Gigi's Blog » Tales of the Mortician's Wife

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls & one boy. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken and goat raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam {without pectin}

 

{Aren’t my helpers so sweet?}

 

The rain is gently falling, watering our gardens and rose bushes … this has been a very rainy summer. I suppose in some ways it is a blessing.

 

Clean laundry is drying on a lovely drying rack we found at a local Mennonite thrift store (one I have had my eye on for a long time, but could not afford the shipping! So this was a blessing indeed!), we have just returned from a lovely morning and lunch outing with other friends … and now cuppa tea is poured for the afternoon and fresh bread is baking in the oven. How is your day going so far?

 


I’m still working on my canning schedule. I have canned (dried) beans and a scrumptious tomato soup in the past week, along with some delicious ruby red strawberry rhubarb jam.

Which recipe should I share? I think I shall share the strawberry rhubarb jam today and the tomato soup shortly. Yes, this is a common jam to can, but I will still share the recipe, as we are at the tail end of the sweet strawberry season.

First off, let me say, I do like to make jam without pectin. I’m not sure I have done enough research on store-bought pectin – is is healthy? Safe? I know there is natural pectin in many fruits (such as apples and lemons), so why not use that instead? If you know more about pectin, please do share. I just like to not have to run out to the store for that one forgotten package of pectin and would rather use less store bought ingredients.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam {without pectin}

 – 8 cups of freshly washed and diced strawberries
(I fill my big stock pot with berries and do not really measure –
is that terrible? Well, it works.)
– four cups of chopped rhubarb

 – 5-7 cups of sugar
(I have greatly reduced the sugar amount, as the original recipe calls for 10 cups. Please use your judgement. I do not need my jam to be super sweet –
and I know the sugar helps set the jam, but if you do not mind a runnier jam, then by all means, reduce the sugar.)

 – 1 cup of lemon juice

 

Wash and dice the strawberries and place them in a large pot with the rhubarb.  Mash together with the sugar and allow the mixture to sit for a while, even as long as over night or just a few hours on the counter.
Once the time is up, cook over medium heat, stirring often. Eventually, you will want to turn up the heat so you boil the jam for about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently. Add the lemon juice and cook/boil for five more minutes.

 


Now it is time to put into your beautifully, washed mason jars. Any size is fine. I vary mine so I can give them as gifts or feed my large family for breakfast.
Wipe rims clean and place clean, new lids on the jars. Water bath in boiling water for 10 minutes. Listen for the ‘ping’ and know your winter will have lovely, ruby red jam for your family to enjoy.

A great way to use jam in future recipes is to make a jam bar. They are oh so yummy! Here is the recipe. My daughter made up the mixes and we placed them in jars for our pantry. Such a quick easy dessert for a busy day!

 

 

P.S. We have had some dreadful predator attacks on our birds. I have lost all my goslings, which was truly heart breaking. They were doing so well and were getting so big. We have lost ducks and chickens in large numbers this summer. The predator(s) is even burrowing into our barn at night and finding it’s way into the barn underground. It is very frustrating – we have trapped a few animals that we think are the predators, but if the attacks continue, then we have to continue to be vigilant. Last night, I heard a terrible screech and cry from the field beside our barns. I am afraid something else was caught and killed. Many of the attacks are in the daytime, as well.

July 17, 2017 - 2:27 am

Lauren - Gillian! So sad to hear about the attacks!! I wonder if a dog might help ?? We had a mink kill one of our guinea fowls, and something else attack another. But we have our chickens in a fenced area… it’s not a run per say but it’s almost half an acre. I wonder if a fence would help? Or an electric fence, part of it buried…?

July 14, 2017 - 7:05 am

Gigi - P.S. Our guess is weasel or raccoon for the predator. It has not killed the animals that are in large pens (like a dog run) so we think MAYBE raccoon, as a weasel could easily fit through the links of the fence. It is very upsetting and frustrating. We have sat out for hours and still not seen what it is. We have had weasel attacks in the past and they are vicious! We have had skunks kill chickens, too.

