Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am BLESSED!

A few moments ago I was scanning through the many pictures I have taken of our home since the fire. These two especially caught my attention.

Perhaps just from the sentimentality of a melancholy personality feeling sorrowful about losing their home - their one true home, after living in five other houses and three other states.

Or maybe it's the sudden realization that this will be the first year in my entire life that I won't be spending Christmas at home.

Whatever the reason, these two pictures really mean a great deal to me. A boy, a country boy to the core of his being, and his two dogs. Diamond (far left) is ten years old and still a beautiful, faithful, family pooch.

Our home of six years has finally decided to call it quits. Oddly enough, it's a bit like saying goodbye to a dear and old friend. There's a lot of history in that house.

I guess when the unexpected hits, it's harder to let go than when you expect something bad to happen. For instance, I expected to be excitedly anticipating pulling out all our dozens of twinkle lights this weekend, and us all bundling up in thousands of layers to defiantly strike out into the prairie tundra and pick out a gigantic eight and a half foot tall Christmas tree. Then we will all squish in our small living room that the tree has now completely taken over, and begin to decorate it with ornaments older than myself, while listening to Wow Christmas from five years back, and sipping on mugs, not cups, mugs, of hot chocolate and stove-warmed apple cider with cloves and cinnamon in it.

For the past several years Hannah and I have made pop-corn balls for the entire family, while the boys get the Christmas tree in the house. Last year we dyed them green - they were so disgusting looking, especially when the syrup was still gooey!! But they tasted so good.

Yummmm!

Maybe I'll just have to go buy some corn syrup, pop-corn and other ingredients and make pop-corn balls despite not living in an inspiring old, craftsman style farm house with lots of character.
I have been so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to live many years on an acreage with dogs, cats, and at one time a horse, geese, ducks, chickens, goats and sheep.
I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to grow up with my siblings, as my mom has patiently home schooled each one of us children.
Blessed to know the one true Living God is watching over us, holding us in His hands, taking care of our every need, watching our backs, and providing for us as we need it - maybe not more than we need, but certainly enough to sustain us for today!
I'm blessed to have four siblings, live in a free country, have lived by a river where we can wade during hot, stuffy Summer days, catch guarder snakes and frogs, eat fresh strawberries from our big garden, and sit in an aged animal shed with barn swallows cackling at me from their perch above my head, sweet smelling hay surrounding me, and kittens purring.

I am blessed!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pearl of Great Price

The creator, continuing to create.
Always creating...
The poppa, or daddy, always arms outstretched for us.
Always yearning to show us more of His creation,
and desiring to teach us
to create as He creates.
Every morning, and every evening,
He finger paints.
And every time a person begins to paint the sun rise
and sun-set
They begin to see how vast the colors,
and great the imagination of God is
- too big to understand.
This morning a dear, dear heart-friend asked me what "I'm learning through this all."
It's stuck in my head, and I can't get it out! Generally, I communicate things through the visual arts, but since I have no medium which can communicate these thoughts at this time I'll do my best to explain via electronics (not at all my first choice, but ita vita**)

Like I said, I communicate best through the arts. I'm a kinesthetic/ visual learner - an artist, if you will. My out let is the visual and kinesthetic arts, such as photography, painting, charcoal and pencil drawings and, when I can get my hands on it, pottery (no pun intended).
I had art pieces from when I was five and six that I wanted to redo and add to as I got older, saved up in the attic and organized in folders in my room and at my desk. Pieces that meant something to me: my first drawing of our mutt, Sandy, when I was seven; pastels of girl-friends who I participated in art internships with (and have amazing memories of); the only canvas-oil painting I have of a South Dakota winter; and a few personal-spiritual charcoal pieces that mean something to me as an individual. Two years ago I sorted out all those and kept only the sentimental, and of those the only best pieces.

Last weekend I "sorted," again, the remaining art work. Except, in this context, "sort" is another term for "throw away absolutely everything but the ones that you'll cry over because there is little to no room to store any of it." So I have but a box remaining. One pitiful box of collages, drawings, paintings, and two pieces of pottery one of which is discolored from the heat of the fire.
As I sorted through each piece, a memory of a friend, Grace Johnson (also an artist) came to mind.
Grace is a potter, but she is also a speaker, or more appropriately, a woman's minister.
During one of her presentations a story she told thoroughly welded itself into my mind.
"There are some pieces (of pottery) that I create that I feel an emotional attachment too... there was this pot I had created, and I felt so jealous of it I kept it in a special case and just loved to look at it and, it sounds silly, but caress it - it had such amazing texture! I didn't want to sell it to anyone because then it wouldn't be with me, it wouldn't be mine, and I would have to share it with someone. this is how God feels about us! We are His pieces of art, His pottery, that He doesn't want to share with others that draw us away from Him."

