Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ginger Lost Her Feathers~ Where Is Your Joy?





I sometimes wander whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.- C. S. Lewis


Good Morning Blog Friends~
What beautiful days we are having here in Missouri. The trees are changing. Missouri has the most beautiful display of Autumn in the vibrant colors of our trees. I love fall. The nights are cool and the days are perfect.

The Farmer's Almanac is calling for a mild winter with above average temperatures. I am not so sure I believe it. Here in the Midwest we have been ahead of the calendar by a good month. Everything has bloomed a month or so before its time this entire year. I am not a betting woman but I were~ I bet we will have a frost and maybe even a snow flake or two by the end of October. That is just fine with me. I am praying for snow to make up for our lack of rain.  :)

My chickens molt each year at this time. That just means they replace their feathers and take a much needed rest from laying their eggs. Poor girls~ they look like they are running around skinned ~ plucked for Sunday dinner. They grow in really fast and it is fun to watch how they grow a bit each day. I have been giving them some special TLC. 

On a side note I am gathering all their feathers for a Thanksgiving project for my Kindergartner Art Class. Makes for perfect timing.

Kind of reminds me of me sometimes. I think we all need a time of rest and TLC sometimes. 

How is your joy level today? I read a sweet devotion about this today and thought I would share what God spoke to my heart about.

"I've got the joy~ joy~ joy down in my heart." (Where) "Down in my heart." (Where) "Down in my heart to stay." 

I sang that song in Sunday School so long ago and taught it to many little children including mine. Funny how easy it is for children to have that joy and sing it out without any of the cares of the world on their shoulders. 

 At times in the heart of the adult that joy escapes us. Oh~ there are reasons enough ~ burdens of life~ responsibility~ hurts and disappointments. 

But deep inside this adult heart~still lives that child~ and that joy~ joy~ joy! Sometimes it has sunk all the way down to my toes. A child of God has the joy deep inside them because Jesus lives in their heart and He is what brings true joy to each of us. God can not live in a heart aside from joy. 

Are you weary? Joy is what we need! Joy is where we get our strength. It helps heal the hurts and ease the pain in our lives.  It brings us peace~love~ perspective and hope. It reminds us that this world is not all it's about. It reminds us why we are on this earth and who we serve. 

Where is your joy?

I already admitted mine had sunk to my toes. So guess what I did? I went for a pedicure and found it again.  :)





Is it time for you to find your joy again? May I suggest a pedi?







Saturday, September 22, 2012

When Hope Blossoms~



I just love a good Amish book~ well you already know that if you visit me very often. This book is about a Mennonite woman who has had more than her fair share of hard times. Being a very young widow has its challenges especially for a single mom of three children and one with special needs. 

What I loved about this book is the openness about the difficult parts of being part of the Amish/ Mennonite community. The simple life draws me in so often. I travel to my Amish neighbors every chance I get because stepping into the slow pace reminds me to slow down my life too. I often glamorize our Amish neighbors yet they do have their issues ~as we all do. 

The grass is never greener on the other side of the fence~ which the neighbor~ Mr. Roper teaches this sweet little Mennonite family.

I love this book and rate it 5 stars. The author~ Kim~ so quickly grabs your attention and holds it until the very last line. Great Book!

This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. 

You can read an excerpt from the book here.

About the book~

Amy Knackstedt hopes a new start in Weaverly, Kansas, will help heal the pain of losing her husband and provide a better future for her three children. But her new neighbor, Tim Roper, is not pleased to have an Old Order Mennonite family living next to his apple orchard. Tim left the Mennonite faith years ago and doesn't want any reminders of his former life.
Yet when circumstances throw Amy and Tim together, they form a friendship that surprises them both. Will past hurts always be a barrier between them, or will this tentative relationship blossom into something more?



About the Author~

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of nineteen novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and six grandchildren. She invites you to visit her Web site atwww.kimvogelsawyer.com for more information.







Thursday, September 20, 2012

"All I Know Is I'm Not Home Yet~ This Is Not Where I Belong"






It has been a while since I have had a "Grammy Moment"  My little Boston is getting so big. He calls me his friend Grammy. I will be heading out for his third birthday soon. 

