Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"The leaves fall, the wind blows...

...and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools."
~ Henry Beston, Northern Farm

The days are colder (except today is quite in rare form as it is suppose to be 75* in Western PA!) and shorter. Night sets in early and when settled from the bustling of a busy day, we enjoy working on simple projects, movie watching, reading, and doing mad-libs (a cute, fun treat we do at the supper table!). I have such a love/hate relationship with these days....I get tired sooo much earlier than in the summer months (is 6:30 too early to go to bed?) and yet, I love the weather, the smell in the air and the slowness of the season!

One thing that I definitely dislike at this time, though, are the asian ladybugs that loiter around our doors and the outside of my home! I am allergic to their secretion. I have had them land on my skin in previous years and it causes me to break out in hives. Earlier last week I was sitting out on the front porch steps and one landed on my leg. I simply cringed and then flicked it away with my fingers (not remembering to go immediately wash my hands)...a little bit later, I must have touched my eyes because they began itching and burning terribly! I took out my contacts and poured in eye drops...but it was just miserable. My eyes got big and puffy and red. I had allergic conjunctivitis. So...as I waited for my eyes to heal, I wore my glasses around and was pretty miserable. Sunday evening I finally felt that my eyes were healed enough that I could put contacts in again....it was glorious! :) I am so thankful for the invention of contacts! ***So now, I am trying to keep my hands washed as much as possible because those horrid little creatures are everywhere! Dare I say I am ready for winter so the asian ladybugs go away/die? ;)

The chickens enjoy free-ranging in the afternoons as much as they can...for when winter hits, they will most-oft be *cooped* up in the coop!

We are well-prepared for winter this year. The woodshed is full of hard wood and there is more to split and stack! We also have some soft wood stacked beside the shed! Seeing the stacks of wood is such a comfort as we know we will be warm this winter. My husband is such a great man and hard worker. I am so, so thankful for him!

Madelyn and Jaxson talking with Daddy (Xavier was down with Pa and Ma, mowing)...

Our mornings are filled with schoolwork...

Xavier worked on some math while I hung some clothes out on the line...

My Ruthie-girl enjoying the sunshine...

 It's a bit windy!

"Come said the wind to
the leaves one day, 
Come o're the meadows
and we will play.
Put on your dresses
scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone
and the days grow cold."
~A children's song from the 1880's

The trees are pretty bare...their leaves now blanket my yard. Our footsteps make a *crunch, crunch* noise with each step we take! The wind is tinkling my wind chimes outside and because of the warmer air today, I have the front door open! It is quite glorious!

Later this week, the colder (and I do mean colder) temperatures will set in upon us. So I am enjoying today to its fullest! The children are as well. They finished their schoolwork and made their lunches to take up and eat in the clubhouse. They are enjoying an afternoon of play!

I fully intend to spend my afternoon in a worthwhile fashion and not on this computer...so off I go! I pray your October is winding up beautifully and that you are looking forward to November!


Sunday, October 26, 2014


Compassion is, as defined by the merriam-webster dictionary, sympathetic consciousness of others' distress with a desire to alleviate it.

As humans, and especially as Christians, we should be full of compassion. This comes first by realizing humanities' dire condition. We are each born with a sinful nature. We are separated from God. We *need* a Savior and the *only* One Who could be that is God Himself. Jesus Christ's perfect life, His death and His conquering of death with His resurrection is our only hope. He is the *only* way to the Father. We can be saved...even the most wretched of people can come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Believing in the good news of Jesus Christ and repenting of our sinful behavior (which happens when a heart truly longs to be with Christ) is our salvation! We are to spread the gospel in love....raising our children with a gospel centered mindset as well as sharing the gospel with others. Physical suffering is wretched...but the loss of one's soul is worse. You cannot live out the good news. You must proclaim it...and your life of good fruit will reinforce your beliefs to a dying world. It will draw people to Christ.

With a heart full of compassion, we share the gospel and then we attend to the physical needs of the suffering. Poverty, disease, hunger...there are needs beyond imagination. We live in plenty. My home is simple and in much need of repair and renovations. But the Lord has provided abundantly for us. We are warm when it is cold outside. We have food to fill our stomachs. We have Bibles to soak in His Word. We have clothes to cover our bodies. We have the ability to educate our children. We have soft mattresses and warm blankets to sleep with. We have clean, running water to drink and bathe (many do not). We have vehicles to transport us from one place to another. So despite the fact that our government would put us in the category of *low-income*, we are truly wealthy. We do not need a thing...not one single thing.

And then you look around you or around the world and know that there are millions of people living on barely anything. People earn less in one day than the price of what people will pay for a coffee! As Christians, we are to tend to the needs of those with less. We can do so locally and also by sponsoring a child through Compassion. My family and I have decided to do this and are sponsoring an adorable little girl through Compassion. If we, on the *low income* category of our country can do this...then most anyone can!

