Saturday, July 11, 2020

Clint's Father's Day Gift

Bonsai2

Eons ago when we were dating, Clint mentioned how much he liked bonsai trees and often commented that he'd like to grow one. Once we were married, I purchased him a book on how to grow his own, but he never took the time to start one. 

We looked for one to purchase back then, but the prices were higher than a novice gardener would want to risk. The cheapest we could find in a nursery to purchase were over $200 and the nice ones were over $500. The internet sure has changed things!

This year, I stumbled across one on Amazon. It had a pond (for humidity) with a little man fishing under the tree. The price was very reasonable, so I bought it for my one and only as part of his Father's Day gifts.  However, when it arrived, it was missing the fisherman!

Clint was delighted with it as it was! He was so happy to have the bonsai for his office. He could not stop talking about it and told our children how he had always admired them and wanted one of his own. I was quite upset because there were two bonsais in the same type of planter one with and one without the fisherman. I had paid more to get the little fisherman and triple checked to make sure I ordered the right one. Clint said not to worry about it, he'd call Amazon and have them make it right. 

Clint thought they'd give us the difference in the price, but instead, they refunded the entire bonsai! Yes, he got his first bonsai for free! I suggested he take the money and purchase himself another bonsai for his desk. That boy's eyes lit up! Clint carefully perused over the choices for a long while before he settled on the ficus bonsai which he felt would do the best in his office. 

So, now the man I love has two bonsais and the Groot planter (seen here, but not pictured above) under grow lights on his desk. His co-workers have raved over the bonsais and asked where we got them. They plan to purchase their own for their desks and home. I don't mind the missing fisherman since Clint is so delighted in having both trees! 

Dear Reader, Life is full of disappointments. We fail people, and they fail us. Barriers are created. Jobs end. Loved ones die. Life takes turns we didn't anticipate. If we belong to the Lord, all of these things we have lost will be made right. In fact, if we have an eternal perspective, we know God works things out better than we can hope! There is a purpose to all we are going through. Our job in this life is to first remember He controls all and to surrender to His will for us. In relationships we need to pour out His love on each other while we continue to work together with forgiveness and bearing with one another's faults as well as we do their strengths. It is by love and unity we overcome the hurts and disappointments in life. The stronger the love, the easier to get over the worst of  offenses. You can see this kind of love very clearly displayed in the Christians who have forgiven and embraced those who killed a loved one. One such story is in the true story contained in the book Through the Gates of Splendor which I highly recommend. I also recommend reading Elizabeth Elliot's other books for the spiritual truths hidden within.  

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:8-17

Friday, July 10, 2020

Love Finds a Way Positive CoVid Story

If you want to know if someone loves you, watch how they treat you and others. Words mean nothing without actions to follow them up. Genuine love is not easily hidden. It's actions are for all to see...

Thursday, July 09, 2020

What causes disagreements? Read the verse.


turtlehaven2

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Proverbs 13:10

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

A Suffolk Boy's Book

My friend, Paul, and I have scores of friends in common. We lived in the same city and attended the same church. We attended AWANAS together. In fact, Paul's father, was the pastor of our church which was Calvary Baptist on Turlington Road, Suffolk, VA. 

Paul informed his friends that he was going to write a book and asked us to pray for him. It's finished and available for sale here. Please consider supporting this very sincere Christian man in his endeavor. We need more Christian authors to shine a light on God's love for this desperate world. 

We should be happy to pray for, encourage, and support other Christians in their businesses and other endeavors. It should be a joy for us to promote each other and also to see others doing well. 

If you feel the need for prayer, ask away...

Our friends, the Vance's, have had more than their fair share of troubles. With an autistic child, a child with dwarfism, another child with medical issues, Dave's traumatic brain injury, and Lora's heart issues, you would think they would curse the Lord like Job's wife told him to do. But, no, they keep praising the Lord, sharing His goodness, and living for Him! Surely they will go down in a hall of fame for the faithful on this earth.

Lora is apologizing for asking for prayer again. Isn't it a shame that we feel that way? That we feel we can too often seek the prayers of other Christians? That makes my heart hurt that anyone feels they can ask others to intercede for them "too much." We can't pray enough for each other...even those of us with easier lives need a big amount of prayer. Even the Bible tells us to pray "unceasingly." 

