Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Quiet Rest

Are there ever times in your life when you seem totally overwhelmed? To be quite honest with you all, that seems to be the norm in my life right now. I know so much of this is heightened because my husband is gone. In fact, much of it can be attributed to his absence. But, there are other issues....the never ending trips to the doctors for them to tell me, "Everything looks fine...Let's see if we can send you here..." The small illnesses of my children that just seem to happen close enough to keep me tired, and far enough apart to keep us isolated. It is hard to imagine all the obstacles that one faces without a spouse by their side...until you walk in those shoes. I never imagined what many military wives went through until the Lord called us to this occupation. And adding homeschooling and managing a home, yard work, meals, laundry, health issues, finances, oil changes, etc., without help can get quite wearisome. For that reason, I am taking a much needed rest. Now, when I say rest, it is not a true rest...I will still be doing all those things listed. I am just stepping away from all the things in my life that aren't necessary until I can pass through a season of refreshment. I want to spend more time in the Word and less time worrying. More time praying and less time pouting that my husband is gone. More time enjoying my children rather than bemoaning the fact that I am tired of doing this alone. More time thanking God for all He has given me...and less time giving Him my list of things I would like to see Him do. I need this time. I need to fill my spiritual tank commune with God...not just talking about it, but really doing it. I want to practice once again living in the presence of Christ. I will miss blogging for a while. But, I know the much needed time away with the Living Water will actually make me better prepared to share with you all. I hope to be back by December 1...unless the Lord tells me to stay away longer. If I could ask something of you all, when you think of me, pray that I would return once again to my First Love so passionately that the evidence of His control in my life would permeate my very being!
"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death." Philippians 3:10

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One Thing Is Needful

A couple of days ago, this little guy was walking around on the paint can under our carport. The children and I had been out and my youngest son Joel who notices everything said, "Look Mom...a bee is walking around on this can!" Well, I of couse told him not to touch it because it might sting and I was a little too busy trying to round up the troops to get in the house to go and look. The next day, we were leaving the house and that same bee was on the paint can. The children noticed it immediately and I thought it unusual...maybe it got stuck somehow and couldn't fly off. So, I got a small stick and put her on the concrete. She wobbled and staggered and then I knew that this little bee probably had worked herself into a frenzy and had run out of fuel and couldn't get back to the hive. The children knew this little lesson about bees and so begged me to give her something to get her going. I went and got some raw honey, put it on the ground and placed the bee beside it. She began immediately gobbling it up as fast as she could. It was amazing to watch. After a few hours, that bee had recovered enough to fly off again. I thought, "Okay...I can count that as a science lesson!" We homeschooler's can always find things to count as school!!! A few days later, I woke up feeling pretty good physically. I have been unable to keep up with household tasks the way I would wish lately due to doctor's visits and my lame toe! Have you ever had one of those mornings that as soon as you wake up, you already feel 10 hours behind? Well, this was one of those days. I began frantically running around barking orders to the children...doing school, rearranging clothes for the new season, raking leaves in the front yard, juicing, giving two guinea pigs a bath and cleaning our their cages...and the list goes on. By the end of the day, I was worn out...I had accomplished a lot, but still didn't feel satisfied. I expected to feel much better about my day than this. And then, it was as if God brought back to my remembrance that little bee. Funny, I thought that lesson was for the children! "Jackie, how much time have you spent in the Word today? Today, you have been a Martha, when I wanted you to be a Mary? When was the last time you longed for Me the way that bee for honey?" Oh, how that pricked my soul! I wasn't as kind as I should have been to my children...I wasn't at duties got in the way of my devotion. I cried out, "Forgive me Lord...and teach me to long for Your word like that little bee did for that sweet honey." How often I am like that little bee...runnning around in a frenzy, trying to keep up with all that I think needs to be done, and all the while God waits, waits to refresh my soul, to give me the energy I need to accomplish what He has called me to do...but many times it is only when I run out of fuel and my spiritual tank has run dry that I realize what my soul needed all along. May the Lord give you the desire to rest and find refreshment in Him today!

"How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
Psalm 119:103

"But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, "Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me." And Jesus answered and said unto her, 'Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'"
Luke 10: 40-42

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just Call Me Graceful!!!

Did you ever have one of those mornings when you felt great and were ready to tackle the day head on? It has been a while since I felt that good to say that...but Saturday morning was that kind of morning for me. I had my mental to-do list and was buzzing around the house like a busy little bee...making the bed, championing the children to make theirs, getting dressed, calculating all the places we would go in search of clothing items needed for fall, thinking of how much time I could take before I had to get back and rake the plethora of leaves that have fallen in my front yard...and the list goes on. Then something called life decided to slap me in the face that morning...or rather I should say in the foot! While I was going full speed around the bed, so glad to be feeling energetic for once...a little thing, or should I say a rather big thing, a big wooden thing got in the way of my toe. BAM! Yep...I thought I had broken it. Still not sure whether it is fractured or not. I don't know when the last time this 40 something Mama jumped so high. It literally made me cry and I usually have quite a high tolerance of can't have five babies and not have a high tolerance for pain!!!

