The Lord’s Day

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

Psalm 121:1

Yesterday was such a beautiful Lord’s Day that I must share it with you all.

Usually on the Lord’s Day we make a special effort not to do any kind of labor that is not especially required (such as chores, cooking dishes, and sometimes laundry). We aren’t legalistic about what to do or what not to do – sometimes we even make an exception and sell/buy something on the Lord’s Day – but we try to set aside a special day for Jesus; especially from the usual work and labor of the week (like cleaning house, doing yard work, working on our jobs/paper work for our jobs, even usually sewing or doing things like making soap etc. – you get the idea.)

Yesterday was a special day for all of us, though. We have visitors coming next Saturday and will be working all week, so only able to fit in preparations for their visit late in the evenings when we come home and are so tired. So yesterday, even if it was the Lord’s Day, we did a little special sewing and a few other things.

And enjoyed it. 🙂 I think the important thing about reverencing the Lord’s Day is that we set it aside for Him. If we do have to work, it should be something that is not all-consuming; something we can set aside if need be, and something we can enjoy as we do it.

And I don’t think I have to mention how much we enjoy sewing, cheesemaking, trying new things, cooking, or anything else that pertains to homemaking. 😀

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Of course we had our usual chores.

We have begun weaning our seven bottle babies, so even with the cow drinking two gallons a day we’re getting much more fresh, delicious, rich goats’ milk than we can ever use!

We’re keeping most of the milk in the mornings and making cheese out of it in preparation for Saturday – as well as making soap and hopefully later this week we’ll get to make Mama some cajeta! 🙂 She loves caramel. 🙂

We did have a sad side of chores yesterday morning though.

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Excuse the bad picture, but this is trying to show the eggshells and feathers we found from our destroyed hen and her brood of 20 or so eggs. Some varmint got in the barn last night and busted up all the eggs with chicks in them and made off with the hen as well. Needless to say, this was very discouraging.

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The cheesemaking as well was discouraging.

Simple mozzarella gone wrong. Sigh…. Just wasn’t our day I guess. We accidentally left the curd too long in the rennet while we were dressing and preparing for morning services. It was difficult to cut and stretching was impossible. But still, its cheese. It mightn’t be mozzarella  but its cheese and we’ll enjoy it on onion sandwiches – or maybe even pizza! 😀

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The rest of the day, however, was a quiet joy.

(Excuse the tiny pictures; Iphone has its own mind sometimes….)

We went out and picked roses and lemon balm to try our hand at essential oils and Daddy showed us the plants he’s been working on in his spare time.

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We both enjoyed wearing our new dresses we finished Saturday. 🙂

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The roses and lemon balm were cut up, bruised and cooked for long hours in olive oil in the oven and crock pot.

We poured it up into jars last night but did not remove the leaves.

We’ll do that today, Lordwilling, and see how it turns out. Our roses were not very aromatic, but it did smell ok by the time it was done cooking but the lemon balm oil smelled much better!

While that was cooking we had a nice, sweet visit with some very dear friends, the Clarkes. They visit about once every two weeks and buy eggs from us and we sit and chat and exchange plants. 🙂 Daddy and Mrs. Clarke are both very avid gardeners. 🙂

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Daddy came down to the barn in the evening and helped us block off the remaining broody hen’s nest with all her eggs in it. She had deserted them and was laying on new ones. All we can do is pray that the older ones weren’t chilled; we put them back under her.

It was a blessing having Daddy down at the barn last night. He’s not all that involved in the animals – goats aren’t his favorite four-leggers 🙂 – but I think he really saw the work and love we put into the animals last night; we stood around at least a half hour just petting the goats and talking about their individualities.

It was a lovely evening.

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Before evening service we cut up the batch of soap we made Saturday. (Its the batch in the front). Our supplies are supposed to come Tuesday. I can’t wait – we’ll be soapmaking like crazy then! 🙂

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After service we finished the evening with a family movie time; Abbot and Cosetllo’s Who done it? 

It was a special time we all enjoyed together – and the movie was great. 😀

I love my family, and I love the times we spend together – surrounded by the things we love and the animals we love and the things we love to do.

At home.

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A Look Back, So We Can Look Ahead

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but them shall I know even as also I am known. 

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

I Corinthians 13:12-13

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Going through pictures yesterday, I was reminded of how things change.

I guess everyone is inclined to do that when they look through pictures – even if their not really old, per se.

I was looking through pictures of a couple years ago. 2011.

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Carra was 18, I was 19, going to turn 19 and 20 later on in the year.

Daddy had taken a day job in town for the first time in our memories, and us girls were at home most of the time; cooking, canning, and doing things we later would come to love (though at the time it was mainly work).

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 This was the year we began doing some outside jobs; four or five in this year actually.

Daddy had begun working on getting his GC license again and we were picking up a few small jobs for individuals.

Earlier in the year we had traveled so far as Statesville NC to work.

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It was also the year of the big snow (something very rare for South Carolina!).

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That was the last time I remember sledding – and the first time I remember sledding since 2003 when we had a huge snow over in Gaffney, SC.

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Our herd of goats was still small; Daisy, her two daughters Joy and Princess, and our buck Silver. We had scores of chickens though! And we loved every minute of chores. 🙂 I don’t think the goats liked the snow as much as we did though! 😀

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It was the first year we had more than one goat give birth at once (and the last year that kidding season was not so exhausting). It was also the year our little Rosie was born. 🙂

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We would take long walks on the dam behind our house, Carra and I together, and K would read to me.

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We had a special mothers’ day – of course, this was before we knew how much we would need to use that grill when a huge storm came through shortly afterwards and took away our electricity for two or three days! 😀

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Things were changing in our family; so slowly, but they were.

We weren’t always happy with the changes, but come they would, and the things that went on in this year, and the years before that, the Lord put within our lives to change us into better servants for Him.

Of course we didn’t know it at the time, and still are not often aware of it when He is working.

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I could go on and on about the changes of 2011. The things we went through; all the learning we did – a lot of it in cooking and canning! We had tons of pickles that year and preserves.

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Carra, I’m sure you’ll remember this blurry picture!

We thought this was the very pits of life, didn’t we? The month or more we spent at this home, working – and learning so much about our work!

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Glazing windows.

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And painting them – then trying to get them unstuck! 😀

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We thought this was just the worst part of our lives that could be imagined.

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It was the first time in 11 years that my sister and I ventured to have separate rooms.

And it worked.

Mainly because one sister was on the computer a lot at the time, while the other wanted to sleep!!

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And though we thought we were so, so unhappy….

We can look back now and see the joy that’s hidden in these pictures; the joy we didn’t really know that we had.

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It was a year of learning; of doing things we’d never done before, of experiencing changes we never imagined would come, and of touching new relationships that for a while seemed to send our family on rollercoasters – when really all the were doing was showing us hills and valleys that weren’t really all that deep or tall.

If only we could have seen this then.

If only we could have seen the Lord’s Hand in our circumstances, and learned then to love everyday as if it were our last, and to put our most into each moment for the glory of our Lord Jesus and the love of each other.

If only we could have seen this then.

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And today; as we work…trudging through hours of labor we outright despise, having no time at home as we think we ought, and struggling with relationships – within our family and without – as well as laboring in our own personal relationships with our Jesus….

If today we would just look up.

If we would take a lesson from our past.

All those hours we could have enjoyed and rejoiced in, even in trials and trouble, if only we would have seen Jesus’ working.

And what of today?

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In the simple things in life – and the most difficult – He is still here, still working.

Why can’t we just trust Him?

Why don’t we ever learn this lesson?

Instead of being downcast and depressed and drug down because of tribulation and struggles? Why can’t we embrace these hardships and hold onto Christ, knowing His is always a better plan?

Modesty, Femininity, and Expressing Christ in an Adverse World

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 16:25

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I had begun a post series on modesty a while ago, and haven’t written another post to follow it until now.

Modesty seems to be such a controversial subject. People have their different ideas of what modesty should be, and to what extent to carry their convictions. Others don’t believe modesty is a real issue, and they mock or scorn those who do. While some in between believe that you’re called to be/dress a certain way, and while some may be called to cover their bodies and maintain a modest outlook, other may be called to be more outgoing and look more like those they are trying to reach for Christ.

The schisms created by this topic are very wide and very many, and thus it is a difficult subject for me to address.

Why not just let it be then? you might ask. Let someone else do the sharing and I could just pray for the Lord’s working.

Well for one thing, I feel it is every believers’ duty to spread the Word of Truth; be that through sharing or praying. And after much prayer, and much seeking the Lord about this subject, I’ve felt led to share it on my blog. My flesh balks against it, as I fear the unhappy feelings and the rejection that I know will come my way, but it is a subject so deeply entwined in my day-to-day life in Him that I don’t see how I cannot share it on my blog which bears the same title.