Dear Reader, If you feel the need for prayer, ask away. I never look down on a person for seeking others to pray for the Lord's help in this hard life. It shows their heart is relying on Him. If someone were to ever say something negatively about someone who asked for prayer, I would think that person had a hardened heart that needed the Holy Spirit's work. Love is seen in how you respond to prayer requests. It is not ours to judge a prayer request as necessary or not. How can we truly know what the person is facing lest we wear their shoes with all of it's very worn and uncomfortable places? No, ours is not to decide if a prayer request is appropriate or not. Our job is to simply respond with a heart that is sincere in ministering to others through the mighty work of prayer.  

The prayer needs: Lora had a biopsy done not too long ago. She was not going to ask for prayer again until the results came, but she had some blood work done. The blood work she got back today is very concerning. She is asking us to pray that the biopsy does not reveal any illness and if it does that God will heal her. They are also having an issue getting Dave's needed medical supplies in on time.

A praise: They do have a praise I have been lax in sharing. Ben, the child with the dwarfism, was not expected to use the bathroom on his own. A portion of his brain is underdeveloped. He was expected to be in diapers his entire life. Well, the sweet child is using the potty! I saw the back view of patriotically dressed Ben taking a leak outside. I never thought I'd shout praises over a picture like that, but I am hear to tell you, I raised the roof over that little boy being able to urinate on his own BECAUSE I knew what it meant! That's a big milestone for him that indicates other possibilities for his future!! And, it is less work for one weary mama. Praise the Lord, Ben can pee and poop on his own! It seems like such a small thing until you don't have it. Then it is a huge thing. My love to all. -w

Faith = Obedience in Action

We see again that faith is a far cry from feeling or religious mood. It is not vague. It hears the Word of the Lord, and it acts. "If it does not lead to no action, it is in itself a lifeless thing." ...

When the will of man acts in accord with the will of God, that is faith. When the will of man acts in opposition to the will of God, that is unbelief. ...

The gospels show many cases of those who wished to understand rather than obey. Jesus had scathing words for them. -Elisabeth Elliot

If you want your faith as a Christian to grow stronger, you obey God's commands. It's that simple. You don't seek "experiences" or "spiritual highs." Feelings are fickle. You might love someone one day and hate them the next. Faith is built by obeying God's Word. God's Word is a firm, unwavering foundation that can get us keep our footing through emotional ups and downs.

Faith = Acting in Obedience
Spiritual Feelings ≠ Faith

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

In front of our house...

4

We had this happen right in front of our home tonight.

The driver was missing for an hour, so we were searching OUR fields, ditches, yard, and woods. A family member came to the scene and was out of her mind with fear for her loved one.The driver was found alive which is all the official could tell us. Thank you to all who prayed with us the driver would be found. They got the road cleared up just a couple of minutes before Caleb got home at 10:20 p.m.

Doing a New Thing!


turtlehaven3

Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!

    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19

Monday, July 06, 2020

Puppies


puppysleeping
 I keep having to help this one get her arm out of the hole.

puppies
I didn't think the little grey one would make it. I've been raising animals a long time and know the look of a puppy that is likely to fade. She was losing ground while the rest were gaining. I'd put her on my chest while I sat in the rocking chair and prayed for her to grow and live. God answered those prayers. She's caught up with the next smallest puppy.

Update 7/6: Since I scheduled this post, she continued to gain. She is a fat and happy puppy who is walking around and learning to eat solids! It's going to be really hard to part with this one. I know God has the right family in mind for her, and she will bring them much joy. I pray many prayers over our puppies before they are conceived, born, as they grow, and before and after they leave our care.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

A Tip for When Christians Disagree

When we have a strong difference of opinion, we should stop and pray for God to reveal to and convict the other person where we feel their thinking is off.

BUT, 

at the same time, 

we should also pray for ourselves that if OUR thinking is off, that God would convict OUR OWN HEART. 

Self-righteousness quickly says the other person is 100% wrong. 

Humility acknowledges we could be the one in the wrong. We may not know or understand all there is of a situation.

Sometimes, we possess different understandings of a situation and see things differently. 

If you have prayed on it a few days and still feel strongly about it, then ask God to prepare both of your hearts and for the appropriate time and place to discuss it with the person. Do so with love and grace keeping your eyes on the goal. 

None of us gets this right all of the time. When we fail, we need to show ourselves grace, make right where we failed the other person, and resolve to try to do better next time. 

Dear Reader, We all lose with self-righteousness and pride. With God's love and grace and our own humility, we stay united and are very effective working in God's kingdom! Shouldn't that be our #1 goal?


Saturday, July 04, 2020

Happy July 4th!

