Oh No You Never Let Go!!!

As I sat this morning having my quiet time with the Lord, I looked out over the small treasure of nature on just my 2 acres.  I sat in awe as I watched the birds fly about and the bees go from wild flower to wild flower.  Looking at my chickens, and my potted garden and compost.  I just began to speak to the Lord what was welling up within my heart. 
Thanking Him that in all these months and years He has allowed me to stumble, doubt, mistrust, but He has never let me go.  Then John 10:27-29 came to mind. 

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall ANYONE snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and NO ONE IS ABLE to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  (emphasis mine)

I’ve had some rough months and years, but when I look back, not once in the last 7 years have I totally walked away from Him.  I’ve slipped and fallen away from prayer, reading, etc, but never once to the point of not believing.  If He were a man, He would have let me go a long time ago, much as my husband has, but My God is not a man that He should lie.  He said it in His Word and has held true to His Word, even when I did not!!!! I am His and He is mine!

How Deep the Father’s Love For ME (Us)!!!!  Those were the next words the leaped to my heart and mind and I looked the video up on YouTube and the words resonated within my spirit.  You Never Let Go were the next words to swell within my heart and I looked that video up on YouTube as well.  Through the calm and through the storm, He never let go of me! 

My God is a good God!  A loving God!  He is my biggest and greatest cheerleader and I’m His biggest fan!  Me, a wretch, so unworthy of Him and His love and yet, He emphatically sees to it that I know He loves me.  Who could NOT love a God like Him!!!  And to think, He’s the only one like Him!!!!  

He is so totally amazing and I am privileged to be called His!  I can only imagine the huge grin on His face as I sit here with this huge grin on my own face!!!  I have a Father who loves me even when I am wretched. 


I Couldn't Stand It, I had to Do Something...

I went to a friends house on Sunday after work and we worked in her garden most of the remainder of the afternoon.  The boys added chicken wire to her fence to keep her baby chicks within the safety area (2 of them had already become snacks for the dogs) and the women all worked at planting tomatoes and peppers.  She says we are welcome to the harvest, but there are some items I just won’t be able to bring myself to eat because she has used railroad ties as her raised beds.  There are other areas that she has used bricks and I will be able to partake of the harvest from those areas. 
Anyway, it gave me the gardening itch.  I have not successfully planted a garden in the last 2 years.  In 2010 I tried the square foot garden and it just didn’t work out with the type of soil I had delivered and I gave up rather quickly.  Then in 2011, the heat was so unbearable and record breaking hot, that though a few things started growing, they quickly died!!!!
Our lawn mower is in the shop and it may be a while before it’s ready...before I can pay for the repairs.  So the grass is like knee high and I couldn’t find anyone to till the entire yard for me to let the grass start over and to fill the holes and make everything even again.  So, I just looked out with sadness because I couldn’t garden. 

But then, I began to pray!!!!

Don’t you know God cares about the things that are on your heart?!  Even things you think are minuscule and unimportant.  His Word says....casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

We all go through moments where we think God only cares and wants to hear about the big things in our lives that we cannot handle on our own, but surely He wants us to handle the little things we can do for ourselves.  However, that is NOT true and contrary to what His Word says.  We are to bring all things to Him in prayer and supplication.

So I did!!!

And Wham, He began to give me ideas and such rather quickly.  My mother had lots of pots.  I quit buying them and gave her all of mine when we moved out here on the land.  I figured with all of this land, there would never be another reason for me to need flower pots.  However, she saw things differently and continued to grow things in the ground and in pots!  My sister told me she would never use the pots and that I could have them and so God began to show me visions of food growing from pots and the one, lonely, broken, wheelbarrow I had.  I was able to purchase  2 bags of top soil, 2 bags of manure, and 1 bag of peat moss and I filled everything I had (thought I had...I discovered about 5 more pots on the side of the shed).  Then I began to plant...7 asparagus roots, 6 tomato plants, and some basil, zucchini, and cucumber seeds.  I hope to get some green beans and watermelon seeds soon.  Let me tell you, I had the most fun playing in the dirt and getting my hands dirty.  Then I began to look out and remind God of the greater vision He gave me.  I can literally see it before me, but it will take the better part of 1 - 1 1/2 years for it to be what I see in my minds eye. 
How could I even start with no money?  He said “start with what you have”!!

