Archive for October 2012

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This was our life last weekend.  We had our little friend M here to visit, or Little Putts as my husband calls him.  Big Putts would be M’s uncle, who Rick is good friend’s with.  Our house was strewn with legos and toy cars and uno cards and it was wonderful.  We roasted marshmallows, and went apple picking on Saturday.  It is always a little bit of a jolt to go back to having a younger child for the weekend but we are getting used to it and so it he!   Lots of fun on this road of willingness.  🙂

Blessed to be trusted with another one’s child,

Joyce

Posted October 26, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Uncategorized

Joy!   Leave a comment

Fall into winter is my favorite time of the year.  Cooler temps and vivid colors displayed out every window of our home and down every road I drive brings me great joy!

This tree is in the front corner of our front yard.  It is the tree where for the last six weeks tourist after tourist has stopped and taken pictures of themselves, families, couples  and solo pictures with the leaves from our tree for the backdrop.  We have had the same family Indian family, from India, take their family picture there for as many years as we can remember.  They all piled out of various mini-vans with three generations of family members and arranged themselves into various groups for a picture. The women are beautiful in their sarees of gorgeous colors and the children are so lovely with their beautiful dark eyes. We have often said that we would be wealthy if we had charged folks a dollar for every photo they took………. but that would not be fun!  It is so much nicer to watch and enjoy.  Last weekend a group stopped  by and a sweet husband kept setting his wife into the blazing orange leaves then running across the road to snap the picture, repeating the action over and over until the perfect picture was taken and he was satisfied!

This is our back four acres where our rental cottage, the Summer House is located.  The color and diversity in trees on that property make every season a delight and fall is the primo season of all.  So beautiful and peaceful.  Every day I try and walk back there to see the changes and take in the beauty.

This is the opposite side of the tree in our front yard, taken as we were heading somewhere in the evening and in seeing the sun filtering through, I had to take a picture.  My family waited patiently while I quickly grabbed  a few shots of our tree in all it’s glory!

Back to joy….  As a mother there have been many many times of my heart aching for my children, knowing that they are in need and there is nothing I can do but pray.  So I have prayed, my husband and I have prayed, others who love our children have prayed, and then we have learned to wait.  My husband is so much better at hearing from the Lord when it comes to being told to wait!  I praise the Lord for the man God gave me who helps me to be patient and keep praying….. and to wait.

We have had one specific prayer that we have prayed for quite some time, one among many that we pray daily over our children, but this one was big.  This one has come and gone through the last few years as sometimes things seemed better in this situation and then it would not be so.

In the process of this time, God taught me much about crying out to Him, trusting Him, having faith and finding my joy in Him and praising Him despite the circumstances.  As I am a worship leader, it is rather important that I praise with  a pure heart and God in His mercy taught me, again, about leading with a heart that is aching and also when to not lead and how acceptable it is to step down and worship in the congregation SO THAT I would be free to worship Him in all of the brokenness that I was experiencing.    Lest you think this was the first time of praying hard for something and going through this kind of season, let me tell you it was not but it is a chapter in our life which we are closing and so I rejoice today with GREAT joy at how God has answered our prayers.  It is so good to see prayers answered in one area so that our faith is encouraged to stay strong for the other areas which are still in need of prayer and waiting for the answers.

He has delivered, set free, is healing and restoring pieces of our lives in ways that are amazing.

He is great and greatly to be praised.

 

Today we rejoice with joy in the beauty of God, who He is and all that He has created.

Joy for His unfailing love and faithfulness.
Joy over His sovereignty in our lives today and in our future.

Joy for all the good things He has done and given.

O send out Your light and Your Truth and let them lead me.  Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.  Then I will go to the altar of God,    to God my exceeding joy  and on the harp (or piano!)  I will praise You.  O God My God!

Psalm 43:3-4

Blessed,

Joyce

Posted October 15, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Family, Spiritual Life

This Chilly Morning!   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

Hot pink sunsets are often seen in the fall here in Gills Rock and this one from the other night was brilliant in all of it’s color.  Wow, does our God like to use pinks!

