Saturday, February 25, 2012

Promises on a Snowy Night

The snow came last night. I was spending the night at my parent's house on top of Darling Hill. As I heard a coy dog's yip and wind gusts hit the house, shaking windows and creaking things out on the porch, I awoke, thinking about things like: "I wonder how deep the snow is, wonder how Dad's car is going to get out the driveway through the heavy drifts. I must remember to sneak down to the basement and get Mom's rubber grips to slip onto my boots so that I can walk down to our house in the morning, if need be", (and, as it would be dark, thoughts of coyotes were lurking there in the shadows also); these were the fleeting thoughts; then came thoughts about the economy and how expensive it will be NEXT year to heat the house (never a good subject to think on when trying to sleep), wondering what we might have that we could sell to bring in some money, etc. etc. etc! Satan used to be able to really get me in this area but, if I'm heeding, the verse from Philippians 4:8 comes readily to mind now, "...whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any virtue and if there be any PRAISE, think on these things." The Lord also brought verse 6, reminding me to "be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." As I did so, He truly did bring peace that passes understanding (and sweet sleep), as He always does when I listen and obey Him. When the 5:45 alarm sounded I gathered my things and went though my morning routine, still conscious of the possibility that I may walk down the hill to my house; trying to remember all the little things (borrow a scarf from Mom, as I'd forgotten mine, mittens, etc). Then a light flickered and I heard the friendly sound of a plow coming along through the darkness! The Lord had it all planned and had laid it onto my sweet husband's heart to come and help me out of the driveway and down the road! Our God is so faithful and His promises are always true!
The sun is breaking through and everything is clean and white. Don't you love seeing each branch and tiny twig laden with  heavy snow? It's late February and Spring is 'just around the corner'. Whatever March may bring, sugaring season is almost upon us, then mud season.Toward the end of April people will begin venture up the Hill to visit again. As believers on the Lord Jesus, we wait for the Him to catch us up to 'meet Him in the air', but in the meantime we look forward to the warmer days and months ahead, always knowing that He is there to leave our requests with and we can know that He is faithful to answer prayer and keep His promises!

This morning my heart was warmed by God's love for me, his child. Lord, help me to keep my heart with all diligence, to believe your Word and live by it and to love you with all my heart, soul, and strength!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Soup and Bread on a Snowy Night

It's a beautiful night in the North country. The snow is coming down, bread just came out of the oven and I have Split-pea and Ham soup on the stove.

Syd came home tonight with the HUGEST bones for the dogs. Sturm couldn't get his mouth around his, so I set it in an out-of-the way spot on the wood floor so that we wouldn't be slipping on a greasy spot in the walkway. He worked on it for almost an hour before he'd hollowed a place in the marrow; now he could carry it around and chew wherever he wanted. He did so for over two hours, until his jaw got tired I suppose. Now he's curled up on his sheepskin sound asleep while Ruger gets it completely cleaned off (he got his stripped already). Sturm doesn't seem to mind Ruger taking his over.

It's a perfect night for soup and bread. We just finished a pot of beef stew. Mom and I had the last of it at lunchtime (actually I'd left her the very last bowl to warm up for her supper tonight). Syd made chicken stew last night - a little still left in the fridge. We're BIG soup eaters here, as you can tell!! Thanks, Nikki, for the wonderful Artisan Bread recipe. It's simple and the dough lasts in the fridge for quite some time.  It comes out looking beautiful also. I do it on Mom's soapstone griddle, as my baking stone is packed away. The soapstone griddle works great!

I hope you're all having a safe and warm night in your homes. Syd's snoozing in the chair. After work he went to a friend's house to consult about some work he's doing in their barn. The snow's not mounted up enough to plow yet, but I suppose he'll have a really early morning.

Well, it's time to wake up my hubby and have some soup. Take care, all. I hope to have another post soon. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Update on Tenlee

I went to Linda's blog today and there was an update on baby Tenlee. Her staph infection has cleared and lungs look good. She may be able to go home on Friday!! Her Grandma Regina thanks everyone who has prayed for this tiny little girl. Praise the Lord!  Please continue to pray for her and for her parents who are caring for her.

A Village and Country Walk

We are so blessed with a beautiful, green contryside. Every state has its own beauty but there is truly something about our rolling hills and the ability to look around in every direction, to find yourself "in a bowl"; that is how I've always described it. Having never spent much time on the other side of the mountains that divide our state, I had not realized that it seems like you're out on the prairie when you are over there. It was during a ride with my parents many years ago that I realized that being on the west side is somewhat like being in a different part of the country; looking over wide, flat fields and farmland, seeing very distant mountains. It holds a beauty all its own. Here on Darling Hill the mountains seem near-at-hand. Driving through our rural villages takes you over and around one green hillock after another; folded in amongst the valleys are farms, homes and small businesses.

A view from Mud Lane, on my way home one day last Fall.

In the early eighties, when Syd and I were first married, he worked for an engineering firm in a small town called Woodstock. It is a well-known vacation retreat for people from all corners of the globe. One busy and quaint main street offers shopping and dining experiences that would please most any taste. At least once-a-month I would ride to work with Syd and park in the back parking spaces behind the main street stores. The dirt lot was out of the way and set in amongst the trees and alongside the river. A footbridge took Syd across the brook and up to the little firm where he worked. I would sit in the car and read my Bible for some time and then lock up and venture out to take in the shops. The lack of money in my pocketbook did not discourage me from entering the Unicorn, where would be all sorts of beautifully hand-turned creations and interesting pieces. Many of these I would sketch in my mind, to refer to once I gathered the materials, to make them as gifts. Down the street was "Who's Sylvia?", a haven of Victorian clothes and accesories. One could take much time here, trying on hats and vintage clothes. The kitchen shop "down under" was fun to poke through and across the street, Gillingham's offered everything from apples to zinc lids. Come lunchtime, George, the Village Butcher, would make a sandwich that contained enough meat for three! My favorite place was The Good Times Shop where, upon entering, one was greeted with the ticking of countless clocks. There were tiny, jeweled timepieces and mantle clocks, as well as grandmother and grandfather varieties which stood in the corners. Nancy would be there to chat with for "as much time as you wanted to spend". She and her husband, Jim, became dear friends of ours in the years to follow.  My next stop would be at a basement thrift store. Here is where I would spend the bulk of my time. They often held bag sales and I came away with wonderful finds!

Many years have come and gone since those monthly shopping experiences. We still enjoy a short visit to Woodstock from time to time but I've not been back for an all-day village walk for many years. These days my walks take me along a country lane or down small logging roads, through maple and poplar, birch and pine trees. This winter has been quite short on snow and one can take to the woods without snowshoes, for the most part. Monday Mom and I donned our "grips", to avoid slipping on the ice which covers Darling Hill Road. As we walked we noted the burdock that still clung to the branches alongside the lane. Last Fall a neighbor called me to ask whether my mother and I had anything to do with the adorable creature she saw sitting on the branch of a tree near her house. Upon inspection she found that it was made of burdock and had been formed to look like a squirrel!  What a wonderful idea! So, on Monday, Mom and I plucked the sticky balls of burdock from their stems and fashioned this little fellow. There is no lack of this particular vegetation here on The Hill, therefore we hope to hide owls in the trees and porcupines on stumps in the future. "Thanks" to whoever came up with this whimsical idea!

Next time you're up on Darling Hill, veer off the beaten path on a country walk and perhaps you'll see one of our little friends. These creatures may not be as refined as what you'll see in The Unicorn Shop, but come and enjoy the unique quaintness and quietness here anytime!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Water from an Almighty God

"Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst..." John 4:13, 14

What a blessing water is. For a few years we lived in our little house with no source of water. Praise the Lord, my mother has a deep well on the top of Darling Hill. They drilled over 600 feet through ledge to get it, but the water was down there.  The jugs would be filled and toted to the house for showers, drinking and dishes. Today our little dug-well springs forth with life-sustaining water that the Lord has provided for us.

I was reading from John chapter 4 this morning. In reading about the life-giving water that Jesus offered the Samaritan woman, and truly anyone who will take of this water of life freely, it brought thoughts of the "Almightiness" of God.  The woman said,"Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep." As I coupled this passage with a page from Oswald Chamber's book, My Utmost for His Highest, I read, "When it comes to facing Jesus Christ on his own merits, our attitude is one of pious superiority - 'Your ideals are high, and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done.'" To my shame, I suppose this is how I sometimes think.

Perhaps it never happens to you, but now and then when I wake in the night Satan puts thoughts into my mind. In the darkness I mull them over and over, allowing worry to creep in from the shadows. What will happen to me if...?  How will we handle things if...? Why these misgivings about the Almighty God whom we serve?  Our wonderful Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine! He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness! He gave me the "water of life" in salvation; He will also provide all things that are needed to sustain my physical (and of course our spiritual) life. He promises all of his children that he will not leave us 'orphan'. Though father and mother may forsake us, or close friend, or sister, brother- He will never do so!

The well was a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew. Our precious Heavenly Father has ALL that is needed to "draw with". Lord, teach me not to 'impoverish' the ministry of Jesus, so that He cannot do anything in my life. I am reading again from Chambers, "The thing that taxes almigtiness is the very thing which we as disciples of Jesus ought to believe He will do. We impoverish his ministry the moment we forget that He is Almighty; the impoverishment is in us, not in Him."

As I commune with my own heart on my bed, in the night shadows, may I listen as the Lord reminds me that "Joy will come in the morning"! I pray that I will consistently believe all the promises contained in the Scriptures. Lord, teach me to get to KNOW you more and to love you with all my heart, strength and mind.

I believe this is my only "borrowed" photo on the blog, but these waterfalls are so refreshing and beautiful.