Like a Smack in the Face

Wildflowerfarm.orgI have always made myself daily “to do” lists. Without them I tend to be lost, feel very unproductive and get rather crabby. The same is true when I can seem to get my list done in a day, even with the enlisted help of an apron. The little mister is getting bigger and busier and my list is getting shorter and more undone. The feeling of accomplishment has been diminishing too. I have been having a very hard time with this. Usually getting quite upset after days of not getting anything done, which is not fair to  anyone.

I appreciate a clean and organized house (yard, work space, etc.). When everything is in order it is much easier to work (and relax so I’m told). I do have many projects going all at once; knitting in the rocking chair, spinning wool, a few things in the kitchen, research books, notebooks and computer on the table, the list goes on. This may sound a bit cluttered but aside from the table things are organized and “put away” so it doesn’t usually look as bad as it sounds.

I have a tendency to flip open the bible before I go to bed and do a little reading. If the page I open to isn’t striking my interest or doesn’t seem to apply to my day I either try again or wait for another day. Not to long ago I was at my wits end, had it up to here! I was getting nothing done and it was getting the best of me. I flipped open the bible and it was as if God punched me in the face, and let me tell you I just may have started swinging by this point. This is the passage I was enlightened with:

A truly good wife

is the most precious treasure a man can find!
Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down.
She is good to him every day of her life,
and with her own hands she gladly makes clothes.
She is like a sailing ship that brings food from across the sea.
She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family
and for her servants.
She knows how to buy land and how to plant a vineyard,
and she always works hard.
She knows when to buy or sell, and she stays busy until late at night.
She spins her own cloth, and she helps the poor and the needy.
Her family has warm clothing,
and so she doesn’t worry when it snows.
She does her own sewing, and everything she wears is beautiful.
Her husband is a well-known and respected leader in the city.
She makes clothes to sell to the shop owners.
“The clothes she makes are attractive and of good quality.”

She is strong and graceful, as well as cheerful about the future.

Her words are sensible, and her advice is thoughtful.
She takes good care 0f her family and is never lazy.
Her children praise her, and with great pride her husband says,
“There are many good women, but you are the best!”
Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away,
but a woman ho honors the Lord deserves to be praised.
Show her respect— praise her in public for what she has done.
Proverbs 31:10-31
Um, yeah. This is not the exact wording of what I read but it’s close enough. Smack in the face. Let me tell yah, I was not happy with the results of my “evening flip”. By the time I had read the passage (a couple times) I was able to calm down, take a deep breath and be humbled yet again. I have since then highlight the passage in both the bibles, the one in the bedroom and the one in the dining room in hot pink. I read this passage every few days, when I need a good reminder of what I should be doing. – Getting up early and serving my family and taking care of everything is what it seems like some days. That’s ok. I really do like doing it. I find it more frustrating that there is never usually enough time to accomplish what needs to be done. Sometimes I do get lucky and everything goes as planned and it is wonderful!
Getting up at 5 am is my limit. I will not be adding any more morning hours to my day. Morning is my favorite time of day but I don’t want it to start any earlier than that. I will say since this last humbling experience and my frequent reminders of what I am here to do things have gotten much better. I am getting more done again and keeping up with everything as I had hoped. Of course not every day is a walk in the field but that’s ok.
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Help yourself

WildFlower FarmAs with everything in life, trust in God’s plan and everything will fall into place just as it should. –  This was my closing statement in a previous post, but it is very true. More often than not I’m off and running, praying that everything goes my way and not thinking twice about it. Things need to go as I plan…right? No.

Very rarely do things go just as I planned. Years ago I found this extremely frustrating. I like spontaneous happenings, trips events and such. I have a way of changing plans mid-stride at times. But it doesn’t matter the direction I am going, I am going that way full steam ahead. So when I hit a “road block” I would get quite upset.

It took a great deal of time but in the last few years I have learned to let go of almost everything in a sense. I still go full bore in whatever direction that I decide to go but now when I hit  a road closed sign I take a deep breath and wait. Of course, not patiently all the time, I always have a “plan b” to work on until the right path shows it self.

I say the Our Father daily. In it is the phrase “Give us this day, our daily bread.” I have this etched into the side of our dining room table and some days could use it tattooed on my arm. It is a great reminder that I only need enough to get through today. Tomorrow will take care of itself and yesterday can’t be helped anymore. There is a great post about this on Loneprairie.net that I read a long time ago and she nailed it perfectly. Take some time to check out her site and search her archives for it. It will be well worth your time.

Then there’s  the line “thy will be done”. That should be an obvious one too. I say it every day but it doesn’t always register that that is what I am saying. Thy will be done, not my will be done.

It wasn’t one great moment that got me to this point either, it was a whole bunch of little ones. I then had to stop, which is hard because I’m pretty sure most days I run on perpetual motion spurred by coffee, but I had to stop briefly and look back. When I did, I saw something truly amazing. My stars did line up.

This is what I saw and continue to see:

When I am in need of something, it will appear. I mean really in need, not “oh that would be nice” but more “how am I ever going to pay that bill ?!”. I’m not one to waste anything, and I always try to “make do or do without”. I don’t shop frivolously (with the exception of groceries- I get a little carried away in the fruit department and the cheese table sometimes, but it’s not “junk” anyways). I also don’t ask for help. I know when someone is in need I am more that willing to help in whatever way I can, but I have a very hard time accepting the same generosity. A simple prayer and a deep breath and I know that one way or another it will work out.

When something was meant to be it was, and is. It’s hard to explain the feeling but think of it as a sense of calm and or peace. I could be standing in a whirlwind of everything in life but when things are as they are supposed to be, there is this calm anyway. Peace in chaos is possible, I don’t recommend living in chaos in search of peace though.

WildFlower FarmGod helps those who help themselves. You can’t pray for help and not do anything further. You need to do your part too. If you actively try to help yourself and even better, others, you will see return. If you sit on the porch and wait for something to drop out of the sky your either going to be waiting a long time or be cleaning bird shit off your forehead. It may feel like you are working your fingers bloody and seeing no results but be patient and they will come. In the mean time, even though you feel overwhelmed with your own happenings, taking time to help someone else will give you a refreshing wave that can help you continue your own work.

Good things come to those who wait. We’ve all heard this before and I still have a hard time believing it. If I want a “good thing” I work that much harder because I generally want it now. (I never said I was completely over it yet) I know this is true at least sometimes. For over a year my husband and I had talked about moving to my hometown. We knew that the job market here was scarce and our cost of living was much higher than most jobs here could support. We were also not ready to give up such luxuries like eating out whenever and having a pretty loose budget. So before any move could happen he needed to get a job here. After applying many different places and going through a few interviews he had about had it. Through the whole thing I kept reminding him that when and if we were to move the right one would come along when its time.
It was the last application he was filling out, he said “if I don’t get this job we are not moving, I am not filling out another.” I said ok and that was that. Next thing we know he got the job. We sat down and made a tight budget, figured out what we could live without and off we went.
We looked at one house (he looked at a few without me) and I knew that was it. It was perfect, a little old farmstead, exactly what I wanted, a lake view and walking distance to the access, just what he wanted. We weren’t going to find a better place than that. Some how we were able to get the house, and live (almost) with in our budget.
When it came time for me to work outside the house, I applied for so many jobs and couldn’t seem to even get a rejection call back. Finally I landed a job the was much better that I would have ever dreamed I could get here. (There’s no money to speak of in baking in a small town and that’s my formal schooling, which seemed to be all most looked at, rather than experience.) Once again, I was off and running trying to make things happen.

I have so many more examples of how “things just work out”, but I won’t bore you with them.

Take the time to stop, listen and look at your past. If things are not working out as you want, say an extra prayer and start working in a new direction. Trust that God will provide you with what you need, when you need it and all will be fine. If you don’t have it chances are you don’t need it or at least not yet.

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The Midwife

I have had a few people ask about my experience with our homebirth and the midwife so I figured I’d share a little.

I read all sorts of books on homebirth, stories etc. the great majority of the stories the mother talked about how it was such an uplifting spiritual time. After the birth they felt totally changed and angels were singing, blah, blah, blah. I’m not a very “lovey-dovey” person so this is not how I would describe the experience.

Everything went very well. My labor started in the early morning. Not wanting to call our midwife, Paulette Efimenko, with a false alarm I waited a few hours. I did call her at about 8 am to give her notice. She lived a few hours drive from our house so I figured I’d best call once I knew it was the real deal. Luckily she was only an hour and a half away. I had planned to do some laundry and some weeding in the garden while I waited for things to progress. Apparently first babies can be a slow labor from what I read… after an hour I couldn’t walk through the contractions. After talking with Paulette again, she was going to be one her way shortly. I called my husband home from work about 10ish. His mom came over for support, just incase the baby came before Paulette made it. By noon Paulette was there and by 2 the baby was born.

