I made Sophie a pair of fingerless gloves, as well. I love the turquoise and black. It looks sharp. She loves them :-)
Here's that goat...isn't she CUTE!?!?! Makes me want to scream with giddiness. We loved her. At first we thought we had her house trained, but then she pooped on the floor...a lot. Thankfully we were just watching her overnight for a friend and thankfully we have hard wood floors. We love goats...but outside goats.
Tomorrow we start school back up after a long winter break. I am excited to get back on schedule and normalize a little bit.
Miss all my friends and family back home...hope you are visiting :-) See you all soon!
...that the good I do in secret has more weight in the kingdom than the good I do when eyes are watching
...that my prayers answered when never spoken give me more faith than anything ever could
...that love means more than my little mind could ever fathom
...that sometimes love has to be hard, but it is never cruel
...that my relationship with the Father and His Son is more important that me being perfect
...that I want people to have a relationship with Father and His Son and learn from them, not me.
...that I understand more things about justice, fear, and wrath than I do about love, mercy, and grace
...that I need to know more about love, mercy, and grace or my whole life and the way I teach others will be off balance
...that mercy triumphs over judgment
...that if I want mercy, I have to be merciful
...that if I want to be forgiven, I must forgive
...that if I want to enter the kingdom then hatred has to leave my heart
...that my weakness should show more than my strength
...that I am nothing without Him and He is my everything
The kingdom is now. It is here. It is within us. It is present. Do I see it? Do I know it? Do I feel it? Am I following the Father and seeking His kingdom every moment of every day? What would that look like? How honest would I have to be in order to have that as my reality? This life is not my own. It is not about ego, it is not about my life, it is not about my kids or my husband or my friends or homeschool or food or drink or anything...it's about eternity and Yehovah's Kingdom. Am I helping to build IT or my own...
These are the questions I am asking myself. These are the things I want to ask myself every day before I arise...who's kingdom is it going to be today? Who's will is to be done? Father...it's is yours.
"When my life is out of balance (it’s all about kids or husband’s work, no alone time), I feel like I have no life…and in those moments I marvel, 'I gave up my freedom for this? Willingly?! I’m a reasonably smart person…how was I duped by the fantasy? What was I thinking???'" (actual comment from an actual mom on an actual "parenting blog".
Do I think I am super mom? No. Do I have moments when I want to run out of the house screaming? Yes. Do I sit and cry in my bedroom instead of scream at my kid for doing the same thing I've told him 500,891 times not to do? Yes, indeed. Would I give this up for anything in the world? NO. I would do it over and over and over again until all of my selfish "I want, I need, I deserve" feelings are GONE. Is this life about dying to self or not? Is this life about serving others or not? When we can't even serve our family happily, what is wrong with us!? Gave up MY freedom???? I would gladly give up my freedom for another life. I would gladly choose to go through those sleepless nights again. I would gladly give anything for the chance to have another baby.
You feel like you have no life? At some point mom's need to understand that THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Your life now consists of training up children into responsible, loving, God-fearing people who love to SERVE. If we are always complaining about our life as a mom and how we have to serve everyone and no one ever serves us and we never get time alone and we never blah blah blah blah...then how in the world do we expect our children to grow into people that LOVE to serve others? Especially when their model can't even serve their own family without complaining about how awful it is.
Love your children. Love your husbands. Love your life. Serve with all your heart. Serve until you can't serve any more and then serve some more. Give and give and give without ever expecting to be given anything in return and then you will find that you have discovered the greatest gift of all. A heart for others and a dying "self".
I kept facebook so I could keep in touch with all the people I left a year ago when we moved out to Wyoming. I thought it would be a great way to stay close to people. It isn't. I don't call my friends. I don't write to them. They don't call me. They don't write. I rarely have any conversations with anyone I love back home, and I am left wondering if facebook were gone, would it be the same? Maybe because I can see them every day, even though we don't actually interact any more, maybe I feel like that is some sort of relationship, and it's better than nothing.
Well, enough with this social experiment. It is failing me. It is failing my relationships. I am failing as a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, and person who knows how to have a relationship with people OUTSIDE of my computer. It's high time I start venturing out into the world and engaging in LIFE. Not pseudo life...REAL LIFE.
So, adios facebook (you know, as soon as I download my entire shared existence from the past 3 years).
