Monday, March 31, 2008

Keep your dreams to yourself.... please.

Since we moved into our country home on all both of our acres much of our lives has changed.
Have you ever heard of the book
  • Mrs. Wow Never Wanted a Cow
  • ? We got it from the library on our last book run.

    I am Mrs. Wow. Totally. It is a silly little story about a woman who never wanted a cow but found out that a cow would actually benefit her in many ways. (That is a totally paraphrased version and I suggest you looking it up for yourself if you would like some light reading sometime.) :)

    I never wanted a cow. In fact, I always said that I would never marry a farmer because of the stink I would have in the backyard. It's true. And here I am with 24 chickens and a cow. Fancy that. And after telling all of you out there in the blogging world about our great #59, I had many people let me know that we were living their dream. Well I have one thing to say about that: Apparently I am living your dream cuz it certainly ain't mine!

    We are getting a bit better with the routine. I still think a cow is a great addition to our little Watchthesky farm adventure. #59 is supplying Seven & her clan along with our family with more than enough milk. We all think its great.

    Now I'll let you in on something new. I have officially lost my mind. I caved and gave the go ahead to hubby to get a dog for our son who is having a birthday this week. I, the submissive wife that I am, let my husband bring a dog home.
    Here she is.

    Her name is Chica. She was named by her former owners and the birthday boy likes the name so it stays.

    As soon as she walked through the door the training began. I am a newspaper trainer.

    Again, the submissive wife that I am, let hubby know that his newspaper training wasn't good enough for me and I took over. I've been down the doggy road before and I will not repeat the same mistakes. No no. Chica isn't allowed past the kitchen and this rolled up newspaper is serving as a little reminder for her. I love it when things are black & white. :)

    So here we go again. I'm sure I'm living someone else's dream. :)

    Sunday, March 30, 2008

    Book Review Friday: Romans 7-10

    If you do not know what Book Review Friday is and would like to check it out, you can see my sidebar for all the details. Feel free to jump in and join us where we are. :)

    First things first, we will read Romans 11-13 until next Friday. Please forgive me if you have been waiting to see what chapters we would all be on. This really is the first moment I've had to let you all know. If you would like to be reminded of all my woes and complaints as to why my timing is off for everything in life please check out my 'Confessions of a milk maid post' and you'll hear it all. :)

    I'm so glad that as I read these few chapters this past week that I had a pen and paper beside me. I didn't know that I would be just as squeezed for time this week as last week, and that means that book reviews can get lost in the shuffle. This won't be anything special but here are a few points I pondered in chapters 7-10.

    (I would like to say flat out to y'all right here that I really have no clue if I'm understanding all this law stuff right. If there are any Bible scholars reading this please understand, I am just a regular wife and mom reading her Bible, excited about it and desperately trying to learn much. Forgive my lack of spiritual understanding if I'm getting it all wrong, please!)

    Glad to get that out in the open. :)

    Romans 7:6 "But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter."

    When we are saved the law becomes written on our hearts. The law doesn't change, it becomes part of us so that we don't live by it, we now have the perfect law with in us. We are the law. (Romans 2:14,15)

    Romans 7:25 "I thank God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but wit the flesh the law of sin."

    The 10 verses before this all talk about knowing to do the right thing but always ending up doing the exact opposite of what you know you should, and want, to do. I can so totally relate. It is one thing to know what is right and talk about it and tell other people, and a completely different thing to live it. It is just like 1:21-23. Did I mention that one before??? I loved it so I'll tell it to you again.
    "...although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to b e wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man"

    We can know who God is. And then we can live like it.

    And because of verses like these I am humbled. I get caught up in my own wisdom and knowledge forgetting that I have it all yet to learn. My heart is deceitful and we cannot trust our own wisdom. Remember 1:22 again and how we 'know' who God is and therefore think we've got it all figured out, but we do not glorify Him in true belief. We take things into our own hands and do not live like God is God. We do not submit to His righteousness because our righteousness has overtaken.
    We aren't so smart as we think we are.

    And after that lame review (but I finally did one) I would love it if anyone else had a review to add to Mr.Linky 2 days late. I doubt it since not one soul mentioned it at all even though it was sooo late. What do you think girls, is it going to take a while for Book Review Friday to take the world by storm? :)
    Here's Mr.Linky.