I was reading my devotion this morning about Heaven and the song~  Where I Belong  ~keeps playing in my head. It is Boston's favorite song and sometimes I am lucky enough for him to sing it to me on facetime. 




 It seems like everyday I wake up and turn on the news and it is so alarming. How in the world did we get here?~ But that is another post for another time. It just makes me homesick for a country to which I've never been before~ where no sad goodbyes will be spoken~ Beulah Land~ Sweet Beulah Land.  

There will be no death or no more crying. 

Revelation 21:4

King James Version (KJV)
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

It will be a place of great splendor.

Revelation 21:23

King James Version (KJV)
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.




It will be a place of reunion with those who have gone before us.


1 Thessalonians 4:17

King James Version (KJV)
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

But most of all we will see Jesus ~the Son of God~ the Prince of Peace, The Lion of Judah~ my Savior.

As Boston sings ~ " All I know is I'm not home yet. This is not where I belong. Take this world and give me Jesus"~ in his sweet little voice I am  reminded that one day all the wrongs will be made right.

Taken fron The Daily Bread~ 
Many years ago a doctor made a house call on a dying patient, who asked, “Doctor, what will heaven be like?” The physician paused, trying to think of a helpful reply. Just then they heard the sound of scratching on the closed door of the patient’s bedroom.
“Do you hear that?” the doctor asked. “It’s my dog. I left him downstairs, but he got impatient and came up here looking for me. He doesn’t know what’s in this room, but he knows his master is here. I believe that’s how it is with heaven. We don’t know what it’s like, but we know that Jesus will be there. And really, nothing else matters.”



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mums The Word~


I will be flying out to Colorado to speak at a Ladies Retreat next month. Now that is wonderful! I will be spending some time with my Aunt Kim and her ladies from her church. I am so excited. They have been preparing for a long time. A special place has been rented in the mountains at Evergreen. I can't wait.

Here is the hard part. For those who know me ~don't laugh. The retreat's theme is Mums The Word.  I told you not to laugh! I have been studying and praying for God to give me something special~ yet it just has not come together on paper.  In fact~ God has been doing some real fall cleaning in my heart and mind as I study taming the tongue. I am hoping He lets me put what He has been speaking to me about in a outline soon. I am getting a little nervous.

Proverbs 18:20-21

King James Version (KJV)
20 A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

We can discourage and depress ourselves just by the words that come out of our mouth~ as well as depress or discourage those around us who have to listen to our words. Our words have the power of life or death and here in verse 20 it says we have to eat our words.

I want to speak life to myself~ to My Brian~ to my children~ to those who hear my words. I never want to have death oozing out of my mouth. Yet~ that is what we do every time we spill out our feelings and emotions without thinking first. 

Not long ago My Brian said to me, "I don't think you  have gotten better at not letting things bother you. You have just become good at keeping quiet." I thought about that for awhile and I decided I will take that as "spiritual growth."  There was a time when I would let my feelings and emotions control my mouth. When I think about it I cringe ~ how many people have I wounded with my tongue?

Oh~ that we may all think about what comes out of our mouth before damage is done. And may God mend those my tongue has wounded with my careless words. 

Albert Einstein considered this to be the formula for success~ maybe we should listen to the words of this wise man.

Einstein said,
 "If A equals success, then the formula is: A=X+Y+Z. 
           X is work. Y is play. Z is keeping your mouth shut."



s

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Amish Farmer's Market~ I Am There!




Oh my stars~ I had the best day yesterday. The weather was breezy and cool and my friend~ Pam and I headed to Jamesport, Mo to visit our Amish neighbors. We left bright and early to make it to the auction. There was a sea of orange when we pulled into the parking lot. We were in "Autumn Decorator's Heaven" for sure. There is nothing like seeing those Amish horses and buggies with their cute little trailers pulling through the Auction floor.



 I must warn you. You best not even nod your head or you will find yourself with a truckload of pumpkins. Which we did! Believe or not we even sold half the box. We giggled and laughed until we couldn't laugh any more when we realized that we may have overdone it a tad bit. They were a huge bargain ~which helps some. 

I met a sweet little Amish girl who helped us load our pumpkins. Her name was Lavina. Of course~ I could not show you her picture but she had blond little wispy hair peeking out all under her brown bonnet. She smiled and chatted with us while we all worked stacking these pumpkins. She looked at me so seriously and said, "Do you really like pumpkins?" She was a dolly. What a perfect day!


