Thursday, February 27, 2014

Super Power

I left a journal assignment for my creative writing students while I was out at Carter's ceremony the other day.  The prompt was to write about why they thought I was absent.  I just graded the papers today and they were so funny!  Only one student had me die in their story (pretty good coming from a group of teenagers) and most of them wrote that I was out saving the world!  One boy said that I didn't even have to use my superpowers, since I was able to stop bad things from happening simply by being there.  He elaborated by admitting that it was those same powers that enabled me to get my students to do their work!

My students' stories were fun to read and they made me laugh, but they also warmed my heart, because I think they wrote about something that they really have sensed in me.  It may not be my superpowers that get them to do their work or keep others from doing evil, but I think it is the "super power" of love that they see.  I truly care about my kids (biological and otherwise) and that care causes them to want to do well.  I know love changes things in this world because I have seen it work!

I haven't always had these "superpowers".  I have spent more time than I would like to admit caring more about me than the other person.  God has really spent a good bit of time training me, and though I am somewhat of a slow learner, I am catching on!  I have learned a lot by watching my husband!  

One of my favorite stories of Jerry comes from a time that I rode with him to work on a machine.  We arrived at the hospital late one evening, and the lady in the lab was ready to fight.  She was mad at the machine, the company, and Jerry, and she couldn't wait to tell him about it.  He patiently listened to her complaints and then began to use his superpowers!  As he asked her questions and reassured her, I could literally see her expression softening.  By the time we left, you would have thought they were best friends!  I was amazed.

It really doesn't take much to develop relationship with people.  If I am kind, listen to their hearts, and put their welfare in front of my own, most people will do anything I ask - even if I ask them to write 1000 words in one class period!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Lively Home

My home is full of life!  When I got home today, My sister, Kelly, was in the office talking to a client on the phone.  Jerry was also on the phone, counseling someone who is going through a rough time.  I smiled about all the talking going on as I made a phone call of my own, trying to work out details for my upcoming field trip.  It really isn't that unusual for so much to be going on around here.

Our four kids rotate in and out of the house with all of their activities, and it is not unusual to have lots of other kids around as well.  We have a policy here that you are only a visitor once, so there are quite a few kids that know they are considered family at my house.  I recently had a friend's child proclaim, "We're home!" When he pulled up in my driveway!  I love knowing that people feel comfortable in my home.

We live on a corner in our neighborhood, and with all of the animals, it is not uncommon for us to look outside and see friends and neighbors visiting the goats or rabbits.  The neighbor across the street even gives our dogs a daily treat at the corner of the yard!  We have an open door policy, so people stop by on a regular basis.

Speaking of the animals, sometimes it seems like something gives birth around here almost every month.  We have actually been several months without babies recently, but that is unusual.  In the past, we have had quite a variety of babes: rabbits, chicks, turkeys, pheasant, quail, goats, gerbils, puppies, ducks, and I am sure there have been others I am not thinking of.  It is my favorite part of raising animals, especially when we get to witness the births!

Part of life, especially life on a farm, is death, and we have certainly had our share.  Though it is hard when an animal dies, it seems to make us even more grateful for life.  And after a long cold winter like this one, I am ever so grateful for life.  Just knowing that right around the corner daffodils will be popping up and kids and chicks will be popping out, makes me want to do a little dance!  Yep!  Life is good!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

An Honorable Day

Today was an exciting day!  My oldest son, Carter, was inducted into the National Honor Society.  After the ceremony, we were interviewed, and it was very interesting to hear the way Carter responded to the questions.  I was surprised to hear the maturity that he had in his comments.  I was also pleased with the goals he pronounced in that interview.

I was not in the National Honor Society in High School, so I was interested to hear what it was all about!  I was not aware that the invitation was based, not just on grades, but character, service, and leadership as well.  

We were, of course, so proud of him, but it was also a great day for our family.  My parents, Jerry and I, and Carter's dad and his girlfriend, Sharon, were all there to support him.  Even his youth pastor, Chuck, came.  We took pictures and ate lunch together.  I really love unity!

Since I had taken the day off, Jerry and I got to spend the whole day together.  It was a nice treat, especially since we have some very busy times coming up.  I didn't really get much work done, but I guess we do all need days like that.  All in all, I would say that it was a very honorable day!

