Monday, October 17, 2011

Of Birth-Days.....

 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Psalm 139:13-16 

"She is here! :-)" 

3:00 a.m. text from my son this morning.

And so begins the earthly life of this precious little girl, our first granddaughter.
The littlest MacInnis woman.

As of this moment, we don't know her name.  Her folks don't know her name.  But God does.  He has known her from before the foundation of the world.  And He knows all the days that were ordained for her.  They are written in His book.  What an awesome thing that is.

We went to get a glimpse of her this afternoon.  She was swaddled and buried in sweet blankets, sleeping soundly.  Another day she will be held and we will stand amazed at her fingers and toes and her eyes and nose.  And I will share pictures then.  :-)

It has been a rather sober and nostalgic day for me at the same time as one of great joy at new life coming into our family.

Our Shannon, the youngest of our seven in heaven, would have been fourteen this month.  Her due date was tomorrow.  My youngest daughter and my first granddaughter could very well have shared a birthday.

God in His wisdom ordained the days of our Shannon, just as He has for each of us.  Her purpose is being carried out in His Kingdom, out of our sight for now, but nevertheless ordained by Him.  Her days were written in His book just as mine and yours and our granddaughter's are.  No mistakes.  He is incapable of error.  All He does is out of His infinite love for each of us.  And I love that.  And my granddaughter.  :-)

Welcome to the world, little Miss MacInnis!
(Well, not-so-little!  9 pounds 14 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Paradigm Shift

It's been an interesting week.  After the crash and burn of last Sunday, I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying over how to do life now.  From as far back as I can remember, I've been a go-er and a do-er.  Accomplishment- and achievement-oriented from the word go.  Always in motion.  Caring for those I love.  Spending myself for them.  Never without something to do.  Boredom is an unknown to me.  "Being" is an art I have not learned well.  "Needing" is a formidable hurdle for me.

With that being the framework of my life, I am facing a paradigm shift.  In fact, I'm in the middle of it.

I HAVE to slow down.  I CANNOT do what I once did.  Period.

Okay, I'm asking myself, what does that look like?  How do I do it?

Well, my doctor gave me a guideline that I had put on the back burner....typical of me, I'm afraid, when it comes to the "doing" part of my life.  He said that I need to limit myself to doing 50-70% of what I normally feel I can do, probably closer to the 50% mark, in an attempt to limit the stress factor and promote healing.  Last week I pushed myself way beyond that, probably somewhere in the 100% range.  On Sunday, my body said, "Enough already!" and down I went.

So, for the past few days, I have worked at that 50% thing.  Making my to-do list, prioritizing, and then crossing off half of it.  It's an interesting exercise.  By today, I kinda had the hang of what I could do before I made the list.  It was short.  :-)  I've also worked at the resting thing.  Getting to bed earlier, lying down for a  rest in the afternoon.  And the slowing down thing, purposely poking along through my day, rather than racing.

A couple of things have hit me in the past few days.  Because I have to dial back -- way back -- I am looking at what I must do and what I can do, and casting aside the other stuff.  It gives definition to my days.  I must care for myself.  I can cook and do laundry and clean the house for my family.  Beyond that, I often must say "no."

I feel in some ways as if I'm restarting my life as a wife and mom, focusing on making home a delightful place for my husband and daughter who are the ones going out and working.  Because I can't help pay the bills with employment, I have the blessing of trying to create a refuge for them for their hours here.  By dialing back, I am focusing on the elemental things of hearth and home.  And it feels good.

Today I had a rather intriguing experience.  I was slowly dusting the sideboard, a beautiful piece that once belonged to my grandmother, and realized that I could enjoy the process of cleaning it and maintaining its loveliness, rather than racing through it as simply a task needing to be done.  Wow. 

So, there are a lot of other thoughts going through my head from my thinking and praying this week, but I'm going to stop now and maybe write more on another day.  It's time to start winding down.  :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

I need no explanation.....

"What the Father has done is the best, because He has done it,
and I pray that I may not cast about for an explanation.
It suggests a lack of confidence in Him
if I find it necessary to understand all He does.
Will it not bring Him greater joy to tell Him
that I need no explanation because I know Him?"
Frank Houghton

So, Boomer is off to Ecola.  Yesterday we were set to take off to go down with him when my back went out.  Like, right as we were getting things in the car.  It wasn't one of those times I could tough it out, so the rest of the family went and I stayed home.  It was a hard thing for me.  I so wanted to be there.  To hug him and bless him as he began his time on a new adventure.  So, I did that here at home before they left.  And Jessie took lots of pictures of the day and I got to "see" things, too.

