Tuesday, September 23, 2014

When Trouble Comes

Psalms 50:15 
Call me when trouble comes. 
I will help you, 
and you will honor me.

Thank you, Father, for loving us even when we doubt you and your power in our lives. We knew we had to make a stand for you, but the price seemed so high. We trusted you and made that hard stand in love without condemnation or judgement, and then we fell up on our faces at your feet and cried out our pain and begged you for help. 

You gave it. You led us to the right people to seek for prayer support. Among those ten were six with the same story as what we were facing! I do not believe in coincidences but in your mighty hand. Thank you for the reassurance you gave us through them and for how they knew exactly how to pray for and minister to us! 

Even when we thought things were getting worse, you were working in incredible ways hidden from us. You asked for faith. We gave it but imperfectly as our own fears lingered. You delivered.

Blinders were removed; new sight was given! Strongholds were broken!  That stand you had us to take stopped the sin cold. It made the offender realize the seriousness of what they were doing. It turned them around immediately. The miracle we craved from you was directly tied to our obedience not to compromise on truth. Your ways are so much better than ours!

Keep us under your wing, Father, and never let us stray. We want to keep living a life that is filled with seeing your hand at work in marvelous and wonderful ways. We want to always have you there for us in times of trouble and see your work. 

You were gracious to our weary hearts and kept this mercifully short. In about 24 hours from when we learned of it, the worst was over and we were able to rejoice in your victory. Thank you for showing us through this event what a firm but loving stand can do in a rebellious heart. 

For all of those who knew or saw the struggle and prayed on our behalf, please pour out your blessings upon them. Thank you for Jesus who has made this close relationship with you possible. Amen.


*****
Thank you to everyone who prayed. I wish we could sit down, share at length, and then hug each of you!


"The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy." Zephaniah 3:17

Answered Prayer

God has answered our prayer in a very incredible way. Being in the family of God, with sincere brothers and sisters in the Lord, is a wonderful and amazing place to be. I cannot express my gratitude those who knew and were covering us in prayer.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tough Love

Tough love is just that. It is love...a very deep love even if the receiver can't see it, but it is delivered in a manner that is not only tough in its stand, but is tough on the hearts of those who have to mete it out.

Summer's End

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I accidently posted this on August 22.

Summer ends and fall begins today at 10:29 p.m.

This has been a fantastic summer! We have added four new structures to our farm, fenced in a new pasture, added over 150+50 animals, built three incubators, hatched out ducklings, took several trips, made many new friends, learned some new ways of doing things, experimented with our own ideas, were able to help educate others who wanted to learn, earned a little money, and have a plan for this winter and next spring and summer. It has been a fun filled and rewarding summer!

We are looking forward to the crips evenings of fall, family bonfires and cookouts, cooler work days, fall foods, and our week long family camping trip!

May the Lord bless you and yours this fall with a closer and more meaningful relationship with Him!

Psalm 74:17 You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Prayers Requested

My family is in dire need of earnest prayers for protection, widsom, and guidance. This is a very serious matter involving one of our children. Our hearts are filled with anguish and we have had to make some very difficult choices in the best interest of our younger children. Please pray for us.

God's Not Dead!

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We decided we wanted to watch God's Not Dead as a family. Our schedules finally worked out in early August! The picture of Em and Hannah did not turn out. I don't know if the boys knew Pooh was sitting between them or not. The children still love them like they did when they were little.

We highly recommend the movie! It was one our entire family from 45 to 5 could watch together without concern over language or inappropriate content. Those kinds of movies are rare today!

God's not dead...He works in my life on a daily basis.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Beautiful and Thoughtful Way to Minister During Pregnancy/Infant Loss

Oh, how my arms ached. I wish I had had something like this with my eight losses. After Isaac, when I finally had a chance to be alone, I curled up with a special doll and cried and cried to let some of the pain out. The weighted hearts are a very touching way to minister to mothers who have had losses. I know I would have loved having one. You don't have to go through the charity. You can make something of your own and give to parents who are grieving.
"Fox-Tierney also brought a heavy bag in which she had packed a stuffed heart. The heart, she explained, weighed roughly 9 pounds -- Corbin's birth weight -- and had been sewn by a mom who also had a late-term stillbirth and who had been given a stuffed heart early in her grieving process." Read more


Can't Even Tell You Her Name

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Cameras scare her so 
this is the best picture I could capture.

To protect the dog, I can't even tell you her name or from what state she came.

