The intention of this blog is just to share with you the way God works in my everyday life. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 31, 2010

End of 2010

On this, the last day of 2010, I would like to share a verse from the last book of the Bible.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:10

(Did you notice the address...20:10?)

I think this is a wonderful promise to remember as we leave one year behind and begin another. In case you have never read the book of Revelation, I don't want to spoil it for you, but I will tell you it is a "happy ending." We win in the end.

As we go into this new year, we can rest assured that there is nothing to fear. There is nothing that we need to worry about or dread. God is in all things, and He has gone before us. He has prepared the way.

Yes, we do have trials and troubles to face, sometimes on a daily basis. But, we are not alone, and we will emerge victorious. As you face this new year, try looking at each day with this question in your heart, "What is God going to teach me today?" Then, when you are presented with these life lessons, try letting them sink in and be treasures that you take with you. Let them add to your suit of armor and provide extra protection for the next battle.

We will certainly face battle, but He has not left us unequipped.

Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Psalm 25:4

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dream Big

Last night, we went to my Father-in-law's to celebrate Christmas Eve with him and the rest of the in-laws. While we were there, my father-in-law commented on a story I'd written. He told me that I really should write more, or be a writer or something nice like that.

Honestly, this is a dream that I have entertained on occasion. I have no idea if I will ever try to pursue that dream outside the confines of this blog, a letter to a friend, or the rare journal entry. Many times I have written a chapter or two in my mind. A chapter of what would be the question. Sometimes I think I would try my hand at fiction, but does my vocabulary contain enough adjectives to captivate anyone's attention? Then, there are times I think maybe I would tell my story, which would actually be my testimony. Then, I feel inadequate to think that I could convey what the Lord has done for me and put it neatly wrapped within the pages of a book. If I could dictate many of the humorous stories that have happened to my husband, or express with great accuracy the exhaustive practical jokes he and his co-workers have managed to pull of, I would have a best-seller for sure. The only problem is, no one would believe that it was non-fiction.

Aside from writing, there are other dreams that I have that seem unattainable. Those dreams that we have decided to deem only that-dreams. The practical side says that we will never really reach those goals, but we can have fun dreaming. On the way to my Mamaw's yesterday, I saw a billboard with Susan Boyle on it, encouraging passers-by to dream big. What are somethings that you dream about? What would you want to be if you could be anything? Or what talent would you like to possess?

When I think about this, there are a lot of things that come to mind. Writing would of course be one of those things. I would love to put the thoughts that flood my imagination onto paper and watch them come to life. I do not think that I am equipped to play a musical instrument. I really don't think that my mind works in a way that can manage that, but that would be a very cool talent! I love music and to be able to play it would be such a blessing.

As far as professions go, if I had it to do over, I would've majored in something related to farming or animals. Then again, I may have just went straight to vocational school and tried to become a general contractor. So many things, so little time.......

The ultimate job is one I hope that God has in His plan for me. I am extremely blessed to be the stepmom to the sweetest boy on earth, but my heart's desire to be a mother continues to be at the forefront of my mind. This is my dream job, and one I pray that God is preparing me for daily. Only He knows, and only time will tell.

Back to the talent thing......I would love to be able to paint. I can paint a wall like nobody's business, but that's not what I mean. I would love to be able to see something and put it on paper. I love the outdoors, and I like taking pictures, but to let that image come from my soul and have the exact moment-which the delay of a digital camera lets slip right by while it focuses in-accurately portrayed with intense feeling, perfect hues and intricate details, that would be a true talent and one given only by God.

What's your dream?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tis the Season

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.......

There is something so special about this time of year. I think I speak for a lot of Christians when I say that the world has turned this to a season of profit and squelched the true meaning. It disappoints me when I think about it. A few seasons spent working retail tainted my view a little as well. Christmas became a time to dread. I am so thankful that I got away from that line of work so that my thoughts could again cherish this time of wonder and humbleness.

I think mostly of Mary when I reflect on the original Christmas. I try to imagine how she must have felt to be told that she would bare the Christ child. I'm sure there were so many emotions that flooded that young girl. I have to believe that a part of her was terrified initially, but I think that didn't last long. I don't believe that God would've chosen her if her faith was weak. I think she was more honored and humbled that she was chosen than she was selfishly thinking of the reactions of others. I think she knew without a doubt that it would all work out. She had no time to be frightened at the aspect of being pregnant with no husband, or frightened of bearing a child, frightened of labor pains, frightened of her parents reaction, frightened for her life. I think her time was consumed with thoughts of praise and thankfulness and marveling at what possibilities God could have in store not only for her, but for His people, Israel.

Christmas to me is a time to think about the sacrifice God made when he became flesh and left His throne. He knew even before that moment that the prophecy must be fulfilled. He knew that only the Lamb could save us from our sins and conquer death so that we might live. The true gift was given.

When I shop for gifts, I try to get something specifically for that person. I could never give them what our Lord gave us. But, I want to show my love through my gifts, just as He showed His love through His gift. Of course, the material things that I pass out around the tree pale in comparison, but I hope the thought is a true representation of my love for that person. No amount of money can compare to the love that I try so hard to put into that package. Of course, I try to get them something that they want, which is usually something that will not last and will not bring true joy, but I could never fill that with a simple shopping list. Only the Lord, only our Savior could give the Ultimate Gift. I just hope that I can give in a way that is symbolic and in tradition and remembrance of HIM.

Growing up, my grandparents came over on Christmas morning. We'd have breakfast and then open gifts. My papaw would make a production out of opening his gifts. He would shake them, smell them, and after only removing a corner of paper pour out thank you after thank you. He was a clown.

My granny on the other hand, was an actress. She would buy her own gifts that were supposed to be from my papaw, wrap them and put them under the tree. When she opened them, you would almost be convinced that papaw spent countless hours dodging patrons to find the exact color and fit that would suit her. She raved and oohed and awed to her faithful companion, praising him for his wonderful gift. I think she nearly convinced herself that he'd been the one to buy it instead of her.

One of my favorite gifts of all time was a watch set that my Dad bought me. It was one face that popped into several different bands in a variety of pastels. That fit me to a tee. I was the kid whose play clothes even had to match, so the thought of a watch to go with each outfit was ingenious!

Another of my favorite gifts was my Granny's ring. My Granny passed away in March of '98. We found her engagement ring-which we didn't think was of any material value-with a cut through the band. She had horrible arthritis, and my Papaw had to cut her rings off of her because she couldn't get them over her swollen joints. Even with the sliced band, the ring fit my finger perfectly. It meant something to me that her ring fit my finger. That our ring fingers had been the same size. Well, that Christmas, my parents had the ring fixed and gave it to me. I will always cherish it as well as the memory.

