Shavuot/ Feast of Weeks/ Pentecost

I am so absolutely amazed at the things I am learning...
and how after 12 years of walking with the LORD I still learning things I have never known before.

Until recently, I had never heard of (or appreciated) the LORD's Feasts and Appointed Times. I mean, they are right there - in the "front" of the Book...but I must have skimmed over them as "old stuff" like I did most  of the Torah (the first 5 books of the Old Testament). Sure they were great for Bible storied for the kids...but totally irrelevant for "New Testament" Christians, right?

Maybe not. 

Tomorrow we will be celebrating the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)/ Pentecost. Here is why:

Acts 2:5
"And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven...."

If you go back to the beginning of Acts you can see the context. Jesus (Y'shua) had finialized his time on earth by telling the disciples to STAY in Jerusalem until their helper (the Holy Spirit) came to them. Then Y'shua ascended into Heaven to be with the Father. About 10 days later, there were suddenly thousands of Jews from every nation under heaven dwelling in Jerusalem who just-so-happened to witness the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the disciples (Pentecost). I never stopped to wonder WHY thousands of Jews just-so-happened to be in Jerusalem at that time. But now I get it...

They were in Jerusalem to celebrate one of God's Appointed times...the Feast of Weeks (or Shavuot). This was one of the three times each year that Jews from all over the world traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate one of God's commanded Holy Days. They were all there celebrating the Feast of Weeks (a celebration of the harvest and a time when they remembered the giving of the law (Torah) to Moses on Mt. Sinai). It is no coincidence that God gave the Holy Spirit to His people THAT day at THAT time. 3000 Jews put their faith and trust in Y'shua Messiah (Jesus Christ) that day and also received the Holy Spirit themselves. The Holy Spirit who would be a helper to them - to guide them in Truth and write the Law (the same Law that they were celebrating) on their hearts. How amazing is that!

So let me rewind a little and run down the "Spring Feasts" that we have been celebrating and how they tie in to our Messiah...

Passover: A time to remember when the LORD "Passed Over" the homes of the Israelites during the last of the Plagues in Egypt. The firstborn sons of all of Egypt were killed that night. The Israelites placed the blood of a pure and spotless lamb over the door of their homes so they would not suffer the the death the Egyptians were suffering. Jesus died on the cross on Passover...he is more than "figuratively" our Passover Lamb. He gave up his Spirit roughly the exact time the priests began killing the passover lambs for all the Jews in Jerusalem. The blood of our pure and spotless lamb excuses us from the wages of sin and death. The blood of Jesus allows us to enter in to eternal life.

Unleavened Bread: When the Israelites fled Egypt, they did not have time to let their dough rise. So, they ate unleavened bread. Yeast, throughout the Bible, is used to represent sin. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life as represented by the bread made without leaven. Even today, Jewish people eat matzah during the Feast of Unleavened Bread - it is "striped and pierced" in tradition before it is baked. Jesus was pierced for our transgressions and by His stripes, we are healed...hmm, see a connection?

Firstfruits: This was a holiday to celebrate the start of the harvest. The best of the new harvest was brought to the LORD as an offering. Jesus rose from the dead on Firstfruits. He is the perfect Firstfruits offering to the LORD...the beginning of the harvest of souls that was to occur through belief in Him.

Counting of the Omer: The Israelites were commanded to count 7 Sabbaths from the Celebration of Firstfruits until the Feast of Weeks (or 50 days). Jesus was with the Disciples for 40 of those days and told them to STAY in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came.

Feast of Weeks/ Shavuot: A celebration of the harvest and remembrance of the giving of the Law to Moses at Mt. Sinai. The Holy Spirit came to live in Believers and guide them in Truth on this day.

Isn't that amazing. Things I never learned in church. If you want to learn more about the Feasts and Appointed times, they are in Leviticus 23. I also highly recommend checking out Robin Sampson's book A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays . We have been using it for school and have really enjoyed learning about the Feasts of YHVH (the LORD).