Due to our previous rescue work, our kennel was selected to rescue eight dogs from a bad situation. It did not happen this year. The dogs were very sick, dirty, wormy, infected, and were not use to being handled by humans. Evidently a man had abused them too because they all hated men...until Clint and my boys worked with them. Two of them were pregnant when they arrived. Three of them died shortly afterwards due to their condition.

This dog is the last one we have left, and she will have a forever home here. The only people she really trusts are me and Amanda. My other children have been taught not to approach her. The dog's mind is so twisted from being penned in such tight quarters that she feels unsafe when she is in a larger area. It has taken a lot of time to get her to adjust to a 10x20 pen and time to run free.

In her early days, this dog bit me more times than I can remember. Oh yeah, I bled. She is still jumpy, so when I am working with her, I frequently plead, "Don't bite me, sweetie!" I understand her fear because I know where she came from and what she suffered at the hands of other people. 

There's a lesson here we can apply to people relationships as well. If you invest yourself and take the time to get to know something or someone, you understand their behavior better which can help you respond in a gentle manner. 


Friday, September 19, 2014

Hay

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Since our big barn is ashes, Clint cut a hole to take advantage of unused storage space in our small barn.

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This is the barn where Clint keeps his 6' black snake to keep mice down.

We were blessed to find high quality hay from a local farmer for $5 a bale.
The last bale we purchased from a store was $11! 
The farmer is going to give us his old hay to use as straw. We are very thankful for God's provision and the farmer's generosity towards our family.

Malachai 31:10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

New Vines

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It doesn't look like much now, but it is a new trellis with four grape vines I propagated. I have more in the works. If I grow more grapes than we can eat, we will share with others or dry them for winter feed for our critters. We are clearing out land to add more livestock, garden space, and food producing trees and vines. We want visitors who visit our farm to leave with their hearts touched by God and their arms full of His goodness.

Zechariah 3:10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Refrigerator Solution for Large Families

We keep two side by side fridges with a mini-fridge that holds our box of 15 dozen eggs. We also have three large upright freezers. I cook most of our meals and also do some bulk freezer-cooking for busier days. Even with the space I have, refrigerator space can be limited right after grocery shopping for fresh vegetables and recipe ingredients. I think this family found a great solution for more fridge storage, but it won't work in my kitchen with the space I have. I am sharing it here for the many large families that follow our blog in case someone can use it:

Practical Refrigerator Solution for Large Families

May the Lord bless your family whether is it big or small.

Bunnies

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These bunnies' litter was born while we were vacationing for 10 days at our little getaway.
They were all the same broken white color.
Our caretakers didn't even notice they had been born, but that's OK. 
Mama Rabbit knows just what to do!
They look a little blue from the tarp that gives their rabbitry house shade.
Rabbits handle cold much better than they do heat.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Joshua and Bethany!

I had you on the same day, four years apart...both of you were hurricane babies, both of you weighed 8 lbs, 13 ounces, and both of you had the same jet black ultra fine baby hair.

Joshua Durant, your name means God's salvation endures. As your father can tell you, I knew from the Lord that you were going to be a boy before doctors told me. I told your Daddy that God was sending us a son named Joshua, and our next child was going to be named Caleb. From then on, I called you by name while talking, singing, and reading to you in the womb. After you were born and sent to be weighed and cleaned, the nurses brought you back to me. As soon as I spoke your face lit up with joy and recognition! You have had a smile on your face ever since! You are growing ...and growing ...and growing into a responsible young man with strong morals. I can't believe you are taller than me and Amanda now! You work hard and are eager to lend a hand when you see where one is needed. From "spontaneously" learning how to read at three years old to now, you have excelled in your school work. You are quick to tell me when something needs my attention and do whatever you can to lessen my workload. You are a delight!
  
Bethany Hope, you were born during the hurricane that damaged our home. I felt horrible bringing a newborn baby home to that, but I had other children that needed me there to look after them. I cleaned up that mess and held you when I needed a break. Holding you reminded me of God's promise to provide and calmed my spirit. You have been a peaceful, happy child, and have given me so much joy. Your gentle and meek disposition is part of your inner beauty. I am so thankful for your willing and helpful spirit. You are three years ahead academically which shows you have great mind. You fill our home with beauty and often remind me in different ways of both of your grandmothers. You have a strong sense of right and wrong and try your best to do the right thing. You also encourage and instruct others in what is right and pleasing in the sight of the Lord. That will be a blessing to you and those who know you as you grow. You are so good with your little sisters and try to include them in everything you can. You are precious to me!

