Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I am sure I am not the only one chronicling on this last day of the year 2008. Its a day to reflect and a day to aspire to the year that is before us. It has been a good year, really a great year! It was in Jan. 2008 that I sought to stop wrestling with His plan and to embrace His will for Joel's 3 years 4 months and 10 days. Not to say that I have weak days but it was like driving a stake in the ground and in the grief world it would be considered the phase of "acceptance." I don't believe I arrived there on my own but it was a work of the Holy Spirit and the truths of scripture that granted the grace to say within the depths of my heart "His plan and providences are right." I will, as long as I have breath on this earth miss Joel and be sad that he is not here but I can move forward with hope! This past year we were blessed in ways that cannot be numbered, His faithfulness, His mercy, His provisions, His protection, His forgiveness and the grace to seek to "live" out the faith that is given by Him!! Now as we look ahead aspiring to accomplish goals, visions, plans, hopes and dreams, may our one motive be "all for His glory." Its so easy to come up with ideas of what "others" should set as goals for their life but I think for others to change sometimes it starts with me changing, so with that in mind I have two points for my self for the New Year......Plan and Prayer. My plan is in Matt. 5:15, Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. This is where it has to start.....at home, in my own house, with ME, amongst my own people, those that know me.....the best and the worst!! My purpose is to do the right thing first and first off would be to seek and love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and then next to love my husband and then to love my children. Now under each of those the list is endless but I want to be practical and real. I want to be consistent in my time with the Lord, reading and praying and listening and doing! I want to be better at loving Terry and demonstrating that with the things that he enjoys....he is very "lovey dovey," and I'm not so much:) I want to give him honor and respect in the presence of the children and be an example to them of husband and wife. I want them to see that Terry is second on the list under the Lord and they come under that. I want to seek to nurture the children and admonish them in the Lord and for me one way I need to improve is to tell them often of all the wonderful things they are doing instead of all they are not doing and also to encourage their character where they are strong and exhort them where they need growth, all in a gentle teachable way. To be praying for them in specifics ways, their futures, their life mates and then the younger ones that need Jesus in their hearts. This is a BIG challenge for me, especially to be consistent at it and carry it out daily. I start out well but I get to "sputtering" out and life just falls back into the mundane. Starting in "my house," and giving light is a goal that can only be reached by His grace. Now the way I can carry out this goal is in another scripture I read this morning. There is no way I can do all the above if I have a bad attitude for whatever reason, if I have a complaining spirit, if I use the excuse of "I do not feel like it." I can only carry out the visions that I mentioned if I have a spirit of praise/thankfulness. So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows. Ps.61:8. If I have praise and thankfulness I can fulfill and perform daily the desires above. We praise/be thankful first then perform. I read this scripture this morning and it is my prayer for the New Year, Ps. 90:14-17, O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto they servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. Of course there are tons of "mini" things I want to do and pray the Lord will work and bring forth, such as being a vessel for those outside of my home, to minister to, sharing hope with any that walk a path as such we have been on, and then there are the fun things I want to seek to be consistent at, like walking and eating better, being thrifty, working on projects around the house and having a good attitude if they do or do not get done!! Those things are not top priority but when they are accomplished it is rewarding. Its so good to have a vision, for without a vision people perish. Set goals, strive for them (with the Lord's help) and reap the rewards by His grace and according to His will. May each family out there be blessed and may the Lord do a mighty work amongst you!!
Happy New Year !!!!
P.S. these are the last pictures we took of Joel on his farm, the next pictures were of him in ICU, unconscious.......
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Yesterday morning I got up a little after 5 am and headed out to grocery shop, reason being, we were expecting the Burnett family in the afternoon to come play with us and then Mr. Burnett to join us for our evening meal and then fellowship and fun for the evening. Elijah and Bethany went to pick Danielle up at the airport so they missed out on a bit of the evening. We had Mexican food, Mrs. B and I caught up on girley news, and she even helped me organize a few picture items, oh...I even got her to try out the new treadmill!! We played the game Taboo and then later when Bethany and Elijah got back with "Dannie" we played a game called "Family game." There is nothing like families being together with their children and having fun. The children played Dutch Blitz with two decks and 16 people, they played partners.....whew.....that was VERY loud!!!
Its a whirlwind around here this morning. We are trying to get the house in order. I have to take the guys their lunch and some tools they forgot. They have started with the framing job of that big Build Block house they built. I have some Christmas exchanges to make. Also this week I am trying to get Caleb and Daniel's clothes together for their San Antonio trip this coming weekend. Seeing what they need, getting it all washed and ironed. Bethany is suppose to be in charge of her stuff.....guys just need help!!!
A friend asked how I was doing the other day.....and was wondering once Jan. is over did I think it would be better and the answer is a big YES!! Everyday I have to face "what were we doing today?" It's heavy and a dark feeling but it is so wonderful that as I have all these "feelings" the Lord comes in as a soft rain bringing truth to this desperate heart. It is a challenge on my part to let faith and patience have her perfect work. I read a scripture in Matthew 10:29 this morning and it once again brings a confidence to my heart that His plan for Joel is right! Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Nothing has been done or will be done without His knowing, apart from His will. His perfect providences have been done. There is no peace when we "lean" on our own understanding, there is only peace and rest when we can fling ourselves upon these truths. There is so much here to meditate upon. In each of our lives, even the minutest detail is known of Him. May we all find solace as we face the situations in our lives. Its not just a "me" trial or journey, so many are facing difficulties.....the truth shall set us free!!