Perhaps you find this slightly psychotic, but no worries, it's not. It makes perfect sense. There were probably three pieces of art that I had done (I believe all in charcoal), which had deep emotions and spiritual meaning to me. I mean spiritual in the philosophical and relationship with Yahweh sense.
There have been one or two other circumstances which I'm prohibited from sharing details with as it simply is not the appropriate time, nor place (and, in my opinion, simply is not my place to share), but which also adds an even greater dimension and deeper impact on this thought process that has begun, about being the art work of God - His valuable piece of pottery that He longs for and desires; that He has created and yearns to be with at all times.
But in this situation, which I will share no details about, I have been utterly confounded at the complete deepness and determined loyalty/ faithfulness Christ/ God (even the trinity??) has in committing Him selves into pursuing us, unrelentingly.
The shear and utter jealous passion Christ has for us!
He wants to share us with no other lovers! He desires us to turn our hearts singly, only, willingly, and submissively towards HIS desires - to HIM. To run - not walk, not saunter, not jog, not ever look back, but run into HIS arms and allow HIM to embrace us and not let us go.
He does not want you to desire that which is of the world. He does not want you to love your home more than Him, which I am thoroughly convicted of.
He does not, absolutely not, want your obedience to Him to be conditional, as, "well if you give me this, or let me stay here, or allow me to do this... then I will obey."
And He certainly doesn't want you to exclude yourself from the rule "Turn your eyes (and thoughts, and heart, and soul, and mind) to Jesus."
Now, please keep in mind, He isn't an wrinkled old geezer sitting on a rock muttering "those darn humans.. stupid little imps... always wanting what their flesh desires, and never wanting me..." And then, upon seeing a human saying "You darn human you!! You want riches, lovers, prosperity and kingdoms, but you don't want me (a wrinkled old geezer)" ZAAP! And electrocuting you with a wand, on the spot... or something like that...

Nor is He some Zeus who lusts after beautiful young women, or an Aphrodite who lusts after handsome young men, and desiring you in a sexual manner.
Nor is He a rich and wise king, like Solomon, who has it all but just wants "more, more, more!" And is never content with life as it is, but instead in the end cries "vanity, vanity... meaningless, meaningless..."

No, no, no!


God is beyond that. Maybe we label God as these (perhaps slightly) extreme figures because this is all our brains can comprehend... At this point my mind fondly returns to the movie "Dinosaur" when Yar, the grandfather lemar tells Aladar his adopted-dinosaur-grandson, "I can fit that monsters brain in the palm of my (hand)" and opening his palm, laughing at his genius insult, looks at a dinosaur ten times his size. I think this pretty much explains the human condition fairly well.
So often we turn to lovers who pursue and love on us; money which calls to us; homes which comfort us; families who protect us; popularity that offers attention; friends who entertain us... and the list goes far and away beyond anything that could be written in one blog post.
The point is, YOU, not your neighbor, but YOU that God is talking to, are HIS pearl of great price!! That special piece of art work that He designed and created so uniquely - so imago Deo *** - that He yearns for your attention. He longs for you to look Him in the eye and say,
"I want you. I love you. I choose you."
After designing you, He said:
"I want to be the only lover in your life!"
"I want to be the only thing you pursue - I can take you to great places!"
"I want to be with you for eternity!"
"I want to just watch you!"
"I want to enjoy you!"
"I want you to allow me to fall deeply into love with you, and I want you to fall deeply into love with me!"
"If you allow me to fill your heart, mind and indeed, your very soul - if you welcome me in and let me be the only lover in your heart, then I can take you into that which I originally created for you..."

And the completion to that last statement is "and this world and what it's got to offer ain't it huny!"
His love isn't sensual, conditional, shallow, or selfish in a two-year old way (I want it because she has it!).
He desires you because He created you, and as an artist, He longs to see His art work at work - doing His work, creating as He creates, and loving as He loves. And in order to do that you've got to be working with Him; obeying Him, pursuing Him, longing for Him, praising Him, and kicking out those other desires which do and are keeping you from Him and all that He desires for you (and He desires great and magnificent things for you!)





** 'Ita vita' is a Latin phrase, meaning "such is life."
*** 'Imago Deo' is Latin for "the image of God"
God Richly Bless and Keep!
Miss Elisabeth

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

During a blizzard in the Prarrie
Ginger bread house: Dec 2008
Christmas time is here! Dec 2008
Yeah.. it does have a Calvin and hobbes look to it, doesn't it?
Derek and I made one before this one with
a choke chain and cow bone in it's mouth.
I thought it was funny. Mom found it disturbing ;)
Christmas Decor
My East facing window
Nestled in the freshly cut tree hides a
fragile cream colored Christmas bulb
I think December 2008:
Picking the tree is very tiring. Cutting the tree down is SO much easier

Our "back yard" Dec 2007

Glistening in the afternoon sun is a
ice-laced ash tree
The "front yard" Dec 2007

Ethan and Hannah Dec 2007

My home means a lot to me!

