Saturday, August 28

such a privilege.....

This morning I had the great privilege of watching my little grandson for a couple hours while the kids went for breakfast with friends. And, I am serious when I say it is a privilege. I watch our little Everett... and wonder what he is thinking when he appears so serious!

I watch him as he looks at himself in the little mirror on his exersaucer. Oh Little One - how sweet you are.

I laugh with him when he laughs. We growl with him when he growls. (Although I can't compare to the growling that he and Poppa do together). I talk with him, and hug him. I love the smell of his baby skin. I hold his hands as he wants to be upright and "walking". I pick up toys when he drops them. Feed him his food so lovingly made by his mommy. I love the sparkle when his daddy comes in the room and calls his name!

Today, as he was in his exersaucer, I sang to him. I do that often (especially when it is just Everett and I). We can tell already that he loves music. There are times when it even seems that he is singing along, or sings after you do.

So today, I can dream about my little grandson, who is on his way to being 9 months in September. He is growing so quickly. His first tooth made its appearance a couple weeks ago. It was interesting today as I watched him... I had a flood of emotions rush over me, and I felt like I was back in my mothering days, watching my own little son. Sometimes watching Everett takes me right back, because I see so much of Josh in him.

I will continue to dream as I spend time with my grandson. But more than that, I will continue to pray that God uses this little guy for his honor and glory. That has always been my prayer - first for my own children, and now for my grandchildren ~ that they will grow to put their trust in Jesus Christ. That they would love him with all their hearts, and make their own relationship with him once they are old enough to make that decision. Till then, this Granny will love, support, and pray without ceasing for my grand kids.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
before I sign off on this post - I will share a video I found. It is of a little 7 year old girl with the most amazing voice! I remember when Ashley was old enough to talk - she sang. It is quite something to see someone so young but loving the Lord with all her heart! Wow...
See that is why I am lifting my grandson before the throne too. He may not be a singer on You Tube but I have a feeling that the Lord is going to use our Everett John in amazing ways. Time will tell! Till then, this Granny will just pray!

I hope you are just as blessed as I was - to hear this little girl sing!

Saturday, August 21

thinking about life

I have been thinking a lot lately about life... about enjoying each moment of my life NOW... about breathing deeply and savoring each moment ... the feel of the dew on my toes ... the sight of fog first thing in the morning... the bright orange sun as it pops up and greets us in the morning. I have been enjoying the sight of the birds feeding at our feeder out the porch of the loft where we are living... the sight of my little grandson's eyes as they light up when they recognize us... the sounds of his squeals...

I have been taking in the warm sun on my skin... the smell of our humid days (always reminds me of Florida where some of our happiest trips have been). There is just so much. I want to feel and touch and hear and taste and see. I want to live FULLY today at the same time as I look forward to TOMORROW with great anticipation.

As I watch my little grandson grow up before our eyes, I realize how life does go quickly by. I know it doesn't seem so at the moment. I remember my mom saying "Honey, they grow up so fast" after a time when she knew I was tired and the kids were acting up a little.

Lately I have thought a lot about life (like I stated previously) and two things happened. One: I heard a beautiful song which I will also post here. Love Love LOVE the true.

Secondly I had the privilege of listening to this YouTube. Hope it blesses you too.

O Lord, teach us to number our days!!

Tuesday, August 17

Sunset Skies and other things...

I have a feeling we are going to be seeing many MANY beautiful sunsets from our new land!

amazing colors...

more amazing shots...

looking up at the "coopala"
not sure how we are going to be opening those windows!

the steps are in place.... no more ladders

from the inside looking up at the end wall where the big overhead door will go!

a nighttime shot of the barn/shop, complete with coopala in the middle top.

Tonight I went over to our land with Alvin (after supper) for a couple minutes. It is really nice - living in the loft at our kids - it is only a 5 minute drive to our land on Henderson Hwy.