I must "git," the guys are needing their tools. Stay upon Jehovah!!!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
We are back!!! From Kansas. We took a quick trip to visit Terry's sister and brother-in-law and their two children, Hannah and Garrett. Caleb, Daniel, Elijah and Micah all thought this trip up.....so we went! The going trip was a bit difficult. Mercy, Hosanna and Dooley (the dog) got car sick. It was not good. Terry and I sat and held plastic bags a lot of the trip. The children all wondered "why" we were a little "tight" when we arrived :) We had a very nice time in spite of the trip going. The younger children played hard with their cousin Garrett. From Nerf gun bullets flying to riding old couch cushions down the basement stairs to playing hide and seek in the dark in the basement, I think Garrett was given new ideas by their cousins from Oklahoma!! I hope Aunt Tami can get her house back in order!! The older guys went hunting with their Uncle, they saw a few deer but was not able to get a shot at one. They helped put up some kind of deer stand, rode 4 wheelers and Kubota's. Our trip home,( Sat.) morning went well......no one was sick and they slept much of the way home. Since home we are getting washing done, getting things ready for church and Terry and the older ones went to a 13th birthday "Rights of Passage Ceremony" for a young man in our church fellowship. I thought I would stay here, get the little ones baths, do my walking and just rest too.
To be honest I am feeling a little down. As hard as Dec.2006 was for us, Joel's diagnoses and all, I surely at that time felt like we had a long road ahead but with the Lord's grace we could walk through this, the cancer. The month of January as it approaches is just heavier and darker. In Dec. Joel still had his personality, he was so full of life, but Jan 3rd, all that changed. Sometimes you wonder how the dark can become darker, but it can and it did. I know, I know, I know what scriptures say and I think the Lord has shown me some incredible ones, nevertheless, its terribly hard. It seems Satan brings the replay of events and memories of that night to torture me. It is really like a nightmare that will not go away. I know you have heard this so much and I likely will never stop writing about it, this is my little place to write and I just have to keep on telling Joel's story. Two years, seems like so long ago, on this night he was full of life and acting silly.....always missing him!!!
Remember Danielle? She's coming to visit Bethany this week and then the next weekend Caleb, Daniel, Bethany and her and John-Clay are heading to San Antonio Film Academy. We'll get to play with her this week and see what we can get into!! I do not know exactly what we are going to do for the New Year. What do you all do, any special traditions that you want to share with all of us? Anna is using her new camera now, its a lot more to learn and has a bigger scale of capabilities, so she's trying to figure it out. I am looking forward to her using it.
May the Lord grant you all a blessed and restful day.....
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The Morris Family
Caleb and Daniel~ 21~ enjoying the work alongside of their father and brother, (Elijah), completed work on a big project doing some of the music for the Pendragon movie, have recently started saving and are seeking to prepare for their fields, Caleb got his braces off...yea!! I am blessed with their growing faith and dependence upon the Lord.
Bethany~19~ what can I say about this young lady.....busy!!!! from baking bread daily, soap making, managing the goat farm, studying and reading and getting knowledge of how to improve her herd, and that does not include all the ways she ministers to her siblings and helps her mom!! I am blessed that her heart is to please the Lord, in modesty, in honoring her parents and loving her siblings unselfishly.
Elijah~18~ a working machine!!!! still loves to play football with all the brothers, so very generous, his work ethic is "get er' done." I am blessed by Elijah;s sensitivity to make things right with others.
Anna~16~ well....we would all starve to death of desserts if it were not for this young lady. She is my wonderful kitchen worker!! Anna, LOVES to take pictures and continues to amaze me with her abilities. Her behind the scenes passion is her cows, she knows a lot about these creatures as she reads info on the internet. I am blessed by Anna's tender love she gives to her younger siblings.
Micah~14~ a huntin' man!! you talk about persevering even when you don't bring the the "big one" in. My main man too around the house as the guys are away! A leader because all the little ones follow him. I am blessed by Micah's smile and how he keeps us "rollin."
Andrew~12~ he may be quiet as a mouse but if you ask Andrew to carry out a duty, it will get done. Andrew enjoys huntin' as well, we'll see who brings one in first, my guess is "Dewey," I am blessed by Andrew's kindness as he spends time with his younger siblings.
Joshua~10~you can't hardly find him around here.....camouflage apparel!! Josh and Jeremiah could be Siamese twins, in that they are together all the time. Joshua likes to work too, taking trash with the 4 wheeler. I am blessed by Joshua's quick response to get his chores done inside so he can go out and hunt!
Jeremiah~8~ he is our medicine if we need a heart lift! Jeremiah loves to hunt. He is a good worker gettin' the boys room in shape. I am blessed by "Miah's" heart to help teach Siah and Hosie as they play outside together.
Hosanna~6~ my princess, what a mommy's helper and care giver to her little sister Mercy. She and Josiah are major buddies! I am very blessed by Hosanna's tender heart as she receives reproof.
Joel~ enjoying pleasures forever more......my sweet "Balley," I still love you!!
Josiah~5~ my little man, I love him "double" the amount. He does not seem to tire of me huggin' and lovin' on him for Balley too. He loves to snuggle in my arms. Loves the farm, loves boy stuff...huntin', trampoline, bikes. I am blessed by Josiah's heart to give his mother all the kisses she wants!!
Mercy~she's 2 1/2....remember??? this little lady fills my, our heart with such joy and wonder. She's precious, so tiny, so sweet, has a laugh like Joel, she is still pursued by all her brothers and it will be a mercy a "guy" could ever get close to this little princess!! "Better walk a tight rope, Timmy!!" She is totally delightful, almost yummy to eat!!
We do have four other precious treasures in heaven.....we'll meet one day!!
Terry and I~old~Terry is getting gray quickly, but that is just a by product of his wisdom in the Lord.....I love him!!! Me, well I am just super duper blessed!! ( I see stray grays on me too)
We pray your Christmas is blessed and we are so grateful for each of you!!!
