Category: God’s Fingerprints

Listening for God

A completely unrelated photo that has nothing to do with what follows. Our family celebrating Sabbath as we usually do by hanging out with my dad and stepmom at the cottage this morning. Left to right: My dad and step-mom cleaning up after breakfast. Issac making up games using Lego-men with my brother who got cut out of the picture, Rachel and Shamus doing a puzzle, Essie reading in front of the fireplace, and Rachel's Lego version of Minecraft.

God has been doing so much this weekend, and not all of it is finished, that I want to wait and post about it tomorrow.  However I thought I would share several other things today.

First, we messed up last weekend.  It took us all week to untangle the mess that occurred.  What happened is we got out of God’s will on one seemingly small thing that wasn’t nearly as small as we thought.  When you are literally living on what God provides and mess up, well, things get really tangled up and discombobulated really quick.  You see, we have been relying heavily on listening prayer and God’s Word for direction. (A good explanation of listening prayer was written up just this week on Seth Barne’s blog, who also wrote the book where I originally learned of listening prayer.  Excellent book, I heartily recommend it.)

The problem is that when you get out of God’s will you don’t hear so well.  If there is sin in your life that God wants to deal sometimes He will directly intervene (remind me to tell you sometime about how, back when my husband and I were still dating his car got stolen and torched AND he lost his job within a few weeks time.)  Of course that does not mean that every time things go wrong He is dealing with some sin but sometimes He is. Other times He will allow you to move out of hearing range.  The sin builds a sort of barrier between you and Him until you deal with it.  He is still there, you just don’t hear so well and so you are constantly floundering, struggling, and feeling uncomfortable.  That is how I spent most of my teen and college years and I very seldom feel that feeling now, which is nice because it makes it easier to recognize when it hits now.

So we made mistake after mistake last weekend, mostly because of an attitude problem that we thought was a small thing and which turned out to be rather deeply rooted.   By Sunday evening we had identified the problem, apologized to God, and figured out what we needed to do to make things right, but we still had to spend the rest of the week cleaning up after the mistakes made while we were out of God’s range (metaphor–we are never really out of God’s range, His voice is calm and quiet and sin is just so loud and chaotic.)  Mostly it meant trying to figure out where money was and needed to be in order to pay what needed paid when and an awful lot of running about and spinning our wheels.  Really, you would not believe the number times we ran into dead ends.  For instance we were trying to transfer money from one account to another using 2 debit cards.  No big deal.  Easy.  Except that the atm that always just works for both cards was closed for maintenance, the one next door wanted to charge $3 for the transaction, the other card that should have worked just wouldn’t, and so on.  I finally realized that I was just NOT going to be able to transfer that money and gave up.  Apparently that was not how God wanted me to handle that particular bit of money that day.  This was our whole week, still trying to get back where God wanted us, to hear again.

Finally yesterday it all came to a head.  We ended up spending the whole day in serious prayer for several very urgent situations.  It was an emotionally and spiritually exhausting day, yet much was accomplished and everything suddenly fell into place and at the end of the day we both had perfect peace.  In fact, last night we looked at each other and realized that we were both feeling that the worst was over.  We have turned a corner and have hope even though our situation has not really changed.  God has filled us with an amazing peace, joy and just plain Hope.  We talked and we both felt it.  It was like the fog lifted that we had been living through for the past few months and we just know that He is doing something.  In fact we keep running into Isaiah 43:19:

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isn’t that beautiful? And it is exactly what we as a family need. We have been floundering financially since the week my mom died which was incidentally the same week Shamus was cut back to part time at his old job and the same week that we had just used our backup funds to purchase a new-to-us vehicle, and then even worse since they cut his job completely and we haven’t received the check from the other company he deals with, and which we had been living on. For the last few months we have been living completely on what He provides.  We ha veknown He must be doing something as He kept herding us in this direction and taking care of us while He did but there is now something more to it. Somehow we just know that we are on our way, that we have gotten out of the holding pattern and He is going to make something of where we are or where we are going and do something new. He is consistently blessing our creative endeavors and continues to encourage us to use the gifts and passions He has given us without a backup plan which definitely goes against the way the world does things. We don’t know what He is up to but He is obviously at work doing something, we don’t know what His time frame is but we know it is there.  So that is exciting and an adventure, and we are the sort of hobbits who like adventure– definitely of the Took line.

