Monday, May 31, 2010

Farmhouse Cooking

So many projects need done, yet, some demand attention right away. The men got our well in proper working order, garden beans have been snapped, blanched and frozen, trash burned, wash is on the line. With the garden in full swing, the cucumbers have started comming in quite bountifully. Seems time to put up some farmhouse pickles.

As you can see, I can my pickles in various states: some in spears, some in slices and some whole. Today's pickles are all dill, though I generally put up some bread-n-butters as well as spicy garlic pickles. With the dill heads in full bloom today, dill seemed the right choice.

Working together makes the task lighter, so I prepare the cucumbers, one farmgirl prepares the jars and picks the herbs, the farmboys set the fire under the canner, and one farmgirl prepares and stirs the brine. I do my canning over a propane burner..outdoors..under the trees. This keeps the house from getting too hot. Right now the girls and I are waiting on the timer to ring and signal the jars need removed, so we'll post the recipe for you.

Farmhouse Dill Pickles

4 qts. medium cucumbers

8 sprays of dill

4 garlic cloves

1 qt. vinegar (here I used white)IV>
1 c. salt

3 qts. water

The day before, we wash the cucumbers and cover them with water in a bowl. They stand overnight.

The next way, put a spray or two of dill and one clove of garic in each jar. Pack your cucumbers (prepared as you like) into your jars (size of jar depends on your preference...I use whatever is available). Combine vinegar, salt and water in a pot and bring to a rolling boil. Fill the jars to overflowing with the vinegar mixture. Now seal them in your water bath or pressure canner.

You can dig in anytime you want, but for best flavor, we let them cure for six weeks in a dark pantry before opening.

Just a note: The vinegar mixture used here is rather universal. We have used it to pickle garlic, onions, banana peppers and hot peppers. So, try it with any pickling project.

Now, go enjoy your Memorial Day...remember our servicemen, our veterans, and those who have lost their loved ones to the call of service. Thank a veteran and have a blessed day.IV>

simplychele and the whole farmfamily

Saturday, May 29, 2010

You Shouldn't Wear Flip Flops in the Garden

Sounds like something our mothers have said for a mother, I am sure I have said it many shouldn't wear flip flops in the garden. Yet, we have been needing to keep an eye on our well every other hour, one of us needs to walk the drive down to the well house and check the pump. The farmkids have been a little under the weather, so I have been making the trek down to the well.
I don't me a break from the house. In my absent mindedness, I slipped on my flip flops. Not really a problem if you are staying on the drive way, however, the field garden is near the I decided to venture over and check. Finding the green beans in need of attention, I started picking...walking through the rows (somewhat hidden by the overgrowth).
While standing in one spot to pick a particular bushful, something caught my eye..near my toes. Taking a closer look, I found a large, hairy spider with red rings on the legs. Oh, my! Not only was the spider there, this was a mommy spider with a load of babies on her back. She proceeded on her way and walked right across my bare toes to the other side of the garden path.
Now, I don't know about you, but that sent my heart rate through the roof! Remembering to breathe was the only thought running through my mind. I am not against spiders; they are very beneficial to our gardens, yet, they have their place....which is not on my feet. Amazingly, I did manage to pick the rest of the green beans...being much more alert to where my feet were and what was around them.
Sorry, I did not get a picture. My research shows, this spider was a member of the tarantula family; common to our area, generally harmless unless provoked, beneficial to our gardens. Seems the best advice was to simply let it be and not disturb them or squish them. This I know, we have stomped our share of large spiders (without thinking) and had those little babies scatter all over everywhere-including up our legs! Glad that didn't happen this time....might have let loose and run screaming (which is really what I wanted to do).
In the end, we laughed about this. The farmkids loved the story..farmdaddy got a kick out of the retelling..and they all reminded me not to wear my flip flops in the garden.

Have a blessed weekend...from all of us on the Scaife Family Farm.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Simply Cute!

Here is a cute little's called the Tokyo Tie Bag.

This one has a native Navajo motif on the outer fabric with a denim lining.

This bag has denim outer fabric with a cowboy print inner lining.

We made several with a coffee motif and one with a retro red motif, the fabric options seem to be limitless...the pattern lends well to nearly any small design. These little cuties are small and lightweight; perfect for a quick trip to town when you only need to carry a few items, such as meeting a friend for a coffee date. Our girls have used them to carry small Bibles and notepads to service or a wallet and sunglasses for a quick shopping trip.

Two of these little totes are ready for our Etsy listings next be watching for our Grand Opening! Until then, we're off to see a birthday boy, dance in a dance class, and attend a graduation ceremony. See you tomorrow..

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Away Today

We are away today, one of the farmkids has some doctor appointments and other commitments to attend to. Hope to post some neat handiwork tomorrow. See you then, simplyscaifefamily

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bee Balm in Bloom

Our simplyjen has some beautiful herb gardens here on the farm. She has been propagating, transplanting and sharing herbs for the past several years. Recently, she has begun her adventure as a Master Gardener Intern at our local county extension service..with plans to take classes with the program in the fall. Here we have a glimpse at a plant from her first tea garden she planted near our greenhouse.
This is bee balm, also known as wild bergamont. Deep green leaves are arranged laterally along long tender stems. The blooms are set in round seed heads with dozens of delicate petals all around (reminds me of pins in a pincushion). Their fragrance is warm and soothing attracting all types of bees - including bumble bees, and hummingbirds.
Every part of the bee balm plant is useful and edible. The blooms are used to garnish salads of fresh greens. Leaves may be eaten in salads, used to flavor cooking or in herbal teas. Medicinally, bee balm is said to aid in digestion, relieve cold symptoms and insomnia, and to soothe menstrual discomforts.
Bee balm grows well in nearly any soil and requires some afternoon shade, though ours has grown well here in the south with direct sun. The plant overwinters beautifully when trimmed and mulched over with leaves (we have had our plant for three years). Like the mint family, bee balm can be somewhat invasive, and most gardeners prefer to keep it as a potted plant. With the spaciousness of our gardens, we have ours in the soil..propagating it often and sharing it with others (or letting the chicks have the excess!).
In our home, bee balm is used in potpourris, herbal teas, and various flower arrangements, however, we most enjoy the wildlife it attracts to our gardens. From the first planting, many others have been propagated and placed in various garden plots to add beauty and attract beneficial insects.

Hope you enjoyed a little garden herbal wisdom from our Master Gardener Intern..until tomorrow, have a "bee-utiful" day.

simplychele and simplyjen

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Farmhouse Cooking

Creamy and delicious, nothing quite sends southern loving to your family and friends like banana pudding. Any respectable southern wife or Baptist woman must (or should) have a banana pudding recipe tucked away in her pantry. Mine came from my husband's grandmother whom he affectionately called "Muzzy". Her name changed to Grandmuzzy when our kids were born...and to this day, her cooking graces my table.
Banana pudding is not as difficult as people often express to me. Time and patience are needed- gentle cooking over a low fire..cooling and layering are the main steps. My husband prefers loads of vanilla wafers and bananas in his (I mean a ridiculous amount!), so that is how I make his...others prefer a more conservative approach...less stuff..more pudding.
Now, to the debate...meringue topping or whipped cream; this can cause all out battles at a church social. Seems this is a fiery issue. Through the generations, our family has preferred the whipped cream..and I learned it the hard way. After learning the recipe, I made a perfect meringue top on the pudding...had it chilled and ready to treat my husband after he came home from work.
Men are not exactly tactful. Needless to say, he was not impressed and proceeded to scrape the beautiful "calf slobber" off his delicious pudding - replacing it with whipped cream. You see, I am from the Kansas and they meringue their puddings, but in my husband's southern family meringue didn't happen.
Living and learning, I have taught my children (even the farmboy) how to make a banana pudding that would make Muzzy proud. So to honor her (her birthday would have been this month), here is our farmhouse food for this week....

Grandmuzzy's Banana Pudding
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs (three if they are small) (farm eggs yield beautiful color)
1/2 cup flour (use cornstarch if gluten free)
1 large can evaporated milk
1 small can evaporated milk
(or skip the evaporated milk and use 3 cups full fat fresh milk)
1/3 cup butter (yes real butter), soft
1 tsp vanilla
3 bananas
standard box vanilla wafers
whipped cream
I use a heavy bottom saucepan, but was taught to use a double broiler...use what you have.
In the saucepan, mix eggs and sugar, then flour. Pour in milk and stir gently (if using evaporated, measure in cup and add enough water to make 3 cups). Drop in the butter and set this over medium flame. Gently stir and cook until it begins to thicken and will coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat, cover to prevent a "skin" forming on top, and cool to room temp.
After cooling, stir in the vanilla. Now begin layering in a casserole dish..cookies, sliced banana, pudding...repeating until done. I chill this until cold before adding a topping of whipped cream.
One other thing, this makes a 9"x13" dish. I make a single serve dish on the side and always find someone to share with (grandparents, homebound, get the picture). It's just to good to keep to myself!
We hope you're having a beautiful day today..I plan to work in my garden and bind a quilt to day..and of course, spend time with my family. Maybe you can give our recipe a try and share some farm love with your favorite people!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Hey y'all,
This is Simply Jen, y'all's Goat Mama, from Goats 'n' Gardens. For pictures and a post about my Triumphant Lilies, check out my blog at:
Simply Jen

Friday, May 21, 2010

On the table....

Today's project on the piecing table is an appliqued Dresden plate design in brown tones using fabric with light prints and coffee motifs. This quilt will be a three tier quilt- wall hanging - using beige, chocolate and cranberry for outer boarders. I intend to quilt along the applique lines and then stipple the outer white areas of the square. This project is intended to be added to our online shop next month.
Now, a little update on the new sewing machine. Wow! I am definitely loving this. Quiet and quick, even stitches with perfect tension...oh my...beautiful quilting stitches. (I keep waiting to mess it up - my history with machinery and all). The "Spring Hearts" quilt is on the quilting table ..right now...using the stitch in the ditch pattern...going smoothly. My intention for this particular quilt was hand quilting, however, considering it is a crib quilt, I decided machine quilting would be more durable for the many washings it may undergo. Either way, new machine was well worth the wait...I'm loving is my family (happy momma, happy family).
I don't expect to post tomorrow as we are of to a poultry workshop. A local agricultural college is hosting this event for families who raise meat birds for show. It is always nice to take a day away from the farm and the big you a new vision....fresh eyes to see through. We plan to enjoy our day away. Small handiwork will be going with each of us...we always carry a light project to keep us busy during long trips. Maybe we will have a little project to show you when we return.
Since I do not expect to see you until next week we hope and pray you have a safe and blessed weekend...hug your loved ones, enjoy God's beauty around you, and worship our risen Saviour with your family..and if you can...create something simply beautiful. God bless.
**for current pictures from around our farm, please visit simplyjen our Goatmama at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happiness is....

Happiness is my first new sewing machine..ever! I have had many sewing machines over the years..many adopted from others who purchased new ones and simply needed a home for the old ones. They served me well, and went their way (I use things until they are no longer worth the time and money to repair them) and now....after many years have my very sewing machine. I am happily learning how to use my treasured gift..thankyou dear hubby!
Happiness is fresh garden foods picked and put away for later..when the garden is scorched and the store prices are too high. It is such a blessing a joy to walk the fields and pick baskets of home grown goodness...prepare them....and know they are available when my family needs them.

Happiness is snapping fresh green beans while my children (okay, teens) study their lessons nearby. Quiet moments mixed with random discussions about algebra, creation verses evolution, and today's current events. Plans are made for the afternoon free time..handwork is discussed..ideas worked out for the set up of outdoor things....precious is this moment.
Now, for you? Tell me...what is your "happiness is.."

" content with such things as ye have...." Hebrews 13:5

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Happy Accident!

This is the newest quilt top on the table this week. "Grandmother's Fan" is the pattern - a portion of the Dresden plate pattern is used to create a fan motif. Here it is alternated with solid blocks of plain print ecru material. Each fan is made from pieces of my kids' Easter clothes from years past (the same material as was used in the "Spring Hearts" from last week). The white block is from my husband's grandmother's linens. No backing has been chosen yet..that is today's task. Yet...on to the accident part.
The fan's were hand-appliqued and waiting to be fitted into a quilt top..but I was having the hardest time finding a layout that I liked. Everyone tried to help with a new twist or idea to make the fans lay in a flattering way- yet not look ho-hum. Yesterday I decided to just piece them in alternating rows and get it over with, however, when the piecing began I realized that a mistake had been row was upside down backwards....I liked it! The rest is history. This cute little quilt is perfect just as it is.
No home has been claimed for this bassinet size cutie. This may just be one of the first quilts to make listing in our Etsy shop. The girls have been setting up our shop online and preparing handmades of their own...we hope to have listings up in June this year. So keep an eye out and spread the word. Selling quilts is my plan, yet I also aim to offer commissions and completions (if you have a quilt at any stage in need of completion). Other handmades will grace the shop- crochet rag rugs, simple totes, crochet items (some fillet work) and, of course, art from our artist and wood or metal arts from our farmboy.
As for now, I am off to locate a backing fabric for this quilt top..and learn to use my new sewing machine-(I burned up the motor in my other one)-just arrived today! Plus, laundry from the line, produce from the garden, weeds from the rows...oh, the list goes on. Until tomorrow, may God bless you with your own "happy accident."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cooking with the Farmboy

First of all, yes, our Farmboy cooks...wonderfully I might add. Here he is making his new favorite.
With an abundance of eggs and fresh milk on hand, the whole family has been testing out and using great recipes to nourish our bodies with the blessings of our is one we found...crepes.
Using the blender, all ingredients are mixed together and let set for half and hour. We use a cast iron griddle to cook the thin and delicate crepe. A cake rack holds the crepe while is cools some from the griddle. Wax paper is layered between the crepes to keep them from sticking. Typically they would be stored in plastic the fridge..until you use them. Around here, not much need of storing them.
To serve the crepes, we fill with lightly sweetened yogurt or cream and then drizzle fruit syrup or jam (preserved and canned from the fruit harvests). The farmboy personally prefers blueberry syrup with sweet cream filling.
Crepes can also be savory...filled with meats and dressing they are a delicate lunch served with fresh fruit on the side. I have a family member who eats them with cold cuts and mayo for a tasty lunch. WE have found roast chicken and queso blanco ..warmed till all quite tasty too.
At the farmboy's request, here is his recipe:
Farmboy's Crepes
In a blender place:
1 cup fresh ground pastry flour (or all purpose white)
1 cup fresh milk (ours is goat milk)
1/2 cup water (room temp)
4 large farm eggs (if small eggs- use 5)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
Blend slightly..just to mix the ingredients well. Allow the mix to set (in the blender) for 30 minutes. Using a ladle or cup....ladle 1/4 cup of mix onto hot griddle..swirl the griddle a little to be sure the crepe is thin and round...this takes practice- not too thin or it tears---not too thick or it's a pancake(still tastes good anyway). I only oil my griddle if they seem difficult to lift and griddle is well we really only oil it the first time...remember there is butter in the crepe and it keeps them from sticking.
When the crepe seems slightly dry on top, gently flip it and cook on other side till curls up on edge. It really only takes a few seconds to cook them...medium heat for us (we use a gas stove). Place the crepe on a rack to cool slightly. If storing, place wax paper between each crepe to prevent sticking. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge...or enjoy them now.
**note: I use cast iron cookware because I always use cast kids learned to cook on cast iron...crepe pans are sold with Teflon coating or simply steel. Small nonstick skillets work best especially if you have never used cast iron.
**my sister uses corn starch in place of flour for a gluten free version..says they taste the same
**some people feel crepes are too fussy and difficult...let me remind you, farmboy is twelve (turning 13 this fall)...he says if he can do it- anyone can! After all, he's a tough farmboy :)
Serve these as you like...fresh fruit, puddings, sweet yogurt or cream, dusting of confectioner's sugar, or a drizzle of fruit syrup....deli meats or roasted chicken with dressings---all delicious. I will say, once you try them they are hard not to love. Our boy has taken to whipping up a batch as the mood strikes him...he eats them pretty well too.
Now, with all this said, doesn't that make you want to cook!

simplychele and the farmboy

Monday, May 17, 2010

Farm Fresh Produce

Fresh veggies have been trickling in from the garden this past several days. With the drastic weather change we are experiencing here in the south, the garden has had to swing from spring crops to summer. We harvested our last cabbage early last week...lettuce has gone bitter...the peas are nearly gone...and the broccoli has begun to flower. Now comes basket fulls of summer squash, green beans and our first few cucumbers. The tomatoes are setting fruit and the corn is popping up in rows. Okra plants are emerging from the soil along with melons and winter squash. Onions are bulging beneath the earth and carrots tops are stretching toward the sun. We have even had a sunflower bloom already.
The garden is not the only thing bursting with summer yield. Our doe is giving a full quart of milk each day and the hens produce twenty to thirty eggs..this is every day! Wow, we are truly blessed with delicious farm fresh goodness. Now to use it.
Some is used right away for the evening's meal..some frozen for use later, when our summer sun takes its toll on the plants. Of course, delicious meals and treats are being served up (and eaten up) with great pleasure. Creamy milk and rich egg yolks make delightful foods for our table. Gently sauteed squash accompanies the green beans beside farm fresh chicken butchered only a month ago.
With all the delights of gathering our goods, we take the time to remember others who could use a basket of yummy veggies or a carton of fresh eggs. Prayerfully I gather extra to share with my church family and with the homebound around me. Many older folk remember the time when the majority of their food came from the kitchen garden...yet now, they are not able to garden for themselves. My heart goes out to them....and God guides me...I share the blessings of my harvest with any in need. Sometimes a simple thing means so much to a person.
Wherever you are tonight...I pray you are enjoying fresh food and pleasant company around your table. God bless.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gentle Visitor....

Storms have been rolling through our area today. In between the bouts of rain we quickly went to check the garden beds for vegetables needing to be picked- and used for tonight's supper- when our farmboy had a gentle visitor light on his hand.
Our identification research shows this to be a battus philenor "magnificent swallowtail". These beautiful butterflies are common to our area between February and November and are attracted to the garden blossoms and thistle found in our pasture area. The local extension office has posters indicating the swallowtails need more habitat and are somewhat endangered. After this unique encounter, we placed our visitor in the nasturtium beds near our beans.
We have had a tough week..the farmboy has been needing a pick me up. What a wonderful way for God to send a gentle touch of Himself...a piece of His a boy who's interest lies in nature and send a gentle visitor to encourage him along his way.
Have a blessed Sunday!
simplychele and the farmboy

Friday, May 14, 2010

Something Beautiful

Simplynrae has been working with equine assisted therapy for the past few years...helping special needs children and adults using horses in their therapy sessions. This past week a beautiful event happened... a longtime rider has come a long way in her therapy...she was able to ride her horse unassisted for the first one walking along side her to steady one holding the horse's reins to assist in guiding him...she did it alone!

Often in therapy, the goal is to maintain the rider's ability. Sometimes it is to improve their abilities. On occasion, a rider surpasses all expectations and makes a huge leap. This beautiful gift from God..a precious child...has risen up to a challenge and succeeded. Let's all rejoice with her today...congratulations!
simplynrae and simplychele

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Project...

As promised, an update on a project...I say "a project" because personally, I never have only one on the table.
"Spring Hearts" is the title we have given this simple quilt...crib size when completed. The hearts are pieces of my kids' Easter dresses and vests from several - several - years ago. Each heart is hand appliqued onto a square cut from of farmdaddy's grandmother's cotton sheets. The backing (not shown here) is a piece of fabric left over from a skirt made for me years ago.
Today the quilt is pin-basted and awaiting quilting. The plan is to quilt in the diagonal ditch and then quilt a heart motif in the blank squares.
Often the quilts are a cooperative project amongst us all, however, this one is all my handwork. done by hand...each stitch a prayer for another soul in need. My handwork time is a time for communing with God in prayer for others whom He lays on my heart at the time. This quilt is part of life and being. It is precious to me because it holds some of our history and memories. "Spring Hearts" already has a home in mind..soon to leave hopefully be precious to another family...loved by another heart.
My projects leave my home with some degree of sadness, yes, however, others are on the table waiting the moment when my hands seek them eyes roam the heart seeks the complete picture..a direction to go next. More prayers will be sent up..gentle hymns will be Lord and I will meet...over the beautiful pieces of another quilt.

I look forward to sharing another with you soon.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

See You Thursday...

With funerals and finals, we will be taking a few days away from here. Hope to bring you some neat pictures of projects around the farm when we return. If you are taking finals this week, we wish you well...I am praying for students everywhere...may God bless your hard work and determination. See you soon.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Our family wishes all mothers, of all ages, of all seasons of parenting a peaceful and restful Mother's Day. We mamas have the toughest job there is .. raising the future generation. So, take a day of rest and restore your energy, find your peace of mind, and laugh with your family. Know that we are praying for you today, for God has honored you with a special place in His great plan. For mothers who have suffered the passing of a child..I remind you...we will hold them in Heaven! You are still a mother..that precious child's mother....this day is still for you..lovingly remember His precious gift and His sufficient grace. Have a blessed and happy Mother's Day.

Life and Death on the Farm

How beautiful the hibiscus is blooming today! I found this special sight walking back to the house after having to remove a dead pullet from my chick pen. This pretty gift gave me encouragement with its beauty. Life and death happen often on the farm.

My family has grown up with this and death are all around us. Flowers bloom and die in their does the garden plant..trees..even the grass. Simple truth often overlooked by our daily business. Our animals are born and die..chicks, goats, dogs..the larger stock such as horses...all have their time and place in this life. Living our lifestyle as we do, we accept this as truth..we are saddened by it...and we move forward. When the chicken died this morning, I was saddened by it, handled the situation, and am looking at ways to protect those that remain.
While it is sad, it is part of life. Yet, as we know, death does not only come to nature around comes to us.

Our little church is grieving the passing of a precious of our wonderful deacons...a grandfather figure to all of our children...a faithful man of God who recorded the prayer needs as they were mentioned ..made the announcements in Sunday service...brought donuts for the children and made coffee for the adults. Grief for a person is much different...the passing of a loved one has a deeper impact on our soul. Here on our farm, we are grieving the passing of this dear friend, yet celebrating his precious life - on this earth and now in Heaven.

My heart is pressed upon by the Holy Spirit..this is an opportunity..a teachable moment..use it! Death of a person is much different than death in is different in our is different in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. God cares for all nature...He clothes the Lillis and knows when a sparrow falls..His Word tells us of His love for all He has created. Yet, our relationship with Him is different...we are "in His image" according to Genesis. Christ died for us..according to the restore our relationship with the Father. This we must teach. This person is not lost - we know where he is- we know we can see him again in Heaven. The soul, the part of him that made him who he was- has left this vessel and gone to Jesus.

While the passing of this dear man is sorrowful...he is not lost...we know where he his testimony- shared many times with all who would hear- by his life, the fruit he produced in God's service. Here is the way to peace with life and death. To know, he is not here...he is in Heaven with our Savior..he is waiting for us to meet him there.

Healing takes time, even with the knowledge that we will meet again. Remembering the wonderful things about this person has already given us joy and peace. We speak lovingly of the things that made him special to us...we pray for his wife and family still here with us...we take from his example and love with a heart for God.

Yes, life and death happen on the farm...we are touched by it as others are. Please, take the time today to pray for those around you that may be grieving the passing of someone precious to them...and lovingly remember the ones gone on before us..waiting to see us again.


Friday, May 7, 2010

A Place of Peace

Out and about the farm today it came to me..I have not been visiting one of my favorite space lately..the greenhouse; my place of peace when trouble stirs my heart. Seems only the other day, this space busied my hands with tending, watering, nurturing little seedlings so fragile and sweet; busied my mind with prayer, supplication, God's peace. The rows and tables were filled with beautiful green sprouts and wintered over plants...kept by God's love. The in little greenhouse God gave them protection from the chilly winds and rains...God gave me a place of connect with God's nurture His creations and marvel at the development of seeds-soil-plant. Yet, warm summer like weather has rushed upon us here in the south. The days are warming fast -- this little space will be visited less and less. However...this place will be there for me when the cool winds return and the winter rains fall. Yes, my place of peace will be there when the season comes....for now...the place of peace will change.
With summer warmth, the garden rows are where I will go .. to walk, to talk, to seek peace, answers, prayers, God's gentle hand. Already the growing plants are giving bloom, setting fruit, reaching toward the sun. Weeding, watering, pruning and training busy my hands as my mind and heart seek God's comfort and guidance in the burdens of my I pray for my teens- struggling to find their heart and place, for my church- the direction to grow and mature, for a friend- grieving the passing of a loved one, for others who my Father gently reminds me need His love as well. Ah, peace comes in the garden.
Seasons come and go as do our friends and neighbors. The only Friend who will never leave us is our Savior. Seek with me a place of peace...of solace...of communion. We do not have to have the same place, approach, or method...however, we do need the same Heavenly Father. I encourage you today, find a place of peace.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Respect of Personal Space - or Lack of It

While mucking the barn this morning we faced a common problem around the barnyard - lack of respect of personal space. When I head out to the stalls - to fill a water tub, a feeder, or to muck a mess - I am swarmed by the critters.....goats, chicks, dogs practically jump in your arms to see what I might have in my hands today. This behaviour can be downright aggravating if you are carrying a basket full of fresh farm eggs from the coop. Yet, this problem is not confined to our also happens with people.
In our day of technological gadgets, it seems people have forgotten the need to respect personal space or information/privacy. Some seem to feel it is completely ok to plaster others' personal images (our appearance/a picture), our personal information (birthdays, names, addresses) on the web for all to see...along with a commentary of their own feelings, emotions or opinions. How sad our culture has come to this. Where does the accountability lie?
We can look at our farm animals and assume they do not have the God-given sense to know personal space or privacy... often some training is needed to correct overbearing habits in them. Yet, what do we do when it is another person? It saddens me when I realize others may not see the ill effects such behavior can have - on them - on the person they are disrespecting..violating the privacy of.
So, join with me in prayer and evaluation. Let us pray for the community and culture around us for a better understanding of personal privacy and respect. Search our own lives for instances where this may be in practice...and make right the wrongs. Our emotions and feelings are our own, however, they are not necessarily everyone's business...especially if we are violating the privacy of another. Let us encourage and help one another.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Take a Moment to Pray

Here is a link to a poster for a missing local youth. Join us in prayer for this young girl and her family as her whereabouts are currently unknown. As you pray, remember other families around you that may be hurting, struggling, grieving...seeking. Also, remember your own families... your burdens, struggles, and blessings. Please, take a moment to pray.


Happy Birthday!

We are off sharing a special day with our birthday girl...growing up before our eyes. She is loved, prayed for, saved by grace, blessed by God....Happy birthday, my artist!