July 14, 2017 - 7:04 am

Gigi - Oh, that is a good tip! I have a strange “cherry” like tree that has very tart berries. I cannot figure out what they are, but we thought they would be cherries all along. I wonder if they are choke cherries. That would be helpful in jam making … love the memory of stirring your grandma’s jam. Grandmas are SO special!

July 14, 2017 - 12:20 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - Not good news about your birds.. is the predator a weasel or a mink? Nasty !
On another note, the jam looks so pretty and I am sure very yummy. My grandmother used green apples for pectin in her jams.. just threw some underripe green apples in the pot and cooked the jam, often saskatoon, chokecherry or strawberry, less often, peach.She would just fish out the apples before jarring it. I stood up on a stool and stirred sometimes when she was busy washing and drying the jars. O, I can almost smell the “scortchy” sweet jam drips ..memories are sweet. Thank for the memory nudge.

Worth Calling a Career

“Being a mother is worth fighting for,
worth calling a career, worth the dignity of hard work.”
~ Edith Schaeffer

 

It always seems the sunshine and warm weather makes the children sprout up faster. And it is on those days, when I see their freckles spotting, their eyes twinkling, their little feet splashing in puddles and bigger feet running through the green grass, I thank God for the blessings of just being home.

I am so grateful and thankful to be given the task of being a stay at home mother. I remember the days when I was busy and running a photography business, rushing out the door in the evening, dropping the girls off at my mother in laws for babysitting, arranging to leave work when my husband would be coming home … those days are long gone and for that I am truly grateful. God is gracious and merciful.

 

I had a dear friend who always said, “Gillian, clients will always be there, but before you know it, your children will be grown.” She, too, was a photographer, and she knew the love of photography, the joy of having a great session and producing images for families that they would love for years. However, she was also wiser and knew that her children would grow too quickly. Now, her children are grown and mine are quickly following suit. I am so grateful for her words of advice that encouraged me to not keep up with every other photographer, to slow down and to love being a mommy.


I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mother, as my own mom had set a great example. I knew I would never put my children into daycare and promptly quit my full time job after the birth of our first daughter. But somewhere along the way, the temptation and the lure and the world marred my vision. It was not “enough” to be a stay at home mom – you had to have something that made you unique alongside of that, so it seemed. Many women are still like that today – they are at home, but they are busy, too busy, filling their time up with other activities, hobbies, home-based businesses, the attraction of having that extra income, that keep their eyes shifting from children to work, from book keeping to how to get make more money. No, I am not against home-based businesses (they can be a great blessings in financially tight times)! It just seems there needs to be a very strict balance between your duties as a mother and wife and the business you are running on the side.

If you are “bored” at home or not feeling fulfilled … maybe it is time to ask the question: what else can I be doing at home to bless the family, bless others with my family, save money, make things easier for my husband? Surely there is something that can be done around the home to fill your time. When I wake up in the morning, my feet are literally itching to hit the floor and start another day. Each day holds a new challenge, a new blessing, a new adventure – and I am JUST a stay at home mom! I know the world can appear exciting, making money is fulfilling, meeting other adults and clients is satisfying socially … but I just beg you to keep your eyes on your family and the Lord and see where He is leading you.

 

Your workplace may be closer than you realize – inside your own front door.

 

P.S. I’m heading to my midwife this morning for my 28 week checkup. I feel so much bigger this time – perhaps my muscles are so stretched out after 8 pregnancies! Looking forward to hearing the heart beat. Braxton Hicks are terrible with each pregnancy and definitely happening in this one. I am trying to get all my major chores done in the morning and then physically rest a bit in the afternoon.

July 15, 2017 - 10:28 am

Gigi - Molly, I will be praying for you as you seek God’s will in this area of your life. I do know all to well what you are feeling. Your children need you. There is no faith unless we step out where it is unknown. God will provide, I believe that.

