The title of this blog comes from the hymn of the same name. Written by Horatio G. Spafford in 1873.
- When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
- Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
- My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
- For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
- But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
- And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
I affirm these words even though I have been in darkness for a while, now. I am reminded of Job when he said, ‘Though He slay me, yet will I put my hope in Him. . . ‘ (Job 13:15) There have been some troubles but nothing major. Our car had to be taken to Madona as it failed to start at the petrol station after Ian filled it with diesel. As I write he is on his way to Madona to pick it up with a bill of under 100 Lats. We have been in this vulnerable situation for almost five days. The isolation pressed in with all its darkness upon two aging foreigners looking at the grocery list that was to be filled, the day after the car was taken away. Did we starve, of course not! Did any of our animals go without food, never. Let me paint the picture from my broken perspective.
I am a person who gains energy from people interaction. Most of you know, we live very rurally without the local language. I was not trained to be a farmer’s wife but willingly choose to be where I am at this time. So why moan? Because it is my reality and the place Jesus meets me every day even when I do not embrace Him. This morning in our time of devotions Ian prayed from his heart acknowledging the need for ‘dreaded’ patience in the face of waning strength and faith. He reaffirmed that God is sovereign and good. He was walking by faith, not by sight. He encouraged me with his words and helped me realign my heart.
After this, while Ian was out on the tractor plowing the drive for the non present car, the phone rang and the garage said the car was ready. God heard our prayers and blessed our honesty. Praise the Lord of hosts. Am I all better now, no! Honestly, I am still struggling with the winter doldrums, disappointed in myself for not living what I really do believe, but remaining hopeful that at some point in my life on earth I can learn to live in faith not circumstances. Thankful for what I have, not focused on what I don’t have., it is a discipline I have yet to fully embrace. Okay, thanks for listening to the dark patch of my reality now onto farm news.
Four lambs and counting. Two males and 2 females. The twins weighed in at 11 kilograms total weight and caused their Mum a bit of a do, but it all came right in the end. The shepherd had to intervene a bit and it was worrisome that first night if they and she would survive but the Great Shepherd said is is well and they did survive and are thriving.
The weather, you may ask? It is now winter in Latvia complete with real snow, not the dust and go variety but the real thing. Layer upon layer. It is snowing as I type on this Monday afternoon. Today it is a gentle snow but we have seen a few days of heavy snow, erasing all footprints, tire tracks and cleared drives.
Her majesty, Queen Saulite continues to venture out for short forays into the cold, white stuff.
She demands to be let out and when she has had enough she heads for the door.
If the door is shut the clever girl jumps up and pulls the handle down, opening the door onto the porch room. Following that trick she bangs on the inside door until I open it, when she rushes to her food bowls to comfort herself before a lay down to warm up.
Here, Saulite keeps an eye on a Shepherd’s pie that Ian made for our supper. She really doesn’t fancy ‘human’ food but she did lick up the gravy from the EMPTY dish, we were out of wash up liquid, ha ha.
A very lovely lady, Janina, celebrating her 75 th birthday. ‘Nina’ is our neighbor, the Aunt of Inga, whose farm we bought. We have grown to love her and feel like we are family, too. It was such a privilege being invited to her birthday party.
It is always so special to spend time with Inga. She works so hard at her job in the pensioners home and rarely gets time off. She was with Nina just overnight for the birthday celebration. Her mother and Nina’s husband were brother and sister, living across the road from each other with their families all through the Soviet times. Thankfully we had Kaspars, Inga’s oldest son, to translate for us. He also has been working so hard with no time off until this month. He came down, we went and got him from Lubana to help Nina as her son, Uldis has fractured his ankle complete with surgery, plates and pins. The boys, (Uldis is in his 40′s) including Artis, the younger son of Inga, would not pose for the picture. Ian remained the token male. Doesn’t look like he minded, does it?
Let me tell you about ‘Auntie’ and Valda. Auntie, is 80 and lives up the road from Nina and us. She has never married and is fluent in German. She used to sing for special occasions like weddings, funerals, birthdays and other party events. She mostly sings in German and we enjoyed several of her renditions on this day. She even led the group to serenade us as we left the party.
Valda is another of our neighbors and she with her son first met us when Ian was burning some field rubbish after we bought the farm. They came racing over thinking the forest behind our property was on fire. She and I are going to try to get together for English and Latvian lessons. She has a man friend, a Latvian, in Ireland whom she will visit this spring. She helped us go to the council and get set up with a bin for rubbish removal. Her son, Andris is at university in Riga studying to be an EMT. He has helped us with translation issues many times. We are blessed with many good neighbors.
Through our neighbors Nina and Uldis we met new (t0 us) neighbors who had extra hay to sell and deliver. These are the same neighbors who gave Ian a ride to Madona today to get the car. He is now home safe and sound with the car and some groceries. Names have not been communicated so I can’t pass them along to you but we will get to that soon. This man also pulled our tractor out of our front ditch where Ian ended up in an icy slide through the snow. The lovely girl in the pink hat is the neighbor’s daughter who speaks English. God is good.