Spring's Around the Corner!

As I write this, it is pouring rain down on us, but the past few days have been glorious!  We had been needing to see the sun, feel the warmth on our faces, and be reminded, spring is just around the corner!  God never allows us to get bored, and always knows just what we need! 

The kids have been wanting to get their hammocks out, and this was just the weather they've been waiting on.  

So, if you happened to drive by, which some did, you would've seen 4, yes, four, hammocks strung up across our creek!  What a sight!  It was perfect!  They took books, and bags, and enjoyed God's amazing creation on this beautiful afternoon!

The cousins stopped by and we gave them all a turn sitting with Sarah.  It was the easiest hammock I could help with.

I love this pic of all 4 across the creek!  We are so blessed to live where we do.  God has placed us right where He wants us, and we are very grateful for His provision.

So relaxing...Oh, the beauty of it all!  

Julia had cleaned off our table on the front porch from all the winter gunk that had gathered, and it was the perfect time to sit, read, study, and listen for God to speak through the view, the breeze, and most of all, His Word.

The joys and blessings of God are abundant, and I am ever thankful for all He does!  I cannot keep from counting His graces each and every day!  

"I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, 
I will not be shaken.

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
Psalm 16:8, 11

What did you do on these exceptionally gorgeous days?
Hike?  Work?  Gardening?  Simply enjoy God's beauty?

I'd love to hear!  Remember, to get these posts delivered to your email, just enter your email address on the right hand side of the blog and subscribe.  It's as simple, simple as that! :)

Always Experiencing Him,

Light in the Darkness

It's dark now; snow begins falling.  I flip on the flood lights, and the porch lights, so now, there's this light in the dark.  How differently we see with the turn of a switch, as the moon is barely making it's mark on the sky this particular evening.

As the lights shine into the night, let us allow Jesus to shine into our night and drive our dark away.  He alone can and will do it.

Shine Into Our Night

We are not what we should be
We haven't sought what we should seek
We've seen Your glory Lord, but looked away
Our hearts are bent our eyes are dim
Our finest works are stained with sin
And emptiness has shadowed all our ways

Jesus Christ, shine into our night
Drive our dark away
Til Your glory fills our eyes
Jesus Christ, shine into our night
Bind us to Your cross, where we find life

Still we often go astray
We chase the world, forget Your grace
But You have never failed to bring us back
Reveal the depths of what You've done
The death You died, the vict'ry won
You made a way for us to know Your love

Jesus Christ, shine into our night
Drive our dark away
Til Your glory fills our eyes
Jesus Christ, shine into our night
Bind us to Your cross, where we find life
(Sovereign Grace Music 2011)

Always Experiencing Him,

Waiting Here for You

So, I fall again.  How is it, "For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want."  Romans 7:19

I read on, "But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me."  This fallen, sinful nature stays just under the surface, rearing its ugly head.All.The.Time...and back up to verse 15 Paul states, "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate."

How easy it is to fall off God's path He has for us.  We have been in Romans; this is what our family is reading this month, well, the month of February, but I do believe we could stay there an entire year.  We will stay there for March too...can't get enough of a good thing, right?  I need it imprinted on me, in me, around me.  Just as the Jewish people wore their phalactaries on their foreheads, yes, I need it.Right.There...pressing in to remind me I am His; His Spirit is in me, and I must die, die to self, die to me.  He will guide me.

"For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live."

"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."  Romans 8:13-14

There are times when I simply do not know what to ask of God.  I do not have the words, I do not know how to pray...that is when, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."  Romans 8:26-27

What a glorious promise.  God, Himself, as The Triune God, uses His Spirit to intercede on my behalf!  He will pray for me when I have no words, when only tears come, when sorrow is too deep to express, when sorrow over my sins is to deep to bear.  He hears, He knows, and He prays for me, interceding for me.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God,
You will not despise."
Psalm 51:17

So, in Romans 12 and verses 1 and 2, Paul tells us, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

David and Paul, men of two different times, knew what God desired, what God wanted of them, and though fallen men, they trusted in the God who knew them better than they knew themselves.  As we read, learn, study, and draw from their wisdom, we too, lean on the same God who knew them and us before we were even conceived.  

As David states, 

"You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
Psalm 16:11

"I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, 
I will not be shaken."
Psalm 16:8

"Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day."
Psalm 25:5

Let your prayer for this day be, "Lord, I am waiting here for You."  And give Him all praise and glory for all things!  For He alone is worthy of any praise we offer.

