September 21, 2018

A Grateful Heart





Happy Friday to you, friends! It is a glorious summer-becoming-autumn day on our homestead. 76 degrees (F) with the slightest hint of a breeze, blue sky, and the lovely look of fall in the air. Do you notice it, too, the way the light shifts as summer ends and it is as if God has put a beautiful autumn filter on Creation? I think it is wonderful.

Oh, what a happy-busy week it has been around here. You know, it has taken me years and years to find the balance of rest and play and work that my tribe and I thrive within... and I treasure that family and homesteading rhythm! I hold it dear and am very careful to guard it as well as I can.

I'm not perfect at it, and things often always happen that are out of my control (God is in control!), but I love a calmly productive day where we get things done, tend to our necessary tasks and responsibilities, and still take the time for fun and play. I have been blessed with several of that kind of day this week. {smile} *Grateful!*

Yesterday afternoon, our homeschool assignments were finished for the day and I had *finally* taken the time to do the big test that was next in my American Sign Language syllabus. (I did very well on that test, I was so happy! I don't know why the Lord sparked my interest in learning ASL, but I am greatly enjoying my studies.) I had already made bread and the kids had helped me pat out the pizza crusts ...


The older boys were practicing archery and it wasn't yet time to proceed with the next step of my refrigerator pickle making... (here they are finished in half-gallon sized jars, I didn't take an in-progress photo) ...


The day's laundry was washed and hung to dry, but I hadn't yet gotten it folded and put away. And we spontaneously set it all aside to hike down to the creek. We got Jack harnessed and grabbed a bucket to collect some things we need for a school project and off we went.

How glad I am that we did! Time flies, days pass quickly, and I am determined to *not* miss the simple opportunities we have to do activities as a family, appreciate nature, and enjoy the farm we are blessed with. It was a lovely adventure... happiness! {smile}

Here are a few more snippets from my ongoing gratitude list today~

:: Jesus. I have listened to several bold and encouraging sermons lately (I listen to sermons while I am trail running, often) and they have all made me realize in a fresh way just what Jesus did for me (us) when He became sin (my sin, all sin) and willingly died on the cross to fully pay my (our) penalty and allow me (us) to have the blessed gift of eternal life simply by truly trusting and really believing in Him.

So often, we try to make God like us or like we want Him to be. But God is God and we are not! And then to love God and live for Him, obeying His commands from a place of eager joy while basking in grace... *that* is the secret to a happy life, I think. When we have Jesus we have everything, including the promise of eternal life in Heaven.

So yes, I love this present life and all of the wonderful blessings we enjoy... but not more than I love Jesus. I seek to be mindful and abide in the moment at hand... while keeping my eyes on eternity. God is good, friends. I hope you know Him, too.

:: Our farm. The animals, the chores, the small steps God allows us to take toward self-sufficiency. Making things, doing things. The feeling of satisfaction at the end of another happy-busy day. That my cow-friend Matilda comes to me when I call her. The smell of goats. I love it!

:: Blogging. It is a creative outlet that I truly enjoy. I love that blogging is a tool that helps me be more present in my day, it puts me in a noticing place and prompts me to do things... to live a rich and full life that I can write about! Even ordinary days contain nuggets to savor, thoughts to explore, lessons to share...

My blogs are a place to sort things out. To share the beauty of a simple life. To record my recipes for myself and my children and anyone else who wants to try them. To proclaim the joy of a slowed down, homemade, contented life that does contain its struggles amidst the joys and fully trusts and abides in the Lord through all of the ups and downs. Simply put, I feel free to be myself in this space.

I imagine, when I write my posts, that I am writing to a like-minded friend... perhaps a sister-in-Christ... someone who knows me well through my words and accepts me just as I am. Is that you, dear reader? If so, I sincerely thank you.

It does seem that there has been a shift in blogging since I began my first no longer published blog way-back-when (ten years ago?). But that's okay, change isn't automatically a bad thing... change is often good, necessary, and beautiful! And as for the rumor that blogging is not worth it anymore, I respectfully disagree! Mine bring me great joy. (this one, Run Hoop Julie, and Images of a Happy Gentle Life) And I love visiting blogs, too... it always makes me sad when a favorite blogger of mine says goodbye. It feels like losing a friend!


Well, the duties of the day and big family life beckon me away from the computer... and, Lord willing, I would *love* to venture back down to the creek with my crew to bask in the loveliness of this end-of-summer afternoon. So, I will wish you a cup brimful of gratitude and a lovely weekend where you are and be on my way.

Blessings,





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