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Archive for the ‘Glimpses’ Category

Just a Little Light

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Our church had a cantata last night for the residents at the nursing home where we meet.  It has been a looonnngggg time since I was part of a choir, and I enjoyed it thoroughly!



Before we actually started I prayed that we would be a blessing to the residents and others who came.  Many of the residents at this facility have brain injuries or mental impairments…in many ways, “the least of these”.   I’ve been challenged lately by a book I’ve been reading where this couple was ministering in the garbage dump, where people actually lived–it was all they had.  Yet Jesus was “always enough”.



As I looked out at the different ones gathering, many familiar faces that come to our services each week, I thought that although I’m not ministering in a war-ravaged African country I can still give to others, and especially to those often forgotten during this time of year.



After the cantata, I asked a resident if he got some cookies that everyone had brought for fellowship time afterwards.   He assured me he did!  Then I asked him, “Did you enjoy it?”




He nodded, smiling, and said,  “Oh yes! I was so blessed!  So blessed!”



And I was, too!  :)



We can all be a light–even just a “little” light–to someone, pointing them to the Light of the World–Jesus!


May you enjoy your most precious blessings–Jesus and your family, and no matter what your situation, remember–He is always enough!




Just a Little Light




Timmy sat in Daddy’s chair, all slouched down and scuffing his feet on the floor. Mama looked at his face which showed he was obviously disappointed and trying not to cry.


“Mama? Why can’t 7 year olds go to the church propi’ty to help clean up today?”


“Timmy, the daddies and big boys are going to be doing more dangerous work today, using chainsaws and other equipment to try to move some of the big trees that fell in the storm. They just want to be extra careful and take no chances on someone getting hurt.”


“But I can help! Daddy even said I’m a big helper!”


Mama smiled. “Yes, you are! But it would be easy for a smaller child to go unseen and perhaps someone would cut a limb or something that would fall where they didn’t think someone was—and then they would be hurt badly.”


“I’d be extra, extra careful and listen to Daddy….” Timmy began.


Mama shook her head. “No, Timmy. It’s best to take no chances.”



“But then I can’t do anything!” Timmy growled and flopped over on his side so he didn’t have to look at Mama.


“Timmy, look at me,” Mama had come over to the recliner and kneeled down in front of it.




“Timothy David, please look at me now.” Mama said quietly.


Timmy knew when Mama got really quiet like that and used his full name, he had better listen!


He turned. “What, Mama.”


“Timmy, sometimes we don’t understand why we can’t do something big, when all along God is just asking us to be faithful in the little things.”


“But Mama! That’s fun and big work! I do all my chores with a happy heart at home!”


“All the time?”


Timmy looked down. “Well, not all the time. But most of the time!”


Mama smiled again. “Timmy, you do a really good job most of the time. I’m not talking so much of doing your chores here at home as looking for opportunities to let your light shine, even if they seem really small.”


Timmy looked puzzled. “Like what?”


“Like visiting with Mrs. Crawson after picking up her sticks and limbs, or raking her leaves. Or how about when you stop at Linley Brothers Hardware to talk to Hardware Jim about your newest project?”


Timmy looked up at Mama. “Mama, those are just little things. That’s not something big like cleaning up big limbs and trees and fixing things that were blown down in a storm.”


“No, Timmy, those are big things in the eyes of those people. Remember when Tina Lewis needed someone to take care of Buddy when they had to leave suddenly because her grandma wasn’t doing well?”


Timmy nodded. “But that was fun, Mama! I liked playing with Buddy!” He smiled.


“I know you did! Again, though, that was a big thing to Tina. If she had had to find a kennel to board Buddy, it would have wasted precious time that she was instead able to spend with her grandma before she went to Heaven.”


Timmy was thoughtful.


“But I still don’t see how that makes Jesus happier than the big things.”


“Well, remember when the lights went out during the storm, and Daddy had a hard time getting the generator going?”


Timmy nodded vigorously. “Yep!”


“What did we do until the generator started?”


“We got our flashlights and camping lanterns and candles!” Timmy was bouncing at the memory of the adventure!