I could be quite happy staying home all day, so long as we have the animals, friends and family. the more family with me the better. Cooking is a blast – I loved our kitchen despite it’s irritating qualities. My bed room was probably the best place to be, especially when the dog was able to hang out up there with me, and the Christmas light were all up, glowing happily despite the setting sun. A back drop of blushing pink, tangerine neon and captivatingly vivacious blue hung behind the two six pane East and North facing windows in my room.

My favorite spot to sit and wrap Christmas presents, starting about this time of year, with Stacie Orrico and Nicole C. Mullin belting out Christmas lyrics in the background, was in the corner of the room, between the East and North facing windows. Snuggled under my periwinkle blue plaid feather down blanket, with a cup of home made hot cocoa, harmonizing along, wrapping gifts in boxes, then duct tape, then paper, then another box, more duct tape, and finally topping off with wrapping paper and an elegant bow, I would sit in that North-East corner, glancing out the window to watch the sun set, listen to the wild out door noises (such as the occasional mountain lion scream – not a comforting sound), the cats bawling, my family laughing down stairs, the dogs talking and snow floating down, grazing window panes, resting on tree branches, dead leaves and golden brown grass.
This is what I wanted to do this year, again, after enjoying Thanksgiving, and picking out the biggest, most lush, and fullest Christmas Tree from Tananbaums Tree Farm, the weekend following Thanks Giving - an art form in our Home: The Thanks Giving dinner and season as a whole. We probably would have started decorating the house for Thanks Giving by now.

Honestly, what I’ll miss the most, is not having Christmas at home this year. The wood floors, smell of pine tree overwhelming the house, Christian artists humming Christmas carols on CDs, and the incredibly light d├ęcor about the entire house (including some bed rooms and sparkling beneath the snow, hanging from the house). Colored lights sparkling from beneath red gauze boes, peeking out between sparkling snow, and soft green pine needles on little pine trees outside.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 2009

I was going to put a decent sized post on here, but the words won't come out. It's a little bit like on the movie Miss Potter, for those of you who have seen it, when she is trying to paint, but the only thing that comes out are sad looking bunnies and angry carnivorous fish. I laugh at this analogy myself. It's rather pitiful, in my point of view.

I'm sorry this is short, not necissarily sweet, and quite blunt and strait forward - I'm really sick of fluff and mush.

So, to cut to the chase:

The house is in very sad condition. It seems like a good 'ol friend breathing it's last. The entire family is really hurting, deeply hurting over this. Life has stripped our identities of one thing after another. Forget jobs being identity, family, friends, or money. Just how life is. Deal.

Dad is sick with walking pneumonia and sentanced to a week of rest. He is going to be completing week one of "Rest" (for an over-acheiving Nehring, prison sounds more fun than this - at least in prison one can evangelize and DO rather than sit around twiddling thumbs feeling like garbage physicaly). He will be seeing the doctor again, not later than this weekend (I am taking it a personal responsiblity to see to it that this happens). The doctor said he has some bronchitis which morphed into pneumonia and if he does not take special care to get better he could get H1N1 and be hospitlized quite easily. This, absolutely, will not happen. :)

We have been richly and generously blessed with clothing for the two little one's, myself, and with winter gear. "Enough," in a very light sense, has been provided for dad, Derek and mom. I would love to see that mom get's more clothing, as well as dad and my brother.

For those of you who know and care about our two wonderful dogs:
Diamond, who is ten, is doing horrid. Her breed rarely lives past ten, maybe eleven, and almost definitaly not past twelve. She will be pushing eleven this coming April. She has cronic ear infections, and it has gotten siginificantly worse. She is nearly deaf, and we have not been able to take care of her, ourselves, since the fire. She has been with some friends much further in the country than ourselves. Depression is her current fad, she seems very sad, and lonely for her people, and has slowed down, physicaly, very much.

Ursa, my one year old puppy on the sixteen is depressed, but healthy. She's extremely aloof and her character has changed almost completely. Almost a year of training has gone to the pits.

Neither dogs have been cared for by us since the fire, last month. As I said, Diamond has consistantly been with some friends very far in the country. Ursa was with some dear friends in the city for a week, then was with Diamond in the country. Both dogs are spending the night in a shed on our property, which Derek a dear friend and I secured for the two today.

We are praying for and seeking out options for the dogs: kennels, friends, farmers, friends of friends, families of friends, etc., etc., etc.

We are also looking for a house to rent. In all honesty, we will probably be staying there for at least a year. We're going on week two as far as house searching is going. It's depressing.

Thank you for all your support! I deeply appreciate it!

God richly bless

Monday, November 2, 2009

Refined by Fire - FYI

Just For the what it's worth department - I updated the need list.
Sorry I haven't updated for the past several days. We have been in Ohio for my dear and loving Aunts Funeral. The funeral was honoring, beautiful and honest.

God richly Bless and Keep

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?