Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Holding the Fort

This week, we are holding revival meetings at our home church.  The weeks previous have been filled with special cottage  prayer meetings and earnest individual preparation.  The opposition to this meeting has been tremendous, especially in our own family.  I was unable to attend two of the three prayer meetings because Josiah had a severe earache.  While he had no fever, he was in a lot of pain, and I thought it best  to keep him  home, although I hated to miss the special times of prayer.

Sunday morning, I took the cotton out of his ear to put in his ear drops, and saw blood and pus (ok – I know that is really gross) in the ear canal.  I was instantly more concerned than ever.  Of course, nothing is open on Sunday morning, so I could not get him to the doctor until Monday afternoon at the earliest.  He still had no fever, and said the pain, while less than it had been, was still there.  I really didn’t know what to do.   I thought perhaps the eardrum had ruptured, but was unsure of what to do in that situation.  I knew the devil was really fighting this meeting.  We went to church anyway, since he couldn’t get in to see the doctor, and he wasn’t feeling too badly.

Monday afternoon, the doctor checked him, and thankfully, the eardrum was not ruptured.  it was however, sucking inward, due to the negative pressure coming from his throat and nasal passages.  I had never heard of this before.  I am still not sure how all the discharge got in the ear, but I was glad there was no damage to the eardrum.  The doctor also swabbed his throat, since it was all red and inflamed, and I was not so happy to find out that Josiah had strep throat.  Who knows how long he had been sick, and he never complained of a sore throat, didn’t sound stuffy, he just had the earache.

That day, our toilet also decided to stop working effectively, and bubbled ominously whenever flushed.  We debated on what to do, and there was a fruitless search for the plunger.  Random question: do people pack their plungers in a box when they move, or do they just throw them away and get a new one?   Whatever your answer may be, ours was nowhere to be found.  I had to go buy another one, and thankfully, with a vigorous plunging, the toilet is now back to normal.  Disaster averted!

Now that Josiah has been on antibiotics for 24 hours, he will be able to attend the services the rest of the week.  I however, think I may be coming down with something.  I guess only time will tell at this point.

In spite of all the opposition to the meeting, the services have been good, and God is working in the hearts of the people.  We are already seeing answers to prayer.  Thank God that He is the Overcomer!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Keeping Busy

Things around our house have been pretty normal – school, church, grocery shopping, laundry, repeat...  We have had some crazy weather lately though.  Last week, it was 70 degrees outside,  and then it rained several days, until I thought we would have to build a boat to get to the mailbox.  The ground was so saturated, that the water was standing in deep puddles everywhere.  Our back yard looked like a pond!  Needless to say, I had to keep the kids inside when it was raining.  Why is it that they seem to have so much energy when they have to stay inside?

This weekend, the temperature dropped rapidly, with a cold front erasing all memories of the 70 degree days we had just had.  We have had days of freezing rain, so we all huddle inside and hope that the weather breaks soon.  I had to go out to run errands a few times during the bad weather, and the roads were not very good.  I was glad I only had to go a few blocks to the store!  The weight of the ice on the trees and power lines was of some concern to us.  If it gets too heavy, there can be power outages.  That would not be good, since everything we have runs on electric.  The lights did flicker a bit last night, but thank the Lord, the power stayed on.  I am hoping it will warm up enough to remove the ice from the lines. 

Our Kroger is under reconstruction and remodeling, so it is always a nightmare to go in there, but add all the locals who are trying to stock up before the storm, and you have a real mess.  No one is able to find what they are looking for, due to the shifting around to accommodate the remodel.  It literally changes daily.  I am looking forward to the completion of this project.

Due to the severity of the weather, the local schools closed for a few days, and all my piano lessons were canceled.  So… not much to do here but more housework.  I am kind of glad for a bit of a breather, since we will be having revival services next week at our church.  Paul is preaching, and it is always fun to hold a meeting in our home church.  We have several cottage prayer meetings scheduled for this week, although I missed the first one due to a sick child.  Josiah has had a pretty bad earache for two days, and spent most of the day in bed yesterday.  He is feeling somewhat better today, so I hope it will mend quickly.  There is only so much you can do for an earache.