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    Saturday, March 22, 2008

    Confessions of a milk maid.

    Since purchasing #59 life has taken on new flare.
    Would it be extreme to say that life is out of control??
    No, I think not.

    Something has to change and I've been desperately trying to think of some other way to change besides what I know is necessary. No, I'm not quitting blogging. I don't do that much anymore anyway. Really I'm the one that should quit and
  • the one who really knows how to write and spell
  • should be blogging instead. But we've got it backwards. :)

    When we brought that cow home everyone told us how much work it would be. It is true that it takes a chunk out of your day, but taking care of a cow is not that hard, especially if you are sharing the work between two people. It is the consumption of time that I'm having a hard time dealing with. Here's a list of things that are falling by the wayside just because life is busy and I'm getting tired:
    *Early risers are not known around here anymore. I love the idea of being up and my day started by 6:30am, but I'm just lazy in the morning. That chilly winter morning air doesn't help either.
    *Housework is becoming more and more of a chore. Would someone please tell me where I can get some very cheap help for household duties!? I already know the answer to that one and my next problem will explain it.
    *I've lost my ambition to keep my kids busy and train them in their jobs around the home.
    *School is very hard to get started each day. The mornings that I take care of the cow means that school may not start until just before lunch.
    *I've been getting lazier and lazier with meal preparation. Cooking is not one of my favourite things to do in the best of times, when time is limited and there is already a mess in the kitchen from lack of housework being done I really don't feel like pulling out the pots and pans.
    *Reading the Book Reviews Friday Bible reading with the kids hasn't happened for a while. Daddy reads Proverbs with them each night, but that's all they are getting. Not good. I also am reading less and less. I just get tired.
    *And of course, because of all of the above we are seeing really bad attitudes making their way into our home. Everyone is grumpy because mommy is tired and grumpy and not doing all the things she should.

    Happy happy thoughts eh!? It hasn't been all misery. I'm just noticing these things are starting to take root and I'd like to nip it in the bud. All these things were there, and I knew it. It was in reading Romans that I saw things even more clearly. (See previous post).

    Now the things I know that have to change is this:
    *Mommy needs to get up early and get right to work whether she wants to or not.
    *Mommy needs to do her Bible reading with the kids, and not only will they be learning Scripture as they should but mommy will get her reading done at the same time.
    *Mommy needs to make a game plan for each day. Give each child the chores they need to do and see to it that they are done properly.
    *Mommy needs to plan ahead and get back into the habit of bi-weekly menu's and grocery lists.
    *Mommy needs to plan ahead for school and have lesson plans all drawn out the night before.
    *Mommy needs to have a great attitude and pass that same attitude on to her kids.
    *Mommy needs to get really fast at milking #59. Hubby can do it in 13 minutes flat. Mommy hasn't timed herself but is sure that she can do it that quickly too. :)

    Life is busy. I'm not complaining, its a good life that we've chosen. #59 is just another way God is stretching us and preparing us for future use. I just need to get orgainized so that I learn my lessons from God faster.

    Book Review Friday: Romans 1-6

    If you would like to know what Book Review Friday is please check out my sidebar and feel free to jump right in where we're at.
    If you have a review of your own please add your link to Mr.Linky at the bottom of this post.

    But first things first, we'll move on to Romans chapters 7-10 until next Friday. I will be reading 6-10 because I never did make it in any of my reading all the way to chapter 6.

    Heave duty book. There is A LOT in here and most of it I do not understand. I really really wanted to read chapters 1-6 again. I need to. So I guess I'll do my best to make some time to study it out some more while doing this weeks reading as well.

    I don't understand much of what was being said about the law. It seemed to go in circles as I read. I followed it so much better when I read it aloud to the kids, so that will have to become a habit again for me. There was something that stood out to me because of a conversation I had just last week about the law. I had remembered all that we had read in Leviticus and knew that the law was very important, heavy duty important. But that was Old Testament stuff. Now in Romans we are seeing that the law was just as important, but in a different kind of way. Or is it different? This is where I get hung up. I really don't understand. But that verse 3:31,
    "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law."
    tells me that we still live by the law as Christians now. I'm understanding that it is through our obedience to the law that our faith is made known. Man, I really need to do some more studying!

    I was very convicted with 3:10-18. For quick reference this is what it said:
    "As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. There throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes."

