Thursday, December 31, 2015

Will They See Jesus?

Several days ago, I found this post in my drafts folder . . . I had written it last summer, but it was never posted! It seems especially fitting to share now at the eve of a New Year . .  .


"Will They See Jesus?"

This question has been floating around in my mind for the last several weeks. As I go about my day to day life, spend time with people at the nursing home, interact with my family, enjoy spiritually refreshing Sundays with our church, run errands in town . . . the question comes, will they see Jesus? Will they see His character and love shining through me?

A quote from the recent Berean Call newsletter fit so well with my thoughts . . .

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What Do We Smell Like?

One of the many things I love about God’s Word is the wonderfully significant teachings that are wrapped up in a simple word or phrase. In 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 we find: “For we are unto God a sweet [aroma] of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the [aroma] of death unto death; and to the other the [aroma] of life unto life.”
No need to elaborate here. Whether we are among believers or the lost, what is our fragrance?
T. A. McMahon

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Yes, indeed, what is our fragrance?

With working with essential oils in soap making, etc., one can see how the rich, concentrated fragrance permeates whatever product it is put into. Releasing its scent throughout for all to experience who come into contact with it.

The higher the amount of oil used, the richer and further-reaching the fragrance. What a parallel this is to this passage in Scripture and to our lives! Jesus Christ is the fragrance that should so fill us that it radiates through us that all can take note and see. His Spirit flowing through us and living through us.

"For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23.)

I have often pondered how to have more of His 'fragrance' . . . what predominately comes to mind is simply spending time with Him and letting Him abundantly fill my life through: Reading His Word. Praying. Meditating on Scriptures. Seeking His will though the Scriptures. Yielding to Him, moment by moment seeking to die to self and to live for Him in obedience to His Word; and more.

And then the closer we grow to Christ, the more His fragrance will flow through to all those around us!

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Compilation

Fun and special memories have certainly been made over the past month or so! Much more than what will be shared in this post, but here are some photos that were captured . . . .

Thanksgiving

Mom peeling sweet potatoes

One of the verse cards I made for each of the plates

Our Thanksgiving table

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving together as a family! The time together, the delicious food, thanking God for the very many blessings He has given in this past year, and more, was all so special.

Mom and I out for a much enjoyed walk together in our neighborhood


The Riding Center

 Will and I having so much fun together during one of his classes!

The riding center finished for the year awhile back, and Leah and I are missing our little riders! And looking forward to spring when the center begins classes again. :) 

We and our parents were able to attend the center's yearly Awards and Appreciation day which was enjoyable! It was so nice to see everyone again (including one of our little riders [who gave us a sweet gift each . . . a framed photo of us with her!]), watch a well put together hour long slideshow of photos from the year (which was special!), and then, Leah and I were very surprised to each receive the "Volunteer of the Year" award!

It was so special to receive that and the accompanying plaques . . . how thankful we are to have been able to be a part of the work they are doing there!

Dad, Mom, and Leah at the riding center appreciation/award dinner


Our First (and only) Snow of the Year


We had a bit of snow on the day of the first farmers market which was nice! It wasn't much, and it didn't last long, but it was pretty while it lasted. :)



Farmers Market

The farmers market has been going really well so far! Leah and I are enjoying our Saturday mornings there together, plus it was fun the first week as both Dad and Mom came with to help set up and then Dad came the next two weeks, too.

Leah and I 



I have been busy making products and this next week will be especially so . . . lots of soap, scrubs and deodorants to make!


The first market day (and I ended up switching the middle sign with the basket on the left . . . it looks much better that way!

Lots of delicious veggies at the market!


Around Our Farm

The Boer does hanging out in the hoop house one windy day 

 Looking out across our neighbor's pasture . . . and enjoying the bit of sun that was peeking through. We haven't had much sun here as of late!

 Most of the beehives with some of the goats in the background

A Pileated Woodpecker just recently began coming up to where we feed the birds! They are not at all common to see so this has been quite a treat. Dad put a block of suet on the ground by this tree (which you can see in the photo), and the Pileated has been enjoying that.
[photo by Dad]

A little visitor that enjoyed the suet as well! It came up yesterday afternoon, and it was neat to see him.

