What Once Was

Today I rushed to get the children off for their last day of school. They met at the designated place to bike a mile long journey with their classmates.

After seeing them off, the two little boys and I grabbed a pop from the local station and adventured into the country for our home.

We came upon this old school house that still stands. If this school could only speak! Oh how I wish it could. I would listen in awe with these ears the Lord has given me!

Oh to think upon the many children who walked through the blistering heat and knee high snow to gather into this one room school. Sharp in their clean dresses and trousers with smiles on to embrace the year. Sharpened pencils and a notebook were sufficient then. A ruler was the teachers best instrument to efficiently do her job to keep these dear children in line. She knew the key to being a successful instructor was maintaining her authoritative position.

Where has this wisdom gone? Has it all truly been lost? Has it been left behind here in this simple school house? If it could speak would it cry out to our country?

I snapped the photo above and went on my way. I looked back one last time in my rearview mirror at this little school and thought to myself, a student opened the handle and shut the door one last time. What once was now is no more.

Down another country road the boys and I went. What once was a piece of prairie, now was a small cemetery. A cemetery with many broken tombstones of individuals that were once living and breathing. Enjoying the things of life in the small towns that surround us. Sending their children off to school for their first day and rejoicing with them on their last.

“Oh how you’ve grown young one throughout the year! You’ve learned a great deal this year, now on to the next!”

One of the largest tombs caught my attention. I squinted to read the large print and smiled as I saw the name Rincker, as this was my maiden name. I walked across the ground and traced the letters with the tip of my finger and thought to myself, what once was a new tomb with fresh sorrow now is a century ago memory.

The internet is such a great blessing from the Lord if one practices self control in regards to our time and content we are searching. Typing in the name Reverend H.W. Rincker 1889, I found a beautiful article from the Library of Illinois History.

I found this piece to be so intriguing, I can’t help but share.

Crossing the ocean to America with 75¢ in his pocket.

“Having lost the support of his family, H.W. moved with his wife and children to the United States around 1846. Tillie wrote: “H.W. landed in Chicago penniless. When he and his family arrived in America, he only had 75¢ to his name.”

What great faith for one to move across the ocean with so little, yet expecting the Lord to provide so much!

This man who was once, is now no more. However I am delighted to know that his time was spent as a missionary proclaiming the Truths of the Gospel on these very roads I adventure down today! These roads that at one point did not exist. Jesus’ words to his apostles that he spoke over 2,000 years ago are still for us today. They were true for this man, leading to the construction of roads and churches planted in the towns that we live and carry out our lives to this day.

Jesus’ words are true for us as believers today as well. May we strive to live by them.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:19-20‬

Who now is, but will one day be, Who once was

Winter Storm

Our home has been hit with illness more than I can recall this winter. A notebook in my office nook is now filled with dates that coughs and fevers began, times meds were administered, my emotions for the day, and of course prayer requests and praises.

Somedays I would write a chapter book detailed report of the children’s snot colors and sound of their coughs and other days I would simply put..

“husband has fever…me..I’m exhausted. Lord help.”

I know many other families can relate to our rollercoaster of emotions these illnesses have brought along with them. My hope is the families who have struggled these last few months would receive rest for their weary souls, but even if this isn’t the case, my friends, God is still good and is working all things out for those who love Him.

Christmas was a blur, but that’s okay. Jesus still came. He died. He rose. He reigns. He lives. He is coming again soon. We must be ready. Sick or well. He will return. I’m ready, but I want all my loved ones to be as well. Regardless. The Lord knows. I won’t question His ways. I however must tend joyfully to the work He has called me to.

As I have laid in bed these last few weeks and gazed up at the ceiling in exhaustion, I close my eyes and remember Jesus words He has written on my heart.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble at heart and you will find rest for your soul.

My Dear Jesus. I’m sorry I grumble in this flesh. I have faith in You and in what You have accomplished and what is still to be fulfilled by You. However, all too often my mind is on the things of this world and not on You and Your eternal kingdom.

“Make unto me a clean heart oh Lord and renew a right Spirit within me.”

As I was driving to get my daughter from her volleyball practice this morning, a beautiful song came on the radio that our Worship Band leads us in often at church.

“All throughout my history
Your faithfulness has walked beside me
The winter storms made way for spring
In every season, from where I’m standing

In every season. Wow. So much truth. Not just the physical seasons we encounter each year we go round the sun, but each season the Lord sees us through while we are here. Our Youth. Adolescents. Adulthood. Marriage. Motherhood. Whatever season, His faithfulness far surpasses our understanding.

