New Pages

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After dwadling for much too long, I have at last added the pages about my writing to my blog.

Please check out the new pages on the tabs at the top of the page; As a Pencil and The Purpose.

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!

The Lord Jesus bless!

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May

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14

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I’m sorry I haven’t kept up with my blog as I really should have. Things have been busy round here – not so much in events, as in my mind and in atmosphere.

I’ve also been writing a lot – and when that happens every other writing requirement seems to go to the wind…whether it be diary, blog, or letters!

We have a new job starting up next week as well, so unless i find time to do mobile blogging I doubt I’ll be able to scribble much here then.

Before our job however, our week begins with a trip to NC for a relative’s surgery. We’re praying very much for Randy and his family through this time and that we may be a blessing in going and staying with them through the operation. We’ll be seeing many other family members as well, so even under the sad circumstances, we’ll have a chance to catch up here and there.

But I still mean to write.

My story, that is. 🙂

There’s only a couple things I wanted to share with you that have gone on of late. Mostly around the goat barn.

I wrote the following on the first of May, but I’ve decided to share it now – as its not something I want to leave out!!

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May,  the fifth month of the year, and the first month ever since March 15th 2009 that Princess Tender has not lived here on Goshen’s Plenty Dairy.

April 30th, a very nice older gentleman came and bought her – quite unexpectedly! – and she went to live at a new home to provide milk for another family.

We weren’t quite planning to sell her just yet – I guess we’re holding on to our girls. 🙂 We had planned to sell her sister, Joy, who has a dangerous horn and has been spearing the kids and causing us to be anxious for them. But the Lord knows best and we do plan to sell all the unregistered does – with the exception of Rosie – so we have to make a start I guess.

So, May begins with one less familiar face in the barnyard, but one more step towards achieving our goal; to have an all-registered herd of quality dairy goats.

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If all goes well, in an hour or so, these two little girls should be going to their new home too. As the beginning stock for a family herd.

I love to see people getting into goats – especially families with young children. I think its beautiful to see children growing up learning the ways of the land.

All did go well, thank the Lord, and Tot and Merciful (now named Mercy) went to their new home on May 1st, and through it the Lord led us together with a family that loves Him and seeks to serve Him, and a young woman (the Mama of that family) who has now become a dear friend of ours.

I think it is so beautiful how the Lord works, bringing His servants together at the times He knows are perfect.

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Well…I guess more has happened in May than I give the poor month credit for already! 🙂

Things are growing like crazy (you should see our hay field!), we sold two dear little goaties, Princess went to a new home on the last of April, we made new friends in Jesus, and Enslaved to Freedom is going on 200,000 words and (as of this morning) hit 300 pages. ( I don’t usually pay attention to page numbers, as the finished, published product will not be the same size (8.5×11″) but 300 is a nice number to notice, I think! And I thank Jesus for bringing it along this far!)

I have so been wanting to share with you about Sullivan’s story (but honestly have slipped into that…maybe they don’t want to read it?…mode again and have been putting it off…..) So many things are truly happening though, at sea again in Part Four (did I mention Part Three was finished – thank Jesus!).

That I will have to save for another day, though.

Oh! But one thing about writing.

As an attempt….what of I don’t know…I started a short story ‘series’ (actually chapters from a bigger book) that I’ve put up for sale on Etsy (VERY self published, I’d say). Anyways, the first installment is very small and there probably will only be a few more (longer, I promise!) ones following it before they are all strung together and put in a book for sale via Amazon.

But that’ll be in the future. For now, I’m sharing these sections (as I write them!) for sale as PDF downloads on Etsy for $0.99

The story’s title is Wilma and it is another pirate romance (but about a woman this time…. 🙂 )

If you’d like to check it out, here’s the link;  https://www.etsy.com/listing/150183341/christian-pirate-fiction-short-short?

Have a wonderful Lord’s Day everyone!!

Spring, some updates, and some ranting.

I’m always amazed by how spring rolls around.

Down here in the south, it doesn’t come so gradually. Everyday you can see things getting greener, more flowers opening – even sometimes you can see the difference between the morning and the evening if there’s been a good rain during the day!

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Within a few weeks, everything goes from brown and dead, to lively green and shades of pink and red and purple.