We ate at my very favorite restaurant in all the world (Gingerich Dutch Pantry) and headed to the Amish stores to stock up for our Autumn ~Winter cooking and baking.  We shopped until we dropped.


Well if you can't guess what I will be doing today~ I am off to decorate for Fall! Have a wonderful weekend!

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16 KJV

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where Does All That Dust Come From?





Each morning when I get up the sun peaks over the trees in my backyard filling my kitchen with a sunny glow. It is a nice warmth that greets me each morning. My kitchen has windows all along the eastern side facing my backyard. I start the coffee and just as the sun starts peeking at me through the trees I begin to see every speck of dust on my counter and my wood floor. So each morning I sweep the floor and dust the counters~ every single morning. Many mornings I have to give it all a swiffering.

Surely I am not the only one that does this. My type- A personality can't stand seeing tiny or not so tiny dust particles anywhere. It really does not not take me too long but it is my morning routine while the coffee is brewing. I have been tempted to put up blinds and turn a blind eye to it a time or two......but please don't tell anybody!

Are those tiny dust particles just waiting for me to finish to replant themselves to pester me or are they always there and only come to light in view of that bright shinning light? (sorry about the run-on sentence but it just fits)

As I was doing my crazy dusting job once again this morning I begin to think about my life. Today marks the one year anniversary of my father's death. He was planning on a fishing trip but instead he took the trip of a lifetime. This year has revealed much to me. As always when someone dies we are reminded once again just how short life truly is. There were many hard days this past year but God used troubles and trial in my life to reveal some dusty particles of dirt in my heart and soul. It has been the hardest year of my life~ I still have not stopped crying.

We think we are doing so well in our Christian walk. I mean we dress right, read our Bible and attend church. We become real good at being a "christian." (in our eyes anyway)  We know all the verses and can finish the preacher's sermon.

Yet~ what about when we compete as women ~ have envy or jealousy? How about when we are strong-willed and try to control and manipulate to get our own way? How about when we judge other people? How about when we have an acid tongue and wound people?  After all~ we have a right to express ourselves~ or do we? How about when we go to church and smile to only go home and devour  our fellow brothers and sisters in the family of God?   How about when we discipline our children out of anger and frustration while ignoring the fact that almighty God in Heaven sure gives us grace an mercy. How about our selfishness? When it is more important to have and buy than to sacrifice for a need on the mission field? How about when we are greedy and only give God what is left over in our time, money and devotion?

You see every day I wake up I have dust particles in my heart and soul and they need a good swiffering. We either allow God to do some dusting in our lives or we pull the blinds and turn a blind eye.

We just moved my mother and the new house has set empty for several years. Yet~ there is still dust,  the carpets need cleaned, the windows need cleaned~well it all needs a good scrubbing. You know what? The dust just piles thicker and thicker if we ignore it.  So it is in our spiritual life~after time we have hardened our heart all while looking good on the outside.

Have you had a good swiffering today?


Unending Devotion~ Book Review



This is the first time I read a book written by Jody Hedlund. I am confessing once again staying up half the night to finish it. I love a good Christian romance but I also love history. This book was inspired by actual events on the early 1880's ~ during the lumbering era when the white pine tree was considered "green gold."

This time in history has left behind many glamorized legends, stories and songs. Yet~ the damage that the lumbering crew left behind were the barren lands unsuitable for farming and the moral decay of alcoholism, prostitution and violence. During this time white slavery was introduced in Michigan with forced prostitution of young girls who answered want ads for an honest job to be held against their will and beaten with no hope of ever being free. 

In this book the story is centered around Harrison~ a real town in Michigan~ that sprung up in the lumbering era.  The population was 2000 with 20 taverns. The villain of this story is an actual villain who lived in this town to prey on shanty boys and innocent young girls.

Immediately~ I am hooked by the main character of this book Lily Young who is trying to find her younger sister who has been missing for a long time. Lily suspects she has been one of the unfortunate  girls being held against her will. 

Jody had my attention from the first line. She truly made history come to live and a reminder for me to pray for those girls that are caught in human trafficking today. 

Excellent book! This book was provided to be in exchange for my honest review.


