We do, you know. We explain why He isn't doing, or isn't going to do what He said He would do. It is because our hearts are unconvinced. We don't believe Him. We don't trust Him. We are not fully persuaded. We may not say it like that, but that's what it is.
We might be covering for people in order to ease their passage through a rough spell, or to help them feel alright about failing. We might be covering so that God won't 'look bad'.
"Oh, I prayed for such and such, and God didn't answer!"
"Dear brother, God doesn't always do that for everyone. He is sovereign and you never know what God might do. His ways are higher than our ways," and of course the ever popular "If it be Thy will." That should get God off the hook. That should do it.
Worst of all, we might be covering for ourselves. We make excuses to prepare ourselves for failure. In Romans 13:14 the Bible says, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." One of the "lusts thereof" is to avoid embarrassment. We make provision someplace in the backs of our minds because we fear the failure of God's Word and how we will look to others when it doesn't come to pass. We consider our responsibility in how we might make God look in our own failure. We don't want to have to explain why it 'didn't work'.
God might do it, God can do it, but will He do it? Does He want to do it? What if He doesn't? We are afraid that it might not work for us. After all we're just sinners, lowly and flawed, so we halt, and stammer, and back pedal, and become impotent as Christians. That is a sorry walk for someone who claims to be a believer. It is faithless, and therefore not pleasing to God. It grieves the Holy Spirit. We have essentially buried our talent in the earth, to quote another Scripture, and are wicked and slothful, and the Master isn't happy about it.
To compound the problem, we have been taught in full Gospel circles to speak by faith, so we go around making ridiculous, uneducated, unsubstantiated claims in the name of Jesus, and when they don't come to pass it does little more for us than solidify our belief that God can not be trusted. We are weak and failing, sabotaging our own walk and will try defend our indefensible position with righteous sounding words, things we've heard about God, and what feels right. These are the traditions of men. "Know ye not that the traditions of men make the Word of God of no effect?"
Can we not just admit we don't know everything? Can we not just admit we might be wrong? Can't we just say "I don't understand"? That's a great place to start because that really is the issue here. From there we can move forward. If we would spend as much time trying get to know God better and learning the truth and what His Word says as we do trying to explain things we don't understand and avoiding awkwardness and covering for our own fears, we might find that we are beginning to understand those things a little better.
God's word is always true. Always. If there is any level of discomfort on our part as to the effectiveness or reliability of the faithfulness of His Word, that should be our front line indicator that we don't know enough, and we need to learn more. He only needs for us to be willing to carry His word. We can only carry it in so far as we believe it to be true; if we trust His promises. Our only job is to believe. We must have faith in Him and be fully persuaded. The Word will do the work.
Know the Truth. You... know it! The Truth will set you free.
I haven't posted in a while, and I feel a little like I'm cheating to come on and post something that I read, but it was so wonderful I just wanted to share it. I'll try to get back in and post something of my own one day soon. Meanwhile, please enjoy this.
by: Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns;
Contented breaths his native air,
In his own grounds.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide swift away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unheard, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.
Have you ever had one of those 'blah' days? The ones with the uncomfortable, unpleasant, unidentifiable sort of a nagging? Or maybe it's a longing. I'm not sure.
Life is basically good. :) I'm low maintenance. I don't require anything. I'm typically an optimist and I see hope and promise; I find the silver lining. Oh, I can think of a few things that are needing to be done, and I can think of a few things that are truly bothering me and causing me some trouble, but they aren't earth shattering, and I know I'll get beyond, blah, blah, blah. I can not link this uneasy feeling to any one thing. None of the specifics seem to be the real source of the turbulence.
I am learning and growing. I am planning and dreaming. What am I missing here? Anything?
I have never been a great sit-and-waiter. I am a doer. When things need to be done I would just as soon get them done. This time, however, I can't seem to gain any control over any of it. I'm not even exactly sure what 'it' is! Everything is in someone else's hands, and I can't muscle my way in or through anything, so I'm sidelined. I'm ready, but held back.
I must be the worst blogger when it comes to writing regularly. I mean to, but, you know.... time gets away.
I don't have a whole lot to write about. The situation is unchanged. Our plans remain the same. Only the particulars are rearranged and shuffled about with the day to day activities. I decided to go ahead and write a bit about the way life is in out interim situation. My husband sort of took the steam out of my engine (unintentionally) when he said that writing about the everyday, mundane business of life would become tedious and uninteresting to read, but I think there are people out there in a similar situation, or facing a similar situation, and it might be helpful to read a bit about how things are progressing for us. So here goes!
Life goes on. I truly believe it is all about the attitude, the mindset you have going in. I could be easy to mourn and bewail our loss, I suppose. We spent many, many happy years in our home, and now it is gone. I'm not trying to toot my own horn and tell you how great I am because I don't have that attitude. I just want to share my experience for benefit of someone else who is struggling with it.
"God knows. All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Cast all of your cares on Him because He cares for you." I know all of that sounds almost cliche' because we quote scripture randomly and toss His Word around almost as if it were just a catchy phrase. Many times I don't think we really, really believe it ourselves,but please; know that He will keep and guide you and your end will be better than your beginning. He has a plan for you for good and not for evil. NOTHING catches Him unaware and He knows what to do.
