Saturday, January 24, 2015

Give Thanks to God in ALL Circumstances

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7
Our Present Circumstances
Today is Dad's 65th Birthday! We wish we could be at his party, but we have obligations here this weekend.  Dad is a multi-talented man with a heart for God's Kingdom.  He devours books and articles (that is where our third child gets it from!). He keeps serving and is a recipient of the Grace of God towards him in Jesus Christ.  We love him!
6:20 a.m. Eat breakfast, 6:42 a.m. catch the bus
Cheering on the Otters at the Wrestling Tournament at Spectrum
We had such great fun seeing our friends from Fergus Falls! PJ got to be the towel-tapper for  Mat 2 keeping track of the time for the referee earning him service-learning hours for his class at Spectrum.
1st Grade Science Fair Presentation

Ethan finished up a week of teaching in Iasi with the added blessings of meeting with church leaders in Moldova on Thursday and witnessing the graduation ceremony for the pastors and lay leaders in Iasi on Friday.  It was a personal blessing to him to have been a part of their training for the past three years.  Lord willing, TLI will begin teaching church leaders in other parts of Romania and Eastern Europe.  This weekend he is scouting out another site in Romania where pastors are interested in being trained. Pray for that opportunity.

We miss Daddy. He will be home Tuesday night.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

At Home and Abroad

Serbia, Romania, and Moldova

On the Other Side of the Pond
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15
The pastors in Iasi (in NE Romania near the Moldovan border) are studying hard while thoroughly analyzing all of the text of 2 Timothy. Ethan is leading a team of four, including his colleague Dr. Yong.  This class will be the final class of three years of curriculum culminating in a graduation ceremony Saturday.  Today the leaders decided to combine all of the students into one room in a workshop style class in order to teach the lessons in analyzing and diagramming the text.  This is very challenging for the students and the teachers because it is being translated from English teaching to Romanian for the listeners.  The students have the curriculum book on 2 Timothy already translated into Romanian, which is very beneficial for their learning and their ability to teach others also.  Please pray for these classes to bear much fruit as the teachers and students abide in Christ.

Ethan will travel to Moldova on Thursday to meet for a second time with church leaders desiring training in the Word.  Please pray for those meetings.

Meanwhile, at Home…
After a day of no school for Martin Luther King, Jr. day, the children returned to school today. They all have head colds, so I am praying for their health and strength for their days.  I headed to Moms in Prayer that meets to pray for students and teachers at the public charter school my older two children attend.  In addition to praying for the kids, we spent some concerted time praying for Pastor Saeed and his wife, Naghmeh, today.  Learn more about this U.S. prisoner in Iran at  

After prayer, I attended my final physical therapy session for my hip labral tear and impingement.  This physical therapy has been a Godsend.  I have grown so much stronger through these sessions.  Though I will continue to have pain the rest of my life, we found that if I exercise it correctly, I have increased mobility and strength.  My goal will now be to do my exercises at least 2-3 times per week.  For now, I do not plan to have surgery.  I have also been taking on a crazy hard challenge from my sister-in-law to do planks, pushups, squats, etc. every day for one month.  The number increases every day.  I am getting to the point where I am wondering if my weakness will outweigh my ambition.  It will be any day now.  I am also memorizing a chapter of the Bible as a challenge for our church.  Though physical exercise is beneficial, godliness is worth SO much more. God is encouraging me so much through this time of memorization.  I Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Saturday we were blessed with a few opportunities to keep busy and enjoy ourselves.  Our Minnesota Historical Society had an event in Pine City, MN at the NorthWest Company Fur Post.  We were transported to the time of the Voyageurs and Ojibwe Indians!  We also got to try snowshoeing, cutting ice in a river for fishing, curling on the river, and a game called Snow Snake.

The Game of Snow Snake

Whose is further?
Snowball Fight…PJ started it!

The Fur Trading Post

Ojibwe Wigwam made of genuine Birchbark

Cutting a hole in the ice of the Snake River

Curling on the Snake River

Curling, an Olympic Sport invented in the Highlands using Stones

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kingdom Work in Europe

Photo Shots from Ethan's Travels in Romania

A few pics that I find interesting

Today Ethan flew out of Minneapolis on to Eastern Europe for more leadership training with Romanian pastors and lay leaders.  His first few days of travel are in Serbia where TLI runs a seminary training program for pastors.  Ah, Serbia!  We loved our few short trips to Serbia when we were living in Hungary.  The colors and the air feel warm in Serbia.  The bullet holes in the buildings reveal their war-torn past, however.  With the Lord, however, He renews hearts of people and rebuilds their lives, giving them eternal life.  This is the work that brings Ethan and TLI to Serbia…building the Kingdom of God.

Next, Ethan will travel to Romania and Moldova, teaching pastors their final core class on 2 Timothy in  Iasi, Romania, with a graduation service following.  Several men will be traveling with their team teaching this time.