My first Christmas as a wife and stepmother was so meaningful. I think it clicked in me that year. From that Christmas on, I haven't cared if I ever get another gift, but I've wanted to buy Chase everything I could. It is such fun to buy for a child and my own at that. I love to buy for him, and he is very entertaining when he opens his gifts too. He always seems thankful for everything he gets too, even if it's clothes.

Christmas seems to go by faster all the time. I know when we were kids, we couldn't imagine it going by faster than it did then. I hope that this Christmas, you have time to think about what is Christmas. To think about Jesus, and be with family and enjoy a church service or two that pays tribute to this momentous occasion. I hope you don't feel guilty for eating too much or spending too much, but that you can hear the laughter echoing in your ears, see little ones with bright, expectant eyes, and maybe let one tear of thankfulness escape to trail down your face.

Merry Christmas.

~I actually wrote this post on Friday, but hadn't added the pictures yet. This morning, our pastor talked about Mary, and how she must have felt when approached by the angel. He also talked about her humbleness and faith. I thought that was so awesome! By Tuesday, you can probably hear his message at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Counting My Blessings

Thank You, Lord, for everything
for the wonderful promise each new day brings.

Thank You, Lord, for my man so sweet
for our two hearts that as one now beat.

Thank You, Lord, for the simple life
for no public job to cause me strife.

Thank You, Lord, for my boy, Chase.
When I look at him, I remember Your grace.

Thank You, Lord, for the cattle on the hill
for our personal supply of "happy meals."

Thank You, Lord, for my Mom and my Dad
who have loved me through it all, the good and the bad.

Thank You, Lord, for the smell of fresh cut hay
for that John Deere tractor we'll pay off one day.

Thank you, Lord, for my Daddy-in-law
who'll help me with anything if I give 'em a call.

Thank You, Lord, for our beautiful farm
for keeping us safe from all harm.

Thank You, Lord, for my brother so tall,
he stuck with me through the long haul.

Thank You, Lord, for our crazy pets
who are faithful to remind us when we've not fed them yet.

Thank You, Lord, for all my in-laws
when compared to me, they all look so small.

Thank You, Lord, for all of Your love
and that one day I'll see You in heaven above.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Story Time

I truly love to read, but I do not read all the time. During the warmer weather, I am usually outside whether by choice or because my work demands it. I don't have as settled a mindset in the warmer, longer days. I actually love cooler weather, and would rather be outside then, but those are the times I find myself reading continually. I can read a novel in 2 or 3 days, which is bittersweet. I like getting through the book, but at the same time, I like to drag it out a little. I fall in love with those characters. They all have a place in my heart. I can see them and understand them, and I want to know all about them.

Today, it is rainy and dreary, and what I would think of as perfect reading whether. I would love to curl up with my throw quilt my mom made me and nestle down in the cushions of the couch. Pour a cup of coffee and slip into another time and place. It seems that within the pages of a good book, any destination sounds delightful, any time period sounds perfect, any character sounds charming.

My favorite books are Christian Romance Novels. I can read contemporary, but I prefer early America. My heart longs for stories set on the open prairies, usually at a ranch. I like to envision those resourceful women working their hearts out to make their house a home. I love thinking about how simple things were. I almost feel that maybe I should've been born into that time. Then, I think about my air conditioner and I know God makes no mistakes.

I also like stories that take place in Europe, preferably England. I think about Victorian ladies and boarding schools, cobble stone streets and English sea captains, tea time and Scotland Yard. I guess I have my mother, Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, Dame Agatha, and Ms. Jane Austen to thank for that. I have never been out of the country physically, but oh the travels made possible by many a good book. Some by the authors I've mentioned as well as C.S. Lewis and Narnia. When I was smaller, I liked to read of the bear found in Paddington station. Amelia Bedelia and her literal mind were very amusing to me.

Nowadays, I like most Christian authors. I have yet to read an Amish book, but I have heard so many wonderful things about them. My favorite authors are Janette Oke and Lori Wick. My Granny introduced me to the former and I have a sacred collection of her books tucked away. Occasionally, I will get them out and reread them, but I mostly hope to pass them on. Lori Wick, is undoubtedly my favorite. I seemingly crave her books. My fingers tingle as they turn the pages in anticipation, my eyes scan over the words drinking it all in adjective after adjective. Her's are the books that have kept me up many a night. More importantly, the Lord has blessed me with many spiritual lessons through her writings. Each book has reiterated a truth found in the Good Book.

Currently, I am also enamored with audio books. Oh my goodness! How thankful I am at this time in my life that I live out in the country and that it takes awhile to get where you're going. I have even found myself looking forward to doctor's appointments because of the driving time I will have to listen to my stories. Wow! I am telling you, if they still had radio programs I might get rid of my tv!

Speaking of that, since it looks like my satellite will be out until tomorrow, I may just have to go pick out a book and start making some coffee. I may even turn down the heat in order to appreciate the warmth of my little quilt.

In case you're wondering, that's Ms. Marple, named for the infamous Agatha Christie character.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Clear As Mud

Do you ever have those moments where something just clicks? You have pondered and deliberated, hashed and rehashed, analyzed and over analyzed. Then, there it is. Staring you right in the face. As my husband says, "If it'd been a snake it'd bit ya."


Following clarity is usually giddiness that then sets the plan in motion. If you are analytical, rational, logical, methodical, prudent and intentional-like myself-relief washes over you to now see a possible resolve for what was such an entanglement of open-ended equations. I think we all feel a bit like Einstein must have felt when he worked out the equation of relativity, only ours likely pales in how it will impact the entire world. Chances are, these problems that we face only impact us. We are the only ones who care how they pan out. We are the only ones who have spent sleepless nights working this through at many different angles. We've even prayed. Possibly sought advice. Confided in another.

Once we have that light bulb moment, hope follows. We have something to work toward. I think of Border Collies. Border Collies have to have something to do. They are workers. They will herd children or pineapples, sticks or shoes. If they are not put to work-as God designed them-to herd sheep or cattle, they will find something to do. They take pleasure in being needed and being useful. They love to aid in working through a situation.

Sometimes, we know that those light bulb moments, whatever form they come in, are revelations from God. We do not actually have to have experiences like that of John in order to have a revelation. God uses the most obvious and the least expected ways to show us HIM. Tonight, I had a little of both.

We are currently in revival at church. So, the Lord is showing me things that I have been anticipating. I do not mean they are things that I thought they'd be. I mean that at the times I am in the actual service, I am anticipating to hear from God. But, God isn't confined to a box. God isn't confined to the walls of a church. God is not confined to the pages of the Bible-although that is one remarkable, certain place to find Him.

If we open ourselves. If we live in anticipation of meeting with God. He will surely make Himself known. Seek and ye shall find.

