Monday, June 30, 2008

Lessons from a Green Bean

By now, most of you know I grow a vegetable garden every year, (with plenty of help from two daughters and 4 precious pea-pickers).

And in that garden I always grow a fence of green beans. Now, when green beans begin producing, they must be picked every day.

On this particular year, I remember picking beans, and filling my basket. Pick a bean, then another and another… and OH MY HEAVENS. That is not a bean! It’s the tail of a little green snake!

Not being a snake-lover, you could hear me squealing from several acres away, I’m sure. I know that little snake was as scared as I was, because he slithered away quickly, hiding himself in the leafy vines.

At this point, I had a choice. Either ask someone else to come pick beans for me, or be a little more careful when picking them myself. Deciding to be a big girl, I choose the latter, and now with gloved hand, began picking beans a little more slowly and carefully.

Now, God talks to me in my garden. After all, it was His original walking place, so I figure He likes mine pretty well too. So, we were talking. And He told me that satan is like that little green snake. He hides, he deceives, he’s sneaky. But, I didn’t need to be afraid of that little snake. I just needed to be aware of him, ….just like I need to be aware of satan.

That little snake lived all season in my green bean fence, reminding me daily to be cautious and on-guard, but not to be fearful, of him or of satan. I only squealed a few times. : )

Thanks God! It was a good lesson.

… Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes. (II Cor. 2:11)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Finds

This is a must-read. Cindy Beall has written from first-hand experience the true story of a broken relationship healed by the mighty power of God's redeeming Love and forgiveness. It will be life-changing.....I promise!


Haven't read The Shack yet? There's still time before Kim discusses it on her blog in about a week. It could lead to some lively discussion!


One of the things Jon has been doing since he's been home.

picture taken by Jacob Meadows (he asked me to say that) ; )

Weekend plans? We've got swimming, and a bike ride planned with these two. That's about it! How about you?

Rudbekia, hollyhock, summer phlox

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cousin Camp

The Cousins ready for Cousin Camp! (ages 9-1)
No moms allowed.

They all arrived about 12:30. First, we played some games.
Lily playing "Duck, Duck,Goose"

Next, we skipped rocks at the pond. OK, we tried.
Uncle Kody was pretty good at it.

The swing!
(the 3 youngest)


This is where the best fun happened. We made this!
Kaden aptly named it "Woppity". (If you try this project, be sure to do it outside---it's messy!)
(my archaic internet won't allow me to upload the video---I'll try again later!
Sadie's mom came to get her for a nap at this point.

Snacks and swimming.
(Uncle Kody is the BEST!)

And we swam until about 3pm.
The cousins had a blast. Mimi had a blast. I think even the moms had a blast!

"We love Cousin Camp!"

Cousin Camp points:
Thanks to Amy G. for this idea.
All these kids live on our acreage and spend a lot of time together. They refer to each other as "my friends" ; )
It was the build-up and anticipation of Cousin Camp that made it so special.
We'll be doing it again---they're already asking. ; )
Grands are the GREATEST!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What Are You Reading?

Right now I am reading:

The Last DiscipleHank Hanegraaff & Sigmund Brouwer
The Slumber of ChristianityTed Dekker
Have a New Kid by FridayDr. Kevin Leman

Are you a reader?

What are you reading right now?

Have any good suggestions or must reads?

Do you read more in the summer or in the winter?


come back tomorrow for Cousin Camp!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Last night we hopped on the bike and rode to

watch Kaden play ball
"good game, good game, who won?"
The best part of the ball game!
Then we rode some more and went to watch Brad at this ballgame.
Lifechurch vs Lifechurch...guess who won? ; )

Eatin' Mimi's popcorn

Three tired girls

This one was especially tired

"Daddy, you did good"

Yep. It was a good night!

Monday, June 23, 2008

What About Me?

“But, what about me?”

I’ve said it, you’ve said it, we’ve all said it. Or at least we’ve thought it. And the world constantly puts it in our face.

But, where in God’s Word does it ever talk about me taking care of myself? Or me looking out for myself? Or me putting myself first?


At least that I’m aware of.

God is always telling us to put others first.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

To prefer.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor

To not be selfish.

Recognize God’s economy. He says to save yourself you must sacrifice yourself:

Matthew 16:24 "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self.

Seems to me God doesn’t give a lot of support for that question…

But, what about me?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Finds

Follow the lifechanging events of this girl. She leaves next week for London---to live and minister there!