July 15, 2017 - 9:58 am

molly - Oh my, this post speaks to me so much. To the point, I’m in tears this morning. The part about leaving the kids to go to shoots…Yes, that is the season of life I’m in right now and every time I leave my two girls or tell them “I can’t right now, momma has to edit”, I feel a sense of guilt. I truly feel I’m lacking as a mother and wife because of it.

I have followed you for a few years now and I admire what you’ve done with your children so much. Thank you for following the Lord and making it public, it is encouraging to me as a Christian. This post has been one of the top things that I’ve been praying about for a while now. Saying “no” to my wonderful clients is so hard but feeling more and more pulled to do what is best for my family. This just may be my sign! Thank you!!!

July 12, 2017 - 5:52 am

Gigi - Yes, I suppose you do know the feelings of multiple pregnancies very well. 🙂
Regarding the house, we do most of the general tidying up, cleaning in the morning and since it is summer, there is a lighter school work load but we may do school whenever it pleases in the summer (sometimes, it is just so hot in the afternoon, it will be a good time to do some history. Other times, if it’s a rainy day, morning is great). Later in the evening around 5, we tidy before dinner again and then after dinner, we do have night time chores, that involve putting animals into barn, cleaning up the mudroom from all our multiple entries (boy, does that get dirty!), etc. I try to have the girls have a clean room when they go to bed. Not perfect, but at least tidy. They are in training!

July 12, 2017 - 5:49 am

Gigi - I search high and low for those dresses – thrift store and such. There is a Mennonite thrift store about an hour from my home. I try to go twice a year to see if they have dresses. I have not mastered making a dress yet – but that would be an amazing thing one day to do!

July 11, 2017 - 6:57 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Oh! You have a little one that looks adorable in overalls as well!!!Where do you shop for the girlies dresses and such?I never see them anywhere….or do you make them???

July 11, 2017 - 6:50 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - I love this post!!! You have a gift for writing and touching hearts! We have 8 children as you know and I know your pregnancy symptoms all to well. Seems like my braxton hicks contractions were more and more earlier with each pregnancy. Do you normally follow a house cleaning and sit down schoolwork routine on a normal day?

July 11, 2017 - 3:54 pm

Sarah @ The Life of This Mother - Gigi, that comment above from Edith Schaeffer is so good. That book, What Is A Family?, has been so pivotal to the vision I have for our family life and our children’s upbringing. Love your blog, and congratulations on another beautiful baby coming a long.

July 11, 2017 - 12:36 pm

Gigi - Lynda, you are so encouraging. Thank you. Your words mean a lot.

July 11, 2017 - 12:35 pm

Gigi - Blessings to you, Katy!

July 11, 2017 - 10:36 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - Such a good choice.. Your blessings for that choice are visible everyday! I am thankful you are able to know that and treasure it. I look forward to reading all about how you fill your days and your children’s hearts . Thank you for sharing.

July 11, 2017 - 8:21 am

Katy~TheCountryBlossom - A beautiful post! I couldn’t agree more!! 🙂

Baby #8 Update

 

 

It is still a surprise and a wonderful delight to be carrying a new baby inside my womb yet again. God is very generous with His blessings with our family and I am so grateful!

A little update about the pregnancy, as I have not written too much this time:

 

We are now 26 weeks along- which is flying by so quickly! Baby is moving lots and has been since week 15 or so. I never had any doubts as to whether baby was growing or moving as there was lots of movement.

 

With much prayer and some research, we have opted to not use ultrasounds or the doppler (which are basically hand-held ultra-sound machines) for this pregnancy, unless an emergency calls for it. Our midwife has used the old fashioned wooden doppler which is completely safe. Why this decision, you may ask?

