Saturday, June 6, 2015

My throat hurts.


I got up at 5:30 am on a Saturday morning to milk the goats and get ready for Ryland's first swim meet.

Ryland is not my sports-driven kid.  He has NO desire to play baseball like his brother, or any other sport really.  So when he asked this spring if he could do swim team during the summer I was all over that.

If he doesn't want to play sports I'm fine with that.  But I do think having some kind of athletic part of your life is healthy.  Ryland is not a great swimmer either and practicing an hour a day during the summer is a sure way to improve his swimming.  And boy has it... and it's only been 2 weeks!

He finished 1st in the 50 meter freestyle in his 9 and 10 year old boys age group!  He was thrilled.

Connor and I decided to give the parent volunteer timer thing a go.  I was a bit nervous that one of us would mess up, but turns out using a stop watch and writing down times is something we can do! Smile.  It was a good morning.

Today my man turns 43. I'm a wee bit uncomfortable about how close this makes me feel to 50.  The years are going by so fast!  I want them to count.  For eternity!

I start back to 12 hour shifts of regular acute rehab nursing (no more light duty) next week on Wednesday.  I'm very thankful for the time I've had at home these last 3 months, even though I am ready to go back to work.  Being home has enabled me to be there for my son in a very hard time, be there for all the kiddings of my goats, and to learn to make soap!  Thank you Father!  Even if it took a broken wrist.

Tomorrow is going to be a hard day.  Especially in the morning hours.  Pathway Bible Church, my church family for the past 3 or 4 years (I've lost count), will worship together for the last time tomorrow.  Our pastor is retiring from pastoring after 40 something years!  But he's not retiring from serving the Lord with his life and talents!  I'm so happy for him and his wife who have become good friends... family!  I'll miss them tremendously as they'll be moving to Oregon.  But if they have to move, Oregon's a good choice!  I visit my family there every summer and now I'll be adding them to one of the family we get to stop and visit.

It'll be a hard day too, not just because my pastor and his wife are moving, but because I have been so blessed to get to teach the kids at Pathway in Sunday School and Children's Church over the past couple years.  My heart is invested in those kids!  I will continue to pray that the seeds that have been planted in their hearts will produce fruit that glorifies Christ for eternity!  I'll miss them.  A lot.

In all the churches I've been part of I've never seen a church fold like this.  I've seen trouble and division but always because of some scandal.  But tomorrow I will truly celebrate the end of a chapter of worshipping God together with the people of Pathway and hearing the teaching of God's word from my pastor because there's a great new chapter ahead.  No scandal.  No controversy.  Just a moving forward by faith.  I'm so thankful!  I will miss the people of Pathway.  May God bless each family as they run the race set before them.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:1-2


 Quieted,
Sheila

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Summer Vacation: Day 14








I have three blogs. Well, really 2. The third, which will be on our Goats Make Soap Co. website soon, isn't officially up and running yet. 

I have 10 goats now. Danny and Champ are my wethers. Buster, Champ's brother, is staying with us for awhile, but will eventually go back to his home with his dam. Darla, Daylight, Daisy and Esmeralda are all in milk. Hand milking 4 does every morning is quite the chore. So I've worked a system where I milk Darla and Daylight one day and Daisy and Esmeralda the next. This works for now because I still have Daylights twins, Luna and Star, Daisy's daughter Lily and Esmeralda's daughter Mulan. But soon (I hope) the buyer for Star and Lily will be taking them to their new home and I'll have a doe with no kids to keep her milk emptied out. This will work out OK because Daisy and Daylight will (hopefully) be going to their new home also sometime the middle of this month. This will leave me with 6 goats. Two dams in milk, two doelings and two wethers. And that's just the goat part of my life. 

I have a very entrepreneurial husband who is quite the dreamer. He's always dreaming up ways to invent the next great thing or start a successful small business that would free him up to work autonomously. Being a police officer fits his analytic, driven personality. But the para-military style work-life of policing doesn't. He's a very creative, talented, driven guy and when he caught wind of my goat milk soap making hobby his eyes lit up with an entrepreneur glow. By the end of two weeks he had a website started and a logo designed. The man is a machine!! In the mean time I'm making soap, honing in on my base soap recipe and what essential oils and "flavors" I want to use in my soap. I'm giving soaps away to everyone (which makes me happy) and I'm very surprised at the feedback: When can I buy some more? 

