Sunday Mornings

I woke up this morning very ready for church because of the fellowship with other believers. I need the connection to other people that do not include conversations about business practices or about the fact that the “chickie laid an egg in the window box!” I love to talk to other believer about the goodness of our wonderful savior, Jesus. Apparently nature had other plans for me this morning, so here I sit.

Believe it or not, sometimes we just need to slow down and use our time to minister to others even when we are hurting. We need to focus our hearts and minds on helping others who need the encouragement to keep facing the hard times in our lives. For some reason, we think that because we decided to follow Christ, we will have an easy life and drink from a cup that always runs over with blessings.

That is really not how this walk works. In fact, we battle a very real devil who hates us. I mean literally hates us to the core of his being. The minute we grasp this concept, we begin to understand that we will wake up every day to a battle in the heavenly places. For some people this is the scariest truth but for others this makes us understand what is really going on.

See, I woke up this morning ready to go and celebrate all that God has done for me in the past week. How he has sustained me and provided for me. I wanted to make an offering that would be a sweet aroma to him. Yet, here I am at home. Fighting a battle that has kept me home today.

However, I will not let the enemy have this victory. I will pour my heart out in encouragement to others that are fighting these battles this morning. I will read God’s word and study the lessons that we have been working on for my bible study with my tribe. I will work on the classwork for my college classes that the Lord has blessed me with.

Let’s make today a day that we rejoice that the Lord has already won the battle that we face. He has never left us for a second. He loves us so much that he sings over us like a mother sings over her child. He is fighting for us. We just need to keep our hands raised and trust that the victory is ours.

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Keeping on, Keeping on

Well, I have to say this has been a better week. I had to have some adjustments to my meds and I am feeling much better. It is also begining to look more and more like springtime in the ozarks and for that I am very grateful.

We are getting all prepared for new chicks in a couple of weeks. Every trip to the grocery store results in my daughter asking where the babies are and me having to respond with “It’s not time, yet.” I would have to say though, they are the highlight of our year. We are getting about a dozen eggs a day from our hens and ducks. They are working overtime!

We did lose our turkey. None of us have any ideas as to what happened to her but we are all heart broken about our big, lap turkey.

With spring just around the corner, we are doing as much prepwork a possible for the garden. I will have a full post about the garden fence we are building and the seeds we are planting. I am, however, busy bying all the seeds I can find for the garden and getting all the seed starter mix I will need. This fall I became obsessed with succelents so there will be a post about that soon a well!

I hope that everyone is keeping on with the lives that we live and that we are seeking the Lord in everything. I will be back with more posts and pictures soon!

Seriously…

Has everyone else just wondered what in the world has been going on? I mean, I have never felt this run down and beat up in my life. I literally mean it feels like my whole family has been taking fire for the last 6 months and all we have been able to do is hunker down and withstand the bombardment. The truth is, there have been times I have wanted to give up and just stop living. I have wanted to let go of everything that I have been entrusted with and just cease to exist.

Then I read a quote that has changed the way I feel about my life and the enemy attacks I have been facing. You see, I have been hanging on by a thread for the last 2 months and I have not been really sure how to survive. I feel like I may need to share a little about what has been happening.

My family has a small history of depression and anxiety that we have all battled with from time to time but in the last 6 months my father has been really struggling. I won’t go into much detail about him because that is his story to tell, not mine. I will say that we both have issues that we have been able to cope with that have suddenly been escalted over the past 6 months. The truth is, we started attending a new church about a month before this all started and I personally believe that this the reason for the assualt we have been under as a family. We had started to be really involved in the new church and I had actually started to step out and use some of the gifts that God has blessed me with. I had started graduate school and was planning on having another baby (I had finally started to loose enough weight and had my sugar under control; another post about how in later days).

I made the enemy angry. I started to do the very things that God has called me to do and has anointed me to do many years before. I promise you, all hell broke loose on my family. And, if I am totally honest, I have hid many times over this onslaught we have been facing. In fact, I finally had to go to the doctor for my anxiety and depression. Thankfully, it is being treated the same way that others in my family have been treated so I feel good about it all. And the doctor is working with me on having another baby. I have found some answers to questions I have been asking for years.

Now, back to my earlier reference to a quote that has helped more than you could ever imagine. I have been at the end of my rope for a long time over all of the things that seem to be swirling around me and that I have not been able to change no matter how hard I have tried. The origional quote says “When you are at the end of your rope, then tie a knot and hang on.” While this is sound advice, I like this one much better, “When you are at the end of your rope, make sure it is the hem of His garment.”

Pretty simple, huh? But still, so profound! The hem of his garment. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, let me clue you in. When the priest was anointed with oil in the temple, the oil started at their head andran all the way down to their feet but the bulk of the oil was caugh and kept in the hem of their garment. That is why the woman with the issue of blood knew to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment for the healing she needed. The anointing was concentrated there in the hem! So, when we get to a point in life where we have nothing left to give, we just need to hold on to the hem of his garment and believe that the same anointing that healed the woman with the issue of blood will see us through even the worst that we can face.