You are unique but similar, and God has a great plan with a mighty purpose for you both. Always stick close to Him, and let Him lead you in life. You have each given your daddy and me so many wonderful moments! Our family is stronger and richer because of both of you. I hope you enjoyed our gang taking you to see Switchfoot, We as Human, Manafest, Peter Furler Band, and the other bands and speakers at the Centreville Awakening Fest

Happy, happy birthday Joshua and Bethany!
Dad and I love you very, very much and are thankful you are in our lives!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thoughts for Food..and Farmers

I saw this on Facebook and thought it was worth sharing here. While I am encouraging my children to obtain a college diploma for the doors it will open for them, I also have taught them those pieces of paper do not measure knowledge, intelligence, or worth.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Today at Good Neighbors I was approached by a woman telling me how offended she was that we ask that she pay $2 in order to come to our farmers' market. She was clearly very angry and very aggressive in her comments holding nothing back. She said that she has lived all over the United States and has never before been asked to pay a dime, and that we are the only Market in Central Florida that asks for money. 

I let her know that I did understand where she was coming from and tried to explain that it takes a great deal of effort to put on such a weekly event and that we spend over $2500 a week in payroll in order to do so. I tried to explain that we are not a city funded market and that each and every dollar that comes into the farm goes to run the farm. 

I tried to explain that when we average 30 vendors during the summer and we charge 25 dollars per vendor and that we only take in 750 dollars a week. I tried to explain that 750 dollars a week doesn't even come close to covering payroll much less anything else on the farm. 

When I tried to explain that other markets take place on city property with the city paying for maintenance, taxes, insurance, labor, etc, etc. She then, almost violently yelled out, “WELL, DO IT SOME WHERE ELSE THEN!” to which I didn't quite understand what she meant and had no response for. When suddenly my Nephew replied in my stead, “Well, we can do that. Where is this free land your talking about?"

The women then replied angrily that we “are stealing from people and from farmers by making people pay $2." To this I politely replied, “Well, if we don't have enough money to pay for expenses, how are we to put on a farmers market in the first place?" I asked her, “Who is to mow, who is to mulch, who is to feed the animals, who is to trim the trees, repair the fences, fix the tractors, etc, etc, etc?" I then asked her if she had a job. 

She replied quite proudly that she did and she has held her job for 28 years as an anesthesiologist. I asked her if she works for free, or does she charge for her anesthesiology services; to which she said “YES OF COURSE I CHARGE PEOPLE!” 

This is the part of the story that takes a turn for the worse and really underlines the problem with peoples perceptions of farmers in today's culture. She said she went to school for her job and “deserves” to get paid for her services; she then said very loudly “IT DOESN'T TAKE AN EDUCATION TO THROW DOWN A BIT OF MULCH AND MOW A LITTLE GRASS, THERE'S NO REASON YOU HAVE TO CHARGE $2." This is the part that hit home the most. 

I have often heard fellow farmers and ranchers refer to themselves as “just a dumb farmer;" of which I didn't quite understand what they meant, as I know it takes a great deal of brains, common sense and intelligence to run a successful farming operation of any kind. Today I finally got what they were trying to say. 

Through experience, they understood that people looked at farmers as being dumb. We as a society, wonder why there are fewer and fewer farmers around. Its because the public in general doesn't value their services enough to care about them. How can someone understand why $2 needs to be collected when they consider the person asking for it to be worthless and ignorant. 

Would this lady have said, “It doesn't take an education to pick an ear of corn or to pick a head of lettuce” in the same way she dismissed someone's work in mending a fence or shearing a goats hooves? Probably. What the lady failed to understand today is that if it wasn't for a farmer somewhere on planet earth, she wouldn't be alive. 

The irony of her remarks is that she is putting her life in the hands of someone she considers dumber than herself. Farmers can survive on their knowledge. The question she should be asking herself is can she survive on her knowledge. 

I sure hope for Americas sake that these type people we call neighbors, are able to rethink their positions on who is valuable and who is not, before it's too late. Nothing in this world is free and that includes your choice of what you eat. 

If this means something to you, please share it.

Sincerely, 

Monday, September 15, 2014

He gave up meeting Switchfoot for his sister! I am floored! Read what God did!

Joshua LOVES Switchfoot!!! He is a huge fan!!! Joshua knows not only all of their names but details of their lives too. He plays their music constantly! He talks about them constantly! It was his birthday wish to see them in concert. So, we trekked the entire family to Centreville to see Switchfoot perform there. 

At the Awakening Festival, Joshua, Caleb, and Bethany learned Switchfoot was signing autographs BEFORE their concert instead of afterwards as they had been told. There was not enough time afterwards, so the band was getting it in early. My three middles raced off!

In line, they were told the signings were shutting down in a few minutes! Joshua battled inwardly: personally meet the band OR let Bethany get his stuff signed for him while he went to get Amanda so she could get her stuff signed and meet them too. He gave up meeting the entire band and getting their autographs so Amanda could get a chance! 

Bethany gets up there with her and Joshua's program, and Jon Foreman tells her they can only sign one program per person. Undaunted, my normally very shy Bethany quietly explained what Joshua did and why. The entire band happily signed Joshua's program! Way cool, Switchfoot! Hats off to ya, boys!

I am proud of Joshua for putting Amanda's desires first. Real love puts the other person first instead of seeking their own. (I Corinthians 13:5) But, that's not the end of the story...

Joshua was later in line to get the Peter Furler Band autographs. Not knowing who he was or what he had done, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot stood up and looked straight at Joshua and held out his hand to him. Joshua walked up to him and shook his hand. Then, he got to shake hands with all of the other band members! Birthday wish fulfilled!

Joshua chose Amanda's desires over his own and thought he was giving up the most important part of his birthday gift. Because he put Amanda first, God gave all of that back to Joshua but in a beautiful way that has touched many hearts.

God knew exactly what meeting the band meant to Joshua. God also knew how Joshua waged a war in his heart between his desires and Amanda's desires. I told Joshua and his six siblings: God was showing him that when we give sacrificially, He gives us something better than we could have imagined back. We might not always see it, because the reward might be in Heaven or in a way we don't comprehend.

God is good all of the time!


Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Proverbs 11:25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Nap Time

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Even turtles appreciate a good nap!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Never Become Complacent


Psalm 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?

"Christians are never to become complacent about evildoers. We deal with them by praying, waiting and acting. God wants you to be an influence for Him. Be an active witness where He has placed you. Ask for His leading in knowing when to pray, wait or take a stand." BSP

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Daughter Who Excelled

Even though Clint and I made many efforts to mend the relationship, it remained broken until the day she died seven years ago today. Still, I am very thankful to my mother in law for raising such a fine man as my husband. Midge had some very rough parts in her life. She married a man who was well known for partying. He became an alcoholic. I do not believe he was an evil man, but from what I have been told, he was a hurting man with a lot of damage himself. From his own deep hurts and inner struggles, he caused a lot of destruction to his family. I believe some of that damage later affected Midge's viewpoint so that she misunderstood what our desires and intentions were as we set out to follow where the Lord had led us. Somehow in the midst of all of the brokenness of her marriage and the many struggles to raise two boys on her own with limited income, she managed to raise a godly son who became my husband. Clint is an example of her handiwork. I am very thankful for her efforts because they bless mine and my children's life on a daily basis. It is God who uses willing servants to pull beauty from ashes. I am thankful to Midge for being a willing servant. May God have the glory for the great things He has done!

Proverbs 31:29 Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.

Romans 5:20 …But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more:

II Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ… 


John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 

Deuteronomy 26:11  So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the LORD your God has given to you and your house…



Friday, September 12, 2014

Handling a Frightened Small Dog

I have worked with all sorts of animals and have done a lot of rescue work. I've learned a lot of little tips to help myself and others avoid bad situations. Here's one others might find useful: 

When someone is handing you a nervous small dog you are handling the first time, have them pass the dog to you butt first. I have been told, "She will never let you hold her without biting you!" Using my butt first technique, I floored the people who said it when the dog was calm and subdued in my arms. Why I believe this works is because in the dog world, the dog who gets his butt sniffed is the submitting dog. The sniffer is dominate. By presenting the dog rearend first, the first person is clearly communicating to the dog to submit to the second person. Animals can be unpredictable and I am not an expert. Use at your own risk.  However, I have never been bitten by dogs previously known to bite using this method. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Pretty Poultry

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Whatcha doing, mama?

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Clint's buddy

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young faverolle chickens

Faverolles are on the Livestock Conservancy List as a threatened breed. These are beautiful, gentle, trusting birds. If we sit on the grass, they will come right up to us and will eat from our hands. When we are walking through the yard, they will follow us. We can reach down and scoop one up to hold. Our children love to carry them around! If you want a pet chicken, this is a good breed! Our birds are not adults yet, but we love having them on the farm and look forward to their beautiful adult plumage. They are excellent at ridding the yard of pests! I have seen the hens chase a fly down to eat it!

Faverolles are a dual purpose bird which lays big brown eggs. They can be sexed with a good rate of accuracy at just a few days old. They sport a muff, beard, and feathered feet with a fifth toe. Males grow to about 8 pounds and females to 6.5. They lay approximately 180 eggs a year. They go broody and are good mothers which means they are sustainable for a family who wishes to raise them.

Some people claim they are not hardy as chicks, but we did not lose a single chick in our order.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Parent Thoughtfully

Parents, we accelerate or stifle…release or repress, our children’s giftedness. They will spend much of life benefitting or recovering from our influence. ~Max Lucado

If you didn't have a good example of how to parent, you can use that as an example of what not to be. Don't waste time being bitter, get busy! Get busy finding healing in Christ and learning how to be the best parent YOU can be. I often think a bad example has a more profound impact because the child turned adult has learned the damage that can be done first hand and is careful to not do that to their own children. 

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Amy's Obit

Amy L. Asbell (1963 - 2014)

Tyner, NC - Amy Leigh Asbell, 51, of 613 Happy Home Road, died Sunday, September 7, 2014 in her home.

Amy was a lifelong resident of Chowan County, born on January 2, 1963, and was the daughter of the late Carlton Emerson and Blanche Mansfield Asbell. A graduate of Campbell University, she received her Master's Degree from East Carolina University and was the Media Coordinator at John A. Holmes High School in Edenton. She was one of the first Media Coordinators, nationwide, to achieve her National Board Certification in Early Childhood through Young Adulthood/Library Media. A member of Ballard's Bridge Baptist Church, she particularly enjoyed being a part of its Hand Bell Choir. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Thomas C. "Rev" Asbell.

Surviving are her sister, Carolyn A. Owens and husband Edd of Edenton; her sister-in-law, Debi Asbell of Nashville, NC; and four nephews, Samuel H. Asbell and wife Jessica of Grayslake, IL, Emmitt C. Owens of Raleigh, Perry E. Owens of Thomasville, and Walter S. Asbell of Nashville.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Ballard's Bridge Baptist Church by the Rev. Ron Parr. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Friends may join the family Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, and all other times at the residence.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Edenton-Chowan Educational Foundation, designated for the Amy Asbell Memorial Fund, PO Box 206, Edenton, NC 27932. Amy has requested these funds be used to buy books for students in the Edenton-Chowan School System.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.millerfhc.com.
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pilotonline/obituary.aspx?pid=172400298#sthash.t4N6Y1d0.dpuf

Stay at Home Mothers: It's a Worthy Job

I was 19 when I asked the Lord, "What do you want me, Wendy, to do with my life?" One of my next Bible readings was:

Titus 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

I have not regretted choosing to follow where the Lord led. His way is not a heavy yoke upon our necks, but gives us freedom to be and do more. I have had the joy of really knowing my children, seeing all of their firsts, teaching them how to read and homeschooling them until they could/can attend college, growing a garden and preserving organic vegetables, studying anything I chose or learning new skills, taking days off as I saw fit or needed, conducting my own experiments, running my own businesses, and still making my home a comfortable haven for my family. Seeking to obey the Lord and bring Him honor as a wife and a mother has brought me great joy and so much freedom! I am very humbled the blessings of this life are mine! 
"A housewife's work . . . is the one for which all others exist." 
C. S. Lewis 1966

“No occupation in this world is more trying to soul and body than the care of young children. What patience and wisdom, skill and unlimited love it calls for. God gave the work to mothers and furnished them for it, and they cannot shirk it and be guiltless.” 
― Isabella Macdonald Alden

“The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.” 
― J.R. MillerHome-Making

Monday, September 08, 2014

Will You Stop for Just a Minute and Give God Praise and Glory for This?

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Will you please stop for just a moment and give God the glory and praise His name for keeping us safe and sparing our home?

Saturday, I was working way out back when I heard Joshua yell, "Mom! Emily says Brandon sent her and Hannah out of the house because something is on fire, and the house is filling with smoke!!!" I started running (in the air cast) and shouting orders while dialing Clint's number, "Joshua get the others and keep them with you until you hear from me. EVERYONE GO TO JOSHUA NOW!" For this very reason, I've taught my children to obey at the first instruction. I knew they were fine so I fully focused on Brandon and the house. 

The back room was clear of smoke, so I relaxed a little until I looked through the kitchen to the front of the house and saw thick smoke swirling and filling half the dining room. I knew the den had to be FILLED with smoke! I immediately thought of our 4,000 square foot barn and how fast it burned. Our house is smaller. "Lord, HELP!" 

As I kept moving, now with my shirt over my face, I am shouting "BRANDON?!" No answer. "BRANDON!!!" No answer. At this point, I am afraid for my son and in full Mama Bear mode thinking "GET HIM OUT! GET HIM OUT!!" 

"BRANDON!!!!!!!!!!" 

He answered. 

He was breathing through his shirt too and conserving air to keep from taking a breath while he worked to stop it. He met me, gasped "I'm fine," and pointed to the door where we ran out together. An aquarium light cord failed. It sent out sparks along the wire as the plastic melted off. The cabinet's finish was damaged, and we had to air everything out and clean soot off of things, but that was the extent of it. 

I am so thankful it happened during daytime, and that Emily saw it and reported it to Brandon immediately. If we had all been asleep or all working outside while the girls played upstairs, I'd hate to think what could have happened. Thank you, Lord! From the moment I called Brandon's name until he answered was only a minute, but it felt like hours!

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.



My Thoughts Exactly

"I could have not had 10 children. It’s easy to prevent them. ... 

I keep coming back to this: all those things are self-centered things that completely disregard the eternal hand of God in my family, in this, my short life. And I am called to not set my mind on things of the earth so much.
I could have chosen to be less tired. I could. I could have chosen to have more free time or a firmer tummy. I could be living a whole different life right now, with just two almost-grown children.
But it would have been what I chose. And I can make really bad choices. Instead, I have what God chose for me. And there is an indescribable amount of peace in that." read the rest at:  Raw, Uncensored Thoughts of a Mother with 10 Children

Barns

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Maryland
taken while riding at 60 mph
beautiful country!

Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Finding Balance

This can apply to so many things in our journey of faith:

"The devil has driven the pendulum far beyond its proper point of rest; and when he has carried it to the utmost length that he can, and it begins by its own weight to swing back, he probably will set in, and drive it with the utmost fury the other way; and so give us no rest; and if possible prevent our settling in a proper medium. " Jonathan Edwards

Prayers Please

9/4/2014: 8 a.m. Clint's cousin is back in the heart hospital. Please say a prayer for her. She has already spent over a month there this summer. She is a very sick lady.

9/4/2014: 3:00 p.m. I was just told she is already on morphine and is heading home with hospice. The COPD she has battled for years combined with the hypertension from the meds was just too much for her. Pray for her family and friends, especially her best friend of 22 years, Nelle. Please pray for God's mercy and grace to be abundant during this time.


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Amy, Clint's cousin by blood. Mine, by heart. With Sugarbutt, the dog we gave her. She was a tough lady and took that bad set of lungs a long, long way!

Thank you for all of the love, acceptance, and encouragement you have given our family over the years, Amy. I am going to miss you and your sense of humor. Knowing you has been a joy and a blessing! I was woken up last night with the need to check on you, and now I know why. It's time to pray differently for you. I know you will REJOICE when you see Jesus face to face and will be glad to be reunited with Thomas and your parents. Even knowing it's all good for you, I'm still going to cry. I love you, lady.


9/5/2014 7:30 a.m: It has been a rough several days in the friend department with friends having major health issues, learning of sad diagnosis, one at the end of the battle with cancer, seeing the wearing effects of a bad disease on a friend's face, and then learning Amy was in the process of dying just when I learned she was back in the hospital. I thought about and prayed for Amy all through the night. During her last moments on this earth, I want to stand for her in prayer and am asking for her to be comforted emotionally, spiritually, and physically by the God of all comfort. I know God is there with her comforting her because He gave me comfort this morning too.

My devotional verse this morning is: I Corinthians 15:22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. For those who know Christ, death is not an ending. It is the beginning of really living! What Amy is going through now is a transition and like birth it is a struggle and takes effort. Soon, she will have a new body with a healthy set of lungs and will be loudly rejoicing over what God has done! 

We will all go through the transition from this life to the next, and we need to be ready. So I am asking you, are you ready? Do you know Christ as your Savior? If so, then join me in sharing His good news with others. If not, then I ask you to take some time to learn about who He is, what He has done, and what He is offering you

Update 9/6/14 9 p.m. From the information I have shared, prayers are still needed for Amy. (specifically, for no pain and for ease of breathing) May the Lord grant her rest soon.

9/7/2014 8 a.m. Thank you for the prayers for relief for Amy. Amy found rest and peace with the Lord in the early hours of the morning. She was very much loved and will be missed. 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

On Suffering

“Some suffering is given in order to chastise and correct a person for wrongful patterns of life (as in the case of Jonah imperiled by the storm), some suffering is given not to correct past wrongs but to prevent future ones (as in the case of Joseph sold into slavery), and some suffering has no purpose other than to lead a person to love God more ardently for himself alone and so discover the ultimate peace and freedom.” Tim Keller Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

Friday, September 05, 2014

Cornish Cross and Delaware Chick Size Difference

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This is a Jumbo Cornish Cross (JCX), a hybrid meat chicken, and a Delaware, a dual purpose chicken.  They are two weeks old in the picture above. They were both hatched on the same day and shared a brooder.  They were on the same feed.  The gap between them becomes even more noticeable as time passes.  The JCX is also known as a broiler. This is the hybrid that is mass produced for grocery stores.  The JCX sit in front of the feeder all day long. They grow so fast; they can die due to heart attacks. To prevent that, we take away their feed in the evening to give their bodies a rest. They are butchered at 8-10 weeks which is a very fast turn around compared to other breeds. When these birds are pastured, this breed is a very economical way to get organic meat.

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same breeds, same age, same feeding protocol

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Which Are You?

We are very honest with our children, "I have failed you in this way. I will probably fail again. I have hurt you. I'm sorry for my actions, words, and attitude. I will try hard not to do it again, but I am human and weak. I am trying to rely on the Lord to help me be better each day." We also tell them: 

"Anytime you think you are better in any way than someone else... 
Anytime you believe you have a right to hold anger in your heart... 
Anytime you feel you are more entitled to something than others are... 
it's pride. 

We aren't to look at other people and the standard they set. We are to look to the Lord and live as He has said. The proud think they are there. The humble are still working towards it." 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Homeschool Charts on Chickens

If you are including poultry as part of your homeschool studies, this one link has many charts you can print out: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/343605/diagrams-poultry-parts-charts-and-lots-of-reading-updated-nov-13th

May God bless your homeschool studies!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Around Here September 2014

Thanks to a local stunt pilot, we are enjoying a private air show right over our farm every few days. He is doing loops, flying upside down, barrel rolls, spirals, etc. It's very thrilling! We've waved reflective things at him, and he has come closer and waddled the wings at us. 

Clint and I enjoyed attending the livestock auction in the Shenandoah Valley in July. The people of all ages interacting with each other was very interesting. We enjoyed our trips to NC and MD as well.

With every one's schedules, the new routine on the farm, company spending the night, and animals birthing, we didn't think we'd be able to get any time away for our 26th anniversary and were content with doing something special locally. Instead, God opened up opportunities literally at the last moment! We got away for 8 days and 7 nights over two trips which was very nice. We are thankful to the Lord for providing those special times. 

We didn't do very much when our children were younger. While I appreciate the things we can do now that our children are older, I look back on those days with a lot of fondness. Those simple times were so special. For parents of many little ones, keep marching forward. It does get easier as they grow, and doors that you never expected will open if you are faithful to the Lord. Keep your marriage strong by making time for each other in whatever way you can. Enjoy where you are and what you have now.

We have added Nubian and Boer goats to the farm. We had not planned to add goats this year, but the opportunity presented itself. If all goes well, we will be welcoming a new doeling or buckling in late winter or early spring.

Thank you, Donald, for the race tickets! Knowing a crew chief is a good thing! We really enjoyed the race and plan to see another soon. We loved going into the pit, meeting the driver and crew, and sitting in the race car! Thank you so much for giving us a fun evening! It was awesome! 

Clint was able to share his faith with a young man who said he felt Clint set a good example for our family. It is awesome to see my husband counseling another man to lead his family in Bible study. I was able to share about God's grace in the midst of child loss and was told it was very helpful. I've been struggling more lately so it was a big blessing to me to see God using what I went through to help someone else. 

I've been planting our fall garden: beets, collards, kale, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, winter squashes, etc. I added another carrot patch too. We've lined up our hay for winter, but we are still looking for a good deal on straw. Joshua and I've been cutting branches with leaves to give our goats and rabbits a treat this winter. We've also been dehydrating extra produce from the garden for winter feed.

Brandon was given a very favorable review and another raise! Thank you, Eric, for your compliment on Brandon. Thank you, Donald, for your compliment on Brandon's sense of humor!

Amanda was put into a position where she could really help friends of someone who had been very unkind towards her. This person had publicly and frequently mocked Amanda for her stand as a Christian and had tried leading her to do wrong on many occasions. We kept encouraging Amanda to forgive and respond as best she could in Christ. I feel Amanda did a great job of that. She showed maturity in not responding in kind and also had compassion for the person's horrible home life. Please pray for us that Amanda's witness in serving this person's friends helps them realize their need for Christ.

Joshua, Caleb, and Bethany made biweekly trips to Busch Gardens in August. The last week of the month, they went three days. They were so thankful; they showed their appreciation in a way I love...extra help around the house! They know a way to a mother's heart! They have had a blast there this summer.

Emily and Hannah have enjoyed daily "Easter Egg" hunts for the duck, chicken, and guinea eggs and get so excited when they find one! I love hearing them talk to the hens. When the middles were away, we three girls did crafts and cooked together. I am so thankful to have younger children in this stage of life! It has filled my every day with laughter, joy, and thanksgiving. The Lord did this, and it is very good! I would not trade my life with anyone's!

We had a mother duck hatch out ducklings. She hatched 18 which is a large clutch! One of them was mushed by her foot as she tried to take care of the others. We put the 17 in a brooder to keep them safe from predators. We have two more nests due to hatch later this month if all goes well. Two weeks later, the same hen hatched out another duckling! Joshua found it in the nest. We suspect a duck hen laid it in the nest while the mom was off about three weeks after the hen started sitting. Muscovies have a 35-39 day incubation.

Joshua and Bethany had a special request for a birthday present this year. We'll have to travel a bit to make this one happen!

Our Labor Day was great! We enjoyed some rivah time and ended the summer season with 900 water balloons.

Today, we start back to a full homeschool schedule and something new with me happens too! Please say a prayer that I am successful in both ventures.

We are considering the ant as we harvest and prepare for what is being forecasted to be a wetter and colder than normal winter. We are certainly seeing signs indicating it will be as predicted. Spring and fall are our busiest seasons. If we haven't returned a form of communication, please contact us again and again if necessary. We aren't ignoring you, and you won't be bothering us. 

Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Prayer Request

A friend of ours is weary of their extremely difficult battle with cancer. They believe God has clearly shown His will and healing will not take place.  For their own safety, they have had to be strapped down for some of the horrific treatments they have had to endure. In the last 10 days, things have been headed in one direction. It tears my heart out to even ask this, but I want to help them in any way I can. The only way I can aid them is to pray and ask for the prayers they covet. 

They are asking that we pray God will be merciful and send the end quickly and that it will be easy. 

When death is welcomed, you know the suffering has been incredible.

Coveting

Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

It seems like working hard and enjoying your own earnings has fell away in our society. We live in an age where people feel they have a right to certain things without having earned them or without them being given to them. There are videos online telling others how to scheme to get the most out of welfare. The people who star in these videos are quite proud of themselves for their ability to manipulate the system. Even many middle aged and senior adults still have not learned to enjoy what is theirs without coveting what does not rightfully belong to them which is one reason this way of thinking is being multiplied in today's young minds. 

If you have not worked for it, you have not earned it. If God has not allowed you to possess it, it does not belong to you. If He wants you to have it, He will put it into your hand. Believing you are entitled to something that is not yours is coveting. Being angry because someone else received something you felt you were entitled to is a form of rebellion against God. Self control isn't just something you have over your actions. You have the ability to control the mindset you choose to have. Controlling our will to line up with God's brings us joy and thanksgiving. The other way brings anger, greed, resentment, and division which are not fitting qualities for children of the Lord.

"Have you bought into the world's lie that you deserve what you want, when you want it? Dear one, don't go down that path of destruction! Although there may be joy for the moment, pain and suffering will meet you at the end. "An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him" (Proverbs 17:11). Jesus loves you too much to let your pouting spoil things. Trust Him to meet every need you have, and you'll never get burned again by the world's empty promises. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever" (1 John 2:16-17)." read the rest of the AOP Daily Devotional entitled Pouting Pains here.