Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Summer of Mercies and a Ministry Update~ Summer 2022


 Here we are; the fall is already upon us, and winter is just around the corner. 



I wanted to share an update with you all as well as to thank the Lord for His mercies . . . Time slips by quickly and I don't want to forget to share these things with you . . . 



We had a full summer, and I'll share a few things which either brought gladness to my heart or that the Lord spoke to me through~ some are happy and some sad . . . the Lord uses sun and rain to grow His children . . . have you found this to be true?




Working in the garden. This continually brings joy to my life. The preparing, the planting, the weeding, the watering, the harvesting, the storing . . . joy! My children and my niece and nephew are an abundant help to me outdoors. We have spent hundreds of happy hours working together. I am so grateful for each of them (the hours and my helpers! :-)) . 

We began to learn how to can and preserve a few years ago as well, and it has been a blessing to learn how to store food for the cold winter months ahead. We are still learning, and it continues to be a happy activity! :-) 



Chickens (and a duck). This past spring, we raised a few chicks and then converted an old milk house on our property into a dwelling for them. This has been a fun project and we have learned so much about taking care of chickens! My nephew, Simeon, was invaluable in helping with this project (he is my right-hand farmhand--haha! :-) ) The duck was given to us a little later by a friend and it is a happy addition to our menagerie as well!



Spending time with my littlest nephew. Oh, I love him! My sister gave birth to a sweet little one (Phinehas Enoch) last November, and his first year of life has been a joy to my heart and to our entire family. What a blessing to watch a baby slowly grow and learn and become curious about the world around them! What a joy to be able to love them. He is sweetness, determination, and cuteness encapsulated into a tiny human being! <3




The unchangeableness of God my Father. With so many changes taking place in the world, this truth is a great comfort to me. "Though all around my soul give way, He then is all my hope and stay . . " I am grateful for a Lord who does not change. He is faithful; and He is who He says He is with no shadow of turning. 



My friend, Angela, went home to be with the Lord. My close friend, Angie, lost her battle with breast cancer very recently; she was only 39 years old. I have known and loved Angie for quite a few years now, and her death was a difficult change to accept. I have strong peace and assurance that she is absent from her body and present with the Lord, but the road through the valley of the shadow is still a lonely place. 



 


~An Update on our Ministry here in the Midwest~

We have come up against a "roadblock" in going forward with what the Lord has called us to here in Wisconsin. 

The outbuilding that we had prayerfully intended to use for guests to stay in is being considered a "second residence" according to the building codes in our county. Under these codes, this is not allowed unless we subdivide our land or attach the building in some way to our home. Both of these options are not possible. We have met with our local town board and submitted a letter requesting a variance and are still waiting for a final answer after many months. For this reason, work on the Missionary House has halted while we wait. Please keep this situation in your prayers as we believe that this is a spiritual battle and that the Lord is able to remove this roadblock and allow us to continue to go forward. Please pray that He will part the waters before us that are barring the way. He is able. We are grateful for your prayers . . . 



I'll leave you all (hopefully! :-) ) with a smile. My daughter, Debbie, asked if she could have this large zucchini that grew in our garden this year. She dressed it up and lays it to sleep in her cradle in her room at night. 

It made me laugh! 


The Lord bless each one of you and keep you in His love and care . . . 


~Rebekah




Saturday, January 22, 2022

Fall and Winter of Mercies~October 2021~January 2022

Hello friends! I realized that it's been quite a while since I wrote one of these posts. Looking back through photos of the past few months, I wanted to share some of the ways that the Lord has been working in the details of our lives here. I'm thankful for His hand of mercy in everything surrounding me. Even when I don't see His hand, I trust that He is at work bringing all of the details of our lives together and making them beautiful in His time; praise Him. 

So much has taken place over the past few months--things that have have caused my heart great joy and other things that have brought sorrow. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. We accept what comes from the Father's merciful hand and trust that even "behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face." 

Here are some of the things that have brought gladness into my heart over the past several months . . . 

My 13-year-old nephew built this compost bin for me out of scrap lumber and materials that we had in our basement (he did this in a few hours!). The panels slide! He has been such a help to me over the years and the Lord has really blessed him with a gift in working with wood. Thank you, Lord for helpful Simeon. 