I am sitting by the wood stove with my toes as close as I can get for warmth.  As Thursdays are our very busy day away from home, the fire was neglected and went out.  I was focused more on the VP debates last night when I finally made it hone from Bible study so the first thing on my list this morning following Rick’s leaving, was to get a fire going.

Often I will beg my sweet husband to make the fire for me, but rarely is there time on these Oct. mornings, but he does give me his recipe for starting a fire, it goes like this–  Take two pieces of newspaper, crumple them up, lay 3-4 pieces of kindling on the newspaper and two pieces of wood.  Use ONE match (he always emphasizes that for my benefit!) to light the paper then shut the doors and you will have a roaring fire within a few minutes.  Have I mentioned that my man went to boy scouts and  when he received his little patch for fire starting – if indeed there is such a badge– he was also given a  more than normal ability to start fires.  And, he proves his ability over and over again.  He really can start a roaring blaze with one match!  Not me!  I am getting better  but still use more than two pieces of news papers, more than a few kindling sticks and the one match idea….. I bought myself a butane lighter!

School — going well.  Melody’s good friend, Hannah, is doing Veritas Press with us which includes theology, history and British Lit. as well as geography and English Composition.  We meet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for three hours, studying, drinking tea and reading together.  It has gone quite well and we are all enjoying it.  I am not doing so well with correcting but am learning to catch up on that. The best part in being fellow comrades in this schooling is the sweet fellowship and enjoying the discussion and ideas that each of our subjects bring up.  It has been wonderful.  We are reading Pride and Prejudice at this time and I was getting the giggles watching them sitting by the fire, reading aloud the chapter in which Darcy proposes for the first time…. these beautiful fourteen year olds were just delightful as they commented about how romantic this book is and then bemoaning the fact that there are not any young men around our area who are like Darcy in any way.  So fun!  I am thankful for the wonderful literature that gives the girls and I the chance to discuss relationships and civility in our culture, or the lack there of.  That, and the ability to expand our vocabulary makes this book a bonus to read aloud and enjoy together.

Canning– We will be soon done with canning, and I am ready.  When I purchased our honey for the next six months, I talked to the bee keeper, also and avid gardener, and she said that she also had found no wild grapes and few plums.  What a strange year, very strange.  We have never been without grape jelly in 30 years, but we will be lacking this year, and plum jelly as well.  Such a bummer!  Today I plan to sort the canning area in our furnace room and find out exactly where I am at with my canning.  This may be a year where jellies are not given in our Christmas gifts to friends…

Fishing —  WILD — as in the winds.  The winds have been blowing so hard and yesterday they tried to go out but had to turn around, and thankfully they did!  The fish count has not been real great yet but the lift on Tuesday was a little more promising.  We will see.  There was an incident last week where in setting the nets one of the guys got caught in the lines and went over the side.  Another fishermen caught him and was holding him from going under when in the pain of being kept up by his shoulders the sinking fisherman yelled to be let go.  Thankfully the fishermen on boat did not let go and the overboard fisherman was pulled on deck.  Had the fishermen let go the net would have dragged our friend under the water to certain death.  Commercial Fishing is dangerous, especially this time of the year and so we pray every morning for the safety of the guys.  I am so thankful that this life was spared.

I will put pictures up tomorrow as the colors are just gorgeous this year — stunningly so.

Today I am going to work on school and can sauerkraut, clean up canning, clean bathrooms, do bookwork and stack some wood.  I also need to get to a cleaning job and spend a couple of hours working on cleaning there and getting on top of the chore list for that house.  I am looking forward to this evening as it will be our first evening home all week.  I want to crochet and relax with the girls and Rick and just be with my precious family.

The fire has warmed my feet and even my legs are starting to feel nice and toasty.  The flames are beautiful and as the sky is now lightened I feel ready to start the work day.  It is going to be a good day!

