Monthly Archives: August 2019

HOMESCHOOLING YEAR

“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth,….Enlighten the people, and tyranny of the mind and body will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”~John Jakes

The above quote was written in the front of one of my old journals from 1989. Hard to believe that 30 years ago (officially on August 29), these kidlets were starting their first day at school in our new home right in the middle of Covenant Woods. Even though we were homeschooling that year, we took the first-day-of-school pictures, but somehow over the intervening decades – all of those originals disappeared into projects or frames that traveled into the kidlets’ new worlds. So I substituted pictures from a few months earlier and later. Actually, this probably was more indicative of our days anyway.

Miss that table and the Light that shined in through all those windows and into our hearts.

The fun part? I kept a daily journal of our activities. Of course, as the year progressed, the writing got shorter and shorter, and by February – – – what can I say? I was way too busy having fun teaching them and loving every second of it, than to spend time writing it down. It was a special time in my life as I watch these precious souls given to my care begin to read, write, figure, absorb new things and pray together as we started and ended the day.

I had forgotten how much we did. Our school was full of Bible, art, theatre productions (that I wrote and directed) at various churches and schools, Loudonville/Mansfield library times, music lessons, Roscoe/Zoar Village, Cols/Clve Zoo, COSI, Kingwood Center trips, excursions into Mohican State Park, canoe rides and state-of-the-art computer education (You can remember what computers looked like in 1989, right? Radio Shack, go.)

“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.”~1 Kg 8:23

30 years later, life is j-u-s-t a little quieter. Still a chocolate lab at my feet, but the home is different. The state is different. Even the energy level is different. What can I say? The kidlets are grown. And that kitchen island and time spent there? Just a very special treasure chest memory.

Sarah Young wrote a devotional back in 2004. I pulled it out earlier this year meaning to spend my year re-reading it. However, life sometimes gets in the way, and with all the emotional craziness of the past couple of months, I haven’t even gone back to sit at my desk until today. So when my neighbor gave me a desk chair, I took a minute and sat down. It is then I saw the 1989 journal, photo album and this tiny devotional book..

“Wait with Me for a while. I have much to tell you. You are walking along the path I have chosen for you. It is both a privileged and a perilous way: experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others. Sometimes you feel presumptuous to be carrying out such an assignment.”~Sarah Young, Aug 22

God winked. I blinked.

I love how He works. For whatever reason, I was meant to see this 2 paragraph devotion tonight.  Meant to pull out that old 1989 journal. Meant to re-watch the movie, Invincible. Meant to cry a little. Meant to laugh at all the energy and love that went into that year. Meant to observe all the changes that have occurred. Meant to absorb all the wisdom garnered. Meant to remember the One who never leaves or forsakes.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”~Gal 5:22

30 years brings changes. Some of them, make one smile. Some of them – – – not so much – – – not so much at all. But it is the wisdom – the love – the passion – the Grace and Light of the One who places His rock under the feet and shelters the injured under His wings that carries us through the decades when we continue to seek His face.

“Stay on the path of Life with Me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with Joy and Peace.”~Sarah Young-August 22. 

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WARM, BUTTERY BREAD

When the Holy Spirit is nudging, and I am plugging my ears, Our Father and His Son, Yeshua, will often step in and slap me upside the head with blessing after blessing just to get my attention.

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”~Ex 14:14

Last night a neighbor drove his mower over and not only did the road frontage, but also did the whole back yard. All day I had been internally wondering how I was going to fit everything in that I needed to get done this week. I wasn’t anxious about it, just pondering what kind of schedule I needed to implement so I could get to school and get some more books on the shelves and do all the things that seem to make up my day.