He leads me besides still waters and oh my how He refreshes my soul. I must however be willing to come to Him to drink and indeed see my well is dry without Him. He came to give all who would believe in Him water that will never run dry. That which will quench your thirst not only here, but most importantly, for all eternity.

I rest in this moment knowing this promise. You are faithful Lord.

This winter storm I’m in will truly make way for spring or eternal bliss. Either way, it’s hope that carries me through!

So here I am, picking out what to plant in our spring garden. Dreaming about digging my hands deep into the dirt and the kids running barefoot. Also, thinking about buying a dairy cow. Who knows?

Oh my friends, there is joy to be found while we are here. May we continue patiently on the path the Lord has set us on knowing He went ahead to prepare the way.

Sing Joy for Jesus

Our home smells of fresh coffee. It’s 1pm and after a late night tending to the needs of our youngest son who’s battling an illness, oh how this warm cup in my hand is a small blessing. A pick me up to keep me moving in the direction I am supposed to be.

When illness strikes our home, I am not helpless. The Lord is near to the broken hearted. Even during grueling fevers and the pains that present with them, I am in constant prayer and praise to my Lord.

Praying that He never leaves my side, but sees me through. As He will, because He keeps His promises. He is trustworthy and the solid rock which I now stand.

What delight I take in knowing that despite the reality I am facing. I have Christ living in me! It is He who helps me tend to these children He has placed in my care. Left to myself, I am broken. I am hopeless. But because of Him who supplies me with all knowledge and strength, I can confidently cry out in the dark, “The Lord is near.”

Praise still flows freely, for I know it is the Lord who places these trials before me. I am grateful for each obstacle He sets in my path, but I do not always respond with joy. At times I question His plan. I question what He is doing. But my friends, it is not our job as mere mortals to question the paths of the all knowing Lord. He who spoke all things into existence has great plans for those He loves. We must have faith that He is truly working all things out for our good.

A glorious future He has awaiting His people. One beyond human understanding where the pains of the flesh and the tears of our fallen sinful hearts will no longer consume us. No more sorrow, but rather pure everlasting joy.

How I long for the day where I will stand face to face with my Creator. The one who spoke all things into life. The one who formed me in my mothers womb. The one who knew the moment I would be born physically into world and the one who knew the moment I would repent of my sins calling upon His Son and be born again spiritually into His Heavenly kingdom.

If this all sounds foreign to you, know that it once did to me as well.

Before Christ, I fought my battles alone. When a trial was set before me I would walk away beaten by the enemy I was facing. Time might heal the wounds, but the scars were forever on my heart. Being carried around with me like a weight that I couldn’t take off. Each road I took the weight would get heavier until the moment came where I could physically go no further.

God met me right where I was. Heading on the road with the pride of my own heart, He rescued me with the blood of His Son Jesus. He came to bring His lost sheep back to Him. I heard His voice and I ran to Him without hesitation.

What seems like scales fell from my own eyes. Every broken path I had once taken I saw He was with me, but those paths had purpose. They all lead me to Him.

I am no longer a mindless wanderer of the earth. I have Gods Word to lead me to all paths of righteousness and He will guide me always to the truth. Those who seek Him with all their heart will find the door of eternal life.

Friends if you haven’t heard the voice of the Lord calling you, you must listen to His message. Repent of your sins and cry out to the one who alone can save. The one who alone can give you eyes to see and ears to hear. The Good Shepherd is gathering all His Sheep into one pen. He went on ahead and is preparing a place where we will glorify Him and be able to enjoy Him forever.

Respond to His Call. He will free you from the weight you are carrying. He bore those sins you couldn’t cover yourself. Jesus paid it all and all to Him alone you truly owe. What Joy this will bring.

Jesus. Now He is one we should be forever thankful for this season.


Salt and Savior

Grocery shopping day. It’s a big event when being under taken with children. The warnings were issued prior to entering the facility. PLEASE KEEP ALL SMALL HANDS TO SELF AND OFF MERCHANDISE.

Upon entering the store the children behaved just as expected. That is.. not as expected. A woman can hope.

So when life doesn’t go as planned or in this case, when the toddler demands to potty and the baby is well deep in the grocery cart by now, you take a breath and embrace the moment.

To the dear woman in Aldi who “babysat” my two children while I took the toddler to use the bathroom (the same toddler whom usually refuses the said potty at home) thank you.

To some, a risky move letting a stranger watch your kids that you just met in the checkout line. I’m sure I once thought this way myself, but I have had four children. I’m a risk taker my friends.

This woman was such a ray of light to me. The Lord knew I needed to hear her words of encouragement at that exact moment in time. He gives the most perfect gifts. We just must be willing to ask and have eyes to see when they are being given.

I don’t know if you are a list maker or if you are more like me and you make yourself a list telling yourself you should really make a list. If this is you. I get you.

I did make a list this time surprisingly though. Although I didn’t bring it. It was in my jean pocket from yesterday. I did however try.

I know salt was on the list. As well as syrup. Does anyone else go through these items as quickly as we do? I’m not the most grandeur cook, so a little bit of salt can go a long way. As for the syrup we can live without it, but salt is just as essential to me today as it was to the women using it before freezers came along.

As the boys and I are throwing out groceries onto the conveyor belt to keep up with the checker, I notice the woman in front of me bought a hand full of things. One of those things being syrup, which I forgot. Which then reminded me that I also forgot the salt.

And so it was. No salt was bought today. Old Mother Hubbard went to her cupboard.. and yah there wasn’t any salt. Sorry kids. You must eat your chewy pork chop with a little extra ketchup tonight. Too bad mom forgot to buy that too.

Friends, I hope you can relate to this. The Lord sees you. He wants you to call upon Him. In the mist of what oftentimes seems like chaos, there is still salt to give a little flavor to the season you are in right now.

I can live without salt. I can’t however live without my Savior. Because of His Grace I’m a believer of this.

Moral of the story is don’t go to the grocery store without a list if you want to forget the salt, but more importantly don’t go through life in the dark when we were meant to live in the light.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5-7

Yours Truly


“Honey would you pass the salt? Just kidding. There isn’t any.”

Hand Picked

Our garden is quite small this year, but it has still been very fruitful. With relocating this past May and welcoming our 4th child a month later, a garden wasn’t high on our to dos. Despite this, I’ve enjoyed several servings of fresh green beans, baked squash, juicy watermelon, and crunchy cucumbers to top my salads.

It brings me so much joy to go out early with my cup of coffee in hand to see the growth that has taken place in just a nights sleep.

Our little patch of dirt we tend to is a daily reminder of how blessed we still are to live in a country with access to fresh produce and having the adequate means to purchase it. Not to mention the fact that we can even legally grow our food at all. In the mist of the chaos that surrounds us today, God still provides all of our daily needs.

If all goes as expected, we are to close on our new home in just 11 short days. Moving our belongings, this time just five miles down the road and no longer 35 weeks pregnant, I’m almost certain it will be a much simpler process.

In preparation for our upcoming move, I spent some time in the garden today. Ironically we have just enough pumpkins for each member of our family. Six. These pumpkins don’t know it yet, but they will soon be picked regardless of their size. Along with my family, our dog Maisie, and hens, these pumpkins plan to be the first thing we move! It will be such a delight to see them on our new porch steps as we begin to make this place our home.

To help them along with growing as big as they can, I decided to prune the pumpkins vines today.

Pumpkin vines are prickly and they also end up in a giant mess once they all have grown together, making it a difficult task following the vine to the root. With a little sweat on my brow, I managed to prune the vines, worked the dirt to cover some of the exposed roots, and watered each of them with some plant food.

As I was doing this, I couldn’t help but relate these pumpkins and their vines to my own growth in Christ.

The vines attached to the root that weren’t producing any fruit were just depriving the vine that was. The vine following the fruit was just wasted vine being fed that didn’t need to be.

How true this is to our own lives. Often times we are guilty of holding on to material possessions, relationships, addictions, and anything that’s restricting our spiritual growth with God. Just as with the fruitless vines, these things we worship are robbing us from experiencing life to the fullest on earth with Jesus.

As I was pruning away, I took great caution to know where I was cutting. Knowing all well if I were to cut the vine in the wrong place, it would no longer allow the pumpkin to receive the nutrients it needs to continue to grow.

Jesus tells us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬

What an amazing promise. If we are in Christ Jesus, we will bear MUCH fruit! We will find our joy in Him. We can have hope for what lies ahead knowing Jesus has defeated darkness forever more.

With this awesome reminder also comes a tragic reality. Apart from Him, we can do NOTHING. If we don’t live a life acknowledging Jesus is who holds our eternities, then what hope do we have? Apart from Him, we are spiritually Dead. Broken. Nothing.

So although we are still in the world for this short time, we can press forward if we have faithfully proclaimed Jesus as our Savior.

My friends my hope is you will prune those vines in your own lives that are keeping you from growing with Christ. The process can be painful, but we can take heart knowing Jesus promises there will be indescribable joy for His children who persevere to the end.

Prune the vines. Walk with Jesus. There is joy and hope to be found in Him and Him alone.