Archive for September, 2010

By a Thread…Part 2

So some have wondered why I am angry and frustrated. Well, the short of it is that I am tired of living hand to mouth. I am worried about the debt that daily looms over our heads. I want to get ahead.

So I took my frustrations and anger to God. I realized that even though I may be “hanging by a thread“, God is completely supporting and carrying us…and that’s a great place to be.

I took my eyes off of Jesus, just like Peter did when he walked on water. God is here for us, just as He was for Peter. He never lets us fall. Never. Not once.

All we need to do is get out of the boat, and fix our eyes on Him.

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By a Thread

I am unsure of what to write today. I had an idea of sharing an epiphany I had last night about the verse “suffer the little children unto me.” But I am just not feeling it.

Quite honestly I am frustrated and mad, but I can’t show it. I am hanging on by a thread…ready to be broken at any moment. One thing I try so hard to do is keep a joyful attitude. It doesn’t do anyone any good for me to be mad and upset. And It says, “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

I could go on about the things I am mad about, but it would just make matters worse. So instead I am clinging to my Father. He will provide.

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A Bug…of the Stomach Variety

Oh, for those of you who so diligently follow this blog you may have wondered why the absence for a couple of days. I have been trying to hold myself accountable to writing three blogs a week…Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

A bug has invaded JoKars Wild…a 24+ hour stomach bug.

Someone made the comment to me the other day as to how we handle sickness with a family of 10. Well, the only answer I have for that is “by the grace of God.”

When the kids were younger, I honestly don’t ever remember being so sick I couldn’t care for them, or maybe Joe was around. Earlier this year, our family was hit very hard with the flu…myself included. But it was just high fevers and complete fatigue.

This time it has been the messy, but thankfully short lived. Kira got sick first on Thursday. Azariah was next on Saturday. Nehemiah quickly followed on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Hanna and Elijah were next. Then I took a turn on Monday. And rounding us out has been Joe and Josiah on Tuesday. As I write this, I have a feeling that Michaela will be sick tomorrow or this evening (Tuesday night). That leaves only Petra who has stayed relatively healthy.

Since Kira was sick first, by the time I got sick she was well and able to help care for the little kids. I really don’t know what I would have done without her. Joe, Josiah, and Michaela were gone while I was sick, so it would have been very difficult if I hadn’t had her help. Now that I am well, I can help care for the older ones.

This situation totally reminds me of how my God cares about the little details. He knew I would need help. He knew what we needed and when we needed it. Also…and this is going to sound bad (please, don’t feel sorry for us!)…we are a little low on food. Having so many people not wanting any food is helping us get through the end of the month. (Again, please don’t sound the alarms…we are OK! There are so many people who need it far more than we do!!! We have plenty…just not what the kids want, if you know what I mean…we are not starving!)

OK, I digressed. I just wanted to say how amazed I am that God cares about all the little details. I hope that you can see that in your own life. I hope you know how much He loves and wants to know you. Start a relationship with Him…now…today.

Additional Note: I had been trying to make sure and include a picture with each post, but for the sake of all of you, I chose not to this time. Your welcome. 🙂

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The Lucky Penny

After attending high school for a week or two, we discovered that Michaela was in desparate need of some clothes. An RV wardrobe is not the same as a school wardrobe. So we prayed that God would bless her with some new clothes. Then a few days later, Michaela received some money in the mail from a friend. (I really shouldn’t be surprised by such answers to prayer, but Wow! God is so good.)

So after school, I took Michaela out shopping. Being that she only had $50 and she didn’t want to pay the outrageous prices of major chain stores, we headed to some bargain/consignment stores. (We had already been to the local thrift store and found they didn’t have much.) Before going into the first store, we asked God to bless our shopping.

After going to three different stores and not having much luck, our luck changed. (No, I don’t believe in luck, but it fit with the name of the store…lol.) We were directed to the Lucky Penny. At first we were a little overwhelmed at the amount of stuff they had, but with a little searching Michaela was able to find several things to add to her school wardrobe. She got 5-6 shirts and a dress for $20! How awesome is that!

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Where was I…? Oh, yeah, relationships…

If there is one thing that I can convey to you, it is the importance of relationships…a relationship with your spouse, a relationship with your children, a relationship with Jesus, and relationships with friends.