So, with much prayer I embark on the second edition of my Modesty posts.

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What has been on my heart most about modesty lately is the position it puts you in with the world.

Last time I shared how the love of our bodies and of showing them off can become an idol and draw us away from the Lord. Thus, dressing modestly can be a means of avoiding this side-ways path, and keeping our eyes always focused on the Lord.

But one big draw-back we have as Christians when we chose to dress modestly is the effect it will have on our relationships, or on how people look at us in general.

When you chose to dress modestly – as a woman or a man, but especially as a woman – you are choosing to look distinctly different than everyone else around you.

One thing the world hates is different.

You have to subscribe to their school of thought – including their thoughts on how you should look – or you immediately run into problems.

The thought – and indeed pain – of this can, and does, keep many women from choosing to dress modestly. Instead they dress in a low-scale form of today’s fashions. This way they don’t have to look so different; they’ll still fit in, but they won’t be exposing so much of their bodies to others.

The fear of being rejected, and the pain at being ostracized is too great to overcome.

But ladies! Once you take a stand, once you chose to cover your bodies, to save yourself for your husband’s eyes only, and to tell the world, “I’m not like you; I am different; I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ”, then the pain you feel when people shun or mock you will turn into pride; pride that you are different, and prayer; prayer for them and for yourself, and it will draw you closer to the Lord.

If you allow it.

I’m not saying you won’t feel the pain. The pain I have felt of late, directly caused by my choice to dress modestly, has in part inspired this post. But the more I dwell on the events that caused the pain, the more I feel determined to maintain my stand; the more it has pushed me to declare to the world that I am different.

And I am so proud of that!

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As you step out of fashion and into modesty you are making a statement.

At least I feel that I am.

I am telling the world that I don’t agree, that I don’t like the way they are dressing, what they are exposing, and how suggestive their dress is, and that I am not going to dress that way; that I am a Christian and that, as a believer in Christ, I am determined to behave myself with modesty, humility, and discretion.

And the world will hate you for it.

Some people will appreciate it.

We’ve had many, many people come up to us and compliment our clothes and how we dress. Many men (absolute strangers) have told us how they appreciate our modesty, and that they think we’re pretty. Many women have looked at us with envy and expressed how much they would like to dress this way.

Why don’t they?

Because they are afraid of rejection.

But, sisters! If you are truly born from above, if you are truly allowing Christ to live through you and work His Life out in your daily activities you will be rejected anyways!

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than His Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you.”

John 15:18-20

The pain we feel from others’ mocking and scorning, because we choose to follow our convictions, is nothing compared to the joy we receive in Jesus – in having His Arms about us, in having His Life within us, and having His Protection always round us, His guidance always within.

To be rejected from ones’ own family, by ones’ friends – even by whole churches – is not easy, it does not come without pain, and it is not the joyous part of the narrow way. But if, within, you feel you are doing what the Lord Jesus would have you to do in all honesty and sincerity, then it is better to obey God than man.

If we bear up under the pain and sufferings for a little while, His blessings will come. Going through the trial is nothing compared to the joy we receive afterwards!

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We’ve had people come up to us in the store and tell us how much they appreciate our dress – many, many people; men and women. At least once every time we go to town someone compliments our dress.

But we’ve also had people (mostly relatives) to speak evil of our choices. They have told us we are not pretty, that one doesn’t have to dress in a feed sack, and other sorts of remarks.

But these are far and few between – and mostly from those whom we know the closest from our “old lives” before we chose to dress modestly. They know what we were before and they don’t like the change.

To be rejected by those you love and care for can be hard, but the testimony we bear for Christ weighs out in the end – the people we don’t know who see our dress and are blessed by it; who even ask us to sew for them so they can dress modestly too! – this weighs out by far.

Choosing to dress modestly is choosing to make a statement to the world that you are different; it is choosing to be different everyday, to be rejected by those who feel challenged by your modesty, but also to bless others who feel unhappy with the world’s sensual fashions, to encourage others to follow Christ in a physical way, and to be a testimony to the world that the Lord Jesus does reign in some hearts.

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When I write about modesty, I am amazed by how many different aspects there are to it. So many different reasons why we should dress modestly, so many different thoughts on why the Lord desires it, and so many different things I could say on style, fashion, and the Christian life that I can’t possibly fit them all into one post – or even feel I really have expressed myself well covering so deep a topic, like the one today, in one post alone.