I love the spring – but it also opens up the year’s busiest season on the farm; gardens must be planted, the goats’ pens have to be mucked, pastures re-worked for the coming breeding season, buck pens built, bees tended to, honey harvested, hay cut (two or three times before the summer ends) and stored away, old hay sold or spread on the gardens, then once the veggies and fruits start coming in we have canning and preserving to do, besides all the milk to be processed, cheese and soaps made, and then all the dishes….

Dishes…dishes…dishes…..

Those never seem to have an end!

Besides this, we’re still working away from home.

Its been slowly of late, but we’re due to sign another contract on a large project this coming week (henceforth referred to as “High”), so we’ll be back to the old routine soon, Lordwilling – and then trying to fit in all our farm chores as well.

But still, all considered, I love the spring. 🙂 I love seeing everything come to life and I love working on our farm.

I haven’t been around my blogs lately – I suppose all this (and the fact that a cold’s been going round) gives a good enough reason for that.

757(My sister Carra, working on mucking out the lounging pen and covering our garden.)

During this break from blogging I’ve seriously been giving some thought on why I busted up my interests into two separate blogs.

I write two blogs, one for my life on the farm etc, and one for writing.

I had a very good reason to when I did it – and it sounded logical to me at the time, but the more I’ve struggled to keep both of these up the more I find that my blogging – like my life – is all mixed up together and stashed into one compartment.

When I write I am – confessedly – in another world, and do sometimes feel like another person, but my writing takes up a great part of my life – whether physically or not – and its all mixed up and confused in my farm life, work life, and family life.

I don’t really see where I found the reasoning behind moving it to another site.

Or…yes I do.

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I have a tendency to worry too much about what others think.

I try to tell myself I don’t – and in some situations I couldn’t care less what people think of me – but in others I’m just as vulnerable as the next person to a fear of rejection…or misunderstanding.

That’s why I moved my writing to a new site.

Because, by sharing my work and my love with my readers, I felt I was imposing on them.

I began this blog to document my life as a servant to the Lord Jesus – and everything that entailed; farming, working, music, everyday struggles, sewing, house-wifery…..the list goes on.

I had no intention of sharing my writing, per se, and for a long time I did not.

Here and there, I tried various ways of sharing, short stories, chapters from the stories I was working on, etc. but I always felt this sense of…heaviness? Is that the word?

I felt like people would not understand me, and that my posts on writing were more of an imposition than an asset.

So I moved them.

And now I feel like a person trying to live two lives – when really I am the girl who writes My Life in Him not the girl who struggles to write a literary blog like what Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver has become.

That’s not me. Not me at all. The posts are me, most of them, but I’m not a ‘literary’ type person.

I don’t read a lot, I can’t stand most fiction, I’ve never delved into many classics, and contemporary works simply leave me empty. I don’t write book reviews and I don’t like to teach. I have steadily disliked the way young writers try to teach other writers how to write; writing is something that you are born with, the Lord Jesus puts it there, and He’s the One Who must fashion it and bring it up – with much labor and work on the part of His instrument. I believe in sharing this journey – not teaching.

And of all things, I have ended up writing a couple of these ‘teachy’ sort of posts on Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver simply because I’m at a loss for something to write.

And that is just not me.

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Writing to me is living.

What I write in what I live – in another world, as another person. I believe in the things I write, I believe in the people the Lord gives me to write about, and I struggle through their lives and trials just as much as I struggle through my own in reality – it just all comes out on paper instead of being lived out day to day.

I fear others will not understand me, because I do love writing so much, so I bury it amongst the other things that enliven my world – our dairy, our wonderful goats, our farm, my family. I hide behind the part of me that wants to go and just lay down in the grass and let twenty baby goats jump all over me.

I don’t show people the part of me that wants to hide away in a closet with pen and paper and scribble in another world.

I probably will never show this part of me to people as much as I would like to.

I have never wanted to be an author, since I was just a tiny girl (five or six) the very word author summoned up the picture of an all-knowing, sophisticated, somewhat crazy type person with thin glasses, the perfect physic, and a very stuffy character.

I know this is quite a stero-typing, but this is what I thought, sitting in public school (before my parents took me out and homeschooled me) and listening to my teacher, Mrs. Bradly, tell us all about what author meant.