“Yes, but what did we have first before we could find all those other things?”


Timmy laughed. “Jo-Jo’s little baby toy that lights up!” He was giggling at how they used this little baby toy, pushing the button and listening to it “sing” Mary Had a Little Lamb several times while they got the other flashlights and lanterns!


“But wasn’t it a welcome ‘light’, even if it was small?”


“Oh yes! I mean, we could have gotten to our flashlights, but I’ll bet we would have run into stuff on the way!” Timmy laughed.


“That’s right! So we were pretty happy to have Jo-Jo’s little Lambie-Pie, weren’t we?” Mama was laughing, too.


Timmy nodded…..then he stopped smiling.






“I get it! I get it now!” He was bouncing up and down again, smiling.


“You get what, Timmy?” Mama asked.


“I’m like Jo-Jo’s little Lambie-Pie, aren’t I?! I might be just a ‘little’ light, but to someone, I’m like that little toy, helping keep them from stubbing their toe in the dark or falling over something until they get a bigger light!”


Mama couldn’t hide the tears welling up in her eyes. “That’s right, Timmy! You are absolutely right!”


“And…..” he was thoughtful…. “As I practice being a good ‘little’ light, I will be a brighter big light when it’s time! Is that what you meant, Mama?”


She pulled him into a big hug. “Yes, Timmy! That’s exactly what I meant!”


Timmy hugged Mama, and then pulled back and looked up at her.


“Then Mama, I’m going to be the best little light I can, so when I grow up, I’ll be a lighthouse!”


There’s No Place Like Home!

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

I had a FANTASTIC time at Safety Harbor!   It was beautiful and warm!  I left 80 degree weather for 40s here at home!     Too bad I couldn’t pack some in my suitcase!


The Retreat was Thursday through Sunday, then Trainer Certifications were Sunday through Wednesday.  First of all, the ride down was a HOOT with my two "adopted" sisters!   We had a great time!  


I am amazed to have gotten through FIFTEEN workouts over the course of the week!  I have not had the stamina until very recently to do more than 3-4 workouts a week and I did 15 all in less than a week’s time!  It was really neat Monday, when Teresa did the straight through review workout for the trainers who had not been at the Retreat, that afterward I didn’t feel sore at all. In fact, I felt very limber! 


I didn’t lose oodles of inches (yet!), but some things definitely reshaped, my stamina obviously improved, and best of all, a lump under my arm (which had reduced by half when I started T-Tapp) reduced another 1/3.  Then I got a light massage, and it is now smaller than it has been in TEN years!  THAT is worth losing 40 inches to me! 


It was fun eating at the local restaurants and having the waitresses ask about a "fitness retreat where everyone gets together"!   T-Tapp is so much more than just inch loss and looking good.  It’s about total health and balance.  Teresa’s heart is more about health, and the "inch loss" is often the open door that many have found leads to MUCH more.  So many of the testimonies on Thursday night included health improvements, hormonal improvements, getting off meds……isn’t feeling better more important, after all?


Even one of the guys on the camera crew commented about how nice all the ladies were!  I think meeting so many of the ladies, putting faces with forum names–that was so neat!  There was such a camaraderie and everyone was supportive of everyone.  No one’s there to show off or toot their own horn but we’re all there to encourage and cheer each other on!


A little sadness during my time there–I found out our beloved shih-tsu, Pooh, passed away on Monday.  Teresa has two furbabies, Buddy and Mitzi (Bichons).  Now Mitzi is more sociable as Buddy is "Teresa’s"!   I went downstairs after talking to my daughter and asked if I could hold Mitzi for awhile.   Everyone was so sweet and sympathetic–if I had to be away from home when this happened, I couldn’t have been in a better place!


Here’s a picture with Teresa and Mitzi.




There is just NO program out there like this where everyone truly cares about you.  Where you gain not only a better figure (however long it might take!   ) but better health and better body balance.  Where the inventor of the program remembers your name from a year and a half ago, is down to earth and really cares about you as a person.  I’m not saying there’s not nice people out there in the fitness world, but I truly believe Tappers are the bestest! 


