It's busy around here! Habitat for Humanity trucks taking away furniture, things getting painted, casseroles getting stacked up in the freezer, a fire extinquisher placed in every room of the house.... the farm is a tornado of activity. We are preparing for two big events this week: Thanksgiving (here and at the homeless shelter) and our safety visit for hosting the kids from the Ukranian orphanage through New Horizons for Children.
While standing in the long line at Publix yesterday with the makings for Thanksgiving desserts for the masses, I got a call from our babysitter. And I heard the words, "Carson is okay BUT he had a wreck on his bike and his face is a little messed up." Oh, yay. Safety visit week. =)
"...and we'll keep on fighting till the end. Cause ding a dang dong we're the champions!"
file under: that's life
Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things. -Horace
I've always enjoyed reading about the Biblical feasts. When we were in Israel last year, the Jewish people were preparing for Sukkot which is the Jewish Harvest Festival celebrated for eight days following Yom Kippur. Sukkot is a reminder to the Jewish people of the days the Israelites spent wandering in the Sinai dessert. During Sukkot, the Jewish people are commanded to be joyous and reminded to be grateful for all that they now possess. This command reminds me of the conversations we have with our three children several times a day, "Be happy and grateful for all you have! (<<<insert grumpy additions here>>>)" (more about Sukkot)
In preparation for our upcoming Thanksgiving feasts, one with family and friends here on the farm and another later that night with our friends at the local women and childrens' shelter, I have been gathering recipes (see below!) and my thoughts regarding feasts. Feasts usher in a special time of heart preparation. Before a feast, one must decide in what manner they will serve others and how they will choose to be served by others. Either we will choose a grateful and joyous heart or a more dreary disposition. Proverbs 15:5 says, "All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast." In his song Up Down, The Ambassador paraphrases Paul's words, "I'm learnin' the secret... I know how to abase and I know how to abound. That means in feast or famine, with little or much, I stay on point." Like Paul, I too am (slowly) learning the secret. I'm finding that God really is more than able to 'make beautiful things out of the dust", "give beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning" and as we offer up our sacrifice of gladness in faith, God meets us there to do great and wonderful things. So cool!
I pray that, whatever your current circumstance- wandering in the desert, in the promise land or somewhere in between, your heart will be awakened with gladness this Thanksgiving and that your feast will continue for duration of the year.
I am continuously grateful for you, sweet friends! Happy Thanksgiving from the farm!
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. -Johannes A. Gaertner
God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.
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Every morning, I type out one of those cute little computer 'stickies' to remind me of the few things that I need to do during the day that is not in our 'normal routine'. This morning's sticky caused me to typerventilate ever so slightly and I had to abandon said sticky creation. Instead, I went on a search to find this quote by Anne Lamott from her book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. A little perspective plus a nice cup of coffee and I'm ready to tackle my first bird.
Love and wishes for a wonderfully productive day from the farm to you all today!
Ollie decided about a week ago that "M" should have her 'princess room'. This is a HUGE sacrifice for Ollie; she LOVES her princess sanctuary. We are very proud of her for offering this precious gift. We are still looking at different options of where to house the boys, "A", "O" and "P". Our guest room is the best option space-wise but it definitely needs that 'something special' to happen to it before it is ready for those cute boys.
So off I launched on my search to learn how to 'properly' prepare a room. First, I googled 'prepare a room scripture'. That search dug up these little treasures:
Jesus said to his disciples, "There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live." (John 14:2-3)
A Room In Heaven
Good morning, boys and girls. I've been thinking about heaven. I have never been to heaven but Jesus makes it sounds so good that I know I will just love it. It will be better than anywhere I have been. But first, I need to live my life because Jesus is getting heaven ready for me.
How many of you have a room at home? (let them answer) Is the room your own room or do you share it with your brother or sister? (let them answer) What kind of room is it? Is your room the kitchen? (let them answer) Is your room the family room? (let them answer) Is your room in the laundry room? (let them answer) Then where is your room? (let them answer) Your bedroom! That's funny; my room is my bedroom, also.
I brought some things that I see in your rooms. (display the stuffed animals, pictures, books, and other items) Do you have all of these things in your room? (let them answer) I also have pictures of my favorite ball players and my favorite teams. Do you have any of those kinds of pictures? Wonderful!
(MY NOTE: SOME GOOD IDEAS FOR THE BOYS' ROOM HERE: BOOKS, GAMES, PICTURES. ANY IDEAS TO SHARE???? I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!)
There is a reason I am talking about your room. Jesus said he was going to heaven to prepare a room for me. Jesus is expecting me just like he is expecting you. You won't have to live in a tree or a cave but you will have your own room. Isn't that great? (let them answer) You won't be living behind a fence with the horses, cows, or ducks. You won't even have to share your room with your brother, sister, mom, or dad. Jesus said he is going home to heaven to prepare rooms. Jesus said that in his Father's house there are many rooms, at least one for each of us.
Do you think Jesus is planning to take good care of us? (let them answer) Do you know how your mom makes your bed and asks you to pick up your toys? Moms don't like messy rooms. Jesus hasn't told me about taking care of my room but he said that he has one for me. I hope it is painted light blue with stars on the ceiling and a very big bookcase where I can keep all of my books. I hope it is big enough so that when you visit me I can take you to my room to talk and listen to great music. Will you invite me over to see your room? (let them answer)
Heaven is going to be a wonderful place to live and I hope you enjoy it as much I know that I am going to enjoy it
Learning to love what is. Epic Odyssey. And the story winds along...