I am so tired after a busy day today! Twice a week, I clean a large house in this area.  Today was a cleaning day.  Then the kids needed picking up early from school for a dentist appointment, I dropped off Ethan to the airport shuttle, and then on to Coon Rapids for dental cleanings (all five of us, minus Ethan, of course).  We came home for supper, dealt with some homework struggles leading to wailing from one of the kids, then all five of us jumped into the car to take G to her violin lesson 30 minutes away.  When the kids were finally in bed, the piano and hymnbook were opened, and I played quietly while they fell asleep. Time for sleep myself. Goodnight.

Friday, January 9, 2015

It's A Prairie Girl Birthday!

Seven years old today! 
Ten girls for cake and lots of smiles.

I love this darling girl.

Pic from the past - Growing, changing, learning, sharing.

Sweet prairie girl at two years old.

She runs ahead of us every time.
Happy birthday to our youngest child! May your love of learning, love of people, love for God, and courageous character take you many places for the Kingdom of God and for the praise of Jesus' name!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Everyday Parenting Questions and Delights

    Unashamedly, I do require my four children to do daily chores, with Saturday being the big cleaning day every week.  But this time, the kids initiated the cleaning.  Thanks, Swiffer!  I bought a wonderful cleaning tool from Walmart today that I have been using at my housecleaning job.  You can dust pretty much anything with it.  With the extension handle, you can even dust corners of your ceiling and ceiling fans.  I love it!  
Dusting this afternoon with our new Swiffer duster.

     Over Christmas vacation, my 12-year-old son decided that he has had enough of being a "TV-less" household.  Since being in Ukraine and Hungary, and not watching television, we realized that this absence is really a lovely and refreshing gift, so we never introduced it again.  Our kids grew up only watching movies on Friday night, and an occasional DVD at other times.  Unlike myself who was pretty much addicted to television when I was in about third grade and later.  Our kids made their own toys, spent time imagining all sorts of things, played outside, read, and built things to fill their lives.  Now that my son has created his own homemade TV antenna we are able to access at least 12 channels.  Now what do I do?  So far my answer to his question, "May I watch TV?" has been "no."  We will see if that changes anytime soon.
PJ's homemade TV antenna in our attic.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


What a great Sabbath day!
Worship at Glory of Christ Fellowship with Special Guest Speaker, Mark Beck, from Josiah's gift.  Mr. Beck challenged us to memorized whole chapters or entire books of the Bible.  We were challenged by Pastor Charlie to memorize 1 Peter chapter 1 by May.  Lizzy and I decided to take the challenge. Let's do it!
Agape Meal afterwards with wonderful fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Settlers of Catan with my family.   Tomorrow everyone goes back to school!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Feminine Identity Rooted in Creation and Submission to the Creator

"God created"

"And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

"Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made."

"And the LORD God formed man"

"She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."
-Excerpts from Genesis 1 and 2

"Let Israel rejoice in their Maker"
-Psalm 149:2

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse"
-Romans 1:20
Mother and son, November 2002
Who am I?  Am I am man? Am I a woman?  May I choose who I am and what I will become?  Aside from the simple fact that my body parts are different from a man's; my voice is different, my hair line is different (my dad and husband's hairlines had already receded by my age), I became pregnant six times with four pregnancies resulting in a live child born from my womb, and my thinking is different; I am a woman because I was created separately and distinctly.  

I am a creature, not the Creator, because I was created.  I am made not the Maker.  I can understand and know God, even His eternal power and Godhead (he is three persons in one true, living God) because He has clearly shown us His attributes.  God is true.  Everything He says He does.  God is powerful. By the word of the LORD the heavens and earth were created.  God is good.  Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father. God is just.  Every evil thing will not go unpunished.  

God is mercy.  God loved this created world so much that He sent His only begotten Son of God, that whoever believes in the Son will have eternal life and will not face the wrath of a just God.  His Son took the wrath reserved for me and you when He died on the cross.  By God's grace, we can know Him through faith in the Son.  The just shall live by faith. We must submit to the Creator and His creation order to be truly free.  We are not free by pretending and living in denial of His creation, but by resting in His authority and sovereign rule in our lives as the Maker.

When I was a young teenager, I was tall and lanky with a long neck.  I wanted to shrink so that I did not stand out.  When I grew up, I became ashamed of my person.  Why did I have this personality that is serious, thoughtful, artistic, and unpopular?  I questioned my creature.  I doubted the Creator.  It was only in looking to the Son, did I realize the freedom in submission to His creation.  God gave me the grace and power to rejoice in my Maker.
Young man….
Young woman…
You are fearfully and wonderfully made….
Do not hide from your manhood or womanhood….
Rejoice in who you are and whose you are…
You are created…
God is the Creator…
Submit to Him…
Rest in Him.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Prayers for the New Year

Epitaph symbol on Ethan's grandmother Overgaard's grave
From my January 1 Bible Reading Plan:
To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity; 
Proverbs 1:2-3

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night. 
Psalm 1:2

May my family KNOW, PERCEIVE, AND RECEIVE wisdom from God by delighting in and studying God's word day and night. Amen.