Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Kara

Wow, seven years ago I was sitting in a Bible Study at Northland Baptist Bible College and my stomach started feeling a bit strange.  I began watching the clock, and sure enough, the feeling came every ten minutes.  I was feeling the start of labor for the first time.

The next day, at 4:30 in the afternoon I was holding my sweet baby Kara for the very first time.  My mother was so excited when she found out we were having a little girl.  Her desire was that I would have a child that was just like me.  Thankfully, Kara was not the cranky colicky baby that I was.  However, she is every bit as stubborn, hard headed, and independent as I was and still am (although I do try to pretend I'm not).  

I can hardly believe my sweet adorable little baby girl turns seven tomorrow.  In truth, I find it hard to believe that I've been married for more than seven years.  God has truly blessed us with this precious blessing.

Kara's favorite things are: reading, reading, and more reading.  Oh, and she likes to eat.  I am seriously afraid that people think we starve our children because it seems like she is always asking for more to eat.  She does love her sweets, but I think she is equally happy to eat green onions and tomatoes straight from the garden.  She even loves her salads and fruits. 

Kara isn't one to venture out and try new things.  She is still shy about performing with her violin.  She has absolutely loved learning how to play the piano this year as well.  We are homeschooling her right now, and we will be homeschooling her next year as well.  We are just taking it one year at a time to determine what would be best for her.

Kara is a great help around the house, and she enjoys her baby brother.  Although she does say she isn't ready to start changing diapers yet :)

Happy Birthday Kara, I hope you enjoy your 7th birthday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Seeing Christ

Wow, the last two days have been spiritually refreshing as I've spent a lot of time beside J.A. on the couch viewing the Gospel Coalition.  I would challenge you to look through the messages and take some time to listen here.  I can guarantee you will be challenged to dig deeper into your Bible study, and to take a second look at your reasons for doing ministry (or even if you are active in the ministry).  I will try to repeat as acurately as I can some of the comments that stood out to me.

Mark Dever made the comment, "If you call yourself a disciple of Jesus and you aren't reaching other people, then what do you mean by 'disciple of Jesus'"

Keven DeYoung stated "Make disciples of Christ by serving people, don't just serve people as Disciples of Christ."  I think this statement really helps me to reevaluate the reasons behind why I serve.  I think this will also help in taking some of the pressure off of trying to be involved in everything.

I don't know who stated this, but "Churches need to focus their energy on training EVERY PERSON for Gospel Ministry."  I think a lot of our churches have forgotten this aspect.  We are so busy with 'programs' for the single's ministry, youth groups, children's activities (not that any of these are wrong), but all of these should come after our primary focus of teaching the people in the church to be a Preacher of the Gospel to the lost world around us.

Another statement that hit me is James MacDonald's statement "The surest antedote for the fear of man is the fear of God."  Wow, no explanation needed with this one.

We serve an awesome God.  If you attended, or have listened to any of the sessions from The Gospel Coalition, please share in the comments what you learned.

One of the songs sung during the conference has be replaying in my mind, Behold the Lamb (The Communion Hymn).  You can download it for free here. You can download both the music and the sheet music for Behold the Lamb, Come People of the Risen King, and The Power of the Cross.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A New Life

 We are so blessed.  Not only have we been entrusted with five amazing children, three of our children have asked Christ to be Lord of their life. 

Last fall, Andy came downstairs and told us that he no longer had a black heart, but that he now had a white heart.  We questioned him, and have questioned him several times since then, and every time he tells us that he has asked Jesus to forgive his sins and be his Savior.
 After each of our kids have professed salvation, we have given them a Bible.  Andy's Bible is the ESV Seek & Find Bible.  I really like the set up of this Bible.  It has boxes scattered through out it explaining different things in the passage and shows pictures.
Andy is thrilled and excited to have a new Bible of his very own.  Now to teach him to read it :)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Things I Never Dreamed I Would Do

When we first moved to Kansas five years ago, all I knew about the state of Kansas was what I learned from watching The Wizard of OZ: obviously I knew nothing.

Well, since moving here I have done so many new things, and grown used to doing things differently.

1.  I learned how to garden.  My mom had a garden when I was growing up, and to my shame, one of my mom's most embarrassing stories about me comes from when she told me to go weed the garden and came home to find me sitting on a bench by the garden "raking" the weeds.

2.  I have learned how to can and store up food for the winter.  When we lived in Wisconsin, I played around with canning -- making blueberry freezer jam and freezing corn (thanks to generous people who donated blueberries and corn to Northland every year).  Now I've learned how to can tomatoes, salsa, jellies, green beans, applesauce, and so many other things.  I'm hoping to learn how to can venison this fall if we get a deer, and maybe eventually to dehydrate fruits and jerky.

3.  I've learned how to make bread from scratch, okay I do admit I knew how to do this before we moved to Kansas, but not to the extent I do now.  I tinkered with making rolls, and used my bread machine to make bread on occasion, but now we don't buy bread unless we are traveling (and I don't use my bread machine except to make cinnamon rolls).

4.  I've learned that I can make my own flour -- I had no idea this was even possible until we moved to rural Kansas.  JA bought an ice cream pail of wheat from the Co-op to use as a sermon illustration, and that wheat must have sat in my fridge for several months (at the time I didn't know it didn't need to be refrigerated).  I finally asked someone, and I borrowed a friends wheat grinder, stored my flour in the freezer and used in recipies.  Last fall, JA let me buy my own wheat grinder, and since January have been freshly grinding wheat to use in my bread.  In fact, we haven't bought any flour since January.
Mrs. Kimbrough's cookies made with freshly ground wheat :)
5.  JA has learned how to clean our own wheat (I know this isn't me, but I did all the research!!!).  We have been buying our wheat directly from the Co-Op.  You can't beat $7 for 50 pounds of flour.  JA has been sweet enough to clean the wheat for me (pouring from bucket to bucket in front of a fan), and has already cleaned almost three bushels of wheat this year (we've only used up one bushel so far).

6.  We have begun making our own laundry detergent.  This has been fun, and the kids love helping to grate the soap.  (I'm hoping to learn how to make my own dish washing detergent soon).

I have learned so much on the practical side of living, but one of the most important lessons I have learned since we have moved here is the importance of being a good steward of what God has placed in my care.  Whether it is the money my husband earns, the health of my children, the education of my children, the beautiful home we have, or even my own time, I must take careful account of how I care for things.

I am still working on becoming a good steward of my time, I find it so easy to waste a few minutes here and there, I will be working on this over the next few months, and hopefully becoming a better steward of my time will allow me to find more time for blogging about how God is working in my life and the lives of my children.