I tried to paint a very simple and clear picture of what we have been learning. There is soooooo much more to it. And soooooo much more that I have to learn! But the simplicity of God's order and structure and have helped me understand and appreciate my Creator so much more. Isn't it amazing how it ALL happened on His already appointed times. He had it all planned from the very beginning. AMAZING!

To my friends who have been observing Biblical Feasts and Holidays much longer that I...please feel free to leave a comment and correct me where I may be confused. I welcome your knowledge and input.To friends who may have questions about this...ask away...I probably don't have the answer but I can find out!

Chag Sameach Shavuot! 




I am going to let you in on a little secret...one I would rather not share...
but I will because it is directly related to the miracle that just occurred at my home. 

I have been a little stressed. 

Yes, I just said that like I belonged in a 12 step program...
Hello, my name is Leah and I am stressed. 

Specifically, I have been stressed over finances and the growing cost of our food bills. We drive 90 miles (each way) to purchase very expensive specialty foods for 3 members of our family who have food allergies. And these aren't just allergies to things you can leave out...they are wheat and dairy. 
It is hard to have a balanced diet without wheat or dairy and not substitute them with any specialty (gluten free and dairy free) foods. Sure, we can go without cheese or yogurt...but milk is essential (we use almond milk) and it is EXPENSIVE. We also buy some gluten free pasta and gluten free bread - although we go without most things like hamburger buns and specialty bread items unless it is a special occasion. 

I do make most thing from scratch...but  
a 4 lb bag of gluten free flour costs me $14.

So anyway, I was chatting with a friend earlier this week about the growing cost of food and how difficult it is getting to feed our family. Money is tight and well, like most of you, the grocery shopping trips are getting stretched because we just can't afford what we used to. 
 Especially since it costs so much money just to get there! 

My friend reminded me of how YHVH (Yahweh, the Lord) provides and told me 
how so many times people just show up at her door with food. 

I thought, hmph...that never happens here...and if it did...
we wouldn't be able to eat it because of our allergies. 
Yahweh just doesn't provide in THAT way for us.

That thought has been stuck in my head for days. 

And then, this morning, when I had surely reached the end of myself...
I cried out to YHVH (literally crying out - face down on the bedroom floor)...
for help...for reassurance...for a glimpse of His glory...
Show me, YHVH, just show me, please.

And so tonight (just 12 hours later), 
as I was rushing my children to bed and my husband out the door to work...
our neighbors stopped by to tell us some news... 

Remember the raffle we entered a few months ago...
for the FCCLA fundraiser...
for the 1/2 BEEF?
We won it. 


Do you know how much beef that is? 
(roughly) 400 lbs of fresh grass-fed beef.

That would cost over $800. 
We know...we recently asked the butcher and he told us. $850 for 1/2 Beef.

Our neighbors just showed up at our door and gave us food to eat. 
And we can eat it despite our allergies. 

I guess Yahweh CAN provide in that way for us. 

"Great are the works of יהוה, 
Searched for by all who delight in them.
  Splendour and greatness are His work, 
And His righteousness stands forever.
 He has made His wonders to be remembered;
יהוה shows favour and is compassionate.
 He has given food to those who fear Him; 
He remembers His covenant forever.
Psalm 111: 2-5

Oh YHVH, thank you for your provision...
but even more...thank you for showing me...
for giving me the "glimpse" I so desperately needed. 
You are so good to me. Thank you.


Around the World in 20 Days...

OK, so maybe we didn't make it all the way around the world...but by the time we got home it sure felt like it! 
Last month, the kids, the yellow lab, and I embarked on a great adventure...of sorts. We drove from (northern) Montana to Raleigh, North Carolina for my little sister's wedding. I can hardly recount for you the many adventures we had...so I will let the pictures tell it for me! 

We left Montana in a blizzard...continued through Wyoming in 80 mph winds and hit Nebraska about the time the first wave of Tornadoes was wrecking havoc on the country. I had wonderful plans of the places we would stop and things we would learn along our trip...but the reality was that we just needed to keep moving. We did stop in Nebraska for a quick lesson on the Pony Express...the kids were amazed! 

