Thursday, December 20, 2012

Songs that feed my Soul

Life has thrown us a curve ball or two.  I have known Joshua Larson for almost 10 years now. In the past 10 years MANY things have happened. The above song helped me thru the last curve ball. Not for A Moment by Meredith Andrews

This one too. Desert Song by Hillsong

This song is always good. It got me through a voyage across the sea. Remember, Danette and Debi? Blessed Be Your Name by Tree 63

One time, in Pennsylvania...I was able to cry and worship to this song:


O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night

In Bible School, the following song could knock any doubts and fears from my mind!  The video doesn't do the song justice...and you haven't truly heard it until it is sung by the choir at NTBI led by J.P. Marr

O God our Help

One last song.  During a rough patch a couple years ago, Josh mentioned hearing a song often on the radio, and always thinking of me as it played. God Gave me You by Dave Barnes

Forever Friends

Josh and I were sitting on the couch talking about some friends...and it occurred to us that we have made many lifelong friendships over the years.  Though we live states and time zones apart, they are never far from our hearts!

  • Jonathan ended up marrying my sister and giving me one of the most beautiful nieces ever!
  • Jennifer is just a phone call away and would drop everything if need be.
  • Mark and Jean are always praying.
  • Claude and Sharon are always praying and sending their love to us in so many ways.
  • Dale and Linda, Sid and Terry, Pastor Jim and Laura...always plugging away with the prayers.
  • Dave and Brenda - always welcoming us in like family.
  • Josh and Casey, always ready with conversations, laughter and encouragement.
  • Andrew and Licia, prayers, wifin' lessons, encouragement about!
  • Scott and Karen - prayers...always praying!
  • Lacey - her door is always open, her heart always listening.
The above are just a few that stand out at the moment...but there are SO many more I could name.  Danette, Lindsay, Debi, Annette, Joe and Tracy, Joel and Dess, John and Beate, Matt and Sara, Steve and Marilyn, Marty and Susan...each of these names represents a piece of our hearts. We know them, we have loved them...and our lives have changed because we have known them.  These are our Forever Friends.

I feel like I should end this post with Michael W. Smith's song "Friends."

Instead, I will end with a verse that I always glossed over, because I heard and used it too much in youth group.

"A friend loveth at all times."  Proverbs 17:17a

These people have loved us and prayed us through the tough times.  They are encouragers, they are iron sharpening and honing us to be all God wants us to be!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Way I See It...

Eight years ago, this past August, Josh honored me greatly by asking me to marry him. I was fabulously happy and immediately jumped into wedding plans.  Of course, the first thing I wanted out of Josh was a wedding date.  I chose the upcoming Thanksgiving - all my family was most likely to be there, and it would be perfect!  Josh talk to our parents who gave him conflicting ideas.  My family said, "Marry as soon as possible."  His parents said to wait a while.  Josh was quite confused...and so took the matter to God.  God said..."Don't think about it."  Wait...WHAT!?  I - a newly engaged woman - was not allowed to think about my wedding?  I reasoned within myself that God has only told JOSH not to think about it...not me.  So I looked at cakes, dresses, flowers...but Josh would just say, "yup, that's nice/pretty/whatever."  Then go back to what he had been doing.  He was doing his best NOT to think about our wedding.

I have no doubts my friends loved me, and wanted the best for me,  however, when talking to them, they were no help whatsoever.  So many times I heard the phrase, "Pick a date, and God will bless it.  He doesn't care WHEN you get married!"  The doubts definitely arose in my mind - do I trust Josh heard from God?  I know I probably pushed the issue with him more than once.  I also know that I cried many many tears.

One day in March, I was bemoaning the idea of Joanna being stationed in England.  Josh and I had been engaged seven months with no sign of a wedding in sight.  I went to complain about Joanna's orders to Josh...and instead of asking me what was wrong...he told me he needed to spend some time with God.  Boy did I get angry at him.  At least one door was slammed that day on the ship!  Finally, I hear Josh moving around in the galley (kitchen to you land folk), and I went to see him.  I put my head in the middle of his back and said, "Wouldn't it be nice if God said we could get married Memorial Weekend (the next possible time all of my family would be together before Joanna moved to England)!"  Josh turned around and asked, "Why couldn't we get married?"

I turned to him with hot angry tears in my eyes and told him that he knew as well as I did that we couldn't get married until God said we could!  He smiled his half smile and said, "God said we can get married!"  Not only that...we got married 6 weeks later!