Always Experiencing Him,

Choosing Joy

I am thankful for many things.  Yes.  I am grateful for a tiny pine cone in the snow.  Surrounded by crystals of ice, this little pine cone would be passed up by many.  But, God desires us to enjoy even the tiniest of gifts, because when we are able to see those small glimpses of joy, that is when our eyes are truly opened. 

We have been giving many thanks these past few days.  Our Sarah had her first accident as she was heading into work this past Saturday.  She is perfectly fine, well, physically, and is giving praise and thanks to our great God!

The tire, bumper, and fender above, along with very few minor scratches, were the only noticeable damage to her little Nissan Xterra at all.  

She was heading South, in the right lane of the interstate, remember this, when she began to swerve a bit, then heard a loud "pop," and while swerving, somehow, ended up turning in a circle, slamming against the guardrail on the LEFT HAND side facing NORTH!!!  

Our Great God definitely had His mighty hand on her this day!  He always does, but it is in situations such as this where we can see His Hand at work.

She called, talked with Julia, and as she is still getting the details, we are rushing, grabbing shoes, keys, and running to the van.  Steve is one who does not go over the speed limit, but given the circumstances, yes, he did this day, as we rushed toward her.  We are normally a good 30 minutes away; but we were there before that :). 

I had called and she said she was fine, was out of the road, and after calling 911 as her dad asked her to, we were there shortly.  After talking with the wonderful State Trooper who helped her, he was shaking his head and said, "No, she was not out of the road. She was a good foot or so still facing the oncoming traffic!"  He was the nicest Trooper we have seen in awhile.  God definitely sent a great one to help Sarah.  When he first arrived, he parked and ran to help her, he showed me his dash cam and where she was, agh!  He was scared for her, and him!  Traffic still zipped right on by...of course, it's the interstate!

He told her she had to move the car to the other side and she said, "No, she couldn't," and he replied, "Honey, we have to move the car or we are both going to get killed!"  He moved it, had her get in, then drove to the right side, off of the shoulder.  Then, he went back to get his car and bring it over.  Her tire had blown the treads off, and it was leaking air, but we were able to very slowly hobble on down the last two miles to the exit, to a gas station and change it.  Steve drove her car, and the Trooper stayed behind us with his lights on til we got there.  As I said, a wonderful man he was!  We were blessed!

The state trooper finished his report, while Jamin changed the tire, and we watched, being ever grateful for her safety!  

Yes, we serve a Great God!  

And we give Him all praise and glory for keeping her safe!  

He gets all the glory!!!

We took her on to work, just around the corner to Lifeway, left her our van, and we brought her car back.  Check out her blog here, to read her account of the experience.

"Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father."
Eph. 5:20

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, 
call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples."
1 Chron. 16:8

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, 
O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning 
And Your faithfulness by night."
Psalm 92:1-2

Still and always giving thanks!

Always Experiencing Him,

Longing for God Alone

See, I have this friend, and we are going through this study together.  On this particular day, after the ice, snow, and cold, today, it was so nice.  The weather warmed up to a wonderful 70 degrees!  We eventually opened our windows for a bit of fresh air!  God decided to gift us with some beautiful sunshine on this lovely afternoon!

Yeah, we have shed tears, said a few prayers, not near enough, and read from His Word.  It is taking us awhile, but there is so much when dealing with the idols of this world.  So much to learn, so much to die to self for, and confessing, and encouraging, always encouraging.  

Our desire is "to worship and glorify Him by choosing Him."  Choosing God.  Shouldn't that be a given?  If we are genuinely saved, born again by the mighty Grace of the One True Living God, shouldn't that be easy for us?  Choosing Him.  Or, choosing to sit and stare at pinterest, agh, so good, yet so time consuming.  Do I give the same amount of time to God, as I do pinterest?!?

Do I give encouraging comments to others, in person or on a blog, when talking about our Christ, as I would to seemingly mundane things of this world?  How often do I talk about movies, books, games, TV shows, not to mention spending time on facebook, instagram, or any social media that is out there.  

If I were to time myself, how much would all that compare to what I actually give to God.  Yes, I talk with Him throughout my day, we have conversations, sometimes, "Why do I even have those thoughts, please, God, take those away, please give me Your thoughts."  Or, "Jesus, I don't have words for this day, and I need You to see me through."  And, how I love saying, "Thank You for this beautiful sunshine You have graced us with today.  Thank You for keeping my family safe when traveling in many different directions.  Thank You for bringing us all home together."