We also made time for a few stops at our FAVORITE restaurant...

(I would have taken a picture of the yummy food...but it was always gone before I could get a picture. 
This was the best I could do!)

Once we finally made it to Raleigh (after some help from my dear Dad who met us in St. Louis two days after the tornado ripped the roof off the airport)...we got to spend some quality time with Ashley before the wedding!

And try on our fancy wedding clothes...

We even got some professional pictures taken at Duke Gardens...

And had lots of time to play with Bumpa...

Before we knew it...it was the wedding day! Aunt Ashley and Uncle Taylor were "going to the chapel and they were gonna get married" (as the kids sang ALL day).

And don't forget the limo ride...

But the fun didn't stop there...after the wedding we went to visit Aunt Christy and our favorite North Carolina cousins! Thanks to a snafu in travel arrangements...our one day visit became a 3 day visit and boy did we have fun! Thanks Aunt Christy for putting up with us!

(this was the laughing horse that Anna got to feed in honor of her 4th Birthday)

After our extended visit with Aunt Christy and company...we whisked up to Maryland to pick up Samson (the yellow lab) and see Mimi & Bumpa one more time...then we headed on home. Unfortunately...Abigail got sick about a day into our trip and everyone else followed closely behind her. The trip home was grueling and the only picture we took was at a crazy restaurant in Casper, Wyoming...

We have been busy recovering, regrouping, and recreating a schedule ever since we got home. We have enjoyed a little 4H and prepping our garden too...those pictures can come later! 

Hope you all enjoyed our trip around the world...er, I mean...half way around the country. We are thankful that we traveled safely and that no "Tom Tomatoes" (that's 3 year old for tornadoes) came and knocked over our car! Till next time...



Montana Winter...

Now that Spring is finally in the air...I figured a few pictures from our winter were in order. Enjoy!

Snow Days...

Apparently Montana loves indoor water parks...so do we!

And of course, I couldn't leave out wrestling pictures....but you'll have to go to Joshua's blog to see those :)


April Daybook

Outside my window...
It's beginning to look a lot like...SPRING! It is cold and windy but the sun is shining and the snow is finally melting!

I am thinking...
I am VERY ready to be done with illness. We have been down for about 15 days now with some sort of sickness. Josh started throwing up at 4am today. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

I am thankful for...
The ability to be home with my kids! To be able to take care of them when they are sick and not have to worry about taking a day off from a job. I am also thankful for homeschooling...that I can read to them when they are sick or just know that we can get around to school tomorrow when they are feeling better. No counting days of absence or doctors notes...just meeting their needs.

From the learning rooms...
Lots and lots of sick days. Lots of reading out loud and "life" learning 
as we take care of one another and try to get healthy.

From the kitchen...
Ordered 20lbs of apples from the co-op this month. Lots of homemade applesauce, dehydrated apples, and maybe even a few apple pies to make the Papa happy :)

From the garden...
Starting tomato seeds (inside) this week. Woohoo! So excited to get the garden going!

I am creating...
Well, I am surviving at this point and not much more. I am working on a prayer shawl for my mother-in-law (who is still in a coma, 9 months and counting) and a few other small crochet crafts to sell at our next craft show...

I am going...
To be driving to the East Coast with my children the end of this month for my little sister's wedding. Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, a few other random states, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, and on to North Carolina. And then back home. I am actually looking forward to it...really!

I am reading...
Through the Bible (I found a new Bible Reading Plan that I really enjoy), Weekly Torah Portions, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, and A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays by Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce. I am also reading "The Wizard of Oz" to the kids :) My dear sister-in-law sent me a copy of 1000 Gifts and my husband informed me that it arrived today. I am looking forward to reading it soon!

I am hoping...
That everyone recovers quickly so we can be healthy and rested for our long road-trip this month. We also have the end of Awanas and Missoula Children's Theater before we go...so everyone NEEDS to be healthy!

I am hearing...
Abigail tell Nicole a secret...

Around the house...
You just don't want to know. 
2 full weeks of illness is hard on a house. And the Mama.

