Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thank you Gaga!

.

My girlfriend's  mom flew up from Florida this past week and we had a chance to have lunch together.  I don't get to visit with her but every once and again.  She is so sweet and adorable, I wish I had her picture here to show you, but there is one HERE.  Heather shared that her mom said that she too enjoys our visits and that being with some people just really make you feel alive!  UH, I got so teary when I heard that!  It has been such a tumultuous past few weeks that it felt like soda champagne bubbling over the sides with love!  Words truly do have the power of life or death.  Thank you Gaga for your sweet words that brought me a surge of fresh air today!


Job 29:23 They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain.

Blessings,
E.W

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The White Gypsy

       Hello, I am a guest writer on Enchanted Warrior today. I have recently read a book called The White Gypsy by Annette Lyster. The book was written in 1881. The publisher: Lamplighter; rare collector series. I received this book as a gift for Christmas last year and finally started reading it earlier in this month. 



       This book is about a young boy named Wilbraham Phayre who loses him memory in a terrible train crash. He is stolen by a gypsy woman and renamed White Willie. His life with them was hard and cruel. He was drugged daily and worked in his stupor so he wouldn't remember who he is. He called himself Willie Fay, for that was how he said his last name when he was a child. One dreary day he meets a man named Keith who finds him to be sick. He takes the boy home to find out he is an educated boy. He buys the boy from the gypsy family and raises him, along with the help of his own family. A few years later Willie is taken to a school for boys where his education can prosper; there he meets friends, and his younger brother!

       I would give this book five stars! It's not a hard read and it attaches you to the characters almost immediately. The virtues pop out at you and make you want to be like Willie, George, or Gilbert. You want the rebel, Marston, to change and grow. Most of all you want Willie to remember.
       Will Willie remember his family? Can he find out his true identity? Read The White Gypsy to find out!

P.S. At the end of the book it says the 'shepherd of the village is E.M.'  I'll give you a hint on who it is: he is called by his middle name and not his first, or 'E'...

You are gonna love this story!
E.W.'s daughter



         

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Now or Next

Are you feeling the looming onslaught of the holidays hunkering over you?  There are Christmas trees and decorations in the stores, UGGG...I really, totally, emphatically am not ready to switch my brain over in that direction.  If you need a ski coat, you better buy it now because when you go skiing in January bathing suits will fill the racks.  Everything seems to be pushing it's way earlier and earlier into our lives whether we consent to it or not!  Are we in the season of pumpkins or elves?  I need my energy and thoughts to be in the day to day, not pulled to change the radio channel because they have decided to play Rudolph next week!  Don't get me wrong I love Christmas and planning but this is too much!  Am I way out here on my own or is anyone shaking their head YES?


My daughter and I were talking yesterday afternoon (I love homeschooling because of conversations like these) and we were discussing this 'be in the now and today', because tomorrow has enough of it's own troubles (Matthew 6:34).  She said, "Yeah Mom, it's like when you told me to just be 13.  Don't miss being 13 because others are doing things that are not meant for me to do at this age."  I was doing an inward Snoopy dance!  Yes, she is absolutely right!  We are not missing anything by being content in the day that is given to us.  It's like Martha is yelling at us to get up and get busy and Mary is gently patting the seat next to her and inviting us to take care.  We are not meant to lived hurried lives.


So in the face of marketing and sales I say NO.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Sigh....


We went photo shooting yesterday (which is so now!) to soak up the beautiful fall leaves; embracing the beauty of the season.




This burning bush is bursting with brilliance.




The geese were not camera shy in the least!




Have you raked leaves yet?  Be sure to jump in the pile with a big ol' smile!  I love the tiny little flower poking its head in the bottom middle of the picture.


Love this sugar maple.  It is my very favorite of all the shades of fall.




I walked over to this tree with every intention to climb it and take a picture from above.  But the branches were too high, or maybe I am too short, either way it's a cool shot!


Corn maizes, pumpkin patches, hay rides, leaves, apples, acorns, raking, sweaters, stews, bonfires, harvest, scarecrows, foliage, cornucopias; what a lovely time of the year!


Be where you are!
E.W.

He's the Puppiest!


