Sunday, June 29, 2008

His or Ours?

This post comes directly from Elisabeth Elliot - it astounded me when I read it yesterday and I think you will understand why....I have done a little creative editing...I have replaced the phrase "property on the sea" with the word "farm"....again....if you have been reading for any length of time you will understand...
The farm is now ours. We can hardly believe it.
"But it was what you had dreamed of, wasn't it?"
"Yes, Lord."
"Did I not promise long ago to give you the desires of your heart? This is one of them. Often I cannot give them in the form you dream of because it would not, in the end, give you happiness. This time I give exactly what you asked. What will you do with it now?"
"First we thank you, Lord. Then we offer it back to You. Do with it, for us, for anyone who comes here, as You choose. Make it a place of peace, a desired haven."
"I receive your offering. Whose is it now?"
"Yours, Lord. Help me to remember this as King David remembered it when he prayed, 'Everything comes from thee, and it is only of thy gifts that we give to thee. We are aliens before thee and settlers . . . everything is thine'" (1 Chr 29:14,15,16 NEB).

Father, help us to remember that we are only stewards of this good gift as we offer it back to You. We ask for Your guidance on what to do with this farm so that it may be a desired haven for those in need. We ask You to lead us step by step through every decision so that this farm will bring glory to Your name.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ferocious Mama

All of my life, I've heard the protectiveness of mothers compared to mama bears. I've recently witnessed something different. I drove over to a neighbors to drop off some bread and jam and on my way out I noticed something in the middle of his driveway....I slowed down.....facing me staring me down was a small bird. This bird was doing it's best to look big - it's wings were out, feathers plumped, tail up and it wasn't about to move. It might be good to note at this time that I was driving a Chevy Suburban - and this bird was challenging me! Feisty little thing. So....naturally....I had to get out and see what it was....and right the middle of the driveway....I saw this...

it was hard to see...the eggs almost blended in with the gravel. I stood up and called to my neighbor and asked if he knew that he had a nest of eggs in the middle of his driveway...."Yep! They do this every year - everyone just knows to be careful driving out." This neighbor is a true servant...fixing anything and everything...for everybody. Wow! Hundreds of people drive carefully around this little nest every year. The whole valley knows...(this valley knows EVERYTHING about EVERYONE!). I asked what type of bird and was told a "killdee".

So...being the home school Mom that I am, I went home, told the boys and we looked it up here. Of course, Elijah (the consummate birdwatcher) needed to go right back over there to see for himself. When we got there the Mama Killdee(r) looked like this....this is known as the broken wing act....she will almost let you catch her while leading you on a merry chase away from her eggs. It is a beautiful site to see...this ferociousness....a willingness to lay it all down for her babies. How I sure I am that all of you Mamas identify....this God-given desire to protect them from all is compelling...intense....and at times overwhelming. This little mama displays it all while shouting "kill dee".

So...when we got home, Elijah began to hunt for nests on our farm since these beautiful birds are everywhere. And finally he found one in Grandma's just a bare indention in the ground. The Mama Killdeer was bravely sitting on the nest. From the driveway her head was barely visible!

When Elijah finally got her to move (not an easy task!). This is what he found.

I have to say that their nest building skills leave a lot to be desired. All they need is a dent in the ground. The dried material is just there because of the lack of rain - she did not gather this stuff. There literally isn't really a nest.

Elijah became an avid watcher...and by that night there were three....

When the boys went to mow, Elijah shoo'd the mama away and put a bucket over the nest so his brothers wouldn't accidentally hit it....he watched our "egg-loving dog" Faith to make sure she stayed away. He sat for hours with field glasses watching the Mama and Papa take care of this nest....oh yes!....the daddy is just as involved with the mama in taking care of little ones, protecting the nest, leading visitors away....what a great lesson from our Father!

And then....just a few days later....there were four!  Our neighbor told us there would be four.

Elijah watched diligently for the hatching - they all seemed to hatch at once. They are fully feathered

when they hatch and they are running around within the hour! Tiny and C.U.T.E.! We drove slowly up and down the drive for a week - watching lest one run under a wheel. More than once the boys got out, picked one up and moved it into the field next to the road. Mama and papa had a fit at the time but it was the only way to keep them safe. A great lesson for little ones to stay close to mama and papa and listen to their calls to avoid dangers they don't understand yet.