As we drove, the sunset sky was amazing! I took a few pictures with my little camera... they hardly capture the beauty! The heavens declare the glory of God!!
I also took a couple pictures of our barn. It is coming together. The "coopala" (or however you spell it) is now done. Alvin and Josh worked on it last week - and then Alvin and Michael have been working on some other things in the shop. Today, I went to order the metal for the outside... Dark Red with White Trim. Much like the kids barn (which we are living in the upper loft of). The steps are done on the bottom, so now you don't need a ladder to get to the second floor of the barn/shop.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures - and since it is so late - I am off to bed! Night.

Sunday, August 15

past my bedtime

It is past my bedtime. The weekend has been full of family, and friends, and hospital time. I do not begrudge any time by the side of Mom's bed. In fact, I am thankful that at this time, I am not working, so that I can be there to keep her company, advocate for her, etc. However, even though sitting at the bedside is rather sedentary - I am pooped!

So this blog will be short. Today I am thankful for many things. I am going to name a few. Perhaps I can think of 15 since today is August 15. Here goes:

Thank you Lord for:
  1. my grandson Everett got his first tooth!
  2. Josh, Leah and Everett are at Faith Bible Camp. Josh is Assistant Director. Thank you for my kids and grandson.
  3. Ashley and Michael spent the day with us. Thank you for them and for the help they were today. Ash sat with me at the hospital today and Michael went with Alvin and my nephew to pick up the tractor from our neighbors.
  4. Gordon and Janice Mills (my nephew and niece) are in town visiting Grandma and staying with us here (they are in Josh and Leah's house). Thank you for Gordon and Janice and for the good talks and laughs we have shared these past few days.
  5. the sun that shone at the end of the day
  6. prayers on behalf of mom klassen
  7. this loft of our kids, which is our temporary home. we have been here for two weeks and it is feeling more and more like our place
  8. for my husband Alvin who loves me and makes me laugh
  9. for mom klassen's determination to live. she had a stronger day today. who would have thought that she would be here with us if you could have seen her on Wednesday
  10. for laughter which seems to come readily with our family and our friends!
  11. for the work the boys are doing at the new land. the "cupola" (sp??) is up on the shop/barn. Looking mighty good - even if i do say so myself.
  12. for the sale of my dad's house. (which has belonged to us kids for the past almost 13 years) This is an end to a final chapter
  13. for our friends and family who love us and have carried us in prayer
  14. good books. I just finally finished Brennan Manning's ABBA'S CHILD and I am now re-reading BLUE LIKE JAZZ by Donald Miller. You gotta read these two books.
  15. for the word of God which continues to speak into my life! and thank you Lord for my relationship with you - Redeemer, Friend, Rock, Comforter, Physician... the great I AM.

Gotta run - I am so very tired. Tomorrow is a new day. Night.

Thursday, August 12

thoughts from alongside a hospital bed

Yesterday my sister-in-law and I took Mom K. to emergency - as she had been in big pain due to some fractured vertebrae (from her multiple myeloma aka cancer) and little did we know how the day would unfold. I would travel by ambulance service - as they transferred mom to Grace Hospital. She returned back to Seven Oaks this afternoon.

Mom K. is one strong woman. We saw how she rebounded from her bout in the hospital last year with renal failure - and became their "miracle child". However right now - it seems that she is fighting hard. It looks bleak, but we are not giving up - she certainly has not.

I sat with her today - for a long time - before and during and after visits from other siblings...
and had a good talk about heaven. We are supposed to not get to used to life here - isn't that what the Word says - that LIFE for us is ahead - if we have given our life to Jesus Christ.
But - how do you process end of life - when you love so hard in the here and now. We don't have anyone to tell us that the transition to be with Jesus is not scary. It is unknown...
However - we believe that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord which is far better...

As I go to bed tonight - I will go with thoughts of Mom who is asleep in a hospital bed - her mind no doubt dull from painkillers, but full of all the things she was told today. Lord, please bring comfort, peace and freedom from pain. Your will be done Lord - in her life - and in mine.

Tuesday, August 10

The Land Between (thought provoking...)

Today I sat with a good fresh bold cup of Mountain Bean coffee - and I read a "free chapter" from the book The Land Between: finding God in difficult transitions, by Jeff Manion. (also ordered off amazon) I first heard about this guy, when he spoke at the WillowCreek Leadership Summit which was simulcast and my daughter was there at Riverwood, and watched/listened and shared his thoughts.

