heading back

okay, actually I’m already back.

The event was good.  Nothing earth shatteringly great or disastrously dangerous …or frankly anything easy to write about.

and there is something else on my mind anyway

I’m currently working on a memory verse

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing”
I Peter 3:9

Now read the following excerpt from Beth Moore about this very verse

Here’s part of what makes this special. The New Testament translates two primary Greek words as forms of “bless” or “blessed.” One of them (lexical “makarios”) describes a state of being. A resultant condition, so to speak, like those described in the Beatitudes and in many other parts of the NT in reference to those who belong to God through Christ. It basically means to live in the face (coram Deo) and favor of God. The second one (lexical “eulogia”/”eulogeo”) is the conferring or speaking of blessing. As my NT Lexical Aids say, it means “to confer blessing upon, call down divine favor…” The former is a state of being. A beautiful thing indeed. The latter is blessing spoken. Also a beautiful thing, especially for those of us to whom words are a primary love language. It is this latter word for blessing – the one that involves something spoken – that is used in 1 Peter 3:9. The gist of the exhortation, restated from God’s point of view, is this:

“When you use your mouth to bless those who have insulted you or spoken evil to you, I, Myself, will speak blessing over you that you will receive as part of your inheritance.”

When we speak blessings over others who were HARD to bless, He speaks blessing over us. And, let’s admit it, sometimes we’re hard to bless, too.

We’re going to get plenty of opportunities to practice this spiritual discipline because, as the verse clearly states, TO THIS WE WERE CALLED. We were called to manifest the Spirit of Christ through our words when someone insults us. It’s a hard part of the high calling of God but to this we were called SO THAT we may inherit a blessing.

What hit me this morning was not just that we need to bless everyone all the time and pay special attention to making sure to grit our teeth and bless those who make our lives rough, but that we should be thankful for the very people who are driving us nuts.

I actually hit myself a little too fast with this this morning, so I’ll slow it down.

When someone insults me, or tries to be evil to me it is a God given investment opportunity.  If I bless them….. out loud.    If I pray down genuine blessings on them, I will not only be heaping up rewards in heaven, but I will be heaping kindnesses on them.  Ever tried to bless someone and be nasty to them at the same time?  nope.  Can’t be done.

There’s also the immediate result of a lowering of my blood pressure,  my temper and a savings of tooth enamel as well.  All of which are, let’s face it, instant blessings.

Okay, now that that’s done, I can give you a run down on Gulf Wars 18.

We drove all night Thursday, arrived Friday morning, set up a shade tent, rolled out a carpet, surrounded the carpet with tubs and placed Ginny and her toys in the middle of it.  I swear this was the most fun she had all week.  She loved it.  It was basically a huge baby-safe play-pen just for her.  Total delight.

2009-gulf-wars-18-004Unfortunately we had to use that particular tent later as a dining room so Ginny didn’t get to keep her makeshift play-yard for more than a day.  But I am going to have to consider something like that for any future camping trips.  …….

Knowing my luck though, by the time we take her camping again she will be old enough to escape from that and I’ll have to try harder to make it work.

The big headache for me about Gulf, that I simply did not foresee, is that the ground is mostly dirt – not grass – so I didn’t feel safe setting Ginny down in dirt.  Actually it was mud as after the first day of sunshine it decided to rain non-stop for three days.  But even once the sun came out and I went looking for a patch of grass to go play with her in it became abundantly clear to me just how many fire ant mounds there were.  There was simply not a square foot of space that I felt safe about letter her down.

This did not sit well with Ginny who REALLY wanted to get down a play.

Especially when the other folks arrived in camp.  One of those other folks is Solvi, the baby from last year’s camp.  Solvi is 11 months older than Ginny and they cottoned to each other immediately.  I could count on Solvi bringing out the sun for Ginny if she was upset.  My child turned into an instant giggle box every single time she glimpsed Solvi toddling around camp.

Fortunately Solvi was very interested in Ginny too, so they played together pretty well.  Ginny occasionally grabbed handfulls of Solvi’s hair, but she does that to everyone right now.  We managed to keep things from getting out of control.  The girls even danced together.  Okay, they held hands, standing up and bounced.  Someone in camp got pictures of it and as soon as they send them to me I’ll post them.

The big achievement of Ginny’s was that she got snuffled by a horse.  She loved it and giggled the whole time.  Actually it was kind of an achievement for me too, as I previously would not have thought that I would let a strange horse sniff my baby girl’s head!  But, encouraged by Solveig and Solvi, I did it.  Unfortunately no one got a photo, but I will always remember it.

Ginny looked very cute in her medieval clothing, but we learned a valuable lesson: don’t pack for a major event during severe weather.  We had done most of our packing during the freak snow storm that Atlanta got a few weeks ago and it ……influenced our packing.  We discovered that we had brought almost no clothing suitable for warm weather, only lots of thick stuff suitable for cold weather wear.

Consequently Ginny only had fleece outfits that were in a medieval style, so we don’t have many photos of her in garb.  But what we have I shall now post for your enjoyment.

a viking apron and hat

a viking apron and hat

despite the look in the previous shot, she really did enjoy the outfit

despite the look in the previous shot, she really did enjoy the outfit

it was even comfy enough to nap in

it was even comfy enough to nap in

I love this shot.  It looks like she is asking for someone to re-fill a glass or something.

normal baby outfit...and pose

normal baby outfit...and pose

This is actually how Ginny spend most of the war.  In a onesie and asleep.  What with the heat, and teething and growing and such she ate more than ever and slept a whole lot.

