Lord’s Day Hymn

A song written by a brother many, many years ago – over three hundred years ago – that the Lord blessed me to learn in 2006.
He brought it to memory and blessed me tremendously late last week, and continues to use its words to bless me as we begin this week before us and I feel and see the Lord Jesus’ Hand at work in my life personally, and in my family.

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If thou but suffer God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.

What can these anxious cares avail thee
These never ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

Be patient and await His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whatever thy Father’s pleasure
And His discerning love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost want are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

God knows full well when time of gladness
Shall be the needful thing for thee.
When He has tried thy soul with sadness
And from all guile has found thee free,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own His loving care.

Nor think amid the fiery trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred.
Time passes and much change doth bring
And set a bound to everything.

All are alike before the Highest:
’Tis easy for our God, We know,
To raise thee up, though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low.
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to naught.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
Perform thy duties faithfully,
And trust His Word: though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

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A journal of Saturday

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Well, I was planning a more in-depth post, so to speak, of our Saturday adventures, but I was obliged to move all the pictures from my phone beforehand and now have only a few, besides the fact that it is late, I am tired, and have a headache!

So, I think I’ll follow the example of some of my blogging friends and do a journal-type post with only a few pictures – more precisely, with just one picture.

The biggest thing that happened today was selling our eldest doe, Joy Mary, to a very friendly animal-loving gentleman from down the road. We’ve had her for sale for a spell, but those who showed interest in her we did not feel comfortable selling her to. We’re very particular about our girls’ homes, especially our milkers and the ones we know best.
We were giving up on selling her, feeling we’d rather keep her than sell her to an unknowledgable person who mightn’t respect her, but this evening The Lord Jesus sent a warm-hearted man who has had goats all his life and who was really excited about getting Joy. ❤ praise The Lord! His blessing are so sweet, and so small sometimes; just little things throughout our days to allow us a little joy to press on.

Otherwise, my day consisted of;

Chores
Milk Processing
Fecal testing
Cleaning
Planting watermelon, Hubbard squash, banana pepper, and chamomile in our hill and "garage" garden
Making yogurt
Making cajeta
Making a venison roast for tomorrow
Making a double batch of lavender/rosehip soap
Supper (sausage burgers with tomato gravy, baked beans, and potato and macoroni salads; Mama and K mainly made those dishes)
Dishes and clean up
Evening chores
And then the fellow coming for Joy

A full day, but a restful day and an emotional refreshing after the strain of the week.
Our vehicles are doing a bit better, by the way. I thank The Lord for that! The family van is at the shop, Daddy replaced the tires on the work van, and re-did the breaks on the standard. So, we're driving again, anyhow! Phew!

I pray everyone had a blessed Saturday.
Very much looking forward to the rest of the Lord's Day.

Goodnight! (or morning, depending on hemisphere! 🙂 )

Pure, Old-fashioned, Handmade Goats’ Milk Soap!

“Thou art my Hiding Place, and my Shield: I hope in Thy Word.”

Psalm 119:113

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Well, after too long procrastinating – maybe not procrastinating, I just had too many posts to write in between – I finally share with you our latest adventure in using the products of our farm and turning them into usable items.

Our dream – as I’m sure most of you who have been following my blog for a while well know – is to to have a working, raw milk dairy.

Laws and regulations, however, make that very difficult for a family like ours so progress towards products we can sell to eat or drink is very slow.

But we can make soap!

Making soap is something I have long romanced, but only lately have we been able to really find a recipe that suites our tastes and creates a lovely, moisturizing bar of soap, and seems to turn our well every time!

We’re so thankful to the Lord Jesus for opening this way to us, and opening it in something both my sister and I (who run the farm) enjoy doing so much.

It is so much fun to make soap!

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So, after many months of working and struggling with our herd (please don’t remind me of February!), the Lord has finally allowed us to turn out some lovely soaps, and also to purchase molds for those who are looking for more decorative styles – as opposed to our all-natural, square-formed, wooden-mold soaps which is all we are using ourselves right now. 🙂

We are offering Unscented, Lilac, English Rose, Gardenia, and Oranges and Creme varieties with many more to come.

(Do you think we’d stop here? 🙂 )

There are the designed varietes and the all natural style, all made with all-natural ingredients; gentle oils to soften and moisturize skin, and our own farm-produced raw goats’ milk that is so richly nourishing to the skin.

(If fact its nourishing to everything in your body! We love our goats’ milk! 🙂 Yum!!)

