Wednesday, April 23, 2014


These pics are all from last week, and have all changed radically since then, but they'll just have to do for now.
House going up across the street.

PawPaw tree is coming back to life after the main shoot died last fall! :)

The two Rhode Island Reds and an Ameraucauna. The Welsummer is bottom left.

Two goslings...three more eggs to go.
(All thanks to Buster, who keeps raiding the nests and
bringing us the eggs...the ones he doesn't eat, that is.)

And my small camera that died a few months ago now has a new SD card, so hopefully I'll be able to post new pics more often. Despite the turmoil at home with my cousin's death and Mom's health, there's a LOT happening here!

Monday, April 21, 2014


How do you arrive to school on Monday morning, only to tell your class that one of their own will no longer be back? How do you comfort young hearts who think death is only for old people, not for 13 year olds riding four wheelers?  How does a subsitute teacher walk into a classroom, knowing that all day long the students will be asking about their teacher, who was the mother of Gracie, the teacher that "died" a few years earlier delivering a child, but regained vital signs as family members and church members throughout the area prayed, as doctors said "she should be dead; she was dead; we can't explain this" and is now dealing with the fact that her oldest child is no longer with us? This was a holiday to celebrate Life and Resurrection, to rejoice, not mourn and grieve.

And yet as I visit 13 year old Gracie's Facebook page and read posts from friends, classmates, family, and church members, I am comforted by what I read. Posts like this:

God, we don't always understand the answer, but we can rest assured it is always right. Gracie Abbott, I watched you grow up and it was a blessing. Please pray for the Abbott family, the church family, and friends. Remember, for a Christian death is not the end, but the beginning.

Father, as this day begins, may we remember that to be absent from the body is to be present with her Savior. This is eternal comfort so Father I pray for present comfort for students and teachers today. May we focus on You, Your gift of grace and love, and how we may show others Your love and be a witness and give testimony how You can give new life and forgiveness, so that we will see Gracie Abbott again in Heaven one day. There is no other way to understand a tragedy except to look to Christ.

I don't even know what to say. Gracie was such a vivacious force of nature it's hard believing this really happened. I've never met someone else so young and so brave. She never held back on sharing God's word or an opportunity to worshi...p Him. I've personally learned a lot from her, and I know this won't be for nothing. Her life was and always will be a testimony for The Lord. It doesn't matter how old or young you are or what your state in life might be. You are always an asset for the Kingdom of God. Gracie got a "Well done!"  Regardless, there is a hurting family and many others who are seriously hurting right now and could use a lot of prayer! 
Everyone, please pray for the Gracie Abbott's family. She had a bad UTV accident and now she has gone home to be with her Great and Wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ! Please, please if you don't know Him as your Lord and Savior, please get with someone who does. We never know when our last breath on earth will be met with our first breath in eternity. Gracie would be upset with me if I didn't make sure that your eternity is spent with Her Lord and mine, Jesus Christ! We will miss her badly, but will see her agin! We love you Gracie Lou!! 
There's also the posts about guardian angels and such that always make me cringe and let me know someone hasn't read their Bible very much, but I also know they're hurting and trying to reach out in their own ignorant ways.  My prayer today is that Wayne and Sharon will be protected from cutting comments that are meant well but still hurt, that Tina will have wisdom helping Cole cope with the fact that he survived and Gracie didn't, and that Larry and Phyllis and the other set of grandparents, along with all the other family will experience that peace that passes understanding. For Laura as she reaches out to her niece, having experienced the horror of losing a child too soon, that God will sustain her heart and mind as she can comfort Sharon in ways the rest of us can't. I'm so thankful our God is a healing God, who heals the hearts and souls of his creation, if they are willing to turn to Him. Jehovah-jireh.
Cole (Gracie's cousin) holding Elijah, her younger brother

Gracie Abbott, 13, 8th grader at Maddox Middle School

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

sometimes there are no words

In my dream world, there would be no problems. Everything would always be clean and organized, there would be no pain, and no laundry. We could just go swimming in our clothes and come out majestically clean. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Many years ago a group of ladies read a book titled, The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martin. At first, I was skeptical. She started out the book talking about how terrible her marriage was, and how learning to really pray for her husband changed her marriage (not him, but how she viewed him and herself).  My marriage was and is fine, but the later chapters did force me to think about how seldom I prayed for Bobby in depth. Not just a "God be with Bobby today", but "Lord, give him wisdom in his meeting, help him find the right words to speak, grant him favor with that grouchy attorney during the meeting, etc"  And I found that as I prayed more specifically, I became a little more patient and caring about his needs. (Well, at least I was more aware of what he was facing sometimes.)

Even now, in depth prayer is not something I do all that well. My Mom was the master of praying without ceasing...mentioning quick requests out loud as she moved from task to task. But sometimes, I find myself not really knowing what to say..."God, give him wisdom and discernment" can only be said so many times before it sounds like a mantra. When we're faced with those life situations that inevitably come and we simply don't know what the correct action is, "Lord help!" doesn't seem all that deep, though I know He understands and gets it. Sometimes there just aren't words to describe the thoughts and feelings rumbling around in our hearts, heads, and lives.  And in these times, I'm thankful that God is sovereign, and that He understands the thoughts and intents of our hearts. He hears me, even when I can't get the words out.  And I have no words to describe how incredible and humbling that is.