Jan 31, 2012

Comforted by Corrie Ten Boom and Justin Bieber.

 The stomach bug landed and hovered at our house last weekend.

Bad news:  I missed the Sportsmen's Banquet at church, Drew's soccer game, Finn's basketball game, and church on Sunday morning.

Good news:  I plowed through my Netflix Instant Queue... Save a Pencil for Me, The Hiding Place, and Never Say Never.

Bad news:  I missed Finny's six points, I didn't make a dessert for the banquet, and I didn't get to hear the evangelist.

Good news:  It was over within 24 hours. Nate stripped the sheets from under my aching bones, sprayed disinfectant dangerously close to my eyes, ran several loads of laundry on the sanitary cycle, and Cloroxed every bathroom surface and we have escaped with only half of us catching the bug.

GREAT NEWS:  The Lord was moving while I was "fasting."  He didn't need my chocolate cake, my presence, or my help.  Over one hundred people made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ after hearing the Good News.
 Perhaps only when human effort had done its best and failed, would God's power alone be free to work.
-Corrie Ten Boom-

Boy on a Buffalo

It is trapping season through February in Virginia.  Drew has full blown trapping fever.  He has raccoon hides drying in the shed, fox urine and coyote scent on my counter, paraffin wax and brown dye in a pot on my stove, and anchovies on the grocery list.  He keeps a vigilant schedule of checking and setting traps... camouflaging his scent,  digging trenches, scouting rabbit holes, experimenting with bait, and war whooping through the woods if successful.
Caught:  2 raccoons, 4 possum, a vulture, and a snake.
Wishlist:  fox, coyote, and rabbit.
If I could have written a letter to myself 15 years ago, I would have said this:  
Get used to dead animals. 
Get used to sympathy feeding a trapped coon for a few hours. 
Get used to washing camo. 
Get used to sweeping up mud tracks. 
Get used to snakes, bugs, and critters. 

But, Joni, don't let it scare you. 
It will be the best times of your life and it will pass in an instant. 
You were made and created to be a mother to boys.
Be there. 
Don't gross out. 
Take pictures. 
You won't regret the path that has been laid out before you.

Praise be to the LORD,
   who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
 We have escaped like a bird
   from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
   and we have escaped.
 Our help is in the name of the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth. 
Psalm 124: 6-8 

Nate and I feel like this artist could narrate Drew's life...

Jan 25, 2012

Unwrapping Christmas

First, we attended a Christmas caroling that was the real deal.  Hayride, flashlights, winter hats, wool blankets, and friends followed by hot chocolate and soup.  In the middle of the cold ride, I pulled my fur a little closer around my ears and thought, "This is it.  If this is the only thing I do to celebrate Christmas this year, my cup is full."

Next, we attended the Blue Ridge Christmas that our church put on at the college campus farm museum.  The path was lit with luminaries, live animals stirred behind us, the children nervously sang in front of the barn, cookies and hot chocolate tempted us from the warm homestead kitchen, the teens took their places in the nativity scene, and our pastor played his mandolin.  I thought, "Okay Lord, this is it.  If this is all I do to celebrate Christmas this year, my cup is more than full."


Then, we headed to church on Christmas morning and the sanctuary was full.  The room was full of red dresses, a twinkling tree, white doves, and boisterous Christmas carols.  The Communion service was overflowing and we ran out of bread.  As I was catching the drips of my tears before they landed on my vintage skirt, I had to smile in thanksgiving.  "I understand.  This is it.  It is more than enough for me to have you, Lord, for my Christmas.  My cup is overflowing."

And THEN, we had family time.  With our little family, with Nate's family, and with mine.  I went into each one with already filled with joy and so each little moment was all overflow... the food, the laughter, the tears, the prayers, the squeals of cousins playing together, and (did I say?) food.  I was and am still overwhelmed and humbled by the presents picked out or made just for me or the boys and Nate.  I already had been given my Gift from my Father and then there was more.  Every moment, every crinkle of paper, every White Velvet Cookie, every cup of coffee, every second... all overflow.

*a few of my blessings... thank you to all...*
*new dishwasher from Nate, cross from Mama Lucille*
*trees from Regina, vintage chevron throw from my sister*
*wool wreath with pattern flowers from my sister in law*
*Pendleton wool pillows from my sister*
*bull that I gave Nate, not to be confused with Baal*
*boot canvas from Nate, records picked out by Morgan and Jacob*
You were the One who filled my cup
And You were the One who let it spill
So blessed be your Holy name 

if you never fill it up again
If this is where my story ends, 

just give me one more breath to say
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
-Broken Praise... Music inspired by The Story

Jan 12, 2012

Week 10ish of the 52 Week Reading Plan

As I gulp and humble myself to admitting that I am so behind in my 

I feel the need to justify, justify, justify.  Nate says it is what I do best.  I got, like,

for Christmas and now I just stare longingly at my new stack of books.  Some days I want to chuck the reading plan and dig in to something new.  But, I am NOT a

I will get back on track. It isn't 

that I am reading more than one day's plan when I sit down in the morning.  (I'm 37 chapters behind, but who's counting?)  I wish that I could gather my thoughts and post touching blogs every time I study

but who am I kidding?  I am no

I am Joni, mother of two, part time bookstore employee, seamstress, wifey, chef, laundress, and chauffeur.  I love the time I have

to my Father through His Word.  I am confident that

and He hears my earnest prayers.  I desire to continue my plan in faith, knowing that He who's begun the good work in me will help me to complete it.

I pray, Oh God, that reading your Word every day will never, EVER become a burden...
but a Gift.  

Jan 5, 2012

1st Flint Fire = Roaring Success

 There's a little flame inside us all
Some shine bright
Some shine small
The rains will come
And the waters rise
But don't you ever lose your light

 In this life you will know
Love and pain
Joy and sorrow
So when it hurts
When times get hard
Don't forget who's child you are

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
Gonna let it shine

May you live each day
With no regret
Make the most of every chance you get
Let your eyes get wide
When you look at the stars
With the same sense of wonder as a child's heart

With the ones you love
Treasure the time
And for those who are gone
Keep the memories alive

Hold on to your dreams
Don't ever let go
There's a fire inside you
Burning with hope

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
Gonna let it shine

There will be days when you wanna give up
When clouds settle in
But after the rain comes the sun
Don't you ever forget
Don't forget
Child, don't forget

One day there will be no more pain
And we will finally see Jesus' face
So until then I'm gonna try
To brave the dark
And let my little light shine

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
Gonna let it shine

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
Gonna let it shine
Oh, shine
Gonna let it shine
There's a little light inside us all


Jan 1, 2012

twenty twelve playlist

It's the sweetest thing I know of, just spending time with you
it's the little things that make a house a home.
Like a fire softly burning and supper on the stove.
And the light in your eyes that makes me warm 

Hey, it's good to be back home again
Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend
Yes, 'n, hey it's good to be back home again