Friday, May 19, 2006

fresh flowers for May 19

LOOK
copyright 2006, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original


You can't find what you're not looking for!

I have a certain species in my home which shall remain unidentified in a vain effort to retain their privacy that cannot find a bloomin' thing. On the other hand my daughter and I seem to know where everything is, or at least are expected to. I don't know how many times I have had someone yelling for a shoe, a book or a jacket that they can't find only to come into the room and see what they're looking for directly at their feet and a little to the left. If they don't see what they're looking for in a cursory glance of the room using their 'round the corner' vision they can't possibly find it!

My favorite line is, "Look with your eyes open."

My point is best illustrated by my 2 year old. He wanted to know where his punch buggy was. I could see it from where I was sitting directly behind his head on the antique sewing machine. I tried for 15 minutes to get him to simply turn around and look but was completely unsuccessful. It was very frustrating.

I wonder how God feels when people run around saying they can't see Him in all the things that are going on in our world these days. He is most likely shouting, "I'm right here if you'd only open your eyes!" God is here, involved in every minute detail of our lives, caring, carrying, soothing, guiding. HE IS HERE right under our noses, in our hearts, surrounding us with Himself.

His word says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

My dear friends, "Look with your heart open!" you will surely find Him today.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

give me a break!!

My mom subscribes to a parenting magazine (not for her, she could write the thing) that she passes on to me...

I was attempting to read it after breakfast this morning, the kids had all eaten already, or so I thought. The minute I sat down with my cup of tea there were three of them wanting a banana opened, wanting their own cup of tea, burping elegantly across the table. In the midst of the mileau I happened to read a couple of ads that just about made me joke!

Ridiculous Ad #1 - a highchair (we will not use brand name so I don't get sued or something)

Picture 1 - trim, coifed and perfectly dressed momma with ankles crossed perched on the side of a high stool is feeding little man who is perfectly coifed, clean and accomodating.

Picture 2 - trim, coifed and perfectly dressed momma sits with trim, coifed and perfectly dressed dad and trim, coifed and clean perfectly dressed little men in said highchair turned toddler seat at.......get this.......a GLASS table eating a molded dessert with mint leaf and orange curls on.....GLASS plates. There is not a smidgen of dinner anywhere on that table or on that kid. NOt a hair is out of place....I gagged and scoffed........

Riciculous Ad #2 - a mini-van (once again I'll forgo the brand)

An airport cart is parked alongside loading luggage. (now that bit would be reality for our family, we need almost that size of a cargo bay now) However, the van's amenities were many and the big line was that it was the 'perfect family size' vehicle. I couldn't help but misconstrue that to mean, "Don't bother buying this thing unless you've only got 3 or less children." The kicker line for me........For families who like to live large!

Go figure..........

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US!

May 17, 1992 we made it all official. What a wonderful man my God has gifted me with. If we were Jacob and Rachel we'd be entering into our prospering years where Jacob finally got to take what was his. I hope that's where we are now. Our love is deeper and stronger. Our family is larger. Our bank account about the same. Life is good...

if the pictures aren't showing up, click on the little icon thing and it will pop up...

14 years ago we said we would and we still are Posted by Picasa

14 years later, wouldn't change a thing Posted by Picasa

Here we are now, with our little tribe. Happy as clams Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

settling

I've made two stunning realizations since Elizabeth was born.

#1 I AM BUSY!!

People have been commenting on that for a couple of years already, everytime they find out how many children I have. Now even more so that we've added #6. People say this who don't even know what the rest of life is like. Now, with my 6 darlings around me, not involved in any ministry or work outside my home I have finally come to a place where I agree with them. I am busy, these little olive shoots take a lot of tending but there is good news that comes with my second realization...

#2 I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO!!

I am moved into my new home. The other place is sold and everything is gone from that site. My son has had surgery and passed the 4 month mark - he is completely healed from all the side effects of his previous condition. I have had my baby, Elizabeth is 7 weeks old today. I am not responsible from planning any programs or heading up any projects other than the ones I dream up in my own home. While my back and hips are still protesting their work load from carrying Elizabeth the rest of me is feeling great. (Those Amish women know what they're doing!!)

I think I like this. I can finally settle into this wonderful place that the Lord has given us. We have been fighting hard to possess this land and perhaps now I can sit down and make curtains, finish unpacking boxes, make the place mine, settle in to living here. We finally got homeschool back on track for the big boy this last week, the younger man will follow, he's a lot more work.

Now if I can keep myself from taking on extra stuff for a little while, things should be looking up. Can't wait to see what God will do...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Holy Experience has something beautiful to read for Mother's Day...click here to go there and read A Shepherd's Mother.

BLOOM

IN THE DIRT

ON THE ROCKS

AMONG THE WEEDS…

BRING YOUR BEAUTY TO THAT PLACE

AND

KEEP IN MIND

THAT

THE SCENT OF A FLOWER

IS STRONGEST

AFTER

IT IS

CRUSHED

fresh flowers for May 12

Beauty and the Pig
copyright 2006, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original


While my kids are playing with frogs in the back yard and the baby is sleeping I will quickly write!! My dear friend and fellow mommy of many, Krista, brought over the most delightful book in response to my last flower. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. It is a farcical take off of the original Three Little Pigs. It is very funny, we had a good guffaw or two over that bad boy I must say.