After church, I talked with my best friend, Alicia. It is truly a treasure to have a "Best Friend." But for myself, and Alicia, we feel it is more precious than rubies. Both of us have been hurt, misunderstood, taken advantage of, expected to be someone we're not, accused while innocent. We came to our friendship broken, untrusting, skittish, awkward and scared. God has mended our hearts through the gift of these similarities as well as some of our more positive similarities. We have joined hearts. As Anne would say, we are kindred spirits.

My friend always treads carefully when offering advice. She doesn't want to hurt me, but more importantly than that, she wants to guide me in a way that honors the Lord. She helped me tonight. She was used of the Lord to open my eyes to something that He wanted me to see.




Sunday, October 31, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

So much seems to have happened since my last post. First of all, we went to Gatlinburg, but cut our trip really short-not that it was all that long to begin with. We were due to leave on a Sunday morning, then return on Thursday. We really love it there. We love the variety of things to see, but mostly, we love the scenery. I guess the other times that we've been there have not been the busy season. As you can imagine, going in October certainly is the busy season. George and I neither one are much on crowds, so this was an automatic turn off for us.

The crowds that we've faced on previous trips paled in comparisson to this time. We couldn't even stroll side-by-side holding hands window shopping and smiling at the people passing. It was more like dodging here and there and bouncing back and forth from the right side of the sidewalk to the left and trying to keep an eye on whichever of us was in front. I know that I constantly reminded myself what color shirt George had on so I could pick him out if we got separated.

Our hotel was the goddiest thing I'd ever seen! It was clean as a pen, but the decorations were definitely lacking style and flow. Our favorite part of the room was the wrap around balcony. I would sit out there of a morning and do my devotion with a cup of coffee in tow.

The highlights were the trip up the mountain on the skylift. We enjoyed getting to look out over the town. We also enjoyed the food of course. We ate breakfast at Flapjacks, and it was just our style. The other highlight was driving through the Smokies. We didn't make it to Cades Cove this trip, but we drove up the mountain and stopped at several pull-offs to admire the foliage. The colors weren't as vibriant until we got to a higher elevation. We were constatnly saying to one another, "Oh, look!" It was definitely a revelation from God. Only beauty like that could be designed by His hand.

It was Tuesday when we drove up there. We got back into town around 1pm. We decided to eat and look around some more. We walked forever and ever. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were worn out. We had pretty much decided that we were going to cut our trip short and leave in the morning. As I began to pack up what we wouldn't be needing to get ready with in the morning, George went out to sit on the balcony. While I placed each item in the suitcases, I kept thinking over and over how I wished we could just go ahead and leave. I went out to sit with George, and eventually shared how I felt. That wonderful man of mine replied with, "I'm fine to drive!" I literally jumped up and down. I am not kidding you, within 30 minutes we were in the truck heading out.

When we got home, I believe at 10:30pm, our animals were thrilled to see us. It was of course dark, but we could see the white on their chests as they stood at the top of the steps to greet us. Plus we could hear our dog's tail swatting back and forth. Home never felt so good. You know how when you were a kid and you got sick at school, all you could think about is your mom coming to get you. Once you got home, you automatically felt some better, just to have your own bathroom, your couch and your pjs. We had only been homesick, but boy were we relieved to have our bathroom, our bed and our babies-Scotty and Scarlett.

I have almost made it up in my mind to just stay home until the Lord calls me home to my permanent residence. I don't think I care if I ever leave again. Of course there are some places I'd like to see, but surely with technology being what it is, I could take a virtual vacation from the privacy of my own home? Or, maybe by the time George retires, they'll have made real transporters like the ones on Star Trek. If I taught my very intelligent, Border-Colley mix how to operate it, then I could genuinely say, "Beam me up, Scotty." Wouldn't that be nice?

I have told George that we just need to stay home the next few years and save back the money that we would've spent on a vacation and eventually buy a camper or RV. I don't know how willing Scotty would be to travel with us, he's pretty partial to the head of this holler like his momma and daddy, but I'm sure Scarlett would be content to go with us-as long as she had a window seat and plenty of food. I guess we are her home, more than this actual place.

Anyway, we've been back a few weeks now. I love it here. About an hour ago, I walked up the holler a little ways to check the cattle's hay, and I just felt like I was in the most beautiful spot on earth. There are no mountains or sandy beaches, but there are foothills and creeks, cows bawlin and dogs barkin. Scarlett brings us the occasional present in the form of a ground mole or chipmunk to reassure us she's earnin her keep. Scotty's tail sweeps across the porch when he sees us, I know he's tryin to help me out by cuttin my workload down. I have a good-hearted father-in-law not to far from my front door who would protect me if need be, or feed me if I was outta food, or provide warmth in the form of a wood stove if my electric was to go out in the winter.

I'm tellin ya, when you are as blessed as all this, how could your heart long for anything other than home. The only home that could top this one is the one that is being prepared for me just inside the pearly gates. It is a home not made with hands, where there's always Sonshine.

It's so good to be home.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Time Marches On

Tomorrow will make one week since my 32nd birthday. Sometimes I think, "that couldn't be right. Surely I am still in my early twenties." Then there are times that I feel....I don't want to say old because that isn't what I mean. I guess I am an old soul, so there are times when I feel like I have already lived a very full life. I don't necessarily think that I am wise, although I pray for wisdom quite regularly. I do think that the Lord has shown me a great deal in a short amount of time. Oh I pray that I learn of Him daily! I want each moment of my life to be worth it. I want it all to count as gain for Christ. There are sometimes when I get so frustrated because I can't learn it any faster. I want to know all about my Savior and all that He is. I wish you could just absorb the Bible and have its contents and their undesputable meanings tatooed on your heart and mind. I know that one day, this will be a reality. When I am no longer counting birthdays and in the presence of Almighty God, I will finally "get it." Until then, I guess I just have to keep pursuing Him. Isn't He awesome! Thank You Father for another year of life and this beautiful season to celebrate it in!

On my actual birthday, the 5 of us (Dad, Mom, George, Chase and I) spent the morning together. It was wonderful. We got up early (my choice-cause who wants to sleep in when you can make your birthday that much longer!) and went to Bob Evans for breakfast. That in and of itself was great, but then we went for a walk. We all love God's creation and love to admire and take it all in. So, usually in the Fall we will go for a long walk and just praise the Lord for beauty that we can hardly fathom. The leaves still haven't turned a lot yet, but I still wanted to go walking that day. It was pretty chilly when we started out. That was perfect for me. I love a chilly morning when you cherish a steaming cup of coffee and an old, ragged flannel shirt.

