Everyday Glimpses

Everyday Glimpses: Missions Month {Lois Ormsby}

This year my pastor did something new for our church: we had an entire month of Missions Emphasis! September had 5 Sundays and 4 Wednesdays, and he utilized every church service to emphasize the great need for reaching souls for Christ. In every way it encouraged my heart and exhorted my walk with Christ – may I ever be mindful of eternity!

One way that I celebrated Missions Month was by wearing Indian clothes every Sunday! This was fun since India is such a dear part of my heart. I enjoy all the colors and styles Indian fashion has to offer, too.

Sunday #1

The first Sunday I wore a skirt that was actually purchased in America, but from an Indian store! This skirt was made from two sarees, a saree being the go-to traditional dress of Indian women. As you can see my little boys joined me in wearing Indian garb for this Sunday! Their shirts are called kurtas.

The second Sunday I wore a churidar that my sister and mom picked out for me several years ago. Purple is my favorite color, and I absolutely love the contrast of the two main colors of this outfit! Indian ladies’ wear is known for stark contrasts of bright colors.

Sunday #3 was extra special because we had an International Banquet at church – and, yes, I made Indian food 🙂 I made pork curry and also made some British food, Shepherd’s Pie! I chose this week to wear a saree. A funny side note: we have three ladies of Indian descent in our church. I told them all that I was wearing a saree and that they should all wear sarees with me – not one of them did! 😀

For the fourth Sunday I wore another skirt that was purchased in America but was made in India. The skirt’s design is very much like that of a ghagra choli, an outfit that consists of a top, skirt, and shawl. I forewent a shawl for this but completed the outfit with Indian jewelry.

Sunday #2

 

 

Sunday #3
Sunday #4
Sunday #5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final Sunday I wore another churidar, the hem of which is called “fishtail” style in India. My sister and I purchased identical churidars once and this is mine! The green reminds me so much of life in India…there is never a dull moment over there!

Even though I do not live in India anymore, I’m glad that I kept so many of my Indian outfits! They are perfect for special occasions or themed events like Missions Month. Usually I dress in American clothes…but I’m always ready to theme my outfits accordingly when I can!

Pork curry!
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Everyday Glimpses {India Werner}

              I am thankful to say that my Kannada CD recording is behind me at last!  The Lord laid this project on my heart at the beginning of the year, and it was one of my project goals, in a sense.  There were many obstacles that came up between then and now, but the Lord had the victory in this recording despite it all! 

              This week I will take care of ordering the hardcopies and cases.  It is certainly a different process here than in the States.  It has been a good learning experience.  However, like I already said, it feels good that the hard work is done.  I spent months selecting and practicing the songs.  I feel like I can finally breathe now!

              I am about twenty weeks along with the new kid, so we’ll be going in for the anatomy scan this week.  Praying for a healthy report!  To answer the question that many of you may ask: no, we won’t be finding out the gender this week.  In India it is against the law for the doctors to tell the baby’s gender because here many people will abort the baby if it is not the gender they want.  Unfortunately, this is not because India is against abortion, but mainly because they want to keep the male and female ratio balanced.  Abortion is common here, especially when people find out they’re expecting a baby that they think they cannot afford. ☹

              In two months we will be back in the States, which is so crazy.  This past year has flown by!  We have much to do in the next several weeks.  We are excited that Zack’s parents, his two youngest siblings, and a dear friend who is like family are coming to visit in September. 

Sakshi brought me a flower with a honeybee on it. She was letting the bee crawl all over her like it was no big deal and I just thought “You can tell she has beekeeping in her blood!”

Zack stumbled upon a swarm of honeybees the other day while cutting some trees and he was able to capture it and place it in a box.  We’re hoping the bees decide to stay put so that Zack’s dad can have a look at them when he’s here (Zack grew up on Indian Summer Honey Farm, a business started by his parents).  The honeybees that Zack caught are of the Apis Indica variety.  They are native to India and though they are more docile than the European bees we work with in America, they are quite sensitive.  If you mess with them too much, they will just fly away.  It is fascinating to learn about their different personality.

