Saturday, January 30, 2010

An update...

It has been brought to my attention that it has been awhile since I have put up a post sharing what is going on in my life, updating my family and friends, etc. In many ways life continues on much the same, in others it has changed a lot!

The biggest change is that over the past few weeks I have been spending a lot of time helping the E family. This job is teaching me so much about running a home, caring for children, etc. From laundry, to meal planning, to grocery shopping, to babysitting, to catching a chicken one of the little ones let in the house........there is never a dull moment, and I am always busy! It has been decided that I am switching from my normal Wed workday, to a 3 day work week. It's good that the Lord has given me work to do.

As for continuing the same.....I still live with Joshua, though I am spending very little time at home these days. Seth and Cephas are still with us so I have 3 guys to care for when I am home. We are fast approaching my one year anniversary for moving to South Carolina - it's hard to believe - time flies! What a year it has been, so many changes for me, and my family. But the Lord has been very good to us.

An overview of the past week.....The Lord's day was our second week at Level One. It was good to have Pastor McCurley back. We began a sermon series on the book of Jonah - I'm looking forward to going through this book, there has been so much to learn every time he goes through one of the OT books.

On Monday I came down with a bad cold, and have had a cough and laryngitis all week. The day was mainly filled with normal activity, schoolwork, cooking, laundry, and so on....the children spent a lot of it playing with their new chickens, and coming up with hilarious names for them - all after celebrities ( a hen named Rocky Balboa?! lol). I remember years ago when we got our first chickens how much fun my siblings and I had naming them.....giving every chicken a name didn't last long for us though! The best part of Mon was a phone date with my friend. There is nothing like talking, laughing, and crying together to put things in perspective.

Tuesday - I was thankful when the children's grandmother came and helped with the children - I was feeling sick, so an easier day was welcome. Jenny and I had our normal Tue night movie - it is funny, everyone at church knows about this tradition now, and wants to know what we watch, makes suggestions for things we might like, etc. Tonight was the old version of Cheaper By The Dozen. It was fun to watch after my experience of growing up in a very structured, organized, large family.

Wednesday we went to church and continued the series on faith that we have been going through for the past couple months.

Thursday was a gorgeous day, I didn't even need a jacket on my walk. Thur evenings are Jenny and my evenings out - we run errands, I do the grocery shopping, we eat dinner, and talk. Or we would have talked if I didn't have laryngitis:-(.

On Friday was our last Biblical Marriage class at church - these have been very good. Driving home from church Hannah turned to me and said, "Miss Stefanie, you are part of the family now!", so sweet:-). Taking care of young children can be such a special job. As I've learned I can be feeling impatient, or tired, then they will say something sweet, or give me a big hug, or pray in family worship that the Lord will bless me, which changes my attitude...I enjoy these little ones, I'm glad God has given me the job of helping with them and Sammy.

Saturday morning I woke to an inch of ice covering everything and realized two things - 1. The Keepers at Home class that I stayed over at the Es to help with was going to be cancelled. 2. That I was snowed in! A first for me, I've only been snowed in at my own home before......we made a nice day of it though, it included playing in the snow (you don't want to know how long it takes to get 6 children ready to go play in the snow - much longer than they actually spend playing outside, lol), drinking hot chocolate, watching a movie, and I even got to do some reading. That evening we watched Belles On Their Toes together, the sequel to Cheaper By The Dozen. Both were very good movies, anyone from a big family would enjoy them.

I'll close this post with a picture I took of the girls recently when I was babysitting. It's an easy job when they act like this:-)





Snow!

We woke to an inch or so of snow/ice/wintry mix this morning! Of course the children were thrilled! Hannah all dressed for the snow - I won't even go into how much work it was to get all the children ready to go out:-)


Emily and Beka.


William.


Hannah:-)


Heading out to check the road....yes, we are snowed in....which wasn't such a bad thing...we had a nice day, I got in some reading, we watched a movie, and there was hot chocolate.....


My first experience being snowed in at someone else's house! I made hot chocolate for all the children when they came in:-)


Chocolate....


Happy children:-)


Beka enjoying her hot chocolate!



I thought I would end with a picture of my last "real snow". This fell on March 1st, 2009 at my old home in VA. I had to blaze a trail down to the barn that morning - the snow was up to my knees!


Biblical Marriage

Last evening we completed our classes on Biblical Marriage at Greenville Presbyterian. I'm posting all four here for anyone who might be interested....









Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another Matthew Henry quote..