The Morris Family
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Good morning !!!!
What a wonderful Birthday!!!! Anna was so thoughtful to make a post and allow you all to bless the socks off me!! (actually I do not hardly wear socks) It has really been a great day and so many people participated in the celebration, my family and then I received so many phone calls and all the meaningful, Happy Birthday comments.....thank you!!! I just wish you bloggin' friends could have come to the real party!! Anna made a yummy dessert, we had grilled hamburgers, David and Katelyn came over and had the dessert with us and then a HUGE game of Scrabble! Quite an evening. Now Terry and I are the same age for 6 months. Oh, the treadmill was my birthday present, so I am blessed to receive that too!!
We are having a great time with Terry's folks here. We are getting a lot of good medicine.....a merry heart! Terry's mom really topped it last night with a funny statement, that you would have had to be here but we were all rolling. I was hurting I laughed so hard. There is just something about laughing with your whole heart. Tonight will be our tradition of pizza and Blue Bell. We have been inside playing games, Pop has been reading one book over and over to the children but with different variations and is quite a show in itself, for the young and old!!
I read a scripture and have been thinking about it for a day of so. First it lead me to think about "who God is." To think about his nature, His person. Ps. 51:1, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. The word "according" really struck me. I started thinking how God works, how he allows and governs the circumstances in our lives, and you know what? He moves and works according to his character, his nature. We do not know Him in the fullness, but the scripture does tell us a little "about Him." He is kind, loving, holy, just, righteous, sinless, undefiled, perfect, and even more than this list. But he works and acts according to His character and nature. His actions harmonize, are in agreement, are in unison with His person. He has mercy upon us according to his character of love, he has forgiven us according to his righteousness, and thankfully not ours because we are as filthy rags, no righteousness. So I was just in awe of the Lord and can not even begin to fathom His Person, but so humbled to think that he does all his works in our lives according to his character and nature, and of course that is perfect so all he does is right and perfect. How thankful he does not "do" according to how I act or respond or fail. When I can meditate upon mountainous truths like this, there is a great peace and assurance that all has been done "right " with Joel, He has worked according to His person, which is Perfect! So much there to think about......precious "living" words.
I read something on another persons blog recently She said she and her husband had gone to the cemetery to their own child's grave and they saw something they had not seen before. This couple saw a new toy sitting at another child's grave and they walked over and looked at the date and it was a death date of the 1960's. So 40 years later grieving parents still missing their little one. Yes, we walk through this but you never get "over " it. There will always be a sorrow, but alongside I do believe the Lord can grant a rejoicing. Our church fellowship sings out of the Trinity Hymnal and this past Sunday evening we sang O Come All Ye Faithful. The third verse touched my heart, Sing choirs of angels; sing in exultation, Sing all ye citizens of heav'n above; Glory to God in the highest; and then the chorus, O come, let us adore him.......Christ the Lord. I actually know a citizen of heaven, my Joel. He is getting to sing with all the angels in heaven. it just seems their celebration would far exceed anything we could do here. I was just imagining it for a moment....... sing loud "Balley!!!"
Now on a funny note......do any of you tire of frizzy, static, wispy hair? Well....our sweet Mercy has sorta patented a hair product just for you!! What you do is, for this type of hair is take a BIG GLOB of vasilene and SMEAR it on your hair. Immediate results! Nice, slick, glued, never have to worry about that Oklahoma wind again!! She said she was putting "moose on it." What a beautiful little princess we had for Sunday!! (and it lasts all day, maybe two days, so it is money saving)
We are gearing up for a Christmas Eve party with some friends, about 50 if they all show up. first we'll have finger foods, play some games, wait for the B's to get here and then play another gift exchange game, sing some carols and fellowship. Looking forward to a fun evening!
We had a big answer to prayer yesterday. Terry gave a framing bid to the owner of the Build Block house they just finished (the pictures I posted a few posts back) the owner countered the bid and Terry and the guys went with it. It will be about a 5 week job, Lord willing. A good job to carry us through January. As you saw the house, the plans are major, so many rooms. We are grateful for the Lord's favor and granting this job!
Thanks so very much again for taking the time to make my birthday extra special!!!!
P.S. Be sure to check out Bethany's blog.......quite interesting!!!!
Monday, December 22, 2008
So everyone, today is a VERY SPECIAL persons Birthday!!! Can you guess who that would be?? Our lovely mother, who continues to daily encourage us (and you!) through her blog!! :)
I truly don’t know how to describe the very best mom EVER, I’m sure I could spend hours telling of all the amazing things about her--but today we’ll keep this short and sweet...I’m so thankful to have a mother like her that I can look up to and strive to be like. Thank You for being the very best example to me…and for being the BESTEST mommy ever!! :) A great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY from your very grateful family!!
We love you Mom, more then you will ever know!!
*Okay, all blog readers, EVERYONE (yes, every single one…why would you NOT? :) ) simply must leave a comment for her…even if it’s just a Happy Birthday!*
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
He did not even have blond hair, he was not even three years old, he was not even an American baby......but he did have dark brown eyes and chubby cheeks.....about 9 months old I would guess...and then the big gulp in my throat. It brought memories of Joel and his dark brown eyes and his fat cheeks that seemed to almost make his smile sag. I saw this little fella at the Christmas play last night. I said before that the "shadow of death" seems to nip at your heals sometimes, but as it comes behind doing that, it just makes me run forward to the "shadow of his wings." That's the only safe place to be from the enemy as he brings doubts of HIS plan. I have been doing really well for a long time and today there is just a swirl of emotions, heaviness, sorrow. Last year as the family was attending the same little play, remember I was home because I did not feel well and later that evening the rest of the miscarriage was complete, and then tonight as we go Christmas caroling, these same folks came to our house in Dec. 06, to sing to Joel. I remember it so vividly, I held him at the window and he was quite amused with their singing. And just look at that picture I posted, the 19th of Dec. 2006, he was acting like such a "monkey." I was crying this morning, and just ask the Lord for His mercy and please just give me a "word" from Him today through His word, He is so faithful. Ps.139:10, Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. "Even there," those two words leaped out to my heart and embraced the hurt. "Even there" the darkest place, the deepest place, the place we hope to never be, the sometimes lonely place, there where it sometimes seems hopeless, even there, where you feel like you can not get up one more time....."Even there" He will lead and hold me, I need leading and I need holding by Him today.......I just need to melt before Him, in His bosom, in the shadow of His wings........I will........