    These are things that I have noticed are growing within my own family. I could make myself feel a little better by convincing myself its just a case of the winter blues, but I know better. We have been turning aside, getting sidetracked. We've been liking each other less and less. I hear hateful, frustrating words from one child to another or even from mom. We don't 'curse' per se, but we might as well in the looks I see going around. Never having a good thing to say or do. We are getting very swift at doing our own thing without thinking of our family first. And because of it all I see the destruction and misery taking root and making for some long and unprofitable days. Folks, we have work to do here at Watchthesky!

    I know there is so much more to Romans and so much more to be convicted by, but that's where I'm at right now. God wants me to get the family back under control so that Daddy will have a nice place to live and he'll want to provide for and protect us.
    Also, forgive me for not getting the Book Review going yesterday, I took the day off. I went to the Good Friday service at church, watched The Martins on Youtube, played Sorry with the kids, and took a nap. Priorities you know. :)

    Here is Mr.Linky for anyone out there brave enough to use it. :)

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Contest worth entering.

    Rosetta Stone has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while — next week they are unleashing a brand new curriculum, and you can WIN the *all new* Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3… FOR FREE!

    This is a $219 program (and believe me it’s worth every penny!) and the winner gets to pick from any of these 14 languages: Spanish (Spain or Latin America), English (American or British), Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Hebrew, or Russian.
    This will also include a headset with microphone, and students will participate in lifelike conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone still incorporates listening, reading and writing as well, in addition to speaking. Many homeschoolers requested grammar and vocabulary exercises, and with Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3, they’re included! For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program and allow parents to easily enroll students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, and view and print reports.

    To win this most excellent program — in the language of your choice — copy these paragraphs and post it in (or as) your next blog post – then to enter the contest, go to the original contest page HERE: and leave a comment with the link showing where you blogged about it. And please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post it. And good luck! The winner will be picked randomly on March 26, and will be notified thru the link they left to their blog pg. And if you have more than one blog, you can post them and enter those separately for more chances to win. Yay for free stuff!

    Happy Spring!

    It is the first day of spring and of that I am tremendously glad. I find each new winter the hardest. I am cold. I am always cold. I am tired of being cold.

    To celebrate this new day full of hope of the warmer weather to come I will share a couple of pictures of what our first day of spring looks like here at Watchthesky.

    Not looking so sunny and warm, but Happy Spring to Y'all anyway!!

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    book love

    Seven allowed me to borrow her book. I love it!!!! Mister Man it is a good one and I want every lady I know to read it. Seriously.
    The book, So Much More by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin, is amazing. Just to wet your appetite I will give the following quotes from their book. I wish I was reading my own book so I could underline, highlight and write notes in it but for now I have to settle for putting sticky notes on some favourite pages. Here are a few, and a very few, great quotes from So Much More:

    (Page 75)But so seldom do we hear of a godly woman - or of a godly man either, for that matter. We believe women come nearer to fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife, than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realms of morals to be old-fashioned, than to be ultra-modern. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men, too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct.
    ~U. S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall

    (Page 119)We should not be asking ourselves, "How unbiblical is it for a woman to get a career?" or "In what circumstances would it be permissible?" These questions amount to "How far away can I get from God's perfect will without crossing the line into technicalities of sinning?" Isn't this kind of "testing the limits" the course of passive rebellion in itself?
    Rather, we should be asking, "How can I run further and further from the fire into a realm of greater godliness? What decisions can I make with my life right now that will encourage God's blessings on our society instead of curses? How can we retake this culture for Christ?"

    (Page 124)Rather than a sign of "progress" for a nation to have women rulers, it is a sign of God's judgment and displeasure with that nation! Women holding seats of authority, whether it be in business, church, family, law, or politics, is one of the distinguishing marks of a society under God's curse.
    Rev. Einwechter again: "It is weakness and a sin (on the part of the men who allowed it) because it is an abdication of their responsibility to be the leaders God has called them to is a sign of confusion and judgment. It is a sign that men have utterly failed to exercise the leadership required of them."

