Organizing 5 – The Fireplace

With the cold weather coming, we decided to clean out under the fireplace (also an indoor braai/barbecue).

I moved all the camping stuff out, vacuumed and cleaned…

Cleaned out the cobwebs from inside and sorted that wood and newspaper pile…

Think containerize – yay! love the concept. Found a great container for all the newspaper.

… and even some baskets not currently being used in the freezer that hubby was very impressed to be able to sort the wood into.

Looking good!

All done — ready for some great cozy fires and marshmallow toasting!

Have a look at: “Seasonal Clothes Switchout” at:

My Organizing Journey so far:

Part 1 – Organizing!

Part 2 – Recipes & Cluttered Surfaces

Part 3 – First Set of Drawers

Part 4 – Crafts and Art Folders

Part 6 – Puzzles and Activity Boxes

Part 7 – Recipes into the File

Part 8 – Hubby’s Desk Drawers

Part 9 – The Whole Office!

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 1v7

Prayer for the Lee and Crawford Families

About a week ago, there was a comment from Sherry on my blog that she liked the look of the crustless quiche and was going to try it as she had “a milk cow providing milk, egg laying chickens, and leeks and green onions in the garden.” and she was looking forward to preparing it soon.

I had a look at Sherry’s blog A Bakers Dozen Barnhouse News. I loved it and I immediately felt an affinity with this wonderful family. I read many posts from her blog over the next few days and was so amazed by her lovely family, her children building little houses for themselves all over her farm, the cows, the planting – their beautiful white wooden farmhouse with red roses around the outside and lovely new window boxes waiting to be painted. You could just see the love and care that Sherry and her family put into their home.

It was so lovely to connect with her in this way – so I was so devastated to hear that on Wednesday evening her husband Tom Lee was killed protecting his family from the tornado. Their home was completely destroyed. Their precious children were trapped under the collapsed house for hours and 3 were injured. Doug from Vision Form shares about this on his blog.

This photo was taken on Resurrection Sunday.

The Crawford family from Generation Cedar also lost their home  and are staying with a family from their church with their newborn son and other 8 children. Read more here.

I cannot find the words to express the pain and anguish I feel for these dear families. Sherry especially, my heart goes out to you for the loss of your dear husband and I am so devastated.

It is so wonderful to hear of all that is being done to help by the body of Christ in their area and surroundings. Kelly and Sherry, we will continue to pray for your precious families.

My dear brother lost his wife in December last year just three days after their first little girl was born. How does one even begin to cope after something like that.

How do we respond to such tragedy, such devastation to life as we know it – and such pain.

As an outsider who has never experienced this depth of loss (though I miss my precious sister-in-law dearly – I see two things – incredible pain and incredible strength intermingled. The strength is God’s alone.

Such loss and such grace intermingled.

Amazing Grace,
How sweet the sound
Amazing love,
Now flowing down
From hands and feet
That were nailed to the tree
As grace flows down and covers me

“How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13

“Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.” Psalm 36v5-7

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” Psalm 40v1-5

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. ” Psalm 62v5-8

Lord, I ask for your grace and provision for the Lee and Crawford families. I ask you to comfort the Lee family, help them to find solace in you. Please draw them so close to you in their grief and to each other. Protect and keep them. Help them to cling to you and give them strengthen in their hearts. Please provide for all their needs. Lord, please bless Sherry with your grace and gentle comfort.

Please bless the Crawford family – give them grace and strength with their newborn and other precious children. Encourage them in their hearts. Please hold them in your arms of comfort and provide for all they need. Help them to increase in faith in You during this time.

Lord, I also ask for your provision and comfort for the many other families affected by the tornadoes. Amen

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” Colossians 1v9

Born Out of Anguish

Anguish (noun): excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain: the anguish of grief.

A warrior of God’s Kingdom died  as a result of a car crash yesterday and I continue to be so blessed by his life and his passion for God. Thank you Lord for the life of David Wilkerson.

– some excerpts below:

“I see more of the world coming into the church and impacting the church than the church impacting the world;   obsession with entertainment in God’s house – a hatred of correction and a hatred of reproof –  whatever happened to anguish in the house of God?

