Saturday, January 2, 2010

Oh Brothers....

I look sleepy in this picture!! This is our most recent.
This with the water guns was taken last Spring.

These were taken using my brother's camera....THIS is what he does for fun.:)
I love my bro.
I also have a ninja for a brother...*sigh* But, hey, he's a good ninja...affectionately known as Snake Eyes. =D
Can't you see we just all LOVE him!? =D
This was taken near the end of last May @ the Homeschool Conference we attend every year.

I love my brother....yeah, he can be annoying...but aren't we all? :)

Love ya, Nathan!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Day of 2009...*sniff*

It''s...*sniff*'s over already, ladies and gentlemen. Already. 2009 is....*can barely say it...*...OVER.
This past year has been just wonderful for me in more ways in one...just wonderful. I hardly know how to describe it; it's locked up within my heart, memories to be forever treasured and dwelt upon. It's been sad in some areas, yet completely marvelous in others. At the beginning of 2009, I remember walking outside in the Spring, the wind rustling the newly budded trees, the grass crisp and fresh under my bare feet. It was such a beautiful day, and I was thinking to myself,
"What will happen this year? What lie ahead of us?"
Well, many things laid ahead. To tell you the truth, I am always a little scared at the beginning of each year. I have no clue what will happen or what steep mountain this nation will slide down next...but one thing I can take complete comfort it: "To live is Christ and to die is gain". That is one Scripture passage that I love so much. Not totally cheerful, but true. The Lord is by his people NO MATTER WHAT. Nothing happens that "surprises" Him. That causes Him to go, "Um...wait...okay, how shall I handle this problem? I did not see THAT coming..."
Absolutely not. Nothing is apart from His will...not a thing. Not even the death of a sparrow.
The Lord has worked much in my life this year, I believe, and I've found so much more joy, especially near the end of this year. The trip to Ohio was definitely one tool He used...the Scripture is the only tool you need in ANY aspect of life. There is no such thing as the Bible being "silent" on an issue. The Bible screams truth on EVERY issue. The Bible IS sufficient. Put it this way: if you and a small group of people were stranded on an island, surrounded by the rolling blue sea, and you only had the Bible as a guide for law and everyday would your government be? The Bible is all we need. The Bible should, without question, also be our "morning coffee", if you will. We should soak it up like we do that first, delicious cup of coffee (or hot tea...or whatever you people who don't drink coffee use:). It's like our morning fuse to get us going. (Better yet, drink a cup of coffee WHILE reading!) I cannot tell you how important it is. I used to not want to, grumbling about getting up early enough to do it. Dad would tell me,
"Now Hannah, you need to get up and read your Bible. It's important."
Guess what? I didn't listen. The alarm clock would go off, and I'd just groan, peer at the time, turn it off, and role back over. (Thus my plan afterward to put my alarm where I had to climb out of bed to turn it off.:) And as a result, I was usually grumpy, ill, and hard to get along with that day. When I did start getting up early enough to read the Bible, it was grudgingly, and I skipped over a lot. I just didn't want to do it...period! My mistake. Finally, actually just recently, I've been getting up and reading thoroughly and with a good attitude. You wouldn't believe the difference it's made! I've found such a deeper joy and peace than ever before! I love life more! I love family more! I've learned to love people I don't like much! I've learned to TRY and STRIVE everyDAY towards greater sanctification! I'm trying! I'm really trying! And let me tell you, as you will more than likely understand if you are a fifteen year old girl still learning and being taught...IT'S NOT EASY....just one more reason out of the million of reasons to read your Bible in the morning. Young men, too, read your Bible! Not only will it encourage you as it did David in his time of need, but it will give you the spirit to "put on the whole armor of God" and stand up to defend the Lord's chosen! It will help you to stand up and speak the truth, no matter what! Then and only then will you be able to stand before the enemy and declare without quiver of voice and grasping sword in hand, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" This is your calling. This is your duty. Young women, whether in the kneading of bread that your husband provides, in the holding your child close to your heart, in the teaching your children of the Lord and true, Biblical doctrine, you WILL be defending the true family and FIGHTING for your nation. Young men, whether it be in bringing in the bread for your family, in providing a shelter and warmth, in the standing up for what you believe at work and possibly getting fired for it, in the coming home to your wife and children, and leading them in the path of WILL be FIGHTING...STRIVING for you family, your nation and your God. Through blood, sweat and shall be done. The Lord wins in the end. No one else. It is the LORD.
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."
In this we may trust. In this we may fight. The Lord help you. The Lord help me...the Lord help each of us who fight for Him.
With this in mind, with the fear of the Lord branded in our hearts, let us set forth with eyes ahead and wills resolute, and let us begin the year 2010 with a heart on fire for God.
2009 was a beautiful time of growing and blossoming for me. Yes, sometimes a time of trial, sometimes a time of sadness...but only a few. Naturally, there where those heart-wrenching family quarrels, those evenings where I was the guilty party and the one to act up...the embarrassing moments...the times where I learned something from dad, although grudgingly. Those weren't quite the "fun" moments...but they were the growing moments. Growing moments with aches and pains...and headaches...but growing moments nontheless. The above mentioned are indeed "growing moments"...but then there's the small growing moments that we tend to overlook. The moments where we walk outside on a glorious Spring afternoon, smelling the budding flowers and plants, the scent gently carried on the blowing breeze. Here we realize how fragile life is when we look down to a flower blossom, studying the delicate petals and the intricate design our Creator has blessed it with. Or maybe those moments are tucked into the long shadows of a Summer afternoon, where we walk out onto the back deck and look over the beautiful landscape, taking in the scent of a late Summer evening, watching the honey-gold orb of the sun drifting down behind the treeline, the bushy foliage in return casting dappled patterns onto the deep green grass, the drifting song of a happy Robin, praising God for it's voice. Perhaps it's in the deep hues of orange, yellow and red leaves, drifting slowly from branch to ground, crunching underfoot as we walk through the Lord's artwork. Maybe it's even in those cold, frigid Winter nights as we sit around a glowing fire, wrapped up in our blankets with a cup of hot chocolate in our hands. Yes, it is in all of these. Every moment of it. During these precious moments, we have the enhanced opportunity to speak with our Lord; to talk and walk with Him, and to enjoy His creation. We should take in every small thing in these moments; we should inhale them and "treasure them in our hearts". That is what I do. And you know what? I still haven't forgotten them. They are locked up safe, and Lord willing, will always remain there.
Please, as the sun sets on the year of our Lord, 2009, you will lay back in a chair, perhaps your cozy bed, or even the floor, as I sometimes have the habit of doing, :) and reflect on everything that has happened in this past year. Think of the happy times, for me being those small moments and time spent with family and friends, and thank God for them! Do think on the sad moments, for me being the passing of my dear horse, who seemed to almost speak to me at times, and...thank God for them. That you learned something. That you will never forget it. Mine with the passing of Red was, well, how fleeting life is. But I also take joy in the fact that death WILL be conquered, in the end, by the Mighty Warrior. We all hope and pray for that moment, I know.
Please strive to love the Lord this year...strive to give Him the ultimate praise you can, even if it be in cleaning the kitchen for you tired mom, or chopping the wood for your work-worn dad. Strive to love Him more, and strive to stand for Him no matter what. After all, He did die for us...can we not try to at least praise Him during the day? To take time and stop to pray? Love the Lord, I beseech you...Love Him with all of your heart. Strive to serve Him.