So you have to go and look for yourself - and perhaps download the free chapter and order the book.

It hits me right where I am at. He talks about the Israelites as they left the Land of Slavery for
the Promised Land, but in between was "the land between" and Jeff Manion goes on to say that the "land between" is fertile land...Fertile for: complaints, emotional melt-downs, God's provision, God's discipline. A few lines really struck me, and I have put them here: they are from CHAPTER ONE: Welcome to the Land Between, by Jeff Manion.

"I believe that the Land Between - that space where we feel lost or lonely or deeply hurt - is fertile ground for our spiritual transformation and for God's grace to be revealed in magnificent ways. ... and while the Land Between is prime real estate for God's faith transformation, it is also the space where we can grow resentful, bitter and caustic if our responses are unguarded. The wilderness where faith can thrive is the very desert where it can dry up and die if we are not watchful.

The land between can be profoundly disorienting. It also provides the space for God to do some of his deepest work in our lives. Many seasoned spiritual advisers propose that this is the only space in which radical, transformational growth occurs. God intends for us to emerge from this land radically reshaped. But the process of transformational growth will not occur automatically. Our response to God while in the Land Between is what will determine whether our journey through this desert will result in deep, positive growth or spiritual decline.

While offering us a greenhouse for growth, the Land Between can also be a desert where our faith goes to die - if we let it. The habits of the hart that we foster in this space - our responses and reactions - will determine whether the Land Between results in spiritual life or spiritual death. We choose."

I think this is not coincidence that Ashley went and heard this guy speak...
I think it is just one more God-thing, and very timely in my life.
There are some good questions to ask myself - and I will be doing that - my journalling on this has just begun and I can hardly wait for my book to arrive from Amazon!

The Land Between.... somehow it feels like I have been in between for a long time... and I know I am not alone. O Lord, may this be the time that you transform me to become more like you. Remove the acidic soil and instead make my life more like you... O Lord... more of you, less of me!
there is also a posting on my other blog He Rejoices Over Me www.

Monday, August 9

late night deleted blogthoughts and early morning heart thoughts

Last night, before I went to bed, I typed some of my thoughts on a blog post. Just before I posted it - I touched something (my friend Meggie would be shaking her head and laughing and saying "only Joy..." ) and I lost the whole post SO I just went to bed with the thoughts rattling around my head.

A quick recap:
I realized that last week was a very VERY (did I say very?) emotionally full and hard week. I was trying to make sense of all the emotions (some of which I actually wrote here on my blog) and the week also included that trip to the Laundromat where I took the time out - to journal. Yes, I journalled, and thought...
First of all, I want to just say something. I did not HAVE to go to the laundromat because my kids, Leah and Josh had told me that I could use their washer/dryer anytime HOWEVER I needed to just do a little drive and think, and the two hours at the laundromat was that thinking time. Later, I will admit, I felt like I didn't take my kids up on their graciousness and perhaps that was wrong of me... especially when I had the offers...and I will from now on (until mine is hooked up). But as I said to them, I just needed to do that - to take the concentrated time while it did the loads all at the same time, and just step out and think.

There was a lot of thinking done last week. And some crying. And more thinking. And talking. And more thinking... it was a full week.

Last night, as I thought and wrote - I posted (or was going to post, as I deleted it somehow) that I realize much of my struggle boiled down to the fact that I NEED to spend time with the Lord every day - at the beginning of the day (I find this the most wonderful time) because it is only through HIS strength that I can do what I have to. Usually when I am in tears, at my wit's end so to speak, it means that I have missed my QT and have tried to wing it on my own and well - it just doesn't seem to work!..

I also realized last night that I have to begin to PRAISE regardless of how I feel. There is the beautiful song that Jer and Meagan put to Jay's CD... what a reminder ... I will praise you Lord, My God....even in my brokenness I will praise you Lord. Wanting to praise when I feel down is NOT my default button... actually my personality tends to want to withdraw and not say a thing to anyone and try to work through it without burdening anyone. Usually doesn't work well ~ especially since I am a little too transparent for my own good.

