The peeps!

The peeps!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Transformations

Well. Summer is here!!!! Our business has been without much work all year long. I joked with my husband and said, "You wait, as soon as it gets close to school being over for me - work will come." And come it has- like a freight train. I was excited at first but then the day after my last day of school I was headed to where our summer work will take us. An hour and forty-five minutes away. That makes for a long day.And it will not be over when I return to school in August. So...... I had a pity party. In the wake of Joplin, MO and Oklahoma sounds quite petty doesn't it? Well it sounds petty because it is. And this morning in my quiet time my Lord and I had a come to Jesus meeting! My study directed me to the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8. I am sure you are familiar but if not here is a condensed version :
A farmer goes out and sows his seed (God's word). As he was scattering the seed:
1. Some fell along the path and the birds ate it -Those along the path are the ones who hear, but then the devil comes and takes away the word so they may not be saved.
2. Some fell on a rock and when it came up the plants withered because they had no moisture - Jesus said those on the rock are the ones who receive the Word with joy but they have no root. They believe for awhile but in the time of testing they fall away.
3. Some seed fell among the thorns which grew up and choked the plant. - These stand for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches, pleasures and they do not mature.
4. Some seed fell on good soil and when it came up it yielded a crop a hundred times more than was sown. - This stands for those with a noble heart who hear the Word, retain it and by PERSEVERING produce a crop.

I want to persevere, not fall away and not be choked with life's issues. I know this sounds trivial to many in the wake of what others are going through, but for me it has been a lesson to be learned. Life won't always go according to my plan. It won't always work according to my time table. But, my God will work His plan and on His time table. He also answers prayer. Thank you Lord.

Since we are talking about soil, some interesting transformations have taken placed I would like to share. Remember on spring break when we plowed our SMALL garden?


Here it is now!!!!!!!!!!





We are so proud. Worn out, but proud! We worked yesterday all day long. I am so sore today but it is good for me. Don't want to get idle. After weeding for several hours, Daughter-in-love and picked some bounty! Here are some more transformations of the yummy kind! Our crookneck and patty pan squash:
Fried up so nice!!!!

We planted 79 tomato plants. No, that is not a typo. 79. SEVENTY-NINE. What can I say? We like tomatoes. So we picked some green ones:

And fried them up a' la Paula Deen style!

Yes I am very aware that if I fry everything in the garden a transformation will take place with me as well! So, with all this zucchini:

I sauteed onion, bell pepper (also from the garden), baby bella mushrooms and put some Italian dressing mix, tomato sauce and loads of cheese and baked it in the oven YUMMY! 


I am so glad vegetables are healthy and good for you.
So much to be thankful for. The one I am most thankful for is a God who loves me and reminds me when I need it how He will transform me if I will let Him.Lord, help me to persevere and reap the harvest that produces a crop a hundred fold more than was sown.

Blessings,
Michelle

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rapture, Calendars and Books

Well, the world did not end and the Rapture did not occur yesterday, so....................... I am still here and I guess God meant when He said in Mark 13:32:
 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. "
Sorry Mr. Camping. You could have saved yourself a lot of math.
That is so like we humans to think God would make us  privy to something He doesn't even let His only Son in on. I am sure we are appalling to Him. Thank goodness He loves us in spite of our ridiculous ideas and notions. And yes, He still loves Mr. Camping, although  I do  wonder what he is up to today and what he thinks about still being here. I hate to admit it but I was hoping yesterday would be the day. Not so that Mr. Camping would be correct but because I hope it happens in my lifetime. I long for it every day.
I guess the truly sad part of all this is the fact that secular society thinks all this talk of rapture and the end of the world is only for crazy, psychotic, religious zealots who are so dumb they really think Jesus is coming back. What a comfort to know the Bible is true, God means what He says and His promises will all come to fruition. Every knee will bow and tongue confess - what a day that will be!

On a different note - three more days of school!!!!!!!! I cannot wait. Graduation was yesterday and it, as always, is such a bittersweet and  precious ritual to observe. So many new beginnings for those young people. I hope they know the most important thing is to live their lives as though Christ is coming that day. Not in hedonistic pleasure, but in serving others for the sake of Christ. One of our valedictorians issued that challenge to her classmates and I was so proud of her. She served as my yearbook editor this year and has a wisdom about the Lord many adults would envy. I keep filling the summer calendar in my mind with all sorts of grandiose ideas: cooking, reading, being by the pool........ The reality is probably: running baby girl to all her summer activities, harvesting our ginormous garden we planted, working in our business which has work again (than you Lord), and I won't mind one bit of it! Oh I am certain I will get to throw in plenty of things like reading and lounging poolside. Just started a new book, Water for Elephants and have a huge list to follow up with. I know I should not end my sentences with a preposition but hey it is almost summer and I am throwing caution to the wind!

Hope you have a blessed week and keep looking to the sky for the Glory of the Lord to appear!
Michelle

Sunday, May 15, 2011

SSMT# 10!!!!

James 1:26 (NIV)
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."