Seriously, it's idolatry, at least for me, so I am smashing that idol and walking away. If you have issues with this same idol, I encourage you to do the same. I've listened to the whole "oh we will miss you so much...just limit your time...you CAN'T leave us..." Well, would it be ok if I visited my idol only once a day? How about a few times a week? Maybe just in the evenings after the kids are in bed and only for 10 minutes? NO! I'm smashing my idols until none remain. Did God expect anything less from the Israelites? No. So why do we think it is alright for us to be disobedient in these areas and somehow God is ok with it? I have theories, but I just know He is NOT ok with it and because of that, I should not be ok with it, either. That's that. It's over.
For those of you reading this, please, seriously, keep us in your prayers. We are in a huge battle right now for Gavin. It is ongoing and we are getting close to the end fight that will determine his future home. We need direction, wisdom, perseverance, and support. It is really important. The enemy is out to destroy and we are tired. Help us carry this burden.
*if you care to keep in touch, I do have email and obviously this blog. Email me at email@example.com and if I know you personally from our many facebook interactions (but not in real life) and you would like to keep in touch, feel free to ask for my mailing address and phone number.
Recently a friend stated that Romans 14 confused her and made her wonder, so I wrote this up for her. I thought I would share it here.
When reading anything written by Paul we have to remember that he was a Jew, a LAW abiding Jew. He obeyed the law and was blameless in it. In Acts we see that people were bringing charges against him, FALSE charges saying that he was teaching people to not obey the law of God. They were false accusations and given by false witnesses. So if the false accusations were that Paul taught to disobey the law of God, then wouldn't it be safe to say that the truth would be that he actually taught people to obey the law of God?
Paul was a student of Gamaliel and had the entire Torah committed to memorization. Deuteronomy 13 would have been THE test as to whether or not a prophet was from God or NOT from God. (Deut 13 is part of the reason why Jews do not accept Jesus as their Messiah, because the Christian church teaches that Jesus came to do away with the commandments of God). ~Deut 13: 4-5~ “…You shall follow YHVH your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. But that prophet or dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against YHVH your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which YHVH your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.”
By this very verse we know that anyone who comes and tries to seduce us away from following the commandments of God is to be put to death and purged from among us, and is evil. It is a test from God himself to see whether or not we love Him with all our heart and all our soul. Paul would have known that, and because He was zealous for the law, he would have NEVER broken it intentionally or taught others to do the same. We NEED to keep this in mind when reading Paul’s writings.
Always remember 2 Peter 3:14-18~ “Therefore, beloved , since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Paul was blameless in the law
he told us to establish the law
he was accused falsely of disobeying the law and teaching others to do the same
Peter said that those who were untaught would distort the writings of Paul
our MESSIAH told us that he did NOT come to do away with the law
and that not ONE jot or tittle would pass from the law
our MESSIAH told us that those who obeyed and who taught others to obey the commandments would be called greatest in the kingdom of God
We are told in 1 John- “By this we know that we have come to know Him (God the Father), if we keep HIS (God’s) commandments.”
We are also told in 1 John 3:4- “Everyone who practices sin also practices LAWLESSNESS; and sin IS lawlessness.” In the KJV it says that sin is the transgression of the LAW. Whose law? God’s law.
We are also told that anyone who tries to lead us away from obeying the commandments of God (Deut 13) is to be put to death, it is that serious. God told us that He would send people to test us to see whether or not we truly loved him.
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For THIS is the love of God, that we KEEP His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”
With that foundation being laid, we can then go into Paul’s writings and read them in a new light; a light that shines the truth of the word of God onto them and illuminates them in a way that does not contradict the law of God or any other scripture in the bible.
Reread Romans chapter 14 in this new light. See where Paul talks about FOOD? What is food according to the commandments of God? Is it ALL meat and ALL plants? It is not. So, since Paul would never teach against the commandments of God, he must be talking about something else. What about the days he is referring to, that one person regards one day above another? And that we should not judge those who regard one day differently than another? Is he talking about the Sabbath day that GOD made holy and set apart for us to honor?
Let’s break it down dealing with the food issue first: In verse 2 we see that “One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only”…why would he eat vegetables only? If Paul were talking about all animals being clean, would he not say that “one person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only clean animals”? Further on in verse 14 Paul states that he knows and is “convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean…Do not destroy with your FOOD him for whom Christ died…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but RIGHTEOUSNESS” further on Paul states “Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of FOOD. All things are indeed clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat MEAT or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles…Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves”
Ok…first of all we see that Paul is talking about some who will eat meat, and some who will only eat vegetables. We see this theme running throughout a lot of Paul’s letters to different churches. There must have been something going on that was causing people to abstain from eating meat, and since that meat was considered food, and Paul would not have considered all animals food, but only the ones God prescribed for us as food to be food, we can rule out that when he refers to meat that he is referring to ALL animals as meat. He is referring to clean meat only.
