Wednesday, May 8, 2013

short and sweet family time

The Lord has been very gracious in the last several weeks of my life! Baby Harms #3 has decided to stay put and let life settle down in our home before he/she arrives.

Last week, Rodney ended up getting the stomach flu (not fun). I am happy to report that he is fully on the mend.

And on Monday, Rodney started his PICC line treatments for Lyme Disease. I'm happy to report that he is handling the treatments so far. And aside from some discomfort from having a 42 cm line permanently in his arm (read -- not sleeping as well as one would hope), he is in good spirits and easily fitting this inconvenience into his daily schedule. Praise God!

Yesterday, Rodney finally got our tomato, pepper, cauliflower and broccoli starts planted (he took a day off!). Sickness and rain last week prevented this necessary task. It's good to have it behind us. Now we just need to pray for rain, sunshine and growth!

And yesterday we all got to spend the day with my brother and dad. I hadn't seen my brother for almost a year, as he lived and worked in a remote area in Africa. He's also getting married in June to a lovely European lady and attending graduate school in England in the Fall, so time with him is truly a treasure.

Abigail especially really enjoyed having her Uncle Dan here for a visit. And a visit from her Papa is always welcomed with great joy. We can't forget about him!I don't have any pictures of Papa this time because he was tasked to mow the lower field. Thank you, Papa for your help! Gracious Papa treated his very pregnant daughter to lunch AND dinner yesterday. I cannot begin to tell you how marvelous it was to have a break from cooking:)

In the meantime, I'm still waiting on Baby. I've been 3cm dilated over a week and 75% effaced but certainly can't guess when our little one will arrive.

Hope you enjoy all of the pictures. I keep thinking it will be the last time I post in a while. The Lord knows!

Round 1 of games -- Sequence for Kids

Uncle Dan was handedly beat in about 5 minutes! I've never witnessed such a short game of Candy Land.

My girls love their daddy's Jeep :) Rodney was gracious enough to pick me up at the house and drive me down our steep hill. No slipping and falling for this pregnant momma!

I'm delighted to see our raspberry bushes leafing out. I've been even more delighted to see several bumble bees hard at work, even though the raspberries haven't flowered yet:) Our raspberry jam reserves are dwindling.

simple pleasures...

Rodney planted several rows of potatoes, 30 tomato plants and many peppers, cauliflower and broccoli. I'm also happy to report that all of the trees we planted last year survived the deer, drought and winter! Our rhubarb is thriving, as is our asparagus!

But I'm not sure how we're going to get to the trees without getting wet. There used to be a gradual bank and a rock path that we could traverse on foot or by Jeep. The flood waters were rather destructive and completely flooded the bank. All of the rock boulders were washed away by the forceful flood waters, and the stream redirected on a new path, leaving a pebbly beach behind, where it once flowed.

 My girls both have colds :( ...hence the runny noses. Unfortunately, Rodney and I are both fighting off whatever they have, but I feel "okay".

I love this girl! Here you can see how lanky she is. I have a hard time finding pants that fit her around the waste. She even has a belt holding up her capris (barely).

Friday, May 3, 2013

the Lord's discipline

This year my husband has led a Bible study in our home over the book of Hebrews. Every week, he faithfully studies the scripture, prepares prestudy questions and pours over commentaries. I have been encouraged by our conversations before, during and after Thursday night Bible study. I am so blessed to see how my husband lets the Word of Christ dwell in him richly.

Now let me backtrack...

Over the years, I have also come to the conclusion that I am very proud and stubborn, while the Lord is extravagantly gracious and patient. When he has something to say to me, He often has to tell me twice, three times or more. For example, I've often been through two studies in John at the same time, two studies in Acts, and this year, my pastor is preaching through the life of David while CBS is also studying the life of David in its "Servants of God" study. I've studied, discussed, and then listened to lectures and sermonds over the same texts. My heart is very hard! But I'm thankful for the piercing power of the Word!

So my big take-away this year from the study of David's life -- the biggest difference between Saul an David wasn't that one was more sinful than the other. They were both sinful men. They were both proud. They both sinned against men and God. And yet the difference - David was a man after God's own heart and was repentant. He trusted in the Lord's mercy and poured out his soul in repentance.

How encouraging for my own legalism-prone soul! The Lord does not love me because of my goodness (which isn't very impressive) but because of His grace and forgiveness. This has been a huge encouragement over the past several months.

So ever since Rodney was diagnosed with Lyme disease last summer, I've had the lingering thought in my head - "Lord, did we make a mistake? Have we sinned against you? Was it wrong to choose to move into this house? Do we measure up?" Rodney started feeling better. We carried on with life. Case closed? No.

Rodney never really felt 100%, which we didn't expect right away since his body had been so buffeted by the disease. But for the past several months, Rodney slowly started experiencing excruciating pain that started in his shoulder, traveled to his elbow and ended up in his hip. Finally, he decided to see a GP and made an appointment with his infectious disease doctor.

Long story short (Hannah just woke up from her nap...), Rodney still has Lyme disease. So on Monday, he is going to begin an aggressive antibiotic treatment that will last a month. They're going to put in a pic line and he'll have to go to the hospital everyday for treatments. He'll have lifestyle restrictions, since he'll have a pic line in. And no, it's not incredibly a convenient time, since I'm due any day with our third baby.

And since Hannah is now awake, I'll quickly bring this full circle back to Hebrews and the Lord's discipline. Last night we studied Hebrews 12, which is truly the Lord! I'm amazed at how he perfectly plans to communicate His perfect Word at the perfect time! As a result, the Lord has given me a lot of peace.

In short (I hear my toddler), sometimes the Lord disciplines us because of sin. We've prayed to God to reveal any sin issues. He hasn't. But sometimes the Lord disicplines us to reveal more of Himself. For example, after Job's succession of trials (far beyond anything I have EVER experienced or can even begin to imagine experiencing), he had a deeper understanding and revelation of God's character and person.

So my prayer for Rodney and myself the next month -- that we would see the Lord more deeply, more fully, and truly love and trust Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. And at the same time, be sensitive to the Spirit, relying on the Lord in humility.

I'd be lying if I sat here and wrote, "I never worry about the future!" I do! But then the Spirit brings me back to him with some words from Philippians 4:4-7:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.