Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas gifts!

Finally figured out what to do for my nephews on my husband's side of the family. We don't have much money but I wanted to do a little something... so this is what I'm going to make them:

For how to go here:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


My car is in the shop getting snow tires put on (kind of last minute but when you're related to the owner, amazing things happen. *smiles*) So I thought I'd fill out a little quiz thing.

1. What time did you wake up this morning? 7am
2. Diamonds or Pearls? I have a diamond and I have a pearl. I love them both.
3. What is Your Favorite TV show? Probably... Andy Griffith.
4. What did you have for breakfast this morning? a bowl of fruit. I made eggs and sausage for my husband.
5. What is your middle name? Dawn
6. What foods do you dislike? anything that has chemically made sweeteners in it. They react somehow and leave a metalic taste in my mouth. ilck.
7. What is your favorite Cd at the moment? uhm... my "Christmas Belles" cd.
8. What kind of car do you drive? Either my Saab 900 or my husband's F350 SuperDuty
9. Favorite sandwhich? garlic, avocado and salt on Ezekiel bread.
10. What character quality do you despise? deceit
11. Favorite items of clothing? leggings. I think they look so cute with skirts.
12. If you could vacation anywhere in the world where would you go? I'd love to travel around Europe sometime. But probably not in this lifetime because my husband isn't even slightly interested.
13. Favorite brand of clothing? I don't care as long as they are soft and comfy.
14. Where would you retire to? the farm. I really love it there.
15. What was your most recent memorable birthday? I haven't had a good birthday in a long long time.
16. Favorite sport to watch? Probably soccer because I know the most about it.
17. When is your birthday? January 1st.
18. Are you a morning person or a night person? I used to be a morning person but my husband is a night person and I am slowly changing.
19. Shoe size? 6
20. Pets? My husband just told me that there are new kittens in the barn. Who knows where they came from... *laughs*
21. What did you want to be when you were little? I wanted to run my own orphanage.
22. How are you today? Okay. I have a bit of a cold.
23. Favorite candy? Babe Ruth. But I usually settle for a piece of dark chocolate.
24. Favorite flower? anything except carnations. Well, there are a few others that I don't particularly like but I don't think they ruin a bouquet the way a carnation does.
25. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Tomorrow. We're leaving to go to my Grandparents for thanksgiving.
26. What are you listening to right now? "He Is"
27. What did you last eat? apple salad
28. If you were a crayon what color would you be? No idea.
29. How is the weather right now? Just freezing so the snow is wet and sloppy. I think it's awfully pretty.
30. Who was the first person you spoke to on the phone today? My sister-in-law
31. Favorite soft drink? water
32. Favorite resturant? Well, I go to Cafe Z the most, as it is right in town. However, I think my favorite would be Olive Garden.
33. Real hair color? Depends on where I live. Up north it stays pretty dark brown. Down south it bleaches out pretty bright blond with deep red highlights. Weird. I know.
34. What was your favorite toy as a child? My mom's old doll "Susie" that she gave me when I was like 6. Most of it's hair was fallen out and the body was all floppy- but I loved that doll.
35. Summer or winter? both. and everything in between.
36. Chocolate hugs or kisses? I'm not actually big on chocolate. I only eat it to satisfy my sweet tooth.
37. Vanilla or Chocolate? Vanilla.
38. Coffee or tea? I have trained myself to like coffee with just creamer. However, I think I prefer tea.
39. When was the last time you cried? It's been awhile, actually. A week?
40. What did you do last night? Read the book "Forevermore".
41. What are you afraid of? Not many things. Driving big tractors when I'm not sure how might be high on the list. But my husband and I farm so guess what? I face my fears often.
42. Salty or sweet? salty
43. How many years on your current job? A wife? 1 year.
44. Favorite day of the week? Saturday.
45. How many keys on your keyring? 1
46.How many towns have you lived in? Uhm. Let me count... at least 7.
47. Do you make friends easily? For the most part.
48. Favorite fragrance? Body by Victoria Secret or Be Delicious by... ? I dunno.
49. Biggest pet peeve? gossip. it irks me.
50. Favorite verse? Right now? Romans 8. (the whole chapter.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Latest Niece Quote

Brianna was talking to Aurora (3 yrs. old- twin) as she looked through the closet for something for her to wear. Everything was too small. (Mind you, Aurora is three inches taller than her twin sister) She looked at her and said, "No pants fit you, Miss Longlegs." To which Aurora replied, "Whatevs. I hate pants."

*sighs* What are we to do with that girl? (I know, put her in dresses. Which is what happened.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

story for church newsletter

I was asked to write an overview of Amos and I for our church newsletter. This is what I came up with...