One of my favorite things...
When my kids are getting along like best-friends/ siblings should!

A few plans for the rest of the month...
Piano lessons, Missoula Children's Theater, speech therapy, Awanas, and wedding prep ...Oh my! Then we drive 2400 miles (one way) to celebrate the marriage of my little sister to "Uncle Duke." I am so excited!

My little performer tried out for her 2nd Missoula Children's Theater play yesterday...our town will be performing "The Frog Prince" on Friday night and Nicole will be a "flytrap." I have no idea what that means...but she is excited and can't wait to be on the stage!

My little man finished his first season of wrestling and we are so proud of him! He improved so much and we can definitely see a major improvement in his strength and coordination. He wrestled in 17 tournament matches and won only one of them...but his attitude was incredible. He never once cried over a loss (and trust me...a lot of kids do). He is motivated for next year and is already "working out" with Daddy so he can be even stronger next year. I pray that his hard work will pay off with a few more wins next year!

Currently has stickers in her hair and is running around half dressed. Need I say more?

A picture for you...

Swimming lessons finally paid off for Nicole!

Shalom and blessings to each of you,

Check out the original Simple Woman's Daybook for more great stuff!


Sick, sick, sick...

Yes we are...and have been for about 10 days. Miserable sick. And just when one person gets over it...someone else gets it again. I was prepared to drive Abigail to the city this morning to see the Pediatrician, but she seems better and now Nicole has a fever and feels miserable....again (she already had it once). Man, if I didn't know that YHVH (the Lord) loved me like crazy, I'd probably go insane!!!

"...casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

Lord, please heal us and make us healthy again!

So, I realized that I haven't posted in about 2 weeks and I have very little other to say than to whine about being sick :) So I thought I would share a few pictures of recent crafts I have been working on....



We are working on an Amerciana theme in the Family Room and this cabinet ~ though necessary ~ has been a huge eyesore. We have had this cabinet since our first Christmas together and it is a piece of junk from StuffMart...but it keeps on tickin'. I added a little Americana fabric inside the glass door panels and at least now you don't have to see all the junk inside. Easy peasy...
I have also made a funny hobby out of turning old jeans into skirts. This one I made with a matching headcovering. Fun, fun, fun and cheap too! 

OK, I hope to be back with you soon...feeling good and full of wonderful things to say :)

Until then, Yah (God) bless you all!




If I only knew then...

My dear husband and I were having one of those conversations...you know...if only I knew then what I know now....

It got me thinking about some of "those things" in my life...

If I only knew that I wasn't actually going to marry any of those boys
I wouldn't have wasted so much time (and so many tears) on them.

If I only knew then that I would spend the next half of my life exhausted...
I might not have stayed up so late at night.

If I only knew then that I would one day be a homeschool mom...
I might have chosen a different major in college
(although my nursing degree occasionally comes in handy as a mom).

If I only knew then that it was only a test...
I would not have treated it as if it was the end of the world.

If I only knew then that one day I would have to give an account for every word I have spoken...I would have chosen my words more carefully.

If I only knew then that my best friend would never make it to her high school graduation day...
I would have made up with her after our last fight.

And you would think that after that...I might have learned my lesson...

But instead...

If I had only known that I would never hear my mother-in-law's voice again...
I definitely would have answered the phone the day she called.
She called to ask for my P.O. Box #.
Instead, I was busy and chose to ignore the call on my cell phone.
And then delete the message intending to call her back.
And then...the next day...she was in a plane crash with my father-in-law.
And now...she is in a coma.
I never answered her call and I never called her back.
I am sorry, mom. Very sorry.

Apparently, she must have gotten our address from someone else because a week after the accident...I received a package in the mail from her. Some beautiful gifts she had picked out just for me. She sent them the morning of the accident.

If I only knew then...I would have answered the phone and told her how much I appreciate her. Now all I can do is tell her how much I miss her over the phone.
And she cannot respond. I am sorry, mom. Very sorry.