In the Bible there is a story of a man, a ruler of the synagogue, who sought Jesus because his daughter was ill and about to die. They were on their way to his house, being slowed by a huge, pressing crowd, and were eventually stopped by woman who also needed help from Him. He took time to not only heal her, but to teach her, those around her, and His disciples. Once free to continue on their way, a servant from the ruler of the synagogue's house met them and told them that they were too late. His daughter had died.
Right here is a crossroad for this man. He could have chosen to give up and go home, since his daughter was already dead. I can think of nothing worse. He must have felt as if his heart were going to break. Can you imagine the thoughts in his mind at that moment? He could have been angry at the woman for delaying Jesus. If He had been free to go more quickly He might have made it there in time to heal her. He could have been angry at Jesus. How could he have been so nonchalant concerning his daughter desperate need? Did He prefer the woman in the crowd over his child? Maybe he thought it wasn't Jesus' will to heal everyone.
But wait. There is more to the story. He didn't quit. He looked to Jesus and Jesus instructed him:
Luk 8:50 "But when Jesus heard it (that his daughter had died), he answered him, saying, 'Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.'"
Your only job is to BELIEVE. That is the only thing you must do. It requires effort on your part. Commitment is necessary. If you can not commit you will fail. I'm sorry. It is that cut and dried.
If you will commit, however, the answer is sure. The way to believe, to trust in Him, is to cultivate a relationship. You cannot have faith and trust without it. With relationship comes rest. You can rest and know that through uncertain times He has everything covered. He knows your heart and your needs, and He wants to help you if you will ONLY BELIEVE.
That being said, I am happy to let you know that He is leading us through this time our lives. That is the truth. If that weren't enough I can add something more: it isn't hard or tragic for us, because we know the outcome is sure! There is no fear when you enter into His rest. Please, make it easy on yourself and do whatever it takes to know Him. It is all He wants, and it is all you need.
I know this is the beginning of something new and a new chance to serve God in a new way. How could I grieve a loss when I haven't arrived at the end of the journey yet? There is always something good! I do not have to understand the method and the path in order to rest and know that He mapped it out in the best possible way. I am honestly calm, assured, and full of joy. It is because I know I can trust Him.
I had to say all of that in order to continue. God brought us through this and I will never doubt that.
People in the thick of things need to hear it in a way that is understandable and applies to everyday life, so let me say it in another way. I can say absolutely that I am a survivor. I have a survivor's attitude anyway, and I would likely have made it through all of this. The loss would have been hard, the changes unpleasant, the pain, the guilt, the lack, the grief, the stress.... it would have been terrible, the outcome unsure and the road hard, but we would have survived.
Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego would have survived, too, had they bowed, but we would never have known their names, and they would never have seen the Hand of God and met the Fourth Man in the fire. The ruler of the synagogue would have lost his precious child, but he would still have survived. How many un-named faces went home from that crowd without what they could have stayed with it and gotten? Without victory? Without testimony? Back to surviving, day to day?
I do not want to merely survive! I want to know God and see His power and have a testimony! I want to grow and move on to greater and mightier things! You see, I could not tell you my mundane little life's update without telling you all of this. I would not only be remiss if I didn't tell it, but I would have been denying God the glory that is His. He not only got us through it, He is taking us beyond it! I would not be able to help another soul through anything without knowing Him and the power and love and mercy He has for us. This is our victorious testimony now! I would not trade a second of it.
I'll stop my sermon... for now... back to the update.
We have been in our new place for almost two months. Our routines are are almost back to being Pence family normal. School is good, maybe still a bit hit and miss. We are having to change some routines. One example is doing laundry. We don't have a washer and dryer now so we have to make time to go to a laundromat. We hand wash dishes now, which, in reality, doesn't take much, if any longer than it did to rinse and load the dishes into the dishwasher. The kids sleep on fold-outs, so we have a little ritual for that every morning and night. There are quite a few little adjustments like these. We are taking them all in stride.
We found out after we moved in that the travel trailer we were sold was damaged. It was deliberately hidden, and not something we could have seen right off, so, we bought it, unfortunately, 'as is'. We spent every last dime we had and found out too late that it is structurally unsound and has some leaks. It was just about the worst news we could have gotten. It will be difficult and could be expensive to fix, but fix it we will, somehow, or God will provide something better. I'll post the updates on the repairs, or the replacement, or whatever happens.
We are temporarily renting a space at the local KOA campground. In all of our years in this town our kids have walked over to the little general store here to get a piece of candy or play a game or something, so it seemed a fitting end to our time in this town. I never expected it to be such a wonderful place! They have wonderful amenities and it's a beautiful park. I feel like I am living in a resort. I have not one bad thing to say about living here. The only problem is that it isn't mine and I miss being able to plan and plant a garden. I miss putzing around in my own yard. That day's a-coming! Meanwhile, this place is like living on vacation to me.
We have developed some new, wonderful daily habits living here. Being in the desert southwest, we are still having absolutely lovely morning and evening weather, so we are spending a considerable amount of time outside at the picnic table or over at one of the tables under the gazebo, just talking and drinking coffee or tea. My youngest son and I have solved many of the problems of the world over a hot cup of steaming something or other, deep in discussion before the day's work ever begins. Then we relax in the remnants of the evening sun as often as we can. The older kids have been visiting and gone swimming and played mini-golf. We love it!
