"Only one life, 'twill soon be past
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What colors my world right now is tension and impatience. Grrrrr.

Imagine all these things happening with clenched teeth: Schoolwork (because it goes on all year here, despite the milestones) cleaning, visitors, visitees :), a trip to Duluth and the wonderful lake there, Ivanhoe (we took the time to watch it last weekend), glancing at the news and all that transpires over a hot week in July, (debt crisis, terrorism in Norway), studying for my test (I should be taking it here before long!), learning finance, and the activities of five children. (Too many to list!)

The wet weather has contributed to an unusually green summer. THAT is beautiful, and mosquito-y.

I'm thinking about Christ Jesus, and how He has let me be in this spot right now. Not something I'd ask for, but certainly a time of learning. Somehow my tension issues give me the guilty feeling of thinking I've not passed this spiritual test. Learning to deal with fear is something I've been working on for years. I have learned much, but I haven't mastered the art of release! (Let me know PLEASE what you have learned!)

Here's what I've learned about dealing with fear:

Christ commands us to "Fear Not." If He commands it, it must be possible to do it, with His help at the very least, right?

Face your fear. What could possibly be the worst outcome you imagine from the fear you have? Remind yourself of Christ's power in facing that, and that you will be given the grace to bear it.

If you can't face the "worst," ignoring it will never help it. One can medicate fear, be distracted from fear, revel in it, become numb to it. Trying to forget it only brings about suppressed tensions---my dilemma.

I have found that I can turn to Christ in prayer, sing praise to Him, and quietly wait on His strength to overcome my fear. I have often turned to my Bible for comfort or a word of direction.

I heard a man speak years ago about how Scripture can speak directly to a life issue when you maintain a regular daily MORNING quiet time. It made an impression on me. I think the man had discovered some way to extract silver from the process of developing photographs in order to re-use it. He was a millionaire. I'm sure he is no longer living here on earth, but he had a love for Jesus that I can still recall. He passed on valuable advice.

I've thought of that testimony many times over the years, and what a reminder it is to stay in the Word. Reading Scripture is the single most powerful way to find direction, grow in Christ, and combat FEAR.

My fear levels correlate directly with my daily quiet times.

I've been reading "Discovering the Bible," by Gordon Addington (NavPress) this year. It is a daily Bible reading plan to read through the entire Bible in one year. Commentary is very good and simple to understand for any believer. I recommend.

Even in this time of uncertainty I can trust in God. My life is full of joy and peace, fun and happiness. I may still deal with my fears daily, but God is faithful to help me in this spiritual battle.  If that can be helpful to anyone dealing with trial (and we all do) much the better.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Perennial Garden

I was outside walking in the dew and humidity this morning, checking on our plants and discovering new buds. We are dog-sitting this week, and this little terrier needs to be leashed and walked early.

We have lived here now in a suburban satellite town to Minneapolis for 12 years! This acre of property was the home site of an original farmstead. This area is notorious for its sandy soil, and jack pine seems to be one of the only things that thrive on it.
When we got here there were 2 garden spots that previous owners had cultivated (brought in black dirt, compost or like) We started right in with enriching the spots and expanding the areas for gardening; flower and vegetable.

I planted several choke cherry trees, five lilac bushes and two spruce trees. They are all still living. I have tried to introduce oak trees into the yard, and so far at least two are doing very well. More recently we planted a crab apple tree and two different types of pie cherry trees.
It is so gratifying to see the growth, the health, and the produce of these trees. The wildlife loves it too.
I planted approximately 12 hardy shrub rose bushes, some are doing well. I've lost at least three.
Around these plantings I have put various lilies, bee balm, echinacea, catmint, golden and red yarrow, sage, oregano, spear and peppermint, daisies, and Russian sage. In the early spring we have crocus, daffodils, primrose and tulips.
All of these plantings come back year after year with little effort on my part, which is delightful.
For annuals this year I stuck with my favorites: marigolds, geraniums, and verbena.

I do not have a "green thumb." My son has a love for planting things and did so to a profit from his generous grandma. He planted tomato seeds and sold her several plants that he nurtured indoors through the early spring months. I planted a radish, tomato, onion, squash and nasturtium plot which did germinate, but doesn't thrive. Too much shade, perhaps. Not enough oversight.

And the bees are missed. Bumblebees abound here in our yard, as we made it bee-friendly! Our bees are doing well where they are, next to the alfalfa field which is again in bloom after the first cutting. I am glad for them.

I will enjoy the beauty of the yard we made for them. It is fun to see which things are blooming fresh on a daily basis. The colors are lovely and we enjoy the little fish pond we dug (also for the bees!) Only four fish this year, and all the old favorites are resting in peace under rose bushes.