"The best we can say to God in prayer is what he has said to us. God's promises, as they are the surest guide of our desires in prayer, and furnish us with the best petitions, so they are the firmest ground of our hopes, and furnish us with the best pleas."Lord, thou saidst thus and thus; and wilt thou not be as good as thy word, the word upon which thou had caused me to hope?" Ps. cxix. 49. The most general promises are applicable to particular cases. "Thou saidst, I will do thee good; Lord, do me good in this matter." ~Matthew Henry

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A quote for women..

"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in Heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position as sacred and well pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and work flow."
~ Martin Luther

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Sympathy Of Christ Part Two

Ok, so you will need to scroll back a way to get to The Sympathy of Christ part one.....but it is down there somewhere....! I wanted to post this today though because it was helpful for me to read.

"True Christian discipleship demands an uncompromising avowal of attachment to Christ, of adhesion to His people,and of adherence to his truth.The offense of the cross is not ceased. A real decision for the Redeemer can not exist without some sacrifice,demanded and made, as a term of discipleship. "If any man come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." The sacrifices thus expected and thus endured are various. Some are called to assert their conscientious decisions confronted hostility from quarters the most loved, venerated, and cherished, but all the keener and more overwhelming. Arrayed against him are father, mother, brother.....- ties of affection which bind the heart so closely to the family altar and hearth. The pang of separation from these, who can estimate? The deep, lone grief, who can describe? Yet the Saviour has said - "He who loves father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me;and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me." Other saints are called to abandon their wordly interests, to renounce their earthly property, to exclude themselves from the means of acquiring distinction, rank, honor, wealth, and to link them with poverty and toil,and want, encountering the reproach of friends, blighted hope, disappointed wishes, ruined expectations.Be it so. This is nothing more than Jesus foretold and forewarned : "Let us go forth, therefore, unto Him,outside the camp, bearing His reproach."

But for whom are you enduring, and suffering, and sacrificing all this? For Jesus! For Him, who though He was rich, for your sakes became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich. For Him who was not ashamed to call you His brother, but bowed His Godhead to your nature, and on your behalf became a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. For Him who, while working out your righteousness by his life of unwearied and perfect obedience, could say - "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath no where to lay His head." For Him who gave His back to the smiter.......and who bore the full weight of sin and the curse, and the suffering and the desertion upon the cross, and then bowed His head and died. Before this stupendous spectacle, this amazing sacrifice, we exclaim in the language of an inspired apostle, "I am not ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believes."
~ Octavious Winslow

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today

Outside my window...cold, wet, and windy. It poured all day yesterday!


I am thinking.... of the verse, "My grace is sufficient for thee."


I am thankful for...good friends, and many other blessings I have been given.


I am wearing...a khaki skirt and black shirt, bare feet, and hair in a ponytail..

I am remembering... a letter I got yesterday

I am going...to help the Es today, that includes cooking, cleaning, laundry, and working with the children.


I am currently reading...Ok, so ya'll are probably really tired of me saying this....but my Bible, Matthew Henry's Commentary, and Heaven On Earth by Thomas Brooks. Life has been just a little too busy for much reading though I faithfully read some every day...


I am hoping... that I will get some news I am waiting for...


On my mind...my little brothers and sister.


Noticing that...as a friend recently said, the Lord is preparing me for something!


Pondering these words... "God proportions his people's trials to their strength. He promised to be with him, and bless him, Those that must live by faith have need often to review, and repeat to themselves, the promises they are to live upon, especially when they are called to any instance of suffering or self-denial." ~MH


From the kitchen... I think I heard we are making clam chowder for dinner - perfect for such a wet, cold day!

Around the house... my things to unpack and organize, kitchen to clean up. laundry to wash and fold...sleeping children that will soon be up wanting breakfast:-)

Listening to...the wind howling.

One of my favorite things~ the Lord's Day.

Plans for the rest of the week......Lord willing I am going to be spending this week at the Es, probably most of it will be taken in normal housework, helping with the children. I'd also like to finish my book:-), and finish "fixing up" this blog (it's under construction now!) Tue night we are going to watch the old version of Cheaper By The Dozen, Wed night is church, Thur night is grocery shopping, Fri night we have our last marriage class, and Saturday I'll be helping with the Keepers At Home Meeting.

From my picture journal.....a picture of two people who are very dear to me - my little sister Hannah, and my soon to be sister, Adri.

Go to Peggy's Blog to do your own daybook.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Heavenly Matchmaking....

This is from my reading the other evening, in Matthew Henry on Genesis 24. I found it encouraging to read of how God directed all the details of bringing Isac and Rebekah together! This reminded me of a sermon I listened to on this passage so I included it at the end.

"He desires that his master's wife might be humble and industrious woman, bred up to care and labour, and willing to put her hand to any work that was to be done; and that she might be of a courteous disposition, and charitable to strangers. When he came to seek a wife for his master, he did not go to the playhouse or the park, and pray that he might meet one there, but to the well of water, expecting to find one there well employed."

