The addition is complete. The guys even built a small storage shed. I can't wait to fill it with tools & building materials for our next project. God is good. All the time!!! Instead of just adding pictures of the completed addition, I decided to show a video of the progress. I hope you enjoy!
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Last you knew we were enclosing our porch, using it as a kitchen. Well, to recap ... there wasn't enough room to have a wood cookstove. So, we went back to the drawing board and here's the results ....
Our new 12x16 kitchen. I am so excited!!! It will be complete tomorrow as far as walled in and roofed. Then the next step will be having a man come in to spray insulate the entire house (as a gift ... thank you, Jesus). Some men from our church volunteered to help with labor ... had most of the materials gifted and a woodstove is being delivered as a gift as well. We are blessed beyond belief!!! We are praying that the Lord blesses every single person involved in this project!!! God has certainly blessed us right in to the New Year.
May those of you reading be blessed as well!!!
May those of you reading be blessed as well!!!
Posted by Retta at 9:21 PM
Monday, November 26, 2012
Galatians 5:14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
We have been blessed with some incredible neighbors on one side. They have been so helpful in our off-grid journey; in things from lending us tools to showing us how to do things and on in to the getting their hands dirty right along with us. We truly are blessed and pray the Lord blesses them abundantly for the selflessness & generosity!
Now ... the neighbor up the road from us is a bit different. The husband has been a thorn in our sides. We have no idea what we've done to upset him. We'd only met him once when he then came barking up our driveway about one thing or another. My husband is a very patient man. He's also a peacemaker ... yet this man does not want peace. It's easy to love neighbors that have been such blessings to you ... but this guy ... he makes God's command a challenge! Well, I'm up to the challenge and will be praying that God reveals the problem, we can take care of it & that at the very least ... our neighbor is blessed.
Posted by Retta at 11:23 PM
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I am thankful for the incredible man God chose as my husband.
I am thankful for the amazing children God have us.
I am thankful for the amazing children God have us.
I am thankful for the church family God brought in to our lives.
I am thankful for our daily bread.
I am thankful for the freedom & ability to worship my Lord (not that I would need them, because I would do it regardless!)
I am thankful for the trials in my life.
I am thankful for God's provision.
I am thankful for God's mercy.
I am thankful for ... everything!
It's easy to be thankful when life is sweet & things are going your way. Life won't always go your way. Be thankful any way. Those are the times you look for the lessons or at the very least remember to be thankful for what you 'do' have. Trials are to grow you ... in strength and in faith. I know ... not easy ... but remember ... the beautiful rose emerges through thorns.
As posted every year ...
Thankful For The Thorns
Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease. During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss.
As if that weren’t enough her husband’s company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come. What’s worse, Sandra’s friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. “Had she lost a child? No, she has no idea what I’m feeling,” Sandra shuddered. Thanksgiving? “Thankful for what?” she wondered. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?
“Good afternoon, can I help you?” The flower shop clerk’s approach startled Sandra. “Sorry,” said Jenny the shop clerk, “I just didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you.”
“I….I need an arrangement.” “For Thanksgiving?” Sandra nodded. “Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving Special?” Jenny saw Sandra’s curiosity and continued. “I’m convinced that flowers tell stories, that each arrangement insinuates a particular feeling. Are you looking for something that conveys gratitude this Thanksgiving?”
“Not exactly!” Sandra blurted. “Sorry, but in the last five months, everything that could go wrong has.” Sandra regretted her outburst but was surprised when Jenny said, “I have the perfect arrangement for you.” The door to the shop once again opened.
“Barbara! Hi,” Jenny said. She politely excused herself from Sandra and walked toward a small workroom. She quickly reappeared carrying a massive arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Only, the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped, no flowers.
“Want this in a box?” Jenny asked. Sandra watched for Barbara’s response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems and no flowers! She waited for laughter, for someone to notice the absence of flowers atop the thorny stems, but neither woman did.
“Yes, please. It’s exquisite,” said Barbara. “You’d think after three years of getting the special, I’d not be so moved by its significance, but it’s happening again. My family will love this one. Thanks.”
Why so normal a conversation about such a strange arrangement? She wondered. “Ah, said Sandra, pointing. “That lady just left with, ah….” “Yes?” “Well, she had no flowers!” “Right, I cut off the flowers.” “Off?” “Off. Yep. That’s the Special. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.” “But, why do people pay for that?” In spite of herself, Sandra chuckled. “Do you really want to know?” “I couldn’t leave your shop without knowing… I would wonder about nothing else!”