Monday, February 24, 2014

On The Edge

This morning found me in a place I did not want to be.  I woke up feeling like I had not slept, and the  negative voices in my head started before my feet ever hit the ground.  Actually, the first sounds I remember hearing were the those of the dogs fighting over their breakfast.  It wasn't a good way to begin.

I prayed for my attitude before leaving the house.  I felt nasty and I really didn't want to spill that all over the people I came in contact with today.  I was especially mindful of my students, as I had just received news of a young person (not one of my students) losing their life.  I have just spent the last week writing about being ready with my reason for the hope I have - I don't want to destroy that message by stealing someone's hope!

After a great meeting with a friend who understands, I came home and took a long nap - but not before contacting some of my warriors to lift me up in prayer.  I knew I was on the edge of falling in the pit and I so don't want to go there!  Thankfully, someone that I didn't even ask, emailed me to say that she was praying for me today.  I knew that God was protecting me and the knowledge that he assigns people to intercede on my behalf is incredible!  I slept well and woke up feeling rested and ready.  

I am so excited to say that God gave me the rest of my words and session 4 is now complete!  I just have the discussion booklet/journal to complete and I am only three days past my deadline.  If you have been praying for me, please don't stop!  This is one of the biggest responsibilities that God has given me and I am so excited to be a part of it.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Going In Circles

Yesterday was a great example of our crazy life on the funny farm!  I was working hard on finishing my writing project (now one day past deadline!), Carter was at work on the farm down the street where some of our goats are visiting, and Jerry and the other kids were running various errands.  Jerry had just come back from town, and he and Trevor had driven to a friends house to drop off something, when I received a frantic call from Carter.  The signal was bad and his voice was broken, which scared me, because I couldn't understand what he was saying, just that he was upset.  All kinds of frightening thoughts went through my head while I tried to figure out what he was trying to relay.  

Finally, I was able to make out that Willy, our big male Boer goat, was down on the ground crying and he couldn't get up.  That was not good news!  I promised Carter that I would call Jerry and he would be right there!  Quickly, I dialed Jerry's number and his phone started ringing on the counter in the other room!  Still disturbed by my scary thoughts and the bad news about Willy, I concluded that, once again, my writing would have to wait!

Renee, Alden, and I hopped into another vehicle, determined to chase Jerry down. I knew where he went and, though it wasn't far away, I knew he could be there for hours chatting!  I had already called the friends he was visiting and they didn't answer either, but it was possible that Willy didn't have much time so I needed to find him fast.  All the way there, we watched for Jerry's car, but there was no sign of him.  In the back of my mind, knowing that the road between our house and our friends was a giant circle, I was thinking he might have gone the other way.

As we neared our friend's home, it was evident that Jerry's car wasn't in the driveway.  The twin girls were in the front yard, hitting balls off the tee he had just dropped off, and they pointed us in the other direction.  We sped off, hoping to catch up, since Carter and Willy were now in between us and home. Renee used her father's phone, that he had left at home, to call our house and, after the second attempt, he answered.  She explained the dire situation and we all met up at the top of the road leading to the farm where Willy and Carter were.

As we all pulled in and sprinted to the goat pasture, we were surprised to see Willy looking perfectly normal!  "I don't know what was going on," Carter shrugged, "But he seems fine now!"  The goats all seemed happy to see us!

We still don't know what that was all about, but while we were there we decided to bring home two does that appear to be ready to kid soon.  The kids chased them around and finally caught the two.  The hardest part was carrying heavy, pregnant goats several hundred yards to the truck!  The kids rode in the back with the goats while we all followed each other home.

Just a normal day at the funny farm, going in circles, but always ending up together!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Important Work!

I love it when God gives me opportunities to serve in the midst of the "important stuff" he has given me to do!  Just in case you think I'm being sarcastic, I'm really not!  I am right in the middle of two big projects - writing for our women's conference and our missions committee's Heart for Hunger fundraiser.  I am trying to meet deadlines and stay on task, so I am tempted to hide away and avoid all interruptions!  

As he usually does, God brought a couple of really cute distractions my way way today (my nephews) and I almost apologized and missed out on their visit.  In the end, I was so glad I didn't!  Instead, I played with them so their mommy could eat lunch without a baby in her lap.

Sometimes, our work seems so important that we forget what is truly meaningful in life - helping others!  When we take time out for people, God will make sure all of the other stuff gets done!