In the fall of ’74, in Lancaster, PA the youngest of five children was born to Abe and Arlene Metzler. They named him Amos and, as the story goes- his arrival was anything but pleasant. Thankfully, his Mother survived the ordeal and eventually made it back home to her family.

Before long the Metzler family piled their children and belongings into a vehicle and moved to upstate New York. Young Amos would travel around with his father to work on tractors at neighboring farms and before he could read or write he knew wrench sizes. His future, in the work aspect, was set. This (often) greasy little boy would grow up to be a mechanic.

When Amos was ten years old something happened that would change his life forever. He, of course, didn’t know about it until twenty-two years later, but in the southern tier of New York, a little girl was born to Brian and Cheri Siegrist. She was the third child and only girl in a family that would eventually have an additional boy. Her birth was dramatic as well but in an entirely different way. Born on New Year’s Day, the first birth in the county, her picture was plastered on the front of several newspapers and her family was given piles of gifts from local businesses.

Before long young Natasha, along with her three brothers, were piled along with the families possessions, into a big green van. The family moved to Alaska where they would stay for seven years.The purpose of the move was for Brian and Cheri to attend Bible School and the family stayed on afterwards as staff. She began babysitting when she was ten and found her love: watching children. Little did she know that eventually she would travel through many states and countries to teach children.

The Siegrist family then moved to North Port, Florida where Brian was Pastor, and after seven years there, back home to New York.

Amos and Natasha could have met in Sarasota, Florida where they both attended the Mennonite Relief Sale, but they didn’t. They could have met in Homer, Alaska when she was 17 and he 27 but they missed each other by a few months. They could have met in Port Au Prince, Haiti when they both were in the country, but they didn't. They could have met at the Conservative Conference in Beaver Falls where Natasha was writing for the Conference Crier but they didn't.

The reason, of course, was that God had other things for them to be doing. Natasha worked with children in the Alaskan Villages, in Haitian orphanages, in a trailer park in Rosedale, Ohio, in an El Salvadorian orphanage, in Lowville, NY and in Macapa, Brazil. In between her travels she taught pre-school in Florida then eventually became the Head Teller at Community Bank in Lowville, New York. To continue traveling she stepped down from Head Teller to the position of call-in teller.

Amos also traveled. He visited every state except three; working with MDS and various other ventures. He traveled to Haiti many times and also took a six week trip to Chuuk in 2003. He built and repaired houses and rebuilt engines. In between travels he worked as a mechanic and eventually bought a farm on State Route 177.

In 2004 Natasha officially moved to Lowville having just completed a year at Rosedale Bible College. Amos met and interacted with her family, everyone that is, except her. She remained “elusive” as she bought and sold houses and traveled in and out of town. He knew who she was and she knew his name because the tractor repair business had an account at her bank. The only problem was that she didn’t know which brother was which.

At a Christmas program one year they were officially introduced. Amos thought, “I already know who she is but maybe she’ll notice me.” And Natasha was completely distracted by the three children she was watching. Several months later, after they were dating, Natasha was informed that they had been introduced that night. Her response: “Oh! Huh. That’s who that was.”

Eventually her attention was caught but not before she was committed to working in Brazil for several months. The Lord used their time apart to reaffirm in both of them His call on their lives and their need for each other to fulfill that call. However, before Amos could make his intentions clear, Natasha arrived home early from Brazil and showed up at his bonfire one night. This took him by complete surprise so it took a couple gentle nudges from a friend to send him decidedly in her direction and their courtship turned from interested friends to “three months is plenty of time to prepare a wedding!”

November 10, 2007 was the date. They were married in Lowville and made their home in Amos’s little house on the hill. After several months of marriage they were asked to spend an extended period of time in Lacolline, Haiti. Their first response was, “Sure, we could do that… in like ten years.” Then they thought: “Why not now?” And since they couldn’t find any reason to put it off and God confirmed their decision in many ways, they said yes.

Now they are preparing to spend a year on the mission field. Amos will be doing a lot of mechanic work and also provide direct oversight to the projects in motion at the mission, as well as looking to start any new projects that might be useful. And together they will hopefully show the people in Lacolline the love of Jesus. Because that is, after all, the whole purpose in living, whether here in New York or any other place else on earth.

Amos and Natasha will have email while in Haiti. Their address is .

Monday, November 10, 2008

one year ago.