I guess she made it sound like authors were a special class of people – something worth noticing above everyone else – and that’s what turned me off.

I have never wanted to be an author – I still don’t.

I just write what the Lord gives me to write, and I hope one day that others will read it and be blessed by it in someway.

In the same light I don’t want to have a literary blog.

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I know over the years of keeping a blog I’ve proven quite….what’s the word….wish-washy?

I can’t make my mind up over a format, I keep changing the settings, swapping the name, making new blogs, now I’ve changed platforms, and now I’m merging my blogs together again.

That’s something else you’ll learn about me. 🙂 I am wishy-washy! My sister, Carra, will vouch for me – I change purses like I change my clothes, and I’m always looking for a better diary or notebook than the one I have. 🙂

But this time I think this change will be final. Writing is separate from my farm life – but its not – its separate from my work – but its not – its separate from my family life – but its not.

Would you believe I read my story on my Iphone while I milk in the mornings, or write scenes while we’re at work? And my family will be the first to tell you how ragged I run them talking about my story (I’m glad they can’t hear how much I think of it!)

I feel rejected in my work, I guess because I can’t talk about it like I would like to – because I’m afraid no one will understand, or because I think they’ll think I’m crazy!

But I’m tired of hiding.

do take my writing seriously. I trust the Lord Jesus for my stories and for my characters, but I do worry – all the time – about how scenes will turn out, if characters are consistent – if things are real.

And I’m tired of being something I’m not.

I’m tired of writing about the farm, or cooking, or work, when really all I want to do is scribble about my latest work in Enslaved to Freedom or share a new idea for a story to something that will listen – beyond the pages of my diary.

My writing is just as big a part of my life in Jesus as farming and work is – maybe even bigger! – and that’s why I’m bringing it back to My Life in Him.

Thankful Thursday

“Quicken me, O Lord, for Thy Name’s sake:

for Thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.”

Psalm 143:11

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This Thankful Thursday, I am thankful to my Lord Jesus for;

A herd of healthy goats numbering 31 head.

Fresh goats’ milk to drink and enjoy.

Homemade yogurt.

Spring coming – however slowly.

Warm coffee on cold mornings.

Work.

A truck to drive – even when the van goes out.

Scrapbooks.

My story.

Thoughts on my story, even if I’m unable to write at the moment.

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What are you thankful for today?

Monday Musings.

Musing over Monday…I find….

Im very tired this evening.
But I enjoyed the day very much.
I don’t stutter as bad as I thought.
The Lord Jesus CAN still give me stories out of the blue – and good ones too!
I DON’T like putting on doorknobs like I once thought I did.
Acts is a great blessing to read – or to listen to at work via IPhone.
I still love to write in my diary.
Mastitis CAN be treated in goats – thank Jesus!!
Tommy cat is a wanderer.
I still love candlelight.
Malty is a very quiet Nubian.
I prefer pen and paper over computer.
Taking a really hot bath with TOO much Peppermint oil in the water when you’re prone to heart palpitations is not a good idea.
And I love the smell of boiling cajeta.

May everyone’s sleep be sweet tonight, everyone’s day be beautiful (again, depending on hemisphere! 🙂 and everyone’s communion with our Lord be unhindered!

A Notice

I meant to do this a few days ago when I wrote it, but I somehow forgot!
(Isn’t that usual?)
I wrote a very personal-type post over on my writing blog, Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver.
Its called The Purpose, and as the title denotes, in it I visit my purpose for writing.
I have been wanting to share it for several weeks, but never got a chance of it. 
If you haven’t already, please stop by and read it!
You can do so here.
Also, today’s post on Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver is a scene taken directly from my story.
You can read it by clicking the “Home” page on the bar beneath the header.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks so much and everyone have a wonderful Saturday in Jesus!