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Channeled Hope

Carter had his hopes set on watching a certain game tonight.  He came home from school, got his shower and settled in, only to discover the game was not available on our limited channels.  He was so disappointed.  You would have thought that something really tragic had happened by his sullen demeanor.  He didn't fuss or complain, he just seemed so discouraged!

I think many of us have a tendency to do the same when our expectations are not met.  We can easily find ourselves disappointed when things do not go our way.  We let circumstances that are out of our control, and people who make their own choices, determine our happiness and our attitudes!

After a while, Jerry began to flip through the channels and, to Carter's great surprise, the game was on after all!  His dreary disposition suddenly lit up and he was all smiles!  I had to chuckle at how quickly he could go from gloomy to gleaming!

We must to be very careful with what determines our happiness!  If we base our joy on things of this world, temporary pleasures and relationships, we will always be unsteady and temperamental.  True joy can only come from an unchanging source of hope!

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


In my quest for writing about 4000 meaningful words today, there have been many distractions!  Jerry was unable to take Renee to her doctor's appointment this afternoon, so I took her.  That was a couple of hours out of my planned writing time!  There were several phone calls, and the news of one of my children acting out.  That news, in particular, was almost enough to throw me for a loop, but I submitted it to God, let my husband take care of it and pushed forward!  

One of the phone calls was my Dad, letting me know some news about what seems an impossible situation. The family involved is praying for a miracle.  I found myself thinking cynical thoughts as my Dad was explaining the situation. Do you know the thoughts I'm talking about?  Thoughts like, "It's good that they have faith, but it probably won't happen."  As I was thinking the thoughts and listening to my Dad, I looked at what I was typing.  I was midway through the verse I had just looked up and my fingers were still tapping the keys on my Ipad.  The verse said, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13!  Seriously!  I was typing that verse and at the same time wondering why this family had hope!  Wow!  

God is teaching me some amazing things while I am writing this conference!  I have to believe that he will be teaching others as well!  The title of the conference is "Linking Our Story With His Story - Understanding How God Reveals His Story Through Ours".  It focuses on our need for God, His intervention in our lives, our response, and how our lives are changed!  Boy, do I have some stories tell!  I'd be willing to bet you do as well!

I am going to bed now!  I would like to say that my brain is fried, but since I really feel that God is working through me, I think the exhaustion I feel is coming more from simply fighting off the distractions!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Words Count

I have been very focused on counting words lately.  The project I assigned in Creative Writing this week requires the students to count their words.  I am also in the midst of writing for a women's conference that is next month.  It will be my first opportunity to speak at a conference and I will be speaking for about 30 minutes, four different times during the weekend.  I discovered today, after finishing Session One, that it takes about 4000 words to fill that amount of time!

I don't want to just fill the time, though!  I want the words to be meaningful!  I pray that the words I am writing are not my words, but the words God wants me to speak!  

Matthew 12:36 says, "But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken."  

On the other hand, Isaiah 55:11 says, "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."

Wow!  16,000 opportunities to have to account for, or 16,000 opportunities to achieve God's purpose!  Please pray for me to "correctly handle the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Struggle For Creativity

I really frustrated my Creative Writing students today!  When I planned this new assignment, I didn't expect that they would find it so difficult, but I have to admit that I enjoyed watching their struggle!  Before you think that I am some kind of sinister teacher who enjoys tormenting her students, let me explain - I know a few things about struggle!

Struggle produces strength!  I wrote a story in one of my "Cup of Encouragement" books about watching our chicks hatch.  The chicks go through quite a bit of struggle in order to break out of their shell.  We learned the hard way just how important that struggle is!  Every chick we helped out of its shell did not survive!  The struggle helps them build the strength they need to live!  We, too, need struggle in our lives to help us build the strength to survive.  My students need to struggle with difficult assignments to help them to break out of their comfort zones and become better writers!

Struggle produces confidence!  When someone stays in comfortable conditions with no difficulties or challenges, how do they know what they can handle?  We all need to be challenged so that we can learn how to meet and overcome the challenges.  Even failures can help us to develop confidence when we learn that we can overcome and survive those failures.  I strive to give my own children some room to learn how to solve problems and make decisions so that they can have the confidence that they are capable.  In the classroom, I want my students to get that same benefit!  There is nothing better than watching a kid figure out they can do something that they thought they couldn't!