In closing I will share a picture I took this week while we were doing family devotions.  Normally we have the kids sit facing us with their hands folded while Zack reads the Bible story.  However, on this particular day, everyone just wanted to sit with dad.  I love their sleepy little faces and Thaddeus’ cheesy smile.  What a great way to start the day!

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Everyday Glimpses: My Toddler’s Chores {Lois Ormsby}

Here is a fun and maybe insightful glimpse into life at the Joshua Ormsby household.  Our son, Malachi, is nearly 2 and 1/2 now, but he has been helping with the chores for at least a year already!  He is not quite to the point where we expect him to complete certain chores every single day…that day will come all too soon for mama *cue the tears*.  However, Malachi started helping with the chores almost completely on his own!  I’m very grateful that he is seeing how fun it can be to lend a helping hand.

Let me mention something: yes, letting Malachi help me do things slows down the process.  But, if I shoo him away when all he wants to do is help, what a negative impact that will have on his emotions as well as his perception of life.  It might appear that the only thing being accomplished is laundry v e r y   s l o w l y being sorted; but, the hidden lessons of a servant’s heart, cheerfulness, and work ethic are being accomplished too.

Malachi loves to help me empty the dryer, unload the dishwasher, clean up liquid spills from his sippy cups, take out the trash with Daddy, pick up his toys every night, and unload the grocery bags.  He doesn’t complete all of these tasks alone…but it might surprise you how many of them he can do by himself!  Things like dishes and putting away groceries are definitely more tricky with a 2-year-old; so, Josh and I have learned to adapt.  I quickly put away knives and fragile items before Malachi dives in.  When we don’t want Malachi’s help with the dishwasher, we wait until he’s in bed to do it.  As we put away the groceries, we grab the breakable bottles and jars and then let Malachi get the rest of the items.  Since he can’t reach the cupboards yet or open the fridge (a blessing, haha), he “puts away” his groceries on the kitchen counter.  It always amazes me how much endurance his little self has!  It is rare for him not to see a task through until it is done.

Fellow mamas, perhaps today’s post will encourage you to be purposeful about involving your little people in everyday life.  Learning traits like cleanliness, stewardship, and diligence is so much easier when you are 2 than when you are 52.  “Let them be little” – ah, how I love that quote, for we are busy rushing our kids to grow up more than ever before (another blogpost for another day).  Yet: “let them be little” learners, too.

 

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Everyday Glimpses {India Werner}

              There have been some days of silence on our blog lately, but our lives have certainly not been silent!  Lois has been busy with her sweet little family, Thirty-One business, and involvement in her local church.  Here is a recent picture of Lois and baby Joash that she sent me via Whatsapp.  Can they get any cuter?!  I am truly sad to be missing out on this part of Joash’s life, but I am looking forward to meeting him at the end of October when we head back to the States for a few months.

              I have been occupied with quite a bit as well.  Part of that I will talk about today, but part of it you will just have to wait a while longer to hear about.  In two weeks from Monday (YIKES), I will be recording a CD in one of the Indian languages!  As far as we know, there is not any conservative Christian music in this language yet.  This language is widely spoken, even among Indians in the States. 

Many of the songs I am recording were recently written by our dad, so those are new and fresh.  The others will be hymns that would sound familiar to you – hymns such as “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” that have been translated from English.  I will be playing and singing all of the songs by myself, so your prayers are very appreciated!  This past week I was slammed with a sore throat and head cold.  I am trying not to panic as I lost several days of practice.  However, I am convinced that God allows such things to happen to remind me that I cannot do any of this without His strength.

I have also been busy with my little ones who are growing up so fast!  Thaddeus turned two last week.  I can’t believe that it has already been two years since he was born!  Here are a couple “then and now” pictures.

Thaddeus- a few hours old
Thaddeus – on his second birthday

Sakshi and I have been working away at homeschooling.  She is doing so well with her reading.  We still have a few more letters to incorporate but I am encouraged to see her grasping what I am communicating to her.  Paisley (3 years old) is starting to pick up on a lot too, which makes me realize that I need to think about getting started with her school as well. 