Some Changes

Well, as you can see, I’ve made a few changes to my blog – again
I can’t seem to keep things the same…I change like…well, the weather! 🙂 
But seriously, the weather has been changing a lot lately.
Friday it was up in the 60’s, bright blue skies and sunshine, and then Saturday dark clouds hung
over the farm all day, cold rain turned to snow and by nightfall we had two to three inches all over the ground. 
Its been cold again today, but the sun was out so all our snow has melted away. 🙂
Our hay field and the drive down to the barn was covered in snow this morning. 
It was beautiful walking down and enjoying the bright orange sunrise. 
I love it when it snows – but down here, thank the Lord! 🙂 – it doesn’t stay too long.
Hmmm… I never knew I’d say that.

But anyways, on with the main purpose of this post. 
I have not been comfortable with the changes I made to my blog a few months back.
When I made those changes I was feeling a need to start more promotion for my 
story and writing; get the word out there more by blogging about it and linking to it from other sites.
The more I’ve gone on working with it however, trying to make it all fit, the more I 
continue to come up against this brick wall in my mind….
Its just not working. 
I can’t mix the two – my writing and my regular daily life – and expect to get the most out of both of them.
So….
This morning I sat down and opened a second blog.
One that takes the old name of this blog (allowing my previous title to take back its rightful place!)
and will be solely about my journey in writing, about what the Lord Jesus teaches me in,
about my stories themselves, and the characters in them. 
I’ll still be posting about my story here from time to time – writing is still a part of my daily life! –
but my new blog, Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver, will be the online home for 
all my writing ramblings. 
I have deleted a couple of pages from this blog, moving them (with a few changes) to their new home,
and written and introductory post. 
The site is still needing some work – a few more pages, widgets, etc. – but I think its 
safe to introduce to you all! 🙂
So, take a minute to pop over and visit my new writing blog Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver
follow it if you like it enough and want to stay up-to-date with Unlikely Lives and the story of Sullivan, 
and I’d really love it if you’d share the link with your book-loving or writerly friends! 
Thanks so much and the Lord Jesus bless you all 
this Sunday evening!

A Dream

Sullivan, a few years younger than when he begins to tell his story, may have looked a 
great deal like this. 
His life was not an easy one, from the very beginning – before the start of his tale – his days 
were by no means carefree or peaceful.
He began life poor and in the mid 18th century England this was next to death, particularly 
in the streets and shops of London where Sullivan spent his entire adolescence.
Like many a young man his age, he fought hard just to survive – his loyalties to his family 
were strong, his admiration of his Papa was almost idolatry, and the support and protection he was called upon to provide his mother and sister were seen as his life’s joy, not his life’s duties.
But changes happen in life.
They happen in everyone’s lives. 
And they happened in Sullivan’s life.
But instead of allowing these changes to grow and perfect him, he crumbled under them,
and soon found himself on a path that he had never imagined he would take. 
One of crime, theft, murder…and wealth.
A path which could have led to such a portrayal of him as we have above.
“Blast heaven,” I ground out the words, feeling as if my voice was trapped somewhere down inside of me. 