As a mom, I find it very hard to keep in close relationship with friends. As other moms can relate, it is often difficult to finish a conversation. As I have written these few sentences, I have been interrupted at least 12 times. (“Hanna put away the vacuum. It’s not a toy.”) One of the reasons I write this blog is to stay in relationship with other people. Also, I want to encourage, I want to share my heart with you. Taking care of 8 kids has made that difficult, but this blog allows that to happen. (“Kids, turn down the TV!”)

The other day I was given an opportunity to see a friend in person…I know, what a weird concept! My husband took our boys for the day, and I headed to Lincoln City, OR with Kira, Petra, Hanna, and Nehemiah. It was a 4 hour drive one way, but well worth it.

Along the way, I stopped and snapped a photo with my cell phone.

My friend and I and the kids had lunch together. We were able to talk about old times and also find out some new things. We encouraged each other. We lifted each other up.

Some might think that 8 hours of driving was not worth the few hours of time we had together. But this is what we were created for…to be in relationship with one another and God. We are supposed to be in relationship. (“Kira, can you come and get Nehemiah?”)

It isn’t always convenient. It isn’t always easy. It isn’t always even pleasurable. But I guarantee that in the end it is worth it. (“Be there in a sec to finish dinner!…”)

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Pie Anyone?

With our very challenging economic times, the temptation might be to hold on to our possessions even tighter; or to buy things cheaply and store them away. But it is more important now, than ever before, that we release our things, give them away and give them away freely.

JoKars Wild has been very fortunate to have some generous people in our lives. As stated in Showers of Blessings, we have been given money and food and clothing. A couple of people have given us some extra house hold items they had…some knives and pie plates.

In our trailer we had 5 knives and one pie plate. We now have 6 pie plates and 35 knives! But even with our large family, this is way more than we need. I don’t think I would ever make more than 4 pies at a time, and we only need the one best knife for its job (carver, chopper, bread, etc)…after all I only have one hand to cut with!

So I will soon go through the pie plates and knives and pick out the ones I need. The rest will go to a local charity.

It is so important that we exercise the generosity of the people who gave me the household items, and get rid of the things that clutter our lives. We spend so much time and energy buying stuff we don’t need; that is only going to break or collect dust in a matter of days…my self included. I don’t want to go back to that. I don’t want to live that kind of life again.

Please, don’t let stuff control your life. Give your life to Jesus and let him control it.

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Madison Coffee House and Laundry

I have been fortunate enough to go and do laundry about once a week. This is a major time saver since I can do all our laundry in two hours. I had found a small laundromat that wasn’t too expensive, but it didn’t have any chairs or air conditioning. So it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. I usually sat in the car and read a book or worked on my laptop.

This week, though, my neighbor told me of a laundromat just down our street. She said it was nice, and I should check it out.

So I headed to Madison Coffee House and Laundry. Once there, the laundry was on one side, and the coffee house on the other. So in I headed with Kira, Petra, Hanna, and Nehemiah to the laundry. The machines were cheaper than the other facility, so we stayed. Also, it had air conditioning, tables, and chairs. After starting our laundry we headed over to the coffee house side. We were given a free quarter for each load of laundry we were doing. Thank goodness, because I wasn’t sure I would have enough to dry the laundry.

On the coffee house side were couches, computers, and free WiFi. Oh, if only I had thought to bring my laptop. They had gourmet coffees, teas, food, and fresh produce.

Also, there was a long table that sat 8. Around that table were tons of books, games, and homeschool curriculum. We made ourselves at home and had a fun time playing games and reading books.

I was truly blown away and blessed by the hospitality of this little coffee shop. It made me think of the gift of generosity. Shouldn’t we as Christians put our best foot forward and be as generous as can? Giving all we can? This place definitely gave its first fruits to those in need. Those in need of laundry, rest, and a cup of joe.

So if you are ever in Madras, Oregon, please stop by the Madison Coffee House and Laundry.

In the end I was able to get the laundry dry with the help of those free quarters, my daughter Kira, and a couple of ones I had in my purse. I actually had 2 quarters to spare.

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