Oh dear, it's that time again.  This is the sweetest dog on the planet!  He is a cross between a poodle and cavalier.  We prayed to have the perfect dog and he is pretty close to it!  His fur is so silky soft that he gets these gnarls right next to his skin.  

His master, Alpha Teen M, is dutifully giving him a new style!




Wouldn't ya love to know what he is thinking right now?  Look how far away his face is, it is pitiful!


Alas, the puppy is clean shaven.  He looks like a little lamb when his hair is short!  Good job Sissy!


Lov that Girl!
E.W.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Harvest Moon


My sweet honey took these pictures tonight with his tripod.  This poem is for him...







Harvest Moon
 
 Come a little bit closer
Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin’
We could dream this night away.

But there’s a full moon risin’
Let’s go dancin’ in the light
We know where the music’s playin’
Let’s go out and feel the night.

Because I’m still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I’m still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart.

But now it’s gettin’ late
And the moon is climbin’ high
I want to celebrate
See it shinin’ in your eye.

Because I’m still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I’m still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

by: Neil Young





His Alone,
E.W.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tuning In

Have you ever heard an orchestra warming up before a concert?  Check out this sound:


I love this sound!  It is a 'get-ready' sound.  The instruments need to be tuned, voices need to warm-up, and it is a 'get your focus on' time. Run through the song, make sure the music is in the right order, be ready to go.   I wonder what a great symphony would sound like if they didn't take the necessary time to warm-up?  The music would most likely not go as well as it's potential holds.  Sure, the group would make it through the score, but it might be a bit edgy or tight.

This is similar to our quiet time.  Scripture tells us to meet with God first thing in the morning, before your day takes control.

Mark 1:35 says, "very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, went to a solitary place, where he prayed."  

The mystery and beauty of this is that when you do get up early and spend time with God, your day goes better, you get more accomplished, and you carry with you the sweet fragrance of having been with the Lord. We need to 'get ready' for our day by starting it with our Lord.  Spiritual things first, and everything else will fall into place.

If you are not a morning person and have not started your day tuning in with God, start small and give it a whirl.  Try setting 10 minutes aside to have devotions and prayer.  That 10 minutes in the morning will multiply like the loaves and fishes and you will marvel at the end of the day just what a blessing it was to tune into the Word of God!


Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.


Meet with your Maker first thing.  Run through your plans with Him and seek to know if perhaps He has something else planned for you that day.  Harmonize your agenda with His.  Life is hard, start out your day the best way you can with by equipping yourself with the armor of God.  


Tuning into Him,
E.W.





Friday, October 22, 2010

Father Abraham had many foibles

Reading through the story of Abraham, the 11th verse from chapter 20 gave me pause for thought.  At this point in the story Abraham has (FOR THE 2ND TIME) told Sarah to tell the King that she is his sister.  Sarah is beautiful, men in high places are pigs (okay not all of them, but you know what I'm sayin') and Abraham is being a coward.  Abe said, "Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place..."  that I will take cover behind the beauty of my wife and pretend that she is my sister so then there will be no trouble with King Abimelech.  'Let's trick the king'...sound like a good plan?  Thankfully for everyone involved God is faithful and 'did not let him touch her (verse 6).  The King was given a vision not to touch Sarah and the King listened!  Phew!


For the record, Abraham and Sarah had the same father but different mothers; a technicality or a falsehood?  Half-sister or not, you don't purposefully let your wife act as a maiden.  The first time he came up with this idea was in Egypt and told Pharaoh she was his sister.  He plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarah.  The Lord protects his girls!


How is it that Abraham willingly accepted the invitation to leave his family and country back in chapter 12 with complete trust, but somewhere along the way things began to unravel?  He left behind everything he knew without a backward glance but now has taken it upon himself to solve the predicaments.  Human solutions vs. God's solutions: when will we learn that God does not need our 'help'?  We need to be where God wants us and tap into the initial excitements and wonder of the journey and keep it in the forefront of our minds.  Waiting on the Lord is a discipline of obedience.  We must believe He is going to do what He says he is going to do!  
Taking into account what we know about God journeying with Abraham...
*Abraham has seen that God will save his wife from Pharaoh's power
* Abraham has pleaded with God to spare the righteous among the wicked in Sodom and was granted his request
*Abraham's wife was again saved from the clutches of another King's embrace