I encourage you to visit the link above to read more about these delightful birds. There were so many spiritual lessons given to us by observing the parents and the babies....may our Father speak to your hearts, as He did to ours, while you learn about these delights that He created!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


When I moved to this farm my "theology" on snakes was that "the only good snake is a dead one". I must admit that I have changed my mind. I don't think I will ever develop a fondness for snakes...however I have come to understand the jobs of certain snakes. Some snakes will actually go after and kill poisonous snakes....those snakes I like and it is a good thing because this year we have a huge amount of black snakes. The local farmer's tell me that this is not unusual after a year of drought. We had a deliciously wet spring but we have been weeks without rain now so I think we confused the snakes...they just thought the drought was over.

About 2 weeks ago, Elijah came running in from the barn to tell me that there was a snake in the feed trough eating an egg that a straying banty left in the hay. The boys went to get the standard tools - a long pole and a trash can. They brought me this:

Don't you just wish you had boys who would bring you such lovely gifts?  What ever happened to those little dandelion and buttercup bouquets they used to pick for Mama all the time?  Well ladies, once they grow up they bring such lovely things as snakes, toads, weird bugs and more which all lead to looking things up in books, categorizing, using the microscope or stereoscope and so on and so on....homeschooling in action!

The snake dropped the egg when the boys put him (her?) into the trash can.  I guess the trauma of being hauled out of the hay at the end of a long pole was too much for the poor thing.

The boys took it down and released it at our pond where we tend to find water moccasins and copperheads.  We are hoping it will "kill all the bad guys"!

About 3 days after this, the boys came running in to tell me that there was another snake IN the trellis outside the laundry room window - it was posed with its big mouth right over a  little sparrow's nest.  From the bulge in it's tummy I think it met one of the Sparrow family....

poor little bird.

This snake was what you might call feisty.  Again the boys trudged down to the pond and released the snake to take dominion over the bad guys.  As a side note...the boys actually asked me if I wanted to hold it or pet it....I think that perhaps they have lost their minds....

Then just a few days after this picture was taken, the boys came running in to tell me that there was ANOTHER snake up in the trellis...or perhaps the same one.  It took about 20 minutes to get it down - this one was larger so it wasn't the same snake. (Perhaps we have a "Free Eats Here" sign posted somewhere in the snake kingdom).  It was also very aggressive.  It fought hard to stay wrapped up in my jasmine plant.  I was unaware that ALL snakes will rattle their tales to scare you (it did!).  It also continually struck out at the stick they were using to pull it down.  Once they got it down, they knew it wasn't the same snake - much bigger and stronger.  Again...down to the pond.  (Don't think I will be fishing anytime soon!)

Then just last week...yes again....the boys came running with another trash can.....they'd just found one coming out of the garden and crossing our driveway.  Sorry, I've had my fill of snakes this month and didn't take a picture.  Again to the pond.  Perhaps the pond should be named Snake Lake at this point.  I will say that I am more aware of the ground around my feet in the garden than I have been for years.  I've found lots of critters in my garden (bunnies, chicks, hens, toads, frogs, birds and their nests, garden spiders, black widows) but never a snake before.

I must mention though....none of this happened till this lady started talking about snakes.....hhhmmmmm....let's hope she doesn't mention bears.....

Friday, June 20, 2008

So Blessed!

Today I believe that this song will be continually on my lips....why don't you join me..
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Today we are....

...humbly requesting prayer.....

All Grown Up....

Being a mama is so bittersweet at times. I am watching my boys (my babies!) turn into men before my very eyes. And such good men...what treasures are being wrought before my eyes as they submit to their Creator...wanting His best for their lives.

I watched this miracle over several days recently....the Father used baling hay to show me. My boys put the sidebar mower back together (the blade was found in pieces). We were going to attempt to bale hay for the first time by ourselves. We were all kind of excited....could we do this?

I met them at the was time to mow. Jeremy reminded me that it was hot, that there really wasn't much I could do and that they could handle it..."Stay inside where it's cool mom...." words to protect, care

Jeremy mowed the field....Josiah helped. It was done and we waited for days, holding our breath....waiting to see if the unexpected rain would fall or miss us. Thankful when it passed by although we need the rain.

Time to put the hay in rows for baling....something I have done before. Again, I was met at the door....with words of love, protection, care...."we can handle this Mom....stay do enough..."

I managed to shoot some was hot....really hot out....but I found older son making a demonstration pass for younger son who doesn't have as much experience with the tractor.

Then quickly they were together, riding this huge piece of equipment, Jeremy...always protecting, guiding and loving his younger brother....was riding shotgun...teaching, in action.... I watched as long golden rows were laid out neatly in a field...thoughts of winter danced though my head and a quiet reassurance that the animals would be fed filled my heart....because of these two.....

