Friday, April 27, 2012

Let the Children Come

Jesus loves the little chidren, all the children of the world.....
In Israel little ones walk unattended. Most of the time there is a small group
but occasionally you see just one.
On my first trip to Israel I remember seeing a mother pushing a small child in a stroller. 
She was window shopping and parked the child in front of a store window and walked two doors
down to enter an entirely different establishment. I flipped! I wanted to guard the little one from kidnappers and thought, "What kind of mother is this? Why isn't anyone doing anything?"

That's when my friends chuckled and let me know what it's like with the people of this fair land.
"Why would anyone want to hurt a child, why would they want to take it from its mother?" they say.
Everyone looks out for children.
What happened to our world? I long for a society like that but am reminded we live in the
"fallen world".  

My last day in the Old City of Jerusalem rained poured. The term "drenched rat" highly resembled me.
It wasn't glorious or glamorous, I had no umbrella, or hat. My hair dripped but as I ran through the rain in the Arab Quarter I saw three little ones and I stopped. I don't think the oldest was even 5 but she stopped and carefully tied the shoes of her little brother so he wouldn't fall as they also ran through the downpour. It was just a moment but it seemed to freeze in time.
I wanted to grab my camera but knew it would be over too quickly. And really, the camera couldn't catch the joy I felt. It was one of the sweetest moments I witnessed on the trip. I was the silent bystander, they paid me no mind as they ran passed me. I loved seeing that act of kindness among siblings and it was a gift to my soul as I said farewell to the city I love.
I flew out hours later, dry. I remember watching the lights of Tel Aviv fade in the night as we flew over the Mediterranean Sea and though I desperately needed sleep I feared closing my eyes.
I feared forgetting the smells of the city, forgetting the children in the rain, the old Arab man asleep on rugs in his shop. It's why I take a thousand pictures.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Will of God?

I'm reading "The Forgotten God" by Francis Chan. It was a free download on Amazon (thank you) and I wondered what would grab my attention. Several things have but tonight I love what I've just read about "knowing God's will for your life". How many men or women in the Bible actually had the plan laid lout for them to see? When the disciples were called they were told, "Follow Me". How's that for a plan? 

Abraham, whose story God used for me, didn't have much of a plan either. How about, "Go to the city I will tell you"?  Yeah right. Or, "Go to the mountain I will show you" as he went to sacrifice his son Isaac. (Genesis 22) If I look at his life and trust me, I have looked intently many times and will continue doing so. What plan does Abraham have? A promise of good health? A nice place to live? A safe place? Is there a promise he won't be hungry? We know God promised to enlarge his family line with descendants beyond what could be counted so we know his life will be preserved but what will it be like?

 Really, that doesn't answer the questions most of us have on a daily basis.  These are some very real questions that came to my mind and heart when God had me surrender for Israel. I remember throwing a wild crying fit across my bed yelling I didnt' want to get nuked and go hungry. I would almost laugh now but I was being real and those were very real fears. When you're called away to a foreign land there are things you have to give up and know you will be okay. Would you really be okay if you didn't eat three meals a day? If war broke out and you couldn't leave would you be okay? Think of the people whose heart would be searching for Truth. Someone needs to tell them.

Looking at Abraham, God said to go and he did....That's what he knew. It's what he heard.
Can you hear Him? 
Maybe we need to forget about searching for God's will. He really wants your response to the Holy Spirit's leading day to day. Right now, today. It's easy to use the phrase "God's will for my life" as an excuse for you disobedience, your lack of action, lack of response. When you think about His will you usually think in future tense and want that plan all laid out for your approval or revision.
 What's He asking you to do now? Is it safer to commit to following Him someday or today? 
Will you know how to trust Him if you don't listen and act now?

Part of me longs to be gone to another land...
Right now God has me planted right here. I have to be obedient to what He shows me day to day and not just wait for the long range plan. Know His voice...Do what He says.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In The Word

On my mornings off I like to have my cup of coffee and read my One Year Bible first thing.
I remember the days when I was so bleary-eyed from being a young mother that I
couldn't even see the pages. I couldn't focus my eyes much less my mind. I knew I was supposed to read and have my devotions but it was sooo hard.
These last years I am so enjoying my readings.