Link to buy the book:





About the Book: 



Michigan, 1883


In Her Darkest Hours, Is He the Man She Needs?


Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer’s assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan–and the sights of Connell McCormick.


Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he’s living an upright life, that’s what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.


Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell’s help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what’s right cost them both everything?



Meet Jody: 



Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of "The Doctor's Lady" and "The Preacher's Bride". She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.



Visit her website: http://jodyhedlund.com/




Monday, September 10, 2012

Farming On Faith's Candle Recipe~





I just love Fall! Each year at this time I start making candles. Saturday I had Frosted Pumpkin, Cranberry~Orange, Maple Sugar, Grandma's Clothesline, Hot Apple Pie, Apple Jack-n-Peel and a few others brewing. My house smelled heavenly.

My candle making started one year at J.C. Penneys. I bought my sister an Apple Jack candle in a small jelly jar. It is still my favorite scent to this day. I paid $12.00 and that was about 17 years ago. I said to myself, " I bet you can figure this out." I did research upon research. It was not as easy as today. I had a hard time getting wholesale prices. I also had a hard time figuring it out. In those days I would buy paraffin and mix my own concoctions until it was the nice consistency I wanted with a good scent. It consisted of Crisco, vybar, chevron's white cream and many others. Of course~ that was before we all went more green~ha!

Today it is easy~ peasy to make your own candles. Here is my simple recipe!

I buy all my ingredients from Nature's Garden Candle Supply on the internet. They have the most wonderful blends of waxes already mixed for you. Shipping is high but it is still cheaper than buying candle.  I have sold them, given them as gifts and even done some fund raisers.


Although I have tried many different waxes from Soy to Joy ~ I really like the WOW wax.

Natures Garden Wholesale Candle Supply
1-866-647-2368

***Beware ~wax does not boil. It turns to flame and many kitchens have burned down making candles. Follow the recipe of the manufacturer to insure safety and best results. I do not claim to be a expert~ this is just my recipe.***

Measure the bottom of your container lengthwise and then decide which size wick to use. This is important for your candle to burn properly. Each wax type uses different wicks. The Wow wax requires zinc core wicks. The soy wax works best with HTP wicks. 

Wow Wax Candle Recipe~

  • ·          Heat wax in a double boiler or wax pouring pitcher. Heat on medium heat until wax reaches 190 degrees. Add candle color. (I use the color blocks and slice small slivers with a sharp knife to desired color. Do a color check on a paper towel and remember it always dries a lighter color.)


  • ·          Remove from heat and allow wax to cool to 180-170 degrees.


  • ·          After the wax has cooled to this temp~ add your scent. (One ounce of scent per one pound of oil)





I made some little wax chunks for candle warmers using these art paint pallets. They are really inexpensive and worked great. I wiped each little circle with a little olive oil to keep them from sticking and they popped right out after they set.










Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Faithful to Laura~ Amish Book Review



Laura Stutzman falls in love with the wrong man and it leaves her scarred physically and emotionally. How in the world could she have been so wrong as to believe such lies?

She leaves her home in Kentucky to track down Mark King needing to understand why he would betray her and her family. She just can't seem to move on with her life until she finds him and gets her questions answered once and for all. She has nothing but revenge on her mind. Yet ~ for an Amish revenge is just not acceptable. 

Laura finds herself in Middlefield, Ohio. Her scars scream as a reminder to her that she must never trust any man again. Yet ~ she finds a new friend in Sawyer Thompson who has suffered some scars of his own. He had been adopted by his Amish family but never seemed to really fit it. Laura lets down her guard~ after all Sawyer is planning on leaving the Amish~ or isn't he. 

Together Laura and Sawyer learn to trust again and mend some of those scars. But can this friendship be anything more than friendship? Does Laura get her revenge? Does Sawyer leave the Amish? You just have to read the book to find out.

I loved this book and give it five stars!

 This book was provided to me by Nelson Publishers for my honest review and opinions.



