Leapin’ & Hoppin’

While studying in 1 Peter this morning, I spent some time in the phrase “you are exulting in joy unspeakable and glorified”. The entire verse is wonderful, and I was captured with the Greek words translated into “exult”.

I love this. The word “exulting” is derived from “VERY-MUCH-LEAPING”. Haa, such joy one cannot contain oneself, and begins leaping, hopping, and like the lame man made well, praising God.

I’ve seen some people exulting, very few with “VERY-MUCH-LEAPING”, although I have seen some children, and lots of animals doing so. Dogs get very happy when their owners  come home. Squirrels, rabbits, goats and others play happily, leaping and hopping. So do calves.

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“Leapin’ & Hoppin’ ” – 30″x 15″ – Oil

These calves had been separated into a pen apart from their mothers, and being released to go their way, were filled with happiness and leaped and joyed in their freedom.

 

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Front Cover of “Everybunny Praise the Lord!” available at amazon.com

While watching rabbits interact with each other and with their surroundings, I was inspired in this book to portray, for smaller children, the joy of creation and praise of the Creator of all. Leapin’ and Hoppin’ indeed. Exulting in the Highest. Bunnies, birds, bees and even trees, praise God, exulting in His goodness.

And, according to God’s Word through Peter, the out-called chosen ones –  we exult in Jesus, in trials and testings, even when we cannot see or perceive Him through our sufferings. We believe, we exult in Him, in His unspeakable and glorified joy, in us, receiving the consummation of our belief – the salvation of our souls. I, personally, have not found myself leapin’ and hoppin’ over much during times of sufferings, but I do, by grace, believe Him.

It was fun to think about today.

Being Loved at Annie’s Place

So the goats are gone, the socks don’t flop and it seemed it was the end of the Floppysocks era, the book-writing era. My books are not on the New York Times best-seller list, and are somewhere in the 8 milllionth ranking on amazon ….Which is fine in most ways, the Lord being in charge of all things and such.

Yet sometimes they are being read in the neatest of places… Like Annie’s place.

Annie’s Place is a safe place for children to be, baking cookies, painting their own outdoor area with happy colors, reading books. Annie’s Place is a warm place, with a porch swing, hummingbird feeders, a new juicer and a loving, listening hostess. She gives love to these children, in a most sincere way. God made her able to do that, making her (in my view), a very special vessel.

And He made a couple of other very special “vessels” who came recently into my life through Annie’s love and those very rare books at Annie’s Place.

 

 

 

I was truly blessed to receive this gift through these young men’s willingness to be photographed with books I had been part of. It was very good to hear that they read them together with a friend, talked about them and that they meant something to them. They said, “We love your books.” I wanted them to know that at that moment for me, this was a great encouragement.

Why did these boys run into these unknown books?… except the Lord is in charge of all things and such.

Annie told me what fine young men these boys are. They have a future and hope. It is wonderful to see what God has made in each child, who He has made them to be and become. I love how He brings a special friend at the right time that we can trust, who gives us an open door to know Jesus, and mayhaps, some very rare books.

Thank you for these pictures.

 

 

Farewell Goaty-Goats

We have had goats for about 6 years now, and now the last of them has gone off to literally greener pastures. Having livestock is expensive as well as time consuming for the care giver.

It affected me quite a bit more than I had expected to say farewell to Skunky and Mocha. They were very good girls, great with their kids and milking, great friends to my husband. He loves his animals, and they love him.

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My involvement with the goats (and chickens) is more peripheral, romantic and not practical in the least. I liked to visit them, see their babies, watch Jeff play with them, and hear the stories of their antics. On occasion I pet them, help take care of birthing and new ones,  pet Skunky on her neck and back, and, if Mocha would allow, feed her little goodies now and then.

I did like to hug Henny Hen and Mr. Rooster, a.k.a. Rooster Blowhard, and Jr. Blowhard… but the roosters in real life get very ornery over time, and we just leave them to their hens at that point.

There are three books written about the goats, chickens and others who lived on our place. They are the Mr. Floppysocks series – Mr. Floppysocks is Loved!, Mr. Floppysocks is Happy!, and Mr. Floppysocks is Content.

Funny things happened along the way though. Buying Jeff his new socks eliminated the “floppy socks”, we ate or lost several of the heroes, roosters get mean and the billies get rowdy. I do fall in love with the critters, and it is hard to write fun stories about them when they are gone. And, amazing but true, I didn’t have more to say about Mr. Floppysocks’ adventures.

It’s like having a testimony to all of their lives. I love their stories, and it was an honor to know them.

Mr. Floppysocks series © Jean Bohlender. All books available at amazon.com, and type in jeanbohlender.

The books have stories in them, totally illustrated in watercolor or photographs. They include things like a southwestern American wildlife dictionary with photos, an American idiom dictionary, etc. Each book had unique features, and plenty to say. They are fun to read and were very fun to write. They all have a Christian flavor to them. Their cost is higher than some books on amazon.com, but they are around 70 pages, full color and an odd size and are independently published.

Originally, I thought I was writing for children, small children being read to by their parents. Well, now I would say the kids like the pictures and stories made up about them, and the adults are affected by the stories.