I'm not a business person. I have a hard enough time keeping a personal budget and balancing my own checkbook so its a good thing I have this driven guy doing all the tasks that need to be done to put a business together. If it was up to me I'd probably just make soap, give it away and maybe sell some on Etsy. Who knows, maybe my dreamer will get his dream and I'll be the happy soap maker.

Besides blogs, goats and soap (I won't even get started on the chickens, going back to full-time work schedule, looking for a church and trying to get back to the gym after a broken wrist), I have these two boys sprouting into men in my house. They, by far and away, are my dream and drive. Yes I enjoy writing (blogging inconsistently). And Lord knows I just love those goats! And the soap... it's just plain old fun and rewarding. But my boys. Mom to men I am. That overwhelms and weighs on me, and gets me thinking and praying all day long! 

In a few short weeks I'll have a 7th grader and a 6th grader in my house. Two sons in middle school. Someone tell me what happened to the time warp between that day in 8th grade when I looked in the mirror in the bathroom of my childhood home and wondered what I'd look like when I was 30 and now! 30 is 11 years ago already! What?!! 

I so I wish I could put my life on pause and regroup and get a few steps ahead. I can't. But I lift up my eyes to the One who rules over time. My times are in his hand. He knows that life feels like waves sweeping over me and I can barely catch my breath. 


But I trust in you, O Lord;

    I say, “You are my God.”
15 
My times are in your hand; -Psalm 31:14-15

Ok. Now to GoatsMakeSoap.Com to get that driven husband of mine some hope that I'm not gonna squelch his dream and give away all my soap. A few paragraphs of effort on his really nice site (you should check it out- it is still in progress thanks to his contemplative wife) should help. 


 Quieted,
Sheila

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My theory on fizzle and fade


I was thinking the other day about the patterns in my life. I have bursts of creativity that tend to fizzle and fade. But writing has been a steady pattern of unsteadiness since I was about 10 years old. I have bursts of creativity in writing that still fizzle and fade but they don't stay gone forever. They return.

 I have a theory. My theory is when I am meditating on God's word daily I produce bursts of creativity in writing. And when I skip reading my Bible or don't stop to really meditate on something I've read that creativity begins to fizzle and fade. So basically, you can look back at my patters of writing and almost create a direct correlation between how much I write and how much time I spend chewing on God's word. So it's been what... 4 months. Yeah. Not good.

 Which came first the lack of Bible or the depression? I don't know, but they definitely spin each other into a dark spiraling pit.

 So life has been dark and hard lately. But in the darkness and silence of God that is so hard to live with for me I am being held up by truths that are laid under me like a firm foundation.

 As I was plodding through my Bible readings the other day, longing to drink something that would quench my parched soul, it struck me that I need to speak out loud the truths I'm standing on even though I don't feel the refreshment of them right now. And in doing this I feel the break in the dryness give way to a burst of life-giving water. It's the way it works. It's the way faith works. It's the way living by faith works.

 When you say what God says in agreement with him, believing him, it builds the faith you had to believe what he said in the first place.

 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. -Romans 10:8-9  
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. -Romans 10:17 

 It's the truth:  The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. - 1 Timothy 1:15 

 I need a savior. And I have Him! And He has me! And He would have you too if you would have Him. He's the bedrock foundation I'm standing on in this darkness.


 Quieted,
Sheila

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

There's no time for this! {Warning: I'm yelling in this post. At myself mostly.}



You know what keeps you locked in a cage of doing what you know is wrong when there's a clear way out? A total ignorance, a total unawareness, a total blindness, a total denial of the times.

When a person knows their about to die you know what they don't do? They don't say, "You know what, I'm gonna die tomorrow so today I'm going to cheat on my husband, destroy my marriage, break trust with everyone I know, defame the name of Christ that I carry around in the title "Christian", abandon my kids, rob a bank, and do every other vile and deplorable thing I can think of that for a fleeting period of time might give me some sense of pleasure, or freedom or vengeance because tomorrow I'm going to die and that's the way I want to spend the rest of my life. That's what I want people to remember me for when I go.  That's what I want them to think of when they think of a Christian."

