Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Paper Heart Garland

Here is a little craft Sarah and I did today.

Inspired by my friend Erin. Cute, easy, fun and best of all free (since I had all the items needed on hand).

Paint some paper. We chose Reds, Pinks, Lavenders, a Silver and a Gold. All in fingerpaints! This part was the most fun!!! Sarah and I each painted a full sheet, trying to completely cover the whole page.

Then I used my heart paper punch (I wish it were a bigger one but it is what I had on hand) and punched out as many hearts as I could get out of the painted pages (after they dried, of course).

Next take three of the hearts and glue them around the yarn (this will make it 3D) then continue to do this down the length of the yarn until you have used all your hearts! I place mine about 2 to 3 inches apart.

She loved how it looked draped over the mirror on the vanity in her room. I guess we will have to make another one if I want one to decorate with somewhere else.

Such fun! Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Day of Rest, A Life of Worship

Genesis 2:1-3 (ESV) Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it Holy, because on it God rested from all His work that he had done in creation.

God rested not out of weariness but to set aside a time to commemorate the completion of His handiwork, His creation. Yet, He later command His people to set aside the Sabbath, to keep it Holy. And He commanded the Israelites to rest this day also. It was meant for rest and worship.

So, where do I find my rest? In my humanness, my sinful humanness, I most often look to my pillow for rest. I hide under the covers. I escape in front of the TV, computer or bury my nose in a book (and not the 'Good Book'). My worries, fears, frustrations, annoyances, gripes, pains, and the list could go on and on can consume me and my first instinct is to figure it out on my own. Fix it myself. Do all and be all. Hide from it or stuff it as long as I can until it explodes in volcanic proportions.

Where should I find my rest? True rest can only come from my loving Saviour. Only when ALL of me (my cares, my worries, my hopes, my dreams) are placed at the foot of the cross will I find it. How do I do that? With prayer and petition to my heavenly Father through His Son my Lord.

But, how do I change my worldly habits into Godly habits? How do I recapture the faith and trust of my youth? Restore the habit of placing all my cares, worries, hopes, dreams, etc in the One who created me? Especially, when right now the weight can seem unbearable; when life is telling me to just go back to bed! Academically I can answer these questions with stellar answers. But, real life, YIKES that is a whole different matter.I wish I had the answer. It is a constant struggle.

I KNOW that the only rest that will ease my worries and fears; the only rest that will give life to my hopes and dreams is in Christ. He who has taken all my sin and given me new life in Him. My rest will come when I worship Him in ALL I do (say, think, feel, hear, see).
God in His infinate wisdom commanded us to keep the Sabboth Holy. Set it aside for us to worship Him. He knows that it is in Him we will find our rest.

It is time for the alarm clock to sound and sound LOUDLY! No snooze button allowed! Get up Nancy and worship God, your God. That is when my soul will find rest. Rest also comes in knowing that even when my sinful self falls prey to my worldly ways I am forgiven, forgiven by the blood of Christ. Rest in the arms of Jesus.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Wind in My Hair

Kindergarten, oh kindergarten! Sarah is growing up so fast I can feel the wind blasting through my hair. I tell her almost everyday "OK, Sarah, stop growing up", she giggles and I smile. But, in my heart I mean it; just a little. So, then I think back, try to capture a memory, and try as I might I cannot get any of her past 100% in my grasp. It is not that I don't relish in watching her grow, develop, learn and blossom. But, each new season in her life closes a too short chapter in my mothering life.

Knowing she is my first, last and only makes every milestone truly bitter sweet. Then to top it off; the fear I had in the years before she arrived that I might never experience these occasions just intensifies it further. Over a decade of treatments for infertility and longing for a baby has left its mark on this mommy. I am reminded at each landmark in her life that I could have never experienced the joy of even being a mom, let alone Sarah's mommy. Then let's exaggerate it more and make me say hello and goodbye in a single breath. It seems to amplify at every occasion.

It shocks me how often being a mom reminds me of my journey with infertility. Does that seem as odd to you, as it does to me at first glance. Of course, if I think about it; it is logical. I still feel as though I am infertile, as I have never carried a baby to full term. But yet, I can just as easily say that Sarah is not an only in our family, because I am the mommy to my babies who dwell with Jesus. And, I find it interesting that she also is not an only in her world either. She was born in my heart and but born in the womb of another and has a younger sister and brother who each have different families.

Her adoption into our family was nothing short of divine intervention which is so comparable to our being adopted by God our Father. Utter and complete divine intervention. God the Father sent his Son to intervene for us on by way of the cross. How great if the Father's love for me; for you; for us that he would send His only Son to die. And not just to die but to die the most horrific death imaginable so that we may live. Being a mommy has also changed my take on this fact. Could I send Sarah out, to save people who will hate her? Out to save people who will kill her? I mean, think about it...God sent Jesus to save even the least of us, ME!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Alpacas - One Decade

Many of you know Jimmy and I raise and breed alpacas. Last Valentine's Day we celebrated 10 years in the business. There have been so many changes in our life since we started this adventure February 14, 2000. We moved to a small acreage in the summer of 2001 and grew our herd all the while trying to "grow" our family. The alpaca herd grew quickly and our desire to move out of California grew too. (More of growing our family in another post.)

Alpaca fiber (or fleece) which is equivalent to silk or cashmere is referred to as "The fiber of the gods". Not my favorite saying since gods' are not really well thought of in our home. On the other hand, the one true God, (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are loved and worshiped. But... anyway, alpaca fleece truly is luxurious. Well, we used to have a well stocked alpaca product store. But since our house fire, May 2007, all of our sales are done on-line.

Alpacas are a wonderful livestock, easy on the land, easy keepers and gentle. they can provide a wonderful tax break opportunity and potential for doubling your investment every year. They are a herd animal and as a result would much rather hang out with themselves and so do not require any "loving" so to speak like our Great Pyrs love to get from us when we are in the barn or pastures.

The alpacas gave me great joy to just sit and watch them pronk and play in the pastures after a long and stressful day in my families real estate business. And when infertility treatments became unbearable all I had to do was grab a soda, sit on the front porch and watch.

If you want to learn a little more about alpacas, just ask!!! alpacas@rollingthunderfarms.com We love to show them off!!! Maybe, you too, can create the lifestyle you have been dreaming of.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rescue Me (The post I wrote before the Prequel)

Nancy's Note: written 5/7/10

I am struggling. Struggling with sin, a particular sin. Today I verbalized it quite accidentially, I must admit. You see, I was explaining (and almost bragging) about how I gave up gambling, of any kind, years ago. No slot machines, no mega lotto, no roulette - well, you get the picture. But then I had to kind of take inventory of how I really didn't give up much. You see I am not at all addicted to gambling. I don't miss it. I hate Las Vegas. And so...what sin have I turned away from? In my life it wasn't a sin. I did not spend my grocery money at the casino. OK, so what is the real sin I let slip from my lips and heard for the real first time? It is the $3.00 on sale t-shirt for Sarah that I just have to get. Or the pair of jeans I must purchase for Jimmy to wear for our family picture. A special mop for my floors. OK, the list can and does go on and on and on. So there it is my confession. But, bottom line is...I spend too easily on too many things I shouldn't. This is an easy sin to hide when income is flowing freely. But, when the purse strings are tight it can be down right dangerous.

O LORD, Deliver My Life

(A Psalm of David)

O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me O LORD, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD—how long?

Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?

I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.

Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment. Psalm 6, ESV

I started a reading plan to read the Book of Psalms in 60 days. I found this through my friend Erin’s blog. So, I started May 1st and I just finished reading chapter 6. Well, I am supposed to be finishing chapter 15 today, but that is another story. This chapter spoke volumes to me tonight.

I love David. A scrawny shepherd boy who fell ‘under the radar’ in this world and yet was destined by God to rule over the Israelite kingdom. A man who sinned, and sinned well he did. And yet, in God’s own words he was exalted as “A man after God’s own heart”. How moving it is for me to know that I too am destined by God and can be called “a woman after God’s own heart”. Not by my doing but by David’s line, God’s own Son. We can all be called “a woman after God’s own heart” by the work and person of Jesus Christ.

David, in this Psalm is anguishing over his sin. In it is a prayer for mercy. David also speaks of life and death and how with God there is life and without Him there is death. And that David feels as though God has His attention elsewhere and David asks god to deliver him from death and the devil. David is in mourning because of his sin but he also speaks of how the Lord has heard his cries. I too pray for mercy, undeserved. I call to the Lord through my tears. I am assured that God will hear me as He heard David. And I know that through Christ I will have life eternal. We all can be secure in these things.

David also calls out asking for God to relieve him of his suffering (physical, mental and emotional) here and now in this world. This gives me great comfort to know that in my sin I too can ask for strength, healing, compassion, relief, help, comfort, peace HERE and NOW. I know where my eternal future lies but sometimes I really want these things, like David, in the here and now. I must acknowledge that it is all in God’s timing and all God’s will how and when and if it is to be. Because scripture clearly reveals that the wages of sin is death. But, God be praised! Through faith in Christ’s redemption, our sins have been forgiven.

Lord, hear my plea, and accept my prayer through the merits of Jesus, who prays for me. Amen.