“That might be good,” said Jenny. “Well,” she continued, “Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much like you feel today. She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she faced major surgery. That same year, I lost my husband. I assumed complete responsibility for the shop and for the first time, spent the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel,” Jenny said.
“What did you do?” “I learned to be thankful for thorns.” Sandra’s eyebrows lifted. “Thorns?” I’m a Christian Sandra and I believe God gave us all things in life, but I never thought to ask Him why good things happened to me. But, when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time to learn that dark times are important. I always enjoyed the ‘flowers’ of life but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God’s comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we’re afflicted and from His consolation we learn to comfort others.”
Sandra gasped. “A friend read that passage to me and I was furious! I guess the truth is I don’t want comfort. I’ve lost a baby and I’m angry with God.” She started to ask Jenny to “go on” when the door’s bell diverted their attention.
“Hey, Phil!” shouted Jenny as a balding, rotund man entered the shop. She softly touched Sandra’s arm and moved to welcome him. He tucked her under his side for a warm hug. “I’m here for twelve thorny long- stemmed stems!” Phil laughed, heartily. “I figured as much,” said Jenny. “I’ve got them ready.” She lifted a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerated cabinet.
“Beautiful,” said Phil. “My wife will love them.” Sandra couldn’t help but ask, “These are for your wife?” Phil saw that Sandra’s curiosity matched his when he first heard of a Thorn Bouquet. “Do you mind me asking, Why thorns?” “In fact, I’m glad you asked,” he said. “Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but we slogged through, problem by rotten problem. We rescued our marriage our love, really. Last year at Thanksgiving I stopped in here for flowers. I must have mentioned surviving a tough process because Jenny told me that for a long time she kept a vase of rose stems-just the stems-as a reminder of what she learned from “thorny” times. That was good enough for me. I took home stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific thorny situation and give thanks for what the problem taught us. I’m pretty sure this stem review has become a tradition.” Phil paid Jenny, thanked her again and as he left, said to Sandra, “I highly recommend the Special!”
“I don’t know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life.” Sandra said to Jenny.
“Well, my experience says that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God’s providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, Sandra, Jesus wore a crown of thorns so that we might know His love. Do not resent thorns, actually be thankful for them.”
Tears rolled down Sandra’s cheeks. For the first time since the accident she loosened her grip on resentment. “I’ll take twelve long-stemmed thorns, please.”
“I hoped you would,” Jenny said. “I’ll have them ready in a minute. Then, every time you see them, remember to appreciate both good and hard times. We grow through both.”
“Thank you. What do I owe you?”
“Nothing. Nothing but a pledge to work toward healing your heart. The first year’s arrangement is always on me.” Jenny handed a card to Sandra. “I’ll attach a card like this to your arrangement, but maybe you’d like to read it first. Go ahead, read it.”
My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn! I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorn. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear, teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow. ~George Matheson
Jenny said, “Happy Thanksgiving, Sandra,” handing her the Special. “I look forward to our knowing each other better.” Sandra smiled. She turned, opened the door and walked toward hope.
Posted by Retta at 3:06 PM
Sunday, November 11, 2012
We have completely enclosed our porch & have been in the process of making it our new kitchen. HA ... we plan ... God laughs. We forgot to make sure there would be enough room between the wall & the new wood stove. Nope. Start over! We are building an addition & will *temporarily* use that as our kitchen. When Spring hits we'll build a 400 sq. foot addition on a concrete foundation. THAT will be my new kitchen ... and living room. I didn't realize how much I missed entertaining until we started talking about a larger addition. Again, this is one of those situations where living the life has proven to be the teacher ... even after research & books.
I love my life!
I love my life!
Posted by Retta at 4:07 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2012
The pantry shelves that my husband & boys built in my new kitchen .... YAY!!! Nice, big & roomy shelves ... with room under for larger, bulk canned goods.
Below you can see the dry wall projects. We still don't even have one room complete ... but we're working on it. We have at least 2 walls in each room of the house done though LOL and if you'll notice in the first picture ... there's a lot of stuff off to the side in one room. We shifted stuff from one room to another so we could start things.
Posted by Retta at 2:02 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
In the midst of our construction we decided (thanks to Smockity Frocks) to write scriptures on our door frames and every other exposed boards; based on Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Our children were so excited to go through their Bibles to find verses to write!
Enclosing the porch, making it our new kitchen is the first of our projects. We are almost done enclosing it too. (We've had to make some odd cuts in the wood due to the way the cabin builders constructed it). Once we are completely enclosed, we'll start on building counters, pantry shelves, plumbing and getting the tile down. It sounds like a lot but a lot of it will be done quick.
Posted by Retta at 1:48 AM