Today is a BIG day for the guys at work. They are pouring the concrete in the forms of the Build Block. We are so thankful for the weather. I asked Terry how many cement trucks, and he said they would start with 7 and and bring more if needed.....thats BIG!!! I guess pray if you think about it, for success!!
Anna is going to order her camera today....Yipee, for me too, I am having a picture withdrawls!! Terry's folks are coming on Sunday, so we are looking forward to "fun" with grandparents. Oh...just for your info, do you all ever check out the Craigslist? Anna sold her camera off there and thats where we found the treadmill in like new condition for a great price. A good resource if your looking or wanting to sell an item.
She did it!!!!! Mercy laid on her mattress and went to sleep for the first time at night last night. Sometime in the early morning, I felt a little warm thing beside me, but thats ok, she did good on the front end!!!
I am borrowing David's camera to take some pictures of the job, so I might post some later today, otherwise, have a great weekend!!!!
P.S. I made an edit at the top of the last post, I would appreciate it if you would look at it, thanks!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
What fun !!!! Everyone did a great job guessing and were creative and there are even more ideas for us mommy's :) Yes, we recently got a treadmill. I so enjoyed walking this summer and fall and have missed it so much. I like the results I am getting too:) I have to put the two together, watching what I eat and exercise. I feel so much better when I do those two!! For the warm weather, the trampoline is the energy release for the little people, but stuck in the house...what do they do when it is terribly cold??? I had no idea that the treadmill would knock the tied up energy in them!! Now, would they go walk on the road as fast as possible for 10 minutes if I suggested it????? NO WAY!!! This monstrous machine will help take care of that!! I really do not plan on jogging, just increasing the walk pace.
Now the rest of the story....some of you are probably wondering where we put this thing, as now we have wall to wall furniture. Well its the same size as a baby bed except a little taller......so Mercy's bed in our room came down and went right in there. But it has not been without a transition phase. When we first put her little mattress in the girls room, oh she was so excited, she wanted to go get her nighties on and then she layed, got up, played. But then when it was really time for bed.....whew!!! it was tough.....Finally Terry went and rocked her a bit and layed her down. Early in the morning I checked to make sure she was covered up, I did not see or feel her on her bed, I thought she might have rolled under Bethany's bed. I looked in Anna's too, not there. I looked in Bethany's and there she was, Bethany, Mercy, Duffy and Dooley all snuggled together in a twin bed. That day she had even taken her nap in it, I do not know what went wrong! Next night scenero....Terry and I were already in bed and here she comes "want in mommy's bed." We have got to figure this out. I really do not mind, she is so sweet and tiny, I would love for Joel to be snuggled in my bed, so when you go through something like that, these situations with sleeping arrangements are almost silly to get stressed out about. I am thankful she can crawl up in our bed!!!
Bethany and Anna did a lot of baking today that was pre-ordered, cin. rolls, raisin bread, banana bread. It has all been delivered and kitchen clean!! The van is back rollin" but wow that was an ouch to the pocketbook!! Thankful its all fixed!!
Just to boost Anna's heart, remember David and Katelyn had Anna take their wedding pictures back in Oct. Well, they went to pick them up at Wal Mart and the lady said they could not have them unless they had a signature from the one that took the "professional pictures." David tried to convince the lady that the photographer was under 18. He mentioned about her not being able to drive there and help with the situation. This lady was not believing David that a friend/amateur photographer had taken the pictures. She was saying stuff like, "all the angles and stuff, that is professional." Ended up David had to sign a paper of sorts saying he would not sue Wal Mart for printing the "professional pictures." Thought that little story would encourage Anna and then it can go in her portfolio for those who might use her and see she does a great job!!!
Better go....we are going to the little Christmas pageant in Guthrie. We are waiting on the WINNERS to e-mail their address....are you ready for some yummy stuff?? I am so blessed to be able to give something back to you all, fun with the game and the reward to those who won. Have to think of something else to do soon!!!!
And the answer is.............
Congratulations to Mountain Mama and kjvbaptist!!
This was a lot of fun, thanks for everybody's participation! If the winners could email us with your mailing addresses (email@example.com) we will get your goodies in the mail!
P.S. I meant the guys are out in the COLD, not in the thing you all were guessing....did not mean to confuse folks!!!! Great Fun!!!!
Be back here in a little bit........
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!You all are Creative!!!!!!!!!
))))))))))) Will anyone sleep tonight???(((((((((((((
^^^^# 2 Clue....you have to plug it in^^^^^^ Come on....think!!!!!
****** I am going to give another clue, this might be harder than I thought..... its inside our house and we recently got it.******* and you can make as many guesses as you like!!
I have Great News........I have found the best child "I'm so bored, and Get Rid of Rowdy Energy," thing.... why did I not think of this sooner????? Can you guess what it is? It is large and not a child's toy but can expel their energy and we have one. I wish I had a picture of it, that's another little story, I'll tell shortly. Why don't we play a game and guess what it is????? For the first 2 answers right, we will send you a "Goodie Box of Anna's Christmas Treats and another little surprise in it as well. The rules: you have to leave your name, no anonymous and of course be willing to give your address by e- mail to me. We will start today, Wednesday and we will end it tomorrow, Thursday the 18th at 2:00 p.m. I will post the winners shortly after and then of course get your treats in the mail!!! Ready set go.........
