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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

There are few things more miserable than going to help a friend and then making things worse. And if there’s anyone who’s going to make that mistake, it’s going to be me. {Sigh.}

My misfortune happened at a work bee. I love work bees. The social gathering that’s more than just a gathering; we get to accomplish something together. I was there to help my friend move out of her trailer and get the trailer ready for her in-laws. We were cleaning and organizing and visiting and drinking tea. Is there a better way to spend a day?

“I’ve got a job for you, Rachel,” said Barb. “You can transfer my kids’ measurements from the wall to this height board. You like a challenge.” It’s true—I love a challenge, but my penmanship is sloppy and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be neat enough.

I used a ruler to keep my lines straight, and carefully transferred each mark. It didn’t take long to finish, and it didn’t look too bad.

Barb’s mom cocked her head to the side and examined the board. “I didn’t know the kids were that tall.”

A tingle climbed the back of my neck. Something was definitely wrong. The heights were all a foot out!

The ladies assured me that the foot-markings could be changed, but they were big and written in permanent ink. No matter what, it was going to be a mess. I didn’t want them to groan every time they looked at the board for the next several decades and think of me.

I wracked my brain for a solution, but it was Barb’s mom that came up with the idea of flipping the board and redoing it on the back. I was just grateful for a solution.

I snuck the board home and spent that evening redrawing the lines and numbers and then measuring and copying the heights from the other side. I prayed for Barb while I traced the numbers and marked off each line. I prayed for her pregnancy and the house they are building, and then I prayed for each child as I copied their names onto the wood.

God knows that I needed that lovely, relaxing evening of prayer and meditation. I needed to slow down and be thankful for good friends and to remember that sometimes even mistakes pave the way to peace and prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

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Peace in the Storm

I went out for lunch with some friends this week and was so blessed by the fellowship. It was such a novel thing for me to be meeting friends in a restaurant. The atmosphere was tranquil, and two hours flew by as I downed a huge pot of huckleberry tea!

I found these beautiful words in the bathroom—of all places—and borrowed a friend’s ipad so I could snap a picture. I wanted to share their simple beauty with you, and I hope you will pause for a moment and ponder how true this is.

photo (2)

There is nothing calm about homeschooling six children; life is often stormy. But I am reminded of Peter as he stepped out onto the stormy sea, his eyes on Jesus.

When I look at my problems and fret and worry, I sink like Peter did when he looked away, but when I focus my heart on Jesus and believe that what He has begun in me, He will complete, then I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and experience the peace that passes understanding. (Phil 1:6, 4:13 and 4:7).

May you have serenity this week. God bless!

Love,

Rachel

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I’m sorry that I have neglected my blog for the past couple weeks. I
have a fairly decent excuse- our generator is getting some work done
on it, and we have very limited power at the moment. Even my little
laptop computer is a heavy draw on our portable battery packs. And
so, I have had a little vacation from writing.

I know that many think we are crazy to live like this, with
occasional power and no running water, and there are times when I
feel a little crazy too! But it doesn’t take much to remind me of the
blessings of living debt free. Sure, we have chosen to give up, or at
least postpone having much of what our society deems essential, but
I think that we have learned to enjoy what we have more. In learning
to be content with what we have, we have discovered that we are rich
in the things that truly matter, and in material things too.

I think that few people appreciate their pantry shelves as much as I
do, (after enduring a year of having everything piled on the floor!)
I love my dry-walled and painted walls, (after spending years looking
at dingy, pink insulation and having sheets as room separators.)  And
the sight of my newly sided home always gives me a little tinge of
satisfaction as we drive in the driveway. Who enjoys such simple
things as shelves, walls and siding? People who have lived without
them.

We do what we can, a little at a time, and it gives us a chance to
enjoy what we have and to work towards our future here. One day, when
I can flick on a switch and be gratified with instant light, I’ll
enjoy that too. And when I can turn on a tap and hear the water
thundering into the tub, and when I can add a little more hot water
at the turn of a tap, well that, will be bliss!

It is easy to look around and see people who have more than us. It is
easy to be discontent. But when I am tempted to complain, I am
reminded that I have more in material wealth than 90% of the
population of the earth, and more then that, I am at peace with God,
surrounded by loved ones and I have true joy.

What more could a girl ask for? 🙂

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I had the joy of looking after three little boys earlier this week. When I added the two year old twins and one year old baby to my own brood, I had eight energetic children in my care, including two sets of twins!

 The plan was to not try to get anything done, and just spend the day playing with the children. You might have a hard time believing how excited I was, as I anticipated having a day off to play!

I put out a snack soon after the little guys arrived. I laughed until my stomach hurt at the chaos that ensued. The four children under three ate by the fistfuls. In a matter of minutes there was food from one end of the downstairs living area to the other. It was actually similar to a piranha feeding frenzy!

 When their hunger was sufficiently satiated, I brought everyone upstairs, shut the gate and quickly swept the downstairs floor (by the way, I wasn’t breaking my own rule about “not getting anything done,” I was simply maintaining. 🙂 )

Upstairs, there were great shrieks of laughter and unnerving crashes. I ran upstairs to find some of them rolling on the floor, bulldozing each other. Others were leaping off of the couch onto a pile of pillows. The baby sat quietly at my feet driving a truck, oblivious to the hilarity. This went on non-stop for about an hour, until I brought them down for lunch.