It is also important to understand the historical context of Paul’s writings. During this time, as we see in other letters Paul wrote, that people were sacrificing animals to idols and then selling them in the market place. There were some who would abstain from meat all together because they did not know for certain whether or not the meat they bought was indeed sacrificed to idols. Paul continually said, what is an idol? It is nothing. Have faith in God that the meat you eat is sanctified by the word of God and eat it with thanksgiving. It is sanctified, or set apart, called clean, holy etc., by the WORD of God, the law, the commandment that states that it is indeed clean and to be as food for you. We are not to go about sacrificing meat to idols, or to knowingly consume meat that has been sacrificed to idols, but when we don’t know, it then becomes a matter of conscience. (those are my paraphrases of MANY different verses)
Over and over again Paul is speaking of meat that is food and the only meat that was considered food by Paul, because he obeyed the commandments of God, was meat that came from animals that were on the “clean” list. It’s not even an argument. Paul would NOT have promoted the eating of ALL animals because he was blameless in the law and it was FALSE accusers that said he taught against the law. He is speaking of meat that was sacrificed to idols and that we should decide for ourselves, a matter of personal conviction, whether or not we should abstain from eating all meat, or just eat vegetables. BUT if we decided to just eat vegetables we should not condemn our brother whose faith was stronger, who decided that since he did not know for certain whether his meat was sacrificed to idols, that he would still eat it. Christ died for him as well as for us, and the kingdom is not about food it is about RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Which brings me to my next point; what is righteousness as defined by Scripture? Well, in the new testament in Luke 1:5-6 it states that Zacharias and Elizabeth “were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord”. In the Old Testament Deut 6:25- “It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.”
If the kingdom of God is righteousness and righteousness is observing the commandments of God, then how could it be righteousness to eat whatever we wanted to eat, regardless of what God commanded us to eat? It would not be. It would be contrary to the word of God.
So, just as with the food issue, the issue about one day being regarded above another, has to be something else other than what GOD has said about days. What has He said? To remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. He sanctified the seventh day and set it apart for us. It is holy because God said it is holy. There is nothing we can do about that. We do not have the power to sanctify anything. Only God has that power. So, since God never said, “I’ve done away with the seventh day Sabbath and now you can do what is right in your own eyes even though that leads to death”, we can pretty much assume that the seventh day Sabbath is still holy and we are still to remember it and to keep it holy.
So, what was Paul talking about? Again, historical context is important. People were setting apart a day or two a week- let’s say Wednesdays and Thursdays- in order to have a fast on those days. Well, other people wanted to fast on other days, but those self-righteous religious people who made up their own commandments and set them before God’s commandments, were all up in arms about people not honoring the fasting days that they had instituted. That’s all this is about. Some churches institute fasting days in which they dedicate a period of time, let’s say 3 days, to fast and pray about a certain issue within the body of Messiah. Well, maybe I have a family get-together for those three days and I have a HUGE spread I have to put out for all my family, so I choose to fast for the 3 days after my family leaves. The church cannot judge me for deciding to set apart different days for my fast. It is my own decision, and I do not feel bad about it. Paul is saying, don’t judge people because they choose to set apart different days and they regard Wednesday above Monday. What he is NOT saying is that we can decide for ourselves which day we decide to have our Sabbath on. God has already decided that for us. It is HE whom we are to obey. It is HE whom we are to love. It is HE whom we are to put above ourselves and our own fleshly desires. Once again, if it is righteousness for us to walk in His commands, and it is sin for us to walk in lawlessness, then we can never say that we can walk contrary to the law of God and still believe that we are inside God’s will for us.
Paul would never teach us to walk contrary to the commandments of God. He would never advocate disregarding God’s commandments and instead decide for ourselves what was right or what was wrong. It is when people decide what is right in their own eyes that we are lead astray.
2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1 ~ “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the YHVH. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says YHVH Almighty.’ Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
That’s Paul stating the law of God, and confirming for us that we are to not touch what is UNCLEAN and we are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, which will perfect our HOLINESS. If he believed that was true, then why would he tell us to eat whatever we wanted, even if it was unclean to God? Why would he tell us to pick and choose whatever day we wanted to have for our Sabbath, even though God had already commanded a day for us to rest on? He wouldn’t have. It is we who are confused. It is we who do not know the scriptures and are untaught and unstable. Let us study to show ourselves approved. Let us walk in love and obedience to our Almighty Father, dying to self and living not for our flesh. Let us worship in spirit and in truth.