May God bless all of you in the year 2010. May He strengthen and help you through every trial. I love you all and the Lord bless you!

Amen a thousand times! Praise the Lord for this past year! Praise Him for your life! Praise Him for every event HE has caused to happen! Praise Him! Amen!

"But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."
"Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught."
"But whoever listens to Me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster."
"Fear NOT, for I am with you; be NOT dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you."

God bless you all. Amen.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rest In Peace Charlie

I had posted about our goat, Charlie, having kidney stones. He had had them before, and that was about a year ago. He got them again, and was not doing good at all. For two days, he stayed at the vet. For several days, he was here at the house up in the barn, in Red's empty stall. We kept him locked up and would give him this liquid mineral through a syringe that would hopefully dissolve some of the stones. Saturday, he seemed to be doing much better. He got up and was walking around, and just seemed like he was doing good. Yesterday morning before breakfast, dad and I went up to the barn to feed the horses and give Charlie the minerals before we left for church. When we got up there, he was laying down and seemed to be doing worse. When I opened his mouth to give him the stuff, I noticed that he was slobbering very badly. We didn't know what this could mean. When we got to church, we talked to a man there who has a bunch of goats. He said when a goat starts to slobber, it either means he's going to get better very soon or die very soon. We figured it was the "die" part of it. We got back and dad and I once again went up to the barn. It was getting dark, and we turned on a light that we have hanging on a nail. Charlie seemed to be in the place we left him. We gave him the medicine, and he would hardly swallow it. He was slobbering even worse...something told me he would be dead in the morning. We fed the horses and said goodbye to Charlie. I gave him a kiss in between his horns and hoped he'd be better.
This morning, dad and Nathan went to feed. They took a full syringe. Strange enough, while mom was in the kitchen cooking breakfast and I was in the den folding towels,
thinking to myself, I had this feeling that they would come back with a full syringe, just as when they had left. I just had this feeling that Charlie would be dead. Moments later, from down in the garage, I heard the door close, signaling their return. Half of me wanted to know...the other half didn't. I had gone to my room at this point, and when I heard the door in our house that leads to the basement open, I walked into the hall and saw dad come in, eyes downcast and...syringe full. He squirted the content into the sink and said the three words that I half expected to hear:
"Charlie is dead."
It wasn't a huge shock, but it was still very sad. Yes, I cried...but it's part of farm-life. I already miss the annoying, gluttonous goat that used to bleat so loud at feeding time. I'm sure Che
ster (his brother) will probably miss him, too...even if Charlie used to butt him and bully him around. He will always be remembered. There's a shelf in my room where I have pictures of Red and a Briar horse that look like him set up, with a lock of his hair over the model's back; I'm also going to put a couple of pictures of Charlie, and the syringe we used is already on the shelf.

Goodbye Charlie. I love you.

In Christ,