sacred soil….

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(i’ve not written like this in quite some time and as i type the lines, i wonder whether i’ll make sense to anyone but myself…i wonder if i’ll sound as though the west has gotten the better of me…and, maybe i won’t, and maybe it has. either way, i feel a need to write the things that my heart has been pondering this past week…)

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the tractor pulled up to the edge of the brown, barren ground and the farmer surveyed the stakes that marked the perimeter of our intended new garden plot. he slowly drove forward and lowered the tiller attachment he pulled into the ground and proceeded forward. the earth spun, and gave way under the moving blades to reveal rich, fertile soil.

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i stood nearby and watched the blades churning along, watched the farmer drive forward along the lines we’d made. one swipe forward, and then he turned around and made pass after pass. the first sweep of the entire space was uneventful, but on the second round,  his tractor abruptly shut off after hitting an old plowshare that had been buried for who-knows-how-many years. he got off the tractor seat, surveyed the culprit and tossed it to the side, no damage done. the farmer finished two more rounds of tilling up the space and we looked at it together and both proclaimed it very good. i wrote him a check for his services and thanked him, and he loaded up the equipment and went on his way. i went back into the house, but not before going over and picking up a handful of the dirt.

i knelt down to look closer, felt the cool, fresh earth in my hand, smelled the scent of fertile soil. and, as i did, i felt this overwhelming sense that this is something sacred.

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i’ve always loved gardening, and even from a child i would involve myself as much as i was allowed to in the gardens. of course over the span of my life my feelings have varied from the youthful days of ‘why do we have to have this big of a garden with so many weeds’ to my current status of ‘let’s make the garden bigger this year’.

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Monday as i surveyed this new plot and felt the rawness of the freshly turned soil, i sensed God’s presence and His purpose for gardening in new and deeper ways. i’ve long believed that gardening is clearly a God-ordained work, but maybe i’m now realizing it’s not just because he made man to tend to plants in the beginning of time. maybe i’m now realizing that the process of gardening is a process that deepens my knowledge of God’s holiness and sovereignty over me and my little life.

in gardening i’ve found so much fulfillment as i’ve watched plants grow from miniscule seeds to tall and flourishing plants. i’ve walked in the coolness of the morning as the plants were wet with dew and found refreshment and renewed vision for the daily task of watering and weed pulling.

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but, as i’ve thought more about this sacredness of tending to a garden i’ve come to see that God can and does use this work in my life to meet needs aside from the physical. tending to a garden is a sacred privilege for me that comes with responsibility. privilege in that as i tend to the soil, as i watch the plants grow i get to be a part of something that has been around since the dawn of time. responsibility in that i cannot take for granted that God has me at a place in time where gardening is such a big part of my life and a true joy. privilege in that as i go through the process of working this hard work, i sense Him refining me and drawing me to His holiness.

as i’ve started things in little trays, as i’ve put seeds into the ground this year, i’ve felt not just joy and excitement. i’ve also felt sobered by the fact that i can do everything ‘right’ and by the books, but it is truly God who gives the increase. i don’t know what tomorrow may hold; the tornado season is just upon us and while i cannot live in fear of the unknown, i feel the weight of it. i’ll do all i can to ensure that the soil is well watered and fertilized, but i cannot control the bugs and the winds and the hail and the rains that may not come. but, as i tend to the earth and do my best to grow things, i will pray for God’s protection and increase, and trust Him in this sacred work.

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truly these things apply to all of life; none of our days or our purposes should be taken for granted. whether your purpose is office work, or gardening, child-rearing or caring for the elderly, construction or sewing, these things are all very important and purposeful…none being more sacred than another. the sacredness comes not from trying to spiritualize every second of every day, but instead from recognizing that all of these things, all of these purposes, they are all in fact sacred moments and meanings and we must trust Him to make us holy through the process.

what if we all pressed on to find the ‘sacred soil’ God is giving us to work…

~Rachel

 

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For Today…

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outside my window….

it is grey and blustery. the wind is coming from the north and it feels so very chilly. it’s not snowing though, so i’m fine with that.

i am thinking….

about my garden plans, chicks i’ve ordered, what to make for supper tonight.