"It is the comfort, as well as the belief, of a good man, that God's providence extends itself to the smallest occurrences and admirably serves its own purposes by them. Our times are in God's hand; not only events themselves, but the times of them. Secondly, It is our wisdom, in all our affairs, to follow Providence, and folly to force it. Thirdly, It is very desirable, and that which we may lawfully pray for, while in the general we set God's will before us as our rule, that he will, by hints of providence, direct us in the way of our duty, and give us indications what his mind it. Thus he guides his people with his eye (Ps. xxxii. 8), and leads them in a plain path, Ps. xxvii. 11.God, in his providence, does sometimes wonderfully own the prayer of faith, and gratify the innocent desires of his praying people, even in little things, that he may show the extent of his care, and may encourage them at all times to seek to him and trust in him; yet we must take heed of being over-bold in prescribing to God, lest the event should weaken our faith rather than strengthen it. Secondly, It is good to take all opportunities of showing a humble, courteous, charitable, disposition, because, some time or other, it may turn more to our honour and benefit than we think of; some hereby have entertained angels, and Rebekah hereby, quite beyond her expectation at this time, was brought into the line of Christ and the covenant. Thirdly, There may be a great deal of obliging kindness in that which costs but little: our Saviour has promised a reward for a cup of cold water."

"Providence sometimes wonderfully directs those that by faith and prayer seek direction from heaven in the choice of suitable yoke-fellows: happy marriages those are likely to be that are made in the fear of God; and these, we are sure, are made in heaven. "





Thursday, January 21, 2010

I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them....

"And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
Isaiah 30:18-21






This morning we read these verses in family worship. I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by various things going on with my family etc, and this was such an encouragement to me. Especially the words about dwelling in Zion, and the Lord giving us teachers - that took me back to a year ago when I wanted so badly to be in a church and was praying for a door to be opened for me. That prayer was answered, I feel so blessed to be in a good church with a good pastor. "Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled", "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." It was a good reminder to not get so caught up in present issues that I forget past blessings, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." He will continue to provide.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Children are God's heritage....



"It should engage our care and pains about children and young people to consider that we know not what God has designed them for, nor what great use Providence may make of them."
~ Matthew Henry

I have been spending a lot of time helping out with children, and babysitting lately so this quote "jumped out" at me in my reading yesterday. I enjoy caring for children, but reading this makes me realize how important a job it is, and is also a reminder to pray for these little ones.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today's quote...

"Where is Sarah thy wife? say the angels. "Behold in the tent," says Abraham. "Where should she be else? There she is in her place, as she uses to be, and is now within call." Note, 1. The daughters of Sarah must learn of her to be chaste, keepers at home, Titus 2:5. 2. Those are most likely to receive comfort from God and his promises that are in their place and in the way of their duty. "
~ Matthew Henry


Monday, January 18, 2010

A new meeting place for Greenville Presbyterian.

"Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left;.... And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established..." ~Isaiah 54

These verses make me think of our church situation. Over these past few months we have outgrown our meeting place and have been crowding in as we search for a new one. This past week the Lord provided for us - a temporary room to use while we look for a permanent meeting place -Level One in Greenville is allowing us to use an unfinished room in their building - we are very thankful! It was nice to actually have room for everyone to sit in chairs, to walk around without bumping into people, etc. Here are some pictures of our first week - I do wish the lighting was better and apologize for the quality of most of these pictures..

Seth was in charge of directing us where to park.

Joshua was the doorman:-)


Starting to arrive for church..

Our meeting room - I said the lighting was bad!


One of Level One's rules for us was that everyone had to wear a name tag - hilarious:-) Here are Sammy and I.

My Sammy.


Pastor McCurley setting up the communion table - 40 of us were able to gather around in one sitting.


Another of Level One's rules was that everyone under the age of 18 had to be accompanied by an adult to the restrooms. There were constant parades of children being taken up the stairs by adults. I was considered a popular escort by the little girls...

We put on name tags as we walked in....

Gathering for morning worship....

Deep thoughts?

Contemplative...

.....and a big smile!

Fellowship between services.

Giving "the photographer" a hard time:-)!

Caroline and Kerah show off their name tags!

Talking between services.

Seth, Travis, and Pastor Humby. Pastor Humby preached in both services for us, on Psalm 40 and John 6.

Lunch!

There was actually room for the line to move in this building...

A tired little guy.

Clean up.

More talking...

Afternoon fellowship..

Thoughts of escape? Another rule was that the children were required to stay in the meeting room - no running around in the parking lot.

Sammy showing off for the camera.

Laughing.

Hannah.

Little friends.




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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1