I was all prepared with another scripture. I even had it written down in my spiral. Then I was doing my bible study and this jumped out at me. You know, as though God was trying to tell me something with just falling short of hitting me square in the forehead. Sometimes the things He has for me to recognize are painful. Yet I am thankful that He loves me enough to prompt me to look at myself and change those things that aren't in line with His precepts. I constantly ask God to give my children wisdom and discernment, good sense and a heart that loves Him above all else. I also ask that I have the courage to believe and claim all those things for myself as well. I would be devastated if my own children found my religion "worthless" because my theology wasn't in line with my reality. May they see and know He is good, faithful and His word is life to us all.
Hope you have a blessed week!
Michelle

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Even in Death

Happy Mother's Day!!! What a wonderful day to celebrate and honor our Mothers and those who have spent their lives mothering us. I love being a mother more than anything in this world. It is a calling I never thought I wanted on my life yet I cannot imagine being created for anything more fulfilling and rewarding. I spent the last couple of days hanging out with my mama having a blast at our farm. Sat in church with my baby girl and worshipped our Creator. Some of my kids are coming over later to just hang out and I am going to lay by the pool and enjoy my day. Hopefully get to call and visit with my sweet other mother, Lila and hope she is having a great day.
The pastor referenced this morning Hebrews 11:4 " And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead." The verse is specifically referencing Abels sacrifice to God but I started to think about those mothers in my family who have gone to be with the Lord and how their faith still speaks in my life even though they are dead.
I marvel often at how spoiled we mothers of today are. I know we work hard and have long days, but compared to our grandmothers who, lived through the depression and World War II raising children, raising crops that they were dependent on to feed them, and cooking three meals a day - because they couldn't pick something up in the drive-thru or pop something in the microwave.
My Granny, Ruth Squyres - The best friend I had growing up. I can see her tiny hands, arthritic and bent from raising 10 children, from cooking homemade biscuits every day of her married life, from working sunup to sundown, I can see those hands holding that big worn black Bible and reading it with such devotion and urgency to receive a word from her Lord. I can't breathe sometimes I miss her so much. I know my sweet mama does too. She is much like my Granny. I hope get a bit of it too.
My Grandmother, Ruby Murray - who raised three children on a farm and cooked (food that I miss so much) three meals a day, picked eggs from her chicken house. She too loved the Lord and her family very much.
My Nannie, Katie Raleigh - one of the sweetest, kindest, humblest souls I have ever known. Her daughter, my other mother Lila, is just like her. Precious, kind and generous. I know Lila is missing her mama today.
My Grammy, Ida Grace LeGendre, who taught me more about unconditional love than I could ever repay. She loved to tell others I was her oldest grandchild, but not her first grandchild. She worked hard to make things special for my sister's and I. I miss getting cards from her with EVERY word underlined. She liked to emphasize and didn't want us to misunderstand how strongly she meant every word!!

My sweet man's two grandmothers that I am so blessedto have had the pleasure to know:

Bernice Cheney - Every time I think of the phrase joy of the Lord, her face is what I see. Always, smiling, laughing and pure joy to be around. Her hands too were bent and crooked from years and years of hard work, yet she taught herself to play the piano and was the church pianist for many years. One of our most prized possessions is a recording on our piano (which records the keystrokes and the keys mash and play as though she were sitting there doing it) of her playing. She liked to say she was terrible, but to her family it is a joyful and blessed sound. And she was not terrible she was wonderful. Her Bible was given to our youngest daughter who brought it out this morning before church. I pray baby girl will treasure those notes in that beautiful handwriting and someday understand what a Godly woman Great-Mother was. We miss her so much.

Maude Fisher - the only one of all these women who didn't have crooked, bent hands. Not because she didn't work herself to death raising seven children during the depression, but because she took some kind of "green manna" she always told us about that prevented her from getting arthritis. What we wouldn't give to see her once again hold her hands up in the air, bending her fingers and saying, "How many 90 year old women can do this?"  She was beautiful. She talked about the Lord constantly. She wanted more than anything to see Him return in her lifetime. I loved her so much and revere my sweet mother-in-love for taking such tender care of her in her last years.

Wonderful women and godly mothers. I would be remiss if I did not honor them today, even in death, for their sacrifices and examples they set for all their families. I strive for that kind of legacy to leave my own children and grandchildren.

Thank you God for the women in my life. Mothers past and mothers present. May we all know that it is a gift from You and without You we will fail.

Happy Mother's Day.
Michelle

Sunday, May 1, 2011

SSMT #9

I am a results oriented person. If Plan A doesn't work, then let's move to Plan B. If that doesn't work........ well, you get the idea. Patience is not one of my strong suits, but it is something I have prayed often to possess. There are several areas in my life that have been long standing prayer requests. Things I feel like I have been praying for a REALLY long time. And I see nothing happening. If I am honest with myself, I would realize that only in some seasons of my life do I pray passionately about these things. I kind of move through it like a wave. It builds and builds until it crescendos and then ebbs back out calmly. Then something reminds me I need to pray harder, I do, and still nothing, so I stop for a while.
Isn't it amusing that at times we think that the answers to our prayers are going to come exactly as we request they do? I am sure God gets a kick out of us. I get so caught up looking for the answer I want, I sometimes miss the answer He gives. Many times the answer is, "In My own time and in My own way, but you keep praying."
As I was searching for my verse for today I knew it as soon as I saw it:

James 1:4
"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Only a God as gracious and good as ours would refine us through our prayer life for others and other situations. Or help this poor woman see her continuing need for Him as I am praying for others to know Him. Or help me to see persevering through my own stuff will mature me and complete me.

So....I will persevere in my prayers over these situations and realize He is answering them in ways I will not be able to believe or fathom. What a mighty God is He!

Blessings,
Michelle