Saturday, July 30, 2011

In The Meantime

 In the absence of my dear Mother,
you might want to visit my 16-year-old sister Rosie's blog.


She is currently in Jinja Uganda Africa.
Take a peek and read about some of her life-changing experiences.
She has a God-given gift for photography and 
a heart for the people of Uganda.
Here's the link:

You can thank me later. :)
Blessings, Anna Primer

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In Case You've Been Wondering


Hello everyone, this is Anna. 
In case you've been wondering where my lovely Mother is, 
she has not been feeling well for the last week. 
Yesterday she went to the doctor, 
we discovered that she has Pneumonia and she has been sent to bed. 
Please pray for her recovery! 
May the Lord bless you today.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Caspian

 There are three things in this life that Jim loves passionately; 
memorizing scripture, 
the world of C.S. Lewis, 
and animals.

  He has long wanted his own dog,
and God, in his great love,
has provided Jim with not only a dog, 
but, just the kind of dog our family needed.
We began looking at Great Perienese last year, but hesitated in our search that we may inquire of the Lord.  
This spring a friend came to us, out of the blue, and asked us if we wouldn't want one of her puppies.
"What kind?" We asked.
I think we were speechless for  a few minutes, 
and then realizing the gift,
a great smile spread across our faces, as the full realization of what was happening hit us.


This is Jim and his new puppy, Caspian.  
Caspian is a Burmese Mountain Dog/Great Perienese. 
We wanted to get the children this type of dog to watch over them and guard them in their woodland play.  We do live in the woods,  along with every large predator and big game animal in close proximity. 
A moose is to be feared just as much as a cougar or wolf,
all of which have been seen within a mile of our home.  
Although this puppy is only 8 weeks old, he will soon be a large dog
 who will follow the children everywhere, being their constant companion and caretaker.  
That gives this mama some peace of mind, 
that the little children running through the woods and down the meadows 
are more likely to be happy safe children,
and less like cougar bait.


Jim is in love.
So is Caspian.


"Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you, for everyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son asks bread, he gives him a stone?  Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father, which is in heaven give good gifts to those that ask Him?"  Matthew 7:8-11

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Already?


  Somewhere out there, my week happened.
  I know not what we did or where it went, but it is nearly gone, and all that is left are a few photos.  
My camera is missing my photographer daughter, Rose,
who is away in Uganda (and loving it very much,by the way).   
As the other two older ones are also away from home,
and Joe and Jim spent the week at camp,
just the 4 little ones here holding down the fort with ma and pa, life has been a bit strange. 
Going from a household of 11 to 5 or 6
left me wondering what to do with all the time I had on my hands,
so much less the work load of keeping house!  
Then I pondered the idea of this being permanent in a short while, 
when the older three leave our home to begin their own journey of building a family. 
It will happen all too fast, I am sure.
Thankfully, there are a few pictures to remind me of our life this week:


The garden got froze again, 
poor tomatoes,
but the spinach, lettuce and peppers are still producing. 
The strawberries, too, look quite sad. 
Anna's herbs are doing well, although there are tiny little footprints in her garden
near a wee little green spot that used to be lupine. 


Girly laundry. 
I am quite fond of hanging out clothes and seeing them flap in the breeze,
knowing they will smell like sweet clover when I gather them in.


Olivia looked so peaceful, I just had to let her be.








 Gabe is continually amazing me and making me smile.  
This week he noted a large hawk in a nearby tree and proclaimed it was a "Bawg Eagle." 
It sounds so cute when he says it that we have had several conversations about Bald Eagles, 
just so he can use the words more.  
Now if I ask what is the national bird, he has a knowing response all ready.  
His 2 year old accent does stupify me sometimes though.  
It took me most of a day to figure out "I have a canafwage."  
Which, translated, means "I want my camouflage shorts."


