Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Birthday Blessings

EJ planned a birthday blessing for me (Farm Chick).  Instead of a typical birthday party he asked everyone to bring something to share that would encourage me.  It was a precious time and I was indeed blessed!

I wanted to write down all the scriptures that were read so that I could remember them. 

Grammy shared Psalm 112
Praise the Lord.[bBlessed are those who fear the Lordwho find great delight in his commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.
Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor. 
10 The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.

Pop shared Colossians 3:12-14

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

My mother-in-law shared Ephesians 1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

My Father in Law shared Proverbs 31:10-31

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

EJ shared Psalm 62:5-8

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[c]he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
My sweet family spent time in prayer over me.  What an honor!
(photos by Romeo...thanks so much for capturing this)
In case you think we are all too serious around here take a look at this poem brought to you by my sisters.  I laughed, I cried.  Thank you sisters!  This poem is precious to me.

My Birthday Poem
by DW, Rock Star and Pretty Princess

To our dear, sweet sister whom is much older than us,
We know you don’t need a big party or fuss!
But today we celebrate you and your life
A sister, a daughter, a mama, a wife!

There are too many amazing things about you to list,
But let’s name a few that can not be missed.
Your cooking is tasty, you feed us all so well,
Even a real Italian mama would think you are swell.
You always bring me coffees when we meet for a date,
Which is good cuz you owe me for often being late.
I think it’s your flip flops that cause this delay,
It may be time for new running shoes I’d say.

I shop for your wardrobe and keep you so hip,
You be lookin’ so fly you make your homeboy trip!
Your house is decked out in teal blue and some red,
You even sleep in a custom made DIVA bed.
You have an old sweater, all gnarled and such.
Dad bought it for you in college and you love it so much.
The fate of this garment is sad, but so true.
One day I will break in and steal it from you.

You’re a wee bit crunchy granola, you know it’s true.
With your raw milk formula, and healing broth soup.
You’ve sprayed off much poo from your stinky cloth nappy
And you’ve nursed your sweet babies till they’re full and happy.
Speaking of all things organic and clean,
You once bought me pure deodorant, you know which one I mean.
It happened to be men’s but how could you know?!
The brand name was Jason, but what does that show?

You tell your life story to the Target cashier,
A restraining order may be coming for you I fear.
But what do they expect when they ask, “Ma'am, How’s your day?”
Right now that’s a loaded question filled with so much to say!
I love our couch dates filled with rest for the weary,
Good conversations and laughter keep me from being teary!
Our kids are best buddies and that is so cool.
We kind of have a gang, but we call it homeschool.
You love the Olive Garden for reasons easy to see.
You simply want live there and drink peach iced tea!
The breadsticks are delicious but smothered in gluten,
So for now that tasty goodness be getting’the bootin’.

I polish your pigs and your fingernails too.
We talk about babies, pinterest, funnies and poo.
I finish the color, top coat and the rest.
I start the massage, but not the feet, it’s for the best.
All silliness aside, my sister, we adore who you are.
Your heart is like no other, your love reaches far.
Your life and your family speaks of God’s very heart.
To be His hands and feet is a lovely work of art.

These coming babies will bring much joy and some stress,
But rest assured your sisters will come fix any mess!
We will come to your rescue, we’ll clean and we’ll cook.
We’ll discuss every baby topic in the book!
We can’t leave out a word or two from your big sis,
She’s too far away, but this she would not miss!

She wants to bring up your abnormal fear of hair,
We’d discuss it more, but that’d  just be unfair.
She thinks it’s awesome that you make your kids all matchy,
And your ability to mess up song lyrics is so catchy.
She remembers you moving heaven and earth
To see your little niece, Lou Lou after her birth.
She also wants you to know that she thinks that you rock,
You were willing to take a whoopin’ over that infamous sock.

She wants you to know she misses you a ton,
And there’s no one that compares to you, not a single one.
So, enjoy this day meant to lift you up and assure you-
We will pray for courage, for wisdom all the way through!
We will hold sweet babies, we will do anything you need.
What a sight to see this precious family growing like a weed!
Happy birthday to you, our sister our friend!
We got your back all the way to the end!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Grammy's Family Reunion 2013

Grammy and siblings (1965)
My family recently gathered at my folks for a family reunion.  My siblings were all home!  From a seven month old to a 77 year old, we had 42 of our 60 some possible family members.  We had family from four states.  We flew in, drove in, and pulled campers to our old home town.

7 month old beauty and her mommy
Our home town is very small, so places to book a room overnight are few and the house we grew up in won't hold everyone...even for a we rented a church hall, brought in food, pitched in and put meals together and had a blast.

We visited, played, ate, and visited some more.  The young ones got to meet people they'd never met or didn't remember meeting, so it was like meeting them again.  The generation above them got reacquainted with their cousins and spouses.  My siblings and I yakked and helped wrangle all the little ones when we could.

I would say it was a typical family reunion...mostly...but as I watched our family interacting, I noticed some things...things that people can choose to do but often choose not to...I noticed things that are evidence of love and of grace.

I heard about and witnessed my dad, mom, and sister prepare things days ahead.

I saw my sis put in hours to complete a slide show so all the family could celebrate my baby brother's and sis-in-law's 25th wedding anniversary.

I enjoyed seeing my oldest brother and his wife (who came the farthest distance) roam around to be sure they had a chance to visit with each family member.

I watched my brother and sister-in-law serve up plates for their grandchildren to lend their daughter a hand.

I remembered how hard and tiring it can be to have small children as I saw the parents of young children haul in all the paraphernalia required to spend time away from home and manage their broods through days that kept them far off their preferred schedules.  I know the older generation appreciates them making the effort to come together.

I smiled as I noticed my grand niece helped her momma with her younger siblings...even when she wasn't being asked or required to help...I suspect she simply does what she sees her Mom and Nana do.

I saw one of my sons-in-law bring his big boys to play in the sprinkler at the homestead instead of golfing with the guys so our pregnant daughter and their two younger children could nap.

I was blessed to see my nephew and his girlfriend tirelessly cook and prepare food because they love to do it and love to see others enjoy the product of their labors.  Of course, they had one wanted them to do it I also witnessed others pitch in...and visit and laugh while they did.
My heart swelled to watch my dad love on the kiddos and help them fill their water balloons...he loves his family and that blesses each of us.

I was thankful to see another son-in-law snap pics so we'd have some memories preserved and was grateful to our daughter for leting him do his thing as she visited with family and managed their little one.

I was tickled to see cousins enjoy cousins...from play time for the younger cousins to the "man cousins" golfing and just spending time visiting.

I saw my mom choose to sit down to a meal at a table with her brood of great grandchildren.  I know she is proud of them and loves them all.

Many hands made light work as all available hands helped pack up the food and clean up.  I was grateful to see my brothers and hubby vacuum the big room and everyone make sure we left things better than we found them.  I watched (yes watched) as my husband mopped the floor of the kitchen and beyond (I love that man more and more).

On the porch of the old homestead: Mom and Dad
and all their kids and kids by marriage.
We are blessed!
We are not all in this pic but we had to try for a big group shot!
Maybe we'll do better next time!
I cherish the time we get to spend together and miss this family.  We are already looking forward to the next big reunion.  Until then, I will remember this is good stuff.