Today, after yesterday's experience and then the added weariness of a stomach bug attacking me in the night while my back was still hurting, I was reading in Amy Carmichael's "Roses from Brier" which has blessed me with truth on many, many occasions.  Today was no exception.  The truth that I need no explanation.  I need not understand all He does.  I need only know Him.  That applies so well to yesterday.  To last night.  What He has done is the best, simply because HE did it (or at least allowed it).  I must rest in that or drive myself crazy.  :-)

So, here are some pictures of the day yesterday.  And, if you are interested, Boomer has started a blog himself to chronicle his days at Ecola.  I love that!

The school is located within the Conference Grounds.

The Beautiful Campus

Signing In

Ad Dorm


The Room

Fun at the Park


Maggie's handiwork to include me!
Bless her.

And now I get the fun of following his blog!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Wheels of Time......

I haven't posted here for quite some time, obviously.  I've mostly been over at Sisters For Mom, chronicling my health journey.  But today I need to be here.

My youngest is heading off to Ecola Bible School tomorrow.  Ten years ago this weekend, my oldest embarked on her Ecola adventure.  Eight years ago, it was our older son.  My own was decades ago in 1975.  It has become almost a family tradition.

But there's something about the youngest, this delightful-child-turned-man, that touches something in me.  It's not a letting go thing.  I've not struggled inordinately with that as my kids have grown and started their own lives.  It's more a poignancy of the remnants of childhood floating away.  A changing of the guard, sort of.

And there's the "missing him" part.  Of course.  :-)

I send him off, both of us cloaked with the promise of Isaiah 54:13:

"All your sons will be taught of the LORD;
And the well-being of your sons will be great."


 Boomer with his daddy in 1994 on the California Coast.

Cannon Beach in 2003

Current shot of him drumming at a band gig.
And he's good.  :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Of Birthdays......

Well, it is my first-born's 29th birthday today.  It sounds so cliche-ish to say that the years have flown, but it really is true.  They have.

What incredible blessing this child has brought me.  What lessons.  Frustrations. Tears.  Laughter. Incredible joy.  I would not trade a minute of it.  Though at times, I think I might have wanted to!  Such is the path of parenthood.

Probably many of  us have thought this: "It's my job as a parent to raise up this child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, teaching and training toward righteousness" (which it is, of course), and then have the realization somewhere along the road, "Whoa. Well, I guess I'm the one who's being raised, taught and trained!"

The Lord has used this precious child to teach me through the years, maturing me in ways I didn't know I needed.  When I was young, it was weeding out the immaturity & selfishiness in me (well, yes, it still happens now, too).   In following years it was honing patience.  And now it is as iron sharpening iron as she has matured in the Lord and become a sister and friend as well as daughter.

Thank You, Lord, for the privilege and blessing of being her mother.  Thank You.

Happy Birthday, Dear Jessie-Girl!  I love you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Well, I changed my header picture to the Mountain in Spring.  I have to laugh a little.  It just doesn't feel like spring has really arrived, what with frost last week, snow the week before, and the rare appearance of the sky these days.  It is the 10th of May, after all!

So, though there is still the emotion of winter out there, I succumbed to aligning my blog with the season my calendar is currently declaring.  :-)  Oh, and the tulips are declaring it, too, when they aren't weighed down with torrents of rain!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Yield and be at peace......

This morning was another Spurgeon-encouraged journey into reflections on pain and suffering in my life.  It was good.......

Job 22:21 in a variety of translations:

'Yield now  (Become one with Him; Acquaint yourself with Him; Submit to God)  and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.'

Yield.  Become one with.  Acquaint.  Submit.

I yield to You.  Whatever You want, I will yield.  Whatever You ask, I will do.

I don't want to be in pain.  But I am.  Please use it to acquaint me with You.

I want to be able to "do." But I can't. Please use it to bring submission to You.

I struggle with independence, self-sufficiency.  Please use this in the journey of becoming one with You.  Conformed to Your image.

I struggle with rebelling against what I know You would have me do.  Please use this to bring submission.  

And if my infirmities never change, oh how hard, but if they don't, that I would receive Your Father-love and bask in Your faithfulness and grace.  That I would know better the deity and humanity of you, Jesus --Your friendship, Brotherhood and Husbanding.  And that I would come to know You, Holy Spirit -- and Your order, illumination, instruction, comfort and sanctifying -- in deeper ways.

Oh, 3-in-1, I yield.  I submit.  I wait on You.  I sit before You and seek to acquaint myself with You, become one with You, and being at peace, watch for the good that will come to me.  Good of Your choosing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Ebenezer.....

My mind has been like a tape player set on "loop."   Replaying over and over and over again the scenarios of what I would say if I had the chance.  To defend myself.  Against false accusations.

It's a battle I have fought using Scripture.  Written on spiral-bound 3x5 cards and read when the loop needed to be broken.  Truth to refute lies.  Over and over and over again.

But I was getting pretty worn.

Then last Friday I had a breakthrough.  It finally hit me that Jesus was falsely accused.  And He said nothing in response.  And that I, by being falsely accused, am sharing in His sufferings.  Perhaps for the first time, really.  Wow.

And the really cool thing is that while Jesus didn't defend Himself on earth, every time someone dies, they bow their knee to Him whether they did on earth or not.  They have to.  They are faced with the Truth and can't escape His holiness.

"So that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW,
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11. 

 Well, it occurred to me that the truth is something that all of us will be confronted with when we reach the other side.  Those of us who love Jesus and those who don't.  So whether my accuser and those who believe him are ever "enlightened" as to the truth here on earth, they most assuredly will be when they cross over and meet the Truth.  I need not worry about salvaging my reputation with them here.  Hard as that is.

And at that realization, peace (that passes all understanding) filled my heart, soul and mind.

And then, as if that weren't enough, something else really cool happened.  That night, some people very dear to me gave me a gift of something I have wanted for a long time.  And it was given because they were sorry for the stuff I've been going through relating to the false accusations.

It reminded me of a standing stone, like the one Samuel set up as a reminder that "Thus far, the Lord has helped me."  His Ebenezer. (1 Samuel 7:12)

So, this is my Ebenezer ~
a reminder that
Thus far the Lord has helped me....
to understand a little of the fellowship of his sufferings
and the need to keep on rejoicing that He has allowed me that privilege.

 "But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ,
keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory
you may rejoice with exultation." 
1 Peter 4:13

"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection
and the fellowship of His sufferings,
being conformed to His death;"
Philippians 3:10. 

P.S. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a clay pot which is an amazing piece of cookware.  Its first use will be to cook a turkey for those dear ones who gave it to me.  :-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Make me know why You contend with me."

Job 10:2

Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.
Perhaps, oh tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop your graces.  There are some of your graces which would never be discovered if it were not for your trials.

Hope itself is like a star, not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.  Afflictions are often the black foils in which God sets the jewels of His children's graces, to make them shine the better.

Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence.

God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and causing them to make forced marches and do hard service.  He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs.  Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing?  Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow?  Is not this the reason He is contending with you?

Charles H. Spurgeon

I love Spurgeon.  There is meat in everything he wrote.  And preached.

I am coming to some new realizations in my walk with Jesus.  The promise of the Old Testament is prosperity.  The promise of the New is adversity.  I'm not sure I understand the ins and outs of that yet, but by experience I know that trials do result in growth.  Being more like Him.  Were it not for the losses in my life, the absolute need for dependence on the Lord for daily bread, the realization that He is the one Who "will bring forth my righteousness as the light and my judgment as the noonday," when falsely accused -- not my own defense of myself -- I would be a very shallow vessel for His love.

I am learning more and more that the adversity, trials, contending.....all are gifts to gently steer me into deeper dependence on Jesus.  Every day.  Every hour.  Every minute.

This IS the reason He contends with me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Eugene H. Thompson
February 15, 1931 - February 12, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Of Mice and Women

Grief is a funny thing.  It catches me unawares at the most unsuspecting moments.

Today I started on a project which I anticipate taking me all year.  I'm attempting to organize the thousands of photos from both sides of my family-of-origin, my growing-up years, and then the past 32 of our marriage and family.  Because of all the scrapbooking projects I've done, pictures turn up in the oddest places, perhaps stashed in a hurry when needing to "hide" what I was doing, or folders of pictures in a drawer for a project started but not finished.

So, I'm starting with my mom and her family.  I went through an easily accessible box and then headed for the ones stored in the "cubby."  Most of the photos are in plastic tubs, safe from the ravages of the elements, but I chose the cedar box.  The one with broken hinges.

Now, I am fine with spiders and bugs.  But mice bother me.  And when I opened that cedar box with broken hinges, there was a mama mouse staring right at me.  A pretty good sized one.  And she had built a big nest using shreds of irreplaceable family photos, part of Mom's birth certificate, some post cards from her trip to Norway and Sweden, and the corners of letters my dad had written her in their early days.  Precious things.  And I started to cry.  Grief.  Unexpected.

Mom died nearly 6 years ago, but has been gone from us much longer.  Alzheimer's Disease took her mind long before it took her body.  And reminders of her are precious to me. 

I run an ongoing battle with the issue of "things."  Jesus reminds me that I shouldn't be storing up treasures on earth but in heaven, because where my treasure is, so is my heart.  And I've thought about that.  A lot.  And I don't believe my treasures are on earth, really.  But I treasure my mom's beautiful things.  And the keepsakes that remind me of her.  And it grieves me when moth and rust (and mice) destroy them.

So, I took a walk and cried, and talked to the Lord about it.  And He reminded me again that He loves beauty, too.  He made amazing things....because He could.  He did it for His own pleasure, and for ours.  He makes stunning sunrises and sunsets everyday and uses a color palette we can only dream of.  He makes majestic evergreens to stand in groves and wave a fragrance over us that is unmatched anywhere.  And He is the One who gives the ability to paint and sculpt like Michelangelo, to design architecture and incredible inventions like DaVinci.  He is the One who stirs our hearts to all areas.  His instructions for His tabernacle include things of amazing beauty.  So He understands and loves it more than I do.  He is the source of it all.  He has no problem with loving beautiful things.

The question for me, then, is "where is my heart?" 

Okay, where is it?  Well, it's not in a wooden box with broken hinges. Neither is it in the drawers of the antiques that belonged to my mother's mother, nor in the cigar boxes full of pictures of generations of family.  My heart is the dwelling place of my Abba Father and His Son and His Spirit, and therefore it belongs to them. And WITH treasures.  In heaven.

So once again I attempt to wrap my heart and mind around the fact that these things that are hard, and bring grief, are part of Their work in me to conform me to the image of Jesus.  I allow myself to grieve and cry.  I clean up the mess and throw away the wreckage. And thank the mighty Three-in-One that they care about these things.

Mouse nests made of family memories that cause me to weep.
And search my heart.
And hopefully look more like Jesus.
Every time.

Mom & Me in 1958 or so.....


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Prosperity and Adversity

I took a break from reading Spurgeon during my devotions for awhile, but I recently picked up my volume of Morning and Evening and have resumed my perusal of his writings.  He was a man tempered by suffering, resulting, I believe, in a depth of insight and understanding of the Word that is amazing.  To say nothing of "fitting him for heaven," this Prince of Preachers.  In the midst of my own personal sufferings, this passage is one of those that has ministered to me.

"Does Job fear God for nothing?"
Job 1:9

This was the wicked question of Satan concerning that upright man of old, but there are many in the present day concerning whom it might be asked with justice, for they love God after a fashion because He prospers them; but if things went ill with them, they would give up all their boasted faith in God.  If they can clearly see that since the time of their supposed conversion the world has gone prosperously with them, then they will love God in their poor carnal way; but if they endure adversity, they rebel against the Lord.  Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house.

As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life, and to endure hardness in this. The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. (!) Remember Christ's words: "Every branch in Me that bears not fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit" -- What? He prunes it,that it may bring forth more fruit.  If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction.  "Alas!" you say, "that is a terrible prospect."  But this affliction works out such precious results, that the Christian who is the subject of it must learn to rejoice in tribulations, because as his tribulations abound, so his consolations abound by Christ Jesus.

Rest assured, if you are a child of God, you will be no stranger to the rod.  Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire.  Fear not, but rather rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from the earth and made fit for heaven; you will be delivered from clinging to the present, and made to long for those eternal things which are so soon to be revealed to you.  When you feel that as regards the present you serve God for nothing, you will then rejoice in the infinite reward of the future.

Charles H. Spurgeon
Nearly 6 years ago, on the day my mom died, a group of women prayed over me, prophesied over me, and spoke words of promise from the Lord.  Among them was a word that there was much seed that would come from me -- not seed as in babies -- and that there would be much fruit in my life.  After reading the above passage from Spurgeon, I am getting a glimpse of what that might mean.  Much fruit, much affliction.  Hmmm.  Perhaps my current affliction is part of that promise.

And would that these afflictions result in the kind of depth manifested in the Prince of Preachers.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Year at Innisvale

Two posts in one day is an anomaly for me!  I just finished putting together our yearly calendar and wanted to get it into my blog for my own benefit and that of posterity.  If you happen to read along occasionally, I hope you enjoy a glimpse into our year here at Innisvale.

"This is where the wasteland ends
and Love and Life and Joy begin.
This is where our God doth lend
the Power and Grace to see Eden again."
Dale MacInnis




The Band




Fourth of July






"I will help you," says the Lord.

Isaiah 41:14

Right now there are so many things that are difficult.  It is a season of that for us.  As I talk to the Lord morning by morning, I am hearing more and more, "It's all about Me, not about you. My Glory."  And then, in the midst of that, He gave me this from Spurgeon this morning:

"This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: "I will help you."  It is but a small thing for Me, your God, to help you.  Consider what I have done already.  What! not help you?  Why, I bought you with My blood.  What! not help you? I have died for you; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less?  Help you!  I made the thing I well ever do for you; I have done more, and will do more.  Before the world began I chose you.  I made the covenant for you.  I laid aside My glory and became a man for you; I gave My life for you; and if I did all this, I will surely help you now.  In helping you, I am giving you what I have bought for you already.  If you had need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it to you; you require little compared with what I am ready to give.  It is much for you to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow.  Help you?  Fear not!  If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat; and you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of My all-sufficiency.  "I will help you."

Oh my soul, is not this enough?  Do you need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity?  Do you want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifested in the influences of the Spirit?  Bring here your empty pitcher!  Surely this well will fill it.  Haste, gather up your wants, and bring them here: your emptiness, your woes, your needs.  Behold, this river of God is full for your supply; what can you desire beside?  Go forth, my soul, in this your might.  the Eternal God is your helper!

Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed! I, I am your God, and will still give you aid.

Thank You, Abba, for your lovingkindness.  Always.


Friday, January 14, 2011

The Gifts God Gives

Okay, with all the response to the picture of my "new" double oven, I'm thinking it would be good to give credit where credit is due!

Last week, the element in the lower oven of my double wall unit kind of exploded.  Boomer noticed fire-like symptoms and we ran to shut it off.  The element had burned through in one spot and was spouting fire.  So.

I felt rather bound by having only one oven.  Now, I would imagine that could sound strange to some of you, but I have functioned with two ovens for a long time and I cook A LOT.  Not just for us, but for the band, and extended family, and anyone who happens to show up at our place.  In planning Maggie's birthday party, we actually planned the menu around ONE oven, because we couldn't be sure that there would be any alternative.

So, I decided to put a request out on Freecycle for a double oven wall unit and see what happened.  The next morning there was a response, and I was able to go and pick it up -- in Onalaska! -- and bring it home.  That was Tuesday.  My dear husband called his brother who is an electrical genius, and he came yesterday, Thursday, and between him and Maggie and Boomer, they took out the old one, installed the new one, and I am back in business!  Awesome.  And to add to that, I Freecycled the old one and have two takers!

Oh, and did I mention that it's white?  That means it matches the fridge and dishwasher.  I wouldn't have cared if it were green.  But it's white. :-)

I'm sharing this as a tribute to my loving Abba Father who, in the midst of all else, gifted me with a new set of ovens.  He didn't have to.  But He did.  I love that.  I love Him.

Thank You, Jesus.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Clan Christmas

Well, 2010 has come and gone.  Wow.  WHAT a year.

It ended with a precious family gathering at Jessie's and Dale's home on December 27th at which we celebrated Christmas and Daniel's birthday.  It was a good day.

I am so grateful for my family, for the expanding of the clan, and the joys of being the matriarch.  That was a new thought to me the other day.  Matriarch.  More on that another time.  Here are some photos of our day.

The Clan

Maggie reading the Christmas Story

Boomer and his bale of drum sticks! :-)

Jessie & Dale

Uncle Boomer and Xander

Daniel, Xander and Sarah with the sign Maggie and I made for them:
"All your sons will be taught of the Lord
and the well-being of your sons will be great."
Isaiah 54:13

Xander flying!

Taking pictures of each other.  :-)

Poor little guy was tuckered.  He slept through dinner
but joined us for birthday cake!