Lord’s Day Hymn

A song written by a brother many, many years ago – over three hundred years ago – that the Lord blessed me to learn in 2006.
He brought it to memory and blessed me tremendously late last week, and continues to use its words to bless me as we begin this week before us and I feel and see the Lord Jesus’ Hand at work in my life personally, and in my family.

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If thou but suffer God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.

What can these anxious cares avail thee
These never ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

Be patient and await His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whatever thy Father’s pleasure
And His discerning love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost want are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

God knows full well when time of gladness
Shall be the needful thing for thee.
When He has tried thy soul with sadness
And from all guile has found thee free,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own His loving care.

Nor think amid the fiery trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred.
Time passes and much change doth bring
And set a bound to everything.

All are alike before the Highest:
’Tis easy for our God, We know,
To raise thee up, though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low.
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to naught.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
Perform thy duties faithfully,
And trust His Word: though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

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A Trouble

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The story of yesterday – told shortly because I have fallen victim to one of those ever-so-often splitting headaches and am still trying to trudge through the day’s work.

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As Carra and I made it home yesterday evening and tended the herd and our little garden, Mama called us up – very anxious – and talked to Carra.
All I could hear was, “Oh no!!” and, “Do you want us to come pick you up?”
Carra was on the phone sometime before I finally found out that the work van – already a not-too-reliable vehicle and packed to the hips with tools and other things I know in general as “junk” ( 🙂 ) – had blown a flat on a busy part of I-77 and Daddy hadn’t been able to pull the van off the road far enough.
They were changing the tire anyway – thank Jesus for whoever came up with the idea for spares! – and we prayed (and sent word to friends who also prayed!) and Mama told us to go on with chores (and I wonder go easily she thought we could do that with her scared and crying over a half hour away?).

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But Jesus is so good.
This is what I was trying to say yesterday; that if we trust Him for everything, even in to most simple things in life He will protect us and guide us.
If our minds are stayed on Him.

If we get all caught up with ourselves, our individuality, our personal “rights”, then there is no room in our hearts for Jesus – even if we believe in Him – and no room in our lives for His Guidance and Protection, as He knows we feel we can “handle” the situation without Him – even if we don’t confess that.

Well, back to work with me.
Praying you all enjoy this Thursday – and hopefully without a headache!! 🙂

Blessed Hour of Prayer

I rarely write multiple posts in one day. Sometimes I will feel like writing a lot and will have a spell of two posts a day, but rarely – perhaps even never – three.
Well, here’s my third post for the day.
I have been praying much about sharing another, but felt very impressed in my spirit to do so.
Again on the subject of prayer – or rather, on talking to The Lord Jesus; keeping up a communion with Him through out the day.
The Lord is truly impressing on my spirit how important to the Christian’s daily life a constant communion with Him is. It’s like feeding our own natural bodies. We would never starve ourselves, but so often we starve our spirits by not feeding ourselves on our Heavenly Bread, the Life of Jesus.

Fanny J. Crosby’s beautiful hymn, written so many years ago, speak my feelings so perfectly. It’s one of my favorite songs.

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when our hearts lowly bend,
And we gather to Jesus, our Savior and Friend;
If we come to Him in faith, His protection to share,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when the Savior draws near,
With a tender compassion His children to hear;
When He tells us we may cast at His feet every care,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when the tempted and tried
To the Savior Who loves them their sorrow confide;
With a sympathizing heart He removes every care;
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

At the blessèd hour of prayer, trusting Him, we believe
That the blessing we’re needing we’ll surely receive;
In the fullness of the trust we shall lose every care;
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there.

Refrain

Blessèd hour of prayer, blessèd hour of prayer,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

To be in constant communion with Jesus is not an unnatural feat. It’s something that should come very easily to even the youngest of believers.

To know Him, talk to Him, rely on Him – as the source of our lives, happiness, safety, and future day by day enables us, as believers, to live above the trials and troubles – no matter how big or how small – that He places in our circumstances.

Such as the trouble that came our family’s way tonight.
It wasn’t huge or harmful, though it could have been very easily.