I went to bed feeling that I need to get back into the habit of early morning rising, early morning QT with my Lord, and beginning to PRAISE Him more - yes, even when I don't feel like it!

So, I went to bed without posting, but having those thoughts on my heart as I fell asleep. When I woke up this morning - God ran a Scripture reference across my heart. And well - when I looked it up - well, what can I say - it is my favorite scripture (even though I always forget the Psalm # for it!) I love the verses that I will put in BOLD.

Psalm 40
A David Psalm

1-3 I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn't slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God.

4-5 Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God,
turn your backs on the world's "sure thing,"
ignore what the world worships;
The world's a huge stockpile
of God-wonders and God-thoughts.
Nothing and no one
comes close to you!
I start talking about you, telling what I know,
and quickly run out of words.
Neither numbers nor words
account for you.

6 Doing something for you, bringing something to you—
that's not what you're after.
Being religious, acting pious—
that's not what you're asking for.
You've opened my ears
so I can listen.

7-8 So I answered, "I'm coming.
I read in your letter what you wrote about me,
And I'm coming to the party
you're throwing for me."
That's when God's Word entered my life,
became part of my very being.

9-10 I've preached you to the whole congregation,
I've kept back nothing, God—you know that.
I didn't keep the news of your ways
a secret, didn't keep it to myself.
I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough.
I didn't hold back pieces of love and truth
For myself alone. I told it all,
let the congregation know the whole story.

11-12 Now God, don't hold out on me,
don't hold back your passion.
Your love and truth
are all that keeps me together.
When troubles ganged up on me,
a mob of sins past counting,
I was so swamped by guilt
I couldn't see my way clear.
More guilt in my heart than hair on my head,
so heavy the guilt that my heart gave out.

13-15 Soften up, God, and intervene;
hurry and get me some help,
So those who are trying to kidnap my soul
will be embarrassed and lose face,
So anyone who gets a kick out of making me miserable
will be heckled and disgraced,
So those who pray for my ruin
will be booed and jeered without mercy.

16-17 But all who are hunting for you—
oh, let them sing and be happy.
Let those who know what you're all about
tell the world you're great and not quitting.
And me? I'm a mess. I'm nothing and have nothing:
make something of me.
You can do it; you've got what it takes—
but God, don't put it off.

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

God uses His Word to us again and again to affirm and encourage! Thank you Lord for this reminder - to sing - to praise - to stay in close relationship with you!

I have made some decisions - that I need to get back to getting up early and meeting with the Lord in Quiet Time (QT) at the beginning of the day! That I need to meditate on his WORD. That I need to PRAISE HIM even when I don't feel like it. Honestly - imagine what would have happened if HE had not "felt like" going to the cross for us... that is WAY WAY bigger to think of than just "choosing to praise"... and He went for me - for you - for US. That in itself is the biggest thing to PRAISE THE LORD for...

O Lord - thank you.

Thursday, August 5

clay jars - what does grace have to do with it?

This is some of my favorite scripture and I give it to you here, in two versions (New Living and also The Message) copied and pasted straight from

May it bring peace to your soul as well!

2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (New Living Translation)

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.[a] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”[b] 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,[c] will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[d] being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever

2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (The Message)
7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!

13-15We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

16-18So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

So - my thoughts today are this:

In my devotional this morning - from Streams in the Desert (L.B. Cowman) I was directed to the verse from 2 Corinthians 12:9 and so I have copied it again and put below - with more verses surrounding verse 9.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (New Living Translation)
7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (The Message)

7-10Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

So - my thoughts... do I believe HIS GRACE is SUFFICIENT? He doesn't say "Joy, ask me for my grace to be enough when you need more" NO! He says MY grace IS sufficient for YOU!! I just need to believe that with all my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength! No matter what - no matter when... His Grace IS Sufficient for me!

I leave you with this old hymn by Annie Johnson Flint (in old English, and not in inclusive language - but none the less beautiful and life giving to this old clay pot!!)