I also want to share with you another post this week over at Seth Barnes’ site, which perfectly encapsulates our experience over the last 2 years. These two years have not been comfortable but God wanted us to change and grow and chose this time to change us, a lot. Seth writes about how God uses discomfort for our benefit. I saw the post this morning and shared it with Shamus, who nodded his way through the entire article. God has used discomfort in all 5 ways in our lives over these last few years and I am sure He has probably done used it for you as well.  t is one of the simplest ways to prod we lovers of comfort into action. Hop over to Seth Barnes’ site to read about the 5 Benefits of Discomfort.

Living Water

Lately “water” has been one of the words God keeps bringing to mind.  I am encountering water everywhere and today once, again in an unusual way.

We had a water bill due which Shamus paid over the phone using our home equity loan, because it needed paid now and we didn’t want to take our bank account down to nothing which might start the bouncing.   Now we have been having an odd problem.  We have been unable to access a lot of our accounts (bills and bank hough we can pay bills through our bank–totally convoluted and for no obvious reason.)  We do believe a lot of it is that we are not supposed to be worrying over money, which is understandable since  every time I look at our nearly empty account I get nervous (as does Shamus) and we know that worrying is not God’s way and that He has been providing every step of the way.  So, we have pretty much been letting it slide and not trying to force the online accounts to work.

That said, I found a 10 day shut off letter that I hadn’t opened and wasn’t sure if it had come before or after we had attempted to pay via phone, and since we couldn’t login to the home equity to see if it had gone through I figured I better call the water company to see where we stood.  Last night I had no peace about calling and this morning I did, so I did. 🙂

I got a lovely woman whom I had a hard time hearing (I have a very hard time talking on the phone, especially when there are kids in the room or other noises in the background– my brain doesn’t discern between sounds very well and unraveling sounds is tricky for me.)  After figuring out that the payment did indeed go through and we just owe for this month (and therefore are not about to be shut off) she asked if I wanted to update income.  It took me a while to figure out that she meant we could go in the system in a way that meant if we are having trouble paying they can give us a payment plan instead of shutting us off– yes please?  (We got shut off the week Mom died because Shamus’ company cut him to part time as of that week and with that and running too and fro to the hospital and then funeral and all that mess and a case of paying the wrong bill– we have several that start with PA and then letters and sometimes things get mixed up– the water bill was forgotten and made for even more stress and mess.)

The funny part came when she asked about our income.  I had to explain that we both now work only on commission and would have plenty to live on if we would just get paid what we are owed but several checks (including one for 9 months worth of work) are not forthcoming so basically we are living on what I make (which comes to about $200 a month give or take) and what people give us.  She was amazed (especially after I said we were not doing unemployment, food stamps, etc.) and  said something about my wonderful attitude.  Of course I couldn’t claim that at all and pointed out that it’s not me, God is the one providing and who am I to complain.  She was so excited, said she was going to say similar but had to be careful because of her work situation and then went on to say what an encouragement we were and immediately added us to her prayer list, saying she would pray right away so she didn’t forget.

So again God stepped in and used something I saw as an inconvenience and stress as a way to bless another and to encourage us yet again.  Not to mention getting us into a place where our water is not going to get turned off and that we don’t have to pay them more money right now because the payment did go through(which means the gift of money we got yesterday can go to pay other things that need paid!  YAH!)

I have to keep reminding myself that those things that make me uncomfortable, the little irritants, inconveniences, and things that I naturally stress over, God plans and uses for good.


Things have been so busy and crazy that I haven’t managed to write about God’s most recent provisions so I am listing them now before I forget.

  • We were gifted the amount of money we needed to pay the gas bill (and keep the gas on).  This is rather important given the freezing temperatures and that our house and stove both use gas to heat.
  • We were gifted an Amazon gift card that was just the right amount (with a little bit left from a previous gift card) to buy the other enzyme we use as well as some coconut oil, which was on sale.
  • A family member showed up with spinach (which we love and were out of).
  • We received another book from Donita K. Paul in the mail (I had neglected to check and see how many were in the series so didn’t realize there was another on the way.)
  • Today we received another gift of money that will cover another bill that is very due.
  • We also received some more groceries that were very much needed.
  • I was able to do laundry at my in-laws today (dead washer).
  • While I was gone my oldest cleaned the house and middle child did the dishes and prepared food for dinner.  (Issac was hanging out with Pappap at the pond.)
  • A friend gifted us with a vitamin supplement that was much needed.

