Sunday, March 12, 2017

Five Minute Friday - ABANDON


Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, "...no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: ABANDON. 

Go!

Living life with abandon. During our children's' growing up years it's what we did. However any particular day fell...that's the way we went!

We viewed each day as an adventure and couldn't wait to see what opportunities and encounters that the Lord had in store for us and we were never disappointed. There were many of them. Our family was so free-wheeling! So spur of the moment! So full of life!

Oh, sure! We had a schedule that we tried our best to adhere to (that is what we referred to as Plan A), but we were always open to God's Plan B...and we had fun!

As the years passed and the children grew, things happened that changed all that. Life became far too serious. Our adventurous spirit was squelched and our free-wheeling, spur-of-the-moment ways came to a screeching halt. Life became hard and it became even harder to understand why. The enemy had had his way.

The ties that bound us together were stretched beyond capacity and broken. No more living life with abandon. Now just abandonment...lost in the endless pursuit of money and things...things that mean more to some than family loyalty.

It's sad, yes, but we're tired of being sad...tired of trying to figure it all out. Life's too short!

No matter what choices others choose to make, my husband and I are renewed and refreshed. We are committed to rekindling our spirit of adventure and to living out the lives that God created us to live...with abandon!

Stop!

Until next time.
~Rebecca

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Celebrating Purim

King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther
This evening we were invited to celebrate Purim with our daughter, Amber, son-in-law, Patrick, and our grandchildren, Audrey, Silas, Isaiah, Esther, and Mercy. Our youngest son, Anthony, and his girlfriend, Nicole, and our daughter's uncle and his girlfriend joined us, as well.

Amber made a delicious feast...soup, vegetables, challah bread, and hamantashen (Haman's Hats)...and Patrick read the beautiful story of Queen Esther from the Bible. After studying the holiday, and in keeping with Jewish tradition, every time Haman's name was read aloud, the children (AND the adults) would stamp their feet, shake their graggers, and boo the villainous character. It was a lot of fun!
The Evil Haman
To learn more about Purim and the story of Queen Esther, I suggest reading the book of Esther from the Holy Bible. The book tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Hadassah who is taken from her guardian, Mordecai, and forced to compete for the affection of the king. Hadassah wins the contest, is crowned queen of Persia, renamed Esther, and in the end, saves her people from certain death. Purim is still celebrated today to commemorate the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther.
The Faithful Mordecai

  "For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)


Monday, March 6, 2017

Letter From A Reader



I received the following e-mail in response to a Five Minute Friday post that I had posted months ago. I feel that the author makes some valid points and I want to pass on her thoughts to others who might be struggling with some of the same issues. I also encourage all of us to heed her admonishment to be careful of the way we treat others...especially the strangers that we meet along life's way.   


My Own Five Minute Friday - 
by an anonymous Hearth and Home reader

This is just a rambling from an overflowing spirit that needs perspective. It could be that I have been short on patience lately or that I am continually baffled by our society. But it seems every time I venture outside my door I find myself longing to be back home with my family so that I can shut out the madness and feel “safe”. Am I beginning to sound like a crazy?

I think that we underestimate the affect that we have on people, even strangers, by our words, attitudes and conduct. We live in a selfish, me-based society that seems to be getting worse. And the things that seem deplorable or that once were deplorable are becoming the norm and accepted, while the old fashioned values and salt of the earth people seem to be treated hostile.

I have had several experiences lately, all similar, and rudeness seems to be the new norm. We have a large family, not large compared to a lot of the people I know, but large for today's standard where the average for an American family is 1.9 children. (Don’t ask me about the .9 I have no idea.) 

I try to not be a super sensitive mom that won’t take criticism about their children. And if a child is misbehaving I agree that they should be corrected. But my older children are very responsible in stores and my younger ones are still in training and stay with me. If they misbehave their father or I take them outside to the van and they don’t get to be in the store.

Despite however hard I try I still manage to have someone from the store approach me and make comments such as “children need to remain seated while in the cart” (while I am taking care of the problem) or “you need to have your children within an arms reach of you!” or someone yelling across the room at me “don’t let your children in the clothes rack!” 

I don’t mind someone correcting my child, but in most of these cases we were just quietly shopping in the store and they made me feel bad for even walking in with my children. The topper was one thrift store that supports animals, which I am fond of...had cats roaming around the building...cat hair on items....and the cats were acting like animals, if you know what I mean. I look up on the wall and there is a sign...Animals Welcome...please keep children on leashes.
 
Animals are more welcome with all their animal tendencies than a child is. It makes me wonder about the hearts of these people. But for all this the verses come to mind how our words matter. Proverbs 12:18 - There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword...Proverbs 15:1 - A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up angerProverbs 18:21 - Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue:
 
We can make someone’s day or we can be that final nail in the coffin that sinks their countenance and ruins the day. All this negativity has made my soul to look up and ask that the Lord would make me to be a blessing to those around me. I don’t want to be affected by the negative attitudes of those out there. I am going to memorize and meditate upon Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
 
So, next time you’re out, try to think of something encouraging to say to that stranger. They just might be needing to hear a word of encouragement and that would make all the difference.