Friday, February 27, 2009

A Nothing day

Today was a Nothing day

I slept in (till 8 at least).

I didn't get showered and dressed until nearly 11.

I only got in my car and drove somewhere 4 times today (and once was an accidental time, which gave Sonja the opportunity to "save the world." Thank you darling.).

I saw only 9 people aside from my family - most of them were kind, loving, and enjoyable to be with. Some were not. Some did not affect or influence my life in any way, shape, or form.

I ate a bowl of ice cream.

I cleaned my room, but shall continue to procrastinate at the task of doing laundry (yes, Alida, the basket of stinking clothes remains in the closet. Would you come over and wash it for me? Tuesday maybe?).

I enjoyed observing Zeke and Mum play a competitive game of Ticket to Ride.I caught up on e-mails and homework (mostly at least).

I scheduled out tomorrow, and very much non-Nothing day.

I contemplated the meaning of life.

I was overjoyed to see Abby take the initiative to clean and vacuum the living rooms and office. Good job, hun!

I resolved to take a nap - I failed.

I suggested that Mum take a nap - she failed (but not for lack of trying).

I talked to Dad on the phone, and spent time wishing he didn't have to be half-way across Missouri today.

I heard about a strange weather forecast. . . surely not snow?

I watched Isaac do gymnastics with the couch pillows - I requested that he not jump directly on the couch springs.

I spent some time researching variations for french braiding - I tried a new one on Abby. I wished she had a little bit longer hair.

I looked at the incomplete pile of returned basketball uniforms - I looked away, leaving them neatly stacked in the living room.

I laughed with Mum about the fact that this day, we were allowed to be sick - it was on the schedule.

I wondered what Andy was up to tonight, and if he ever reads my blog (he doesn't).

I had the brilliant idea that I would perhaps go to sleep before 10 o'clock, as a spectacular end to this Nothing day.

Good night! Hope you have a Nothing day in your future that you can enjoy to it's fullest.

(Photo, compliments of Mark)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thirsting for Him

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 4:13-14

We don't really recognize our need for something until we have to go without. It is not until we're stuck with a car that won't start that we realize jumper cables are a good thing to keep in the trunk. We think that we can do without stretching before a work-out just this once -- until we pull a muscle and have to limp the next few weeks. And we don't think about being thirsty until we find ourselves in a dry and weary land.

How often do we hear our parents, or perhaps our doctor, encouraging us to drink more water? And yet, how hard is it to remember to consistently drink those 6-8 glasses a day? If we don't make drinking that much water every day a habit, we'll never get as much as we need. And actually, it may be one of those things we don't notice. . . the day-to-day lives we lead might not seem to suffer much from lack of water. But if we stop and consider the long-term ways water is needed in our bodies (kidney function, metabolism, temperature regulation, etc.), we will realize that water is a "must."

God is too. Our souls need a huge daily dose of Him to live. And hey, maybe, like water, we might not notice it if we go without getting enough of Him for a few days or weeks. A little here and there, something slipped into a conversation, may seem like enough. But when we reach that dry and barren land, we'll start to notice our dehydration pretty quickly. Thankfully, God is always near to us. Even in the driest of droughts, He can be found. Our job is to earnestly and daily seek Him. Even when we don't see a need for this daily dose of Him because we can't feel the effects right away, we have to continue to drink of His ways, remembering that we are in it not only for the short-term, but the long haul.

God, I haven't been doing a good job of regularly replenishing my supply of You. I need to learn that one huge dose of you isn't enough to last a lifetime. I'm not a camel Lord, and I can't just store up for the moments I feel faint - I need You each and every day. May I begin to truly see my continual need for you, and respond by earnestly seeking You and the Living Water You offer me. Thank you for always being there with open arms - forgiving the times I fail, and holding me up to keep on each day.

~Becky Girl

Friday, February 20, 2009

101 Ways a Christian Maiden Can Spend her Time

I found this list in a magazine for young ladies called Watching for the Morning. The magazine states its purpose as:

"To encourage young single Christian women in their journey of serving their families and keeping busy for the Kingdom as they wait on the Lord to provide the husband he has ordained for them in His perfect time and way according to His will (wow that was a mouthful!)."