It was light out – too light out. The African sun was pouring into my room from those wide, clear glass windows; each pane was shined to perfection.
I closed my eyes…Abigail had already been in; those drapes were open – wide open.
My head was pounding.
I remembered.
I remembered. Last night.
Groaning aloud I drew my hands from under the thin coverlet that lay over me.
It wasn’t real.
I rubbed my burning eyes.
It wasn’t real. I thought through it all – it was so clouded, so foggy…the whole, awful scene – everything about it. It wasn’t real.
Thank God.
I tossed my bed clothes aside and almost fell out of bed onto the hard plank floor, “Blast,” I caught myself and caught my breath as well. Shaking my head, I looked down – at my waist coat, breeches, stockings….
“To bed with my clothes on,” I murmured, setting myself gingerly on the edge of my mattress and untying my cravat, “Fool.”
I tossed my coat and waistcoat off onto the floor and massaged my aching neck. That light was killing me.
“Willard!” I near choked when I saw him; the older man was seated in the Windsor next my dresser, his arms crossed against his chest, observing me, “Willard, man, what are you doing here?”
“Brought you to bed last night,” he grunted.
I brushed through my disheveled hair with my fingers, “I was wondering,” I shook my head, “What a night.”
My man only grunted again.
I drug myself up and shuffled to the table in the center of my apartment, “You just come in?” I looked over the breakfast tray Abigail had left for me.
“No,” Willard shook his head, “Been here all night.”
I looked at him, rather surprised.
He only shrugged, “Figured I’d better on account of that fever.”
I waved that thought off, “I’m well, Willard – no relapse for me,” I shook my head, “I’m quite well. Thank you for thinking of me, though you didn’t have to sit up all night with me.”
“Yes I did.”
I glanced at him, “Alright,” I nodded, “You did.”
He was silent and I turned back to my breakfast with a slight sigh, “Toast, hard boiled egg, English marmalade,” I replaced the silver cover to my plate, “Nothing more sickening than eggs on a wine-pickled stomach,” I shook my head and poured myself a cup of Abigail’s strong tea, “Or coffee,” I looked at Willard, “Coffee? She knows I like tea in the mornings – what’s wrong with that girl!”
“I told her to bring ya coffee,” Willard responded, “Thought it might do ya better – after what a state you were in last night.”
“Mm…,” I rubbed my throbbing forehead, “Last night,” slumping down in a chair by the table I groaned, “Last night.”
Willard was quiet.
“I think someone drugged it,” I shook my head, “Or either that sherry’s just awful stuff!”
“No one drugged it, Sullivan,” the older man left his chair and joined me at the table, “You’re just fool enough to think you can guzzle a bottle of liqueur and it not effect you.”
“I’m not in a mood for jokes, Willard,” I mumbled, “I only drank two glasses.”
“Ha!” he pushed my coffee towards me, “After Missy left with that Michael lad of yours you got Lassie to bring ya the sherry again and finished the whole thing off in less than a quarter hour.”
“Oh Lord,” I sat back in my seat, my head in my hands, “I don’t even remember that – I don’t remember anything…anything past…her leaving,” I massaged my aching temples, my neck, “Good Lord.”
Willard uncovered my breakfast, “Eat, Sullivan,” he almost ordered me, “Be good for ya.”
I shook my head, but picked up my fork anyways, “How’s Bennet?” I spoke through a regretted mouthful of nearly cold toast.
“Haven’t seen ‘m this mornin’,” my man responded, “Forbes gave up on waking him last night; he and I managed to get him to bed – in the parlor,” he rested his elbow on the smooth table edge, supporting his wide, chiseled chin with his fist, “No way dragging that man up those steps.”
I half laughed, “He’s a beast,” I shook my head…a beast….
“Blast it, Willard,” I shoved my breakfast aside, “I had the most wretched dream last night – nightmare.”
“Hm?” my man sat up a little in his seat.
I was quiet a moment, listening to the pounding in my skull, “I hate drinking,” I ground out the words.
Willard grunted, “That’s an improvement.”
“I mean it, Willard,” I slumped against the table, “It makes men think and do stupid, stupid things.”
“M-hm,” the older man filled my cup almost to the brim with that thick, black mud everyone knew as coffee, “Wanna’ talk about it?” he asked.
I shook my head, “Its too awful to think about – much less talk about,” I took the cup he held up for me.
“That bad, hm?” those dull grey eyes were watching me.
I took a tiny sip of the coffee and almost gagged, “Yeah,” I gasped, and set the cup aside with more feeling that was necessary – the black muck sloshed out all over the table; but I couldn’t care less. Willard was silent and sat up, resting my elbows on my knees, my head clutched in my hands, “That bad,” there was a slight pause, “Heaven blast it, Willard,” I could not bide those cruel, blurry scenes rising in my mind, “It was the type of dream where you wish you couldv’e stayed around long enough to see yourself kill yourself!”
Willard grunted, but didn’t say anything.
A thoughtful silence – too thoughtful for me – seemed to grip the room for several moments.
“Well!” the older man clapped his knee – shattering my thoughts and my skull at the same time, “Drink your coffee, boy, I’ll get your clothes – got ta’ get yourself together to talk ta Bennet; don’t want ‘m seein’ ya like this.”
“No,” I shook my head, “No….”
And I had to talk to Bennet.
My thoughts…my drink…it had all carried me far enough – too far.
I had to get away. I had to escape.
We had to get back to sea.

After reading this scene do you have any ideas (even imaginations) of what Sullivan could have dreamt,
or what it is that Willard obviously seems to know which his young friend has no idea of?

