Life

Our Special Easter Celebration

This Easter was truly a special time for our family. Our oldest three children had decided to be baptized and take the step of outwardly showing what they had already decided in their hearts… to give their lives to Christ and ask Him to live in their hearts. Daddy had the wonderful privilege of baptizing them himself, in the creek that runs along the back of our farm. We rejoice in the new life that Christ has given us and that He restores us to right relationship with the Heavenly Father through what He did on the cross and the power of the resurrection. Their personal faith was visibly expressed and we are overjoyed at their decision! Here are some pictures to enjoy!

Jonas and Daddy praying

Pre-dunk!

He's in!

And he's up!

Praise God!


Evelyn and Daddy praying

Pre dunk!

She's in!

And she's up!

Hallelujah!

Elliot and Daddy praying

Pre dunk!

He's in!

And he's up!

Thank you Lord!

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Adornment

“Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight. It was in this way long ago that the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves by accepting the authority of their husbands. Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You have become her daughters as long as you do what is good and never let fears alarm you.” – 1 Peter 3:3-6 NRSV

I was catching up in a devotional book I like to read in (Kay Arthur’s Search My Heart, O God) and yesterday’s struck a chord for me. A vulnerable one at that and yet I feel compelled to share it here. I don’t believe that I am the only one who has felt frustrated with looking so much at the physical self. God longs for us to first of all look to Him and He then shows us the beauty He has woven inside of us. Here are Mrs. Arthur’s words of wisdom and insight:

Has life become one ongoing beauty contest? Are you constantly comparing yourself with others? Every time you step in front of a mirror, especially after showering, do you look at your thighs, arms, torso – and sigh? The little collections of fat are beginning to show, your skin’s not smooth and supple like it once was, your muscles are sagging. You dread being seen in a bathing suit or shorts, especially when you measure yourself against the ads on billboards, on television, and in the magazines.
Before you think about surgery or start buying every piece of workout equipment advertised on television, before you deem yourself inferior, consider this: Maybe you are miserable about what God never intended you or anyone else to expose.
If you have been more concerned with your appearance than with the condition of your heart, it’s time for you to confess your pride and let go of worldly things. Remember, a gentle and quiet spirit is more precious in God’s sight than any outward appearance (1 Peter 3:3-4).

O god, I pray that You will teach me to rest in the confidence that I belong to Christ. Rather than comparing myself to others -or even to what I used to be- let me glory in the work You have done in me. May my inner beauty far outshine my physical appearance.

May I adorn myself with God’s Word written in my heart and mind and reflect the beauty and grace of Him.

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.

Twentyeleven

The year ahead will be different for our family. Each passing year seems to bring about changes in our lives… the addition of a child, a move, or job change for Ian. We all have many hopes for twenty eleven. The dream to go work the land and have a farm for our family is in the first phase: we’re here. We landed. Now the real work begins.

I believe the hope of God’s gift in planting the dream is what will continue to motivate us each of us to work hard at each step and challenge that lies ahead. We have much to learn, plan and just plain try to do. Realizing that we will have set-backs and disappointments is a hard lump to swallow… I can only imagine once we’re in the midst of one what it truly will feel like.

The famous quote by Thomas H. Palmer rings in my ears,

“Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again.
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again.”

Our efforts in success will not be for our glory or gain, but out of honoring the One who planted the goals within. We hope to share our struggles and victories as we trust in God and journey forward as a family!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.”
-Proverbs 3:5-6

Big Changes

We moved from the Florida sunshine and into the beautiful Virginia mountains this past weekend! The stages of unpacking and trying to get settled before Christmas has been challenging… Yet I sense God’s peace of knowing that all is well, even if our new home is in chaos.

We hope to share more about our last several months and journey to where we are now. In the meantime, we will be busy adjusting and organizing our new home. Thank you for visiting us here at the family blog!

Are You too B-U-S-Y?

Saw this in “Today’s Word For You”
Strikes a bit of a chord, though we have been working to remove these temptations from our lives.

Saturday October 2
“That Satan might not outwit us.” 2Co 2:11 NIV
Are You too B-U-S-Y?
Addressing a worldwide convention of demons, Satan told them: “As long as Christians stay close to God we’ve no power over them, so: (1) Keep them busy with non-essentials. (2) Tempt them to overspend and go into debt. (3) Make them work long hours to maintain empty lifestyles. (4). Discourage them from spending family time, for when homes disintegrate there’s no refuge from work. (5) Overstimulate their minds with television and computers so that they can’t hear God speaking to them. (6) Fill their coffee tables and nightstands with newspapers and magazines so they’ve no time for Bible reading. (7) Flood their mailboxes with sweepstakes, promotions and get-rich-quick schemes; keep them chasing material things. (8) Put glamorous models on TV and on magazine covers to keep them focused on outward appearances; that way they’ll be dissatisfied with themselves and their mates. (9) Make sure couples are too exhausted for physical intimacy; that way they’ll be tempted to look elsewhere. (10) Emphasize Santa and the Easter Bunny; that way you’ll divert them from the real meaning of the holidays. (11) Involve them in ‘good’ causes so they won’t have any time for ‘eternal’ ones. (12) Make them self-sufficient. Keep them so busy working in their own strength that they’ll never know the joy of God’s power working through them. Do these twelve things faithfully. I promise – it’ll work!” Have you figured out the difference between being busy and being successful in what God’s called you to do? Sometimes being B-U-S-Y just means Being Under Satan’s Yoke!

Save Blue Like Jazz

Ian and I read Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller several years ago… What an incredible book it is! We both loved it as it helped opened our eyes and explore our faith in Christ in a fresh way. If you’ve read the book, then you know the heart of Don’s message and the value of spreading it. Would you take two minutes to watch this video and see how you can help share Blue Like Jazz with the world? If you have not read the book, we highly recommend reading it!

Save Blue Like Jazz from Save Blue Like Jazz on Vimeo.

Happy Birthday to a Great Grandma!

Marion & Tom's Wedding Picture

This is my Grandma & Grandpa's wedding photo

My Grandma turns 90 years old today!! We are so honored to have her as a part of family’s life and blessed to see her as often as we do!  Click on the link below to view a little slide show that celebrate the wonderful Mom/Grandma/Great Grandma that she is!

MarionBeaver90thSmall

Marion Beaver is Mother of four (Richard, Robert, Betty, and Phyllis), Grandmother of five (Todd, Jay, Joe, Jim, and Carolyn), and Great Grandmother of TEN (Jonas, Evelyn, Elliot, Joy, Sylvia, Carlin, Evan, Kate, Maggie, and Dominic).