Anyways, I thought this was interesting. It may take a while to get them all on here, but I will work on it as I have time. And I did modify it a little, changing the order and wording a bit to make it more logical. Let me know if any of you young ladies have ideas that would fit well on a list like this, but aren't mentioned!

  1. Read, study, memorize, and meditate on God's Word. Then, when you are finished, do it again.
  2. Pray for missionaries by name.
  3. Write a book of devotionals.
  4. Pray for your future husband.
  5. Spend time at Jesus' feet, pouring out your heart and also being quiet, listening to what He has to say.
  6. Start an online Bible study.
  7. Keep a thankfulness journal (this can keep you from focusing on the perceived "negatives" in your life).
  8. Befriend and spend time with godly married couples and families.
  9. Pray without ceasing.
  10. Worship the Lord.
  11. Grow in Christ-like character.
  12. Pray for and nuture your relationships with sisters and brothers.
  13. Pray fervently and faithfully that you will be a light to those God has placed in your life who don't know Jesus, and actually do so.
  14. Read books on marriage by godly authors your parents or another godly adult can reccomend.
  15. Pray and work to overcome faults that would keep you from being a godly wife to your future husband.
  16. Fall in love with your Lord.
  17. Take a walk and enjoy God's glorious creation.
  18. Memorize Psalms -to make them easier to remember, put them to little tunes you can hum.
  19. Learn to work happily, doing the hard things that aren't "fun" with a cheerful spirit.
  20. Purpose to work on your relationship with your father.
  21. Read a God-honoring Christian novel.
  22. Watch an inspirational, God-honoring movie.
  23. Listen to music that takes you deeper in your walk with the Lord.
  24. Form relationships with married women who live their lives as a Proverbs 31/Titus 3 woman -soak in the words of wisdom they have to offer from experience.
  25. Learn God's ways.
  26. Rejoice in who God made you to be - unique, speical, one of a kind, created to do works for God's Kingdom that no one else but you can do.
  27. Make a list of standards for your future husband. This is not to be legalistic, but to set your standards and convictions in "stone" so that if you are ever tempted to compromise, you can go back to this list. Pray before doing this and ask God to lead you. Consider asking an older adult you trust, or your parents to look over it and offer suggestions. Purpose to never waver from these convictions.
  28. Become familiar with and sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
  29. Meditate on your relationships with Christ.
  30. Wake up early, while it is still dark, and have a special quiet time with Jesus.
  31. Reserve the first part of your day for Him, and use this time to commit each and every day to Him.
  32. Attend prayer meetings.
  33. Read and study significant spiritual works that encourage and exhort your walk with God and help to establish your faith.
  34. Keep a box with blank greeting cards or stationary in it. Whenever you have a moment , scripture, lesson, or thought you wish you could share with your future husband, write it down. Seal the envelope, and plan to open them together one day when you are married.
  35. Be a missionary.
  36. All Christians are called to share the gospel. Your mission might be in your home, next door, in your community, or somewhere overseas. Ask the Lord how you can best share the Good News - He will make it clear.
  37. Learn to make things such as soap, candles, bread, or anything else that interests you. Give these things away to brighten someone's day, or as a gift for a special ocassion. This can be an amazing ministry - if you are able to make quite a lot, you could also offer these items for sale in your community.
  38. If you don't already have farm animals and are feeling adventurous, try to save up and invest in a goat, cow, or a few hens. Learn the basics of caring for animals, and enjoy the fruits of your labors.
  39. Research the medicinal and nutritional properties of herbs, essential oils, and wild "edibles." Keep a notebook of all you've learned. This will come in handy some day when you may wish to use natural remedies as a wife or mother, but don't have time to do the research.
  40. Work on a home business.
  41. Plant a flower garden. Make a beautiful border with rocks or stones. Choose different types of colors and flowers, both annuals and perennials. You can use them all season to give as gifts, to brighten someone's day, or even to decorate your own table or desk. Don't forget to dry them for use in countless projects.
  42. Make jewelry. It can be a wonderful gift, and might also bring in a little money if you are able to sell it.
  43. Learn to draw or paint.
  44. Learn and practice skills that will be beneficial to homemaking -- cooking, house cleaning, laundry, ironing, caring for children, etc.
