God’s Grace for the Stomach Flu

These three little girls have been having some trouble with the stomach flu this week. I’m sure you all can imagine what that has meant for their Daddy and Mommy.

Stuff like this makes me wonder how it will be when we live far from civilization, and we have to diagnose and treat everything ourselves. My sister-in-law pointed me to a quote that I can’t get out of my mind. I catch myself imagining all sorts of scenarios that drive me to distraction and worry. Perhaps we all need to be reminded of God’s grace for each moment, and remember that there is no grace for our imagination.


Looking forward to this…

I have really enjoyed the music of Sovereign Grace Ministries over the past few years. I love how their songs always turn my eyes to Jesus and the wonderful position we have in Christ. I have three favorite, favorite, favorite cds- they are the ones that are often on constant play when we aren’t listening to Veggie Tale tunes or children’s stories. “Upward: The Hymns Project”, “Valley of Vision”, and “Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man.” The last one was the cd that Bob Kauflin kindly sent us after I wrote this blog entry a few months ago. It quickly has become a favorite for all seasons, not just Christmas.
I’m really excited that they are putting out a new cd next month! This one is called “Come Weary Saints” and features 12 songs about trusting God in the midst of trials. Check out this link to listen to clips of each song.

Kitchen Snitchen

This week has been Scratch Cooking week here in our New Tribes training. Learning how to make at home many of the foods that we eat daily will be useful and often essential on the mission field. Plus, it is lots of fun! We had demonstrations and hands-on classes every morning this past week. Some of the things we saw made were the following: bread, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, crescent rolls w/ filling, pizza dough, crepes, waffles, donuts, tortillas, pie crusts, chicken pot pie, cheddar salmon pie, biscuits, ham and broccoli with biscuits on top, homemade salad dressings, yogurt, sour cream… oh boy, I know I’m missing a ton of things that we learned. Fortunately, we have a recipe handout booklet that we can refer to.

Next week will be fun and challenging. We are to take what we’ve learned this week and for five days we are not to use processed foods or convenience foods. Things like frozen anything (except meat), milk, juice (frozen or tetra-pack), store-bought bread, junk food are not to be used. We also are encouraged not to go to the grocery store for the week to simulate having to plan ahead when living in a remote location. Last night we went to the grocery store and bought our supplies for next week. I was pleasantly surprised at the grocery bill which was lower than I expected. Making things from scratch is inexpensive as well as more healthy- but the rubber meets the road when I consider the time involved and my lazy tendencies… 🙂 Anyway, we are ready to dive into our scratch week and all the culinary adventures it will bring.

Above: my newest kitchen friend: a pressure cooker! Make mashed potatoes in 15 minutes, start to finish!

Below: making “fried oatmeal” cereal: brown sugar, oatmeal and coconut fried in a wok with butter.

Making baby wipes: half roll of Bounty paper towel, 2 cups warm water, 2 TB baby oil and 2 TB baby wash. (Not for eating, silly)

Encouragement from strange places

Lately as I’ve struggled with my health, encouragement has come to me from some unexpected sources. For instance, while listening to random cassette tapes
in order to throw things out I ran across an old song soundtrack from a friend’s
wedding. She had made a soundtrack for me so I could practice before the
wedding. I listened to the song, vaguely remembering it. (I still can’t remember which friend’s wedding it was for.) However, after the song was over I let the
tape run a little longer.

Suddenly I heard a long, loud EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeee and a man’s voice saying, “radio
broadcast for Feb. 21 in 3, 2, 1….” and then Elizabeth Elliot’s voice came on.
I continued to listen to three of her 15 minute broadcasts all about suffering
and being content with our lot in life. I was encouraged to remember that God is
never surprised by the circumstances we find ourselves in and it is His
exclusive trademark to make something beautiful out of ugliness. I was also
reminded of Christ’s sacrifice that ultimately guarantees our future, no matter
what life may bring

Another unexpected encouragement came from cleaning off a shelf in our
bedroom. I found a packet of papers I received last summer when we visited
Covenant Life Church in Washington D.C. while on vacation. The front of it says,
“Especially for Moms: a collection of verses, testimonies, and quotes compiled
to encourage and refresh you”. I had never read it, so I sat down to read and
soon tears were flowing down my cheeks. The verses and words seem hand-picked
for the situation I find myself in.

I’d like to share one or two poignant sections here.
One is the following quote from Valley of Vision p. 24:

Let me not be at my own disposal,
But rejoice that I am under
the care of one
Who is too wise to err,
Too kind to injure,
Too tender to crush.

And, the following paraphrased “Rules of Contentment” by E.B. Pusey:

1. Do not complain about anything, not even the weather.

2. Do not picture myself under circumstances in which I am not.

3. Never compare myself or my lot with anyone else.

4. Never dwell on the wish that things had been, were, or are
different. God loves me better and more wisely than I do myself.

5. Never dwell on tomorrow. Remember that it is God’s,
not mine. The Lord will provide. (contributed by Ivy Barnett)

So I plod along, praying that God will give me the strength and inner joy that I need to get through each day. 🙂 Maybe these things will encourage someone else?

A Good Thought

God was so gracious to give me a good thought today- in the midst of all the impatient and irritable type thoughts that have been swirling around in my mind! 🙂

I have a devotional book I read called The Valley of Vision. It is a collection of old puritan prayers. Today I read:

I can come to thee in my need
and feel peace beyond understanding!
The grace that restores is necessary to preserve,
lead, guard, supply, help me…
Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess,
but not more than is found in thee, the divine treasury
in whom all fullness dwells.

I especially like the part about God giving us grace for
every new duty- and I feel like He is assigning a new “duty” to me tomorrow,
in the form of a brand new little one. I’m so grateful for the strength
that He promises and daily provides.
Hopefully we’ll have some news to post the next time I write on this blog!

Resources and Pics

I’ve come across a couple great resources lately and thought I’d share them here.

The first is a link I found on my friend Amy’s blog (thanks, Amy!)- Large Family Logistics. This is great for those with large families and those of us with small families, like me. Here I found ideas for managing my home more efficiently. These ideas include making up a 31 day meal plan to fit any month, creating a home management notebook with a schedule for each day of the week, and great ideas for keeping on top of cleaning, laundry and cooking. Hooray! It is a wonderful thing to find someone who has been there and can give tried and true advice.

The second link I just found today- Grace and Truth Books. This site has a wonderful collection of books for the whole family, but I am particularly interested in their resources for children. I’m always on the lookout for meaningful ways I can share about God with my girls, and I see many family devotion and child devotional books that I’d love to check out. If I order something and like it I’ll try and post about it here sometime. 🙂

And for those of you who aren’t interested in the links and just want some pictures :)…

The girls played in this box for a good 20 minutes one evening recently. They both wanted their dollies in with them. It was a tearful goodbye when they had to get out.

And here is our friendly KLBC grim reaper.