Waiting

by adustyframe ~ January 29th, 2015

Waiting….so much of our story revolved around waiting.

Waiting for God to do a miracle in our marriage.

Waiting for a change in my heart.

Waiting for my husband to serve his time.

Waiting til he could be home.

Waiting for him to find someone willing to hire him.

Waiting as we put the pieces of our lives back together.

Waiting for a baby.

Today, I was cleaning in the basement and found a bag of letters he received while he was incarcerated. It’s stuff I haven’t sorted through since the day he brought it home in a black garbage bag. Every envelope with his # on it. Every slip of paper reminding me over and over what we lived through.

When I saw this prompt today, I thought, “Wow….I can talk about waiting.”

But the thing that’s so difficult to understand WHILE you’re waiting and so easy to see afterwards is that God is there in every moment. He’s near to the brokenhearted. He’s building the life story He chooses us to have. He was carrying us the entire time. Protecting us, providing for us, keeping us together.

God is good. He’s good in the hard times and He’s good in the happy times.

Thank you, Lord, for being real to me and letting me know you’ve always been there–even when we were waiting.

 

**This is my 1st Five Minute Friday….like I said, when I saw the prompt I knew I had something to say about this topic. Check out this post for more participants.

I’ve written a few other posts about waiting too if you want to check them out.

Lizzie

So Many Things

by adustyframe ~ January 27th, 2015

So many things are swirling through my head that I should write about. It’s just that I don’t seem to have enough time to work on the ideas and thoughts and make them a blog post worth reading!

One of these days, I hope to have time to put my thoughts together about some “bigger” things than I’ve been sharing lately. The days just seem to fly right by and I’m trying to get the house de-cluttered on top of everything else.

My brain basically feels like mush!

Thanks for hanging with me and reading the bits I get posted now and then.

For fun leave me a comment and let me know what’s going on in your life?

Lizzie

My Little Book Lover

by adustyframe ~ January 23rd, 2015

Our little guy LOVES books. He’s often in the corner by his book basket chattering away as he looks at his books.

Today, he brought his Itsty Bitsy Spider book to me and said, “sun!” to show me the page about the sun coming out to dry up all the rain.

I love that he loves books!

The other thing he loves, is sitting on my lap when I’m on the computer. This doesn’t happen often because then his hands are grabbing everything on the desk or he wants to play with the keyboard.

The other day, I was looking at posts in Feedly and we saw this post. (By the way I LOVE this concept.)

Baby saw the Brown Bear book which is one of his favorites. “Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see?” “I see a (red bird, blue horse, etc….I probably have those wrong but you get the idea).

When he saw the baby looking at Brown Bear, he said, “Teacher see me” which is what he calls this book.

He’s so sweet. I love watching him figure out the world!

 

Lizzie

Smoothie Cubes

by adustyframe ~ January 21st, 2015

We like smoothies around here. I think they’re a great way to get lots of nutrients into kids and they taste good too!

Lots of times, we make yogurt smoothies but more recently, I’ve been making homemade kefir and use that for smoothies.

Nathan loves smoothies and I love seeing him slurp them down knowing all the good stuff going into his tummy.

Since he’s a little guy, he doesn’t drink much more than 1/2 c. throughout the day. When I make a batch of smoothies, it makes way more than he can drink.

One day, I decided to put the leftover smoothie into ice cube trays. When it freezes, I put the smoothie cubes in a bag and keep them in the freezer.

I try to remember to put 3 or 4 smoothie cubes in his sippy cup the night before so that they are thawed and ready for breakfast or lunch.

I like doing smoothies this way because I can make a big batch all at once and because nothing is wasted because it didn’t get drunk!

I wrote our basic smoothie ideas in this post.

 

Lizzie

Broken Things

by adustyframe ~ January 14th, 2015

There is a certain crime show I enjoy watching. The main character on the show had a tea cup that he loved.

He loved it so much that if his co-workers saw someone else drinking out of it, they’d say something like, “ok you need to go wash that and get it back in the cupboard before he sees you drinking out of it. If you hurry, I can stall him.”

At the end of one of the seasons, the cup was smashed into many pieces.

