Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Master Gardener~

In case you missed my review yesterday~
 this is my devotional I have picked for the summer. I absolutely love it! 

Today I plan to work in the garden getting the yard ready for Easter. As I am reading this morning's devotion I am reading about spring bulbs. The birds are singing and it is a beautiful morning here at Farming on Faith. 

In my devotion~ I am reading about those ugly little spring bulbs we place in the dirt in the Autumn. We cover them with dirt and they endure the long cold winter under that frozen ground. As Spring unveils herself those little ugly bulbs begin to peek through the dirt and before we know it our beautiful tulips, daffodils and crocus come blazing in all their glory. They make our world a better place. 

That is how we feel sometimes~ isn't it so? This year has been much like that in my life. It has been a long cold hard winter in more ways than one. Yet ~ when we just yield to the Master Gardener ~He knows best and we will come forth shining as gold. It is the yielding to His plan that is the hard part. Surviving without getting bitter and angry when the harshness and coldness come to creep into our very souls. 

I am so thankful on this beautiful Spring Tuesday that God does tend to us well~ he nourishes us~ sends us help in the time of trouble. He gives us rest and restoration. He gives us mercy and grace when we struggle at our feeble attempts to yield. He gives us our joy when we feel lifeless. He gives us hope in His promises. Now that is reason enough to celebrate on this beautiful Spring morning. 

Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You? Amazing Devotional For All Moms

As a retired homeschool mom of 23 years I love to read books from fellow homeschool families. When this book arrived in the mail it came wrapped in tissue and M&Ms with a sweet note. How fun is that? Thank you Rachel for your sweetness.

I absolutely loved this devotional. It is written about every day life as a homeschool mom of seven, with 23 years of experience. Any mom who home schools seven children and finds the time to write a book is amazing. 

What I love about this book is that is it written with everyday life thrown in as the theme of each devotion. Each chapter is a small devotion with thought provoking questions at the end. It can be read in order or you can pick and choose which devotion speaks to you on any given day. 

  How many times have we said, "How many times do I have to tell you?"~ to our children? What 
Rachel discovered was how impatient she was with her children but God is never impatient with us.  She begin to take notice of all the phrases she told her kids to keep them in line and God convicted her that she needed to pay attention to what her Heavenly Father told her time and time again. Ouch! We all need to take notice of that.

This book is a must have resource for any mom. I rate this book 5+ stars. Great Job Rachel ~ I so enjoyed it and this copy is going to my daughter the mother of my sweet grandbabies.  Thank you for writing from your heart and I pray your wisdom will be en encouragement to my sweet girl too. 

You can visit Rachel at her blog here!

About the book:
How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? (Apologia Educational Ministries, March 2015)
You’ve probably said these things to your kids, but have you listened to what you’re saying?
“I remember the day you were born.”
“Turn down the music!”
“This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.”
“Hold my hand.”
Your heavenly Father wants to tell you many of these same things. Rachael Carman knows how noisy it can be when you’re raising children—she has seven! But this lovely devotional book will help you to hear God’s still, small voice amid the chaos of carpools, cut fingers, and carpet crawlers. You’ll learn how to recognize God’s instructions for you, even as you seek to follow His example as a parent.
About the Author:
Rachael Carman is an author and speaker for Apologia Educational Ministries. The wife of Davis and the mother of seven children, Rachael challenges parents to live by reckless, obedient faith. As a direct reflection of her heart's desire to encourage, inspire, and celebrate motherhood, Rachael also leads Real Refreshment Retreats, weekend events that energize and invigorate homeschooling mothers with meaningful worship and speakers plus practical encouragement for the homeschool journey.

Challah Bread~ Just Speaks Spring To Me

Jewish Sweet Bread (Challah)
This bread is so delicious and so pretty because it is braided. It's not terribly hard to make, but takes a few hours because it has to rise twice. You can easily double the recipe and actually make 6 loaves by separating the dough into smaller parts. Also, the butter is very important. If you use unsalted butter, the flavor isn't as good.

1 pkg. yeast
1 1/4 c. warm water (as hot as you can comfortably touch it)
1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
2 eggs
4 1/2 c. flour

Mix yeast, water, and sugar, set aside. Mix the other ingredients together, then add yeast mixture. Lay out on floured surface and knead 5 minutes. Put into greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise, double, punch down. Cut dough into 3 parts (there will actually be 6 parts because the recipe makes 2 loaves). Make 2 braids and let them rise on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 min. or until golden brown. Pour 1/2 cube of melted butter over bread before baking and 1/2 cube of melted butter just after baking.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pack Lightly

My boy is coming to the end of his school year at a Technical School and has won the right to travel to a State Competition this week. As we tried to find the right bag he decided on a small bag and wanted to pack lightly. I ~on the other hand ~never pack light. I just can't do it~ I have tried. I never can decide on an outfit for any given day and need to keep my options open. This always makes for a stressful packing time~ cumbersome traveling and even worse is the unpacking when I return from my travels. You think I would get this figured out.

Mark 6:8King James Version 

 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

This verse is talking about the disciples going on a trip with Jesus. They were to take no scrip~ that means a substitute for legal tender, no bread, and no money. Wow,~ talk about panic. When I travel I take baby wipes, medicine, snacks, something to read, my debit card and cash too. I have to have lots of clothes and the right shoes. Yet~ they were to go with Jesus on this journey and just trust Him to meet all their provisions. I would have thrown a tantrum and stayed home. What about you?

I am reminded how foolish I am to hang on to that which can be taken away. Jesus Christ can meet all our needs. As we travel this journey may we hold loosely to those things that can be taken away at a moment's notice and hold tightly to the One who keeps His promise?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How To Blow Out An Egg~ Decorating For Easter

  • Take the egg between the left thumb and fingers and position in the hand so that the smaller end is pointing upward.
  • Prick a hole in the top of the egg with a sewing needle. Make the hole a little wider by swirling the end of the needle around the perimeter of the hole. Be careful not to use too much pressure and crack the egg.
  • Turn the egg upside down and use the sewing needle to place a slightly larger hole in the wider base of the egg.
  • Hold the pricked egg over a clean bowl between the thumbs and index fingers of your hands and begin to blow air into the smaller hole. Puckering the lips around the hole and blowing as hard as you can is the best way to get the insides to come out. Once the egg begins to flow, less intensive air blowing will be necessary.
  • Keep blowing into the egg, letting the yolk fall into the bowl below. A good way to tell the egg is empty is to watch the egg leaving the larger hole. It will be white, then yellow, then white again as it nears the end.
  • Rinse the empty egg carefully under water to remove any residue egg and to clean off the shell.
  • Allow the shell to dry completely before decorating and remember not to waste the yolks. Put them in the fridge for an omelet after you finish your craft project.
  • I tea stained the eggs with very strong tea water. Next~ I spattered the eggs with black craft paint and an old toothbrush. It helps to get your toothbrush wet first.

Honey Buttermilk Bread Recipe

2 tsp yeast
1 tsp organic sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups of warm buttermilk
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup melted butter (let cool to warm)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
 6 cups flour ( I used 3 cups unbleached four and 3 cups wheat flour.)

* Mix yeast and sugar with warm water in a small bowl. Too warm for a babies' bath water. Let sit and froth to top of the bowl.

* Mix buttermilk, honey, baking soda together and add to yeast mixture.

* Add three cups of flour to the above mixture and mix on low with a kneader in a Kitchen Aid until well mixed.

* Add warm butter and mix well.

* Slowly add the last three cups of flour until well kneaded.

*Place in greased bowl for about an hour until it doubles in size.

*Punch down and divide into two loaf pans.

* Let the dough rise until double again

* Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

* Brush with butter and let stand in pans for 10 minutes before removing.


I Need Your Prayers~

It's a cold Spring morning here at Farming On Faith. The Pansies and Violas will have to come in for the next three nights. We have freezing temperatures headed our way. However~ we are getting much needed rain and it sure is greening up around here. It takes a little rain to make things grow. In Creation and in our lives too. Isn't that so?