But, how much is spent sitting at His feet, before His throne, with His Words in my hands?

Sometimes, I just pray for God to have His way, because He knows best.  I must trust in those times.  Praying for families who have heard the worst news of cancer, praying for strength, praying for healing, and God does heal.  Do I believe that?  Do I really believe what I say?  He may not heal on my terms, but He does, and He can.

Through all of life, will we choose to worship and glorify God or ourselves?  Will I choose to worship and glorify God or myself?

So, yeah, my friend and I changed a word in our study today.  

It says, " This year I'm going to seek to worship God alone."

We chose to say, 
"Today, I am going to seek to worship God alone."  

 Joshua told Israel, "You will not be able to serve the Lord, for He is a holy God."  He knew they would fall, and so many times, we too proclaim, "We will serve the Lord," then turn from Him.  As I struggle with my own selfish desires, my prayer is, "Today, I am going to seek to worship God alone."

I will leave you with one of my favorite verses of Scripture,

"Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments, O Lord,
We have waited for You eagerly;
Your name, 
even Your memory,
is the desire of our souls.

At night my soul longs for You,
Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently."
Isaiah 26:8-9a

I pray you will have a longing for God alone, and I will join in praying for, and with you dear friend.  Lay it at His feet, and long for Him.  

Always Experiencing Him,

Snow, Snow, Snow!

Sledding, snowball fights, snowmen, the most gorgeous scenery, laughter, snow cream, falling, a few slight injuries, nothing too serious (except maybe mom, yes, my mother), friends, family, doughnuts made by the old farm truck and 4-wheeler, hot chocolate, and wet clothes made for some fun, fun, fun! 

This scene from just around the bend at our house is always a favorite of mine.  How God created the trees as beautiful canopies above the lovely landscape below.  Simply mesmeric...

One of our big ol' bulls.  We like to call 'em "Buck."

If you have seen many of my scenery posts, then you may have noticed this shed before.  I don't know why, but I love this shed and the pics it makes.  I remember as a kid when my parents had it built; I was probably 7 or 8.  This field is aptly named for the shed, "The Shed Field!"  

Oh!  I forgot about the giant snowball slingshot!  What fun!  Kenton had to lie all the way down to pull it back far enough to let it go!  

You know you are around farm people when most everyone has coveralls on!

We took the easy way out, or "up" I should say.  We used the two 4-wheelers to pull the sleds and take people back up the hill.  This was not a "little" hill we were on, this was a hill that sometimes, we had to go around a bit to get to the top, because of too many people; it is that steep.  "I actually had the front wheels come up on me once because all the weight was on the back!  That was a bit scary, because Joelle was on a sled I was pulling!!!)  The "hill" is 100 yards plus long, and steep!

I was going to try and not narrate all the pics, but since I didn't much in the previous posts, I am here, Ha!  This one was hilarious!  I had just arrived as Jana AND Kenton came down, and He was totally covered!  I jumped off the 4-wheeler and ran over to get a pic!  If you look closely, you can see his arms, and at least one hand, the blue glove.  Jana did have her arms over his face, so he was ok.  I just had to pull him out!

Our dogs, their Big Max, and our Nova, had a blast running up and down, and up and down! 

The cabin down below my parents' house.  'Tis a lovely little cabin and lots of fun has been had by many there!  

Snowball fight!!!

Hugs to you if you know where this idea for a snowman came from.  Poor guy, Jenny just ran him over.  Go here to Sarah's blog or check out her instagram at sarahpenmaiden, and see a close up of the poor guy!  It's a sight!  You gotta see his tongue! :/

I will leave you with a couple videos of our fun!  I tried another one of Julia getting clobbered by her uncle, but it was too big to upload here.  In the 2nd video here, just imagine that happening to her as well, not him killing her after, just tackling to the ground!  What fun!  What laughter!

It is good to laugh, but I laughed so hard my head hurt, and we came in to rest, and dry off.  Julia had gotten so wet, she was sick for a bit that afternoon, but was better by evening.  It was a fun day!

"A joyful heart is good medicine."
Proverbs 17:22

"A joyful heart makes a cheerful face."
Proverbs 15:13

I'd love to hear about your fun you've had this winter!

Do you make snow cream?


Or just sit around the fire with the family and a good book?

Remember, if you'd like these posts emailed directly to you, just place your email in the subscribe box on the right of the blog.  Simple and easy.  

Always Experiencing Him,