An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Little Lamenting

We were driving along last night and I saw a guy outside mowing his lawn. Smoking a cigarette and mowing his lawn like there wasn't a care in the world. It made me wonder what it would be like to only care if the lawn needed to be mowed or not. Or what it would be like to be quietly mowing the lawn without the agony of grief. Or even what it would be like to be frustrated because the lawn needed to be mowed again rather than wondering how you will make it through the day only to have to go to bed again to hope to actually sleep and knowing that I have to get out of bed again the next morning.

I've been a bit depressed lately. Exhausted and depressed. Exhausted, depressed, and defeated. I hate exhausted, depressed and defeated. I hate admitting that I am exhausted, depressed and defeated.

I would like to think that there is a battle going on over my ability to rejoice in and trust God right now. I would like to think that it really does matter whether I suffer well or not. I would like to think that for some reason it matters if I continue to shine as a three-watt night light holding out truth, and trust, and the gospel.

But today I am just functioning. It takes all the energy I have to keep looking up and keep holding on. Sometimes that's the way it is. The battle belongs to the Lord and today I am letting Him fight it rather than me. It's not my battle, anyway, in the grande scheme of things. It's not even my strength that fights the battle. So I rest in Jesus and try to remember His promises. I let myself be tired. I let myself be depressed and defeated and look for God even here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For Maddie

Yes, my friend, I got out of bed this morning. Yes, my friend, I have had coffee. Yes, my friend, I will eat something today. What's that? How's my heart? Trusting God, my friend, trusting God. Heavy, sad, tired, missing my son, looking to Jesus for peace, joy, trust, and hope. Finding it all in Him alone. Sorry to scare you by not posting in {wow} close to a week. Love you for always checking in on me when I don't write. After I wash some clothes, home school my children, milk my goats, weed my garden, clean my house for company {no I'm not working to avoid anything, no I'm not, I said I'm not} I'll try to write something beautiful and encouraging just for you. Love you my friend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I remember as a little girl going over to my Aunt Marlys's house and plunking away on the great big old piano that sat in her living room. I remember how much I longed to have a piano and wanted to learn to master this beautiful instrument. So, of course, when my children were born and we started to homeschool them one of the first things that we did was to go out and buy a replica of Aunt Marlys's old piano and buy some used piano books in an attempt to make my love their love and torture them everyday by making them play with the hope of raising up the next Mozart or church piano lady.

Alexis is really the only one in our family with any musical gifting and has put the most effort into learning to play. Rather than mastering the art of playing with her toes (like some other unnamed child of mine) she actually studied and worked hard. So, all that said, last fall we blessed her and sprung for real piano lessons with a real live teacher who actually knew how to play the piano (unlike her mother who had been faking it for several years). She amazed me (like I figured she would) by zipping through several lesson books and levels in just months. She took off a couple of months after Trent died but was able to make it to a few last practices before her first ever piano recital.

She performed her two songs beautifully. I think I was the proudest momma in the auditorium that day. My little girl, now a piano playing young woman. Way to go sweetheart!

Making Muffins

No spectacular recipe~ just a cute kid helping to make blueberry muffins from a box and lots of good memories with them.

And then I make the coffee

I have been finding it hard lately to wake up and praise God for my son being in heaven. I know, I know, the fact that I even get out of bed in the morning since my son has died amazes me too most days. But the praise is getting harder. It's not that there is nothing to praise God for, it's that my brain has been in such of a fog again lately that I can't seem to process anything.

My favorite past-time the last few days has been staring. Staring at the weeds in the garden, staring at the chickens, staring at the words in my Bible, staring at the legs on the kitchen stools. I am attributing some of it to the rainy weather we have had and the rest of it to grief up to my eyeballs. I think I may have to go overdose on some Vitamin D and estrogen. What I really need is to overdose on Scripture and time in prayer. If only I had that little cabin out back in the woods ....... I might have to go hide out in the blue tarp tee-pee that is still standing from the Oregon Trail reenactment last spring and see how long I last before the mosquitoes carry me away or the kids or the dog find me.

