Grateful This Sunday

What a busy week behind me! This was yet another full week here in southern Ohio. My weeks through the summer usually are, but I do not mind. Several things got marked off the ever growing To-Do list, I found new challenges for myself and I was given new opportunities to grow. Sundays in the past have always been a good time for me to reflect, on the week past as well as milestones that the sermon reminded me of, and today has been no different.

Unfortunately, I overslept yet again and did not make the service this morning. I am sure Pastor Jim and Pastor Jeff did an awesome job as usual with the message and praise and worship, and while I am sorry that I missed it, my body was so physically exhausted I could not force myself up and moving.

Today, Dad and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went back to the hayfield for another round of mowing. The weatherman says this week is going to be dry and beautiful and that means working in the hayfield all week.

The farm Dad mowed on today is so peaceful. I stood there just looking and taking in the scenery. The different kinds of trees, some of which I know others I do not recognize, but they include maple, pine and even apple trees! There are 3 good sized pasture/hayfields. Another that is over grown, but with a little bit of work would be an absolutely gorgeous farm. As I stood there looking around and taking in the sight, I started thanking and praising. God provided for me the hayfields I needed this year. The scenery is a big bonus, but I thorougly enjoyed the farm today, even though it was not my own.

I took Millie with us and she just loves running around out there. The trees make wonderful shady spots even in the afternoon sun. She eventually found a shady spot to rest, only after she had run around and stretched. She always likes to be out with us in the fields and usually stays close to me and the tractor.

Dad called me over to where he was mowing and I hurried to help with what he needed. When I got to the mower, he pointed down to the ground and there sat a Dove that was in no hurry to move. So I gently shooed her out of harm’s way and she fluttered to the tree line out of the mower’s path.

Sometimes it is the little things that makes up appreicate God’s picture for us even more. I am so grateful for the many blessings that I have been given especiallly this week. I hope you can find them in your own lives!

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Counting My Blessings

Today at the shop was busy, which is a good thing! I enjoy working when we are busy as the pace is faster, the time goes quicker and my usual coworker and I just get in a groove and go. Today, for some reason, my patience grew shorter as the shift progressed. This is not how it usually goes, but for whatever reason today I was struggling.

I made arrangements this afternoon to pick up a freezer. After having lunch with my 2 wonderful friends Monday, I was reminded that sometimes I need to take care of me. Today, that entailed picking up a freezer. So, blessing 1 was my neighbor was kind enough to ride with me, help me load and unload this huge heavy freezer. Cannot thank them enough as I would never have wrestled it by myself, even though I would have tried.

When we arrived to get this freezer, I called the lady selling it to let her know we were there. She assured me that she saw me and she was on her way out. I looked up to see this lady walking with a walker across the sidewalk of her yard. She was probably at least 80 and my heart softened at once. As I talked with her a minute, she told me that the freezer had been cleaned out of food that morning by the food pantry, because she was storing it for someone that had told her they would not be back after it. She continued on to say that blueberries had spilled in the bottom and she was not able to clean it up.

I assured  her it was no problem and that I would take care of it. But she insisted on taking less money for it than she originally had it priced at. I tried to convince her it was ok, that I would pay the whole price. But she would not even consider it. I still paid her more than she asked and I came home with a working freezer.

Talking with this sweet lady today was such a blessing, blessing 2, as I got to listen to her talk, her primary use for this freezer was helping people. She used it to store food for someone else, and then donated food to the food pantry. There are stains of brown paint, battle scars, from her craft work of making lamps and such from antlers that her taxidermy friend gives her.

This wonderful lady has such a sweet spirit and kind heart. Blessing 3 was getting to see that in her today. Hopefully my money was as much of a blessing to her as the freezer is to me. Meeting her today was well worth the trip itself, the freezer became a bonus. God’s hand had to be in it, because today was the only day this week that I had available to go get it, and it worked out perfectly. God is so good! And He brings us blessings all the time, every day, if we just take the time to see them and appreciate them!

I feel like my eyes have been opened this week and I cannot express my gratitude for that!

Stretching

I was going to the gym last summer, and the instructor was trying to help me with the after workout stretching exercises. Some muscles I have stretch fairly easily, while others are tight. Riding horses for many years has left me with a few battel scars, and my flexibilty is a direct product of it.

I could, and probably should, work to improve my flexibilty. My hamstrings remain quite tight and touching my toes has not happened in years. Believe it or not, my hamstrings used to be so tight, that they pull on my knee caps and did not allow them to move properly. I am not sure if this is still the case, but my knees have popped and cracked for years. Now I know why.

Physically stretching is not the only type of stretching we do. As we grow, we stretch both our bodies and our clothes. When we hit adolescence our maturity grows, and we are stretched in new ways. Any high schooler or college student will tell you that that growing into adulthood is not an easy process by any means. It is almost always uncomfortable, patience trying and downright difficult.