I prefer to tell the stories attached to each blessing but I am still recovering from being under the weather yesterday and my brain still feels like fuzz.  Regardless, God is amazing and keeps providing for us at every turn.   It is still nerve wracking at times (like right now when I am unable to access ANY of the accounts online so I can see what has been paid and not been, instead I just keeping hearing God say, “Wait” and “Trust me” even though 2 of the bills mean shut off if not paid by the 31st.  Scary?  Yes.  Amazing to behold?  Yes.  Am I going to walk away from the computer so I stop worrying at it?  Yes.)

Oh, and as a side, work has begun on the box art for the game, which is very exciting.

A Plethora of Blessings

God has been doing so many things that I am having a hard time keeping up with it all.  However, I really feel I need to continue to share so that I can keep track and possibly encourage whoever might be reading as well.

This weekend had potential to be a rough one.  In fact, it started out pretty rough spiritually speaking.  It was so bad that all of us were feeling it– like constantly being slightly embarrassed and uncomfortable. Everything seemed to be off and finally today, after much prayer, discussion to see where things went off, and listening, we figured out the trouble area, confessed, and things have cleared up.   The key word that God keeps impressing on us is love.  There is more to it but that was where we were going wrong.  We were not being loving of some specific people and needed to get back on track.

On the other hand, God provided in several amazing ways this weekend in the midst of uncomfortable situations.

  • We were nearly out of enzymes and gas plus several vitamins that we really need due to health issues.  The Lord worked it out that during our weekly visit to my grandmother she gave us, on the spur of the moment, enough money to buy some groceries and enzymes.  Due to a sale at GNC we were able to get the vitamins, enzymes, and then go next door to Walmart for a few key groceries to fill in the gaps.
  • When we went to get gas the girls decided to use some of the money that Grandma had given them to get a drink (which meant that then Issac wanted to do the same which caused all kinds of confusion.) Their expenditure normally wouldn’t have made a difference on my gas since I usually pump gas first then go pay.  However the card reader didn’t work so I had to pay inside (which made me cranky because apparently that store doesn’t due debit card prepay) which meant me standing at the pump in frigid temperatures, twice, trying to get the card to work and running in the store twice instead of just once (did I mention COLD and that I was whiny and the kids couldn’t make up their minds?) And because of all that I got a discount and was able to pay for the gas using the money from a small job I had done that morning before and which had paid immediately.
  • A friend gave us several bags of groceries (with lots of home canned goodies from her freezer and pantry as well as some meat to fill in where we have cut into our own stores, thanks Connie!) which despite some confusion was brought to our house by another friend.  There was a bit of a mess involved about which I felt awful.   However, God worked it out beautifully so that Rachel ended up getting babysit today in exchange for a piano lesson and most of it ended up being just my discomfort at having everything be a mess and not really be able to make things right when people were going out of their way to help us out.
  • We were the recipient of a package of books from Donita K. Paul (which really deserves it’s own post).  In exchange I sent her a painting based on another one that she really liked.  It wasn’t till last night that I realized that she had also sent promotional bookmarks with it, one of which she signed!  Will take some pictures of the books and bookmarks plus do a bit of a review of the books (which are excellent) when I get a minute.
  • We received a $50 gift certificate for (and I get to do a giveaway of another $50 gift certificate to one of you, which is really exciting).  As you know I normally don’t do giveaways but I have been so impressed with their items (which are handmade by artisans around the world) and we have been so blessed by them in the past that I would love to share.  The really cool thing is that tomorrow is our 14th anniversary and we don’t really have anything with which to celebrate so we ordered a few things that we absolutely love as an anniversary gift to each other.  We managed to keep it completely under the $50 including shipping and even had a few dollars left over on it to donate to artisans. As far as the contest goes, I am thinking I will do the contest in the next few days (God willing, I will start it tomorrow).

A Few Cents

We are literally having a miracle of one sort or another a day and are totally living on faith so I figure I should keep sharing and giving God glory for what He is doing, even in the small things.  I know it helps for me to remember how faithful He is being as we go the route He has obviously planned for us (every time we try to do things differently it all falls through so we are being very careful to stay in His will–and right now that seems to mean Shamus writing and me painting and doing some web design work with a little extra work on the side) and hopefully it will encourage others who have found themselves in tight situations.  Yesterday’s awesomeness kind of trumped a smaller but just as meaningful little miracle the day before that I had intended to share.