Book Description

Laura’s Amish faith requires her to forgive, but she can only think of revenge.
Laura Stutzman leaves her Kentucky community for Middlefield, Ohio, with one purpose: to find Mark King, the man who pledged his love to her, then left. She can’t move on with her life until he explains why.
Sawyer Thompson is a Yankee who spent his teen years in an Amish home. Now an adult, he has to make a decision—go back to the life he knew as a child or join the church. Having suffered loss at a young age, he understands Laura’s anger, but is determined to follow God’s will and forgive. As their friendship grows, Laura begins to let her guard down.
New information about Sawyer’s past threatens the couple’s budding relationship. Both Laura and Sawyer will need to release the anger they’re storing in their hearts and forgive the people who’ve harmed them. As Laura struggles to trust God, will Sawyer do whatever it takes to remain faithful to Laura?



Monday, September 3, 2012

Contentment On This Labor Day~Another Lesson From The Amish




My Jamesport Amish neighbors seem so peaceful and content living in their small community.   A lesson I learned ~It was our last stop of the day. I had already spent more money than I wanted but I wanted to get stocked for the winter~ Holiday baking and found so many good deals at the scratch and dent store to stock up our pantry. Of course I ate at the Gingeriches ~homemade yummy food~ with some of my favorite people. Talk about content~ I had the best time.  


 At the Amish Country Store I had finished my shopping and wrote my check.  I then remembered I forgot to pay for a watermelon~ they were outside and I wanted to pick one up as I went out the door. I had used all my cash and did not want to write a check for $2.99. As I am saying to myself~ "Oh, I forgot to pay for a watermelon~ the cutest little Amish boy I have ever seen at the register said, "Oh that's okay~ you just take one." To which I assured him I could not do. But he then said, "No really, it would make me happy if you just took one." He was serious~ and the way he said it I just had to take one. You could tell the last thing on his mind was making a dollar. He wanted to be giving and had such a generous spirit. I thought to myself~ his parents must have passed that on to him for he did not ask to give it away~ he just did so freely. His Momma and Dad have done a fine job raising him.  That little guy blessed my socks off. 


 I have never met a more contented people than the Amish. I leave convicted to live a more simple life and determine to not get caught up in this old world every time I leave there.  After all~ God saved me out of this world! 

I am thankful I can  have confidence in my God's economy!


There is talk everywhere about our economy and the mess our country finds itself in this very day. Sometimes I just think if we all could go back to basics and live a more simple ~plain life~ being content we could all make a dent in this huge debt crisis we are in. The economy is struggling and the cost of living seems to be going up every week I go to the Grocery Store. Many have lost jobs and some are increasingly anxious about their livelihood.  Is it possible to even heed our Lord Jesus' teachings in Matthew 6:25?



Matthew 6:25

King James Version (KJV)

 25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?





Our Lord was not giving us permission not to work~ oh no! He was not saying we are not to eat~ in fact we all know that we are mostly all on a every four hour feeding schedule to keep us happy.

 He is not saying that we should go out not caring how we dress in any old rags. He is warning us that these things should not consume us~ becoming so important that we become slaves to them instead of trusting him. 

Seeking the kingdom of God first~and His righteousness is recognizing that no matter how much effort we expend to make a better live for ourselves and our families ~ultimately it is the Lord who takes care of our needs. 

Money only serves us well if we receive it as God's provision.

Matthew 6:24

King James Version (KJV)

 24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.


I hope you have a contented Labor Day! God is good and we can trust Him!



Saturday, September 1, 2012

One Of My New Favorite Things~


Photo source and online store~ Click the photo!


When my Hannah got married and left home ~she left behind a jar of this magic in a bottle. You can find it in the health food isle of the Grocer or the link above. She would melt it in the microwave and pour it in her hair for a hot oil treatment and she raved about the results. I decided to give it a try and it is wonderful.

I discovered it is a wonderful texture and it turns to a creamy ~ texture when warmed by your hands.

I have allergies and my eyes are terrible this time of year~ they get chapped in the corners and get so sore. I started using this for my chapped skin and it felt like the balm of Gilead. It not only soothed the skin but brought healing. I liked it so much I started using it to remove my eye makeup. This stuff is amazing. 

I then begin using it as a moisturizer on my face, on my wrinkles and dry skin.

I decided to do a little research. It appears I am not such a smarty pants after all.

Check out this list of uses~ I found it on none other than ~ Pinterest. Be warned some are a bit odd~ Click here but before you do stop and leave me a comment or two~ I have been missing hearing from you. 

Have a wonderful ~long ~ weekend.

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