Lordwilling, I’ll share that little story tomorrow.
I think I’ve written enough today. 🙂

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A Song from Sunday

I have heard this song many times over the course of my romance with the family music tradition of bluegrass gospel. I had no idea it was in our hymnal all that time!
I played it at least three times and sang it yesterday, and also played it for our evening worship service.
Oh that Jesus would grant us stars in our crowns!

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I am thinking today of that beautiful land
I shall reach when the sun goeth down;
When through wonderful grace by my Savior I stand,
Will there be any stars in my crown?

In the strength of the Lord let me labor and pray,
Let me watch as a winner of souls,
That bright stars may be mine in the glorious day,
When His praise like the sea billow rolls.

O what joy it will be when His face I behold,
Living gems at his feet to lay down!
It would sweeten my bliss in the city of gold,
Should there be any stars in my crown.

Refrain

Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown
When at evening the sun goeth down?
When I wake with the blest in the mansions of rest
Will there be any stars in my crown?

Elizabeth E. Hewitt 1897

Special Saturday with Friends

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:12

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After many days of preparation, the day of the big visit finally came. 🙂

Our friends, the H. Family came to spend the day with us yesterday, make bread, cheese, pizza, cookies, soap, and spend some time with the goats.

It was a full, busy day – but full of laughs and the love of Jesus. It was a beautiful day, in short, and we all enjoyed it…all….ten of us.

Doesn’t sound like a large crowd to most of you, I know. 🙂 But ten is a lot people to have at the Lyons’ house at one time! 😀

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The first thing we did was make mozzarella cheese – from two gallons of milk. One turned out well the other didn’t but we used it all on pizza later that evening! 🙂

We used the whey to make up a batch of 8 loaves of bread, and also used like three loaves worth of dough for the pizza crust.

We had plenty of little hands to help out. 🙂 The H. Family has a set of triplets and a little one not yet a year old. Having the sound of children in the house was very different for us four, but a refreshing change from the solemnity of the Lyons’ home and so much fun.

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We loved holding the littlest H. baby. ❤ Carra and I couldn’t get our fill of him even if our not-used-to-children-arms were sore! 🙂

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Half way through the day the little H. girls knocked off as we say, and took a nap. I think the day was a full one for them! 🙂 They helped with the bread dough, made miniature pizza crusts, tasted the cheese and mushrooms and bell peppers, and walked all the way to the barn (we carried them back 🙂 ), and rolled around in the den with their triplet brother playing…whatever games little three year old minds can imagine to play!

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We went down to the barn and visited the goats. Mama H. worked on milking again – this is the family that bought little Mercy and Tot at the beginning of the month. Mama H. wants to learn to milk so that when the girls have freshened she’ll be able to get fresh milk for her sweet family. She’s getting the hang of it too!

Watching her, I remembered a lot of our own adventure in learning how to milk. It makes me so thankful to the Lord that we had our Daisy back then. She was so patient and let us work with her for what seemed like hours. Rosie (the doe Mama H. is milking here) is just like Daisy; very patient.

Its amazing the things we put animals through for our own use….

but I’m off the subject. 🙂

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Dad H. finished up the milking; he’s had practice before on goats some years ago.

I think both of them working together they’ll have a home dairy in no time when their little ones freshen. 🙂

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I don’t think I got any pictures of our cookie making. Or maybe I did but not on my phone….

Well, after the cookie making and the trip to the barn we put the sauce together and fixed the pizzas then all sat down to a hearty meal – which was lovely. 🙂

Daddy had been mowing for most of this time while we showed the Hs. our kitchen work, but the men enjoyed conversation over supper and afterwards took the triplets out and planted tomato plants.

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After supper, when all the kids were outside, we mixed up a batch of Lilac and Lilies soap with Mama H. for the family to take home.

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By this time it was getting late, and after a good long chat and packing the H. Family car we saw our friends off.

It was a lovely day, and we’re already thinking of some way to get them back here again! 😀

I am thankful for the dear friends the Lord Jesus brings into our lives – in the most unusual of ways, such as our goats. 🙂

And I’m thankful for the special bond that forms between those who are truly seeking to serve and honor Him. The bond of His love and life.