Where else would I have met my "triplet" sisters, who are crazy enough with me to do Hoedowns at a gas station somewhere in Kentucky?


At 2:30 a.m.?!




If you haven’t checked T-Tapp out, I encourage you to.  You get lifetime support from the office when you purchase from them, the forums offer loads of encouragement and information, and you are doing something wonderful for yourself that far outweighs inch loss. 


I loved the Retreat, and my last morning there I was blessed to see a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l sunrise over the harbor.  I’ll close with a few pictures (I only have 318 total from my trip!  HaHa!)





I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my trip—I’m sure I’ll have more to share in the days to come!



 Here’s a "picture perfect" sunrise!




State Fair Fun!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Yesterday we went to our state fair–it was our first time!



We got up around 6 a.m. to get chores and everything ready to leave.  Our goal was 8, which means we could be on our way by 8:30! 



We got going a bit later (around 8:40) due to trying to find the stroller!   We were very glad later that we took the extra time to find it! (And Dallas blowing it off with his air compressor–it had collected quite a bit of cobwebs!)



On our way!  I slept the first leg!   Actually, I think most of us slept a lot on the way down!  Just a little north of the state capital, my husband asks if we got the crackers–oops!  We were supposed to get them in our little town before taking off!  No problem–there’s a Marsh, so in we go!  They were even on sale!



The directions worked out pretty well–except we weren’t sure what "gate" to go into!  We turned into a lane that we thought was it, and a police officer told us it was the next light!   I guess that one was only for those bringing in their animals.   Okay, next light, turn right….and we go and go and around and then we can give the tickets to them!





The blue ones are free thanks to the three girls that had state fair projects!   The little guys were free because they were cute!       No, really, because they were under 5!



So we drive and drive and drive (how can you go so long just going in circles?!) and under a bridge to the horse track–where the parked us on the infield.   That is, with about 5000 other cars!








Then we walked (and walked and walked) to find a walk tunnel under the track.  We headed for the north side of the fairgrounds first, where there was a pioneer village, a DNR building, a FFA building with lots of activities for the kids (including a miniature golf course!) and the exhibit buildings.



This was one of the 4-H exhibit buildings.  The first two floors had exhibits.  There is another building to the left of this one, longer, and it had three floors of exhibits!





After seeing the girls’ projects (you’ll have to visit their blog to see how they did!  ), we decided to go back the way we came and check out the DNR building.   We got to see what happens during a flood to low-lying areas with a model of a reservoir, dam, and then an area without a dam.  Little cars and houses floated away!    They even sprinkled us with water from the back wall where the workers were!  






Next we headed over to Pioneer Village.  I think we could have spent all day just there!   There were many facets of life "back then" and people dressed in period costume.  They were actually building another frame building, just like in the old days–no nailguns!   Some men were actually sawing and making their own boards with an old fashioned planer.  There was a "kitchen" which was open so you could see into it.  No one was working there when we went through.  It was interesting, though, to see how many more cupboards we need for all the paraphenelia we think we need these days!



Next we went into a Pioneer Building that had many old farm implements, a beeswax candle booth, men making wooden bowls and chairs, ladies quilting and tatting, even making brooms!  There was also a replica of the cabin that once stood on the land where the state fairgrounds are now located.  Talk about small!






To give you an idea–there wasn’t much space on either side of this fireplace!




The bed below was across from the "living area".  There was a loft over the bed area–the bed is a small double bed and the head of it was on the other wall–now that’s family togetherness!  Can you imagine weathering a long winter in a cabin that small?  Do you understand the term "cabin fever" a bit better?!






We were walking around looking for The Dazzling Mills Family, who were the main reason we decided to go to the state fair!   They were supposed to be roving the fairgrounds—with a place bigger than our small town, just how in the world were we supposed to find them?!  We just kept wandering around hoping to see them! 




Instead, we found out about a "pig race".  We found out where it was going to take place, but had a little time, so we checked out The Stars of Peking acrobats…..or contortionists!   It was quite amazing how flexible they are, and how well they could balance.  We couldn’t watch for very long–it kind of made our necks hurt!!!



