Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Glimpse of Heaven

On a walk this evening
I watched my youngest daughter 
dance as she chased the cottonwood seeds
blowing through the air.

I heard our little boy's quick intake of breath
as he looked in awe at a bunny crouched
in the grass.

My oldest daughter was beside me
Neither one of us feeling the need to talk
Just were content to be together
Enjoying the beautiful evening.

Dancing with abandon
Awed at his creation
Walking together in sweet fellowship
 And I wonder if this is a glimpse of heaven...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pray continually

"How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
Psalm 84:1-2

A day spent in prayer
My oldest son so far away in Baltimore
Remembering a friend who is in labor
Another friend has lost his dad
Someone just found out they have cancer
And my much I desire for them to be faithful
"Lord, be with them"
So much to talk to God about

As I folded laundry petitions were sent up
With each dish that was washed a prayer was said
Wiping the dust from the dresser top the conversation continued
Remembering the Word says to
....pray continually.

Communion with the Almighty
what a privilege
Yet so many days go by
And I forget
Am caught up in me, myself, and I.

And it is I who misses out
I walk alone
rather then with my Shield and Protector.

The sweetness of the day
The peace in my soul
Reminds me

"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
O Lord Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you."
Psalm 84:10-12

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Graduation Day

Saturday was a big day for Kaytlin.  After attending IQ Academy throughout her high school years, it was graduation day.  In a crowd, Kaytlin is shy and reserved and hates to be in the spotlight.  However, due to her academic achievement, she was valedictorian of her class of 39 students from across the state of Kansas.  This meant she had the honor and privilege of addressing her classmates and several hundred people in attendance.  To say the least, we were proud of her achievements, but mostly we were proud of her courage to stand up and speak out about her faith in God. 

I thought a few of you might enjoy reading her speech, as many were not able to travel and be at her graduation.

Being introduced before her speech

Kaytlin's Valedictory Address

 Do you remember what it was like to be 5, 10, or 15? Our journey through childhood is like a mountain. As children, adulthood seemed so far away, like a snowy summit covered in cloud. Then we hit our senior year, and we realized, just ten more, just five more steps, and we'd be there. We're all there now, panting, singing, dancing. The view is gorgeous. We can see for miles upon miles: valleys, rivers, trees, and meadows – our future laid out before us like a dinner spread. The wind whips around our faces and dances through our hair, and we feel for the first time that we might actually have wings.

But wait. What's this that towers yet above us? Another mountain? No, a whole score of mountains. Their jagged peaks send shivers down our spines, and the wind now blasts icy cold against our faces. The mountain we just climbed looks like an anthill. We feel like tiny pebbles, plummeting helplessly down the mountainside. Once again, our dreams seem out of reach. For we scale one mountain, only to climb another.

With a heavy heart and growing fears, I realized this as beginning to prepare for college. I know the future will hold its share of hurt as well as joy, because I'm human, and I make mistakes. Things will happen that I know I won't be able to control. The future often frightens me. However, I am told that the mountaintop experience is well worth the climb, and standing here, I know it's true.

No matter who we are, we will face trials and hardships, but every broken bone and bruise will be worth it when we reach the top. Every peak we climb will be more beautiful than the one before it. As a friend told me, “We just have take each day one step at a time, and ask the Lord for guidance along the way.” The reward? Our dreams. They may not be fulfilled exactly how we planned, but if we persevere to the end, a life well-lived is a life worth living.

Sometimes we will reach points where we are simply to weak to go on, but that's why God is there. That's why we have parents and teachers and friends. Just looking back at my high school days, I know I couldn't have made it on my own. No one can. Many times I needed advice from my Mom or Dad or brother. Whether I decided to take their advice or not, their efforts weren't futile. Sometimes I just needed to know they cared.

Other times I simply needed a belly laugh or kiss from my baby brother or a smile from a sibling to keep me moving, and many, many times, words of encouragement from a teacher gave me new energy I thought I'd never find. So thank you, family, teachers, and friends for your part in making today possible. You've left footprints on our hearts that no man can erase.

We know all of you won't be with us we climb our next mountains, but know that the work you've done here and now will still push us forward as we start this new stage in life. We will meet new friends, maybe even start our own families, and God will always be there. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and even with faith as small as a mustard seed, he promises we can move mountains.

So let's dream on, graduates. As Harley King says, May your dreams be larger than mountains and may you have the courage to scale their summits.” Choose your mountain. Don't let your fears hold you back. The future is waiting.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lessons Learned

There is never a dull moment in our home with children who often learn by doing.  Many times I am thankful that they have lived to tell about it.  Here are just a few of the lessons that have been learned at our house by our children and, well, I guess, I'll admit a couple of the lessons were learned by my husband and I. 

Don't leave the sprinkler running and forget about it!  Your children might change colors.

1.  When mom says, "Don't put your finger in the steam coming out of the vent hole in the canner," it might be a good idea to listen.

2.  The trash can setting outside filled with bleach water does not make good drinking water.

3.  When you get gasoline on your hand while filling the mower, take time to get a rag rather then licking it off.

4.  The different colors of flakes in the fish food have different flavors.

5.  When you are ten feet up in a tree and can't get down, dropping out is not a good option.

6.  Using your hammers to put holes in the side of the neighbor's garage so you can climb on their roof will cost your allowance for over a year.

7.  To remove a hose that is tied up in the air between two trees, don't sit on it while sawing on it with your pocket knife.

8.  Climbing a tree with no hands does not work.

9.  Don't ever let go of the rope tied in the tree if you are swinging on it with one foot secured in a loop tied with a slip knot lest you find yourself hanging upside down by one leg.

10.  If paint thinner is used to remove tar from the backside of the jeans, take them off right away.  Sitting in them causes burns to the buns.

11.  Putting a zip tie around your neck and pulling on it will cause you to gasp for air.

12.  Spraying a campfire with bug spray can cause burns.

13.  When you first learn how to write, don't write your name across the forehead of your baby sister's doll and then claim she did it.

14.  Slipping up with your words can cause hysterical laughter especially when you refer to yourself as a "human feces" when you mean "human species."

15.  When mom says, "Get dressed and put on your socks and shoes," listen carefully.  Just following the instruction for the last thing you heard will cause you great embarrassment.

16.  What you are allowed to do while out camping does not carry over to town just after church is dismissed.  Mom does not get a kick out of her three year old "watering" the flowers out front as everyone is leaving services.

17.  When you have a headache don't get distracted when getting out your Excedrin and stop to get out the dog's antibiotic because you may accidentally take the wrong pill.

18.  When the nursery worker gets down on her knees to help pick up toys, it is not a good idea to climb on her back and swat her on the backside and say, "Giddy-up."

19.  When done swimming in the wading pool, don't take off your trunks and leave them in the pool while going to play in the yard.

20.  Don't invite your grandma to sit in the backseat of the minivan with you, and then tell her, "Well, Grandma, if you weren't so fat you would be able to get back here easier."  Grandma will laugh so hard that she will need the restroom but she won't be able to get out quickly.