Struggle produces creativity!  As a college student studying to be an art teacher, I was completely against coloring books.  I felt that they inhibited creativity.  I have relaxed a little in my old age, but it still think a blank page and some crayons are so much better!  Why? - Because filling in someone else's lines doesn't require as much.  I may need to choose colors, but most of the thinking is done for me.  Creating from very little is much more - well - creative!  By very definition, creating is making something from nothing.  When we must work within boundaries, with limits, or with very little, we will have to work harder, think deeper, and use more imagination!  It is a struggle, and out of struggles like that have come some of the greatest inventions and creations!

Yes, I did enjoy watching my students struggle.  I took great pleasure in denying their requests to make the assignment easier or to make exceptions.  I enjoyed it because I know that, if they choose to embrace the struggle, the results will be amazing!  They will not only have completed an assignment, they will be stronger, have more confidence, and will increase their creativity!  It is, after all, Creative Writing!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Maps or Folders?

The other day, my friend, Heather, and I were talking about all that fills our plates.  I was saying how helpful I think it would be if I could pull up a hologram screen of all of the things in my mind, and organize them into folders as if they were on a touch screen.  That way, instead of thinking of a thousand things at once, I could simply open a file and only think about the things that were there.  Then, I could close that folder and open another.  It would be so nice if my head worked like that!  Right now, I could really use a "clean up" command or an "organize by" button to push!

Whenever I get overwhelmed, I like to make a mind map.  I tried one tonight and I posted it below.
It was so messy and full that it actually made me feel worse!  I usually like mind maps because they are interesting to look at and help me to categorize my projects.  This one did not work!

I started thinking about my folder idea from the other day, and I decided to try something different.  I pulled up this design I created a while back and it looks like folders on a computer screen to me.  That is not what I had in mind when I created it but it works for me today!  

 I decided that I should only include projects that I am working on and this helped me to clean it up even more.  Now it resembles a checklist (which I like) and it clean and usable.  I was just telling someone the other day how charts and lists work well for me.

I still have just as much work to do, but now I think on one project or one task at a time.  I feel like I can sleep now!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Project Day

Some days, I am just not sure which hat I will wear!  I am a wife, mother, teacher, author, and artist.  I had really planned to grade papers and work on a writing project today, but it didn't work out that way at all!

We didn't have kids at home today, (the unfortunate benefit of being a blended family) so Jerry and I slept in.  It was wonderful!  The only bad part of sleeping in is that all of the plans we had for the day begin a lot later.  Once we finally got ourselves up and going, we decided to go into town to pick up some things for Alden's room.  

Renovating Alden's bedroom is a project we started over a year ago.  We moved him into Trevor's room for a "short time" and they are both tired of the arrangement, so we are trying to finish it ASAP!  We needed some trim pieces and we also decided to get carpet, so we headed to the carpet place first.  We ended up deciding on carpet totally different from our first idea, but we did get brown, because Alden wants it to look like dirt - more specifically, the forest floor.  We had a lot of fun shopping for the carpet.  Home improvement is one of our favorite things to do together.  We also have fun with salespeople.  I think they must enjoy talking about us after we leave!

On the way home from the carpet place, we got a call from a friend with a flat tire.  We took a side trip to help her out and then headed out again to pick up our trim.  This was an easy stop because we knew just what we needed, but we did spend some time making plans with a guy who works there to take him a load of wood next week.

We took another side trip on the way home again, but this time it was to visit our friends, Tom and Tracie!  Tom is our pond guy, and he is building a portable waterfall for our Vacation Bible School.  We won't need it until July, but he wants to start on it soon.  I am so excited to have a real water feature for the centerpiece!  Tom has been wanting to build portable water features to rent out for special occasions, so he is using this as his prototype.  If you want to see some of his projects, check out his website,

When we got home, it was 8:00 PM!  It's amazing how quickly a day can go by!  Jerry and I headed downstairs with the wood and I decided I might as well get started on Alden's mural while Jerry primed the trim.  Alden wants a realistic camouflage mural on one wall, and I had an idea how I wanted it to look.  I thought I might just do a little background work, but I ended up doing a bit more than I had planned.  I think I am happy with it so far.  It may not look like the popular realistic camouflage patterns, but once it has leaves, I think he will be pleased.  He sure is going to be surprised when he gets back here next week!

All in all, it was not a bad day!  Sleeping late with my honey, shopping, helping and visiting friends, and a good start on a project - I guess I'll have to grade papers and write tomorrow!