I can’t say it wasn’t life changing. We now have the cutest little boy who’s all smiles and laughter. But the birth itself was just that. Women have been giving birth for millions of years. Yes, it is a miracle, a God given gift. But let’s face it, by the time it was done I counted his fingers and toes, made sure he was whole and then I just wanted a cold shower, a nap and a cheeseburger (which my in-laws delivered, I so very much appreciated that!).

I can’t imagine having to get in the car and head to the hospital during any part of that production and am thankful I didn’t have to. My family was quite concerned about our decision to have a home birth; what if something goes wrong? the hospital has all sorts of special equipment, you’re so small framed,  etc.. I really wasn’t worried about it for a few reasons.
– Women have been giving birth without doctors and hospitals since the beginning of time… literally.  It wasn’t until very recently did birth move from the home to the hospital.
– The U.S. has a much higher C-section rate and is known for other unnecessary procedures during labor and delivery. As well as putting labor on a time schedule, both making an appointment for a “just in case” induction and how long they will wait before a C-section.
Medical staff are trained to react not wait patiently for nature to take its course. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it does more harm than good even with the best intentions. (Sometimes it’s lack of patience too. A friend of mine had a doctor announce he was going to use suction to remove the baby because he wasn’t going to miss his tee time. I’m pretty sure I would have leapt off the table and punched him!)
– Of course there’s the drugs too. I know you can refuse but I just didn’t want to deal with it at all. I always believed pain is fear and is more mental that anything. I went into this at peace and relaxed and it really wasn’t that bad.
-Most of all, I was at peace with it. I knew that if God wanted us to have this baby we would. If we were meant to suffer a loss, no medical team in the world could change God’s plan. If we needed medical assistance God would get us where we needed to be when we needed to be there.

As with everything in life, trust in God’s plan and everything will fall into place just as it should.

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God & Guns

My uncle recently shared this picture on facebook and it got me thinking.

guns and bibles

We grew up with guns and bibles in the house. We were taught from the very beginning how to use both. We knew the guns were not to be touched when we were very young. Then we were allowed to shoot cans in the yard with the bb gun and pellet gun. All the while dad was there with us, guiding us and teaching us. He was there showing how to handle the gun safely, how to aim, shoot and clean the gun when we were done. We were taught to respect the gun and that it was a tool not a weapon. It was used to put food on the table with the occasional trap shoot too.

Gun lessons with dad were no different than cooking lessons with mom. She would guide us around the kitchen, teaching how to safely handle hot pots and pans. How to care for sharp knives. Again we were learning respect.

When we were of school age our education continued  both at home and school. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning right after morning prayer…yes prayer at school. I know it’s crazy!

I know that not everyone had parents like mine; those that made the time, had the knowledge or the thought to teach their children. This is why they had to have classes such as home economics, shop and gun safety. So when did guns all of a sudden become unsafe to teach in school…right about the time bibles and God was removed from the system. Shortly there after the rise in  school violence and bullying began to rise. Huh. What do you think of that.

It may not have been the thought of teaching about God and guns in school that kept everyone “in line” if you will but more the lessons that were learned from them. When guns were removed from schools they were then viewed as a weapon no longer a tool. They were treated with fear rather than respect. Which then led to a few misguided people that made the connection “people respect guns, if I have a gun they will respect me”. The problem with this thought is that it’s not respect any more it fear and fear accomplishes next to nothing except propagating more fear and less education of the truth.

Removing God from the public and not just the schools has done no foreseeable good either. Everyone may not believe all the same details outlining the individual religions but there is common ground…God and respect. Each religion has some form of God. Each teaches the same principals to live a respectable life.  Yes, there are some strict guidelines set that are to be followed that pose great barriers between people. This is where the “live and let live” philosophy has failed where it could have worked to advantage. A little tolerance and acceptance could go a very long way, rather than ignorance. Looking the other direction, thinking someone’s actions don’t affect you is ignorance. You may not be affected immediately or directly but you will be affected.

Long story short I think they should again teach gun safety in school and again pray in school and we live in America so the Pledge of Allegiance should be said at the start of every day.

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