"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

December 18, 2014


This is what came to me this morning as I read from Isaiah.


Listen to this, my heart within.  Pay attention to these words that you are reading.


“Listen!  It’s the voice of someone shouting,

‘Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord!

Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!

Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills.

Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places.

Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.

The Lord has spoken’!”  ~Isaiah 40: 3-5

Listen to those words, oh my heart!  Do you hear it?  Clear a way through the wild places.  Cut a straight pathway to God so He can come dwell in you!  You’ve built up this wasteland with your wandering and discontent.  Now turn, repent of your foolishness!  Clear a path for the coming King of glory!  He will come to you!  He will be Emmanuel!


O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops!

Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.

Shout, and do not be afraid.

Tell the towns of Judah,

‘Your God is coming!’

Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.

He will rule with a powerful arm.

See, He brings His reward with Him as He comes.

He will feed His flock like a shepherd.

He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart.

He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”  ~Isaiah 40: 9-11

Oh wandering heart, there is no need to strive and struggle.  He will pull you from the tangle of your wilderness and hold you in His strong, gentle arms next to His heart.  Do not be afraid!  He will feed your need for love and acceptance.  His coming will be your reward!  Trust.  Rest in Him.  Rest.  He is coming.


“O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?

O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

Have you never heard?  Have you never understood?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.

No one can measure the depths of His understanding.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

They will walk and not faint.”  ~Isaiah 40: 27-31

December 1, 2014

Brain block

Every time that I try to write on my blog, I get this mental block.  My fingers feel heavy and my brain is sleepy and foggy as I type this.

I have an idea of something to write about, and then when I sit down to write, it's gone.  I'm not sure what that means.  I have been writing more like I said I would in my last post, just not on here.

The changing seasons always confuse me a bit.  I'm not even sure what this season is that I'm in right now.  Obviously, it's getting toward winter outside, but inside me, I don't know.

Last year, I had this word of waiting, and anticipation, and expectation swirling around.  And then the beginning of this year, I was focusing on gratitude.  But right now??  I don't feel like I have any words.  At least none for this space.

But you never know, that could change tomorrow.  Starting again is always the hardest part for me.

October 5, 2014

Making space

Writing is one of my passions.  Unfortunately, I've been neglecting it this year.  It's the thing that I do that makes me feel closest to God.  I've been using my loss of the use of our laptop as an excuse to not keep up my blog.  The truth is, I can write anywhere and on whatever instrument I have (I've actually taken to carrying a notebook around at all times, but I forget to use it often).   I don't always need to add photos to my posts, although I love to because I love to take photos.  Short and simple is often better.

I so wanted to participate in the 31 day blogging challenge again this October, but I felt like I ran out of time with Josiah's sister, Kristen, getting married right at the end of September.  And since I'm such a last minute person these days I didn't start thinking about what I wanted to write about until 2 days after the wedding (I was so exhausted to think about much the day after), which was the last day in September.  So instead of rushing it and feeling trapped into writing something that I haven't thought through thoroughly (how do you like that alliteration 😊 ) I just want to focus on writing again.  I do have things to say, I just need to make space in my days and weeks to sit down and put something on the computer.  And I need to do more of what I love and what makes me feel closer to God.

So, here we go, challenge accepted... making some space in my life to write again.

July 14, 2014

Made To Thrive

Writing again.  It feels good.  I always say I need to write more, I need to take the time even when I'm busy.

But life these past few months has had a way of pulling me away from the things I love and pushing me to just do what I need to do.  Even my computer has been keeping me from writing.  It works occasionally, then one day it won't start up correctly, or it will just close the window I was working in randomly without notice.  Too much hassle.

Anyway, life has been busy.  We are about to start something new today on the dairy (at least, I hope it's today, it has gotten pushed back so many times!).  The cows and workers are going to have a lot to adjust to, and it will be a challenge.  But we are ready for this next step, we've been ready for quite a while. 

I'm in no way complaining about how things were the past 5-7 years.  We've learned a lot, and while I wouldn't want to relive those 5 years (for me it's been 5, for others it has been 7 years), I don't think I would have changed a whole lot.  I've seen growth in my life that wouldn't have happened if life would have been all smooth sailing and comfortable.

When you go through a hard time, you have a choice to make.

Let the trial shape you and learn the lesson God is teaching you the first time.

Or struggle against the change.  Fight, deny, run away from anything that is hard and disrupts the comfort of the mask that I'm wearing.  Instead of learning to be the person God created me to be, accepting the weakness and imperfections, I would learn nothing and stay in a self-created wilderness.  Tossed by any wave of difficulty and never finding what I really need.