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We are offering 4 oz bars of soap at $6.00 a bar which we believe is fair considering others’ going prices for goats’ milk soap – not to mention all the effort and love that goes into making each bar; starting with kidding season in February and moving right on up ’till September or October when our cramping hands milk the last quart from our once-again-pregnant does! 😀

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I’m going to look into how I could offer soap for sale directly from my blog, but until then, we are selling it from our Etsy store, “Bouties of His Goodness“, with a starting price of $5.00 a bar.

Our first batches are running out fast, so if you’re interested in trying skin-nourishing, all-natural soap that is made the way our grandmothers used to make it, then hurry over (following the above link), and get your bar!

Leave us a message on the order form telling us what design/scent you prefer.

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I know this isn’t my usual blogpost, but we’re so excited about our new soap – and this new adventure in attempting to sell items made from our farm. 🙂

Its a beautiful Saturday though and my sister and I have wonderful plans for our day at home. I’ll probably post again with news of our day – a more-like-me post. 🙂

Until then, the Lord Jesus bless you all, and enjoy your Saturday!!

A Trouble

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The story of yesterday – told shortly because I have fallen victim to one of those ever-so-often splitting headaches and am still trying to trudge through the day’s work.

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As Carra and I made it home yesterday evening and tended the herd and our little garden, Mama called us up – very anxious – and talked to Carra.
All I could hear was, “Oh no!!” and, “Do you want us to come pick you up?”
Carra was on the phone sometime before I finally found out that the work van – already a not-too-reliable vehicle and packed to the hips with tools and other things I know in general as “junk” ( 🙂 ) – had blown a flat on a busy part of I-77 and Daddy hadn’t been able to pull the van off the road far enough.
They were changing the tire anyway – thank Jesus for whoever came up with the idea for spares! – and we prayed (and sent word to friends who also prayed!) and Mama told us to go on with chores (and I wonder go easily she thought we could do that with her scared and crying over a half hour away?).

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But Jesus is so good.
This is what I was trying to say yesterday; that if we trust Him for everything, even in to most simple things in life He will protect us and guide us.
If our minds are stayed on Him.

If we get all caught up with ourselves, our individuality, our personal “rights”, then there is no room in our hearts for Jesus – even if we believe in Him – and no room in our lives for His Guidance and Protection, as He knows we feel we can “handle” the situation without Him – even if we don’t confess that.

Well, back to work with me.
Praying you all enjoy this Thursday – and hopefully without a headache!! 🙂

Blessed Hour of Prayer

I rarely write multiple posts in one day. Sometimes I will feel like writing a lot and will have a spell of two posts a day, but rarely – perhaps even never – three.
Well, here’s my third post for the day.
I have been praying much about sharing another, but felt very impressed in my spirit to do so.
Again on the subject of prayer – or rather, on talking to The Lord Jesus; keeping up a communion with Him through out the day.
The Lord is truly impressing on my spirit how important to the Christian’s daily life a constant communion with Him is. It’s like feeding our own natural bodies. We would never starve ourselves, but so often we starve our spirits by not feeding ourselves on our Heavenly Bread, the Life of Jesus.

Fanny J. Crosby’s beautiful hymn, written so many years ago, speak my feelings so perfectly. It’s one of my favorite songs.

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when our hearts lowly bend,
And we gather to Jesus, our Savior and Friend;
If we come to Him in faith, His protection to share,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when the Savior draws near,
With a tender compassion His children to hear;
When He tells us we may cast at His feet every care,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

’Tis the blessèd hour of prayer, when the tempted and tried
To the Savior Who loves them their sorrow confide;
With a sympathizing heart He removes every care;
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

At the blessèd hour of prayer, trusting Him, we believe
That the blessing we’re needing we’ll surely receive;
In the fullness of the trust we shall lose every care;
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there.

Refrain

Blessèd hour of prayer, blessèd hour of prayer,
What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there!

To be in constant communion with Jesus is not an unnatural feat. It’s something that should come very easily to even the youngest of believers.

To know Him, talk to Him, rely on Him – as the source of our lives, happiness, safety, and future day by day enables us, as believers, to live above the trials and troubles – no matter how big or how small – that He places in our circumstances.

Such as the trouble that came our family’s way tonight.
It wasn’t huge or harmful, though it could have been very easily.

Lordwilling, I’ll share that little story tomorrow.
I think I’ve written enough today. 🙂

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New Adventures and a Simple Lesson

I have never considered myself a very “quick” person. I learn – and comprehend – things very slowly.
I also have very little confidence, which is, indirectly, a reason why I take so long to learn things. I’m afraid I’ll make some mistake, or mess something up, or hurt something. So I don’t just avoid doing things, unless I know exactly what I’m doing.