The dreaded 'scaling down' has been a rich blessing in my life. I am so thankful for it no matter what we have gone through to get us to this place. The overall workload here is much lighter. I have actual time in my day that I can use for things to be determined by me. It isn't all housework and shopping, budgeting and juggling, blah, blah, blah... My kid fellowship time is much improved, from my perspective -- I think the kids agree. It's not all discipline and school and chores. We talk and play and laugh a lot. This is just a tiny taste of what I have already discovered about our new life. Living small has already proven it's great worth to me. I will never go back.
There's no good stopping place in a continuing story, so I guess I'll cut off here for now. I'm sorry if this has been a rambling blog. I tend to try to cover too much ground at one time when I wait too long between blogs. I'll try to get back a little sooner next time.
New Life on a Homestead blog is giving away, "Inherit the Land: Adventures on the Agrarian Journey from Franklin Springs."
"The film follows several families as they share their experiences with working their land. From families with thousands of acres to farm, to those who have a small lot with a backyard garden on the outskirts of town, each share their reasons for wanting to get back to living a simpler life, and give an intimate glimpse into their daily responsibilities."
I have been planning to start a different blog dedicated to ministry and Bible study, but I can't seem to get the job done. I will one of these days, but I have decided to go ahead and post links to my podcasts in here in the mean time, until I get something else up and running. :)
Here's the most recent one: http://www.hilltopfoursquare.com/media/2011/10/2/what-is-the-church-for.html
Catchy title, right? The place is new, and we are getting it all established, so I guess that makes it the new establishment.
Things are taking shape. Almost everything is in it's place. There are a few things I brought thinking I would need them and it turns out they are just not necessary. I over stocked some things especially in the kitchen. I don't have a dishwasher here. I hand wash the dishes after meals. As a result, I don't have any accumulation of dirty dishes, so I don't need to have as many on hand as I had at the old place. I will probably pack some of them away for storage.
I am surprised how much room there actually is in my kitchen! Counter top space is at a premium, but I have plenty of room for dishes, pans, even a really spacious pantry area. I may figure out a way to combine some things and free up a shelf or two in there and call it my office. I have way too many school/office supplies, and I don't really know what to do with it all. Between home school and my personal study and writing materials I have accumulated quite a bit. We are learning to do more of our studying and writing on computer, but hard copy and paper work are still big requirements around here. I stored probably half of what I had, and I still have a lot. I stored the stuff that I didn't think the heat would hurt: paper, folders, binders, etc... I brought all the pens and pencils here so the heat wouldn't destroy them. Staplers and hole punches and the like; I use them every day. I need to keep them here, so I'll have to figure something out.
I have too many books, as well. I'm not sure what to do about that except to get rid of some more clothes or something. I love having my books around and I don't think I'm willing to part with the few I have already it whittled down to.
There are a few other items that I need to keep on hand that I still haven't found a home for yet, but in the shuffling and reshuffling I'm sure they will settle into a spot soon. It's mostly paperwork, mail, receipts and statements and the like. I may box 'em up and stuff 'em in the storage. I also have a bunch of seeds. I'm afraid to put them in storage. It's still so hot! I don't know if heat will damage them or not, but I don't want to take the risk.
All in all, the radical downsizing is going pretty well. It certainly causes one to prioritize. I can plainly see what is needful and what is not now. That's not to say I don't want to keep some of the less necessary items, but when we go to sort out the storage unit and narrow things down for the move, I should have no trouble thinning it out even further.
As far as the 'sardine' situation goes, I hate to dissappoint all of the folks that were so sure we'd be ready to strangle each other by now, but we're handling the proximity problems very well and we're adjusting quickly to the privacy problems. We spent almost all of our time together before we moved anyway. We homeschool, so we were always home together. We did most of our work at the kitchen table, and when we were playing on computers we were sitting within feet of one another. This is the same ol' same ol', as far as that goes, just a different place. The big difference is that now we can't go any place inside the house for privacy. It's a little tough on my oldest boy, but he's adjusting. We're making it work.
As for me... I'm happy as a clam. I love it all. Well, except for the toilet. I don't like it a bit, but we're looking for remedies. I'll post about it as we solve problems so that anyone else going through something like this will have our experience to draw from. More on that as it plays out. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.
Meanwhile, we're continuing to prepare for the move. I'll be posting periodically about the progress there. It's all so very exciting!!! I'll be so glad when we're ready to go!!
This is quite possibly my favorite blog. I want to share it with my readers just to bless you, and also to spread the word that if you aren't reading this guy's blog, you are really missing out!!! WONDERFUL, wonderful blog.
Agrarian Nation - Respect For The Past. Wisdom For The Present. Hope For The Future.
This particular article was one I would like to draw your attention to. I feel bad because the entire blog is so wonderful I feel like I'm slighting one entry in favor of another, and I don't mean to do that. I just LOVED this one when I was reading it and I believe you will, too.
I will be back to blog soon. I have been consumed with moving and setting up our new home/place/life, but it's coming along nicely, and I should have thing back to normal soon. See you soon. Be blessed!
