Faith in action

James 2:25-26 (Message translation)
"The same with Rahab, The Jericho harlot. Wasn't her action in hiding God's spies and helping them escape-
that seamless unity of believing and doing- what counted with God?
The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse.
Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The end of this blog

"When all refuge fails, and a man is made to see that there is nothing left him but sin, death, and damnation, unless he flies to Christ for life; then he flies, and not till then."
J O H N B U N Y A N ( 1681)    
The writing of this blog has become something I did not intend it to be. I find that it is time to Bedoing something different. My intention here began as solely for myself to become intentional about my days, making each of them count by way of doing something encouraging for someone, and pointing to Christ and His love. Blogging was the means in which to keep on track and accountable each day. I have enjoyed it- the creative expression I can have here with words and pictures. It also became a way of sharing myself with my family, and I have enjoyed that. I know that God has used this blog to encourage others, and that has been a wonderful side effect.
My goodness it is hard to do one thing every single day for a year!! It has lately become something I feel I have to do- rather than something I want to do, and sharing the love of Christ should never be so. I have been neglecting my time with Him; reading and journeying through His Word, and it shows with my waning enthusiasm. It shows in my lack of ideas, which I wish to be led by the Holy Spirit- not just something I need to come up with for the day.  
For the last couple of weeks I have been considering all this. I become easily overwhelmed since the death of my dad and daughter. I am just not capable of handling all of the things that ramble around in my mind to do along with handling daily life! Perhaps I have always been this way, and now it is just magnified. I have never been very good at finishing a thing. I have a tendency to jump from one thing to the next, without ever finishing the first. I have become better at following through with projects- but I still have three or more going at any one time.
For instance: right now I am doing this blog, working on family history, scanning photos, putting photo albums together, crocheting valances for mom, crocheting a scarf for Zach, crocheting a blanket for the basement cottage, making a baby quilt for Hannah, making an undisclosed gift for mom, making pillowcases for me, doing church treasury, a new Bible study group, painting trim, painting the pantry door, thinking of upcoming yard projects, cleaning a house on Fridays, working in the school library on Thursdays, housework, meal planning, bills, budgeting, shopping, cleaning....
Is this normal? All I know is that I have got to learn to do one or two things at a time. At first, I felt that by not following through with my plan for this blog, it was just another failure of mine to see something through. The lack of self discipline that I struggle with. But I realized I have learned a lot just from having done it.  I don't need to take it as a failure. It has blessed me and others, and has served it's purpose. 
I do want to start a different blog- one that I write in as I am led to share something.  Ha ha- there I go again, right! No- I will not begin it until I have finished journaling through James, and all the painting is done!! I do, of course, already have a general idea of what it will be like though! 
I have so much I want to do. I love being busy, being productive, making pretty things. However, I get overwhelmed and shut down when I have too many going at once. I am going to try and learn to keep a good balance. Doing just enough projects to keep me challenged and moving without trying to do so many that I shut down. I want to find that sweet spot. I KNOW I will never be able to do just one thing at a time!
Thanks for spending time with me here. My great hope is that you will come to know Christ and make Him Lord of your life. If you freely give your life to Him as He did for you, I promise you will never regret it. He gives freedom from looking for happiness in fleshly things. I have only found true joy and life in Him. I will never stop bedoing for Him, I am only stopping beblogging! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 87

Today I did church treasury business, and encouraged the neighbors by hanging out my sheets!! Oh yeah- I am really itching for some nice weather. It is still a bit chilly today, in the 40's, but it is nice and sunny with promise in the air. Soon all will be green again. And my sheets are going to smell so good :)
How does that point to Christ, you ask? Well, spring tells the story of resurrection, I answer. The illustrated promise of rebirth and the victory over death!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 84, 85, 86

I have been bedoing a bunch the last few days! Helped mom, helped a friend, encouraged some others.
The neat thing is that God has been giving me opportunities, I have not planned anything out lately. I am learning that if I just keep engaged in life, and look around, there is no shortage of ways to help and encourage people. Things like dresses and parachutes are extracurricular!
My favorite opportunity was to care for my son in a special way while he was sick this morning. Brought him medicine and water in bed, and a bit later took him some oatmeal. He was so thankful for such simple things. Being 14 now, I guess he thinks it is pretty special when mom still mothers him a little.

By the way! You should try McDonald's oatmeal- it might not be great for you but it tastes pretty good!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 82

I do volunteer work in the school library. I did not start volunteering out of the goodness of my heart, our school gave us the opportunity to volunteer in return for a discount on tuition. So I work in the library once a week for two hours. I realized while working there today that my obligation was almost over. I asked the wonderful librarian, Mrs. Dennis, if I could continue to come in after my time was up and she said she would not turn me away. I believe I will continue to go in as long as they will let me. I have always found peace around books. When I was young my favorite place to hang out was the library in town. I often dreamed of being a librarian!
Books. Stories. Pictures. Poetry. Expressions of life. Layers of meaning. New perspectives. Old romances. Laughter....
Whenever I know a person is in need of encouragement my first thought is often, "what book can I share?"
Books. It makes perfect sense to me that God wrote us a book.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 81

Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim. Proverbs 15:4
I really need to start blogging earlier in the day. I am whooped. Had a busy day- busier than I had hoped it would be, I did not get to crochet a single stitch! Well that is how it goes; I try to remember my days belong to God, not me.
I did a couple of things to encourage people today. I also snapped at my husband for no good reason. I was having flashes and cooking hot food and he was hovering around wanting to help. I just snapped and said, "Just get away from me!" Not very nice, huh? Luckily he got over it quickly, he is very forgiving. Sometimes a gal just needs space to do her thing, but I surely could have said it nicer. It is one of those times I wish I had a rewind button!



