January 31, 2010


Did you ever stop to think about how much the word 'grace' means to us? I'm ever so thankful for it and wish that I could be successful in showing grace to others on a daily basis. But like so many other things, I often fail.

Spent a lot if time reading and trying to figure out some issues that have been on my mind lately. Sometimes I feel so dumb!

What happens when God puts us in a certain place at a certain time and opens a door for us? What if we don't go through? What if we go through but mess up the reason He opened the door in the first place? What if we really want the opportunity that He's given us but don't know how to take advantage of it? What if the door leads us to another person and they don't see the opportunity or don't want it in the same way we do? Or if they look to us for leadership and feed off of our actions or lack of and get discouraged, closing the door before they should? What if we blow it?
If we really believe God has led us to that place and He is handing us a gift on a silver platter, don't you think He'll give us the things we need to be able to take that gift and use it to His glory? Maybe he's waiting for us to ask for His help. Or, maybe He wants us to figure things out for ourselves. Sometimes the answer is just common sense. Sometimes its thinking about others before we think of ourselves. Or what they need in order to see what God has given them through us. Or what God has given us that we can offer to someone else. And why they would want what we have to give.
But if He's going to leave us high and dry without the means to carry out the plan He's put before us, what's the point? Do you think He'd waste His time in all that prep just to let it fail?
Or is the failure our own fault for not making choices but just letting things fall out however they do without taking responsibility for making the very best of the gift He's given us? Do we just wait on Him to put everything in place for us or do we prayerfully go after the opportunity with all our heart, soul and might? Don't you think He expects us to do our part and make decisions based on the desires of our heart in light of His love and His Word? Maybe that's what it all comes down to...how far are we willing to go after a God given opportunity? How much are we willing to do to bring it to fruition? Or are we just waiting on Him to take what's on the platter and put it in our hands for us before we can really take advantage of it?
Perhaps I should clarify that I'm only talking about things that don't conflict with God's Word. We know that those opportunities don't come from the God of heaven. James tell us that God cannot be tempted and does not tempt us.
So once we're sure that the thing we see as an opportunity comes from the Lord, what's stopping us from going after it? Our own fears and inhibitions. Conflicting desires. How do we choose? Is it worth the loss to allow our inhibitions or lack of experience to prevent us from living in the gift God has given us? It's a shame.
There's no guarantee that things will work out just the way we want them to but we know He's there for us...all the time.

January 30, 2010


Spring is sleeping cozily in a mossy hollow somewhere in South Carolina trying to stay hidden from the onslaught of uncommon wintry weather that's descended on the unsuspecting daffodils budding on the lawns there. She's slowly awakened from her slumber to kiss the ground with warmth and spread her breath over the early flowers, coaxing them, ever so gently from the chilly ground. But napping now, she bides her time until her intenal clock tells her the day has come to meander slowly north.
In anticipation of her arrival, still some months away, I slowly peruse my seed catalogues; wandering through the pages, dreaming of crisp cucumbers and juicy tomatoes; spicy basil and lemon thyme. Plans for our garden, ruminating carefully through the muddled thoughts that fill my mind, gradually take shape.
Here in Pennsylvania, winter is still very much upon us with it's snowy blanket and blustery winds. The stark beauty comes alive with the sun as the birds begin to flitter about looking for a morsel or seed to gobble quickly before the squirrels find it. Plants and bulbs slumber sweetly 'neath the frozen carpet of sparkling snow flakes. Temperatures, plummeting to below zero with the wind chill, slowly creep in to the low teens where they linger throughout the day, unable to steal any more warmth from the sun.
It's a good day to snuggle in and dream about the peaceful melting and warming ahead. And the awakening of the earth that will accompany Spring as she floats over the mountains and finds me here...watching and waiting...still pondering my meanderings.

January 29, 2010


It's really cold this morning. Our thermometer reads 4 degrees but I've heard that other places near here are below zero. Now, I like winter and lots of snow but I'm looking forward to snuggling in with a fire this weekend.
Of course that may not be what actually happens.

There are lots of things on my mind today and I think I need to review my list of things that I like. Besides, there are so many concerns that I couldn't change if I tried so I might as well leave them at the foot of the cross instead of worrying about them. It's impossible to handle them on my own. Help!

January 28, 2010

Things I like...