Psalm 119:142- Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. And your law is truth.
Psalm 119:151- You are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are truth.
This weekend we are preparing to send our little boy to Florida on Tuesday to visit his mom for two months. It's our last sabbath together for quite a while and the last sabbath he will have, since she is not a believer. I want to make this one special, but at the same time, I have nothing in me except anxiety over this trip and the ensuing months without our boy. So, in order to make this sabbath about the PEOPLE and not the FOOD, I am planning simple dishes, so I can relax with my family and enjoy our sabbath rest.
Friday night meal:
Chicken Noodle Soup~
I prepped for this earlier in the week by cooking a whole chicken in my crockpot. I shredded the chicken and we have been eating it in omelets and tacos all week. I have reserved the breast meat for chicken noodle soup.
Here is my recipe:
two cups of chicken meat
8 cups of broth
5 diced carrots
one diced onion
two diced celery sticks (if I have them)
3-4 cloves of garlic
two bay leaves
salt and pepper
a pinch of rosemary and thyme
a few tablespoons of lemon juice
old fashioned Amish noodles (about 4 handfulls)
Sautee the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic in the olive oil until veggies are tender, yet still crisp. Add chicken, spices, and broth. Simmer for an hour. Increase temp until almost boiling. Add noodles and cook for 10-15 minutes longer. Add lemon juice and serve. Super good and simple. I will serve this with bread that I bought at the local "health" food restaurant that bakes fresh and yummy bread and sells it for $3 a loaf. Normally I would bake bread, but today, we will buy it.
Sweets for Sabbath:
We love to have something sweet on sabbath, so today we are going to make Peanut Butter Cookies. PB cookies are super simple and require only a few ingredients, salt, sugar, butter, peanut butter and eggs. They are also our little man's favorite cookie.
Cantaloupe and Watermelon
Granola and raw milk
Crockpot Chili and bread~ We like to make ONE thing for sabbath meals and eat on it all day long. This week it's chili and a loaf of bread from the restaurant I mentioned.
Everything is quick and easy to make with hardly any prep at all. I can just throw stuff together and let it simmer, which will allow me to make the most of this busy day and restful weekend with my family. I've got an oil change to do today. Cleaning, laundry, picking up our raw milk order, and I have one less child since he is at camp, which means one less set of hands.
Which means I need to get busy! Have a wonderful Sabbath. Enjoy your family! I am sure going to enjoy mine!
*and yes, to me, soup is for ALL seasons, even this hot one! Especially if you can do it all in a crockpot! Soup is no respecter of seasons, in my opinion. :~)
I came across this poem today, and thought I would share it. So many people who say they are believers don’t really get it. It matters how we walk, how we worship, what we eat, what we wear, what we say, and how we say it. It matters because Yehovah God has declared that it matters. The problem is, that if you never read the front of the Book, you’ll never know that specific details are important to Him. When will we wake up and realize that this is not about US? It is about Him and He says that the little things, and the big things, MATTER to Him. Does God change? His word says He does not. So why is it now ok to do things the way we have been “lead” to do them, rather than how the WORD says to do them? Not everything that leads
you is from God.
“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).
Two trees in the midst of the garden
Grew in the very same way.
But it mattered which tree Eve partook of,
And the difference is still felt today.
It mattered which type of an offering
Was brought by Abel and Cain.
The Lord had respect unto Abel's,
But Cain's substitute wasn't the same.
It mattered to Nadab and Abihu
Which fire they offered with sin.
"Isn't fire as good as another?"
They tragically reasoned within.
David well knew God's instructions
How the sacred ark should be moved,
But ignored the crucial specifics
As the death of Uzzah proved.
"Why must I dip in the Jordan?"
Naaman asked in a huff.
Aren't the rivers of Damascus far better?"
No, Naaman, they're not good enough.
"And why must I dip seven times?
Won't dip number one do the trick?"
Had Naaman ignored the specifics,
He'd have returned to his home still sick.
When God gives specific instructions
For a task that we're to do,
He intends for us to perform it
The way He has asked us to.
When He tells us we are to do it
In a certain particular way,
He doesn't intend us to change it
To suit what others might say.
He often expects details
Extremely important to Him,
That people regard far to lightly
And make alterations at whim.