Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kutless - Sea of faces

My favorite song.

Lost in a Sea of Faces?

Sometimes my life, it seems so trivial...

Ever struggle with insignificance? Ever feel like if you don't accomplish great things in the eyes of people or of God, that you are worthless? Do you, like me, tend to think of your value based on your accomplishments or recognition?

The message of the Love of God is actually the opposite. Our significance is not in anything we do, but in what Jesus did. His gift of body and blood in exchange for our freedom is where our significance is found. Our worth is in His heart. In the value that God placed on redeeming us, and setting us free from hell.

I have had a very difficult time receiving the Love of Jesus at times. Let's just say there was an "eclipse" of reception in my heart from the conclusions I had drawn from my life experiences. Experiences that told me I am only loveable if I am pleasing.

Being the oldest child of 12, I had alot of responsibility. I loved it because it gave me worth. But I also depended on my performance and the approval I received for my worth. Therefore if I ever failed, I was A FAILURE in my mind. Worthless. Trash.

So how do I get past the lies I have believed for so long? By transforming my thinking based on the Truth from God's word. By taking my thoughts captive. By holding them in the Light. Some days it is moment by moment. Especially if I fail. Or make a fool of myself. When confronted. When challenged. When accused. Everytime I have to come to the table in this video, and receive His passionate love for me. And learn to abide in it. To receive it moment by moment. To draw from the well the only source that can quench the thirst I have for significance.

No, I'm not just a (wo)man that is lost in a crowd. I am His, created for His purpose, for His pleasure. Jesus said, if you want to be great in God's kingdom, you must be a servant of all. That is opposite of our thinking. A servant is something anyone can be. No popularity or accolades required.

Lord, help me to fulfill the purpose you created me for. I love you back! Amen.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wedding Prep in the Yard

Welcome to my world! I have been adding mulch to places all over the yard. Mulch is a worthwhile time investment for me. Keeping weeds down, moisture in, and roots cool. It reduces my work in the long run. Plus I love the look it creates. I only add cedar to the places nearest the doors for fragrance. It is wonderful...otherwise I use cypress (less expensive).

We are planning on filling the open places with white chairs, and an arbor for the couple to get married under. We are hoping mums will be open by then for color. The little building in the foreground is the chicken coop, which is being used for storage presently. I have always had a dream to fix up a chicken coop into a "play house", but don't know if I will have time for anything this year. I started a new garden on this side of the building. It needs more plants, but is mostly done. There are little chicken doors which I added paths to, I will post close-ups when I finish.

I like this photo. A little "wild" and alot of green before the color bursts forth. The little birdhouse is by us. We specialize in birdhouses, you could say.

A view of Kayla's chosen wedding location from the East. I suppose I still have the most work to do in the most important location. Having a vision is what motivates, and we have one!

My only successful rosebush, it produces beautiful roses every year w/ no effort on my part (that is why it succeeds!)

Scavolia, a favorite container planting. This little table was left in our first home, and serves us in our front porch. In the morning, if the sun is not too hot, we will come out with breakfast. In the evening, I will light candles to welcome guests, or just enjoy the sounds of evening.The background of this photo is the field where the guests will park. Entering through this opening in the fence prompted me to do a little landscaping. Something I have wanted to do for years, but never pushed myself to get it done until now. I wish I would have though, so there would be more growth. I am counting on much growth in the next couple of months.

Here is the view upon entering our yard from the field. I love this part of the yard, but we never spend any time here because we have so many other locations in the yard to "park". (As if we have alot of time to do that~!)

I got a really good deal on this plant @ the local flower shop.

And finally for today, I put this one together for my deck. My favorite color combo for flowers. I may have to pull the pink for the wedding and add orange (fall colors!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


It rained again today. We have a deficit in Wisconsin/Minnesota this year. The rivers and lakes are low, and the ponds are drying up. But the Lord blessed us with rain last weekend and again last night. Much to my relief, I get a break from watering our extremely large yard.