I should blog in depth. I should give some details. I should give an update. I should chronicle the process... and I will: soon. Not tonight. I am so tired from the move, the change, the stress, the upset to the schedule that I can't write anything too in-depth tonight. I just wanted to post and let everyone know we are out of our old house and into the new one.
It was quite an undertaking. The physical aspects were much worse than I expected. I thought of myself as the same person who helped move it all into the house almost eighteen years ago. Unfortunately, eighteen years and 40(ish) pounds later and it wasn't the cake walk I was hoping for. I'm not sure I can remember ever being so sore from just a little manual labor.
I'm ashamed at how out of shape I am! Needless to say, all of this has caused me to see the need to do something about that as of NOW. The diet is no big deal. I'm a good dieter when I make up my mind. It's a matter of starting a routine of some kind of exercise. I'll probably start walking the dogs more, so that will help. I am not sure what else I am going to do, but I will definitely be looking to do something, and fast!
Aside from the physical aspects of the move, the time constraint was stressful. Once we were out, the pressure was off and I felt immediate relief. Now all I want to do is sleep. I swear, it's like my body just shut down on me and is in rebellion against all that has been going on. I think in a few days I'll be back up to par, then I'll blog about some of the particulars and share some of my marvelous wisdom and amazing insight after surviving this ordeal. LOL
Meanwhile, I'm going to tie up a few loose ends, sort through a few more boxes, and sleep, sleep, sleep!
The final push is on. Sorting, pitching, throwing. Packing, packing, packing. Hauling, stacking, stowing. Tomorrow I haul off the furniture from the kid's rooms, make another storage run, drop a few things off at the trailer and a few big boxes to the local thrift store. In the afternoon I have to cram in all the regular stuff; a quick trip to the grocery store, taxi my son around a little, fix some dinner and clean it up, the regular loads of laundry plus a few extra that were unearthed in the kid's rooms during all the sorting and packing. Tomorrow night, sorting in my room. A large pile for the thrift store and a small pile to keep, at least that's the plan.
My husband works until Friday and then he's on vacation for a week. That's when we get everything that's left, everything we own, seventeen and a half years of our life's accumulation of things, out of our house, our home, for good.
For years I've dreamed of this. Years came and went and even though I never gave up hope, it seemed like it was never going to happen. Now suddenly, almost out of nowhere, it is time to go! Maybe things didn't happen the way we wanted them to, or in the time I would have liked, but the time has come at last and I'm so excited and happy and almost overwhelmed! Now we're pushing it into overdrive.
How could this sneak up on me like this, I wonder? I, who have planned this in the back of my mind for so long, suddenly I find myself with a week and a half to be out!
Seventeen and a half years is a long time to live in a house. Even though it has been quite a task physically, going through our belongings wasn't as hard emotionally as I thought it would be. Even throwing things away wasn't so bad. A lot of things have some significant meaning, or some sentimental attachment, but things come and go and we can't save them all. I saved what I could not be parted from and got rid of the rest. Sure, some things were harder to part with than others even after the decision to part with them had been made, but now that it's done and they are gone, it's no real big deal. We are fine.
BUT... now we are seeing our rooms emptying out. Bare walls, empty closets and corners are sort of a sad sight. The events of the years of our life had accumulated in all these odds and ends that were crammed into all these personal spaces.
It's the spaces: the spaces where life and family used to be. They are getting to me a little.
It's more odd, or weird than sad, really. Hmmm....
Our children grew up here. They lost their teeth, broke some bones, knocked holes in the walls, played together and fought like cats and dogs, snuggled, laughed and cried, peed the bed, suffered and healed, shaved their faces, marked their height against the kitchen door frame, all in this house. They were buddies. I loved every second.
Our marriage grew up here. We have had our worst and our best times here. We've had our happiest moments and our saddest moments here. We have discovered each other, come to know and maybe even understand each other a little. We have hurt and healed and grown together here. What a pair! I'm so happy with us!
All the cliches I've heard others use about such things fit in right here: strands woven into the fabric of our lives, and strokes on the canvas of life and whatnot. Struggles, triumphs, grief, joy, bounty and lack-- the parade of pictures in my mind -- we have really lived in this house. All of this has welded us together and made us into one family. I am so blessed. Looking through all of this makes me think one should not wait seventeen years to open up the memory boxes and search the corners. The now empty corners. Empty sort of like the blank place at the bottom of a page just before you turn to a new chapter. Yep... another cliche'.
What a great life we have! Now our memories go with us into a exciting new future. Now a new adventure begins!
5:30-ish a.m. and we were up and working outside, and in just a matter of minutes we were sweating something awful! I had to finish by 8:30 because I had a meeting to go to, so I left a few raked piles of leaves and sticks and what not lying around. I decided this evening to try to bag up some of the leftoverture so the wind wouldn't spread it back around the yard, but about an hour of that was all I could take. 103 degrees, storm clouds over the mountains so the humidity was up... not a comfy work environment. I stopped for the day even though there was more that needed to be done. I can take consolation in knowing that a lot was accomplished. That leaves me with a good feeling. :)
The yard had been neglected for all of the other odd jobs and more pressing matters until it was an embarrassment and an neighborhood eyesore, I'm sure. A little time and a bucket of sweat and it's trimmed, raked, cleaned and much more attractive. Me....... not so much! LOL Leaves and sawdust in my hair, spider bites, cuts and scrapes, and sweat and dirt. Ew!