So, on to the pig races!   These guys were a hoot!  Here is the "pig wrangler", who put on quite a pre-show all by himself!






The announcer (not pictured) would tell jokes and "ham it up", giving the pigs celebrity names like Arnold Schwarzennhogger, Brittany Squeals, Sarah Jessica Porker….you get the idea!   I honestly don’t know all the celebrities he was spoofing on, but I’ve heard their names at least to be able to get the joke! 




Oh, the pre-show guy would go around and get four ladies’ names, give them pom-poms, then they had to stand in the center and "root" their pig on!    (You are just getting a small taste of the piggie humor!)




So here is one set–racing to the finish for the oreo! 






Pretty cute, huh!



After the racing, Dallas wanted to talk to someone about windmills, so the girls and I went back to the Pioneer Building to hang out in the shade.   Isaiah was already asleep, and Noah fell asleep, too!   We let them get a bit of a nap, then we headed back down the street.  We decided to go eat at the van.  We have a double stroller, but it doesn’t fold up easily.  So we took the one I mentioned earlier, and did what we always did in the days before double strollers!






On our way, we often had to get over for the "trams" carrying people–I think they must have gone through every 3 minutes or so!  Probably not quite that bad, but they came fairly often!






The parking lot was quite warm, but our van was hotter!  Some of us sat in the shade of the van (what little there was!) and a few of us sat in the van, with the windows open for a bit of a cross-breeze!






After lunch, we went back the way we came and decided to make our way around to the other side of the fairgrounds, where the animals were.  We went over a covered bridge (well, we went beside it as the trams came through the bridge!).   This was the bridge we went under to park when we got to the fairgrounds.






Over the bridge, then you’re going by the midway.  No, we didn’t do any rides!  






We found the cattle barn–I don’t think we got a picture of it, but it was HUGE!   It was as big as our property, which sits on 2 1/4 acres!!!




After going through the cattle building, we saw the sheep building.  It also held the goats.  Yes, I said building!   As in, air conditioned! 






It was just as big on either side as the middle shown above!




Here’s the inside.







There was a sheep show in progress.






Then on to the swine building.   Only we were on the back side, so we went to what we thought was an entrance.  Instead, it was the basement of that building!  No piggies, there, but we went down and around and back up and finally to the front of the building!  Whew!  We just went in, around a little bit, then back out so as not to be in the way.



Remember I said the main reason we went to the state fair was to see the Dazzling Mills Family?



We came out of the swine building, and Susannah and Dallas both saw four people dressed alike sitting across the street…..could it be?



Yes!!! It was the Mills Family!!!



Now, the funny thing is…..another guy was about to do his show–Slackwire Sam (who juggled while on a unicycle while on a…slack wire!).    I guess he and the Mills’ were going to do a little pre-show together, and he spots us (remember, we’re all dressed alike!).  He asks Mr. Mills who we are!   I guess he thought we were another act!   (Oh, if only he knew!  HaHa!)   Mr. Mills comes over and talks to us–I guess he saw us on the other side of the grounds!   How we missed him I don’t know!


He said he told Sam we had an act!  I said, well, we do sing and play together, but no juggling!     We were talking and told him how we had wanted to see them perform but just weren’t in the right place all day!  They actually weren’t doing another performance then, but he said they’d do a little bit after Sam’s act for us.   So the Lord blessed us with both performances!  Sam’s was quite amazing!!!









Here’s a video of him–remember, the guy is crazy!   But good! 




Here’s the Dazzling Mills Family!












We have a few short videos of them.   Here is the first one–Dazzling Mills Family.




And the second one—you’ll have to turn your head towards the end!   Jessica forgot that when you turn our camera, it doesn’t adjust for the fact that you are still right-side-up!   And of course if we rotate it, then the first part would be sideways!  It’s not long, so you shouldn’t get a crick in your neck!   




Here’s the second video of The Dazzling Mills Family.





On our way back, we had ice cream–no, we did NOT try for 100 milkshakes here!  After all, we were only here one day! 






Here we are–the happy family at the end of a long but happy day!





Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our day at the state fair!




Simple Pleasures

Friday, July 24th, 2009

As I was eating my breakfast (or, more like it, brunch!) this morning, I looked out over the backyard and saw the "corn fence" behind us.  It was just such a serene view, with the sunlight highlighting the corn tops, creating just a bit of haze.




I love this time of year!  The craziness of the fair is done

(although we generally enjoy that craziness!),

and the garden isn’t bombarding us yet. 



Just a quiet moment on a quiet morning.



Then I look out a different window (our sunroom has ten!),

and see this sweet picture!






After few more minutes, I see that the little cutie patootie

has sweet-talked his sister into a "big one" push!







This is why I have lots of children!


This is why I homeschool!


This is why I love life on a mini-farm!


I love these quiet, sweet blessings from the Lord!


Sweeeeeet Accomplishments!

Monday, July 13th, 2009


104 "Milkshakes" were consumed by our family

over an 8 day period of time!

Here are the pictures to prove it!  

First, these are the "milkshakes" a local Lions club were selling–

unless it was a very, very hot day, or you got caught talking

instead of eating it right away, you did not need a straw!





Getting ready to purchase #100!





They piled it nice and high! 





First bite!

The 4-H girls had to wait in line with

their chickens to sell at the auction (for 3 hours!)

so Daddy decided to share #100 with everyone!

Here are some more pictures of our last day:

Last feeding for the wethers.

Looks like General Braddock is giving Cassia

a good-bye kiss!

Cassia in the auction ring with General Braddock.



Anna didn’t have a wether so she sold a basket with goat milk,

some cookies and goat milk soap!





Bekah with Caleb Holt.





Susannah with Mr. Baher (can you tell we had a

literary/movie theme for the goat names this year?!)






This is the goat tent, after the pens were taken down.

We hung out here until the auction was over–other than when

the girls were in the ring, then we were over at the show barn!





Anna the Clown, selling her chicken!






Cassia, selling Patrick Henry (you’ll get it if you can read the sign!)












Susannah, wearing her very appropriate "poultry jumper"!





Here’s what Cassia’s sign said, if you couldn’t read it!





Some "Cutie Patootie" pictures!











And a few final shots, the first one is the view from the goat barn.






And this is looking "down over the hill" towards the lake.


Makes for a very pretty view!



(That’s the Goat Barn, the Rabbit/Poultry Barn,

and over the hill is the Llama Tent.  We spent

most of our week in those three barns/tent!!!)






Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our fair!




Will We Make It?!

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

This morning our milkshake total was 63.   I had doubts that in two days we could reach our goal of 100.  It’s been cooler this week (the coolest fair we ever remember!), we even took jackets yesterday! 



So that does make it a bit hard to think of eating lots of ice cream!



The joke has been, "You can’t eat real food until you’ve had your second milkshake today!"    Who ever thought a mother would be telling her children that?!!!



Would you believe that as of tonight, we have eaten……






If you do the math, that means we had 26 milkshakes today!  We did only half that many yesterday!



But it was warmer today! 



Tomorrow is auction day, when we sell goat wethers, chickens and one daughter is selling a milk basket.  And it’s supposed to be in the upper 80s.



So what do you think?



Think we can finish up tomorrow?  We only need 11 more!   

A “Fair” Day!

Monday, July 6th, 2009

It’s been a l-o-n-g day at the fair, getting there by 7:45 and leaving around 10 p.m.!  Goat show actually got over before midnight! 



Thankfully it’s not as hot as it has been in past years—at least not yet! 



But I am full of fairground dust and sawdust from the goat barn!  Tomorrow is llama show. (And the poultry show, but we don’t really do anything for that!)   



We’ll be making two trips, but that’s okay as the "llama girls" have to be at the fairgrounds by 7 a.m.!         Dallas now thinks it may be the head gasket that is the problem on our big van, which is obviously a more serious issue!  We can’t even get it in to be checked until next week—so we’ll be playing ferry with the mini van until then!



Oh, and we’re up to 41 milkshakes as of tonight! 


Friday, February 13th, 2009

Kathy tagged me to list 25 things about myself.  Hmm…..


