Monday, October 26, 2009

Refined By Fire - It ain't over yet!

This evening, just as I was ready to "let it all come out" through a river of tears, my dad called me into the back room where he already had the two younger boys in the "this meeting is now in order" semi-circle.

The intense look in his eyes, deep and dark circles under his eyes, and his tone all told me that something was horrendously dreadfuly wrong. My initial reaction, mentaly, was to go through the lists of things that had not been attacked so far... the dogs and... and my family - my dad's family, my mom's family.

His face was ashen, his voice unshaken, yet so intensly somber - I'll never forget that tone.

Although I did not know her well, my Aunt Susan is a very dear person to my mom, and to our family as a whole - she's my mother's oldest sister and in their younger years, greatest friend.

The term, "they are dead," is only a vague sense of general understanding. Death, in my lifetime has been reserved for pets, and only once when I was seven, for my grandmother on my mom's side. I did not know my grandmother well and was so little that it seemed almost irrelevent to my relationship with the world, at the time.

But this time, when my dad spoke so distinctly and so humbly, "your grandpa Roy called us at church, and told us your Aunt Sue died this morning," left me with a deep and unwavering shock.
As my Aunt Kristen, when I spoke with her only a half hour ago, stated "I don't know what to expect... I don't know what will happen," in a rather panicked tone, I felt the same way. However, I know that whatever happens, I can depend on the Creator of the happenings. I know He is my guide, my Shepherd, my Strong Tower, and my ultimate Home.

And yet, I say all of this with a ever confused, every befuddled, ever wondering mind - will I ever come to terms with "the circle of life?" Will I ever come to terms with that small inconvenient fact that the only happily ever after in life is the happily for-ever you have with Christ, singing Holy, Holy, Holy when death do us part?

A short Psalm over the past life of my Aunt Susan Rummel Wagner, beloved mother, dear sister and precious daughter:

May the Lord bless you and keep you;
may the Lord's face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May ths Lord lift His countenance upon you and may He give you peace;
May the Lord be gracious to you, and may He give you peace;
Shalom, in Yeshuah's name, Shalom.
May He lift His countenance upon you,
and may He give you peace.

Refined by Fire - Update Oct. 26, '09. PM

Mom and dad got home around 6:45 pm after being out at the house since ten or eleven this morning, meeting with the insurance company, as well as the fire seargant who was head of the investigation.

The fire started from an over-used out-let in the down stairs bathroom/ pantry. Apparently, the wires had short circuited a couple of times before this incident, and this was just the last straw. The fire probably had been going on for a good two-three (maybe five?) minutes on the ceiling of the basement/ floor of the kitchen before we actually could smell anything burning. Meaning, for those of you who know the in-depth story, the first time dad went down to check the electrical box the fire had already started.

The scoop, so far, is that the kitchen will for sure need gutted, and that corner of the house raised, as the floor of the kitchen is totally unstable (I would post pictures on my blog of our sunken in kitchen floor, and will, soon, hopefully). But because the smoke is so bad, the ceiling in the dining room will have to be redone, and the walls on the first floor will definitely have to be stripped. What is uncertain, at this point, is whether or not the smoke actually got into the walls on our second story, which leaves condemnation open for consideration. If smoke did, then the whole project will be more expensive than we can afford (outrageously so... if you don't have money pouring out of your ears). If it had not, than we will be able to strip the walls and fix up the place as best we can.

A great comfort to us right now is a word that many people from church have been telling us they are receiving in prayer:"Better than before..." "It'll be better than before..."
It's easy to think this in your head, but when it gets right down to it... well I think we are all having a pretty hard time. If condemning the house is the verdict, than we will have several bawling sessions in our house- of course we will probably take turns :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A List of Needs- literally

For those church friends, family, local friends, and non-local friends who visit my blog regularly and would like to pitch in and help by buying things, or helping in some other way - I have listed our current needs and will be keeping the list relatively updated.

Any cloth and clothing type of thing. Smoke damage is horrendous and it takes five loads of wash to cleanse one load of laundry reasonably enough to wear without gaging. Every article of clothing that was hung up in the girls and boys closest were thrown out - they were stained, and horribly ruined.

Clothing - sizes/ specifics:

34-36x30-32 pants (jeans, slacks, sweats)
20/22's jeans and sweats, or work pants - for Derek who is a long and lean 16 in boys

Medium-x-large t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, hooded sweat shirts, long sleeved shirts
large-xlarge Gloves (we will be working on the house for at least a few months)
Long underwear
Large-xlarge winter coats, working coats, warm for SD coats
x-large hats and scarves to work in (any winter gear is very much appreciated!)

size 11 mens work shoes, tenni-shoes etc. - both dad and Derek

If you want to minister to Derek's soul, he loves books, loves writing, and food is incredible.
Minister to dads soul: Come out and help :) - more on that below

3x shirts, sweaters, hooded jackets/ sweaters, jackets, t-shirts, long sleeved shirts
3x sweat pants, working pants
3x very warm winter coat/ working coat,
large hats, large gloves, scarves- again winter gear will be appreciated, so much!

size 11 work boots/ working shoes, tenni-shoes, any shoes

8-10 (long) jeans, sweats, working pants, pants in gen.
medium to large t-shirt, sweaters, hooded sweaters/ jackets, long sleeved shirts
Large Working coat
Large hats, large gloves

size 10 work boots/ working shoes, tenni shoes, shoes

10-slims pants, jeans, sweats, working pants
8-10 t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, sweaters, hooded jackets, jackets (mediums, I believe)
10 winter coat, working coat
Medium gloves (maybe large)
x-large/ medium mens hats (he's got a big head)