Life is going on. We are going through the motions. Finding joy as much as we can in the little things. Seeing God move, appreciating all the more His sovereignty, counting our blessings twice, thanking Him for carrying us. I am humbled for those that He has called to lift us up in prayer and to hurt for us. I feel like we are in a little bubble most days. I am a doer and would rather be the one loving, hurting, praying and caring for all of you faithful ones. Know that God hears every prayer and is honoring them to sustain us. I can't imagine going through this without those prayers or without knowing God's sovereignty.

I find myself splitting hairs again and looking for where my real joy is found. I look for it here and now so much, and forget to constantly go to the source of living water, to the well of Jesus that never runs dry. I know so much Christianese that I can convince you all and myself that it is in Jesus alone that I find that joy, but my own fluency in Christianese scares me. I know all the Sunday school answers, but until I come to Him, on my knees, in my brokenness, being real, then I am only playing the game. In Jesus alone will I find strength, and joy, and peace. Not in theology and legalistic stands, but in Jesus alone.

I find in my morning time of longing to truly praise God for Trent being in heaven that I don't even like my mediocrity lately about it, so how do I think that I am fooling God? I long for the praise to truly be from my heart, not just from my lips, not just so that I can check it off my list for the day and go make the coffee. Oh, you don't wake up everyday with these thoughts?

God reminds me again that His love stands firm, that His faithfulness will never fail, that His hand will sustain His children (Psalm 89). All of these trials only point out again the difference between a Holy God and sinful me. The contrast is so evident and again causes me to run to Him alone. They again cause me to only put my trust in Jesus who saves. They make me clearly see how amazing it is that God saves any of us. How amazing it is that Trent is before Him right now. How amazing God is for all of the details that He ordained for Trent to be there, and was so gracious to have shown us.

I can praise God for revealing Trent's salvation so clearly. I can praise God for saving Trent in the first place. I can praise God for every little detail of the accident and how gracious He was to make it happen the way that it did. I can praise God for the hope of seeing Trent again one day. When I forget these things I can simply praise God for being God. The great I AM. The deliverer, the sovereign one, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Then I can get out of bed and make the coffee and face the day prepared to do the good works that God has prepared for me to do today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Love South Pork Ranch!

By total default I actually won a little contest that Midlife Farmwife was {sort~of} running. She was so gracious to send me not one, not two, but count 'em, seven T-shirts and the sweetest note that made my day. I thought it was the least that I could do to gather the children from the four corners of the farm and force them to pose for a group picture to show my appreciation.

They were all thrilled! (Especially after their mother quit murmuring threats of not building a certain chicken coop if some goofy boy would not smile!)They were thrilled with the shirts, tho. A couple of them even refused to take them off and insisted that they could wear them for pajamas because Mrs. Farmwife said that they could.

Some of them were so excited about their new shirts that they were walking on air.

Poor Alexis was forced to endure the barn yard and all the smells that entails.

You know, I just might have to use some of these for Christmas cards this year and save the poor children from another photo shoot.

Disclaimer: I am in no way related to Midlife Farmwife, I have not been paid to advertise South Pork Ranch (well, other than a few T-shirts and an enormous debt owed for all the belly laughs), and I have never ate a Red Wattle Pig.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Do you know?

Do you know that sometimes it scares me to think that soon Trent's pictures are all going to start getting outdated? The other kids will all outgrow him and he will still be twelve years old. Do you know that it scares me that we have already gone through so many firsts~ and one day there won't be any more firsts without him? Do you know that it scares me that if I stop working and writing that one day I just might not be able to go on? That it would mean that I have to come out of my little bubble and face reality.

And then this morning, as I was reading in John 5 (specifically verses 30 and 44) I had to ask myself this question: "Who am I doing this for {grieving, living, obeying}?" Jesus said : "By myself I can do nothing;.... for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." "How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?" Am I living to please God, others, myself?