Later, I cried because that is just the way He works in my life these days. He knows that I hate traveling in canyons with their high steep walls. In canyons, the sky seems so far away, and daylight is overcast with shadow after shadow. This summer has been one long, huge canyon for me, and He knows it. But as always, He has provided a river of blessings that flows at the very bottom of that dark canyon to up-lift my dingy self.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”~Is 41:10

As I struggled over devotions, I read and re-read the WORD given. It just seemed to not fit my day, and I wondered what I was missing this time. So I gave up and put myself in His hands as I closed my eyes for this somewhat long and uneasy day. “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” was one of the last things I thought before I drifted off to sleep with kitty curled into my side and dogs snoring at my feet.

That is when I had a dream with its roots in a memory and the devotional that I had struggled with earlier.

When I was 7, we moved to a new house. A house where my father could walk to work and where we could all listen to the trains rumble by our house every few hours. The best thing – it was a neighborhood filled with kids my age. Mostly boys, which I didn’t appreciate until much later, but there were a few girls. One was a girl named Annie. Her family brought us freshly baked bread that first day when we were hot and tired and excited. I don’t think I had ever had warm bread like that – ever. Other neighbors and relatives joined us with other treats. Impromptu parties were not unusual to my parents. But it was always Annie and that out-of-the-oven, buttery bread that I remembered.

Last night, I dreamed of that warm bread again. Sweeter, better than I ever remembered. The Bread and Annie were both there. She asked me, “Is it really that hard to understand?” I laughed because suddenly the devotional made perfect sense, and I woke up still smiling. In fact, I can still taste that bread tonight and see Annie’s laughing face.

The Bread of Life. The Living Water. Sometimes, we just need to close our eyes. Be still. Rest in His hand. Let Him carry the battle in the canyon journey that we really don’t like. And – eat some warm buttery bread.

“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.’ “~ Jn 6:48-51 

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ONE SONG AFTER ANOTHER

Moved 8 loads of mulch.
Cleaned and moved many things in garage.
Stung by 2 wasps.
Bitten by 1 spider.
Given up counting mosquito bites.
Matted eyes due to allergies.
Sang along with songs playing in my head.
BUT…
Tools moved to shed. Freezer is moved into the house. Kitchen is re-arranged and fairly clean. Whew!! I’m so ready for the Sabbath.
 
“Standing, standing…”
 
At the beginning of summer, I could not have rearranged the garage or moved that freezer by myself. The only thing I couldn’t do was get the stupid door off its hinges, so I called on one of my wonderful neighbors to help. Walla – door off. Cleaned areas I hadn’t seen for three years and decided to change everything else. Room-by-room the house is becoming a new creation.
 
“Standing, standing…”
 
The house is not the only thing being made new. Ryndiyah (10 year old lab girl) is running and keeping up with Koayah (7 year old lab girl). It has been a long time since I’ve seen both of them running and playing like puppies, and yet – everyday they are tearing through the woods in pursuit of an orange ball, jumping on the bed to wake me up in the morning, or throwing themselves on the grass just to squiggle on their backs. Unless I leave, they still are not more than a few feet from me at any time of the day, and are waiting at the door, balls in their mouths when I get home.
 
“Standing on the promises of Christ my King
Through eternal ages let his praises ring…”
 
This summer has had 30+ days of 90 degrees and high humidity. So I’m definitely ready for a “new” weather pattern to bless us with cooler weather. Then I see all the pollinators buzzing around the flowers. Humming birds emptying out the feeders in record time. A rare moment to sit on the patio swing and soak in the quiet blessings of the heat at the end of the day. While close by, Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle traps another bug or frog or lizard as she says, “Meow, meow” and I answer, “Meow, m’ow”. Somehow, the hot summer isn’t so bad, and I relax even more, closing my eyes, swinging back and forth, back and forth.
 
“Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing
Standing on the promises of God.”
 
School kicks into high gear next week. Meetings. Rooms to get ready. Visions to turn into lesson plans. Books to catalogue. Decorations to enhance bare walls. Prayers to circle around the room and the students that will come the next week. August is here. Can Fall be far behind?
 
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.”~2 Cor 1:20
 
It is amazing what can be accomplished when “Standing on the promises of Christ the King.” All of a sudden, I find myself: “Praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long…”
 
Just one song after another.