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.

Monday, November 28, 2011

On the Radio

"You are my witnesses," declares the Lord, "that I am God."

Isaiah 43:12b

Another amazing opportunity has presented itself to share about God. A couple of months ago Renee, from TailSpinFarm, sent me an email telling me that her husband, Scott, was the host of a Blog Talk Radio program, Christian Devotions Speak Up! She wondered, if by any chance, I might be interested in sharing our story of God's faithfulness in our lives on the show.

Of course I would!

More emails followed which introduced me to this guy who might as well have been another pesky brother-in-law, questionnaires were filled out, books were sent east, and Renee has even decided to join us on the big night.

And now the big night is tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 6:00 p.m. EST at Christian Devotions Speak Up!

Please pray for me, friends! Pray for those who will hear the testimony of our good God! Pray for salvation and changed eternities and that I don't pass out or stumble over words or the phone battery dies or, or, or . . .

So Long Porks!

OurCrazyFarm is officially pigless as of this morning. The last of the pigs were shipped, without any troubles {thanks God!}, and some lucky patrons will soon have their freezers full of farm fresh pork. We went big in the pork department this year and raised eight pigs, in two separate batches. They were raised off of cheese and whey, along with left over garden goodies. Eight pigs, averaging a minimum of 250# each, equals a lot of cheese! Normally we don't like to keep pigs in the Wisconsin Winter as we are not set up with cold weather provisions, so it was good to see them go before the elements turned too harsh. Hibernation mode is setting in here, and having one less thing to do for chores in the snow is fine by me.

Not So Little Boys

I realized the other day that we are almost past the little boy stage at our house. These poor last children of big families; they are destined to be the babies forever. My baby sister was over for Thanksgiving last week~ yes, she's thirty-something and her baby is older than my baby . . .

I love the little/big boy stage; the age of innocence and joy in simple things. Their out of diapers yet not quite to the ornery stage yet, and the Dollar Store still thrills as well as the simple joy of sitting next to Mom at movie night. "I'm just comfortable with you, Mom" is going to ring like sweet music to my ears for quite some time. And this morning, after venturing down the stairs still in his PJ's, "Well, nice to see you Mom!"

And his latest, which none of us can convince him otherwise, is the fact that he has been chosen to become the next Power Ranger. So stay tuned, maybe he knows something we don't.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just Stand

And after you have done everything; just stand.

from Ephesians 6:13

Just stand. Or lay. Or get on your knees. Sometimes there is nothing else to do. And as a "doer", doing nothing is the hardest thing in the world. So I {fitfully, anxiously, nervously} just stand.

Anxiety hits hard, and at unexpected times, like at 5:30 a.m. after Rob has already gotten out of bed and the dark is dark and the thoughts won't quit. What if God isn't there? What if eternity never comes? What if I am swallowed up today by this reality? What if the whispers of the enemy are true? Why can't I remember the rest of that verse about God being faithful and that Jesus is really coming back one day?

Just stand.

Although I feel withered, and beat, and tired and bent, I will still stand. Just stand. Stand firm in the Word, firm as the battle rages, firm as the shame heaps from within and my arms and my whole being feel weak; I will stand firm in my Savior's tight grip.

As Elijah (1 Kings 19), I resort back to simple rest. Food, coffee, a bed and a book. A needed respite from the world that continues to invade with it's never-ending demands. Rest for my weary soul, rest to fight the battle again, rest to remember the Promises.

I wait for the peace again, the calm in the storm. I wait to be renewed. I wait for the comforting whispers from a voice not my own. "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."

But as for me, I will always have hope. I will praise You more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of Your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone. Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my life again. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You~ I, whom You have redeemed.

Sweet Promises from Psalm 71

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Farmer's Wife

Being the farmer's wife comes with certain privileges. Sure, you might not get to do all the fun stuff like driving the skid steer and loading the pigs, but you always get the front end on bull banding day. You have to be a true-blue farm girl to appreciate the benefit of that little detail.

A True Thanksgiving

I know it was Thanksgiving last week. I know it was deer hunting opener last week. And I know I didn't post about it. It took enough energy to get through the days, let alone trying to decide how it all went or how I felt about it.