1. I didn’t want to get married or have children at 18.


2. I’m glad that I ended up doing both anyway!


3. I was an only child for 11 years before I got a brother.


4. My husband and I were set up on a blind date–he was 24, I was 19-almost-20.  We joke it was my first blind date and his last!  (Well, my first AND last, I guess!   )


5. We will be married 26 years on February 27.


6. It was 70 degrees the day we married (in northern IN!)


7. The church we got married in has been replaced by a Marathon Station!  (We joked that we could renew our vows by gas pump no. 3!)


8. My favorite color is lavender/purple.


9. My favorite flowers are lilacs.


10. I play flute, piano and recorder.


11. I sing soprano/mezzo-soprano (and can pitch hit alto if necessary!)


12.  I like to write and would like to write some books someday.


13. I have raspberry dark hot chocolate almost every evening! 


14.  In spite of # 13, I have lost 99 inches and 7 sizes through exercising with T-Tapp over the past two years!


15. I struggle with being consistent with anything!  I think I’m implementally impaired!!!


16. I love feminine things–teacups, ruffles, lace!


17.  I still have some Christmas presents to finish! 


18. I like to knit and sew and would like to learn tatting from my daughters!


19. I like to wear wild things sometimes, like watermelon fabric, sunflower fabric, chicken fabric……


20. My computer desk is almost always a mess!


21. My home is decorated in a cottage/country look.


22. I love to hear my children practice their instruments (and am partial right now to Leah and Cassia’s piano duet, and Susannah and Cassia’s Vivaldi Double for cello).


23. I spent my second year in college in Strasbourg, France, and got to travel some of Europe while over there.


24. I also went to Mexico the summer of my senior year in high school.  (And used to be fluent in Spanish….)


25. I’m hoping the Lord blesses us with more children–I feel better in my 40s than I did in my 20s!!!


Now I’ll tag:

1. My daughters (farmgirls–Susannah likes tags!)


2. Robinseggblue


3. And Jenny! (fruitbuns)


I will try my best to get back on track with my Frugal Friday meme of feeding my family for $15 or less next week!  Pray we don’t get mumps or measles next!!!   


Blessings on your day–and weekend!!!

The Holy Walk

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

What happens when a Sunday School class of young married couples decides they want to do something to help their young children keep their focus on the true meaning of Christmas?


What if they decided to do a "Holy Walk", recreating the night Jesus was born in Bethlehem?  


And 400+ people show up?!   


They decide to do it again!  Maybe move it across the road to another, larger farm.  Add more props.   And 800 show up?


 And in a few more years, ask area churches to help as it is GROWING!


That’s what happened at the Grace United Methodist Church in 1980.  


And now the whole community of Bremen, IN, gets into the act.   You go to the Bremen High School gym to wait to be bused to the farm now.   There are 250-300 costumed people to help recreate the night Jesus was born.


They used to do it 3 nights on a weekend in December (either the first or second, usually, as it depends on home basketball games!   ), and in the mid-’90s they had around 9000 people!    Several years ago they cut it back to Friday and Saturday, as people were up so late tearing down on Sunday, making it hard to get to work the next day!


The guide I asked wasn’t sure, but thought maybe around 4000 come a year now.


When you get off the bus, you are now in Bethlehem.   A Roman soldier is there to "usher" you off and to your family (a bit brusquely, mind you!  And don’t you DARE snicker at the brooms on their helmets!!!).    There you meet up with your guide, who is the family head, leading you back to the city of your forefather’s birth, Bethlehem.   You better pay attention to your family name, where you’re from, what you do for a living and how long it took you to travel, because you can be sure a Roman guard is going to ask you!!! And if you don’t answer right away…well!   He might just put you in the stockade or a jail cell!!!! 


(Oh!  And DON’T lose your scroll nor the "seal" on it!!)


Along the way you stop and warm yourself by the fire with a young couple who are resting on their journey to Bethlehem.   They are Joseph and Mary, and Mary is great with child.   You might discuss the hope that there is still a room for everyone at the inns in Bethelehem.  Then you move along.