Wait for your one true love,
take a nap,
take the test but don't stress over it,
always keep the bigger picture in mind

And if you love someone...tell them. Today. Answer the call. Or make one yourself. Tell your loved ones you appreciate them. Hug your babies and kiss your husband and never let the day get away from you.

You might not get another one...



Please Help Bring Anya Home....

Good morning, friends! Just a quick note to let you know about my dear friend Angela and her family ~ they are working very hard to bring a very special little girl home from Eastern Europe.

Grab This!

Jump over to Angela's blog : The Daily Planet to make a donation AND win a chance (or two) at a free i-Pad.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)

If you cannot bring an orphan home yourself, please help someone else in their calling and obedience to the Father! I am certain that every penny helps!

Have a blessed day and I'll be back in a few ~ we are "switching shifts" right now (daddy changes to evening shift today) and it always takes us a few days to readjust to a new routine!




March Daybook

Outside my window...
Snow, Snow, and more SNOW!!! And frigid temperatures. Winter is still in full force here in Montana.

I am thinking...
that I just posted my February Daybook ~ how can it be March already?

I am thankful for...
so many things. YHVH's blessings can be overwhelming at times. Healthy bodies, a warm home, homeschooling, a good paying job (for my husband), and the assurance of all things in Elohim's hands. Yes, it is overwhelming.

From the learning rooms...
I am longing for warmer weather so we can take school "outside." Planting our garden and exploring God's creation is such a wonderful way to learn. In the meantime, we are doing lots of reading out-loud and copywork. Nicole's reading skills are progressing very nicely. As usual, I am starting to consider curriculum options for next year. Part of me want to stick with what we have started...to stay the course...but part of me is always wanting to try something new. I will be praying about that!

From the kitchen...
I tried several new recipes this month...some wonderful...some not. We made cabbage rolls in the crock-pot last week for Saturday night. Nicole and I loved them...but Dave and Josh did not. Bummer. I also made homemade potato soup last night. It was delicious and even Joshua (my texture sensitive kid) was able to eat his whole bowl. Perfect for snowy winter day!

From the garden...
We have been nursing a pot of rosemary indoors ever since last summer. We had big plans for that rosemary. Sadly, so did the 3 year old...apparently she picked each little precious plant out of the pot and threw it in the trash. I guess she needs a bit more supervision during "play time."

I am creating...
too many unfinished projects! I have a few skirts left to wrap -up and an afghan that needs to be finished. Here's to productivity...one day!

I am going...
too many places for gas to be so expensive!

I am reading...
Through the Bible (I found a new Bible Reading Plan that I really enjoy), Weekly Torah Portions, Liberated through Submission by P.B. Wilson, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Whitney, and A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays by Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce. I am also reading "The Wizard of Oz" to the kids :)

I am hoping...
that everyone in my home will be healthy again ~ soon. My dear husband has pneumonia and he is miserable. The kids battled sickness for about 10 day (each one was sick for about three days, then the next one would get it). Now everyone has healthy amounts of snot. Ewww.

I am hearing...
The dog barking (at who knows what) and the kids playing. There is never a shortage of noise around here!

Around the house...
We finished painting the main areas of the house and they really look great! Other than that, things have fallen a bit behind because of our unending sickness...but I am hoping to be caught up soon!

One of my favorite things...
Elohim's (God's) Word and a warm cup of coffee.

A few plans for the rest of the month...
Piano lessons, wrestling practice, speech therapy and sign language...Oh my! We are also awaiting word on my husband leaving for 6 weeks for work. Good think I learned how to use the snow-blower yesterday!


My precious little girl turns 7 this month. I can hardly believe it. She is such a good helper around the house and a joy to be around. She is almost finished with Book #2 for Awanas and she started piano lessons last week. You can read more about that adventure here. She lost both of her front teeth and has no more loose ones at the moment (thank goodness). I am very proud of Nicole and I am very excited to see what YHVH has planned for her life!


