homesteading

Blessings Abound!

This has been a busy season and I am amazed by all the blessings God has given us!

It is awesome to see God’s people be the hands and feet that we all need. Here is an update on everything that has happened this past month…

  • Started the Selah Cabin
  • Enjoyed many guests
  • Two huge garden spots cleared
  • Planted herbs in our herb garden
  • Land cleared
  • Bigger and better water filtration system installed

These are just some of the highlights! As my book Beautiful Dependence talks about the need for God first and others second, we are seeing this lived out.

We could not have done this without the help and support of others. Sometimes I just sit back in shock and awe of all the things surrounding me. Not only do we live in a beautiful place, but we have wonderful people who care for us and some who even venture up the mountain and experience life with us.

Tears streamed down my face one night as I ventured out to the new cabin. God has supplied everything; Not only the building supplies, a fantastic wood stove refurbished by my brother-in-law, windows, flooring, cabinets, and so much more.

How is this possible with how crazy our world is? I can tell you it’s because God is bigger and mightier than we can fathom. He gives us exceedingly abundantly beyond what we could think or hope for.

Do I have a new view of life after cancer? You bet I do! Enjoy every moment. Enjoy every sunrise and sunset. Enjoy the laughter. Enjoy sitting and talking with those around you. God is good. He wants to share His goodness with us. Stop. Listen. Breathe and Praise Him for his goodness!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

Our daughter getting a tractor lesson from a guest who brought this machine up!
christianity

Near to the Broken-hearted

Why is it easier to pray for healing for other people rather than for yourself? Recently I had to come face to face with this when I received the cancer diagnosis. We put out a call for prayer and I knew I had several prayer warriors praying for me.

As the days wore on and emotions were raging, I felt like I should pray for myself. Sounds simple enough. I’ve often prayed for things in my life. But, this time was different. I struggled. I couldn’t find the words. I had fears and doubts. Thoughts crept in, “What if I pray and God doesn’t heal me?” Is it because of sin in my life? Is it lack of faith? Or the hard truth that maybe my time on this earth is finished?

I didn’t know where to even begin. So, I cried out. The tears flowed. How many times have I prayed for people with cancer without a second thought that God could heal them? So many times…but this time I lacked the strength. The desire was there but I was fumbling.

As I cried verses began to come to mind, “Jehovah is near to the broken-hearted; and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. “ Psalm 34:18…

And immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Matthew 9:24

Then the reality hit me. God was just waiting for my true heart to shine through. It wasn’t about a grandiose prayer full of scripture and flowery words. He wanted the tears. He wanted my anger. He wanted my thoughts-the good and the bad. He wanted to exchange my fear and anxiety for life.

The words began to pour out of me. Yes, I prayed for healing. But, just like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, I ended it with “Not my will Father, but Your will be done,” Matthew 26:39

A few weeks ago I went in for another test to see where we were at with the cancer. I had my surgery back in October and this was the first glimpse of my left breast since then. Did I have scanxiety? (Its a real thing.) Yes, but somehow I knew the results were going to be good.

Sure enough, there is no more cancer! I am cancer free! Some would say it’s because of the surgery, or changing my eating habits. I believe God healed me as a result from everyone praying. And I give all glory to Him!!!

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

family

Be Still…

Photo taken by Tim Mossholder

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Sometimes life’s journey takes us on a path we have no desire to walk down. But, when we stop to look along this unwanted road we see things we may never have noticed before.

Recently I had to say my final goodbyes to my beloved mom. Death is a difficult thing for those left behind. However, in the midst of this tragedy I could see God’s hand throughout this journey.

We all have shed tears, had a few laughs, and shared memories. It’s so sad you don’t truly know how much someone meant to people until they are gone.

My mom was someone who was familiar with grief and because of this she helped a lot of hurting people. She was also a prayer warrior. One comment we keep hearing is that many people will miss her prayers and her listening heart.

I am thankful for so many things that God has done over the past few years concerning my mom. God didn’t have to wait until we moved back to Washington from Mexico to take her life. He even waited until our youngest daughter and son-in-law moved back and because of that they got to spend 10 uninterrupted days with her. My son was able to live with my parents while we were in Mexico, which was a blessing all around. They got to experience our son as an adult and help him figure out some adulting things-something they never had an opportunity to do with my brother, who died at the age of 17 to suicide. Our daughter, Storm, came for a visit in July and had a wonderful time helping my mom do housework and just loving on her. My mother couldn’t wait for her 77th birthday and we were able to be there and celebrate with her. Later, As she went into the hospital with the blood clot and things were not looking good, a peace swept over us as we made final decisions. With Covid, we didn’t know if the hospital would let us say our final goodbyes. Then we were told all of the family members present could see her one last time and spend 30 minutes with her. I was so grateful for this! My mother loved vibrant colors and I had to giggle when I walked into the ICU room and saw that she was wearing bright yellow hospital socks! (Thank you to the nurse that put those on her.) Lastly, I am thankful that the hospital let my dad stay in her room until she breathed her last breath. He wanted to be with her until the end. I am praising God for all of these things. He opened doors and let us have some amazing time with her. It reminds me that His timing is perfect.