Next, some shepherds invite you to warm yourself at their fire (this IS Indiana, and on this particular December night, it was in the teens!!!!).   While visiting with them, behold!    An angel blows a trumpet and announces that this night, in the City of David, a Savior is born, which is Christ, the Lord!!!!   An angelic host accompanies this angel in singing praises to God!   As soon as they appear, they are gone, leaving you and the shepherds to wonder at this amazing proclamation!


You hurry into Bethlehem, but alas!   You need to sign in with the Romans!   They herd your family into the tent and look you over, and you better not laugh!!!  They might stick someone in the jail cell there if they are insolent, or if they’re looking for a dish washer!   Someone from the family signs you in, then they herd you back out!  (And don’t worry!  If someone is in the cell, they’ll join you!)


Ah, the inn is ahead!   You send the young ones to knock (hoping the innkeeper will have mercy on the children!), but to no avail!   When the innkeeper opens the door, he informs you that he has NO room!  In fact, he says he had to send a young couple, with the woman great with child, over to the stable on the other side of town.   Joshua, your family head, is livid!   Can you imagine?  Sending a woman great with child to a STABLE?!   Your "brother", Gideon, calms him down.   It does seem a shame, that the innkeeper couldn’t find just a little room somewhere, though….


Around the bend, you come along to some fishermen.   They are trying to sell you some fish, but you have to think about those taxes you will pay!   It’s hard to know how much you’ll be charged, so you can’t just buy all your supplies!  But you ARE hungry…..about the time you think you might bargain with them, along comes those Romans again, herding you like sheep, not letting anyone loiter around!  My, but they seem a bit cross tonight!  (Unless you have a small child in your arms, one of them might whisper "He okay?"    )


Over a bridge and you come to the shepherds’ tent!  Their wives are anxiously awaiting their return, and invite you in to warm yourself.   Some children are playing with a dreidel, others pounding grain, and one of the wives is stirring up a wonderful stew for the men when they return.   You discuss with them the wondrous vision you saw of angels!    They at first are incredulous, then plying you with questions.   Before you can answer them all…you guessed it!!!  AGAIN!   You are herded out into the cold.


Now you enter into Bethlehem proper, and oh!  What sights meet your eyes!   Many shops with their keepers hawking their wares.   Boys drawing a wooden cart (right down to the wheels!) hollering, "Wheat for sale!  Finest in all of Bethlehem!"    And of course, Roman soldiers patrolling the streets!


We were rushed by the first "shop"–selling "fine jewelry"!   "Joshua", our family head, said, "Women don’t even look!  Don’t even look!  We have our taxes yet to pay!"   


Then we went to a shop passing out samples of warm bread!    Mmmm!  Something to help us on our "journey"!    We barter work for some loaves tomorrow, after we pay our taxes, so we can have bread for our return trip to Capernaum (where we’re from–it’s a two week journey, you know!). 


Across the street to the pottery shop.   Apparently "Rachel", a young girl in our group, has broken one of our water pots.   So they were sizing her up for a new pot and arranging for some of us to help dig clay for new pots (bartering again!).    The soldiers come along and "herd" us out of there (again!).


Next door they are making pancakes and giving out samples (nice, hot samples!).   However,  before we can even work anything out to grind wheat for pancakes, the soldiers usher us out yet again.  


Thankfully, then there’s a shop selling roasted apples!   So we get a sample, and work out a deal to pick apples and go next door to the basket place to barter for baskets to pick the apples with!   Of course, we again barter to pick reeds so we don’t have to pay TWO denarii for a basket!!!!   (Remember, a denarius is a day’s wage!)


We barely get the deal done when (yes, again!) we are herded off!


Our next stop is a sandal maker with quite a personality!!!   He fits a "sandal" to one of the young children in the group.  Problem is, it’s big enough for BOTH feet!   After a jolly time of bantering, we need to move on to the rug shop.  There we’re trying to barter to build a loom in return for some sleeping rugs, and while we’re working out the details, we’re ushered out of there and on to the next stop!