And then these quotes hit home:

"Before we can be clean and ready for Him to control, self-seeking, self-glory, self-interest, self-pity, self-righteousness, self-importance, self promotion, self-satisfaction, ~ and whatsoever else there be of self~ must die." Leonard Ravenhill

"By nature the throne-place, our heart, is quite fully occupied with self. And self does not want God to rule as king, but only to serve as slave-servant." Rex Andrews


Cole read me the story of Naamen the other day while I was weeding in the garden (see~ science, reading, working all in one!). It stopped me in my tracks in the middle of the beans and made me realize how, like Naamen, I grumble at God's ways. I realized how I had been questioning God and asking (really, down deep in my heart, telling Him that he must have made a mistake, that He could have done it better, that He didn't know what He was doing, just in a very polite self satisfying way) "Couldn't this have been done differently, God? Couldn't salvation have been shown to so many others without taking Trent? Why did it have to be this way?"

But then I realized that it is this way. This was God's way. It is four months later. My whining won't change that, just like Naamen's whining wouldn't change the fact that he had to dunk seven times in that mucky water to be cleansed. That was how God chose to do it. This is how God chose to do this. And like Naamen, I can chose to trust God or not trust God. Who am I to tell the potter how to make his vessels whole?

You're Living the Dream Baby!

Cole had a dream. A chicken dream. A dream to raise his very own Silkie chicks. The incubator would not suffice to keep up with all of the eggs he was gathering (although he has started on the road to making his worldly riches through this source so that he could continue to feed the other birds in his dream). His dream expanded to broody hens hatching their own little chicks to grow up into broody hens to hatch more of their own little chicks. His dream has been realized at last. Oh the sweet taste of success! One little chick hatched out by a faithful hen with several more eggs to go.And to add sweet to sweetness, another hen went broody and has her own clutch of eggs. The barn cat has a dream, too (and if we don't hurry up and get some projects finished around here so that we can start a Silkie chicken coop the cat's dream just might be fulfilled).

As Much As....

As much as I would like to think that I could become a sustainable rabbit farmer and turn our hopes and dreams into a reality of this being a profitable little farm by raising meat rabbits {amongst the other various farming schemes we have going on} these pictures just convince me otherwise and conjure up too many images of keeping pet rabbits as a child to ever being able to get to the point of {don't say it out loud} butchering them. Rabbit stew is probably not in my future so I will just have to set my hopes on some desperate Craigslister who does want to eat them lest we become overrun {because we held another animal science class the other day ~ mommy, why does the buck do that? {{{{AAAHHH!!! }}}} go ask Daddy why sweetums}. But aren't they cute??!!!

A Dogs Life

Does it get any better than this?
Yes, she is a bit spoiled, but then again Lady is the best dog in the whole wide world, at least our little world.

They Make Me Do This Every Year

Last week I found myself in Russell's field on the top of a hay rack stacking square bales with Cole. I can't complain too much about it, tho, because it was actually quite a bit of fun. Can you tell that I am a farm girl at heart? At least the first load was fun. The second one about did me in (while Cole kept working away with nary a complaint). And then we had to stack it in the hay mow. One hundred and forty some bales in the hay mow and only another cutting or two to go later this summer so that my little goats will have lots of good food to eat all winter long.


I've gotta tell you all, I've just gotta tell you. I've been keeping it a secret for too long...... I wrote a book. Not a few goofy thoughts with a few off-chance cute pictures, but a real book. It feels weird to hold it in my hands and to realize that I wrote a book. Not that I don't ramble on and on or anything, or that I have only wanted to write a book since I was nine years old, but I actually wrote a book.

In all honesty, I was only being obedient, and I only wrote what God gave me to write. It is my sanity that is in those hundred-and-twenty some pages. Maybe that's the part that is surprising and amazing to me. Maybe that's why my head feels so empty and I am in a daze (wait I feel that way a lot of the time). But I wrote a book. A real book.

After Trent died God slowly impressed upon me to write a book about what He was doing in our lives. At first I thought it was just me. But God wouldn't let up and He continued making it clearer and clearer through several people (thanks faithful ones:) to the point that I could not deny it. So I quit fighting it and I wrote.