We are very blessed.  We are also happy to be back home.  Ginny’s face lit up when she looked around her nursery at home.  I could look into her face and actually watch her recognize objects.  Her smile grew and grew as she realized the concept of HOME.

I think she thought we had left it forever.

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heading out

long time readers of this blog will  know that my husband and I go every year to do medieval re-enactment for 11 days in early March.

Well it’s that time of year again.

time to pack up all the stuff and drive to rural Mississippi to join 4,000 of our closest friends.  this year we get to add something entirely new to the mix: the adventure of taking our six month old baby girl to her first camping event.

Now for those of you you are picturing a backpacking type trip….um…get that image right out of your heads.

The stuff we pack takes up an entire 24 foot long passenger van from floor to ceiling,  plus a  12 foot long trailer hitched to the back.  This is camping in comfort.  Our tent has a 17 x 17 foot “footprint”  the dining room for our 27 person encampment is 20 x 20 and the kitchen is another 19 x 24.

Here are a few shots from last year

our closet

our closet

dinner one night. fire roasted game hens, mushrooms, olives, quinoa, carrots, pickled vegetables, breads

dinner one night. fire roasted game hens, mushrooms, olives, quinoa, carrots, pickled vegetables, breads

Martin tending the fire

Martin tending the fire

the old dining room. this year will be twice as big

the old dining room. this year will be twice as big

us in front of our tent. I can't wait to re-take this shot with Ginny included

us in front of our tent. I can't wait to re-take this shot with Ginny included

We mostly likely will not have any internet access all week, but be assured that I will post photos and stories the minute I get back to civilization.

alright, that’s a lie.  I’ll post the photos AFTER a nice hot bath.  Baths being the one piece of civilization I miss the most when I am camping.  Showers just are NOT the same.

love me tender

I want to be more sensitive.

Now to those people who know me and know how “over-sensitive” I already am, I will submit to you that what you are labeling “over sensitive” in me right now is actually just a tendency to over-react.

What I’m talking about when I say I want to be more sensitive is that I want my heart to be more tender.  Softer.  Ready to feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  Less…..um…… arrogant.

There’s the biggie.  I have a real tendency towards arrogance.  Especially in my inner thoughts.

Its ugly and it is doing me no favors in my work, family or friend circles.

This is something I have fought against all my life.  There is a certain hardness of my heart, an impatience, a disdain.  Especially towards people who are slow, or even those who are emotionally more vulnerable than I am.  Including, sometimes, my own husband.

This is BAD.

I don’t speak my feelings out loud.  But some times they show on my face, or in my voice.  BUT even if they never show to others, God sees them and I am convinced that he is grieved by my horrible attitude.

I’ve tried to change, but I am coming to the realization that I simply CAN’T DO THIS ON MY OWN.

It’s like asking someone with a faulty heart valve to perform surgery on themselves.  It is simply not possible.

The good news is that God has offered to help me.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”  Ezekiel 36:26

Thank you LORD.  Make me tender.  I am afraid of asking this Jesus, because I am horribly afraid that the method for making me tender is going to be that you will have to put me through some horrible trial.  But LORD I don’t like me very much the way I am, so …….

all the same, if you can tenderize me gently LORD, I’d appreciate it.

Ginny’s 6 months photos

Ginny turned 6 months old this past weekend.  At the risk of sounding totally cliche….WOW.  where did the time go?

She is an absolute joy.  And to share that joy, here are a few photos of her adorable self.

asleep on Grammy

asleep on Grammy

This was from about 2 weeks ago when Ginny was so sick.  But even sick, she was a delightful child.

somber sailor

somber sailor

This was on Sunday, Ginny’s actual 6 months date.  My mom had bought her this sailor outfit and Ginny is growing so fast we figured we’d better put her in it before she outgrows it.  Well we won’t be getting her anymore of that type of dress any time soon.  From the minute I put it on her to the minute we took it off, she. did. not. smile.  She gave us this very offended look and made it perfectly clear that she did not like this outfit.

snow!

snow!

Ginny’s first snow came on her 6 month date.  It was very wet snow and we saw no reason to take her out in it, but we did take photos of her watching the snow as it came down.  We also took a couple of  shots of just the snow coming down.

looking out Grammy's window

looking out Grammy's window

with MAK

with MAK

Here is the monthly photo of Ginny with her bear, MAK.   It’s a little out of focus, but she would NOT stay still!!!!

So that was our weekend.  Half-birthdays, snow and packing for our annual March vacation trip.  More on that later this week.

hope everyone who got snow enjoyed it.

what on earth?

I just opened my blog and I’ve gotten 236 hits so far today…………

My normal hit level is around 50 a day, so what on earth is up with that?

it’s almost creepy.

if anyone knows how I can track this to figure out why I’m suddenly getting all these hits, please let me know.

****update**** I think I figured it out.  It looks like in the last two days someone new has suddenly discovered my blog and has gone through and read every entry I ever wrote.  Wow.

And each time they are reading a post it is showing up as a separate hit.

wow.  I really had no idea I had written so many posts.

um, hi, whoever you are.  When you get to this post…please leave a comment.  I’d love to meet you.  Anyone dedicated enough to read all those posts deserves a personal Hello from the author.