Saturday, January 25, 2014

Updates from the Homestead


Life seems to be a string of never ending busyness. A home to manage, food to cook, laundry to be done, time spent with family and friends. Knowing how to use my time wisely is something I’ve always taken seriously. Even more so as I started out the New Year my prayer has been, “Lord am I using my time as wisely as I could?”. I see areas where I am and areas where I am not. So lately I’ve been focusing on the areas I’m not and seeing how I could improve on this. We all need down time so lately I’ve been asking myself how much down time is enough? How much time on the computer is enough? How much time spent running around is too much? Not that I’m being hard on myself but just examining the best use of my time.

My son Jacob celebrated his 20th birthday this last week. He is my 6th child and I seriously have to ask myself where did all the time go!!?? He is a great kid.. and I am so proud of him. He works nearly full time (30 hours a week) and is his degree non-traditionally.. He is working on a computer degree.. and almost ready for his last year of college.. he started a little over a year ago. He is determined, goal oriented and willing to work for what he wants. He makes his mama and dad very proud. On his birthday he asked for it to be “low key” .. so I bought pizza and sushi for him and made some chip dip.. he had a couple friends over and his brothers.. on one night they had a Halo marathon (Halo is an xbox game) and the second afternoon was spent on a computer game.. League of Legends.. I know nothing about any of it.. but they were really into it :D ..



My daughter Leanne is currently in Spain! Another adventure for her. She does plan to come home and settle down and begin looking for work. But she saved for and planned this trip (as well as the NYC trip) before she left S. Korea. She is having a great time with her friend Rona (she met Rona several years ago when she went to visit Emily while she was working in Denmark as an au pair and has remained friends with her ever since). Here are a few pics of her and Rona…



Now that I’ve finished doing my cleaning and organizing in my basement storage area I’m coming up with my plans for February’s Homemaking Challenge. I’ll let everyone know what it is in another week or so!
 

How has your winter been? Ours here in the Pacific Northwest has been mild beyond anything that I’ve seen. We’ve been having highs in the 40’s and basically no snow or winter harshness. On one hand I’ve really enjoyed this. On the other hand the area needs the rain and snow pack to ensure ample water supply for our area in the upcoming year. One of the hardest things I know is dealing with children and my husband having to drive through snow and ice and winter hazards. I spend lots of time praying and pacing until they are home and safe. For that reason alone I’ve been thankful to not have to deal with that this winter. But it is a first since I’ve lived here! We will see what the rest of the year holds. I know so many people in the rest of the country are dealing with a very difficult winter. 


And the last topic for this update is my own personal goal. I started this year with a deep need to spend serious time on my prayer life. Keeping a prayer journal of needed prayers for family and friends is important to me as well as journaling answered prayer. Journaling answered prayer is a huge encouragement when you are dealing with discouraging times. The other reason being very serious in my prayer life is important to me (other than the obvious Scriptural reasons why prayer is important) is that I had one of my daughters ask me a question.. “Why did you choose to follow God when you were at the point in your life you were searching?” .. My answer to her, “My grandmothers prayers”.. My grandmother was a prayer warrior. She prayed daily for all her children and grandchildren and many others. I believe today that her prayers are what softened my heart and played a huge role in my salvation. My prayer today has been.. “May I be a woman, as my grandmother, who prays diligently and fervently for my loved ones”. Do you keep a prayer journal?
 

That is all from my homestead!! Crystal


 
 

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! We are having a very cold winter; lots of snow and it was 3 degrees yesterday w/out the windchill at 9 am! This isn't the coldest place we've lived so we're used to it :) Nice to have a mild winter though. That's a lovely paragraph about your grandmother!

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    1. Brrr... Sounds very cold!! Also I wanted to let you know.. I did get your comment you made to me the other day (the one you accidentally deleted) .. Thank you so much for your kind words.. they meant a lot to me.. <3 Crystal

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  2. I do have a prayer journal, where I write down needs and list all my family's names. When I do my morning quiet time I use it. But, I've been thinking of making one using a small photo album. I could put a picture of each family member in a pocket and a Bible verse and prayer in the facing pocket. We have 2 grandbabies on the way, so I could put a copy of the ultrasound in the pocket for each of them. I think it would be nice to pray for each loved one by going through the photo book and seeing their pictures. I could keep it in my pocketbook and pull it out often and lift a person up in prayer. Just something I've been thinking about doing, but need to go ahead and do!

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    1. Debbie.. I love, love, love the idea of a photo album! beautiful!

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  3. I have always kept a prayer journal, but I haven't kept track of answered prayers. My post for tomorrow will be the first time I ever post up my prayer publicly, but I felt called to do so- to encourage and inspire. I'm calling them my "Sunday Morning Prayers"...

    Ila from He Has MS

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    1. Ila.. loved your prayer.. very touching.. and very encouraging..

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    2. Thank you, for your kind words & for visiting my blog. Made my day. -Ila

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    3. Aww... Ila.. I've read your blog.. you are an amazing woman and I keep you in my prayers.. <3

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  4. I feel the same way about the weather. Enjoying a nice almost 50 degree day here a bit north of Seattle. I hate when I have to worry about the husband and kiddos on icy roads but we do need the rain.

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    1. We need the rain too.. It will be a tough summer for everyone if we don't get our needed rainfall!

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  5. I have always wanted to keep a prayer journal. I have tried in the past but then it becomes very over whelming and too much to write. Maybe I am being too detailed. :)

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    1. Just a name and a short note about their prayer needs is often enough.. I think a prayer journal can be as simple or complex as we desire.. the main idea for me is to make sure I pray for needs that I might otherwise forget..

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    2. I think I will try to start another one tonight. Can't wait!

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  6. Hello Crystal, my question seems stupid but what do you put in a prayer journal, it is the 1st time I hear about one.
    Thank you

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    1. Agnes.. a prayer journal can be whatever you would like it to be.. for me it is a place to write down the names of loved ones who need prayer, a reminder to pray for others or needs that come to my attention. People have said to me.. "we are having issues with such and such could you keep us in your prayers".. I always pray for them but a week or two down the road I may forget.. the journal is a reminder to me for things like that.. plus a daily reminder to pray for my children and grand children.. and a place to write my own prayers down, write Scripture verses to pray for others or myself.. and to also go back and write down answered prayer..

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  7. I have enjoyed your blog for a long time Crystal...your are real, and you are encouraging! Winter seems to last a long time here in my area of Western Pa., and your ideas for how to make it not such a long, long winter were helpful. I found a very good book about prayer at the Goodwill store, it is called, " To Busy Not To Pray," by Bill Hybels. He gives lots of good ideas for keeping a prayer journal. He encouraged me to start this year out being more consistent about prayer, Bible reading, and keeping a journal, and here you are encouraging me as well. :) I have found having goals ,and really striving to meet them, gives me direction and a purpose...I love being able to cross things off my list! :) I just made a homemade chocolate cake, with peanut butter frosting yesterday, and then I saw the one on your blog today. Several friends saw my post on Facebook, and wanted my recipe...I think I will just link them to your blog to get your recipe since it is almost identical to mine, and then they can check out all the other good things you have on there. Many Blessings Your Way! ~Marsha

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All messages are moderated. After approval your message will be posted. Thank you for your comments!! Crystal :)