We decided that instead of walking around here (Beyond Blessed Farm) we would head out to the farm that we are currently leasing (we nicknamed Beyond Blessed West). My parents hadn't had a chance to see it yet, so what better opportunity could we have!? We parked the truck and headed out. This is the first Fall Walk that Chase has been able to go on with us. It usually happens that we go on a weekend when he's with his mom. It was so fun having him there! He is a laugh a minute!

I have no idea how far we walked, but if I was guessing, I would think 3 miles? That may be way off, but that's what it felt like. I got to see some parts of the farm that I hadn't see yet. One of my favorite places is an old house seat. I had only been into it one way before then. George was right when he said it feels like you are stepping back in time. The house is long gone, but there are remnants of a cellar or smoke house. There is also a natural spring, and up on the hill a barn that is still pretty well in tact. Anyway, when we went to leave, George took us out what would've been the road to the house. I was wondering how they got down in there from the way he'd previously taken me. It was a pretty good stretch of road. I love where I live and the close proximity to town-especially when you are craving a Hershey bar or DQ Blizzard-but I think it would be so neat to live down in that little hideaway. The thought brings all sorts of things to my imagination. I would love to be nestled away in some hidden spot where the only sounds you heard on a regular basis were the birds singing and the frogs croaking. I hear little more than that now, so I shouldn't complain.

When we got home, we were all ready for a nap, but we decided to do the next best thing and have some lunch. George grilled hamburgers and we chowed down. We also watched a little of the KY football game. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. There is only one birthday that tops it, and that is the one I had during my honeymoon seven years ago. George and I took a train ride through some old coal camps. That one is hard to top, in my book.

In a few days, we will be heading to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One of my favorite places on the earth, not that I've been a lot of places. George and I went there for the first time last year, and feel in love. (For George I think it was the fact that there is a Bass Pro Shops in nearby Sevierville.) We were in love with the down-home country atmosphere, the acknowledgement of God, and the beauty in the landscape. That place was meant for clean, family fun. All of the shows that we saw were nice, and some even directly honored the Lord. I felt at home there. Not in a want to make my permanent home there sorta way, but in a want to make my permanent vacation spot kinda way. We were so swept away by it, that we went back four months later for a couple more nights. I guess we decided that we would try our best to make it there once a year.

During our December visit, we went to Cades Cove. Wonderful. It is so hard to describe my feelings regarding that little loop in the Great Smokey Mountains. There are old homesteads, churches, barns and a mill. I think there are three churches in total. Now, I think what matters is that you ask Jesus into your heart to forgive you of your sins and be your Lord and Savior. But, I do have a fascination with two of these little churches because of their denomination. One of them is a Primitive Baptist Church. My husband was raised in a Primitive Baptist Church, and that is part of his heritage. His mother passed away 4 years ago, and some of his fondest memories of her are when she would sing in church with his Uncle Davey.

A second one of them is a Missionary Baptist Church. That is special to me because that is the denomination I have a membership with now. I wasn't raised in that church, but I know that is where I belong, currently. I have grown so much closer with the Lord since attending there, and a lot of that has to do with resources that we are provided. I have also met many special friends there. There are some kind-hearted, God-fearing saints that I get to worship with weekly, and for that I am thankful. That is why that little church is a treasure to me, because of what my own church family means.

I am looking forward to going to Cades Cove again. For one thing it was the windiest day you could imagine when we were there last time. I'm talking umbrella turnin inside out kinda wind. I am a very determined person, so I didn't really let that spoil my good time, but I do think I would enjoy it a little better without the sound of trees poping all around me, and hearing that rangers were cutting trees out of the road in certain areas. Plus, a little Sonshine never hurt anybody.

George has also promised me that we could go to the Outlet Mall this time. It isn't that he didn't want me to go before, I just never mentioned it. Afterall, it is his vacation too, and I didn't want to subject him to shopping, well at least at somewhere other than Bass Pro or Knife Works. I am planning on taking him some huntin and fishin magazines, or buying some prior to going to the mall so he'll have something to do. Otherwise, he'd follow right on my heels, and make the trip a little rushed. Do you think guys do that on purpose? Anyway, he knows how I feel, cause I've told him this before, so I'm not talkin behind his back. ~On a side note, this reminds me of a time when Chase was little and we went clothes shopping. They were following so close to me that at one point I stopped and Chase's face slammed against my butt.~

Well, I am looking forward to vacation, but I am not necessarily wanting to get away. While sitting at a traffic light in town this morning (and we have less than 10 in this huge metropolis) I was talking to the Lord. If you ever pass me on the road and you see my mouth moving, but no one else in there with me, I have not lost my marbles, I am either singing or talkin with the Lord. It is the perfect time to do this, for various reasons. 1. You are alone. 2. The way people drive you want to stay in close contact with the Lord so you don't forget who you are and lose your witness in a moment of temptaion. 3. The way people drive, your life is literally in harms way at any given time you are on the road.

I am going off on a lot of tangents in this post. This is no reflection of how I drive. Just sayin. Anyway, the Lord and I were talking and I told Him, "I love my life God. I am very happy. Is that good God? Should that scare me? Aren't trials what bring us closer to You? Why am I happy, while there are others facing many trials? Am I where I'm supposed to be?" I'm tellin you, I have never had such peace in my life like I have now. Does turning 32 have anything to do with that? I don't think so. I do think that turning 26 1/2 does, however. Maybe that's why I don't feel 32, cause my life only began when it began in Jesus. And, maybe that's why I feel mature. Regardless of what happens, I want to be content (paraphrase of Paul). I love my Lord, and He showers me with blessings every moment of my life. Thank You, God!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Love

Yesterday was mine & George's wedding anniversary. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband. God has truly blessed me!

George, I love countless things about you, so I will just try to hit on the main ones.

Integrity. I think that would be the word I would choose if I had to use only one to define you. Integrity is defined as "uprightness of character." I think anyone who knows you knows this about you. At the young age of 33, you have managed to gain the respect of many people, several of which are your elders. You are true to your word.

Funny. This would be the only other word that I would use to describe you if I could choose only one. You crack me up! We have so much fun together, and I love that you don't take yourself too seriously. Even more than that, I love that you have shown me how to not take myself so seriously. You are so clever and witty and always ready to prank someone. You definitely keep me on my toes, but the other half of the time I am doubled over in laughter.

Hard-working. Shew! You wear me out just watching you sometimes. And, sometimes this is one of the things about you that I wish I could press the 'pause' button on. In the last year especially, but mostly since your momma passed away, I have noticed that you still have a good work ethic, but you don't push so hard and wear yourself down constantly. But, you, like me love to work and love to feel the sense of accomplishment. I am thankful that you are willing to get out there and sweat to provide for us and just to simply get your blood pumping.