Well, you can read all about it here, but for us, as well, we know the womb is a scared place where the Lord is knitting together a baby! Amazing!!! We would like to interfere less and allow Him to do His precious handiwork. We are trusting God. It has been a great relief to allow nature take its course in this pregnancy and not worry too much. We have never had major medical problems (other than my first birth, which ended up in a c-section)- and if one did arise, we would certainly accept medical help but for now, God is taking great care of our little unborn baby. 💕

Of course, we are going with a midwife again – the best midwife – 🙂 – one who has been with me since Leia, who is 5, was born. Our midwife has been the biggest blessing in so many ways. Lord willing, we will also have a home birth. We know things happen and we cannot control our circumstances – we are okay with that. If God decides we need to be at the hospital for a reason, we will go. But altogether a healthy pregnancy may indicate a great chance for another lovely home birth.

 

Someone commented that everything must be fine with this pregnancy as I “breeze through” each pregnancy. Well, that may have been true when I was in my 20s but I am no longer a spring chicken. 🙂 I will spare you details of complaining, but there is always a cost in personal comfort when it comes to carrying a child. This cost is far outweighed by the blessing of welcoming a new little one into our family.

 

Now, will it be a little brother for Lazarus or another girl to add to our long line of lovely ladies? Either way, we will be delighted!

 

July 11, 2017 - 5:53 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - How wonderful!

July 11, 2017 - 5:20 pm

Gigi - They are writing letters back right now! 🙂

July 11, 2017 - 4:52 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - We have wrote several times.I wonder if they just are not making it….Hmmm.Well,we can start again!!My girls love getting thereletters! Letter writing seems to of went out with the times but my kiddos love it!

July 11, 2017 - 12:36 pm

Gigi - The girls are still waiting for letters! 😉

July 11, 2017 - 12:36 pm

Gigi - Thank you, Katy!

July 11, 2017 - 8:24 am

Katy~TheCountryBlossom - You look absolutely radiant! What a beautiful photo! I love your view on pregnancy and keeping things as natural as possible! 🙂

July 11, 2017 - 6:20 am

Gigi - Yes, I have your email!

July 8, 2017 - 6:05 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Yes,thank you!Everyone is loving him!I would love to keep in touch with you more!I’m pretty sure were like twins,lol. Just going by your posts we seem soooo alike!Do you still have my email?Maybe we could chat more and if your ever this way, you are more than welcome to come sit on my porch and drink tea while we chat and watch our 16 (combined)children play with each other in the yard!!!

July 5, 2017 - 7:14 pm

Gigi - Bobbie, it would be nice to have a near like-minded friend indeed! I hope things are going smoothly with the transition to your new baby and that everyone is loving their new baby brother. 🙂

July 5, 2017 - 2:38 pm

Bobbie Hisel - He is doing good!!Thank you for asking..I wish we lived closer, are kids are so close in age.So exciting for you guys that you have a new little one on the way!Congrats! I think my hair is just not cooperating,lol.It has a mind of its own.Have a good day!

July 5, 2017 - 5:35 am

Gigi - How are you doing with your new baby? 🙂
Oh, that is too funny about the hair! It is so easy for me to do but I’m not sure how to share it. I do tease the top to give some volume and use bobby pins to pin up the sides separate from the “nest” – and then pin up the nest in it’s own little section. I hope that helps in some ways.

July 4, 2017 - 5:43 pm

Our home of many blessings - You have got to show me how you do that birds nest!!!I can’t figure it out for nothing!My hair doesn’t look like that after I’m done,lol.

July 4, 2017 - 5:44 am

Gigi - Thank you, Maike. I got the skirt off ebay but I just looked and it is no longer available.

July 4, 2017 - 3:20 am

Maike - You truly look so beautiful and lovely! I can’t wait for the little one to arrive. 🙂

Do you remember where you got that skirt from?

July 3, 2017 - 8:44 pm

Gigi - Regina, I completely agree. We have had u/sounds with all our pregnancies but we live and learn, right? I am thankful for pregnancies in my later years as I have learned so much compared to the beginning few pregnancies. It has been so lovely to have midwives, as well, as they allow you to study, learn and choose your path (within reason). My favorite part, however, is simply trusting God and not intervening.