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(A sign done for our family by sweet Mama H. ❤ Thank you, dear friend!)

May Jesus always be our lives and may He shine forth through us in everything we do, say, and share.

Jesus in Mine

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Fade, fade each earthly joy;
Jesus is mine.
Break every tender tie;
Jesus is mine.
Dark is the wilderness,
Earth has no resting place,
Jesus alone can bless;
Jesus is mine.

Tempt not my soul away;
Jesus is mine.
Here would I ever stay;
Jesus is mine.
Perishing things of clay,
Born but for one brief day,
Pass from my heart away;
Jesus is mine.

Farewell, ye dreams of night;
Jesus is mine.
Lost in this dawning bright;
Jesus is mine.
All that my soul has tried
Left but a dismal void;
Jesus has satisfied;
Jesus is mine.

Farewell, mortality;
Jesus is mine.
Welcome, eternity;
Jesus is mine.
Welcome, O Loved and Blest,
Welcome, sweet scenes of rest,
Welcome, my Savior’s breast;
Jesus is mine.

Charlotte Elliot

A Look Back, So We Can Look Ahead

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but them shall I know even as also I am known. 

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

I Corinthians 13:12-13

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Going through pictures yesterday, I was reminded of how things change.

I guess everyone is inclined to do that when they look through pictures – even if their not really old, per se.

I was looking through pictures of a couple years ago. 2011.

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Carra was 18, I was 19, going to turn 19 and 20 later on in the year.

Daddy had taken a day job in town for the first time in our memories, and us girls were at home most of the time; cooking, canning, and doing things we later would come to love (though at the time it was mainly work).

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 This was the year we began doing some outside jobs; four or five in this year actually.

Daddy had begun working on getting his GC license again and we were picking up a few small jobs for individuals.

Earlier in the year we had traveled so far as Statesville NC to work.

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It was also the year of the big snow (something very rare for South Carolina!).

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That was the last time I remember sledding – and the first time I remember sledding since 2003 when we had a huge snow over in Gaffney, SC.

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Our herd of goats was still small; Daisy, her two daughters Joy and Princess, and our buck Silver. We had scores of chickens though! And we loved every minute of chores. 🙂 I don’t think the goats liked the snow as much as we did though! 😀

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It was the first year we had more than one goat give birth at once (and the last year that kidding season was not so exhausting). It was also the year our little Rosie was born. 🙂

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We would take long walks on the dam behind our house, Carra and I together, and K would read to me.

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We had a special mothers’ day – of course, this was before we knew how much we would need to use that grill when a huge storm came through shortly afterwards and took away our electricity for two or three days! 😀

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Things were changing in our family; so slowly, but they were.

We weren’t always happy with the changes, but come they would, and the things that went on in this year, and the years before that, the Lord put within our lives to change us into better servants for Him.

Of course we didn’t know it at the time, and still are not often aware of it when He is working.

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I could go on and on about the changes of 2011. The things we went through; all the learning we did – a lot of it in cooking and canning! We had tons of pickles that year and preserves.

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Carra, I’m sure you’ll remember this blurry picture!

We thought this was the very pits of life, didn’t we? The month or more we spent at this home, working – and learning so much about our work!

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Glazing windows.

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And painting them – then trying to get them unstuck! 😀

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We thought this was just the worst part of our lives that could be imagined.

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It was the first time in 11 years that my sister and I ventured to have separate rooms.

And it worked.

Mainly because one sister was on the computer a lot at the time, while the other wanted to sleep!!

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And though we thought we were so, so unhappy….

We can look back now and see the joy that’s hidden in these pictures; the joy we didn’t really know that we had.

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It was a year of learning; of doing things we’d never done before, of experiencing changes we never imagined would come, and of touching new relationships that for a while seemed to send our family on rollercoasters – when really all the were doing was showing us hills and valleys that weren’t really all that deep or tall.

If only we could have seen this then.