Despite how controversial the subject is, modesty is something very close to my heart; its part of my everyday life. Everyday I make an active choice to dress modestly, and I love it.

And I’m actually looking forward to sharing more about it!

Mother’s Day

I know yesterday was Mother’s Day.

But I was too busy with my Mother to do a post about it on the very day!

So, here it is a day late. 🙂

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My Mama is very special to me.

She is the encouragement and the hope from the Lord that helps me through each day. The gift from my Jesus to encourage and establish my faith, even in the darkest moments, and the one person who WILL listen to me and pray with me, no matter what!

The life lessons she has shared with us, and continue to share with us will go with us throughout our lives. They will come to remembrance when we are faced with questionable circumstances and we’ll remember what she has taught us.

I am so thankful for my Mama. Jesus truly gave me a wonderful, special, and unique gift when He chose her to be my mother.

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My sister and I and our Dad worked to make the day special for Mama.

Daddy went out with her while she picked flowers (as well as brought in a bunch of roses for her last night. 🙂

I think Mama really enjoyed arranging all the flowers in vases and putting them in different rooms in the evening. 🙂

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After morning service we took her down to visit the goats.

She and Daddy hardly ever get down there during the week – only on Sundays.

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Then we made a special meal for her – her favorite. 🙂

BLTs.

Mama LOVES bacon sandwiches! 🙂

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We set our best silverware out. 🙂

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And then had Brownies for dessert.

She loves brownies – and homemade are always the best, of course!

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Then there was the opening-gifts-time. 🙂

Mama loves to fix up the house and decorate; we got her things she could work with.

Covers for her bed, candles, and K made a hand-embroidered sampler and framed it for her.

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I think she really liked that one. 🙂

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And the new quilt for her bed.

(one day this will be handmade too!)

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We worked hard to make it special.

Because we love our Mama.

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And because….unlike other things in your life where you can buy a replacement or pick up another copy.

With Mamas,

you only have just one.

Five Minute Friday

Five-Minute-Friday.

A blog idea where you pick a subject and write about it for five minutes.

Simple, huh?

I got the idea from my dear sister, Carra, and have decided to try to implement it onto my blog – some, if not most Fridays…we’ll see how it goes! 🙂

My first topic for Five-Minute-Friday is the one who gave me the idea, my sister, Carra. 🙂

So, here are my five-minute thoughts about my sister, Carra. 🙂

These are out-of-order, as you can see, but I decided to leave them they way they are.

The added-in thoughts are in italics.

Enjoy!

  • Loves to crochet. {She has crocheted some of the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen. I think, if she were back in France in the 18th century, someone would track her down and pay her some very fine fortune to make lace for the Versailles – sounds silly, but I really mean it!}
  • Loves to help others – even to a fault at times. {Sweet Carra, before you protest, you must confess, helping has gotten you into some…well….. 😀 }
  • Is out going – she drags me to things that are really very good for us, but that I’d otherwise shun if not for her willingness to try something new. {Like…ahem…that small ruminant convention up in western NC. I would have never gone if not for K. Thanks, sissy!}
  • Loves to cook – Oh! does she love to cook! {Cakes, sweets, main dishes, side dishes, dessert dishes – anything that’s difficult and complicated is game for her!}
  • Decorates cakes. {Lovely. And someone’s birthday is coming up…time to start thinking and having fun with sugar and color again!}
  • Can figure math in her head like a whiz. 🙂 I don’t even try to compete (unless I have a calculator! 🙂
  • Will drive us places, even if she doesn’t particularly want to drive, because she knows I don’t like to drive. {Isn’t she so sweet – but you should tell me when you don’t want to drive more, sissy! I’ll drive for you.}
  • Is very giving; she’ll give her time, her effort, her things, her work to others with so much love. {Crocheted afgahns, blankets, tablecoths (and these aren’t cheap gifts if you were to buy them!}
  • Loves farming. I think that’s her truest love in life (apart from her service to her Savior!) is her farming. She loves working with the goats, dreams of farming a cattle dairy with hundreds of cows, loves the hard, hot work, the quiet days.
  • Loves to read. {When she has a good book you can hardly tear her from it!}
  • Loves to write poems.
  • Loves to play music. {Piano, Violin, and singing; she has a beautiful singing voice.}
  • Loves to meet new people.
  • Loves. {She loves to just love people; her family and friends, people in need. One day this gift will be used, sissy! Just trust Jesus for it!} 

And that’s one of my two very dear sisters in a five-minute nutshell. 🙂

 Love you bunches, K!