Thursday, June 28, 2012

How about we ask Him?

Ok. I've started this and deleted it 3 times. The plain and simple truth is, my back is out of whack and I'm sick of it. The end. I could try to make some great lesson about "being cheerful and not whining and being a crank when your back hurts" or "how the Lord slows us down sometimes" or "learning to trust even when we don't understand", etc. But honestly? I'm tired of my back hurting, we don't have money for a chiropracter, tomorrow we have 2 bushel of beans to do, next week we're hoping to start moving boxes upon boxes and did I mention about my back? I know I need all the above lessons and then some. And I figure the back deal is a great opportunity for God to do some teaching. But tonight, what I really would like to say is, will y'all please pray for my back? I know God has it covered and however He wants to work it out is ok but sometimes I wonder if He doesn't answer because we don't just *ask*. So I'm asking you to help me ask! And don't forget the "Your will be done" part. Thank you, friends!

Monday, June 25, 2012

There is no fear in love.......

I sat with you in Sunday School yesterday, bench upon bench of women and me in the middle. I nodded as the talk flowed about pain and following through uncharted waters. I listened as verses and thoughts were shared and prayer requests were unburdened. I felt empty and small and lonely in the midst of the crowd but my mouth went dry and my prayer requests stuck in my throat so I sat with my back aching and said nothing. It wasn't your fault I felt out of place. If I would have asked each of you personally, you would have all said your life had the same goal as mine: to be a faithful follower of God. The trouble lay in my heart as I looked at the externals and refused to be vulnerable. Maybe it was ok to be silent. Maybe the tears would have come too freely and the sympathetic eyes would have been too much and it was not the time and place. But my selfish heart was not ok! My fear of man and intense focus on me rather then the needs and hearts of you who sat so close around me was the problem. I John 4:18

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Fight

There's this everlasting battle in this thing called "the Christian life" have you figured that out yet? It's called the old man vs. the new man, the flesh vs. the spirit. It's always there, under the surface, just waiting to spring into combat mode. A busy week and all the looked forward to visitors come and gone, a back severely out of whack, words with your spouse, church issues and loneliness.... that's about 5 things more then necessary to trigger an intense battle. The Spirit says "Rejoice evermore" and the Flesh says "Just give me a good cry and some pity". The New Man says "Count the gifts" and the Old Man says "But first get in a good round of counting the troubles". I think I'll mess up the battle plan completely. I'm climbing in bed without putting any children to bed and pulling the covers up to my chin and shutting out all the voices. Nobody's winning tonight! I'm going to sleep and hopefully in the morning the enemies will have called a truce! G'night.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The greatest of these is Love

I have a cold. And I have a head ache. And my back has been bothering me. And, I'm tired. There were no naps today, so bedtime brought with it the usual whining and fussing that a no-nap-bedtime brings. There was no cooperation and even less happiness. My head ached to be laying on my pillow and my hand itched to dole out some swats and be done with the ordeal! There were some swats and words til suddenly I stopped. The whiny little girl really needed some attention, not discipline and how many of these moments am I going to pass up? I do it all the time, I don't have time to love. So we rocked and I sang 3 or 4 songs that my older 2 would have known at their age and I wondered why? Why don't I have time for love? Discipline is needed, yes. But sometimes, sometimes don't I just need a little love? And aren't little people still pretty much people, just like me? They're sleeping now, peaceful little faces. I hope somehow, in spite of all my mistakes, they remember rocking and singing new songs....and love.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

In a world where many struggle to understand and grasp a Heavenly Father's love because of their earthly pattern, I haven't. In a world where so many children fear their father's abuse in actions or words, I never have. In a world where so many children never saw their father love and cherish their mother, I always have. In a world where their father is the last person many would go to with a problem, mine was always the first. In a world so full of children desperately longing for their father's love and approval, I've never doubted mine. This morning there are several fathers in my life who I love and respect. There's the father of my children, the father of the father of my children, and then, there's Daddy. Anyone can be a father but it takes someone Special to be a Daddy! In this world there may be many who inherit more money than me but I've inherited wealth of much greater value! On the list of never ending gifts, #1,017. The underserving privilege of calling such a man Daddy. Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Some days ordinary is good and comfy. Some days exciting adventures break up the ordinary and turn it into thrilling! Then, there are those days when ordinary is just plain old same old and there are no thrillers to be had. That's when you throw the simplest of lunches together and head out for the park with your gas light on. You scrunch up in the little "house" and have a picnic. Then, because everything you want to play with is as hot as a biscuit, you pull old towels out of the trunk like you planned it, and spread them in the little car and on the slide to give a cool ride! You play pitch and catch with the 2 oldest and laugh at the way you never could catch w/ a ball glove. Then you ration the last of the water and play a game of "slap" with jasmine and tuck wild flowers little hands picked into an empty cup. Then you pack up and return to ordinary, sun kissed and smiling! Who
says you need thrillers anyway?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Is it really only 8 feet?