A true passion for Christ comes out of a baptism of anguish

You search the scripture, and you’ll find that when God determined to recover a ruined situation, he would share his own anguish for what He saw happening to His church and His people and He would find a praying man and He would take that man and literally baptise Him in anguish.

A true prayer life IS BORN OUT OF ANGUISH. If you set your heart to pray, God is going to come and start sharing His heart with you.

There is going to be no renewal, no revival, no awakening until we are willing to let Him once again break us.”

O Lord, baptise me in anguish that I might pray.
“Pray without Ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  1 Thess 5v17,18

A Fun Thing To Do With Hubby…

Some might not consider this fun – though we do!

When you are planning a special meal alone with your hubby, sit down together while waiting for supper to finish cooking and take 10 minutes to each make a list of 5-10 questions to ask the other.

Vary your questions from fun to serious, from deep to shallow.


For example: * What’s one thing that you are really excited about in our family?

* Who are your favourite “Titus 2” role models right now – and why?

* What frustrates you about the house / garden?

* If you could choose any animal for a pet for 1 week what would it be and why?

* What’s one way I can help you more?

* How would you describe our family traditions to a stranger?

* Tell me something thats in your heart that you don’t talk about very often.

* What do you think our children need more than anything else right now?

* What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do in your life?

* What has inspired you most in the past 2 weeks?

* What fun thing that we’ve done together would you like to do again?

* What have you read online lately about the world that interesting?

What would you like to talk about with our children more often?

Some of these might be hard to talk about so make sure you are feeling close and unthreatened beforehand. The goal is not to come up with brilliant answers but to connect and to feel close to each other!

This may be more a need for the wife than the husband – but my hubby loves it as much as I do!

It great how it opens the way for some deeper discussion, some fun ideas and some freshness in your conversation and relationship.

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation” 1 Peter 1v15

Rich Resources 1

Today I would like to highlight some articles that have had a great impact on me personally – I hope they will bless you too!

1. Our Ugly made Beautiful – by Caroline Collie (thank you Se7en for the link)

Excerpt: “The ugliness of crucifixion makes way for the beauty of redemption. The beauty of salvation. The beautiful reconciliation. One-piece wholeness for you and for me, bought by the One who was broken.

And though the Cross may symbolize the ugliness of humanity at its worst, crucifying the One who came to set us free, to fix our broken world, to reconcile us to our Creator God, yet the Cross is still at the same time wholly beautiful.” Read the full article here…

*****

2. Angry Children by Michael Pearl

I was convicted over and over as I read this and reminded of how we need to be there to help, teach and train our children every step of the way – laziness easily gets in the way of this. Anger gets in the way of this – more is caught than is taught! Such wisdom in this article from a father of 5 and grandfather of many.

Excerpt: “As a parent you must anticipate the needs of your children and be proactive in equipping them to face life’s challenges with the kind of character it takes to endure with grace the potential frustrations of everyday life. How? First by example. If you bypass this one, nothing else will work. If you have occasional angry outbursts, your children will catch it like the flu. It does no good to say you are sorry, other than they may learn to apologize after each of their own outbursts. You have not dealt with the anger; you have just made the point that it needs to be followed with an apology. More is caught than taught.

Assuming you are setting a proper example, the next step is to not leave your child in a social vacuum where she must face her frustrations unguided. For example, I saw a small child cry out in anger because she couldn’t put her coat on properly. She was frustrated. If you simply spank her for her anger or rebuke her, you will only increase the frustration and it will soon develop into a habit of angry impatience. You can prevent this inclination by patiently training her in the art of putting on a coat. When you see the anger, slow down in your hurry to get out the door and show her that you are going to patiently be there while she finds the other sleeve. If she is capable of this contortionist’s feat but overly anxious and impatient with herself, show her step by step how it is to be done, and smile all the while. You are teaching her that the things that frustrate us can be conquered with patience and persistence. In the child’s mind, this translates into a principle that will apply in the face of any frustration.” Read the full article here…

*****

3. Grumbling by Teri Maxwell of Titus2.com

Conviction again! Such a wonderful encouraging article.