Feeling a little blue today so I thought I'd borrow from Maria and list a few of my favorite things.

...fairy tales with happy endings but not so much the Bros. Grimm style. Sometimes, I like to write my own. ;)

..to laugh so hard I can't breathe, especially with my girls.

...to dance when noone is looking.

...to sing, strong and loud, even if I'm off key. Again when noone's around. ;)

...to be a part of whatever my girls are doing. And I don't mean just the driver!

theater...from both sides of the stage.

...to watch people fall in love. <3

...to help someone anonymously.

walking and playing in the snow!!! Lots of it today! I have a lot of fun plowing snow too.

chubby little puppies and kittens

girls night with my friends

Mary, who always makes me laugh!

seeing God in action.

knowing that people love me.

Ok...I'm feeling a little better now.

January 27, 2010

What do I believe?

I'm really struggling to wrap my mind around a few doctrinal issues that have come to my attention lately. How important is it if folks who love the Lord discern His words differently? Are we responsible for our own choices or do we automatically make the choices God wants us to? If so, is that really a choice?

A paradox? Yes.

As I try to find more information on these issues and how my beliefs compare to those of others, I'm a little concerned. There are greater implications here than I thought. Some differences are huge. Can a person with my belief system, which I feel confident is based on Biblical principles, reconcile their faith with someone who's so opposed to them? It's been mentioned that some of those opposing believers question my salvation because I disagree with their theology. That's pretty tough to swallow. Knowing me and my limited attention span, it's hard to do too much digging at one time. Now that I've had a little break, its back to my study. Why can't I get my mind around these issues and get my apologetics straight?

January 25, 2010

As I tiptoe through the house, I feel more like a pixie than a burgler. Well, not a pixie...but I can't remember which ones are the...ahem, stout little mystical fairies. Everyone is asleep so I'm taking an opportunity to put down a few random thoughts.

Today has been very rainy with flash flood warnings through the night. There are many places where the water is close to flooding the roadways right now. It's January in PA. We're supposed to have snow. Next week is the winter festival at Parker Dam but it looks like there may not be snow. Nearly everything has melted adding to the rising creeks.

How thankful I am that I have a warm, snug home to shut out the wind and driving rain. I've been reading about rocket stoves and I would love to build one. Some days I'd like to be completely off the grid! If we could install a windmill and a few solar panels I think we could eliminate buying power from the electric company. Strange for someone whose income depends on the power plant. If a rocket stove worked as a heat source, the only problem would be cooking. And baking. Ahh, that's another story! A beehive oven would be wonderful but not practical for everyday use. I'm not sure my life would permit me time to use a woodfired cookstove. If I had been born about 200 years earlier, I'd fit right in.
♫ ♪ I love tech-no-logy ♪♫♪ But no-t as much as you, you see. ♪♫♪♪ So, yeah. I'd miss the advances we've become accustomed to but living in a tent with only 18th century surroundings can be very liberating. At least for the 4 days we did it. I could so get into doing more reenacting. But all our friends who are part of a group are...FRENCH! I don't want to be french. They hate us. I'd much rather be a follower of Washington's troups.
Probably a female tinsmith would be somewhat out of place. There are a few tools that I need to gather as well as finding a source for tin plate. I AM going to do it! Meanwhile, I think I'll start making a few Pennsylvania chests or plain wooden storage boxes. Friends of ours were fortunate enough to meet someone from a movie set who gave them some really nice period "props" from "John Adams." We need a firkin and a few more wool blankets. And I'd love to have a goat cart to pull our stuff around the encampmment. Oh, now Im itching to get all the gear out and set up our colonial camp. Maybe winter camping!!! Now if I can just talk my family into it. Makes me wish for Fort Frederick Market!

Our family has learned several traditional skills that we can share with others to teach them about colonial history. Soapmaking, spinning with a drop spindle, knitting, campfire cooking, maple syrup, churning butter, making cordage...can't think but I know there's more. I remember when we went to the indian village to demonstrate soapmaking for a large homeschool group. That was a lot of fun.

Theater can play a big part in developing a colonial persona and presenting an accurate picture of an historical era. Haha, no pun intended. Of course history and research are really important too. How much fun would it be to have a little colonial farm or settlement where you could teach these skills to folks so they don't forget where we came from? Couple goats, flock of sheep, horse and buggy. Hah, today we call that Amish!