2013 Promotion Efforts for my writing

Well…I think this post’s title sort of tells what this post is about. 🙂
I haven’t been very good about updating here – I feel especially bad about that because I missed the beginning of the New Year!
But I have good news. 🙂
The Lord has richly blessed my writing these first weeks of 2013.

I am praying, praying, praying to have AUL finished by the middle of this year – finished and published.
If all goes well and the Lord blesses, I plan on self-publishing the story through Amazon’s Createspace. I had self-published a smaller version of Part One of AUL last year, through another smaller company, as some of you may already know. But the results were very poor. A friend advised Createspace, as it has clear advantages being a part of Amazon.
I’m prayerfully entering this way this year, with all my energies – as the Lord allows – being bent on getting the story done and published.
A big part of this, I know, will be advertising.
So I am trying to do what I can in that way before the story is actually published.
Could I ask you all for help in this way?
Those of you who are interested, could you share with your friends about these efforts, the story, and its impending publication this year?
I have written out a short pre-publication preview on Createspace this morning.
If as many of you who are interested could take a moment to read it and rate the excerpts I would be so thankful – this will help me so much in the writing, publishing, and advertising in these last stages.

Now…on a less business-like plane. 🙂
2013 has brought other changes to my story, besides the likelihood of completion. 
My mother – who so often listens, very patiently, to my babbling on about my stories 🙂 – suggested some time ago that An Unlikely Love was not a title that really fit the story. 
I’ve thought so as well, but didn’t give much time to it until this morning, when “Slave to Freedom” somehow came to my mind as a very good title. I pray the Lord gave it to me, but thought I would see what everyone thinks of it. 
As you all probably know, the story I am writing is – Lordwilling! – going to be the first of at least 4 or 5 books following this same theme, and involving Sullivan, my main character, and his life at sea. 
I didn’t want to lose the “Unlikely” tone of the series – since everything about Sullivan and his life is unlikely. 🙂
So… for the series title I have prayed about “Unlikely Lives”, as each book in the series will deal with a different character’s life, and the unlikely events built around a piratical career. 
Now…what do you all think about these changes? 
They will be reflected in my pre-publication preview, but aren’t final until the story is published! 🙂
Please remember to visit and rate my preview by following this link! (If it does not work, copy and paste it to your browser’s URL search bar.)

A post with a rather different tone….

Its just like that….
Could I safely say this is how I feel right now?
Isn’t that how I always do? 
Even sub-consciously. 
I haven’t been writing lately because I happened, before Thanksgiving, to come up on this rather difficult 
section in the last scene I was working on. 
Keeping close in the shadows of the more-solid buildings, I made my way slowly towards the stone fortress of Hold…but not for obvious reasons.
Realizing the extent of the danger we were so suddenly in…a precipitate fear…violent and possessing…had gripped me…such as I had never felt before….
Fear….
Or an energy….
I could not label it….
But it was beyond my reason to move without its force…. My mind dominated by only one thing, it pushed me on…slowly…cautiously…but ever forward…towards the dark, morbid walls of that stone prison-house….
And…I was in no wise over-zealous for my goal….
As I reached Hold the screeching, green door was being pulled open before me. 
I jumped over the drunken guard – who still lay, serenely oblivious to every danger, before the narrow doorway – and pulled myself through the opening door not two seconds too soon….
A scream pierced the night-blacked room…glass shattered…and I found a grasp on her wrist….
“You’re not taking one step from here, lass,” I silenced her… my eyes were slowly adjusting to the dim light…I could see her…tense…panting….
“You nearly scared me half to death!” she wrung her arm from my grasp, and tried to step round me to see out the door. 
I stepped before her and blocked her way….
“You’re not taking one step from here, lass,” I repeated…my voice hoarse…

