Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Nope, that's no typo, I meant what I said.... FUNNEL VISION .
I woke up this morning a little weary, feeling like I'd never get everything done that I needed to get done. Ya' know?

Nothing was terribly wrong, I just felt like I had about 5,000 too many things to do and felt convinced that no matter how hard I tried, it just wouldn't be enough. My head was hurting, the children were wanting breakfast, my brain was frozen or muddled or overheated or something...and I just couldn't think straight. I was considering an outright pity party, wishing I could go back to bed and starting to feel very aggravated at everything and everyone around me. Being honest here.

I pulled out a box of cereal that I keep stuck away for just such mornings. The big boys passed out the bowls and poured the milk while I tried to gather myself, my thoughts and my attitude! I started piddlin' in the kitchen, organizing this and that when I decided to put some things in storage containers that needed to be done. It was that kind of mindless activity that you can do when you really don't want to do anything at all.

This is where the funnel came in. Pouring things from very large containers to smaller containers often calls for a funnel. I pulled out the appropriate one and went about my task. After a few minutes I found myself getting good and aggravated (once again). The funnel kept clogging up, for no good reason that I could tell. I was pouring granules, there was plenty of room for them to pass through and there wasn't a moisture problem. I grew quite frustrated (having already entered into this thing frustrated to begin with) and finally tossed the funnel into the sink, determined that I would just do it without it.

This was a big mistake, oh the mess and the waste of the spilled granules. I cleaned up the work area, retrieved my funnel, took and deep breath and began again. This is when I got FUNNEL VISION!

It seems to me that one of the sweetest parts of walking with the Lord is having Him speak to You, teach you a lesson, point out a a very common place moment, doing a very common place thing. And that is just what He did. With the FUNNEL VISION, I could now easily see the problem and the solution as well as an added bonus.

Even though the funnel was ample sized and the granules could pass through undeterred...if I poured them too fast, got in a hurry, they just bottle necked and stopped the whole progress. So, that was the problem. If I slowed down JUST a BIT, the problem was instantly solved and a good steady progress was made. So, that was the solution. And the bonus? I discovered that if I angled the funnel every so slightly so that the granules hit the side of the funnel, they went down even more smoothly and quickly. So, that was the bonus.

In the very instant that I had my FUNNEL VISION, I learned a life lesson, that helped me face my day.

There is nothing that the Lord has given me to do, assigned to me, or made me responsible for that I am not equipped (by His Grace) to do. BUT, sometimes I need to step back, take a deep breath and start again. Having done that, I need to pace myself, pay attention to the timing and rhythm of the Holy Spirit in my days and as a bonus...just like the leaning funnel...I need to be flexible, take a different position and allow the Lord to deflect some of the impact of life's downpours before I have to funnel them into my own container of a 24 hour day.

So, if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, incapable or 'weary in well doing'...ask the Lord for a little FUNNEL VISION and you'll soon be back on track.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Creative Camping

This weekend we set out on a new adventure, in our own backyard nevertheless! smile.gif

A family with seven children and chickens and goats and dogs (plus a parrot) does not travel much, or at least ours doesn't. wink.gif

So, we decided to take advantage of a very low cost method of family vacationing and entertainment, camping. Under our particular circumstances we had to be a bit creative...therefore...CREATIVE CAMPING.

Upon considering the choice of location for this camp out, we decided there was nothing better than our own backyard. After all, there would be no noisy neighbors, we could still see about the goats and chickens and it was free (free is good). We have a pond for fishing, woods for hiking, a creek for crossing and a ready made target range. Besides, I realized, minimal packing would have to occur and this was a VERY good thing. This left more time for fun and took a load of stress off my shoulders.

The next step was the putting up of the tents. Our youngest four children had never slept in a tent before and were particularly excited. Our new tent said 'sleeps 9', but it would have been a squeeze. Glad that the two oldest boys decided to sleep in their own tents. Each of the three tents had a dog, the parrot went back in the house to his cozy cage.

In this picture you see the youngest five all snuggled up in their pajamas and holding bears...well except for Jeremiah who opted for the family parrot (Jonah) on his shoulder instead.

We were also celebrating Henry's (dh) birthday and he was glad for the opportunity to try his new Black Powder Gun (his birthday present). So target shooting was definitely on the agenda! Here you'll see the birthday boy and his seven kiddos, my oldest two preparing for their turn and me as well, trying out my new toy, a Mosin Nagant, made in 1939 (91/30).

We also had a camp fire, which we sat around and sang Christmas Carols... biggrin.gif ,hey, that's what they wanted to sing!

We made smores, chili, hotdogs, and a huge breakfast cooked over an open fire. thumbs.gif

We played games around the picnic table using solar lanterns and today we're finishing up my attempting to make some moccasins (we bought a kit at Hobby Lobby. The rain has moved in and we took down the tents but continued the fun and activities inside. And that, is how you manage Creative Camping.