Loving. Oh my man! Of all the ways you make me feel good about myself, the number one thing would be that you make me feel loved. I know I occasionally-um, very rarely-get on your nerves, make you mad, frustrate you or even let you down, but you continue to love me and not let those things about me stand in the way of your love for me. There are many, many days in my life that I feel unlovable, but you never make me feel that way. The love of the Lord is exhibited in the way you love me.

Intelligent. You and I neither one were huge fans of school, but that doesn't reflect in your knowledge of whatever it is you do. I know your public job requires a lot of smarts. I can't even comprehend some of the things you try to explain to me about what goes into the running of a steel mill. I'm starting to get confused just trying to come up with an example. Then, there is the farm. Wow! You have such a head for business that if it weren't for the present economy, I know we could make it strictly as farmers. You know a good investment when you see one. Your knowledge of cattle, orchard grass, conservation, soil & hay testing, among other things makes me wonder how much information the human brain can actually hold, because on these subjects you have no limit. Then, I have to mention the hobbies. You know a great deal about fishing, hunting (turkey, deer, coon, ginseng, grouse, etc.) and any other thing you take an interest in.

Personable. This is the best word I could think of to describe why it is everyone you meet loves you instantly. You are honest and funny, but you just have a natural charisma that draws others to you. Men, are mostly drawn to you. You are a man's man, and you have more buddies than I can count. Guys not only enjoy talking to you about huntin' and fishin' but are comfortable talking to you on any topic. They also know they can confide in you if there is something troubling them. Secondly, I have never met a child that didn't take up with you. Kids absolutely love you! You are a wonderful father, uncle and friend to the children in your life. I pray that the Lord blesses us with many more children who will be blessed to have you for a daddy.

Handsome. I couldn't go on without mentioning this one. Although you know that I am someone who does not think much on outward appearances, and makes it a point to focus on the inward, I still think you're pretty cute! (Ok, I would elaborate, but you know my parents read this!) From your once dark hair to your now bald head, your gorgeous blue eyes that sometimes show evidence of tears when moved by love for others, your strong arms and broad chest that make me feel like a woman when encircled in your embrace, I am attracted to it all. You are one good-lookin man! (And, when I first saw you, you reminded me of pictures I've seen of my Papaw Corbett.)

So, these are just a few things that make up all the many reasons I love you. For the most part, I love you because God created you specifically for me. We are soul mates. We were meant to be. Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Lord is My Shepherd

If you pay close enough attention, you can see the Lord in every aspect of life. Wonder why that is? Haha. I was just kidding. I know why that is. He created us, therefore it is nearly impossible to live and not see the works of His hands. If you have given your heart to Him, your heart longs to see Him in everything.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day utterth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3

As for me, I especially see Him in relation to creation and the earth itself and the animals. Honestly, I sometimes have a hard time seeing Him in people, and I wish that weren't so. As I look around me, in all seasons of the year, and in all seasons of life, I see glimpses of Him in all of my surroundings. Shew! It takes my breath just to think about it. Creation is so amazing!

Last week, I was made most aware of my Lord when putting on my cowgirl hat. (Not literally) My husband purchased 9 or 10 head of Hereford cattle from a woman who had recently lost her husband. These cattle were on one side of the road, and needed to be moved across the road and into the barn in order to load. George and his dad had alternated feeding the cattle in the evenings throughout the week prior to us actually going to load them. This is beneficial to us because the cattle need to know their master. Since their previous owner had passed away, we needed to gain their trust for a little smoother transition. Normally, when you purchase cattle, the seller is there to help get them in the loading shoot and in turn into the cattle trailer.

Once we got there, and got everything set up, George and his dad started walking down the road with feed bucket in hand. George had just introduced them to grain the previous week. Up to that point, they had only had grass and fodder. As he shook the bucket, he called to them, "Woo scaves.....sook, sook, sook. Sook heifers. Come on!" He would pause in his vocal beckoning and give the bucket another shake. Moos of every pitch echoed in reply as the cattle headed out toward the gate. Myself, (nephew) Kyle and Uncle Woody hung back since we were fresh faces.

As I stood on the side of the road watching this scene unfold, these words came to mind:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27

Thankfully, we were successful in getting the cattle across the road and into the barn. Well, all but one. They were all across the road, but one bull calf would not come to the barn. He stood on the hill above and watched.

The guys got the first trailer loaded, pulled it out, and backed the second one in to load. George and I then headed out around to the hill to try to get the straggler into the lot. All I can say about that is 'thank God for rubber boots.' I was in grass that was at least waist high if not higher. There were ruts on the hill, probably made by the cattle during a muddy winter. Up and down, forward and backward. I moved this way and that trying my best to block that poor dude and get him to go runnin' to the barn for safety with his friends. Well, he was having none of it. He was NOT going to that barn.

Just as Daniel determined in his heart that he would not give into the Babylonian ways, and that he'd continue to serve his God, I believe this guy said come tall grass or barbed wire, I will not go into that barn. And, eventually, it came to barbed wire. Um, electric at that. He didn't break the fence, but he did get a nice scrape across his back as he headed safely back to the bottom from which he'd come. Sweaty, tired (from being up nearly 24 hours) and covered in burrs & manure, George said we'd come back for him.

So, Daddy-in-law and Uncle Woody headed out to the market to take the big bull, and George, Kyle and I headed back to the holler to unload our little crew. As we traveled the decent little haul home, we began to get our plan together. We had to go back to return the seller's trailer they had so kindly let us borrow. (So we wouldn't have to make two trips! Haha!) When we parked it, and unhitched it, we would load up our corral panels that we'd set up to aid in...well, corralling the herd...and we'd go set those up in the field. We would take a small trough from home and put it inside our little temporary cattle lot. We would sweet talk that little bull with some feed, and encourage him into the lot to eat from his very own plate. We would gain his trust. It may take a few days of feeding him in that specific spot for awhile, but eventually, we'd get him loaded and brought home.

As I rolled this around in my mind, this verse came to me:

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Luke 15:4

We had been working hard all morning, and we were all tired and sweaty, but as we began loading up corral panels into the truck, I couldn't help but smile. I was thankful that God was revealing Himself to me in this way. I also admired my husband for his role as the shepherd in this revelation. I am thankful that when he does something, he does it whole-heartedly and honestly. See, he had told the widow who sold us the cattle that they would be taken to a good home. She was very sad to see them go, but unable to care for them herself. I was proud of him, and his ingenuity.

As the cool morning began to fade and our flannel shirts were thrown into the back seat of the truck, we set up the panels out in a shady spot close to where the calf lay. ~And, just for your information, we are not talking a baby calf, we are talking about a year old calf. So, instead of picturing a poor, frightened little thing, lonely and scared to death without his momma, picture your child during the most rebellious stage of their teenage years.~ Bucky-which is the name commonly given to any bull that has ever had the pleasure of meeting George Willis, Sr. or Jr.-watched from a short distance. In case you didn't know, cows are just as curious as a cat. He edged closer to investigate, thinking he might figure out our strategy.

