Category Archives: Life

Overcoming emotional hurts with Christ’s help

I often get letters, behind scenes, expressing great anguish and crippling turmoil over familial hurts that seem insurmountable and are accompanied by pleas for help. I just wanted to answer this one publicly and with virtual hugs. It’s okay. Jesus understands. And you are not alone. Here’s my story.

First, I want to tell you, I understand. I understand the being overwhelmed, the agony, the injustice, the “no one can understand and possibly everyone things I’m over-reacting”. The not being able, much less willing, to put yourself out as a target when those “archers” responsible are in the same vicinity! I felt the same emotional turmoil for years, whenever I was around a certain someone. Those were hard but growing years. I’m so thankful for a godly mother’s counsel, and her strong shoulder on which I cried many times.

Like you, survival meant keeping a distance and meantime in the civil distance, with much prayer and a lot of maturity in both the other person and myself, I have been able to put the hurtful things that happened behind me. I NEVER thought I’d be able to be around that person with my guard down, but happily I am. I pray that over time and with God’s healing between you and this other person, total renewal (love, forgiveness, trust) will be gained. Until then, you are wise to listen to your loving heavenly Father and protect your fragility, build yourself up in the confidence and strength that comes from the Lord.

1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

Our heavenly Father will equip you. Perfect love casts out fear! Pray that Jesus will give you an overwhelming love–unconditional with no past recriminations hovering–for this person. A love that will cover their human failings toward you.If you are like me, you will have many kneeling-before-the-throne sessions, weeping, praying for the burden to leave. But the joy isn’t in the burden leaving, as much as it is in surviving it by God’s grace and coming out on the other side scathed, but healed, and enabled to help spread the message of hope that you’ve experienced firsthand.

The Lord gave me that for my situation. I wanted to bawl for joy when he crushed that last wall I’d built for my sanity and protection, and let me just feel love and compassion for the one that had hurt me so, with no history tainting it WHATSOEVER. I even cleared the air with them, and apologized for my part in the problem, not hinting at anything they might have done. It is so over–and I am free and so incredibly thankful to have that horrible, crippling angst of a burden rolled off my heart. To be able to be around them with no hurts between us any more is a MIRACLE! He is faithful so just keep hounding the Lord for peace and healing on this–even if your loved one never changes–I believe you will get to the point of having a Jesus-love for him or her that can see past their faults and sins and even let this unfair treatment of you and hurtful words roll off of you because you are SO bathed in Jesus’ affirmation and love, blood-covered and GRACED out, that you’ll hurt more for this other person than yourself when those darts hit their mark.

Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

But, in the meantime, do keep your distance so you can focus on healing and commit to pray hard for this perfect work. I can’t explain how all my hurts, anger, insecurities, jealousies over the injustice of it all (false rumors, etc.) were completely vanquished and it wasn’t overnight…but it definitely happened and it was all Jesus. I think of this person now with so much love, sometimes with tears as I pray for their precious family. What a blessing!

Having read all of that, I hope you get a message of HOPE and can see that I’m not judging, because I’ve been there. Perhaps I didn’t have as much to forgive in my situation, as you do in yours, but Jesus can handle it.

Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Psalm 27:1, “The  LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

The blessing of total forgiveness is that forgiveness will come much easier for you down the road when others hurt you. The more like Christ we become, the more dead we become to self, and “dead people” don’t get offended or hold bitterness or grudges. I would much rather be dead to “self” and alive to Christ. For more on this, you may want to read my Dying to Self series. For now I’ll leave you with Galatians 2:20,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

God bless you and heal you as you seek His ways in all you do…

Spring Adventures

Watering canIt’s feeling a lot like spring outside! And it’s been a long while coming, hasn’t it? I had my hands in garden dirt today, helping our local CSA farm plant 1,000 broccoli and cauliflower plants–perfect afternoon project for four families to tackle, made easier by many hands and a nifty transplanter implement new to the farm. I think I may have gotten a wee bit of a sunburn today–and some good ole-fashioned Vitamin D, while I was at it!

Baby chicks moved in last week–37 of them to be exact. The morning they arrived, we also had our 4 calves escape their pen, and a baby goat that needed warmed by our fire and bottle fed every 2 hours for a couple of days. Yep, spring has sprung.

