Every now and then, I would get a sliver...a little splinter of wood...in my foot. I have never been very brave and a pretty big wimp when it comes to pain. A true miracle of God's grace that I gave birth to 12 children! :) Usually, when I first got a splinter, I would try to pull or dig it out with my finger. Usually, that didn't work. I'd be busy playing and not wanting to interrupt my play nor deal with the pain, I'd just tell myself that I'd work on taking it out that night. Often times, by the evening, either I'd forget about my splinter or try to get it out, but would be unable. If I would go to my daddy right away and show him my foot, he'd easily get the splinter out with little to no pain. But being scared of pain, sometimes I'd just ignore my splinter and hope it would go away on it's own.
By the next day, usually the area of the splinter would be more red and hurt. The longer I waited, the more it would hurt. If I waited too long, I'd be limping or walking on the side of my foot. I would always have pain and wouldn't be able to play as I normally would. If I would have left those splinters in my foot even longer, the infection would have spread and affected the rest of my body.
I remember going to my daddy and showing him my splinters. He'd ask me when or how I got it. And if I had indeed waited a few days to tell him, he'd always tell me how much easier and less painful it would be if I had come to him right away.
My daddy was so very gentle, yet the sheer nature of getting out a sometimes infected splinter hurt. Sometimes a lot. After it was out, my foot would still be sore and tender for a couple days. But before I knew it, there was no more pain, and I was able to play like always. I could run and walk again without any pain! It felt so good.
Inside of my heart, I sometimes get splinters. Unconfessed sins, pride, envy, complaining, discontent, anger. Often, they may start out small. And often times, I don't notice that they are there or ignore them because I don't want to deal with them. And then they begin to take root and get worse. If left alone, they begin to affect other areas in my heart and life.
The Lord has been showing me many "splinters" that have been left in my heart far too long. Some have festered and as the Lord begins to "dig" them out, it hurts. But His healing is so pure and perfect that I am only saddened that I didn't come to Him with these things sooner. I think I have a few tree trunks with deep roots embedded in me too. But He who began a good work in me will continue to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ! Oh, I'm so thankful for my Heavenly Father's love! I'm so glad that it is Jesus who does the work in my heart. I can do nothing. But He can do everything!
How much the Lord has taught me to fear Him! When I think of what it is to fear the Lord, I think of simply realizing who I am and who God is. Man spends his entire life lifting himself up and bringing God down. Whereas God wants us to humble ourselves and glorify Him! I want the Lord to work that in me! I want Him to use me in whatever way He desires. Just some thoughts that the Lord has been teaching me this week.
Today I finished up my morning housework a bit early and while everyone else was working on their assignments, Samuel and I made 14 bags of playdough and replenished our former stash. After a while, the playdough gets so dirty from either falling on the ground or from them playing with it outside on the picnic tables that I just toss it and mix up some new batches.
I've used many recipes, but this one has become one of my favorites. It is soft and pliable; you don't have to cook it; and it doesn't take cream of tarter (which we cannot buy here). I can't attest to how long it stays fresh as playdough usually doesn't make it more than a month or so around here. But it stays nice and soft kept in a zip lock baggie during the time we use it.
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons white vinegar plus enough boiling water to make 2 cups
You just mix it all together in a bowl and then turn it out on the table/counter to knead. At first, it is all goopy and sticky and doesn't seem like it worked at all, but if you keep kneading, it firms up all nice and soft.
You can add glitter to it if you want too. On my yellow batch, I added a bit of lemon extract just to give it a nice smell :)
We were actually able to do our school time today! So far, work at the church, other necessary projects, and the chicken pox filled up most of our summer days.
But we are settling into our summer schedule now and today we had a time of writing in our journals, reading out loud, Scripture memory, and then we worked on a special project in preparation for our church mission's conference this coming week.
Different families from our church volunteered to make various flags out of poster boards. Since I've been home from church with the children ever since Eliseo got chicken pox, many of the easy country flags had already been picked. Like Japan. That was my first choice.
But we pulled out our old encyclopedia to see what other ones we might be able to draw and with Elijah informing us of which countries were no longer countries (since our encyclopedias were published in the early 80's) and some help from the internet, everyone chose a different country's flag to draw.
Noah and Susannah were my helpers. I picked the country of Djibouti.
As you can see, we mostly picked flags that had straight, solid lines. It sure used a lot of crayon though!!
Thank you for praying for Eliseo! He's doing much better. Nobody else has broken out in any spots yet, but I remember that the Duggar family had one of their young girls get chicken pox and then 2 weeks later, 11 more broke out. So we have morning and evening "spot checks" and every little bug bite is brought to mommy to inspect. :) Is it just me, or does thinking or talking about chicken pox make your back itch?
Daniel is out sharing the gospel with some others from our church and then will be working late with some of the men as they do some painting on the building. Hopefully we'll have our church name painted on there by this weekend!
Time to call in the troops for showers. I'm so thankful for cool evenings still so far!
Have a wonderful rest of the week in the Lord!