A Moment I Didn’t Miss


days shorten,
shadows lengthen

As autumn creeps in, it feel like time is moving faster:
the days, the weeks, the moments.

press “pause”,
relax,
step away
turn off the computer
watch the birds, the clouds, the sun lazily drift across the sky
Aaaah, the world continues to spin without me.

s-l-o-w
d-o-w-n

Barefoot and old blue jeans…

 “Look, Mama, we’re twins.”

dark hair, blonde hair
fair skin, tan
doesn’t matter in her eyes, or mine

Sweet Little One, answer to my prayer.

It was this time of year, not so very many years ago, that I was giving up hope that I’d ever have a little girl.  And all the while, my precious Little Lamb was growing, waiting to be born.

Thank You, LORD, for the waiting.

Long awaited Little Blessing, I know what I have.
You teach me to appreciate the moment.

P.S.
Little Treasure and I thought it was pretty cool that the bird we were watching was captured in “sky picture”.  Scroll up, check it out.

Building Blocks of Faith

 Q:  How do you teach your children to pray in faith?

  • “LORD, because You are Good, I trust You to…”
  • “I know You are Sovereign and Omnipotent; it would be an easy thing for you to…”
  • “You are Omniscient, and You know what will be the best in the end. So, if my will is not in agreement with Yours, LORD, I ask You to change my desires.”
  • “You are Just; so let Your truth, righteousness, and justice be revealed in this situation…”
  • “We place ourselves entirely at Your mercy; because we know You to be Merciful, Long-suffering, and Gracious…”

A:  One way, is to teach them the ATTRIBUTES of GOD and incorporating them into your prayers.

Where it All Began

In Beth Moore’s study, Believing God, she said, “God is who He says He is.” and “I’m believing God.”  In response, I asked, “Who did God say He is?”, and I began this list.  30 attributes, one for each day, and on the 31st of the month, we review them all.

Check out this link for a printable list with definitions:  attributes of God

For a printable calendar of attributes see this post:  http://www.theseekingone.com/pack-away-thanksgiving/

 

Each week, we place an “ATTRIBUTE of GOD BLOCK” on the mantle as a reminder of who God is throughout the week.    

For more on “CHARACTER BLOCKS” see:  Building Character (with blocks)

Here is our list of ATTRIBUTES:

God is …

  • Holy
  • Good
  • Gracious
  • Loving
  • Long-suffering
  • Merciful
  • Truthful
  • Wrathfully
  • Wise
  • Righteous
  • Faithful
  • Forgiving
  • Jealous
  • Just
  • Omniscient
  • Omnipresent
  • Omnipotent
  • One
  • Infinite
  • Incomprehensible
  • Immanent
  • Immutable
  • Self-existent
  • Self-sufficient
  • Sovereign
  • Eternal
  • Transcendent
  • Absolute
  • Unique

12″, 6″, and 4″ Blocks

 

The Character Traits are written on 6″ building blocks cut from standard 2x4s.
The Attributes of God are on the 12″ blocks (15 blocks, 30 attributes on front and back).

And, letters are written on the 4″ blocks to spell words like “faith”, “grace”, “hope”, etc. 

(I put dots on the side of the small blocks; so the kids could sort them and know which letters went together.  With capitals on the front and lower-case on the back, each set can make two words.  If the word on front was longer than on the back, I drew a symbol on the extra block.)

When I need a little reminder, sometimes I take one set of letters and place that word on the bathroom counter, above the kitchen cabinets, or on top of someone’s dresser.

From Our “Classroom”

As an up-date to the previous post on “CHARACTER BLOCKS”, here are a few additional pictures to show how we use the Character Qualities to start our homeschool week…

One quality is highlighted (introduced or reviewed) on Monday of each week.   The laminated page is clipped to the fridge.  Additional CHARACTER BLOCKS are chosen to place on the mantel if we are playing one of the games mentioned in the original post.
We each write the character trait, verse, definition, and a picture in our 3″x5″ spirals.
Younger children may find it easier to draw their picture on the back side of the card.

At the First Sign of The Fall

Melancholy? Maybe.
Anticipating? Absolutely.

With mixed emotions,
I see signs of The Fall.

Colored leaves, symbolic.

I know what is coming…
the fulfillment of every hope and promise.

I’m always amazed how early they come, sensing the thrill of a shared secret, a whisper of God… He’s up to something.

Why does He clue me in, open my eyes to see when, like everyone else, I could be preoccupied with living: eating, drinking, buying, selling, giving birth, attending weddings and funerals…?  

“As it was in the days of Noah.”

Summer surrounds… warm breezes, a canopy of green; no sign of frost or change.  From a distance, all is life and growth, prosperity. Yet there is a warning in my spirit,“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria…” (Amos)  

What is this? Gloomy words of a prophet on such a beautiful day?

I’ll put an end to this dark thinking, pull back the curtain of deep thought and let in a little light.

I play my favorite August game and begin the hunt for the first sign of fall.

 
“‘This will be the sign to you,’ declares the LORD, ‘that I am going to punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand…”

There it is again, nagging echoes of memorized scripture, random themes floating through the spaces between my conscious thought.   I’ve been reading too much Jeremiah.  I need to move along to the happier books.

I never spy the first yellow leaf.  Upon closer inspection, it is always one coupled and multiplied here and there; twenty, fifty, hundreds scattered and tucked into the acres of forest behind the barn.

I imagine the Trinity smiling at my discovery, Omniscience alone remembering when the first leaf began to turn, all seeing, all knowing.

He is aware of the first hint of turning; He is the one who turns on and off the life giving sap, creating the rings in the grain that mark the years.

Oh, to be evergreen, ever remaining and abiding.
We humans seem more typically deciduous, falling away.