Just about that time, Kyle suggested that he and I take the truck and back out in the field a ways to see if George could lure him into the makeshift lot. So, we backed on over into the shade where we could keep a front-row view of the scene as it unfolded. It was like watching a suspense film, both of us quietly urging words of encouragement to both cow and cowboy. (as if we knew more about how to do it than George. haha!) "Come on, buddy, go getcha somethin ta eat. Ya know your hungry." "Oh, he's goin in!" "Why is he just standing in the entrance!?" "Go to the trough, buddy. There's more feed in there, and no one else you have ta share it with."

I think Kyle and I being the "cow-whispers" we are finally got through to him. He eased his way in and we screamed in a whisper, "Go, George, Go!" George got over there, and pushed the corral panels together and Ole Bucky was trapped. The long silence and anticipation was abruptly ended as phase two of our plan was set into motion. Kyle stood guard at the panels while George and I went to re-hitch the borrowed trailer back to our truck. All the while, Ole Buck ate the feed never phased by the ruckus going on outside his temporary cage.

Before I go on, take your mind back again to that rebellious the picture........ok, moving on. We get the truck & trailer back into a good spot, and separate the panels just enough to allow room for him to climb on in. George even pulled the trough, still with some feed in it, into the trailer, enticing the calf to just head on in. Not that simple. He decided to have a little temper tantrum. We all took turns backing away from the panels as he came near our sections and slammed himself against it. My wonderful husband, being the experience cattle man that he is, gets in there with the crazy thing! Tobacco stick in hand, he waves his arms a little urging the calf to get in the trailer. Well, that brat teenager decided to act out! He headed right for George causing the cowboy to scale the furthest panel. Kyle and I urged him to get out. This cow was nuts! Alas, Ole Buck's stomach got the better of him and he resolved to get back to the feed. As he climbed in the trailer, George jumps off his perch and is in the trailer shutting the gate in about 2 seconds flat.

We try to breath sighs of relief as the confined-again calf begins to throw 'im another one. He kicked the trough, climbed in it, turned it sideways and upside down, then he pooped in it. I'm telling you, he was not happy. For a fleeting moment I entertained the thought that he might have claustrophobia, but then I thought better of it. Would you believe that the entire ride home he laid in that trailer almost as if he was enjoying the breeze tickling his ears! I imagined the people we passed were thinking, "Oh, what a docile animal!" I have never before seen a cow lay down in a trailer! It was like he was bound and determined to make liars out of us if we told anyone about the tantrum he'd thrown earlier.

To make this relate-able, once again, think of your children. Easy to understand how we felt, huh?

Now, to make easier to relate to the spiritual aspect, think of the Israelites. Here we were wanting to take this ole boy to the Promised Land, aka Beyond Blessed Farm, and he almost wished he was back as a slave in Egypt (not comparing that kind lady's farm, just work with me...) We even brought the darn thing manna from heaven, aka sweet feed. We knew that he'd like the holler once he got here, and once he saw that his buddies were there, but he had to put up a fight. We knew he'd even enjoy the ride if he'd trust us. See where I'm goin with this?

So, we got the dude home, got him wormed and unloaded, and fed again. All's well that ends well, or so I'm told. In the end, these verses are the ones that seem to fit:

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 15: 5-7

Moral of the story: When God is working in your life, don't buck and kick around and poop in your trough, just sit down, enjoy the ride and let the wind tickle your ears.

Monday, September 13, 2010


How many times do we read over the "begats" and get onto the rest of the scripture?

Lately, I have brought my attention back to working on the genealogy of my husband's family. The reason why I am researching his, and not my own is because several people in my family have researched our family, but no one in his family has. I can call someone in my family up, and get a copy of my history, but we cannot do that for my husband.

My father-in-law, is actually the best resource I have found in researching both sides of my husband's family. He is like a walking history book. He can tell you so many things that date so far back. He also remembers the actual dates like no one I've ever know. And, aside from the statistics, he is also a wealth of funny facts and stories. He knows some pretty good tales on several family members.

A few years ago, George and I went around to the family cemeteries that we knew of to try to record birth and death dates. My father-in-law went with us to a few places, and I found myself jotting down more of what he was saying that what I was actually seeing on those tombstones. It is definitely more interesting to hear than to read.

So, during the last week, I have been on clicking on all those little leaves that I could find. I am so interested in this, and it makes me wonder. You know, on some level where we came from is important to all of us. We all have a desire to learn of our heritage. How many times have we watched shows where they find someone's biological parent or siblings. We cry as they make that connection. Well, as a child of Almighty God, how can we overlook our Christian heritage?

We know that the Bible is our greatest resource. Not only does it help us to learn of God our Father, and Jesus who we are joint heirs to the throne with, but all of life's lessons can be found in this great book. We learn where we came from as well as where we are going.

I think one of the greatest things we think of when we think of genealogy in the Bible is found in the Christmas story.

And it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar
Augustus, that all the world should be taxed......And all went to be taxed,
every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out
of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is
called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Luke 2:1, 3-4

Right there, between those parentheses, is the heritage of our Lord. We see that Jesus was a descendant of David, a man after God's own heart. Why do you think this is important? Why does God want us to know this?

I'm not really sure myself. I just know, that it is nice to find out where we come from, to know that we belong to a certain group of people, how their name came about, and where they first landed when coming to America. It is fun to sit and wonder how far back my brown eyes go, and were there others who had the same tendencies that I do? What was their language of birth? What was their profession? Were they saved by the grace of God so that I may see them one day in heaven?

One thing is for certain, we may all have different relatives, we may have different skin tones, and quirks, but we do know where we came from. We came from the Creator of the Universe. We were intricately formed by The Almighty God for His glory. And one sweet day, to Him we will return.

My heritage:
Aris begat Corbett, and Corbett begat Rick, and Rick begat Nathan (& Erin-but it typically lists the boys).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Not Overwork But Overflow"

Friday was my Mom's last day of work. She is now officially retired, and we are all so thankful! The following is from "Streams in the Desert." It was Friday's entry.

Straining and striving does not accomplish the work God gives us to
do. Only God Himself, who always works without stress and strain and Who
never overworks, can do the work He assigns to His children. When we
restfully trust Him to do it, the work will be completed and will be done
well. And the way to let Him do His work through us is to fully abide in
Christ by faith that He fills us to overflowing.