To our family and friends
near and far, old and new
close and estranged:

Happy
4th
of
July!!


Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, 
but living as servants of God.
 1 Peter 2:16 

 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, 
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Galatians 5:1 

 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; 
and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psalm 33:12

Friday, July 03, 2020

God does not play dice.

A spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. Causality has to exist. The universe could not operate on chance. God does not play dice. -Albert Einstein 

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Brandon's Kia


brandonskia2
Clint driving Brandon's Kia

Brandon bought this as a beater to drive back and forth to work in. Girlie, his dog, loves the hatch! Caleb's friend had it for sale for $1500. He wasn't asking Blue Book value for it because it had a broken transmission mount. Caleb talked him down to $500! Then he called Brandon and told him about it. Brandon bought it on the spot. Together, they changed the mount the same afternoon.

I love how my children are involved in each other's daily life and look for ways to help each other. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Please pray for Byron, Updates

An old friend told me last night he has cancer for the second time. If you will, please lift him up in prayer. 

Shonda is still with us. She has had more pain, small strokes, and vasculitis issues.

I have not heard any updates on Katherine. 

Timmy's appointment to see what was going on with his kidneys was pushed back until July 15. He's frustrated over that since his pain is really bad, and he is bleeding a lot.

Thank you to all who are praying with us. Please let us know how we can pray for you. 

Life Tip: How to Pray for Others

The group of godly women who shepherded me and many others through our early motherhood were a group of older ladies scattered across the world who got together to fulfill the call in Titus 2:3-5 to teach the younger women. The younger women couldn't find anyone around them to teach them, and the older women couldn't find any younger women who wanted their godly wisdom. 

Finding each other online was a blessing to both sides. I was so richly blessed by that group until I left it due to time constraints. Now, I work with younger women to pass on what I learned and to encourage them in their calling as wives and mothers.

MANY of us younger women did not have support locally even within our own churches. Many of us who felt the Lord's leading to be a stay at home mother also felt the call to homeschool. The homeschooling community was still small and not very organized. Many had experienced the same outspoken and harsh judgements from family and friends as I had. If you mentioned you homeschooled online, it often triggered someone else into saying something negative. God very often leads His people to go against the flow.

We were ravenous for help, support, encouragement, and fellowship with kindred sisters! The godly wisdom and support we found online was critical nourishment for our battered souls. 

LIFE TIP: Wouldn't it be troubling to get before the Lord to hear you negatively influenced someone who was correctly hearing from the Lord? They were obeying where God led them, but you, also a child of God, came along, looked at the situation with wordly eyes, criticized them, and made their journey harsher, and impeded them in growing in Christ. Wouldn't that be awful? and shameful? That should trouble our hearts so much! 

If someone is doing something you still feel it is wrong for them, humble yourself first. Pray for yourself before you pray for that person. You may be seeing the situation through your own prejudices. Search Scripture. You could be the one in error. 

If, you have sought the Lord and still feel you should speak, stop, and pray again. Ask God to give you the right words, prepare their heart, and prepare a time where they can hear your concern without distractions. Then, if you still feel led and see the time opened to you, go forward and discuss it with an open mind. Many women applied this in their marriages when they felt the Lord calling them to homeschool, but their husbands did not. The results of these heartfelt prayers in the marriages and other areas were astounding! 

Real life illustration: 

In my community, there is a Christian man who is heavily tattooed with full sleeves on both arms. Many Christians feel this is a sin and are openly judgemental regarding his inked limbs. He has had the same mean spiritedness towards him as I did regarding staying at home. Different topic; same harsh criticism. People didn't want to hear me about why I made the decision I did. People didn't want to hear him either. Without true dialogue, they just made up their minds. 

I'm going to tell you something radical. Objects do not have a soul and therefore can not be properly assigned a spiritual designation. If you are hung up on objects being good or bad, you are focusing on the wrong things! Where does sin originate? What is sinful? Mark 7:18-23 You do not have to fear objects, but you should be concerned with the condition of your soul! Tattoos, themselves, are not sinful. It is the heart condition of the person who wears them that matters to God.

As a young man, the aforementioned guy was heavily into sin. Vile things. He had tattoos that reflected that lifestyle. Once he was redeemed, those sin promoting tattoos caused him anguish. He decided to change the story his arms told to tell another story. A better story. He had the plan of salvation in pictures tattooed over the old, worldly tattoos. It cost him a lot of money and was a very painful process. 