On Wednesday Rachel had planned a daddy date that fell through due to Shamus’ migraine.  She had wanted him to take her to JC Penney’s to use the gift card she had gotten for her birthday.  Needless to say she was very disappointed when he couldn’t take her.  I offered to take her instead since I had library books to return and a Michael s gift card to use.  After stopping at the library where she ran into a friend she hadn’t seen in a while we went to JC Penney’s.  At first she was not too enthusiastic, but we quickly found several things she loved (including the ninja shirt she was wearing in the pictures yesterday).  We then headed to Michael’s where what I wanted was seriously on sale.  I didn’t need the whole gift card and Rach found a sketch pad she had really wanted on sale and asked me to use the rest of my gift card to get it.  It worked out so that I was only over by  26 cents which was perfect since I only had  about $1 in change on me.  As we left I realized that I had a shirt Rachel had gotten for Christmas in my bag that needed to be returned to Walmart.  I had lost the receipt so we weren’t sure how it would work out but thought it worth a go.  Rach decided that since I had gotten her the sketch pad she would give me the equivalent from what she got back on the shirt so we could pick up some eggs.

We returned the shirt and wandered around the store as Rach looked for things she might be interested in buying.  After picking several different things then putting them down we finally found a scarf she liked enough to buy and headed over to get the eggs.  It was there in the dairy aisle that Rach spotted the organic pancake batter spray bottle she and her siblings loved and always begged me for (which I nearly always refuse being that it is $4.15 for 13 pancakes!!!)  She decided to spend her $4 of Christmas money from the shirt on that (partly because it is her favorite but also because her siblings adore it and always spend their Christmas money on each other and on her so she wanted to do something special for them) and gave me the other $1 (plus the $2 for the eggs) to get something else to fill in the gaps in our pantry.

We wandered around the grocery section for a while, picking up and putting down, trying to decide the best way to use that $1.  At this point I know I had some change in my purse but hadn’t bothered to count it exactly (but as you know I had 70 cents.)  After realizing that nearly all the fresh produce in our price range had mold or was past its best we headed to the canned goods to get Shamus some of his beloved green beans.  I got 2 cans and a can of tuna (figuring that I might have enough change for all three if I searched hard enough and could always put one back if I didn’t.)

I was attempting to figure out how much exactly we needed as we approached the register so Rach could run and put something back and we wouldn’t inconvenience the cashier.  As we got in line (and I was still figuring) a cashier came over from another lane to say she was open so so much for that.  I realized just as we got there that we were over by a quarter, and after much searching I realized I didn’t have it and would have to put back a can of green beans.  (Now this is just a matter of cents and if you are not in a place where cents matter then it is not a big deal but in this case it was and a can of green beans would be a big help and make Shamus very happy.)  So, I was a bit disappointed and let the cashier know before hand that I would probably have to take off a can when we were done.  However, as she checked each item out the can of pancake batter came up  cheaper and when it was all said and done I still had a nickel left.

Like I said, it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal but these are the moments tend to amaze me most since it reminds me how much God cares about the details.  Sure it is only a few cents but He cared enough about those few cents and provided.  He cares about those small things.  He cares that my husband can focus because he can grab some green beans or tuna when he is hungry and I haven’t had a chance to make a meal.  He cares that my kids love that pancake batter and  that Rachel was trying to do something nice for her siblings.  He cares about our wants as much as about our needs and wants to give us good gifts, even if it is just some eggs and a couple cans.  He cares about Rachel’s love of all things ninja, that she needed long sleeved shirts and a scarf with cloves attached (which is adorable and keeps her from forgetting gloves).  He cares that we have what we need to be free to create.  He cares that we have our daily bread whether it is food, clothes, or whatever we need to be the best people we can be.

And yesterday Rachel came to me and said, “I am glad we are poor.”   When I asked why she explained that we are so much more appreciative of things both big and small when we have little and that when we had the ability to just get what we needed and buy small treats that we didn’t appreciate them nearly as much.  That alone is the perfect reminder that God is at work, that He would open the eyes of my 13 year old to this truth, a truth that often grown ups don’t see.

I think she is right, though I would really like to be able to pay our bills on time.  I know what it is like not to get paid for work done and really want to make things right but even there God is working and will do as He has planned.

