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His Eye is on the Sparrow, and I Know He Watches Me

I don’t even know how to start this post. The Lord has blessed us so much this past month. It’s been difficult, but the Lord is faithful, and He has shown me that He truly is watching over us. I guess I’ll start at the beginning.

May started out with a trip to the hospital for my dad. For many weeks, he didn’t have energy, and then some things occurred that caused my mom to take him to the hospital. We were thinking it was related to Crohn’s, but the hospital didn’t think it was Crohn’s. He was released the next day, after an iron infusion. Dad felt better after that, but not for long.

After three iron infusions, Dad still wasn’t doing well. And we had no idea why. The doctors weren’t helpful, and we couldn’t get an appointment with the doctor dad uses. Dad could barely work his work shift, and that took pretty much all of him. I think Dad actually thought the Lord might take him home… and I’ll admit the thought crossed my mind. We were also wondering if Dad would lose his job; he kept working, but there was some days he didn’t think he’d make it.

Mid-May, we celebrated my birthday, I bought a camera (more on that sometime else), went to graduation parties, and… Lacey and Dad were in a minor car accident. A lady with a new-to-her SUV turned into the passenger door. The car isn’t in bad shape; it just has a nice souvenir dent and some white paint. No one was hurt, though it startled my sister, who was sitting in the passenger seat.

Even though the doctors didn’t think Dad’s problems were from Crohn’s, they wouldn’t do anything until he had a coloscopy. We thought the idea was ridiculous, since they had done several scans, said it wasn’t Crohn’s, and the fact he had just had one in August. They couldn’t get him in until October. Finally, someone (a nurse or someone) pressed the issue, and they got him in. He went in for a coloscopy on May 27. I was at work, so I didn’t know how things went.

Turns out, his heart was in a-fib, so they couldn’t do the coloscopy. (If they put him under, he wouldn’t wake back up.) Apparently, he had been in a-fib for quite a while. A-fib can cause strokes and other heart issues. It’s also what we think caused his extreme fatigue. I didn’t know this until recently, but often times, Crohn’s patients die of heart issues.

The doctors got his heart out of a-fib (the hospitalist was super helpful), so they did the coloscopy on Saturday, since he was already prepped. (Side note-I wasn’t allowed in the hospital since I’m under 18, so all of this is what my parents have told me.) His coloscopy came back good.

Sometime during his hospital stay, all seven of my dad’s siblings contacted him, including one he hadn’t heard from for several years (in my dad’s words, “I wasn’t dying!”). His eldest brother told him that a certain blood pressure medicine gave him fatigue, and when his doctor switched his medicine, he felt like a new man. Another brother of dad’s also said the same thing. That gave my mom an idea, so she brought it up to the hospitalist. He agreed that may have been the problem (he was on three different medicines), so he took him off of two and lowered the dosage of one. My dad felt much better after that.

On Sunday, he was supposed to be released, so Mom went to the hospital as she wanted to speak with the cardiologist. Lacey and I got a ride with a family from church to church. The cardiologist wanted to do a test on Dad before they released him, but the hospital had made a mistake and given him breakfast. So they had to do it the next day (Monday). One good thing about his hospital stay was that we got out of a family get-together. Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed.

Thankfully, since it was memorial day, we didn’t have piano lessons. We power-washed the house and listened for Dad to call. He was released, and he was feeling much better, praise the Lord. When he got home, he grilled and planted spaghetti squash seedlings. Talk about improvement! He had not had energy to help me with my garden for several weeks, so when he told Mom he’d plant her spaghetti squash, I was surprised.

As I’m typing this, my dad is still doing well. He’s not 100% recovered, but he’s has energy. (He’s been able to mow the grass, take walks, listen to us talk, etc.)

Anyway, last week, I was listening to a podcast and the lady was reminding listeners of how much God does care for us. He watches the sparrows–and how much more precious we are to Him than sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31). Later that week, I ran out to the mailbox and found something addressed to our family. Upon opening it, I found card with Philippians 4:19 & 20 as well as $100. I was instantly reminded of the podcast I had heard. (My family found it interesting, and in the words of my sister, “I’ve heard stories of this happening, but I never thought it’d happen to us!”) God truly does care about us, and I know He’s been watching over us. I don’t know who sent the money, but we’ve narrowed it down to a couple of pen pals of mine. I hadn’t told anyone (aside from a missionary friend and one pen pal) about Dad being in the hospital. (Thank you to whoever sent the money.)