Anna has some good leadership principles going on at her blog.


Check out Alec's blog. (Just started this week.) He's one of our sons' friends and has some great insight for a young man! Think there's a ministry calling on his life? Leave him some blog-love!

Weekend plans? Another low-key weekend here! Wow!! We'll have plenty of swimming and outdoor work.

What will you do?

catching fireflies!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Do You Think?

"God will not make me think like Jesus. I have to do it myself."

So? Do you agree? Or disagree?


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

They're Driving Me Crazy!

We’ve all said it at one time or another.

“My kids are driving me crazy!”

Guess what?

Our kids aren’t driving us crazy. God is using them to refine us!

The daily grind of wiping noses, bottoms and spills, dealing and dealing again with bickering, fussing and disobedience, and trying to keep our homes and ourselves in some sort of order aren’t making us crazy. (well, maybe they are sometimes) ; )

Those things are actually working in us tenderness, love, compassion, patience and many other virtues that are turning us into a person who looks more and more like Jesus.

Learn to recognize what we see as overwhelming, near impossible situations and circumstances, God sees as the way to Him.

2 Corinthians 2:17 So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No Biting!

Another one for the behavior series…

What about biting?

Biting is a common problem among young children. It’s usually that 2nd child trying to gain the upper hand over their older sibling. Emotions rise to a point that he can’t figure any other way to handle the situation other than taking a chunk out of big brother or sister.

Andrew (now 26) was a biter. I don’t remember it happening very many times, but it did happen. I do remember smacking him on the mouth with my fingers a few times, looking sternly into his face and saying, “No!” I wasn’t even sure how to handle the situation.

So? What are your ideas about biting? Found anything that “works”?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Expect It

1. things won’t go the way you want
2. people will disappoint you
3. your kids won’t always do the right things
4. life will sometimes be hard
5. things will always take longer to get finished than you think
6. God is in control---even when it doesn’t seem like it.

Expect it!
Add to the list – what can we expect?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Finds

Are you a world changer? You might be surprised.

Anna put out a challenge this week and is sharing some about how she lost her weight. " get extreme results I had to take extreme measures." Are you up for the challenge? It's an all-you-can-eat plan! Let her know what you think.
Alexander and Katie are still in Jerusalem. This week they've picnicked in hell (Gehenna), visited Masada, Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, Galilee, and more! Alexander has put up a couple of thoughts that might challenge your conceptions of Jesus' childhood. Very interesting! I get to talk with them every few days on Facebook instant message. I asked Katie if it was dry and barren at Gehenna. She offered, "No, they water hell every day!" ; ) Alexander enjoys comments.
my flower bed
I overheard my 6 yo grandgirl talking on the phone with her mom about Father's Day. She asked her mom, "But, when is Kid's Day?" ; ) I think all our young ones have asked that!

My dad has been rejoicing in heaven for about seven years now. I'll tell you about him sometime.
The ManyMeadows + will be here on Sunday evening. What do you have planned for the weekend?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Please Pray for Her

I have a sweet young friend who I meet for coffee about once a month. She is the mother of four children under six years of age! I say sweet, because that is just so descriptive of her nature. Her childhood was rather dysfunctional, but she is an overcomer, pionering new Godly territory for her family. I’m always blessed when we meet. (We meet late at night after her kiddos are in bed). ; )

During her pregnancy with child #4, her ureter got a kink in it. It caused some issues with her kidney (as you can imagine) and has caused her much pain. It has been several months since #4 was born, and the problems have not gone away.

So, you can imagine her daily turmoil in trying to care for those sweet ones, deal with the pain, and still try to function half-way normally.

Yesterday she sent me an e-mail sharing some scriptures that have meant a lot to her during this time. It’s from Lamentations 3 (actually my favorite passage). This is from The Message and it portrays what many of us feel from day-to-day. We could take each scripture separately and write a blog about each one! Yeah, it's long, but read it! It's worth it.

Verses 19-36
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times.

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer.
Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.

The "worst" is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won't ever walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.

His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way.

It's the Master who gives such orders.Doesn't the High God speak everything, good things and hard things alike, into being?

(her words) "He speaks both good things and hard things into being..........!!!!
His ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts higher than my thoughts! I'm sticking with God - He's all I've got!!!! Good stuff!" (I told you she was sweet!)

Today I ask you to pray especially for my friend. Do you have some encouraging words to share with her?