I put Myra and Melanie in charge of feeding one twin boy each, while I fed William and the baby. And feed we did- continuosly for about 20 minutes! Myra exclaimed that, “The Mother” must be awfully busy just trying to feed them all, when it took all three of us to keep up to the demand.

After lunch I was tickled pink that the four little ones all went down for a nap at the same time, while the oldest four went outside to play. It amazed me how quickly we went from wonderful chaos, to pervasive peacefulness.

Hats off to the Mama of this little trio of pure energy, and looking forward to their next visit.

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When We Were One

We had a friend come and stay with us when Myra was 13 months old. He brought his 2 year old daughter along and Myra made a friend. It was so precious to see the little girls play together. I was suddenly filled with a longing to have another baby, a sibling for Myra.

Very soon… I was expecting again! This time we were able to have a midwife in Campbelle River. This saved us an hour drive each visit. We loved our midwife from the start. She was shorter than I am (and I’m 5’3”), had 7 children and was a real character. Every visit was like getting together with an old friend.

At one point I was measuring very big and we began to suspect twins. I had an ultra-sound and was a little disappointed to find out that there was only one baby in there!

I found myself worrying more in this pregnancy. My last labour had been fast and it was likely that this one would be even faster. Also, Myra had come 2 weeks early. So during the last month we felt that I could go into labour at any moment,and that we wouldn’t have much time to get to Campbelle River.

I had visions of having my baby in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, or on the coast guard boat. God reminded me that Jesus had been born in a stable and that had been God’s perfect will. I could trust God and find rest from my fears.

We decided that we didn’t want to deliver in the hospital, but we couldn’t have a home birth as we lived on a tiny island, 2 ferries away from the nearest hospital or midwife. We started looking for a place to stay and deliver our baby. This turned out to be very, very hard. There were several cabins available in the area, but nobody wanted a baby delivered in one of their rental cabins.

Worry crept in again as there seemed to be nowhere for us to go. I felt like God was saying to me again, “Trust Me.”

When we had almost completely run out of time to find a place to stay, God provided. We found a lovely little motel on the ocean. It was only minutes from our midwife and it was affordable too. A sweet Chinese couple were running the motel. I told them that we would be staying for 1- 3 weeks, until we had our baby. I told them that we would like to have our midwife there to deliver our baby. “Yes, yes!” they said with big smiles.

I didn’t think that they understood me, so I said it again in several different ways. “Yes, yes! Yes, yes!” was their only response. I still don’t think they understood me, but what could I do?

We had a wonderful stay there. We walked along the ocean every day. Myra threw rocks into the water and watched the birds soar above us.

The day before my due date we had to make some decisions. We had been there for 2 weeks and we had to decide whether to rent the suite for another week or not. We could save a lot of money by renting weekly, but if were only going to be there for another couple of days then we didn’t want to pay for a whole week.

We decided to try and bring on labour again and if I went into labour that night then we would just pay for 2 days, otherwise, we would pay for another week. Our funds were getting dangerously low and Kevin was thinking of trying to get some work doing window-washing, or any other odd jobs he could find while we were there.

There was a long set of stairs near the motel, so I marched up and down the stairs for about 20 min. This brought on VERY strong contractions like it had in my first pregnancy, and like before, they went away after I stopped walking.

That evening we put Myra to bed and I started to fill the bath. Suddenly, the lights went off. Within minutes one of the owners of the motel knocked on our door and gave us candles and matches. The power was off in the area, but it would be back on in an hour or so.

I have beautiful memories of that evening. I relaxed in the bath with the warm light from the candles filling the room while Kevin played guitar in the living room. I wanted to enjoy that time. I felt that these would be the last few hours of my pregnancy. I was very much looking forward to seeing our baby, but I was also sad at the thought of this pregnancy coming to an end; that precious time while we were one.

In the night I awoke to contractions. I quietly got out of bed. I had a longing to write a letter to my baby before the birth. I got out some paper and a pen and poured out my love to my little one that I would see so soon.

The contractions were coming faster and harder, so I woke up Kevin and phoned our midwife. She kept me on the phone for a couple of minutes and asked if me if I had had any contractions while we were talking. I told her that I had and she told me that if I was able to talk normally through the contractions that I wasn’t very far along. She arrived about 15 min later and we began setting up everything for the birth.

I had a stronger contraction and leaned against the wall. “That’s the first contraction that I’ve noticed,”
our midwife commented. I was in the washroom for the next contraction. I felt that powerful need to push. Maureen was talking with Kevin. “Sorry to interrupt,” I said, “but I have to push.”

Maureen was very shocked. She checked my cervix and sure enough I was fully dilated. “Just lie on your side and don’t laugh, sneeze, cough or push.” In B.C. midwives are required to have a medical assistant at a home birth in case both the mother and baby needed medical assistance. She phoned the other midwife that she works with. “Be here in 10 min or less or I’m calling the ambulance! Don’t even brush your hair!” she told the other midwife. And she did arrive in 10 minutes! In one push, our second daughter Melanie was born!

My mother and my sister were in the living room with Myra. At 23 months she didn’t fully understand what was happening. When she heard Melanie’s first cry, her eyes grew round like saucers. Where did the baby come from?!

Mom brought Myra in to meet her sister. It was truly amazing how God worked everything out so beautifully!

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