I look at the manuscript and I am amazed. I look at all the details coming together to have it edited and published and I am even more amazed, and a bit scared to tell the truth. God is really doing this. I fight my pride and pray for God to shine through it, not me.

Rob read it~ he laughed, he cried, he rejoiced in His Savior. Here we go........ Hold on.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How Do You Do That?

I had so much fun staying up late and playing around with the blog look last night.  I have wanted a collage header for quite some time, but being I am very computer challenged and just plain old don't have much time to play around trying to figure it out, I haven't learned how to make one. After the kids were in bed I searched the world wide web and found this great blogger who did a post on step-by-step making a collage header using Picasa (and it's FREE! I like that!). I am so, so happy with the new look!  Thought you all might like to know how, too (since some of you have called already this morning and asked, well, called for other reasons too, I guess:).    Go check it out and have fun! 
Click Here!

Friday, June 17, 2011

This is What it's All About

I saw it as fitting punishment for a capital offense for three young kiddos, but then along came Rob with his happy, chipper attitude and saw it for what it really was. "This is what it's all about" he said. And (once I quit grumbling about my beautiful sweet little blessed children and the cursed ground that keeps on growing weeds) I saw it too. This really is what it's all about. Just being. Being together, working together, growing together, loving and trusting God together.

Smiling little buggers. It's hard to stay mad at them for very long.

Just A Swingin'

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm Gonna Cry, Cry, Cry

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. Today marked another first. The first youth group trip that our church has taken since Trent's accident. Our kids decided not to go, but we were asked to drop off a friend who was going. No big deal. Until I pulled into the driveway, saw all the excited teenagers getting ready for a fun filled weekend, and realized that Trent was on the last trip and never came back home. I fought the tears as I drove away. I thought of Rob driving out of that same driveway four months ago with the foreboding feeling that Trent might not be coming back. Everything hit all over again. I cried. I put on my big super-model sunglasses so the kids wouldn't see the tears. I will not go numb. I will not not think of those kids on that trip this weekend. I will not not pray for them as they, too, remember the last youth group trip they were on. I will go forth trusting God. I will keep living.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Little Black and White Moo Babies

So we are on to our next batch of calves. In my master farming-to-make-some-money plan I have decided to keep raising calves this summer as long as we have goat's milk to feed them. My theory is that we will raise three to butcher and sell the others when the food runs out or the market goes up. Two weaned calves are now outside in the big calf pen so the calf stall in the barn was open. Rob, Cole and I went over to the big dairy farm where we usually get our calves from to pick out a couple more. This is where the trial begins, because you see, Rob and I are exact opposites. He likes to logically think things through, weigh the consequences and the price, and delay any type of a decision as long as he possibly can. Me? I jump in with both feet then look back to wonder what in the world I was thinking.

We stood at the calf shed for nearly an hour as Rob looked at all the little calves; whispering sweet nothings into their ears.

Checking out their legs and their feet.

And giving them full body massages in his quest to try to figure out which ones might live and which ones he might have to dig a big hole for.

I stood on the other side of the fence giving my advice "Honey, I like the black ones. Let's get the black ones. Just get the black ones!" I am growing in graciousness and submission like that. He is growing in patience. If it had been up to me they would have been home, fed and tucked into their little straw beds in the time it took him to look. The way it ended up there was nobody left to sell them to us by the time we half decided and it took two more trips over to the farm before we were able to bring them home. Yes, we got the two black ones. They are living and thriving in my little goat barn enjoying their fresh goats milk.

And for my records (because I will forget by next summer), my recipe for success to raising bottle calves on goats milk.

3 feedings per day for the first week of 2 pints of warm goats milk each.

After 1 week, 2 feedings per day of 3-4 pints each.

Average of four more weeks of 2 feedings per day, 4 pints each feeding, twice a day, until they are eating 3# of calf grain each. All the hay and water they want, then gradually wean them off the milk.