Next we get samples of raisins and grapes, and make arrangements to come pick fruit in return for more food for our return trip.    Looming ahead is the tent where we go before we pay our taxes.  Before we’re ready, we’re ushered in, no talking!   Our youngest daughter is "chosen" to take the basket and receives the "seals" off our scrolls.   Then we move across the tent to make room for the next group while we await our fate!   Of course, there are the comments about the "furs" on our coats, the gold dangling from ears and how this must be a good year for us!!!!


Next we go into the magistrate’s tent.  You can tell he is quite rich–look at all the candles burning!    The rich robes he wears!   He is NOT in good humor, though, (these officials don’t want to be in some small non-descript town collecting taxes), and threatens to put someone in the stockade (which is right there, for convenience!).   Thankfully, we get through there, getting our "scrolls" stamped (although I almost took incident with a soldier calling telling me to "help the little one, old woman!"    The sight of the stockade helped me keep my mouth shut!!!)


Whew!   We made it through!   Next is the Synagogue of the Lion of Judah.  Normally women and children are not allowed in, but since it’s a cold night, and Roman soldiers are out and about, they allow us in to warm up and be safe.   There some boys are learning to write in Hebrew, another is reading from a scroll.    We praise God together and go on our way.    As we come along, ahead is a star!!!!   Right above a stable.    And there……


There is the young couple we saw at the beginning of our journey.   Joseph and Mary.   Mary has had her child, and we realize that this is the Savior foretold by the angels.  We watch on in silent awe, hushed by the wonder of the moment.  


As we reluctantly go, we come across three wise men from the East, bearing gifts for the King.    They are following the star, as well.   


Then we come to a cross.   Our guide steps out of character and delivers a beautiful, impassioned plea to consider the true meaning of Christmas.


Before we head up to the barn to await our ride back to the school, there is one more stop.    Here, in another tent where we can warm up a bit and rest, area pastors ask the children what things they saw, and again relay to us the true meaning of Christmas.   How this is just a very small, incomplete glimpse of how things might have happened on that night long ago.


Up to the barn, to get two cookies and some hot chocolate (volunteers bake 1200 dozen cookies for this event!).   We look at pictures of past Holy Walks, discuss how this was the best one yet (this is our 9th year going–we first went in 1996, but had to miss a few years here and there).   Our guide was really into his character!  


All too soon, it’s time for the bus ride back to the twenty-first century.   The lady guide on our bus is the one that told us all these statistics I’ve mentioned.


And the most amazing of all, is that in 29 years of having this, they have only cancelled ONCE because of the weather!   This community is very committed to this event.   They have been there in snow, rain, and extreme cold, late into the night (once we went on Saturday night, got there later, and we didn’t board the bus until 12:30 a.m., and didn’t get out of there until 1:30 a.m., and there were still more people coming!!!).  


I am very grateful that the Bremen community does this year after year.  It is the highlight of my Christmas season.   


I’m sure those families 29 years ago could never have imagined how far-reaching, how lasting their idea would be!


When our desire is to focus on Him, there is no telling where He might take it!!!!


I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of the Holy Walk!  And if you’re in northern Indiana next year in December, check to see which weekend it is, and please make every effort to get there!  


It’s well worth it!




Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

I was tagged a LONG time ago by fruitbuns!  I’m sure she’s thought I forgot or am avoiding it!!!


But here I am, finally!


If I remember rightly, I am to link to her–here!   And in case you didn’t know, she’s in England, so it’s lots of fun reading her blog! 


I am to list 6 unspectacular things about myself!  And then tag 6 people (who I will list at the end!).


1. I am the only one in my family with green eyes.


2. I play flute.


3. I was an only child for 11 years before my brother was born.


4. I was born on Father’s Day.


5. This is my 23rd pregnancy. (Yes, you read that right!   I’ve had 12 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth.  We’re going to have quite a Homecoming Party in Heaven someday!)


6. When this baby is done in 4-H, we will have put in 30 years as 4-H parents!!! 


Now I will tag Heather, busymomof10, farmgirls, goatgirl46, watalulu, and robinseggblue!


I wonder if they’ll still be my friends now?!