Never Say Never!

I have certainly learned a few lessons over the years as a mom, like this one in particular...NEVER SAY NEVER!!!

"No one will have a motorcycle as long as they are still living in our house!"  Yeah, right!  Then, you have this very responsible son who pays for everything himself, has a job, goes to a tech school, makes all arrangements for it to be paid beforehand, (he has not had to pay a cent), pays for his truck BY HIMSELF, and decides to buy a motorcycle!  He researches everything, reviews everything, so how can you say no?  Well, we couldn't.  He is extremely cautious; he didn't get that from his mother!  :) He is almost too cautious, but gets his license after practicing and riding around close to home for a couple weeks, and talking with a cousin who helped him learn a few things.  

So, yes, we have a motorcycle.  He is 19, 18 when he bought it, and rides when he can, and especially when the weather is lovely. 




He rode to the moutains and sent some lovely pics from the overlooks.  He has enjoyed himself, and rides to school and work when the weather is nice, which is much more often these days.  

Julia had been wanting a ride, so he borrowed a helmet and took her.  He still won't take his mom yet though!  I believe she really enjoyed it!  They had a good time!  I just love anytime brothers and sisters enjoy each other, and here, that is most all the time.  Love it, so blessed!



So, mothers, never say never, because God may just teach you a lesson in one way or another!  One lesson from a seasoned mother.

Enjoy this blessed day, tell your children you love them, and get out in this lovely sunshine today!

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

Springing Forth!

Two sweet mallard couples are making their home at the spring near the barn.  The trees are sprouting forth their buds, with leaves getting bigger and bigger.  The flowers are shooting up from the ground and gorgeous blooms are taking shape, with some already come and gone. 

Fall is my absolutely favorite time of year, but Spring is a close second!  The vibrant colors and the cooler temperatures make for some wonderful days and cooler evenings. We are ever grateful for the beauty that surrounds us, and only a God as amazing as our great God could possibly paint the picturesque landscape we behold! 








Out walking, whether on the road, through fields, or hiking a new trail, we are exhilarated with the sights, smells and sounds which surround us.  How anyone could imagine or try to experience this life without the joy of Christ is beyond anything I see.  How one could go through the ups and downs of life we have on this land called earth, would be impossible without the loving grace of Jesus Christ our Savior.  



So, yeah, I'm still reading through Ann's book, One Thousand Gifts Devotional, and this paragraph from "Full-Bodied Grace, Devotion 48," jumps out and I read it over, and over, and over again...

                  "Jesus is about to let flesh be broken with nail, heart be broken with rejection, chains be broken with bleeding love.  And in His last hours before His earthly end, He doesn't run out to buy something or catch a flight to go see something, but He wraps a towel around His waist and kneels low to take the feet of His forsakers gently in hand and wash away the grime between their toes." 








I am afraid I would want to go see the mountains one last time, go sit under a large waterfall for a final moment, or view a place I have never been before.  But not Jesus, no, He is the embodiment of service, He gives in His final moments, gives of Himself as He always has, He is eucharisteo, He gives thanks.

And, I have seen this, seen this eucharisteo, "the eucharisteo that touches body and soul: hands and knees and feet awash in grace."  Our family has seen this type of service.  "Without the breaking and giving, without the washing of feet, eucharisteo isn't complete.  The Communion service is only complete in service.  Communion, by necessity, always leads us into community." 

We have been gifted and blessed by this Communion service from the receiving end, as we have been going through this journey with my dad and cancer.  There has been food, more than any of us could or even should desire, gifts of mowed yards or weedeating, gift cards, an entire barn-raising!  And, the love and giving up of continued intercessory prayers is unending.  Blessed, yes, we are blessed.  Thankful, grateful, full of this eucharisteo, this, "to give thanks," this "thanks-giving."  

Thank You!

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

Longhorns, Laughter, and Love!

Yeah, a Texas Longhorn cow showed up in a field in a herd of my parents' cattle.  We have always had black Angus and Charolais cattle, so this was quite an unexpected surprise and she was so pretty!  Some neighbors had bought a couple cows and calves and one of their dogs had been chasing her.  They told us Longhorns are good jumpers, and they must be, because she jumped at least 4 fences to get to where she was!


A couple days later they came and we were able to get her and her calf up and in the barn, and loaded in their cattle trailer with essentially not much trouble.  



Even through those funny, unexpected times, there are some days you just wish you could curl up like a cute, fuzzy, cat and sleep all day long.  On those feel bad, dreary, cloudy, slow days, you may do just that.  Other times, you gotta keep on going.

I don't talk much about my health issues, but more often than not I have those kind of days.  No, there isn't anything seriously wrong, that the doctors can find.  That is a blessing, because I have had many tests.  At the same time, things still are just not right.  But, we always trust that whatever God has us going through, we know He has a plan.  Even though we cannot see the end of the road, we continue to walk the way with Him, trusting all the time.  




Sometimes you simply need a houseful of friends and a good movie.  Big Hero 6 to be exact!  Laughter, and lots of fellowship make for a great time, and then a super game of Spoons late in the evening brings more laughter and good times!