    (Page 154)Close reading of tough-minded writing is still the best, cheapest, and quickest method known for learning to think for yourself...Reading, and rigorous discussion of that reading in a way that obliges you to formulate a position and support it against objections, is an operational definition of education in its most fundamental civilized sense...Reading, analysis and discussion is the way we develop reliable judgment, the principal way we come to penetrate covert movements behind the facade of public appearances.
    ~John Taylor Gatto

    (Page 160)Besides, home education is not about schooling, it is about education. It is about helping your children learn to think, about "treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning." Home education tends to follow the Smithsonian Institution's recipe for genius and leadership: "Children should spend a great deal of time with loving educationally minded parents; children should be allowed a lot of free exploration; and children should have little to no association with peers outside of family and relatives."
    ~(quotations take from "The Public School Nightmare." & The Well-Trained Mind)

    (Pages 166)C.K.Chesterton likened wifely duties to those of a monarch, a powerful merchant, and a teacher of theology, manners and morals - all performed simultaneously. "I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it," wrote Chesterton. "How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about (arithmetic), and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs.Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness."
    ~ Cheryl Mendelson

    That's all I'll pass along right now. The book is full of the real truth behind the whole feminist movement and if you read it you'll be shocked that you are undoubtedly a feminist. I was.

    Read it.

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Book Review Friday: Nehemiah 11-13 (Edited)

    First things first, we'll move on to reading the book of Romans. A mega book, I know. :) Let's start with Romans 1-6.

    Edited to add:
    As for my review, there really won't be anything new to report. Since it was 'one of those weeks' I was only able to read the last chapters of Nehemiah 1 1/2 times. I found out that it did end the way I was hoping it wouldn't. The Israelites messed up again and Nehemiah remained faithful and led them through it. Of all of this I have no further comments, its just too bad.

    But more came to mind about the story as a whole while I was laying around moaning this week. When Nehemiah and the people started rebuilding the wall they had no idea how it would all really turn out. They didn't know that God's plan was to let them finish it and also be saved from their enemies. Maybe God would choose to kill them off and have others come and continue rebuilding. Maybe God had other plans. Maybe they would fix things up only to have others come in and tear it down again and again before they succeeded. They had no clue how the great book of Nehemiah finished. They didn't know they were even going to be in a book! These people dove into the work through faith. They made their hands busy with what the believed God wanted them to do and let Him deal with the results. If God wanted them to be okay, they would be okay. If God wanted the wall to stand, the wall would stand. As if they could do anything about it anyway.

    Now for the 'me & and the Israelites' comparison. There are those things in my life that are just way larger than me. (If you want to be annoying, everything is out of my control, yes I know.) I mean that there are those spots in each of our lives that we have a hard time giving to God. What may be easy for you to leave in the Lords hands may be very VERY hard for this girl here at Watchthesky. Thinking of building the wall at Jerusalem was encouraging to me. I need to set my hands to work on what I believe the Lord expects of me and let Him secure the wall. The work I do is given by God, the strength to work is given by God, and it is God who allows to wall to remain and the enemies to be kept away.
    That's what struck me. We do the work, God keeps the wall up. We trust God, obey His leading no matter how crazy and dangerous it may seem, and trust Him to defend us. He is our wall. He is our defense.

    That is all I shall write this time around.

    I have actually be very ill for the last 5 days. This is my first day (Friday) that I could be off the couch and away from my many blankets. I am thankful to be getting around a bit again, but my review will still have to wait for a bit.

    Please put up a review of your own if there is anyone out there who is reading with me. Remember ladies, this doesn't have to be an essay or anything. If you read it once or a million times -if you have just one verse out of the whole book you'd like to say two sentences about, or if you just can't seem to stop writing about everything you read, do it! Either way, its a good thing. :)

    If you don't know about Book Review Friday just check out my sidebar and join in with me and a few other girls. :)

    Here's Mr.Linky for y'all.

    Saturday, March 8, 2008

    The best things don't come easy.

    All tuckered out.

