Sunday, July 22, 2012


"We will discover the miracle of servant-living when we catch hold of the enormous truth 
that people cannot take from us what we freely give away." -- Susan Lenkes

This quote.  It hit me in a deep soul-wrenching place.

I read it. Then decided I wanted to blog about it. Then tried and failed. The post would just not write. My heart would just not bend. Oh, I wanted my heart to bend, it just seemed to be stubbornly stuck in place that wills not to freely give.

Everyone wants a piece of me. This week my husband had the stomach flu and needed lots of tea and naps and to be excused from his regular child-rearing duties. My baby needed lots of holding. My 3-year-old needed lots of conversation, explanations, and direction. And our kitten decided that I am her favorite, which means she finds me for any and every need. She got the stomach flu too, so guess who got to clean that up. Why does everyone want ME? Can't someone else be the favorite for a while?

Being a mother is not about getting my needs met.  No one ever said it was.  Being a wife is not about that either.  Nor is being a teacher or a counselor or a friend.  Even though I know this, it somehow gets confusing inside of me and I want to cry out, rash and selfishly.

The quote (from a women's devotional that I am reading) reminded me that I am called to follow the example of Jesus by being a servant to those I love. Specifically, I am called to love my family by serving them. But I will be the first to say that it is freaking hard some times!! All that giving can start to feel a lot like someone is stealing pieces of me until nothing is left but a crabby shell of myself with a bad attitude.

...people cannot take from us what we freely give away.

Daily, I try not to lose my perspective, but somehow a line gets crossed and it begins to feel less like giving and more like others taking. That isn't servant-living; that is selfish living. When I give with the expectation that I will somehow be repaid, or that there will be an outcome I can view as "fair", then I am not really acting with a servant's heart, but acting in self-promotion.

The miracle of servant-living is that when our hearts are in the right place, the burden evaporates. How it works is an enigma, but truly, there is strength and freedom in the giving. Instead of feeling robbed, I can feel blessed by the opportunity to give... especially when it goes unnoticed. By refusing to give freely, I am disabling the power of joy to change my heart. 

Perhaps this is why God designed us to live in relationship with each other... to teach us more about how to love like He does. No one can steal pieces of me if I have already given my whole self away.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

how does your garden grow?

Christian and Annike started a vegetable garden this year.  We always have loads of fruit growing on the farm, but this was our first experiment with veggies.  They began with seed packets, giving Annike the important job of pushing individual seeds into each seed-tray hole.  Note the importance of a proper gardening outfit.

A greenhouse was inherited when we bought the property; this year we initiated it.

 Up came the seedlings,

beets, corn, peas, squash, cucumbers, and carrots, to name a few.

Into the ground they went.

 Water and sunshine turned our seedlings into a bushy garden.

It remains a miracle to me to witness the life that comes forth from a tiny dried up seed.  All of this greenery, vitamins, wealth of nourishment, was captured in a minuscule kernel waiting, unassuming, for some dirt and a little water to help it grow.  A miracle in its simplest form, but miraculous all the same.  

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," 
declares the LORD. 
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways 
and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 
Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed"
Isaiah 55:8-13

We often can't see the purpose for certain events in our lives, for conflicts that arise, for circumstances that occur wholely uninvited, or for pain.

But the Lord's promise to us is that His ways are oh-so-much better than our ways.  His Word goes out and does not return empty.  It grows fruit in our lives. It produces peace. It turns thorns and briers into beauty.  It works to achieve an eternal purpose far higher than any I could have imagined.  

That is the miracle of the seed.  We can't tell by looking what kind of life will spring forth with a little water.  But the Lord has declared that He will water and there will be yield.  His Word will go out and will not return empty.

How does your garden grow?  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I heart plums

Any child of ours must love fruit.

Sommer - 9 months

Annike - 10 months

And must take baths more often this time of year.

It's plum season.

Friday, July 6, 2012

independence day

No one says it better than Martina McBride...

"Let freedom ring,

let the white dove sing

let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning.

Let the weak be strong,

let the right be wrong.

 Roll the stone away,

Let the guilty pay,

 it's Independence Day."