Welcome to Home Shalom!

Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our Family Jots and Tittles - Passover and Matzah

Blessings to our Friends and Family!

What a wonderful week we have had!

We had some new friends join us for Passover and the beginning of Matzah here on the farm. It was such a treat to get to know their family and spend time with them. They have 5 small children so our kids had lots of fun playing together. Our calendar reckoning was one day apart, so we had a "double celebration" as each Papa lead their family through keeping the Passover as they were lead, while the other family was a guest in their home. This family actually BROUGHT their home! As they are spending their last 8 months of military duty in a (very nice, new) camper. It was exciting to see what YHVH is doing in this family's life! It never ceases to amaze me how He speaks to us all individually from the inside out...then (when HIS timing is right) He connects us with others who have gone through the same experience to encourage us that we are not nuts! :-) I am so sad that I failed to take pictures!!!

Our Passover meal consisted of :
Roasted Lamb
Parsley (and salt water)
Baba Ganoush
Chocolate Toffee Matzah

We burned any remaining Chametz (leaven) in our fire together with prayer and reflection, before we roasted our lamb. We blew the shofar, worshipped a little, sat around the fire as the lamb roasted, played a game with the kids with some "props" as we reviewed the plagues, and confirmed the day as we spotted the full moon. We hid some Matzah for the kids to find with the story paralleling the Matzah to Y'shua. (but they didn't end up searching for it until a couple days later! Our night ran late all the littles they had played so hard together and we forgot naps!) We ate our meal in haste, with our fingers as we stood around our table together.

The next day for the First Day of Matzah we grazed on left over from our previous meal (except for the lamb!) and had a few more goodies made ahead for snacking:
Ants on a log
Seasoned Popcorn
Boursin (Dip) with cut veggies
Lentil Salad

It was a nice day of rest after a the busy day of preparations the day before.

Than later that evening, we had roasted goat with our guests and wine and matzah and parsley. That was the first time we ever had goat meat before. Much to our surprise...it was good! :-) It's flavor might have been a little bit more mild than the lamb, but it's texture was stringier. Our friend's were here for 4 days and 5 nights. We look forward to a long and fruitful friendship them in YHVH.

There was a lot of study and prayer this season about slaughtering our own sheep for the event....we went round and round between all the relevant Scriptures of the original event in Exodus to Moshe's final word in Deut. on the matter. Our conclusion was not to slaughter the lamb on Passover (as we knew it) based on the words in Deut. We were going to prepare one our sheep ahead...but as our week unfolded...we ended up going for the lamb roast we had in the freezer! Our friends however BYOG (Bring their own goat) and chose to remember the Passover using the model of the original Passover in Exodus. We believe that every man is the 'Priest' of His home by the authority of Y'shua as the 'High Priest' and it is his duty to lead them. We were all prayerful and respectful of each household's conclusion and prayed that YHVH accepted each of our expressions of keeping His feast and our hearts to obey the best we knew how. There are so many many personal things learned at each feast and each year it is so different for us! Of course each year, we deepen our understanding of the Scriptures and we are humbled, yet a little more in our expression of worship. Each year we learn to lean more on HIM and are so very grateful for His mercy and grace as we (seem to STUMBLE) walk out The Scriptures and live for Him. As I type this, I see a silky red sash flapping in the breeze that is affixed to our front door's frame for this week to remind us of His bountiful mercy and grace then and now through the Exodus lamb and Y'shua.

This time of year often has the overall theme of "purging" for me. It seems to start with the all the study and prayer as the Biblical New Year approaches and we prepare our hearts for His upcoming feasts. We are challenged and stretched and cleansed as our walk moves forward. We go through the practical applications of the feasts, we clean out the leaven literally and spiritually by the help and guidance of YHVH. So I also find myself reducing and reorganizing our living space too. Spring cleaning and new (or renewed!)direction often come at this time for me.

