Friday, June 19, 2009

What We've Been Up to Lately. . .

We have had a great summer so far. I thought I would share a little update for anyone who cares. . .:0)
In May we enjoyed Middle Sister's violin concert and Big Brother's, Bigger Brother's, and Big Sister's piano recital. Unfortunately, my camera was MIA the night of the violin concert, but I have a few pics from the piano recital.


Our piano teacher likes for the children to dress the part of the songs they are playing. Here is Bigger Brother playing a few Mexican tunes! He did great!



Big Brother played "The Cassein Song," "American the Beautiful," and "Onward Christian, Soldier." He sure looked cute! ;-)



Big Sister played "Ashokam Farewell" along with a hymn. She did a great job and looked beautiful in this Civil War dress we borrowed from some dear friends. Playing the piano is one of Big Sister's favorite passions.

School is still "in session" at our house. Our summer break will begin when Little Brother arrives.



Doesn't he look thrilled? ;-)

Of course, there's nothing like a little manual work to make you appreciate the indoor bookwork!



Bigger Brother has learned to use the weed eater this summer. This is a big help!


So Big Brother was promoted to the leaf blower! This was very helpful after Monday night's storms!
Big Sister is still baking bread for our family and also for her business. She is hoping to raise enough money again to go back to Central America next year for one of the mission trips her Daddy takes.

Don't be misled. It is not all work around here. (Though it sometimes feels like it! :-)




We recently had a circus show in our own backyard. Middle Sister was the Ringmaster!





The boys killed their very first snake last week. Big Sister spotted it on the driveway, and before I could turn around, these guys had their machetes (from C. American market) and sent it to an early (not early enough ;-) death. (Kristi, I guess you have been right all along. We do live where it is "far and snakey." :0)


Before any snake experts say this is a good snake, I must explain I adhere to the policy of "There ain't but one kind of good snake. . . . "


Occasionally, it is a little quite around here. . . . .









And now it seems all we are doing is waiting. . . . . . .


Maybe we will have some news soon!

In the Heart of our Home,

Rebekah

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Testimony. . . . .Wednesday. . . .:-)

I was not able to post yesterday b/c Monday night's storm knocked out my internet. Surprise. Surprise. ;-)

However, I do want to share a passage of Scripture that I found very encouraging.

"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light" (Colossians 1:9-12).

I notice several things in these verses.

#1 The importance of praying for the brethren
#2 How crucial that we be "filled with the knowledge of His will."
#3 Understanding His will helps us walk worthy of the Lord.
#4 We are strengthened by His might, not our own.
#5 His strength empowers us for "patience and longsuffering with JOY."
#6 A reminder of our inheritance
God's Word is so full and so alive. We are so blessed to have access to the Scriptures.
What is His Word teaching you this week???
In the Heart of our Home,
Rebekah

Friday, June 12, 2009

Perseverance




Summertime is upon us, and Middle Sister and Little Sister have needed swimming lessons! This is something we never got around to last summer, so I wanted to make it a priority this year.

From the recommendation of a dear friend, we managed to squeeze into the class of a lady who has been teaching for over 20 years. And let me tell you. . . .she is not your average swimming teacher.

Mrs. P. does not put up with any whining, crying, "I don't want to get my face wet" kids. As a matter of fact, when a child did cry, I heard her say with my own ears, "Hush now. There's nothing wrong with you!" and "If you don't stick your face in that water and swim, I'm backing up! I'm backing up!" (out in the deep water! LOL) One child who was really showing some defiant skills was told immediately, "You will not act ugly. Either you get in that water or I will throw you in." I didn't hear another peep from him.



Well, needless to say, every child in their class from 4-8 years of age learned to swim these past 2 weeks! I am telling you, it was amazing! (and a bit amusing)

I humbly admit, my 4 year old did her share of crying the first day, not wanting to put her face in the water. But with no sympathy from her teacher and constant encouragement from Mama and Daddy in the form of "No fits. No crying. Obey your teacher," we had no more tears after the first day.

Little Sister began to enjoy the water and became quite proud of her new abilities.
So after 2 weeks, Middle Sister went from swimming about 3 feet to jumping from the diving board and swimming the length of the pool, and Little Sister went from not wanting to even put her face in the water to jumping from the diving board and swimming to the ladder unassisted.

Isn't it amazing what a little tough love and perseverance will do?

Last night we read the story of the little Dutch boy who saved the town by placing his hand in the crack in the dike. The version in our book emphasized that he had to stand there all night long until someone came to help. Perseverance.
Yet, perseverance is not only reserved for fables and fairy tales. As Believers, this should be fruit in our daily lives.
"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Romans 5:3).

"But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra--what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:10-12).
"Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord--that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful" (James 5:11).

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love" (2 Peter 1:5-6).

So, wherever God has you in your daily life and wherever you may be in your walk with Him, remember the virtue of perseverance. We know the end goal is worth it:
"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14)!
In the Heart of our Home,
Rebekah
P.S. Lest you think too harshly of Mrs. P, every child was loving her and hugging her with happy smiles before the first week was over. She gets a thumbs up from me. :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Job's Wife

Ok, dear bloggy friends. I know my posts are getting fewer and further between. Please forgive me. (I know you all are just on the edge of your seats each day. . .;0) I am now 38 weeks pg and, of course, always dealing with a disagreeable internet service.

Anyway. . . .I do want to share something with you that I noticed in the Scriptures the other day. In church Sunday, someone read aloud from the book of Job. Job had already lost his servants, his sheep, his camels, and, worst of all, his children. Then Satan struck Job with painful boils all over his body. At this point, based upon what the Scriptures share, Job's wife becomes not so encouraging.

"Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!' But he said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:9-10).

Wow. How many of us would respond to such terrible tribulations with the faith and "integrity" of Job, or would we be like Job's wife and "one of the foolish women?"

And how often do we miss opportunities to encourage and lift up our husbands in times of much less tragedy? I think it often takes so little for us to remove our focus from the Lord and eternal things. When our mind is on the temporal things of this earth, we easily miss the opportunities to be the help-meet God has called us to be.

Consider the following words from the Bible:

"Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established" (Proverbs 24:3).

"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands" (Proverbs 14:1).

"There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health" (Proverbs 12:18).

"As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion" (Proverbs 11:22). Don't you love that one?

"Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord" (Proverbs 19:14).

"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman" (Proverbs 21:9). (Interestingly, this verse is repeated in Proverbs 25:24.)

Wow, the Lord is reminding us of the importance of wisdom, discretion, and prudence.

It is easy to see the folly of Job's wife's response, but how easily do we see the folly of our own ways? Let's don't wait until our hubbies have retreated to the corner of our housetops before we evaluate our responses to him and the wisdom (or lack thereof) of our ways.

In the Heart of our Home,
Rebekah

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Testimony Tuesday!!!

I want to share quickly what I noticed in Philippians this past week. Paul is in prison and writing to encourage the Philippian church. What has been on my mind is in Philippians 1:12:

"But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel."

Wow!!! What an awesome result of his sufferings! How many of us can say that our sufferings resulted in the "furtherance of the gospel?" So many times our problems result in our whinings or even bitterness!

Yet, isn't God's glory what He desires as a result of our sufferings? I have witnessed friends experience far more pain and tragedy than I can even imagine, and yet some continue to keep their focus on Christ and continue to glorify the Father. Yet other people only wallow in the least tribulation.

I pray I can be like Paul and be able to say, "the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel."

When we face troubles, we can remember what he says in verse 27: "Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ."

What about you? Is the Lord teaching you this week?

In the Heart of our Home,
Rebekah