Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The "Ought" Verses The "Is"

Last evening, Del Tackett, talked about the "ought" verses the "is."  He was trained as a fighter pilot in the Air Force and he told us about his training.  They were taught to read the gauges in their planes and to trust their instruments and to notice when the "is" wasn't what it "ought" to be, so they could take steps to correct the problem.

He spoke of Apollo 13 and how the astronauts as well as Mission Control all know what "ought" to be as well.  When they had the oxygen tank blow on their rocket, they were able to handle the situation because they had been trained.  They KNEW things were NOT as they OUGHT to be.   They didn't pretend like it didn't happen, they didn't wait until a more convenient time to pay attention to it.  

They didn't know right away what had happened but they knew something had.  Their instruments and gauges were telling them so (as well as that loud explosion!).  Both the crew and the ground control guys were able to figure out how to best get things back to where they ought to be in order to get them home safely.

In order for us to know how things "ought" to be we must be in God's word.  We must learn truth, so when even we ourselves start getting away from where we ought to be, we can recognize it.

That's a hard one, isn't it?  Because it is so subtle sometimes, the moving away from sound doctrine, etc.  Churches do this, too.  It's never a huge leap away from truth, but as the Nickel Creek song says, "quiet steps away from your lead," until finally they are far from Biblical truth.

When we lose the Meta-Narrative then "I" am the source of truth.

I know that I am going to be pondering this "ought" verses "is" for sometime.

Interesting Quote

Last night I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Del Tackett speak at the ABR banquet.  Dr. Tackett is known for The Truth Project.

He shared a great quote by Voltaire

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

I am fairly certain that I would not be in agreement with Voltaire on many things.  However, I did find this quote quite telling for the times we live in.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Praying For Many Things

The earthquake in Nepal has brought such devastation.  I grew up in earthquake country - Southern California.  Never, ever did we have such loss.

News out of the Middle East is horrific on so many levels.

Does it seem to you that the world's turned upside down?

We are praying for so many things here at our cottage.  For our family, for our church members, for our country and it's leaders, for believers to truly walk with God, to be light in the darkness, for those suffering from illness and pain, for those who've suffered loss, for those in Nepal, for Christians in the Middle East, for my brother and sister in law who are this minute flying across the Atlantic Ocean to Senegal and the work God has called them to.  For the first time ever, with no children with them.  We are praying, for those who have chronic pain, and for those who have emotional pain.

I believe that God uses all things in our lives to get our attention and to change us into the image of His Son.

Are there things we can pray about on your behalf?

Monday Morning Chat

Good morning!  Did you all have a nice weekend?

I did.  The weather was cool but beautiful.  Makes it so enjoyable to be outside!

The mowing season has begun here.  This past week I had a jacket and gloves on while mowing - I felt like I was mowing in the autumn instead of spring!  The grass is looking really good, deep green.  We live in the country so we don't try to have a pristine lawn.  As long as its green I'm okay, and I am okay with Dandelions and Wild Violets in the grass as well.

Saturday I took some Murphy's Oil soap to my dining table, our coffee table and side tables.  I think they are happier now, I know I am.  

Also on Saturday, being the spontaneous kind of girl that I am, I decided I did want to go see Chonda Pierce at a local church THAT evening.  So I called my Mama, and she wanted to go too.  I got online, ordered tickets, printed them off and two hours later we were on our way!  We met up with some ladies from my church.  

What an amazing woman, Chonda is.  I'd never seen her in person, and it was such a great night.  We laughed, we cried, we all want to be her friend.  Becky said the same thing this morning!  Chonda is real, people.  She has had such a difficult life.  But she allows God to lead her through it and is such a testimony to God's faithfulness.  

Sunday was a good day too.  Sunday School, Worship, and then we went to lunch with friends.  That doesn't happen often, the eating out with friends part.  We went to a local restaurant, and the 16 of us sat at three tables.  One kid table, one older kid table, one adult table.  The kids are all so well behaved and they laughed together and ate pizza while we grown ups enjoyed our lunch.  Then we came back here to the Cottage.  The kids played in the creek and got muddy and they rode horses, and we enjoyed the sunshine, and good conversation and just a relaxed day.  

I'm feeling quite refreshed, and am so thankful for good fellowship.

This is our last week of school.  Friday, we hit our 180th day.  Of course we live a lifestyle of learning, but the formal part will be done until August.  I'm so proud of my kids, they've had such a good year.

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Essential Oils: Do You Use Them?

I do use them. 


Mostly as scent for the house, either in with our Murphy's Oil soap for the wood floors, or being diffused.  For the floors the oil we use depends on the season.  In the winter we really like Peppermint and also Orange.  In spring or summer we like Lemon, or if we are fighting fleas (like we did last summer) we used Peppermint again.  Sometimes we use lemon and lavender together, that's really nice.

I don't ingest oils.  I've read too many conflicting things.  I do however use a few of them on the body, but always with a carrier oil.

We have had good success with using Eucalyptus oil with coconut oil on the bottoms of our feet when we had bad coughs and couldn't sleep.  It is sort of like Vick's.