Daily life

As I sit and type, I am enjoying the sound of the monsoon season in India.  We arrived here nearly eight months ago, and most of that time has been terribly hot and humid.  I don’t think I have broken a sweat at all today.  It is breezy, raining, and 79 degrees outside.  Thank You, Lord!  On a funny side note, everyone here thinks it is “cold” right now.  Ha!

That gives you all an update on our lives.  Hopefully it won’t be too many more days before you hear from us again! Have a wonderful Saturday!

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Everyday Glimpses: My Church Family {Lois Ormsby}

 

“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” Ephesians 2:21

 

Josh and I are blessed with a close-knit church family.  I was especially reminded of this with the recent arrival of our second son, Joash.  Any time something is happening for us, big or small, our church family is right there to “rejoice with them that do rejoice” or “weep with them that weep”.  Over and over I see evidences of God’s hand in placing this church family around us.

 

When it was time to go to the hospital for Joash’s birth, my pastor’s wife kept Malachi for me – and cared for him as if he were her own grandson.  It makes me smile to see how much Malachi loves my pastor’s family.  The entire week following Joash’s birth, different ladies brought us complete meals so we would not have to worry about cooking.  As some of you know, I have to eat gluten-free; these ladies did not disappoint in the diet department!  Each of them went out of their way to make sure my dietary needs were met royally.  Several of them also brought special goodies for Malachi and gifts for Joash along with the meals.

 

My church ladies were also determined to have some sort of party for my second son, even though we did not need much after having one boy already!  So, a couple weeks after Joash was born, the church threw a Welcome Fellowship for him, complete with finger foods, gifts, and more gluten-free goodies for Mama 🙂 

 

I truly have been overwhelmed by the love showered upon us by our beloved church family.  They always go above and beyond to encourage, uplift, and bestow.  Their generosity and support brings tears to my eyes, for we are no one special.  It is such a blessing to be raising babies among people that love my littles as their own.

 

“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” 1 Corinthians 12:25

Our family with our pastor
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Everyday Glimpses {India Werner}

PC: AbigailWernerPhotography

Life for me is never dull.  While some days are more exciting than others, none of them are actually boring.  I’m a child of God, a ministry wife, and a mom.  This is my job, my life. 

The world looks at my job description and either scoffs at me or pities me.  I, on the other hand, am realizing more and more that this work is valuable and wonderful.  I do not believe for one second that I am missing out on anything.  By being a Christian wife and mother, I am simply given different opportunities.  What a joy it is when we embrace the life that God has blessed us with!

With this in mind, I will share with you what a normal day is like for me.  While music is a big part of my life, not every day is filled with recording CDs (thank goodness for the that!).  Many of you who read our blog are reading it because you enjoy Lois’ and my music, but we decided to share some everyday glimpses into our lives so that you can get to know us a little better.

PC: AbigailWernerPhotography

I aim to rise at 6:30 in the morning.  I am not a morning person, but I am determined to keep working on it.  If I am not up for a while before the kids, I end up with a frustrating start to my day.  So I get up, have some quiet time with God, and drink some tea.  At around 7:30, Zack and I do our devotion together.  At 8:00, we let the kids come out of their room and we have our family devotion time.  Our family devotion right now consists of a Bible story, a few songs, and a short prayer.

I try to be done with breakfast and dishes and starting school with Sakshi at 9:30-10.  By that point, I normally have a load of laundry going.  We work on school for two or three hours every day as Sakshi is only in her first year.  While I do school with her, I usually let Thaddeus and Paisley “do school” too, which includes coloring, play dough, etc. 

PC: AbigailWernerPhotography

At some point during the morning, I start working on lunch.  I really miss the convenience of lunch meat and salads here in India, because I can’t just pull stuff out of the fridge like we do in America.  I have to cook a whole meal for lunch every day, so I have learned to figure that into each morning.  I try to make enough for supper so that I don’t have to do much cooking in the evening.  We eat lunch sometime between 12 and 1.

