Children

Spring Photos at the Farm

Enjoy our Spring photos!

Glorious Spring!

Spring on our Virginia farm has been glorious! To this Florida girl, it is beautiful to slowly watch everything come to life. Some trees literally blossom overnight. Everyday, there is a new color, shade of green or show of life that reveals itself. I love it here. I was reminded of a poem that Jonas and Evelyn memorized a couple years ago entitled “Spring” by William Blake. In this poem, it repeats, “Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the year.” I never quite understood until now, how the new year relates to nature’s new year… the year beginning for plants and animals… and how in this newness of the world surrounding us, a sense of newness is revived in our souls. Awakening our wintry hearts by the warmth of the sun we find joy that God gives us in the simple beauty of His creation. I pray that you are celebrating the wonder of spring and welcoming in the new year in your heart, remembering anew that God is good!

Spring

Sound the flute!
Now it’s mute!
Bird’s delight,
Day and night,
Nightingale,
In the dale,
Lark in sky,–
Merrily,
Merrily merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little boy,
Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

By William Blake

Fresh Perspective

A Fresh Perspective

These last two months have been full of learning experiences… farm, family, spiritual, and overall life learning has been taking place. Each experience has slowly brought us to a new, fresh perspective of life. One of our first farm lessons has been that part of farm life is death. As odd as that may sound, death happens on a farm. Whether raising animals or plants, death happens. Killing insects that flock to plants (we’d prefer organic methods for this) or predators that sneak in and kill chickens, and the farmer who defends the lives of those chickens and kills the predator (in our case, a raccoon).

All of us have adjusted well to living “out in the country.” We’re actually not that far from the town of Rocky Mount or from downtown Roanoke. But, yes, country life has been sweet for us. Being outdoors most of our weekends, working, cleaning, playing… it has been a joy to work together as a family and learn more of each others strengths and well, weakness, too. I personally have learned more about myself and am discovering more of what my role will be here on the homestead. Planning, preparing and keeping the home has become more and more of a joy for me. This includes garden planning, meal plans, organizing the home, figuring out a system that works for our family in the stage we are in now.

Spiritually, we are learning to trust God in all of our little baby steps. And with every step forward we make, the challenge becomes to remember where we’ve been, where God has brought us and to be thankful for ALL He has done and continues to do in our lives. Isn’t it amazing that when we take the time to be thankful and express our gratitude to our Creator, that our perspective begins to change? I am grateful for learning from my children in their excitement and joy over simple (long forgotten by me) fun things. Things such as mud. And imaginary play. The feel of grass under your feet on a sunny afternoon. These are the sort of things as a child that brought such a sense of overwhelming peace and contentedness to my spirit. Why should I forget that? I am challenged to play in the dirt, walk barefoot in the fields and dance and sing all for the joy of living! Why worry about the next steps?  God will continue to provide and lead… in the meantime, enjoy the journey and rejoice!

Winter Photos

You may also view this set of photos with description by clicking here.

Prayer for Boys

We’ve started our school year! I found this poem for our eldest son to learn and transcribe. My prayer is that he will take it to heart and make this a prayer that he can turn to, whether faced with difficulty or just needing direction.

Lord, Make a Real Man out of Me

This, 1 would like to be: braver and bolder,
Just a bit wiser because I am older,
Just a bit kinder to those I may meet,
Just a bit manlier taking defeat.
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This I would like to be: just a bit finer,
More of a smiler and less of a whiner,
Just a bit quicker to stretch out my hand,
Helping another who’s struggling to stand.
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This, I would like to be: just a bit fairer,
Just a bit better, and just a bit squarer,
Not quite so ready to censure and blame,
Quicker to help every man in the game.
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This, I would like to be: just a bit truer,
Less of a wisher and more of a doer,
Broader and bigger, more willing to give,
Living and helping my neighbors to live!
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

Edgar A. Guest

Little Things

Little Things
by Julia A. Carney

Little drops of water,
Little drains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the beauteous land.

And the little moments,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.

So our little errors
Lead the soul away,
From the paths of virtue
Into sin to stray.

Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our earth an Eden,
Like the heaven above.

Just wanted to share this poem that we are in the process of memorizing for home-school. I love poetry… this one is sweet and speaks truth of our actions and of our hearts. I am praying that the little things that I make effort to do glorify God and spread love to those around me.

What are some little things that you do throughout your day?

Ocala MOPS

Last Thursday my Mom and I had the privilege of speaking at the Ocala MOPS group about Creation Care. It was a joy to see so many other moms, joining together to encourage, pray and learn together. I was blessed in being able to share a little about our family’s journey towards “greening” our lives, but even more importantly, how seeking and serving God first, leads us to better care for His world. And in our journey, I have found that when we’ve taken steps to honor His creation, that it seems easier to connect with God. It’s almost as if He removes a layer of this world from our soul when we sacrifice something that we think (or have been taught) we need… There is a freedom in realizing that anything I own is truly not mine at all. Of course, I have my days and moments of wanting whatever is the latest and greatest… but I’m learning to ask myself, “Why? Would this bring honor or glory to God in any way?” May we strive to honor and glorify God in all that we do, including our care for His Creation.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it…

Psalm 24:1

A Fresh Look

I have not been writing as much as I’d like to lately. Life with our fourth baby has been wonderful… wonderfully focused on our four children. I do wish for more time to do things I’d like to do, like write, blog, journal, take pictures, sit and stare at a wall (did I type that out loud?)… however, these little energetic kiddos keep me tracking, chasing and attentive to their needs, and yes, sometimes wants. Joy is over eight months old now and it is unbelievable to me how fast it all has gone by. Sometimes it still feels like I just found out I was pregnant and that fresh excitement and joy of a new addition to our family was so vivid. And here we are, about eighteen months later with our bundle of Joy Elizabeth ready to crawl!

In my mind, changing things around gives fresh perspective and is also a motivator for me… it recharges me. Our home is rearranged frequently, with things being sorted through and given away, donated, or set aside for another room or place. So the thought of changing the look on the blog brought a glimmer of hope in my mind of setting aside focused time to share thoughts and ideas of what God is teaching me. I also hope you, the reader, enjoy this new look and am open to any feedback on refining the site.

twothousandnine

2009 was truly a year of growth for our family. Not just physically, with the birth of our fourth baby, Joy Elizabeth, but also we each have grown spiritually. Over the course of the year, God has slowly given us a clearer vision of what He is leading us towards as a family… and now in 2010, things are coming more and more into focus everyday! We are celebrating and overflowing with joy in looking back at the last year, and even the years prior, and seeing how God has slowly, specifically, and lovingly (always lovingly!) been preparing us for what is to come and the dream that has been planted within Ian and I both.

Psalm 128
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion. May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!

We will be sure to keep you updated as our dream becomes more of a reality! May God bless you greatly in two thousand ten!

Giving Thanks

Wow… I’ve allowed an entire month to go by without posting anything! This month has been very full and busy… we moved furniture from Fort Myers, had a yard sale, rearranged our entire house, celebrated Elliot’s 4th Birthday at Disney World, and hosted Thanksgiving dinner! Between all of this we’ve battled several viruses, an eye ulcer (Carolyn), and Ian was fighting bronchitis most of the month. Whew! Even with all this busyness, we are still ever so thankful for the abundance of blessings in our lives. I would like to list a few here…

-My Lord and Savior, Jesus…
-My husband, Ian
-Our four beautiful children, Jonas, Evelyn, Elliot, Joy Elizabeth
-The privilege of staying home and home schooling our kids
-Our health
-Roof over our heads and all of our needs more than met and provided for
-Grandparents who love and cherish their grandchildren
-A Great Grandmother who adores her great-grandchildren (We love Dee-Dee!)

There are many other items to be thankful for, but one question, no matter how long your list, is who are you thankful to? We found a poem to recite for Thanksgiving Day that answers the question.

We Thank Thee

For mother—love and father–care,
For brothers strong and sisters fair,
For love at home and here each day,
For guidance lest we go astray,
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For ev’rything His goodness sends,
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee.

For flowers that bloom about our feet,
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet,
For song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee.
-anonymous

A scripture we are memorizing in our home is, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. May we seek to truly rejoice always, pray continuously, and be thankful no matter what our circumstances are… when we do this, our hearts are aligned and we find ourselves with a different perspective regardless of the turmoil or situation we are in. Our Father in Heaven is so good, and I thank HIM!