Excerpt: “Recently I realized that I was hearing a considerable amount of what sounded like grumbling coming from one of my children. There were statements like, “I am soooo tired. I am very, veeery, veeeery hot. I am extremmmmely hungry.” You can tell that there was quite a bit of emotion included with the words that were spoken. These could be construed as simply statements of fact, but even if they were, they were certainly emotional and exaggerated. Put together and coming frequently from one person, it had become a complaining spirit, and I found my own spirits sagging as I was exposed to this continual drip, drip, dripping of negative words.

Of course, I spoke to this child about the words that were being spoken and encouraged that child in a different direction with thoughts and words. However, it wasn’t long after that conversation took place that I heard myself saying, “I am sure stiff and sore from yesterday’s workout.” The Lord quickly prompted me that my words sounded quite similar to the child’s words that were troubling me. Before too much more time went by, I heard myself thinking, “I don’t like having the Mom’s Corner still unfinished hanging over my head.” Again, that conviction of the Holy Spirit was there pointing out my thoughts and comparing them to my child’s.” Read the full article here…

*****

4. How to Clean a Room by Sherry from Large Family Mothering

A wonderful practical article on a great system to teach  your children in cleaning their rooms.

Excerpt: “Most of us are not born knowing how to take chaos and create order. My boys, especially, will look at a messy room and become despondent. The idea of sorting through the whole mess overwhelms them.

My boys love the book “Diggy Dan” in which Diggy is faced with a trashed-out bedroom and uses the occasion to fantasize about all sorts of things while cleaning up. His mother simply looks in every once-in-a-while and tells him to keep working.

I’m afraid that real life is not as fun. Sending a child in to clean his room without giving him some sort of plan is frustrating and useless for both sides.

There is a method we use around here to tackle total madness. Here it is in a nutshell:” Read the full article here…

*****

Many blessings from our family to yours!

“Happy [is] the man [that] findeth wisdom, and the man [that] getteth understanding.” Proverbs 3v13

Part 2 – Easy Crafts for the Creatively Challenged Mom

I am rather “creatively challenged” so the stuff we do needs to be EASY! I struggle to think of good ideas though I love to be creative.

A challenge for me is to engage the little ones in doing a craft but not do too much of it myself!

After we learned about the Amazon Rainforest, I am embarrased to admit I resorted to an easy old favourite –  colouring pages from the internet!

We printed colouring pictures of rainforest animals and the little ones coloured theirs and we cut them out.

We also cut coloured leaves from  red, green and yellow paper and stuck them on a large piece of paper to create the dense rainforest. Then we stuck the animals in and around the leaves…

Then they drew around the edges of the rainforest adding the finishing touches.

Great delight!

Although it was an easy craft it was great because even our 1 and 2 year olds could take part!

A Rainforest on our wall!


See Part 3

“Blessed [be] the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.” Psalm 72v18

Reflections on The Christ

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16v16

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ” Isaiah 9v6

I love reading this verse – isn’t it incredible!

Christ shall be called Wonderful

Christ shall be called Counsellor

Christ shall be called the mighty God

Christ shall be called the EVERLASTING FATHER and Prince of Peace.

******

Justice and Grace met at the Cross of Christ.

Do we meditate enough on God’s holiness, His judgement, His justice and the need for a blood sacrifice for atonement – thats how evil our transgressions are to God.  Do we mock God by thinking that our sins are not really THAT bad? Do we fear our GREAT and MIGHTY God?

And yet God’s wonderful grace reached down and met his justice face to face and opened the way for us to be reunited with HIM – through our Saviour, The CHRIST.

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“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22v42-44 KJV

I love this verse about the angel appearing unto Jesus to strengthen him. Incredible to think of him MIGHTY GOD in human form needing that strengthening and being vulnerable to His creation. Wonderful the closeness of The Father and The Son…..

“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Luke 23v46

….. and awful the anguish of the separation between The Father and The Son.

I can’t imagine knowing in advance what Jesus knew he was going to go through – the incredible anguish of his sweat as great drops of blood, then finding the strength to go through it and going through it with such submission and peace and strength of heart.

******

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Matthew 27v50-53

That must have been a moment like no other in the history of the world – other than the creation! The earthquake, the temple veil rent, the rocks rent! Graves opened. The Power of God – and the POWER of the SACRIFICE of the CHRIST.

IT IS FINISHED! Praise the Lord!

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ” John 3v18