Unknowingly, Abraham is on the precipice of having the long awaited child conceived and he is dabbling in offering Sarah to keep the peace (for the 2nd time!!!)
God is very patient.  What can we learn from his-story?  I pray we will seek his solutions and wait with great patience and endurance.  Stop thinking we are clever and are able to solve and tidy up a problem quickly.  Have you ever notice that God is not on our time schedule?  We could be missing a HUGE growing and strengthening piece of our journey;  Not to mention, a blessing just waiting to unfold because we were steadfast.  But through it all, God looks out for us.  If we plow ahead and make rash choices, He is still going to work in them--Praise God!


What are you wanting done, undone, resolved, fixed, or right NOW?  Stop and breath, say a prayer and wait patiently.  Wisdom comes in the waiting.


In Christ Alone,
E.W.                                                                  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Raising Maidens of Virtue

My daughter and I are reading Raising Maidens of Virtue together.  It is a study of feminine loveliness for mothers and daughters.  We have only read through the first several chapters but this is such a valuable treasure I just had to share with you.  It is designed to be read aloud and then discuss the questions at the end of each chapter.  The author, Stacy McDonald suggests making it a special time, set apart from other activities, by lighting some candles, pouring a cup of tea and closing the door.  There are suggestions for making a scrapbook and other relationship building projects and activities.
We just finished reading the chapter 'A Noble Calling'.  It defines the secret of contentment and describes what is a noble calling.  Here is an excerpt...

And so I learned that what makes any calling noble is its being commanded by God, and what makes anything good is its being given by God; and the honest contentment consists not in persuading ourselves that our things are the very best in the world, but in believing they are the best for us, and giving God thanks for them.


This is geared for young teens and allows you to capture some beautiful conversation with your daughter.  Our time is so precious with our girls.  The clock is ticking, the world is tapping at the door for her attention.  We must pour into them while we still have them home with us.  What a gift we have as mothers to invest in our precious daughters, they grow up so fast!

Painting by Frederick A. Stokes 


Any product I have purchased from The Vision Forum has been thought provoking and challenges me in my walk.

Pray with your sweetie!
E.W.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Autumn Weekend

Some weekends are dutiful in keeping house inside and out and other weekends are packed with play...


The boys played a great game Friday after school.  The play-offs start today!
Saturday afternoon split in different directions of birthday parties and riding.  Then we went to a really fun hayride with church friends.




Bunches of kids loaded into the wagon and then the moms climbed in the back.  We were hootin' and hollarin' as the O-So-Kind tractor guy lurched us back and forth up the hill.  All the kids slid to the back squashing us with laughter.  About half-way into the ride I lost feeling in my legs that were folded under me...just can't sit that way for very long!
I just kept wondering why the hay was so warm??  It was a surprise to ride under the barn loft and have hay come raining down on us as we passed underneath!
We roasted hot dogs by a raging fire and sang songs; so wholesome and fun!  The best part was that everyone loved it, from toddlers to teens.  The stars were brilliant and the evening lovely.


Sunday we went to a friends Eagle Scout ceremony that was incredible!  My son played the piano and another buddy sang.  It was a wonderful thing to behold!  Our state senator, county executive, sheriff, and county council president all awarded Caleb with certificates and commemorative coins and pins.  The neatest part was his grandfather, an Eagle Scout, pinned him with his pin from 1938!  Only 4% of the guys make it to this rank!  Way to go Caleb!


video


I love this kid!  I had the opportunity to direct a play a few years ago and he was one of the main characters.  My daughter has permission to marry him!


It was a perfect weekend barring my little guy getting the stomach flu.  But even in that we are fearfully and wonderfully made to get rid of yucky viruses!


Blessings,
E.W.



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why Bother?

Why bother to memorize scripture?  Here are 3 good reasons from Proverbs...