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 80

All she wants to do is....crochet!

I'm hooked- pun intended. So I am making a few projects for people and a couple of others for the "cottage".
Yep, I have exactly six things going right now. One is a little mouse for a special little girl, who happens to like mice.
So, yeah, gotta go!

oh the things you can do!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 79

Went to a friend's birthday dinner
Was introduced to one of her friends
Found out she had lost a friend and wanted to learn how to make some of her clothes into a quilt
I offered to help
We met for coffee
I explained the basics and encouraged her
Had a nice chat
She invited me to her Bible study
It has been a desire of my heart to have a womens study group for a long time
I went this morning
Feels like a perfect fit 
Thank you Papa!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 78

Today was a show my love with food day. My son Nick came over for dinner and to hang out and watch the game. I had purchased some things for him throughout the last couple of weeks that I was finally able to give him. Some mandarin oranges and a big jar of pickles! A couple of his favorites.

It was great to see him, it had been awhile, and I was glad to have some little way to show him I am always thinking of him.

So for dinner I made a shephards pie. I was going to make goulash because I thought my step son was coming over too and that is his favorite. But when we learned he could not make it, I made the other boys favorite instead.

I want to love Zach with food too though so I went to the store and picked up some more hamburger and I am going to make some goulash for Tim to take over to him on his way to work tomorrow.

Also had some really great chocolate cookies to share.
Guys really like it when you give them food!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 76,77

Now before you say, "This is getting to be a habit, Becky," let me explain :)
My son had a friend over last night to spend the night. Of course they spent most of the evening down in the basement, now that the dream of a place to hang out down there is becoming a reality!
Here's the thing- when they play the xbox they play online. If I get on my laptop to do anything, I hear "Mom, you are killing us!" Evidently there is not enough room on the internet for both of us at once. Well, I wanted him to have fun, and no way was I going to stay awake longer than them, so I just let it go.

But here I am now!

It has been hard for me to be encouraging lately. The winter has been long and slightly debilitating. Hormones are taking their toll on me too. It is times like this I hope that my smile and my presence and my determination to keep going will encourage somebody all on it's own. Or, maybe something I have done in the past is still encouraging someone today. My family and friends encourage me all the time even when they are not around, or I have not spoken to them. Something they have said or done will come to mind and I smile.
Gift from my friend, Wendybird
As I think about it, I realize that God encourages us just by knowing who He is and by looking around at His creation. Spring is an example! Even when things seem bleakest, you know they are going to come to life again-(myself included)- a picture of the resurrection.
The dragonfly has become an encouragement to me because of a story that was given to me at the funeral home. A perfect picture of the relationship between what we can and cannot see. The summer after Amanda died, God sent dragonflies to us. A big black dragonfly was in my backyard all summer. It was there ALL the time. Now, we lived in town at the time and I do not recall ever having seen a dragonfly in my yard before. When we were at my sisters, one landed on my mom and just sat there. It amazed me that God did that, but there was no doubt in my mind that He was letting me know He was there, and that she was okay. Right now I can't see them, but when my time comes, I will!
Here's the dragonfly story:

The Dragonfly Story
Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.
"Look!" said one of the water bugs to another. "one of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?" Up, up, up it slowly went....Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return...
"That's funny!" said one water bug to another. "Wasn't she happy here?" asked a second... "Where do you suppose she went?" wondered a third.
No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. "I have an idea". "The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why."
"We promise", they said solemnly.
One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.
When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings...The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!
Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.
The dragonfly remembered the promise: "the next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why." Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water...
"I can't return!" he said in dismay. "At least, I tried. But I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what has happened to me, and where I went."
And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.......

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 75- Holy Monkees!

That was one of Amanda's favorite expressions. The twist of the word Monkey is my own though. :)

I went to Borders book store today to get a book I had pre-ordered and check out their going out of business sale. I noticed all of the bookcases were for sale. We have been wanting bookcases for the basement/ cottage, but also have just been wanting them in general what seems like forever. We have boxes of books in boxes. Books do not belong in boxes, but shelves are hard to come by. Either they are too pricey, too cheap, too used , don't match, whatever, a majority of our books have remained in boxes. Until... I walked to the back of the store and saw four beautiful wood bookcases that had not been snatched up yet. Seven and a half feet tall and three feet wide each. For $40.00 each. What do you suppose went through my mind? Holy Monkeys!! I could hardly believe my luck. Or was it?
My husband picked them up and we set them up in our basement renovation in progress. I immediately started unpacking our books and putting them out in the open where they belong. Tim's Clancy novels, lots of Christian books, school books, classics, fiction, how-to, and then the treasure; all of my children's favorites from growing up. As I put them on the shelves I imagined my future grandchildren asking me to read to them, and I say, "How about this one, it was your dads favorite!" Various titles brought back so many memories. One of my favorite things to do was reading to my children. Amanda especially loved being read to, and then loved reading on her own. I came to the tub of her books. It  made me so happy to place them on the shelves to be seen and remembered. A persons books are a glimpse inside of their soul. Now I can go pull them out and remember those parts of her and all who see them will too. What a gift we received today! Thank you Father!