In later shows, he drinks tea but obviously not from that cup. On a recent episode, someone gave him a present for his birthday and it was the tea cup glued back together so that it was usable. He had tears in his eyes.

It took me about 2 seconds to say, “That’s us.”

We were broken into many pieces. Sometimes, I looked at the pile of pieces and felt like sweeping them up and disposing of them would be the easiest way to move forward. I’m sure that other people thought the same.

What a messed up mess!!

I’m sure that if the tea cup story was a true life story, at some point the pile of pieces the person kept must have seemed like to much of a bother. How much work would it really take to put something like that back together to make it usable?

I had points along the way that I felt like, “This is way too much work.” “What did I ever see valuable in this pile of pieces?”  “I can’t do this anymore.” (Oh yes, I had that conversation many times–with myself and a few times, I very pointedly told God that too.

When the character had tears in his eyes over his repaired tea cup, I thought to myself, “That’s because it was precious to him.” The person who fixed it for him knew it was precious to him too.

I know this is a show but I liked the reminder it gave me.

Our family and marriage was a pile of broken pieces and putting it back together to be usable felt like just too much work. But I’m so thankful that God held us together while He glued the pieces back one by one.

The gluing was a long hard process and the pressure applied while the glue dried hurt sometimes. But He knew we were precious and worth saving and I’m so thankful.

Sometimes, I don’t quite think we’re a finished product yet. When things are glued back together there are often rough edges and seams that need more attention. I think that we find ourselves in this place on a sort of regular basis. Some things need to get smoothed out and maybe the glue is still drying in some areas. But this gift of a pieced back together family is so precious to me.

I’m thankful  that God didn’t toss our pieces aside.

 

Lizzie

This & That Chat

by adustyframe ~ January 8th, 2015

I have seen this on some blogs and done something similar a time or two. I figured this would help me get a post up since the posts I’ve been thinking about aren’t ready to write yet!

taking photos and videos of the baby–everyone else too but mostly the baby. James says I’m obsessed with taking pictures. Well, he should be used to that by now. I feel like I want to capture and remember every delicious moment of this delightful little boy!

feeling a little better. I’ve spent several months feeling quite badly on top of years feeling badly but the past several months were really bad. I’m thankfully hopefully leaving that behind soon and feeling better.

getting little sleep–between baby waking up and wanting to nurse all night and reading good books and staying up too late….well…..

loving my boys~

reading I just finished Unbroken–wow that’s an excellent book that you should read. I put it off for awhile because I knew it was a longer book but I was hooked the 1st page. It took me about a week to read it. Now, I’m reading some books on my kindle app on my phone–I have hundreds of books on my kindle and most of them I got for free or very cheap!

watching Worst Cooks in America–haha! that show is hilarious.

trying to quit cheating on my eating plan! I’ve actually made it an entire week with no cheats.

finishing last year’s scrapbooks–little by little. I do one for the family and one for the baby. I’m not sure how long I’ll do one just for baby–I’m thinking like a baby book? Maybe til he’s 3.

listening music that the boys want to listen to.

knitting a blanket but I’ve not worked on it lately

drinking coffee, water, same as always

 

Lizzie

Huh?

by adustyframe ~ January 4th, 2015

Lee texted me the other day,

“Thank you for visiting me”

He didn’t send anything else and it wasn’t a part of any conversation.

I texted him back,

“Huh?!?”

Later, when we talked on the phone, he said, “I heard something on the radio that made me think back to all the “stuff”. I just wanted to let you know that it meant a lot to me that you visited me all the time.”

It’s odd how things come up that remind us of this. Sometimes we’re in a blissful fog “forgetting” but things always happen that remind us.

Right now, when things remind me, I’m trying to stop and specifically thank God for the difference in our lives now. In many ways I just want to forget and never think of it again, but in other ways, I know it’s important to NOT forget.

God blessed us so much, taught us so much, carried us so far….it wouldn’t be right to forget. I’m also praying that I won’t forget because I don’t want to be the person who minimizes or turns a blind eye to the hurts of others. Remembering keeps my heart soft and my eyes open to people who need to feel the love of God in their lives.

However, when I get a random text that seemingly has nothing to do with anything, I am liable to text back, “HUH!?”

