Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Gentle Voice

Back in October, I was going through a hard time.

I felt alone, sad, and depressed. No particular reason, we all have those moments!
One night I sat down at the computer, and decided I would write a poem. About what, I didn't know. Then, the words just started pouring out of my fingers as I typed. I felt like I was watching someone else write. It didn't feel like me.
Then when I came to the line "I have never left Thee", I heard Him. God said those words to me, and I truly believed them. After I was finished, I shook. I felt exhausted when the last line was written. Like everything in me had just been poured out.
I even thought, "What just happened?"
Still to this day, whenever I feel alone, I hear those words again and they give me peace.
I know God came to me that night, and said every one of these words to my heart.
It's simple, but it's the words God spoke to me when I needed them. And I pray maybe someone somewhere will find peace with these words as well.

"The Gentle Voice"
 
Sometimes the road of life feels too hard to walk
Curves and struggles seem to stare you down in mock
Nothing is going right; everything is going wrong
Your body is weary; you can’t continue to be strong
 
 Too many burdens to carry; too many thoughts to be thought
Another day to travel; another war to be fought
You know you can’t keep struggling on this long, hard road
You know you can no longer bear this heavy load
 
 But at the very moment you feel yourself give way and fall
A light brightens the darkness; a voice seems to call
He heard every cry; He heard every plea
Gently and softly He whispers “I have never left Thee”
 
 “I will bury your burdens; I will carry every trial
I will be by your side every step of every mile
Cling to My hand, I promise to never let go
I held every tear that slipped; I saw every woe”
 
 “Keep your eyes toward Heaven” the gentle voice said
“You will never have want; you will always be fed
For I heard every cry; I heard every plea
I was always there, I have never left Thee”

May you all have a blessed Sunday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Everyone Has A Dream

Everyone has a dream.

Something they long to happen or do; somewhere they want to go. Some dream of traveling the world and seeing great wonders. Others want to become teachers, writers, and politicians. Some, to become famous, build bridges, or make a scientific discovery.

Everyone has a dream of some kind or another.
Even me.

Mine are different than any of those listed above. Mine is as unique as the person next to me.
I dream of a simple life.


That’s all I want. I don’t care if I never travel, though I would love to see more of my country. I don’t want to build a great monument or become famous. I just want to live somewhere quiet and peaceful. Free from worry or fear. I heard a song by The Dillard’s that really says it best:

I was looking for a place I’ve never been
Down the road, around the bend, and back again
Always looking for the end of the rainbow
Never knowing all that glitters is not gold
Finally figured out money can not buy
All the things I tried to leave behind
While looking for my future I almost lost my past
Now I’m starting to want the things I have

I got me a front porch and a wicker rocking chair
Wood for the stove and clean mountain air
Friends that are true and a family who cares
A little church where I say my prayers
You know life ain’t so bad in my wicker rocking chair

The world keeps getting harder to define
When for me progress is just a state of mind
I spent so many years trying to get by on my own
Never realizing that life was moving on
Finally figured out the finer things in life
Don’t cost me a solitary dime
And the key to getting rich is learning how to give
So I think I’ll just give up and live
 
Oh, to just have a wicker rocking chair and clean mountain air! Where I can breathe that air that God created alone.
I dream of a having a farm where I can produce my own food. Raise my babies off the land, and to be the best wife and mother I can be. Where they can run bare foot through tall grass, romp with lop eared puppies, and wade in a cool creek beneath a summer sunset.
I dream of a small town filled with people who still care about each other. Where they know right from wrong.
Where I don’t have to be afraid of what may happen in the future. What the world can do to me, or take away.
I dream of a place where money isn’t the most needed thing in our lives. Where we can be content with just each other to love.
Today, you need money, for everything. Insurance, food, gas, doctors, and clothing. I know back in the day they needed money too, but it didn’t take so much of it.

I get discouraged.

How can one be happy in this life with so many bills?
I’ve always heard that during the “Great Depression” of the 1930’s, people were happier. Times were hard, and many were poor. But that made them appreciate what little they had. And they went out of their way to help someone in need.
Where is that time now? Will we ever find it again?
Sometimes I think,
“Is that really a lot to wish for?"
Sometimes it hurts to know I will probably never find my dream life. This world isn’t prefect. How could I find that place? But I keep a hold of a small amount of hope. Maybe. Maybe somewhere down my road of life it is God’s will I have a glimpse of that dream.
I love to look at pictures of farms with snow capped mountains. I love to browse through “Country Sampler” magazines and get ideas. I have my farmhouse all planned out.
Some things I really want are exposed beams, wide planked flooring, and most of all a, squeaky screen door.
All this takes money too. (What doesn’t?) But I always say,

“If your going to dream, dream big!”

So, I do! I have big dreams. Some people tell me I’m silly. No eighteen year old girl today dreams about her house. She’s supposed to think about what phone case to buy, who you're going to hang out with next, or what outfit looks the best.
Why can’t I think about houses and kitchens? The two rooms I really think about are my kitchen and school room/library. I’ve picked out my appliances, sinks, decorations, and flooring. Even for my school room I’ve found books I want to use to teach and classics I want them to read.

