"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

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.