After lunch, I let the kids play while I wash dishes.  Once dishes are done, the kids go down for a nap.  Nap time typically covers a two-hour period, so this is my opportunity to get things done (like blogging, reading, folding laundry, and drinking tea) that I prefer to do in solitude. 😉

When the kids wake up, they have a snack.  We spend the late afternoon and evening in play time, odd jobs, or sometimes I let the kids watch a movie if I need time to accomplish something specific.  We eat dinner at 7pm or so on most days, which is early compared to everyone else here.  They eat anywhere from 10pm-12pm!  Once the kids are in bed, I like to enjoy a couple hours of quiet time before I go to sleep.  It is nice to unwind from the “go, go, go” pace of everyday life.  If Zack isn’t busy studying for a message or class he’s teaching, we often spend the time talking, eating something sweet, or watching a movie together.  Or all three!

PC: AbigailWernerPhotography

What I described above is a typical and smooth day.  However, there are many days that don’t go quite how I plan!  I am learning more and more to just go with the flow.  I love having my lists and schedules, but I have found that if I let everything rise and fall upon them, I will be greatly disappointed.  So day by day, I remind myself to relax.  I plan; I organize.  If the day doesn’t go as I hoped, I try to commit it to the Lord and remember to focus on what is important.

I hope that you have a great Monday wherever you may be.  I like this quote – “Do what you love and you’ll never have a problem with Monday.”  Not sure who said that first, but it’s a good thought!  Don’t let the Monday blues overtake you.  Spend a few minutes doing something you love today, even if it’s something simple.  Have a lovely week, friends!

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Everyday Glimpses – Resurrection Sunday {India Werner}

         I hope that you all had a happy resurrection Sunday!  Ours was nice and simple.  It was a great day to remember the victorious triumph of Jesus Christ.  As Christians, we have much to praise the Lord for!  We are blessed to serve a risen Savior!  Today I thought I would take a moment to share an everyday glimpse into what Easter was like for us.

 

         I decided not to do Easter baskets or hunts this year.  I try to do some of those things for the kids when we are in the States, but it just isn’t always practical.  Plus, no one here really does that.  They sell chocolate eggs here and there and that’s about it.  Since Easter isn’t really about bunnies and eggs anyways, I feel okay about skipping those traditions in India.  😉

 

         Another thing I didn’t do this year was get a new Easter dress.  I had saved some pretty dresses that my mom got the girls a few months ago, so they wore those.  I wore a saree that I bought about a year ago, which just so happened to sort of match with the girls’ outfits.  It worked out perfectly!

 

         Now that I’ve talked about what we didn’t do, here is what we did do.  😊  We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  My memories of holidays from my childhood years always include special breakfasts, so that is something that I endeavor to do for my kids as well.  A special breakfast just takes a little forethought and it’s such an easy way to make your family feel loved.

 

         After breakfast, we scrambled to get everyone ready for church.  Our service here included some special Scripture readings, music, and a message.  After the service, we served refreshments during a brief time of fellowship.

 

         Zack and I decided not to have a huge Easter lunch and I was thankful for that.  I did all my prep on Saturday so that after church, all I had to do was put a chicken casserole in the oven to finish baking and take a salad out of the fridge.  We had a cheesecake for dessert, which I also made on Saturday.  I can’t tell you how much stress this removed from my day!  When we are with family, it’s not so hard to put together a big meal because there are many women involved in making it special.  However, when it’s just me cooking in India where everything must be made from scratch and all the dishes must be washed and dried by hand, I am extra grateful that my husband is easy to please when it comes to food.  He doesn’t expect or want anything extravagant and he’s not picky either.  I am blessed!

 

         We spent the rest of the day enjoying some extra family time and planning for the busy week ahead.  It was probably one of the simplest Easters we’ve ever had.  It was the first Easter that it was “just us” with no additional family or friends.  But sometimes simple is just good.

 

         The Scripture that was resounding in my mind throughout Sunday was Psalm 14:1a: “The fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God.”  How ironic that April Fool’s Day was on the same day as Resurrection Day this year!  I went about my day feeling thankful to know that there is a God and that He is alive forevermore.

