Monthly Archives: February 2008

There has been something rather exciting going on at Shady Acres.  Certain Man’s dream of building a pavilion that could be used for vehicles in the winter and for all manner of gatherings in the summer, is finally coming true!  This week, Eldest Son and the company he works for, Wrights Construction, started the process.

We are building a pavilion!

Building the pavilion The beginning
The beginning of it all.  A cold, but sunny morning.  Things would change fast!

Building the pavilion The Guys
Eldest Son with good friend Matt.  These two are a trip. 
Knowing them as well as she does, CMW could have some anxiety
about entrusting the precious pavilion into their care. 
(Actually, these two are the carpenters of choice for this job.  No lie.)

Building the pavilion Getting started
Eldest Son surveys the yet unsullied landscape. 
H-m-m-m-m. . .  This picture looks a little bit like, “We walk by faith and not by sight.”
Pull yer cap up there a mite, Son of mine!

Building the pavilion Raph measures
If the corners are straight to begin with, that is half the battle!

Building the pavilion Digging in the posts
This is a good piece of machinery to have when you want to dig in a bunch of posts.

Then the hard work really begins.
Building the pavilion Setting the posts
I was amazed that Eldest Son could actually pick one of these big old posts up and drop it into the hole.

Building the pavilion Making the corner
Then they needed to steady and secure it.

Building the pavilion Hugging the post
“You gotta’ hug these things to work on them!”  
It is safe to say that both of these fellows would much rather be hugging their girls on this cold morning.
(The question is, would the girls want to be hugging these half frozen guys with mud on their shoes?)

And the morning and the evening were the first day!Building the pavilion Evening one
By the evening, it had started to snow.  The fellows worked hard, and were ready for trusses by the next morning.  The next morning, it was cold and snowing and sleeting and eventually just a freezing rain, and there was a layer of ice over everything.  The fellow came to hang the trusses, so they worked through the incredible cold, coming into the house in late morning with the job done.  They were wet and freezing and almost numb with the cold, but warm dry clothing, big mugs of hot chocolate and a warm fire cheered them up.  They were glad to have the trusses in place.  It was so cold and wet and rainy that day that there were no pictures taken.  But this is what it looks like now, and we are all anxiously awaiting it to be completed.  (These pictures were taken this morning.  The snow is all gone, and it looks and feels like spring.

Building the pavilion End of Day two
View from the edge of the garage

Building the pavilion End of Day two another view
View from the edge of the patio

And while I was out there, guess what!  I saw this:
Building the pavilion My Tulips are up
In spite of the ice and the snow and the cold of this past week,
My tulips are coming up very nicely.
Spring is coming!

Ah, the promise of the resurrection.  
Made even sweeter by the knowlege that Melanie Miller is safely home
in the arms of Jesus
as of this morning at around 11:30.  


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I had a thought provoking letter from a friend this afternoon, and he gently suggested that it might be a good idea to remove the post that was here for the last few days.   I found his reasoning valid.  So I saved the post to a private document, along with all of your kind and helpful suggestions and did as he suggested.

I have a happier post that I am working on, anyhow, so stay tuned!


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Did you ever have something

Sit in your heart

That felt like a steel ball bearing

 The size of a half pint jelly jar?

How about 3 or 4 or 8 or 10 things

Equally as heavy?

I need to remember.

It isn’t out of the care

Of my Heavenly Father.


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    It has been a most eventful couple of days since I last posted.  And I am so thankful for God’s protection, His provision, His direction.  (Now if I could just always follow!)
    Last week, on my Sweet Mama’s family forum, Wertlink, my younger Wert Uncle posted a picture of my grandparents, Alma and Michael Wert, taken on their porch swing at their welcoming mountain home.

Wert Grandparents edited

    My Grandpa Wert was a school teacher.  He was an intelligent and gifted man.  My Grandma Wert was the prim and proper Pennsylvania Mennonite Lady.  She loved babies and pretty dresses and order.  Their love story was published in a book, written by my Aunt, Freda Zehr, entitled  Faithfully Yours.
    I remember sitting in a darkened room as an adolescent, watching old family slides.  My Grandpa was showing us old pictures of my Grandmother’s family, and in one picture was my Grandmother and her sisters, the five Lauver girls,  Alma, Lura, Esther, Mary and Gladys.  They were, all of them, nice looking ladies, but my Grandma was the prettiest, by far.
    “Look at that!”  I said, from my perch on the floor.  “Grandma is the best looking one in the bunch.”
    There was general discussion from the many gathered aunts and uncles and cousins, but not so much that I didn’t hear my grandpa say softly, as he turned the next slide, “I always thought so, anyhow!”