And what a wonderful year it has been...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The year in overview

It’s that time again. I am preparing to switch to a new planner (a pretty travel design this time) and as I always do, I have been going over the last year- looking at my goals at the beginning of the year compared to the actual life that I lived. And, of course, pulling out my favorite quotes and thoughts from the past year that I scribbled in the note pages…

November- I got married!
Wedding Trip from Indian Lake to Maine.
December- Christmas with two families for the first time.
January- Major health issues
Brother engaged
February- Wedding plans
Asked to be Matron of Honor
March- Wedding! It was beautiful.
Threw “Yarn” birthday party for Brianna.
April- MDS trip to Louisiana.
May- Anaiah Marie born! (Keturah’s first baby)
June- Elyse Raine born! (Niece)
July- County Fair- went with my husband!
Went for a boat ride in Old Forge.
Went overnight on the Sailboat.
August- Vacation Bible School for new church!
Olivia Elise born! (Shae’s first baby)
September- Overnight for Delite’s birthday
Seneca Falls, women’s retreat- led music
October- Vaughn & April’s wedding (help cook)
Cort & Kerin’s wedding
Ali & William’s wedding
Kim & Jamie’s wedding

Favorite notes & quotes:

Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?(John 11:40)

Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials. (Smith Wigglesworth)

“I agree with what he said. I, I, well, I just don’t remember what it was.”

“I am not worried about staying clean. I will jump into any pit if it means I can pull you out of it.” (Jesus- to Delite)

Him, whom I have not seen, I love

The nieces and nephews

Heidi Rose was eating breakfast and Grandpa and Grandma’s with us- She looked at her egg that Grandpa had salted and peppered for her then turned to Amos and I and said, “Looks like he dropped it in the flower garden.”

Giselle was in the van sniffing the air.
“Mom, what’s that smell?”
“I don’t know.” (Ana)
“Mom, I smell a rainbow! A little tiny rainbow!”

Marsha was just home from the hospital with baby Elyse. We were having dinner together and Marsha took Elyse into the other room to nurse her. Aurora looked up, saw the baby crying and said, “Uh, guys, I’m gonna… check on the baby.” Then promptly jumped down out of her highchair and ran after them.

Zellie went up to Brianna and said, “Mya toh tolld. My happa wap me up. Mya lil baby.”
(My too cold. My have to wrap me up. My a little baby.)

The kids were all outside playing in the first snow of the year. Brianna looked out and saw Giselle laying down. A little while later Alora came in and Brianna asked her what Zellie was doing. Alora looked out at her and said, “Oh, making a snow angel.” A few minutes later Zellie was still lying down. Brianna suddenly panicked…what if she was too cold and had gone to sleep? She yelled out to Eric, “What is Giselle doing? Is she sleeping?” Eric looked over at her and said, “Na, just crying.” Brianna yelled back, “Why?” And she heard Giselle answer between tears, “I TANT GET UP!”

Overheard in the kids playroom:
“You be superman, you be supergirl and I’ll be Jesus!” (Eric, 4yrs.)
“No, I want to be Jesus!” (Alora, 8yrs.)
“Fine, I’ll be God.” (Eric)
“But Jesus and God are the same thing.” (Alora)
“No, one’s the father and the other is the son.” (Eric)
“But they’re the same.” (Alora)
“No, they’re different but the same.” (Alora)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


It snowed like... 3 feet. It's so pretty out. I'll have to get a picture. For now I'll leave you with a picture from last year- of the ice storm.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Simple Woman's DayBook

Outside my window: Darkness and SNOW! I love the first snow of the year.

I am thinking: About the mounds of laundry that I need to do tomorrow.

From the learning rooms: I taught myself how to make tied flannel blankets today. I made little doll ones for the twins birthday friday.

I am thankful for: My husband. He is so kind and considerate. Although at this moment I am waiting for him. *smiles* But that's okay.

From the kitchen: Fresh Venison. Fried with onions and a little butter. Nothing beats it.

I am wearing: My new pretty green skirt that I got at the thrift shop for 4 dollars.

I am creating: My own planner for the next year. I couldn't find one with a cover that I liked (or a price tag that I could afford) so I bought a pretty travel journal with pockets and sections and am making my own calendar pages.

I am reading: To Dance in the Desert by Kathleen Popa. I love it.

I am hoping: That I will get some sleep tonight as the little one is sleeping now while she should be awake...

I am hearing: My mother, my husband and my father chatting as they work on the fall puzzle (my mother has puzzles for every season) in the living room.

Around the house: Other than the laundry piled up my house is wonderfully clean and smelling of fresh baked cookies.

One of my favorite things: My niece spending the night. I love her soft little body and darling smiles.

A few plans for the (rest of the) week: mail out passport applications. bible study tomorrow. twins birthday friday. sunday school party friday night.

Oh! And this is a picture of our house in haiti!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A New Day.

Last night I had my first bout with depression since this past spring. Thankfully, I was able to go to sleep and wake up this morning feeling refreshed and new. I was singing my verse (to memorize verses my friends and I put them to music...) and felt my spirit lift even more:
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

I love truth. It's so calming.