Lizzie

Happy New Year

by adustyframe ~ December 31st, 2014

I’ve been thinking about what I would say to wrap up 2014.

I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks and the odd thing is that I have nothing.

Nothing profound to share about our year. Nothing huge happened. I didn’t learn anything amazing. I didn’t accomplish any huge goals. We didn’t have huge highs or deep lows.

It just was a year~

It was not a bad year.

Our little guy turned 1.

We took a nice long family vacation–together.

We learned how to function with dad gone so much and every time I wanted to cry that he was leaving–AGAIN–I’d think about when he was always really truly gone. I thought about how a couple weeks would have felt like a piece of cake back then.

We stayed busy.

We were healthy–pretty much.

We kept homeschooling.

I got back to reading more and knitting again.

I have taken charge of some health issues that did bog me down much of the year.

As I thought about the fact that there really wasn’t much of anything to say to wrap up our year, I realized that a year that just was a plain old regular year is for us a miracle year.

Plain old boring normal life is a dream come true.

So truly 2014 was amazing!

Lizzie

A Vintage Christmas Treat~repost

by adustyframe ~ December 23rd, 2014

Originally posted December 2007

I am in charge of our church library. Since it was very much in need of an update, I’ve been weeding out very old books and replacing them with the boxes of donated newer books.

One of the books had a familiar title so I quickly peeked through it. The Sword Book of Treasures by Dr. John R. Rice, published in 1946 had this gem.

I read it and bawled. Her thoughts and struggle mirror much of mine recently. It was such a blessing to read of God’s long ago provision.

nativity

A thrilling Christmas time on the Frontier by “A Pastor’s Wife”

I remember a day one winter that stands out like a boulder in my life. The weather was unusually cold; our salary had not been regularly paid and it did not meet our needs when it was.

My husband was away much of the time, traveling from one district to another. Our boys were well, but my little Ruth was ailing and at best none of us were decently clothed. I patched and re -patched, with spirits sinking to the lowest ebb. The water gave out in the well and the wind blew through the cracks in the floor.

The people in the parish were kind, and generous too, but the settlement was new and each family was struggling for itself. Little by little, at the time I needed it most, my faith began to waver.

Early in life I was taught to take God at His word, and I thought my lesson was well learned. I had lived upon the promises in dark times until I knew, as David did, who was my Fortress and my Deliverer. Now a daily prayer for forgiveness was all that I could offer.

My husband’s overcoat was hardly thick enough for October, and he was often obliged to ride miles to attend some meeting or funeral.

Christmas was coming; the children always expected their presents. I remember the ice was thick and smooth and the boys were each craving a pair of skates. Ruth, in some unaccountable way, had taken a fancy that the doll I had made were no longer suitable; she wanted a nice large one, and insisted on praying for it.

I knew it was impossible, but, oh! how I wanted to give each child his present. It seemed as if God had deserted us. But I did not tell my husband all this. He worked so earnestly and heartily, I supposed him to be as hopeful as ever. I kept the sitting room cheerful with an open fire, and I tried to serve our scanty meals as invitingly as I could.

That morning before Christmas, James was called to see a sick man. I put up a piece of bread for his lunch–it was the best I could do–wrapped my plaid shawl around his neck and then tried to whisper a promise as I often had, but the words died away upon my lips. I let him go without it.

That was a dark, hopeless day. I coaxed the children to bed early, for I could not bear their talk. When Ruth went, I listened for her prayer. She asked for the last time most explicitly for her doll and for skates for her brothers. Her bright face looked so lovely when she whispered to me,

“You know I think they’ll be here early tomorrow morning, Mama” that I thought I could move Heaven and earth to save her from disappointment. I sat down alone and gave way to the most bitter tears.

Before long James returned, chilled and exhausted. He drew off his booths. The thin stockings clipped off with them and his feet were red with cold. “I wouldn’t treat a dog that way; let alone a faithful servant,” I said. Then as I glanced up and saw the hard lines in his face and the look of despair, it flashed across me that James had let go too.

I brought him a cup of tea, feeling sick and dizzy at the very thought. He took my hand and we sat for an hour without a word. I wanted to die and meet God and tell Him His promise wasn’t true–my soul was so full of rebellious despair.