One of these "expressions" during this past week in our home was the desire to "flush our second floor" of the house. That must sound funny - but let me explain. Last year when we moved here, we raised the roof of our small two bedroom house to add a second floor. This gave us the rough framework of two bedrooms and a second bathroom and attic and some closets! Well, for the sake of budget...we had to stop there and make some tough financial choices to put thing on hold. It's exterior was finished, the rooms were framed, it was insulated and has it windows. The exterior was finished, so it is secured from the elements. Ben even roughed in the electric so they there were outlets and lights. We have a working toilet (but no sink or shower yet). All this is great right? My DH accomplished ALOT in a very short time with the help a of a good friend. I truly am grateful. This allowed us to set the kids beds and dressers up, and hang clothes in their closets. This gave us an extra toilet to run too which comes in handy for this family of 8! This also allowed us bring in tub after of tub from the barn that needed to be sorted through from our move. We didn't have to run to the barn to find a pillow case any more! We just had to find the Rubbermaid tub it was in upstairs. Clearly an upgrade! This opened up the barn for more appropriate use too. Well, here come the conviction part....During a casual conversation with our friends, we started talking about "compartmentalizing" things to cope sometimes. The topic of my upstairs came up and I became totally convicted. I stated that I deal with it by not going up there. All my family agreed that I avoid it like 'the plague' and the topic changed (for everyone else). YHVH showed me very clearly that I was NOT grateful for all I had been given and that I was being a poor steward of it. The part I haven't yet explained, is that my second floor had pretty much become a "throw hole" (as I came to call it). The kids slept and changed up there, and many of our household supplies were stored up there...but it was done without order or respect to proper stewardship. There was still some construction stuff left over from the project and tubs that were unlabeled and unorganized, because I would avoid them. I would send my older kids up there to put things away or get things out. This went on for a year!!! Ben prayed for them at night upstairs..I gave my blessings DOWNSTAIRS! I can count the times I asked THEM to dust and vacuum on one hand in a year! This environment had fed a lack of consideration in my children regard the upstairs and they treated is poorly. YHVH revealed to me my own hypocrisy in the matter of our second floor. I was training them to avoid things they didn't want to deal with. I was training them (through example) to be lazy slobs. I was training them (by example) to only do the right things when someone was "looking". There was no accountability, no discipleship and no guidance. I would dish out an occasional admonishment to the children out of frustration for when I did actually go up there and see its condition but renounced and responsibility in it myself. Shame on me!!!! If you know me...I really appreciate things to be efficient and orderly whenever possible...I also try to cultivate good stewardship in my children and try to train them (and maintain for myself) to walk with thankfulness and gratitude in ALL things. Man, was I convicted! So on the 2nd and 3rd days of Matzah, I got to work...side by side with my oldest children to transform the upstairs into a living space that reflected our values to steward the things that YHVH blesses us with to the best of our ability. So we cleared the floors and corners and rearranged and cleaned and pulled down cardboard walls the boys had put lots of holes in. We went through drawers and tubs and re- labeled and organized and filled bags for donations. We pulled out sheets, fabric and fabric shower curtains we had on hand and hang them from the studs for privacy and to cover some exposed insulation and wires. We hung curtains for the doors started to move the baby's things upstairs in the boy's room. We cleared out all the storage tubs from the kids rooms (to remove the feeling of living in a storage bin!) and popped a couple (VERY) simple decorating elements up. We repackaged many of the tubs to make them more accessible and usable. We stored things in the attic that were more seasonal so that we could have clearer living spaces. IN doing all this, everyone was renewed. I apologized to the children and let them know it wasn't going to get like that again. We talked about the importance of stewardship and thankfulness (again, a topic which is not foreign to them). It feel so good to purge the "leaven" from our gates as He reveals it to us! This has also inspired a Papa do do a couple more things up there, that we CAN do because we have the supplies to do them (it is not a matter of $), since the slate has been cleared to do that. It is still is a very rough unfinished area, but we have decided to make the best of it be truly appreciative for what we DO have by taking good care it. My children have a new spring in their step too...It is clear that they appreciate my effort and attention in this matter. It is clear that it was lacking and they are grateful that it has been restored. I have pledged in my prayers, never to let it get even close to that condition again. That I will make it a regular habit to be upstairs with my children, guiding them and teaching them upstairs AND downstairs! Thank you Father Yah for your rod and staff for they comfort me and are a an everlasting source of needed help for which I am so very grateful! May it always be so!


Andi said...

Oh Pamela what a beautiful lesson and I {we} would have loved to been there for the celebration...and reflection. SOON My Sister....May your home be filled with blessing and Shalom!

Heidi said...

Wow, Pam! What a big and important job. We have had to go through the kids' rooms in a similar fashion recently. It is easy to expect them to care for their own environment when they really still need our help and guidance. I'm glad you were able to get so much done. Blessings.

singing mama said...

Ah the lessons He teaches us even when we are not expecting! I love that there is still so much for us to learn and that we are not perfect and that that is ok, that He uses it all to show us His heart for us and who He wants us to be! So good to read I am no the only one to avoid certain things at times. 2 months ago I cleaned out our whole house and garage , bought a whole lot of plastic tubs and label maker and now have a lot more order in our hearts and homes because of this. It feels SO good!! Well done Pamela!!! So glad the children feel more renewed with this too!
Luv Donna