 

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Everyday Glimpses {Lois Ormsby}

“Home” means different things to each of us.  For some, home is where you grew up.  For others, home is on wheels!  And for others – like me – home can refer to more than one place or people group at the same time.  For me right now, home is the sweet little house that my husband and I are getting ready to welcome a second son into.  Other “homes” in my life are my church family and my beloved people in India.

I am one of those people who LOVES to be home.  Don’t get me wrong, ok – I also love hanging out with people, going fun places with my husband and son, or being in on everything I can help with at church.  But just as much as I love having places to go and people to see, I am nearly beside myself with satisfaction when I have an entire day where I don’t have to leave the house!

Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I love my little home.  It’s nothing fancy or big; but it is ours.  It has a sense of peace, retreat, and rest from the hustle and bustle of life – very much like a haven.  Of course there are days where this peaceful state is interrupted by hurtful words, painful news, or toddler messes galore; yet, as the keeper of the home, I do my very best to keep such things at a minimum.  I want my husband and sons to enjoy being home as much as I do!

We all have times where home is not the happiest place.  I’ve been there…and I’ll probably be there again.  Even if it’s not some life trial, it could be something like endless laundry or clutter everywhere that makes for an unhappy home.  So, how do we make things better? 

Well, allow me to let you all in on a few little secrets about myself!  Between my mother, India, and me, I am the least best housekeeper!  No, really…it’s true.  They are both much better at things like meal plans, keeping up with house cleaning, and decorating than I am.  I also have many days where I wake up with a long list of chores and end up completing zero of them.  Fatigue is a constant companion of mine, and so often my husband has to pitch in with things, which makes me feel really bad (though he does not complain about it!).  However – as God has given me the primary roles of wife, mother, and housekeeper, I daily strive to improve my weaknesses in these areas.

That being said, may I encourage you with a few reminders.  Remember that we all strengthen at different paces and in different ways.  You may be a chef extraordinaire, but your living room might constantly look like a tornado hit it.  Perhaps you love to organize (like me!!) but you’re better at organizing closets than you are at organizing your schedule.  Instead of trying to fix everything at once (because then life would be perfect, and that’s just not how life works!), try these things:

  • Find one weakness at a time and work on it. Make yourself do something to improve that weakness, whatever it may be.  A few minutes every day goes a long way in self-discipline!

  • If you can afford it, consider hiring someone to help you keep your home! There is no shame in this if it is feasible within your budget.  The Proverbs Thirty-One woman had maidens, remember?

  • If you are facing a life trial, don’t burden yourself with self-guilt about what’s not getting done. Take a couple days (or weeks) to breathe, and allow yourself to reset.  Remember to include much communal time with God in that period of reset.

  • Be willing to re-evaluate the schedule you’re keeping and see if your priorities are in order.

Maybe this topic has been on my mind because of being 39 weeks pregnant!  My poor husband – together we have blitzed the house with cleaning, organizing, and decluttering several times in the past several weeks.  But, it has paid off: I am now feeling much more ready to welcome another newborn, and my husband commented on how nice everything in the house feels right now!

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Everyday Glimpses {Lois Ormsby}

Last Friday was our church’s teen-hosted Valentine Banquet – “A Love That Shines”, complete with the red carpet, a vintage glam best-dressed competition, and a first: a real-live marriage proposal!  We invited my mother-in-law to join us for the fun this year, and Malachi was her dashing little date 🙂  I love dressing accordingly for themed events, so my mother-in-law and I went all out with our outfits and had a blast!  I thought you would enjoy pictures of how it came together as my “Everyday Glimpses” this week!

 

Before and after of “vintage curls”

 

Malachi and Grammy in the classic red and black color scheme
Josh and I went with navy!
This dress was a complete miracle from God – a maternity dress that fit the theme, fit me at 7 months’ pregnant, and fit my budget!

 

Malachi gave his Grammy and Miss Kayla roses for Valentine’s Day 🙂 Somebody sweetly surprised me with chocolate covered strawberries at the banquet since I could not eat much of the planned dessert!
She said yes 🙂
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