Someone ask what kind of camera Anna takes pictures with.....it WAS a Nikon D-40, BUT she sold it last night!! So for now we are without one. She is hoping to get a Nikon D-80 very soon. Being without a camera is like being without food....well maybe not that bad. I am so grateful for all the pictures she has taken, I LOVE them and they are treasures to my heart. She certainly strives to honor the Lord in her picture taking, she is very picky!! Don;t forget she is available to take your family pictures if you live anywhere near us.
The guys are out in it today....it is so cold!!! The children have been skating on our small pond in the pasture, with their shoes or boots on of course. I can hardly stand to go out to the extra refrigerator in the garage. Oh...the diagnoses on the van is not what we hoped for, a simple bolt. It is more major and the ball joint has to be replaced.....ugh!!!! He is Faithful and He knows about vans that break.
We are cleaning today and I have already sacked up 3 bags to take to the thrift store. I am the world's worst at getting rid of "stuff." My motto is..."if it does not have a place, then we do not need it."
We are going to a little Christmas program in Guthrie Thursday night, and Friday night, Lord willing caroling. Terry's folks are coming on Sunday evening, so it looks busy, doesn't it??
I miss my little Joel, I have been going back and reading the past journal entries of Dec. 06, and my heart cries for him and all that he went through. I am so grateful for the scriptures that keep on giving me hope, the one I read this morning was God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He is the God of the living and not the dead. I keep leaning into the hope that one day I will be with Joel again, but for now, I want to please the Lord and embrace this trial that he has given us and honor Him and encourage my own children that we can do "all" things through Christ," even go through what seems to me the worst thing a person could go through.
Now go make your guess.........
Recipe for the Red and Green Pistachio Bark, as requested
1-1/4 cups dried cherries, chopped
2 (12 oz.) packages of white chocolate morsels
6 (2 oz.) Vanilla bark coating squares
1-1/4 cups green pistachios
Melt morsels and bark coating in sauce pan over low heat. (We used a double boiler). Remove from heat, stir in cherries and pistachios, spread on waxed, lined 15x10 in. jelly-roll pan. (We just lightly sprayed the pan with cooking spray). Chill until firm, and break into pieces. Store in air tight container. Yields 3-1/2 pounds.
Monday, December 15, 2008
David and Katelyn are coming for dinner and he says he has an adventure for us.......
I read a scripture several days ago and I have just been thinking upon it, And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no script, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. Mark 6:8-9. We are all certainly on a journey, the journey of "life, " and then some are called to other types of journey's along the journey of "life." Some... the journey of illnesses and health issues, children that need our special TLC, financial straights, work situations, hardships with family, and other ones too. What are we to take for either one? Jesus says we are to take a staff and be shod with sandals, in Ephesians it says our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. In thinking of the staff, it is a cane, or a baton of royalty, a rod, scepter. I was thinking of ones that went on a journey as well and they had this with them, Moses a rod, Esther, a scepter. I think of Jesus, he did not have anything for His journey as He did not even have a place to lay his head. I am seeing that as we go on our journey the staff can be that with what we lean upon, it could be thought of something that goes between us and the journey, I was thinking how on our life's journey we only need two things, Christ and His word, the gospel of peace. In pondering about Mary and Joseph and their journey to Bethlehem, they obviously did not have a purse of gold, else they might could have bribed the hotel manager, and they did not have a suitcase of all the sweet baby clothes from all the baby showers that were given to Mary as how we might "doll" up for our newborns, she just had swaddling clothes and they simply had the means of their "staff," a donkey or camel and they also had the "words" of God and the Lord used a ruler to get Mary and Joseph where they needed to be. I was also thinking about Esther and how she used her scepter and reached out to the royal one that could help, how we too with a scepter, it being Christ seek the Royal One that can bid us help along our journey. I do not think I could have prepared what I needed for our journey with Joel, it was given at the "time," and my only hope and help was Christ, my staff and the Words of Christ as I read them in the scriptures. Gold and silver, if I had banks of it would not have "saved" us from this situation, no "scrip," knowledge and wisdom of this world would not deliver us. No bread, even a pauper and a king can experience difficult journey's and that is why we need the Staff and His Word alone, it is sufficient I will now say. We are not to even take two coats else we might think we can "fix it" encompassing in our on shell and nothing can touch us, I think the picture here is, we are to be layed bare before Him, destitute, needy. As we all go forward on this "journey of life," may we ever see what we truly need.......Him, we need that infant Jesus, we need that God man that started his earthly journey at Bethlehem and ended his Journey on Calvary , but even He cried out to His Father (His Staff) and the Words of God were upon His lips, so if He needed these two things, the Staff and the Word, how much more do we?
So busy today.....Anna is getting started with all the baking. The guys, bless their hearts are out in the 20 degree weather working, they might not work all day. And then last night Caleb, Daniel and Josiah were going to look at some land near to our house, a few miles away.....they did not make it......they hit a big bump on the dirt road and something broke underneath the van....not a good thing! So they had to walk back and Josiah was so brave to walk some of the way in the very dark and cold night. The diagnoses has not been given yet as the mechanic will send a wrecker out and take er' in. We will put forth our "scepter" and ask for His mercy and provision!!!
