Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Holy in Christ - Doing the Will of God

I am still working my way through the book Holy in Christ by Andrew Murray and have continued to be blessed by many nuggets of wisdom in its pages. The following portion I found especially thought-provoking . . . .

“And which shall we now choose? And where shall we take our place? Shall we attempt to accept Christ as a Savior without accepting His will? Shall we profess to be the Father’s children, and yet spend our life in debating how much of His will we shall perform? Shall we be content to go on from day to day with the painful consciousness that our will is not in harmony with God’s will? Or shall we not at once and for ever give up our will as sinful to His, - to that Will which He has already written on our heart?” – Andrew Murray (Holy in Christ; pg. 230)

And what is the will of God? Here are some of the things that I found . . .


--first and foremost, that we believe in His Son Jesus Christ (John 6:40)

--that we walk in obedience to Him and His Word (Ephesians 5:1-20, 6:5-8, 1 John 5:3, etc.)

--that we rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks for all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

--for us to live in His will and not in our flesh (1 Peter 4:1-7)

--that we should be sanctified and holy (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)

--for us to not be conformed to the world; for us to be renewed in our mind (Romans 12:2)

--that those who do His will live forever (1 John 2:15-17)


“. . . . he [the believer in Christ] learns to see how God’s will has reference to every part and duty of life, and it becomes his joy, in all things, to live, ‘doing the will of God from the heart, as unto the Lord and not unto men.’ ” – Andrew Murray (Holy in Christ; pg. 232)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meet Dixie . . .

. . . our future milker!


This past Saturday morning, Dad, Leah and I met the lady we were getting Dixie from at a nearby truck stop and picked Dixie up from her there. And attracted the attention of a truck driver who stopped his truck and had to come over and find out 'what' we had! We explained to him it was a goat, and we visited with him for a bit while he petted her. I think all that made his day!


She has adjusted well and quickly, and she loves people. Our other two goats have also tamed down really well and now all three of them come running up to greet us and want to stay right close to us while we are in their pen. And they love being petted! Some of my favorite times with them is when I am sitting out there, and they will lay their heads on my shoulder or in my lap and just lean into me while I am petting them. Now I understand better why people like goats so much. :)


We plan to breed Dixie in October and then hopefully she'll kid in the spring and then . . . we can begin milking! And maybe cheese making and butter making eventually, too. Needless to say, I am so excited about this! It is a dream of many, many years finally coming true!

Monday, August 29, 2011

7 Weeks and More Photos to Share!

What a weekend! Saturday especially was a full day . . . from meeting someone at a truck stop to pick up a dairy goat from her (and there will be more about that later :), to making another large batch of croutons, pressure canning two batches of carrots (plus finishing getting them ready to can), going to town twice, and then other little things fit in as well. Needless to say, I was glad when the tasks of the day were finished and we could sit down to enjoy a relaxing evening together! Although it was a busy day, it was a good one and so satisfying to be able to get so much accomplished.

12 quarts of carrots canned and cooling on the counter

And now it's Monday yet again and another busy week lies ahead . . . and I know two predominate things that will be filling my time: picking and putting up green beans (our second planting is ready now) and working on some sewing. Plus we've got an evening of babysitting Adelyn which we're all looking forward to. And speaking of Adelyn, there have been some requests for more photos of her :), and as my camera was busy this past week during the times that we were together, I have some to share!

It was hard to pick out which ones to post as they are all so cute! But I tried to narrow it down and share only my very favorites . . . the first few are from when Leah and I went over one morning to spend some time with Ashley and Adelyn (and for Ashley to pass on some maternity sewing tips to me as I am working on a maternity sewing order for a friend right now.) What an enjoyable and fun time we had!


Aunt Leah rocking Adelyn

Adelyn eventually succumbed to the rocking and fell asleep for a bit.

Mommy and Adelyn . . . I love watching them interact together! Adelyn was just grinning and grinning as Ashley talked to her.


She is starting to hold her head up now and loves to look around at everything.

Then one evening, Ryan, Ashley, and Adelyn stopped by our place so we had an enjoyable time together then . . .

Grandma and Adelyn . . . it was so fun to photograph during this time as Adelyn was grinning so much, 'talking', attempting to laugh, and more. She is really growing and changing!

The many faces of Adelyn . . .
(these were all taken while Mom was holding her)




Me having a 'conversation' with her . . . she had a lot to say. :)

I love this age! It's so fun how much she is interacting with us now . . . and as we see her grow and change, I am reminded over and over what a miracle a baby is. A gift from the Lord . . . a precious life that He Himself knit together.