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Just now, at work, I finished putting up all the receptacle/switch covers and then remembered Mama had mentioned that the bathroom lights needed put up.
I have never bothered with putting up lights. It’s just one of those things I figure I can’t do.
Granted, even today, I didn’t do any wiring, and these lights are almost too simple, but I did put it up without any thoughts on “what if I mess up?” Or “what if its not right?”
I just did it.

I have been praying a lot today and seeking The Lord. Not particularly about work, but just about my life in general.
Putting up this light He showed me again how focusing on Him – on His Will, His Way – allows us to think less of ourselves, our inabilities, to pity and worry about ourselves less, and allows Him to work through us, even in day to day life on things as simple as putting up a light.

He can become everything to us, day by day, if we keep our hearts and minds on Him, and our eyes focused on His Way – the strait and narrow way before us.

A Song from Sunday

I have heard this song many times over the course of my romance with the family music tradition of bluegrass gospel. I had no idea it was in our hymnal all that time!
I played it at least three times and sang it yesterday, and also played it for our evening worship service.
Oh that Jesus would grant us stars in our crowns!

***

I am thinking today of that beautiful land
I shall reach when the sun goeth down;
When through wonderful grace by my Savior I stand,
Will there be any stars in my crown?

In the strength of the Lord let me labor and pray,
Let me watch as a winner of souls,
That bright stars may be mine in the glorious day,
When His praise like the sea billow rolls.

O what joy it will be when His face I behold,
Living gems at his feet to lay down!
It would sweeten my bliss in the city of gold,
Should there be any stars in my crown.

Refrain

Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown
When at evening the sun goeth down?
When I wake with the blest in the mansions of rest
Will there be any stars in my crown?

Elizabeth E. Hewitt 1897

Special Saturday with Friends

“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:12

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After many days of preparation, the day of the big visit finally came. 🙂

Our friends, the H. Family came to spend the day with us yesterday, make bread, cheese, pizza, cookies, soap, and spend some time with the goats.

It was a full, busy day – but full of laughs and the love of Jesus. It was a beautiful day, in short, and we all enjoyed it…all….ten of us.

Doesn’t sound like a large crowd to most of you, I know. 🙂 But ten is a lot people to have at the Lyons’ house at one time! 😀

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The first thing we did was make mozzarella cheese – from two gallons of milk. One turned out well the other didn’t but we used it all on pizza later that evening! 🙂

We used the whey to make up a batch of 8 loaves of bread, and also used like three loaves worth of dough for the pizza crust.

We had plenty of little hands to help out. 🙂 The H. Family has a set of triplets and a little one not yet a year old. Having the sound of children in the house was very different for us four, but a refreshing change from the solemnity of the Lyons’ home and so much fun.

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We loved holding the littlest H. baby. ❤ Carra and I couldn’t get our fill of him even if our not-used-to-children-arms were sore! 🙂

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Half way through the day the little H. girls knocked off as we say, and took a nap. I think the day was a full one for them! 🙂 They helped with the bread dough, made miniature pizza crusts, tasted the cheese and mushrooms and bell peppers, and walked all the way to the barn (we carried them back 🙂 ), and rolled around in the den with their triplet brother playing…whatever games little three year old minds can imagine to play!

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We went down to the barn and visited the goats. Mama H. worked on milking again – this is the family that bought little Mercy and Tot at the beginning of the month. Mama H. wants to learn to milk so that when the girls have freshened she’ll be able to get fresh milk for her sweet family. She’s getting the hang of it too!

Watching her, I remembered a lot of our own adventure in learning how to milk. It makes me so thankful to the Lord that we had our Daisy back then. She was so patient and let us work with her for what seemed like hours. Rosie (the doe Mama H. is milking here) is just like Daisy; very patient.

Its amazing the things we put animals through for our own use….

but I’m off the subject. 🙂

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Dad H. finished up the milking; he’s had practice before on goats some years ago.

I think both of them working together they’ll have a home dairy in no time when their little ones freshen. 🙂

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I don’t think I got any pictures of our cookie making. Or maybe I did but not on my phone….

Well, after the cookie making and the trip to the barn we put the sauce together and fixed the pizzas then all sat down to a hearty meal – which was lovely. 🙂

Daddy had been mowing for most of this time while we showed the Hs. our kitchen work, but the men enjoyed conversation over supper and afterwards took the triplets out and planted tomato plants.

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After supper, when all the kids were outside, we mixed up a batch of Lilac and Lilies soap with Mama H. for the family to take home.

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By this time it was getting late, and after a good long chat and packing the H. Family car we saw our friends off.

It was a lovely day, and we’re already thinking of some way to get them back here again! 😀

I am thankful for the dear friends the Lord Jesus brings into our lives – in the most unusual of ways, such as our goats. 🙂

And I’m thankful for the special bond that forms between those who are truly seeking to serve and honor Him. The bond of His love and life.