This barely scratches the surface of what has been filling the last month and a half, but at least it gives a glimpse! It is hard to believe that this year of 2015 is nearly over . . . what a wonderfully full year it has been!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless His holy name"
Psalm 103:1

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends!


There is so very much for us to thank the Lord for . . . the gift of Himself; forgiveness of sin and salvation to those who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior; His ever present love and guidance; His discipline; His Word which is a true lamp to our feet; faithfulness even through hard times; and so much more.

And then we each have the personal blessings that He has given to each of us. This past year has been a wonderful year for us filled with so much that He has given . . . though not without trials and hard times, yet even through those, God proved Himself so faithful. 

So today as I spend time with my very dear family, my heart is full of thankfulness and joy for the abundant blessings He has poured out upon us and for His continued faithfulness and guidance to us. How very good He is!

I will leave you with portions of a few Psalms that have spoken to my heart recently and seem fitting for this day of Thanksgiving . . .

"But he who trusts in the LORD lovingkindness shall surround him.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart."
Psalm 32:10b-11

"I will bless the LORD, at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together."
Psalm 34:1-3

Friday, November 6, 2015

Autumn Days

The leaves have fallen from many of the trees . . . frost has coated the ground several mornings so far . . . the crunch of leaves sounds underneath one's feet when walking through the woods . . . the air definitely feels and smells of fall!

The other day, I took a walk soaking in the beauty of this season, enjoying the antics of our goats, and more. As October came to a close and November began, things have remained still quite busy, so for now, I will leave you with some of the photos that were taken during my walk . . . .

An orange carpet of leaves underneath the Cypress Trees 

The Sweetgum trees are dropping their colorful leaves now 

We're still getting some peppers from the garden! 

The celery is doing really well . . . it limped through the summer and now is thriving in the cooler temperatures. Though before we get a hard freeze, we'll be harvesting most of it and putting it up in the freezer.

A bit of the lettuce that the deer have left us . . . they have enjoyed our 'salad bar' :)

Basil that went to seed and that I am saving seed from 

Dad got all 10 beehives ready for winter! 

 Our Boer bucklings still are really friendly! Someone is coming out tomorrow to take a look at them so at least one should be going to a new home soon.

Ruger, one of our herd sires, lounging in his shelter 

A bad picture I know, but it is the clearest view of our neighbor's pasture I could find at the moment. The pasture has been hayed, and there are still some red leaves clinging to the Oak Tree in the foreground. Unfortunately, this big old tree is dying so we'll have to have it taken out soon. 

One of the new animals on our place! We were having difficulty with our other rabbits as they had a poorer genetic line and were having slow growth and finished out at a smaller size than we would like. So we butchered all of those, and got new ones! This is one of our new does. They were not tame at first, but slowly they are getting more used to us. Treats of hay and chickweed have certainly been a help with that. :)

So there is a glimpse into some of what it looks like around here right now!

And to close, I would like to share part of a Psalm I read several nights ago that especially spoke to my heart . . . I hope it will be an encouragement to you as well!

"The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:7-11

What an amazing and perfect God is the Lord! And what a very great blessing His Word is to us. I am so thankful that He has given it to us to not only be able to come to know Him through it, but to also know how He desires us to walk and how we may please Him and glorify His name.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Playing Catch-up

How quickly the last few weeks have flown by! Life has been very full, and in a good way. :) Hence the lack of posting! Here is a glimpse into just some of what has been filling the last few weeks . . .

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An evening bonfire and hotdog roast with friends which was fun!

My dear parents and sister :)

Me with a friend's little boy taking pictures with my camera - he really liked doing that!

All of us

Hotdogs roasting

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We have had many wonderful days at the riding center . . .

In the arena . . . it is hard to see, but in the center back, I am sidewalking with a little boy on a white pony. I have gone with him every week so far, and it has been special to begin developing a friendship with him!

Me enjoying time with Will's little sisters . . . love these sweet girls and Will, too!

As was Leah!

It has been such a good fall session so far! It has thrilled my heart to see the progress some of my little riders are making, and I have enjoyed many special times with them. Such as a darling little girl breaking into laughs when playing peek-a-boo with her while she is riding. Or as she bends over to us and gives us one of her gentle hugs. Or sweet Will talking, laughing, and teasing with me (we have been having so much fun together!), and more.

Leah and one of our friends at the riding center

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Preparing for the winter farmers market (which starts in late November) has been taking a lot of time! I have been making quite a bit of soap in preparation for it. Since the soaps need to cure 4-6 weeks, all the ones I want to bring to the first market need to be made by October 24th. Plus I want to make plenty to extend several weeks past that and for online sales as well.

Soaps curing

Another business related thing is that I learned that shipping restrictions have changed for the United Kingdom so to all my readers from there, I can now ship to the UK!

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The local store I mentioned awhile back that wanted to wholesale some of my products decided to carry my sugar scrubs and deodorants! So I made those, came up with a display, and then delivered everything. Here is what it currently looks like . . .


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Encouraging and enjoyable Sundays are a highlight of our week! It has been a great blessing to study God's word with these brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are currently going through both Mark and 1 Corinthians which has been both interesting and edifying!

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I continue to go to the nursing home and have had many special and memorable times there (one of which was last week when Leah came with!) and a number of opportunities to speak about the Lord and share the gospel with some of the residents.

This dear lady is 98 and I have really enjoyed being able to get to know her! She loves to listen to the old hymns and always has many requests for me to play and sing.

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And then of course there is the daily life . . . all the regular day to day tasks, time with family, doing some fall deep cleaning, putting the garden to bed (which Mom has been doing), photographing and listing goats to sell, crocheting, and a number of other things as well.

Aurora and Sierra came up to see me as I walked back up the driveway after checking the mail

Sierra enjoying some fallen leaves I picked up for her 

Dad giving one of the bucks a treat of leaves after his photography session. He's now listed and hopefully will sell soon!

It has been a wonderful fall so far, and I am so thankful for all the blessings that God has been giving! So there you have a glimpse into our last few weeks. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Last week, Mom, Leah and I got together once again at Ha Ha Tonka State Park with our good friend, Joy, and her daughter, Elyse. We had a wonderful day together! First having lunch at a picnic shelter and visiting for awhile, then exploring some of the trails and the 'castle', and at the close of our time together, sitting on benches at the end of one of the trails and visiting until we needed to part ways and head for home.

I'll let the photos (and some words :) tell the story of our day (or at least part of it!) . . . .

The picnic shelter where we had lunch and talked for awhile

Then we were off to hike the "Natural Bridge Trail" . . . .

The Natural Bridge

Joy, Elyse, Me, and Leah

Me

The other side of the natural bridge

On the trail again - this was a fun one!

Leah

Me doing one of my favorite things :) 

A wildflower along the way

The first trail

Joy and Elyse . . . enjoyed spending time with you both! 

Leah photographing 

Looking out towards the cliffs on which the 'castle' sits 

The remains of the 'castle' in the distance

Me, Mom and Leah


Some of the leaves are changing colors! Fall is here . . . . 

Leah and Mom on the "Watertower Trail"

And the Watertower

Scenes like this remind me more of the southwest instead of Missouri!

Me, Elyse and Joy

Looking down from the trail

Joy, Mom, Leah and Elyse at one of the overlooks

The view . . . it definitely looks like the Ozarks with all the trees!

The Carriage House 

The remains of the castle

Joy and Elyse

So enjoyed spending time with these special ladies (and Mom, too! [who was taking the picture]) 

There were quite a few of these little lizards scurrying around by the castle. This one was running around the tree away from me and then froze letting me snap this photo of him. 

 Mom and Leah in one of the castle windows

 On the trail back to where we had parked

All in all, we had a much enjoyed day enjoying friendship, fellowship, and so much beauty in God's creation!