Well, Elijah got the garden all plowed up with the rent tractor, looks like a BIG area out there!! When you live on a farm it just seems a tractor is a "need." We had one for many years but just used it to death, so now we rent one as needed until God provides. We have been praying for about 4 years at least. Elijah, every night makes this request when we gather together as a family and now he even has the little ones say "pray for tractor." I remember Joel and Josiah speaking those words but in their very little voices. Elijah has to be a man of faith, he has already bought a plow, a hay spike and a harrow with his own money for the future tractor. Now you might call that presumption, but I think I will call it faith!! So I share this bit of history with you because when the Lord provides I want you to be able to remember how long the prayers have been prayed and may it be a story and testimony for you to not give up. We do not know when the Lord will answer, maybe soon, maybe in years, but Elijah has taken a step of faith and put the "cart before the horse."
Please pray for the Lockwood family, Jaynee is about 20 weeks a long with #12 and has had some difficulties along this pregnancy. She has flown to the USA and seeking care. It is through suffering that we enter in to fellowship with Him. You can visit them here.
It is soooooo cold here.....we have the wood stove going, and I think I need something warm to drink.....coffee.....better go!!! Anybody watched Pendragon yet??? Let us know!!!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Terry kept the younger six, stayed home in the warm toasty house, and likely played "tea party" with Mercy. I took the older six, Caleb, Daniel, Bethany, Elijah, Anna and Micah and we had a little adventure on OKC!! We had already had our evening meal and even our after dinner coffee, Anna says "we need to do something," and guess what?, I thought up the idea of our little adventure. We headed to OKC to the Myriad Gardens to see and walk around all the lit up trees, it was really beautiful! We parked around the Main street and Walker area and started walking. Through the Gardens first then on to the canal walk in Bricktown and then we walked on to Bass Pro......this was a lot of walking for those who know where we parked and how far it ended up. On the way back we had to stop in Starbucks and get us something warm to drink, which the guys treated us to!! We made it back to the van and then drove a short distance to the ice skating rink that is outside. We watched for a bit and found out that it was rented by the group there so not just anyone could skate. Soon a nice student came up and offered us to be a part of the group and said we could get the group rate at $5 a person. Daniel and Micah went first and they did not do too bad, then Caleb and I tried, of course I have not skated in probably 30 years, so I was visiting that wall alot!! Bethany and I both needed assistance, maybe next time for us we'll be a little more "showey." Caleb, Daniel and Micah were able to get around the rink! Anna and Elijah did not go for it, Elijah said maybe when he had his cover-alls....extra padding!! Good idea!! We stayed there until closing which was at midnight so a late night getting home. It was fun night and I enjoyed being with the children. I pray it makes a good memory for them!
Saturday agenda.... Terry, Caleb and Daniel and maybe some of the little fellows are going to work tomorrow, as they are trying to get as much done on this house they are working on before the ice and stuff predicted at the first of the week. It is likely they will be home for a few days next week with the weather. Elijah and Bethany are heading to Stillwater in the morning for feed and Elijah is renting a tractor to do some work around here. Anna is going to take some Christmas pictures of a family we know after lunch. So you see, its going to be busy!!
I have to mention what this day Dec. 12th, was in 06, (I know this post is on the 13th, but I am still up) it was the day, we brought Joel home from the hospital after his 8 1/2 day stay. He was so happy to be home. I remember as we settled in for the night, he got in my bed for a while but then he wanted to go lay on his little mattress in his room. I do not think the thoughts of "I can not believe all this really happened," will ever fade. I just see his little face in my mind and just miss him so. Keep moving forward, Cindy......
Have a happy weekend ......
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I can not say I am really sad but I am not really joyful. I do not feel like I am on the mountain top, but I do not feel I am engulfed in grief, maybe its just a blah medium. I am having memories of what each day was in 2006 and it is hard but I do not feel knocked down by them yet I can not seem to feel totally happy, joyful at this particular time. So that makes it difficult for me to write, what do I write about?? I so enjoy reading and "hearing" from the word and then sharing it with you all yet as of late I have been in the reading and nothing seems to leap out. I read one verse this morning and maybe it just says it all, how I feel and what to do.....Mark 8:18, and do ye not remember? Maybe I just need to remember, remember His faithfulness, remember what He has saved me from, remember how He directed Terry and I together, remember, His mercies and blessing in childbearing, remember His sufferings and that if I suffer I will reign with Him, remember his mercies towards Joel in that it could have all been a lot worse, remember His provisions of the past and that he will do the same for the future.....there is much to remember about Him. Remembering Him as a Baby and His plans for redemption. Remembering to tell Him thank you!
Last night we watched a movies called The Printing. Its one of the few that you can watch. Its about Communists Russia and Christians being persecuted for their faith as they sought to print Bibles. Well, the last time and only other time I watched it was 5 years ago, in 2003, I was about 2 weeks away from delivery with Joel and Josiah. At that point, I was not bedridden for the twins sake, its just the only comfortable position, laying down!! Even sitting was sooo uncomfortable. I remember all the children piled on the bed watching it! Some parts are a little scary for the little ones as the KGB officials hunt down people and they would cover their faces up. For some reason when we started watching it, I thought it was a short movie and then as we kept laying there and it turned into two hours. Sweet memories of those little fellows inside my womb, their kicks, their movements are joys unspeakable!! Anyway we did that last night and had Blue Bell to go along with it!!
Bethany is mailing out Goat Soap orders, make yours if you like and it should get there in time for Christmas. She has them all wrapped individually in netting and ribbons. Great gifts!!
Tomorrow.... grocery day. Anna and I are trying to get all of our baking stuff on this round. She has some new goodies recipes she is trying this year. Terry's folks are due up this way soon, so the children have one more small round of happenings with their grandparents. I do not now exactly what we are going to do Christmas day, as we do not normally give gifts, by the time the grandparents get done, the children have made a haul, so I am seeking to think of something we can do as a family. We are going to fix a really neat Christmas breakfast though. I know what ever we do Terry will just enjoy being off and out of the cold!!
