Monday, November 29, 2010

A Quick Note...

To let you know that I have not forgotten about my post on the church. I have some research I need to do...slowed down by the loss of my concordance! And, at the moment I am swamped with trying to get our content insurance figured out from out house fire. That must take priority at the moment, but when I come up for air, I will get my post on the church written. :-)

May you each have a blessed Advent season!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Is the Church?

I have been thinking a lot about the church lately. I am working on a blog post about it now. But first, I want to know...if someone on the street were to ask you, what would you say the church is? Please feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Join Me In Worship

Let me start by saying, please join in with me! Take the time to comment and let's worship together.

Adoration, worship, praise...our God is holy and worthy. I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago, and the person they were talking to talked about starting our time with God in praise. She challenged listeners to spend 20 minutes in worship. One of the "tools" that she gave was to take the alphabet and praise God for a character quality that begins with each letter.

I sat down the other morning, before coming into the hospital (and although I didn't take 20 minutes), I did try to come up with at least one character quality for each letter. I just went off the top of my head, I did not pull out my Bible and really do any looking, so for some of the letters I don't have anything, and I may have missed some very obvious ones ~ I am just a little scattered mentally at this point.

Please feel free to comment and add character qualities of God that are different from mine, or share how a particular character quality has touched you or drawn you closer to God.

A- Almighty, Awesome
B- Beside me
C- Constant, Comforter, Counselor
D- Diety
E- Everlasting, Exalted
F- Faithful
G- Great, Gracious
H- Holy
J- Just
K- Kind
L- Loving
N- Never ending
O- Omnicient, Omnipresent
P- Present, Powerful
R- Rock
S- Steady, Sovereign
T- True
U- Understanding
W- Wonderful

There is my incomplete list. Even at that, what a great and awesome God we serve! I look forward to reading what character qualities that you have come up with.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Day at Home

Today I get to be home. :-) This is getting to be a rare occurrence. It seems as though my days are filled with being gone, and I have come to cherish time spent at home. Although Jethro is almost 6 months old, I still have not really found a rhythm yet here at home because we have been gone so much. My plan is to think and pray about how the days need to flow while we are in the hospital next week. And then, when we are home once again to implement whatever I have come up with.

Yesterday was spent in town. Jethro's INR needed to be drawn and we needed to do some shopping for the house. Today my Beloved is down at the farm, working on the house, and I finally have what I need to get some raspberry jam made. I bought jars and pectin last week, but have not had any cheesecloth ~ which apparently is now a difficult commodity to find! I ended up buying game bags to use because I couldn't locate just plain ol' cheesecloth.

The rental where we are living has a nice an overgrown raspberry patch, that in spite of itself is blessing us with beautiful berries. So, I have been overtaken by the jam bug! The girls are now in the process of washing dishes and tidying the kitchen so that we can proceed.

Today I believe supper will be ham. I bought a lovely ham on Sunday, but lost track of time, so we didn't eat it. It should be big enough to provide at least 2 meals for us, possibly more. So, supper shall be ham, potatoes ~ I may just boil them, but perhaps I will broil them with butter, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and seasoned salt, fried onion and zucchini, and green salad. A good dinner for my men folk who will have been working hard today.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Quiet Heart: Trusting in God's Sovereignty

This morning, as I read "Keep A Quiet Heart", I was struck by this quote:

"All of the past, I believe, is a part of God's story of each child of His - a mystery of love and sovereignty, written before the foundation of the world, never a hindrance to the task He has designed for us, but rather the very preparation suited to our particular personality's need.

"How can that be?" ask those whose heritage has not been a godly one as mine was, whose lives have not been peaceful. "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter" (Proverbs 25:2, NIV). God conceals much that we do not need to know, yet we do know that He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When does this begin? Does the Shepherd overlook anything that the sheep need?" Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart (emphasis, mine)

I take much comfort in the sovereignty of God. I believe that it is one of His characteristics that can do much for His children to have a quiet heart. No matter what comes my way, I know that it has all passed through the hands of my loving Heavenly Father. That doesn't mean that it's easy to walk through, that it doesn't cause me much pain or sorrow, but it does mean that I can take comfort that whatever it is ~ affliction or joy, my Father has chosen it for me. I don't walk through life with random things happening to me.