Hmmmm, start with what I have?  What do I have?  I have chickens...which we are no longer eating the eggs or meat of.  My son asked could he sell the eggs and I said sure.  He’d need more hens though to make any kind of real profit and to be able to buy their feed.  How will we get more hens Lord when everyone is charging $10 and up for them.  And then one of our hens went broody....first time ever!!!  Then a second hen went broody on us....again, first time ever!!!  I have another one that is getting broody, but she has no eggs to set on, so we are hoping she’ll lay soon and set on a few!  Ok Lord, that will take care of the more hens issue, but they won’t start laying for 4 months after they hatch.  Still NOT an issue, it’s an increase and a blessing!!! 

My dream is to literally cover these 2 acres with a new home, a pool, fruit trees and hundreds of raised garden beds...leaving VERY LITTLE grass to be mowed, thus no need for the riding mower, my son can use it strictly for cutting others lawns and making an income for himself.  I hope to be able to donate to our local food pantry and women’s shelter, and begin a Pick Your Own business, not to mention the harvest I will have for my own household!  I don’t want to have to go to the grocery store for much at all!!! 

Ok, so we moved a little shed that was sitting on the side of our house and not being utilized, into the chicken yard.  It was hard work, but so well worth it in the end.  I plan to purchase nesting boxes in the future that will hold 12 hens, but it also comes with roosting poles for the remainder that aren’t setting on eggs.  Well, if I’m going to be doing raised garden beds and trying to do it all natural, I need compost.  Hmmm, it takes a long time to compost chicken poop.  But rabbit poop is ready to use immediately.  Hmmm, my friend just had two rabbits to have babies.  Wondered if she’d let me have a boy from one and a girl from the other, that way they can breed later and we can have lots of rabbit poop for composting and gardening!!!!  I asked, she said YES!!!!!  They’ll be weened in about 4 weeks! 

Ok, Lord, we’ve got the chickens situated, we’ve got chicken poop.  Now we need a rabbit hutch and a compost bin.  Lord I don’t have money for wood to build anything....Show me Lord, You gave the vision, show me!

I look out my back door and my eyes fall on an old small chicken coop my husband built when we had chicks.  I say small but it’s about 4 ft high and 8 ft long.  This would make a perfect starter compost bin.  One side for chicken poop and other compost stuff the other side for rabbit poop and compost stuff.  Hmmmmm, I need pallets to make a third bin for finished compost that is ready to use.  My friend has that too....I can have them!!!!
WOW Lord!!! You are really working this out.

Ok, back to rabbit hutch, what will I do for that?  I went to bed and literally woke up the next morning with another vision.  I have peg boards in my shed that someone gave to us.  At the time I had no clue what to do with them, but now I visualize a rabbit hutch and for my son a hamster hutch....ahhhhh we can use hamster poop in compost too with the rabbit poop!!!  I began drawing!  I can’t draw, but I drew a perfect rabbit hutch.  Then I began to write down all that I would still have to buy and God began to show me things to use instead of what I had written down and it all came out to be much cheaper!!!  In the end when I am finally done, the rabbit hutch will cost me all of $25, for chicken wire, hinges for the doors, and cable ties.  That’s it.  These same supplies my son can use on his hamster cage!  Now how awesome is that?????

Ok, so rabbit hutch figured out...check
           hamster cage figured out...check
           compost bins figured out...check
           chickens set up...check
           garden started...check
           wait a minute, I’m going to need a trellis for my cucumbers and zucchini and         soon green beans...Ahhhhhhh I’ve got old posts that can be used and pieces of fencing that can be attached to posts and put in pots with veggies and they can grow up the trellis.  YAYYYY  but wait, this may get too top heavy and fall over.  Fill 4 pots with the bottoms of the posts and cement and then elevate them on cinder blocks right in front of the living room window.  Train plants to grow up it, the vines will cover the fencing, the cement will keep things anchored and they won’t topple over, and the covered trellis will shade the window from the late afternoon sun and keep the room a bit cooler!!!!  I’ll lose my beautiful view for the summer, but it’ll be much cooler in the house and I’ll get my view back in the fall.

Can’t wait to see what else the Lord will do, but whatever it is, you can best believe it will be GREAT, AWESOME, MARVELOUS....and PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Container Gardening

I live on 2 beautiful acres and love to get my hands dirty gardening.  However, this year, the 2 acres is over grown with weeds and grass about 2 feet high right now and the lawnmower is broke.  Prayerfully it will be fixed soon!!!  I don't have the finances to purchase and build my square foot garden beds this year, so I opted for something I never thought I would need on 2 acres of land.  I'm growing a few things in pots and a wheelbarrow.

I was literally sick to my stomach seeing all the gardens in our area and a few friends have gardens as well.  I've garden almost every year we've been in the country, so when I'm unable to, it just doesn't feel right to me.  So, we had  a wheelbarrow that was wheel-less and I filled it with some good soil, also inherited my mother's pots and filled them with soil.  Then I began planting.  At the moment, I have 8 tomato plants and will need about 2 more.  We love tomatoes!  I've planted 7 asparagus plants that I got from a friend.  I also planted some onions and basil.  I've got to meet up with my friend again to get some of her mint clippings.  I planted basil with some of the tomatoes and will plant the mint with the other tomatoes.  They both help keep certain pests away from the tomatoes. 

I'm so excited over the little I was able to do.  I made a mini green house with a casserole dish and a plastic shower cap and planted some seeds I had...zucchini, cucumbers, and peppers.  Hopefully they will do well and I can get them in pots.  I will have all the ingredients at least for some awesome salsa!!!

I remember all the years we lived in apartments and all the plants I had growing in pots EVERYWHERE..inside and outside.  I had my house plants inside and I had pots of various vegetables growing outside.  I had the most fun and it was so delicious to be able to go outside and pick the fresh veggies from our front and back porch or balcony.  One year we bought the kids a small plastic kiddie pool and put it out front for them.  I got the grand idea to get another one and put holes in the bottom for drainage and filled it with soil on our back porch.  I grew tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, onions, and peppers.  I never let the fact that we were in small spaces stop me from growing some of our food.  It was fun!  It was delicious!  It was preparation for the 2 acres.  I just never thought I'd have to do it again, but I'm grateful that I know how. 

Hmmmmm, speaking of which, I think I just may go get one of those small pools and do a repeat!!!! 

So do you have a garden this year?  Have I inspired you to plant some things in pots? 



Health Journey

At the beginning of April, my sister gifted me with a month membership at our local gym.  I had also begun the vegan journey as well.  I've worked out consistently only missing a few days here and there.  As of today, I am down from 220 lbs to 191 lbs.  I can't tell you how excited I am about that.  Sadly my membership ends Sunday, but I won't let that stop me on this journey of getting healthy and fit.  I'm doing it for my health and well being, not for the slimming factor...that's just a bonus!!!

So now I am looking into extending this journey by adding juicing and raw.  I don't think I ever want to be 100% raw, but I am considering raw as a large portion.  Right now my daily routine is a green smoothie for breakfast, a snack if I want it, which I haven't.  I have actually had to force myself to eat lunch because I'm just not hungry.  I usually just force myself to drink another green smoothie. and then dinner (which is vegan).

The change I'm considering is green smoothies for breakfast every other day, juicing on those off days, and continue my green smoothie for lunch or a raw lunch and then a cooked meal for supper.  I'm thinking that I will kick start this regime with a 3 day juice fast and clear my system out and then add back in the smoothies for 3 days and then add in raw for 3 days and then introduce myself back into that one cooked meal.  AGAIN, this is not for weight loss, though that is the perk.  I simply want to lower my blood pressure, cholesterol, and get my body to the best optimal health that I can. 

I love that I'm losing weight and my ideal goal is to be 145 lbs.  But I won't do the weight loss and sacrifice my health.  Health first, weight loss second!!!!

I'll try to post a before picture and a current picture soon!



Country Living ...

My son is a lot like me and hates to wear shoes. However , he ran in today with panic in his voice and fear in his eyes. He'd stepped on a scorpion and had been stung.  After being reassured that it wasn't poisonous and he would indeed live, he was good to go. He took a motrin and went on about his day barefoot of course. 

We cleaned out our shed last week and spotted what we now know to be a water moccasin.  My son shot at it but missed, the gun jammed and got away!!

Also after cutting the yard, we discovered the nest of cottontail rabbits.  There were 3 babies, but we were only able to grab 2 and later released them back into the wild.

Yep, country life. I'd trade those two yucky critters any day.

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