We are in the gasps of a heat wave right now, and may resort to turning the switch on the air conditioning unit. !!!
At least our hypothalamus-es have made the adjustment to HEAT by now! Sleeping has been uncomfortable, and that may not be due to just the heat.

Tensions and anxieties about our jobs (mine at Primerica, now too) have entered my dream world. I am studying for my life insurance exam.

Since Primerica is a direct-sell type of corporation all my friends are suspect that I will attempt to sell them life insurance. Remember, I sold Avon for 5 years. (Oh, you don't remember that? Hmmm. I wonder why?)
I am happy to learn this business, and I think it has tremendous potential for anyone who feels beleaguered by financial issues.
Ask ME, I won't ask you.

Since this heat is all over the U.S. I wish you well, and hope you remember it in January when the snow is blizzarding.

Please pray for us. Time is short and we are heartsick at the snail-pace of job landing.

I just saw the list of the Northern Lights Choral fall  music agenda. It is stellar. I sure hope we can sing it, but I have given that up to the Lord. Our director chose a piece that is perhaps my all time favorite Christmas song: O Magnum Mysterium, by Morten Lauridsen. Our spring CD has been released, and I have been blessed over and over by the beautiful songs we sang in April. It is such a joy to sing such fantastic music.

Monday morning at Corgi Hollows. It should be a quieter week here, but by now if you read this regularly you know...it might get exciting.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dear Readers:

I have 17 people for dinner in 20 minutes, I finished my course (20 hours--intense) in life insurance certification this afternoon, I have house guests that arrived last evening, my husband's job is in limbo (another interview tomorrow morning!) and my children are home from camp.
I am serving pizza, and brownies with ice cream, and we are having a wonderful time!
Just thought I'd let you know. (I'm waiting for dinner guests to arrive!)

I am planning to do some changes here soon, but it is in the works. Lots of brain activity going on.

I'll sit down soon (I hope) and finish up on stuff.
I'll be studying for my test and getting my license as soon as this big wonderful state government opens up.

Hope your world is well.

Monday, July 4, 2011

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Happy Fourth of July

I am sitting here alone with my black Lab at my feet, my cat at my back and the Corgi somewhere, probably watching the refrigerator. Her belly rules.

I am alone with these pets on this glorious Fourth!

I put out the flags, I am drinking my coffee and I thought I'd share a few more tidbits.

Life is about to change for us, I think. The job interview that my husband has tomorrow is in Iowa, and he will take it if offered it, and I am almost 98% positive it will be offered. This is my mind rushing ahead------You must weigh in options when you make decisions: Some things are never even considered, but when they are you must dream a little and picture the result, even if that never comes about!

 I am now "employed" by Primerica, learning financial consultation and getting licensed in mortgage sales and securities. This came about rather suddenly and since it was a viable option I went for it. I have no idea how this will affect our lives, but it is interesting for me to learn this business. The thing I love most about it is that it helps people to overcome debt, and I believe debt is really bad.  'Nough said.

IF we move to Iowa I leave three children in Minnesota. That is rather jarring to this mother of five, soon to lose three at once!

Options must be considered!

I have four children off to camp this week, the fifth is water-skiing with friends this morning (what a perfect day for that! No breeze, the lake must be glass)

My husband is in Iowa preparing for The Interview. He got to his 30th high school reunion the other night as well, and loved it. He is enjoying some time with his parents.

I am catching up this week: cleaning, sorting, filing, painting, doing laundry (that never goes away!) It is a little lonesome peace.

In a wind that blasted through here the other night an old oak went down at my childhood home. It was the "swing" tree, just outside my bedroom window. I don't need to say how much we all loved that tree. What a blessing, though------it was rotten at the base, and the wind took it northeast, away from the house and between two other mature trees. It could have been so bad, and instead it was orchestrated in its fall. My mother thanks the Lord.

The same wind hit the holiday parade my daughters and I were attending, two of my sons were walking the route selling pop. "Tornado!" someone screamed. Everyone scattered and trees went over, some uprooting. Report: No bad injuries.

It was kind of like a horror movie.

I drove the campers up to camp yesterday. Lake Mille Lacs was serene and blue, the fields and trees healthy green. All was quiet and peaceful. The calm after the storm.

I am hoping for some calm in my spirit after the storm of wonder we've had this past year. God has only blessed us, but it has been a trial in patience and mastering anxiety.
Again, nothing is settled, and perhaps my ideas will all be fiction, but I can't help some "forwards placing," Vorstellung. Another German word that fits so well here. Trying to get a handle on the possibility.

Is this exile of unemployment over?