I burnt up my hedge trimmers, broke my rake and cut through my extension cord. I filled two full sized dumpsters with the trimmings, saved the big wood for grampa's fire pit and still have another truck load left to haul off. I poked my eye, and my head, peeled my thumb, smashed my ankle, got a couple of bites... and somehow I liked it. LOL! I like working hard outside, heat not withstanding. I'd trade it for housework any time!
On the slate for tomorrow: I'm going on a box run. I have to get cracking on the packing!
So let it be written, so let it be done!
Without one you lose the other. Sadly, I lost them both today in a haze of sleep deprived, heat frustrated procrastination. I aimed to accomplish a few little things, but failed to pull the trigger. Welp, I guess I'll reload and move on. Tomorrow's another day and , another opportunity for action and accomplishment!!
I'm not sure where I read about this, but someone, somewhere in my multitude of blog subscriptions said that they were going to write a blog for every letter of the alphabet during the month of August. I think I may try that! That would be quite an undertaking (for me anyway) on a regular schedule, but for me to attempt this during what is possibly one of the busiest months of my life could be plain 'o stupid.
THIS is the month we move. I have to sort, toss, donate, yard sell, and pack everything I own and have collected over the seventeen plus years I've lived in this house, and trim it all down to, basically, essentials and a few sentimentals.
I think I'm throwing my hat in the ring for it anyway. I had planned to document this whole deal, so maybe this will be a good motivator to keep me true to my plan. If it turns out to be more stressful than it is helpful I'll just stop and pick it up another day. :)
I'm making a quick post about this because I promised myself I was going to 'chronicle the journey' and as small as it is, this is a part of that journey.
I got a battery for my anniversary!! Not a very big deal to most folks, but to me it was the best!! We have a trailer now, and I want to get it to a place where we can be independent of any grid ties at some point. One battery is hardy off-grid, but it's the first step, and I'm plum tickled! I got a little trickle charger to go with it for the short run, to (someday soon) be replaced with a few solar panels and maybe a small wind generator for good measure. One small step, but it is a step none the less.
For years I've dreamed of this, prayed about it, gone through bouts of sadness because it seemed so far away, and now it is close at hand. It seems to be going so fast! I am LOVIN' the ride!
Here is a great giveaway if you are interested in this sort of thing:
"This how-to, user-friendly guide teaches self-sufficiency-covering all of life's essentials: shelter; alternative energy sources; growing and preserving food; home crafts; directions for making herbal remedies; and even home-grown entertainment."
A friend of mine has this book and I've thumbed through it on several occasions when I was visiting. It's a really good book to have in your library! Hurry and enter the giveaway. I'm not sure wheen it's over. There are a few more days.
"Here sir, the people govern." ~ Alexander Hamilton
"Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." ~ Elbridge Thomas Gerry
"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." ~ George Washington
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides from an unarmed man, may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." ~ Thomas Paine
"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery." ~ Thomas Jefferson
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." ~ Thomas Jefferson
"A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." ~ Thomas Jefferson
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams
"It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights." ~ Benjamin Franklin
"The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance." ~ Thomas Paine
"Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it." ~ John Adams
“Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17
I have GOT to get things packed up and ready to go. Once I had a clear time frame to work inside of it seemed to bring things into focus for me. Maybe that's what it takes. Maybe you really need that kind of framework to be able to see things clearly. Obviously I do. So, I now I have made a plan, and the very first day that I implemented it, it worked amazingly well! Usually when I make plans like this I bite off too big of a chunk and realize later that no human could possibly do the amount of work I laid out for myself, but this time, now that I have the proper motivation, it has all been going according to the plan.
I decided to blog about it, because one of the biggest obstacles I faced during this whole confusing process was discerning where to start and what to start with. Now that I'm beginning to write it all down it sounds so obvious. I have probably had people tell me to do some of these things, at least in part, but just couldn't see it. Now I do, so maybe I can help sort it all out for someone else.
Certainly the number one thing to start with is obvious. Clutter. Old stacks of mail, magazines, the craft supplies that haven't been sorted through since the oldest child was a toddler, you get the idea. I didn't start these little chores because it seemed pointless until I was ready to actually start packing and getting ready to go. After all, they will continue to pile up, be used, etc... My #1 tip for getting started is DO NOT wait for some nebulous future event or day or time to start with the obvious things. You CAN do these things now. It WILL save you time later. It WILL help.
On this list would be going through your family's clothes. I got rid of SO many items of clothing it was amazing. Between us there were probably a good twenty boxes that now don't have to be packed, stored and moved. The same with books. The same with the kid's toys. The same with dishes and other kitchen items. The stuff in the back of the kitchen shelves, the appliance in the extra closet, the dusty bakeware; they aren't being used. Pack 'em! "Well, I might need it. I just know as soon as I pack it away I will need it." No, you probably won't, and if you do you can either make do (which is my suggestion. You can do without a lot more things than you think!) or go ahead and find it and unpack it.
Which leads to the next rule:
CLEARLY mark all boxes. You will be glad you did. If you need to find something again before you leave you will be able to find it. If you expect you will need it sooner than some of the other things once you are on the other end of the move, you will be able to find it. When you get ready to unpack, you will know where to place the boxes in your new home, saving HOURS of labor in an already exhausting process.