If only we could have seen the Lord’s Hand in our circumstances, and learned then to love everyday as if it were our last, and to put our most into each moment for the glory of our Lord Jesus and the love of each other.

If only we could have seen this then.

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And today; as we work…trudging through hours of labor we outright despise, having no time at home as we think we ought, and struggling with relationships – within our family and without – as well as laboring in our own personal relationships with our Jesus….

If today we would just look up.

If we would take a lesson from our past.

All those hours we could have enjoyed and rejoiced in, even in trials and trouble, if only we would have seen Jesus’ working.

And what of today?

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In the simple things in life – and the most difficult – He is still here, still working.

Why can’t we just trust Him?

Why don’t we ever learn this lesson?

Instead of being downcast and depressed and drug down because of tribulation and struggles? Why can’t we embrace these hardships and hold onto Christ, knowing His is always a better plan?

Working in the Gas Chambers

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving Cavour than silver and gold.”

This is going to be another one of those mobile posts. (Mainly because I got up late and haven’t time to upload all the pictures to my computer! Errr….the folly of being tired!)
But yesterday as we were working I promised myself I’d do a blogpost on our latest achievement, so here I am! 🙂

Insulation.
Not the blown in kind by any means…the bales, you cut into strips, push up between the floor joists, and pin in place with tiger teeth.
Not the green, cotton kind
The fiberglass type.

We often put in insulation. Blown in above, and whatever-this-is-called beneath. But yesterday was so full of laughing – even amidst all the work, itching, burning, and squeezing in (sometimes the spaces between the floor and ceiling were only 2 feet or less), that I just had to write about it. 🙂

I only went under for short periods. Asthma keeps me from doing things that are so dusty (or shall we say fibery), but I did go under some to deliver things, and I have a good reputation as a gopher. 🙂

Carra and I joked that we were working in the gas chambers (pictures I took of them thru the foundation vents show why. 🙂 )

Also, I included here the rare picture of one of us girls in pants. (Carra). As I shared on fb, we wear skirts (ie mainly dresses) for modesty even on the farm, mucking out, trimming goat hooves, attending goat births, giving vaccines, disbudding, or at work painting, putting up vinyl siding, muddying, Sheetrock, roofing, etc. or doing any job at home from cookie to mowing grass and anything in between. But sometimes (as at work when crawling under houses or at home hen tending bees) over/coveralls are a must have, even for girls. Of course, it is so rare we use them that we wear Daddy’s.

Hope you enjoy these pictures!

What did you spend your Monday doing?

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Mother’s Day

I know yesterday was Mother’s Day.

But I was too busy with my Mother to do a post about it on the very day!

So, here it is a day late. 🙂

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My Mama is very special to me.

She is the encouragement and the hope from the Lord that helps me through each day. The gift from my Jesus to encourage and establish my faith, even in the darkest moments, and the one person who WILL listen to me and pray with me, no matter what!

The life lessons she has shared with us, and continue to share with us will go with us throughout our lives. They will come to remembrance when we are faced with questionable circumstances and we’ll remember what she has taught us.

I am so thankful for my Mama. Jesus truly gave me a wonderful, special, and unique gift when He chose her to be my mother.

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My sister and I and our Dad worked to make the day special for Mama.

Daddy went out with her while she picked flowers (as well as brought in a bunch of roses for her last night. 🙂

I think Mama really enjoyed arranging all the flowers in vases and putting them in different rooms in the evening. 🙂

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After morning service we took her down to visit the goats.

She and Daddy hardly ever get down there during the week – only on Sundays.

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Then we made a special meal for her – her favorite. 🙂

BLTs.

Mama LOVES bacon sandwiches! 🙂

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We set our best silverware out. 🙂

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And then had Brownies for dessert.

She loves brownies – and homemade are always the best, of course!

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Then there was the opening-gifts-time. 🙂

Mama loves to fix up the house and decorate; we got her things she could work with.

Covers for her bed, candles, and K made a hand-embroidered sampler and framed it for her.

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I think she really liked that one. 🙂

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And the new quilt for her bed.

(one day this will be handmade too!)

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We worked hard to make it special.

Because we love our Mama.