Blessed,

Joyce

Today – Friday   Leave a comment

 

 

 

Early morning sunrise at one of my cleaning jobs!   Quite the view for work as the house has 70 feet of windows facing the water!  What a beautiful setting to work in~


I am sitting here in a quiet, and my I add, COLD house.   The fire went out yesterday while I was away for the day grocery shopping in the big city — the REALLY big city, Green Bay.  We got home in time to wrap meat for the freezer, put away some of the groceries, throw some burgers on the grill for supper, deal with our local teen-techy as he re-did our wireless router and then head out the door for Bible study.

The wind is howling this morning and the forecast says that it is supposed to get worse over the next 48 hours.  My sweet fisherman said that this could be wind in the direction that brings the fish in to North Bay.  The way he said it, with a slight uncertainty, speaks volumes to the place we are in as fishermen here in Door County.  We are hoping, but wondering, what the fall fishing will be like and if the winds will bring the fish or if the fish are just too far out, and the lake too low to bring the fish.    We will pray, and we will see!

I shuddered as I kissed my fisherman goodbye as he headed out to the truck in the dark and the cold, to work on the boat in the waves and in the danger.  I pray for him, and the other precious men I love who are out there and then stand in faith that they will all be safe.

As for my day, I am torn between all the work that there is to do, as to where to start.  Some days are like that aren’t they?  I know that I need to do some bookwork, clean and prepare a bedroom for a weekend visitor, clean my floors and do some laundry.  I also need to finnish preparing our cottage for a week long rental, and spend a couple of hours cleaning one of my cleaning jobs.  The wind and expected cooler temps are also making me highly aware that I should go and scavenge the last of the tomatoes and make one more batch of tomato soup and get the last of the cucumbers out of the garden and trim the broccoli back so it will produce for a few more weeks.  I need to bake bread and prepare something fun for the home-ec class that we are doing here, tonight at seven.  It will be a full day!

I am thankful– for the awareness of being thankful!  I am thankful for all the strength that God gives for the work load.  For His gentle reminding me of what needs to get done when I have overlooked things in my daily juggling of the multiple hats that I wear.

I am thankful that my husbands back is much better than it was on Monday, for the ability to stock up on groceries for the months ahead.  I am thankful for children who love each other and give each other opportunity to pray for and support each other in life’s harder times.  I am thankful for friends who care about my heart and what is dear to me.  Most of all, for the ever present love of my Lord who leads me and guides me and will help me figure out how to accomplish this day and get it all done, with grace and love.

Blessed,

Joyce

 

 

 

Trying Something New!   Leave a comment

I went to the eye doctor last week for what I thought would be my yearly appointment.  I actually knew that it was more than a year, but was surprised to find that it had been THREE years.  Wow, time flies!  Many changes had taken place in my life in three yearsm the biggest would be that of turning 50.  My optometrist noticed that little change right off the bat and told me that I would need to have my eyes dilated.  Good thing I brought along Annie was all I thought when she announced what was going to happen.  She also said that she could give me drops to un-dilate my eyes faster as we had errands to run of which I needed to be seeing clearly.  The appointment went fine and my eyes had changed as far as my nearsightedness in one eye but she informed me that my farsightedness was better than most of her patients my age and older…..  I think she was trying to encourage me.  🙂   That was when I asked about getting contacts, not for every day but for when I am outside in the heat working in the garden, or in the winter working outside or on a date with my sweet husband.  She gave me all the information about contacts regarding bi-focal mono vision contacts and although it did make me wonder, I decided to try them since the price was only $20 to try.  After one week of wearing them off and on, I am not sure.  I have trouble seeing distance and at my follow-up appointment next week we will see what is up with that.  Otherwise, they are wonderful as far as no discomfort and ease of getting them in and out.  My biggest struggle is piano playing and some computer work so they may not be for me in the long haul and my optometrist will let me know.

As far as the rest of the appointment, I got a slight headache from the dilating and my eyes did not become un-dilated for two hours.  The girls took me to s couple of stores that we needed to stop at, held up objects for me and told me prices as everything was more than double to my eyes.  Annie drove me and Melody paid for our purchases because I could not discern the numbers..  It was a family affair to get the shopping done and head home!  It might have been a little for-telling of the girls future with me when I am older.  I suppose it won’t be too bad for them…… as long as I am the one with the cash!

