Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Save on Hotels with Christian Hospitality Networks

Read how here at Raising Real Men. 

"Hotel rooms every night will eat up your budget pretty quickly, so we had to find an alternative."

Article: Choose to Forgive

"Honestly, when it comes to forgiveness, feelings have to take second place. 
Obedience comes first. Do not base the validity of what you are doing on how you feel. Base it on the Word of God. 
Make the choice to forgive and then obey Him.
Someone once said: “We put our resentments in cold storage and then pull the switch to let them thaw out again. Our grudges are taken out to the lake of prayer to drown them, and we end up giving them a swimming lesson. How often have we torn up the canceled note but hang on to the wastebasket that holds the pieces? This is not to say that human forgiveness does not occur; only that it is rare and that much that passes for forgiveness is often not so at all.”
God is the One who heals painful memories. Forgiveness puts us in the correct posture for Him to do so in our lives. As I wrestled with the choice to forgive, I learned several life-changing truths:
If we make the choice to forgive, God will supply the forgiveness.
There should be no limit to our forgiveness because there is no limit to His.
Forgiveness is not a feeling or an emotion. Forgiveness is a deliberate choice.
Forgiveness is our greatest need and God’s greatest gift.
While we cannot change the past, we can change our response to the past and dictate the power it has over us. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent a scientist. But because our greatest need was and is forgiveness, God sent a Savior, Jesus Christ, who is calling us all to a higher place, a place of forgiveness.
The choice is ours to make.
Today, we can choose freedom by choosing to forgive." Read more here.
********
This article echoes my experience in forgiveness. We obey God's Word because it is the right thing to do, not because it is how we feel.  Feelings often come after we act on where the Lord is leading us. Show grace to yourself and them and forgive. 
Make the call you almost made. 
Finish the email you started and then closed. 
Send a card that made you think of that person. 
Do whatever it is that God laid on your heart to do! Obey. Act. Don't hesitate, and don't overthink it. There are blessings (good things for you) in obedience!
*******
"‘Yes, ‘A BLESSING IF YE OBEY’! that is the key-note of the blessed life. Canaan, just like Paradise and Heaven, can be the place of blessing as it is the place of obedience. Would God we might take it in! Do beware only of praying only for a blessing. Let us care for the obedience, God will care for the blessing. Let my one thought as a Christian be, how I can obey and please my God perfectly." Andrew Murray

With Christ in the School of Obedience by Andrew Murray free, read online


With Christ in the School of Obedience by Andrew Murray 99¢ at time of 

posting, Kindle

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Mom Prays, Dead Son Comes Back to Life After 45 Minutes

He was dead for over 45 minutes. They called his mother into the room and she started pleading with the Lord for her son. Within a minute or two, his heart was beating again. His rapid recovery is baffling the doctors. Read the story here.

If You Will..Say a Prayer

The transmission in Clint's car went out many months ago. He started using my truck for his work commute. I have not had a vehicle at home in nearly a year.  

Clint purchased a great car and is driving it back and forth. 

Now, my suburban is having electrical problems. I have no working brake or turn signal lights! It's here, but I can't drive it!

Normally, I don't go out during the day anyway because I have so many duties it takes all day and some of the evening to get everything accomplished. BUT, I have a sweet friend who really, really needs a break from a constantly challenging and draining situation. I have the skills needed to give her some relief. Will you pray for her to get rest? for her burdens to be made lighter? for her spirit to be renewed? for God's wisdom in making a very difficult decision?

Will you pray Clint was right on the needed repair and that the part arrives? From the tracking, the best guess anyone can give us is that it appears to be lost in a city near us. 

Thank you! How can I pray for you?

Should I Have Told Him?

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Monday, March 02, 2015

Video: It's a Mystery

Click for a great Video by James Richards.

For the Tired Mama

The tiredness you feel is to be embraced as precious and valuable because you earned it by giving your best to your family. It is earned not only from hard work but also from self sacrifice. These challenging and sometimes frustrating days of motherhood are some of the most important because it is through those hard days God is working to smooth your imperfections. The hard days have purpose. The tiredness has purpose. Enjoy every precious second even the long hours of sleepless nights. Never desire to miss a single one of them. There will be a day when you look back and realize how priceless every minute was, along with how very much God used it to prepare you for the next part of the journey.

Tired Mamas, I am praying for your commitment to God and your family to be renewed along with your strength and energy.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Article: KIDS AREN’T EXPENSIVE, BUT THAT OTHER THING SURE IS

KIDS AREN’T EXPENSIVE, BUT THAT OTHER THING SURE IS

This article touches on something Clint and I have tried to explain to people who make comments about our family size. I've learned something as I've tried to explain it to people who comment: most don't want to hear it. They want to fill life with things rather than slow down and make the changes necessary to make a time investment in their children. Either they don't understand, or their pride won't let them stop competing with other parents. It is not the things that make connections and keep relationships strong. Rather, it is the moments between the things. 

In the Midst of Trials You Discover...

Even in the midst of disappointment, surprise, and mystery, you will discover an amazing thing. You will discover how very reliable and trustworthy God is—and how secure you are in His hands. -Charles Swindoll read the rest here

Sometimes my prescheduled posts minister to me when they are published. This is one of them. February was a time of grief/loss with the promise of more loss to come. 

Grief, the pain of loss, can sneak up on us when we are least expecting it. Several of my friends lost children in the first two weeks of February. Going through the journey of baby losses over and over again knocked the breath out of me. 

Several of my friends and family received bad health news in early February. 

A friend has asked me to walk with her through her daughter's life endangering behavior. Watching this young lady, who has been taught better, spiral downward is so awful I lack words to describe it. Sometimes the home training is there, but it doesn't take root.

A few of my friends announced last month they are dying or watching their spouses die. One, unless God intervenes, has begun the beginning of a long, painful, and ugly death as predicted by his doctors. I miss the fun and adventurous person he was even while loving and admiring the more "careful with his energy" person he is now. I dread what is coming. 

Loss is a part of life. So are the normal aggravations, of which, February wrote an unusually long list. From an electrical fire to frozen pipes that turned our one hour morning chores into a three hour endurance marathon for two weeks straight to livestock that decided to establish territorial boundaries in midst of a snow storm ...and, well, so forth, it was a hectic time. Demands on me were great. I am also waiting on medical test results for myself. (It's probably nothing, but we decided to test, in case.)

I became very worn down. Life does that to you.

When I can't take it any more, 

I get alone 

and rest 

and pray 

and read the Promises. 

With a rested body and renewed mind my soul sings "Yes, Lord!" to His comfort and of His promises. 

Some people recharge with song, or dance, or need lots of people around them. For me, it is in the stillness where I can hear and feel Him. I get so much out of my "walk and talks" with the Lord. When my heart is heavily anguished to the point it is affecting my physical body, I go to my room, close the door, lay down, and talk to the Lord until my energy is spent, and then sometimes, I sleep deeply.

I am thankful He is a well I can always go to. He never refuses me and never runs dry. He is reliable and trustworthy. I am also thankful that while He is supplying me with my needs, He is supplying the ones I care about too. Even better, He is there for you too, dear reader.


Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Article: Women Who Give Birth Later In Life May Live Longer

"The new findings, published June 23 in the journal Menopause, are in line with those of a previous study by the same researchers, which found that women who gave birth to a child after age 40 were four times more likely to live to age 100 than women who gave birth to their last child at a younger age." 
-Women Who Give Birth Later In Life May Live Longer 

Know the Source of Your Wisdom

Heavenly Versus Demonic Wisdom

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 


But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snowman George Lives!

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George's head that we save from year to year. He's about 17 years old!

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George reborn!

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George looking in the window!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stages

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This happened as a fluke. I was gifted two of them. Then I found one in a thrift store and realized I had stages of parenting represented. I want to find one of an older couple with grown children and grandchildren around and one with an older couple dancing with 3 John 1:4 and/or Psalm 92:14.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Article: What Is Your Doing Saying?

When God puts something on our heart to do, do we do it, or do we run from it? Do we start to head in the direction the Lord is leading but then falter, turn around, and make excuses about why we can't? Then, do we work hard to push the situation out of our minds until the next time the Holy Spirit attempts once again to convict our hearts into action? Don't we realize that every time we say no to the Lord it affects our level of closeness with Him? and our testimony? Do we deceive ourselves that we are better off where we are than doing what God wants us to do? We can't sit back and say "Let God's will be done" if we aren't obeying what He wants us to do because God often works out His will through the actions of His people. You have to follow through with obedience to grow in your faith.

Article: What Is Your Doing Saying?

"So if we want to know what we really believe, we must look at our actions." 

"Faith, by its very nature, produces action. It’s intrinsic. Each of us is wired to feel and act in accordance to what we believe to be true. We cannot help it."

"But since on the Great Day there will be a separation between the sheep and goats based on what their works said about their faith (Matthew 25:31–46), and since, even among the sheep there will be a distinction between those who built with gold, silver, and precious stones (more faithful) and those who built with wood, hay, and straw (less faithful) (1 Corinthians 3:12–15), we must “look carefully how [we] walk, not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15)."
"Our works reveal where our faith is. Jesus told us that a “tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33). The wise seek to make the tree good." read the rest here.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sermon for the Discouraged

This will take you to the outline. A link for the video is at the top.  Overcoming Discouragement


“Any of us who have survived a life-threatening disease or other significant trial in our lives understand that answers aren’t always readily available. I was shell-shocked when my cancer diagnosis came twenty years ago, and God didn’t give me all the answers I wanted. To this day, I’m not fully sure why the Lord allowed cancer to invade my body. I’ve lived long enough now to have seen some of the benefits from the experience, both in my life and in the lives of others. But I still don’t know why the Lord allowed me to face this terrible disease or even why He spared my life. God moves in mysterious ways. We don’t always know why He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.” David Jeremiah


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ford

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I kept hearing a noise at night in my bedroom. I thought some animal was in our walls and was very upset at the notion! I asked Clint to see where he thought it was coming from, but it would stop the noise every time! I was frustrated! No one else could hear it except me! I looked where I thought the noise was coming from but could not find anything. 

Finally, it made noise where Clint could hear it and kept making the noise long enough for him to find it. In the back of our closet, well hidden, was a single newborn kitten!!! 

The poor kitten was cold and dehydrated. I had to give emergency care right away.

Beside it we found the shriveled up umbilical cord which falls off around day three. I know I had heard the noise for two nights. The area was clean of signs of birth, so we knew the kitten had not been born there. 

All of our cats were spayed except for one who had kittens about six weeks earlier. BUT...

We had a cat who desperately wanted to be a mother. She would steal other cat's kittens and try to take care of them. We think she stole a kitten from a litter of a neighbor's cat! I guess when it was too much for her, she snuck in through an open door and hid it in our closet. Not knowing who or where the mother was, we decided it was up to us to give that tiny life a chance. 

We warmed it and bottle fed it. It was so weak trying to eat! I warned the children that I did not know if it would live. It ate and grew in strength over the next several hours. For a few days we were feeding and cheering the little one to health!

Then, we asked Miracle to care for it. She is a special cat with a special history and name. She has also, at times, been the biggest pain in the butt, but despite that, we all are fond of her. 

We moved her kittens out and put the pathetic little baby against her stomach. She looked at it. She looked at us. She sniffed it. Then, she started cleaning it vigorously from one end to the next. It nestled in against her and found a teat and began to drink. Her milk supply had dwindled since her older kittens had been weaned, but it was just enough for the tiny kitten. That was the last thing we had to do for the kitten. Miracle raised it as if it was her own.

Brandon grew attached to the little fighter with a rough start. He let Amanda name him "Ford" and had him neutered. Clint and I prefer for cats to be outside, but Brandon petitioned us to let the cat live in his room. Ford, a "specially delivered" cat, has been a joy to all of us!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Back in December...

Outside of pregnancy, I rarely get sick. But, it does happen. 

In December, I was knocked down for a couple of days with a stomach bug. On the first day, I handed 15 year old Joshua my phone and entrusted our family, homeschool, animals, and household to him. I went back to bed.

When I checked with him late afternoon to make sure no living creature had been neglected, he said, "MOM! I don't know how you do it! I've been running around ALL day, and there's still stuff to do! I am glad you don't get sick often! I need to go to bed at 8 tonight for tomorrow!" 

That single conversation has given me a chuckle and encouragement for a couple of months now!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

This Little Piggy Got a Shock

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Right after we moved the baby pigs to a larger area, this little pig thought it could ignore the zap of the fence long enough to get through. I am sure she had visions of rooting freely. It tested the zap a few times while we were working nearby. What she did not expect was getting stuck in the fence and the zapping to continue non stop. After the hot wire was off and the piglet was free, I used the story as a lesson on fences. We can't outrun or outsmart God. His fences are there for a reason. Sometimes a negative experience or two is a great teaching tool.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

George Washington's Office and Statue


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George Washington's Office
George Washington used a little log building, now the middle room of George Washington Office Museum, as a military office from September 1755 to December of 1756 while Fort Loudoun was being constructed at the north end of town. 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Time to Bond Together and Pray

"The militant Islamic terrorist group ISIS has released a video called A MESSAGE SIGNED WITH BLOOD TO THE NATION OF THE CROSS showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped in Libya. Can you imagine the outcry if 21 Muslims had been beheaded by Christians? Where is the universal condemnation by Muslim leaders around the world? As we mourn with the families of those 21 martyrs, we’d better take this warning seriously as these acts of terror will only spread throughout Europe and the United States. If this concerns you like it does me, share this. The storm is coming." Franklin Graham

What to Give Up for Lent

It is of no consequence to give up the physical if you are not working on the spiritual.


Looking for something to give up for Lent?
Give up resentment and become more forgiving.
Give up hatred and return good for evil.
Give up complaining and be more grateful.
Give up pessimism and become more hopeful.
Give up worry and become more trusting.
Give up anger and become more patient.
Give up pettiness and become more noble.
Give up gloom and become more joyful.
Give up doubt and turn to God.

author unknown

Monday, February 16, 2015

One More Thought on Work

When we work at something we do not enjoy, or we feel what we do doesn't matter, it can become boring or stressful which detracts from our life. If we enjoy it and see Divine purpose in it, our work becomes our passion and adds to our life. God is pleased when apply our minds and hearts with what He has given us to do. 


Titus 2:3-5The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

More Verses for the Discouraged

Discouragement is something we all face, but we do not have to stay in that place. It is possible to experience great joy and peace in the midst of trying circumstances. Soak your mind in Scripture. God's Word is powerful and will enable you have victory over the discouragement and will enable you to glorify the Lord despite your circumstances. 
Isaiah 49:13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. 
Isaiah 57:1-2 Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die. 
Jeremiah 1:8 "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. 
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 
Micah 7:7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. 
Romans 8:18  I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Psalm 18:2  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Psalm 73:26  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 22:24  For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
Psalm 27:4-5  One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
Psalm 30:5  For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 34:18  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Matthew 11:28  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Lamentations 3:31-33  For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.  Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.  For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Command to Love

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7


The agape love we are to have for all other people is self-sacrificial (them before us), never ending (doesn't stop), and unconditional (no limits). We are called to love the misfits, the rejected, those with no social status, and our enemies in this manner. The kind of love God showed towards us and tell us to share with others is the kind that impacts lives and changes others. This kind of love for others defines our faith and gives purpose to our time on earth. 

How are you showing others your love? Saying "God knows how I feel" isn't enough. He says to put love into action. God doesn't want us to talk the talk but to walk the walk of the redeemed.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (Note that last part of the verse!)

I John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Romans 12:9-21  Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good.  Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other.  Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home.  Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying.  Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good.  If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.  Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. It is written, Revenge belongs to me; I will pay it back, says the Lord.  Instead, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. By doing this, you will pile burning coals of fire upon his head. Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Article: How Real People Make Shades of Real Love

This could have been written about Clint​. He is an excellent husband, father, and friend. I love him so!

"The dark you cupped me through after my heart had been sledge-hammered and I couldn’t seem to pull all the shards out. You said the scars became me —- that they had made me become. I forgot to shave my legs. You said it never mattered. My waist thickened and rolled and softened, stretch-marked thin over this love of ours that grew me larger with all the six kids. My sagging, rounded mother body wears it like a badge: I’ve surrendered to love in a thousand ways. And you pull all of  me close. You whisper it there warm at the nape of my neck, you tell me that I’m your trophy bride: we’ve won real love and wear the battled age to prove it."

"I could weep for a quiet love like this, the kind of love they don’t write movies about, but the Maker writes down in a book of His own. ... It’s not the kind of flashy that makes any red carpet, but it’s the kind of unforgettable love that runs red. ... It doesn’t matter one iota what the checkout glossies tout: Sacrifice is the most attractive of all. ...You have lived and bore the weight of it —- I am far worse than I ever dreamed. And yet you have loved me beyond what I could ever dream. You have lived Gospel to me." read more at How Real People Make Shakes of Real Love 


Skyline Caverns Part 2

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shallow pool
They reflect so well because the minerals in the water form a mirror like surface.

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looking down into a running river
There wasn't that much water, but the sound was loud due to the echoes off the rocks.

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anthodite crystals
aka cave flowers
Skyline Caverns is one of the few places you can see these.

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more anthodite

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another cave river

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a close up of the rock wall above the river

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Skyline Caverns Part 1

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S. Amos noted a sinkhole where the parking lot is today. 
This told him there were caverns near, so he started digging.

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A natural chimney was discovered by accident. 
They built a fireplace around it to warm visitors while 
they waited when the caverns first opened.

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Painted Desert display

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Approximately 1,000 lb stalactite that was cut from the ceiling by S. Amos. He drug it quite a ways through thick clay mud before giving up and leaving it here where it was later mounted. There is a string of celebrities who touched it when they toured the caves, but I was more impressed with the hard work the man put into moving the stalactite.

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This rock is hollow and rings when struck. Visitors are encouraged to hit it.

Part 2 will be featured tomorow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bored Children

This goes with the posts from the 9th and 10th. 

My children have learned not to say they are bored. If they are young, I will try to help them find things to do by listing options. If they can't settle on something, I say, "OK. Since you can't think of anything to do on your own, I thought of something I need you to do for me. You can sweep the floor and while you do it, see if you can think of something more interesting to do with your time after you finish. If not, I can help you find something else to do." They have to finish the task I give them before they can go do whatever they find more interesting. Once usually fixes it, but a few have needed reminders off and on. 

For older children who complain once in a great while, I will encourage with words. Sometimes lives are out of balance. We are tired or stressed and need to rest or work in some fun. Routine wears us down. Sometimes we need exposure to new things. I evaluate those things and advise accordingly.

A continually complaining child will be told to help me do my chores. As they work beside me, we discuss other things they find more interesting to do than to shovel rabbit poo for transport to the garden. They have to finish helping me. This teaches them to see a task to completion. I also share:

"A bored person is a sign of a dull mind. God expects you to apply your intelligence to all areas of your life. Whatever task you are doing, you can make more interesting by applying your heart and your mind to it. You will find each role in your life as interesting as you make it. Realize the impact of the work you are doing, and you will appreciate the ability to do it. Your humility is also required. We should never think a task is below us, or we are too intelligent to do something. Jesus, Son of God, washed dirty feet. We are here to serve. A good and faithful servant will give thanks for his task and will also find joy in simply being able to serve. He will make those tasks more interesting and meaningful to himself as he takes joy in doing them."

I often couple this advice with examples of people who would love the chance to do some of the things my child finds "boring." We know many who are sick or face severe limitations.

If I catch myself complaining, I often correct myself out loud where they can hear. Children emulate their parents, so be careful of the example you give. If you will openly correct them, you should openly correct yourself in front of them. A child will respect an honest and humble parent.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Prayer Request for My Friend

Mary Anne's mother, who has Alzheimer's, was rushed back to the hospital for bleeding again. They had to give her two pints of blood and later sent her home. They know the cause and are working to fix it. Mary Anne is her main caregiver and also helps her father. Mary Anne's boyfriend has stage 4 cancer and has entered a nursing home. She also is helping her son through college. This week, she is waiting for results on tumors found on her thyroid. Her strong faith is such a blessing to witness, but she needs prayer support. Will you please pray for her?



Post by Alzheimer's Inspiration.

'Dementia Village' - as it has become known -- is a place where residents can live a seemingly normal life, but in reality are being watched all the time. Caretakers staff the restaurant, grocery store, hair salon and theater -- although the residents don't always realize they are carers -- and are also watching in the residents' living quarters. Dementia Village

As Working for the Lord

Hobby farming is just one aspect of my life. I also homeschool five children, cook, garden, preserve my own foods, do laundry, run a kennel, handle farm sales, and try to make a pleasant home for my family. 

I embrace each part of my life and try to make the most of it by keeping in mind that I am a servant who has been entrusted with a portion. I will one day stand before my Lord and answer for what I have done with this portion. I will either show I was stagnant or had a loss or increase. I am not perfect in this, but here is a bit of how I approach life to keep menial tasks more interesting.

Housework. I often do it in spurts to keep it from being so overwhelming. I do 15 minutes at a time several times a day. I have also read books from professional cleaning services on how to maximize the use of tools and cleaners as well as maximize my time through efficiency. I know the difference between a cluttered home and a home in need of cleaning. I also know how keeping the clutter in check makes cleaning so much easier and faster. Keeping to the homeschool schedule keeps the house cleaner too. 

Cooking. I took that frequent task and made it more interesting by studying the chemistry of cooking, taking online cooking lessons from reknowned chefs, trying new cooking techniques, investing in higher quality kitchen tools, and purchasing tools with an interesting history or unique story. I applied my mind to the task and now my heart enjoys cooking so much more. My third born told me my cooking is so good that he is going to open a restaurant with my recipes and name them all after me. My daughters love learning from me which also makes it fun and rewarding. 

Laundry. Attitude makes a difference. I think of it as providing clean clothes for my active family to keep them covered and warm. I rejoice that I have a large and active family who can keep me washing two super sized loads of clothes daily. I have learned how to cut down on loads by minimizing usage. I enjoy how toned my arms are from hauling those heavy baskets of wet clothes to the clothesline. 

I installed two washing machines instead of having a dryer. I love being able to do two loads in the time it takes one load. When I fall behind, I can catch up quickly. I have been known to time myself at the clothesline to see if I can beat my previous times. Most of the time, the younger children hang them out since it is an easy task and they enjoy having the animals come say hi as they work.

Rough jobs. Overflowed toilet. Puke that almost made it to the trash can. I remind myself to be thankful I have the strength and ability to do it. I remind myself of Who I am doing it for and who it will bless. Then, I get to work, and get it done. I don't like to take breaks in jobs I don't enjoy because that will delay me in getting to the finish line. "The quickest way through it is to get to work doing it and work straight through it!" 

That is a little bit of how I try to approach the things I have to do as a stay at home mother. My attitude is not always perfect. However, when I keep my purpose and gratitude to the Lord in mind, it makes the hardest or most boring job go better. 

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Video: Astroturf and manipulation of media messages | Sharyl Attkisson | TEDxUn...


I am surprised by how many don't know about this.

The Flip Side to Hobby Farming

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2 puppy shots and 1 penicillin shot for a sick turkey

I can't tell you how many times I've been told, "I'd love to have your life on a farm and enjoy all of these animals!" A lot of people who have never experienced farm life think it is filled with cute animals and happy moments. It often is! It is a lot of fun! However, there is another side most do not even consider before they jump in with both feet. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my life! I am constantly challenged to step outside my comfort zone, research, and learn new skills. I read vet manuals and scientific research papers. I seek out and learn from professionals as well as long time back yard enthusiasts. I've learned how to trim hooves, dehorn, castrate, sew stitches, perform minor surgeries, do injections, start IVs, read mucous membrane to tell parasite loads, prevent and relieve bloat, and do my own fecal exams after making my own floatation solution. I can spot when birth is imminent or days away. I have a good knowledge of the use of many chemicals and medical preparations. I know what hypocalcemia is and how to use calcium gluconate by IV or injections to correct it. I know how to tell when a freezing cold rabbit kitten (aka kit or baby) is dead or still has a chance. I know how many strains of coccidiosis there are and also know the conditions that make it flare up on my farm. I also know how deadly it can be and how to stop it in its tracks. I know how to give an autopsy and determine quite a few causes of death. I know which diseases are communicable to humans and between other species. I've been hobby farming for 20 years in June and am still learning and gaining new skills. I seek out new skills to learn because it keeps it interesting.

Some of the farm life is very tiring, like around the clock care for sick animals. Some of it is stressful, like seeing your goat's kid not presenting well and worrying you will lose both the kid and the $600 registered goat. Some of it is disgusting, like pulling bot flies out of a rabbit's skin or putting your hands in the goat to push the baby into the right position. Some of it is heartbreaking, like making the call to euthanize an animal who has fought so hard but is growing weaker and suffering more. Sometimes those decisions stay with you for days. Some of the animals you grow fond of leave a mark that takes a long while to get over. 

Vets are wonderful resources, but they can be expensive and are not always available. Most of them like to leave the simpler things to the competent animal caretaker to free them up to handle more serious issues. That's why they will teach you so much if you have a good working relationship with them. Through the internet, I am connected to a group of vets from all over the country that willingly give their time look at pictures and information sent in from farmers to help them learn and treat their animals. Seeing the wealth of information they collectively share, I'd be willing to pay for a membership, but they freely share it. That tells me they genuinely care about the animals and the farmer. 

If you truly care for your animals, you need to acquire as many skills and as much knowledge about caring for them as you can. If you are going to give the very best care as soon as possible to your livestock, you have to be willing to embrace all of it no matter how challenging or repulsing it is. The fun days and heartbreaking days are all a part of it. 

Sunday, February 08, 2015

When Discouraged

We all face discouragement. Thankfully, God's Word tells us how to deal with it...

Why are you downcast, Oh my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him my Savior and my God. Pslm 43:5

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Ex 33:14 


Call to Me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jer 33:20 


Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. Is 25:1 


Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Heb. 10:35-36