It was one of the most beautiful sets of tattoos I've ever seen. Not for the artistic value but for the eternal. He wears cut off sleeves most of the time, even when it is cold, because he does not want to miss one opportunity to share Jesus. 

God's love and redemption are written all over his arms! 
And he readily tells others!

If that isn't beautiful, I do not know what is!

Dear Reader, Jesus did not come to save us from objects like tattoos. He came to save us from the sin (rebellion) in our own hearts. Instead of reacting with emotion to how you feel about someone's choice, think. Is it really sin? Are you really truly concerned for their well being or are you offended/challenged/convicted in some manner? Be honest with yourself. Be considerate, gentle, and graceful with others. Please pray for yourself first before you try changing someone else's course. You just might be the one who needs to make a change. 



Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Thank You Lord for Tough Old Forest Hardwood Floors


gardeninthehouse

"No she didn't!"
"Oh yes she did!"

I brought the dirt inside and filled my pots in the cool of the house. 
This heat and humidity combination we have going on in Virginia isn't a joke!
I was able to finish in half the time because I didn't have to stop to cool down and could work faster. Using the cardboard made it easy to just lift and dump the soil in the tote I keep it in.
.
Sweeping it up and mopping was over in 15 minutes...well worth the comfort!

Dirty Dollars

I offered to clean out a building that had not been touched since the 1950s or 1960s. No one is sure of when it was last touched, to be honest. The boxes' bottoms had disintegrated into nothing. 

People had been careless and had spilled potting soil, fertilizer, bark, etc over the boxes. It was dusty and dirty. The roof had leaked a little too. I think paper eating bugs ate the box bottoms because there was only a tiny bit of dust left under the boxes. I've never seen anything like it. We would lift a box and the sides would come up but there was no bottom. The contents would just sit there. Dust was under the contents.

Vintage and antique items are something I enjoy. I have a knack for finding valuable pieces and have considered opening a store online to sell my finds. In my perusal of the building's contents, I had already spotted at least dozens of high value items. 

There was at least $5k to 8k that I knew I could sell online at a below market prices. If I sell it at market price, I might hold onto it longer, but I could net more. Several of the items were turn of the century. I knew I could offer a local dealer a good portion of it as a lot and not have to piece it out myself. He would get a deal, and I would minimize my workload.

When I inquired about why the person's adult children would not get this stuff and sell it, I was told they were healthy and able, had more than enough time, and knew the items held value. They considered it too much work. 

I jumped at the chance to get the items. I have no doubts I can sell it easily because of my previous experience and success selling vintage and antique items online. I can take that money and invest it and, Lord willing, turn it into more.

I've learned that there are many, many people who will not do something because it is unpleasant work. They just won't do it no matter the pay off. It's sad to see people struggling financially and choosing to sit on a couch playing video games or watching TV mind programming instead of furthering themselves and their children. My youngest sons' boss shares my observations, and says it is multigenerational but noticeably worse within the last two generations. 

The job was dirty and dusty. I was very thankful to get home and shower! However, my few days of labor was rewarded very handsomely. I am giving my children their pick of the antiques and vintage items as a thank you for their help. I gave them a choice between cash or some of the items. They wanted the items because they know they are hard to find and will increase in value. "They're also too cool to part with!

Dear Reader, Would you dig through dirt to pick up more $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills than you can fit into a standard wallet? I think most of my friends and family would. Does it perplex you how people won't do very simple things to better themselves? 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Koi

koi1

Our standard koi have really grown!

koi10
barley straw and barley seed help control the algae

We have around 40 koi, over 50 goldfish, about a dozen bull minnows, and one lonely blue crab in our 7700 gallon "pond." My other "pond's" liner was about to fail, so I pulled the pool liner out of the boat and set it up combining fish from both "ponds" into one. 

There is no filter or heater on it. I have enough work to do and do not want to add to our power bill. I also know from being a one time aquarium hobbyist how to get the water balanced. I did it in the 750 gallon pool, and it will be even easier in this much larger pool. 

Because it is not filtered, the water is more natural looking and not crystal clear. We see them when they surface to feed on the pellets, and they put on quite a show for us. It's entertaining to see them jump out of the water!

I use barley straw to keep the water clean. As it breaks down, it releases a chemical that helps control algae. I change the water by taking water off of the pool to water my garden and add fresh water back into the pool. So, it's an aquaponics kind of deal.

A few years ago, I set up a 10' x 33" metal tube frame kiddie pool near my biggest garden for water storage. The plumbing to the garden was in the works but not finished. Emily and Hannah wanted to be done with their aquarium, so I took the FIVE goldfish and put them in the pool. I hoped they would serve us by eating mosquito larvae. I didn't think they'd survive the winter. 

Two seasons later, we had 46 confirmed fish with others that were discovered when we drained it. There was well over 50 fish in the "pool pond." They survived on bugs that would land on the water. I also learned they will eat algae. We fed them now and then, but we mostly forgot about them. It was so effortless; I am amazed at how it worked out! 

Can we raise koi? We're going to find out! If we do, can we sell enough of them to make it worthwhile? We wouldn't need to sell many because our costs are very low. If that works, we'll spend some money on better genetics and see if we can sell those.

The blue crab. Our two younger girls caught it at our river. They asked if they could put the thumbnail-sized crab (a "crab seed" :-) in our pond. We told them they could, but it would probably die. Well, the "seed" sized crab is now about as big as my palm! I think I see another experiment in the making! Try something new! You never know how it will turn out!

If you were to visit, and we talked about the pond, Hannah would quickly tell you that after working hours in the garden on the hot afternoon after it was set up, I picked her up and tossed her in the big pool with the fish to cool her off. She was laughing the entire time until she got this look of apprehensive wonder on her face and said, "Oh my goodness! I just felt the crab run over my foot!!" (She had boots on.) LOL! She'd also tell you I couldn't get her back out because the pool is so tall. We had to enlist Clint's help! 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Coal Road 4x4 Jeep Trail

For the young people who asked: Happy to help! For Coal Road 4x4, click here. Be safe, and have fun! Send us picts! Love to all, w

no great credit to the instrument

Designed for good deeds. It's as simple as that. It was God's idea. He did the designing. He expects us to work, just as the designer of a precision instrument, if the understands the principles involved and designs it accordingly, expects the thing to work. It is no great credit to the instrument if it does. -Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tomato Sucker Rooting

almost2wkswaterbottle

rootsalmost2weekscupsoil2 
soil in plastic cup method @ 2 weeks

I've been rooting tomato suckers for years with good success. I am in zone 7b, so I can grow tomatoes outdoors until late September and into October. If I move them into my greenhouse, I can keep them producing longer.

This year, I decided to try two different methods at the same time to see which did the best. I stuck 15 big suckers in water and put 24 in soil. I did not change the water daily in the bottles. I don't want more work. I want something easy to do.

Of the suckers put in the water, three of those did well. A fourth developed roots a bit slower than the others. The rest did not grow roots. One more has the bumpy texture that starts right before the roots pop out. So, it was around a 25% success rate.

I had 100% success rate on the suckers stuck in the soil, and they had good root development! They looked fantastic! I was really happy with the results! I thought of people I could share with and made a mental note to call them the next day to see if they wanted them.

Then, life happened. Sigh.

We live in an area thick with wild blackberries which have fungi which spreads to my tomatoes. I've learned to give a preventative dose of fungicide before I set my tomato plants out. I asked Hannah to do it and told her to get the measuring spoon and to measure carefully. 

My sweet Hannah did not follow my directions to MEASURE the fungicide. She thought she could "eyeball" it. I saw the suffering plants the next day and could smell the fungicide in the soil. She really overdid it!! 

I called Hannah and asked her is she had followed my directions exactly. She woefully told me she didn't get the spoon and measure it. I showed her the plants and went over loss in time and the potential harvest. I told her as long as she learned from it, we were good. 

Hannah learned a lesson about how plants can be poisoned just like people and animals. All four of us gardening girls learned how to treat poisoned plants by flushing them with water. Bethany enjoyed watching them come back to life after each heavy watering.

Twelve of the tomato plants perked back up and have been planted outside. They don't look fantastic, but they should make it. Two died later. The other ten range from looking "so so" to "what a sad sight." We'll see what happens.

I think I'll skip trying to root the suckers in water and just do the soil next year.

I'll also make sure that fungicide is measured correctly!

Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.
Jeremiah 29:6

 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Prayer for Timmy Please

Timmy, our neighbor, just called me. He is asking for prayers for his kidney stone issues. The pain this time around is really bad. He has lost a lot of blood too. He was in the hospital much of this week trying to get the bleeding and pain under control. He goes to see his doctor Tuesday to determine a course of action. Thank you for praying for Timmy!

Rejoicing!

There has been yet another spiritual breakthrough in our circle!

It was something no one thought would ever happen, but God did it!

The Holy Spirit MOVED! 

Hard places were softened, barriers were removed, necessary words were spoken, and loving actions were taken!

It was something that was prayed over for almost ten years! A miracle happened!

God is so good to His children!!

Dear Reader, While I can't share details because this involves another family, I wanted to share that we are seeing things we never thought would happen! It has been an amazing few years! That thing you have prayed for over and over...keep praying for it. God hears you! He will answer in His own time and in His own way! It might be another miracle in the works!

Mother's Day Art Work

bethanysmothersday
from Bethany

emilysmothersday
from Emily

hannahsmothersday

I save every single one!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Regarding Crows

I was asked about crows...

I live a ways off the road and am surrounded by woods. Our property is clearly marked every few feet all the way around. Our game warden praised our efforts in making sure our border was highly visible. No one should be back here ever. However, the crows around us have alerted me to strangers trespassing/poaching several times. 

One time, I had been working outside and did not hear anything in the woods. The crows alerted me in a way that I knew something was very off. I told my children to get in the house and told one to bring me a firearm. As soon as the firearm was visible, I heard a person quickly running off. They were on the border of our land and a vacant forested lot...where they should not have been. They were in a spot where they could watch us but not be seen. From trash we later found, I suspect it was a poacher putting down bait nearby.

Another time, I was in and out of the house. I heard one and then several crows give an alarm, and they were hopping from tree to tree. I again asked for a firearm while I kept watch because I knew by the way the crows were alarming it was a human or a coyote. This time, I heard a man yell at me as he ran off. He got caught trespassing, so he cussed me? OK. I'm fine with that as long as he gets off my land and keeps off. I do not play around when it comes to my family's or livestock's safety or security. 

If I am outside, I know right away if a hawk is nearby because the crows will let me know. If crows aren't causing losses to your livestock or garden, I'd leave them alone and learn their behaviors. You never know what they might alert you to in the future. 







*These events happened over the course of 25 years. In the last several years, our game warden has stepped up his efforts and has been a lot of help. Two of the neighbors our place borders have joined in the efforts since their land was affected by the poachers too. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

How to Survive in Uncertain Times

Dear Reader, do you want to know to not only survive but to also THRIVE during these uncertain times?

Be led by the Lord. 
Trust in Him. 
Learn to do His will. 
Flee to Him for refuge. 
Serve the Lord.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant. ~Psalm 143:8-12

Two of my joys

myjoys

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

God's Goodness

God has worked miracles today!


Mountains have been moved!

Big things happened!

Our family is rejoicing at God's goodness in the lives of those in our circle!

God is so good!

I am so thankful we have this relationship with Him so we can witness these things happen and give testimony of His incredible love.


Mushroomin'


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Holes are drilled to inoculate the log. 
Then the holes are packed with moistened shavings and sealed with wax.

mushroomin3

mushroomin

mushroomin5

The inoculated logs are stacked in an area where mushrooms have come up naturally. 
That way, we know where we placed them is conducive to growing 'shrooms.

Our family uses several types of powdered mushrooms to boost our immune system. Later, I'd like to grow them another way to see if it is something else we can sell from our little farm.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Prayers Please

I hate to ask again, but a very young man in a friend's family has been sent to rehab for drug usage and mental issues. He has had a turmoil filled upbringing and is really hurting. 

Thank you for praying for my friends. As a very empathetic person the needs around me can really weigh me down, but turning them over to the Lord's care and also asking others to pray is such a help. Thank you for praying with me for this young man.

Article: CAN WE REBUKE OR BIND SATAN?

Worth the read.

CAN WE REBUKE OR BIND SATAN?"

We all tend to repeat words and practices we've seen and heard in other Christians, especially in our prayers. But some of the words and practices we have seen are not supported in the Bible. That doesn't mean the folks whose problematic practices we’ve imitated are bad or immature Christians. It doesn’t even mean those persons are unworthy of imitation. What I’m saying is that some practices that have become common among us need to be questioned. “Rebuking and binding the devil” is one of them. And just because we include the words “in the name of Jesus” in our rebuke doesn’t make it right."

Em's Sloggers

emilysnewsloggers
That's gardening stuff in the background.

This is Emily's choice for her new Sloggers. It's called Flower Power. One thing I love as the mother of several children is seeing the differences in them and their tastes! Emily surprised me with her choice! I thought she'd go for one of the animal designs. I love the design and colors in her choice!

If you are looking for a boot that will last years, Sloggers are the only ones that have held up for our family. Yes, they cost more than others, but they are well worth it! We highly recommend them and have never been disappointed with their performance. We buy them a few sizes bigger so we can wear socks in them in the winter. 

They do fit tight at the correct size, but that is how this kind of boot is suppose to be. As was explained to me, if you sink down in mud, you do not want your boot to pull off with your next step. From a large family perspective, these boots can be passed down to the next child so they are a bargain. 

Dear Reader, I am convinced that God loves diversity. He made so many different types of people with so many different personalities and talents. The plant and animal kingdoms are even more diverse. Don't be afraid to stand out from the crowd in a Scriptural manner and be who God made you to be. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Prayer Request: One of ours is hurting.

One of ours is struggling hard with something, and we would appreciate prayers on their behalf.

How to Increase in Faith

I believe this passage by Elizabeth Elliot uncovers why so many Christians are stagnant in their walk. Their faith isn't growing because they simply won't obey the Lord. If you want a bigger faith, obey God's commands. No, it isn't easy. In weight training, one learns one has to tear the fibers in a muscle before strength is gained. Faith is very similar. You have to surrender your will, obey, and then your faith will grow. 

There is something that pretends to be Christianity which is mostly a mood. The measure of its faith is merely the measure of feeling.  ...

That faith is neither a mood nor a feeling, but practical obedience is clearly seen when Jesus puts the responsibility of forgiveness squarely before the apostles--seven times in one day. 

He told them they must forgive the same man. They recognized dimly that this was going to require faith and theirs did not amount to much. Mood and feeling would not go far toward enabling them to obey that command. "Lord increase our faith!" theys aid, very likely aking refuge from obedience by implying that they could not possibly be expected to obey until, by some special miracle of grace, they were given a superabundance of faith. Superabundance indeed! Why, even faith no bigger than a mustard seed could uproot a mulberry tree, Jesus told them. 

The way to increase their faith was to get busy and do what they were supposed to do, and "when you have carried out all your orders, you should say, 'We are servants and deserve no credit; we have only done our duty." Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Praising the Lord!

Amanda was on her way to work when she was caught up in a high speed chase. She pulled over to the far right since they were going for the left. There were five officers giving chase to one gray SUV. We are praising the Lord she and others on the road were kept safe.

Positive News: Coronavirus


Why I Use Rooting Inoculant

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This is why I use a rooting inoculant on my plants. 
This is the roots on a 2" tomato sucker 
two weeks after inserting it in the rockwool.

I started about 15 of these tiny suckers which grew very quickly and were transplanted into pots. They continued to grow quickly outside. I gave most of them away the first week of June. I kept a few for myself so I could watch them grow. They are huge tomato plants and are putting off their first flowers.

To answer a questions about the picture: 

I used net cups to keep the rockwool cubes upright. 

I use rockwool only for the tiniest suckers. 

I root larger ones in water or soil. I'll share picts soon, if I can. Life is super busy.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Tomato Damage


tomatokittendamage

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The damage to this tomato plant had me perplexed! 
All of the leaves were stripped off two sides. 
I had to see what was happening to figure it out. 
Three kittens were playing on the corner railing and kept falling off...knocking the leaves off of the sides next to the railing. 
Little fuzzy stinkers!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Prayers for Young Man

There is a young man, related to good friends of ours, who desperately needs intercessory prayer right now and for the next few weeks. He just turned 18. Our family has met him and has been covering him in prayer since he was little. He comes from a very, very broken home and has had more pain, instability, and turmoil in his life than words can describe. 

He has now been put in danger mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He has no choice, no control, and has no one he knows near him. He has been cut off from his entire family.

I do not know if I can share updates on this done due the complex nature of it, but it is a bad situation. 

My heart is very, very heavily burdened for this young man. When his relative called today to let me know and to ask for prayer, she and I cried hard together.  We are helpless to help him, but our God is not. 

Please lift him up, family and friends. Thank you!

Supper

sandwich

The sprouts ended up being supper.
I love my sprouts and microgreens!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Brandon

Brandon's prayer request is for another reason (nothing bad), but I thought I'd share what happened to him over the last few days. 

Brandon purchased a car from a co-worker of Joshua's and Caleb's. He only paid $500 because the transmission mount was broken, and the guy didn't want to replace it. He might fix it and resell it for a profit.

Brandon was also offered $5k on the spot for one of his other cars. Ka-ching!

Continuously


I live in the spirit of prayer. 
I pray as I walk about, 
when I lie down 
and when I rise up. 
And the answers are always coming. 
George Müller

Dear Reader, I encourage you to spend time in prayer everyday.

not a constant high

The Christian life is not a constant high.
I have my moments of deep discouragement.
I have to go to God in prayer
with tears in my eyes,
and say,
'O God, forgive me,'
or 'Help me.'
-Billy Graham

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Prayer for Brandon

If you will, please lift a prayer for Brandon over the next few days. Thank you for the prayers you lift for our family!

Growing Figs in Zone 7

I am in zone 7b.

I have seven fig trees. Two are of the dwarf variety growing on my deck. The other five are in the ground. They died back the first few years (even though I used straw and wrapped them), but they came back. During those early years, they didn't show new growth until later in the season than I expected. I did not wrap them last year because they are too large and well established. I only lost a few tips on one this winter.

A tip for those in soggy conditions: I also live along a river and have very wet springs. It can take a while for us to dry out in the spring. I've learned through trial and error on how to overcome that. I planted our figs half in the ground and half out-inside of a tire with the side walls cut off. I filled in the tire with soil.

I removed the tires this year and am using one of them to establish a new grapevine that will shade our peafowl's large habitat. My son has established nut trees he grew using my half in/half out method too. When I removed the tires from the figs, I added more soil and heavily mulched them. They are looking very good.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Thank you, Richard!

refrigerantfromShammy

Thank you, Richard S., for the generous gift of the refrigerant for the group project!! 
We really appreciate your gift!!

Soon to Be Lunch

soontobelunch

Broccoli and Friends Mix
A few more days and this is lunch!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

In the time you have left...

1aaa
In matters of equity between man and man, our Savior has taught us to put my neighbor in place of myself, and myself in place of my neighbor. 
-Isaac Watts

Dear Reader, God tells us to love others. Love is not something we simply proclaim and then get back to doing our own thing. Love manifests itself as true or false in how we treat others. I hope the love of God has filled you so completely that even those who have mistreated you can say you showed them His love. 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Prayers for Joshua Please

6/13: I am trying to update the prayer requests. Joshua's arm is looking better. I think it was sun damage from where he did not follow his mother's advice to keep the healing burns covered. Comfrey salve, when he remembers to apply it, is making a big difference. He still has a long way to go before these are fully healed and will have permanent scars. 

6/9: Joshua received several severe burns at work on his right bicep about five weeks ago. The burns were quite serious, and he will have deep scars. He's had some good healing on them, but two spots are now showing signs of infection. Those two spots have reopened and will scar even deeper than the others.

Please say a prayer they respond to treatment. Thank you, dear reader, and may the Lord bless you for any prayers you lift on our family's behalf.

Update on Katherine

6/13: Still no court date. The other lawyer will not commit to any of the suggested dates. Katherine's father wants to get custody and get his daughter on her medication and into treatment if still recommended. Please pray. Other than a few short texts, he has no idea how she is doing. Katherine's mother has mental health issues that will not allow her to work or drive a car. 

6/4: Katherine's father spoke with Clint late last week about how frustrating it was that he does not know where his daughter is or how she is doing. Clint suggested asking his lawyer if having the sheriff's office do a wellness check was OK. 

The lawyer thought it was a great idea, so her father called. He told the deputies he thought she was at his in laws, but he was unable to verify this through his wife or his wife's lawyer. 

The deputy went to the home and Katherine was there. She appeared well outwardly. So, at least he has peace in knowing where she is. Please keep praying for this situation. 

Her father's lawyer is hoping for a court date around the middle of the month, but the his wife's lawyer is giving them some trouble with communication, paperwork, and setting a date. His lawyer feels they are hoping he gets frustrated and does something they can hold against him.



************************
Since the deputy was called to do a well check, the wife's lawyer has said Katherine will text her father twice a day until the court hears the matter. 

Prayers Please

Still needs prayer....

The journeys we have been on for the last several years have been amazing! I hope one day I can tell the stories of what God is doing.

For now, as we continue along one of those journeys.... A cousin who found us is going to contact his father. His father has lived a sinful life and harmed others including the cousin. This will be a hard journey for the heart. Will you pray for the cousin? Will you pray that his father receives Jesus as his Lord and Savior? Will you pray the spirit of bitterness the cousin has struggled with will leave his heart? Thank you all!


And so I walk in the LORD's presence as I live here on earth! 
Psalm 116:9