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 . . . 


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.