The past few months I have been faced with new challenges spiritually. Some I have met head on while others I have not quite hit the mark on. The best part is the God loves despite my faults. However, these new challenges have brought into light new things, and stretched me in new ways. My faith is being tested and stretched almost daily as I try to learn where to put my feet in this dance.

Without being stretched, I will never find my limit. The more I stretch the more capable I am to do the work He has for me. Spiritual stretching is not always easy, and it throws curveballs, but once we have stretched and risen to the challenge the favor that follows is always more than worth it. Stepping up to the challenge and trusting your faith enough to willingly walk ahead is one of the scariest things I think I have ever faced. It requires a different strenght than I am accustomed to using. God has given me the spirit of Power, not fear and I have to hold on to that.

Having lunch with 2 awesome ladies today was a sheer blessing. As we talked about these and many other things in our lives right now, I felt His presence. It was so special to feel like He was there with us, listening to our conversation, giving advice, assurance and instruction. It was so sweet to sense His presence!

I cannot stress enough how thankful I am to have these 2 ladies as friends, or how wonderful it was to be reminded today that He is never far away, no matter how far away He seems. He heard my prayers, and was kind enough to answer me today in an unexpected way. I walked away from our lunch feeling refreshed in a way that I have not felt in a long time.

Now it is time to go to work on the the next steps of His plan, taking it one day at a time until I get to where He wants me to be.

Amazing Love

This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to have brunch with two wonderful ladies. It was a spontaneous visit while the oil was being changed in my truck. It was not a lengthy visit, but those few minutes opened my eyes yet again.

I know I am not the only one that struggles with my self image, and sometimes even worth. Everyday at the shop, I see polished ladies heading in to their jobs as secretaries, lawyers, nurses, school teachers, and the list goes on. I also see the younger girls going to school, in perfectly coordinating outfits and perfect make up. These have never been strengths of mine. I have always considered myself, more of a get in there and get it done kind of person, with my looks being an afterthought.

Today at brunch, I was blindsided when I was asked if I was a beautiful person. As you might expect, my conclusion was no, because when I look in the mirror, I see a plain horse girl. My frizzy hair, make up less face, worn in clothes look less than beautiful to me. The lovely ladies this morning, reminded me that God does not make junk of any kind, size or shape. He made me for a purpose and He has a perfect plan for me and my life.

As we continued our conversation, I was reminded of another important thing that I seemed to have forgotten. God offers us this Amazing, Unfathomable LOVE that cannot and will not be taken away. He forgives us of anything, regardless of what it was or how long ago. Whether we forgive ourselves or not, His blood covers us and washes us clean again. I have struggled for years with letting go. I have beat myself up for many years over the stupidest things. But they are covered, and He does not love me any less, but is excited as I grow in my spiritual walk and I learn to stretch myself and reach out to him.

The past six months or so, I have really been stretched and challenged spiritually. Yes, I have grown, but not everyday has been easy. It never will be. The best part is I have several amazing promises to hold on to, and I will continue to hold on to them and fight for them. I trust my Lord, because His word is true and His love is everlasting.

These seem like simple thoughts and ideas to grasp, Christianity basics if you will, but sometimes, we all need a reminder that God is right here with us, watching us, guiding us along the way He wants us to take. He prepares us for the next step He has for us and gives us the strength we need when we need it.

Enjoying the Sunshine

Today was a mostly sunny day in southern Ohio. We had a few showers, but not enough to limit much in the farm. I was grateful for the nice weather to get a few things done.

Mr.M was kind enough to stop back and do most of the work fixing fence. There are a few things that unfortunately I am just not big enough to do. Setting new posts happens to be one of them. I helped, but Mr.M did the brunt work. Once the fence was fixed, and even the gate rehung! I was able to turn my focus to other things.

I rode the mare, nicknamed here as ‘Girlie’ and she actually cantered. I originally did not want her to canter so soon, but she did fantastic. She kept breaking into a canter while working circles and on the rail, so I encouraged her to keep her forward motion and she even took her correct leads on her own! She is doing much better about giving to pressure and following her nose.

I planned to ride the other mare, but the weather decided to not cooperate at that point. Monday will start a new week, with a new leaf and a new chance at making progress. We took a few steps in the right direction yesterday and I am looking forward to continuing with her next week.

I collected eggs next, and counted eggs to hatch, I am up to 8! My goal is ultimately a dozen home hatched chicks, so it may take a little longer, but I am excited about that! I am looking forward to hatching out a few chicks just to see how it goes. Ideally I get 6 pullets out of the dozen, but time will tell for sure.

As I looked over at the garden, I decided to stake the larger tomato plants. I missed a row with the tiller yesterday, but I was not fighting with that today. Maybe I will fire that up again Sunday. It took a lot of energy to till the weeds in the garden and I was not up for it today. This crazy week started to catch me today. I also started planning the fence to go around the garden. Started to begin driving posts, but again, that is a job that kills me. I can drive about 2 posts, then I am ready for a break. This ground is hard clay and it is tough driving, digging etc, not fun working on fence at all.

Still a few things to take care of this summer, looking forward to trying new things and seeing how the current endeavers turn out!