Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cleaning up the uncleanness

Living in the country means sometimes we get mice in the house. Well, we set a trap where we saw evidence and then it was gone. Not the trap, but any more evidence of a mouse. Until we got a smell under our sink. I found the mouse. It had drown in a vase that had been used to catch a leak and couldn't get out. Grossest thing I have ever seen or smelled in my life!

I have been cleaning the house for Passover- got down the curtains and they are in the wash, vacuumed down cobwebs, and my house is much brighter and smells better. Funny how such a small thing can make such a huge impact! The small mouse and the cobwebs are so different but they have the same result: uncleanness.

Throughout scripture there are examples of uncleanness and YHWH tells us not to be unclean and if we become unclean how to handle it. Here are a few examples:

Leviticus 5:2-3
'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of unclean cattle or a carcass of unclean swarming things, though it is hidden from him and he is unclean, then he will be guilty. 'Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort his uncleanness may be with which he becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty.
Leviticus 15:27'Likewise, whoever touches them shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.
Isaiah 52:11

Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the LORD.
Leviticus 7:19

'Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh.
Leviticus 7:21

'When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people.'"
Leviticus 11:8

'You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
Leviticus 11:24

'By these, moreover, you will be made unclean: whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening,
Leviticus 11:27

'Also whatever walks on its paws, among all the creatures that walk on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening,
Deuteronomy 14:8

"The pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, it is unclean for you. You shall not eat any of their flesh nor touch their carcasses.
Leviticus 11:26

'Concerning all the animals which divide the hoof but do not make a split hoof, or which do not chew cud, they are unclean to you: whoever touches them becomes unclean.
Leviticus 11:36
'Nevertheless a spring or a cistern collecting water shall be clean, though the one who touches their carcass shall be unclean.
Leviticus 11:39

'Also if one of the animals dies which you have for food, the one who touches its carcass becomes unclean until evening.
Numbers 19:11

'The one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean for seven days.
Numbers 19:13

'Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from Israel Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.
Numbers 19:16

'Also, anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days.

As you can see, there are many ways to become unclean. This is a small sampling but there are more ways than this. Some folks don't care about cleanliness according to scripture and think it's just "for the Jews" or it's outdated or it's done away with. But how many people would touch a dead person and not wash up after and change their clothes? 

This leads me to another thought: how many of us sin and hide it or just don't deal with it as it comes? That mouse died in a hidden place. It took the rot of it's body to alert me that there was even a problem. And mice are tiny!! What about putting off dealing with it? I took down my curtains to wash them and of course it let in tons more light. So I started vacuuming cobwebs and it also had obscured the incoming light in such a way that I would never have noticed how dark my house had become without cleaning up the mess. I didn't even know when the spiders had made these little messes that enveloped by whole house! And to make matters worse, spiderwebs hold on to everything! Dead bug bodies, dust, dead skin and hair from anyone or anything that breezes by, and lots of leaven that I don't even notice. Sin is really like this. We do a thing and think "I will deal with this later" all the while that small sin is spreading it's invisible webs all over the place, in every corner or not becoming noticeable until it really starts to stink and everyone who walks by knows there's something wrong in our lives. 

So what are we to do? Can I clean every area of my house year around? Am I expected to? It's mostly rhetorical for myself because I think I probably *can* maintain more cleanliness than I have been over the past few years. Can everyone do this? Probably not. I think it depends on the place you are at in your life. When my kids were little I *didn't* live in the country and didn't get mice, but there was other uncleanliness I was surrounded by. It was easier in a way because I was the only one who was maintaining our home when they were little. I thought constantly about raising my daughters intentionally as opposed to accidentally letting things happen and come into their lives. I had no control over other family but I could control their friends, and that includes what they watched and read as well. I knew I didn't want them to have cobwebs in their lives. As they got older they had to become the ones who watched for mice and spiders for themselves with help from me and their Dad. Now they are grown women with their own husbands and children and it's their jobs to clean out the cobwebs, get rid of dead mice, and clean the things out of their lives *and* their families lives that secretly sneak in and set up shop making them unclean. What about you? Do you watch for opportunities to clean out the uncleanness and sin in your life? Do you wait until it's taken over? Do you wait until the smell is obvious to even look? 

I'm tackling the refrigerator next. I have left it undone for far too long! I hope you get the leaven out of your life and have a blessed Passover!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Today is my 21st wedding anniversary.

That is a long time. So many things have changed over those many years. Looking back it seems everything changed.

However, the past year or so has been huge changes! For the past year everything in my life seems to have my footing on different ground than what I am used to:

My Mother had a heart attack last spring.
So many things have changed for my parents. Mom has had dementia for a while now but the heart attack and subsequent pneumonia that had hospitalized her for nearly a month drastically altered everything for them. Now Dad is full-time caretaker always at home. He lives, eats, and breathes taking care of Mom's needs which are many. Her heart today seems strong given that she nearly didn't survive last spring. I am so thankful she is still with us! This time with her has made us different people.