    What we are attempting here at Watchthesky is a good thing, of that we are sure. Its just that I'm finding out how hard it is to get it all done. Sunday morning was a little difficult. It was my first Sunday that I would have to get up and milk #59 myself. We also lost an hour because of the time change. And we ended up having no hot water. Fun.
    But its not just Sundays that are hard, every day we are starting school as late as 10:15 or later because of the chores. Much too late for my liking. We are still working on simplifying and creating a good routine and work habits with the children. We will get there someday.
    Nothing worth anything is easy, at least that's what I've heard. At Watchthesky we think that learning to work hard is worth something. We also think that whole milk is worth something. We think that purity, strong character, self control, strong family bonds are worth something. None of these come naturally to us and it is a constant struggle to keep our priorities where they should be, and some days it is a constant painful sacrifice to work at desiring the life we are attaining to. We're human, the good stuff isn't always fun.
    But we're working on having a mind to work and loving the results of the small amount we've done so far. God is good and we're thankful for His blessings (no matter how tiring they may be). :)

    My in-laws sent this little story to us this week. Hubby and I both enjoyed it. It reminded me too, that the best things don't come easy. :)

    Many years ago, my father was visiting America, from Europe, for the very first time. He said he wanted to go with me to the supermarket, so I invited him along. As he went up & down the aisles with me, at the local Giant Food Store, he constantly asked me questions about products he saw. "Vas diss?? Powdered orange juice??" asked my dad (pointing at Tang). I said, "Yeh, Dad. You just add a little water, and you have fresh orange juice." A few minutes later, in a different aisle, dad blurted out, "Und vas dis?? Powdered milk?" (pointing at a box of Carnation). I said, "Yeah, Dad. You just add a little water, and you have fresh milk!" A few minutes later, in a different aisle, my dad yelled out, "Und give a look here!! Baby Powder!! Vat a country, vat a country!"

    Friday, March 7, 2008


    A couple weeks ago this nice lady I know and I had a conversation about makeup. I've been hating my makeup since the last purchase (no one normal likes orange skin), and she was telling me where she purchases her stuff from. Well, that was a couple weeks ago. Then last night at church she just smiled and handed me this and walked away.

    When I opened it I found 2 new eye liner colors to try out, and at a fraction of the price I've been paying for my usual stuff.

    How cute is that!?! This nice lady has lots of cool ideas, and I haven't heard of one yet that costs more than $5 total. :) Gotta love it.

    Now don't y'all want to go out and make a cute card and pass a smile along to a friend real soon?!

    BRF: Nehemiah 7-10

    First things first, its the last part of Nehemiah for this week. We'll read chapters 11- 13 until next Friday. Nehemiah has been a big-time blessing this week. I've needed it. I was all gung-ho to get my stone wall started on. We have a lot to work on here at Watchthesky, if you'd like to hear all about it come on over some afternoon for tea, and hopefully I won't depress you. :) I really had no idea it would be so hard to work with my one hand and hold my sword with the other. No idea. The thing is I didn't fall apart, I could have, but I didn't. This is a good thing. Some of the last words of my review would come to mind every time I was on the breaking point.
    "I need to remember this when I get to the tough spots in life and hear less than encouraging words from others. I need to remember Nehemiah when I'm called to build and everything seems against me and no one thinks its possible. I need to keep one hand on my sword at my side, and continue working with my other. I need keep plugging away and trust God with the results. I will remember. I must.
    The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build."

    Oh yes, I had my moments. It was a busy week with many things pulling for my attention. And yes, I cried and wanted to forget it all and just pretend my wall wasn't that important, but I couldn't. God is faithful, and He always will be. I'm so glad to be getting to know Nehemiah. So glad.

    As for this weeks reading, it was hard to concentrate. I wanted to continue reading the first few chapters, but here goes for chapters 7-10:

    Nehemiah had reorganized the Israelites and sparked their faith again. God was accomplishing great things through Him. Go Nehemiah Go!
    The Israelites are always brought back to the law. God's law. It was important that they be brought back to the basics every time they repented and this time was no exception. The people repented and confessed their sin and showed great signs of changing their ways. They showed interest in the law and promised to obey. I do have a feeling though that the story will remain the same and they will fall away yet again before the book is over.
    Although the Israelites ALWAYS fall away there are those few in all of our reading that give me tremendous hope. The very first time I read the new chapters this verse hit me,
    "that I gave the charge of Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the leader of the citadel, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many."

