Rainy Sunday

The past couple days have been crazy and I have enjoyed a much slower paced Sunday afternoon, thanks to the rain. It stormed last night, and I was able to sleep better than I have in several nights, because the sounds of the storm relax me in a different way. Today I have still been tired, it was a crazy week, with a crazier one shaping up, but to take time and rest and reflect today was much needed.

I have a couple close friends, that always offer sound advice and valuable opinions, and I got the chance to speak with them today. Sometimes it just feels good to talk, and share things you have carried around for too long with others. I am pretty sure it is all in my head, but I at least feel like I may be able to handle things now.

The ‘Morning Pages’ I mentioned in my last post, are really helping. I have found time for them everyday but one, and I should have made myself take time that day. It was the only day in over a week I have had an anxiety flare up. So I am back to it, and sticking with it at least for now in the hopes that it continues to help me.

Every now and then I go on a cleaning binge, and this afternoon inspiration for it struck. I attacked my bedroom lol not nearly as much as I should have gotten done, but enough I felt productive. I cleaned a lot of the clutter and believe me the past few weeks left a lot of it. Papers are now sorted through, trashed and put away. Messes cleaned up from incubation and dress making, and even my laundry is started. I want to finish by taking the table I used for incubation down, and maybe working on my sewing area some more, but I still have all the outdoor chores to do for the evening and no guarantee that I will have the energy when I am finished with that. Cleaning like that always helps me feel better because I have been even a little productive.

I have been spending a lot of time writing lately, journaling, writing scripture, reflecting on some things that I have refused to face. Things that I thought I had dealt with years ago. Everyday is another step in the right direction. Writing has been a great outlet the past couple weeks and I am grateful for it.

The season is starting to change, and with it brings more work and longer days, going to bed tired and sore only to get up and do it again the next morning, but also feeling productive and motivated. Life is good and I am thankful for each day and each chance I have to build relationships and grow, finiding more of myself.

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My Monday Off

Any farmer knows, that even a day ‘off’ from you ‘day job’ is not actually a day off. It just means more time to play catch up on the farm. Today, that is exactly what I did.

Many people see me on an almost daily basis, I get to hear about their weekends, work weeks, vacations, kids, pets, hobbies, sometimes more than necessary, but it is really ok. Today, on my day off, I had one of the few atyipcal days that I can claim in the past several months or so.

I had a bunch of paperwork to take care of for the next couple of weekends, phone calls to make, and cleaning along with some laundry. After the dog had me up most o the night, getting up was not easy this morning. At first I was going to beat myself up about it, but sleeping in every now and then is not a crime. The horses and chicks were not the happiest, but they quickly forgave me when I fed them.

It was very  different for me today, as I sit here in my slippers and pjs… I have never enjoyed pj days, but today I just didn’t feel like getting dressed… yet. lol The computer cannot see me, nor can the people I talked to today in various Part departments as I tracked down tractor parts for the latest farm project. Several phone call across several states, and I had the opportunity to talk to a very helpful representative that was patient with my limited knowledge of machinery. He was very helpful and helped me to get the correct parts that I needed ordered.

It is a big relief to have those things off my list today! Part ordered, paperwork caught up, cleaning chores better than half done, and the last load of laundry going. I would much rather spend time outside, especially on beautiful days like this morning started out to be. But every now and then I have to take a day and catchup and prepare for the next set of busy days ahead.

There is always something to do, and there will always be something else that needs done, but taking a morning like I did today was productive in its own way. Sometimes we need that, a relaxed morning where we accomplish our lists on our own time. I just have to remember that it is ok not to run 100 MPH every day of every week. Things will still get done.

March Goals

I cannot believe today is March 1st! 2018 is flyin by and I cannot believe it. The first of the month is a great time to take a moment and reflect, and set new goals. Sharing them with you, I hope encourages me to stick to it and accomplish the things I set out to do.

I did very well at making things a priority in Feruary, and I hope to continue to keep my priorities in March, as well as add a few. The warmer temperatures bring more outside work, and I hope to challenge myself to continue working to be where I want to be.

Last year, my Aunt in Texas mentioned scripture writing, and I decided to give it a try then, which I was unable to keep up with. I have picked it up and tried again, and it has been a wonderful way to spend time with my Lord! Giving myself something physical to do while thinking on the specific words I am writing gives me an outlet and a way to occupy my body while my mind works. I am going to continue that through March and hope that it continually gives me new, positive things to think about so that I can continue growing.

Another thing my Aunt mentioned last year, is a plank challenge…. so I think I am going to give that try starting today, it is a 28 day challenge that I found, but I think it can easily be extended to 31 days. Riding will be starting next week for me, and I am chomping at the bit to get back in the saddle. I am hoping that the extra exercise of riding in addition to the plank challenge I have found will help me tone up a little. When I was toned a little a couple years back I had so much more self confidence. My hope is to get back to that, and feeling good about myself again.

Next week also brings starting seeds and setting eggs, which I am absolutely beside myself about! I have never incubated eggs before and I have been counting down the days! I started a few seeds last year but I did not do very well with watering them, and unfortunately I killed every one of the plants I started about a week or so into their growth. Very disappointing experience, so this time I have added that to the daily tracker in my Bullet Journal, which will keep it in front of my mind to do.

Spring is my favorite time of year, and this year spring is full of excitement! I simply cannot wait to see how the next few weeks go!

Happy Friday

It has been a whirlwind of a week! This week has been full of ups and downs both, but I have been blessed beyond measure! Things look so different today than they did just a week ago.

This morning, the Lord blessed me at least 3 times before I even got to work! Me and my little truck Leroy, made it in one piece, but it was a crazy morning. I decidd I must have something special in store for me today, because 3 times I had already encountered bumps and it was not even 4:30 yet in the morning. So I praised Him on my way to work! And I arrived light hearted as ever, despite the rough start to my day.

There was no way I was letting anything bring me down today! I enjoyed my shift with my cowoker, we laughed, danced and sang our way through the morning watching many customers leave with smiles That is by far the best part of my job.

Several errands to run after work, but I got them finished and things have evened out for me today. God knows the perfect timing, even for a friend’s phone call. I have gotten several things off my ever growing to-do list and I was able to make people smile alog the way.

Tomorrow is another day, another chance to grow, another chance to smile and to bring smiles to those around me! A few loose ends to tie up in the morning before being able to play, but I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with crossing things off the list.

You never know the impact the smallest phrase may have on someone, so do not hold back your compliments, grattitude or appreciation! If God puts the words in your mouth, there is a reason, and He has a plan! that is my prayer on my way to work in the morning, and while I am still struggling with confidence to  let Him use me, today I got a glimpse of the receiving end. The smallest words may have the mot meaning to someone today, hopefully I can encourage you to speak life to those around you, be kind, be caring, be compassionate and God will open the door for you!

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your weekend!

Hope

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ love and righteousness.

Pastor Jeff brought the message this morning and that line of a wonderful hymn kept playing over and over in my mind as I listened to his wonderful message this morning. Hope is never lost, hope is always in Jesus! Even when things look bleak, He is standing there, shining a light down on our path.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for and a future.”

Wow!! So I don’t have to have hope on my own, God will give it to me, to push me to grow and find my way along in this crazy world. Thank you Lord for such a precious precious gift. I was so encouraged and excited this morning, I know God was in the midst of the service today.

It has been spoken into my life, that I am set apart, for His wil and purpose…. thats fantastic right? Of course it is! But I still struggle. How can you struggle when such an awesome thing has been spoken over you? Because it raises the bar for me, and while most of the time, I want to step up and reach for it, this week I must admit, I have not wanted to.

Pastor Jeff told us about ‘Everyone, Someone, Anyone and No one this morning in a cute little joke. But that joke, funny tidbit, had a different depth for me. In church services, where you feel His presence, and it is easy to desire to please Him, that is without question what you want to do. But then Monday comes, and you look at your Facebook and see other friends your age hitting milestones in their lives that you are not even close to. It is hard to remember that my purpose is different, that my walk is down a totally different path.

God has a plan for each and every one of us, each having a different path to travel. It gets difficult at times not to compare to others because it is not always easy to see we are traveling to differnt destinations. Despite the differences, there are things that remain constant for all of us regardless of destination or path of travel getting there. God’s love is never ending, and it does not fail even in storms or trials, He is there guiding us, holding our hand and carrying us through the hardest times in our life. He gives us comfort, peace and hope to see us through whatever challenges life bring us. Even though holding on to that hope is difficult at times, He always equips us with the tools we need to complete the task he lays ahead of us.

My challenge for myself after hearing this inspiring message, is to keep on holding on to the hope that He has given me, to not compare myself to others, because none of us are the same, and to keep reaching and working toward to goals He has given me to accomplish the tasks He sets before me. Hopefully my struggles encourage you to hold on to that hope that He gives and realize that life is never without hope, because hope is from Him, and like His love, it is never ending!

Challenging Myself

Last week, I had the opportunity to have lunch with a dear friend and coworker. As usual, she opened my eyes to a few new things in my spiritual walk that I was not yet aware of. I personally find it interesting that so many times in my spiritual walk, I can stare right as something and not see it. I will ever be grateful for my friend’s influence and encouragement as I continue on my journey.

One thing that got my attention several weeks back, was my lack of time in prayer and scripture. I stepped back and looked at my life, and tried to figure out a way that I would force myself to slow down and make time everyday for my Lord and Savior. A year or so ago, I tried to stick to Scripture writing, but it was not a good fit for where I was in my life. I thought about starting it again, and was going to wait until the first of February, but decided I wanted to establish a routine and there really is no time like the present to jump in. I found a monthly plan on Pinterist, absolutely love that site, and I started writing. The very first day was confirmation from a previous discussion I had and it gave me the encouragement to continue. The second day, a question I had been asking myself over and over again, was answered! What a wonderful God I serve!