I worked on a sewing project for a few minutes then made chocolate angel food cake for my husband. I am not eating sugar (although this was made with whole wheat and raw sugar anyways) so I made it chocolate so I wouldn't be tempted to eat any. (I'm not a big fan of chocolate. Well, I like dark chocolate but not any chocolate cakes or ice cream.)

Somewhere in there my niece was dropped off. I love that little chunker munker. Then my sister-in-law called to ask how to make salsa and I decided to just go over and help her. So, I took my cake batter and the baby and a bunch of onions and peppers and went to visit the far of villiage of Castorland. (okay, 15 minutes away. Kind of far.)

The baby loves her Auntie Bee-anna anyways.

Amos said last night that maybe we could buy a cow in Haiti. I would LOVE to have fresh milk and butter... and I've always liked the idea of having a cow to feed the family. It makes sense. And it's WAY cheaper to house and feed a cow than to buy raw milk. Crazy but true.
Well, cheaper for us because we have a farm already. And Haiti IS one big farm. *laughs*

I'm a little distraught about this last bout with depression. I only get depressed when my body isn't functioning properly. It's been doing well for SO long and I've been careful with what I eat and what I do... and when I think about going through the emotional upheaval that I did before... I just want to curl up and die now.

There is a remote chance that I could actually be pregnant this time. But I don't even want to find out if I am or not because if not and it's just my body making more cysts and such... I don't think I could handle it.

So, I'm going to ignore it.

God, you know my fears. You know how much I don't want to face any of this. You also know what is best for me. You have given me so much.... so many promises. I can't help but think about Abraham and Sarah and their promises. How many times did she say what I am saying? That she just couldn't handle another month of unfulfilled promises. Not another year. Not another ten years. But she did. And she saw the fulfillment of your spoken word.

Give me endurance. Give me patience. And bring me healing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

He who promised is faithful!

The preparations begin!
We’ve set a tentative date for the first week of January to leave for Haiti. There are still so many things that don’t make sense, so many places where it looks impossible to the human eye. We’ve set before us Genesis 12:1 as “our verse” for this new adventure in following God.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”
And we believe that this is the Lord speaking to Amos and Natasha saying, “Go. Leave your country, your friends and your family and go to the place I have for you.”

Some things still make me nervous.
1. The language. I can sing a few songs in Creole but more than that? Nothing.

2. My work there. It was Amos who was asked to go. He has all the abilities they need and at times I feel a little confused… what is expected of me? If it is just to go and support my husband I feel confidant in doing that. However, I somehow doubt that God will make it that simple for me! It would be easy for me to do that in my own strength… and God has been impressing the verse in 2 Corinthians upon us lately:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

3. My health. I’ve had some major health problems over the past year. Part of me wonders at leaving all doctors and trained medical people…

But then! Oh, then… I think of Christ’s redemption. I think of his miracles. I think of his grace. And the solution I come to is this:
God shall not be mocked; men will reap what he sows.
For everyone born of God overcomes the world!
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Monday, September 29, 2008

fall pictures.

The view out my back door...

I'm not sure kind of vine this is but it is all over town and this year it turned bright red... I've lived here for about 6 years and I've never seen it this vivid. My harvest of corn, tomatoes, apples, mint tea and potatoes.

Apples from my trees! They made the most delicious applesauce.

I love fall... the season makes me so happy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"A simple woman's daybook"


Outside my window: sun. a cool breeze. freshly cut grass. children laughing.

I am thinking: about finding a new journal for my morning devotions.

From the learning rooms: I am trying to relearn how to crochet. I suffered from tendonitis in my wrist for so long that I didn't dare crochet for years. Now it's been better for about a year so I am attempting...

I am thankful for: my darling friend, Delite. She came and picked me up this morning and ran errands with me. Jocelyn was with us. She is such a beautiful little girl. Jesus, let her grow up to know you and follow you all the days of her life.

From the kitchen: We are low on groceries so this morning I gave my husband toast with apple butter. Then he ate a chocolate covered donut that he had leftover in the truck from his trip yesterday. I felt like a terrible wife... my husband was eating like a bachelor! I, on the other hand, had a strawberrry, pineapple, banana and rice milk smoothie. Then splurged while I was in town on a Cafe' au laite at the coffee shop.

I am wearing: Jeans, sneakers and a supergirl t-shirt. Not my normal attire (well, at least the supergirl t-shirt) but all my shirts were out on the line when we got the tail end of the last hurricane and I had to rewash them... so supergirl it is!

I am creating: a 2,000 word short story for a writing contest. The deadline just got extended so I'm not rushing as much as I was... but I'm hoping to get it finished and mailed by the end of the week.

I am reading: I just finished reading Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker. Interesting. To say the least. Before that I read The Lights of Tenth Street by Shaunti Feldhahn.

I am hoping: That my husband will sell a tractor today. We already sold one but the guy reneged on his deal. It wasn't a pretty sight and if we weren't against sueing we could have gotten 3x the amount of the tractor. But we won't. We'll just pray and say, "Okay, God... now we need to pay the bills somehow."

I am hearing: My mother singing When the Saints by Sara Groves. We're suppose to do special music this next week and we're thinking about doing that song. "I see a young missionary and an angry spear, I see his children returning with no trace of fear... I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights, I see the sisters standing by the dying man's side...I see the young girl huddled on a brothel floor, I see a man of passion come and kicking down that door... And when the saints, Go marching in, I want to be one of them."

Around the house: The dishes are done. The living room clean. The bedroom okay except the folded clothes on the bed that need to be put away. A basket of potatoes is sitting in the kitchen that need to be washed and stored.

One of my favorite things: Fall. When the sun is shining and warm and the wind is cold.

A few plans for the week: Delite's birthday "get away" (we're going to a hotel over night for a little "pow-wow") and on Saturday the women's retreat in Seneca Falls. We're doing the worship time.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Remember always how the Lord works; for what appears to be defeat is oft times victory and what may look like dry bones will rise up as a mighty army and in death we actually find life.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Calling of Natasha

I was reading in Luke, chapter 5, today where it talks about the calling of Simon Peter. As I read, I was struck with a thought: What if this was happening to me?

It was mid-afternoon and I was tired and sweaty from a hard day of work in the garden. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to show for the hours of labor. As I started toward the house I saw a man walking towards me with a large crowd of people behind him.

"Hello, Ma'am." He called out to me. I walked to meet him and he smiled in a way that made me feel like I had known him for years. "May I use your yard to speak to these people?"

My first thought, of course, was, "Who is this man?" But there was something so winning about him that I nodded. The crowd settled themselves around the yard while the man climbed up on the back of a tractor so that he could see everyone.

He taught for hours. Everyone sat with their eyes pinned on him. It seemed as if he was your best friend and had pulled you aside for a chat. "Guess what!?" He exclaimed, "I have the most wonderful news!"

When he was finished he turned to me. "Why don't you go harvest your garden?" He suggested.

"Well, I've been working in it all day but it's been a bad year. Not much of a harvest." Something in his face made me catch myself, "But if you think it's a good idea..." I trailed off. He winked at me and we turned toward the rows of vegetables.

I bent down and pulled up a tiny radish plant and too my surprise a huge radish hung to the little green sprout. I looked at him again and he smiled and dug his hands into the dirt beneath a withering potato plant. Dozens of potatoes fell from the loosened soil. Carrots, cucumbers, beans, peas, onions, peppers, squash... The once almost barren garden was producing a crop beyond my wildest imagination.

Every basket I owned was filled and still more produce was coming forth. Friends from the crowds rushed up with their arms open to receive the bounty. Little kids I had never seen before were sitting in my yard munching on carrots and peas.

I looked at the man and every questioned I had was suddenly answered. I knew who this was. Not just a great teacher or speaker; not just a friendly face and kind heart; no, he was much much more.

This man, who was standing in my garden, was the giver of life. The creator of the very earth we stood upon. The one who makes plants grow and kids laugh and hearts whole. My Savior.

I fell to my knees at his feet. "Jesus, forgive me! I am but a lowly sinner. I am not worthy of your attention or grace."

I felt a hand upon my shoulder and I looked up into the most beautiful thing in the world; forgiveness.

He pulled me to my feet and said, "My daughter, do not fear.Come, follow me. I will make you a harvester of souls."

This, of course, is entirely relevant as we face this task of preparing to go to Haiti for a year. My question to myself is:

Am I willing to follow? To leave my garden, my home, my family, my friends, my comforts... to follow Him?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Tarnished Silver"

This is the beginnings of a manuscript that I am writing about my first year living "on the mission field". It wasn't overseas the way I always thought it would be but right in my home town instead. I titled it "Tarnished Silver" because that year I managed to find beautiful treasures in the midst of seemingly worthless heartbreak.


There was an impetuous beauty about her movements and a coarse undertone in her voice. She dressed and acted like a sixteen year old rather than the ten year old I knew she was. She sat on my couch, one hand tugging at her blouse trying to get the too little material to cover her unformed chest. Her long thin legs crossed and uncrossed at the ankles as she voiced her frustrations with life. She cried as she talked about the man who had raped her two years before. I rubbed her back, at a loss of what else to do. Amazingly, in the midst of this I felt a ray of light seep into the otherwise dark and burdensome atmosphere. In fact, a real light was drifting through the open blind and almost seemed to reflect of the child’s blond hair causing the once lifeless strands to shimmer in the sun’s rays. It was then, as I watched something drab and unattractive transformed into something beautiful that I realized what I was holding. The lost and hurting child in my arms was in actuality a wealth of tarnished silver. Worth much to the God I serve, although in her present state she appeared to be more work than profit.

How did I end up with a fortune in tarnished silver sitting on my couch? It was a long hard journey and I was not always the best at following directions. However, the lost treasure in my soul had once caught my God’s attention and he had sought me out. Now, I was finally in the place to help him polish another jewel for his kingdom.


When I was sixteen I decided I wanted to go on the mission field. It wasn’t my original plan. All my life I had planned on two definite things: get married and have lots of kids. Now, suddenly, through some unexpected directions I was realizing a desire for something different. I wanted to tell children who had never heard that Jesus loved them… that he did, so very much.I attacked this new dream much the way I did everything else: with all I had.
By the time I was eighteen I had come to the conclusion that I wanted to support myself financially on the mission field rather than be supported by a church. I focused my attention on earning a living that would basically carry itself. I decided on real estate since both my father and my eldest brother worked in that field. My first house I bought with one of my brothers. The proceeds from the sale of that house paid for a year at Bible College. When I returned home I immediately set my sights on another house. My offer was accepted and I started the dreaded paper work that is involved with buying a home.
Then it happened. I was sitting in a church service and God said, more clearly than I dared admit, to give the house away. I didn’t think it was possible that God would ask me such a thing. I was five short years away from seeing all my plans become reality and that house was the key. Every cent I owned was sitting in a down payment check. But alas, it was true. He would not be swayed from his decision. With trembling, I obeyed. A few weeks later I was signing over the house to a family in my church who didn’t own one.
At the time I assumed that the lesson God wanted to teach me was about His provision. How wrong I was! The lesson wasn’t about provision but about pride. After the house was gone I was back to square one: no savings, living in my parents house without any direction or certain plans. When someone asked what I was doing, I had no answer. I felt people’s disapproval keenly. I literally cringed when people asked me questions and went out of my way to avoid people I knew would. One night while praying I realized that the hardest part about giving my house away was not the money I no longer had, but the answers I could no longer give. My plans had crumbled at my feet but yet, in the midst of that, I felt the Lord’s promise clearly in my heart. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from me.”


Her name was “Becky” and that gap-toothed smile stole my heart the moment I saw her. The pink jacket that was carelessly slung on her shoulders was dirty and useless against he brisk winter wind. I opened the door wider to allow her and her friend into my warm living room but they didn’t come in. “We just wanted to know if we could borrow your shovel.” She asked, nodding toward the orange plastic snow shovel leaning against the porch railing. I nodded my approval and after promising to bring it back the two disappeared around the side of the house.
Two hours later I went outside to run to the grocery store. I noticed the shovel was back in its place and began my trek to the car. Half way there I stopped and looked around then realized what was different. My sidewalks were shoveled as well as a path from my porch to the front door of my vehicle.“Tasha!” Tasha!” Two little voices called my name from across the street. I looked up and waved. “We shoveled your walkway!” They told me, huge smiles on their faces. I hollared back my thank you and still grinning, climbed in my car.


A year after my house had been given away I started working fulltime at Community Bank, N.A. Each day after work I would go for a walk. Oft times I would find myself wandering down the same street. It was known as the worst street in town. The “ghetto” of our tiny village. Every time I walked down that street I was amazed at the amount of children that were playing outside. The adults would sit on the porches and the kids would play on the side of the road. I smiled and waved whenever I went by and the kids always smiled back.
I remember walking down that and praying, “Lord, this is a mission field. They’re all right here, sitting outside their homes. All you’d have to do is move among them. Why doesn’t the church do that?”
One day I walked by a house that had a for sale sign in the lawn. I pulled out a flyer. It was an adorable little house, almost like a cottage, with beautiful gardens in the back yard that sloped down to the river. “See, Lord,” I prayed again, “This would be perfect. You should have a Christian family move in here.”As I walked that street months later I noticed that the for sale sign I had seen was still there. “Lord, I’m serious. You should have Believers live here. Why can’t other people see this opportunity? If I had the money I would move here. But since I can’t, will you please send someone?”


Helen, the ten year old girl who had been raped at eight, touched the keys on my piano and she walked by it. “Do you play?” She asked.“Yes, I do and my roommate Delite does.” I told her, waiting for a response. She didn’t disappoint me.“Will you play something?”I smiled and sat down, playing a random worship song from the stack of music.“I love that. The music makes me happy.” She said.


I was late for a birthday party. I was struggling into my tennis shoes when my dad called me. Biting back a groan I hurriedly finished and rushed down from my room on the third floor. “Yes?” I asked as I walked into the kitchen. My parents were sitting at the table.
“Do you have a couple minutes to come look at something with me?” My dad asked.
“Well, I’m late already. Will it take long?”
“It shouldn’t.”
I shrugged. What was a few more minutes? My parents and I climbed into their Saube and headed out.
“There’s just a house I’d like your opinion on.” My dad explained. I had no idea where we were going so I was surprised when we turned down the same street I always walked on. I was even more surprised when we pulled up in front of the little cottage.We climbed out and the real estate agent met us at the front door. She let us in and we wandered through the tiny house.
After looking over everything my dad asked what I thought. “It’s adorable.” I told him truthfully. Maybe he was thinking of buying another rental house. I could insist that he rent it to a Christian family.My dad was true to his word and we didn’t stay long. As we were driving back home he asked me if I’d like to buy that house. I laughed a little, “I would but I can’t. I barely have six hundred dollars in the bank.” He didn’t say anything more.


Helen and Becky both were laying on the living room floor with me. Candy Land was in the center and they both were laughing hard because I had drawn the peppermint stick and had to go back to the beginning.Delite came through and sat down at the piano. She glanced through the music and started playing This is Life by Laura Woodley. I started singing with her. Eyes can’t see the way you hold me or how I’m hidden in your heart. Minds don’t know all that you’ve told me or how I ache for where you are…Helen jumped up from her spot on the floor and leaned over Litey’s shoulder as she continued. I come in empty and I leave filled. Bring my sickness and I leave healed. Broken hearted you mend every piece. I come in captive and I leave free…When she finished Helen sighed. “That song makes me cry.”


“Your mother and I will give you the down-payment money.” My father explained to me as we sat looking at the contract that had been drawn up. “You should be able to get the loan in just your name, especially since you work at the bank.” He laughed a little.Before I knew it I was signing papers and pestering my boss to get my loan application filed so a closing date could be set.
Here I was praying for someone else and all the while God was preparing this place for me. I laughed at the irony of it all. The closing date came and the house was officially mine.My friends, Delite and Keturah, agreed to live with me to help with the mortgage and utilities.The first day that the house officially belonged to me I stood outside staring at it for almost a half an hour. Lord, let me make a difference.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fiction: The story of a girl and her glass heart (rough draft)

The Story of A Girl and Her Glass Heart

Once upon a time in the land of the glass hearts, there lived a young girl. This girl, as all the girls did, carried with her a heart . While she was young it was kept safely on the nightstand by her bed and every night she would look at it and smile. It was so perfect; pure, clear, everything a beautiful heart was suppose to be.
Eventually the time came that her parents gave her the heart to carry with her always. “Be ever so careful!” Her mother warned. “It will break if you aren’t gentle with it,” Her father reminder her. And she was. She kept it cradled gently in her hand as she wandered through life.

When she was still a young girl, no longer a small child yet not yet a woman, it happened. She was sitting there, her heart in her hand, and he walked by. It wasn’t on purpose! It just happened that neither of them were paying attention and when they passed, it fell, swiftly, with a slight “whoosh!” and hit the pavement with a bump. The girl was horrified, the boy never noticed. He had only passed her, after all, and had someplace to be. He heard her cry but thought it was nothing more than offense that he hadn’t stopped to chat.
The girl fell to her knees next to the heart. It was still in one piece but cracks were beginning to show. Picking it up carefully, she held it gently in both hands. She looked around and realized that no one saw. Not a single person had any idea that her heart was broken.

That night she went home, the heart hidden in her hands. Now, I will tell you that just the slightest change of circumstance might have completely altered our story, but things happen the way they will happen. In this case, it happened that the family was very busy that night. When the girl walked in people were bustling about and no one paid her much mind. Her mother stopped, for just a moment, to give her a kiss and ask about her day. But since she was so very busy, when the girl lifted her hands and began to open them to show the broken heart, all she saw was a glimpse of perfect glass and so she said, “What a wonderful idea, my daughter, to keep your heart hidden so carefully with two hands! Now it will never get broken.”

The girl went back to her room and sat on her bed, staring at the broken heart in her hands. She looked at it carefully. The cracks were very real but she realized that if she held it together with both hands, one could not see the cracks at all. In fact, it still looked like it had before. Perfect. She thought of her mother’s words and felt a tear fall. It would be horrible to hurt her mother by showing her the broken heart.
So, in that moment she made a decision and with both hands cradled around the no-longer-perfect heart, she continued through life.

The years passed and the girl was successful. No one had any idea that her heart was no longer whole. Everyone who knew her thought that she had kept it safely hidden in her hands to keep it from breaking but in truth she kept it hidden to keep it from falling apart. The problem with this is that no one really knew what her heart looked like. All they ever saw was the tiniest glimpse whenever she felt safe enough to lift her hands a bit. But it wasn’t enough to really see what it looked like, only enough to show a bit of perfect clear glass.

She couldn’t do much, with both hands being occupied, so she kept mostly to herself. When she did do things, everyone thought she was wonderful because she was so very careful and never was seen dropping her heart or letting others hold it like many of the girls her age. Mother’s would tell their daughters, “Look, see how careful she is! You must be like that. Your heart is meant to be treasured. Follow her example.” Whenever she heard the mothers, the girl would smile. She felt relief. This was, of course, the best way to handle everything.

After awhile she forgot that her heart was even broken. It just stayed so nice in her hands and the only time she looked at it was when she was showing others, so all she ever saw was the perfect part.

Somewhere, during this time, the girl met a man. He was known as the Heart-Healer. A more wonderful man was impossible to find. He was loving and caring, kind and compassionate, and he healed. Oh, did he heal! That was his business. In the land of glass hearts, there were many broken ones, and this man would fix them.

The girl became friends with him because her parents were. He would come over for dinner, many a night. He would spend whole days with just her family. Talking, sharing, laughing. The girl knew he healed hearts, so it is a wonder that she never showed him hers.

The reason, of course, is that by the time she knew who he was, she had forgotten that her heart was broken. She did so many things with him. She let him closer than she ever did anyone else. He was her love.

When she became a woman he began asking her. “Please, show me your heart.” And she would laugh and lift her hands just a bit, enough to show a perfect clear glimpse of glass. He would smile and kiss her forehead, then begin talking about something else.
Time after time, he would ask, and she would laugh and show him a bit more. Never enough to remember that her heart wasn’t perfect but enough to show the parts that were. Then it happened. One night, they were laying outside on the grass, staring at the stars. He sat up slightly, leaned over her and said again, “My darling, please, show me your heart.” She looked at him and whispered, “There is nothing to show.” But he kissed her cheek and whispered in her ear, “You are my love. I need to see your heart.”

Her hands were shaking, but she opened them and to her horror the heart fell apart. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she suddenly remember that her heart was in pieces. “It’s broken.” Was all she could say as she stared at the glass shards that had left scars on the palms of her hands where the edges had ripped into her skin when she had gripped the heart too tightly.
The Heart-Healer, who loved her so much, took her hands in his and began to kiss the cuts and scars. “My beautiful one.” Was all he said.
“It’s broken.” She whispered again. But instead of responding, he began to laugh.
“Yes, my love, it is broken. But I am the healer of hearts.” He took the heart carefully from her hands and held it tightly in his. After awhile she fell asleep and did not awaken until morning.

When she opened her eyes, he set the heart carefully back in her hands. She took a breath and looked. She stared at the heart. It was indeed a heart again, but it was still in shattered pieces just melded back together. “But,” She gasped, “it’s not perfect. I thought you were going to heal it.”
The Heart-Healer smiled at her softly. “Look again.” She looked back at her hands and just then a glimmer of light hit the heart. Usually when light would hit one of the glass heart it would go straight through, but with this heart, the light danced across everything around it.

“I am more than just the Heart-healer.” The man told her. “I am also the Heart-Maker. This, “ He pointed towards her shimmering heart, “is what my hearts are meant to look like.”

“But it’s broken.” The girl said again.

“But, only in brokenness can it truly be whole.” He then reached down and pulled out, for her to see, his own heart. It was glass, just like hers, and it was in shattered pieces, just like hers.

“Heart’s were made to see. Perfect hearts are kept so sacred that no one can really see them. But hearts like these, they can shine light just like they were made to. Wholeness does not come from perfection. Wholeness comes from purpose. There is no purpose in a perfect heart. There is purpose in a broken one.”

The End

Informational Beginnings.

Just a girl, in my twenties, married to a boy. Settled upon a small farm in Northern New York where I attempt to blend the full time work of a farmers wife with part time work at our community bank.
I grew up here and there around the country. Spent a small portion of my life in different countries. Never thought I’d find a man who could make me truly want to marry but I did. Never thought I’d find a man who would be a compassionate leader and a loving husband and know my God AND fall in love with me. But I did.
My extra time I spend writing or attempting to write. Mostly stories about my God. A few children’s stories to fill my nieces and nephews time. Randomly I pull out all the stops and write a piece of strange, bizarre, interesting; but totally irrelivant- poetry or fiction. But mostly I just write about my Jesus… who rescued me. Who set me free. Who brought me light in the midst of darkness. The one who continues to follow me through my confusion and fears even now.