5-6 shoes, boots, work boots, snow boots

Minister to Ethan's soul: Books, bionicles, Lego's - he's a kinesthetic type of guy :)

6-7 (slims??) pants, jeans, sweats, working pants, skirts, skorts, dresses
6-7 t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, sweaters, hooded jackets, jackets
7 winter coat, working coat
Small- medium gloves
Medium hats (scarves)

1-2 shoes, boots, work boots, snow boots,

Minister to Hannah's soul: Polly-pockets, dolls, - girl toys, nail polish - she's very much of a girly girl, and loves books

Food stuffs:
I think we're good through the middle of next week -
Thank you ALL SO much! So many crowns in Heaven for each of you!!!! And six hearts full of gratitude and prayers of blessings!


Muscle and clean-up crew (the facility has no heat, water, or light. Dress warm, bring water. The area is not at all safe for children. Our kiddos stay at New Haven, or play with friends during this time. Too much glass, kitchen is unstable, etc.. Please contact us with a good time for you to come out and help, if you are able to - this would be such a blessing to our entire family! It's gonna be a long haul - long winter - long time before the house is habitable.

linens/ bed-sheets - four twins, one king
Pillows (we have seven people home during Christmas :)

Wash clothes

News update: It was slightly unnerving tossing things you remember buying not too long ago from a resale store - very unnerving. I felt like such a waster, counting the price of things as I shoved them into a big, black trash bag. $75, $3, $8, $10.... it all adds up! Wasted. Gone. Hardly used. Of course, I didn't come across the $75 objects often... okay only once, but I will remember that thing for a long time, and to think I only used it twice!! Ugh! Such a waste!
But it can, and most undoubtedly will be replaced - it is replaceable. I would rather throw away a $75 business suit than have to bury a priceless sibling, best friend - my dearest possessions right now (although, technically, you do not posses your siblings, nor do you own their friendship... it's a gift... a priceless gift - one you have only for a life-time, depending on how short, or long God has dictated your life to be)

Dad and I think we have a little insight into the Mind of God - though it may be treading on dangerous ground to say this so lightly.
Perhaps, just maybe, God is one who allows bad things to happen in life, not because he is ruthless or mean, but rather, He allows the evil one to do harsh things to us, He allows the consequences or our sins to catch up with us, because those negative things push us closer to the human God originally intended us to be - it's the refining by fire to become that pure, innocent, beautiful piece of gold... pure, resilient, of the highest value - what GOD created us to be.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lead me to the Cross Prt 2

I have titled this adventure "Lead me to the Cross" because of the worship song with that title.
One of the first verses is "everything I once held dear - I count it all as lost; Lead me to the cross where your blood poured out; bring me to my knees, Lord I lay me down; rid me of myself - I belong to you; Lord lead me, lead me to the cross..."
This song resignated with me very much this evening, after throwing away most everything I own. It's very odd stating this - but it's true.

"I don't wanna be homeless,
but I am.
I don't wanna be needy,
but I am."
~ I think anyone who has experienced a tragedy in their life.
Let me be poured out-
emptied out-
Oh Lord.
We are emptied and gutted out.
We are homeless,
and poured out.
Pour us, empty us out,
Oh Lord.
Let us be sfe in you,
be our home- our shelter-
Be our safe haven,
Oh Lord.
Gut us and make us new -
A new creation for you.
Recreate us, in your image;
a new creation in your image;
a creation created for you;
poured our for you;
sheltered in you.

"Lead Me to the Cross..."

Thursday, 6:20/30 AM, October 22, 2009, a fire started in the basement of our home on the great plains, and devoured the north-east corner of our basement, and kitchen floor.

Smoke damage, apparently, is worse than fire damage, and, today, as I was sorting through all of mine and my sisters belongings with some dear family friends, I saw how true that is. Trash bags, filled to the brim, are pile up in our front yard.

Water flooded our basement, and dripped, drop by drop, down from the bed room floors, through the first-floors ceiling, into the lamps, and drop-by-drop onto the floor - leaving a person feeling like they are in an abandoned shed in the amazon. Our cats inhabited our house yesterday evening, as did our dogs. It was just slightly unnerving walking into my home to see a barn cat slink around the sopping couch crying "meOOW!"

The walls are stained, and our dining room ceiling is peeling off - falling off in chunks... worse than I though.

And it sounds so horrific! Yet, through the smoke stained walls, charred basement, flooded living room, and empty bed rooms, I have been contantly amazed at God's faithfulness. He truly will "never leave nor forsake us" (heb 13:5). He is committed to us - 'til death do us part from this earth, and we fly on the wings of eternity.

And, I just heard, my older sister is currently in the ER. Prayers for her would be so very much appreciated! She is in college, her blog is

If you would, please be praying for our family. My two youngest siblings are having a very hard time, and it will be many weeks before we can move back into our home on the plain.

God richly bless and keep!

Miss Elisabeth

Warmth for Winter

* Burnt-orange nail polish
*feather-down, fleece-lined blanket
*Hot "English Breakfast" tea, if a tsp. of whipped honey
*Pictures of tropical islands
*knitted scarf
*An adorable puppy to sit on your lap
*blazing fire
* Basic Message Oil
6 tsp. carrier oil of your choice
8 srops of essential/ fragerance oil of your choice
Blend the two together, well. Warm up the oil before using - make sure to message between your fingers and your cuticals.
.... any questions?