The Surprise Revealed

On Rachel’s birthday I got an email from a friend who said that they had sent money to my paypal account as a special birthday present for Rachel, being that 13 is such a special birthday. I thought, “Oh, how nice, she will have enough to finish saving for a replacement screen for her Eee PC.” Then I looked in my paypal account and realized that no, she now had enough to buy both the full size midi keyboard she wanted (the “big” thing she was saving for) and the foot pedal for the midi keyboard. After thanking our friends profusely, Shamus and I decided to surprise Rachel by ordering the keyboard instead of giving her the money.

As you can see, it was the right thing to do. The keyboard came this morning (which is funny itself because the pedal shipped first and isn’t here yet, and the keyboard itself shipped yesterday. She is in seventh heaven, even though we could only afford a full size that has to be plugged into a computer with the proper program running (full size keyboards with built in speakers and software are EXPENSIVE.) After we got everything working on a spare computer we moved it to the kitchen where her 66 key keyboard was. Now we have a full size midi keyboard plus computer in the kitchen and all three kids are thrilled (especially Rachel, who spent much of the day practicing.)  So thank you again to Jethro and Roberta– you made for a very happy girl!

Rachel sees the box. She knew a surprise was coming for her birthday but not what or when.
Rachel finds out what is inside the box.

Everyday Miracles

I used to have a website named that where I would post all the little miracles (if you can call God things little) and it is funny because lately that is mostly what I am posting here. Because that is where we are and what God is doing.

This morning is the perfect example. Per usual I got up before the family. When I was preparing my oatmeal I looked around the kitchen and realized the shelves were really bare. I had realized this yesterday and pushed it to the back of my mind because it always leads to panic. I like to keep a well stocked pantry and have been stocking up, knowing we would be entering hard times. I keep telling myself we have plenty–which we do. Lots of noodles, a freezer full of meat, veggies in the deep freeze, and lots of teas on the shelf plus some bulk ingredients in the stairwell overflow including coconut milk, dried coconut, and peanut butter from the Van Slykes. However, we are out of raw milk and eggs and fresh veggies which means the fridge is nearly empty. The kitchen pantry is looking just as bare– all the nuts are gone, as is all the tuna and canned green beans (Shamus’ favorite). We only have 4 cans of that wonderful blessing of coconut milk left and I have to remember to go ahead and use it since God provided it for this time and not for a later time. So, I cleaned up the shelves a bit while my oatmeal cooked, forced myself to recognize the shelf above the stove full of jars of chai seeds, noodles, dried beans, and oatmeal and all the other foods that are hidden away (the stuff in the overflow, the deep freeze (including lots of flour) and prepared chickpeas–which reminds me, today I should make hummus.

I took my time eating and praying, spending time in God’s word (He has me in Isaiah) while I ate my oatmeal and drank my tea. I was lamenting that I have all this wonderful dried coconut and no ingredients make anything with it (other than to eat it straight or with a peanut butter spoon, which will happen anyway) and how quickly we have gone through all the coconut milk.

Then I moved all the food from the overflow pantry to the shelves where we keep foods for immediate consumption. I do better when I can see what we have and see we have plenty. Later I plan to make up some foods so that there are prepared foods for the family to eat (I am thinking some crackers and tortillas on which to eat the hummus and peanut butter would be good and alleviate some of the complaining that I heard yesterday.) Now the kitchen feels fuller and I can see that we have plenty. I know some people like all their stuff hidden away but I like mine where I can see it–because then I can remember that we have it and know exactly where it is. I am definitely an out of sight out of mind sort of person. 🙂

coconutAnd on to the everyday miracle. I was still trying to figure out what God wanted me to do with all this dried coconut since He obviously provided it. I figured maybe if I put in a search for tahini and coconut I would come up with something. Then I sat down at my computer, opened Facebook and Mandy was talking about the expense of coconut milk yogurt. I decided to check to see if there was a recipe out there–which I was sure there was. I was not thinking of my dried coconut at this point, just looking for a recipe for myself–figuring that would be a good use of one of the cans of coconut as well as for her since homemade is so much cheaper than bought. It was at that point that I found this recipe for coconut milk yogurt which linked to this recipe for making coconut milk from dried shredded coconut! And I was amazed again by what God had done because, in case you didn’t remember, I mentioned that we were out of raw milk. It was the perfect weather to go get it yesterday but I didn’t and couldn’t because we didn’t have the money for the drive or for the milk when I got there. I was so disappointed because I was sure God would provide it somehow. So here is the coconut He provided through the Van Slykes coming to the rescue again. I am really overwhelmed with His provision and how He manages to do it differently every time. What an amazing God.