I am not one to trust big companies...I must admit. I have been weary of sponsoring a child as I fear that quite often, the money gets sucked into other places (or the pockets of greedy men or women). I spoke with a lady who has been sponsoring a child for over 10 years (and actually just came back from visiting that child halfway around the world!). She is a woman who would not put up with hanky-panky nonsense happening with money that was meant for a needy child. She is a huge advocate for Compassion and saw what her donations did to help that child. You can read more about their financial integrity HERE.

I trust that God is sovereign over all things...that is where my trust lies. Not in men...but in God. I trust that when we send this money and prayer over this little girl that we are sponsoring, that God is in control of it and He will properly care for her. I have *such* comfort in that! So, we have committed to sponsoring this sweet girl for as long as we can afford it....which I trust to be until she no longer needs the help, for God is gracious and good.

I am not saying that you *must* sponsor a child. I know so many who give of their money, time and energy to children (and adults) who are struggling right in our own areas. But, if the Lord lays it on your heart, I pray that you will consider this as well. There are children who have been waiting months upon months for a sponsor. What a beautiful thing it is to give.

He who is generous will be blessed
 for he gives some of his food to the poor. 
~ Proverbs 22:9

No matter what you do....do it all to the glory of God. May He be glorified in our giving. May lives be touched, improved and brought to the feet of Jesus.

When we give, we are to do so quietly and not announce it from the rooftops (Matthew 6:3)...and I pray that my sharing this post is not going against that. I only mean to draw more people to the act of giving...and to show that you don't need to be America's version of wealthy to help others. People *need* the gospel...and they need our compassion for physical needs. Sometimes, it takes someone talking about it to stir our hearts a little...that is my intention here. May your heart be stirred and encouraged to give to any who need it...near or far....all done out of love and a selfless, Christ-honoring heart!

In love and tenderness,

*This post was written straight from my heart. Other than sponsoring a child, I have no affiliation with Compassion International. :)


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Scripture Reading & Interpretation

Proper reading and interpretation of Scripture is absolutely vital to your walk as a Christian. Keeping things in proper context using exegesis (and *not* eisegesis) is absolutely essential to understanding God's Word correctly. To me, to read it in any other way is absolutely *wrong*.

Some of you may not be familiar with the words exegesis and eisegesis. I will explain them to you. Exegesis is reading through Scripture in context while using "careful, objective analysis". It's studying the text and coming to conclusions *based* on the text. Eisegesis is dangerous ~ letting Scripture be subject to whatever interpretation someone wants to give it. The text gets interpreted according to what the reader *thinks* it should say rather than what it actually says.

 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
~2 Timothy 2:15 (emphasis, mine)

Teachers who do expository preaching will go book by book through the Bible...verse by verse. Everything gets put into proper context and is interpreted properly by the Scriptures around it. Teachers who use eisegesis when preaching are usually those who are topical preachers. They base their teachings on a topic and then pick and choose verses to fit what they are presenting. Is this "rightly handling the word of truth" as the Bible tells us to do?

I like how GotQuestions.org explains it:

The process of Exegesis involves:

The process of Eisegesis involves:

I can't even begin to count the number of times people have misused Scripture. Can you even imagine something more dangerous? Some people may read this post and just figure "This isn't all that important to me right now"...but to be honest, I can't imagine anything **more** important! To misuse God's Word is absolutely blasphemous in my opinion....what could be worse? Not only does it bring many people to believe they are promised things by God that they aren't...or that they should be wealthy or in perfect health...but when these things *don't* come to pass, it causes people to stumble in their faith as well as hurt their witness of the gospel.

 If you go HERE you can read an example of the reading of scripture with Eisegesis and Exegesis...and how different the outcomes are. It's so very important for you to understand the weight of this! THIS article from Ligonier explains why it is so important.

One of the most often misused Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.). Is that a promise for us? Have you read the Scripture that surrounds that promise? If not, I encourage you to! We twist that Scripture to fit us....but it was a promise for Israel at a certain place and a certain time. For many of you...that may be a surprise as this may be a verse you have leaned on. Watch THIS 5 minute video by Voddie Baucham that explains it for you. I promise...you will be glad you did. It's a beautiful thing to understand Scripture properly. It brings such joy to my heart. There is also THIS 5 minute video by Jefferson Bethke who explains it well (and the follow up video he did to it: Part 2)!

My beloved sisters in Christ...I want to encourage you to seek the truth in Scripture. Read the Word, pray for discernment, and always, always, always read the Scriptures in proper context. It makes you want to study more, dig deeper and grow your faith and relationship with Christ. As Christians, we should constantly be desiring to grow in wisdom and the truth of His Word. This is how we cast our eyes upon Him...and with a constant focus on Him, His truth is lived out in us.

It is true that we are all at different seasons of our faith. It is my desire to help my friends begin to move from milk to meat. I still have soooo much to learn and so much growing to do...but what I have learned over the years, I desire to share. If you have questions, please ask. I will do my best to answer them (and if I don't know, I will talk to my husband or my pastor to find the answer for you!).