The story begins much like the pigs except the wolves are out building themselves houses out of brick, concrete and armor plating. The big bad pig whips out his sledgehammer, pneumatic drill and a wee bit o' dynamite in order to take care of their dwelling places when huffing and puffing prove ineffective. As the little wolves run with teapot in hand from the antics of the pig they realize that they need to review their use of building materials. So they take an out-there approach and build a house of flowers! (yes I particularly liked that bit - though my allergies would never let me live in such a dwelling it sounded beautiful). When the pig comes along and takes his big huffy breath he catches the scent and his hard heart is melted by the beauty he takes in. He is so enthralled he begins to sing and dance the tarentella - his heart is truly transformed, transformed to the point that the pig and the wolves take up residency together and live happily ever after.

I'm only going to point out the obvious. The big bad pig's heart was changed by an encounter with beauty. I have also been reading the book, Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge. This book looks at the secrets of a woman's soul, her inherent, unveiling beauty that captures the heart of those who see it and are profoundly changed.

One of the paths that God has led me on in the last 10 years is this pursuit and understanding of beauty. I love to bring beauty into my home, to gaze on it, to surround myself in it whenever I can. I love holding my new baby girl and see the beauty that rests in her, I love seeing my older daughter's delightful smile that lights up her eyes and sets them to sparkling. I gaze into my husband's heart and see the beauty of the Father's love overflow into everything he does. To listen to my little boys pray and thank the Father for what he is about to do brings joy to my heart. To watch my older boys have compassion on little frogs with broken legs. To bring fabrics together and see patterns emerge through the blending of things that may seem incongruous to the casual observer. To clean out the flower bed so that the plants can be seen and breathe on their own and then plan for pansies to add their little faces to the mix....ahh the things of beauty.

Beauty can soften the hardest of hearts. Why do you think God created flowers, birds, music, cats, and colors. I read somewhere that beauty exists to fill in the trenches created by pain.

Today I encourage you to enjoy beauty, create beauty, bring home something that has no other value than to simply be a feast for your senses. I think I will put on some classical music as I work this morning and stop once again to look at my baby girl. I will go and run my hands over that heavy silk/rayon Chinese bit of cloth I bought the other day - it has embroidered butterflies on a blood red background, I took some of that extravagant cloth and made it into a pincushion of all things - completely decadent! I may throw some shimmering purple organza onto the walls of my bedroom. Maybe I'll finish sewing my pretty pajamas that I started the other day or read something particularly delightful. I want my heart to stay soft and perhaps one day the beauty that God is creating in me and through me will soften some big bad pig's heart.

have a beauty-filled day

Lani, the flowerlady

ps I would love to hear about what beautiful thing you did or came across, it would greatly encourage me

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Now wasn't I right, she is the most beautiful baby in her moo-tiful little outfit!! Posted by Picasa

my wonderful family Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 01, 2006

fresh flowers for May

I'll Huff and I'll Puff...Will My House Stand?
copyright 2006, lani wiens
a fresh flower original

I've been trying to write this flower for two weeks and keep getting thwarted so hopefully this will be the day...Kelly has the kids out practicing bike riding and heading to the park, Elizabeth is sleeping, the house is quiet ever so briefly, maybe it will be enough time, we'll see.

As I nurse my new baby I read. I read my Bible, I read novels that I enjoy, teaching books and I read out loud to my kids. One of the books we've read frequently over the past few weeks has been The Three Little Pigs. As I read it the other day a flower popped up and I've been ruminating on it ever since.

It is the cry of my heart to build a strong spiritual foundation for my own faith and for my children. I want my house to be strong so that whatever comes against it, it will stand. I want that for my kids, too.

(Insert search for Bible with concordance, nursing the baby, making lunch and folding laundry.
A whole day and then some has passed but we will press on to get this done!! I never did find that Bible with the concordance so you may have to look up the addresses for these verses yourself.)

On with the story...

It appears to me that the eldest piggy is like a mature Christian who has walked with the wise, had some experiences with Mr. Wolf and has thought things through a little. He tries to pass on his wisdom to his brothers but they don't take it.

Youngest and most immature piggy builds his house of straw. Next oldest piggy has perhaps built a straw house once before and had it blown down, wood must be better. Older brother looks at their immaturity and shakes his head, he was there once, he knows how the story will go, he hopes they'll be able to run fast enough and he quickly grabs a few more bricks.

In Proverbs it says that unless the Lord builds the house the builder labours in vain. It also says that He will fill said house with rare and beautiful treasures. In another chapter it says that a wise woman carefully tends her house but a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands (kinda like inviting Mr. Wolf over for lunch and you're buying!). In the New Testament there is a passage that talks about our works being like wood, hay or precious gems (this is where that concordance would have been helpful). In the last days our deeds (our house) will be tried by fire (Mr. Wolf will come and huff and puff) and they will be exposed for their lasting value.

What we do each day matters. Our rewards are in heaven not here on earth. We have not been given breath on this earth to store things up down here, that would be like building a house of straw or sticks. The bricks are stored with the master builder and will stand the testing of faith and fire. The kind of life that will be rewarded is one that is lived for the kingdom of God, or so Dr. Wilkerson says in his book, The Life God Rewards.

It is also true that the enemy of our souls seeks to destroy us, discourage us and to knock down anything that we are trying to build, we have to build wolf-proof buildings if we're going to survive and thrive.

I'm hoping this all makes sense as I won't have much time to proofread or re-write now that I've gotten this far. Build with bricks my friends, the Wolf will be coming around to test your work, will it stand the huffing and puffing. I know I've had to re-build on occasion and I hope I haven't been foolish enough to tear things down with my own hands, but I probably have done that, too. There is an extrordinary verse that reads something like this; "no other foundation can be laid than that which has already been laid, that is Christ Jesus." He is my foundation, my rock, my shelter from the huffing and puffing wolf who seeks to devour me.

Grab a brick friend and build...