This is the "runway" near the lodge, where I take my daily walks. 
It is about 2 miles round trip, down the runway, around the pond, and back through the woods.  
There is almost always wildlife to be seen, and the time alone gives me opportunity to talk to God.  
 I often walk in the evening, when Brian is home, 
or in the afternoon when the little ones are napping and Joe can look after things.
The combination of the outdoors and the peace and quiet of the woods
make this a highly revitalizing time for me.
With a full household, I rely on that time, which can often be the only time during an entire day that is not spent on others needs.
I think a mother's time is not her own, she has a house, children, and a husband to care for.  
Yet, having a bit of margin for balance can be a major life-source for renewal, so that she is fueled up to be the minstering balm of grace to her family that God inteneded.
For a long time I did not understand this, and emptied myself out to the point of utter exhaustion. 
Then too, there are others who abuse such time by overemphasizing "me time" in selfish ambition.
As in all things, there must be a godly balance, 
and it can be hard to honestly find it and maintain it.
To this end I pray;
"that God would fill my heart with compassion, that I may extend blessings to others, 
and make use of my hands as instruments of His love."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do you love Him?

I love my husband, which means, that I want to spend time with him, be with him, talk to him, go places with him, listen to his thoughts and dreams and make them my thoughts and dreams.  I do things out of love and respect for my husband too, I wear my hair long, because he likes it that way, I make mashed potatoes for him because he likes them, even though I do not.  Some things, that I used to not like, I have gained an appitite for , such as coffee, and steak..he still has not won me over to dill pickles, however.

If I never spent time with my husband- listening to his heart, what his day was like, what he is thinking, and telling him about my day, my thoughts, my difficulties, my joys- our relationship would be much more shallow.  If, instead I tried to make mashed potatoes every day and never wear my hair up- to prove my love and devotion to him, would that make up for the lack of communing with him?  No, it in no way would!  Our time spent together talking, listening, encouraging, spurring; forms the majority of our relationship and allows us to go our separate ways during the day, yet speak on one another's behalf, for me to write from the both of us, for him to represent our family to the community, etc.

Most days, I braid my long hair, or wear it in a bun because our baby grabs it and tries to stuff it in her little mouth, pulling it and often breaking it.  She will outgrow it, she will learn not to.  My loving husband understands my plight and does not take the least offense that my hair is not free flowing every day.  He also does not demand that I like mashed potatoes or make them everyday.  He is thoughtful that way, and kind.

Our relationship with God, our Heavenly Father is much the same, do you see?

So often I see people trying to live a "pleasing life" for God, without communing with Him- spending time in His word and in prayer.  They are missing the bulk, and most important portion of the Christian life.  These same ones spend all their efforts living in rules and regulations that they think will make them closer to the God whom they rarely spend time with.  I am not judging; I am stating what I know. I have heard their stories, heard their cries, seen their thirst unquenched and watched as they try in vain to fill that God sized hole in their soul with other stuff.
The greatest commandment is not that we keep a list of rules, the greatest commandment is to love God. 

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breath, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes all knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:17-19

How do we love God? The same as we love people: by devoting ourselves to a relationship, interacting with one another, living in grace with one another, seeking to know one another.  Out of this love, we desire to please...I make a caramel desert for my friend when she comes for tea because I know she loves caramel.  I do not have to.  She will be delighted with  whatever I serve- she loves me that much.  The loving comes first and remains the priority. The doings are like frosting on a cake, but ya gotta have the cake, for the frosting is not a desert in and of itself.  Paul puts it this way in the letter to the Philippians...but notice that the love comes first and then out of it flows fruits of righteousness...
"And this I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all understanding, that you may discern things that are excellent; that you may be sincere without offense until the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."  1:9-11

I love my husband.  I love talking with him in the morning over a cup of coffee, I look forward to chatting with him in the evening after the children are in bed.  In between, we may message back and forth or chat on the computer..just staying in touch through out the day.  A constant communing of heart and soul...we journey this life together, one mind, for one purpose- our lives so entwined it is impossible to extract one from the other.  This is relationship in fullness, and it brings great joy and contentment.  It is the way we were made to be.  With one another.  With God.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tea for Two and Two for Tea


Yesterday, these two happy children rambled about their little "camp"  having a tea party.  
It was too precious to pass up.
I felt I had been transported into a Sandra Kuck painting.