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(A sign done for our family by sweet Mama H. ❤ Thank you, dear friend!)

May Jesus always be our lives and may He shine forth through us in everything we do, say, and share.

An update

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A quiet blessing from Jesus on the way home last night, after a rainy day.
Today we have taken off work to get a few things done in preparation for special visitors tomorrow. Its going to e quite a day – quite a fun day, Lordwilling 🙂 – and we’re praying the Lord will bless the fellowship with our new brothers and sisters in Him.
This evening we’re in town again, but in order to do some shopping which is much nicer than working! 😀

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Here is a glimpse of part of what we were doing this morning. Milked over two gallons at chores to bring up for home use (other went to goats and cow). We used our little home pasteurizer to be sure it is safe for giving to our visitors tomorrow. We drink our milk raw, and believe that’s the best way so long as clean milking methods are followed and the milk is strained. Our visitors tomorrow have very small children however, who have a tendency to get sick easily, so we don’t want to be the indirect cause of illness because the children are not as immune to things that may be found in our milk as we grown-ups would be.
It’s made me think of how I may like to feed my own children if one day The Lord gifts me with a family and little ones. I wouldn’t want to take any chances with them, despite that I think the natural way is better. Our home pasteurizer may come more in handy one day.

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Here’s a little peek at the goings on in our little micro garden. (I say micro because 13 tomato plants is only a smidgen of what we want to put in.) As I just said, we put in 13 tomato plants last Saturday. They are doing very well, thank The Lord for the rain! The chickens don’t like them so they’re surviving despite our birds and growing very nice and tall. But instead of having 13 now we only have 11.
This picture shows a hole – bigger than what a tomato plant requires – where one of the plants once stood. Something is eating them up from under the ground! Carra dug down, and there are definite tunnels beneath the plant spot.
We’re suspecting voles, whatever they are.
Anyway, just a little mobile post to update everyone about the what’s happenings in My Life in Him.

I pray everyone is enjoying their Friday. Remember, the weekend is only a few hours away! 🙂

Jesus bless you all!

Thankful Thursday – with a few words on how unthankful I am.

“Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.”

Psalm 69:1-3

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I was going to write a post about our soapmaking this morning, as we unmolded our first designed soaps last night and Carra and I are so excited about them, but I just couldn’t get the words to come.

I kept remembering today was Thursday, and generally the day for my Thankful Thursday posts if I’m keeping up with my blog as I ought, and I feel the Lord is impressing on me to write one, especially because this week in particular has been so hard for me – for us all, but I speak for myself.

Everyday this week has dealt our family a new struggle of some sort, and as we’ve drudged through each day I’ve felt there is little in my life to cause me joy or to be thankful for – I wonder often what it feel like to be truly happy again.

But whenever – well, usually… – I write to my silent friend, or I scribble on this blog it makes me feel so much better as I find myself seeking the Lord to guide me in my writing – and my words to my silent friend often become written prayers.

I leave my writing feeling refreshed, renewed, and closer to my Jesus.

Because, through my writing, I have been seeking Him.

What if I were to seek Him so everyday, through the difficulties and troubles – not just the good moments and easy times – and truly seek His Word and seek His Face, not rely on my own strength and ability to handle a situation?

If I were to do this with my everyday life as well as I do it with my pen, how much more joy would be mine – in Him. For in Him are all things good, and in Him is Life bound up. If we don’t seek Him – every moment of every day – we are seeking of ourselves to live life by our own methods and natural ability. Thus, we fall into traps, we trip over rough places, and we become disillusioned by the difficulties when we find ourselves bogged down in the mire of this world.

This week I have so much truly to be thankful for.

Even if I haven’t known it or claimed any of it.

  • The right to come before my Jesus, to seek Him as I would seek an earthly friend, to trust Him as my Beloved – my Protector, my Guide.
  • His Ability to be with me, to instruct and guide me each moment; to protect me and be my Joy and Grace – despite what my flesh tells me is wrong or is right.
  • My life. The fact that I’m actually living and breathing – all by His Will! If He did not desire it, I wouldn’t even be here writing this today.
  • My family. We are all healthy and well, still able to work with our hands.
  • Our farm. Its still here! We can spend time with our animals, and are refreshed each time we visit the barn.

The Lord Jesus knows what is best for us – way before we even see things coming.

He knows how He will deal with problems before they even arise in the dimmest of our imaginations.

If Jesus can raise a man from the dead, if He can still storms – if He can protect people when terrific, deadly tornadoes rip through entire hospitals and schools and homes – why can’t He deal with our little problems day to day?

He can!

But only if we believe.