Thats about it for now......
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I had some coffee last night at 11 am, I should not have done that, I tossed and turned until 2 am. We slept late this morning so that has thrown the whole day off, almost puts you in a bad mood. Mercy slept until 11:45, so she missed breakfast and enjoyed lunch. It is doing sleet stuff outside, the guys are out in it and they are cold but must persevere! We have got the wood stove going so we are nice and toasty.
I think since Mercy is the baby she is getting royal treatment and gets by with much.....at bedtime she has this routine....she has to lay in mommy and daddy's bed a "fuuu minutes." As she is laying there most of the time not one bit sleepy she talks about many things, she tells us about the "cow-oytes" in the pasture, she tells Terry she can not scratch his back because she is going to sleep, she says she is going to be "real" still and go to sleep, and she says "this is not going to work," (the sleeping arrangement) she says she has to put her passy "on," and she says "lord willin, I get in mommys bed in mornin when daddy goes to wurk." And on the side if you ask her old she is, she says "two and 1/2." I love the little voice and words that she tries to say. She is surely our little rainbow as we journey through the storm!!
I read in Ex. this morning. How is it that when God does things for us, its not long that we forget and can begin to murmur? The Israelites had just been delivered, 15:3, So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. (v.24) And the people murmured against Moses, saying what shall we drink? Here they were just three days out from witnessing a great miracle, the parting of the Red sea, that was major!! And now just three days later they have forgotten and are complaining.......this is to me, why do I do this?, I know it is my sin nature, I wished I could "get it." Learning to be grateful is something very pleasing to the Lord, I surely want to be. Like I have said before, I see the glass half empty and Terry sees it half full. I want to remember what He has done in the past and look with joy of what He can and will do in the future instead of doubting and acting like "oh well, if He doesn't provide it, then no big deal." I guess I felt a little reproof here this morning that I need to be grateful for what He does, what he doesn't do and what he can do!!
Did you see the picture of the beautiful computer desk? I wish I had a taken a picture of what took its place, but I can describe it and then you"ll know why we are so excited....it was a five foot piece of white Formica on four screw in legs and it had a sway belly! Mr. Chatham custom made this, it is solid oak, even the drawers inside and out, there is no plywood at all!! We still have to put the pulls on the drawers yet. If you need something he is the man that can do it for ya!! You can contact him if you like, he's going to get a site up soon I think. Brian Chatham [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Anna is making our meal tonight. Bethany went to the post office. Hosanna is reading and playing with Josiah and Mercy. All the other boys that are here are outside, probably hunting! They are enjoying the 4-wheeler.
We are still blessed by many that are still ordering Joel's Journey, we sold 15 last week and we get orders through the internet, so thank you for keeping "Joel's memory going."
The Pendragon DVD's were suppose to shipped out on Monday, so you should be seeing yours soon. Don't forget to let us know what ya think about it. You can go here and order yours if you like. The Burns family are wonderful folks, Caleb and Daniel have sure enjoyed working with them!!
Not much else for now, stay warm if your in OK. I am so blessed to have all you out there!!!!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
On December 7, 2006 we made our first, (Terry did) entry on this blog. You can re-read if you like here. At the time we were just hoping to get info out to our family and friends in this area, little did we know that Joel's story would reach so many across the United States and other countries, but that just testifies to how big the Lord is and how His plans are much higher than ours. I do not consider our trial unique, I have since read so many others that are taken through difficulties and straights and I believe it is all for a common purpose, His purpose, to refine, purify,and sometimes chasten. I have read some that embrace His will and can come to rest that He does all things well and then I have read about a few that turn away from the Lord with bitterness and an anger that somehow they seem to think "we do not deserve this." Yet in reality what we truly deserve has not been given if we are a believer and blood washed in Christ, He has taken the punishment for our sin. I think one of the things that I am learning in a deeper way is that I can trust the Lord with His plan. I certainly can not understand it, yet there is this deep, peaceful sense that He really is doing things to benefit me and not to purposefully hurt or cause me to have a rotten life. Now sometimes in my mind that battle is going back and forth because I think in my own reasoning that why could not I have learned that with Joel instead of with out him?" After almost two years, I am able to say with my heart "thank you. Lord," and its because I feel in the depths of my heart I can trust His call, his plans. As a mommy I will always miss him and have deep feelings that come out by way of tears, but I trust Him.
This past Jan. 2008, we connected the blog to a tracker that tells us how many folks visit us. This is what I want you all to see because this is your part.....in 11 months we have had 67,906 visits. I wish we would have had it connected the previous year but even if it was half that, it would be close to 100,000 visits. I can not write words that can say thank you to YOU! You have encouraged, laughed, cried with us on this journey. Some have been with us from the very start. I pray and desire that you will always see Jesus and not the Morris family, we have only survived this because of Him, His grace, His mercies and the truth of the words of Christ that gives us hope each day that we will be with Joel again one day. So now as we continue on still healing, still sharing the heartaches that are stronger on some days, I also want to encourage others in the truth, that even though you may not be in a trial as ours, I want to exhort you in the words of Christ, I want to encourage other mommy's in childrearing and training, I want to learn along with you to be the helpmates to our dear husbands, to be as lights to a dark and perverse generation, and to share the happenings of the Morris family, the farm adventures and the ways the Lord provides as Terry works with his sons in our own business. There is no question that our family could not have communicated with 67,000 people in 11 months, but it is through Joel's life and journey He has granted us the privilege to meet you via this blog. What an amazing little life, but more than that what an AMAZING GOD!!! Please know that we are grateful, humbled and give praise to the Lord for YOU!!!!
We had a wonderful Christmas meal with my Dad and Shirley, and now getting ready for the afternoon as the children participate in the Journey Through Bethlehem in Guthrie. Hope to see some of you there.
