Friday, May 31, 2013

Forgive Me For Being So Honest


We have officially begun the Summer. DS is now out of school. I am very proud of his accomplishments this year, he has worked hard. I say that with all sincerity because I don’t want what I say next to undermine that statement.

I have loved every year that I have had the blessing of raising my son and with each new year I would announce that it was the best yet. This trend, however, came to an abrupt halt when DS turned 11. Since then I have liked each year less than the last!  What is it with teenage boys?

I used to listen to all the comments about raising teenagers and see all the upturned looks and I guess I dismissed them as jokes. Boy did I have a surprise.

It is not easy being a teenager. I look back on my teen years with great remorse. It was a very difficult time for me. That period in between adulthood and childhood when we are pushing away from the supervision of the adults but not yet ready to go it alone.

This summer started off with some very tough boundaries and left  DS asking what happened to me. I am usually the passive and dismissive parent in the household but after only three days at home with DS it became very clear to me that I was not going to survive and neither would he.  So no more MR. Nice Guy! 

This mornings devotional made it very clear, ‘ Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you’ Hebrews 13:17

We are to keep watch over our children’s souls. If we want them to walk in righteous we need to teach clear boundaries and consequences. This way they keep clean consciences and have peace before God.  So, dear Lord, forgive me for being passive and dismissive and let me lead my DS with joy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Berries making an Appearance


If I was limited to what I grew I would definitely choose fruits. Look at these berries making an appearance. We have two raised beds just for fruits, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Can’t wait. The climate here seems perfect for growing. Warm and humid in the day with periods of rain. Everything looks so lush.


We have several beds for planting. Several with ground cover to keep off the weeds. This will definitely cut the labor down. One bed is for come-again greens and lettuce that we can poach all summer long. Another is devoted to tomato and pepper plants. Another plot for beans, which I have discovered I love, and the surplus gets canned to last the year. I put in butternut because the vine, flowers and fruit are so edifying. And last but not least we gave some room for flowers. Cosmos, sunflowers and Dahlias.

I keep thinking of the reception classes that I taught gardening to back in the UK and how they would love to get their hands on this lot. They would have a blast.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Psalm 1, Children’s Lesson Plan

Hello on this beautiful warm and sunny Virginia day. Sorry to my non-Virginia friends, I am not gloating, merely expressing a grateful heart. It’s been a bit of an up and down week as life has pressed in on us this week but it is wonderful to lean on the word of God for encouragement. I have the main core of my kids away from RU tonight (Reformers Unanimous a discipleship ministry focusing on addictions) so I am going to break from the fruits of the Spirit schedule and do something else.
Having meditated on Psalm one this week I thought it a wonderful passage to look at with my kids. I Googled Psalm 1, kids and I was delighted to find a lesson on Ministry To Children. This site doesn’t have a huge bank of resources yet but it does have a healthy start AND it is very well organized which thrills me to no end. (there is nothing worse than the promise of good resources and then you can’t find them)
Here is there
Lesson plan for Psalm 1.
Coloring book download also from the same site (even more thrilled)
For my craft I will draw a tree trunk with branches and then I will let the children finger paint the leaves and fruit. We will write the words I am blessed when I …
and I will write down the exhortations in the first verses of Psalm 1.
Print out from Lesson on Psalm 1
Coloring book master print out for copying
Master drawing of tree base and branches
acrylic paint and paper plates
Master of label for tree craft. ‘Because I do not go the same way as wicked people or hang out with people who find fun in doing evil, and because I find joy in concentrating on God’s word at the beginning and end of my day.’

Irises are in bloom. I love their fragile beauty and they are gone so quickly.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Grape Vine Wreaths.

Last Christmas we had an awful time trying to find affordable Christmas wreaths within 30 miles of were we live. So when Pa trimmed the grape vines I decided to get busy and make some. Now I have plenty to decorate throughout the year.