Psalm 118:It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

Sometimes we go through life getting our answers from the world and end up frustrated. Lately~ I have been having some health issues and going to Doctors which has left me even more frustrated. They can't agree on my solutions.  I have never been sick much in my entire life but having major surgery has left me with some concerns I need to fix. I seem to have more issues after the surgery than I had before.

 I know God sends us good Doctors and I respect that. It is here lately that my Doctors have differing opinions that has me confused. Yesterday I just cried out to God for wisdom.  I have always been a great Doctor Mom and managed to keep myself well for almost 50 years. I have nursed children, pets and even a rodent or two.  I have lost my ability when I think I need it most.  I know my Creator has the answers and I am seeking His guidance to help me. He has never once let me down and I know I can trust Him.

Will you pray with me that I will figure it out?

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's A Fabulous Friday At Farming On Faith~ Splashes Of Joy

 Good Morning Blog Friends
Oh man~ the sun is warming things up around here and making all things new~ fresh and green. The birds are singing and my heart is too. I am so excited that Spring has sprung. I have a weekend of getting my hands in some dirt. How about you?

I am counting my blessings and naming them one by one. Have you ever seen those little pebbles that have faith, love and joy engraved on them? Well this morning I have decided to list my pebbles of joy. How about you leave me your pebbles of joy too? I am going to pick one of your joyful post and send a  special gift to a random friend this very week.

My Pebbles of Joy
Being held in God's arms
A kiss from my Brian

A call from my girls

A hug from my son

A visit with my grands

Best Friends
The words~I love you
Dime store bubble bath
Bubble Baths
Raspberry tea on my porch

 Yellow Roses
A love letter
A newborn baby
Beautiful perfume
The song of a mockingbird
A new box of stationery
A choir singing
The feel of clean hair
Fall leaves
A fire
Answered prayer
Rest after pain
Homemade bread
Cinnamon rolls
Christmas lights

A box of new crayons
Isaiah 41:10
A problem resolved
Sleep when a crisis is passed
Finding a lost earring
A happy ending
Fresh linens on my bed
The first garden tomato
Old love letters
The right answer at the right time
A comfortable chair
Chocolate fudge
Ice Cold Diet Coke
A clean house
Breakfast with a friend
A snowball cupcake
My family
 Old Glory

Psalms 34:8
 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm Just Going To Sing~

This morning I am reading all these devotionals along with my Proverbs and the reading of the day. Sometimes do you ever just feel flat? Not for lack of trying as you can see. I mean I start my day with a hand-full of devotions~ listen to several sermons and still feel like I just don't have anything to offer.

I don't even feel like I have anything to share on this blog this very morning.  I just need God Almighty to reach down and give me a hug. Do you know what I mean? I don't drink or smoke or run with those who do~ I need to hear a message to help me make it through the crisis of the day. And we all have those~ don't we? If not ~ we only have to look at our National News to have our hearts bleed for our brothers and sisters being beheaded on the other side of the world.

I am having that kind of day. I read my Bible and many greater than I had these kind of times too.  You know what I do when this happens? I begin to sing. I sing~ "What can take away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus." 

 I go back to a time when I was a little girl sitting in a little brick building with wooden pews. I loved sitting in the pew and singing to Jesus. I felt such joy in my soul as a 5-year-old girl. The message was a little over my head but oh how those songs stirred my heart to love Jesus more.  The Jesus who would never leave me or forsake me. I remember thinking there were fears outside those plaster walls but inside I felt safe and secure. I felt as if Jesus Himself picked me up and hugged me as I sang those old-fashioned hymns.  Those hymns which I come to glean from through personal experience all my almost 50 years on this earth. 

Nothing makes me smile like when I sing~ "Count your many blessings name them one by one….." I mean my empty nest becomes a brighter place to be these days when I am naming my blessings one by one.

One of my favorites is ~  "I belong to the King, I'm a child of His love, And He never forsaketh His own: He will call me some day to His palace above, I shall dwell by His glorious throne." I am just imaging what that day will be like~ an eternal Spring. It helps to put in perspective what really matters today. I am so thankful that I am a child of His love. Just think about that for a little while. 

Songs of old that I have learned from my youth have ministered to my soul when the times get tough. They lighten my burden when I feel alone, afraid, misunderstood, rejected, frustrated, overwhelmed and hopeless. 