A man who learned this secret once said, "I came to Jesus and drank, and I
believe I will never be thirsty again. My life's motto has become 'Not
overwork but overflow,' and it has already made all the difference in my

There is no straining effort in an overflowing life, and it is quietly
irresistible. It is the normal life of omnipotent and ceaseless
accomplishment into which Christ invites each of us to enter-today and always.
(from Sunday School Times)

Be all at rest, my soul, O blessed secret,

Of the true life that glorifies the Lord:

Not always does the busiest soul best serve Him,

But he that rests upon His faithful Word.

Be all at rest, let not your heart be rippled,

For tiny wavelets mar the image fair,

Which the still pool reflects of heaven's glory-

And thus the image He would have you bear.

Be all at rest, my soul, for rest is service,

To the still heart God does His secrets tell;

Thus will you learn to wait, and watch, and labor,

Strengthened to bear, since Christ in you does dwell.

For what is service but the life of Jesus,

Lived through a vessel of earth's fragile clay,

Loving and giving and poured forth for others,

A living sacrifice from day to day.

Be all at rest, so then you'll be an answer

To those who question, "Who is God and where?"

For God is rest, and where He dwells is stillness,

And they who dwell in Him, His rest will share.

And what will meet the deep unrest around you,

But the calm peace of God that filled His breast?

For still a living Voice calls to the weary,

From Him who said, "Come unto Me and rest."

~Freda Hanbury Allen

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Morning Walk

This morning, I decided to go walk at the local university. This is a common thing for many people in our community. Our park is actually quite small, so the sidewalk around the school offers a track of sorts.

I got a later start than I would've liked, but the temperature was still very tolerable considering the heat that we've endured this summer. I was able to walk 4 laps, which ended up being about 3 miles. I do own a treadmill, which I am very thankful to have, but I wanted to be outside. Although I live on a farm, there is no real distinct path to walk. I wanted to be outside with the Lord. I know that He can just as easily be inside with me, but how nice it is to see His beauty.

I also find that I am more motivated when I am walking outside. There is something new at every turn. There may be a breeze on that corner that wasn't blowing there during the last lap. You may see late summer flowers mixed with fall decorations on the homes that surround the campus. Occasionally, I would catch a glimpse at a leaf falling or see an acorn in my path. It was such a beautiful morning. The sky was blue, and not a cloud that I could see. Everyone I passed spoke "good morning." Even in that little area of town, the traffic noises seem to subside somewhat and you can hear the sounds of God's creatures along with the hum of the air conditioners at the dorms. On one lap, I even caught the scent of a dryer running. It was just a glorious morning.

I am so thankful for that opportunity. I had some wonderful alone time with my Savior. Most of the time I walked I was able to pray, and what peace and serenity this brought to me. I now feel refreshed, although I am sweaty; and energized, although my feet ache. My spirit is awakened, even though I may take a nap here in a minute.

I am blessed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I Wanna See You

Last Monday, we started our Ladies Bible Study at church. We are doing another Beth Moore study (yay!) She is such a wonderful teacher. This study is called "Here and Now, There and Then." It is a study on Revelation, and I am so anxious to see what God reveals to us. Speaking of that....Beth encouraged us to pray daily that God reveal Himself to us, and then to journal what it was. On my way home, I saw the most gorgeous sunset. I thought isn't that just like God! "Ask and it shall be given unto you..."

There have been other things that He has revealed to me over the last week, one of those was through my husband. We have been praying over the decision to buy a farm that we are already leasing. Some of the pictures I have posted on here have been from that farm. It is a beautiful place, and of course we both love farming. We love the land and any opportunity to enjoy God's creation. We take so much pleasure in seeing His beauty displayed before us. This was a difficult decision for many reasons. The man who owns the farm is a long time family friend, and we knew he wanted to sell to someone who would love it as much as he does. He had inherited the farm, so it is quite special to him.

Secondly, we are saddened when we pass old farmsteads that are abandoned due to death or misfortune. We both grieve a little when we see these beautiful places and think of the lives that once graced that property. I think we think of George's dad and how hard he worked to buy this place that we live on. His own father wouldn't loan him the money, but an uncle did, and in no time he had him paid back. He is always telling us, "Everything I have was given to me by the grace of the Good Lord." ~One of the reasons our farm is named "Beyond Blessed Farm"~

And, on the flip side, it was a hard decision because we knew that it was next to impossible for us to afford. We knew, that if it were God's will, that wouldn't matter, but we want to be cautious and not go in debt. We knew if it were not His will, we could be digging a hole for ourselves.

Those along with other reasons caused us to go back and forth listing pros and cons, praying and rationalizing, seeking wise counsel, praying and figuring. Well, last Sunday, we asked our Sunday School class to pray with us. That Monday, the owner came to talk to us again and urge us to buy. Honestly, I was getting frustrated. I had no qualms waiting on the Lord to tell us what He wanted for us, but I needed this man to be willing to wait too! A few more days went by, and George came in from working on the farm. He said, "Well, I called "Joe" and told him that we were in no shape to buy that farm, land contract or otherwise." Shew! ~ my audible sigh of relief~

We are at peace about this, and we know peace can only come from our Lord. I am so thankful just to have the decision made. We are so blessed with what we have and if the Lord wants us to have more, He will provide. But, lets hope that's somewhere on down the line. I am content for now to stay in the boat we're in now.

The other major way that the Lord has revealed Himself to me this week is through an addiction of mine. I love pop. Pepsi, Coke, Dr. it! I have struggled with this forever. And, now that I am nearly 32, it really shows. On my hips, my belly, my butt....everywhere. I know there are other things that I need to cut back on or eliminate, but pop is the hardest. I seriously believe I am addicted. I think about it. I crave it. Any time I have tried to quit drinking pop or cut back, I have not succeeded. On Wednesday, I was really thinking about this, and praying. The Lord revealed that He could give me the ability to flee that temptation just like any other that I may face. I have not had any pop since Wednesday. That is even hard for me to believe. Yesterday and this morning were the hardest. Last night, we had a birthday party for our nephew. It is easy to talk yourself into giving in on special occasions, but I made it through. Then, this morning, Chase and I went to McDonald's on our way to church. There is nothing I like better than a fountain coke to go with my sausage biscuit. Thank the Lord, He gave me the strength to order water. I know I will battle this temptation for a long time, but I am so thankful for where He has brought me so far. I couldn't do it without Him.

Thank you Lord for all the ways You have revealed Yourself to me this week! I love You!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In the Write Mood

I am really in the mood to write lately, but I'm not sure I know what to say. I occasionally take these spells where I could sit down with pen and paper and possibly fill a notebook. You know the stationery section of a store is one of my favorites, if not my most favorite. I can always spend a dollar or two on a new notebook or folder. When I was little, and my parents or grandparents took us with them to the store, my item of choice was always one of those little notebooks that has the spiral across the top. They usually had them for boys and girls with various pictures on the front, ranging from Barbie and Care Bears to Batman and Transformers. There were also ones that would have flowers or kittens or something on them.