We also have had good success with a mix of oils as a topical pain reliever.  We use equal parts of Almond oil, Peppermint oil, and Clove oil.  I've used it for some joint pain I've had in my thumb joint, my mom uses it for various things, my son Nate has used it on his back.  My friend Jennifer (who has RA) told me about it, thinking it may help Nate's back, and it has.  She uses it on her knees sometimes.  This mixture does not cure the underlying issues but it does help with pain, which is very beneficial when you're hurting!

 Start with a bottle of some sort.  A dark color bottle help keep the oils from going bad,  Also keep them out of direct sunlight.

 Use equal parts of these oils and

 a carrier oil.  For this mixture I use the sweet almond oil.

 Add your oils

and Voila!  You have a useable oil mixture for topical pain relief.

Remember, this is for topical use only.

Do you use essential oils?  Do you have a favorite?

I have a Pinterest page for Essential Oils.  I like to read about them and their uses.  I have been reading about the medieval time period and they used tea tree oil in the 14th century.  And during the second go round of the Bubonic Plague, there were thieves who used a blend of oils to break into and rob homes of people who had the plague, and yet they didn't catch it at all.  'Thieves' is a very popular blend of oils that people still use during cold and flu season.

Of course, I am not claiming to be an expert in EO nor do I claim that they will work for you.  I am not a seller of oils, either.  I just like to talk about interesting things.  So let's talk!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Scooter Fun

It was a beautiful day.  The grandgirlie loves to be outside, so my Mom and I took chairs out to the drive way to watch her ride her scooter.

I had to say, "On your mark, get set, go!" every time.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Nearly Done

Our school year is winding down, we have just 10 days left.
Some of our work is finished - science, history, math for Kyle.  So we are finishing up the remaining work, as well as continuing our never ending reading.  Sarah has about 30 books on her book list this year, yes that is books that have been read!

I also like to do some art projects at the end of the school year, as well as work on portfolios of their years work.

We meet with our evaluator May 15th.  The kids love to go see her - she is such an encouragement to them.  I know its fun for her to see their growth year to year as well.  

This year for the first time, Kyle and Sarah will be going with Tim, Rachel and I to our state's Homeschool Convention.  I'm looking forward to it, having missed it last year.  The convention is Friday and Saturday of Mother's Day weekend.

Then Emma will be home, as well.  She has the same school schedule as we do.  10 more days, a week of work on campus, the school's graduation, then home.

I am looking forward to having her here for the summer!  She'll be a busy girl working to earn tuition for next year.

I love having the end in sight, and yet looking ahead to the next school year as well.  I love home education and am thankful that we've been able to do it for these last 20 years!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Garden In Spring

Ah, spring is really here!

The daffodils are in bloom, tulips beginning to bloom, I saw some of my peonies beginning to poke their heads up from the ground!

Spring flowering trees are in bloom, though not our Cleveland Pear yet.  The Forsythia is blooming all over Lancaster County.  It's beautiful.

It was such a lovely day yesterday, and today is looking to be even nicer.  I stopped at our local orchard for apples, and ended up with some flowers and some tomatoes and herbs, as well as apples!

 French Lavender

 Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

The kids and I weeded the strawberry beds yesterday.  The soil in these raised beds is so lovely.  Tim had put some wood ash on them in the winter and I worked that in with my hands yesterday.
 This bed has very few strawberry plants in it.  I am going to purchase a few more for this bed.  Last year we had an amazing crop of strawberries.

 I don't know how many of you are able to buy locally grown strawberries verses the grocery store variety.  If you are or if you can go pick your own, you'll be amazed at the difference in the taste!

 Poorly focused photo, but I was happy to see this fruit tree in bloom.

 This is a bridal veil spirea.  It will be glorious for a few weeks in June!

 This is a photo of the lilac we cut back to the ground a few years ago.  It has quite a few flowers buds on it this year and I am very happy about that!

After two long, cold, snowy winters, we are needed to do some maintenance on both the lamppost and the picket fence.

 This lamppost was white when we bought it and we painted it black.  It is a mess this year and will be getting fresh paint.  I'd like to do the light fixtures as well, and they have become dull and faded.

You can see the fence in this video of Kyle driving the mower.  It needs paint, obviously, but there are also a few spots where the wood needs to be replaced.

Glad I am married to a handy man.

So we'll be enjoying our mid 70's nearly 80 degree temperatures today, and working outside while we can.

What are you doing today?

Friday, April 17, 2015

What A Day

Well, we had quite an unexpected day yesterday.

We started out by having breakfast with Tim's brother Dan and our sister in law Sharon.  They leave soon for Senegal, West Africa, so we were taking time together while we can.  This was the expected part of the day.

While we were at breakfast I got a call from my mom that they were headed to the ER.  She was having some potential symptoms of something and they wanted to get it checked out.  I told her we'd be there as soon as we could.

That was an unexpected part of the day!  We arrived and since my dad was back with her, I was the only one able to go back, so Tim got comfortable in the waiting room area.

Mom was having a test run, so I chatted with my Dad.  I got a text with photo from Tim.