Arriving at the outdoor hymn sing, we seated ourselves on a nearby picnic table bench since Chris' parents were bringing our chairs. Five or ten minutes later they showed up and Chris got up to help w/ chairs, etc and then he and Isaac sat down on the chairs. He motioned for me to come over but seeing no empty chair and being just fine on my picnic table bench 8 ft away, I stayed put. And in that instant I felt it, that deep down KNOWING that I should hop right up and move! But where was my chair? And if I moved, my 2 little girls w/ their little chairs would want to move too and why bother? It would just be an unecessary ruckus for 60 pairs of eyes to check out! Still, I knew. KNEW! And I squashed it. I am trying to learn to listen to my inner "knowing" especially in regard to respecting my husband. It's so easy to squash it, to reason it away. I mean how big a deal is not moving 8 ft? Trust me, it's important! After all, how big a deal IS moving 8 ft? About as big a deal as him helping me wash dishes??

Friday, June 8, 2012

One Thousand Gifts

I wrote down my 1,000th gift last week! It's interesting to look back over the pages. Ten month's worth of jotting things down... To be honest it's more like ten month's worth of sporadically jotting. I blame that partly on not having my own house and keeping my notebook in a drawer most of the time. Out of sight out of mind, you know. Truth is, while I do think I learned something from it, I didn't really make it a way of life. It didn't really become part of me. Some of the time it was more a part of me than others, yes. Some of the time it was "O yeah, that list! Let's see. What can I come up with?" Still, it was good for me. Looking back over the pages is maybe as good for me as anything! Seeing all the times God was there, right there in that moment. There's something about looking back at all the "bridges" that have held in the past that strengthens your heart. I'm not sure if I'll keep counting or not. There's something kinda anti-climatical about 1,001 1,002... But then there's 2,000 out there! :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Catch Up News

If I was a "real" blogger, I'd have lots of pictures to catch you up on our Memorial Day week end and house progress. Since I'm a "pretend" blogger and can't do that, I'll just tell you. We had a fun Memorial Day week end at a cabin in Cambridge, OH with all the Joe's Tire employees an families. It felt like a crime to waste Chris' days off not working on the house but I'm glad we did it. We needed a break and some different scenery! The cabin was beautiful with lots of fun stuff to do and it was good to get to know the people Chris works with a little better. As for the house, we didn't hit our goal of June 2, but we have gotten a lot done! All but 1 of the rooms are either primed or painted. The plumbing isn't quite done yet and we need counter tops and floor covering. We could be in in 2 weeks if we kept up a steady pace but it'll probably be more like end of June. We're pretty burned out on "a steady pace" (meaning-every spare minute)! So, there's the'll just have to imagine the pictures!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy 11th Anniversary!

One year and 10 months after that "fateful phone call", I stood with Chris before God and these witnesses and said "I do." Today, 11 years later, I look back on our story and marvel at a God who can take Mr Know-It-All and Miss Stuck Up and write such a tale! The last 11 years have definitely brought us through better and worse, sickness and health, prosperity and adversity...and more. One thing has not changed in these 11 years. Mr Know-It-All? No. He's quite an older and wiser version. Miss Stuck Up? No. I don't think you'd recognize her as the same person. God? Yes. The God who brought us together in the first place has never changed an ounce! And He continues to write our story in unexpected and surprising chapters. The friendship that budded in such an unusual way is still blooming profusely! There is no one on earth I would rather call "friend". I love you Christopher! Thank you for 11 years in the top 1/10th of the top 10% of marriages in the world :) And here's to many, many more!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chapter 14. In Which We Reach The End

While he did wait for another week after telling Miss T his plans, the BIG DAY finally came, August 2, 1999... This day was chosen because Bethany was on the youth committee with The Chief Of Information Himself, who informed Chris that Bethany would be at a meeting that night to plan youth activities. With no fear that Bethany might answer the phone, Chris took a long look at the spinning, flashing, glow-in-the-dark, green light. Then, picking up the phone he dialed 1-870-269-8764 and waited... "Hello, Elmer? This is Chris Eicher calling...." On the way home that night Bethany shared her frustration with Mr J over how she had yet to hear when she would be going to FMH and how hard it was to wait patiently. As he dropped her off, Mr J said "I'll be praying for you." Little did she know what he knew! However the decision was not really difficult. Bethany knew in her heart the answer was "yes" and so she began her journey to becoming Bethany Eicher...which is a whole other story but we have reached The End!

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