We're trying more and more to grow our homestead so that we can get as much food from possible on our own hard work. Someday, I'd love to have a couple cows, a flock of chickens, and maybe even some pigs, but for right now we're starting small with a new flock of chicks! Oh my goodness are they sweet! We're going to use them for our egg supply, and we can't wait until that first egg arrives! Right now we're enjoying all of the cuteness these little chicks are giving us. I hope you enjoy it too!
Our house is full of new life. Seeds and plants have been planted in the garden, wild strawberries are blooming, the crab-apple and apple trees are in full blossom and we've got flowers all around. I stepped back the other day and just thought, "Wow, this is really beautiful". It's a true glimpse of heaven when we get to experience the beauty of all of God's creation.
We're hoping to preserve much of our winter vegetables from our gardens. We are so optimistic and excited for this year. We were able to add two new raised beds for growing, and we were able to plant lots more because of it. Our garden is filled with the traditional staples for my family: zucchini, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, onions, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, green beans, peas, and cucumbers. It will be a busy, but so worth it, growing season!
The only thing that isn't looking great on our property are the apple trees. I like to make applesauce and bake with the apples we get from our two mature apple trees, but this year we are only seeing a few blossoms near the top of the trees. Last year our apple harvest was huge, and that seems to be a trend for our trees; we get one year of great harvest and the next year is a very small harvest (if there's even enough apples to get anything). We'll have to head up to my grandma and grandpa's farm to get some apples from them this year for our applesauce. Their farm also just supplied us with a nice supply of rhubarb, which I'm working on cutting up and freezing for future baking and jam once we have strawberries to combine it with.
We are so lucky to be able to have this earth for food and beauty. I thank God each morning for giving us this wonderful planet, fully of everything needed for life, for us to live. What a gift!
Until next time,
I Am Who You Say I Am4/18/2019
This has been a hard Spring.
I would be lying if I said my relationship with God has been strong through these last few months. I'm in a place of spiritual turmoil as I continue to press forward with challenging questions of purpose for my life. As I reach out to God, I'm feeling helpless, unheard, and alone. I push God for answers, begging Him to change me, to not allow me to be the selfish, impatient, quick-tempered woman that I am. As I grow more frustrated, I see the reality of how weak my faith really is. As I continue through life not getting my way, my response is not to lean on God, but instead to turn away from Him. "I don't really want to talk with Him right now", was a common thought in my head. As if I know more than the one who created the entire universe, who created the earth, and who created and shaped me....
As I realize my shortcomings, I know that the only way I can find peace is by finding God again. The only way I can be okay is by turning back to God and trusting that He is there and His promises still stand firm. To know God, to walk with God, I have to open up my bible.
Isaiah 45: 9-12 spoke to me:
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’
Does the pot exclaim,
‘How clumsy can you be?’
10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
‘Why was I born?’
or if it said to its mother,
‘Why did you make me this way?’”
11 This is what the Lord says--
the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth
and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
All the stars are at my command.
A bit further in chapter 59:
Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you,
nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.
2 It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.
Because of your sins, he has turned away
and will not listen anymore.
3 Your hands are the hands of murderers,
and your fingers are filthy with sin.
Your lips are full of lies,
and your mouth spews corruption.
So there is no justice among us,
and we know nothing about right living.
We look for light but find only darkness.
We look for bright skies but walk in gloom.
10 We grope like the blind along a wall,
feeling our way like people without eyes.
Even at brightest noontime,
we stumble as though it were dark.
Among the living,
we are like the dead.
11 We growl like hungry bears;
we moan like mournful doves.
We look for justice, but it never comes.
We look for rescue, but it is far away from us.
12 For our sins are piled up before God
and testify against us.
Yes, we know what sinners we are.
13 We know we have rebelled and have denied the Lord.
We have turned our backs on our God.
We know how unfair and oppressive we have been,
carefully planning our deceitful lies.
We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
7 Yet no one calls on your name
or pleads with you for mercy.
Therefore, you have turned away from us
and turned us over to our sins.
8 And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand.
9 Don’t be so angry with us, Lord.
Please don’t remember our sins forever.
Look at us, we pray,
and see that we are all your people.
And God's response in chapter 65:
The Lord says,
“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
to a nation that did not call on my name.
2 All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.
But they follow their own evil paths
and their own crooked schemes.
All throughout my troubles, my struggles, my journey, God has been crying out and asking me to look to Him.
He's begged me to let me let Him lead.
Yet I, sinful and stubborn, refuse. I shut him out. "I can do this on my own then." Like a naive child, I ignore help from the one who knows how and choose the challenges that arise from trying to do things on my own.
I have forgotten that the Lord knows me better than I know myself. I have forgotten that the Lord knew me before he formed me in my mother's womb. I have forgotten that I am the clay and God's hands are forming me. I have forgotten that I am beautifully and wonderfully made.
I have blamed God, asking Him why he gave me this heart, these desires when they seem so out of reach. But nothing is out of reach for God.
God has created me to be just as I am. He is the potter, I am the clay. If I let Him, I will be molded into something beautiful. If I listen to Him, he is there, guiding me to where I need to go. But I have to trust, and I have to listen. God is waiting for me to call upon Him.
Thank you, Lord, for being patient with me. Forgive me for trying to do things on my own. Thank you for loving me even when I have abandoned you.
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