Did I think Josh was crazy to wait on getting married?  Yup.  That was why I went ahead and drooled over dresses, and "planned" to my hearts content.  Did anything I originally planned for my wedding come to pass?  Nope.  I didn't spend a couple hundred at David's Bridal - my Mom made my dress instead (in 6 hrs one week before the wedding)!  Did I get a cake decorated with fresh Gerber Daisies?  Nope... A friend of my Mom's made us a 3 tiered cheesecake wedding had daisies, gerber daisies and tulips on it!

My wedding cake

My sister Joanna, and my Grandma were my bridesmaids.  I picked out a general color, and they found their own style of dress to match the color.

Miriam and Joanna

My wedding was not the "Wedding of my Dreams."  My wedding was the jumping off point of my life permanently at Josh's side.  Being "joint heirs in the grace of life," I have to choose to follow what Josh decided even when it doesn't make sense.  Did I agree with the idea of not thinking about out wedding date?  HECK NO!  I hated it.  But I survived...and I have memories of how God totally provided what we needed at the time we needed it.

Today...I am still faced with the choice.  Do I follow Josh and trust that he and God know what they are doing?  Or do I make life miserable "because the answer is OBVIOUS?"  So far...I have made life miserable.  It isn't changing anything.  I think it is time for me to accept that I don't have to understand, and trust that God knows what He is doing...and I don't have to...and that is okay.

We were such young pups, weren't we?  =D

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Canning as a Family

This is my tribute to SarahK...

All three girls helped cut apples.

One bushel of apples...three pans to cook them down...

Josh ran the this point, Ruth and Anna gave up on the process.

Shalom was 'mostly' there...

My handsome hunk of Man Flesh...without him, no canning would be done in this house.

Seven jars in one sink.

By the time we were done canning for the day, we had filled our sink 3 times with jars to wash and sterilize.  Also by the time we were done canning...I was to tired to take pictures, so you don't get to see the end result - 20 jars of  applesauce.  With the girls help, the cutting time flew by, and it only took us 4 hrs to can 20 jars of sauce.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back from the Dead

I have been told that when paramedics come upon an accident like this...they look for a pulse, never expecting to find one.

God is so amazing, people.  "Somehow" Josh survived this wreck.

Had Josh remained in his seat...Well, you can see for yourself.
"Somehow" Josh ended up NOT sitting on his seat.  He ended up with his head on the steering wheel...and his body under the steering wheel.  But get this - Josh's van tipped on it's right side when it ran into the tree...Josh SHOULD have fallen towards the passenger seat.

This is Josh's blood from above his left eye.  His body ended up crammed under the steering the brake pedal.  If the van was tilted on it's right side when it rammed into a on EARTH did Josh end up on the extreme opposite side of the vehicle?

Who knew the gigantic Larson head could fit into a 6.5 inch space?!?!?!?

Pray for us.  The girls are doing well coping, and emoting.  Pray as I process the accident, and love on Josh as he heals.  Pray for Josh as he heals and gets back to work.  One of the guys from the accident is angry and totally blames Josh.  Pray that Josh can show the Boys who God is and what He is going to do thru this mess!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Miracle - Josh Larson

Josh pointing to where his head was when the van stopped.  His body was under the steering wheel.

Josh's head was tucked into that spot where his hand is measuring the distance from the wheel to the top of the van.  Six and a half inches.

Had Josh been sitting back in the seat...I, Rebekah Larson would be a widow.
Don't ask me where the angels were sitting...God is probably gonna have to send in replacements and give the originals a sabbatical or something!

My wonderful Miracle!  <3 nbsp="nbsp" td="td"> Can you find his wounds?  Can you see where he is hurt?  Yeah...Me neither.  God STILL has a plan for my Joshua.

I Got a Call Today...

It went something like this...

"Rebekah, this is M. Um, I just wanted to let you know that Josh was in an accident, and is on his way to the ER in B______...But he is okay, they just want to check him out."

This is heart STOPPING news to hear in the middle of a school day.  My girls were busily cutting up paper to send some shapes in a care package to their favorite Uncle Jothanan to take with him when he goes away to "keep us safe."  In the middle of hearts and squares and little teeny tiny pieces of paper being cut up all over my kitchen table, and the reading of the end of Dr. Doolittle...this call came to me.  Dr. Doolittle is still on the floor where it fell.