  45. Learn how to play an instrument. Take lessons, or teach yourself.
  46. Quilt, as simply or elaborately as you are able.
  47. Plant an herb garden.
  48. Crochet or knit.
  49. Learn some basic accounting and book-keeping skills. This will be a useful skill if you ever are a part of a home business, or even find yourself in need to balancing your own budget at home.
  50. Study health and medicine. This can be something that is used both among your family now, and to save money in your own family later.
  51. Study agriculture and gardening. A nation's wealth comes from its ground and from what it can produce. In times of economic difficulty, it can be a real blessing to have a food source right in your back yard.
  52. Learn a new langauge.
  53. Take (or give) piano lessons.
  54. Take a college class, online or otherwise.
  55. Start an online business that you can continue as an adult.
  56. Learn website development.
  57. Learn to sew.
  58. Learn and experiment with new recipes.
  59. Throw a bridal shower.
  60. Throw a baby shower. Mothers of many children often only get a shower for their first, or possible first and second children. However, there is always a need when a baby is on the way, whether it is coupons for local restaurants for a quick meal when the baby arrives, new basics baby clothes, diapers, freezer meals, etc.
  61. Cook a nice, hot meal, and deliver it to a tired mother of several little ones, or to an elderly person who can't get out and about. When you don't have time for an entire meal, try a cake or pie!
  62. Make coupons for "2 hours of free childcare" and hand them out to married couple who need a date for Christmas or any other occasion. You'll be both serving the Lord, and sharpening your mothering skills.
  63. Serve as a "mother's helper" to a mother of many.
  64. Organize a benefit bake sale, dinner, or yard sale to help a family in need or raise money for missions.
  65. Read with little ones, or help older people who have weak reading skills.
  66. Teach an adult to read.
  67. Visit shut-ins from your church.
  68. Volunteer at your church office.
  69. Offer to do house or yard work for a neighbor.
  70. Volunteer at a local park or animal shelter. Get involved in your community as a witness for Christ.
  71. Teach English as a second language.
  72. Do grocery shopping for people who have a hard time getting out.
  73. Volunteer at food banks, homeless shelters, battered women's shelters, etc.
  74. Visit sick people in the hospital.
  75. Sponsor a child in a foreign country.
  76. Volunteer to be a baby rocker in a hospital nursery.
  77. Help with a home-school co-op.
  78. Organize a "constructive party" for younger girls. Work on sewing, baking, card making, etc. Younger girls, especially those who don't have older sisters, really enjoy doing this.
  79. Go on a wilderness hike.
  80. Play.
  81. Decorate a cake.
  82. Make homemade cards with dried flowers.
  83. Research your family tree and history.
  84. Smile.
  85. Lead a Bible Study for neighborhood children.
  86. Participate in music ministry.
  87. Make and nurture friendships with godly ladies of all ages. Find a way to encourage other single ladies around you. Challenge them to wait upon the Lord. Lead or attend a Bible study for young ladies.
  88. Love and encourage your parents - look for ways to bless them.
  89. Befriend a child who neeeds a friend, and keep up an ongoing interest.
  90. Spend time in the company of godly young men, in an appropriate setting.
  91. Send a letter or e-mail to encourage someone and let them know of your love and support for them.
  92. Make a viedo or film that glorifies God. Submit the finished product to an independent Christian film agency.
  93. Read the Bible with a friend and put what you read into practice alongside each other.
  94. Pen pal with younger girls, and be an encouraging role model for them.
  95. Go to your local nursing or retirement home and minister to the residents. Sing hymns or worship songs, play an instrument for them, brush hair, or read for them. Ask if they would like you to pray with them before you leave.
  96. Be a Big Sister. Even if you don't join the official organization, invest time in a younger woman, especially one who does not have good role models at home.
  97. Blog as a creative outlet and a means to encourage others.
  98. Make a scrapbook or cookbook for a friend.
  99. Prepare an extragavant feast for a family that has blessed you or is in need.
  100. Host a fancy tea party for little girls.
  101. Use your creativity, motivation, energy, and any extra finances now to minister to the present needs of others.

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

I Peter 5:10

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February Dance

Here is the e-mail regarding the English Country Line Dance coming up. I'm not sure if I am planning to attend this, but at least someone from our family will likely be there.