The Lord continues to show me He’s watching over me. I had a drivers’ license test, and I was so nervous. I didn’t know if parallel parking was on the test, as we had only done it the day before since a friend told me it was removed for last year. In Indiana, parallel parking is is NOT on the drivers’ test. And I did pass the drivers’ test, praise the Lord! (If parallel parking had been on the test, I definitely would have failed.) My sister also passed her permit test.

And later that day, I checked my email, only to find out a devotional piece I wrote had got accepted. I have entered numerous contests and have submitted several devotional pieces, all without success. God has truly been faithful, and all glory be to Him. Over the past month, He has shown me that He is truly watching over us, and that He does care about us.

P.S. Bible Bee has started, so I will not be posting as frequently until (probably) August.

Life, Working Unto the Lord

An Afternoon in the Life of an Organic Farm Assistant

My legs hurt as I checked the time. I had told my bosses I could work past 4:30 as I didn’t have anything pressing to do except eat supper and do dishes once I got home. My life right now consisted of Bible time, a little school, a little writing (both books and letters!), and way to much reading. My muscles ached and my hands were dirty. I also smelt like a tomato, well, my hands did. But come summer time, I’ll be smelling like a tomato more often, probably ’til November if it was anything like last year. The bright lights hurt my eyes, but I would be leaving soon. But what was I complaining about? I was sitting in a heated building, potting tomato plants while sitting in a $1000 office chair. The bright lights were grow lights. And the only water we had in that space was a hose–I had to stumble my way around some dark rooms to find the bathroom.

*****

You’re probably wondering if that’s a true account of an afternoon of my work or a story I made up based off I my work. It’s a true account! ūüėĀ But only of one afternoon. We were actually in a building they use with artificial grow lights and controlled temperature for starting seeds. They man who owns the building also has hydroponic tomatoes growing in that space as well. And yes, I was potting tomato plants in nice office chairs. Shall I explain? There was an insurance call center in that building several years ago, and when they moved out, they left everything behind except their computers. So the owner of the building has lots of tables, office chairs, desks, monitors, and small tv-like screens. He’s selling most of the office chairs, but some of the imperfects were given to my bosses to use in the grow area.

(Those two paragraphs were wrote in January of 2022.)

I often get asked what I do at the organic farm. The simple answer? Basically everything. My main jobs consist of washing and packing orders, cleaning, planting, trimming tomatoes, and seeding. I tell my sister that some people trim trees for a living, but I trim tomatoes. ūüėĀ Right now, we wash and pack on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for several local stores and their 11 member CSA and occasionally on Thursdays and Fridays. On the days when we don’t wash and pack, I trim tomatoes. Because I have experience from last year, I am currently the main tomato trimmer.

The jobs I do on the days I work can vary–it depends on if the tomatoes need trimmed, if their 12-year old son works, if it’s something my co-worker can do (she’s only 14 and has only been working for nearly three months), or if there’s volunteers who can do it. Aside from tomato trimming, my boss tries to make sure I’m not doing the same thing every day. What I do depends on what needs to be done.

Does working on an organic farm sound fun? If you have any questions about what I do, drop them in the comments below!

Encouragement, Life

A Simple Answer

“You know what would be nice?” I asked a friend in a recent phone call.

“What?” this friend asked.

“If God would send me a letter, stamped and sealed, telling me exactly what He wants me to do with my life!”

“That would be great,” this friend replied.

*****

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get an answer to all the hard things of life just like that? I would love that. It’s hard trying to figure out what God wants me to do with my life, and I think it would be so much simpler if God hand delivered an answer for me!

However, if God always revealed everything to us, we would not be living by faith. Living by faith means we do not know what will happen in the future. Only God knows that, and His timing is best. We have to trust Him, because His ways are higher.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

2 Corinthians 5:7

I’d like to know God’s answer to a lot of things. I want to make sure I’m doing what He wants me to do. But I also want to live by faith and trust Him, even when it’s hard, and sometimes, that means not getting a simple answer right away.