I think, really, that I just didn't want to have to remember the firsts without Trent. I didn't want pictures of another holiday without him. I didn't want a group-shot of blaze-orange hunters without seeing his face in the midst of them. I didn't want to make a paper-mache pinyata, or decorate it, or fill it with candy, or wait for what should have been his turn to take a swing.

I couldn't make taco soup this year for all those hungry guys, and maybe I won't next year either. And I was never so grateful as to have such a goofy daughter and nobody else in the kitchen to fight over whose turn it was to grind the cranberries. I couldn't decorate a turkey cookie, let alone eat one, and I counted myself lucky to have such a good helper to get through mixing the half-dozen frosting colors.

The Spoons table and the hugging sisters did me in. Trying to tell a friend why it meant so much to me that he loved my son and had taken the time to teach him how to cook sucker-lips on a stick about did us both in. Seeing that group of 13 kids, and knowing that one was missing, and knowing that they were knowing that one was missing, makes eternity seem a long ways off.

But there was still lots to be thankful for; lots. Friends and family in abundance: friends from down the road and friends from half-way across the world. Not-so-new babies, Grandma's and Grandpa's, aunt's and uncles, big kids and teen-agers who seemed like just yesterday they were the babies. More food and pie than what would even fit on my kitchen island and counter tops, and seeing the real advantage of someday having a front porch and a pantry.

Last year all I wanted was to have the bathroom remodeling project finished before Thanksgiving company came again. This year all I wanted, painted ceiling or not, was to simply enjoy the loved one's that God has put in our lives. And I did; I really did.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Two Sisters

As I happened to walk around the corner and saw these two sitting at the piano in the sunlight today I had to turn back and grab my camera. There are some moments in life where you know that you are seeing more than a lens can capture; moments, somehow, that portray the very work of God Himself, moments that you don't want to forget, moments that go too fast.

I saw more than two sisters playing the piano. I saw childhoods, and foreign countries, and answered prayers. I saw one little girl praying unceasingly for a sister, and another little girl in desperate need of a sister. Visions of Barbie dolls and horse rides and laughter flashed through my mind as I clicked away, hoping that this time they wouldn't mind Mom taking a dozen or more shots. I saw braided hair and fancy dresses, and costumes and ballets, and even fights and tears and making up.

As the beams of sunlight shone on them, and the melodies and the harmonies continued in their own little enchanted world that didn't hear the Craigslist-special-piano in desperate need of a tuning, I could almost see weddings and sons-in-laws and catching bouquets. All too quickly those days will be here, too. Slow down, life.

For today, I will simply bask in the laughter and joy of two young ladies playing piano in the sunlight.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Letting the Hurt, Hurt

Today, again, grief just hurts. I don't know why I am so stubborn and refuse to realize that and so often try to stuff it instead. I just want to fight it, as if I could fight the pain. It just hurts. We were not ultimately created to know death; it is the deepest, darkest taste of sin. Death is too much reality of the world we live in; so much proof that this world is in need of a Savior to make it all right. Oh, that Jesus would come soon and make it right.

Some days I wonder why I had to be the one to experience this, to feel this, to live this. Why couldn't I just go on with my rose colored glasses living my merry little life? But then other days I praise God for waking me up; waking me up to reality. And I praise Him for showing me the brevity of life, and for showing me the way of salvation, and for showing me Trent's salvation, and for giving me hope beyond this pain.

God asked me if I trust Him. Do I really believe what He says? Do I really believe His plans are best? Do I really believe in eternity where all will be made right? "Yes, Lord, I do" is my weak reply as I lay in my bed trying to figure out how to get out of it this morning. Then let the hurt, hurt.