Now, when I visit the Dollar Tree, I usually end up spending about $10 in the aisle with memo pads and grocery-list pads. I have packages of index cards that I have never opened, but just had to buy. Why would I need index cards? Oh well, if you need to borrow some, you know who's got 'em! I have the multi-colored ones too.

I am more faithful in the pen department. I find one type of pen that I like, and I stick with it. I have used the basic papermate pens forever. I love the way they write. The idea of a different writing surface is more inspiring, but the pen has to be one I can depend on.

I have little pads in various places throughout the house. You never know when you may need to jot down a to-do item, or something that you don't want to forget at the store, a phone number or email address. Honestly, if you ever doubt what to get me as a gift-which as anyone who knows me knows is absolutely unnecessary-anything related to paper, notebooks, memo pads, folders, blank cards, file folders, etc. I love 'em all!

I also like to type-which I consider writing. I will sometimes open Word and type to my heart's desire. The things that I truly love about the technological progress I've witnessed in my lifetime are email, blogging and a little texting. I am not a fan of talking so much, but I don't care at all to drop you a line. Although these forms of writing are very useful and ones that tend to satisfy me to some extent, I will always love the movement of the pen strokes across the page as that blank piece of paper transforms into a lovely poem, a heartfelt letter, a crucial list, or simple brainstorming.

I guess this means I could never go completely green?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Partly Cloudy

This weekend, we were blessed to have Chase with us. While he went out to visit his cousin for a little while, George and I ran out to the farm that we've leased. On our way out there, we went through some bad rain. By the time we made it, the rain had ceased and it was gorgeous! The clouds that remained were huge and puffy and sitting right atop the foothills. Thankfully, I carry my camera with me pretty much everywhere, so I began snapping away.

Sometimes, I feel like God does something just for me. I felt so blessed for the beauty He allowed me to see that day. It also reminded me of a lesson that He taught me about the clouds a couple months ago.

As you may know from my previous posts, I enjoy the teachings of Beth Moore. The ladies at our church do two of her studies each year, and I personally read some of her books. A few months ago, I found out about her "Personal Reflection Series." These are 90 day devotionals. I just started the one on David last week, but before that, I did the one on John. On day 64 of that devotional, I learned something that I hope I will remember anytime there's a cloud in the sky. Here is a exerpt from that day's lesson:

Yes, when Christ returns to this groaning soil in His glorious splendor, every eye will see Him. But until then, He sometimes comes with clouds. God's glory is so inconceivably brilliant to the human eye that He often shrouds His presence in a cloud (see Exod. 16:10; 24:15-16; Lev. 16:2; 1 Kings 8:10; Luke 9:34). But one day, as Revelation 1:7 says, the clouds will roll back like a scroll and Christ will stand before us revealed. He has much to disclose to us in the meantime, and we'll be greatly helped when we accept that clouds are not signs of His absence. Indeed, within them we most often find His presence In the July 29 entry of his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote figuratively of clouds:

In the Bible, clouds are always associated with God. Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God. Yet it is through these very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have no faith. "The clouds are the dust of His feet" (Nahum 1:3). They are a sign that God is there. ... Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child—a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. . . . Until we can come face-to-face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God's character, we do not yet know Him.

 Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest(New York: Dodd Mead & Company, 1963), 211.
 Beth Moore, John: 90 Days with The Beloved Disciple (B&H Publishing Group, 2008), 306.

After reading this, I realized how many days I had looked out my window only to be disappointed at the sight of clouds. This reading made me see that I should take comfort in the sight of clouds because they are a reminder of God's presence. There are many, many verses in the Bible that state this exact thing. Some of these were given in the above exerpt, but I would like to share some more with you.

One of the examples that we are most familiar with is the presence of God in the form of a cloud during the exodus of the Israelities:

"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way;...He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day," Exodus 13:21-22

"and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud." Exodus 16:10

"for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat." Leviticus 16:2

"Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud," Isaiah 19:1

"and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven," Daniel 7:13

"While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Matthew 17:5

"and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30

"And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Mark 14:62

"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." Acts 1:9

There are several more, believe me. It was hard to refrain from including them all.

As I was looking up these verses in my concordance, I of couse had to look up the origin of the word. In the old testament, the word cloud is from the Hebrew word anan, which means to cover. As in covering the sky. The example listed was nimbus or thunder cloud. (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible-KJV)

In researching that on the internet, I found out that nimbus clouds are also nimbostratus clouds. These are the clouds we see when the sky is completely overcast. When the whole sky is one giant cloud. This makes sense, doesn't it? It would have to be that sort of cloud, because the glory of the Lord cannot be contained. Nimbostratus are most certainly rain clouds. So, when you see these clouds in the sky, you can know how the Israelites saw the sky as they were led by day.

In the New Testament, those clouds are from the Greek word nephele or nephos, simply meaning a cloud. The branch of meteorology that studies clouds is called "nephology." Which comes from that Greek work used in our Bible.

I just think it is so awesome that when we see a cloud in the sky, we can certainly know that God is there. Most of us like sunny days without a cloud in sight. I know those are the best days for going to the pool or laying out in the sun. But, now that I am aware of what significance the clouds hold, I won't mind a little partly cloudy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

No Comment

This post is specifically for you, Dad. I changed some settings on here, so you may be able to leave a comment now.

Anyone else that wants to comment, feel free. I'd love feedback.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Load 'Em Up, Move 'Em Out

What do you get when you cross the smell of coffee, cigarette smoke and cow manure?

The stockyard.

When I started dating George, I not only fell in love with him, but I also developed a love for cattle and everything associated with them. I think they are beautiful animals. The cows are usually excellent mothers. Some of them are just as skittish as the others are pets. The calves are always adorable and full of life. I just love watching them and learning about them.

Yesterday, George and I had to take 2 cows and a bull off to the market. I absolutely love going to the market. Honestly, it does stink, and it is very loud. (Imagine hundreds of cattle bawling at the same time.) All the same, it is energizing to me. If George and I have a day where we want to go loafing, quite a few times we've just drove to the stockyards to watch them sell.

My favorite part is walking around on the catwalk that hovers over the pens with the cows in them. They are separated out by seller, and then new owner. There are four or five workers on horses riding through the lot running the cattle into their correct pen. That is my dream job. And, I truly mean a dream. That is not a job I would really work to obtain. I wouldn't do training and actually apply. I just mean, it is something that I dream about doing but know will never happen, and that is the best part of the dream.

Anyway, we didn't get to stay long, but we did go to my second favorite place, Cracker Barrel, for breakfast. Good ole country cookin for a cowboy and his cowgirl wife.

I love farm life and everything about it. Did I mention how blessed I am?
Thank you, Lord.