Again, thank you for keeping on with us!!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Great party, food and Anna's amazing dessert for her brother!! As I mentioned before Terry gives each one a Birthday Blessing, writes it out and reads it to them. Here is what he shared with Elijah tonight.
It was eighteen years ago that you came into this world in the year of our Lord 1990, and you have been going strong ever since!! You are such a great blessing to me and the entire family. It is a real joy to work with you and with Caleb and Daniel. It is fun to see the gifts God has given you and how they fit in with Caleb and Dan, even if the sparks sometimes fly; the job still gets done!! You are a fine young man and it is a privilege for me to be your father. I thank the Lord for that blessing, and I pray that He will continue to work mightily in your life to make you what He wants you to be. God has given you a very generous heart(and many of your brothers and sisters are glad for that quality) and it is an inspiration to me and challenge to me as well. May the Lord fulfill His word from Hebrews 13:21 and "make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Loves, Dad
I will just add to Terry's that I am so blessed by Elijah's work ethic, he loves to work and can handle difficult challenges. He is very tender with his sisters and has the qualities of leadership and others easily follow him. He is sensitive to make things right when needed with others and the Lord, he's a fine young man and I am honored to be his Mom!!!
Happy 18th Birthday, Elijah!!
I just wanted to post a few pictures of the children's Christmas with their grandfather and Shirley. We had a fun time and by the time all the paper was torn off it looked like a disaster, then they were off to put things together and really begin the "fun." My dad and Shirley are such a blessing, the Lord has used them as a means many times for provision and we are so grateful for their generous hearts. Micah is especially on top of the mountain as his grandfather brought his 4-wheeler and a muzzle load gun and put them in Micah's charge. You know our motto is "we break it or loose it," so we'll see how long they last!!! The 4 wheeler will be a great source of help, taking the trash and hauling wood!!! Mercy is especially happy with her doll house and tea set. Andrew got a Bear Compound Bow, Micah got an assortment of hunting paraphernalia, Anna got a beautiful silver watch, a shirt and some books, Bethany got a silver chain and her puppy, Josiah made a haul with fireman playmobiles, camo clothes, coon hat, rubber boots, Caleb and Daniel both got black leather jackets......dudes now!!! Jeremiah came away with a BB pistol and a Leatherman, Hosie was blessed with a watch, playmobile camper, a glass tea set, Josh got a Leatherman, knife and some Legos, and Elijah got some really nice cowboy boots, and Terry and I are getting a custom made solid oak computer desk which should be ready in a week or so, (thanks Mr. Chatham) and little Dooley and Duffy got a toy!!!! If you look under the tree in one of the pictures, you'll see Joel's cowboy boots, and our tree has all cowboy ornaments on it and those are Andrew's chaps around the bottom of it.
Today is Elijah's 18th Birthday!!! Anna made him homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and they were fantastic!!! He is having a "Dodge Party." The kind man at the car dealership made my day......I called yesterday and asked if they had any Dodge paraphernalia and he said come by this morning, was I ever glad about all the stuff he gave, banners and flags, and all free!!! I then went to Wal Mart and they had ONE Dodge baseball hat on the shelf, and then I found a cheap re-mote Dodge truck for a center piece, and added some red Christmas lights and we have it all ready for the party..... I'll post a few pictures later tonight!!!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
My soul hath them still in remembrance.....This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (Lam.3)
My Little Joel, Though today and the fifty days following are the darkest days of our lives, they do not compare to the three blessed years that you brought pure sunshine to our hearts.
Though the worst news parents could be told in the days ahead, will never outweigh the good news of that day in May that there is two!!
Though the weight of this trial was seemingly unbearable, the weight of you and Josiah in my womb was joy unexplainable!
Though the cries and tears were so painful to hear, your giggles and smiles are ever so dear!
Though the days you have been gone seem so long, it is really gettin' closer, and I 'll keep hangin' on!
Though the day of holding you as you lay still in my arms was breaking my heart, I will never forget the day I first held you, your life at the start.
Though a blanket around you and my arms holding you tight...no more breath.....I will never forget when I first snuggled you all tiny and new and wrapped so tight in a blanket.... we held you in life and in death! Oh, Lord, I am trying to see what you have done, that it is all by your plans and right that even though this day seemed like the beginning of the end......in eternity it is really the beginning of Joel's life that will never end! Thank you Lord for letting me be Joel's mommy!!
Today in 2006 we headed to the Dr. appointment at 1:30 and Josiah went too, little did we know that by 6:00 pm this evening we would be checked in to a hospital room and all that followed in the next 5o days. How can I not relive these days.....His grace has been abundant and sufficient, His compassions are felt, His mercies meet me everyday........but I still miss him and love him ever so dearly........
We are about 30 minutes away from "Paps" arriving! Earlier I had to send the little ones outside, they were bouncing off the walls, so I told them to "go rake the yard." That should keep them busy for a while I thought, but I looked out there and it was all done so quick, which is great but now they are bouncing again!!!! If I can just contain them a little longer, I will hand them over to their grandfather....hehehehee!!!! Tonight is their "big" night with him and receiving the gifts he got for each. I think the guys are getting home a little early, we'll have a simple meal tonight as I am waiting until Sat. to do our Christmas meal, I figured they would not eat much being too excited and all. The guys are building a house that is about 7000 sq.feet, out of the Build Block, and was it ever cold as they went out the door this morning, but they are dressed for it!! The Lord has been so faithful to provide even now as we head into the winter months.
Anna posted info at the bottom of the last post about the children playing in Guthrie, so if you need that info you'll have to go back and read there. Hope to see some of you and make sure you introduce yourselves !!!
Better go and get ready........