My niece drew this sweet card for my birthday back in October. I love to look at the beautiful drawings and paintings that she creates. This one is of our dog, Daisy. Thank you, Lord, for my ever-creating, creative niece! :-) Thank you, Lord for giving me 39 years of life. Truly, every breath is from You; thank You. 



We always have cinnamon buns on Christmas morning; it's a tradition from my childhood. I cherish these traditions and hold them dear to my heart. Thank You for traditions and memories, Lord. 


I asked my husband to buy me this glass for Christmas. I know; I know--it's for an alcoholic beverage. I don't drink--just a personal decision (waiting for the best wine in heaven ;-)) but this glass reminded me of one of my favorite Christian films and expresses my love for simpler days and simpler times. 


A friend gave us this grape juice concentrate that she canned, as well as buttercup squash seeds for the next planting season. I'm very excited to plant the seeds in the spring--and to try the concentrate! The Lord has brought so many precious people into my life who have enriched my days in so many countless ways. Thank you Lord, for friends who share their knowledge and gifts from your earth. 

Below is a photo of a chicken soup that my children and I made from some squash that she also gave us! 


The birds that my Mom feeds during the year bring so much joy into our lives. The following are a few photos of these beautiful creatures outside on our birdbath and in the bushes. They daily remind me that if the Lord so cares for the birds, how much more will He care for His beloved children? Thank You, Lord for these constant reminders. 

Tufted Titmouse



Female Bluebird 


Female Goldfinch



Male Bluebird 

My brother-in-law got my name for our gift exchange for Christmas this year. He is a very creative individual :-). His gift made me laugh! He had decorated a huge silver tub to look like there was soil inside of it. Then, he "planted" different gifts inside that I had to "dig" out with garden gloves and a garden shovel. Here were two among many of his gifts that made me laugh--he knows that I survive on coffee and have always loved these Little Debbie Cosmic brownies. He taped the meme to the back of the Dunkin' Donuts gift card :-). I'm so thankful for the family members who the Lord has given to me; thank you Lord, for their presence in my life and for the laughter and encouragement and joy that they bring to me. 


And finally, here are a few photos of birds and wildlife around our property. I like to leave my perennials up during the winter so that the birds may enjoy the seeds! My Mom spreads seed for the wild turkeys and likes to tie leftover Christmas trees around the house for added protection from hawks for the birds. I love to watch her take so much care for the little birds and creatures. We have harsh winters here in the upper Midwest, and the creatures struggle to survive. Thank you Lord, for my Mom's tenderness towards Your creation. Thank you for giving us a way to show mercy to the birds and animals. 






And there you have it . . . I'll try to share another update soon, the Lord willing, and hopefully include an update about our ministry progress here. The Lord bless each one of you and keep you in His loving care. 







Friday, October 1, 2021

Summer of Mercies and a Ministry Update

 

Oh these days passing swiftly bring changes I know 

And as time marches on, from this place we must go . . . 


The ocean (about 7 years ago in Rhode Island)



The ocean near my home in RI


It's been about about 6 years since I left my childhood home in Rhode Island and moved to the "great unknown" --the Midwest-- many of you know the reason, but for those who do not, this was why--

I dearly miss my "wholesome island upbringing," and have yet to go back to that dear place, but the Lord has given me many joys in this new place as well. For these, I am grateful, even though at times I grow lonely for my "old haunts," such as Burial Hill in Plymouth Massachusetts, Colt State Park, and the beautiful woods that I walked in so many times as a girl and young woman growing up in the tiny Ocean State. 

Woods near my home in RI

The realization hits me every once in a while . . . you can never completely go back to the place where the Lord has called you from . . . even though you can treasure the memories and place any hurts in the loving hands of the Creator. One day, our Lord will wipe every tear from our eyes.  For now, He stores those tears in His bottle and keeps them in that sacred place of His great love and compassion. 

I have found His beauty here in the Midwest where He has called our family. He gives joy in this place through the great vast skies, the beautiful sunsets, the fields of wildflowers, the shy deer and other wildlife, the fertile earth so eager for the gardener to cultivate. Here, He gives grace and beauty. 