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Valentine

Things I Respect (and Love) about Jerry Custer

~ The way he loves God and follows Him!

~ The way he plays with our children!  (Love the igloo!)

~ The way he teaches our children!

~ The way he provides for us and shoulders the burden!

~ The way he supports my creativity and my calling!

~ The way he dreams with me!

~ The way he helps others!

~ The way he works with me to create our home!

~ The way he serves God with me!   

~ The way he loves me!

~ His strength and wisdom! 

And there is soooooo much more!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Smiling Kind of Day!

I feel like my goat looks here!  It was a smiling kind of day!  I had all of my kids here (plus an extra) and I spent the entire day with family and friends.  We did a little work and we played a lot!  All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better snow day!  

The day started out with me getting to sleep in!  Mmmmmm, it was delightful!  I LOVE to sleep and I am NOT a morning person!  I awoke to the sound of people going in and out of the door, so I decided I'd better get up too, or I would miss all of the good pictures!

After I got all bundled up, I joined my family, who had shoveled out the entire driveway!  I was impressed, but I knew why they were so motivated - they wanted to go sledding!  Jerry's snow day rule is "work first - play second!"

After the driveway, we headed over to shovel out the goats!  They were happy to see us and they came out, but they did NOT like the snow!  At least we gave them a path to their hay bale!

Last, but not least, we went next door to shovel out Ms. Agnes's driveway.  She isn't planning on going anywhere in this weather, but we like to clear her way just in case!  She was happy to see us and we enjoyed a quick visit at the garage door!  Finally, our work was done and my tired crew trekked home.

After all that shoveling, we went home for some rest.  Oh, I forgot, Jerry, Carter, and Trevor took a side trip to check on our goats down the street.  They didn't really want to come out either, but they did appreciate the visit.  Trevor took my camera and he took this picture and the great one of Tinkerbell smiling!  The rest of us stayed home and did a little housework and ate some lunch!

After lunch, our friends, Britton and Jess, came over to go sledding.  We have a great hill down the road in our neighbor's cow pasture.  All of the neighbors come sledding there.  It's so much fun to meet everyone on the hill.  We built a jump and had a great time watching each other crash!  It was almost like the Winter Olympics - Kents Store style!  It started sleeting and then snowing while we were still sledding.

As if that wasn't enough fun, we left the sledding hill and went to Britton and Jess's house where they pulled us around on the sleds with the four-wheeler!  Unfortunately, my camera died, so I don't have any pictures.  But, needless to say, we finished out the day cold, wet, tired, and hungry!  We came home where, thankfully, the power was still on.  Hot showers, warm corn chowder, and a movie completed my "smiling kind of day!"  Good Night!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Once a Mother, Always a Mother

It's amazing how my motherly instincts kick in for more than just my own children!  It is especially interesting when I feel "mother hennish" about full grown adults that are not even related to me!  I was absolutely glued to social media tonight, watching for messages about who was still out on the roads and which ones had made it home safely!  I either called, texted, or messaged everyone I could think of to check in on them, (well maybe not everyone) or I made Jerry do it.  Even as I am writing this, I stopped to send a message to someone else!

There are so many out there that I cannot check on.  All of my students are outside of my realm of contact at this time, but I think about them and hope that they are safe at home with their families.  I worry particularly about the ones who had a difficult day.  Several of my students are very much on my mind and in my prayers tonight!

I do have all of my chicks in the nest!  Carter was supposed to be staying at school tonight, but because of some events of the day, I couldn't bear to leave him there.  There are just sometimes when I need my kid close, and today was one of them!  My mommy instincts tell me that this isn't the time to push for independence.  

I may not have prayed for the snow, but it sure did show up!  At this time, all of my animals are tucked in tight.  Goats, chickens, and rabbits have all of their necessities, including warm, dry shelter.  The only one that worries me is Jessie, our beagle who refuses to come into the house.  She is a whole story for another day, but I do worry about her!  I noticed paw prints in the snow coming up to the carport and I suspect she was looking to see if the other dogs would come out to play with her.  She has weathered much worse and I know she has plenty of places to get out of the weather, but I do wish she would come in!

I just let out a deep, long sigh and, as I did, I tried to let go of all of the anxious mothering thoughts I have.  I need to rest so I can do the real mothering tomorrow!  How grateful I am that I have a Father in Heaven who will not sleep tonight!  I know that He will be watching over me and all of those I love.  I can rest because He has it all under control!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Let It Snow?