The other day I was helping by filling in at a church office when I heard beautiful music. It compelled me to follow the beautiful sound into the Sanctuary. A young lady was singing and I closed my eyes and listened to her song as she practiced. It just did my heart good. I believe that's what happens when we sing praises and music to our God. I just imagine He bends His ear to our tune. He leans in a little closer. I bet it even puts a smile on His face. I am just sure it stirs the very heart of God when His children sing to Him even with the simplest of songs such as ~ "Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so."

Homemade Raspberry Pie~

Fresh Raspberry Pie

1  double-crust pastry shell
5 C. fresh raspberries
6 T. flour
1/2 C. sugar or more, depending on sweetness of berries
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 T. butter

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom crust; reserve top crust.

Rinse berries, drain and dry on paper towels. In a bowl, toss berries with flour and sugar.

Brush inside of bottom crust with egg white to moisture-proof the bottom crust. Spoon filling into shell. Dot with butter.

Moisten rim of bottom pie crust with water and cover with reserved top crust; seal and finish edges; cut steam vents in top.

Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350°F. and continue baking until crust is golden brown (40 to 50 minutes). Cover edges of crust with strips of foil, if necessary, to prevent excessive browning. Serve at room temperature.
6 servings.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

We Are All In This Together

Last fall I had major surgery~ my one and only in my lifetime. It was way harder than I imagined. I was not prepared at all. My youngest daughter came home for a couple weeks and took care of her momma. I slept in a recliner for a couple weeks because it hurt to even try to get up and down. I was crabby ~ helpless is a word that is not in my vocabulary. My whole body hurt and did not function properly.
We as believers are much like that~ the body of Christ can't function when parts of us are wounded or knocked for a loop. In fact, when someone has fallen down we are tempted to add insult to injury. Why in the world do we want to shoot our wounded?
When parts of our earthly body are not being exercised enough they moan and groan. We all have a job to do building one another up. Healthy bodies work together to fulfill what God has called us to do.
I am going to go a little deeper. As a born-again blood-bought children of God we need to be kind and loving to all people~ even those outside of our local church. I have been convicted of being critical of other believers and churches. Let's not be critical of each other but encourage and build each other ~ nurturing one another. After all~ one day we will all spend eternity together.
My Hannah took such great care of me. She would wake me up when it was time for medicine. She made sure I drank enough water and ate my fruits and veggies. She even made sure I had enough protein for my  body to heal. It was so refreshing having her love me so well when I needed it the most. Who in your world needs you to lift them up today?Someone you meet today needs a little kindness. Remember to show love to those that cross your path today.
Romans 12:3-8
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

He Knows My Name~ YOURS TOO

Good Morning Blog Friends~

 I so need to see the sun. How about you? I think here in our part of the world it is on its way and we have a warm- upcoming. This girl needs to get her hands in some dirt.  I  need to hear the birds chirp and feel the sun on my face. It's almost here!

Just as it refreshes my soul to garden and feel the sun  ~ realizing that the Lord is my sun and shield refreshes my mind. We don't have to get caught up in the worries of the day. We only need to reach for the one and only~ true SUN of God. He holds us in the palm of His hand. HE KNOWS OUR NAME. 

 We can rest knowing He has it all under control. He calls me chosen, free forgiven, child of the King, His forever…… held in treasure. I am loved and so are you. 

Now that is something to celebrate on this cool~ brisk March morning. 

Yum Beef Burgers~

This our my version of the old fashioned St Joseph, Mo  Bucket Shoppe Beef Burgers ~ a place where my Dad would take me for lunch when I was a little girl. They are oh~ so good.

1 pound hamburger
1/3 cup water
minced onion to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons chili sauce
chili powder
hamburger buns
Cooking Instructions:
Mix hamburger, water, onion, salt, and pepper. Fry until almost done. Add tomato paste, mustard, chili sauce and a bit of chili powder. Simmer till done. Place on a hamburger bun with a pickle.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I Have Been Here Before~

Life has been so large lately. This morning I was looking back to this time in my life a couple years ago. We were at a cross-road which left us selling our home we had built ourselves. I was leaving behind my chickens, my raspberries that were doing so well, my garden, my orchard and so much that we had worked so hard to build. It was a valley in my life but this morning I can honestly say I survived. ( I still really miss my chickens the most.)

