First Winter Storm

Most of yesterday's snow was "just passin' thru" but some of it stopped at the buildings.  The low temp was 16, but the wind exceeded 50 miles per hour.  It was bad enough that the schools closed - they usually stay open. This is why they laugh when we say "No, we haven't spent a winter here yet." 

This is our backyard - beautiful.  You just can't see the WIND!

Here's the front of the house (with newly painted door and trim)

And this is after Ted said, "Your truck can make it on that road - no problem....."
I'm sure the neighbors were looking out their windows from their warm houses and chuckling, "southerners..."


God's Will

27 years ago, as a new believer, I wondered a lot about God's will for my life.  I had an idea that when God was ready to reveal it to me, He would go to the celestial library and find the scroll with my name on it.  I imagined Him scratching His head as he looked through the card file, "Let's see.  Cheryl Renee Patterson Floyd - born 1951 - reborn 1983-- ahhh.  Here it is....."  But He is so wise in not unrolling the scroll and revealing the "whole megillah", because if he had said, "Well, Renee.  I'll be sending you to North Dakota in 2010 where you will pray for the sick, feed the hungry, love the unlovable, teach Sunday School in a Nazarene Church, lead a Bible Study with some precious Lutheran ladies, and sign a little" - I would run backwards.  Wow.  What a time I have had here....

This RV is Rocking & Rolling today and the wind is blowing the snow sideways! God is still good!


My Destiny is Not About Me

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

It seems that I am seeing some of my dreams and desires happening right now in this season of my life.

 How many years have I sang (sing, sang, sung?) the songs: "Here am I Lord.  Take my hands and take my voice and use me Lord" and "I will go Lord where you lead me, I will hold your people in my heart."  And I spoke words of surrender:  "I am willing to be the woman you want me to be". 

A couple of years ago, I got serious about being prepared for anything God called me to do.  I studied out scripture and things like "Who am I in Christ" and "What is the Kingdom of God" and "What does it mean to have favor".  I journaled all I learned and all God spoke to me, as a written reminder. I learned to sign to songs.  And I learned to enjoy His Presence.

As a young teen, I felt a drawing from God to be more than just a pew sitter.  I walked an aisle and "surrendered my life to special service" - whatever that meant - even though I didn't really surrender my heart until many years later.  When as a young tired, timid, fearful mom, I led myself through the salvation prayer, told God I'd gone where he wanted me to go and immediately saw myself standing before people.  I remember saying to God, "Well, Ok.  But you'll have to do it".  Since then my love and passion has been studying the Word - I was like Jeremiah, "When I found your words, I ate them" and I so enjoy leading ladies Bible Studies. There have also been times, maybe even years, when I thought that God surely must be finished with me and could never use me again. 


 But God had a plan.  Here I am now, 1300 miles from home, 99 miles from the Canadian border, in North Dakota.  I am so humbled by the favor I have here.  And He's given me the boldness that I have been asking for and favor I didn't ask for.  I went to a Community Ladies Bible study and have been asked to lead one of the discussion groups.  I am attending another study in the small town where I live, where 5 precious widow ladies are learning to study the Bible.  I've found that the laundromat is a great place for witness opportunities.  I've prayed for healing for a woman in a bar where she was being blessed with a fundraiser and I've prayed for other people in unlikely places.  I'm volunteering at the Salvation Army and have been offered a job there.  I've visited churches in Williston searching for a place to worship and be fed.  One Sunday morning, I asked God where I should go.  He clearly said, "If you are going to walk the streets of Alexander and pray for revival, you need to go to church here."  So I have been attending the Nazarene Church and have been asked to sfill in for the Sunday School teacher for the next 4 weeks.  God is doing above and beyond all I could ever think or imagine.  It is so much fun!

When I look at that last paragraph, I see lots of "I" and "me", but I know that my destiny is not and will never be about me.  I don't know exactly what my purpose is here, besides making disciples, but I am scattering  seeds of faith, love, hope, healing, and the Word. 


God is so good!


Red Door

If I could only use one word to describe North Dakota culture, it would be "conservative".  Conservative in dress, vehicles, food, emotions, and houses.  Most wood siding houses are white with white trim. The rest are pastel colors of tan, grey, etc.  A very few houses are painted with brighter colors. 

I'm not sure, but I think ours is the first RED DOOR in Alexander, ND.  My Texas house-flipping girlfriend, Julie, says that every house should have a red door.  She would be proud.  But I'll be interested to hear local comments.......