This sense of blurriness does make me think about our need to see things clearly in life and how precious clarity is to our sight in every way.  I am thankful to live in America with the privilege of seeing an optometrist and being able to afford the needed glasses even though they are not cheap.  We have so much to be thankful for, so VERY much.

Blessed with eyes that see…

Joyce

Posted October 2, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Family

Let us Not Grow Weary……..   Leave a comment

And let us not grow weary of doing good,

for in due season we will reap IF we do not give up.

So then, as we have opportunity

let us do good to everyone

but especially those who are of the household of FAITH!

Galatians 6:9-10

        This was my reading this morning and it blessed me so much.  This verse has been given to me in the form of words from friends and strangers!  I have received cards and letters with this verse enclosed and even a mug and a Precious Moments figurine with this scripture on it —  I could take all of these gifts as a hint that I appear, well, WEARY!

         But, I know that this is not the case.  Although I can, and do at times, look tired and worn out and even discouraged, these Scriptures given to me are to remind me to keep going and to not get weary which is often the precursor to relinquishing the work and the battle at hand.  As many who read this blog are serving the Lord as wives and mothers, and also those who serve the Lord single at this time, we together must remember that we are ALL called to serve and do battle and fight for the good works that God has ordained for us to walk in.   This is where the weariness can get into our thoughts and minds.  Why?  Because most of the time the good works which we do reap the fruit after much time has gone by.  There are the moments of opportunity which come and go and are done in the moment, and then there are the good works God leads us to which are for the long haul, the l-o-n-g haul, and truthfully, some of which we will not know the fruit of until heaven.  Those are the works which can drag us down if we start to think of all the physical, emotional, and  financial sacrifices, let alone the  precious hours of time we have given to them.  I have been there so many times, and am there even now as I write this.

        So what is the secret to not giving up?   I think it is hope.  That beautiful place of knowing that God is Sovereign over us, that He is faithful and cares and that we can trust HE IS DOING A GOOD WORK IN US EVEN AS WE TARRY in the works we do.  We do good works because we LOVE Him so much, believing His promises that He will see to completion what He has started and that His heart is big and good and kind.  We have hope that fills our hearts with expectation and excites us for the next turn in the road, the next hill He is going to take us over and we LEARN to be thrilled at the unknown, knowing that it will all be good in God’s economy.  That these good works have purpose!

       As we do good works out of our love and worship of God, we are reminded that  in the process we are not only blessing other’s lives but God is also performing a work in our own hearts and reaping good fruit in our lives.  It delights me so to look back on where I was ten years ago and then see where God has put me, more like, who He has put me with, and then acknowledge that He indeed has worked out some new, good fruit in my life.   He, my loving God has not grown weary of me, and by human thought He would have every right to be weary of me—-  years ago!  His example makes me desire to carry on, knowing He will give the strength, wisdom, joy and patience to continue in the good works.

       I find it interesting that Paul writes — especially to those who are in the household of faith.  Wouldn’t you think that doing good works to our fellow Christians would be the easiest, and a no-brainer?  Evidently not!  One of the downfalls of my heart is putting expectations on others because I assume they “get it” when it comes to the Bible.  Sadly, due to lack of discipling in the Church there are many who do not understand God’s Word and are babes in the Lord.  My greatest good work that I can show toward them is grace, and then the willingness to walk alongside them in love and mentor them to maturity in the Lord.  Kindness to the family of God.  Wouldn’t the World take notice, or at least our communities if we were known for good works towards each other?  What if we were  blessing each other with words of kindness, help when needed, meals and caring for each others family members, loaning each other items as needed, giving to each other the material items as needed, and the list goes on?  I want to see the fruit of that kind of doing good works — with purpose– for the Gospel and God’s Kingdom!

Do not grow weary —

Keep hoping —

We will reap–

Do not give up–

DO  good works!

Blessed this morning-

Joyce

Posted October 1, 2012 by joyfulhouse in Family, Spiritual Life