There came a sound of bells, a quick step and a loud knock at the door. James sprang to open it. There stood Deacon White. “A box came by express just before dark. I brought it around as soon as I could get away. Reckoned it might be for Christmas. ‘At any rate’ I said, ‘they shall have it tonight.’ Here is a turkey my wife asked me to fetch along and these other things I believe belong to you.”

There were a basket of potatoes, and a bag of flour. Talking all the time, he hurried in the box and then with a hearty good night, he rode away.

Still without speaking, James found a chisel and opened the box. He drew out first a thick red blanket and we saw that beneath it, the box was full of clothing. It seemed at that moment as if Christ fastened upon me a look of reproach. James sat down and covered his face with his hands. “I can’t touch them,” he explained. “I haven’t been true, just when God was trying me to see if I could hold out. Do you think I could not see how you were suffering? And I had no word of comfort to offer. I know now how to preach the awfulness of turning away from God.”

“James,” I said, clinging to him, “don’t take it to heart like this. I am to blame. I ought to have helped you. We will ask Him together to forgive us.”

We poured out words of praise–Bible words, for nothing else could express our thanksgiving.

It was eleven o’ clock; the fire was low and there was the great box with nothing touched but the warm blanket we needed. We piled on some fresh logs, lighted two candles and began to examine our treasures.

We drew out an overcoat. I made James try it on–just the right size–and I danced around him, for all my lightheartedness had returned. There was a cloak and he insisted on seeing me in it. My spirits always infected him and we both laughed like foolish children.

There was a warm suit of clothes also and three pairs of woolen hose. There were a dress for me and yards of flannel, a pair of arctic overshoes for each of us and in mine a slip of paper. I have it now and mean to hand it down to my children. It was Jacob’s blessing to Asher: “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days so shall thy strength be.”

In the gloves, evidently for James, the same dear hand had written: “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

It was a wonderful box and packed with thoughtful care. There were a suit of clothes for each of the boys and a little red gown for Ruth. There were mittens, scarf, and hood, and down in the center–a box. We opened it and there was a great wax doll!! I burst into tears again and James wept with me for joy. It was too much! And then we both exclaimed again, for close behind it came two pairs of skates. There were books for us to read–some of them I had wished to see–stories for the children to read, aprons and underclothing, knots of ribbon, a gay little tidy, a lovely photograph, needles, buttons, and thread, a muff, and an envelope containing a ten dollar gold piece.

At last we cried over everything we took up. It was past midnight and we were faint and exhausted even with happiness. I made a cup of tea, cut a fresh loaf of bread and James boiled some eggs. We drew up the table before the fire. How we enjoyed our supper! And then we sat talking over our life and how sure a help God always proved.

You should have seen the children the next morning! The boys raised a shout at the sight of their skates–Ruth caught up her doll and hugged it tightly without a word; then she went into her room and knelt by her bed.

When she came back she whispered to me, “I knew it would be here Mama, but I wanted to thank God just the same, you know.”

“Look here, Wife, see the difference!” We went to the window and there were the boys out of the house already and skating on the crust with all their might.

My husband and I both tried to return thanks to the church in the East that sent us the box–and have tried to return thanks unto God every day since.

Hard times have come again and again, but we have trusted in Him–dreading nothing so much as a doubt of His protecting care. “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”

Lizzie

Prison & Advent

by adustyframe ~ December 22nd, 2014

When I was on Facebook the other day, I saw this quote on the Angel Tree page.

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes…and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom

has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1943

At first, I scrolled right by. If I’m honest, I’ll tell you that thinking about prison still makes me shudder. I didn’t want to associate it with my Christmas this year. I just want to be in a “this is behind us” bubble.

I thought about the quote more later and realize that it’s a good picture.

We could not do anything to change our situation without Christ just as a prisoner cannot do anything to change their situation. They must wait and hope and pray and expect a miracle or patiently wait until the time comes for freedom.

I don’t come from a tradition that celebrated Advent so I’m not going to expound on these thoughts anymore lest I get it wrong! But still good to ponder?

Lizzie