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    While busy in my laundry room yesterday, I heard my driveway monitor go off.  When I poked my eyes out of the window, here came Mel and Priscilla Sayer and their two youngest daughters, Char and Melody.
    “We have one minute!” proclaimed P.J. while I hugged her fiercely.  I insisted that they come on in and sit a spell, but the spell was short lived.  A few words, a few chuckles, and they needed to go.  P.J. handed me an envelope.
    “Good,” I said.  “I hope this is a picture to hang up on my wall.”
    “No,” said P.J. regretfully.  “It’s not a picture.  Just a note.”
    “Well, then,” I said, “Let me get my camera.  I will take a picture of you to put up on my wall.  Sometimes it is good to have a picture to remind me to pray.”
     So they stayed long enough for me to get a picture, and it turned out right well, it did.

Mel Sayer family

Today they are on their way back to the Ukraine. 
God Speed, dear friends, and blessings abundant as you go.


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The week has flown by on the wings of incredible activity and sadness.  My heart continues to ache for Lupe.  If you think of her, please pray that God will intervene in her situation.  Her husband is Guatemalan.  She is Mexican.  There are a thousand things against them, but she is certain that she wants to go to Guatemala to be with him.  This will mean that she must leave behind everything and everyone dear to her except him.  And yet, they ARE married.  Her place belongs with him.  When you pray for her, pray that I will have the kind of wisdom that would be pleasing to God, and pray that she will be protected in this desperate situation.  The slavery of young, Hispanic girls in this country is a dreadful but well-documented thing, and I am constantly praying that her desire to be with him doesn’t cause her to take leave of her common sense and do something foolish.  She is not stupid in the ways of this world, but she desperately needs someone to protect her as she makes the trek from here to Guatemala.  It just isn’t safe for her to go off alone.  And there are many, many details to be worked out.

Years ago, when Certain Man and I had foster children, there were many, many times when decisions about their futures were totally out of our hands.  I remember going into their bedrooms at night and standing over their beds and praying that God would comfort them and us as we faced yet another painful parting.  The thing that gave me comfort then, and comforts me in this situation as well, is the understanding that His eyes can see where mine cannot and Hand is not short that it cannot save;  and that sometimes has to be enough.  I have seen Him undertake in marvelous ways as I have relinquished my heart and my desires to Him, but it hasn’t always worked out the way I wanted it to, or even the way that I thought would be best.  Sometimes there have been disastrous results.  And I cannot tell you why God does things one way one time and chooses not to another.  But I have purposed to ask Him for what seems to be needed and to trust Him in spite of how He chooses to answer.

This year, I’ve been keeping (somewhat sporadically) a gratitude journal.  It causes my mind to run down the rabbit trails of thankfulness The other night, so very weary after a long and challenging day, I crashed into our bed and savored the good support of a great mattress, and felt the coolness of the sheets.

“I have it so good!” I murmured to my completely exhausted, almost sleeping husband.

“Why do you say that?” he asked, mumbling, under his warm blanket.

“I am so tired tonight,” I began.  “And this bed is comfortable and my husband is kind.  We have shelter, and even though I am incredibly tired, I can be here in this good bed and I can expect to sleep good.  All over this world, Sweetheart, there are women who are far more deserving than I am, who have worked just as hard and harder than I have today, and they are tired.  Some of them are cold.  Many of them are hungry.  And they may have been beaten or abused, and now they are trying to get some rest on a hard floor or even the ground and they are not protected.  And here I am in this warm and comfortable bed with a good man to love me, and I am just so thankful.  I have it so good!”

He didn’t say anything, but he hugged me.  Long, detailed discussions at midnight are not his forte.  And maybe you don’t get the connection between that story and what I said earlier, but I would like to try to explain, if I could.  You see, when God doesn’t answer my prayers the way I want Him to, there are a thousand things on the “other side of the scales” so to speak that I find just as inexplicable.  I don’t know why He has been so good to me.  I don’t deserve all the blessings that He has poured out upon me and my family.  There have been heartaches.  There have been times when I have wondered if I will ever be happy again.  There have been times when I wanted to pack up and move somewhere else.  When I can’t fix things, I would just as soon be out of the situation.  But running from my problems or from a God that I don’t understand or that doesn’t do things my way has never and will never solve anything.  And so, I come back to the many, many times when God has intervened in miraculous ways in my life and in the lives of our family.  And I believe that He can and He does do it according to His Will.  His Will.  Ah, that is the crux of the matter.

So, I guess what I am saying in this is that I don’t know how this whole thing with Lupe is going to work out.  I honestly cannot say that there is any way for it to work out that will be “okay” with me.  The solutions are just not to my liking.  However, there are some ways that are just plain WRONG and I am purposing to pray against those things that I know are wrong and ask God to work in all our hearts as we look for His Will.

His Will.  His Way.  His Time.  That is what will be best.





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