Wednesday, October 23, 2013

God's hands and feet

The past two weeks have been a big blur. So much has gone on since my husband's accident at work and it seems I am behind in everything in my life right now. I know eventually I'll catch up but it all seems a little over whelming. However, in all of this, God has been faithful and I have seen His love and grace demonstrated through our church family, friends and neighbors.

Even though my washing is piled up, I'm behind in my writing/blogging, I have missed classes, home school lessons are behind and I had to cancel a major field trip we are stilled very blessed. Anyone who has small children or children at all knows how much time is spent in the kitchen preparing meals and then cleaning up afterwards. Well with that said, if it were not for the love of my church family and friends our family would be eating cereal for every meal. I have not had the time nor the energy to do the usual cooking and cleaning up. 

When the word got out that my husband had an accident at work and ended up in surgery my church family and friends sprang into action! Before I knew it I had meals already prepared and coming to my door. One of my church friends who has three small children of her own showed up at my door with a veggie medley that was out of this world. Our church administrator dropped off a large package of fruit, snacks and cookies. My neighbor/friend who also attends our church prepared our favorite rice meal and sent an additional frozen dish for later. Another neighbor/friend sent food and dessert. We had our friends from a class at church drop off meals and a yummy pie. Just last night another friend from our class at church dropped off meals that were broken down for each of our children in bags for lunch and breakfast, this included at least sixteen sandwiches along with a host of other snacks and fruit. My husband and I stood there, after a full day of traveling a total of three hours seeing the doctor and doing other paper work due to his injury, we were in awe as we opened the bags of sorted goodies. We were drained when we came home but after seeing all of this we were energized with gratitude. 

During this time our friends and my mom have supported us by watching our three children so we could travel to appointments. I am doing all the driving now and all the appointments are about three hours round trip just on the road not including the stopping to pick up and drop off paper work. So  having someone to watch the children during these times are a God send for us all. 

My husband's hand is bandaged for now so just the small task of taking out the trash is now major and it began to pile up in the garage. Our neighbor helped out by driving my husband's truck to the dump and they took both our trash and the neighbor's trash as well as he had someone to help him unload it all. This too was a tremendous blessing! 

We have had calls and cards letting us know that many are praying for our family. The prayers are working as we continue to see God move daily. We are thankful for the prayers that carry us through.

I am thankful for every blessing this accident has brought. We have seen the love of God in it all. When we look at our church family and our friends as they drop off food, take our children in and tell us they are praying, we see the face of God. We are God's hands and feet and as we love other's, God's love shines through. You see God may not physically come down here but He works through us to bless others, we are His representatives here on earth.

Although my husband's hand is bandaged, God's hands are free and working through others. We thank God  so much for our friends and church family. Now as our family has been blessed by and through others we must go likewise and do the same.         

Monday, October 21, 2013

Let's play!

My how times have changed. It seems that playing outside is a lost art. I notice that most children have some form of electronic now and would rather stay indoors and play with it and not go outside to get fresh air. I have actually seen children go outside, play for all of two minutes, get tired and retreat indoors. Better yet I have seen children sitting outside playing with an electronic device instead of running around and enjoying the outdoors. Is this a good trend? You be the judge.

Am I against electronics and technology? Of course not, however, there ought to be a balance between technology and good old fashioned physical playing. It seems that technology and electronic devices are taking over our children. They have become substitutes for people and play.

I remember growing up and being so excited about going out to play with my neighborhood friends, especially since I am an only child. During the school year I would have to do my homework and then I was able to go outside and during the summer I had chores to do before going outside. Getting outside to run and play was the ultimate goal.

Play is not just play it is also a child's life line. During play time children learn the fundamentals of sharing, communication, conflict resolution, relationship building and many other concepts. Moreover, they learn how to connect with others. These types of life building skills can't be learned via electronic device. The truth is some things are taught while other things are caught.

Playing is important to the growth and development of healthy children both inside and out. There is no greater joy to be seen on a child's face than when they play with others while the sun shines on them and their faces beam with joy and delight.


What fond memories do you have of playing outside? Please post and share your comments, we would love to hear them. A part two of this post may be in the making, stay tuned.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A very thankful Sunday...

This Sunday I am very thankful for God's faithfulness. My husband had an accident on his job this week that required him to have surgery. He was using a circular saw and cut through his fingers but God is faithful and his fingers were not lost. As a matter of fact it was the hand he does not write with.

While we know that accidents happen, we're never really prepared for them. But some how, in a way I was prepared and did not even know it. You see the night before right in the dining room we were watching videos on youtube. It started out with veggie tales and then I switched gears and found my favorite artist and favorite song. "When I Call on Jesus" by Nicole C. Mullen. I played it over and over, even my four year old wanted to hear it multiple times.

Little did I know I would need the strength of this song to carry me through my ordeal the next day. My husband needed surgery and so I ended up staying at the hospital until late that night. The children were at a friends house and I needed to get home as it was approaching ten p.m.. I found my way to the hospital but did not know how to get back home and home was an hour and a half away, I had a long ride a head of me, it was raining hard and my gas tank was on empty. Need I mention I was exhausted mentally and physically? 

I started to wonder how I was going to get back home alone but I had to stay and make sure my husband was stabilized and they thought he might be able to go home that night. Some how in my heart I know it would be ok because I was praying for God to help me find my way to the gas station and then home in the dark and in the rain and stay up for that long ride. 

Earlier that evening our pastor showed up unexpectedly, after all we were a long way away from home. I figured he was leaving soon as it was getting late. As it turned out he stayed with me until my husband woke up from surgery. He made sure I got to my van, showed me the way to the gas station and then led me on to the place where I was familiar. My prayers had been answered and God rescued me that night.  

After I got to where I could find my way home I began to cry as I realized God had taken care of me that night. He sent an angel via my pastor. I cried tears of joy as I worshipped God for hearing my cry and I was safely home with my children close to midnight that night.

If ever there is a song or scripture on your heart pay attention and take it all in. You never know whether or not it's your strength or prayer for the coming day or event. God could be preparing you for something to come. When I was singing about calling on Jesus I had no idea the next day I would really be calling on Him, that song strengthened my faith and prepared my heart.

Please click on the link below and enjoy the song which is my testimony for that night.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Painting sunflowers

It seems like a lifetime since my last post. My life appears to be inundated with classes to teach, classes to attend, must read books for these classes, homeschooling and just life in general. We have been to the county and state fair this month as well as a variety of other field trips. Time is passing by faster than I can keep up with.

So now finally I'm taking the time to write again. Sure feels great! So what's going on in our house now?

Like most children my children love to paint and create. Did I mention get messy? Back to my point. Sometimes they paint freely choosing whatever they want while other times I try to cultivate the skill of painting different strokes and I pick something for them to focus on to paint. We used sunflowers as an object, see the results below. They enjoyed this art lesson. Hope you do too!

Observation time

Using the sense of smell

Looking very carefully

How does the water feel?

Getting started

Just for the record I did not sit the flowers out and then tell the children to paint them. There is a process we use before we paint any object. First we talked about the sunflowers, the colors, the parts including the seeds, this is observation, where we mix science and art. We revisited the time when we planted them in our yard last spring. We then take the time to feel and smell the flowers. Some parts are soft and others are course. I let them explore and then when they were ready they painted the sunflowers.

I showed them how to make the seeds with the bristles of the brush, the type of strokes to create the petals and how to paint the stem of the flower with smooth strokes. I'm not an artist, just using some deductive reasoning.... maybe?  Not sure how much they actually picked up but they tried!

When it was all said and done, they were pleased with their pictures and so was I...