Don't you think the colors are lovely? They don't quite look like fall, but we can imagine they do. Anyway, all of a sudden I have five children rushing to their ailing Mama who is rocking back and forth and crying on the such pain I have no idea what I hit because the pain is all over my foot and shooting up my leg by this point. Every time I looked at it yesterday, the purplish black color kept spreading. When I woke up this was at the base of my toe as well. It really isn't that bad long as I don't have the sheets on the bed touch it...and when water touches it, that hurts too...oh and did I mention socks and shoes...that doesn't feel very good either...but other than's just peachy!

So, that is why I am here on this Sunday morning instead of church. You wouldn't think such a little thing could cause so much problem would you? Amazing what those little appendages are capable of when they get hurt. Otherwise, we don't even give them a second thought huh? Well, this little toe has sure got my attention now...and I will never look at it the same way again. My dh wants me to get it X-rayed to see if it is fractured...but if it is...I don't want to wear that big 'ole shoe around for weeks...or have it taped up...and I am just tired of going to doctors lately. I was SOOOOO looking forward to this week because I didn't have a doctor's appointment. But, I may still go. Right now...I am limping along...still grateful that things could be a whole lot worse and they aren't. At least I can least the rest of me is feeling pretty least my children don't have husband is healthy and I've talked to him...God is still on the throne! Yes, in the scope of life...this is just an insignificant little bump, a rather painful insignificant bump, but still insignficant. Hope your having a blessed Lord's day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

How Much Do We Compromise with the World?

I heard a disturbing conversation the other day when I was waiting for my various tests at the cardiologist's office. It really made me stop and think. I was waiting to be called for a particular procedure and quite a ways across from me, two of the ladies that work in the office were chatting. It was early in the morning and they were catching up with one another. It was also one of those conversations that were loud enough so that one could not keep from hearing it. What disturbed me was the topic of their conversation. One of the ladies was talking about her seven year old son and describing a recent magazine (don't know which one) that is out which is highlighting some of the best athletes from various sports, cycling, rock climbing, etc. What was especially alarming is that she tells her that all of these athletes were filmed with no clothes. Now, from what she described, you did not get the full view of them, but it was nevertheless, quite shocking. The fact that this is in a magazine of this world does not surprise me, but I must admit, I am still shocked sometimes with people's reactions to these type of things. Although I agree that God made the human body beautiful, I do not agree that it should be viewed by others. God made the body to be seen by our soul-mates, to do otherwise, cheapens what God has made beautiful. But, what was an even greater disturbance to me was the fact that she was laughing about how she showed this magazine to her son, how he couldn't put it down, how he held it close to him, took it and put it by his bedside and then even spent the next morning in the car on the way to school looking at it. (He is currently attending a very reputable Christian school in the area). I was shocked at the fact that the thought of exposing her child to sin never even occured to her. And then, it began to dawn on me all over again. It is a constant struggle and it takes real diligence, watchfulness and much prayer and Bible study to keep one unstained by the world. We are so surrounded by sin everywhere we go. It is increasingly harder and harder to be in the world and not of it. I am grieved from the images my children are constantly bombarded with just in standing in a check out line in a grocery store! I purposely stay away from the mall to keep them from seeing all the huge posters of women wearing nothing more than their undergarments! I try to keep them away from big name electronic places that blare ungodly music and images on huge screens to target the eyes, ears and minds of my little ones. And then I began to think, "Are there areas where I am compromising with the world?" I remember when the Lord convicted me some time ago about movies. Although I was never an R-rated watcher...sometimes it would be alright to watch a PG or PG-13. Then God brought to mind this question, "Would you watch this if I were sitting right there on the couch beside you?" Ouch, that one cut. So, I began to change my viewing habits drastically. Now if there are movies rated PG or PG-13 and the story looks decent (and believe me...that is getting harder and harder to find), I watch them using a filter stick to make sure that profanity and other ungodly scenes are cut out. Most of my watching consists of BBC productions and Franklin Springs or Vision Forum movies. But, it is so easy to get so desensitized by the things of the world that our consciences are no longer even pricked when confronted with some of these issues. There are so many areas that the Lord has opened my eyes concerning worldly compromise. Maybe I will share them little by little with you all. All of them at once may be overload!! But, I am sure there are others as well...ones I don't even know about yet because, once again, I am a product of my culture and I haven't asked the big question. Just because I have always done this, everybody else does it, no one else seems to think there is anything wrong with it...God is it alright with YOU? And that my dear friends is the real issue and the one that counts for eternity.
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27
May we constantly keep working on our spot removal! May God give you a holy weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Won!!!