If I had a theme song right now in life it would be this one by Casting Crowns:


I had a dream last night that I remembered (I don't usually).  I was somewhere, probably with family, and I had been playing my guitar, but I put it back in the case to go eat or something.  When I came back to it and opened the case, I discovered a completely different guitar.  Someone had come to "fix" mine (it has a rattle/buzz sometimes) and left one of their guitars in it's place.  Now this guitar was a much nicer and more expensive brand than mine and I'm sure it worked beautifully for the person who owned it, but in my hands the frets were much too small for more than one finger and it was broken off 3 frets down from the top and tied on.  It still played (that was a miracle itself), but I could do nothing with it.  Then the person brought my guitar back and said he had found nothing to fix on it and it played beautifully!  He asked me what kind of strings I had on it, and I told him, "the ones it came with."  He was amazed and said that had to be a miracle.  And that is all that I remember.

So as I was thinking about my dream this morning, I realized it applies to more than my guitar.

I don't need a better brand/ more expensive instrument to be a better guitar player.  I just need to use and practice the one that I've already been given.

I don't need to imagine a better life or a more ideal me, I just need to learn to live the life that I have and be the person I have been created to be.  Then I will not just be struggling to survive, I will be thriving.

July 11, 2014

Cow Appreciation Day!

Happy Cow Appreciation Day!!!!  I love cows!

Coming soon....

May 19, 2014

My expectations vs. Farm life

I just have to laugh at my expectations vs. the reality of farm life sometimes.

Phone call from Josiah- "Can you come out to the shop and hold something for me."

Me- "Sure."  What I think that means is hold something in place for about 10 minutes max. then be free to go finish what I had been doing.


One and a half hours later, I find myself perched on top of a fertilizer tank holding a giant hose wearing gloves and safety goggles (working on my tan I guess), mixing up the contents of the tank, thinking about how funny the situation was.  Not a hard job, but I should ask for more specifics next time.  What Josiah asks and what I expect are not at all the same sometimes.


In other news, we started planting our corn today!  And I am an aunt, about a month earlier than expected, but everyone is doing well and everyone is super excited!

May 12, 2014

Busy spring

Well, it's been a while, again.  I've been having some technical difficulties along with a busy life in general. 

The laptop is "my" computer to write on and it has a lifetime worth of photos on it, so that is my blogging computer.  But it decided that it no longer wants to work correctly.  Which is so frustrating that I just have to walk away from it.  So, I'm not sure what's going to happen with that thing.

Some things in life that have happened since I last wrote, which was February 21, wow that long ago!  Crazy! 
-I caught up to Josiah again, we are the same age for about nine months every year. 
-Somebody special got engaged!  One of Josiah's sisters (Kristen) will be getting married in September!
-I started doing something completely insane!  I started doing the Insanity workouts (seriously, some days I just want to lay on the floor after these workouts.  They are as crazy as their title).
-I went to Orange County, CA for a Brave: Love meeting.  It was super great!  We talked about Deborah (Judges 4-5) and I had a great time with Charise (Josiah's other sister) both in CA and then back in St. Louis where she is in med. school.
-The view from the North-facing windows of our house have changed dramatically.  We've had a lot of construction happening around the dairy these past few months.  I'll have to go out and take pictures some time of everything.  We also chopped down some trees.
-We had a baby shower for my sister.  She's due in a couple months and I am excited (/terrified) to be an aunt for the very first time!
-The rye harvest is complete.  Now it's time to plant the corn!

That's all I can think of for now.  Hopefully, I'll write again soon and have pics to go along.

February 21, 2014


Sometimes life can feel like this:

One giant fog.  Rolling in, covering everything in that same white-grayness.  Of course, it also doesn't help that the ground is already white with snow.  Dampening the ground and your mood.

All I can say is, I don't understand.  I can't see through this fog.  But God can.  He will lead one step at a time through.

And a song keeps rolling through my head, more clear than any fog.

"All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all."

January 23, 2014

Good Memories & Gratitude

This morning brought me to an unexpected joy in a chore that I usually take for granted.

I realized that I love to wash the dishes by hand (I am still thankful for my dishwasher though)!  I can look out the window in front of me and watch the bustle of farm life and pray and sing and it is so much fun!

This morning I was blessed to see the beautiful synchronization that can take place with any good team.  Josiah on the scraping tractor, Jeremy in the skid-steer, Grandpa on the tractor hauling out the frozen manure and snow from the open barnyard.  Everyone doing their part to clean up after Tuesday's snow.  It was a beautiful picture.  I was thankful to have such a view and be reminded of the wonderful people who work here on the farm.  Unity is always a lovely picture.

And it also takes me back to my days working in the kitchen at Black Rock, washing multitudes of dishes in the sink, only to take them back to run through the industrial dishwasher.  Those were the good old days!  I do miss that sometimes.  But I never had as good of a view when I washed dishes as I do now.  Every one should have a good view while washing the dishes.

And the warm water with all those bubbles, it's refreshing and cozy on a cold day.   The bubbles remind me of bubble fights I had with my roommates at college.  Where we would end up on the floor laughing so hard.

Thank you Lord for good memories and gratitude today.

January 14, 2014


Josiah and I went to see the second part of The Hobbit movie the other evening.

First, Josiah fell asleep.  This is normal, and he saw all but the last half hour maybe.  So he didn't miss the whole thing.

Secondly, the book is much better.  If only they had stuck to the book, but I guess they thought the book wasn't dramatic enough and Smaug needed more lines (among other characters who monopolize the attention away from the true main character, Bilbo Baggins).  And why do the dwarves look so goofy?  Gimli never looked that goofy in the Lord Of The Rings movies.  And really, who would ever believe a love story between a dwarf and an elf?  It would never work, now move on to the real story.

And finally, I don't really enjoy watching movies all that much anymore.  They leave me dissatisfied.  It's what they're meant to do.  Leave you hanging by an emotional thread, wanting more so that you come back for the next one in the series, the same goes for a televisions series.

Leaving you dissatisfied with your life, wanting more adventure, more fun, more freedom, more happiness.  Always wanting more.  More than my busy schedule and tired eyes, more than my messy house, more than my average intelligence and common sense could ever leave me with.  Life in the movies always works out, right (It makes me wonder if the final Hobbit movie will follow the book in who dies and who lives in the end?)?

Casting shadows of discontent over my plain, often unglamorous life.  Creating discontent and ingratitude.  Pulling my eyes and heart down into myself.  The places where I can't see all the little miracles and gifts.

I'm reading another Ann Voskamp book this year, One Thousand Gifts.  Also, at the beginning of this year, I've started counting my 1000 gifts for her Joy Dare in a lovely journal that I put pictures on the front of (such a fun project!).  So far I am finding it easy to find 3 things each day to be grateful for, and some days I don't want to stop, I want to write 10 things down not just 3!

But still, my discontent peeks through.  Whenever my plan for the day gets pushed aside for something more pressing.  Whenever I am interrupted while writing or reading.  Whenever I am forced to be in a rush to go somewhere.  Whenever the weather turns cold and white and impedes travel.  Then you will see the grumpy, dissatisfied me.  The selfishness in me.  The things I don't want to be.

And so I keep counting all these every day gifts that God has put right in front of me.

I will learn this, it may take my whole life but I will continue to learn it afresh every day.

January 3, 2014


These are the hard days.  When things don't go as you plan.

It snows and makes the world beautiful, but also makes more work and harder travel.  When a night of unexpected work follows a full day, still fighting that nagging cold.

I found myself grumpy, not even wanting any sympathy, but wanting to wallow in my own frustration.

And of course, that's when that one word popped into my head.  God reminding me that this one word brings perspective.

Gratitude.  How do I be grateful, when I feel so ungracious?  How do I surround myself with this word that contains joy and grace, when I can't make myself feel joyful?

I remind myself that I have a place to work and live.  That I am grateful to be able to steward this land, for this season that God has allowed.  I remember my gratitude for the cows.  So many of them I would call friends (it may sound weird to you, but it's true).  And they provide us with milk, which makes so many wonderful things (like chocolate and ice cream, 2 of my favorites).  And I know that I am grateful that I am able to fill in for many of the jobs on the farm so that Josiah gets some sleep.

So far, bringing this word to mind, has helped me change my perspective in a somewhat frustrating situation.  It helped me focus on the positive things that I am thankful for.  And from that I was reminded to pray for and into the situations that I am finding difficult.  Trusting that out of gratitude, a miracle will come.

January 2, 2014

My Word for 2014

I have decided on my word.  For a while there I was wrestling between 2 words.  One exciting and something that I want to live into more, the other one, not as exciting and more taken for granted.

It's an everyday thing that I don't do as much as I would like to think.  I forget, I grow discontent.

This year, the word that I want to live into, to surround myself with, to live by and focus on every day; that one word is: gratitude.