Monday, February 21, 2011

An Eternal Home

Today it snowed again five inches, but with the big melt last week, our snow piles are not quite as mountainous. The kids were out fort-building again, with the exception of our little Lizzy who has a fever and cough. Our poor dear is trying to sleep on the couch and is coughing away. I look forward to heaven when there will be no more sickness for these little ones and our bodies will be new and perfect. I think I will take a break right now during this post to make Lizzy some lemon tea with honey in it. Our Hungarian friend, Nurse Agi, always recommended that one for a cough. I will see how it goes, since the cough syrup does not seem to be working.

The other kids are sleeping soundly, and Ethan went to get some exercise. He has a very full schedule this semester with 16 credits, but thankfully, we are coming up on graduation in May. Speaking of the kids sleeping soundly downstairs, I should say our sleeping arrangements are sort of interesting in this house, since we are sharing a house with Ethan's parents. They have been out of town most of the year, but we have still reserved their bedroom for when they come through town to stay. Peter has a room to himself in the basement, and the three girls share part of a room that we have quartered off from the family room with a moveable, temporary wall. The rest of the family room is stuffed with a big pool table, an extra couch and the girls' toys. It is definitely crowded, but it works. Ethan and I sleep in the guest room on the main floor, which works fine for now. We are grateful for a house to live in while Ethan is in school. We have a very supportive family. I have always dreamed of my own home, though, but as I get older, I am realizing more of what is important in life.

Since I was a young woman, I have enjoyed have a place or dreaming of a place to be a homemaker in. Being a wife and mother is truly my calling, and homemaking suits me. I may not be the most talented homemaker, and I do not feel that I am a gifted mother, but I do believe I am called. My young children are worthy of having a mother to raise them, who will lovingly discipline them and point them to Jesus, who will be an example to them, and will work hard to feed them with the daily bread God has given her to work with. I am often tempted to wish for a house and all the comforts that can be bought in this life. I really do enjoy being home and making a house a home, but maturity requires pushing me past what is comfortable and continually pointing me to heaven's eternal home. A few years ago I was tempted again to want a "normal" life with a house and long-term place, but as I was bringing this to God, He showed me a wonderful Scripture found in Psalm 17:13-15:
Arise, O LORD,
Confront him, cast him down;
Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword,
With Your hand from men, O LORD,
From men of the world
who have their portion in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure.
They are satisfied with children,
And leave the rest of their
possession for their babes.

As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

Truly, to do God's will is much more satisfying and lasting than having the perfect dream of a perfectly decorated, happy house and passing on a bunch of stuff to your kids as an inheritance. Even having a long-term stable job is not necessarily going to bring happiness, unless a person is fully satisfied in God and in His love. God is preparing an even longer-term house in heaven for all who believe in Jesus. Jesus explained it to His disciples like this in John 14:1-6:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus is who we need. One day I will not really care about where I live, and honestly, I do not expect I will care about the "mansions" in heaven either. I think I will care more about WHO I am with. Jesus said, "That where I am, there you may be also." That is the part I am really looking forward to in heaven, being with Jesus, whose love is better than life.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

This Christmas cactus belongs to my mother-in-law. We are living in their house, and it is one of my favorite things about winter. This plant blooms fully about 3 times during the winter and it gets one or two blooms in between each full bloom. The flowers have two blooms stacked on top of each other like a double-scoop ice cream cone. I water my plants once a week during the winter (about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of water for this large plant). Lately the plant has gotten some yellow, wilting green stems that I have had to remove. I am trying to figure out what is wrong. I am not doing anything differently than I did last year caring for it. Perhaps it needs to be repotted? Do you have any thoughts?