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Rejoice!

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Rejoice!
Christmas is the day we celebrate love come down,  God incarnate, Jesus is born. Halelujah!
We rejoice, in His love today,  we rejoice that He is the King of Kings!
We rejoice that He Reigns over this Earth...the victory is His!
We rejoice that He, and He alone, saves!
We rejoice that through Him we have hope!
We rejoice that through Jesus, we have relationship and fellowship because of what He has done, and not through acts of worthiness, as they did in the Old Testament!
We rejoice that He came!  Praise the Lord!
Have you ever thought of what it would be like if He hadn't come? Let your mind ponder that one.

The result should be unexpressible thankfulness,  worship, and amazement.
REJOICE!

Merry Christmas form all of us at Providence Lodge.

Boys and Men

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Raising boys is hard work,  and honestly, I am often exasperated. 
But as I read God's word, I am encouraged to keep on, trudging at times, joyfully bounding at others, always, always praying for them.










These are the days of our boys and men.   They work as hard as they play. They love, encourage, protect and provide.
May the lord bless each one  with a measure of faith that is deep, devoted, and unfailing.




My Heart, Captured

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Her dimpled little hand pats my cheek.  My eyes won't open.  Not yet, please, not yet, I beg. The hand circles my face, first this way, then that while she exclaims, "oooooooo." I smile. My eyes open and I look into the chubby face so near it is blurry.   She smiles back at me. "Goodmorning, Olivia"  I say.  She responds with a hug.  She pats my back.  She is mimicking me, and alhtough my body is telling me it is not ready to be awake, I think to myself, this is the perfect way to wake up.

Then, she puckers up big for a good morning kiss. No  longer does it matter that she wouldn't go to sleep last night.   No longer am I begrduging her the huge fit she threw at the dinner table yesterday,  or the fact that it is well before 7 am and I am sure I am not fully human until after 7 am.
She is nurturing me, patting my back, cirling my face with her sweet little hands. Who can resist such love?  Such utter cuteness?


She has captured my heart.  Again.

18 Roses

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I prayed that we would make it to the hospital safely,  as the little car raced along the snowy road. My husband was driving, too fast, but something in him told him there was not much time. Thankfully, there was not any traffic in the middle of the night.  We had called ahead and they met us at the emergency room door with a wheelchair.   Loud groaning told the nurse the situation was bad, and they wheeled me to a room,  where I was helped up to get on the hospital bed.   It was then that my water broke and very shortly after, our daughter was born. That was 18 years ago today.
Who would have thought that that little chubby baby with the extra long eyelashes  would grow into such a fine woman in only 18 years?  Who would have known that God's hand of mercy and grace would be upon her from the age of three, when His spirit took up residence?  Who would have guessed  that she would become a tremendous blessing to so many as she grew into a woman?
It has been a wonderful journey with our dau…

Beginning Advent

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Our fondest Christmas memories began to take place ten years ago,  when a few odd circumstances set into motion a new tradition for our family,  one which we would come to anticipate with great joy,  relish its duration,  and look forward to next year.  The tradition of Advent.
The first thing that happened, was that we moved away from family into a very small parsonage with our (then 5) children.   Christmas time came, and we had absolutely no room for a Christmas tree.   Secondly, we would not have family to celebrate with,  and thirdly, we had very little means to purchase our chilren gifts.  But alas, Brian found a wonderful book that inspired us to new beginnings.  That would be The Advent Book, by Jack and Kathy Stockman.  I think back on that year as a providential "accident" that led the way for our family to let go of what we thought Christmas should be like  and simply embrace celebrating the coming of Christ.
The way in which that formulated for us, was each evening for fam…

ThanksGiving Feast

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The table was set. Tthe children wriggled and paced impatiently for the guests to arrive  for a midday feast.
My dear, wonderful, servant husband awoke at 5 am to put the 25 lb. turkey in the oven.   We have long prepared our turkey the old fashioned way.   Remember the magazine "Crowned With Silver?"  I found a turkey recipe in it years ago, and we all agree it is the best turkey ever.  First,  rub the turkey with salt and pepper inside and out, then glaze it with olive oil.  Then cook it slowly at 325 degrees for 8 hours, basting every hour.   By 1 pm, all was ready, and our 6 college age guests were eyeing the dishes  whilst small children climbed all over them.   Such is the hospitality at  our home.



Finally all are seated at the two long tables pushed together to house all 16 of us.  5 kernals of corn are given to each person to contemplate as Brian reads to us of the first Thanksgiving.  We took turns around the table giving thanks,  and then, the feasting!



Gabe liked desert the b…

At Our House This Weekend

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Counting our blessings on this wonderful weekend.

Speaking Life

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue."   Proverbs 18:21
This verse is written on the white board.  Under it, I also wrote, as much a reminder to myself as to the children, "Choose your words carefully.  Think: am I speaking life?"
Words give life to our very souls. We want to teach our children to understand that their speech can foster harm or health.  Psalm 34:12-13, one of the three rules in our home says:  "Whosoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies." 
Sarcasm and complaining are two negative habits that lead to death.   The Greek word for sarcasm literally means, "tearing flesh." If we use sarcasm in the home, our caustic words  rip at the hearts of the one we speak to,  and  shred apart who they are.  I know this well, having a fresh experience with it just the other day.  I used a sarcasitc coment, thinking it would be funny,  but to my horror, the person I …

The First Snow

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Last evening:

The first snow of the season is falling gently this evening,  in great big thick flakes wafting down from heaven. 
Inside, the children are playing a game they made up titled "Finding Nemo"   where they hide a plastic Nemo fish and everyone searches for it.  
Gabe has gotten tired of it and is putting all his dinosaurs to sleep.

The snow is supposed to continue,  which means that tomorrow we will make paper snowflakes and sugar cookies,  as is our tradition.
Soon it will be time for tea and a story before bed.   The children will be all cozy in warm jammies, nestled in a heap on the couch, the littlest ones will fight sleep, but finally their blonde heads will flop over as weariness defeats them.  I love watching this.  Their eyes blink,  opening less  and less... and finally not at all.

What am I thankful for at the end of this day, the first day of snow?

For the warmth of the fireside...
the new stove set in place with only the mantel left to finish.

For friends who know you and…