Buy many, big black markers and maybe even packing labels. One for each side of the box is smart. Trust me. Oh, yeah, buy a box taper. Get the kind you see employees using at the store or the post office. It isn't that expensive, and it will save you a lot of time. You are going to be taping-- a lot!
By the way, I heard a great tip. I forgot who I heard it from, so I can't give the credit. If you read this and it was you, my apologies. Anyway, it was this: Hang all of your hanging clothes from the back of the hanging bar toward the front. When you wear them, replace them hanging from front to back. After 3 months (or whatever time you decide is appropriate) you will see which clothes you don't wear because they will still be hung from the back. Now you can can get them out of your way! Insta-sort! Isn't it funny how simple some solutions are? I dreaded all of this so much and now that it's on top of me I can see how easy it was all along and that (of course) I wish I had started sooner.
Now for my plan.
Once the time is set, you can start the actual push to move. Here's what I have been doing. I've been setting my alarm for one hour... I pack two boxes for storing, throw something in the truck for the ARC store (a local second hand store), and one trip to the dumpster. Then if I have time left out of the hour, I sit, read, play on the computer, cook, whatever, until the alarm goes off. I reset the timer again for an hour, fill two boxes and put something in the truck for ARC, a trip to the dumpster, and use the leftover time as I choose... repeat as necessary until DONE!! The first day I worked for sixteen hours like that. No fuss no worry, I'm not sore or over tired. The next day I had a lot of other things to do, so I only did it for about four hours. This week it's so hot I'm waiting until the house is cool to work, so I've been doing two or three hours in the morning and then two or three more at night if there is time. It doesn't even seem hard or stressful. I'm SO excited! Success rocks!
The only problem I am having is in finding places for everything to stack after it is packed. I'm planning a yard sale, so keeping everything piled here and there in groups after I've gone thru it is like clutter on top of more clutter. I am NOT liking that, but this too shall pass. I will probably go get a storage unit the last month before we leave the house, and start moving the stuff that I am keeping over into it.
I figure if I finish one room, packing what I can, emptying it of all but the furniture and items of everyday use (I just found out how much stuff can 'hide' in a room), I can have it done with 3 weeks left to finish moving it into storage. Subtract another week because my husband will have to go through and pack the tools and things, and his time is much more restricted than mine, so that leaves two weeks. I think that's practical. I believe I can actually do it in that time frame. It's going well and I am sticking to it.
So there you have it. I feel silly posting this. It's so simple and not at all newsworthy, but maybe someone out there in my vast audience of ones will find a spark in it someplace. I also promised that I would do my best to document this whole process from beginning to end, so there may be quite a few goofy posts. We shall see.
We have set a tentative date and are making out final push to move! It's going to be a busy, eventful, undoubtedly stressful, yet WONDERFUL time in our lives, full of new beginnings, building, adventures, fresh starts, and a step into the future!! Finally, we will be working for the goal instead of maintaining the old 'holding pattern' we've been in for so long.
As soon as the decision was made, so many issues that were confusing and sometimes nerve wracking, swarming and circling around in my head, tormenting me and keeping me sort of on edge most of the time, have just become crystal clear with this new, amazing and wonderful information! Issues of prioritizing tasks and personal possessions, what to keep what to sell, or what to give away and to whom, what to throw away, what new to acquire before we go; all are important to put into order, but I couldn't seem to make logical sense out of anything.
Yes, pinpointing the goal is a good thing! :) I don't know why I wasn't able to do that until now. I guess things left dangling like a carrot in the yet unseen future are just easy to learn to ignore.
Well, I'm not going to be ignoring them anymore. I'm off to the races, sports fans! Cheer me on!!!
If you got my last post in your email or a reader, please disregard it. :( If you go to my blog site you will notice I removed ite. That's because it was for a giveaway, and I missed the deadline for it. So sorry... I know, I know, it was a good one, too! Sorry to get you all twitterpated for nothing. I promise to be more careful in the future.
Here's a wonderful giveaway for your homesteader, rural living, always want to know more library from Amy at Homestead Revival. All four of Ashley English's books (visit her blog) will be given to the lucky winner. Hurry and enter now. Maybe you can win it instead of me..... maybe not! ;)
Quick blog, not a lot of background, just jumping into the middle of the puddle right at the start.....
There I said it. It's my opinion and it's my blog and I can do that.
People call this guy misled, or say he doesn't know what he's talking about. I think he DOES know what he's talking about; misconstruing and confusing Truth while disguised as an angel of light is what the devil has always done, since his days in the Garden. This guy's a charismatic leader in a modern movement of great deception. (End times... hello?) The only hope of escaping such great deception is also still the same as it was in the Garden -- KNOW the Truth. The Truth will set you free. The sheep will hear their Shepherd's voice.
God is not the author of confusion and this guy fosters and espouses confusion. This isn't the first I've listened to him. Using a very black and white Bible, he picks and chooses and zigs and zags in and out of truth as if the line were invisible to him. He bobs and weaves like Mohamed Ali; floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee. If he were trying TO be understood I might be inclined to at least give him further hearing, but I think he's being cryptic on purpose, and I think he's sinister. If you aren't leading people to Christ, you are leading them away.
