tell you an important thing.  Get to know the needs of your children when they are young.  Recognize that that little one who is following you around, or clinging to you is doing so because they have a NEED to be connected to you!  They want to be with YOU!

This is a good thing!  However, sometimes when we are in the midst of this season of child rearing, we long for moments alone and we shoo the children off to go play.  

This is okay if you've spent time connecting first.  Otherwise it can lead them to feel rejection, that builds every time you are busy with a committee meeting, or blogging, or fill in the blank.   I became aware of this several years ago, and though we talked about it, she held on to it.  I am so thankful for her forgiving heart and a heart to share even though it was hard.  Tears were shed and forgiveness given.  

Thank you Lord, for my beautiful daughter, and her heart for you.  Thank you for fresh mercies every day.  A chance to make different choices in these later years of parenting than I did in earlier years.  Thankful for growth and change.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

31 Days - Loving The Season Of Teaching

As I've grown as a woman,  I have loved the opportunity to mentor and teach others.

I particularly love teaching my daughters, and their friends, how to make a house a home.  Last week in our little home economics class we made pillowcases.  It was so much fun, the girls did a great job and their pillowcases turned out great!

 It's been so much fun to have four sewing machines set up and going at the same time!  They would be too impatient to have to take turns sewing!  I am so thankful for the large dining table Tim built for us!

Sarah, just a tad pleased with herself!

Rachel's pillowcase.  I told her I'd like a set just like it for Christmas!

You can find the fabulous tutorial by Missouri Quilt Company here.  I have wonderful things pinned on my Sewing Board.  Feel free to check it out.

This week we are going to talk about a skill I think all women should have - Event Planning.  Whether it is hosting Thanksgiving Dinner for the extended family, or a birthday party or a Holiday Tea, these skills come in handy.  It's going to be so fun!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

31 Days - Loving This Autumn

We are having lovely days and chilly nights - perfect for Autumn.

Our color is coming on very well now, though my Red Sunset Maples are not really showing much color yet.

The trees along the creek and the property line, and in the pasture are very pretty.  Several times over the last few days, the beauty has caused me to stop what I've been doing and just drink it all in.

I sent Lindsay out to try to capture it for me.  This is what she brought back.

I'm loving it all....

Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days - Loving Your Home - Part Two

I didn't plan on a 'part two' for this post but our activities here yesterday just begged for one.

When you own your home, it requires you to take care of it, or it starts to get frumpy and unhappy.  Then you get unhappy.  Not good.

The last several years have been extremely busy ones, and we barely kept up with everything.

This month, inspired I am sure by the beautiful weather, we are churning out the projects.  

Yesterday's projects are ones of not only necessity but of beautifying our space; we painted our exterior house doors.  

Oh yes, they are red!  The afternoon sun was shining brightly on the front door as Tim was replacing the knobs.

 The white door is our kitchen door that most folks enter into our house through.  The other awful looking door is the basement door.  
They are both red now too.

 This girl here gave them each a thorough scrubbing before paint was applied to them.

Tim took the opportunity to do some caulking while the door was out.

The youngest two in our family did a great job priming and beginning to paint some T1-11 boards that Tim will be using tomorrow to rebuild the shed.  Talk about a mess!  That one is for sure!  I will get some photos tomorrow of the process.  Let me just say that Sarah (age 11) and Kyle (age 8) did a wonderful job and were very helpful.

Before she painted Sarah looked like this - 

She had a costume long dress on over her tshirt and jeans and was wandering around our woods and pasture!  She made herself her wreath of autumn leaves!  What a beauty she is!  I am so thankful for her!

I can't wait to show you some other projects that we have been working on around here!

31 Days - Loving Your Home

Whatever season you are in right now, you are making your home somewhere.

Helen Allingham - Rose Cottage

And this potentially can be a source of stress.

Perhaps, you are a young couple with small children and your starting to outgrow your home, or you wish you owned your home instead of renting.  

Maybe you are getting older and your current home has become a bit much to keep up with, but you hate the thought of downsizing from a well loved home.

Sarah Bryant

There are tons of scenarios we could come up with, but you get the idea.  I am here to say that we can love our home regardless of circumstances.

When we were a young couple we were in training to be missionaries.  We lived in an apartment without a bathroom - we had to use a shared one down the hallway.  But I made that first small place a home for us, and we welcomed friends in every week.  

During one portion of our training Tim had to build a home in the woods of the training center for us to live in for 6 weeks.  This home was built from felled trees and landscaping plastic.  I'll have to find some photos to scan in and show you sometime.  He made all our furniture too.  During the time he was building, I was gathering supplies - vinyl tablecloths to staple to the wood and cardboard counters, for the table, an old quilt for our wood, cardboard and foam couch.  We had curtains to go up at the screened windows, and I color coordinate everything.

I cooked on a wood stove built by Tim and we hung a hammock out front and landscaped the outside with rocks from our house site, and we even transplanted a few ferns for outside the front door. Tim and a 13 month old Nate took a nap in the hammock every afternoon.

We made that place a home and settled in - and fared emotionally much better than those who had in their mind that 'this was just temporary' and didn't try to make it home.  They were not as content as we were.

That experience taught me that you can make a home anywhere - it's all in your mindset.  

William Blacklock - Lunchtime Preparations

Perhaps you move a lot due to your husbands work, or perhaps you rent and can't paint the walls or change the flooring.  Maybe you have lots of kids and few bedrooms.  Maybe your parents live with you or you live with them!

What ever the circumstance, you can love your home and make it your own.  You'll have to think creatively.

If you hate your carpet but you're unable to change it due to renting or cost.  My suggestion is to get an area rug to put in your living room, or your bedroom that can cover up a big section of yucky carpet or flooring.  

If you can't paint walls find inexpensive wall art to hang that will catch your eye rather than the ugly walls.  The possibilities here are endless.  Maybe you have a quilt you can hang.  Or perhaps you are a photographer or one of your children is.  There are so many places now that you can upload your digital photos and have them enlarged or put on canvases.  Maybe you are crafty, or not, but you've seen those easy crafts of taking canvases from the craft store and doing a bit of decoupage with scrapbooking paper or photos.  Endless crafting ideas out there for making artwork for your walls!

Candles, music, soft lighting in the evenings, books read aloud, coffee and tea being enjoyed, a game at the table, a movie shared, all can help to make your living space a home.

Anna Ancher

I know that perhaps the reasons for stress and unhappiness with a living situation are more serious than just not liking a wall color.  In all these circumstances the real key to loving our homes is attitude.

Albert Anker 

What is the attitude of my heart?  Am I thankful everyday?  Am I bitter at what life has thrown my way?  Where is my focus?  Is it on things or people?

You can make a delightful home where ever you live.  It's up to you.

Together - Daniel Gerhartz


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...