I hope this post has helped you understand how vital the proper interpretation of Scripture is. I pray I have explained these topics well...and if I haven't...I hope I have at least introduced them to you. Then you can look up, study and work to understand them on your own.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for letting me share what's on my heart!
In Christ,

"We confess that the Bible is God’s Word, but unless we read and interpret it properly, our confess ion is a mere formality. Sound biblical exegesis is essential if we hope to know and act upon biblical truth."
~Daniel Doriani


Monday, October 20, 2014

A Visit with the Munchkins

Last week, Madelyn, Jaxson and I went to visit my sister and her girls (Xavier was working at the garage with PopPop and Daddy). We just love spending time with those girls...they love Jaxson's attention best (and he loves that!).

 Dinah kept patting and hugging Eloise. It was incredibly cute. I didn't get *great* pics of it...but I did get pictures nonetheless.

On the way home....we saw a beautiful rainbow!!!

It was so vibrant and breath-taking! I praise God for His Creation....

We had such a busy day today...we went to our homeschool co-op in the next town over. We enjoy our time there...but oh how exhausted we are when we return home! The boys were invited to friends' house after co-op so they were thrilled to go play with friends. Madelyn and I came home and did some housework and then I went to teach spin class for an hour. Homemade biscuits (by Madelyn) and sausage gravy for supper for the family (I ate a healthier alternative) and now...we are all unwinding. I hope to head to bed soon to spend some time reading and in prayer. My body aches from exercising hard and I am just ready to drop!

Good Night friends!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Knitting: Owl Hat

I quickly knitted up this fun owl hat the past couple of days. I haven't sewn the buttons on for eyes yet...but may still do that. Above is the hat without the eyes and below is it *with* the buttons on for eyes. Isn't it super cute? :) Can you see the owls?

This hat even fits *me*...so I am thinking of keeping it for myself. Most things I make I gift to others...but it's fun to keep something for yourself from time to time. :) (I must admit, I was hesitant to post a photo of myself wearing the hat...but I know when I read a blog post with a finished knitted project, I love to see it *on* someone...)

If you are interested in knitting up this pattern, you can find it HERE (it's free!).

Have a great weekend! Thanks for visiting!
Knitting on...
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Enjoying Autumn in PA

 The days have been beautiful and warm for October (although today it is quite rainy and miserable..but I won't complain. It's nice to be inside, candles lit and feeling cozy!). The colors of the trees are just gorgeous and I wanted to share a few photos from around our home...

How great are these silverware wind-chimes? I bought them from a vendor at the fall festival...

The beauty of God's creation is a masterpiece that just can't be dwarfed by anything else...

You can see our woodshed is filling up...preparing for winter weather!

Most days, you will find candles lit throughout our home during this season (all through winter as well!)...

This is Madelyn's idea of napping.... ;)

 Madelyn and I (and even Jaxson!) have been keeping our knitting needles busy lately too, when we have had some spare time! Madelyn knit up this super-cute baby hat...

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree." 
~Emily Bronte

I hope your autumn is just as beautiful and that you are able to enjoy it as well! :)
So glad you stopped for a visit!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Her First Pie

Madelyn made her first pie (totally on her own) this past weekend. She made it to take to our pastor appreciation lunch at church. It was *for* our pastor...but others got to partake of its goodness as well! She was thrilled to hear that people enjoyed it! :)

She used peaches from the cellar that I canned a couple years ago. I love peach pie but didn't have a taste. I trust the opinions of others though because it got rave reviews! :) It does a mama's heart good to see her daughter learning, growing, maturing and gently walking into womanhood.

She was disappointed it didn't *look* prettier...but for her first pie, I think it looked wonderful and she will only improve with practice (oh, how I *love* pie....does anyone have a healthy pie recipe? We sure could use one so I could enjoy a slice!).

Peach pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie.....oh, the goodness of pie! I am trying not to drool as I sit and think of it all! ;) If I remember correctly, the first pie I made was apple! Do you remember the first pie you made on your own?


Friday, October 10, 2014

Learning is Beautiful

“When I look at a child, I see a living, breathing person, made in God's image, for whom God has a plan. As parent educators, we need to embrace a new notion of learning...we need to engage the hearten order to effectively educate the child. Our vision of a well-educated child is a child who has a heart for learning, a child who has the tools he needs to continue to learn for a lifetime and a child who has the love to want to do it.” 
― Elizabeth FossReal Learning: Education In The Heart Of The Home

"The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Words of praise, indeed, are almost as necessary to warm a child into a genial life as acts of kindness and affection. Judicious praise is to children what the sun is to flowers. 
— Christian Nestell Bovee

 “The key is to understand that our children don't belong to us—they belong to God. Our goal as parents must not be limited by our own vision. I am a finite, sinful, selfish man. Why would I want to plan out my children's future when I can entrust them to the infinite, omnipotent, immutable, sovereign Lord of the universe? I don't want to tell God what to do with my children—I want Him to tell me!” 

Living, loving and learning together,
Katy :)