Nearly everyone around me is excited about the impending inclement weather we may receive in the next few days.  Everyone but me, it seems!  One may assume that I am not looking forward to a foot of the white, flaky substance because I am a teacher, and that assumption would be true.  Even though we have not yet seen an abundance of snow this year, we have had our fair share of missed school days.  Fluvanna has already consumed our five banked days, and we are currently scheduled to make up three more.  As a matter of fact, if this winter storm behaves as they predict, our students will actually miss one of our makeup days this week!  While it is nice to take a sabbatical here and there during the winter doldrums, I would much rather spend time inside a classroom while it is freezing cold, than stay cooped up with restless teenagers on lovely summer days!  But this is not the main reason that I am NOT praying for a blizzard.

Our little funny farm typically requires little work.  We feed and water the goats, rabbits, and chickens on a daily basis, but these tasks only take a few minutes, especially when there are several of us to participate.  All of that changes when cold, wet stuff freezes and falls to the ground.  Most people will spend this evening going to the grocery store to stock up on bread and milk, but we will be running around, preparing Cornercopia for the blanket that will cover our animals' homes, food, and water!

Our chores tonight will include securing a hay bale from the neighbor so our goats will have something to munch on until their grass is uncovered.  We will also need to check in on the goats we have in a pasture up the street.  Hopefully no mamas will choose to deliver during the storm!  Jerry and I will need to cover the rabbit cages with a tarp.  This keeps the snow from blowing in if the winds are high and provides a little reprieve from the biting cold.  We also need to pick up some extra water bottles, since they freeze so quickly.  We generally keep a set indoors thawing so we can switch them out several times a day.  The chickens will be fine, except that their water freezes also.

Once it snows, our tasks become that much more difficult.  If the accumulation is anywhere near what they are predicting, we will need to shovel a path for the goats and chickens to leave their shelter.  Water will have to be replaced several times a day for all of the animals because of freezing.  Of course, we won't be able to use the hose, since it will probably be frozen, so we will have to carry the water from inside.  The chickens and rabbits will probably eat more because of the cold, and the goats will still want their grain even though they will have a huge bale of hay!

We have a generator in case the power goes out, but because our well pump is old, it won't function without electricity.  I will be busy tonight, filling up jugs of water for our family and our animals.  Not to mention, the loads of wood we need to carry in to keep the wood stove working!  Ughhhh, I get tired just thinking about it all!

Then again, when we get a huge snowfall like the one that is creeping closer, we gather around the fireplace sipping hot chocolate and Russian Tea.  We have piles of snow boots and gloves by the door and wet jackets hanging by the wood stove to dry.  The kids are home all day bugging us to go sledding and play in the snow.  We roll giant balls of snow into snowmen and take pictures of the kids sitting on top!  We shovel the neighbor's sidewalks and visit Ms. Agnes in her warm kitchen.  We walk down to the Lewis's sledding hill in the cow pasture where we make epic sled jumps and sledding trains with as many neighbors as we can.  We make a fire in the fire pit and light the burning pile in the garden.  Sometimes, we even go back to the sledding hill for a night run!  

Yes, our funny farm is a cornecopia of work in the snow, but the memories we make during the most challenging of times seem to be the memories that stand out the best!  Okay, maybe I am a little excited!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Being Used

I love being used!  Jerry and I had no less than 10 people at our table for the better part of this last week!  Yesterday, as everyone was getting up and clearing the dishes away, we just looked at each other at opposite ends of our 10 foot long farm table and smiled.  There is just nothing better than a table full of people!  We have had so many opportunities this week to be used by God.

What should have been a hectic mess in the midst of our already busy schedule, turned out to be the best week I've had in a long time!  The blessings consisted of loving on our friend's children (two different families on two separate occasions), watching my kids serve others, praying with friends, providing a listening ear, demonstrating forgiveness, feeding lots of people, and witnessing miracles!  

I was busy, God worked it out.  I was short on food, God provided it.  I was uncertain, God reassured. I prayed, God answered.  I trusted, God was faithful!  HE ALWAYS IS!

Last week was exhausting!  Last week was exhilarating! Last week was exceptional! I can't think of any better way to spend a week than to be used!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galations 6:9