Hello Dancers!

The dance will be on February 21st in Salem, at the Commons*. We are pleased to announce that The Hibernia Station Band will be playing for us on the 21st. Review of steps open for beginners and any others who are interested begins at 6:00 p.m. The dance begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $2.00

This dance has a Hats and Scarves theme. Please come in your finest. No baseball caps. As usual dress is nice, casual. Modest clothing, please. Wear comfortable shoes, preferably non-marking ones.

Please bring refreshments for the break.
Hope to see you there!

The Jovial Beggars

*Directions to the Commons:
From Salem: Going north on HWY 72 turn left on County Road 2300 (just past the fair grounds, before reaching the hospital), then left again into the fair grounds area.
From Rolla: Going south on HWY 72, pass the hospital and turn right onto the County Road 2300 and then left.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Happy Birthday Mum!

I would write you a poem, but it couldn't even come close to describing all that you mean to me, Dad, and the other kids. It's really a challenge to find words that both describe you, and rhyme - and then I end up saying things I don't actually mean, and not saying all that I really want to. :)

Thanks for your hard work - for your endurance - for your organization and for keeping our lives running smoothly - for taking the time to talk with each of us kids when we need it - for encouraging us in our friendships and teaching us how to work through the tough times - for loving Dad, and being such a wonderful wife to him - for totally beating out Reagan as the "Great Communicator" - for doing all the little things, tirelessly - for always being quick to admit fault and set things straight - for showing us kids what it is like to really reach the needs of others with action - for being sensitive to those around you - for not needing makeup or the latest fashion or trend to look and feel beautiful - for making each of us feel that our own talents are unique and should be developed - for giggling with us - for always being willing to host a crowd of teens or little kids at the house or in the shed, even when we break things :) - for valuing learning, education, and especially reading and for passing that on to all of us - for every chart, table, list, calendar, and schedule you ever wrote on, typed out, or posted on the fridge - for being open to new things - for listening - for being the ultimate sports mom, one who actually knows more about the game than many coaches - for loving games and playing Ticket to Ride ad naseum the past few weeks - for teaching us how to compromise - for maintaining peace in the family even when your own life gets stressful - for being patient with us as we try to help you - for always being available to others, regardless of the circumstances - for loving God with all your heart, soul, and strength . . . and for letting that love overflow to all you meet.

There are so many other things - these are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head. :) We all love you so much Mum! Continue to fight the good fight, to run the good race - I know that your crown in Heaven is going to be a beautiful one. Mostly to match your own beauty, of course. <3>


Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's Your Last Chance!

Have you and your family made it out to a Royals basketball game yet this season? NO!?! Well then, you'd better get your act in gear, because we only have two regular season home games left!

Friday, February 20th
We will have 3 teams matching up against the Southwest Missouri Eagles, from Springfield. The Junior High boys will be playing at 6 pm. Although we lost quite emphatically when visiting them in Springfield this January, our boys remain hopeful that having home court advantage (as well as an additional month of experience) will help them makecome out on top this time.
The Gold girls' team will play directly following, at around 7 pm. This should be a good match-up, although the girls will be missing starting post player Jenny Williams. Let's hope that the bench will use the opportunity to show us what they've got and come out with a win!
Around 8:15, or whenever the girls' finish up, the Varsity boys will have their turn. The Eagles beat them last time around, but I think that if our cheering section turns out in full force, we may have a chance!
The games will all be played at Rolla Junior High.
JH Boys - 6:00 pm
Gold Girls - 7:00 pm
Varsity Boys - 8:15 pm

I know that this makes for a really late night for families - but I would dare to suggest that once during a whole season won't hurt anyone. . . and I also gently remind you that the support you offer our teams really does make a difference on the court. Plus, the fellowship with other families, and the opportunity to watch some great basketball is well worth the few hours of sleep missed!

