Sunday, December 4, 2016

Second Sunday of Advent

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 
Isaiah 7:14 

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.  
Isaiah 11:1-5 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Crave

It's time for Five Minute Friday! It's a writing flash mob that gathers at Kate's blog each week. We write without worrying about whether or not it is perfect. We write for the joy of writing. This week the writing prompt is: Crave.


an open Bible

When we read the Psalms, especially ones like Psalm 119, we see how much the psalmist craved the Word of God. His desire was to know and obey God’s law. It was his delight. He longed for it, he clung to it, and he hoped in it.

It is convicting to read of such a strong craving for Scripture! Do we crave Scripture like the psalmist? If not, we should.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3
Let us pray for a greater desire for the Word of God. And then let’s dig in! There is a spiritual feast to be found in the pages of Scripture. If you don’t have much of an appetite for God’s Word, pray that your desire for His Word would increase. And then start reading the Bible, and keep reading the Bible regularly, and your appetite will grow!

There is much in the world to distract us, entice us, and entertain us. But let’s not lose sight of what we need the most. We need God. May we all be able to say with the psalmist:
Whom have I in heaven but you?
     And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
     but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 
Psalm 73:25-26

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Meet Frodo

Frodo the Morkie

We have a new, furry friend in our house! Some of you noticed our little puppy, Frodo, in my blog post about Myrtle a couple of months ago. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you have probably already met Frodo. But if you haven't met him yet, I want to introduce this special pet and tell you how he came to be ours!

In February of this year William and Adelaide began asking for a puppy. And then they began praying for a puppy! And then Adelaide told her kindergarten teacher, Kirsten, that she was praying for a puppy, and Kirsten began praying for a puppy for us too!

We spent a lot of time thinking, praying, and talking about the possibility of a puppy for our family. We knew that with our physical limitations and allergies, our options of dog breeds were very few. We would need a small, hypoallergenic dog. We would also need a dog that would be a good fit for me since I would be spending so much time at home alone with the dog.

Kirsten knew just what we needed! Her family had adopted a Morkie puppy the year before from a local breeder, and she recommended that we consider a Morkie as well. A Morkie is half Maltese and half Yorkshire Terrier.


Kirsten, Maisy, and Adelaide

Kirsten, Maisy, and Adelaide

Kirsten and her family brought their dog, Maisy, over twice to visit us in the spring. We had fun playing with Maisy and visiting with Kirsten and her family. We were able to ask our numerous Morkie and puppy questions. I was able to spend time with Maisy to see if a Morkie might be a good fit for me, and we were able to see if a Morkie might cause allergy problems for our family.

We did a lot of research online about various dog breeds, and in the end we decided that if we did get a puppy, a Morkie would be the best fit for our family at this time. Morkies are hypoallergenic, small, make good companion pets, and are affordable.

Eventually, we decided to do it, and the children were thrilled! They had been wanting a pet for several years. Because of allergies and my health issues, we thought that we'd never be able to get a dog. But finally we decided to give it a try anyway. I'm so glad we did.


Rachel with 8 week old Frodo

Frodo at 8 Weeks Old

We brought our two-pound puppy home on June 18. Seeing this little puppy was love at first sight! He was so sweet and adorable!


Adelaide with 8 week old Frodo

Frodo at 8 Weeks Old

We named him Frodo after Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings. For those who aren't familiar with Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins is a Hobbit, which is a very small creature. Our dog is a very small dog, so a Hobbit name was a perfect fit.



Frodo was so tiny when we first brought him home that he couldn't even climb up the three inch step at our back door! He got stuck every time. (If you are reading this in an email, please click over to the blog to watch the video of Frodo.)


Frodo, 9 weeks old

Frodo at 9 Weeks Old

Snuggling with a puppy is one of the best things ever, and I like having a dog at home with me all day. It is so nice to have Frodo to keep me company during the many hours I spend alone.


William with 12 week old Frodo

Frodo at 12 Weeks Old

Frodo is a good pet for William and Adelaide. It has been good for them to learn the responsibility of caring for a dog. William takes him for walks around the block when Frodo needs some more exercise. Adelaide likes to do tricks with him. They both like to hold their puppy.

Frodo likes to wake William and Adelaide up in the morning when it is time to get ready for school. I am still asleep at that time of day, so I have never seen it, but I have heard that it is pretty cute to watch. Frodo cries every morning when William and Adelaide go to school. He cries so loudly that it wakes me up on some mornings! Frodo is happiest when all of us are home together. He likes to be with his people.

Training Frodo has been much harder than we thought it would be. He is a slow learner, but a lovable puppy. If you have any house-training tips for a small dog that doesn't quite "get it" please let me know!!! And if you pray for us, you can pray for wisdom as we train this little dog, and you can pray that Frodo would soon be a well-trained dog.


7 month old Frodo

Frodo at 7 Months Old

Frodo is now a whole eight pounds! He has grown a lot since we brought him home at 8 weeks old. If you like puppy updates, you can follow our hashtag on Instagram: #FrodotheMorkie. So far we are the only ones using it, so all of the pictures are of our little Frodo.

I am so thankful for this little dog! Frodo is a good companion for me, and he makes life more fun. It is really good to have his company at home. Taking care of Frodo is harder than I thought it would be, but it is also better than I thought it would be. I don't ever want to go back to not having a pet!

Do you have a companion pet or a service dog? How does your dog help you? I would love to hear about your special pet or service dog!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Sunday of Advent

This is the first Sunday of the Advent season. I invite you to join me here each Sunday for a short Scripture reading as we look forward to the celebration of our Savior’s birth.


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  
John 1:1-5

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Surrender

It is Five Minute Friday! We gather and write for just five minutes on the same writing prompt, and then we link up at Kate's blog. You are invited to join us! This week the word is: Surrender.

dirt road through the woods in the fall

Life is a daily surrendering, a daily laying down of my own desires so that I can submit to the will of my Heavenly Father.

Each day when I wake up, my body feels miserable. I feel weak and tired. It is hard to move, hard to wake up, hard to go about my simple, daily life. If it were up to me, I would choose not to be chronically ill. I would choose not to have dysautonomia. But that is not the life God has given me, so I surrender my desires, and I accept His plan for my life.

My husband and I spent 15 years in ministry and in preparation for ministry. Yet God brought us out of ministry, and He placed a new career and path before us. It is not what we would have chosen, but it is the path God has placed before us. Each day we must surrender our plans and desires and submit to the plan God has for us.

This year I have been focusing on choosing joy in the midst of this unexpected life we have been given in Minnesota. I have been working on embracing this life, embracing Minnesota. It is a daily surrender. It is hard, but it is worth it. I am at peace. I trust that God’s plan is best. It is for my good and His glory.

My daily goal is to take up my cross and follow Jesus. I surrender to Him. 
And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" Luke 9:23-25


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