*when you roam, it will lead you
*when you sleep, it will keep you
*when you awake, it will speak with you


That covers all stances within a day!
Scripture is just the thing you can rely on when you are in the middle of calmly explaining to your child WHY they should or should not do something.
Scripture is just the right medicine when you have been treated unfairly or have been hurt by someone.
Scripture is just the right shield to keep you from gossiping, discontentment, irritability, or reactiveness.
Scripture brings peace in times of worry.  It is a salve to the broken heart.  It is a boost to the down hearted.  
It is a promise and a comfort.  It will never let you down.
Tuck some away today for that rainy day when you will truly need it!
Victorian Lady in the Rain


Coram Deo,
E.W.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sweet Potato Bread

What do you do with a Hercules-size sweet potato?  Bake it and make some bread.  This is very similar to pumpkin bread, only you simply switch squashes (I love alliteration!).

(Okay so this is what is left of 2 loaves...)

Ingredients

  • 1  cup sugar
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cups orange juice
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • eggs
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine sugar, orange juice, oil, eggs, and sweet potatoes and mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add cranberries and nuts and mix well. Divide between 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 50 minutes or pour into muffin tins as an option.  Cool in pan to room temperature.

Enjoy it for breakfast!
E.W.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What is God?


In the shorter catechism question #4 asks, "What is God?"  That is not an easy question to wrap your arms around!  The catechism does a good job putting an answer into words.  It says, 'God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.  The first three are attributes that God alone has.
*Infinite-He is not limited by time and space, He is unmeasurable
*Eternal-He has no beginning and no end
*Unchangeable-He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow.

In our delusional state we can often times think we have loads of time, that the season of life we are in will never change, that a lifestyle or relationship will be the same tomorrow as it is today.  But that is not the case!  We are limited by our resources, our time, and our flesh!  We SHOULD live in a state of humility and humbleness if we fully understood our place in God's economy.

God was under no constraint, no obligation, no necessity to create.  That he chose to do so was purely a sovereign act on his part, caused by nothing outside himself, determined by nothing but his own mere good pleasure; for he 'worketh all things after the counsel of his own will' (Eph. 1:11).  That he did create was simply for his manifestative glory...God is no gainer even from our worship.  He was in no need of that external glory of his grace which arises from his redeemed, for he is glorious enough in himself without that.  It was, as Ephesians 1:5 tells us, 'according to the good pleasure of his will.'...The force of this is that it is impossible to bring the Almighty under obligations to the creature; God gains nothing from us.  This is an excerpt from A.W. Pink, The Attributes of God.


The last seven traits; being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth of God are, to one degree or another, attributes that abide in us as well.  Being made in His image these are pieces that he has placed in us.  We desire these personality traits and as we grow in our spiritual maturity a reflection of Christ shines through us.

Worship Him today for He is a powerful Lord!

In Him Alone,
E.W.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just for Today

At this moment,  I am so grateful to have all my laundry finished.  My laundry room is tidy and swept and I am enjoying this fleeting moment of clothing vacancy in this part of our domain.



Notice the floor is all nice and tidy.  I wish I had a before picture of this room when we gutted it last year.  It was eewy!  Broken tiles, a pale, hospital green paint chipping off, and there was no heat in there; which made for frosty toes in the winter time.

We bought the stackables because the room is small and narrow.  The old washer and dryer sat under the window so you had to skooch by in order to open the dryer door.  Now I can iron at my sunny window complete with a sweet window treatment.



I am grateful for even having a washer and dryer.  I think about the days of old when women were scrubbing on washboards and hanging out the clothes to dry no matter the season!
I have NOTHING to complain about!



And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:17

How about you, what are you grateful for today?

Blessings,
E.W.





Monday, October 11, 2010

Papa's Peppers


When we went to the farm last week  I brought home an abundance of Jalapeno peppers.  I finally got around to harvesting them this morning.  After I cleaned up the mess, I washed my hands and hopped in the shower.  I started to wash my face and fire spread across my nose and lips and face.  When my eyes started to feel the heat I was about to panic.  I blindly leaned out of the shower to were the washcloths sit and grabbed one and washed my face again.  No luck.  Quickly rinsing off I started to ask for a little google help on what to do with pepper oil soaking into your skin.  The choices were baking soda, milk, rubbing alcohol, and Dawn dishsoap.
Let's just say I have had a thorough exfoliated treatment this morning.