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And because….unlike other things in your life where you can buy a replacement or pick up another copy.

With Mamas,

you only have just one.

Mobile Blogging…being a teen…growing up…and other things.

Well…unlike I figured…I have a nice deal of time on my hands today with which to write a blogpost – even mobile. 🙂 actually I have a LOT of time today!

The surgery is taking the whole day, so far as can be told right now, so everyone is sitting around talking, doodling, and otherwise killing time while we pray for Randy in the operating room and trust the Lord’s Hand will guide the surgeons as they work.

It’s a wet, chilly day today.
It was even worse at 2:00am when we got up!!

That’s writing-worthy!

As I may have mentioned before, I am more of a night type person. I like to stay up late, reading or writing. Getting up before the sun is not usually my favorite way to start the day. I don’t mind sometimes…but 5 is about as early as I can handle.

Well…in order to see Randy before they took him back to surgery, we had to make it 150 miles or so by 7:00am.
Which meant, in order to get chores done, we had to get up at TWO!

So…up at 2, chores at 2:30, breakfast 3:30, then on the road by 4:07. A two and a half hour drive and we’ve been in Winston Salem, at the baptist hospital since 6:44.
Thank the Lord we did get to see Randy before they took him back – but just before. He got ere just a few minutes after us and they took him in less than half an hour later!

Now we’re in the dreaded hours of waiting…aching…praying…starving…bored…waiting…praying…aching…thirsty…getting lost in the hospital…..
The list goes on.

But we’re enjoying it – despite the circumstances and the tiredness! It’s nice to see our relatives again, get caught up on the bits of news we’ve missed, and see Randy’s boys again.

Trai and Thomas have certainly grown – even since my first mention of them on my blog a couple years ago!
Watching them play games, organize their collection of miniature cars and trucks (and planes!), draw (and very well, I might add!), study up on their homework, etc. it reminds me of when I had just turned a teen (and a little younger).

13.
That was a beautiful year.
It should be really; the child is growing, feeling his age, learning more about life, but still young enough to enjoy it – all of it, not just parts of it like adults! – in their simplicity.

Hmm…
When I turned 13, my family was in the middle of moving to a new home, I was thoroughly enjoying both piano and writing, was busy with my school lessons, and only had the responsibility of my four year old cat and partial responsibility of our four dogs.
I and my sister took up violin that year and The Lord truly blessed that. Besides Mamas attempt to teach us guitar when we were six or seven, learning violin was our first experience with a stringed instrument. It was a LOT of work, but The Lord planted the desire to play so deep in our young hearts that it took off like wildfire and despite the aching necks and fingers, we learned quickly and loved every minute of it!

It was also the year that the Lord blessed our young bee farm; our whole family spent a LOT of time tending the bees, building supers, catching swarms, harvesting honey, and talking talking, talking about bees.

It was a year of learning, changing, expanding my mind (not through reading, I add, my affair with reading had already waned), experiencing new things and meeting new people.

I did not write much in my diary that year. I didn’t like where we were living, I thought everything exciting had been left behind at our old home. So, I didn’t care to write much about my life (I just wrote stories) though now I wish so much I had documented more about my first year as a teenager. (Though I do not in any way regret the hours I spent scribbling stories. The Lord taught me more in that year – and in the next two or three – about writing than I think I ever learned mechanically since.)

13 was a good year for me – I might not have felt so at the time – but looking back, it was a very good year.
But isn’t every year like that?
Every year we should appreciate the Lord’s working in our lives – no matter what we see in our natural sight. His work is so much greater than our ideas – our biggest dreams are so time compared to His plans for us.

May we learn to love each day, each month, each year as a gift from our Savior.
One day we WILL look back and see His Hand in our lives where before we saw only trouble and trials, and we will lift our hand in Praise to His Providence.
But how much more wonderful our lives would be if we could become conscious of this WHEN it is happening!

“For with Thee is the Fountain of Life: in Thy Light shall we see Light. O continue Thy Lovingkindness unto them that know Thee; and Thy Righteousness to the upright in heart.”
Psalm 36:9-10

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