Monday, March 4, 2013

Joy is the Presence of God

Peter has a badge like this, only his is for 2013!
Peter is a new Grade 9 Soccer Referee!  They started a new program a few years back where you could certify as a Grade 9 Referee, which means you qualify to center U6-U14 recreational games.  This is perfect for most referees in our town, so Peter only had to take an 8 hour class to certify instead of a 16 hour class like the rest of the family had to take.  He passed the test with an 80%.  Good job Peter!

The other big news this week is that our furnace quit once and for all.  We've been having trouble with it all winter long, so we knew this was coming.  The replacement is $9000!  I was thinking it would be about three thousand.  I had no idea it would be so much.  At first we just said, well, we'll just have to live on the other side of the house, which actually wouldn't be the end of the world (we have two furnaces.)  But in the dead of winter, you have to have some kind of heat or your pipes freeze.  And it's just not reasonable to give up half the house.  So we financed the furnace, which was hard to do, because we had hoped never to have to finance something again.  We have not built in maintenance and replacement costs into our budget, and that was a mistake.  I hope we can teach our children to do better than we have in that area.    So they are coming this morning to replace our furnace.  This is a good thing, because it is 56 degrees right now in this room.  :)  I'm all bundled up in my winter coat and a blanket.

I had my biggest months ever in Young Living in January and February!  It's exciting to see people take advantage of these wonderful essential oils.  I am grateful to be a part of teaching and sharing.

Our two new calves are an adventure.  Peter and Jesse bottle feed them in the morning, and Mary and Libby do it at night.  Bruce helps a good part of the time.  The calves are named Wild and Crazy, and I guess the names fit.

Bruce sewed some really nice saddle bags for the horses during the time I was gone a few weeks ago.  He tried them out on Stormy last week.  He did fine with them until Bruce tied him up to go get a halter on another horse, and then Stormy worked himself loose, started running around, and got spooked by the saddle bags.  He ended up tearing them up and doing some damage that is going to be a pain to repair.  What a bummer!  But at least Bruce has the equipment and materials to mend them, since he made them in the first place.

Jesse is starting to get connected with a whole new set of friends on Facebook.  She got invited to be part of the Class of 2017 at BYU, so she's been having fun with that.  She has to set a roommate preference this week, so that's going to be interesting!

Libby's birthday is on Saturday, and she has been reminding anyone who will lend an ear that her birthday is this Saturday!  We are planning a part with 5-6 friends.  Should be fun!

Mary lamented this week that I had not given birth to her a month earlier so she could go to Prom.  She said all her friends are going to MORP, which is the girls choice dance a month before Prom.  I told her, "It's a miracle you came when you did, and we couldn't have possibly had you even a month earlier!"  We were blissfully happy in our hearts when we found out we were pregnant with her, and logically in our minds thinking, "How in the heck are we gonna do this???"  Ha ha  To Mary's credit this is the first time she has said anything about not being able to date until she's 16.  She hasn't complained or whined or had any question about whether she could or couldn't.  She has been a delightfully obedient daughter, and her convictions are such that she wants to do this for herself, not just because we ask it of her.
Remember Me, sung by Jesse, Mary Josh, Connor, Josh, Hunter, Holli and Jill
Last Monday we went to hear Jesse and Mary sing in their ensemble for a judge.  They sang Remember Me a cappella, and it was beautiful!  They got a score of 39 out of 40.

Mary is now a piano teacher!  I had a mom call me asking about lessons.  I don't teach anymore, and Jesse is full, so I offered to have Mary teach the two boys at a low price, as she is a beginner teacher, and she agreed!  This is great for Mary, because she has plans to attend many camps and activities this summer.  She has been teaching for about a month now.

The past week we saw some 50 degree days and sunshine!  It was wonderful!  I have to say that I'm always SO glad to see January and February go every year.  I sigh in relief and think, "We made it through!"  Actually though, I have pondering lately on the fact that joy can be found at any time, even in pain or trouble or dark times, if you have the presence of God with you.  I already posted this on this blog, but I want to post it again:

Joy is not the absence of pain (or trouble or darkness or lack of problems to be solved).  Joy is the presence of God.

I am coming to understand this in deep and poignant ways.  Gratitude is the key that unlocks that joy.  As my friend Sharon said recently, "Gratitude moves things that love cannot."

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