Ah... the end of another Sabbath. Duane has had to work at the firehall for the past four Sabbaths so today was the first time we felt united as a family in nearly five weeks... and it was beautiful.
To update you somewhat on our lives, the young woman I referred to as a potential live-in nanny was officially hired three weeks ago. She has been immersed in our family and has been grafted in as a member! She is like a younger sister / daughter to me and nearly our every conversation is about God. She is passionate about sharing her God-given gifts in any way she can, being a servant unto others, singing His praise and offering up her life to Him. Somedays, in the midst of the chaos that is our lives, I stop and ask her "any regrets joining us?" and she gets a big grin on her face and says "no way!"
Needless to say, she is a blessing to us and we pray to be as much a blessing to her in any way we can.
Our lives have certainly picked up a busy pace as school has resumed. This means that every other week, I am driving nearly four hours a day bringing Izzy to and from her school in the city. With our new live-in help, it is a HUGE blessing not to load up three small children and having them spend four hours of their day in a vehicle! Now with harvest mostly over and our busy farm season slowing down, Duane will be able to help with some of those drives, too. Three days a week, I stop at the gym for a good vigorous workout. I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life and my concern is for my growing baby. As long as I am pregnant or nursing, my body does not shed any weight so there has been no difference there despite five weeks of active vigorous workouts, but at least I feel healthier and like I am playing an active role in my overall well being.
Monday mornings, Anika has swim lessons. Tuesdays, Melina has voice lessons. Thursdays Anika has preschool while I do my weekly grocery shop and Fridays are busy with Sabbath prep and winding down from another busy week.
So today was a much welcomed rest! Shalom (peace) filled our home and the praise that spilled forth from my heart was abundant and energizing. I began to write a song about Jesus' quote "Let the children come to me." Mostly it is about how they are given the eyes to "see"... that while I have often prayed for the little ones who are abused, raped, killed, abandoned, etc.. I often forget to pray for those who oppress them. Afterall, I have known first hand what it is like to fall away from God and how darkness fills your head with thoughts that you no longer deserve to be in His light. Something convinces you that you are undeserving, that you will never be worthy therefore why bother trying to change? These are clearly thoughts from darkness but I know them all too well. Even those who oppress children are still deserving of His grace... otherwise He would have never sent Jesus. So the song is remembering that if He has given children the eyes to see, perhaps He has given them the strength to recognize that it is their oppressors who are not free. And in the end, we are ALL His children and He wants us all to come to Him. So that is the song in the works as of today. We'll see where it goes.
I was also finally able to go next door to visit our ninety-four year old widowed neighbour. I was able to bring her some soup and some apple crisp and some fresh coffee to share together. She is feisty (I think you have to be to live to ninety-four and STILL live on your own in the country!) and I loved every minute with her! She shared how she wept for three years when her husband died... in fact, I learned that he died right here on our property! He had been sick for a couple of weeks and just wanted to get out of the house for a while and came by to visit Duane's father and to pick up some hay, but he collapsed and never got up again. I felt honoured that she shared what she did. It was nice to be with her and to listen to her stories. She truly is an amazing woman! I only pray and hope I can work even half as hard as she has in her life and with the same amount of gusto! "I will never leave this place" she said to me "even though everyone says I am crazy. But it would kill me to leave here... this is where my husband's memories are."
The day was filled with the Lord and it felt so blessed. I wish every day could be like this but without the piling up of dishes!! :) It feels right when every conversation comes back to God... as though He himself is the very foundation of everything! After all, I suppose He IS our rock from which we are to build our house!
The children rejoice in days like today, too. Mommy and daddy are present, reading books and singing songs together, making time for each other and for the sake of togetherness. And the mental permission to be at rest in every way makes it easier to surrender fully to a holy day, and to greet these family times with more patience and grace.
So there you have it, my dear loved ones. Life is abundant and your prayers bless our family beyond words. My baby grows healthily and my hand is often making its way to rubbing my belly again. I cannot imagine a life richer in blessings than ours and I feel as though it is thanks to the blessing of your prayers out there. I hope so much that our prayers for all of you are near as potent as yours!
May this find you enjoying whatever moment you have right now. May the peace of our day pour forth through these words and find their way into your hearts. May you join us in the sanctity of this day through your willingness to be a part of our family through this little blog. And may our prayers reach you and bless you as you have blessed us. In Jesus' precious name... Amen.