Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

With each passing year, we understand more than ever that what really matters are relationships.  The connectivity and trust we have with the people intertwined in our lives and with our Father and Savior is of utmost importance and worthy of pursuit.  It’s difficult to be close to someone, though, if we don’t know them deeper than what is on the surface.  Most of us go through life fearful of letting people know who we truly are and what we really think and feel on the inside. So, we train ourselves to say things or behave in a way we think others expect of us rather than be ourselves for fear they will not like us. That is unfortunate and diminishes our chances of meaningful relationships. We decided this year, rather than just tell you what we have done, we would allow you to see a tiny bit J deeper under the surface and discover that if you really knew who we were, you would know this about us………….

Dave – fears bats and socialists ~ has a goal of being a wellness coach ~ read “Bonheoffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas and found the book to be life changing ~ loves the quote: “Become what evil fears” ~ had an original thought – “uh…… umm…… yeah…” ~ thoroughly enjoys good conversation in which he learns something and getting up at 4:30 to listen to lectures on YouTube ~ regrets not appreciating each moment to its fullest ~ wonders how it is possible for a placebo to work? ~ frustrated because he can’t find the answer to why he has neuropathy in feet ~ completed a 2 day handgun class

Brenda – fears elevators and driving alone ~ loves learning new things and having meaningful conversations ~ regrets not being a more routine/consistent person ~ loved the book, “Speaking of Jesus” by Carl Medearis ~ has an interest in becoming a Notary Public ~ wants to improve thinking before speaking ~ is questioning her love for her wringer washer ~ wishes there was more time to spend as “grammy” ~ realizes it is easy to make Jesus who we want Him to be instead of whom He really is

Ben – fears the drive thru at the bank J, rats and mice ~ enjoys being informed, and foreign languages ~ regrets not being more frank with people ~ turns 27 on the 1st ~ wants to be a millionaire by age 30 ~  read “What Every Body is Saying” by Joe Navarro ~ completed a first action medical class

Kelsey – she would have a very interesting and fun newsletter if I can convince her to write one

Solomon – married a pretty little lady on Dec. 12th – too in love to add to newsletter

George – enjoyed the book, “Fearless….” By Eric Blehm ~ met Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Author, Military Psychologist ~ likes the quote, “When you say to yourself “someone should do something about that” that someone is you” by Garry Marr 

Uriah – fears heights ~ loves hanging out with friends and being social ~ desires to raise meat chickens again  ~ finds school frustrating ~ thinks this newsletter is not so cool

Oliver – fears needles ~ loves swimming and being with friends ~ finds Uriah frustrating ~ loves the quote, “It is not shameful to have fear, but it is shameful to let fear control you” ~ thinks his life is pretty boring

Family highlights this year was adding a bathroom downstairs, going to cabin in August, redoing bathroom upstairs and finished out the living room.   Wow Wee!  J  Wifey had this idea that they were simple projects.  “Simple” projects prove to always, ALWAYS take 3 times longer than anticipated.  But, now that they are complete, they were well worth all the weekend and evening hours of labor.

God created each of us so unique, so intricately - just like He planned us to be. May we strive to see and except ourselves and each other, in all our messiness, imperfections, interests and fears, as Jesus sees us.  Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

Have a very merry Christmas - 2015!   Dave and his cronies                    

Monday, August 3, 2015

Buried Hope

If you walk straight out our front door and across the stone driveway, you will stand in front of a hand dug well.  

Over 31 years ago, this farm was owned by a hard working, dedicated farm family.  It was then sold and rented out for 20 years until we bought it 11 years ago.  Soon after we moved here, we had the privilege of having the mother of the original family visit us before she passed away.  She slowly walked around the farm reminiscing how things used to be when her family lived here.  In the midst of the reminiscing, she informed us that in the bank beside the driveway was buried a hand dug well.  
This information piqued the curiosity of my masonry minded menfolk and soon after the Mrs. W's visit, the bank became an excavation site. 
Sure enough, there it was!  
It had been leveled off at the ground and capped with a cement slab.  Removing the heavy slab revealed a beautifully hand dug stone laid well.  Debris had been thrown in to prevent water from laying on the bottom.  With the aid of a ladder, bucket and shovels, the men started digging.  Would they find treasures?  Would they find water?  They did find a few treasures, but no water.  When their curiosity was satisfied, Dave added masonry to give the well height, and inserted a strong grate for safety.

He used landscaping stone that was bought at an auction followed with various colored plaster to create a stone laid appearance.

Fast forward to Spring of last summer - 2014.  I noticed some weeds growing out of the back wall of the well from between some of the old stone beneath the part that Dave laid up.  The idea of weeds growing out from part of a well that had been buried seemed slightly odd to me and if I could have reached them, I would have removed them.  However, as these "weeds" grew, it soon became obvious that they were actually a butterfly bush.
How is that possible?

I have become friends with one of Mrs. W's daughters who works at the local high school.  I emailed her to inquire how long it has been since the well had been covered.  She thought it was at least 50 years!

This Spring and into Summer, the growth continued and as I observe that bush every single day, it brings me encouragement and hope.

I don't know for sure if Mrs. had a butterfly bush planted beside the well so very many years ago. I don't know for sure if a seed can truly be buried for so very many years and still retain a thread of life in it.  But, the thought of that seed possibly laying dormant in the cold, dark, deep soil for over 50 years and springing to life when exposed to light, warmth and air has provided a refreshing feeling of hope within me.

Sometimes I feel despair. 
 Despair over personal struggles and the thought that I will remain a tedious work in progress until I breathe my last breath.  
Despair over the realization that persecution is a real possibility and I am weak.
Despair that our bodies are frail and hormones is not always a friendly word. 
Despair over the distracted Christianity of today.
Despair that dirty dishes and smelly laundry appear every day like clockwork.

The cold, dark, deep soil that smothers the soul.
Somewhere in the deep of the darkness lies a tiny seed of hope that no matter how long it is buried, it contains a thread of life.
 Life that is sustained by the One who created the seed.
Life that will spring forth when exposed to the warmth of the Son and the breeze of His Spirit.
 Life that springs forth into a hope that defies all darkness. 
 Hope that brings forth the reality that Light overcomes all darkness.

Hope is growing from my well.
Allow it to grow from yours, also.

Until next time...........

Sunday, January 4, 2015


There are a few things in life that are never-ending ....
 the need to eat
and dirty dishes

 I fancy thinking about the fun things we could do, the lovely places we could go, and the money we would save, if the above mentioned were "ending." 
If we didn't eat, there would be no dirty dishes.  But not having to eat?  What would that be like?

 And what about the laundry?  Oh!  I have an idea for that one!  Disposable garbage bags!  We would have to petition Glad to make purple, pink, blue and green bags for sure, and save the black bags for funerals!   :)  This type of apparel could be hosed off and reused and when it gets holey, pitch it and get another one out of the box.

But if we didn't eat?  What WOULD it really be like?  How much time do we really put into shopping, preparing food and eating it?   And how many hours do husbands and wives have to labor to pay for it?
Finding those answers is your homework assignment for this week.  :)

I have never kept a time-card to log in and out while feeding my family, but I am positive I go into overtime!  Double overtime including laundry!  And I am positive that many of you are saying,
 "me too! me too!"  Many mom's can relate to overtime. 
 This was my yesterday....
(this is not my typical day)

Packaged 100# of fresh cased sausage
Fried approximately 35# of fresh loose sausage
Mixed up and baked 4 dozen sausage and egg muffins, and 4 breakfast casseroles for freezer
Curdled 4 gallon of milk into a batch of cheese
Beat 1 2/3 gallons of cream into butter
Prepared a gallon of yogurt to be fermented
The menfolk sliced 7 pans of meat pudding to put into freezer
washed and hung up umpteen loads of laundry
 threw in the oven 3 bought pizzas for supper

 Did you notice I wrote "bought pizza?"  Yep!  Bought pizza in the midst of home-made cheese and butter.  It was wonderful to not add home-made to the word pizza.  Sometimes I like "bought" over "home-made".  It is a more soothing word - it means I have more time to blog or read. :)  
And it is only because of a few cows, we are able to have milk products.  If we ever move from the farm, we would not experience a Saturday like the above ever again.

Anyway, while chugging away at those tasks, I was not patting myself on the back for any of the accomplishments, (well, I was for the bought pizza!  So glad I bought it!) but rather contemplated on whether I viewed those tasks as a blessing or curse, worthwhile effort or wasted time.
Oh, I would've much rather had my nose in a book, or rather on the Kindle that Dave gave me for Christmas.  Visiting friends or sewing would've also been a nice thing to do.

But I was stuck with food prep!
Is that how I felt?

(well maybe a bit a pressure was felt)
and after really thinking about it, I concluded that I was struck with a privilege!  
How dare I even think about complaining!

Due to health issues with Dave and myself, our family's diet has been tweaked quite a bit since our first married years.  And it continues to be tweaked.  Tweaking has been extremely worth the time and effort.  It has brought much improved health to both of us (will share how and why in upcoming post), however, it is not a "fast food" way of eating, as much as I wish it was.  It is much less time consuming to go to the store and buy noodles, cereal, snacks, frozen meat (and of course, pizza!) than it is to grow veggies, feed that meat on the hoof, butcher and freeze, and add healthy fats.

It is time consuming to eat healthy!
Very much so!
Is it more expensive?
Maybe we can schedule a debate on that one.

But, what are our choices?

We need to eat to live.  God made it so!
And how well we live depends on what we eat!
(and that becomes more of a believable statement the older we get)

So, the choices are:
eat healthy whole foods
eat fakeprocessedwillkillyou foods

Can you mix the choices together?
It will have different results for different people.

For my hubby and I, it is best not to combine the choices.
Thus, explains the up to our elbows egg, cheese and meat Saturday.
So, after a good nights sleep last night, a day of rest today,
 tomorrow I will tackle the laundry issue - again.

 I am in search of red garbage bags!  I love wearing red!
Anyone know where I can find some?

Until next time..............