Last year for my birthday I won a giveaway from The Shabby Creek Cottage. It was a gift certificate to Dayspring gifts. I had had my eye on several things and the Mr. & Mrs mugs were one. 
It's my new favorite cup to "have and to hold".

This week we also thought we might be leaving our town for another. I had a few things that I knew would be missed. I usually open the window to hear the birds in the bushes and smell the fresh air. If it's chilly I grab a throwand curl up. The light dances across the pages of my Bible in patterns that resemble the lace curtains it peaks through. I like this spot. I would miss this corner.
...Ah, but now we aren't going anywhere, so no worries.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Recipe

Seven Minute Icing

1 1/2 c sugar
1/3 c cold water
2 egg whites
2 t light corn syrup or 1/4 t cream of tartar
1 t vanilla

In the top of a double boiler combine sugar, cold water, egg whites, corn syrup or cream of tartar and a dash of salt. Beat 30 seconds on low with your electric mixer. Place over boiling water (upper pan should not touch water). Cook about 7 minutes while beating constantly on high speed -or- until stiff peaks form. 
Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat 2-3 minutes or until spreading consistency. Frosts tops and sides of two 8-9 inch layers or one 10 inch tube cake.


In the day before canned frosting...there was homemade. 
If you don't have a double boiler you can improvise. You need one large pan on bottom with an inch or so of water. Place another pan inside to create the dbl. boiler. I have a steaming rack that I place on bottom of the larger. It folds open like a flower and it lets the top pan rest there while cooking.  
This is NOT a seven minute icing. You will cook longer than that so don't be discouraged when you've been standing there for 10 minutes beating this icing. 

Traditional birthday cake for my family is:
A box white cake mix (or white cake from scratch) with drops of food coloring dropped into the pan before baking. 
You will gently swirl it around with a butter knife but not so much that it becomes muddled.
If you look closely you can see the green peeking through. I have nearly run out of coloring with all the birthday cakes and need to purchase more. The blue and red are beautiful together.

You will see below the soft peaks form easily. Buttercream icing is supposed to be easy to work with
when decorating but it's not to our liking. We prefer the taste of this egg white base.

The weather will play a huge part in your success. If it is cloudy or the humidity is too high you set yourself up for failure; this results in a sticky icing that will only run down the layer of the cake. Try to make this on a sunny day. Good luck and don't forget to lick the beaters!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Turning of Tides


(The Wilderness of Zin, Israel)

Last week saw the turning of half a century...Ooo, that sounds bad.
Did someone make a mistake on the birth certificate?? Mom?? 
Thanks goodness I don't feel like it.
It was just another work day for me....same ol same ol. My husband was too sick with pneumonia
to throw that party he'd been talking about for no less than ten years.
If it weren't for my neighbor "On Margaret" the day would have passed
all too quietly. She graciously made dinner and a birthday cake covered in Hot Tamales.
We sat on the porch until way late, visiting, as we do.

During the week I made my special birthday cake, Ummm.
Recipe coming soon.

(The Negev Desert, Israel)

This birthday has been thought of for twenty yrs. I didn't care for 30...the year most women are
dreading....I thought it would be fifty that would concern me. Forty was easy peasy and I loved
those years....Now, what's ahead?
I have so much I want to do still.
 I want to live in a foreign country ministering. 
I want to learn a foreign language, preferably Hebrew.
I'd like to live somewhere cooler but don't want to leave this area because it's the only home my kids would know to come back to...our roots run deep here.
I love speaking to women's groups; I want to do more there. Teaching how to listen for the
whispers of God. He's speaking, who's listening?
I realize my folks won't be here many more years, I want time...
Mostly, I want time to pursue the things that are just now becoming clear to my heart after
devoting years to rearing children. 
I want to help other homeschool moms know the things I know now that I'm done and they are in the midst. I have mountains to conquer, walls to climb, rivers to wade, rocks to jump over, adventures to be had. What is it that you still want to do? What's on your list?