All that to say that I often think that life back in those days, although harder physically, was much less stressful. When everyone has their "place" then everyone knows what to expect and what's expected of them. Kind of like maintaining the status quo.

Well, I'm not sure what prompted all that!

Elusive sleep

Here I am...again. Wide awake at 4:15. Wide awake but very tired. There's no doubt that I am a morning person but with only 4 hours of sleep, by afternoon I'm wiped out. As soon as I stop moving I'm falling asleep. That's not the way it's supposed to be. It would be so nice to sleep for 7-8 hours...7-8 hours of blissful rest. Just 3-4 nights a week...is that too much to ask? This has been going on for months. There are too many thoughts running around in my mind. Hence the meandering I guess.
So what's to think about? Hah! chores, homeschooling my youngest, bills, helping my oldest prepare for college, gardens, chores, my weight, relationships (of all sorts), God, chores, repairs that need to be done around the house, obligations that I really don't want to be obligated for, concerns for each member of my family, state of the union, dear friends, health, all of the things I need to accomplish in the next week, or month, or year and the list goes on. it's not all worry, some of it is just thinking. Running over things in my mind. Over and over and over.
Why can't my mind take a little rest. I feel so scatterbrained! What do I need to do? Do I really need to think about all of these things? Not really, at least not all the time, every day. So what is the answer? I wish I knew.

The problem with mulling things over so much is that I tend to begin to wonder about things that might not really be an issue. Then I add questions to my thoughts, some of which are spurred by the evil side of me instead of the good side. My shoulder angels are battling for my sanity. My heart is in the right place and my intentions are good but Satan creeps in and plants seeds of discontent and suspicion. Then worry begins to build and before you know it, I'm in a brewing pot of jumbled thoughts that may or may not be true. Discouragement, worry, disbelief, suspicion. I guess he's got me right where he wants me.

Get back you cruel fiend! Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.

Now, lets get some sleep.

Not that I'm surprised at all but the Lord blessed me with another hour of sleep! Now why can't I remember to give it all to Him on a daily basis and leave it there? Just that one extra hour has given me a brighter, more alert mind this morning. Or is it really the fact that I know He loves me and and has given me peace from the turmoil? I don't mind meandering through a jumble of peaceful thoughts or pressing things that I'm looking forward to doing. It's the weighty matters, some of which I've no control over, that make me feel so helpless and frustrated. Thank you, Jesus!

January 24, 2010

A natural path

The woods often call to me but I find that as I've grown older, I don't take the time or the energy to go there as much as I should. If I did, I might find that my meanderings would become a little more clear. But then again, I might not. There's a quieting balm that overtakes me as I focus on the beauty and the sounds that surround me when I do take the time to wander awhile. There's a chickadee flitting carelessly from branch to twig or a deer appearing as if from nowhere and dissolving into the brush noiselessly, as if it had never really been there.
My girls share a love of the outdoors and remind me that I need to go there more often. The sun was shining yesterday and they took me out for a stroll around the usual path. There are many memories out there; some happy, some sad. The treehouse, the stump that has been the target of many arrows from the restless natives, an old grapevine hoop for throwing atlatl darts through. Trees to climb, (and fall out of), the fire ring and the maple syrup evaporator. Grapevine swings, a wigwam under construction, graves of beloved dogs and cats who've left us with warm stories of, "Hey, remember when..." Teepees made of branches, just big enough for a couple of little girls; stories of Gimbledorf, the elusive dwarf who's lived in these woods time out of mind (or at least since my girls were small!); and the ever scary "wild straws" who are so skinny that they can hide behind anything and have really sharp teeth.
I'm glad my wanderings have taken me back to those places and times. It's good to know those tales have not been lost forever and are memories we'll always share.
As I look ahead to Spring, I think of the plants that will begin to peek out of the last bit of snow. Some bringing with them healing properties that I can harvest and use to take care of my family. It's a very comforting thought. In His wisdom, God has given us an environment that, with proper stewardship, can yield a pharmacopia of remedies right in our own back yard and wood lot.
I think I'll plan to spend more time this year exploring and enjoying my little piece of earth. Making new memories and expanding on old ones. I wonder how old Gimbledorf is doing anyway.

Popular Meanderings