Thursday, April 28, 2011
Either way, I decided to do a word study to make sure these folks were telling me the truth…that I should be joyful. Using my concordance I find the word “joy” 155 times in scripture…and this does not include the word “joyful.” As I begin my study on joy, something rings a bell…
“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalms 126:5, 6
And I see it…I go forth with tears, weeping. I pray over my children and tears flow out. I fail. They fail. And only God can save us. I beg and plead and pray for Him to deliver us. And I must realize, this is the beginning of the harvest. I must step back and work. Sometimes there won’t be joy…but in the end joy has been promised.
Suffering saints have a seedness of tears. They are in tears often; they share in the calamities of human life, and commonly have a greater share in them than others. But they sow in tears; they do the duty of an afflicted state and so answer the intentions of the providences they are under. Weeping must not hinder sowing; when we suffer ill we must be doing well. Nay, as the ground is by the rain prepared for the seed, and the husbandman sometimes chooses to sow in the wet, so we must improve times of affliction, as disposing us to repentance, and prayer, and humiliation. Nay, there are tears which are themselves the seed that we must sow, tears of sorrow for sin, our own and others, tears of sympathy with the afflicted church, and the tears of tenderness in prayer and under the word. These are precious seed, such as the husbandman sows when corn is dear and he has but little for his family, and therefore weeps to part with it, yet buries it under ground, in expectation of receiving it again with advantage. Thus does a good man sow in tears. They shall have a harvest of joy. The troubles of the saints will not last always, but, when they have done their work, shall have a happy period. The captives in Babylon were long sowing in tears, but at length they were brought forth with joy, and then they reaped the benefit of their patient suffering, and brought their sheaves with them to their own land, in their experiences of the goodness of God to them. Job, and Joseph, and David, and many others, had harvests of joy after a sorrowful seedness. Those that sow in the tears of godly sorrow shall reap in the joy of a sealed pardon and a settled peace. Those that sow to the spirit, in this vale of tears, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting, and that will be a joyful harvest indeed. Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be for ever comforted. (Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible; Psalms 126:4-6)
Thursday, April 21, 2011
We were taking our annual trip to the Farm Expo and ran into For the Love of Suds. For the Love of Suds makes handmade soaps, lip balm, and laundry detergent. You can read more about the company here.
I was very skeptical at first, (because I’m always skeptical), but I really enjoy this product. So much so, I bought a year’s supply! It is very easy to make and only $5 for a 5 gallon bucket. YES! FIVE DOLLARS for a five GALLON bucket!
When you purchase the laundry detergent, you will receive a bag containing a powder mix and a bar of soap. You will need a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. (We purchased one at Wal-Mart.)
Add 3 gallons of hot water to the powder mixture in your bucket. Mix well. Scrape your fingers along the bottom of your bucket to be sure the powder has not settled and has mixed well.
Once your soap has melted pour into the bucket and stir.
Your all natural laundry detergent is ready for use! Use one cup of the mixture for every load of laundry.
I have found the product cleans your clothes and leaves them smelling very natural and fresh. Hope you will stop by the website and check out For the Love of Suds!
(I was in no way reimbursed for this review. I purchased each product I have received from the company. My review was done because I wanted to share a great, natural, and thrifty product with you.)
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Can I just write with raw, postpartum, hormonal emotion today? Should you ask me how things are going…I will say, “Really well.” Because, the truth is things are going well. I have a baby that is as content as can be and completely lives up to her name. She has given this momma grace that is much needed…she has sheltered me from the storm.
But there are still days and moments that I want to cry. I do cry. Three weeks in and there are moments that I feel like a failure. I look at her and then I look at my first born and just wished I had known then what I know now. Because now, most days I feel like I’m back peddling trying to fix and mend what I feel like I broke.
Every bone in my body wants to ooze with love and kindness and gentleness…but every day when I have a new day…all that comes out is correction and instruction and harshness. I don’t want this to be who they see…but I also must address the foolishness of their hearts.
Before I go on this rant…let me make clear. God has a great plan. Every moment and every event of my seemingly trivial day is for His glory and for His purpose. I know He is sanctifying me. I know I should be rejoicing in all things. I know there is a greater good. I know that I should not grow weary because in due season I will reap what I sow…but…
It doesn’t make it easier right now. It doesn’t make it easier to nurse an infant and correct a disobedient preschooler…all the while the toddler is about to break his leg from standing on a bicycle seat. It doesn’t make it easier to pick up the never ending line of toys while you know toilet paper is being strewn out all over the bathroom and water is running over the sink because someone is washing her hands for the sixteenth time in five minutes. It doesn’t make it any easier that every day I feel like I’m the mean one, the one who can’t have fun because I’m too busy trying to maintain some type of order and control. Because if I don’t…won’t the whole ship wreck?
And that is where S-I-N rears his ugly head. That is when the whole world can see that my faith is little and I once again trust more in me than I trust in God. I. Want. Control. He has this ship under control and why can’t I just rest in His will? Why can’t I just let go?
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Mark 4:37-40