Last night we offloaded 400 cattle from 4 semi trucks, and then herded them by horseback to a neighboring pasture…at dusk. My husband and I, our 3 daughters, and 3 cattle dogs. By the time we headed back to the horse trailer we could barely see each other on our bay and roan horses. We’ve ridden in the dark before, to the tune of 3:30 A.M. but never at night–we can’t wait till next time! Oh, and the chocolate rice krispy treats my oldest made for the truck ride over to this adventure rounded out the fun, not to mention how the girls baled onto the pick-up bed for the ride home. Happy!

Got my pansies planted just now, homemade noodles ready to roll out for supper…should I pop open a quart jar of home-canned turkey or beef to add in with gravy? Hmmm.

Now if our milk cows would only calve soon, we’d be in milk again. The laying hens are giving me 15-20 eggs a day. I’m telling you, THIS is living. Fresh air and SUNSHINE, greening grass and trees, flowers, loamy dirt to fill with veggie transplants, baby critters, girls on horseback, real food at the end of a long day’s work. I’m thinking I don’t deserve to have it so good. Thank you, Lord, for your abundant blessings!

How’s your spring shaping up?

 

Miracle on New Year’s Eve 2012

My husband and I were up at the barn milking the cows when it happened. Screams, distant enough that I shoved my hood back and strained to distinguish whether or not they were in fun or in terror. I’d just been watering the livestock at the back of the dairy barn, humming “Let it Snow,” thinking what a gorgeous adventure I was having, helping the love of my life milk ye old cows, tromping through 3 inches of white stuff, and just loving the calm still of a snowflaked world on New Year’s Eve. Inside the house, a table piled with our favorite finger foods awaited us, special movies hand picked for bringing in the New Year, and a roaring fire in the fire place. Life just didn’t get better than this.

Until my heart stilled at the sounds of all three of my girls screaming for help. My husband jumped away from Gertie, our Jersey-Guernsey cow that he was finishing up, and asked me if something was wrong out there. I was still in denial, hoping there wasn’t.

“I think they are just playing…I shut the chickens in early tonight, so they let Guiney out to romp in the snow a bit.” I hurried through the barn, heading for the door that was nearest the commotion.  Guiney is our female Australian Shepherd, my 12 year old’s special pet, a great dog…but one with an affinity for eating my laying hens. We dare not let them out at the same time.

When I reached the big sliding south door of our dairy barn, all doubt as to the seriousness of the situation vanished. My 8 year old was hysterical, hardly able to talk she was wailing so loudly. “Mommy! Daddy!” her screams were punctuated with chest-shuddering sobs, “Guiney’s head is caught in a trap, she’s going to die, come quick!”

My husband took off running, I’ve never seen him fly over the snow so fast. Later we looked at his boot prints…all a good four feet apart. Down the long hill, past our horse pens, around the fledgling fruit trees we planted last year, and across the small pasture where we keep our broiler pens…I prayed he’d make it in time. Adrenaline pumping, I hurried to free the dairy cows from their stanchions and turned them back into their part of the barn where they could munch alfalfa and not get into trouble. I hurried to my youngest, still wailing as if her heart had broken into a million pieces, bent over in the snow, rocking and praying to God to please please save Guiney.

My own emotions were threatening to pull me under. This couldn’t be happening. If only the girls had asked before letting Guiney out. But how could they know that there was a trap set down by the field pens, set to catch the elusive critter that’s been after the chickens here of late? I hugged my youngest close and we prayed together, loud desperate pleas to the only One who could work the miracle needed a quarter mile away.

Youngest didn’t want to go near the scene, she just knew Guiney was dead, and couldn’t bear to have it confirmed. I sent my delirious little sweetheart trudging forlornly to the house, and headed down to the rest of my family. When I got within view, my hubby was heading back this way…I hollered down to him, thinking he might need something and I could save him some steps. He gestured with his hands in a way that I thought meant, “She’s gone. She died. It’s over.” The tears I’d been fighting rushed out, my rip-tide of emotions finally collapsing when all hope was gone. But then I saw Guiney, up and walking around, a ghost of a dog…as if nothing had happened. What?

I immediately thought of my little one, who had just gone into the back porch. I turned back and hollered, “She’s alive!” I had to yell it several times.

She stumbled out, in disbelief, a little nymph all bundled up in coveralls and her red “rooster” ski hood that covered her face with eye-and-mouth holes. “She’s alive?”