507 Buffalo, Alexander, ND 58831

We hear that North Dakota winters are brutal with -30 temps and howing winds.  Many RV parks close.  The owner of our RV park has leased all his slots to Halliburton, who is bringing in 50 temporary housing units.  So, we decided to move out of the RV into a house..... 

After months of searching for winter housing we finally realized that we had come to a dead end road.  If the big companies don't have the entire apartment complex rented, the waiting lists are 200.  Anything listed in the paper was immediately rented to the first caller.  So, we decided that we would have to just buy a little house - then we started looking.  Anything in Williston (22 miles away) was terribly inflated.  A tiny old, old house that needed a total redo was $75,000 or more.  I put a "Wanted" poster in the Post Office at Alexander , population 300 (where the rv is parked) and ads in the paper.  One afternoon we were out walking and met a local man who was out walking his dog.  He stopped and said, "Are you the guy that wants to buy a house?  Well, come home with me".  Dave and Darlene were contemplating a move to Bismarck to be closer to children and doctors.  It was a 2 story with a full basement at a good price, and we decided it would work - but Darlene decided that she just wasn't ready to leave her home.  From then on Dave was on the search for us a house and pointed us in the direction of Gert's house.  Gert had passed a way a fews years ago and the family had finally decided to sell the house.  Now it's ours - but for the locals it will always be "Old Gert's" house -"She made the best chokecherry wine - did they leave any in the root cellar?" The 80 year old house is 800 square feet with one bedroom and a detached garage.  Here's a picture:
A hedge of lilac bushes (reminds me of my grandma) grow on all four sides of the lot and there's a nice rhubarb (mmmm) garden. The family left the appliances and much of the furniture.  Someone else gave us a garage full of furniture.  All we lack is a new mattress and a microwave. We feel so very blessed.

 Oh, the front part of the house was originally a chicken coop!  Reminds of the summers my cousin Linda and I cleaned out the chicken houses so we could play house (well, this one is a little cleaner!!!!!)  But I guess we are playing house!

 I'll be painting an cleaning like a mad woman for a few days, then we'll transfer all this stuff over.   I'll  post before and after pictures.  Sure wish I had some girlfriends here to help me!!


This Land is Your Land ~ This Land is My Land

Most Weekends we make a short trek to the National Grasslands.  The land in places seems untouched by humans.  Driving is only allowed on gravel roads or two tracks - we can't just take off across the prairie.  Here are some photos of our weekend adventures:
Summer in the Grasslands

Fall in the Grasslands

and I saw my first eagle there

What a majestic bird.  No wonder there are references to the eagle in the Word of God.

I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.
(Exodus 19:3)

He satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. (Psalm 103:5)

...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)


What I Miss About Texas

What I Miss about Texas (besides family & friends)
  • Mexican Food
  • Hatch Chili
  • The Flag
  • Southern "accents"
  • Bling
  • Colorful Houses
  • Gaudy Clothes
  • Big Hair
What I Don't Miss about Texas
  • Grass Burrs
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Fire Ants
  • Weeds
  • Fall Allergies
  • Graffiti
  • 100+ Temps


Charbonneau, N.D. Ghost Town

We were out exploring the National Grasslands
and ran across the ghost town of Charbonneau. 
 A google search tells me the town was abandoned in 1960
 when the post office was closed. 
Ted commented that it sure didn't take it long to go down -
 so I asked him if knew how many years had passed since 1960.
Charbonneau School House
In it's glory, a railroad passed through the town.

The old and the older.....
Charbonneau is a hayfield now. 

Charbonneau is the name of Sacajawea's husband who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition.  (The legend is that he won her in card game)  I recently asked Harrison if he knew about Lewis & Clark and he said "and Sakajawea?"  I thought he was so very smart, then I realized that she was in the movie,
"Night at the Musuem".
He (Char.) was a guide and interpreter for the trip along with Sacajawea, who spoke several Indian languages.  She interpreted them to Charbonneau was translated them to French and another person on the trip translated to English.  I wonder if it ended up being as accurate as the gossip game!

Lewis & Clark Trail Musuem
Alexander, ND


Sugar Beet Harvest

Sugar Beet Harvest is in full swing in Montana, 20 miles away. 

Here's the Sugar Beet Statue in Fairview, Montana.
(Poor Quality Internet Photo)

A field of sugar beets

Piles of sugar beets waiting to be processed.

This is the Holly Sugar Train from days past - Sidney. Montana.

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