Scripture Sunday: Isaiah 40:31

This post is going to be a bit transparent…but tomorrow is the first day of school with students. Not for my children- they’ve already gone back to school a few weeks ago. This is my districts’ first day. If I didn’t admit that I am a bit nervous, (lots of positive covid cases here), I’d be lying.

So this verse is as much of a reminder to me as to you all…maybe even more so. This month, I’ve been focusing on verses concerning fear/anxiety/hope/trust, as we have a lot of things to fear in these times.

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

There are many things that offer us false hope; as easy as it is to focus that hope in the wrong area, we must remember to pray. We must remember to look toward our God to quiet our fears. I worry about the safety of my children this school year. I worry about my students. I worry about my self. I’m not only talking about health concerns- we live in a highly volatile society now and I fear what may happen.

I try to remember that God already is aware of all of my fears. He is simply waiting for me to call out to Him.

I’m praying today and tonight for my students and myself as we adjust to a school year that is both more normal than the past two years and also far from normal at the same time. I pray for my own children to make wise choices and keep their primary focus on God. I pray that I will continue to pray and focus on God to keep us safe.

As hard as it is not to worry and be anxious, we can do it with God’s help. This school year, I hope I can inspire and comfort others who fear the same things I fear.

Sunday Musings: Life as a Lumber

I hope everyone had a blessed week- we had spring break, so I chose to take a week off from blogging to focus on my family and getting a few things done around the house. It was a much needed break and I feel so much better.

I’m happy to be back at it again, from work to blogging. I’d like to share what we’ve been doing with you.

1. We went to church

We have been listening online to a local church for more than a year, and on Easter Sunday, we visited in person for the first time. We had a wonderful experience there and will attend again. It was wonderful to be back in God’s house again amongst other believers.

2. Our greenhouse is thriving

I’ll be the first to admit- I often just DO things without researching or reading the directions. Sometimes it works out well and sometimes it doesn’t. This greenhouse is only slightly different: I researched a bit, but I am mostly learning by doing. So far, it’s working well. We will plant our garden at the end of the month.

3. We plowed a bigger garden

Last year, the garden we grew was a little two small in square footage. Our veggies grew too close together, which often meant that we missed ripened veggies since we couldn’t see them. This year, we tilled a much larger area than we actually need so we can spread things out. We use a Wizard chain-driven tiller I inherited from my grandpa. It is older than I am but it works great. It’s a workout for sure, but I know he’d be happy to know we are using it. Plus, he has a hand in my garden, even though he isn’t here physically.

We will plow the garden one more time before planting.

4. Back to school!

Miss E went back to school this week- as in back in the building to school. In class. In person. She resisted a bit at first, but I think she is happy to be back. I’m also getting ready to get most of my students back four days a week.

5. The chickens went outside!!

Our chicken littles are no longer living in a wash tub in our bathroom- they have transitioned to our coop! I think they are much happier living outside. I’m much happier not finding chickens flying around my bathroom.

Have a wonderful week, everyone! Join us for the following articles this week:

1. Scrap wood challenge: chicken coop/rabbit hutch part one

2. Healthy school lunch ideas

3. Farmhouse Friday: spring decor roundup

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday Musings: Praise You in this Storm

Everyone has a song that holds some sort of special meaning for them. It may be a song that is tied to a happy memory or a song that is tied to a sad memory. For us, it’s a little of everything.

“Praise you in this storm” by Casting Crowns will always have a special meaning to my family. It’s a song about how God is always with you no matter what, and there are moments in our life that we know without a doubt God was with us.

“Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns

Several years ago, we were blessed to meet the family who inspired the song. We met a man whose daughter had passed away from leukemia. His daughter’s illness, death, and the family’s grief inspired the song. He shared that his daughter knew the band was writing a song about her but she passed away before she was able to hear it.

My mom downloaded the song as her ringtone, but with no way of knowing what that song would eventually mean to us.

About a year and a half later, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. After a rough four years filled with surgery, treatments and sickness, he passed away at age 54.

We were devastated at the time and even more than two years later, we still miss him terribly. Looking back on his illness and his death I can think of many occasions when I knew, in spite of everything, God never left our sides.

He was with us as we struggled to navigate a new life without my dad. He was with us as I faced crippling anxiety and depression. He was with us as we grieved.

No matter what trials we face and how many years we shed, God is with us and He knows we are suffering. He also restores us and heals us when we go through those trials. He knows why we suffer and He holds us as we suffer.

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What song holds special meaning for you?

Scripture Sunday: Plans

Scripture Sunday: Plans

How many of you are planners, like me? We know we can’t plan our whole lives, and we know we aren’t in charge, but we still get irritated when our lives don’t go as planned. We know we aren’t in charge, but still we try to put our plans ahead of God’s plans, even when we know his ways are best.

The Bible has a lot to say about plans. There’s Jeremiah 29:11, which you probably have heard preached on graduate recognition Sunday.

God has plans for us, and in fact, his plans are greater than any plans we will ever make. Even though we are conscious of this fact, it doesn’t stop us from trying to plan our own course.

Proverbs 19:21 says this about making our own plans.

We can make all the plans we want, but ultimately what God wants for us will win. So why is it so hard for us to just let go and let God?

I think if I had to choose a word for 2019, I’d choose a phrase: let go. There are many struggles of which I need to let go of at the moment, but more than that, I need to let go of my tendency to control everything and let God handle it.

If we trust in Him and we know he has a plan for us, why do we struggle so hard with letting go and letting God?

Please pray for me to let go of my own will and trust in Him this year.

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday Musings: Philippians 4:8

Sunday Musings: Philippians 4:8

As we are preparing to return to school, there are so many things on my mind. We observe “back to school” in two ways in our home. Our oldest daughter is going in to second grade, and I am a teacher. We do the typical “first day of school picture” each year, but we do some other things too.

We talk about how we need to behave and how, as Christians, we need to treat others. As my daughter gets older, I want to make sure she understands that how we act, and how we treat others aren’t the only important things- we also need to pay attention to what fills our thoughts and what we listen to or watch on TV. I had a teacher several years ago who told me she used to keep her mind clean by reading Philippians 4:8 each morning before school.

 

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There are so many things we give our time and our attention to that aren’t Godly. I recently went to church with my grandmother, and her pastor preached on guarding your heart. He talked about how listening to or watching unGodly things invites things into our minds and hearts. He also talked about how we are accountable for what our kids are exposed to, and how it’s important to guard their hearts as well.

I want to teach my child to memorize this verse and carry it with her as a reminder to think only on those things that please the Lord.  When we keep our minds and hearts pure, others can see the difference in us as well. This is what I want for myself and my kids this school year- to radiate the love of God.

I plan to print off this Bible verse and hang it on our fridge, or somewhere where we will see it each day and be reminded.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy school year. May you learn much and make many new friends.