We were both so broken up with relief, and tears flowing, that we could hardly communicate. We hugged, our first thought after the relief was that God had graciously answered our fervent pleas. Then we headed down the snow-capped driveway to the rest of the family and Guiney-the-wonder-dog met us. Has any dog ever been so lavished with love as this precious blue-merle Aussie? I hugged and hugged my second-born daughter, Guiney’s owner, and we thanked God over and over for saving her doggie.

My oldest told me the story. She’d seen the killer trap snap around Guiney’s neck. Guiney died in her arms, having first passed out from lack of oxygen. When my husband got there, he pried open the trap with his bare hands, usually not possible. Part of the miracle. He confirmed that Guiney was dead. But not one to give up easily, he decided to breathe into her nose and work on her heart. Minutes crept by. He kept breathing for her, but her eyes were rolled back, and she should have gulped in air the minute he’d gotten the trap off. He sat her up against his chest and moved her around, hoping to stimulate things. The girls were standing a little ways away, praying, hoping against hope, and hearing their daddy pray out loud  in between breathing for our dog. He was about to call it quits, when Guiney’s eyes moved slightly.

The girls were just sure it was all over. All they knew was that their daddy had gotten quiet. But when they heard him say, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord!” they looked at each other in amazement. Could it be possible? Guiney moved a bit gingerly, but soon was up walking around. By the time youngest and I got mid-way down the driveway, Guiney was jogging to us, as if nothing was wrong. Not a dot of blood even smeared her lovely white collar.

Tonight we have much to be thankful for…we’ll always remember the miracle on New Year’s Eve 2012, when God raised our dog from the dead. This is the kind of faith lesson that will loom over all of us in future hard times, a monument to a mighty God who sees each sparrow, and dog, that falls, and who holds all of our lives in His hands.

Things that make me happy!

I am having an uncomplicated day at home for the first time in several weeks. Big deep purr of contentment here. We’ve had back-to-back farmer’s markets in our community, to maximize on various tourism events, and we’re all just feeling plumb worn out. In between all of that, we’ve been processing chickens, keeping up with our big garden, and helping my hubby get ready for hay harvest. Oh, yeah, and milking two cows twice a day really uses up about 3 hours a day when you add in bottle feeding 3 calves, washing and sanitizing all the milking equipment, buckets, bottles, dairy floor…quite the job!

So today I was fixing myself a cup of tea for the first “me time” I’ve had in, well, I can’t remember when, unless you count the time last week when one of my good friends stopped by and helped me peel apples for pies for the market. Now that was pure loveliness, and I’d just been spoiled the day before when another friend came over to share stove duties and helped make pumpkin spice mini loaves. God is so good to me. When is the last time you thanked him for giving you a strong back, the ability to *see* this gorgeous world and participate in LIFE with a healthy body and a family that loves you?

Things that make me happy!

  • White Honeysuckle Tea by Shang, with added goji berries and sweetened with honey–Mmm! (Sipping as I type this…)
  • Seeing a full jar of said honey, and knowing it’s the real deal, honest-to-goodness unadulterated raw, organic honey…and daydreaming about our beekeeping venture panning out…hopefully soon!
  • Time, sweet time, to take deep breaths and snuggle with pup Liz while I watch my girls play with her 5 week old littermates
  • Listening to my girls giggle as they jump on the trampoline with the water hose blasting their every move…
  • My long row of colorful rainbow swiss chard out in the garden–so purty, its oranges, hot pinks, yellows, pale greens and pinks!
  • Garden tomatoes and cukes in my CSA share this week! WOW!
  • Hymns played by my 11 year old on her harmonica–she takes it wherever we go, we rarely listen to the radio in the vehicle anymore…
  • Fresh cream on fresh blackberries with a teensy bit of sugar!
  • Murmuring lovingly to my Jersey cow, ’cause she’s so good to us and gives such amazing milk!
  • Farmer’s Markets–such a fantastic sense of community…
  • Great Bible teaching–which we’re so blessed to get three times a week, praise God!

Wow, I think I could go on indefinitely, but my tea is getting cold and I’m overdue for some time in the Bible today…

What are some of your favorite things? I’d love to hear about them!

Blessings,
Mary

Rumor has it…

Rumors abound, and when they are about me or people I love, it’s more than bothersome, it’s hurtful and annoying. Now, I’m not easily offended, and I hate to think anything I’ve said in “real life” or here on this blog has been offensive, but the fact is, I know that a lot of the passions reflected on this blog focus on hot topics. Topics many of us have strong opinions about. So I just want to clear the air here on a few things, and beg you NOT to assign titles to me that are not true. I think you’ll catch my drift when you read the following.

  1. Yes, I’m an idealist that wants to feed pure healthy food to my family. We still eat junk, and occasionally–gasp–items with high fructose corn syrup, but we do what we can to eat healthy and to eliminate the need for chemicals, etc. in our family garden.
  2. No, I’m not against conventional farmers! Not one little bit. I know that for high yields on crops modern farmers are all doing what they believe they have to do to survive. I understand that for yields, GMO seeds are a good thing. I apologize if my belief that more caution is in order when it comes to genetically modified seeds/fish/animals has caused offense in any quarter. None intended. My father-in-law, brother-in-law, and many good friends are conventional farmers and I know that they are concerned about these issues, and the health of the land as well. We just happen to come at these issues from slightly different angles, that’s all!
  3. I’m not against the medical field. But I am all for keeping your kids healthy w/o medical intervention when possible. I realize it’s not always possible. I realize we’ve been soooo blessed to not have any major diseases or broken bones, or genetic defects that require a doctor’s aid. When I express my delight in being able to cure simple illnesses with herbs and such that God’s given, and my distaste for the overuse of anti-biotics we see here in the USA, please don’t misconstrue that to mean that I am against the medical profession. The two family practice docs that saw me and mine through the girls’ younger years are priceless, and I’d still pick up the phone and call them with questions if I didn’t have a wonderful herbal nutritionist at my beck and call. *Smile* (Not to mention both of those family practice docs quit their practices for various reasons)
  4. Yes, I’m sold on the KJV Bible being the word of God for all English speaking people. Yes, I don’t see the need for any other translation, because I believe hands down that the KJV is not only the best, but the one God perfectly preserved through historical manuscripts and godly translators as He promised He’d do until the end of time, according to Psalm 12:6-7. However, I believe that people can still get saved by reading other versions, because God’s word does not return void. This is an issue between a Christian and God, I share my thoughts and convictions on it here at the blog, but I by NO means judge you for choosing to stick with your alternate version. (I may pity you a little bit for what you’re missing out on though! *wink*)
  5. Raw milk. Ooh boy. Everyone who knows me in real life knows what a fanatic I am about raw milk vs. pasteurized. But ya know what? We all are fanatics about something. Maybe you are particularly critical of people that drink beer? I’m not critical of people that drink pasteurized milk, I’m just wanting the same freedoms to buy/sell raw milk that any other freedom loving American enjoys when he chooses white bread over whole wheat. Fair enough?

Those are just the top 5 that get me in trouble. I hope most of you know that in my book, grace is the name of the game. Nothing’s gained by being critical of how others choose to do things. Don’t read between the lines here at the blog and assume I’m a hater of conventional farmers/dairies, doctors, dentists, etc.–because that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you wonder about my stance on certain issues, ask me, go to the mat with me, I’ll still call you friend when it’s all said and done. I’ve done my research, but I realize there’s always more to learn about any subject. And I realize that you’ve probably done your research too! We may have to agree to disagree. Not such a bad thing! Really!

The next time someone says something derogatory about someone else…check with the source before passing it along. Rumors hurt people. And what are you doing talking about other people behind their backs anyway? Right?

For what it’s worth, I do apologize if my diatribes here on the blog have caused any personal angst to any of my readers. This platform provides an outlet for me to voice my concerns and thoughts and inspirations and get valuable feedback from you! However, please understand that one can only be censored *so* much. Chances are, if you continue to read here, you will from time to time experience a rise in blood pressure from some of my ornery topics. I just can’t help myself. And it is my blog, after all.

Farm Happenings

Well, a whole lot has been going on at our little homestead since I last had time to write! For starters, the girls and I have been preparing for our local farmer’s market for around two months, canning jellies and jams, making homemade cold process soaps and lip balms, crocheting doll dresses and dishcloths and potscrubbers, and trying out specialty cookie recipes such as “Nutter Betters” and “M’Oreos”, Marbled Chocolate Caramel Bars and Graham Crackers.

We’ve also been preparing for the arrival of two family cows! We were able to acquire an older Jersey cow named “Phyllis”–we call her “Philly”, and a 5 year old Ayreshire named “Missy”. They have been a wonderful addition to our livestock family. And on the evening of the first farmer’s market, Philly gave birth to a bouncing baby bull calf! They are both doing great, and yes, I’m so far surviving the early morning milkings. It’s the many buckets and containers that need washed and sterilized that’s killing me over here! ;O) We are huge fans of raw milk, and having our own milk cows is a dream come true, a long time coming! Missy is due to calve sometime around the end of May.

We’re raising baby chicks again, some for laying and some for the freezer. Our garden is double the size it was last year, we have a good stand of lettuce, onions, broccoli, cabbage, rainbow swiss chard, beets and about 60 or more tomatoes–I lost count. Green beans are coming up nicely, and I need to get out there and plant cukes and melons ASAP! Always plenty to do these days, as we finish up our school year, and work on labels for our market goodies.

The first farmer’s market was last week, and it exceeded our expectations and then some. We are trying to figure out how to make more baked goods while maximizing our efficiency. Oh for another stove! My 14 year old is the one baking the specialty cookies, which are very time consuming, but amazingly delicious, and big draws for the public. All of our baked goods are 100% made from freshly ground whole wheat berries…from our butter cookie pie crusts to our M’Oreo cookies.

Hope you enjoy the pics of our little farmstead!

Happy Spring to you!

Playing Catch-up…

As our fallish weather turns wintry, I’m ever thankful for the factors that make my life so blessed. A sweet family to care for, a cozy home in the country, a hard-working husband, many special friends, and my God who is alive and well and working on us!

And time occasionally to update the blog. Sigh. I’m sorry my posts are so few and far between. Once November is behind us, I’m thinking there will be a little more time on my horizon. It’s been a good round of chaos, but balancing homeschooling with fall gardening, canning, and chicken processing parties, plus our normal day to day chores hasn’t left much time for writing or friends!

What’s new? I’m behind on connecting you all to my two latest articles for Writer…Interrupted, an ezine I submit to the second Thursday each month. In October, I was running behind on deadline so I slightly updated and republished an older post, one I’d originally written in 2007, called Sacrificial Moments in a Homeschool Fishing Booth. My November post is up today: Homeschooling, Homesteading and Living to Write About It. If you check them both out, you might be surprised at the difference in tone. The former is reflective of my early struggle with two passions: homeschooling and writing. The latter hopefully reveals the peace and joy God’s given me in this season of living my dream.

Sincere thank yous to all of you who have encouraged my writing here with your behind-the-scenes cheer. Wow, I appreciate you! I love being able to share what I’ve been studying with you. Not to mention that organizing my studies for the blog has etched them ever deeper in my own heart.

I pray that this scripture from Jeremiah envelopes you with the joy and peace and assurance that it does me…

Jeremiah 15:16, “ Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”

Blessings,

Mary

 

Our May 2011

As I write, my keyboard taps are accompanied by the thunder rumbles and smacking raindrops asserting their world domination via my wide open living room windows.  I’m guessing my apple mint sun tea on the deck might not be the ticket on a day like today. But no matter, I have a steaming cup of chai by my side, and two of my girls are in the kitchen cutting up strawberries we picked ourselves and baking shortcake and banana bread.  And we got 43 chickens processed before the rain let loose!

So it is springtime, once again. Almost summer even. Most of us have wrapped up schooldays, and are busy juggling in yard and garden chores to our already busy lives. I have to say, May sped by. Here are some highlights of our month o’ May days!

We traveled to the midwest’s largest Bible museum, to check out their special 400th anniversary display of King James Version Bibles. Incredible to see ancient tables of stone with scripture carved upon them, dating back to Ur…yes, Abraham’s Ur! What a special field trip, taken with friends, including not only this museum visit, but also a chapel service in a quaint English chapel built of stones from an authentic “Middle Ages” chapel, which were shipped from England to the USA in the mid-1800’s and then reconstructed. We also visited a famous battleground, hiked the woodsy trails there, and picnicked beneath a grape arbor.

I have to say, I really watched the skies in May, not that any man can know the day or the hour, but because May 2011 took in the 400th anniversary of the KJV, as well as the 63rd anniversary of Israel becoming a state. What’s the big deal about 400 year intervals in the Bible? Check out the Exodus and the 400 years of silence between Old and New Testaments, just for a couple of examples. And Israel’s 63rd anniversary? Well, if the church is raptured in 2011, followed by 7 years of tribulation, then Jesus’ return at Armageddon would coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary. “70” is a number associated with prophecy in the Bible. Just interesting to think about. For more on why 2011 might be “the year”, check out this website post and scroll down to the portion titled, “Wondering When Jesus Will Come and Take Us Home…” I’ve enjoyed this guy’s writing overall, and in this particular segment of a prayer letter, he shares political reasons as to why 2011 might be, as is every day of every year, a year to be ready for Christ’s return!