Today I pulled up a plan for February so I can seamlessly continue with my scripture challenge. It has been just over a week, but I have made time everyday and been wonderfully rewarded. Sometimes life gets busy, too busy, and the most important things get pushed to the back burner before I even realize it. It has been wonderful to spend those precious few minutes everyday with Him lately. I turn off the tablet, push aside the phone, go into my bedroom in the quiet and open my mind to what He has to show me in the passage for the day.

Yesterday, Pastor Jim talked of the impact drug addiction is having on our country, state and city. Many are coming together this week and joining in prayer over specific topics related to this. I will be spending time praying over that specifically this evening, and reading the scripture that is paired with it. I know God has big plans for His people, including me. Everyday my job is to seek Him and His will so I know what I am to do next.

My friend and I spoke of appointing our days, and that is something I am going to strive to do, with my new Bullet Journal and a refreshed challenge for myself, I hope to make progress to my goal. I can only hope that sharing my journey with you encourages you as you continue on your own journey.

Setting February Goals

January is better than half over, and I cannot believe it is already there! February will be here before I know it, and since I did not make any resolutions this year, I am setting some goals for February.  A new month feels like a fresh slate.

Jim is off until he is cleared from the vet, which I hope is sometime next month. Until then, I have 2 other horses to start conditioning and tuning to be prepared for when the season starts, and I am hoping to start with them the first week of Februrary. I am very much looking forward to seeing how they come along this season! I have to start somewhere and the best way is to just start riding and see how they do.

I want to start focusing again on my spiritual walk, I have been slipping, and now is not the time for that. I plan to challenge myself to write scripture everyday in February which will keep me focused on it, and with any luck improve my handwriting. When I did that before, it gave me a chance to reflect further on the scripture and mull it over in my mind. I enjoy that time, reflecting on scripture. I learn more and retain more and that is exactly what I should be doing more.

Spring is coming and there are things to do on the farm to prepare for the coming of new arrivals! I am planning to incubate and hatch eggs! As well as I have a mare due. I will be relieved when she has foaled out and that is one less thing off my mind, but I am so excited to have a foal coming.  I have neve hatched out chicks before and I cannot wait to set the incubator up! I am looking forward to trying something new.

There are a few loose ends to tie up on the lean to and the haybarn to start on. I am glad to have both of those projects moved to the in-progress list! A few little things and the lean to is totally done, and the haybarn is a spring project, but it will make life so much easier on the farm.

I also plan to build a pen for the meat birds this spring as the one I used last year did not have enough air circulation for the larger meat birds. A small project ideally, but a project regardless. Hopefully I have better luck with them this year. So much to look forward to!

Canning With Grandma

Tuesday, my sister and I strung and snapped beans all afternoon, we made it through half of them. Honestly, that was not something I considered when I planted a garden, but the beans are done for the year. When I got home from work yesterday, the first set of 7 quarts were already in the canner. Grandma had started without me.

I helped finish those 7, and prepare the second batch of 7 along with 9 pints. The last few beans were then placed in the slowcooker by my sister for dinner last night. While the second batch of quarts were going, Grandma taught me how to blanch and prepare corn for freezing. We worked together. My sister picked a row of  corn, only the ears that were ready, while Grandma and I got the last few beans when I got home. Grandma and I cut the kernels off the cob, then Grandma showed me how to blanch it. We got 9 quart bags in the freezer yesterday.

We had not planned for tomatoes yesterday, but they were ripe, and unfortunately when it comes to these things, the clock does not say when you are done, but the work. Grandma showed me how to chunk the tomatoes and cook them before juicing them. We had half a five gallon bucket that were ripe, and got just over 4 quarts of juice.

Very productive day, but by the time we were done, I was ready to be done. I tried to absorb more information than I think my brain could process at once. Next time I am going to take notes so that I can repeat the process.

I have told you all of this, not to tell you what I did yesterday, but hopefully show you that there is great value in spending time with your family, especially your grandparents. There is much to be learned and appreciated about their knowledge of life and life skills, family history and heritage, and fun stories apart from fun itself. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my grandmother yesterday. While we were productive, that was just a good excuse for me to put aside other things to spend time with her. I want to learn how to can because not many people, especially my age, know much if anything about it. Grandma has always done it for our family, but it is too much for her and Grandpa now. I made sure to put out a garden big enough to share from. I have gladly given her corn and squash to take home and have with Grandpa.

Love your family, hold them tight and dear. Spend the time that you have with them because you never know what tomorrow is going to bring. Open your heart, let them in, learn from them and carry them with you wherever you go. Family is so important, and everyday I see people take advantage of it. Enjoy your time with your family as much as you can!

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!

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!