We have water in our barn at the bottom of our driveway, and water on the house, so I have been running two hoses all over for days and weeks, trying to keep the lawn green and the new plantings growing and taking root. It is amazing how much better the plants do when God does the watering. They have taken off since the sky opened up last weekend!

Today I had to focus on the shop, after returning from an all-day buying trip on Monday. I priced, placed, photographed, and posted on my other blog. The shop was busy today so I decided to take the day off of the yard. I have visited a few blogs, and now here updating my own.

My plan to take the day off of the yard failed when I decided to take a walk around it to check on things. I felt satisfaction seeing my plants growing and green. But of course, the weeds are growing too, so you guessed it, I ended up spending two hours stooped or squatted pulling weeds in the vegetable garden.

As I was pulling, I was thinking about weeds and how God uses them in the Bible to represent evil. Weeds are sown by the enemy. After Adam and Eve sinned, they had to deal with weeds...we have to deal with weeds. Whether evil in our world, or evil (sin) in our own hearts or evil in our gardens. In the following parable the weeds are the unbelievers...

Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
" 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' " Matthew 13:24-30

As a believer, God is the gardener of my heart...and unlike the above parable with unbelievers, He does pull weeds of sin from our hearts during our journey with Him here on earth.

My strawberries had quite a few weeds in them that I couldn't see from just looking. Once I bent down and started pulling, I discovered many more and it took much longer than I anticipated. I did disturb some of the plants due to the root systems of the weeds going deep. The roots intertwined the plant's roots, stealing from it. Like weeds of sin in our lives steal our refreshment, nourishment, and life. When I pull the weeds, I disturb the plant, the plant wilts a bit, and will die if I don't put the soil back around it, and water it. Thankfully God is a Master Gardner and knows how to weed us carefully.

One of the weeds that the Lord has had to take out of my life slowly and carefully is people-pleasing. Otherwise referred to as "fear of man" in the Bible. It is basically making people (others or self) into an idol. What does this weed look like? For me, I don't want to deal with people (usually in authority)being impatient with me (I fear their words or even their thoughts, and how they make me feel) so I push myself to get things done in order to avoid anger or criticism. Instead of trusting God to work on their impatience, and to be my defender, I tend to run circles around them. They then have become an idol.

Commandment #1. Thou shall have no other gods before me.

People-pleasing is breaking the first commandment. No wonder Satan likes to plant the seeds among us! To bind us, to steal from us, to choke us and keep us from bearing fruit.

Another thing I noticed in my garden tonight is that when I keep the weeds out, the seeds don't reproduce, and there is less and less weeding to do. In my strawberries, I let the weeds get bigger last year, and therefore they reseed themselves and I have more weeds to deal with than in the other areas of my garden that I have tended more faithfully.

There is a lesson in that too. It is true that "One is Near God's heart in a Garden", He spoke to me there tonight. He reminded me that I must remain in His presence to stay weed-free! I cannot let that old weed take root again, I must keep my focus on what God says, and not on people.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Monday, June 8, 2009

I have been missing blogging!! So I am just giving a quick update for now. Today is Ethan's last day of school (wierd, I end on a Monday!)
Kayla and Andrew closed on their house on Friday, so we spent the weekend painting, panelling, moving and shopping. I found them a stove on Criag's list. We had our old refrigerator in the "man-cave" as my boys call their shed. Lol! They still need a microwave, water heater and a washing machine.
We went through my old paint, and found enough to do the kitchen, one living room wall, bathroom, and bedroom. It is so fun to see the house transform! I'll post pics soon.
The Lord blessed us with long-awaited rain this weekend, wonderful, steady rainfall all day Saturday and again today! My heart is rejoicing for freedom from watering our extra large yard. I still have much to do, such as transplanting perennials to new locations. It will be so much easier with moist soil! Praise the Lord!
Wedding plans are coming along. The boys got measured yesterday for their tuxes. The girl's dresses are coming in. Mostly what is left is keeping the yard tip top shape, and the projects there. IT'S ALL SO VERY FUN AND EXCITING!!
Hope to visit more when the brunt of the moving and yard projects wind down!
Deuteronomy 8:7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills...