Monday, November 16, 2015


May I use your eyes now to weep for My children?
Will you let your spirit be touched with My grief?
It is night, and lone midst all forces of evil,
I stand with My hands holding precious relief.
(I haven't found out who wrote this yet.  As soon as I do I will let you know.
Or if you know please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.)

I just got done reading Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis.
Krysta brought it home from the library and said,
"You've got to read this, Mom."

I wasn't sure I wanted to.  But I'm glad I did.
I asked her if all who read it will get
sent to Uganda.  =)  She probably thought,
"Oh, silly Mom," but did not say it.

Katie is like a modern day Amy Carmichael.
Or Mother Theresa.  She adopted a family of girls as
they came to her doorstep or as she found them in villages
around her home.  She poured out her life for them
and they in turn started finding girls with needs and
brought them home.  They wanted to share their
home with everyone they met.

Recently I went with friends to a seminar
and heard a talk about adoption and infertility.

One thing the speaker said about adoptive families -
When you adopt a child you are breaking a cycle.
It could be a cycle of abandonment, alcohol, drugs . . .
. . .  the list goes on.

By doing that the adoptive family has stepped into
enemy territory and is in line for Satan's darts.

This is not a new thought for me. 
This summer I have been thinking
about that very thing over and over.
But I had never heard it said out loud
in just that many words.

This verse came to my mind. 

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this,
    To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,
        and to keep himself unspotted from the world. 
                                    James 1:27

How do I make this practical in my every day life?

While reading Katie's book I found out about the organization she founded.
Amazima Ministries

Krysta and I found out about Operation Christmas Child and every fall we
try to get some shoe boxes ready and on the way.

There are all sorts of opportunities to help if you look up Christian Aid Ministries.

Here is another way to get involved.
One gal I talked to said she and her husband signed up to sponsor
a child after the birth of each new baby in their home.

There are so many questions that come to my mind
         when I think about war-torn countries
  and refugees looking for a place to sleep at night . . . 
                                a warm place . . .
                             when I think about
                     homeless people in our country

I don't want to just do a whole string of these projects to salve my conscience.
I want to be more purposeful in my prayers for those serving in mission work,
and pray more faithfully for my friends and family who are in the middle of a
spiritual battle because they have courageously adopted children.

    You are brave.  May God richly bless you and your children.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


We sang this song today at Prairie Manor.  I love singing Thanksgiving songs in autumn. 

“My God, I thank Thee, who hast made”
By Adelaide Anne Procter (1825–1864)
MY God, I thank Thee, Who hast made
        The earth so bright;
So full of splendour and of joy,
        Beauty and light;
So many glorious things are here,        
        Noble and right.
I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made
        Joy to abound;
So many gentle thoughts and deeds
        Circling us round;        
That in the darkest spot of earth
        Some love is found.
I thank Thee more that all our joy
        Is touched with pain;
That shadows fall on brightest hours,        
        That thorns remain;
So that earth’s bliss may be our guide,
        And not our chain.
For Thou Who knowest, Lord, how soon
        Our weak heart clings,        
Hast given us joys, tender and true,
        Yet all with wings,
So that we see, gleaming on high,
        Diviner things.
I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kept        
        The best in store;
I have enough, yet not too much,
        To long for more;
A yearning for a deeper peace
        Not known before.        
I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls,
        Though amply blest,
Can never find, although they seek,
        A perfect rest,—
Nor ever shall, until they lean        
        On Jesus’ breast!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Home Town

I like my little home town. Everyone knows everyone, everyone is friendly.
One day I met a lady at the grocery store that I knew only from meeting her
on the road every morning driving to school. She was driving her family to school
so they didn’t have to ride the bus. We recognized each other from these daily meetings
and introduced ourselves to each other then stood and talked for twenty minutes or more.
One thing we had in common is our name. Her last name is Larson. That was our last
name in Norway. Maybe we are cousins! Our family took the farm name for their
last name when they emigrated. Now we have a name no one can pronounce or spell. 

When you go to Norway you can still visit the Skrivseth farm.
There is a Skrivseth Mountain, and a Skrivseth Lake, too.
The family living in the house has taken the farm name too,
but they may or may not be related to us. It is confusing. 

Now that was a little bunny trail . . . 
I was filling the car with gas the other day when a memory flashed
across my mind. Krysta and I were on the way to ND last summer.
We needed gas so we pulled into a gas station being careful to pull
up on the passenger side since our Ford Focus has the gas cap on the
*wrong*side of the car.  I often forget. This station had two pumps in
a row and someone was fueling at the pump ahead of us.  I got out and
started filling the car. Just as I finished I thought,
“Oh, yes, I want to wash the windows.”

I suppose the proper way to do that is wash the windows while the gas flows
but I had not thought of it in time to be efficient. It was a lovely day, the sun was shining,
the birds were singing,  the traffic was rolling down the interstate as I leisurely washed the
windows on one side of our little white Focus. Just as I went around to dunk the window washer in the water someone said, “Can you pull ahead so other people can get gas too?” I wish I would have feigned deafness and kept on with my task. But I looked up - and made eye contact - with a disgruntled looking guy who was oozing impatience out of every pore.

I thought, but did not say, “You aren’t from around here, are you?” 
I put the washer thing-a-ma-jig in the water, got in the car and pulled ahead
to the empty space in front of me. I finished washing my windows. Out of the corner
of my eye I could see this guy rolling his eyes, sighing a huge sigh and shrugging his shoulder’s
at my obvious stupidity.

He filled up with rapid speed and pulled up in front of the store and parked to wait
for the pretty gal who had gone inside.  And that’s when I saw his
North Dakota license plates. Nope, he wasn’t from Minnesota.

Now I realize Minnesotans carry niceness to extremes.  Ellis and I went on a mystery bus tour this spring. The school bus company comes up with an *end of the school year* event. We heard about the murky past when gangsters were welcomed to St. Paul and the police kept them safe as long as they checked in with them, performed no crimes in St Paul and shared a portion of the loot with them. One millionaire was kidnapped outside his house when he came home for lunch. A crook strolled up to him, engaged him in conversation by asking if they could discuss a business proposition. The get away car pulled up, they slipped a pillowcase over his head, pushed him in the car and drove off. This man realized the only way to stay alive was to keep cool and not struggle. The robbers started arguing.
"We got the wrong man."
"No we didn't!"
"Yes we did!"
“Why do you think this is the wrong man?” 
“Because he’s not trying to get away!”

Finally the man who was kidnapped told them they have the right man.
Is that carrying Minnesota niceness to an extreme?


For the most part we have found people in ND very friendly.
Since the oil boom things have changed a bit.  There was that one trip
when Ellis and I traveled home from MT in two vehicles.
- one in a white van and the other in a brown pick up.
(We buy used vehicles from MT. There is hardly any rust on them.)

The van developed a funny little hiccough.  It would go along nicely for a half hour
or so then stop.  Twenty minutes later you could start it up and drive again for another
half hour only to have this repeat. We limped our way to Minot in this fashion. Ellis wanted
to have a dealer look at it but they were closing.
"Nope, come back tomorrow and good luck with finding a motel in this town."

So plan B was to get a dolly that would hook up to the pick up, drive the van onto it and pull it home. The gal punched in the make of the pick up and said, "Oh, that pick up isn’t the right size
to pull a van on a dolly."  Company policy or something.  Ellis was frosted.

So we ate supper at a nice restaurant and talked over the situation.
We decided to get on the road and head for Bismarck.
After dark since it was cooler the van ran.
At Bismarck there were no motels with vacancies either.
Ellis fueled up and headed east on the interstate and the van continued to run.
We stopped at a rest area to get a few winks of sleep then drove home as fast as we could
with a few more stops and starts. We pulled into Blooming Prairie and parked in front of our
local garage.  Ellis explained the trouble to the owner.

He listened, and said, "I think I know what’s wrong."
He made a minute adjustment all within five minutes or less 
and the thing ran with no trouble after that.  

If the man in Minot had listened for two minutes
and made the same adjustment . .  . 

how nice that would have been.

I suppose we needed to learn something - maybe patience - right about then.
One thing for sure - we like our home town best.