Friday, April 20, 2012

Faithful in the Small Things

"Felicity, put on your shoes!"

While Mommy flopped around the house like a headless chicken trying to get everyone out the door for a day of shopping, five year old Felicity was outside, entranced with nature-- as usual. If it isn't the bugs and the butterflies, it's slugs, turtles, or honeybees. Yesterday it was the tiny purple flowers that grow in the yard.

"Issy, your shoes!" This from the doorstep. No acknowledgement from the field. In a hurry, I turned away and began brushing little sister's hair. Then Felicity walked through the door with a bright smile on her face, holding a sweet bouquet of delicate purple flowers.

But Mama wasn't happy because Felicity was still barefoot. "Issy, I don't want your flowers. I want your obedience!"

Even as I uttered the words, I regretted them. Mostly I regretted the harshness of my tone. And watching her sweet smile dissolve instantly was like a knife-wound to the heart.

Sinking to my knees in front of her, I explained softly, "I'm sorry, Issy. I didn't mean it like that. I do want your flowers. They are very beautiful. But I want your obedience first. Put on your shoes and then you can pick the prettiest bouquet ever!"

Instantly the smile returned. And I have never seen a child don shoes so quickly!

For the rest of the day I pondered this. How many times am I just like Felicity? I want to do something to please the Lord, but I'm not honoring Him in the small things to which He has called me. I struggle with the menial tasks of housekeeping, homeschooling, and child training; yet rush off to please Him with "big" projects. When will I learn to be faithful in the small things?
"He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much." Luke 16:10

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Beauty for Ashes (Witvoet Update)

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning!" Psalm 30:5

When I received word that our very dear friends had lost their home, and everything in it, to a fire early February, I was devastated. Honestly, I don't think I would have cried any harder if it had been my house that went up in smoke. I wanted to do everything in my power to help them, but being so far away made me feel so helpless.

Seizing upon a thought, I went to you, my readers, facebook friends, and church family. In the spirit of brotherly love you responded in an overwhelming way. I cannot adequately express my gratitude, or that of the Witvoet family, towards the love shown to them by so many. Every time I talk to any of the family members, they express sincere gratitude and humility towards the outpouring of love that they have received from so many-- even people they have never met. Through it all, their attitudes have been so encouraging to me. I know they must have their good days and their bad days, but every time I speak with them I hear only praise and thanksgiving. What a testimony that is!

After doing time in 3 different hotels, the family was finally able to find a rental property with ample acreage for their farm animals. It is also quite close to their home, so the treks back and forth are not as difficult. Although I assume they will be rebuilding the homestead, I am not aware of any definite plans at this time.

To those of you who donated with the Pay Pal account on my blog, I just wanted to let you know that I am having so much fun purchasing curriculum for them tonight! Since they are now in a more stable situation, and eager to resume their studies, it gives me great joy to locate some much needed items for them! (Besides, curriculum shopping is just SO much fun!!!)

The Lord has truly turned sorrow into joy and has graciously poured out His mercy upon this fiery trial-- through the love and generosity of His people. ~Soli Deo Gloria!

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, 
the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; 
that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, 
that He might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)