Does this passage speak to you as well?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mexican Bean and Corn (Etc) Salad

This is my new favorite summer salad recipe.

It makes a great side dish for grilled-anything, it is a good salsa for pita chips or tortilla chips, and it is great on top of salad greens (that’s what my lunch is a few days each week!) Oh, and Dirk likes it too. Yay!

It’s also allowed in this challenge. (Check it out).

Here goes:

1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans(drained and rinsed)
1 can yellow corn (drained)
1 can white hominy(optional)(drained)

Add some chopped tomato, onion (red looks great), plenty of cilantro, and peppers (any color, any type. I even used jarred jalapenos the other day). Any amount---your choice

Add about 2-3 Tbs. lime juice, lemon juice, or even the brine from some jarred jalapenos, ½-1 t. cumin, 2 t. Splenda, and a couple shots hot sauce. Grind in some fresh black pepper. Put all in a covered container, and shake it until it’s mixed. Serve now or chill for later.

(About means: taste and add a little bit more of whatever you think might be needed ; )

Also, try any type of beans (garbanzo, pinto, black-eyed peas, navy, etc)

NOW! For my favorite ingredient in this salad--- JICAMA! Jicama (pronounced hee-kah-mah…isn’t that fun to say?) looks like a turnip with a brown skin on it. It has a texture like a crisp pear but has NO taste….until you add it to something. Then, it takes on the flavor of whatever it’s mixed it with. So, I add a small, peeled, cubed jicama to this salad. It gives it a great crunchiness! Jicama keeps for a long time in the refrigerator. Oh, and the best news…1 cup of jicama has a whopping 45 calories! ; )

Let me know if you try the salad. Think you’ll like it as much as I do? ; ) Have you ever tried jicama?

Do you have a favorite summertime food, or salad? Do share!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Better Than Sacrifice

You know this concept. You experience its effects daily with your children. But, today, ask yourself: What is God asking me to do? You may already know.

God is asking you to ______________, so you serve in the children’s area at church this week to make yourself (and hopefully God) feel better.
He’s asking you to ___________, so you get up and clean the kitchen. After all, it does need it.
He’s asking you to __________________ so you clean out a closet or drawer.
He’s asking you to __________________, and you call a friend instead.

Why is it we think substituting something of even greater worth (in our minds) is better than the one thing God is asking of us?

To obey is better than sacrifice. I Samuel 15:22

Just do it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Night Terrors

When my daughter, Ali was about 4 years old, she began having night terrors. The scariest thing for me? I didn’t know what was going on. There was no Internet to check her symptoms, and it was a year or so before I even knew the term.

She would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and crying and I would rush to her bedside to hold her. She would continue to cry, eyes open, terrorized (and then her sisters would be awake). The hardest part was that she wasn’t really awake. And the saddest part was one night when she cried, “I want my mommy”, in her shaky, frightened voice, looking with her glassy eyes straight into mine. Heartbreaking for me, because I was powerless to do anything.

Dirk and I would pray over her, while tears streamed down my face, and we held her until she would finally settle. The next morning she wouldn’t remember any of it, thankfully.

I don’t remember this happening very many times. When it did, it left us wondering if we had allowed her to watch something she shouldn’t have, eat something that didn’t agree, or if it was just that fact that she had us for parents! ; )

Regardless, today she is the mother of two of our precious grandgirls. Those night terrors didn’t leave any lasting marks and she’s never had to undergo counseling. ; )

Those childhood issues you may endure for a time in your child’s life most likely won’t cause permanent damage. And you’ll discover those issues are not because of you!

Have any of your children ever experienced night terrors?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Finds

Last month we spend $554. on gasoline! That’s with two drivers. And I don’t even leave home that often! How about you? Causing you some financial issues? What do you think? Are people charging gas to their credit cards just so they can drive?
Here’s an idea for saving money to use for gas. Ali and Erin are learning how to save by buying some items at CVS Pharmacy. Christi tells more about it here.
Free food! The wild blackberries are prolific this year! (we have them all over our property, but drive rural and check the roadsides) Erin and her boys have picked gallons of them! They’re not large, but they’re good and sweet. She is freezing them to make jam for Christmas gifts. (what a frugal girl!) I went out last evening and picked about 3 cups of them, and then noticed I was standing in a patch of poison ivy! Oh well….they sure will be good with cinnamon oatmeal. It’s like blackberry cobbler for breakfast!
Ali is still working Saturday and Sundays at Super Cuts (2nd and Bryant-just east of the 7-11). Ask for her and get a GREAT cut. Oh, and give her a generous tip!
Check out this current series. It’s a simple concept, really. But one we all need to “get”. One Prayer.
Weekend plans? I think it’s going to be a slow one for us (for once). We actually have no plans, other than church on Saturday night.
How about you?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What Do You Think?