My little man started wrestling this week. It is very challenging for him and seems to highlight his coordination issues...but he is very motivated and excited to learn. My husband has been very impressed that he hung in there through the whole practice each day...when some of the other kids his age sat out when they got tired. This morning he wanted to know if he could have vegetables for breakfast so he could get stronger for wrestling :)

We all hoped that Abigail's "antics" would resolve when she turned 3...but alas...no such luck. She is still Abigail and as much as she makes me crazy....I love her all the more for it! She can be the sweetest, most loving, and fun child on the face of the earth. I just have to focus on those moments and stay strong in training and disciplining her! Abigail is also learning verses for Awanas now...she is officially a "Cubby" and has memorized about 10 verses so far. She loves getting stickers for her book and patches for her vest. I love that she is hiding Yah's Word in her little heart!

A picture for you...

Not a great picture...but a great way to start the school day...Battleship!

Shalom and blessings to each of you,

Check out the original Simple Woman's Daybook for more great stuff!


Why Shabbat?

This week our home has been full of flu. It seemed to creep one person to the next in about 2 day intervals. There have been many lazy days...pajamas and homemade soup...movies and naps. Finally, we are starting to turn the corner. Everyone has had it except for me (I thought I was coming down with it one day but it turned around by mid-afternoon). Joshua has been walking around praying, "Dear Lord, please do not let mommy get sick or we're all gonna die."

And yet, after all this sickness and resting and laziness...one might be inclined to skip Shabbat (Hebrew for Sabbath). After all...it would be easy to take tomorrow to catch up on a few things...

But no. We will not skip the Sabbath. My kids made me promise. "Mom," they said, "God commanded us to keep the Sabbath, so we should definitely do it." Yes, they have been listening to our Bible reading!

There are many Christians who believe that it is not necessary to keep the Sabbath. It's a Jewish thing...or that it was part of the "old covenant" and that Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) did away with all that....right?

Well. Did you know that Elohim (God) established the Sabbath LONG before "Israel" existed? That's right. Go check your Bibles right now...I'll wait.

Genesis 2: 2-3
"By the seventh day Elohim (God) had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested (ceased) from his work. And Elohim (God) blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done."

Shabbat means to cease or stop. God set the example for us to STOP. The result of stopping...is rest! Yes, REST!

God didn't create the Sabbath for the Israelites or the Jews. He created it for you and for me...and for all of mankind right from the beginning. Was God tired from all that creating He had done? No. He was setting the example for us. He was giving us a gift. A gift of rest. Common' tired Mama's...how many times have you simply begged Him for REST...just a break, Lord...can't I get a break? Well, He already gave it to you. You just have to trust Him and obey. He called the 7th day Holy...who are we to argue?

Now...if God ordained this holy day at the beginning of time...what happened to it? Did the "new covenant" excuse believers from participating? Did Jesus rename the Sabbath , "The Lord's Day" and formally change it to the 1st day (which would be Sunday)? Nope.

You may be surprised (cause I sure was)...that the change came in the 4th century AD by none other than Constantine himself. After Constantine's alleged conversion...at the Council of Laodicea, the Church declared the Sabbath to be a an exclusively Jewish holy day and abolished the practice by the "Christian" church. They decided to replace the Sabbath observance with a new tradition of worship on the day Yeshua (Jesus) rose from the grave...which would be the 1st day of the week. This day was also named "Sun-day" because it was the day people worshiped the sun-god and Constantine believed that church worship on the "sun-day" would attract more followers than the traditional Sabbath observance which was associated with the Jews.

So - God ordained the 7th day Sabbath...and Constantine changed it. As for me and my house...we will serve YHVH (the Lord)!

So, my kitchen floor is dry now and I need to get back to work. My house does not look the way it may have during a "normal" week (whatever that is)...but I am doing my best to prepare today and I am so anticipating resting with YHVH tonight and tomorrow!

Thank you, YHVH, for your mercy and for the gift of Shabbat!

Curious about this information? Check out Torah Class - which is free and online...there are written and audio lessons which cover "The Scriptures" (Old Testament) chapter by chapter. It is challenging me to read and study the Bible from a Hebrew point of view.

Shabbat Shalom,