While I was writing this the UPS guy brought another package from the Van Slykes– The First Hebrew Primer Third Edition, which is pretty cool and not only should help me with a potential art project I am working on but should make things interesting around here. 🙂

Now I am off to make coconut milk and hummus and put some dough to soak for tortillas and crackers then I will check out this book.

There is a Teenager in the House

Yes, my oldest, my first child, turned 13 yesterday. Shamus managed to get a post up here but I didn’t since I was busy with the birthday party she planned and organized herself. It is amazing to see this tall young lady (5′ 5″–she towers over me) where my little girl was so recently.

The cake that Rachel designed and made herself. (I made the icing and homemade blue dye for the pond.)

It doesn’t really feel like having a teenager since not only is she not really interested in “teenager” things but she, in general, doesn’t do the attitude. In fact we have been blessed to find her getting more kind, thoughtful, and loving as she has gotten older. We have seen her really blossom since she started babysitting (which she adores) and playing piano (which she loves so much that she babysits in exchange for lessons and goes with my mother-in-law to practice at her church while my mother-in-law works.)

13!!! And she managed to blow out all the candles in 1 go.

She is creative, a natural inventor/designer type who loves nothing more than taking impossible things and situations and making them work together. She has an invention in her head that she is working on figuring out how to make it really happen.

She had a sled riding party with friends of the family (worked out great- there was a friend for each of the kids.)

She is excited to be able to have an Etsy shop where she will be selling some of her creations and re-purposing things we have around the house to be sold as craft supplies (she has already photographed and figured out pricing on Altoid tins and plans to sell the beautiful cobalt blue jars the GNC enzymes come in, as well as other things). We haven’t had a chance to set it up yet because she needs a name for it and we have been busy. She dreams of owning a shop someday and wants to run cash register as her first “real” job after babysitting. This is a good thing because she is very good at convincing people to buy things.

Not eating snow, melting it with their breath.

And of course with recent events this post wouldn’t be complete without yet another total God thing. First off, that coconut milk came in handy yet again when I realized that it is pretty hard to make hot cocoa for a sled riding party without milk so coconut milk hot cocoa it was, which, I should add, is pretty good. Later I realized that I was almost completely out of coconut oil because I had used so much in making Rachel’s cake. Of course we have no money to buy more and I wondered what I should do because we are totally out of olive oil and have a tiny bit of butter in the house. Wouldn’t you know my mother-in-law brought a container of it over when she brought Rachel’s birthday present. Apparently the mention of God providing coconut and coconut milk reminder that I had left a container there for her to use in baking some time ago and she had no idea that we were almost completely out!

Finally I have another really awesome God thing to share, but that has to wait because Rach might read this and I want it to be a surprise.

God’s Fingerprints

So I mentioned in the last post that God has been providing in many amazing ways and always at the 11th hour.

Essie and I are making Indian food for Sabbath. We decided what we were making but weren’t thrilled with the combination. She REALLY wanted to make a recipe that called for coconut but we were nearly out so I was being careful. At that moment there is a knock on the door and my husband brings a giant box to the kitchen. The big box contained a box of organic unsweetened coconut and another box with Thai Kitchen coconut milk, a gift from dear friends of the family! So not only are we having veggie (WITH coconut) and meat samosas plus curry for dinner but we are also having our favorite coconut desert! The other two kids are going to be tickled pink when the get home! And I am near tears because not only did this gift make our meal better but it also made up for the fact that I didn’t have the money, gas, or time to go get raw milk this week which means we are nearly out. The kids will enjoy the change of having coconut milk instead and Shamus is thrilled to have some sort of sweet in the house.

The exciting thing is that we have been working our way through the Bible again, are because we ended early last year and started right in we are in Exodus. We left off right where God is giving Moses the dimensions and details of the tabernacle. I had been explaining to the kids (again for the older two but this is the first year Issac is really paying attention) that this part is important to me despite its tediousness because it reminds me that God cares about the details. He cares about the lampstands, the priests clothing, the very tabernacle itself, every little detail of how all of them are made so much that he gives EVERY detail while still leaving artistic interpretation for the artisans whom HE provided! I find this so exciting and todays gift of coconut stuffs is the perfect reminder (which WILL be brought up during tonights Bible reading. :))

So, thank you to the David, Ceri, and Smiley who have again and again blessed us not only with your gift but for allowing God to use you to remind us of His care even of the small things. You guys are awesome and such a blessing to us.