 The best cooling agent was the baking soda.  When I harvested the peppers I grew this did not happen!  The WORST part has been the oil that seeped under my fingernails.  They have been on fire for HOURS!  Obviously Papa has much hotter peppers than I do!
I will have to keep that in mind when I use them to make my salsa!

Hasta Manana,
E.W.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

God's Good Gifts


I came across a study that I led with my daughter and her friends a few years ago.  It was a scrapbooking bible study called God's Good Gifts.  It is a great women's study but is easily transposed to do with girls who love to scrapbook.


It is a great tool to bring together personal memories with God's Word and also have a time of fellowship and study.  God gives us so many blessings everyday and recording them helps us to see that.  For the 12 week study we covered theses topics:

*Growing Up
*Home/my room
*Church and church activities
*Family/celebrations together
*School/school activities
*Hobbies/Quiet time
*Extra curricular activities
*Women in my life
*Favorite things/pets
*Dreams/Goals

You could really choose any topics of interest for you and your girls:  missions trips, serving, sisterhood, whatever you like.  There are devotionals by Kay Arthur, Emilie Barnes and others.  Everyone gathers their own supplies and pictures and the book provides the rest (it even has stencils and stickers to share).


Growing Up
 Church

F
 Friends
 Friends










Drama & Dance



Tea Parties & Festivities
















Each page had a special scripture pasted on it to tie in our theme.  We enjoyed reflecting and actually putting something together to last for a lifetime.


Blessings,
E.W.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Q-bits

My son has been studying the senses in 3rd grade.  They have been reading books about Helen Keller and Louis Braille.  The message his teacher wants to get across is that you can still be productive even with a handicap or cross to bear.  Every year the class visits Ms. Bobby; she is an amazing woman.  Each of my kids remembers her fondly and I couldn't wait to meet her myself.  Ms. Bobby is completely blind, her eyes are plastic.  Her spiritual eyes shine and her sense of who she is in Christ is humbling and inspiring.  When she met my son she said, "Now don't you have an older brother, oh, yes, he was 'The Character'."  She remembered my daughter, as well, and a lot of the older siblings of this class.


Have you ever heard Handel's Messiah (this is a beautiful rendition) at Christmas time and it gave you goose bumps for days?  Well, Ms. Bobby stood up, and as her introduction sang like a songbird: Victory in Jesus.  I was overwhelmed!  I wanted to stand in honor of The King!  You know when your socks are knocked off your feet because you are not expecting this amazing voice to come out of this sweet little person.  My chin was agape through the entire song.  Notice all the kids eyes are glued to her.

 She has an amazing testimony.  Her umbilical cord laid across her eye where no eye grew and the other eye had grown deformed.  She could see colors for awhile.  Her mother constantly talked to her and sang to her as a child so she would always know where she was.  She never really knew she was 'blind', just that she didn't see well.  She went to a boarding school to learn how to live functionally and orderly.


She shared how she goes about the business of living and coping.  She read to us from the bible, her bible are these huge books, I guess there must have been 2 dozen of them that covered the bible from Genesis to Maps.  This was her watch, see the knobby's next to the numbers?  When reading braille you use the tip of the your pointer finger, it is the most sensitive spot for detecting the raised circles.  She showed us how she uses the phone and how everything has a place and everything is in its place!  She started wearing a prayer veil a few years ago to remind her to calling of prayer.  She is a fellow kindred spirit!


Afterwards, we went to see the Tabernacle.  We learned all kinds of neat facts about the history of old testament sacrificing. There is so much symbolism in the tabernacle, all of which points to Jesus.


This was a sculpture garden of the courtyard.  We sat in the Holy Place and peered inside the Holy of Holies area where the Ark of the Covenant sat.

 Everything is very specific and detailed with God.  The tabernacle is measured in cubits, now that's a fun word to say.  It is a system of measurement that equals about a 1/2 yard or 18".  I think we should reinstitute cubits, I like it.

 This painted mural showed the cloud of smoke that hovered over the tabernacle by day and the people's tents surrounding the focal point of their lives.


We had a picnic lunch in the beautiful October sun and scooted home after the tour, such a sweet and memorable day.

Blessings,
E.W.