Life, Working Unto the Lord

Girls With Jobs // Why I Work

Time has surely flown! It’s been nearly a year since I turned the glorious age of 16, which means it’s been almost a year since I’ve started my job. (I started in the middle of July of 2021.) Since I know conservative families (like us) have different opinions of girls keeping jobs, I thought it’d be interesting to share why I work. Actually, I’ve been pondering the idea of doing a whole blog series about work, but we’ll see if that’s the Lord’s will.

Why I Work

I’ve always worked. Sure, it wasn’t an actual job, but I’ve always worked. I’ve worked on school, I’ve helped my parents/grandparents/uncles, etc. Work is part of life.

…this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10b

 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

1 Timothy 5:8

Work is a biblical principal. Before the fall, work was probably something Adam and Eve loved doing, but after the fall, it became something they had to do in order to survive. As Christians, we are to work and share the Gospel. As Christians, we are witnesses in the way that we work. When we work hard, keep a joyful attitude, and are honest, the world can see that there’s a difference.

In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

Proverbs 14:23

Everyone’s work is different. For men, their work will be working outside the home or running their own business in order to provide for their families or future families. For married women, their work would be managing their house and raising their children and in some circumstances, holding a part-time job outside of the home. For single young ladies, their work might be helping their mothers with household duties and educating their younger siblings. For other single young ladies, they may be working a Dad-approved part-time job or their own business. Everyone’s work is different, and not all jobs get a paycheck.

I work outside our home for a few reasons. I would love to have my own business or two in the future, but at this moment, I’m earning the money necessary to make that happen.

-I work because my dad wants me to.

-With my job, I am able to learn organic farming, something that I think can bless my family in the future.

-I am able to earn a little money to pay for things like car insurance.

-I work so that if the Lord blesses me with a family one day, we can buy modest clothing, homeschool curriculum, and good books. (None which are cheap!)

-I work because that’s what God is calling me to do at this moment. He gave me this job, and I will glorify Him doing it.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

Colossians 3:23

Why do you work?

Encouragement, Life

When Things Change

I am a planner. Needless to say, I have the next six months planned out, which goes something like this: June-start Bible Bee; August-take Qualifying Test and qualify (if that’s the Lord’s will); September-finish most of my school; November-finish school and get my drivers’ license and go to Nationals, if God wills for me to qualify and for us to go.

Much to my dismay, plans change. I’ve never been one to enjoy change; in fact, when we decided to move four years ago, I was so upset. I cried, begged my parents to not move, and prayed the air conditioner at our old house would break down. (If the air conditioner broke down, we’d have to replace it and wouldn’t be able to move.) I was a mess–oh, and did I mention we were planning only moving 50 minutes away? God seen it fit for us to move, and I’m so thankful because I now realize I wasn’t following Christ. (And now I want to move an live in a completely different state!)

I plan often, but often my plans change. Who’s plans are they anyway–mine or God’s. Often times, they are my plans. They are the things I want to do. Does that mean God doesn’t want me to do them? Certainly not! Some of my plans are desires God has given me, and after much prayer, I believe they are things God does want me to do. Maybe it’s the wrong time, or maybe I’m focusing too much on something else and God wants to teach me a lesson, so He changes what I have planned.

Anytime someone asked if I was going to get my drivers’ license soon, I replied “I will, after I complete school.” I reasoned that between not liking driving, not having an extra vehicle, and not wanting to pay for insurance, I wouldn’t have to get my license until I was done/nearly done with school, which is a good four-to-six months away.

There are¬†many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Proverbs 19:21, KJV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV

Needless to say, a situation has come up. For various reasons, I need to get my license soon. Definitely not what I planned. However, I know God’s plans are best, and I can trust Him during this interesting and possibly life-changing time.

I think this was a reminder from God that I can make all the plans I want, but His plans are the ones that will stand. And His plans are so much better than mine, even when I don’t realize it at this present moment.

-Lilly

Are you a planner? How do you react when your plans don’t go the way you planned?