I read something recently that caused me to once again realize and give thanks for my views on God's sovereignty. It was from a mom whose child has some very serious health problems. She was fretting over going on vacation (with the child), and had checked out the local hospital and printed out medical histories, etc. She then went on to say how she lives in fear every day of something bad happening to her little one. She cries every day. She basically lives her life in sorrow ~ losing out on the joy of the blessing of her child.

It made me so thankful to be walking the path of "heart mom" as a child of God. A child sure of the sovereignty of her Father. There have been times of grieving that he won't ever be "healthy" or "whole", mostly before he was born, but certainly since then I have had times of being knocked off keel. But, for the most part, I am able to peacefully walk through all of it. I know that God is in control. I know that He loves Jethro far more than I do, and that He is watching over him. I know that God's "got Jethro's six." It doesn't mean that I am not concerned and that I don't diligently watch over him, but it does mean that I am not consumed with worry and sorrow over him and his heart condition.

This applies to other areas of our lives. As I watch my children grow, I pray for them. I pray that God will keep them safe, I pray that He will bless their endeavors, I pray that He will enable them to make good decisions, I pray for their future mates, etc. I hope and pray the best for them. I do my best to teach them and show by example how to live a godly life (though I often fail). However, in the end (or maybe beginning!), I have to turn them over to God. I have to trust that if they are going down a path that I think looks all wrong, that it is part of God's sovereign plan for their life, and that He will use whatever it is to bring glory to Himself.

I have had the privilege of listening to some amazing testimonies by young adults this summer. Some of them only 14 or 16 years old. It would break your heart. Such heartache and pain for ones so young. So much garbage in their lives. Some brought on by decisions they have made, some brought on by decisions of others. And yet, they are living for and loving the Lord. What looks like horrible, nasty, stinky garbage, drew them closer to their Father and gave them a passion for Him that they likely would not have had otherwise. Only God can do that. Only God can take the ugly and make it beautiful. Only God can take the worthless and give it the highest value. He *will* do it...will you trust Him?

I don't know where you're at today, what you are struggling with, or rejoicing over, but I challenge you to take it all to the feet of Jesus and trust Him. Look into His face and walk forward with a quiet heart.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Simple Life, A Quiet Heart

Wow! It' been quite a while since I posted here. I apologize. Our life has been crazy since Jethro was born. Rebuilding has begun on our house, so I have been shopping...looking for light fixtures, doors, faucets, cabinets, windows, etc. If you would like to see how God has provided for us so far, please feel free to check out my family blog . That is also where I update on Jethro.

I have been longing for a simplified, less hurried life (wonder why???), and yet it would seem at this point in my life, God is saying, "No." We have to make the trip into Spokane at least once a week, sometimes more often, Jethro has been hospitalized at least a half a dozen times, had surgery to place a g-tube, been scheduled for heart surgery, had heart surgery postponed due to a cold, and now we are awaiting a firm date for the surgery again. In the midst of that, 2 of the boys were on a local mission trip, camp happened for two of the children (which did tend to bring a bit more quiet to our home!), 2 of the boys have moved out, we've had 3 birthdays, and driver's ed. And did I mention we're building a house?!?!

So, I believe that God is wanting me to learn how to have a quiet heart in the midst of all of this. And it is something I have been contemplating a lot lately. Last week, at the thrift store, I picked up an Elisabeth Elliot book entitled, "Keep A Quiet Heart". I just began it this morning, and wonder of wonders, it appears to be *just* what God has been speaking to my heart about! Not surprising. He usually works that way in my life...I'll probably start hearing stuff on the radio too, and someone else will bring it up in conversation, etc... :-)

I am hoping to share with you here some of the insights that I am gleaning. Obviously, I've done a terrible job keeping anything going here, but I will try to do better. I know we will have at least one hospitalization this month, so I should get some blogging done.