The tears come when I go to my knees to try to worship this Creator God; this God with His perfect plans of pain. He is good; so good that I can't even fathom how good. My words are not sufficient, only tears are. Tears that will one day be wiped away. Tears over sons, and lost souls, and faithful prayer warriors.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Home Schoolin'

Home school; we've been doing it for 10 years now. The grades span from elementary through high school this year; a little one-room school house right in our dining room. Young minds are being filled with wisdom every day (now if I could just get them to get dressed first and take out the garbage). Our days have settled into a nice rhythm of reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic. I am learning again about transitive and intransitive verbs, atomic models, allegory and irony, reciprocal fractions, the phonetic sounds of all 26 letters of the alphabet and their partners, as well as the dates and names and important places of the American Revolution (Sounds impressive, huh? Mostly they hurry through the books so they can cross it off the schedule and go play). This little tidbit was interesting from the other day: did you know that the Boston Massacre really started because somebody threw a snowball at somebody else? Me either. My kids didn't either.

This is my favorite part of home school though~ snuggling on the couch with my kiddos reading books. And the best part is that every child in our house can read (to some level at least). Whew! One of my hardest jobs in education has been accomplished. Even the goofy dog enjoys a good story!

Musical Chairs

I see them, twenty-or-so teen-agers circling metal folding chairs, going round and round and round as the music plays in the background. I see them, leaders playing the games right along with the kids. I see them, the Bibles on the shelves. I see them, the minutes ticking by, ninety of them. I see them again, in a new light, twenty-or-so souls who will face God one day to each give an account. And they are still circling those metal folding chairs; round and round and round.

It is only my job to observe this night. As I watched from my corner I realized that time was never quite found for the gospel message to be presented, let alone the Scripture to be preached. These twenty souls, in need of a Savior, in need of a message, in need of the truth; twenty souls not put in that little room by chance once a week. I wondered, "What if it's one of them who will see their Creater this Friday?" These twenty souls, entrusted to men and women this night by Jesus Himself. Men and women who will also give an account one day sooner than they think.

I pray for them; all of them. Rise us up leaders, Lord, who fear You, who know Your Word, who are brave enough to present it. Leaders that will lead; followers who will follow. Rise up men to preach the Word, hearts that will consider eternity, lives that long to be changed. Somehow we have gotten comfortable here in this fallen world.

And there they go again. The music starts, round and round and round, circling those metal folding chairs. We don't have time for musical chairs when there is a battle raging all around us.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Book Announcement

I am so excited to finally share the official news with you my bloggy friends~ The Book is finished! It's hot off the presses, and hopefully the first shipment is already on the big, brown UPS truck and headed north as I type!

I'm buckling my seat belt for the next part of this wild ride that God has me on as I anticipate what He is going to do with His book. There's a radio announcer lined up, as well as our local newspaper working on an article, and calls have been made for arranging a local book signing.

The book is available for purchase through WestBow Press, Amazon (with some minor technical difficulties, soon to be fixed I am sure), or over here at the How My Savior Leads Me official book site where you can request signed copies~ come and take a look! (I don't want to turn OurCrazyFarm into a sales site, so I'll try to head most of the traffic over there for book stuff.)

Your names are in it friends and followers! So many of you have walked this walk with me and have made such a huge impact on my journey that I couldn't not add you in the acknowledgments:

Sherry, Cathy, RedGateFarm, Brenda, Momma Hooch, Renee, Kristen, Laura J., Sonja, Janette, Teresa, Dalyn, Heather, Shoshanna, Amy, Midlife Farmwife, DickyBird, Traci, my editor SheMarksinRed, my niece Anne, Maddie, and all you other lurkers and followers. Even you, Blaine and Jeannie, and Jill and Jen, Steve and Kitty, and Ritchard and Joyce (amongst others)for your faithful "real life" friendships and continuous love.

Thanks, faithful friends!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Love You More

If I love you more, will you love me less?

2 Corinthians 12:15

"I love you more." It's been a regular saying around our house for years. I think it started out with a little bunny book nearly a decade ago when we didn't know what tweens or teen-agers were. "I love you more." The battle still continues today, especially at bedtime, especially with a little tween girl. It's a good battle.

I heard God whisper it today as I sat in my broken recliner, drinking my hazelnut flavored coffee, looking out over the frosty yard, hair uncombed, listening to four kids (who were supposed to be) quietly working on school books, or lost in their own little world with God. "I love you. I love you more."

My morning rejoicing over Trent being in heaven has gone to a morning contentment lately; one can only stay on the mountaintop so long. Even rejoicing becomes exhausting. After nearly nine months I find (I know, I know, duh) that I keep coming back to the same reality: this is still real. It's not going to change. Trent is not here. Graciously, God continues to constantly point my eyes to Him, to His truths, to His joys, to eternity.

But it's a battle. A battle that becomes ferociously intense at times. So I praise the Lord that He made me too stubborn deep down in my genetic core to refuse a good fight. My husband can attest. As can my sister who is too much the same way.

God is the author and perfecter of our faith. What He uses to grow me may not be what He uses to grow you. But are you growing? Are you fighting? Have you bowed to Jesus as Lord?

This trial leads me to recite over and over and over again the promises of Scripture. I put no confidence in the flesh; my God is sovereign; it is God's will that I should be sanctified, therefor I put my hope in God alone; I will strive to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer because I know that this present grief and suffering won't even be worth comparing to the glory of Jesus Christ that will be revealed; throughout it all God is refining me and proving my faith (and Himself).

Salvation, and God's word, and Jesus Himself continue to be my greatest joy. I look forward to eternity: not to next week, or next year, or when the goats are due, or the mortgage is paid off. I have never prayed "Lord, let your Kingdom come" with such a fervency and longing before this trial.

I stop often and look up at the stars and the moon at night. I have been known as of late to even stop on my walk up from the barn and just lay down in the cold grass to look up. Two kiddos looked at me odd the first time I was laying there, but soon found a comfortable spot of their own to gaze upon the heavens. One day I will know what the face of the God looks like who made those stars, and the sun, and the moon and put them in their place. Genesis 1:16 almost makes those little twinkling lights seem like an after thought when God was creating the universe. If the stars are the after thought, what then is the creation? What, then, is the worth of salvation? Especially considering that salvation cost the Creator His own Son?

It's as simple as "I love you, too, God." I think He wins. He does love me more. I'll just bask in that knowledge today.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do You Think there are Tomato Schmears in Heaven?

Do you think there are tomato schmears in heaven? Do you think boys will still want to kick box with their moms? Do you think they will make that popping, kissing noise when you tuck them into bed at night? Do you think there are mud hills so I could slide down with my son, rather than ewe-ing about the dirt and just standing back and taking pictures? Do you think I could cover myself with mud and dive into the pond to rinse off? Do you think there will be duck boats so I can just sit back and enjoy the ride again with my boys at the oars?

Will there be mornings of breakfast in bed, with pudding and cool whip and a cherry on top? Will there be stairways so I can take a turn riding the mattress down? Or forts to build, or trees to climb, or homemade boats to sail, or short horses to ride, or four wheelers to get stuck? Will there be tents to pitch or squirrels to chase? Pheasant's to mount or big fish to catch? Rivers to explore and lakes to enjoy?

For an eternity I will be able to look out into a crowd and spot those ken-doll locks and expect a young man to walk up and put his arm around me and rub my lower back just because he loves his mom and knows I need him close. I will see the twinkle in his eyes again, the sparkle reflecting from his Savior, as we go forth without the fear of death. If mud hills and duck boats and silly boys were this good this side of heaven, what must the other side be like?

"And I know this man . . . who was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell."

2 Corinthians 12:3-4

Saturday, November 12, 2011


We purchased Solomon at an auction barn a couple of years ago. I don't know where he came from, or who parted with this sweet little guy, but God certainly answered our prayers that night as I raised my card, not once but twice, and won him. He is now two years old, and still a stud (which could prove to have caused some issues with our two mares this spring).

Some girls are just destined to be cowgirls, and Grace is one of them. Today she begged for me to help her ride Solomon. Of course, after she told me she had already been on him once, I was a little less hesitant to just help her up on the back of a green bronc. So off she went and brought him up from the pasture; no halter, just a lead rope to throw around his neck. And she got on him, and he lazily walked with me over to the hay, and even refused the tootsie-roll in my pocket as a treat for the good job he did.

The thought has crossed my mind several times this summer that I really don't need a colt to train right now; but then the thought crosses my mind that there is a little girl who maybe does need a colt to train right now.