No, I'm not 'ooogy-boo' or whatever, I just know my Bible and this guy isn't stacking up.
In such a volatile and uncertain time as we are living, in a time where there are no moral absolutes (and it IS infecting the church!) we had better be rooted, grounded, established and firm in His Word. Now is not the time for a watered down, "more palatable" Gospel. This is the day and hour for a clear and unwavering standard.
This whole 'emergent church' thing appeals to those who are looking for excuses, not answers, and acceptance without change. That makes me sick, right there. Excuses are the bane of success, growth, progress and victory. It is lazy, self defeating and ungodly to indulge in excusing oneself. I hate excuses.
Anyway, I was talking about Rob Bell, right?
I don't think the guy's sphere of influence is limited to any particular group, however, I've noticed a lot of the younger crowd showing interest in him, particularly the 'hipster' set. This is just my personal experience here in my little corner of the world. In my own church, some of the folks in the worship team are curious. Thankfully I think our particular church is taught and tended well.
Unfortunately, through social media like Facebook, I have also seen some leaders, even pastors, quoting this guy. "Well, it's just a decent quote. I've quoted heads of state, Ghandi, John Wayne, Spongebob, it doesn't mean I espouse everything they say! It's just an angle!" Number one, Spongebob never claimed to be Christian as Rob Bell does, and there's no mixed message there. Number two, be careful what you're baiting your hook with before you set it, fellers, you might not like the end results.
Facebook is a 'country' or a 'realm' of it's own and there are leaders in it's communities. Pastors and teachers have more to answer for than just themselves no matter whether they are at home, or abroad in Facebookia. As leaders, we are 'feeders'. Folks need to be fed something rib-stickin' before they get used to garbage and head on back out to the dumpster for more of what they are cutting their first teeth on. Start them right and they won't be satisfied with anything less.
"Oh, I'm not feeding them, it's just banter, exchange! It's only Facebook. Lighten up!" Well, if you are their 'feeder' and you are throwing it out there, what do you think they are doing? They are eating it! Feeding the flock on all the cutesy bellywash that floats to the surface on the internet won't satisfy them long.
Pastor, teachers, Christians: the line is clear. Why do you want to see how close to it you can live and play? Pick a side and jump in! All the way in!
"If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." Proverbs 24:10
I consider myself to be a strong woman of faith. I take things in stride and have weathered some pretty tough times. I believe I am able to face whatever comes my way. I believe that. It is not arrogance to know that my God is my King and I am His child and that the plans He has for me are for good and not for evil. I believe there is a real enemy and that I have authority over him because the Kingdom I am in is above the kingdom he is in, and my King rules. These things are true. Saying all that, have you ever had a situation come up and wondered what possible good can come from this?
I am not facing anything catastrophic, I have had a bad round of the flu is all. It has been painful and exhausting. I'm not comparing myself to Paul the Apostle by any stretch, but all this makes me think of him. He suffered more than anyone I am aware of that walks among us today. At least I don't know anyone who has gone through anything like Paul. His life is a great example of what we should do in adversity. David is another one. He had battles on every plane. Physically, emotionally, spiritually; David suffered a lot in his life. These guys, and others, are good people to learn from. They always, no matter what, through it all, praised and trusted God.
There are so many scriptures I could put in here. Paul and Silas in the jail, David when his city was plundered and all he had was taken, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, Jeremiah's whole life, John, Peter, Steven: they were all testimonies and lessons for the rest of us, and there are many, many more.
Okay, so I suffered some. I cried like a baby and do not even know what I was crying about. I was stuck in my bed despite every effort to get up. I could not eat. I could not drink. When I was sure I was over the worst of it it came back with a vengeance. I was unable to do things and required help. Unable. That is not a word am used to, and I do not like it.
Why didn't I get the victory over ol' slew foot the first day? Perhaps my guard was down. Perhaps it is a measure of my character in adversity for me to look on later. I don't know everything! Some things I may understand when I am through with this, some things I may not, but this I promise, through this and anything else that comes along I will trust my God and praise Him. He will get me through.
I can think of so many more scriptures about standing strong, the suffering of others, the struggles and victories of the Bible heroes, the way things should be handled, and out of it all is this: stand firm, unwavering, and trust Him, and He WILL bring you through.
Psalms 27:13-14 ~ "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
Galatians6:9 ~ "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Matthew10:29-31 ~ "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
Romans 5:3-5 ~ "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
I would love to share and get into each of these a bit, and more, but my strength of body is fading as fast as my desire to write it all down is building. Maybe I'll get back to this some day soon, but for now I will just sum it all up as best as I can. What good can come of this? I can gain discipline, experience, revelation, a better witness, patience, testimony, hope, victory and glory in Him. What a small price to pay for all of that.
At the very least I can grow in strength. Let it not be said of me that my strength is small. What a sad testimony.
I am a homeschooling mom. I have been at it now for a coon's age, and we are pretty comfortable in our methods and our abilities, but there is always room for improvement. I spend a fair amount of time looking for better, more interesting, more efficient ways to educate my children. I seem to be slipping steadily further out into unschooling as we go along. I don't hold to the theory that there should be no structure or restrictions and that everything should be child led and interest driven. Interest is key, but I think it is necessary to cultivate interest in different things. If my child led all of his own education he would probably study games and snacks! He needs a bit broader interest spectrum, and I can guide him in that. I believe structure is necessary. Simple or complex, there has to be structure.