    It is a great encouragement to be able to find the Nehemiah's and Hananiahs in scripture. It is possible to live out a deep unwavering faith. Though this verse also says that you will be alone much of the time. Hananiah feared God more than many. It means that when He trusted God on that level everyone else thought he was a bit crazy, overboard, intense etc... A faith like that will separate those who think they let their faith make a radical difference in their lives and those who actually do. Their are those who believe, and their are those who live it. It's true. Nehemiah and Hananiah are those people. I hope us BRF ladies will turn out that way too.
    These past 2 weeks of Book Reviews have been so good. Hard but good. I can tell that there is a battle going on with me and I am so going to conquer. Oh yes I am. I still say 'bring it on!', I'm just saying it a little softer than before. :)

    And now, here is Mr.Linky for any reviews that make their way into blogland.

    If you don't know about Book Review Friday please see my sidebar for all the details, and then join in with us.

    Saturday, March 1, 2008

    BRF Take 2

    Nehemiah has been going through my head ALL THE TIME. I just keep seeing things in the story more and more. The Lord must want me to learn a lot with this one. :)

    Its so easy to let things slip and slide until they are in a state of disaster. That wall that is to be my protection can be ignored until I am left defenseless. Just like the Israelites were compelled through God working in Nehemiah's life to start rebuilding and getting back to the basics, I need to take a look at the wall around my heart, my family, my church. I have work to do. Its important. We all have a part to play and we must take it seriously. If I could literally see the state of my own heart, my own Jerusalem, would it bring me to tears? Would it bring me to my knees? Would I be driven to fasting and praying and then to action? This will be the test, for now I cannot plead ignorance. I know better, I've read Nehemiah.

    Jerusalem was demolished, defenseless, and the work would be cumbersome and exhausting. It was a huge job that looked impossible. Nehemiah very wisely told them all to just work on what was in front of them. If every family did their best right in their front yard it could be done in record time. I love how it gave a run down in chapter 3 of the whole affair. It starts telling who worked where. The first ones named are Eliashib the high priest with his brethren working on the sheep gate. All the names follow through telling what part of the wall they were working on right to the end. The list ends at, "And between the upper room at the corner, as far as the Sheep Gate,". All the way around, right back to the sheep gate where they had started! Every part was taken care of with Nehemiah's plan. :) I'm putting a plan like this into action on Monday. I'll be drawing up a game plan for the family. Each member will be given their own part of taking care of our home. We will build new habits and character, and learn to care for our home as a family. I know, not terribly spiritual but its exciting to have a new approach to 'get it all done' taken from a Bible story the kids love. Good lessons in a very practical way.

    Another picture in the story that I loved came when the enemies, Sanballat & his crew, decided to attack, kill the workers and stop all that was being done. Nehemiah told all the Israelites to remember just who their God is and all that He had done so far. God is in control. He can handle it. Nehemiah got them ready for battle but didn't stop working on what God told him to do. You see, God has different plans for different circumstances and times. Sometimes he calls people to be still and wait, sometimes He calls for people to go to battle and fight to the glory of God. Nehemiah was ready for whatever God planned, and continued working. I would have been scared silly, gone back in my house and waited to see what happened. I love it that the people set one hand to the work and one hand ready on their sword. I need to be ready, we need to be ready like that. We are always one step away from attack in our relationship with Christ. Satan is ever watchful for part of our wall left untended. Many of us, too many, leave ourselves wide open wondering through the streets of life aimlessly, never worrying about the shambles we're surrounded by. Meanwhile we should be like the Israelites, getting to work at what God has put in front of us, our sword/Bible at our side ready for action, and ever watchful and ready to fight the enemy for our brethren, sons, daughters, and homes.

    Nehemiah was a man like Daniel who 'believed in his God'. He is one of the rare people who actually knew God on a different level, trusted Him with all his being, and led others to do the same. Don't give up, don't give in, do what God requires of you and trust Him with the results. Also there was never any doubt as to whom all the glory was due. Nehemiah understood that it wasn't about him. He knew that he was just a tool that God graciously used for His plan. A humble man leading the people to do what is right and constantly pointing to the Lord, not himself. When the wall was finished and the enemies looked on with their poor defeated little faces they knew all along why it was the way it was.
    "And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God."

    I need to remember this when I get to the tough spots in life and hear less than encouraging words from others. I need to remember Nehemiah when I'm called to build and everything seems against me and no one thinks its possible. I need to keep one hand on my sword at my side, and continue working with my other. I need keep plugging away and trust God with the results. I will remember. I must.

    "The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build."

    I'm gonna pray for a 'mind to work' and start buildin me a stone wall.
    BRING IT ON!!!