July 3, 2017 - 7:45 pm

Regina Shea - Gigi you look simply lovely! We had ultrasounds with all our babies and now I question the wisdom of it all. Unfortunately we were “Well everyone does it” expectant parents. Thankfully no harm was done but if I could do it all over again I would skip the ultrasound all together. I mean, how would I feel if I was in the womb minding my own business, when I get startled out of my mind by a scary ultrasound machine?

Strawberry Season!

It’s strawberry season around here!
That means, we loaded up the truck/van (I don’t know what to call our large family vehicle?!) and headed off to the local organic strawberry patch. Within 1.5 hours, the girls & I had picked 75 lbs. of fresh, red, delicious strawberries. The girls were excellent pickers!

Despite an early evening piano recital, we still have time to give attention to the fresh berries. The strawberries were promptly washed, hulled over an afternoon and then processed the following day.

I made strawberry pie filling, strawberry jam and rhubarb strawberry pie filling. I also froze quite a few large freezer bags of strawberries for future recipes and delight during the winter season. We have a small strawberry patch that we started this year, but I am sure it will be a few years before we can actually enjoy many berries from the patch.

Strawberry Pie Filling

6 quarts of fresh strawberries
4-6 cups of sugar (taste and decide on the sweetness you prefer)
2 1/4  cup of a thickener (I used Therm Flo)
7 cups of cold water
  1/2 cup of lemon juice

Here are the directions:

Wash strawberries well and drain fruit. Combine sugar and thickener (do not use cornstarch – you cannot process it) in a large pot. Add water and stir, cooking on medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Mix until it is a smooth consistency.  Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add in drained berries immediately and fill jars, leaving 1 1/2 inch headspace. 
Wipe rims, add hot lids and rings and process in water bath for 30 minutes at a full rolling boil.

It is about time I flipped the one light to my pantry and start organizing what is needed, what was consumed the most, and so forth in our Provision Room. The task feels a bit daunting but once I get going, I know it won’t be so bad. I shall wait for a rainy day to tackle this job. There is still a lot of canning left over from last year, but I do know the tomato products (mainly pre-made tomato sauce and pizza sauce), carrots, soups and green beans were a favorite and will not last much more than a few more weeks.  Applesauce is another favorite and will need replenishing.

The vegetable garden is coming along- but slowly. It has been very rainy here and very mild weather. We do need some heat to pump up my tomato growth. There has just been SO much rain this season!  (Any tips for growing faster, bigger vegetable plants?) We spread some old, mature chicken manure around the plants about two weeks ago. We replanted some bean seeds, which the hard rain promptly washed away, and then replanted them again. Let’s hope they grow. Beans are a fun vegetable for everyone. So lovely fresh and beautiful canned and decent if frozen.The girls and I had to transplant our little corn plants from one half row to another, as only half a row of corn came up in each row (of which there are three). I replaced the empty row with some more squash plants.

How funny – I never thought I would be writing about a vegetable garden! It has certainly turned into “my life” lately. In fact, if I go to someone’s house, that’s the first place I want to see. You can skip giving me a tour of the inside of the home (although I still find that fascinating) – I would love to see your garden!  Even the girls are noticing people’s gardens more, as well. They are noticing plants and vegetables that are familiar to them in other people’s gardens.

And I could talk canning and ‘putting up’ all day with someone. And preserving of all ways … have you tried dehydrating? I was thinking how fun dehydrated strawberries would be for little mouths in the winter months? With so many young babies and children, I can imagine they would love little tidbits of treats such as dehydrated bananas and strawberries when the snow is falling all around us. What are your thoughts on dehydrating? I’m not sure if it is worth the cost for a dehydrator … hmm …

 

 

 

 

 

July 2, 2017 - 5:43 am

Gigi - I love your name, too! It is so feminine and fun! 🙂

July 2, 2017 - 1:16 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - As far as a girl’s L name.. I love mine.. Lynda Lu.. the Lu came from my mom’s..Lucille.. there are a few L’s!