"For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well" (Psalm 139:13-14.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pure Happiness . . .

~ . . . is holding Adelyn for two and half to three hours while she slept ~

She likes to lay in unusual positions. :)
(And in this photo, I was patting her with my left hand as she was starting to get a little restless.)

This past Sunday, our meeting with brothers and sisters in the Lord was at our house, and during lunchtime while Ashley ate, Mom held Adelyn, and then once I was finished eating, I took her so Mom could eat. After walking around with her a bit and then singing to her "Jesus Loves Me" (only with using 'you' instead of 'me'), she fell asleep . . . and slept and slept and slept. Even through going outdoors with the children and visiting all of the animals (which included roosters crowing and dogs barking), she slept on.

After coming back inside, we settled on the couch together . . . and it was positively bliss. She is so precious! There is nothing like holding a sleeping baby with their warm little body against you, watching the varying expressions play across her face, listening to her little baby noises as she sleeps . . . happy sigh. It sure is wonderful being an aunt!

And just so you all know, she is awake sometimes, too! :) In fact, quite often she lays there contentedly looking around with her beautiful blue eyes . . . and I hope to have some 'awake' photos of her to share soon!

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Additions

After a long time of waiting and hoping, we have finally added a new kind of animal to our 'farm'! Two goats that we got for the purpose of being companions to another goat that we are picking up at the end of this week (and there will be more about that after we get her. :) As goats are sociable animals and need companionship, we knew after we found out that we were getting her, that we needed to find another goat (or goats) to keep her company. Then when an ad came up on craigs list for some very reasonable little wethers, we jumped at the chance . . . .

Both of them investigating my camera :)

My little boy

They are four month old wethers, and are so cute! Dad, Leah and I went and picked them up on Friday and as they had not been handled much at all, but had been out on pasture with their mamas, they were very skittish. We put them in a small chainlink pen for starters so that we could work on taming them down, and we have made great progress so far! In fact, they have gone from running away from us in a panic every time they saw us, to running up to greet us when we walk out to their pen. And today, they have even let us pet them a bit.

Leah's goat - I love their little feet!

And with them being much more friendly today, it was a bit difficult to photograph them! They like to get up close and personal now :) . . .

My boy trying to get up in my lap when I was kneeling down to photograph them

We are really liking these little guys, and it is so fun to go out to their pen and spend time simply watching them or feeding them. And it didn't take long to find out that they love redbud branches! They come running when they see us with those.

Enjoying some redbud leaves

It is exciting after dreaming about it for years to finally have goats! Something that we have looked forward to and have worked towards for a long time . . . and sometimes it's a bit hard to believe that it's really happened . . . that we have goats! And we'll have another one by the end of this week, and I look forward to sharing more about that later!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Sunday Hymn ~ I am Resolved

I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight;
Things that are higher, things that are nobler

These have allured my sight.


I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free

Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.



I am resolved to go to the Savior,

Leaving my sin and strife;

He is the true One, He is the just One

He hath the words of life.


I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.


I am resolved to follow the Savior,
Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth do what
He willeth
He is the living way.

I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.



I am resolved to enter the kingdom,

Leaving the paths of sin;

Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me,

Still will I enter in.


I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.


Words by: Palmer Hartsough, 1844-1932


"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" Philippians 3:14

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ponderings


A verse that I memorized early this week has been on my heart and mind quite a bit lately as I have thought about what it means and how to apply it to my life . . .

while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18.)

Oh, to have that heart and mind! One that is truly set “on the things above and not on the things that are on earth.” And why? “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God, and when Christ, who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:2-4) What a beautiful promise and a glorious hope!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

23 Years . . .

Today is the 23rd birthday of a very sweet young lady . . .


Happy Birthday, Leah! Words cannot adequately express how much you mean to me and how very thankful I am to the Lord for giving you to me as a sister. I love you so very much! Thank you for who you are . . . for your love, your fun loving nature, your sweet spirit, your love for the Lord and His Word, your sisterly wisdom, and much more. And in this next year of your life may you continue to grow in the Lord and in His love and grace!

No Longer Queenless!

Yesterday morning Dad and I did a hive inspection, and . . . the bees accepted the queen!

We went through the entire bottom box without finding any sign of her and then almost all the way through the top box with no sign either . . . and then we saw eggs! And then the queen! Needless to say, we are thrilled and so glad that the hive is going to make it now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The State Fair

Monday morning of this week found us hurrying to take care of the morning animal chores, packing the cooler, loading up the truck and heading out to the Missouri State Fair. This is always a much anticipated and looked forward to event for us, and we made a day of it. We had a really great time there and saw so many neat things! The highlight was at the close of the day, and there will be more about that later.

One thing that was different about this fair experience from the others, is that instead of being hot as we anticipated, we got cold! The temperature barely climbed into the 70's and a light shower came down most of the day. So as we walked from building to building, we would get wet and then just about every building had air conditioning going or fans blowing. When you're damp, moving air can cool you off really quickly! It was better than being hot, though. :)

We walked through some of the buildings first . . . agriculture, 4-H, Home-ec, and the chicken barn, too . . .



It was loud in there with all of the roosters crowing! We enjoyed walking down all of aisles and seeing the many different breeds of chickens. They had all kinds . . . pretty ones, unusual ones, and then those that are just plain ugly (those readers who know what Turkens are will know what I mean! :)

When we went through the Home-ec building, I photographed a few of my favorite things in there . . .

A restored antique quilt that was made in the 1930's by a seventh grader. I love this style of quilt with the old flour sack prints!

A beautiful smocked baby dress with a matching bonnet. It was so delicate with the lace and the tiny embroidery - definitely a work of art!

Mama looking at some of the canned goods

In one of the buildings, we ran into some friends of ours and enjoyed visiting with them for a bit before heading to the Boer goat show. This was one of the main reasons that we went to the fair on this day - to watch the Boer judging, to learn more about goats, and to pick up business cards and information. I have gotten fairly good at 'judging' cattle when we watch the judging of those, but goats are a completely different story! As time went on, though, we got a little better at it. It was helpful listening to the judge's critiques of the animals, and we learned a lot more about what good goat body type is. And of course, it was fun walking through the aisles and seeing all of the different goats and petting them as well.

This little boy was so cute! It was fun watching him show all of his goats.
A mama goat and some of her babies

Sleeping soundly

The goats were in the swine barn so there were aisles of pigs, too . . . most of them were sound asleep . . .

Taking its afternoon nap

After watching the goat judging for awhile and walking through that barn, we walked over to the sheep pavilion to watch the judging there for awhile. On the way, we visited the FFA building and displays which included antique tractors. Those are always neat to see!

My favorite one . . . I really like the Farmall's! (As well as the Internationals)

Dad and Mom looking at the tractors

After walking around awhile more and a visiting a number of the other buildings, the rain was picking up and we were cold so we headed to the Exhibition Center to await an event that we were all anticipating . . . the cowboy mounted shooting! The livestock barns were on the way so we walked through some of those (which I was glad for) and saw some cattle . . .


I sure would love to have some of these someday!

We got to the cowboy mounted shooting about an hour before it began . . . which ended up working out well as then we could watch the riders warming up in the arena. Then the fun began! First the arena was cleared of riders and sprayed down with water . . . .


Afterwards a tractor dragged it, and then the opening ceremonies began! The riders entered the arena with flag bearers in the lead while the cowboy mounted shooting's theme song was being played . . .


As the horses lined up in the center of the ring, the theme song ended and the Star Spangled Banner was sung and then a prayer by the announcer (which was very good - not only did he pray for the safety of the riders, but for the salvation of the individuals, and he prayed in Jesus' name as well. It was the type of prayer not often heard in public.)

The cowboy mounted shooting started out with the first level of men's and women's, and then worked up to the faster levels.
I knew I was going to enjoy this event, but I had no idea how much . . . it far exceeded my expectations! It was so fun!

Here are some of the photos that I took during the event (and just so you all know, they shoot blanks in events like this) . . .

He got his first balloon and now on to the next

After each rider finished, a boy scout troop would go out and replace all of the balloons. They did a great job! Though, I am sure they were very tired by the end of the day!

Her last balloon

Halfway through, and when the riders would make this turn, they would holster their first gun and pull out their second for the home stretch. It amazed me how quickly they could do this!

Leah took videos during this event (which we have enjoyed watching since getting home), and here is one of our favorites . . .


Just watching it brings back so many great memories! And Leah and I are already looking forward to next year's. :)

All good things must come to an end, though, and as night was falling, it was time for us to head for home . . .

Some of the horses waiting outside of the arena . . . they are such beautiful animals!

The sunset on the drive home - the heavens truly do declare the glory of God!

And another view of it

What a wonderful day it had been . . . a special time together as a family enjoying some of our favorite things!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Love


"Love can only be known by the action it prompts"

This is a quote from the definition in Vine's Expository Dictionary of 'love' as used in Scripture. And it was the opening phrase used to begin the teaching this morning which was on brotherly love . . . having a godly love for brothers and sisters in the Lord. So many beautiful passages of Scripture were shared, and I thought I would share some of them with you. They are ones that really spoke to my heart . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;" (Romans 12:10 - this entire chapter was read, and I would share the entire thing here, but it would be kind of long! It is an excellent chapter.)


"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. Let love of the brethren continue." (Hebrews 12:28-13:1)


"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart." (1 Peter 1:22)


"Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:5-8)


"'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.'" (John 13:34-35)


"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:18; we read through all of chapter 3 and then 4 as well which both speak much about love.)


"This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us." (1 John 3:23)


"And He said to him, ' "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, this is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."' " (Matthew 22:37-38)

And there is no commandment greater than these.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Morning Joys

What a glorious morning it was today! In fact, the past few have been so, and I have been greatly enjoying the early morning hours spent outdoors. This morning when I headed outside, the temperature was in the 60's and the sun was rising and lighting up everything with its warm sunshine. Taking care of the animals came first, and I took a few photos of some of them . . .

The pullets and two cockerels were glad to be let out of their pen . . . it's hard to believe that in just about four weeks the pullets should begin laying!

The hens were glad to be let out of their coop, too . . . since the chicks are free-ranging, the hens are staying in their fenced enclosure.

Mama rabbit and her two doe babies (who are not so little anymore) munching on their morning breakfast of hay (they get pellets, too, but the hay feeding comes first.)

And my buck enjoyed some petting . . . he is so sweet and even if he's hungry for his hay, he'll stop eating just so he can be petted

Our sweet stray cat has become part of our little farm now, and she is a wonderful addition (and she is still nameless! we've been trying to come up with a name for her, but so far, haven't found one that suits her.) I fed her up on the trailer this morning as the chicks found where we had been feeding her before and they started to chase her away so they could eat her food. They didn't bother her up here, though! (And this morning the trailer had a load of wood on it that we brought out to Ryan and Ashley's today - so that is what is in the trailer.)

After taking care of the animals, I went for a walk with my camera to enjoy the beauty of the morning . . . all was still and quiet save for the sound of my footsteps as I walked through the dew-laden grass, and there was a chorus of crickets singing and birds calling from time to t
ime as well. So peaceful! The words to the hymn How Great Thou Art came to my mind and I sang part of it as I enjoyed the beauty and the peacefulness all around.

Though, the stillness was broken every once in awhile, by this morning greeting . . .


There's just something about a rooster crowing that makes me smile . . . and he has perfected his crowing now and sounds like an experienced rooster.


Beauty in the simple things . . . I always enjoy seeing the many dew-covered spiderwebs in the mornings. Especially when the sun is lighting them up as it is here.


I could just stand here and look out across this beautiful pasture for a long time . . . happy sigh . . . I am so thankful that God placed such beauty in His creation for us to enjoy!

I sure am curious what has been going on in here! Only a few more days to wait now . . . .

Dew covered grass seed heads

When I walked down our driveway, our new cat followed me and rubbed against my legs the whole way down. On the way back up, she got distracted and ended up a ways behind me . . .


And then when she caught up again, she proceeded to flop down on the driveway and look up at me with eyes that seemed to be begging for some attention . . .


She sure is a sweetie!

Another spiderweb - spiders are amazing artists!

Little miss spooky - this is one of our pullets and she hardly ever lets us get close to her. It was a rare moment when she paused long enough for me to snap this photo!

By this time, the sun had risen higher and as there was work to be done indoors, I headed inside. The main project for today was making cucumber sandwich pickles and the first step on those was to slice them and set them to soak in salt water . . .


This was my first time making this recipe, and it was fun to do . . . and now it will be interesting to see if we like them!

Yesterday, I had given some of my parsley plants a hair cut and then had washed the cuttings from that . . .


So while the cucumbers were soaking this morning, I tied the parsley into bundles and hung them up to dry. The parsley plants had grown so large, and I was amazed with how much I was able to harvest from them! (It's kind of hard to tell in the photo, but the basket that the parsley is in is a pretty good sized one.) Once this batch is dried, I'll harvest from the rest of the plants and cut the basil as well. Then we should have a good store of these often used dried herbs to last us through until next year.

After the pickles were canned, the day proceeded to get very busy and it included some special and enjoyable things . . . and now that evening has arrived, it feels nice to be able to sit down and relax a bit. All in all, this has been a wonderful Saturday, and I am looking forward to tomorrow and a refreshing and uplifting time spent with brothers and sisters in the Lord!