They danced, sang, chased robins, drank several cups of "tea", 
and finally were drawn away by the lure of kittens darting about their play area. 
Tea in the afternoon is always a delightful affair, don't you think? 
I smile as I watch them play.
 Brothers and sisters engaged in happy play is a joyous occasion for a mama.
For a little while, anyway, the 3,000 times I have told them to 
"Be Kind and Loving to Each Other" is paying off. 
I am reminded of a favorite quote from June Masters Bacher,
"Every act of kindness moves to a larger one
'til friendships bloom to show what little deeds have done."

Such sweet pastimes as these help in making brothers and sisters best friends.
It is often the simple pleasures in life, when shared with one another, I think,
that make for the most endearing memories.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mornings on the Porch


 Our summer mornings begin on the porch.  
The cool crispness of the dewy air combined with the first sunshine of the day, 
the birds morning song, and a talk with my Lord makes rising early a pleasure, 
even to this sleepy head. 

This morning I am reminded by the Psalmist, 

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  
Trust int he Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 
Delight thyself  also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart,
Commit thy way to the Lord, trust also in Him; and /he shall bring it to pass. 
And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement as the noonday. 
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: " 37:1-7

I know very well how we women tend to worry and not trust in our heavenly Father. 
But this He does not want.
  Instead, He values a woman who trusts in Him and lives without anxiety- -
thus the meaning of a gentle and quiet spirit:  the spirit who quietly trusts instead of anxiously frets;
who rests in Him, accepting his plan instead of trying to force our own, relinquishing control.

Today, may we be living in the moment, 
being faithful with what He has given us, 
talking to Him about our concerns and giving them over to him...our Heavenly Father. 
He really can take care of our needs, 
and He knows what we need so much better than we do,
so we understand, 
and with understanding comes contentment, 
peace,
and with peace, joy.  
This is what it looks like to trust.

These are my morning thoughts as I sit in my rocker
in front of the beautiful hanging baskets that grace the porch.


 The next part of our day is to gather everyone for breakfast on the porch,
then their Bible reading, with chores following.
  I have a particularity adorable helper today.



Besides the porch,  here are a few favorite spots of mine around the lodge.


A collection of white serving dishes,
mostly gathered at thrift stores, is crowned by this delightful platter with a  verse.
I love the hunt of thrifting. 
Such finds as these dishes bestir happy moments which cause a smile when I look at or use them.


I remember my great aunt serving tea from this tea cheerful yellow teapot 
when I visited her in Holland as a child.  



My other great aunt gave me her tea cup collection 
when she moved from her home to a retirement apartment,
and since then I have inherited other relatives' tea cups and pots, 
so that now we have a great many, and some tucked away in hope chests as well.
Nearly every piece of furniture in our home has been given to us, 
and a good portion of the accessories also.  
Each item is a standing stone to remember that God does indeed provide,
not measely crumbs,
but good and wonderful gifts,
oft times, beyond what we even dreamed possible. 
Our home is a testament to that,
but these gifts are not just material,
they are more importantly the spiritual provisions of faith, mercy, joy, and patience, for example.
He is a very trustworthy God.
He is good, and His mercy endures forever.
I hope you know Him.  
I pray you spend your days loving Him, 
herein is life abundant, 
meaningful,
beautiful.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Indepenence Day Celebration


The first, of likely many more, annual Independence Day celebrations at Providence Lodge 
began ordinary enough, but ended with more than a little bang. 

Over 50 friends and family gathered for an all-American potluck, 
a bit of target shooting, 
and a combined effort at a fireworks display.  
Here in Idaho, we are still allowed the freedom of lighting off our own festivities.
After a heartfelt prayer for mercy with the numerous children present, 
all went safely.
Ben declared it was the best day ever.
Aside from missing Rose, who was somewhere over the Atlantic in mid flight to Uganda, 
it was, indeed a magnificent day.