As you all now know, my sweet baby girl has gotten married, which means I am no longer homeschooling her.

Weird, I know. Over these last few months I have had a range of emotions from sadness to elation, frustration, and loneliness. Oh, my daughter is not gone but homeschooling isn't a thing that you just do, it's a complete lifestyle. Looking back over the past 14 years at the many things we have done I see the trips to the gardens and library were more than just things to fill time. It's part of who we were. I see the many hours spent doing artwork, reading aloud, having tea and crafts is more than just hobbies. It has been part of us.

Well now that Roman is a year old today and I'm a Bubbie I have new things that are part of who I am.

A few weeks ago he went to the living room curtains to play peekaboo and was very upset that when he yelled "boo" I wasn't on the other side to say boo back. Nearly every morning after he has eaten breakfast he is put onto the floor to play and ends up in my lap or Grandpa's to help us finish our breakfast too. It's part of who we are.

Nowadays Jasmine recommends tv shows to me. We have catch phrases and quotes that are all ours. Miriam comes over for tv or Internet and shares the best pictures from Pinterest with me. All three of us women have a love for music that is very similar. We even all have the same albums on our iPods! It's part of who we are. Most importantly, we talk of YHWH and His love for us. We share things we are learning from scripture and discussions with our husbands. We all make plans for our futures which of course means sabbaths, meals together, birthday celebrations, ways to honor our husbands, etc.... Honestly I think this has made us more who we are than anything else. So here we are, renewed, refreshed, living completely differently than we were a year ago. YHWH has faithfully walked us through every step of the way!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Been a long time

Does everyone forget about their blog? Well, not forget but think "I will do it this week" and then months and months pass and it hasn't been done because life has been happening. Well, at least that is what has happened to me. So, I will play catch up.

Last April towards the end of the month, my mother had a massive heart attack followed by a helicopter ride to a larger hospital and three stints placed in her to keep her arteries open. She spent a month nearly in the hospital and a week in a nursing home for rehab. Miriam and I went every day over to the hospital to help out.

Mom got to come home even though she had tons of medicine and pneumonia. We are all very grateful to YHWH for that! What a miracle it has been to watch her get stronger and better!!

Once Mom was going to be released from the hospital, we took a trip to see my brother who just had his first child the week before. What a wonderful time we had! And of course became and aunt again! 
Miriam and Walt

Me and Walt

The family visit. Alex, Shannon, Walt, me, Miriam, Jasmine, Roman, and Jesse.

It was a great time. Miriam decided to stay and help out around the house for my brother and Shannon. She stayed for 2 weeks. The next time I saw her it was her birthday and I had just completed a Nazarite vow. 

It was June and we had a good summer. July came and so did Jesse's brother Josh. He asked Miriam out on a date to go fishing. Lots of fun and family gatherings happened over the summer.

The Charles' came to visit 

Miriam and Josh had a date

Many of the Schools kids came over

Miriam even did a color run towards the end of July. Overall we had a busy summer!!

Jasmine, Roman, Jesse, Josh, Miriam, and Sharon

New Moon celebration! We blew the shofar! :) 

By September Miriam and Josh got engaged. See that pretty pearl ring? 
Meme came over for a little visit.

Miriam and Josh got married September 17. It was lovely! How cool is it that my girls married brothers??!!

So now they live just down the road. That is a real blessing to have them and to have Jasmine and Jesse and Roman right here. I praise YHWH for all these wonderful things! And blessings upon blessing! Jesse and Josh's parents live only a few minutes drive away! We love having them so close. :) 

Life continued on like it normally does. The Charles' came back down at the end of December. That was a great visit! I think Noah and Dawson are probably friend for life now. 
playing video games

video games

hanging out in the kitchen

Being sill in the living room

Jill had her babies on a night before the nasty weather came. It was a little cold but not too bad. 
one of two baby girls

snow is coming

My Mom ended up going to the hospital again. This time it was because she had been throwing up blood. They determined after a few days stay that it was associated with her gall bladder. She is scheduled to have that out next week. She was in ICU so primarily it was me, Dad, and Miriam to be with her. 
waiting for a procedure to be done

Me, my beautiful mama, and Miriam

Well, here we are to now. Life is happening at the speed of...well, life really. Seems like there is never a dull moment. In between all of these adventures I knit and sew and quilt and bake and you know, basic housewife stuff. I love that too. Not sure anyone wants to see pictures of our dishes being washed though. Maybe tomorrow I will post more. For now I leave you with a fantastic picture of two of my favorite men....