June 29, 2017 - 10:00 am

Gigi - Maike, no, I did not get an email recently from you …?
Actually, we have four different gardening areas – and only because we keep expanding! One garden has two sections (but we will remove the fence eventually) and the third section is completely separate, which houses garlic and herbs.
There are some veggies that prefer to be planted near to each other but I am not good at remembering those just yet.

June 29, 2017 - 9:33 am

Maike - Hey Gillian, did you get my email – it’s always a mystery if anything reaches you. ^_^ Which plants have you grown there? It looks like you have to garden areas, do you keep fruits and veggies seperated by a fence? And are there some veggies/frutis that don’T like to be next to eachother?

June 29, 2017 - 6:02 am

Gigi - Rebecca, that is good to know about the dehydrator. In oatmeal – yum! That sounds great! I, too, dry herbs but just do it the old fashioned way. 😉 And yup, we spread the chicken and goat poop on our plants. I hope things warm up for the garden soon.
Milessa, it’s a great idea to just have the hydrator out for all the extras. Wonderful tips! I have my eye on a cheaper dehydrator (used) but am wondering if I need/should buy a better quality one.
Sarah, well done with your picking! I feel like we need to go back and get more -if it would stop raining!

June 29, 2017 - 4:23 am

Rebecca - I literally dreamed last night that I canned rhubarb pie filling! Haha! And I have a dehydrator and last fall I dehydrated strawberries and they were so tasty but about 6 pounds of strawberries only made one quart of dehydrated strawberries. We saved them to put on our oatmeal (I also did dehydrated blueberries). I use my dehydrator to dry herbs and fruit (last year I dried a bunch of peppermint for our own tea!), to dry sprouted grain for bread, dry soaked nuts, and even make yogurt cause I can set it to the temp I need and it keeps the milk at the proper temperature. I have a big Excalibur one, which aren’t cheap, but I have had it for over 6+ years and I’ve never had a problem with it…

I need to see if our stores are finally gonna sell organic strawberries — I haven’t seen many this year thus far and I too like to make strawberry rhubarb jam (my hubby’s favorite and I’m all out!)

Also: manure will help your plants a lot! We’ve been putting goat poop on all ours since I don’t have to wait for it to mature like I do with the chicken manure. We have also had a really rainy season thus far and so some of my plants have yellowed quite a bit…

June 28, 2017 - 10:01 pm

Milessa - I have dehydrated strawberries before. They are delicious and did not last long in my house. We put them in oatmeal, yogurt, trail mix, and just ate them by the handfuls. As with anything you dehydrate a lot fresh makes a small amount dehydrated. I think it was worth it, however I have a small dehydrator I bought years ago. During the summer months I leave the dehydrator out and when I have small amount of extra fruit and veggies that are not going to be used for eating, or putting up I dehydrate. Good luck.

June 28, 2017 - 9:01 pm

Sarah - Wow! 75 pounds of strawberries is fantastic!: ) My husband, little girl and I picked 8 quarts over the weekend, just enough for jam, shortcake and eating fresh. We too are working on a little strawberry patch of our own. It does take time, and it is harder to keep pests away than other berries than stand up off the ground.

Gathering Strength & Peace

 For God is not [the author] of confusion,
but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1 Corinthians 14:33

When times are challenging, do we crumble apart? Are our thoughts anxious and filled with fret? Or are we solidly standing on a firm foundation.

I have a friend from church who was diagnosed with cancer just over a year ago. My friend is a mother of five beautiful young children – their family had their heart set on being missionaries in Africa. They were just set to leave to the country to return to their African mission field when her frightening diagnosis was made early in the year. The whole church family was shocked and we all began to pray for this family. Obviously, they needed to remain in Canada for treatments and medical care. It was heart breaking to watch their family as she became more ill and try to find small ways to bless them through the momma’s treatments.