Time to drive the baler...again, something I've done many times. I love the sound of the baler which is unusual for me...normally I hate repetitive's rhythmic thumping soothes me...fills me with good feelings which I haven't totally sorted out yet....

Again...I was met with the "we can handle it Mom". I started to argue but decided instead to let my babies be men before my eyes. Grateful, proud, amazed, I thanked my Father for such as these.

I watched this different in personality and temperament...working closely together, helping each other, accomplishing the work of a man. I watched as long rectangles fell from the back of the baler....each one a promise of food for the coming winter. My heart was filled with gratitude....there were dozens....I wondered who had guessed the right number we would end up with from this small field.

At this point the heat was beginning to build...close to 100 degrees. After the baling, I suggested waiting till the cool of the evening to load the hay....but they wanted to be done...

Now came the really grueling part. I was allowed to pull the hay wagon with my truck. I normally use the tractor but because of the heat these young men wanted to hook the wagon to my truck so that I and my navigator (Elijah) could stay cooler. It was 101 degrees out. Armed with lots of ice water...we began....

I think these pictures speak to the difficulty of this job...

I have never seen my boys work harder or more diligently to accomplish a task...and under such grueling circumstances....did I mention that it was 101 degrees outside? They worked non stop...these bales weigh about 80 lbs. each. I am amazed at the strength of my boys...years of farm work I guess. Josiah, being shorter than Jeremy had trouble lifting them once we were on our third "layer" of bales. For the last pass in the field, he had the arduous job of staying on the wagon and "organizing" the stacks of hay and keeping a space clear for Jeremy to be able to throw the next bale

The final count....54 bales of hay from one small field. A huge wagon filled with promise...and three young men knowing that it was a job well done.

One son unloaded onto the hay elevator while one took it from the elevator and stacked it neatly in the hay loft. Again, I offered to wait until the cool of the evening...again they just wanted to "be done".

And here they are....done....too tired initially even to climb the stairs to the shower.

How thankful I am to my Father for boys such as these...who have allowed their heavenly Father to take difficult personal circumstances and use them to mold them into men....godly men....caring, loving men.

How thankful I am that although they have not had the proper role model on how to care for, protect and cherish....they are, with Christ's strength (Phil. 4:13) able to care for, protect and cherish their mama.

I remember my Grandma and my Mama saying that if you want to know how a man will treat how he treats his mother....I don't think the future wives of these young men have to worry about a thing!

"Thank you Father, that you have blessed me with three such wonderful young men. Your hand on their lives is so evident, their desire to please You so clear and their love for You so strong....I am blessed that You have entrusted them to my care for these fleeting years...."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Catching up...

I've been pretty quiet - but I hope I have good reason.

We have been really busy outside. We had a glorious spring this year - long, wet and cool! We normally put the pool up on Memorial Day weekend but it was just too cold!

So, we spent our time getting the garden in - we are over 1/2 way there. Still have some herbs, peppers and tomatoes, along with more melons.

This bed is filled with flowers, broccoli, cabbage, snow peas, cukes and lettuce. We have been enjoying the broccoli and lettuce for weeks now.

This is our squash bed. Lots of squash, zuchinni and flowers.

Squash is one of my family favorites - we devoured our first squash a few weeks ago and have been enjoying them regularly ever since.

Elijah loves them lightly battered and friend - a true southern boy!  He is also quick to pick a pretty bouquet of zinnias, cosmos, cornflowers, poppies and sunflowers...aaahhhh..the glory of summer!

Our watermelon bed is only partially planted I have some plants in the greenhouse to add in a week or so. We wanted to try to string our watermelon harvest out all summer long this year

I have all of the sweet peppers in and a few of the hot. I still have an entire bed to do of Fresno peppers. This is the pepper that I use to make a KILLER wing sauce. Probably one of my favorite foods. Last year the chickens harvested more of these peppers than we did but we are working on fencing them out this year.

I have some tomatoes and melons left to plant along with herbs and flowers.  Life has just been a bit overwhelming the last few weeks.

Stay tuned for pictures of our hay baling experience earlier this month.  I am SO proud of my boys!

Thanks for hanging in here and thanks for those loyal readers who have been concerned and called to check on me....I bless you all!

****A note to the sweet couple who left a message and their phone number...I don't have long distance services so I can not return your call.  However, if you will call me after Friday I would be glad to help you anyway I can.  I am more easily reached after 9:00 pm.
Related Posts with Thumbnails