Field behind our barn


It's been a good, long whole since I've given an update on our lives and ministry here in Wisconsin, and so I felt that it was time to do so . . . :-) The summer was busy with outside work, and I'll try to be more consistent during these quieter fall and winter months. No promises, but I'll try. :-) 

On the home front, we've been ever-busy in the garden, from early spring until late summer (and are laboring, still! :-)) This is a project that I and my children, Deborah and Elisha, mostly work on together. It's good for them and for me. :-) I will admit that sometimes I have to be pulled out of the garden like a stubborn carrot as dark approaches. The warm months are so short here and the winter is so long; I like to "drink it all in" while I may!












We have a little farm stand as well, and that is a fun family project. It's enjoyable selling produce and baked goods through the summer months. 




Now that we've started back up homeschooling, we don't have quite as much time to spend outdoors . . . but we are already looking forward to next year's garden, the Lord willing . . . 

On the ministry front, things have been very quiet. I've grown familiar with these "waiting times" that the Lord gives, and am eager to see what He will do next in our lives here with Herrnhut. We have completed the "first phase" of the Missionary House and are concentrating on the second phase right now--putting in a septic system and then later, heating the Missionary House. Please pray for us as we move forward in the direction that He has for us; we covet your prayers. Please pray boldly that He will send His showers of blessing in due season; He is the Lord of the "growing" of this ministry and of the harvest. 

Progress on the "Missionary House"--


That was a brief update, but I'll continue to share with you as I'm able . . . we are grateful for your prayers, as always . . . 




Many changes have come into my life (perhaps into yours too, friend), and I've found that only God can give the grace that is needed to accept those changes . . . Some changes I have embraced; others have been more difficult, and as I struggle with the difficult ones, I find strength in the truth of these words written by one of my favorite missionaries, Amy Carmichael--may you find strength in the God of these truths as well, friend . . . We walk together on this path of life that ever stretches toward our true and lasting home--

He said, I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow will to His son explain
Not vain the word, not vain--
For in acceptance lieth peace.









Friday, July 9, 2021

A Month of Mercies ~June 2021

I'm sharing this month's post a bit on the tardy side . . . but I didn't want to skip a month, so here it goes . . . :-) 

My children have been enjoying listening to The Sound of Music soundtrack and Maria's words are on my mind this morning~~"Let's start at the very beginning . . " ;-) 

The Lord has blessed me over the past month with joy over all of the growing things in our garden as well as in others' gardens . . . this was one of the first open tomato sandwiches of the year~~does anyone else enjoy eating these? I never liked tomatoes as a child, but now I really love them. 


I'm so thankful--and continually amazed--at all of the goodness that the Lord provides through the garden. Keeping a garden--tending and planning and weeding and harvesting it, has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. It's taught me so many lessons about life in general and the Lord's working in all things. The hard work is good for me and for my kids. And putting one's hands into the soil after the harsh Wisconsin winters is a respite to the soul. 








A reminder to me this month in my kitchen to cast all of my cares upon the Lord~ He knows all things and He alone is the One who can help us in all of our struggles and sorrows . . . 


Hollyhocks blooming in the flower garden bring joy to my heart . . . 



Laundry hanging on the line . . . my children can reach the clothesline now, and are a big help to me in this . . . my niece will often run over too, and help me when she notices me taking the laundry down. I'm thankful for willing helpers . . . 



I've been sewing a bit more lately . . . this has been a blessing in my life . . . I love the smell of the fabric and the feel of it in my hands as I guide it under the needle . . . 


My sister taught my children and I how to can strawberry jam last month! I'm thankful for her taking the time to patiently teach us, and for the fun time that we had making it! Thank you, Lord, for sisters, and for the sweetness that they bring into our lives! 


And finally, I'm thankful for ripe blackberries in our field! My kids love to pick a few here and there and eat them . . . the birds and wild animals love them, too! It amazes me continually to see how the Lord provides in so many different ways for His creation--from the seeds to the berries to the bugs that the birds eat . . . He is a merciful Provider. And if He so feeds the birds, how much more will He provide for His children? 

So there I'll conclude for this month . . . how has the Lord spoken to you and blessed you throughout your days, friends? 

I will be glad and rejoice in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Thou Most High.
 Psalm 9:2