I do not believe everything needs to be the same for every child. Each of my children responds differently to different things. They all learn in different ways. I do not believe every child has to have stacks of textbooks and workbooks and test pages and quizzes. I believe that if a child learns to learn, and learns to love to learn, he will learn and he will understand what he has learned.
I am a poor salesperson. If I do not have confidence in what I am selling I will not be able to convince you that you should have it. I want to satisfy my own need to understand why things are important to know before I teach them to my own children so that there is some underlying passion present. It helps me create that atmosphere of interest and I can 'sell' it. For instance, I think teaching my children "the three 'R's" is necessary. I also believe that logic and reasoning is more important than simply teaching them facts and figures and acceptable answers for them to commit to memory. Citizenship, character, integrity and honor come before many things that state sanctioned schools teach such as P.E., music, art, or theater. That is not to say my children wont receive any instruction in those areas, but it is to say that the emphasis will be on the other more important ones. I believe in this, strongly. My kids know that, and they receive it.
I said all that to say this: I saw that some of the kids at the public high school were using journals, but I disregarded it, thinking that I would hit the highlights of it in high school English class someplace along the way. I misunderstood its purpose. For a long time I thought it was little more than a glorified planner. I was wrong. This is something that I have not taught my children to the degree that I think they need to know it. I have been looking into journaling.
I decided the time had come to research it and teach it to my children. I have come away from my time studying its merits with a new understanding. It is horribly underrated. There is tremendous value in keeping a journal. I hope I still have the time to impress on my kids the importance of it.
Through a journal you can experience the many benefits of writing on a regular basis. Here are just a few of them:
Discipline: Who couldn't use a little more discipline? Whether doodles and sketches or intense times of purposeful writing, whether weekly or daily, a commitment to journaling on a regular basis will establish a dedicated routine and contribute to a more disciplined life. As you grow into a life of journaling your level of discipline will grow as well.
Satisfaction: There is a wonderful sense of self-fulfillment and satisfaction when you write something you are happy with. There is also great satisfaction in looking through a journal and realizing that with the passing of time you have gained in skill, or knowledge or understanding in some area, or in accomplishing a certain goal you had laid out for yourself. Many times they are things that could have gone entirely unnoticed without a written record. Keeping accurate accounts: We always think we will remembered what we planted in our gardens, and where, or which materials we set aside for which projects. We always think we will remember which child said what, or which year some event happened. The truth is, we don't. The memories get foggier as the years go by. Whether it is a progress journal for a garden, a child's learning journal, or a historical journal such as a chronicle of your own daily life, a journal will keep it all straight! Your family will thank you some day.
Organizing or clarifying your thoughts: When I am emotional, confused, excited, distracted, overwhelmed, or if I just have too many projects going at one time, journaling helps me see things in black and white. I can gain some perspective and clarity. I can gather my thoughts and organize myself. Sometimes the results are so dramatic that I can find solutions to problems almost immediately just by seeing them written down.
Goal setting: A journal can be a very valuable tool in tracking your progress from day to day. The very act of writing it down can help keep you motivated, too. An example would be a Bible reading program. Writing down your progress as well as what you may have learned from your daily reading can be a record of goals as well as achievements. A prayer journal, a weight loss or exercise journal, a child's yearly home school journal, any plan or goal you make can be recorded and followed in a journal. Over time many discoveries can be made about your accomplishments or your shortcomings through the process of journaling. Insight: You can learn a lot about yourself by journaling. You will see and understand things not only as you write, but also when you go back later and read what you have written. You can begin to see patterns and recognize thought processes and habits that you were never aware of, both positive and negative. You are going to become more aware of your own thoughts and feelings. Greater understanding: There are so many areas to gain greater understanding in when journaling. You will learn about the craft of writing and being a wordsmith as you progress, and grow more proficient in grammar and composition through practice and habit. You will tend to do more research as a result of topical journals. You will expand your skill and style as you progress and experiment with new ideas while journaling.
Comprehension and observation skills: Writing changes your understanding of things. The very act of articulating what you have experienced makes you think harder, analyze things, contemplate, and find depth in an ordinary situation that would have been overlooked in the mundane business of the day to day had you not stopped to write it down. Over time it will help develop a habit of seeing things in a more meaningful way.
This is only the beginning! I believe that journaling is an important skill to learn and to teach to my children. I never learned it in school, and actually I found it pretty intimidating. I can't really explain why. I think it had something to do with feeling like messing it up would be unredeemable. Like the artist's fear of the blank canvas, it seemed like a mysterious thing, "a journal," and I wasn't sure what it's purpose was. Now that I know I can not stress enough the importance of teaching it to our children. It's never to early or too late to begin journaling! I'm sure that opening our children's lives up to journaling at an early age will be a benefit to them for the rest of their lives.
This is the Success Blog of Rhenda the Representative. I will attempt chronicle the journey from life attached to the umbilical of the grid and the government to a more self-sustained life closer to God and the good earth He gave me.
"For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee."