Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Reads

Earlier this month I came across this list of books, to read to encourage strong girls, that made me smile and think back on some of the best books we've read to and with our daughters.  As summer approaches I think I'll pull a couple of titles to enjoy on warm lazy afternoons. 

This month I have read and listened to a few books from, and in addition to my 2012 list:

Eternity in Their Hearts by Don RichardsonStartling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World This book was given to me by a friend during a discussion about missions and unreached peoples.  It confirmed to me that yes, while it is a task given by the Lord to go out to share the Gospel, unreached people groups do have in their belief systems a knowledge of the One True God.

What's the Big Deal?  Why God Cares about Sex. by Stan and Brenna Jones.
A few years ago I purchased this series, God's Design for Sex, at the recommendation of friends who also have a household full of daughters.  Coming from the childhoods that Beloved and I had, I wanted to gather resources and information to better pass on truth regarding growing up and womanhood to our precious young ladies.

Each of the books in this series has been helpful, although the presentation of  What's the Big Deal? is less appealing to me.  It is written as a dialogue between mother, father, son and daughter.  After reading it one evening, I decided to simply use it as a spring board for conversations.

One Bite at a Time, 2 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider - The title of this book immediately grabbed my attention.  In our immediate and extended family we have a saying when a project or duty looms big..."how do you eat this elephant?"  "one bite at a time".

This book is the helpful tool that helps me put into practice what I gleaned from Organized Simplicity.  One bite or project at a time. 

The project "Eat that Frog" was the launching point for the 2 important changes I made in my morning routine.  Getting that frog eaten first thing every day has been a funny way to established my small exercise routine and to remember to take my medication each day.

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian.
An encouraging read and a helpful tool to develop a deeper prayer life, specifically for my husband, but also in general.  Many of the "prayers" helped me to find a fuller vocabulary as I pray throughout the day.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
This story was a surprise to me.  About a year ago our Mae asked about reading the book but I asked her to focus on her book list.  With the movie coming out I decided to read the book with the hope that I could hand it to her and be able to discuss it as she read it.  In keeping with my hope to give our children "good" food for their minds, this is not a book we will circulate at this time.

While this story is well written, and there are several messages to discuss and to think on, the subject matter is very heavy.  I believe it is more suited to older young adults, more in the later high school, college years.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:8

Family Reading
Mathematicians are People, Too, Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians by Luetta Reimer & Wlibert Reimer.

 It has taken us about 6 months to read through this book, as it is a once a week or less often read during our family learning time.  Mathematicians are People, Too has been a real boost to our math studies. 

Reading about the very real people who made the discoveries and often fought to make them known, has given us a different understanding of these this subject.  We enjoyed the stories and have been inspired to pursue our math studies with more enthusiasm.  We are looking forward to starting Mathematician's are People, Too, Volume 2 in the next school year.

The Lord of the Rings Part One, The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.  After reading The Hobbit in January, we jumped right into Frodo's quest.  As a youth, I don't think I read more than one or two pieces of classic literature and it is very exciting to be sharing great classics as a family.  I hope that reading these together not only brings great enjoyment to each member of our family, builds some good warm memories, but I also hope this lights a fire of interest in the hearts of each of us to enjoy a good book, even a classic book very often throughout the rest of our lives..

So rich are the discussions that have sprung up during these 6 weeks, and so fun are the "at the right moment" quotations.  It is a sweet reminder when any one of us is holding too tightly to something for a sibling, daughter, spouse to say in a fun voice "my precious."

Much to my disappointment, I have found myself casting a cloud on the story in my over preachy urgency to interrupt the story to talk (me talk) about the accurate reflection of the darkness of our human heart.  This is a matter of prayer as we plan to read The Two Towers after a short detour into the works of Shakespeare.

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey ~ Chica and I had some time over the weekend to read a couple of pictures books, something that has fallen by the wayside in our busyness. 

This is the delightful story of little Sal and her mother during a day of berry picking, to can for winter.  I am so thankful that Chica pulled this one off the shelf, as it brought back some fond memories and the idea to make some new ones!

The Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine.  As a part of a blog tour I wrote a review for this audio book here.

A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada.  My thoughts from this book are here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

This Moment ~ Or String of Moments

This Moment ~ An extraordinary moment, or string of moments in this week, that I want to savor, remember and enjoy the sweetness of these days.

ready to go, just waitin'

all the girls have grown into new helmets, bikes

a long distance down the road, i drive the pickup vehicle.

littlest is right behind them

the reward for them

  and a gift for me.

Five Minute Friday

Want to play Five Minute Friday? 
1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt- no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link here and invite others to join in.
OK, are you ready? Give us your best five minutes on:


This smile.  The girl behind these eyes, my delightful daughter.
The girl who often just lingers in my presence, not needing or wanting anything, anything more than just my "being there."

Everytime I see that smile, my heart fills with joyful wonder, the wonder of such a gift as being a mother to this sweet girl, and her sweet sisters.  And I pray everyday that I will be a woman of wisdom, understanding and love, in Christ working worthy of the gift given.

Monday, March 26, 2012

glorious and unending mercy

Little did I know when I made my audio book list for this year, that all around me I would find the need for truth to be gleaned from these books.  That is how it has been though, and still is, in my walk with Christ.  Gently, steadily He leads in all areas of my life, weaving them together in a way the keeps the waves of my life flowing in a same direction.

A Place of Healing, Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain and God’s Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni begins this book with the sharing about her own “newest” struggle, extreme persistent physical pain even in a paralyzed body.  In the chapter God and Healing:  What’s the Real Question?
And each chapter has given me words to think on, words to share and words to keep me steady as yet another crashing, violent wave hits the shoreline of our lives.
Why does our LORD walk so closely to this scattered woman who forgets to speak life, meditate on Him and in general stumbles through this gift of life?  Becuase HE IS, HE IS JEHOVAH, GOD of all creation, CREATOR of me.  And, I have learned and am learning to really know, HE LOVES me.
Such glorious grace and unending mercy.

giving thanks in all circumstances all the way to #884
The agreement to make pizza, instead of getting take out, saving us $25 this weekend
Morning routine tweeking, blesses the children
Daughter in her new bedroom, can see the mountain and the birds
Signs of spring all over the yard, and it’s only March
The tax bill…prompts us to keep counting the gifts
Five eye exams and no new glasses needed this year
The words of joni Erickson tada…yes I want the warrior savior too
Sleep given, even in the midst of the anxiety
Courage to believe the truth
Missing student found safe
An hour and a half home alone
 Northern flickers and black capped chickadees in the pinion tree
Glorious cousin playtime until they are all tired out
 Fresh bread
Small family business ideas
Time to sew and another project hemmed.
Another little piece of time alone
A sermon on “the gospel”  all things are created by Him, and for Him.
Laughter with sweet Petal Rose
Mae’s excitement over the signs of spring in the gardens
 The relief from an answered prayer, prayers
Another opportunity to serve
 Volunteering as a family

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ministry Spotlight ~ Amazima

Hello Friends,

Have you heard of Katie Davis, Amazima or Kisses from Katie?

I know that I talk a lot about Compassion International.  I love Compassion, the work they do, the kids we sponsor.  And we, our family, also love Amazima and the work done by Katie Davis. 

Just in case you haven't heard, I want to introduce you to Katie and the work she does in Uganda.

If you are looking for a way to support missions while you shop, I'd like to recommend to you handcrafted jewelry made with Ugandan love.  My daughters gave me a beautiful strand of the "heavenly blue" for Christmas.  It thrills me to wear something that a woman in Amazima's beading program made, and to know that through this she made money to support her family.

Please take a few minutes and "get to know" this extraordinary ministry.

By Quiet Waters recieves no compensation from Amazima.  This post was written in joyful support of the work they do.


by Oney Jones
for my dear Friend Michelle

Marme plans the lessons
her daughters learn them well.
Marme watches...and listens...
and does her job to tell

Them they are going to Canada!
An adventure will be had!
"We stay together- as a family
this time--we go with Dad!"

Friends and family now so far south
This North Country is quiet and cold.
A moose saunters up to the deck
His majestic presence so bold!

The snow is pouring down
Coating all land and trees in sight.
This North Country is quiet and cold.
Marme watches her beloved girls witness this
And senses their delight.

A better lesson was never planned
Than seeing the Northern Nature
And more Art of His mighty hand.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Loud ~ 5 Minute Friday

Want to play Five Minute Friday? It’s easy peasy!  JOIN Lisa Jo for a little bit of word fun.


When I was young, our house was often either extremely, egg shell quiet, or raging find some place to hide loud.

These days, my home is either peacefully momentarily quiet, or joyfully, silly, goofy, delighted laughter LOUD. These silly girls who can't even look me in the eye at times without falling into fits of infectious giggles.  And even when there is a cloud in one's eyes, a goofy face as we hug has us all singing the loud song of thanks for a family that loves and enjoys life together.

As much as this introverted marme likes my quiet spaces, i am learning to really love the loud joy a housefull of growing up young ladies produces.

LOUD JOY.  sweet music.  STOP

This Moment ~ High Orange Belt!

{this moment} - A Friday thing. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


If you are visiting from Amanda's "this moment" page, please leave me a comment so I can return the visit.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

As Arisara of Thailand waits for a Compassion Sponsor, I have decided to pray for her and her family.  Arisara is a 10 year old girl who enjoys singing, telling stories and playing house. She sounds a little like the sweet girls in my home.

My prayer is that she will know that God, the Creator of all, loves her. And I will be praying for a sponsor for Arisara. The love and support of a sponsor will give her the assistance to grow up into her potential, with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and his great love for her.
If you are interested in more information about sponsoring Arisara you can click here. You can also see other children waiting for sponsors in the Compassion Program.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blog Tour: The Money Saving Mom's Budget AudioBook

Thank you for stopping by on your way through the "The Money Saving Mom's Budget" audiobook blog tour.

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget audiobook, written by Crystal Paine, produced by Oasis Audio, read by the Author.

Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year.

·         If You don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Train Will Get You There
·         Are the Chaos and Clutter in Your Life Keeping You from Financial Success?
·         Give Yourself an Instant Raise Without Increasing Your Take-Home Pay
·         Go Totally Plastic-Free – Temporarily
·         Coupons Are Not Just for Junk Food
·         Beyond the Basics:  Advanced Couponing Techniques
·         Twenty-five Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill Without Clipping Coupons
·         Going Out on the Town Without Going Broke
·         Embrace Today
·         Included with this audio book is a pdf file of worksheets and charts found in the printed book.
While much of what Crystal Paine has to say in this book is material on her blog or in other resources I've read, there are some points she expands on that build upon basics that I know or am learning.  It has been an encouraging refresher course on the pursuit of good stewardship and living simply.
The chapter on chaos and clutter has me looking at my own schedules, habits and “hot spots” more closely.  Crystal is very down to earth and matter of fact, and the pdf worksheets are a helpful starting point.

In the chapter “Beyond the Basics: Advanced Couponing Techniques” I was encouraged that while I do use most of the skills Crystal recommends, one thing I haven’t done is shop the markdowns in produce.  Her encouragement that doing so adds a little pizzazz to the weekly menu made me smile.  It certainly would mix things up for my family, as I tend to buy the same produce every week.  It would be great to try some new items this way.
While this recording was not as smooth and polished as other titles on my playlist, it was a true pleasure to have the opportunity to listen to this audio book.  Knowing that this is the author’s first book, and that recording this audiobook is another first to her, I mostly want to applaud Crystal Paine.  She has said that she has been taken out of her comfort zone, and it is beautiful to see younger women take these uncomfortable steps of faith.   As I said in a January post, Crystal is a young woman who, as a homemaker and a business woman. has a far reaching platform. She is also a woman who recognizes what she has been given, and offers it back to the Lord. It brings me great joy to be able to introduce my daughters to the work of women like Crystal who are living out their lives in faith, wisdom and service to the Lord.

with joy,

This video gives you a little example of how Crystal helps and encourages us in our quest for better management of our resources.

I was sent this recording by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 19, 2012

By streams of waters, on a straight path 1000 Gifts

Reading Jeremiah 31 this week, my heart found these words...

"9With weeping they will come,
And by supplication I will lead them;
I will make them walk by streams of waters,
On a straight path in which they will not stumble;
For I am a father to Israel,
And Ephraim is My firstborn.”

Oh the joy to know that right there in the prophets, a piece of my story is found.  There has been weeping, and the LORD has led.  There have been those streams of waters, those quiet waters I name here on this blog.  And with joy I am strengthen by the words "on a straight path in which they will not stumble."  How encouraging to know that by His leading and grace one can walk that straight path.

counting to #846

The taste of lemon with a touch of sugar, truly a heavenly taste
 Beloved and I received confirming messages over the course of a week.  Discovering this on the next Monday.
Chalked smiley faces on the driveway
Funny mad libs
New mercies each day
The sweet smile of a teen ambassador
Encouragement from Lura
 Answered prayer
  Thanks from someone I’ve been praying for, not for my glory, but God is loving through me.  Sweet joy, magnificent grace
Cave bed made, to sleep in hiding from the bedtime story
Productive day sewing
Beloved is able to take the time he needs to heal
A new recipe, makes eating onions and peppers so tastey
Beautiful march day, children playing outside with great delight
 Guarding the time
Chasing the sliver moon
Watching as it slides behind the mountain
Wanting so to catch in through the camera lense
And deciding to just tuck in my head
Another young woman is brought to our dinner table

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Few Weekend Links

Love This!  So pretty and perfect project for our very creative, talented Mae.