We are ever so grateful for the many friends who envelope us in love, laughter, tears, joys, and prayers.  God is so good, and I cannot imagine walking this pathway called "life" without Him and the blessings of friends He gives.  He has called us to walk together with one another, and we feel that even more so on this path we are walking with my dad.  We trust, we have faith, and we look to the One who loves like no other can.  

Thank You, Father, for your blessings.  We praise You and we give You the glory for all things.  We trust that You are working all things out to the glory of Your will, and we are ever so thankful.

I pray your week has been a good one.  Remember, I love to hear what's going on in your world as well, so stop in, leave a comment, and say, "Hi!"

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

Open and Release to Him Who is Able

I look up, straight up, toward that bright globe in the sky.  I try and shield it with my hand, I block it with my camera, and the rays continue to stream down on me.  Too bright to look at, I ponder the fact at how much brighter the Son of God will be to look upon.  If we cannot dare look into the sun of the earth, how will we be able to even take a glance at the Son of God! 





Focus, my word for this year.  I wear this word on a bracelet.  I keep fiddling with it, keep turning it so I can see, so I can focus and be reminded of what is important.  And, when I sit in the doctors offices, and listen, I touch that word and remember to focus on Christ, because He is the One we must lean on, turn to, pray to, trust in, and rely on with all we have.   



So, we bow, bow before the throne of the Holy One.  We come into His presence on bended knee, lying prostrate before Him, for only He is worthy of the worship we so desire to give.  

When those hard eucharisteos come into our lives, we lay low, and open our hands wide, to give, and to receive what He desires for us to have.  What will make us strong for Him, what will give Him all glory and praise.  If we grip too tight, we may not receive the blessing He has in store for us, and we open and release all to Him, to Him who is able, to cleanse, to heal, to turn, and to bless those He calls His own.  

"Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  Heb. 4:16



"God, no matter when or where, Your Word is our sword against the pain of this world.  And as I go out in the power of Your name, comfort me today with Your reassuring whisper that I am always safe in the strong protection of Your shielding grace."
(One Thousand Gifts Devotional -Ann Voskamp)

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

And, Spring is Here!

Our God is THE great and mighty God!  He is THE Great Physician!  Does God still perform miracles?  Do we believe He can still release His power of healing?  I believe He does and I believe He can!

I have been absent from this blogging scene lately because we have been at the hospital with my Dad.  Long story short, we are looking at pancreatic cancer.  He has a tumor on the head of his pancreas.  He has also been diagnosed with diabetes.  Type 1 or 2, is still debatable at this point, but he is on insulin.


Back here on the farm, the grass is beginning to regain its color, the fields are getting brighter, and the early spring flowers are blooming.  I just love going for walks on beautiful spring days, always so much to be grateful for.  Continually focusing on what Christ has done and is doing for us.

These pics are from a week or two ago; now the fields are even greener, and the red buds and dogwoods are in full bloom!  Absolutely beautiful!





By the time my sister talked dad into going to the ER, he was feeling so bad he did not care.  He was extremely jaundiced, which we did not realize until my brother-in-law noticed!  We were at the wonderful UT Hospital, and underwent an ERCP, to put a stint in the bile duct.  His color is very slowly getting better.

My dad is a very strong man, an extremely hard-working farm man.  A man who can fix anything, and if he can't, he will try and find out how; a man who everyone depends on, from getting rid of snakes, skunks, or raccoons, to helping with cattle, fixing machinery and vehicles.  He also is a man other men come to to talk with, to get advice from, and not only about farming.  He helps keep peace within families, and simply has a way with people others do not have.  Compassionate and caring is my dad, he always wants to be there for families who have lost loved ones, or in hospitals, he and mom always taking food by, talking with, and listening to their cares.  But, his health finally got the best of him, and we are now trusting in our God, and the doctors, to help him.





We just got home today from another procedure, an EUS, where the doctor took a biopsy, and we will find out Monday exactly what we are dealing with and begin a course of action.

I asked our many friends today to pray for a miracle of Biblical proportions.  I know our God is able to accomplish that, but I also recognize God has a plan.  His plan sometimes is different than ours, and I pray we will trust His will, no matter how difficult it may be for us here on this earth.  As hard as it may be, we can still praise Him in the storms of this world. 




"Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
In that day you will not question Me about anything.  Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full."  John 16:22-24

I am praying for God to allow the Holy Spirit to pour out His power on my father, and to "also help 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."  Romans 8:26  

I ask for Jesus to intercede on our behalf; in Luke 22:32a, Jesus says, "I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail."



Knowing Jesus is praying for me, interceding for us, is enough to give us a peace that passes all understanding.  Even in our struggles, the trials we encounter, we can have a joy that is only found in having a relationship with the God who created all, who holds our lives in His Almighty hands.  There may be tears, but we still depend on the One who gives and takes away, and has prepared a place for us, that is beyond all our comprehension. 


"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  
If you ask for anything in My name, I will do it.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."  
John 14:13-15

"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights."
James 1:17

"For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Romans 14:17

So, I pray your last couple of weeks have been uneventful, unless filled with exciting news!  I would love to hear how your days have been, and if by chance, you are struggling, I would love to pray for you as well.  

Remember, our joy is only attained by remaining in God alone, and abiding in fellowship with Him.

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody