Monthly Archives: January 2014

bitterness vs. disappointment

It’s a choice I have. One or the other.

“Bitterness” reveals where my hope came from. If I remain bitter, I’m holding a grudge, having a tantrum, bathing in self-pity. It reveals my hope was in a circumstance – some concept I dreamt up. It is full-of-pride, U-G-L-Y.

But today I learned there is a difference between “bitterness” and “disappointment”.  It is truly possible to be disappointed, and yet NOT become bitter!  Probably seems pretty elementary, but I do believe I lumped them both into the same category for far too long.

It has to do with Whom I am lamenting to… When I cry to man (which includes myself), I become bitter and self-righteous.  When I cry to my Father, light is shed onto the narrow path of “accepting change” because He knows a better way.  And I don’t need to know why, I just need to trust and obey. <Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 3:5-6>

Change is hard.  Unexpected change is even harder.     

Here are just a few things His light has made visible to me today:

Just because I have the vehicle, it doesn’t mean I can make the trip.  If the vehicle malfunctions, the trip isn’t possible. If my hope is in the vehicle, I will be bitter…

Just because I have the funds to participate in an activity, it doesn’t mean they’ll get spent on that activity. If my hope is in the activity, I will be bitter if the funds are spent on something else…

Just because I’ve prepared to be absent, it doesn’t mean I won’t still be here.  If my hope is in being away, I will be bitter if I cannot go.

Just because I’ve done my homework, it doesn’t mean there won’t be hiccups.  If my hope is in my efforts, I will be bitter with anything less than perfect.

Just because help is offered, it doesn’t mean it can be accepted.  If my hope is in an alternate plan, I will be bitter if that plan doesn’t work either.

Just because I can’t go where I want, it doesn’t mean I’m not where He wants me.  If my hope is in the journey, I will be bitter about my life.  IF MY HOPE IS IN THE LORD, MY JOURNEY IS WHERE HE IS, AND SINCE I AM NOW HIS CHILD, HE RESIDES INSIDE ME. SO WHERE I AM, SO IS HE.  BITTERNESS G-O-N-E!!!  <1 Corinthians 3:11, Galatians 2:20>

Just because I feel disappointed, it doesn’t mean I can’t mourn the loss of whatever it was.  It just means I must learn how to mourn in a way that reveals Who my TRUE HOPE is in.  <2 Corinthians 4:15-18> And herein lies the lesson for me:  If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. <James 4:13-15>

I think I need to say that again:  If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. <sigh>


Not a fun revelation, but a necessary lesson.

Lord, I come before You with tears of both disappointment and joy.  My heart aches for the trip we couldn’t make today, but I am so thankful we arrived back home safely and weren’t stranded in this bitter cold.  I’m grateful we have those funds now to put toward fixing our vehicle.  Lord, You know the efforts that were put into preparing to be gone from here – You will use that “fruit” to sustain us a future day, just not the one I thought it was for!  You are teaching me how to find joy in each moment, instead of “what’s next”.  I’m now one step closer to living contentedly – the way You want me to live.  These growing pains hurt, Lord, but I find comfort in You, and You alone.  You have surrounded us with so many who love us – just their willingness to help has been so encouraging, and we thank You for their support.  And Father, there are not sufficient words to explain the beauty of watching our sons handle today’s disappointment.  Their compassion and lack of resentment has revealed a maturity in them that we haven’t seen before.  And witnessing that growth is pulling us all closer together.  Together we mourned the loss of “our plan”, and now the conversion of our will to Yours, begins.  May this serve to motivate me to persevere in “living and doing this or that”.  May my faith be unshaken.

I now know why You led me to meditate on these three passages yesterday – You were preparing me for re-aligning my Hope today so that there is no room for bitterness in me:  The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. (1 Peter 4:7)  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9)  Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, FIX YOUR THOUGHTS ON JESUS… (Hebrews 3:1a) 


Homemade apple cider vinegar success (sorta)

During the summer, we had bought a pint of Alander’s Acres raw apple cider vinegar+”mother”. Then this past fall, we bought some raw apple cider from down in Amish Country. We had read several different articles on how to make your own ACV, and after we were completely overwhelmed, decided to “wing it”, lol… 🙂

So we let two gallons of raw apple cider ferment for 4 days on our countertop. (This was our attempt to turn the cider into hard-cider, like one of the articles we had read said to do…) Transferred the cider from the plastic jugs they came in into glass gallon jars and added the rag + rubberband on top, so it could “breathe”. On the 4th day, we added one cup of the “mother”+ACV to each batch. Re-covered them & waited… Here’s the end result after 2 months. 🙂

First, there’s the “sorta” successful batch. Rubberband had broken, so it was a fruit fly magnet. 😦 We were able to filter out the fruit flies and the vinegar was fine. But we threw the new “mother” or “scoby” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) away. Figured there were probably fruit fly eggs that had been laid on it. 😦



Fortunately, the rubberband didn’t break on the other jar! 🙂



This is the “mother” we threw away…



Here’s the “mother” from the good batch in the new raw apple cider – I forgot to take a pic of it when it was on the plate, but you can see how much nicer/thicker it grew… 🙂

For this new batch that is fermenting right now, we decided to skip the part where we try to turn the cider into hard-cider. Just threw the new “mother” in the fresh gallon of raw cider along with 1c of the raw ACV from the previous batch. Perhaps a future blog post will reveal that outcome… 🙂



Moral of the story: always back-up your rubberbands, lol! 🙂


Oh – and what do we do with all our ACV??

Canning and pickling…

Healthy salad dressings (I prefer oil & vinegar as a salad dressing, but the boys prefer this ranch dressing)…

In our roasters as we cook down our beef and chicken broth (it helps to draw minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium into the broth)…

And in a tonic we drink to help keep our immune systems strong:
2T honey + 2T raw ACV + 1/2 gallon water all blended together. We each drink maybe 1c every other day or so… Click here for more fun beverage ideas. 🙂

Snowmen from old socks

This idea was originally from a Facebook craft post that was circulating last year – snowmen made from old socks, filled with rice. It seemed like a doable idea for us, since we always have holey socks… AND I’ve been searching for a craft to use up some old dried beans that I had bought before we started growing our own a few years ago. Soooo, my snowmen are filled with dried beans, instead. Worked like a charm! 🙂

Besides the rubberbands, I also tied string around them as a safety precaution. (Because at our house, rubber bands break quite often and usually at inopportune moments, lol!) 🙂

By far, this was my favorite craft this Christmas! Just some tacky glue, my hot glue gun, and a plethora of miscellaneous odds and ends I keep for future projects. I’d STILL be makin’ them, but I ran out of beans, even after buying 10 more pounds of them at the Dollar Store, lol! I have a feeling I may cave and buy more beans so I can create more of these cuties during the year… 🙂

























Puzzle piece frames

A friend retired from teaching a couple years ago & gave us a bunch of puzzles she found when cleaning out her schoolroom. One of the larger puzzles was missing pieces, but I just couldn’t throw them away… So in a coffee can they went – just waiting to be transformed into SOMETHING… 🙂

Guess this was the year! My original plan was to make ornaments, but I wasn’t happy with any of my samples. Then I became enamored with the words “peace” and “piece”, and this frame/pic is the end result. 🙂

Very indicative of the journey the Lord has us on… 🙂



Hodge podge floor lamp

Mike made me this unique floor lamp table for Christmas from scrap treasures he found. His brother was getting rid of a floor lamp with a broken base, so he salvaged it. Then he found an old rusty milk can in the barn, cleaned it up, protected it with POR-15, and gave it a fresh coat of paint. (His mom remembers the milk can from long ago, but doesn’t remember why it was fitted with the spicket on the front. Mike actually attached the lamp to the lid without damaging the can, so technically, it’s still useable…) Then he found an old silo door, cleaned it up, & varnished it. Attached it all together, & “whell-ah”, a new creation. I LOVE IT!! 🙂

Still need to find a lampshade that will work on it… Not having much success at finding physical stores with longer lampshades to look at, in person. Since this lamp is higher than an average sized one, we’re thinking a shade 16-22″ would help to disguise its height. Or Mike said he could make the pole shorter, though he wasn’t too excited about doing that.




I’m also not opposed to making our own. Found some amazing ideas on the internet – here are a couple ideas…



Wonder what we’ll come up with & how long it will take us, lol? I’m thinking these wire frames on etsy have a lot of potential…hmmm… 🙂

Any suggestions are welcome… 🙂