Old-fashioned.
That’s me.

I can’t wait to homeschool.
I can’t wait to cook my husband supper.
To teach my little girls to bake.
To watch my boys dream of being just like their daddy.

I dream about canning my own vegetables.
I long for where the world doesn’t spin so fast, and each day is a gift. A new adventure.
My, how I could just go on! Once I get started, I don’t stop. Maybe someday I’ll find someone who wants to listen and, maybe, shares my dream as well.

I dream, but I also know it’s all in God’s will. Maybe I’ll never find that special someone. Maybe I’ll never have babies. Maybe I won’t have a farm.
It’s all in God’s hands. I pray for acceptance and peace. If none of this comes to reality, I pray God will show me what He does want from me in this world. I get frustrated as every year goes by and I still have not found the man who God made for me.

“What does God want me to do? I don’t have any other wishes.”

Still, I know, in His time, I will find what He wants. I just need patience.

I can’t handle the news. All I hear is how bad this world has come, and I get afraid. And fear is a sin.
I get discouraged because I feel like I fail when I worry. Like I don’t have enough faith to whole heartedly trust Jesus.
But then the words He spoke to me while I wrote “The Gentle Voice” come to me:
"I was always there. I have never left thee."

And I know He never has.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Whispers Through the Land


A few months ago, I passed an old house long since forgotten while driving to church.
It got me thinking about the old house down by the river at my Grandpa's ranch. How I always loved to dream what it looked like when it was first built, who built it, and why. Did they like living far in the Oregon mountains? Or was it a lonely life? Were they young? Old? Did children play near the river's bed? Who planted the lone tree? I did my best to put my questions down:

 Whispers Through the Land

Deep in the valley, over the hill and near the river blue
A little house stands asleep; a little house so true
Her walls are aged with color, her doors no longer stand
Silently her presence whispers her memories to the land

Oh, if she could talk, the stories she would say!
Of those people who came before in days gone away
Oh walls. what did you see all that time ago?
Did you see days of laughter? Or was it days of woe?

Did you hear cries of joy as a new babe was born?
Did you see the tears of sadness in an old mans eyes so worn?
Oh, walls, what would you say if only you could?
What would your windows whisper? Your floors of polished wood?

No one loves you any longer, no one fills your rooms
And yet your empty halls seem to whisper gentle croons
Was it a young man who built you for his family so dear?
Or was it a lonely man and woman who came alone with a tear?

Oh, walls if you could talk, what would you share?
Your windows of broken glass, your doors of gentle ware
Empty and alone you stand; your windows twinkling a tear
Silently to the land you whisper your secrets that no ear can hear
- Felicity Stenersen

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How You Look At It

 
Recently, I have been reading a book called:
"Saving Graces: the Inspirational Writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder"
I love Laura and when I found this collection of hers, I had to look into it.
Many of her writings have made me stop and think. One especially.
Laura states that it's how you look at life around you, that will make life what it is. That seemed to make sense to me! If you wake up in the morning with the mind set that "life is horrible", well, it will be. But, if you keep your mind on:
 
 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 

We all tend to look at only the bad side of life. All the trials, worry, and fears. We forget our blessings. We have our family, we have a home. But most important, we have Jesus. He is always there. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Why must we grumble and complain? How much happier the world would be if we woke up in the morning, a smile on our face. Our first thought, "Thank you Jesus for another beautiful day!"
Oh, maybe the weather outside physically isn't beautiful. Maybe the sky is a cloud of gray, and the sun is nowhere to be seen. But as my Grandpa says, "The sun is always shining. Even behind the clouds." How true that is! Life doesn't have to be just mumble and complaints. We all have troubles, and we always will. My Mom reminds us quite often:
 "We live in a corrupt world. If it was perfect, why would we need Jesus?"

Life can be hard, but it doesn't have to be "horrible". We can still find joy in the small things of life.
It's not easy to look at life with a positive outlet. Believe me, I know! I sometimes feel like the worst complainer of them all. But that doesn't make it right.
Laura wrote:

Life is often called a journey, "the journey of life." Usually when referred to in these terms it is also understood that it is "a weary pilgrimage." Why not call it a voyage of discovery and take it in the spirit of happy adventure?

Yes, the sun is not shining. You may no feel well. Everywhere you turn you may see something that is another burden, trial, or sorrow.
Still, life is a beautiful thing. And it can be in all times of our lives.
As Mother Dear says: "We can have joy, and not be happy." 
This means, we can have peace in our hearts, even through the troubles. We can still hurt, but we should always remember that someone is there to carry our hurt, and He always will be.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Who I Am

Just 10 random  facts about who I am!