In spite of the bad weather and sickness, though, we have all had a good week.  Sometimes dreary weather makes for pessimistic attitudes, but not this week, I am happy to say.  :)  Inside our house, it is warm and dry, and I think I will curl up with a cup of hot peppermint tea and a good book if I get half a chance!

Monday, January 14, 2013


I suppose every New Year brings a flood of resolutions and plans that range from losing weight, to eating a more healthy diet, quitting a bad habit, starting a good habit, or improving some area of your life.

I am no stranger to these kind of resolutions, and I must say, that the ones I need to focus on most are usually the one that get kicked to the side of the road first!  I recently read an e-book that dealt with this very issue.  While much of the book was superfluous to my situation, I did glean this nugget of truth: Prioritize.  The author advised instead of setting several difficult goals for the new year, to focus on the next 21 days.  She said to figure out the minimum you wanted to accomplish in that amount of time, and to cut it in half!  That amount should be your goal.  Whoa!  This is totally revolutionary!  No longer do I have this huge task looming before me – just a small goal that does not seem so insurmountable.  This narrow focus causes us to prioritize the tasks we want to accomplish, and only the most important ones will survive.

Just to show you haw this can change your goal-making plans, here are a few of my goals, both before reading the book, and after reading the book.

Before – Publish another piano arrangement book

After – Spend at least 15 minutes a week working on my piano arrangement book

Before – Lose XXX pounds

After – Exercise at least 4 days a week and substitute a protein shake for a meal at least 3 times a week

Before – Get back on the coupon wagon (I fell off and got run over sometime last year)

After – Buy a paper each week, and organize my coupons (I am still working on this one, but I need to finish it soon, since you can quickly get behind when it comes to coupons.  There is nothing worse than missing a good deal because you can’t find  a coupon!)

Just a few simple tweaks to my goals, and they all of a sudden seem so much more accessible!  I have already spent more time accomplishing these “little” goals than if I had left them as they were.  It gives a sense of accomplishment and renewed excitement each time you make the goal, and if you feel like you can do more, do it!  Don’t modify your goals, though.  Keep them simple, and you will accomplish more in the end because you will not get discouraged.

So sit down and make a list of priorities.  What do you feel you have  to accomplish this year?  What would you like  to accomplish this year?  What is something you should do, but have been putting off?  Write them all down, and take small steps to accomplishing those things a little at at time.  It might take a bit longer, but in the end, it will get done, and you can cross it off the list!

If you are interested in reading this book for yourself, check it out!

The “Do What You Can” Plan: 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better  by Holley Gerth, Revell Publishing (available on Amazon.com)

Friday, January 11, 2013

The New Year

2013 is upon us already, and as we settle back into our weekly routine, I find myself breathing  a sigh of relief.  Things are normal again.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the holidays, and especially Christmas break!  It gives me and the children a much-needed reprieve from school work.  About three days into break, though, comes the inevitable, “I’m bored!” or, “There’s nothing to do!”  Thankfully, we had so much to do around the house that I nipped that complaint in the bud by giving them various and sundry extra chores.  That was fun! :)

Two days after Christmas, we had an impromptu visit from my family.  It was a great and exciting event in our house, because not only were Grandpa and Grandma coming, but Uncle Micah, too.  And everyone loves Uncle Micah!  They only stayed three days, since they had other family to visit (or at least that is what they told us – I have a feeling it may have had something to do with our deflating air mattress), but we did have a wonderful time together, and we are so glad they were able to come for a short visit.

We spent New Year’s Eve with some of our church family, playing games and fellowshipping, then went home and partied some more… Well, I did, anyway!

Paul went to an evangelist’s conference in Indiana, and came home on his birthday.  The kids and I had planned a little birthday celebration for him upon his return, so late that night, we had fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and ice cream, and they showered him with hugs, kisses, and felicitations.  A few presents, too. :)

This is the end of our first week of school this year.  Lesson plans loom up before me, but refreshed from my break, I can handle anything right now.  The transmission went out of our “Black Rocket” (a primer black 1989 Ford Ranger that we use as a second vehicle) last week, too.  Paul has spent a lot of time this week fixing the truck, and we hope to have two running vehicles again by this weekend.  The adventure never stops!