This scene has more to it, but this is all I felt comfortable with sharing…since it is very rough
and further on only gets rougher.
I’ve had no inspiration to dive in and work so hard to iron all this out. 
I’ve been busy about the house, with my family, with Thanksgiving, with the farm….
But now things aren’t looking quite so cheery or nice around here….
With work looming over us, 
and the realization that in a few days or weeks we will be back to that routine….
up at 5, to chores at 6, (if you notice that give you one hour to make up your bed and room, dress, read your Bible and study, write in your diary, and write – or either fb or blog, you have to choose which is more important; story or social – and it also puts you down at the barn in the near-dark….it was dark before day light savings ended; wonderful way to check out the goats, isn’t it?) work at 8 (commute is almost an hour, and you have to give time to pack lunch and grab breakfast), work ’till between 1 or 3 when we stop for lunch (supper), then back to work ’till between 5 and 7 depending on how much we’ve gotten done and how much we have left to do, home at last, chores in the dark, to bed by 9 if we can manage to get the van unpacked, lunch ready for the next day, dishes and laundry in, and our showers done before then, and try to go to sleep before 11 so you can get up again at 5…..
Oh boy….
I’m not mentioning the other problems in between all this.
Family troubles and the neighborhoods we work in….
I’m glad to work with my family. 
I love working together.
And I love the freedom of having our own business. 
If I feel bad one day I just say so….
No one expects you to be a feel-good-every-day-work-machine.
But I am not happy with how hectic this work makes our lives –
nor how, when we are not working everything seems to be about bids, getting up bids,
calling subs, talking to city officials, organizing meetings with home owners….
It just never seems to stop. 
There’s no “I’m not bringing work to home with me.”
Its always here…Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – and even Sunday!
I just want a quiet life at home.
I just want a happy family where we’re all focused on serving the Lord Jesus –
not on making money. 
I know in order to live we have to make money – we can’t pay bills, buy things etc. etc. etc. without money.
The world runs on money.
But we don’t have to run on money!
Can’t making money to pay our bills be part of our lives instead of being our lives?
I’ve been able to survive the past few weeks since we left the job at Gatewood
because I don’t think about it. 
That’s one way I’ve taught myself to handle things….
I ignore problems, and just don’t think about them until I just have to.
Like now. 
We spent the entire day yesterday riding through very bad areas of town
looking at houses to bid on
when we already have low-bid on two houses in the last package and haven’t even
begun work on them yet!
The plan is to spend this morning (i.e. today) looking at the rest of them.
All total; 15 houses.
And to bid on them on Thursday.
And we haven’t even begun the other jobs yet! 
Faced with this sort of frustration I pray and pray and pray….
I know the Lord Jesus will answer me, He will hear me, He will guide our lives according to His will. 
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”

But I know man’s actions, behavior, and decisions can sometimes hinder His will –
and cause those involved a great deal of heartache and pain while the mess must be cleaned up
so His will can take IT’s rightful place. 
He always is my Comfort.
But my flesh is so great an obstacle. 
Sometimes 
– like now, my friends –
I can’t seem to shake my worries and frustration enough….
But still He provides.
He has created me to feel I have two choices.
Three really.
Argue about these problems.
(Which usually will not get anyone anywhere….)
Run away and cry.
(Have I done this before!)
Or…
Write.
Frustrated, burdened, and against a brick wall in my mind,
I’m going to do like often I find myself doing 
– whether I want to or not –
completely submerge myself into another world where I can momentarily escape all 
my troubles. 
Another place where – though dark, difficult, and troublesome it might’ve seemed only a couple weeks ago –
I now find a quiet haven.
Where I can be myself again.
Where I don’t have to cry….
“Did the really, really bad trouble hurt you, Papa?” he asked, in almost a whisper.
I nodded…, “It still does,” my throat ached….
Those memories….
The past….
My entire life….
I closed my eyes for just a moment…just long enough to try to reorder my thoughts…but it was useless…utterly useless….
I was not myself….
Not the man I wanted…or I thought I had…to be….
The guilt….
The pain…..
It hurt….
“How Papa?” he looked up at my face, his head lying on my shoulder, “How does it still hurt you if it happened so long ago?”
“Because it was my fault, Michael,” I swallowed the sharp pain in my throat as best I could…but it would not go away, “Sometimes it takes time for a man to live down the mistakes he makes in his youth, lad,” I tried to explain it as simply as I could, “I just never have lived mine down,” never…would I ever? “The outcome was too awful for me to get over it quickly,” I added quietly, “I still can’t get over it.”
The young boy was silent, his small, thin hand toying with a disengaged, bone button of my shirt, “I love you, Papa.”
An Unlikely Love