I can't believe I actually won! And I am so excited I wanted to share the news with you all! I would have posted this earlier, but unfortunately I had an appointment with the cardiologist this morning at 8:30 and spent about 6 hours taking various tests. Of course, most of those hours were waiting, but at least this part of the testing is through. I woke up to find a message from Michelle over at She Looketh Well telling me that I won one of the packages from her blog party. I was totally and pleasantly surprised. The main reason I signed up was to find other like minded women out there in the blogsphere...and here God doubly blesses me with winning! The great thing about winning is that I am such a bibliophile and she was giving away some wonderful Christian books. Of course, my husband would correct me and say that I no longer love books because we like things and love I will say that I have an INTENSE LIKE for books. So, to win these is a real joy. Thank you Michelle for hosting the blog party. I have met some wonderful ladies through it and I look forward to reading these great books! Hope you all are having a blessed week!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Blog Party

Well, this is a first for me. I have never been part of a blog party before, nor have I ever entered my name for a blog giveaway. But, I have been so blessed by Michelle's blog, She Looketh Well that I thought I would join in. The idea is to tell a little about myself and why I started blogging. I mainly started blogging to keep family and friends abreast about all the happenings of the Fowler clan. Those who know me, know that my husband is an Army Chaplain and we move quite often. Blogging seemed a good way to keep people connected with us. I am a 40 something Mommy of five beautiful blessings ranging in ages from 13 down to 3 years old. I am a sinner saved by grace and am constantly amazed at God's goodness and faihtfulness to me. I am married to my best friend and the love of my life going on 19 years here soon. He is currently deployed to Afghanistan serving a year long deployment. We are greatly anticipating his final return sometime early spring. It has been a hard time for the whole family, but God continues to pour out His love and protection on us during this time. I don't blog as much as I would like, especially during this deployment time. Being the only parent here means that there is not much time to blog as I would like, but I certainly enjoy it when I get a chance to do so. I like to blog about things happening around our home, homeschooling, good books, occasionally crafts and decorating. My desire is to live the Proverbs 31 lifestyle and I am so thankful for the other ladies I have "met" through blogging that have been wonderful examples of the Christian faith. Although I have not met Michelle, I follow her blog often and am always encouraged in my walk with Christ through reading it. May God give you all a blessed Lord's Day!

Friday, October 9, 2009


If the Lord sets you to guard a lonely post in perfect stillness from all active work, you ought to be just as content as to be in the midst of the active warfare. It is no virtue to love the Master's work better than the Master's will.

Hannah Whitall Smith from "The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Beautiful Autumn!

I don't know about you, but autumn is truly one of my favorite times of the year. I love the color of the changing leaves and the crispness in the air. I marvel at God's creativeness and His wisdom in giving us four beautiful seasons to enjoy. I love autumn even more this year because it is the season right before winter...well, of course that is always the case, but this winter is even more special because that is the season my dh gets to come home for his visit with us. We will have fifteen glorious days with him before he returns to the desert for the rest of his time.

And if you have not noticed on the counter on the right side of my blog, we have officially hit the halfway mark!!! Now, that may not sound too impressive...since we still have six months to go. But, right now we have less days to go than we have already gone and in my estimation, it is downhill from here! So, that is huge! I can't even imagine what it will be like to hit the double digit mark!!! We are praising God for His goodness to bring us this far and to be so good and faithful to us.

I also enjoy fall because it gives me an excuse to put little fall touches around the house. The picture of Joy at the top is one she took of herself holding a bundle of wheat I picked up at a produce stand. The children really enjoyed seeing it. Since we do not have an abundance of wheat fields around us, I thought it would be good for them to see it before it gets to the grain stage where we grind it into flour.

Most of my fall decorations were purchased after the season, so I could get them at 75 to 80% off. I believe in decorating as frugally as possible. And it is always fun to see how much I can get for as little money as possible. I also like the fact that my family appreciates the little touches I try to bring to the home. There are others who are far more gifted in this area than myself, but that is what makes our homes unique. And anyone can achieve their our personal loveliness for their homes.

I have been feeling better lately and I am greatly praising God for that. The weeks have not been without their difficult days, but none that have totally kept me from functioning. I am having a round of tests upcoming so we will see what is uncovered there. Right now, I am just so thankful for the slow, but steady signs of progress I am seeing. God is so good to me.

Here's wishing you all a blessed Autumn season!

Autumn Fires by Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Do You Have Scenes Like This At Your House?

Kids and their toys. I am totally used to having toys around the house on many different fronts. Here is a popular scene in our home. Small, plastic Army soldiers littering the floor. I am sure if you have children, the toys may be different, but the concept is the same.

But, do you find them in peculiar places? Like, hiding out on the bookshelves?

Here is a small basket I filled with autumn decorations. What did I find? A soldier waiting in ambush.

But my absolute favorite was this one. Even my eldest daughters shoes are not safe if not put away. Here they are used as boats to carry soldiers to their battle grounds.

Where can toys be found at your house?