Just as her treatments ended, her husband began to feel unwell. Shockingly, he too was quickly diagnosed with cancer, as well – we have not seen him at church for many months as he is now too ill to attend. His is in the middle of his treatments, as well. What a hardship for this family! The children are young, but old enough to know that their future is unknown. My heart breaks for them and yet I see the momma, coming strongly to church every Sunday, with her five children, and praising the Lord. When she was too ill to attend, her husband brought the children faithfully every Sunday. We, as a family, pray for them every night – we pray and hope it is the Lord’s will that He will heal both parents.

This friend has been such a testimony to staying strong and faithful to the Lord during the most challenging times. I am sure she has had her moments of emotional weakness and tears shed to the Lord, however, she comes to church with a calm spirit and holds her children’s hands, gathers them around her as she worships the Lord and sets such a strong example for not only her little children, but for those around her. She always has a gentle smile for those asking how she is feeling (something that must be tiring to answer, even if we mean well in our asking) and a sweet response. She is a beautiful example of resting in the Lord and finding strength in Him.

How too often I have crumbled emotionally under silly, trivial circumstances that tried my patience! How selfish I can be when I do not look at the final chapter of the lesson I am being taught from the Lord. Patience, faithfulness, peace, a great comfort from our Heavenly Father – these things we should feel when we are going through an upheaval in our personal lives. We, as daughters of the King, should feel confident that the Lord will take care of us according to His will. We are not to be “stressed out” and worried and walk about in a huff or a gloomy cloud over our heads.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:
not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:27

Do you see as it says “Not as the world gives peace…”

Those in the world should look at us and say “She has incredible peace for what she is going through right now.” It should seem strange to them that we are not under stress or anxious- we should have a godly peace about our lives. Not frazzled or worried. This is what the Lord is teaching me lately.

 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

No matter how big or small your tribulation is, God promises to consistently there for you. We are to draw our strength from Him, not from ourselves. We are weak and He is strong, as the song goes.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee:
he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 55:22

There was a moment in this week where I shed tears – perhaps a pity party, perhaps exhaustion from a workload, weary from caring for the home and my jobs while my husband’s work load seems too heavy. And then I realized, if I cannot handle a small trial without doubting and crumbling, then how would I handle a larger trial in my life? I need to have peace in all situations and rely on the Lord.

[It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
Psalm 119:17

My favorite thing to do when I am discouraged, anxious or not feeling peaceful is to play beautiful old hymns, listen to solid sermons and read encouraging Bible verses. Having your mind filled with Scripture is a beautiful antidote to troubling times. Hearing lovely sweet words of meaningful worship will also encourage your spirit – and it benefits you all day long as you will hear the music in your head for the rest of the day.

That being said, today will be a day filled with hymn singing and prayers. If you are going through a trial – no matter how big or small –  I hope you find this little note encouraging.

Blessings to you!

P.S. Another way to find encouragement is to reach out and bless someone. There are always those who are in more need than yourself. If I feel pity towards my own personal situation, my goal is to turn my eyes off myself and find a way to help someone else. It can be one of my own daughters, or perhaps someone from church or a neighbour down the road.

 

July 2, 2017 - 1:06 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - Thank you , thank you, I hope you know the blessing that you are. I am praying for you and your growing family.. God bless You.

June 26, 2017 - 11:21 am

Gigi - Tara, what a small world! Please keep them in their prayers. Their hardships are hardly over.

June 25, 2017 - 10:51 pm

Tara C - I know just the sweet family that you are talking about. <3 They used to attend our church before their move. Such an incredible testimony!

June 24, 2017 - 7:18 am

Gigi - Renee, I think of you often and am going to sit down and pen a letter to you shortly. I hope you are doing well. You are missed greatly! xo

June 23, 2017 - 10:40 pm

Renee - I miss u so much my dear friend!!! So wish I could share a cuppa tea with you, share stories and a hug. This was a beautiful post about a wonderful family. I pray that all who read this lift them up in prayer for a full recovery.