We are just about ready to start our first batch.

These headbands are too cute.

Are you joining me in praying for unsponsored children in Compassion International's projects?  Please do take a moment and pray, for sponsors, for health and for each child to know the love of the Lord.

I hope you are enjoying plenty of family time, sunshine, and fellowship with our Lord.

with joy

Friday, March 16, 2012


joining LisaJo for just 5 minutes...
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back and invite others to join in.
3. Meet & encourage someone who linked up before you.
OK, are you ready? Give us your best five minutes on:



The word topic is Brave.  On a week after Builder suggested the scariest thing i feel most unequipped to do.  And i keep hearing various words that suggest my FATHER in Heaven is pursuing me, also suggesting that i do it.

But when i line up all my words of "no" it might really be, "i don't think i'm able."  "what do i have to offer that hasn't already been given?"

So am i to be Brave in this?  No, i think i am to stand behind a shield, lift a sword and keep asking HIM to tell me He is here and this is what He wants me to do.

Brave isn't in me, but the Holy Spirit of God is.  And i choose, each moment, to believe, I can do all things through Christ who  strengthens me.


Joining Lisa Jo for 5 Minute Friday  Want to step over and join us in this word thing?  It's a beautiful place, we'd love to hear from you too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fatao is Recovering

Fatao has had his open heart surgery to patch a hole in the lower chamber of his heart.  I am so thankful to know the funds were raised and available for this operation and am praying that Fatao recovers quickly and is able to return home to his family in Burkina Faso soon.

Praise God!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Praying for the Unsponsored Children

Earlier this week, at the encouragement of Michelle, I decided to join her in praying over waiting for sponsorship in the Compassion International programs.

So, I am praying for beautiful Arisara of Thailand this week.  Arisara is a 10 year old girl who enjoys singing, telling stories and playing house.  She sounds a little like the sweet girls in my home. 


My prayer is that she will know that God, the Creator of all, loves her. And I will be praying for a sponsor for Arisara. The love and support of a sponsor will give her the assistance to grow up into her potential, with the knowledge of Jesus Christ and his great love for her.
If you are interested in more information about sponsoring Arisara you can click here.  You can also see other children waiting for sponsors in the Compassion Program.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sketch Tuesday

To see the slideshow of all this week's great sketches, go here. And if you want to join us next week, for sketching, go here to learn the details.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Step by Step HE Leads ~ Grace Gifts

The knowledge that it is the LORD leading one's family is a blessing too great to fully process.

counting to #825

  • Time to pray with Builder each morning
  •  Pink light on mountain, showing it staying firmly planted as the wind gusts and howls
  • Reflecting on the 3 little pigs, and knowing our home stands firm in the winds, with the wind wolf outside, because of WHO resides within us.
  • The admonishment to pray for my marriage, starting with my heart
  • The howling, gusting wind left snow when it blew away
  • Chicken soup and hot bread
  • Friendship
  •  Laughter in the morning
  •  Beautiful Claudia, giving us the tour of Compassion International’s offices, pulls the pieces of my heart’s mission together. It is taking shape.
  • Knowing that the LORD has plans for us, to bless us and give us a future, not to harm us.
  • Daddy is home. Makes math so much easier.
  • Discussing the POVERTY WHEEL during morning Bible times. Father open our eyes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Heart Surgery for Fatao, a Compassion International Child

This is Fatao, in Burkina Faso, Africa.

When just 1 year old, Fatao was found to have a heart defect, but the prescribed treatment was not an option for Fatao and his parents.  Living in poverty simply swipes away options. 

What would you do if you discovered your baby has a hole in his heart?  Yes, you would call a cardiologist, call your health insurance, call your church.  And what  your child needed would be attended to.  Me too, and I've seen this happen in my community.

The things we can do for our children in the United States, just are not available to parents livng in extreme poverty.

In December 2010 Fatao was registered in his community's local church and he was seen for a health screening and this doctor reccomended that Fatao be seen by a cardiologist.

The cardiologist confirmed that Fatao has ventricular septal defect - a hole in his heart. And now, at 6 years old, Fatao needs heart surgery.  For that surgery he must travel to India. 

When it comes to additional medical assistance like this, for things beyond normal preventative care,  Compassion International church partners have immediate access to $5,000 via a Medical Assistance Fund.  However, when the expenses associated with these special medical needs cost more than $5,000 the child development center requests more money, money which needs to be raised.  Courtesy of Compassion International:

I am writing this week, on the behalf of Fatao and Compassion International.  If you would like to  know more, or keep up to date with this story, here is a link to the Compassion blog post.

If now, you would like to partner with us to raise the funds needed?  You can click the photo above and be taken directly to Compassion International's secure online donation page.

Also, will you join us in praying for Fatao and his family?   That God will
  • provide all that Fatao needs to have heart surgery to repair the hole in his heart
  • be his comfort and strength as he travels to India, without his parents
  • strengthen the faith and peace of his parents while they remain in Burkina Faso to work and care for the rest of their family.
  • and the other ways you are lead to pray
Sharing this post is an easy way to tell others, or through your facebook and twitter accounts.  Will you pass on this story?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Open our Eyes

Reading Just a Minute these past 2 months has inspired me to look back, to pray for the clouds in my memories to be blown away and to remember minutes, moments of life giving.  A little trickle has made it's way out.

Like stones across a river, were the moments sown into me during my 3 of my high school years by a few adults shepherding a group of young people.  Doug and Patti Irvin were the youth pastors during those years, investing their time and Christlike affection with a bunch of kids.

Maybe Doug and Patti had some ideas as to who “that” girl really was; maybe they only saw the contradictions as the young lady grasped at truth, and at the same time played with alcohol, drugs and boys.  Whatever they thought, they showed love, they shared truth, week after week.
The time they took to speak truth and teach Scripture made those 3 years a place of quieter waters sandwiched in a life of chaos, abuse, acting out and outright rebellion.  The seeds fell deep, waiting for the time when God would peel back hard sin sick layer after layer to set a scaled, walled up heart free.

Life has been a roaring river filled with much debris, it has been gentle quiet waters where my heart has been softened.  I am learning to look deep, to see the life, the graces along the journey, and to see with wide open eyes the wonder and glory all around, here, today.

Father, open our eyes, to the wonder and glory all around.  The grace you poured out in the past, the grace you have for today, the grace we can believe will be given tomorrow.

counting the gifts to #817
Sunday morning date over books, to learn together
Pink stripe clouds at sunset
Snow in the morning
Hugs with the precious new 11 year old today
My sister calls the birthday girl, and gives the gift of time as she lingers on the phone asking questions and listening
Bear hugs
 The opportunity and inspiration to write
The ability to remember

Friday, March 2, 2012


Are you waiting for something big?  Something little?  I know what it is to wait.  Some things were really big ones, other things not so big.  Either way, waiting is hard. 

But never have I waited for clean water.  medication or vaccinations.  enough food.  an education.

Children all over the world are waiting for these things.  And more, they are waiting to hear the good news of Christ's love. 

As a Compassion Sponsor, a person has the opportunity to share all the above things with a child in deep poverty.  And as my family has experienced, there is the opportunity to build a relationship, to hear the personal story. 

In future posts I plan to share about the journey our family is on, building relationships, writing a new chapter in the story of some children, and in the story of our family.  In the meantime, will you take a moment to watch the video?  And maybe, take a look at the beautiful faces of some of the children who have been waiting the longest for a sponsor?

If you would, please, join me in praying for these precious children?  Maybe you are like us and are limited in how many children your family can sponsor, or maybe, you can sponsor one of them, today?

Either way, there is no limit to how often we can pray for them.  Our FATHER will hear our prayers.  Will you join me, pray for the LORD's care upon them, for the word to spread and for more of these children to be sponsored?

Sponsor a Waiting Child from Compassion International on Vimeo.

Please, take just a few minutes.

This Moment

{this moment} - Tucked in here most Fridays, photos from an ordinary, or not so ordinary, moment from the week. A moment I want to linger on, press into, and offer thanks for..


Petal Rose's 11th Birthday...and i had the honor of whisking her away for an hour, for a cup of coffee, for some time to share some wisdom with her...and i heard a little whisper "let her talk"  and i did.

Sweet joy, to hear the thoughts and ideas and hopes that rest deep in the heart of our precious Petal Rose.  A very fine thing.

linking with Soulemama and Amy's Finer Things
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!