My kitchen table and the floor below it...just as I left it at 4pm today.
There are not words to describe how I felt when I heard the news.  Really, aside from a huge adrenaline rush which left me shaking, I didn't feel anything.  I was practically a pickle - I mean, as cool as a cucumber.  Only one other time have I felt this vague numbness that won't let me feel true emotion...and that was when I was on the Spirit of Grace in Sept of 2005, riding out Hurricane Rita with Josh and a handful of others.  I truly believe God allowed me to hold it together...and He did that so I could be brave for my kiddos who were worried about their Papa-Bear!

Shalom - just like her Mama normally would - burst into tears several times worried about her Papa.
Ruth - she had LOTS of questions she needed answers to...which I couldn't answer.
Anna - well, Anna is our little songbird.  She LOVES to sing anytime, anywhere, about anything.  Anna started singing, "When he gets home, I'm gonna hug him....oh when he gets home, I'm gonna hug him. Then he will feel better when I hug him when we get home!!!"  (some random tune that could only be heard in her head.)
Ezra...well...he had no clue whatsoever. He just knew he had to get his shoes on and go see Marty and Susan for several hours.

Going to the ER- which my Mom wisely counseled me to go without kids - was hard.  I had a 40 minute drive.  I took Selah with me.  I cranked Selah.  REALLY loud.

Something about the words:  "When I feel like I can't go on, You deliver me" and "When the road is winding way too long, You deliver me" 100% soothed my heart.  (Click link to watch Selah sing this song.)

I have my Josh sleeping next to me while I type this.  He is here, banged and bruised, but alive and sleeping.  I thank God for the sound of Josh's breathing, and the chance to again watch his chest rise and fall.

After all, what is a girl without her Hero?  =)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Another Verse

My girls frequently ask me to play/sing the National Anthem for them.  They love the song, and they know that the military fights to keep us safe (especially their Uncle Jonathan!  =D).  We were at an airport last May and we saw a bunch of Airmen who had just returned from Afghanistan.  They were eating at the same restaurant we were, and Ruth said, "Mama, can I go thank them for fighting to keep me safe?"  She chickened out, but it warmed my heart that she would think to thank these men who went thru things I can't imagine to keep my family safe.

While perusing youtube for the National Anthem, we ran across this video:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Next Step

Nice looking shed, isn't it?

Wait, a shed with a place for chickens to roost?

and lay eggs?

Be careful!

It's a jungle in there!!!!
Ahh...much better!  (By the way, yours truly cleared out all that brush by herself...with a little hacksaw!  I haven't touched a saw like that in...well...since my junior year of high school! )

Well, if you haven't figured it out yet...we are getting some hens!!!!  Farm fresh eggs!  Someone offered the Ranch some hens...and the only place for them is over here at the Farmhouse, because that is where the chicken coop is!  This is actually something we have contemplated for a year or two...and then after we moved into this house Josh started talking about getting chickens in a year or two.  And God just handed us some hens!  =D

Oh, and we also discovered that right next to the chicken the PERFECT spot for a GOAT!!!!!!  We will definitely be waiting a year or two for that one...and then there is the possibility of rabbits...

The possibilities are ENDLESS!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ranch Life Seems to Agree with 'Em! (Photo Barf...)

Our Little Women/Ranch Hands

Ezra trying out the walking boots

Ready for work!

Anna sure does love that Little Man...for now anyway!

"Let's pretend we're riding horses!"

Papa hard at work.

Ezra investigating




Even Ezra!

A hard day's work finally done!

Friday, January 13, 2012


This was my last sight of Josh as I sailed away from him with Friend Ships on the first voyage to Israel in 2003.
Josh teaching Ruth the ins and outs of balancing on a Ashdod, Israel.

The (crazy) young Larson Family before they set sail for Israel 3 years after my first voyage.

Ruth was not allowed out on deck very often, but when we were in Port, she had to have her "hard hat" on.

The Larsons with the Galilee in the background.

The Larsons on The Galilee.

Ruth and Rebekah in the Tower of David.

Josh and a crew member in the Tower of David with Jerusalem (the new city) in the background.

The youngest member of the IDF?!

Ruth was not enjoying the walk back to the ship on our first trip out of the Port...

My heart has always belonged to Israel.  Always.  Ask my parents.  For as long as I can remember, I have loved the people of Israel, and having been blessed (oh yes, I did, Joanna!) to have been there twice...I have fallen in love with the Land!  I would live there today, if God would let us.  I'd move our family in a heartbeat!

Friend Ships is opening an office in the Land of Israel!  No...we are not moving to Israel.  But I wanted to share with you the awesome thing God is using Friend Ships to do for His People!  Just click on my last statement.  Maybe God would have YOU help Friend Ships serve Israel, in Jesus' Name.