I decided to re-post this devotion just to remind myself that hard times will come into our lives but God has carried me safe this far and one day He will carry me home. I am so thankful that my security is in the fact that Christ lives in me.

I think spring has finally arrived at Farming On Faith. Oh, my stars~ I thought it might never get here.

I have this saying written on my chalkboard on the porch in hopes it really is true!

No Winter lasts forever ~
 No Spring skips her turn.

This morning as I sit on my deck listening to all the glory of a beautiful spring day I am having my devotions with Emilie Barnes. I raised my family on Emilie's books. I just love her! I am reading her devotion called

Philippians 4:11

 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
 I have to remind myself of this because we are in the process of selling our home and moving back to town. Have I ever told you I would rather do anything except move? It gives me horrible nightmares and keeps me awake at night! So I am just having the hardest time being content in this state~ that I hate.

We have been looking for a home for about a year and that has not gone so great either but I just want to get where I am going. I hate being stuck in the middle and I need my roots to take hold somewhere~ anywhere. 

Emilie states~ "We don't happen to live in a society that puts a lid on anything, let alone our desires. As a capitalistic and consuming society, we strive upward to the next level of prosperity; bigger apartments or houses, luxury cars, the next raise, fancier vacations, and more expensive toys. The echo of our success says that our happiness depends on  processions that show those around us that we have succeeded in the business world."

In and of themselves, there is not a thing wrong with owning things. But to love them so much we are not willing to give them up makes them a little god. I never thought we would be asked to give up our retirement home but that is exactly what God has asked us to do.

My husband has been called to a job that impacts way more lives than just ours. So ~ we are selling and obeying the call that God has called my husband to do.  

The part I am struggling with is the process. Sigh..... I have been here before!

 Paul is telling us in this verse above to have contentment in today ~ right now~ not the desires for the future. I have been here before and I really didn't pass the test with flying colors. In fact ~ if I were to give myself a grade it would be more like I verily passed by the seat of my pants.  I want to pass the test this time with faith~ and grace.

So today I am focusing on just living in the moment for today and being content even without my roots being planted.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Perfect Lemonade~ Just Tastes Like Spring

Spring is just around the corner and I am so excited I just can't contain myself.  It's almost  time for planting the pansies and starting the winter clean-up. I just get giddy this time of year when the birds are singing~ the frogs start croaking and I see the first bumble bee. I love watching God make all things new once again.
 It has been a long winter~ physically and spiritually but I am rejoicing that God does restore all that is dead and makes it new again. That is just something to celebrate today.
  Hope you are making a joyful noise unto God in your part of the world today.

Psalm 100

 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Perfect Lemonade Recipe

  • 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
Serve with ice, sliced lemons.

We Will Survive~

A couple of years ago we had the worst drought here in Missouri. The ground was hard and tough. This tender little green plant grew anyway. Why? Because I nurtured it. I went out in the early morning hours and fed and watered it. After the heat of the day, I went back and gave it another drink. I can't say we had a bumper crop that year but our garden did survive.
 Some evenings I would go out to the garden to see my tender little plants stuck to the ground, all dried out and withered. I would slowly spray the plants with cool refreshing water and they would perk up once again. Eventually the plants got stronger and could take the heat of the day but I still had to water each and every day that year because of the drought. That little plant was at the mercy of the gardener's hands. If I had missed one day it would have withered up and died.
It's like that in the life of a believer in Christ. Our ability does not reside in us but in the Master who waters, feeds, and nourishes us. None of us are exempt from the punches that life throws at us. Storms are always going to brew up to threaten our stability. He is the Master Gardener that can sustain us. We can say with the Apostle Paul ~ We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed: we are perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed. (2Cor. 4:8-9)
Many travelers through life have gone through deep waters of pain and suffering. We can have complete confidence that whatever comes our way that God's grace is sufficient. We can celebrate that in our weakness He is made strong. Our God is bigger than any problem that we are facing today.

We Believe~




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