 While reading the local paper, he saw their write up about Sight and Sounds'  Premier show for 2016 Samson.  The photo the newspaper used is the scene Lindsay rode in - in fact she is the focal point of the photo - and of course, Jericho, that awesome Arabian she is riding.

Here is just the photo.

I told her this will be an awesome photo to hang on her wall and show her children one day.  You know at some point your kids are amazed that you had a life before they came along.  I told her she'll be able to say, "This is what I did before I became a Mommy."  How cool is that?

My Mom was absolutely fine, by the way.  It was good that she went in, as it could have been a very serious thing.  We are thankful it wasn't.  The photo of Lindsay was a great distraction for them while we were waiting for the test results, too.

I am glad that we can trust our days to the Maker and Sustainer of all things.

We have today, this moment, let's rejoice and be glad in it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sight and Sound Theatres' New Show

They call it a 'Roll Out.'  It's a big event where they showcase their newest show.  Lindsay was going to be riding a horse in a performance scene and we knew we wanted to be there.

The show for 2016 was revealed to be.....


We got to see a few scenes, hear two songs, see some behind the scenes work on the show.

Normally, they want you to turn your phones off but last night we got to take photos!  They are smart!  Free publicity for their next premier show!

After the show we were able to go up on stage and take photos on the Samson statue.  You could 'be' Samson!  A few of us did so.

Here are a few shots of Lindsay in hair, make-up and costume.

Doesn't she look like a fierce Philistine warrior?  She and another animal handler rode through their scene on horseback dropping a net on Samson, trying to capture him!  They were on and off the stage so quickly!  I didn't get a shot of her!

I can say from what we saw last night, that this show is going to be AMAZING!  Start saving your pennies right now, so that you can come and see this show!  By attending the Roll Out last night we each got a free ticket for Samson!  Woo Hoo!

Tickets go on sale in May.  This show will premier in March of 2016!  Here is a link to the media page for Samson.  There are videos here to get a sneak peek at this show!

Until then they have a few weeks left of Moses and then they begin my favorite show (so far) - JOSEPH!  I can't wait to see it again!
Here's the link to the media page for Joseph.

We've enjoyed having our kids work at a place that has the goal of bringing the Good News of the Gospel to life!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I grew up in a place that generated a lot of fear - Southern California.  Now that may seem like a crazy statement, after all, it's the land where everything is perfect right?  Perfect weather, perfect looking people, perfect everything.  But that is the surface.  Underneath is where the fear lies.  So many people living in close proximity to each other, strangers really, because you don't know your neighbors very well, and some of the ones you know just might have the police after them.  (True story of police helicopters circling a house three doors down.) There was Charles Manson and his followers and the Hillside Strangler, gang activity, riots and looting.

Fear didn't keep me housebound, though it was always an undercurrent.  We kids still rode our bikes to the playground at our elementary school two blocks away, without adults, and I walked to my friends' house two blocks down, two over and across the tracks by myself, though I didn't like doing that.  I'd have much rather had a ride.   I'd never let my kids do that today. 

 Fear can be insidious, keeping you a prisoner while you think you are free.  It followed me into my adulthood, never obvious, but always under the surface.

As I grew in my understanding of God, I began to understand that He has a lot to say about fear.  Jesus tells us "Do not fear," in Matthew 10:31.  The Word tells us "Fear not for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God." (Isaiah 41:10)  "Do not fear for I am with you," (Genesis 26:24).  

The scriptures also tell us to have courage "Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous?  Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

I began to recognize that I needed to walk by faith, and trust what God was telling me, rather than walk by fear.  When I had trouble going to sleep at night, when Tim was working an overnight shift, God showed me this verse.  Psalm 4:8 - "I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
I took hold of this, figuring that if David could do this - both lie down in peace and sleep - though Saul and his army were chasing after him for three years, then I could do the same.  

The last few years have been full of fearsome things, beheadings, terrors, things that didn't seem a part of our 'world', but now they are.  This can bring on a whole new level of fear.

The girls and I have just finished a series of books called The River of Time series.  There are five books - Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne and Tributary (two novellas), and Deluge.  In this series, two sisters time travel to medieval Tuscany and find themselves in many battles.  They must deal with needing to be protected at all times, and the fear of the Plague which they know will be coming.  These sisters, Gabriella and Evangelia are struck by how used to death, the people of the 14th century are, and how they embrace life.  One of the men in the story talks about how, today they are alive and that they should fully enjoy it and rejoice in it.

That really struck me.  Today we are here, we are alive, and so we ought to rejoice in it and enjoy it to the fullest.  To not live in the fear of what may come (Matthew 6:34).

God has given us today, to rejoice in, not to fear.  He promises to be with us where ever we may go, so I should and will walk in joy and not in fear.  Today, no matter what comes my way, He will never leave me nor forsake me.

I can leave it all in His hands, and accept from Him what He chooses to bring my way.  

No fear, only peace.  No fear, only joy.  No fear, only hope.

Information Friday

  We are having a very rainy spring. Today it is windy, as well. Thankful that the temperatures are mild! My Daffodils got hammered but the ...