Thursday, February 26th
This night we have our Blue girls' team, and Varsity boys taking on the Houston Warriors. We aren't sure what these games will hold for us, as our first game against this team is coming up in Houston this Tuesday. However, last year, our boys were very evenly matched, so expect a good game. Again, the games will be played at Rolla Junior High.
Blue Girls - 6:00 pm
Varsity Boys - 7:15 pm

My personal favorite player on the JH Boys' Team -
he's even wearing my old jersey. ;)
And my favorite from the girls' team -
the pink hair was (thankfully) a one time thing, and you should
not look forward to seeing it on either the 20th or the 26th.
Although I'm sure she will give you something else odd to look at those nights. . . :)

Varsity Boys, the starting 5 players - this is a work in progress.
I haven't yet decided whether I like this, or if I want to try to make a
collage with "action" shots of each of them.
So far, I've just done ones that are close ups -
but, since I am too lazy to bring a camera to the games,
I'm working with what what I've been able to steal -
thanks Mark for bringing your camera!

Sleeping on the job. :)

I really hope you can make it out! Definitely stop over by the score table to see me - I stay busy on these evenings, and don't always get a chance to take a break and greet my friends. I would love to say hi though, so don't slip out without getting my attention! And who knows - I may even recruit you to give me a hand with the score. ;)

On Love (from John, the "disciple whom Jesus loved")

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." I John 3:1

" . . . so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. 'Do you understand what I have done for you?' he asked them. 'You call me "Teacher" and "Lord," and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." John 13:4-5, 12-15

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:15, 21

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. " I John 3:16-18

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. " John 15:9-13

"Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, 'Lord, the one you love is sick.' Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.' When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 'Where have you laid him?' he asked. 'Come and see, Lord,' they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, 'See how he loved him!' . . . Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.'" John 11:1-3, 5, 32-36, 38

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:14

"And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love."
II John 5-6"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us." I John 4:16-19

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Wedding - March 2007 (an early Valentine's Day post)

We are pleased to announce
the (nearly) two year anniversary of
the union of
Isaac Daniel Hall
Megan Elizabeth Riefer
in Holy Matrimony
Enjoy these photos of their wedding as you try to figure out what it the world I am talking about.

The Wedding Party -
Bride: Megan Elizabeth Riefer
Groom: Isaac Daniel Hall
Minister: Ezekiel Hall
Maid of Honor: Stephanie Riefer
Bridesmaids: Laura Balch and Jennifer Riefer
Ring Bearer: David Riefer
Offical Babysitters: Ashley Riefer and Alida Hazell

The Groom

Our Beautiful Bride

The Lovely Maid of Honor

Ring (and grin) Bearer
The Joyful Couple

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Still Believe - Jeremy Camp

Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
Seems I don't know where to start

But it's now I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see
I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind
It's my heart I see you prepare

But it's now that I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

The only place I can go is into your arms
Where I throw to you my feeble prayers
Well in brokeness I can see
That this is your will for me
Help me to know you are near

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Showers? Who even does that?

So I just realized that I've only showered 2 times in the past 7 days. . . that's gross.

Old Family Photos, c. 2004

The Dinner Bell

If you have ever been at our house, you have probably been aquainted with our various "bells."

There's the little one out by the shed that is quite high-pitched and useful for just about nothing. (Except hanging the key for the shed on it!)

We also have the "U" and "D" bells. Those are wireless doorbells - the buttons are installed in the kitchen and the parts that you plug in (that actually make the chiming sound) are located in the upstairs and downstairs hallways. The idea is pretty much the equivalent of those little bells they had for servants. . . and Mum and Dad are the rich aristocrats, while us kids are the servants. They ring the bell, and we are to come to the kitchen from wherever we are in the house.

And of course, our ancient dinner bell - I think it's a cowbell. The name pretty much says it all . . . we ring it at dinner time and everyone is supposed to come running.

However, when I make dinner, I have my own special bell - the smoke alarm.

Okay, so last night was the first time I have ever made it go off. . . but it was a good one. I had some bread broiling in the oven, and, neglecting to set a timer, I forgot about it. It caught on fire. The whole event was quite dramatic, although would have been far more interesting/dangerous had Mum not been there to extinguish it. I don't think I could have pulled the pan out of the oven and manuevered it into the sink with as much poise and dexterity as she did - it was amazing.

That said, I learned a valuable lesson - always make enough food for a meal so that, if one course burns beyond recognition by some strange twist of fate, you will still have plenty.

No, I did not take pictures.