Also in May, we had two foals born, both bay colts. We’ve gentled them to where they now let us walk right up to them and give them a good scratching. So sweet. And springtime at our place wouldn’t be complete without hundreds of baby chicks. This year’s layer hen of choice is the Light Brahma. Going with a different breed each year gives us some variety, but more importantly, helps us keep track of the ages of our birds so we know which layers are ready for the stewing pot. I know, sounds harsh doesn’ t it? We give them a good life, free ranging from morning till night on plenty of green grass and organic grain. These Light Brahmas are adorable with feathered legs and feet, don’t you think?

Let’s see, I didn’t really cover Homeschool Presentation Night, also in May…suffice it to say my eldest shared some poetry she’d written, my middle daughter played the trumpet, and youngest sang with gusto, “Look and Live”, an old favorite hymn. Also in May we drove 2.5 hours away to a U-pick farm and helped pick 75 quarts of organic strawberries–delicious! So we’ve made a dozen pints of freezer jam, homemade strawberry ice cream, and have many more in the freezer for future delicacies! We’ve enjoyed many outdoor Sunday morning services with our Christian fellowship now that the weather is so gorgeous, and  finished up the month helping at a nearby town devastated by tornadoes.

Oh, and I finished reading a really amazing book on dispensations, about which I will soon be blogging! In that vein, please check out my current poll on the sidebar, and let me know where you stand on this interesting way of “dividing the word of truth”.

What was your highlight in May? I’d love to hear about it!

The True Joy of Spring

In a corral with two mares and their foals, one can coax for thirty minutes before the long-legged little colts’ curiosity brings them your way. But when they are nuzzling you and chewing on your fingers, that wait is so worth it!

We’re loving springtime, and the births and firstfruits (like rhubarb and asparagus!) that accompany it. Besides the two foals, we also have six kids (of the goat variety!), and around 160-something chicks. And a Border Collie Mama-to-be that is so big we think she must have about 20 pups in the making! This spring we also got started in the “worm” business. Yes, that’s right. My basement is housing a mini-worm farm, for composting purposes here at home. Worm castings are an incredible source of organic, non-toxic fertilizer for boosting the nutrient health of your seedlings, transplants, and for later side-dressing of veggies. It’s been INTERESTING, to say the least! :O) My hubby says that beekeeping is on our horizon as well! Sweet! 

But I have to say, that the best thing about life these days, is the joy of waking up each day with a heart so full of bride-like love for my Maker and the new found hunger for His word that just leaves me in awe every minute of the day. I’ve been passionate about many things and people in my life…from family and friends to writing, homeschooling, homesteading, “Christianity,” etc. But nothing compares to the light of His word, that the Holy Spirit has fanned from a flicker to a flame in my personal life this past year. Nothing else has come with such a price tag, costing me on many counts as God prunes the unnecessary from my life, replacing what I once held dear with things of greater eternal significance. Regrets in this process? No way, except that I wish it had happened earlier! This is the relationship with my Heavenly Father that I’ve always longed for, and wondered how people of old could gladly suffer and die for…

Ephesians 5:14,

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

2 Corinthians 4:6,

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Like a little foal that doesn’t know what’s good for him till he’s brave enough to leave what’s comfortable and respond to the draw of his long-suffering and patient owner crouched in the corner of the corral, we’re so silly sometimes about putting God off for a rainy day. Why not seek Him now, with your whole heart, casting off any preconceived notions and just letting Him speak to you through His word?

Psalm 119:130 says,

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

My friend, there is light in abundance there, for both your darkness and mine, and an eternity more while we’re at it.

Where is God in this Mess?

Q: My family is going through a ‘bankrupt time’ physically and financially. Everything I used to think assured about our future—my children’s future—is now uncertain. My older teens are making choices that are taking them away from the church. I know this is just another pothole in life’s road, but I’m stuck, and every way out seems to take too much out of me. Where is God in this mess?

A: He’s there. You are not alone. This is a story I am hearing more and more as I talk to people. I’ve been through aspects of it myself. True, you are going through many challenges at once. True, you’ve had the breath knocked out of you. But even at the bottom, there’s light if you look up.

For the rest of this article, take a virtual trip over to Word Explain’s Parenting Q&A website!