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercies,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
his power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.


So, those are my thoughts - hope they make sense to more than just me! Once again we covet your prayers, as some days the "clay pots/jars" are feeling rather cracked and repaired...But HIS grace IS sufficient for US! (and you too!)

Wednesday, August 4

search me O God...

i have said in the past
that sometimes when i think of what God has called us to do
to "step out of the boat" (so to speak, using the title of a book that changed my life)
it takes my breath away
and often makes my heart race

but as i write this tonight
there is something else that i am feeling
and don't know quite what to do with it
it is more than just taking my breath away
it is making me feel like i am literally going to be sick to my stomach
and for the first time
i am wondering how we stop this ball from rolling
while at the same time knowing that "stopping the ball" is not an option
nor to I really believe it is God's plan after the years of saying "get the ball rolling"

is it doubt
is it fear
is it being overwhelmed
is it worry
is it the unknown
(or perhaps all of the above)

is it wondering how long i will be living in my kids loft, or in some other temporary home
is it worrying about my family and the work that it is putting on them
is it wondering about the people who God will provide to help
is it worrying about the money involved in building this home
(we could downsize, it wouldn't be too late to do that BUT it would be other than what God has led us to plan for)

is it wondering why God calls us to something
and yet absolutely nothing has gone easily
absolutely nothing
not one thing
in fact at times it has been one step forward, two steps back so to speak

for the first time
i am wondering if we are doing the right thing
i am wondering if we are too old for this
really God, it would have been easier to just buy a house on a quiet bay
and drink coffee with friends at mountain bean

(i know however that I told someone just a couple weeks ago, that if we weren't so sure this was God's will, we would have stopped a long time ago)

so many thoughts
guess its because i have so much time on my hands
time can be both friend and enemy

my thoughts are all over the place
and somehow
i wish i could sweep them up into a nice neat little pile and guard them
but life..
It is not neat
In fact it is rather messier with time
And loosely held in our hands

at least - that is my experience

oh God, I am so glad that you are in control
even though I am wondering where you are in the whole thing
and why you don't just make things a little easier
(not that i am wimping out, but Lord, I am feeling just a little weary)

and now
just as i typed the previous paragraph
you o God - YOU... (so true to form)
remind me of YOUR WORDS...

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 139: 23-24

So Lord - those thoughts that I wrote down -
the ones that are all over the place...
you know all about them.
Lord, please show me what to do with them
And help me to lead with encouraging words in the days and weeks and months to come

Monday, August 2

We closed the ANOLA chapter

Well what can I say... we have moved. We have slept two nights in a row in our new home, the "loft" in our kids barn. (no it is not a straw and hay and animals barn, but a cute little red barn that they built and lived in the loft while they were building their house). Alvin got up this morning and left for work - the drive half as long as before. I got up and looked at the boxes (which I wanted to work through) but I just couldn't get moving very fast. I figure it is okay - I have time now. Just need to find the energy. I am wondering which box I packed that in!

I do have to say however, that the song from the Beatles (I think?) "I get by with a little help from my friends) is resonating in my head. And honestly, that is the only way we got moved, EXCEPT the line sung should be I GOT by with ALOTTA help from my friends (and family).

We had non stop help last week - besides our kids (honestly, our kids, the four of them are the most amazing kids a parent could have. We are so thankful and so blessed! We love you kids!)
Then there was Jeannette (who took off work and came to help Thursday - most of the day) and Elmer (her husband) and Phoebe (their daughter) and Willy and Betty, and then on Friday there was Josie (who cleaned the whole basement) and then Mary-Ann and Nelson, and Betty and Willy (yes again) and our kids... and Saturday - a return of Mary-Ann and Nelson, Betty and Willy, and Mary and Henry! Oh my goodness - we are sooooooooooo blessed.
And humbled. Greatly, greatly humbled. I just hope that one day, we can help them in return...

So - we are out of Anola. Alvin and I went and got the last load after dark, and I mopped the dining room and wept. I had wanted to walk the back forty. I had wanted to walk Springfield one more time. But it was dark... and time to finish up and say good-bye.