I would like to share a bit of the first chapter from this book, a bit that was just confirmation to me that I need to have a quiet heart in the midst of my circumstances. If you are in a season when you can't cut things out of your life, but long for a quiet spirit, a spirit of contentment ~ take heart! I believe it is possible, just a little more difficult when surrounded by chaos.

"Jesus slept on a pillow in the midst of a raging storm. How could He? The terrified disciples, sure that the next wave would send them straight to the bottom, shook Him awake with rebuke. How could He be so careless of their fate?

He could because He slept in the calm assurance that His Father was in control. His was a quiet heart. We see Him move serenely through all the events of His life - when He was reviled, He did not revile in return. When He knew that He would suffer many things and be killed in Jerusalem, He never deviated from His course. He had set His face like flint. He sat at supper with one who would deny Him and another who would betray Him, yet He was able to eat with them, willing even to wash their feet. Jesus in the unbroken intimacy of His Father's love, kept a quiet heart."  Elisabeth Elliot, Keep A Quiet Heart 1995

Do I have that kind of trust and reliance on God? In some areas, but not woven throughout my entire life. But it is what I long for.

Come, join me at the feet of Jesus as I seek to learn what it is to have a quiet heart.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Quick Update

Sorry that I have been so absent! I have things I want to blog about, but there is not a lot of time these days, and now we have dial-up :-(, so I try to be careful about the amount of time I spend on the computer ~ not a bad thing!

We have been out of the hospital for almost a month. Jethro is doing well, we have a small pharmacy in our house now, and I think I may be on my way to being a nurse, but we are adjusting. We go to Dr.s appts (scheduled) every other week, but have seen our Dr.s about once a week since getting out. We spent one afternoon back at the hospital, but the Dr. ended up releasing us, so we didn't spend the entire weekend, which is what we had expected. We are so thankful that the Lord has blessed us in this way. When they discharged us, they told us to expect to be just works that way with heart babies.

On St. Patrick's Day, our house burned. This is not the phone call you want to get when you are in the hospital with a baby in the PICU following open heart surgery! However, God is so good! Because we were in the hospital, none of the children were home, and we did not have to worry about anyone being hurt. We lost some precious things, but in the end, they are just that...things. And it was so much easier to put into perspective the loss of a house when we were/are dealing with life and death issues with Jethro. Please don't misunderstand ~ losing the house and our possessions is still not an easy thing, but I believe that if it was the only thing we were dealing with it would be much more devastating. As always, God's timing is perfect, and I praise Him for the ability to see that.

So, for the time being, we are in a rental ~ a house I have wanted to live in since I was a little girl ~ and waiting to see what the insurance is going to do. We will rebuild, it's just a wait and see game at this point. If you are so inclined, we would appreciate prayers for the insurance company to work quickly and for wisdom for us in how best to proceed with a rebuild. There are so many options, but we may not have a lot to rebuild with, and we need a fairly sizable house with the number of us that there is.

So, that is the Cliff Note version of what's going on. Thank you to those of you who continue to come and read. At some point, I will get back to posting on a more regular basis.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Jethro Storms Dole
February 26 via emergency c-sec
9lb 1oz, 22" long

Jethro was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) known as Ebstein's Abnormality of the Tricuspid Valve, and Pulmonary Atresia. Ebstein's is a rare defect, only affecting 1 in every 210,000 babies. To make things even more difficult, Jethro was born with a severe form of it.

At this moment, I am writing from his room in the NICU where he was born. We are praying for stability as he is scheduled for surgery in the morning to begin the process of turning his heart into a 2 chamber organ instead of 4 chambered. Tomorrow will be the first of 3 surgeries performed over the next 3 years. It is openAlign Left heart, so carries a fair amount of risk, but without the surgery, his condition is incompatible with life ~ not something a Mama wants to hear concerning her child.

I have been fairly absent here, and hope to rectify that, but I honestly don't know when I'll be able to.

If you are interested in keeping up with Jethro and what's going on, you can check out our family blog, The Legend of Thousand Hills Farm , or, if you are on Facebook some friends/family have set up a group for him that you can join. It's Jethro Storms Dole.

We appreciate your prayers.