Lent in Leviticus: A Way to Be Filled

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I was sixteen and still... um... fresh from the suburbs when I took a babysitting job in my new rural hometown.  I spent the summer watching the kids of a hardworking pig farmer.

The mother wasn't really in the picture at the time, and you could tell- the house was missing "womanly touches," like pictures on the walls and coordinating furniture.

But for all the bare walls and outdated fabrics, this dad was doing an amazing job raising his four children. I was just there for the summer, mostly to be sure that the kids ate during the day, didn't pick on the little sister too much, and to drive them to and from baseball practice. The kids were great- it was an easy job.

Making matters even easier, the dad came home as often as he could to check in on his children, driving heavy machinery up to the house on his way to and from the hog barns.

He smelled to high heaven. He was always super sweaty. But his eyes would light up at the sight of his kids playing catch in the front yard.

Once, he came by with a dead hog in the bucket of his skid loader.

"What happened to that pig?" I asked.

He looked at me with amusement before mumbling his reply...

"It quit breathin'."

What my employer was so eloquently saying, although in not so many words, was the fundamental truth that defines farming and agriculture.

We can only do what we can do- the rest is up to God. 


Featured Farmers: Quinn's Story

Today's Featured Farmer is Quinn of Reformation Acres.
Welcome, Quinn, and thanks for joining us!

1. Tell us a little about yourself! 

I'm a mother to 8 children, ages 17 all the way down to 2, and Homestead Manager on our 8 acre farm, Reformation Acres.

Neither my husband nor myself grew up farming or even gardening so everything about this lifestyle has come with quite the learning curve. But the best part about it is that we're learning together. And I home educate our children so we're always together!

Hopefully, by watching my husband and I be passionate about sustainable farming and learning new skills as we go, they'll see that example and always be hungry for more knowledge.

cow calf children grass pasture cow and calf in pasture


Lent in Leviticus: An Extravagant Substitute

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It wasn't all that long ago that I was gainfully (if inconsistently) employed as a substitute teacher.

I'll be completely honest here- being a short-term sub was a mix of being lost in the halls and feeling a little bit like you're drowning.

After about a year, I realized that short-term subbing just isn't for me. There's a lot of anxiety there. You never know when you're going to get called, and when you do, there's so much to learn so quickly.

There was one time when I was called in very last minute and the poor classroom teacher hadn't even had time to get together a lesson plan for me.

I bumbled my way through the day, searching through the papers and folders on the teacher's desk to try to figure out what I was supposed to do.

When the students told me they'd had a pre-test in Science last week, and when I came across a folder full of ready-to-be-given Science tests, I went ahead and gave the assessment.

I felt pretty good about my problem solving and detective skills, until I stumbled across a take-home note that mentioned that the Science test was scheduled the Wednesday of the following week. Whoops.

A substitute teacher is never a really good replacement for the actual classroom teacher.


Blessings this Week: 02.19.2016

Counting my blessings, naming them one by one.

A sure sign of warmer-ish weather- we've got icicles!

...   ...   ...   ...   ...

One morning, as I went to take the dog out, I saw birds. Little brown birds. I didn't know I'd been missing them until there they were, flitting around. 

...   ...   ...   ...   ...


The Binder: Meal Planning

Now that summer is officially over (okay, so yeah, it's February. Maybe I under-exaggerate...), it means we no longer can mooch off of Camp food for every single meal.


That also means that I need to get my life together (or "get my poop in a group," if you will), and do some meal planning to avoid my typical Ramen Noodle-Spaghetti-Out to Eat rotation that I seem to fall into.

That's where The Binder comes in.

I seriously love this little planner o' mine, and I use it every day and lug it around with me, so planning meals with this thing is just a given.


God Comes to Us: Lent in Leviticus

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I kept a journal as a kid. Probably not a super surprising confession for someone who now has a blog.

I think some of my interest in writing down my thoughts came from that “Dear Diary” series (remember those?), and inspired some really stellar “I’m sure this will never be published, but…” entries with flowery language. Some of the entries are really funny, looking back, and some are interesting glimpses into my development- different handwriting, progressing vocabulary.

I think I have about seven different “diaries,” all with blank pages at the end where I gave up on them after a few weeks or a few months and then started fresh. The blue one with the unicorn on the cover is my favorite “volume,” with lots of wonderful descriptions of my family driving me crazy. It’s so funny to look at the big issues of my childhood.

There is one journal, though, that I like to avoid looking back on. 


Blessings this Week: 02.12.2016

Ah, this week.

Who would have thought that 50-mile-an-hour wind and blizzard like whiteout conditions could be a blessing?

My God did, apparently.

It's been that kind of a week.

...   ...   ...   ...   ...

Saturday morning waffles with honey butter, and the husband who made them.


Sweeter than Honey: Week 1

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I don't really like to admit it, but I'm going to. Authenticity, right?

Reading the Bible is something I've never done well. 

There. I said it.

It hasn't been a priority, it confuses me sometimes, sometimes it makes me a frustrated. Sometimes it makes me overwhelmed or bored. It's hard.


That doesn't mean that it's not important.

For the next few months, I'll be working on this vital (and so often, missing) part of my spiritual life. Of my daily life. Of my this-is-being-human life.

I'm inviting you along for the journey.


Featured Farmers: Krista's Story

Today's Featured Farmer is Krista of The Farmer’s Wifee.
Welcome, Krista, and thanks for joining us!

1. Tell us a little about yourself! 

My husband and I are first generation dairy farmers from Washington. We have three kids, and milk 140 cows.

Dairy cattle grass woman near cows

I love to write, take photos, travel, and meet new people.  I love agriculture and the people in it, and I'm passionate about helping farmers/ranchers find their voice and share their AG story with others.

I love boots, possibly addicted to them. I have an addiction to chickens. They are totally a hobby, but I love farm fresh eggs and seeing them run around the farm. My favorite color is turquoise and I can't stand cats. I would love to add pigs to our farm as in have a facility built and add it to our farm as more than a hobby.

I share our everyday farm life on my blog, "The Farmer's Wifee". I am also the co-founder of "Ask the Farmers," I'm a CommonGround volunteer, and new board member for the AgChat Foundation.


Blessings this Week: 02.05.2016 Edition

Sometimes, blessings look like surprises or divine appointments from God. And sometimes, they look like snowstorms.

He tends to do that, God. He chooses the unexpected, the sometimes messy, and works all of it for our good.

Here's what He's been up to this week....

...   ...   ...   ...   ...

This past weekend was a big celebration in our area... in which thousands of grown adults act like fools on the ice.

Grown-ups playing broomball. And onlookers. 

Like this bunch of wahoos.

Races on four-wheelers, dirtbikes (yes, dirtbikes), and various other small motors. It was really, really fun to watch.


So, Wait, What Are You Doing to Your House? (A Farmhouse Update)

So, Wait, What Are You Doing to Your House? | A farmhouse remodel with before and after pictures

I realize that besides showing you the dog house, we haven't done any updates on our little home remodel recently.

Which, means, well.. I'm in the dog house. With my mom. Who wants to see all the updates, with none of the messy gravel roads that it takes to come visit.

Fair enough.

It does get me thinking, though- I kind of vaguely mentioned that we are doing a remodel in our sweet 1934 farmhouse... and then launched into the millions of posts about the hardwood floors... but I never told you about the plan. About all the dreams.

It's about time I get on that, huh?

Here are all the plans to date... and while there is more in store in the file labeled "Eventually," these are the ideas for the immediate future.

And by "immediate," I mean, "whenever we get a spare minute."


When Reading the Bible Is Hard

When Reading the Bible is Hard: Support, Resources and Encouragement for the reluctant Bible reader

There was a sort of buzz to the hush that filled the church.

You know the kind. It was the solemn quiet of a group of third graders, filled with respectful silence and also bursting with the need giggle and squirm from nervousness.

Their names were called, and each of them walked, heads held high, to receive their shiny new Adventure Bibles.

On the way back to their parents in the pews, some kids retreated to the safety of anonymity as quickly as they could.

Some walked slowly, the weight of this new stage in life as heavy on their minds as the big new Bible was in their hands.

(At least until after the service when they would chase their sister around the fellowship hall. Ahem.)

It was all so wonderful, so exciting, this gift of the infallible Word of the Living God being placed into the hands of these young people.