Yesterday's post brought up a question by my frind Deleise. She asks:

Robin, can you give us some tips on raising kids like Erin who can't stand to miss a day of reading the Bible?

Other than modeling, how did you help them come to that place?

Deleise, all I can answer is that it is the power of God at work in her life! Another daughter, Ali made a similar comment and I'm just blessed by them both. Their hearts belong to Him and it shows.

How much did her dad and I have to do with their choice to read God's Word daily? I'm not really sure. Bible reading was the first thing we did each morning, followed by memory work. Some years we read with everyone at the breakfast table. Most years it was the older children reading on their own and me reading to the younger ones. Did they always have a heart to read His Word? Hopefully, they'll get on here and answer that question.

Modeling is HUGE! I still remember my dad sitting at the table each morning reading his Bible and Sunday School book.

Tips to raising kids like Erin, Andrew, Ali, Anna, Katie, Kody and Jacob? Well, they're really fairly normal people and certainly not perfect. After all, look who they have for parents. ; ) Still, I'm continually blown away and amazed at them. At what they've overcome, at what awesome parents the first three are, at the Godly choices I see them make, at their giftings and how they use them, at their influence for Christ. (And they're just plain fun too!)

My advice? Love 'em, point them toward Jesus, and pray, pray, pray. The rest is up to Him, and He is always faithful!

Does that help?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


God makes it very plain in Deuteronomy 30 that we have a choice….life or death. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m betting that all of you would say you would choose LIFE over DEATH on any given day.

But, look what we choose….we choose the internet, visiting with friends, working out, doing good things, we’re lazy, etc, etc, etc rather than choosing to read and know God’s Word.

Look at this from Deut. 30:19-20

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life….(emphasis added)

Read His Word! It is your LIFE! Get a plan and do it!

Read here about how a special friend of mine experienced God's living, breathing Word in her own life just yesterday! He has a daily message just for you too. Ask Him!

My plan right now is the scriptures that go along with two devotionals I read daily, two or three Psalms and a chapter in Proverbs. Last year, I did the One Year Bible. I’m also reading often from The Message. Make time---you’ve got it. You must! It is your LIFE!

Share your reading plan. Don’t have one? E-mail me. We’ll talk about one.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Forward or Back?

I was reading the other day from the book of Numbers. In chapter 13 it talks about God telling Moses to send some men to explore the land of Canaan (which was the Israelite’s Promised Land). So, Moses chose 12 leaders with instructions to find out all they could about the land, the people, the soil, the fruit.

So, these guys go and explore the land for 40 days, finding grapes so large it took two men to carry one VERY LARGE cluster on a pole between them. This was some fertile land!

Their report: "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.”

Descendants of Anak? Those are giants. They found giants in their Promised Land.

Well, Caleb was ready to take them on. But the other 11 men said, “"We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."

So, think about this:

It was when the men of Israel were going forward into the Promised Land that the giants appeared. When they turned back into the wilderness they found none.

Is there anything in your life that you need to choose to press forward into rather than retreating back into the wilderness?

What are the giants that need overcoming in your life?

Do you believe there are blessings awaiting you?

When will we stop believing the lie that we are only grasshoppers?

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Sad Conversation

Me: You know, the Bible tells us not to lie. (instructing voice)

Child #5 or 6 (at approx. age 8-10): It does? (amazed voice)

Me: Yeah, you know. (impatient voice) In the Ten Commandments. (duh voice)

Child: The Ten Commandments? What are the Ten Commandments? (really amazed voice)

Me: (Uh-oh moment) Hmmm….(this kid really doesn’t know what I’m talking about)…..Didn’t I tell you about those? (amazed voice)

(Where are Cindy’s spreadsheets when you need them?)

Even in our most careful planning and teaching, we will leave gaps. Thank goodness, there is One who loves our children even more than we, and He’ll make sure to fill in where we leave off!

I’ve witnessed it first-hand.

Keep lovin’ them and take a deep breath….it will be OK.

You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. (Phil. 4:19-20 The Message)