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i am wondering….

how to be a good friend, how to make friends, how to maintain friendships. it’s funny how life changes the landscape of friendships as we grow older.

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i am thankful….

for my family. today as i sat on the chair with Kate on my lap, i squeezed her tight and told her this is my favorite. actually, sometimes i look at each one of my children and think that i could never pick a favorite child because they are ALL my favorites.

i am wearing….

white skirt, striped shirt and shoes. nothing fancy on this day of housework and bread baking.

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i am creating….

nothing really. i have a dress cut out, and no thread to sew it with. there are a number of projects we hope to get to soon, but for now, it’s just the normal work of housekeeping that occupies my days.

i am going….

to pick up the school children just soon.

i am reading….

Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. very intriguing read, in my opinion. and, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier. a dear friend just sent this to me yesterday in the mail, and i was so delighted to get it! i love sitting down and reading through cookbooks.

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i am learning….

that taking care of the earth we grow our food in is much more involved than a simple tilling and dropping seeds into the soil. being good stewards is not only limited to how we spend our money.

a favorite quote for today….

You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.

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happy Tuesday..

R

 

Miscellaneous Monday

this is what happens when you have too many things going on in a week.

i wrote the words below last Wednesday, and then life took over and i never got the chance to post it.

i said to my husband on Friday of last week that i am so glad most of my weeks and days are not like they were last week. i felt like i was going in 100 different directions on Friday and it was all good and great and i don’t regret any of it. but, truth be told, i don’t ENJOY the busy-ness of life when it’s too much. when i’m home only long enough to grab something and get right back out the door to the next thing. when i’m buzzing from one thing to the next and feeling like i barely give my best efforts to anything.

this week looks much more manageable in most respects and for that i am glad.

i guess the too-busy weeks help me appreciate the ones that tend to be more even keeled.

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i was supposed to be over at the children’s school this afternoon, but i’ve been coughing my head off today, and i’m pretty sure none of the school kids were going to learn anything from that, so i stayed home.

Kate is down for her nap, not sleeping yet, but in bed.

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the sun is shining so beautifully, and i would really love to be outside, but (see first paragraph about coughing my head off all day.)

i cleaned the boys room this morning. i certainly should have documented that occasion with a photo. but, no worries. i will surely be cleaning it again all too soon.

i baked three quiche this morning too. we all love quiche and it makes the best grab-and-go breakfasts for our before school mornings that are less than calm and serene.

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i ordered 16 boxes of tissues online and they came today. if i was going to hashtag that moment it would most definitely be #idespiserunningoutoftissues

the floor was just mopped and i’ve long been justifying my having to sit down in the living room by starting to mop the floor at the other side of the room and then i am forced to take a break. from the chair i’m sitting in, this is the exact view at the moment:

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i also ordered a new, 8 quart crock pot from Amazon and it came yesterday. it’s currently cooking two pork roasts for supper.

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and, a two random things that are speaking to me right now…

this song:

these words:

“Prayer is not an escape from responsibility; it is our response to God’s ability.”

//hope your week gets off to a great start and that you can enjoy whatever each day holds.//

R

 

 

 

growing and changing…

it seems like i say this all the time; ‘my kids are all just growing and changing so much these days!’

and, it’s so true.

our lives have been drastically redefined since we moved here to Kansas in March of 2014, and while i’m sporting a few more grey hairs and wrinkles than when we first came here, i think that my kids have had the most changes.

they’ve all made new friends, grown to love their family out here and they have just CHANGED.

i think about it when i look at each one of them, but in different ways.

with my oldest i especially think of what a great, great young man he is becoming.

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i know he’s going to tell the story of life pre and post Kansas differently than what i will, and i’m okay with that.  as i’ve seen him go through all these changes, it’s been hard to watch at times. hard because i couldn’t ‘fix’ it and the hard times were caused by the decisions his father and i have made.

he’s dealt with things in his own way and his own time.

he’s spent lots of time outside with his dog and his gun.

and, a few weeks ago, i decided i wanted to go out with him and get some pictures of him going about his favorite activity.

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he spends hours out in the pasture with his pellet gun and his dog.

he’s a great shot with that gun and his dog is quite loyal toward his loving master.

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it’s been so great to watch him become a ‘farm boy’. he has enthusiastically embraced the outdoors and the cowboy boots and hats and the bill caps and ripped up jeans.

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none of us wants to be one of those parents who are nonstop bragging and boasting about their kids, so it’s a fine line to talk about my kids in a gushing way….but, i look at this oldest son of mine and just feel so grateful that God put him in our family. i feel so glad that i get the chance to be his mom. i feel so grateful for the young man he is becoming and i pray every day that God will continue to lead and direct in his life so that he grows up to be a man after God’s heart. the thing about growing and changing is it’s not just a physical thing; i see God growing and changing my son and that, is the most exciting growth and change that a mom’s heart could ask for.

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♥~R

 

 

 

 

a little life here…

right now, there’s mac-n-cheese about to be done in the oven, the kids are watching a movie, and the husband is out hunting. the days are getting shorter and shorter. i’m looking forward to the time change on Sunday so that we get some earlier light in the mornings, but blah on the even shorter evenings. except that for real; i’m looking forward to the rest of the fall and winter and the chance to get some things done inside and enjoy homemaking with more purpose again.

our summer was full and went fast. i love every season, and more and more i enjoy all the different aspects of each seasons change. summer was full of work and more work, but it was also full of lots of time as a family here on our homestead. i wish i would have done a better job of blogging over the last months, but time seriously did not allow. i’ve thought time and time again that i’m going to blog, but there were just way too many other things taking precedence on a daily basis. i’ve kept up my instagram pretty faithfully and i do love that, but i’ve missed the chance to come here and dump photos and words. so, i’m starting to see that maybe blogging, just like being a better homemaker, is a seasonal thing for me in this stage of life. there’s just so many things constantly requiring attention and energy, and obviously, we all have to prioritize. getting to the place where i’m okay with having to prioritize in different ways is a learning process for me. if you bear with me, that’ll be great. 😉

over the summer months, there was so much work to do in the garden and with that came canning and putting food by. i still dream of having a summer kitchen in our little house out back, but for this summer, productivity carried on inside the farmhouse kitchen. it is certainly a lot of work to can, but it is so rewarding to me. and, to know where our food comes from, and what is in it; love that.

last week we dug the sweet potatoes, and that wrapped up the garden for the summer of 2015. i expect i’ll be taking sweet potato souffle to every carry-in at church from now til the next decade. well, maybe not quite that long, but it was a good crop and although not all the little people in this house enjoy them as much as Tim and i do, i’ll keep fixing them and hoping for the best.

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Tim’s parents came for a visit earlier this month and it was great to see them again. we did a little sight-seeing with them and tried to show them a good time here in our world.

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my kids; they have been growing like weeds. i guess it’s all the fresh air and outside play and non-stop eating of everything in sight.

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time has past by here this evening and, the mac-n-cheese was delicious, the dishes are done and hopefully the husband will be home soon from his hunt.

til next time…

Rachel

 

 

hashtag: follow Friday…

so, i’m going to piggy-back off of Instagram today and do a #followfriday.

instagram is, hands down, my favorite social media outlet.

it’s a place where i can land my phone pictures that capture quick and or meaningful moments from my days.

it’s a place where i can follow others on adventures i will never get the chance to have and in my seeing the world through their eyes, i feel inspired to better capture the little world i live in now.

it’s a place where i can get ideas for anything from home and gardening, to travel and sightseeing, and so very much more.

it can be tricky though too, just like any social media outlet.

in those little square frames where i am free to like or comment, i have to realize i’m seeing only a small frame of what may be a completely different reality.

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(^^our cherry trees yielded well this year and thanks to a friend loaning me their cherry stoner, we made quick work of several gallon for the freezer.)

for me, when i don’t like something or don’t have anything to say, i walk away.

and, that’s how i treat instagram.

my real life has enough real life drama that i don’t feel the need to enter into more drama through social media in any way shape or form.

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sure, there are things i see there that bother me, but it’s not my reality and it’s not my place to enter in and try to rectify a wrong i’m not (in real life) a part of.

so, these are just a few of the things i like about instagram style of social media.

it works for me.

and, i really didn’t intend for this to be a rant about instagram, but there you have it nonetheless.

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(^^new potatoes from the garden for supper the other night. YUM!)

back to #followfriday.

when i first entered the blogging world some 8 years ago, i spent more time reading other blogs than i do now.

i still have a small handful that i really love and those i am going to share here today.

(i will say right off the bat, that i do not completely agree with some of these bloggers and or their ways of life, and that is mine and your free choice(s). my likes and dislikes for these spaces are obviously based on what i see thru images and words framed and filtered for social media and i am well aware these are not the whole of their reality. just like there is much more going on in my life than what i post here, i am sure the same can be said for these.)

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Kelle Hampton is still one of my most favorite bloggers.

i love how she captures moments, how she writes with a wide range of emotions, and how she has stayed the course with her blog and continued to be the blogger i first followed several years back.

her photos are, as she put it, ‘organic’.

i love that about her blog space; photos that are not perfect, and more importantly, not photo-shopped beyond reality.

of course it’s small frames and maybe not all of her reality, but i’m not going to keep giving that disclaimer.

you know what i mean.

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Grace Lee Cottage is a space i enjoy for home inspiration and DIY ideas galore.

 

to me, seeing her transform her kitchen space especially with easy, cost-effective steps is inspirational.

beings we are in that state of DIY here in our old farmhouse, blogs like hers are a breath of fresh air.

the post on her kitchen counter top paint job gives me hope for our nasty white counter tops to someday have a new life. 😉

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Yan Palmer.

i follow her instagram feed and sometimes i’m like ‘nah, that’s not going to cut it’ and then other times, most times, i just get a kick out of her work.

her blog is sporadically updated and she’s into film images, but i just like how she captures the everyday, the unstaged and the (sometimes) ugly truth.

her words are sometimes shallow and sometimes deep.

i think you either like her style or you don’t.

for now, i like it.

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now, for Elizabeth Marie, i can say that i have met her and her reality and it’s the real deal.

she has the cutest family, the most doting husband, and she herself is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

if only the distance were not so great between her state and mine, i am just sure we would do a lot of things with her and her family.

one time they came to visit us when we lived in Pennsylvania, and my husband and i often talk about that weekend and how much we all loved them.

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(^^if it looks like i have chickens everywhere, it’s because, well…i do. )

i’ve met other bloggers in real life that i could also endorse as being the real deal.

this old world is actually not just full of people that are not what they say they are.

there are some, yes, but as my brother in law once put it to me, ‘there’s actually a lot of good people out there.’

and, with these words, i am going to wrap it up.

i hear the kids waking up and tromping downstairs and within moments, i am going to be hit with a barrage of ‘what’s for breakfast?’ and truth be told, we’re getting company for the weekend, so i need to get back to the old list of things to do.

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have a lovely weekend, friends!

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♥~R

 

 

 

 

 

 

miscellaneous Monday…

the puppy that is Joice, and how much she is loved by all…

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if you follow me on instagram, you might recognize my hashtag Kate takes anything she can…

she is a little squirt.

and then some.

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Brent’s bunnies…

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a few weeks ago when these two were traipsing out to play…

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fog on the farm…

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trying to get everyone to look my way, AND smile, AND open their eyes…

ha ha.

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in two weeks he is going to be 6.

6????

slow down time, slow down.

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i’m realizing that this one is the most cooperative when it comes to taking the kids pictures.

well, sort of.

she’s at least the slowest to get away from me.

i’ll take what i can…

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this boy of ours does like basketball. and, cowboy boots. it’s high time i find him another pair of boots, don’t you think?

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Brent is working hard on his kindergarten work…

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littlest sister doesn’t like to be left out. of anything.

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this girl….she’s not a mushy-gushy kind of person. but, when she says something, you know she means it.

unbeknownst to me, she was making me a card in this picture.

i will treasure it forever.

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and, that’ll do it for today.

the kids are back to school after having last week off.

we’re all in ‘get back to routine’ mode today.

have a great Monday!

love,

R