Saturday, April 24, 2010

The week

I made it through another week of work, probably my last working Wednesday thru Saturday. I've changed my preferred schedule to work Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday but have not seen a schedule with those days yet.

Tomorrow I hope to take advantage of my day off and spend it wisely. I will spend as much of it as I can with Lilyana and the rest doing work outside if the weather permits. Monday morning after I head to work, Dan and Lilyana will head to my parents' to help them gather more wood for next winter. They should return on Tuesday night so that they're home Wednesday when I'm off again. Then I work Thursday and Friday to finish off my four days.

Next Saturday we celebrate the two years of life we've been blessed with so far with Lilyana. She is my joy and my heart burst with love for you to the point of tears. I am thankful to God for giving her to us at the right time when we needed a reason to get up in the morning.

Sometimes I feel sad for her that she was born to us for her parents. I feel like we are tired, old, worn out people and she deserves better than that. But I trust God's plan and believe that she is ours for this time to bring peace and joy back into our lives after many years of trauma and darkness.

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Weekend

Well, my weekend is almost over. Back to work tomorrow for another week. I'm not really looking forward to next week as my days off are Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday. I will miss the last week of Bible study.

We've had quite a busy "weekend." We spent a lot of time outside as the weather has been exceptional for April. Dan got the garden tilled; may not be the last tilling. We received some strawberries and onion sets from a friend so tomorrow he has to clean out the perennial bed for those to add to the rhubarb and chives.

Lilyana took a face plant last night while I was at Bible study. The spring horse finally snapped and she landed face first on the floor. Dan called me and said her nose and mouth were bleeding so I met him at the ER and got her checked out. She's fine. Just a scare for all of us. It has been her pacifier when she's tired or crabby. I guess we'll have to find a new one just like we did when we put away the swing and the exersaucer (or whatever it's called). Maybe the sit and spin can become her new pacifier. She never really got into the habit of a real pacifier. Probably because she likes to talk.

Have a blessed week.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thistles, Earthworms and Obedience

Our church meets in an elementary school. So of course there is a playground on the property. We took Lilyana to the playground after church for fun. She climbed to the top of two big slides but wasn't brave enough to go down either one. When we decided to leave, she cried all the way to the van because she just wasn't ready to go yet.

After our nap we went outside. I decided it was time to dig up the thistles in the garden. So while Dan dug them out I took the dirt of and threw them in a wagon. Apparently having 20 cats does have a positive side. The dirt was full of worms. I picked a couple up and showed them to Lilyana and she took them from me, inspected them and placed them gently back on the ground. Hopefully we'll have a nice healthy garden this year.

On our property we have a back shed and a chicken house, among other buildings. These two buildings each have one corner that almost meet with about a two foot space in between. One night a few weeks ago Lilyana and Dan went through that space to the back pasture. Well, today she decided she wanted to do that again but we were busy in the garden. After several attempts to verbally keep her from going back there I decided to try the consequence thing. So I asked her if she wanted to go in the house. She said, "no." So I told her that if she went through there I would take her in the house. After teetering on the edge she successfully obeyed and moved away from that area. I was quite excited to have had probably the first successful "discipline/consequence" parenting experience with her. It sure brought back memories of the failed one with our other two kids.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Rich Family in Church

I saw this story on my friend Claudia's blog and wanted to share it here.

By Eddie Ogan

I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12,and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.

By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.

When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn't listen to the radio, we'd save money on that month's electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.

We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives.

Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we'd sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.

The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change.

We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.

That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn't care that we wouldn't have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.

We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn't own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn't seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.

But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt rich.

When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in a $20.

As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn't say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills.

Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn't talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn't have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night.

We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn't have a lot of things that other people had, but I'd never thought we were poor.

That Easter day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn't like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed--I didn't even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor!

I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn't know. We'd never known we were poor. We didn't want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn't talk on the way.

Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, "Can't we all sacrifice to help these poor people?" We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.

Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering.

When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn't expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, "You must have some rich people in this church."

Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that "little over $100."

We were the rich family in the church! Hadn't the missionary said so? From that day on I've never been poor again. I've always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus!

Read more about Eddie at: