Saturday, July 31, 2010

On the Road

   Today we begin our travel to Arkansas. A sixteen hour journey with a suburban full of teenagers! Pray for us to have traveling mercies, good health, and plenty of energy. Farmboy will be hosting the blog this upcoming week so stop by and enjoy his farm photos. See you in a week!

simplychele and the mission crew

Friday, July 30, 2010

Preparing for the Journey

   This day will be filled with preparing. Laundry washed and line dried in the sun; preparing to be packed for our journey. Healthy foods will be gathered and packaged; preparing to be taken on our journey. Bibles will be tucked among the other necessities; prepared to assist us on our journey. This day will be filled with preparing.
    In the hustle and bustle of preparations, details of our upcoming mission trip have come to our ears. We now know our assignment and the type of work we will be doing. A dear woman has become a widow. A woman who once ran a little restaurant. A woman who made wedding cakes for others. A woman who loves growing and canning her own food. A woman who loves her Independence. As it goes, a woman who could use our help. Brush fire destroyed her beloved canning house. Garden chores have gotten away. General maintenance is needed on her property.
    I don't know about you, but on receiving this information, amazement hit my heart. God knew right where to put us. The majority of our youth (and our adults) have garden experience, live in the country, and are familiar with the outdoors. We are a small community who look to assist each other and our older residents. The Lord surely knew our hearts and our abilities when He placed us in this particular assignment.
    Further news encouraged us even more. Our housing arrangements will be "outdoorsy" - we are staying in a camp/cabin setting bunking together. Near our housing, we have a lake with volleyball nets and other outdoor recreation settings. Praise God- won't this be fitting?
    In preparing, much prayer is needed. Though is seems we fit this mission, the surroundings and the work are not the main purpose. Sharing the love of our Savior is the main mission. Without preparation in prayer; without guidance in the Holy Spirit; without willingness of heart and surrender of will, this will not be accomplished.
    We invite you to join Unity Baptist Church in prayer for Team Effort Mission Arkansas. Every youth, every assignment, every adult sponsor, every team leader needs your prayers. A hymn has been on my mind all morning, "without Him, I could do nothing; without Him, I'd surely fail". Absolute truth...without Him, we will do nothing, we will fail.
    Help us prepare for our journey- pray for Team Effort this week as we travel, work, and share through the love of Christ.

simplychele and the mission crew

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thoughtful Thursdays...Ponderings from the Accidental Pastor's Wife

                            I'll Just Have to Be Me

   Ah, butterflies; graceful, gentle, silent. Fluttering along the breeze they gently glide from flower to flower. These precious creatures are so beautiful and peaceful. Comfort and a sigh come to my soul as I watch their graceful dance. If only....
    Watching a butterfly from the window a place I had not planned to a situation I had not intended to be in that day..I was sitting at the window beating myself up over the way I handled a situation just moments before. Gazing at this thing of beauty, my heart cried, "Why can't I be more like this? Graceful, gentle, calm..why and I me?" Truly there are times I wish my character had a bit more softness and tact, doesn't.
     My actions in this situation were not harmful, nor were they degrading..I was standing up for someone unable to stand for themselves in a situation that needed standing up in. The outcome was for the better of the persons involved, yet, could I have been more like a gentle butterfly and less like a locus?
      God knows my heart and the intentions of my actions; surely He laughs. For as I battled in myself, He reminded me of a time when my own best intentions called for His gentle humbling..for truly He desires me to be me.

      In our little church community several youth in our congregation were graduating this past May. Our family was invited to the graduation ceremony Being a bi-vocational pastor, my husband works evening shift and was unable to attend the graduation with me.
       Doing my best to put my best foot forward, I arrived in ample time, found good seating in the bleachers- with members of our church family to sit with. So far, so good. I managed pleasant conversation, smiled and shook hands, cheered our graduations. Whoo, the end was in sight.
       Walking through the parking lot, keys in hand, I was commenting on how well the whole thing had gone. Not one incident of me being me- I was so proud (and at those words I heard a little voice- pride goes before destruction).
      Noticing a youth (and her family) nearby, I abruptly turned to say hello. In my eagerness, I tripped over a parking barrier...and, you guessed it, the keys in my hand landed (rather loudly) on the hood of a very nice car. As I tried to compose myself, the young girl's family said, "Oh, my goodness! Did you just scratch that car? Hey, aren't you the pastor's wife?" If only the world could swallow me.
      Needless to say, my husband still gets a great laugh out of this little do I. My best efforts are nothing without God's help. Putting on pretense and attempting to be something or someone I am not is sinful. My Lord knows me, my character, my flaws, my strengths and my weaknesses...and He can us all of it, so, instead of berating my feeble attempts to serve Him, it seems He is teaching me- I just have to be me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday...

Grandmother's Fans

   This little beauty is nearly complete...all hand appliqued and hand quilted with decorative fan designs. Not seen here, this quilt has a soft print chocolate border all around giving it a pretty framework. The back is butter yellow cotton..soft and soothing. Though it is small, the hand work took me longer that I had hoped- this in part, because we had summer activities which limited my table time. I am trying to decide whether to add a prairie point border, a scallop edge, or simply leave it straight. Maybe you could help me decide..leave me a comment and share your thoughts.
   As for Simply Pooh, this sweet baby quilt is on the way to its new home in Illinois. Simply Pooh, Too is complete and will be listed in our shop today. This quilt has the same dimensions as the first Pooh quilt, yet is has a dark blue binding on the edges.
   Simplyjen is working on a new filet crochet with a cross motif. Pretty and lacy, the white thread will be beautiful when displayed on a dark wood surface. Filet work is also lovely when matted and framed for a wall hanging. I personally can't wait to see this finished.
   Simplynrae has been developing some beautiful artwork involving Scout- her four year old horse.  He is so full of personality- it makes him a perfect subject!
   Back to the sewing table for me, I really wanted to finish the fan quilt before our mission trip- remember- I welcome your ideas on the finishing touch for this quilt. Thanks for stopping by today..we are so glad you came to visit.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A First Sale in Our Little Shop....

Simply Pooh

  I grew up with A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh. The gentle little Pooh, his timid best friend, Piglet..the gloomy Eeyore...they were there for each other in all sorts of adventures. I remember wanting a garden and tree home just like Rabbits'. Kanga always seemed such a gentle mama to little Roo. Owl was filled with wisdom and Christopher Robin brought sense to it all. These stories survived me and made it to the book shelves of my very own children..and then to my kindergarten classroom.
  We are older now and have outgrown such bedtime stories. Yet...Pooh is timeless..ageless..and always familiar, bringing comfort and tender memories. This material made its way into my heart as I sat at the sewing table to quilt this pretty piece. Now just finished, the little quilt featuring Winnie the Pooh and all his friends was placed on sale in our shop early Monday morning and sold that very afternoon.
  Soft "pooh" colors with gingham accents; the quilt is crib size and just right for a baby boy or girl. It measures 32 1/2 inches across and 42 1/2 inches top to bottom. Machine quilted in-the-ditch with dark green contrast binding. The back is a buttery yellow dotted with honeybees..soft and puffy in all the right places.
   Stop over at our shop (the link is at the top of our page) and view some of our other pretty quilts as well as thread work items made by our family's hands.  You may have missed purchasing this cute quilt, but don't worry...Simply Pooh, Too (which will be nearly identical to this quilt) is on the quilt table right now!


Monday, July 26, 2010

So, Why Did You Go To Camp?

   My thought to ponder...why did I go to camp. This question was asked of the sponsors in our first meeting shortly after arrival and check in. Upon hearing the question, my first thought was of the business meeting our church held some months back- when we were still in the planning stage of camp and preparing to send the fees in. Let me admit..I was frusterated and one wanted to go. My husband and I had a notion this was how it would we discussed it together the eventing prior to the meeting, and his decision was that the kids needed to go and if no one else was willing- we would to it. And, we did.
   Knowing my feelings toward this were not right..I began to pray earnestly for God to correct my attitude and give me the right heart about camp. Resignation to the fact that - in a small church- this will happen- began to set in. Other people have their reasons..and if you want to see something done you better be willing to be the one willing to do the work before you present it to the people. Yet, I still didn't feel this was a right attitude toward camp. So, I prayed more.
   In the weeks before leaving, my heart changed. My prayer for the church and its community has been to reach them...realization...this was a way to reach them: Once the reality of this hit me, there was no purpose was to reach them this week..and by whatever means God deemed necessary. I had to seek forgiveness and let go of regret for my inital emotions toward the issue...I packed, prepared and left home with a clean attitude and a right heart toward camp. I return home thankful my heart was corrected so I could be used there.
   So, when asked why I went to camp the answer is..because God asked me to use this as a way to reach people He loves....and we did. Seeds were planted...teachable moments were captured...conversations were held...a soul was added to the Kingdom...God's intended purpose fulfilled. In the end, it was a wonderful week full of activity and purpose..I thank God He showed me why I went to camp.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's Sunday...

 Taken from The Baptist Faith and Message (2000 version):

II. God

   There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all living things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back Home

hens at the door to greet me

   We are back home from our week at preteen camp. There were plenty of games, activities, worship and camp food. We had one profession of faith among our group of kids and plenty of good conversations all around. A big thank you to all those who made this trip possible! We were blessed to be part of it.

simplychele and the farmboys

Friday, July 23, 2010

Art Expo..Take V Final Exhibit (for this week anyway)

My First Bob Ross

   I took art lessons for many years to study different media and technique. Here I am with my first attempt at Bob Ross landscape technique. Using pallet and pallet knife as well as special brushes, oil paints are applied with fluidity and form. This is a piece of shore with rocky cliffs in the distance. Delicate sun strokes share the sky with wispy clouds. I did only a few Bob Ross paintings,,I think oils are fussy and hard to work with..but I do love the ones my dear art teacher encouraged me to complete.

   This concludes my week on the family blog..hope you enjoyed my visit. You never know, I may just pop in again. Until then...enjoy the beauty of art that is all around you.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Art Expo...Take IV

Country Girls

   My mom requested some simple sketch work depicting our family. The first one is a pencil sketch of the three of our typical attire..capturing things about us that most people seem to remember. For example..I have on my cowgirl hat and faded long hair is braided down my back and in my hands is my lead rope- used for leading in equine therapy and in training Scout. Mom is wearing a long denim skirt and her rounded farm hat..her long hair is braided with the full length hidden by her basket of eggs. My sister is wearing her best farm overalls with a kinky-curly braid bouncing from under her hat and she carries a bundle of fresh herbs from her herb garden. She was very pleased with my version of us farm girls.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Art Expo...Take III

First Meeting

   Ah, here we have two of my babies: Scout, my paint..and Hadassah, my lab. Now, these two have not officially met, however, in my mind's eye..this is exactly what they would do. Both spunky and vivacious..full of mischief and hilarity..yep, this would be their first meeting.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Art Expo..Take II

Friends Forever

   Originally, there was a photograph. My friend asked me to paint her with her donkey (his name was Danny) as a keep see, we adopted him. The original was a large watercolor, framed and given..still in her home today. Later, I decided to adjust it in now depicts the same gentle donkey- Danny, only the girl hugging his neck is my sister (seen several years ago). For me, this will always remind me of that ornery, yet loving, creature who once kept residence in my barn.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Art Expo Week

The Old Pasture

   While some of the family is away this week for Preteen Camp, Simplynrae is hosting an Art Expo to display some of her farm scenery pieces. Enjoy!

   This idea came from an art book. My mother often tells stories from her childhood on the Kansas farm of her grandparents. Her family raised beef cattle- so in the background you see some grazing here. There are not many trees in Kansas, however, she often speaks of a tree line near the homestead. Pencil sketch is my favorite media right now...many could be paintings if an interest was there, however, I have kept this one simple- like the farm life it depicts.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Sunday....

Taken from The Baptist Faith and Message (2000 version):

I. The Scriptures

   The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105, 140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A World We Forget to See

   There is a world we forget to see. A world we choose to ignore. It is not does not does not make us feel good. It is a bracing dose of reality. The world of the wounded.

   In Matthew 5:40 the Word says, "verily I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." If we are believers in God, the Lord of Heaven and earth; if we are followers of Jesus Christ, the Messiah..why do we ignore this passage? Who are the least of these?

   Our church youth were hosting a rummage sale to benefit their upcoming mission trip. This was an opportunity to open our doors to the community and help a greater good. Yet, it also opened our eyes to the world around us that we often fail to see...the world in need; the world of the wounded. People who live day to day without the luxuries we often overlook: air conditioning, transportation, jobs, beds or bedding, towels, cookware ..proper nourishment...the finances to simply replace what has broken or worn out. Homes that are not "up to code" or that would not meet our daily standard. Families struck by illness, economy or injury. We encountered the world of the wounded... the least of these.

   What is it our Lord is telling us to do? Proverbs 28:27 says if you give unto the poor, your needs will be supplied...give what? Let us consider the Good Samaritan. What did he give the man on the side of the road? He gave what was needed that was in his ability to give and he gave it with out concern for the applauds of men. Do you see a need? Can you fill a need? Are you willing not to be noticed for it?

   Our little sale gave us opportunity for contact (a need- they came to us), for conversation (a need- would you speak to them?), for contents (a, linens, kitchen ware, affordable to them with the integrity of making a purchase yet assisting a need), for continued comfort (a need- we invited them to services- my pew is always open, come sit with me).

   Bear in mind, they may feel uncomfortable- many mentioned not having "church clothes"- are they welcome to come as they are? Many were concerned about how the pastor would feel about them- assure them of his love for the people (ours was on hand for some to meet). Some will never darken you doors again- did you make the invitation? Then it is in there hands from here. Does your demeanor or appearance lend comfort or intimidation? Do you dress "above your community"...expensive clothing or jewelry verses casual appearance. Consider who you are trying to reach.

   One particular family struck me to day- the family of a wounded soldier. Does it not disgrace our country that those who fight for our freedom and luxuries have families that are hungry and in need of bare necessities? What have we come to?

   It is my personal conviction to stretch my hand to the poor as in the example of Proverbs 31. My family and I share a burden for the least of these- the ones the world chooses not to see- the world of the wounded. Does your church? Your family? You? How would you react to such a person if they graced the doors of your church? Could you welcome them? Love them? Pray for them? Will you help even if there is no gratitude?

Seek God and search your heart...will you seek to reach the world we forget to see?


Friday, July 16, 2010

A Right of Passage...Choosing the Class Ring

Think back with me (or forward if this is the case) to the start of our senior year..and the time of the class ring. For one member of our family..that moment has arrived. We just picked up her beautiful class ring. I have asked her to tell us about it.

Hey, this is simplynrae, I'm here to tell you about my class ring. I've been pouring over the catalogue for sometime now and finally settled on a design that fits me. This is a classic design ring in valadium, with the emerald star burst cut jewel - my birthstone, which is the emerald. The design of my ring reflects the things from my high school years that drive me to finish. On one side is a painter's pallet and brush..this is to remind me of all those art projects, classes, fair entries, and web displays I made over the years (finally making art purposeful, since I used to use it to doodle on my classwork :)...). Yes, Mom, I admit it. The other side displays a remind me of my past 4-H projects, riding lessons, Leap of Faith, training yearlings, and my beautiful new baby- Scout. The color guard is green and gold- the colors of 4-H. I gladly display the word "home school" around the stone, because - I was. My initials are engraved inside to remind me of who I am. Every part of this ring is a symbol of me and the four years I strived to get where I am today and where I will be tomorrow.

We are all excited with her and her upcoming accomplishments..we have seen her grow, watched her learn, and endured with her. Keep it going, girl...the best is yet to come!

scaifeparents and siblings with simplynrae

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thoughful Thursday....Pondering from the Accidental Pastor's Wife

"Beware a Listener Unaware"

Unbeknownst to me, Gumdrop was intently listening from just outside the back door as I made cheese yesterday. She must have know I would have fresh whey for her as soon as the cheese was strained. What a surprise when I nearly tripped over her while trying to carry the whey out. This got me to remembering...

You never know who may be where you don't know. This comes from experience- and it isn't always a good thing. This little story comes from the days when my husband did his time on the pulpit supply list; meaning any church with out a pastor (or church with a pastor out for a time) could review your resume and call you to fill the pulpit. It is an insightful and educational process for the whole family in ministry.

Just so happens on one particular Sunday morning..Sunday school had just finished up and ladies of the church were heading to the ladies' room before services. Now, ladies in the ladies' room of a Baptist church (or any church I'm sure) tend to chat a bit - share their hearts. On this particular ladies' room visit, some ladies were sharing their hearts concerning the current pulpit supply pastor- not all the ladies were in favor of his previous message.

Well, as for me...I was in the ladies room as well. When the conversation started it gave me quite a dilemma- exit the stall or not. Being me, I decided to just face the music and walk on out..and I did. Bless their speechless hearts, they were shocked! What do ya say when they are giving "constructive criticism" for your husband? "Good morning, Ladies" with a smile ---a quick hand wash--and - exit!

Now, we knew this church was not for us (we were a temporary visitor)...the people, well, we knew my husband was not the "style" of pastor they were looking for. Yet, this morning mishap has stuck with me every since. Learn with me---you never know who may be where you don't know.

Our Lord frowns upon gossip, and on judging others..I do not intend that here. These ladies did not mean for me to hear them...I did not mean to be there. They are entitled to their opinion and pastor preferences. This little memory is a lesson for us all... be careful what you say, for you never know who may be listening- purposefully or accidentally. It is a shame that much hurt and heartbreak comes from within our own church walls. Let us guard our tongues and leave the concerns to be shared with our husbands and the Lord. One final note:

Bear in mind- your pastor's wife uses the ladies' room, too..she has feelings just like you do..she loves her husband and the people of the, be careful what you share there.

the accidental pastor's wife

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday WIP

skirt pattern

This week's work in progress is a new skirt for simplyjen. Our little goatmama has decided to take up a new skill -the art of making clothing. Let me admit, my own clothes-making skills are limited at best. Simple tops, bottoms, and skirts are within my skill zone, however, I am more of a quilter (or craft sewing) gal. Yet, we remain undaunted and are jumping into a new pattern - head first.

Simple and sweet, this pattern caught her eye as she scanned the Simplicity website for ideas. The directions require basic cutting and layout skills as well as making a casing for the drawstring waist. I find gathering the most difficult part of this type pattern- getting those little puckers even can be tricky (least for me they are); maybe she will not have a problem with it.

For first-timers I always recommend using a fabric you like but are terribly attached to. Disasters happen and if your not too partial to the material- the mishap won't break your heart. Old cotton bed sheets or mark down fabrics are great for practicing on, and they wear nice if the pattern goes well. Simplyjen has chosen a cotton fabric with blue print (looks a little like bubbles designs to me).

When we size a pattern, we use body measurements (such as waist, hip, leg) to determine the proper size. I have found patterns to run a bit large if you use your clothing size. For her, we will use the smallest size the pattern fits and adjust as necessary. Being a drawstring waist, adjusting will be easier than a zipper or button waist.

Conveniently, this pattern carries the range of size that will fit all three of us farm gals. Simplynrae has not yet chosen her material pattern, but has some in her sights. I am imagining a soft brown floral cotton- we'll see. To extend the life of the pattern (and utilize all the sizes available) a copy will be traced and marked on tracing paper before we layout on the material.

We would love to hear about your works in progress; leave us a comment with a link to your blog if you have one. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.


Monday, July 12, 2010

To Be Home....

My welcome home greeting...

We are back home after a time away. Thursday afternoon the farmkids and I headed to our little chuch in preparation for a rummage sale benefitting our youth mission trip. We stayed with a family from our church (they live right next to the church building) so we could be on hand each morning to get the sale up and going.

Yes, we had a wonderful time..yes, we met and made contact with many people in our community...yes, the earnings were wonderful and will be a great help to our youth, but..there's no place like home. Our church family shared their wonderful hospitality and made our stay productive and welcome; there's just something about returning home.

Will we feel like this one day, when we reach Heaven's gate. As I drove into my own farmgate I contemptated the possibility of walking up the Heavenly highway and seeing the gates (all in my imagination, I do not truely know what arriving at Heaven will look like) - feeling that "at peace" warmth that only comes when you truely arrive "home".

Tonight I ponder the people we met during the sale, different, unique, from all walks of life...all in need of Heaven and home- will they be there with me?

Time to ponder anew; consider my course; where does it go from here? The invitation to join us for services was extended to each person we met...though none may ever follow through. For now, I pray for them...for the community...for the ones who do not seek if I may share with them the peace of knowing the way Home. Ah, to be home.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thoughful Thursday...Ponderings from the Accidental Pastor's Wife

Miss Kitty and I had an interesting time pondering things today..the topic was -being the "pastor's wife". The words themselves conjure up some rather interesting images and emotions.
Over the years I have had my own exposure to pastor's wives and each one left their own mark on my heart. As for "accidental", well, I didn't become one on purpose (at least not my purposing).
In all the various ministry roles my husband and I have filled over the years, none of them ever gave me the impression that one day he would be a pastor and I the "pastor's wife". Believe me, it was quite a shock! Yet, our path gave us input and shape we would not have had otherwise. The people and situations that brought us here were all vital in their own unique ways.
Upon realizing my new station in this life, I must admit to some huge issues of inadequacy. In my attempt to place myself in the "pastor's wife" mold I had seen around me...I knew I just didn't fit. This realization scared me half to death! Prayer, scripture, friends...where do you find the handbook for who and what the "pastor's wife" is? Join me, won't you, each Thursday, as I share the thoughts and funny incidents that happen along  my own path to being the pastor's wife.

Today, Miss Kitty and I had some interesting insights (the Lord can use anybody, can't He?). As I consider my own place, role and identity, please consider your own pastor's wife. Seek to understand and love her for who she is to her family and to you.

First...she is a sinner, a product of fallen man. When my husband become a pastor, I did not lose my fallen, sinful nature; I am not magical- a super-saint- no way. Prone to wickedness- let me tell you. I still struggle with weakness, sin, idols, pits- just like you, just like your pastor's wife. Now, she should be saved by grace; a believer in Lord Jesus- striving to live and walk in His word. We are believers on the same path you are.

Second...she is your pastor's wife. Important role primary job is to fulfill the needs of a wife so that your pastor may serve the people. Tending his home, washing his laundry, cooking his meals..honoring his convictions; some of my daily duties. I love my husband and seek to lift him up (not tear him down), to meet his emotional needs (he needs encouragement and love just like you), to assist his ministry as he needs (praying for him is top priority), and filter through the un-necessaries so that he can do the necessaries (whatever pops up that is in my ability to handle). I must be available to him and have a right relationship with him for these needs to be met.

Third..she is the mother of your pastor's children. Her job is to nurture, train and meet the needs of their children. Another important role here..she is still a mother with the same responsibility to teach her children as we all have. My children may be teens, but they need my time at any age. Teaching them is a help to my husband, my church, and the world around me. Until they leave home, they are a priority in my life.

It is a calling, I believe, to be the wife of a pastor; the Word says to be equally yolked one to another. When my husband shared his call to ministry with me- I was petrified- but immediately began to pray (like never before) and seek for my heart to be equally yolked to his. God has given me a passion for my husband's pastorate, a love for the body of believers he serves, and a desire to harvest alongside this wonderful man. In this, my identity is slowly becoming clear. I am the "pastor's wife".

Consider today- will you pray for your pastor's wife and the important role she carries in the life of her home; the home of your pastor? I promise you, she will appreciate it.

the accidental pastor's wife :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

Leviticus and simplyjen

Our little goatmama is turning a year older today! Happy birthday girl! She's a needlecraft artist, master gardener to be, lady goat herder, organizer extraordinaire, head muckateer, and an awful good cook...the walking encyclopedia of nutrition and plants....all around busy gal (wish I had her energy). For her special day..cake will be eaten (cheesecake- Godiva style!) will be done (western wear!),.dinner will be eaten (her request) and Twizzlers will be on hand (her favorite). Join us in wishing her a special 15Th birthday.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Let Us Not Forget

In Remembrance by nraescaife

Another holiday weekend; another traffic jam, or family gathering, or church function, or--you get the picture. Often times these long weekends are more a bother than a holiday and that should not be. Seems we have forgotten why we have the holiday to begin with.As for me and my house, we aim to remember why holidays became holidays, stayed holidays, and what the purpose is.

The Fourth of July was intended to be a celebration of our nationhood; the passing of our Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. The early celebrators held mock funerals to symbolize the death of the monarchy rule over our country. In the past, this holiday was celebrated with parades, orations, community gatherings celebrating the birth of this new nation. However, recent celebrations verge more on self indulgence and expensive fireworks displays.

Here on the farm, our celebrations are simple. We make our past, our fallen heroes, and our current nation a subject of discussion, research and prayer. If family is near enough to gather, a simple grilled meal may be served- or a dessert gathering may be held. Often a small set of fireworks are set off by the children and the farm dad. This year, the weather has not been conductive to outdoor activities, and the holiday falls on a Sunday..which means most of our energies will be spent on worshiping and serving our Lord; honoring our veterans in attendance and praying over current service members.

Seems our country is losing touch with its roots; its history. Let us each try to recapture the fire with which our nation began..passing to the next generations..placing it in the hands of God. Have a safe and blessed holiday weekend.


*note: The above picture is by simplynrae..a collection of memorabilia from her parents' military items. This is on the easel as a pencil sketch and possibly a painting....enjoy more of her beautiful patriotic works at !

Friday, July 2, 2010


The good news...Hurricane Alex did not produce any damaging weather to my area; it did do severe damage to areas south of us- including a few reported deaths. The bad news....I am battling a bug; started mild last weekend and has worsened each day- today seems rather awful...cough and sore throat (by the way..lost my voice)-no fun for me.

Today was rather gloomy; rain stayed around nearly all day (we could use it). With the muggy air aggravating my summer cold, I personally will spend most of my day just quilting in front of a fan. Watching the chickens venture out between rain showers to scratch around, sipping iced tea, trying to finish hand quilting Grandma's Fans- this is the plan for me.

Now the farmkids are busy working on combined musical arrangements (piano, guitar, keyboard), summer classwork, and a few new projects. Our artist has some neat pics ready, however, with her away much of the day for classes- I can't get them uploaded for posting. She has some really nice card sets ready for sale, a set of farm-style embroidery images, and is almost finished with a patriotic sketch (on top of all those writing assignments for college)- busy girl.  Our goat n garden gal is trying to complete a baby blanket that has pretty yellow rosebuds- and is testing a pattern for filet edged pillow cases. Farmboy, well, he feels like a caged puppy today- not at all pleased. He is working on his base guitar skills and drawing plans for some welding projects- using horseshoes.

Off I go to help my dear farm-husband by gathering some patriotic items for his Sunday sermon...some on the list: our personal copy of the Declaration of Independence, our copy of the Bill of Rights, our military memorabilia, and a flag. It is always so amazing to see how some of this comes out in the pulpit; isn't the Holy Spirit amazing?

Please pray for our neighbors to the south recovering the effects of the hurricane. and our servicemen and their families; join us as we remember them today.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yesterday's Noisy Visitor

The farmboy had been out gathering eggs yesterday morning when he walked under a tree..and something hit him on the head. It seems we had a rather noisy visitor up there in the oak tree- a pileated woodpecker measuring around a foot in length (crest to tail). He was making quite a racket up there and dropping an awful mess of bark on the boy below him. Our farmboy called us all out to view this special sight. I could not get a clear picture with my camera, so I have borrowed this one from All About Birds. Farmboy and I spent some time reading and found some interesting information about our unique visitor.

The pileated woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America measuring anywhere between fifteen and nineteen inches.  They have a cushion behind their beak to keep them from getting a headache, and have a tongue that can wrap around their head. um, wow! They are easily heard but difficult to spot. In their search for ants and beetle larvae they often leave rectangular shaped holes in logs or the trunks of trees-  toppling small saplings- and leaving a mess of bark chips in beneath their foraging. Their nests are found in the cavity of dead trees- unlined, except for a few wood chips- hatching one to six eggs in a clutch.

In past years, the pileated woodpeckers had been reaching endangered levels, however, it is reported that their numbers have increased in all habitat areas except for Arkansas. Here in our neck of the woods, they seem to thrive. We often spot several of various sizes throughout the summer months, and try to search them out when their hammering rings through our little farm yard.

Some may consider this noisy visitor quite a nuisance, however, the farmboy and I thoroughly enjoy the amazing handiwork of our Lord every time we hear the ringing of the pileated woodpecker; it is even more special when we get to see one!

simplychele and the farmboy