Oh, Mind, be silent.  I just want to enjoy this moment.

I’m always a bit happy sad to return from the shore in the fall to see the golden flaming hills in their glory. My soul exclaims, “Bit by bit; yet it happens so suddenly.”  I don’t want to blink, or in an instant, a heavy rain may come and wash away all but a few slips of waving brown.

Oh, what a mix of thoughts today! I’m in love with every season, but at the same time, I grieve the loss of one before. I dread those in between grey days before snow blankets the dismal in brilliant white, and winter can be so long.

Change, acknowledged when interfering loud and rude, is ignored when creeping in on silent feet, “little foxes” that loosen stones, ultimately destroying mighty walls.

My token, a remembrance of this moment. Something is dying.

I am attentive today to the first sign of the fall…

The Fall.

I am stopped in my tracks. In all the random thoughts, verses, and prayer requests of the day, I see the theme, like a constellation of hope appearing with the reality of the world’s darkness providing the contrast.

Oh, LORD, what are You saying today?  This overwhelming day of intercession… the grieving child, the widowed, unemployed, lonely, tired, indebted, abused, orphaned, aging, enslaved, trafficked, oppressed, aborted, deceived, disappointed…


I return to my quiet place to find the verses that began this day…

“He heals the broken hearted…”

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort…”

“You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say!”

“The land will have its Sabbath…”

I already knew it. The whole nation is in an up-roar over economy, morality, freedom, rights, religion, … We are falling. Ever so slightly, ever so swiftly, ever so mighty are we slipping in our preoccupation with all things noble, entertaining, beautiful, strong, expensive, popular, advanced.

I know the story of Adam and Eve, but how did we, America, the modern world, get here?  It feels like the Modern Dark Ages are upon us.

“Rophe”, Healer, Great Physician, can You heal us? 
Will You heal us?
Will we let You heal us?

LORD, I need healing.   I am, with the rest of the world, seeking comfort, acceptance, control … pursuing my children’s temporal success, obsessed with materialistic home improvements… wanting more: more time, less stuff… shopping to organize, to rid myself of blessings turned to clutter… God, entertain my babbling.  My superficial requests are cries for deeper things.  How is it I am too preoccupied to “seek first”? Oh, Conviction, what more must you say?

Self-sufficiency and Pride, I cast you far away from me.
Oh, Pure Heart, be resolved to abide. 

Without intention to “come apart and be separate”, “be in, not of this world”, how can I remain green and alive in a world where colors so gradually and quickly fade?   How do I expect to equip my children?

Oh, God, how I desperately need these days of prayer. 

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities… have been clearly seen,… although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, … their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools … Therefore God gave them over…” 

LORD, we’ve fallen, bring us back, restore us.
We want You.  I am seeking You.

And, if You are saying, “These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”; then I quiet my soul and trust… in anticipation.

“And he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true’; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.  ‘And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.'”

a land at rest

There will be no harvest this year.
Our garden is “resting”.  

“…and the land will have its Sabbath.”  – Leviticus, 2 Chronicles

We will not be canning or freezing.  
Rest for the land will mean rest for us.

Still, our garden is full…
with grass and wild flowers,

weeds and thistles…

Symbols of the curse, the fall,

Reminders of the promise.



Busy planet so far removed from the land,
all is commerce and economy.
Strangers till your dirt,
plant your seed,
pull weeds,
harvest, can, and preserve your fruit .

Grocery stores and shopping malls…

 open 24-7, over-night shipping, drive thru fast food,
full pantry, overflowing fridge…  

Our daily bread magically appears packaged and sliced.

It’s so easy to forget…
where it all comes from.



The Giver commanded the land to enjoy a Sabbath rest.
Is there a time or place for Sabbath on hurried soil?

Does the commandment not apply 
in a land of factories and super-stores, 
of cellophane and preservatives.

Packaged and wrapped,
I wonder,
is there a rest for those who prepare our daily bread?

Is there rest for us?

If we choose not to rest, will rest be forced upon us?
Or will we slave away while the LORD fulfills His promise for the land (Leviticus 25:4, 26:34) 


Here’s my admission, least you be overly impressed by our spiritual appearance:   This was not our idea, the Sabbath of the Land was forced upon us this year…

Only home on weekends, the Gardener’s full time job required him to travel this summer.

Exhausting season, really.

But, I’ve been thinking,…
How do I decide which of the commands of scripture apply?
Remember the Sabbath day,
You shall have no other gods,
Do not commit adultery,
You shall not covet…

How can I do things “my way” and expect God’s blessing?

As for me and my house…
I will remember and remind my children of
the LORD’s commandments that bring blessing…

beginning with this one:
“Remember the Sabbath…” (Exodus 20)  

Today is a Prayer Day

08-08

My special days of prayer come around every month, planned appointments with the King of the Universe.
(Jan. 1st, Feb. 2nd, Mar. 3rd, etc.)

These days are so precious to me.

The past 3 hours have been amazing, and the day has just begun.  I don’t want you to miss out on your own opportunity to meet with the Wonderful Counselor; so I’m taking just a minute to encourage you to:

  • SET A TIME
  • FIND A PLACE
  • Grab your Bible, a notebook, a pen.
  • Write out your concerns in prayer.
  • Seek His face.
  • Ask Him to speak to you.
  • Read the scripture.
  • Write down the insight He gives.

  • Take a walk.
  • Quiet your spirit.
  • Be still.
  • Listen, and Know He is God.

Don’t miss out on the precious gift of His Presence and His Wisdom spoken into your life.

I am praying for you who are reading this that the LORD will meet you in a special way and that you will find in Him all that you are seeking today.

Blessings to you, friends!