Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When God Whispers

Josh & me in Nicaragua
"Look.  If I could tell you one thing about these people tomorrow, here it is."

"Speak to them about belief in God.  Faith."

"Share from your heart about the God of Abraham that we serve.  The God who told us to simply look at a mountain, tell it to move from here to there, and it will."

"Tell them to believe God."

Josh, preparing to share the message with the church body the next morning in Nicaragua, asked our interpreter and friend if there was anything he should know about the culture of the people he would be speaking to.
Josh preaching to Nicaraguan brothers and sisters
The Lord has been speaking this message again and again to my heart in the past weeks.

"Wendy."  I heard the One I Love's voice whisper in my heart as my hands were raised in our own North American worship service.


"As a small child you gave your heart to me.  You follow me when I call.  You listen for my voice."

"But do you believe ME?"

"Of course I believe in You, Abba, and trust you completely."

"But do you believe me?"

"Believe me."

 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me." ~Isaiah 43:9-11

Enjoy today,

P.S.  You are welcome here!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Feel free to  join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sittin' Pretty

Bee Balm In My Garden
There she sits, spiky hair all askew, soaking up the morning sun in my garden.  Yes, yes, I know, technically people "sit" and objects "set".  But I tell you, this little girl with her hot pink hair flying every which way, she is sitting in my garden.  Living it up.
Day Lily Among the Black-Eyed Susans
One of my favorite quotes is this, by Emerson, "Earth laughs in flowers."

Do you see it?  This big giant beautiful ball of earth that our Creator, God, has set in motion, rolling with laughter in the fields of flowers?  Giggling in the pockets of clover on your lawn, shyly smiling in the violets peaking out from that drainage pipe.
Aerial View of this Beauty, Gently Graced with Mint
Have you laughed recently?  A good hard belly laugh. It can start with just a chuckle.

Give it a whirl.  Need inspiration?  Have a conversation with a child.  You'll both be laughing within just a few moments, I guarantee it.
Butterfly Bush in Bloom

All this beauty God has sprung up from the ground right in my front yard!  I know that all elements of this earth work together in tiny microcosms and one giant ecosystem; but I think too, He just loves to see His children smile.  

He loves that our souls relax and find rest in Him when we inhale deeply of His creation and the work of His hands.

And He loves to hear us laugh.

"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
    and your lips with shouts of joy." ~Job 8:21

Enjoy today,

P.S.  You are welcome here!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Feel free to  join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts. 

We're linking up to the Homestead Barn Hop!

Monday, June 11, 2012

An Uncomfortably Hot Mess

"Help us feed hungry children in Nicawaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhgwwwwwaaaaaaaaa!!!"

My youngest, Isaac's, voice rang out in the parking lot.  It was a 90-degree, blazing hot sun kind of Saturday.  The kind where when you stand up from sitting too long in a white plastic deck chair your shorts are inevitably stuck to your sweating legs 

Uncomfortably awkward.

Tannah had been begging for months to have a bake sale and give all of the profits to our church-wide summer initiative, GO.  One of the projects in GO will be purchasing the makings of 20,000 meals for hungry children and assembling them together as a church body to be sent overseas. 
In true family style, all five of us pitched in for the undertaking.  One of our family mottos (or just something I repeat again and again, praying that it sinks into every member's soul) is "We're better together."  We each did our part, and Saturday morning found us all together on the sidewalk outside a local hardware store pushing our lemonade and cookies on every passer-by. 

Josh and I sat at the table, and our three children positioned themselves strategically holding their neon green poster board signs a ways down from us near the entrance of the store.  They offered fresh home-baked cookies and ice-cold lemonade to every potential customer, pleading the plight of their hungry peers in Nicaragua.  

Most people were kind and smilingly helped out, generously putting extra in the Folgers coffee can.  

Some avoided eye contact entirely and walked by.

And here was my favorite.  A younger man, about the age of Josh and me, walked up to our children with his two young toddlers in tow.  Our table was positioned in such a way that not every person who saw our children immediately noticed our refreshment stand off to the side.  This gentleman didn't. 

He simply saw our children.

As he drew closer, I heard our sweet Tannah's voice boldly ask, "Can you please help us feed the hungry children in Nicaragua?"

He stopped walking.  Looking her in the eye, he responded quite matter of factly, "Yeah.  I think we can do that." 

Our kids began walking in our direction, the man and his toddlers following.  He still hadn't seen our booth, yet walked behind our children. 

"So, how are we going to do this?"  He asked.

Our children then started explaining the GO project and the meal packaging, the cookies and the lemonade.  The pieces of the puzzle fit together as he spotted our stand, and he was more than happy to purchase their product.

I.  LOVED. IT.  Why, you ask? 

He was presented with a problem and he said, "I'm in."  "Let's do this.  Let's fix this thing."  There was no hemming and hawing, no averted gaze, no uncomfortably awkward pause or walking away.

He just straight up rolled up his sleeves and got in the mess with us to help get this thing done.

Are you in? 

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  ~James 1:27

Enjoy today,

P.S.  You are welcome here!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Feel free to  join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Feeding Souls

From my garden yesterday
I love to walk out a few steps from my back door and harvest some food for my family's meal.  It gives me such a fully satisfied feeling, knowing that no chemicals or pesticides have been used on the food that I am bringing in from my garden.  I enjoy knowing that the nutrients and vitamins are at their peak when I serve the food on my table, as it isn't food that has been setting in a warehouse for weeks or months, ripening long after being picked.

And the taste of homegrown food?  Phenomenal!

I heard someone say once, regarding feeding our families, "You're not just filling holes.  You're feeding souls."

The goal of a meal is not simply to push a plate of food, or chemically-processed packaged food stuff, at our family.  Whenever we present an offering of food to someone, we have the honor and privilege of giving them something that will nourish their body, grow their mind and encourage their soul.  

Look carefully at my first photo.  Do you see the slug?  Love him!  Do you know why?  Because it means food that is growing in my yard is conducive to LIFE.  Why would I want to put something in my body that has been so sprayed with chemicals that it kills all bugs and living organisms?  If it's not good for them, really, how can it be good for our bodies?

Rejoice when you see signs of life and a thriving ecosystem in your garden.

Think twice today about what you eat and what you offer to others.  A word of wisdom:  Don't become bound or enslaved by a set of rules regarding food.  Just use the good common sense God gives you to be able to decipher between food and non-food.  And choose food.

"And God said, 'Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit.  You shall have them for food."  ~Genesis 1:29

"Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.  And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything."  ~Genesis 9:3

Enjoy today,

P.S.  You are welcome here!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Feel free to  join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spotlight On: Simply Spearmint

Groggy from sleep you hit the buttons on your morning alarm with clumsy fingers and fumble for the snooze option.  Stumbling from the warmth of your covers, you trip your way to the bathroom.  Grasping the cold metal of the faucet, you turn it all the way to hot to get some steam going. 
Simply Spearmint Soap
You reach for your bar of Simply Spearmint.  As the water hits the soap, the essential oil begins to release its scent and the room fills with energizing spearmint.  Sleep falls away from your mind, and you begin to look forward to the day ahead. 

Yes, this is just soap.  I recognize this.  But, whoa there, Nellie.  Just soap?!?  Do you recognize how powerful a good bar of all-natural soap can be first thing in the morning?  To reach for something real, something made by another person's hands instead of mass-produced by machine?

Try it for yourself.  Start working in some habits that build your body, mind and spirit instead of just numbing your mind to the realities of the day.  A good, chunky bar of all-natural soap can work wonders in your morning routine.  

Enjoy today,

P.S.  You are welcome here!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Feel free to  join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts.