Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Home Again & God's Protection

I was kidnapped by my eldest daughter and best girlfriend, Amanda, on Sunday night at 8 p.m. There was no concrete plan other than pack fast as possible and go! We arrived in Harrisonburg, VA around midnight. The next day we did some shopping and ate out. Then we found a deal at Wintergreen. It was buy three nights, get a night free. So, Amanda split the time with Clint. There was a goof at check in, so they bumped our room up to the next level. We had a gorgeous valley view. When Clint arrived, he took Amanda driving and sightseeing. She wanted to drive some of the more challenging mountain roads, but I preferred to take a nap. 

Clint kidnapped me in the sense that he did not let me go home as scheduled and extended our time together by a few days. He planned to keep me longer, but I had to go home to see my children! I was gone from home for eight days and seven nights. Other than camping with the family for ten days, I have never been gone from home that long. I had a wonderful time and hope one or both of them kidnaps me again.

On the way to join us, Clint was in a four car accident involving a semi-truck on the interstate. No one was hurt. The woman who was distracted and failed to do a head check cut Clint off at 70 mph causing the accident. She had the worst damage...and did not care because "It's a rental." The suburban she missed seeing before she quickly changed lanes ripped the bumper off her little car. Clint said that was something else to see! She received a ticket. The woman behind Clint was paying attention and stopped her car in time but barely. The semi behind her was also paying attention but could not stop in time. He hit her but the damage was not too bad. He really had to have been paying attention to stop when he did. He received a ticket for following too closely. I am very thankful the Lord protected my husband and the other drivers. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Haper's Ferry National Park: St. John's Episcopal Church

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Interrupters or VIPs?

Most of my days are very full and fast paced. When someone interrupts me, I try to make sure I make eye contact while they are speaking to me and when I am speaking to them. This is a nonverbal way of relaying importance and value to your loved ones. If I am doing computer work, I close my computer. If I am building a livestock shelter, I put down my tools. 

If I am doing something I can't stop right away, I say something like, "Yiddee, I want to hear your story, but I can't stop or have my attention divided, or I might not have enough sunlight to finish. Please tell me again when we are back in the house. I will be able to give you my full attention then." Then I often set a timer in my phone to make sure I ask. Remembering details goes a long way with others because it shows you genuinely care.

When your children want to share something with you, it is important...every time. You don't have to understand all of the jibber jabber or care about what pony lives in what Duplo castle. The moment is bigger than that. It's about connecting with your child and communicating that what is important to them is important to you. This groundwork needs to be laid consistently for the teen and adult years. Just as you would want someone to give undivided attention to you, you should give the same courtesy to your child.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


"Psalm 37:1-8 gives positive actions we can take as an antidote to pessimism and discouragement. Consider these mood boosters: Trust in the Lord, do good, dwell in the land, feed on His faithfulness (v.3); delight in the Lord (v.4); commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him (v.5); rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him, do not fret (v.7); cease from anger, forsake wrath (v.8).
Because they are connected to the phrase “in the Lord,” those directives are more than wishful thinking or unrealistic suggestions. It’s because of Jesus, and in His strength, that they become possible." David C. McCasland

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What Does Fear the Lord Mean?

"Luther distinguished between that and what he called filial fear, drawing from the Latin concept from which we get the idea of family. It refers to the fear that a child has for his father. In this regard, Luther is thinking of a child who has tremendous respect and love for his father or mother and who dearly wants to please them. He has a fear or an anxiety of offending the one he loves, not because he’s afraid of torture or even of punishment, but rather because he’s afraid of displeasing the one who is, in that child’s world, the source of security and love."

Read more at: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-it-mean-fear-god/

Friday, June 19, 2015

No Father?

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Harper's Ferry National Park: St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church

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I apologize for not taking time to straighten the pictures, but time is limited at the moment. This is a beautiful, old church set on the top of a mountain overlooking the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Peace Comes from the Lord

Joe has recovered enough from his back surgery to lead the funeral. Monica and Joe asked Clint if he was OK with it and let him decide. Clint feels it is fitting since Joe led Sanford to the Lord. We think the Lord used Clint to simply help the family not to worry about that detail while so much was happening. Clint is content with having been used by the Lord to give them peace to focus on Sanford and each other. Please lift the family up as they say goodbye today: Sanford's Obit

Note: I fixed the link. I apologize for my goof.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mr. Worsham

is now with the Lord. He passed yesterday right after 12 a.m. The rest of the family had left to get some rest. Monica was by his side and holding his hand when he departed gently. He was able to communicate with her right up to the end. Funeral arrangements were made today. His family continues to need prayers, especially Freda, his wife. Thank you to all who prayed for this family during this hard journey. May the Lord bless you for your compassion towards them.

Another High Schooler in the House!

Caleb turned 14 and has been enrolled in an online high school course to obtain a regionally and state accredited diploma which will carry the same weight as our state's public school diplomas. We've had much to celebrate already this month!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Livestock Auction

Photos are from a livestock auction we attended in Harrisonburg, VA.

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Some animals were painted on their backs for easy i.d. purposes.
Some were weighed as they were separated into lots.
I noted all of the men there, except one foul tempered man, were reasonably gentle with the animals. I asked God to teach the cruel man a lesson that would have him showing more compassion to the animals.

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The auction house was very large with many chutes and pens.
I only saw one obviously sick animal.
You could walk around the mezzanine and look at the animals.
When we went there were mostly cattle and goats...

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..and old cowboys.
...and a pretty yak I liked.
I made an instant friend with a young, excited Spanish cowboy wannabe who asked me a lot of questions about managing a herd of goats.

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auction ring

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I enjoyed watching these two.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Learner's Permit #3! (Only 4 more to go!)

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Joshua sat for the written test yesterday..and passed!
He is upset that he missed ONE question!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Prayers Please

Joshua has a very sharp mind and a photographic memory. However, he is so worked up about the test for his learner's permit today (3-4:30 p.m.) that I am starting wonder how this will go. He has studied nonstop for a week and a half, but he is visibly battling fear. Even through the fires and floods we've experienced, I have never seen him work himself up like this. My words of confidence in him have not helped. If you will, please say a prayer for the Lord to calm my boy as he sits for his test later today. Thank you! Please let me know how I can pray for you. Email addy in header and sidebar.

Denial is a River in Egypt

Them: No one from our house goes to your blog. 

Clint and I use some advanced tools to keep an eye on the blog. Our children are featured on the blog, so it is wise to record visitors and their patterns.

We can see visitors, where they are located, their IP, and what operating system they run, what and how many pages they click, how long they stay on those pages, if they open our email link, how frequently they visit, if their cookies are enabled or not, what links they click, etc. We can even obtain the street address in some instances. 

If they access Contentment Acres from another location with their computer, we can pick up on that too. Their habits can also tell us who they are even when they are using a different device or location. We can also pull an IP from an email to verify visitors. We can tell if our url is stored on a computer or if they searched the internet for it. We can tell if it is a person who has an interest in our family vs someone looking for information we've shared. We can tell when the modem has been reset and a new IP address has been assigned at a location we've been tracking. There's more we can glean from our tools, but you get the picture. 

Clint and I have several years worth of frequent visitors' visits saved in case we ever have to contact law enforcement. There's no need for someone to lie about checking in on our family ...unless they have something to hide. If they are a decent person with honorable intentions, we see their visit to the blog as a good thing. 

Lying about it makes us question their intentions. I mean, WHY would someone deny it? Think about what that communicates to us when we KNOW otherwise...especially when we have several years' worth of visits and proof it is them. Now, what if we had a bad history with that person? And that person says they want to be a part of our lives..but we catch them lying over something this small?

Here's the deal for the one who told us no one in their house ever visits our blog: 

This is written with love in an effort to head off mistrust... We know and have over 1,000 logged hits from your street and other locations you have used over the last several years. Yes, it's that many. Clint and I highly value honesty ad being upfront (telling truth at first opportunity instead of only when necessary). If you will lie about something this small, we know we can't trust you very far. Open doors can become narrow based on your words and actions.  

Gently said..when you lie, you represent the father of lies. There is nothing to be ashamed of in checking in on us, but lying about it is shameful. Being honest will draw you closer to the Lord which will bring you blessings. Let's put God and His way of doing things first as we go forward, so we don't end up back at the same place.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:25

Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. Proverbs 13:13 

But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kyssi and Chris

Sweet little Kyssi left this earth at 1:57 a.m. 6/7. Please keep her loved ones in prayer.

Chris didn't follow the medical community's expectations about dying in 24 hours. He stayed a bit longer. He passed this a.m. at 12:12. Please keep Clint's and my good friend, Mary Anne, in prayer along with his children and loved ones.

There is an update on Sanford in the sidebar. 

Thank you to those who have lifted prayers. During times of crisis, the Body of Christ shines the brightest!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

When God Allows a Wound

Sometimes God allows us to experience deep wounds that bring a lot of anguish to our hearts. Through His grace and mercy, we are wounded right where we need to be in order to grow closer to Him. Refinement hurts. God says we are made strong when we are weak. 

2 Corinthians 12:10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Busy Season

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I know the blog is skipping some days now. We are OK. It's a very busy season with little time for anything else. Clint took off a week from work to install the vinyl but that only brought us to the half way point. The house has lots of corners and additions making it a little harder than the average job. We had roofers here for two days which meant we had to stop. We also had visitors and a couple of birthdays. 

In the picture, Caleb is in the white shirt nailing on vinyl siding. He has grown so much! Amanda is holding the ladder for Clint while he installs J-molding. Joshua is scratching his leg while he heads to cut another piece of siding which was my job until he took over. Brandon is at the door letting me know he put on supper and got up the trash. While watching for a customer to arrive, I picked up dropped molding scraps, moved my plants out of the way, acted as DJ with the stereo, and kept the unnecessary traffic off the deck.

Harper's Ferry National Historical Park: Shenandoah Street

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Many of the restored buildings in the town double as museums and learning centers. It could take all day just to walk the town and visit the buildings. If you really want to absorb all this town has to offer, you will need at least two full days. If you only have one day, start out as early as possible and pack a lunch, drinks, and snacks. There is a public restroom inside one of the buildings and places you can rest along the way.

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"Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in the states of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, John Brown, "Stonewall" Jackson, and Frederick Douglass are just a few of the prominent individuals who left their mark on this place.
The story of Harpers Ferry is more than one event, one date, or one individual. It involves a diverse number of people and events that influenced the course of our nation's history. Harpers Ferry witnessed the first successful application of interchangeable manufacture, the arrival of the first successful American railroad, John Brown's attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, and the education of former slaves in one of the earliest integrated schools in the United States." see more

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Article: When Christian Parenting Isn't Christian

Having others try to put heavy chains (do this/don't do that) around my neck that should not have been there is why I learned to steer clear of groups and cliques and look to the Lord for parenting wisdom. He will guide you day by day in the way YOU should go as a parent. People have too many ever changing rules that enslave and worry us. Jesus gives steady footing, freedom, and peace.

When Christian Parenting Isn't Christian