We all know death is a part of life, but are we ever truly ready to say goodbye? Take the time to love on your friends and family because you never know if you will ever get that chance again.

2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

christianity

When Perception Meets Reality

I had a hard truth come to light this week. Realizing I am not where I thought I was in my spiritual walk. I am currently reading the book Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray and what an inspirational convicting book!

We all struggle with surrender. I haven’t met one person who isn’t stubborn in one way or another. But it’s those times when you realize you aren’t where you thought you were or you weren’t as strong as you believed you were that are difficult.

Looking at Peter’s life in the Bible he is faced with this very thing. Peter tells Jesus that he would go to prison and die for him. Jesus’s response to Peter is that before the rooster crows Peter would deny Him three times.(Luke 32:31-34)

We know what happens next and that is that Peter does, in fact, deny Jesus three times.

But what was Peter’s reaction?

“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.And he went out and wept bitterly. “ Luke 22:61-62

Peter wept bitterly. Can you imagine looking Jesus in the eye after you denied him and doing exactly what Jesus said you would do? I believe this is the reality moment…the moment Peter saw how weak, how feeble, how unable he was to love the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength. The reality caught up with his perception. He wasn’t as strong as he thought he was.

However, what’s the good news? Peter found out where he was so that he could move forward. Peter did go to prison and even ended up one day dying for Jesus – crucified on a cross, upside down!

The surrender finally came! The absolute willing surrender…to give up self. To give up the self-life, the self-comfort, self-pleasing, and self-will.

How did Peter do it? “The work that Christ began in Peter when He looked upon him, was perfected when Peter was later filled with the Holy Spirit. The cause of the weakness of your Christian life is that you want to work it out partly, and to let God help you. And that cannot be. You must come to be utterly helpless, to let God work, and God will work gloriously.”(taken from the book Absolute Surrender)

We have to come to the end of ourselves and cry out. We need to realize we don’t have what it takes to be perfect, but when we surrender, the One who is perfect does the awesome work through us.

I spent a few days in utter disbelief and tears understanding that when I surrender I am free from the bondage of self. I am free from putting my own wants before others. I am free from being afraid of what others think. I am free from wanting the things of this world to desiring God’s will above all else, and that my friend, is a fabulous place to be!

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Thank you Lord for your grace enabling us to be perfected by your wonderful power. May we not look at yesterday but look forward to the work that you are doing and continue to do when we absolutely surrender. Amen.

homesteading

You Never Know…

You never know what an impact you will have on someone’s life. We have had several guests at the cabin lately. It’s been a little crazy and we never know what a day will look like.

Last night I sat down with one of our guests and as the day turned into night I started lighting candles, then the kerosene lantern. The conversation was rich. We talked about life, simplicity of daily living at the cabin, and most important our relationship with God which spills out on those around us.

As we were talking her daughter sat down in the wicker rocking chair and started to express her joy and thankfulness that she was able to come for a visit. She said, “It’s so peaceful here and I feel like I’m living like Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie.” She then said, “I also love how I can talk to your family about anything.” (My heart leapt at that moment.)

What she didn’t know was that I was a little nervous about her family coming because we live a rustic lifestyle. Outhouses, hauling water, heating water on a stove for showers, hand watering a large garden, etc. Although they read my book Beautiful Dependence, reading and experiencing off-grid living are two different things. We can easily romanticize something we read about or see on YouTube.

This family came and got to experience Cherith Brook. They were so grateful for so many things at our little hide away. Why? Because they had just been on a camping/backpacking trip. They were eating MRE packs (Meals Ready to Eat), they had no access to showers, and had to use an outside bathroom with no walls.

By the time they arrived at our place, we had a hot meal for them with ‘real’ food, a warm bed, hot showers, fresh drinking water from our spring, and an outdoor bathroom with walls!

Thankfulness is the key to contentment in life. Here, I was concerned that our property would be too rustic. It ended up being a luxurious get away and a place to refresh as they continued their ‘outdoor’ adventures for the next few days.

Again, you just never know what’s going to happen or what an impact you will have on a person’s life. I think of Jesus and how one conversation changed so many lives…the blind man, the woman at the well, the lame man, etc. One conversation. One small moment in time can change a person’s life for all eternity.

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.