Saturday, May 25, 2013

Your Love is all Around

I woke up this morning to a delicate white haze covering everything. In the early morning light of the moon, I wasn't quite ready to attest to what I was seeing. But as the sun slowly crept over the horizon I couldn't deny it any longer.
Frost. Sparkling from every blade of grass, blossom and field. My heart sank. 
The frost quickly melted away, lying now only in the shadows.
I'm not sure what this will mean for our crops this year. 
Somehow, it seems fitting though.
I have to admit, I was already feeling a bit low. When I took these pictures, wandering through our yard the other evening, I wondered how all this beautiful life could be swelling up out of the earth. Was there no regard for the lives near and far that, at the very same time, were tragically experiencing such utter devastation? How could everything keep going on like normal here when so many others' lives, literally and as they've known them, have ended?
Then His Word gently rebuked my despairing heart.
His Word. The only Hope.
 " Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." - 1 Peter 1:3-5
How quickly I forget that this world is not my home. And I don't ever suffer alone.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up." - Hebrews 12:1-3

  "Majesty enthroned in beauty,

    All my life, Your love pursues me
    and I'm found in You

    Oh Holy One, the King of glory
    You're the Author of my story
    and I'm found in You.

    'Cause You give me life and lead me to find
    Your grace and Your mercy, given so freely

    Your word is my light, it leads me to find
    Your comfort and healing, the hope that I'm needing

   Your love is all around; Your love is all around.

    Oh Living One, You reign forever
    Drawing me into Your presence
    and I'm found in You 

    Oh Great Redeemer, Precious Savior
    You are faithful, though I wander
    and I'm found in You

    And I hear Your voice
    I hear the words You've spoken
    This love is Yours
    This love restores the broken

    This is all my hope and peace
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus
    This is all my righteousness
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus

    Oh, precious is the flow
    That makes me white as snow
    No other fount I know
    Nothing but the blood of Jesus

We do not have all the answers about why we suffer,
but we do know what the answer cannot be.
It cannot be that God doesn’t see or care,
for he sent his own Son to enter into our suffering.
And it cannot be a hopeless situation, 
for he conquered sin and death by raising his Son from the dead.
                 ( Journey to the Cross, pg.62, The Gospel Coalition )

*Words above are excerpts from the hymn 'Nothing but the Blood'
  and lyrics to the song 'Your Love is All Around' by All Sons and Daughters.
  Listen here .

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Crew - 20/52

The Crew - a picture of each of our kids, once a week, every week in 2013.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A peak at last week...

Snow flurries on Mother's Day and a cold, white world this morning? These pictures from last week have me praying for a return of the sun and warmth. Hurry back, spring! We miss you already!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Crew - 19/52

The Crew - a picture of each of our kids, once a week, every week in 2013.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Like dust...

Springtime on the farm is completely crazy wonderful. That could be two separate sentences - because these days are completely crazy and these days are completely wonderful. I can't even keep track of who is where and doing what. Did Pete say he was in the back field packing or was that Uncle Garry? And Pete's over at Dad's cultivating? Will Dad be back for chores or is he going to keep planting? The air seeder's coming at what time? Will you be in for lunch or should I just keep a plate warm for you? These days of coming and going, here and there, everyone doing ten jobs at once - it keeps me on my toes and, at moments, tests my sanity. But, really, I couldn't imagine not doing this. This season on the farm - full of hope and anticipation, watching new life unfurl before our very eyes, smelling the earth waking up after so many months of slumber, the constant drone of tractors in the background as we go about our day's work. The guys, with a permanent, fine layer of dirt covering their skin, their clothes; their being. Because this is what we are, dust.

And as we plan and prepare for this year's crops - the food that will feed our animals and provide our living - it seems overwhelming. So many factors are beyond the realm of our influence, and yet I check the weather forecast obsessively wondering how I should be spending my time. Trying to plan a week that is completely out of my control. I race through supper with the kids and out to the barn so I can help with chores so Dad and Uncle Garry can keep going in the fields. As I hurriedly cross the yard, running late because of a last minute diaper change for Katie, I feel the first drops splash my face. The rain falls softly, just enough to settle the dust and bring the guys in. A pocket of unexpected free time. Do I fold the loads of laundry that have been pulled of the line in haste and dumped in a pile on the kitchen table or tackle the layer of dirt, grass, straw and sand on the floor that has been growing despite my best efforts? Maybe I'll round up the kids and scrub off the layer of grime they've been accumulating as they've been busy re-discovering the sights, smells and feel of the world outside. Afters baths, I snuggle their freshly clean bodies, kissed by the sun with rosy cheeks and a sprinkling of freckles across noses, tight against me and soak up their sweetness. Tired after a hard day of play they lean into me and listen to their stories with heavy eyelids. Prayers, kisses, His blessing sung over them, I slip down the stairs to a quiet kitchen. Without words, counters of dirty dishes and small mounds of unfolded laundry call to me as I step across the sticky, dirty wood floor. At the end of the day I fall into bed completely exhausted. And, yet, I can't wait to do it again tomorrow. Because these days are filled with moments;
    a handful of dandelions picked just for me;

   a quick coffee out on the porch;

   a stolen kiss in the parlor;

    kids biking, climbing, running, bouncing, digging, playing, laughing all day long;

   our littlest discovering all this for the first time.

These moments are more precious than anything I could ever want. And I know that these moments are like the dust that's swirling in the fields. The dust that permeates our lives right now. The dust that reminds me how fleeting this all is. 
And that's why, even when I'm feeling overwhelmed, incapable of the tasks that lay before me and just plain-out tired, I will consider it joy. Because these days?
They are fleeting
and they are overflowing with gifts.
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days;  let me know how fleeting my life is.  You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.
But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you." - Psalm 39:4-7

The First of Many...

We had our first weiner roast of the season on Sunday night. The addition of Grandma and Grandpa, who were out for a drive and thought they'd just 'pop in for a second', made it extra sweet. The kids LOVE campfires and hotdogs but the most anticipated event of the night is always, always, roasting marshmallows. Gracie Jo is becoming a patient, perfect marshmallow roaster while Silas and Grandpa probably tied for 'most charred mallows'. Grandpa claims he doesn't mind them a little black? This is one of my most favorite spring/summer traditions. These evenings around the fire with family - talking, playing, laughing, eating - just being together. I'm looking forward to many more. xo

Monday, May 6, 2013

Life Lately...

//April snowstorms bring May flowers?

   //A couple more weeks of school. So close to being done!

    //Stomach flu = towel covered couches, lots of books, even more laundry and one family reallllly
                              ready for spring

    //From snow to 20+ temperatures within a week. Crazy but we'll take it!

   //Baths every night again :)

   //Boys + mud = spring on the farm

    //Nitrogen for the wheat

   //Levi learned to 'do skids' on his bike this week. Coincidentally, he is covered with cuts and bruises
     Also, I cleaned out a winter's worth of grime and poo from the barn room. The brother's insulated
     coveralls are packed up for another year.

    //Speaking of cleaning up poo...

    //This week, Gracie Jo and Grandma went to a quilt show and the end-of-the-year Young
      Jewels party together. They both enjoy their time together so much.

    //Farmer Husband waiting on a calf. In the barn day and night. He loves his cows :)

   //Cultivating with Grandpa

   //So close to walking...except she is too smart to do all that work when everyone here will just
     carry her around. Oh, the spoiled youngest child! :)