No one says that!

But many do it.

And the only reason we do it is because we're in total denial. We refuse to believe there's no time for such things. We refuse to believe the end of all things is at hand. We refuse to believe we're going to die and leave a reputation behind and face the One who made us, the One we've been naming ourselves after so easily.

Christian. Really? Are you really? Am I really? Am I a Christ-ian? A "little Christ"?

I am. I say I am. I carry around His name. And One day I'll meet him face to face.

The end of all things is at hand. I do not get to stay here this side of that day forever. I only get a time. A very short time.

So many of us in the Disneyland of America are in a tangled web- abandoning our vows to each other, indulging in sexual pleasures outside of marriage, consuming images for our pleasure, ignoring the needs of those around us- we toy with sin and wrestle with whether God will forgive us if we chose to keep toying, and we argue with each other about various doctrines... and we're fools! There's no time!

There's no time to caress our pity party about our less than ideal marriage and feast ourselves on the cocaine of a forbidden relationship. There's no time!! We carry the name of Christ. We will see him face to face one day. We won't just live this life forever apart from a day of reckoning. We don't have time to toy with sin. We have wasted enough of our lives on those lies and traps and temporary pleasures (that are really chains)!

We only have a short time here to pray and watch the God of all the earth do amazing things through us! Us!

You know, I hear the call from godly men and women to stand for the unborn and those enslaved in human trafficking.  I hear the call to be willing to stand out as "hateful" in a world that will hate you for loving them and unashamedly confessing that God designed marriage between a man and woman.  I hear a call for embracing all races and ethnic groups as equally bearing the image of God, and for pointing to the blood of Christ as the only hope for any man.  I hear the call to abandon comfort and ease to go to an unreached people group, bringing them the light and truth of Christ.  I hear their calls and I think we're over here wasting our lives on sinful pleasures and desires, arguing amongst ourselves about what the Bible says and our seconds and minutes and hours and days and years tick by and we trample under our feet the blood of Christ, clinging to our sin, mocking God and declaring we can continue in sin because grace abounds.  All the while those who rightly call themselves Christians are spending their minutes and months and lives fighting to stand against the devil's schemes, putting their own lives in the way of those marching to slaughter and giving up domestic life for a very uncomfortable life reaching people who've never heard of their Savior.  And it's not just those "glamorous" calls that Christians are spending their lives on.  They're bending their knees to raise up a child day in and day out with prayer and teaching and nurture in the Spirit of Christ  They're denying themselves to love a world-weary man who doesn't love them well.  They're laying down their lives to tender-heartedly love a woman whose bitternesses are spreading.

So you're not called to sell all your possessions and move to the Congo.  But, when those thoughts come, "He's never going to change... I don't deserve to be treated like this... I'm not loved like I long to be loved... No one cares what I want, what I desire... What about me?..." When those poisoned-laced darts of sweet lies penetrate my brain I need to declare: THERE'S NO TIME FOR THIS!!

I need to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and destroy that lying worm with 1 Peter 4.

So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. - 1 Peter 4:1-5,7-11


You and I need to let the pain of the battle to stand in Christ free us when our husbands don't love us like they should, and our children require us to constantly give our time and energy and life, and our bosses fire us because of our expressed beliefs when asked, and our neighbor rejects us because of our refusal to celebrate same-sex unions, and our friends cut us off because we won't pat them on the back and join in with encouraging them in the sin that is destroying their lives.  When those things happen, you and I need to let those pains, those sufferings come so we can be one battle closer to being done with sinning! We need to let those trials come and hurt us so we can stop spending the rest of our lives chasing our own desires but rather wake up every day on edge to do the will of God! Instead of running away from the pain and suffering that comes with following Christ, we need to let it free us from the chains of sin and to a life abandoned to his will.

And if we find ourselves in the pit of the sinful mess we've made of our lives, right now, there is time to turn around, and stop denying the truth, and let the blood of Christ be enough for us to stop wasting our lives on our own desires and spend our lives on HIS!  There's no time for anything else!



Sobered,
Sheila