Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Country Girl

     I am not a country girl.  I grew up in small town and have moved to another smaller town.  We live in the country outside of our small town.  I don't have a green thumb although I can keep a few plants alive once in a while.  We have a dog that is part of our family, but really, I am not a huge animal person.  I do say that I want goats, but other than keeping our grass cut, what would I do with a goat?  I love fresh food, but I can go to the farmer's market in the warmer months to supply what I want/need.  So imagine my surprise to find that my daughter has embraced country living to it's fullest!

     Delainey's first embracing of country life was learning to love horses.  I will confess that I love horses as well, but D has actually learned to work with horses.  She has taken riding lessons for a few years now at Cedar Ridge Farm.  Not only has she become comfortable riding horses, but she knows how to care for them as well..  After her last lesson, she asked to stay so that she could clean a stall, just because.  She has asked for a horse several times, but this is not the right time for our family to own a horse.

     Delainey's next step into country life is something that is not exclusive to country life, but I always associated country life with it...4H.  Delainey (and I will admit that I love it as well) has completely embraced her 4H club.  She has been busy planning and working on projects for the fair this summer, I think that she has 5 projects this year.  She will be attending camp this summer.  I love watching her confidence and leadership skills grow through 4H.  She is planning on doing a demonstration at a meeting and holds an office in her club.  I also love that her club has a wide age range (k-12).  She gets to learn from the older kids while being able to help the younger ones!

     Delainey's immersion into country life will become even stronger this spring with a new addition to our family.  D has decided that she wants to raise chickens.  She has been saving her money to buy a chicken coop.  She and Jim will be building the coop over spring break.  Delainey has been researching all things chicken.  One of my classmates has sent her some chicken books.  Jim and I have never raised chickens, so this will be an experience for all of us!  I love that she wants to do this enough that she is using her own money and doing the research to be successful.  Stay tuned for our chicken farming adventures.

     I am a misplaced city girl who is learning to embrace the country.  Delainey just happened to be born in the city, but she is a country girl at heart.  I wouldn't have my life any other way right now!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sowing the Seeds

     Today is the first day of spring.  We have had a short taste of spring here, although it has turned chilly again.  My thoughts have turned to planting flowers, vegetables, and all things green.  We have space to have a garden, but between my lack of time and my non-green thumb, we generally don't do much.  Last year we had success with some tomato plants and a small flower bed, so this year we might branch out just a little, maybe a pepper plant or some leaf lettuce.  Time will tell as the weather gets warmer.

     Lately, I have been thinking about other types of seeds that I can sow.  I have been doing a Bible study on the book of Ruth.  I realized that I have been like Naomi.  Rather than focusing on the good things in life, I allowed some seeds of bitterness to creep into my life.  I had a night a few weeks ago when I was just feeling down and out.  I was feeling left out of several things and rather than find ways to be part of the groups, I wallowed in my bitterness.  Naomi had reason to be bitter, her husband and two sons both died. She was angry and bitter, so much that she wanted to be called Mara, which means bitter.  She didn't think about her daughter-in-law who left everything behind to follow her.  She forgot to trust in God, that He would take care of her.  She allowed her joy to be taken from her...just I had allowed mine to be misplaced for a few days.

     Since that evening, I have tried to focus on sowing different seeds around me.  I have tried to spread kindness...even when I wasn't really feeling kind.  When I have wanted to respond with a nasty comment, I have taken a breathe and tried to be kind.  I have smiled when I really wanted to stick my tongue out.  There have been days when I have been grumpy, and I have tried to share joy instead of the grumpiness that I really feel.  A smile and a kind word go much further than meanness.  Right now, it seems that there is so much hate and anger in our world.  Some days it seems to be growing.  I want to choke out those weeds with the stronger seeds love and peace.  I can't change the whole world, but I can start with my corner.  I can show love to those who are spreading hate.  I can be calm and peaceful in the face of anger.  I want to sow the seeds of hope to those who have lost all hope.  I am a work in progress and thankful that each day is a new day!

     As I head into spring, I want to find more ways to sow the seeds that are pleasing to God.  I want to be able to say that even though I have troubles, I continued to trust in the Lord, I did not allow bitterness to take root.  I want to be able to spread the seeds of kindness to those who need a kind word.  I want to sow the seeds of joy to those who are unhappy and need a smile.  I want the seeds of love to chock out hate.  I want to spread seeds peace to those who need the calm.  Most of all, I want to make sure that I never allow the seeds of hope to die within me.  I want to be able to say what Ruth's great-grandson David says:

"But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more."
Psalm 71:14


Thursday, March 3, 2016


     Joy...such a small word, but what a powerful word.  This morning as I was catching up on my morning adorations, the first two Bible verses for March were about joy.  I realized that lately, I haven't been joyful in all things.  I haven't been horrible all of the time, but I sure haven't been sharing much joy, I have been letting little things get to me.  Rather than taking action about what has been wrong, I have been complaining and doing nothing to fix the little things.  This morning, I am claiming joy for myself, my family, my home.  I am taking action instead of letting things get me down.

     The first step that I am taking is one that I have started and stopped several times.  I am going to bed early.  I know that I don't get enough sleep.  I have talked before about the fact that I love late nights.  But late nights and 3am wake up calls don't work.  I have started to go to bed by 9:30.  I know that isn't "early", but for me, who was staying up til 10 or 11 each night, this is a huge change.  I can feel it already this morning.  I woke up at my normal 3 instead of getting to sleep in until 7 today.  And truly, I feel good.  I might need a little nap later today, but for now, I am rested and recharged.

     The next thing that I am doing to reclaim my joy is taking care of myself.  I have been seeing my chiropractor again (that is a joy in and of itself).  I have an appointment with my medical doctor later today.  Not something that I am looking forward to, but I have some issues to discuss with him.  I know that he will recommend some things that I don't want to do, but I need to do them if I want to be healthy. And for me, if I am not feeling good, I am not able to feel much joy.  I also need to get back to eating healthy and some sort of exercise.  It's time to jump back onto the bandwagon...again!

     The biggest thing that I am going to do to find my joy, is to spend quiet time with my Bible.  I started a new plan in 2016 and did really well for a few weeks.  I have a reading plan for each morning and evening.  And then I stopped.  I got to busy.  I had other things that were more important.  And I didn't open my Bible for two weeks.  I became cranky and letting the little things bother me.  I miss that quiet time with God, His Word, and my devotions.  So I started the day reading....and joy was in front of me.

     I don't make promises often, but I have to promise myself that I will make joy part of my daily life.  I know that there will be times that joy doesn't seem to apparent to me, but I need to find joy in all situations. I need to make joy part of me, so that others can see the joy that I have.  I need to share my joy with others...starting with my family.  I want to be that person who makes others feel joyful.  I want to end with the verses that reminded me about joy this morning. I hope that they remind you to feel joy as well!

"Let me hear joy and gladness..."
Psalm 51:8a

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete."
John 15:11