1. I'm quiet at times, and rather weird at others. I guess I have to be comfortable to get goofy, but in crowds or with people I don't know very well, I just smile and nod! (Need to work on my conversation skills!) But I'm getting better, I think... ;)

2. I have two part time jobs. One I've had for well over two years now. Maybe it's nearing three?  I'm a "Mother's Helper" I guess you could say. About every Wednesday (sometimes the day changes though) I go over to, hmm... guess you could say my distant cousins house. Not sure what else to call her?  And I teach school to her two girls ages ten and seven while she does "office work". Other things I do for her vary! I clean the house, wipe down the fridge, and fold clothes. I've even wrapped Christmas presents, mixed up a batch of home made graham crackers, and decorated a Gingerbread house! I just do whatever she needs help with! And I babysit for her off and on. I've been very thankful for this job! Sometimes it's crazy to think how long I've been helping her out. When I started she was six months along with baby number four. That baby is now past two.
 It's taught me a lot! About how to clean with natural products, patience with teaching school, how to manage money, and even how to talk to adults! I've been very blessed!
The next is a weekly cleaning job for the company my Dad runs. Every Saturday me and a sister (the two girls take turns coming with me) go down to the company office and clean it. That is nice also and brings in a small weekly check!

3. I love to cook. Or, read recipes and dream of trying them anyway! There's just something about seasonings and trying out new things. I'm a big fan of creamy soups, chicken, and potatoes. I love potatoes. I don't know if I'd consider myself a "good cook" but I do love to make the house smell delicious!

4. I'm a big fan of history! But there are some people and times that prick my interest more than others: Davy Crockett, Jim Bridger, Lewis and Clark, Abraham Lincoln, and Daniel Boone always have been some of my "heroes". Though, if you've know me long, you probably know that Davy was my "first love". As a girl I loved to sing "Borned on a mountain top in Tennessee, the greenest state in the land of the free. Raised in the woods so he knew every tree. Kilt him a bar when he was only three. Davy, Davy Crockett! King of the wild frontier!"
As for times, I guess I got my love of pioneer days from my Mom. Her dream as a little girl was to "be just like Laura". Hearing the stories about the Ingalls family growing up, I was just fascinated by those brave pioneers and mountain men who were rough and tough, and fought the land to live.
Also, for whatever reason I'll never know, I've always had a huge interest for Ancient Egypt. Just the words themselves sound mysterious and well, ancient! I love learning of their way of life, hieroglyphics, pyramids, mummies, and pharaohs. How they lived so long ago, but still influence our lives of today. They were some of the very first to use certain medications still used today. So many of our "inventions" were first thought of by the Egyptians.

5. I love music! Always have I guess! It must be oldies though. I don't even turn the radio on. The music heard today turns my stomach. Give me the man in black over todays singers any day!
I like all oldies, from the crooners of the 20's, to the country singers of the 90's. But my favorite of all time will always be Loretta Lynn! No one can sing "Ten Thousand Angels" or "Mama's Sugar" like Loretta.

6. I can't eat rice, pasta, yogurt, or pudding. Don't ask me why! They just make me nauseated. Except rice gives me literal pains. The last yogurt I remember eating was when I was five years old.

7. I'm a fan of "the classics". I love books like Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, Little Women, and Heidi. I love the romantic way their written, and how they have a meaning to their stories.

8. I suffer from anxiety. Pretty much have for as long as I can remember. So many times I would sob because I was afraid of going to the grocery store. I knew me or a sibling would be kidnapped!
Now it's more from large crowds or brake lights in front of me while driving or riding in a car. (Yes, weird I know!) I was in a car accident last June, and ever since then, when someone brakes in front of me, my eyes instantly close and I tense up. I don't drive on freeways (never have since my "drivers ed" days) and I am afraid of airplanes.

9. I wish I could sing! I love the haunting sounds of the old songs like "Red is the Rose", "Shenandoah", "Auld Lang Syne", and "Barbara Allen".

10. I love to write. Though I'm not a "lover of words" like my aunt. Each individual word doesn't interest me, but the beautiful picture you can create in someone's mind with a collection of words does!

Well, guess that's 10! Wow didn't mean for this to get so long. :)



Friday, February 6, 2015

A Little Of This; A Dash Of That

I finally did it. I created myself a blog!
I have thought of it occasionally, especially since my sister started one several months ago. Still, I never took those thoughts to seriously. I don't share my thoughts easily, and especially my feelings.

My Mom just recently started saying I should start blogging. So, after some thinking and praying, here I am! I was afraid I'd be a blogger who never updated, or someone who wrote far too personally. I do love writing and making blogs look pretty so, here I go!
 
"Poems, Prayers, and Promises"

Poems. I will write an occasional poem. Oh, they're nothing fancy, nor frilly. They are thoughts that God places on my heart, and I write the words down.

Prayers. If I didn't pray, with my every breath, I'd never make it.
Prayers for my ailing loved ones.
Wandering souls.
Friends.
Dreams that maybe someday He'll fulfill, if in His will.
Most of all for strength, patience, wisdom, and contentment.
 
Promises. God has given us a lot of those, hasn't He?

 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9

 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Psalms 55:22

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
   In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

It is always a good reminder to remember His promises!

May God Bless You