They are so decorative and I love all the little curly cues that occur naturally on the vine. Now to get busy decorating.


Such a good little helper

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Would Do It Again

Being back in the USA means I was able to join in the with the annual Ladies Luncheon at Church. Had a lovely time getting to know people. 


I’m the girl in the pink with my Mother-In-Law next to me in the green.


It was slightly painful. They had chosen a speaker who was a new missionary on her way out. It was hard not to contrast our lives and think of were I was 20 years ago. The sadness of leaving familiar people and places overcome only with the sense of God’s calling and the excitement of what He had ahead of me. Now it is a different kind of sadness. I am coming home except this is not my home. Leaving 16 years of friends and familiar things to start again. It’s a different kind of heartbreak that only a few will know. She will have hers to come. Life never stays the same.

I have no regrets. God’s calling on my life was special. Is special. After all that Christ has done for me I would do it again.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

2nd Commandment–Make No Graven Image Before Me

Children’s Lesson Plan – Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.

*For the craft you will need to do it in two stages as the first stage needs a little drying time. As soon as the children come in have them start the first part.

Welcome and prayer

Introduce Lesson

Exodus 20: 4-5a

Bible challenge

Write out verse in large letters. Have a copy for the girls and one for the boys. Cut up scripture in large segments (between commas would work well) and have each team race to put the scripture together in the correct order. Try without the Scriptures and then have a child read out the verse to see if they are right.


The first four commandments are about our relationship to God.

The 2nd is specifically about how we must approach God. God does not want us creating material or visual images that we worship. This doesn’t mean we can’t create beautiful works of art after all God is creative and he has made us with the ability to be creative also.

What it does mean is that we are not to make any representative images that we idolize or bow down to as if they were God. God wants our worship! He is the true and living God and can't be found in dead and false images.

This protects our relationship with him because He doesn’t want us to worship false idols made by man. We must worship God in spirit and truth. God is Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God is in our hearts through our relationship with Jesus and when we talk to Him he hears us. He is not to be found in things that we create with our own hands. After all He made us, we do not recreate Him!

God’s glory will never be reflected in a man made image so we only hurt ourselves and God when we worship something other than Him.

Think about if instead of your friend playing with you or spending time with you talking to you they made a doll that looked like you and gave the doll all the attention. You would quickly feel jealous of your friends attention and leave. That’s how God says He feels when we worship other things instead of Him.


Craft Heart shaped booklet with hand decoration.

*Fold a white 81/2 x 11 in half. Have the children make painted hand prints with the palm at the fold. They paint each hand a different color. Place the hands so they form a heart and fingers overlap. Set aside and leave to dry.


Next take a black marker and draw around the hand shapes making a heart. The children can decorate with the marker. Write the verse on the front or inside. They can carefully cut the heart but make sure it stays attached at the fold.


We talked about using our hands to make good things and wrote Ex. 20:4a inside. This little fella wrote his Mum a Mothers Day Card. That’s a great thing to use our hands for!


**Color sheets/ crayons

Plain white paper/ poster paint (minimum of two colors)/ black markers

** I mainly keep color sheets on hand for down times or if I have rambunctious child that needs occupying. ; )

Hope you have a Jesus filled week.

This was written in preparation for RU children’s class and based on RU plan.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

We have Put Our Hand To Whatever God has Presented.


Since returning from overseas ministry last September it has been a bit of an up and down hill climb. Navigating through the challenges of looking for gainful employment in an economically depressed area, a falling economy and starting again at 50+, has tested our faith. However, we have put our hand to whatever God has  presented and we have been led to renovate the workshop on the farm to accommodate auto repair. We are holding tightly to God in all of these ventures.

The shop is huge and so cutting a hole in the side and making a large bay has not been difficult. We are praying that this will bring a steady income that we can live off for the time being. 


Jim will be three minutes walk from the house so Lilly and I can visit for lunch and coffee break.