So, my advice for anyone today that is needing help in any area of their life to just hold on to the hem of Jesus’ garment.

Little Things

I have had a few weeks that have just about run me ragged. Instead of focusing on the good, I have been so overcome by the bad that there seems to be no escape. My family has been going through a time of conflict that we have not had in years, my cousin (who helped raise me as a child) has been in the hospital with complications from a simple cough, we have not been able to even attend our new church because of all the colds that we have had, and now I am finally sick with a cold on the coldest day of the season.

To say that my life has been a bed of roses is not even remotely true. Anyone who tells you that life will be that bed of roses has lied to you. However, today I have had to scramble to bring in all the plants I have so lovingly nursed back to health into my already cramped house, and the plants reminded me of the little things I sometimes take for granted. I have these plants because the local stores place them on markdown when they need a little TLC and that is my favorite part of plants. I have nursed them back to health and been rewarded with beautiful plants for many years that I paid little for but invested much time into.

So, today I want to remind all of us to think about the little things that we have been blessed with. God has seen fit to open the flood gates of heaven with blessings that we cannot measure but we sometimes disregard them as the little things in life. We should never place value on our blessings but instead thank God for everything we have been given.

Sorry and yet not sorry.

Yep, I did it again. I took way to long to post. To say that our lives have been busy is a complete understatement. I am sorry that this is not always a priority but at the same time I have made a summer with my daughter a priority that has take most of my days time. This has been a summer of memories that I will cherish for years to come.
We have spent our days in the pool, working in the garden, and playing hide and seek with every moment we can spare. We camped in the hottest part of the summer and enjoyed the rains on the porch on the coolest days. We added too many ducks to our flock and, if that wasn’t enough, added the funniest turkey, Leroy.

This has been a summer filled with lots of love and laughter that I have needed more than anything. I still miss my granny more than I can even talk about, and with missing her I miss all the ones that have gone home before her. I love that the Bible reminds us that we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, so that I know they are just in another place waiting and watching.

Our household has experienced a few changes over the months. We recently started having a weekly bible study with two of my aunts. This has been a huge blessing in our lives and we look forward to every week. I can say with certainty that I know more about the book of Daniel than I did last year. The Lord has also moved us in churches. We have started attending a new church that we have been enjoying. It is still early but we are excited about where we are headed in God.

This week I have been super busy working on all the preparations for school to start back. I will be attending online classes and my daughter will start her homeschooling. She is only doing preschool but we will have a few hours every day that will direct her learning. She is exceptionally smart and I really look forward to watching her learn.

Well, I just wanted to post a quick update and I promise that I will be posting much more in the weeks to come!

I pray that your week is filled to overflowing with God’s love, grace, and provision!

Birthday Week

This has been an eventful week. I celebrated a birthday yesterday and believe me it was always the same as every other year. It always seems to be a day that some type of weather happens. One year there was a tornado and two different years there was an ice storm. This year was no exception, so there was a scare for a moderate ice storm. Thankfully, there was little ice and damage so we will survive another birthday.

I have ordered and received my early crops for the garden but just about the time I start to till the garden area there is a cold snap and I have to wait a few days. Hopefully, I will be able to get the ground ready and the seeds planted by this weekend. I have my work cut out for me. This has been a fun time of planning for this years garden. I also appear to be on track with the planting schedule if I am planting with the almanac.

I have also been hard at work getting my daughter started on preschool homeschool work. I am hoping to have her started next week on a schedule that will happen every day. We have a really good schedule that she has adapted to very well and one that I am comfortable with. This is just going to be an addition to what she already has everyday.

I am working on my last semester at a 2 year university to get ready for the next step at a 4 year university before completing my masters degree later on. I pray that this will help me to be the stay-at-home mom that I so desperately want to be. This is not just a past time but rather a passion that I have always had. I love living and working on a farm and I believe that i am doing what I need to be for my family.

We have also started having a weekly bible study at our home with two of my aunts on monday nights. I love the fellowship that I have with them and the time spent reading, discussing, and absorbing the living Word of God. I would encourage everyone to find this type of fellowship and embrace this time of learning the Word.

That’s all for this week! I look forward to the update that I will have on the preschool work and on the garden. I hope to have some pictures to show and have something else to add to the week!

Mourning or Morning

This has been a rough few months. Classes started back this week and I can already see the major changes that have happened in our families lives. I drove to my only on-campus class today and, for the first time in my life, I did not visit my Granny’s. When I say that our family has been going through a rough few month, I did not exaggerate. On the first day of 2018 I buried my best friend. My Granny was not just someone that made me cookies and was fun to visit on occasion, she was someone that I did almost everything with. She was the couch I rested on when I was going to the doctor 3 times a week while I was carrying my daughter. She was the person that I wanted to call any time something happened that we had shared.

On the first day of what should be a fresh new year, I was saying a final goodbye to my Granny. Now, my Granny was a God fearing and God loving woman. So on that final goodbye day, I am so thankful that it was, instead of goodbye, a “see you later.”

That has been what has carried me through these hard days of missing her. The days that I find the thing on sale that she had been looking for. The days I pick up the phone to call her. I know I will see her again and that she is at complete peace with Jesus.

So, this year I am planting my garden in her honor. I am adding bird feeders to constantly remind me of her and her love of bird watching. I will enjoy my family for her. And I will live every moment in such a way that I will see her again. That is the hope that I have in Jesus.

I feel like 2018 kinda started badly. However, I look at all the moments that I had been blessed with and all the memories that I have and I see the sunrise to give me a fresh morning. The bible tells me that my sorrows will last for the night but joy will come in the morning, so I have embraced the new morning that God has given me.

 

Jesus, bring the rain!

Rain. For most people, rain is one of the worst things you can do to their day. It ruins camping trips and picnics, parties and weddings. However, in my case, I love the rain. There is nothing that makes me happier than a good rain shower or thunderstorm to make me feel all cosy and snug in my house. I can sit for hours and just drink coffee, make plans, and soak in the rain. 

I also love the way that things seem to grow better in the rain. Our garden will produce with water from the faucet but there is nothing that will make plans grow better than the rain from the heavens. 

We have had rains this summer but the rain that came today was just what we needed to quinch the thirst of the end of summer. We always stay so dry during the month of August.

I feel like the rain covers my small world in a blanket and keeps me humble and warm from the rest of the world. Things stop in the rain but other things flourish with those little drops of life-giving water. 

I think about the rains of life. I hate nothing more than a dry season in any part of my life. I love the life giving flood of living water rising over my dry soul and cleansing away all the hurt and loneliness of a drought. 

I am so thankful for the rain that will always induce praise from me to God, the giver of life. 

When we go through drought in our lives it is easy to forget the refreshing rains that will bring new and even returning life to our souls. I pray that we never forget to be patient in the drought and wait for the “cloud the size of a man’s hand” to end the drought in our lives. God will always send the rain! 

Summer news and potty training blues

We have had a very busy summer that has included camping, swimming, school breaks, gardens, and the dreaded start to potty training. 

We did camp this year before our big family camp trip so we were moderately prepared for the whole trip. However, we were not ready for the change of venue. We have always camped on the same creek for the last 84 years and this year we had to break tradition and moved to a public camping area in the national forest. It was sad to see the tradition change, but the current up holders of the tradition were glad for the change. 

This was the first year in a couple of years that we decided to have a pool in the yard. The funniest part is that it has been a little on the cold side for the months of May and June so we didn’t swim till July. My daughter did swim in her play area a great deal. 

The garden was late this year going in the ground so we are just now reaping the harvest of our plants. There is nothing better than fresh veggies from your own garden. 

But the hardest part of the summer has been the animals. We have had a hard time dealing with the loss of our beloved kitty, Wonka. He was a constant in our crazy, mixed up world and we are all pretty lost without him. We thank the Lord each day for the gift of the love of good pets. We also lost our male duck and I truly have been the saddest about his loss from our flock. 

We have had a hard summer of heartache and, I for one, am just ready for the Fall!

There has also been the beginning of potty training for the little one. She is so smart and she just almost has it. I am hoping to have this down by the fall.

So that is a catch-up of all the goings on with our household this summer! 

I hope that there will be way less time in between this update and the next. I hope you will pray for our family during all these happenings!

Setting Hens

Well, we now have a new hen that has been added to the flock. I would like to introduce you to Matilda. She was a hen that my in-laws had and they no longer wanted her so she came to be a part of our hen house! She was very timid and shy at first but I think she has settled in quite nicely!

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We also have two hens that have decided to brood (raise a baby) and we have them sitting on one egg each until we figure out if they will hatch an egg or not. They are Bertha and Martha, the last two of the bantams. We just love these two and wish them the best of luck with their babies!

Now, the family is on a very heavy health food diet because we are all needing to shed some holiday pounds. My mother and I have been cooking very healthy meals and in a week and a half have dropped 5 pounds each! The latest food that we have made is some awesome granola for our homemade parfaits.

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We are already getting geared up for our garden and thankfully we had the one snow so far that we desperately needed for the garden soil. Unfortunately, there was a cold in the house and no one got to go play in the snow (bummer). We are hoping to visit some family up north and play in the snow later on this winter.

We are also looking for new ideas for ways to do both an indoor and an outdoor herb garden. I have been using fresh herbs in my infused water and I would like to not have to buy the herbs but grow them myself. The same goes for compost. I want to do better about the waste that we have after we prepare meals and I am on the hunt for a good way to compost.

Keep watching for updates on the great hatching of the chicks and hopefully we will have some little ones soon!