May 19, 2011

Faith like a Dandelion

The dandelions have already come to grace our lawn with their faithful presence. Some have even already spent their blooms, and are prepared to complete their little flower lives by spreading the joy. The neighbors will be so thrilled, I'm sure. 

I took a moment to admire these little guys one sunset a few days back, and for the first time in many years, I was filled again with the wonder of a dandelion. Just for a moment. It's my belief that dandelions are a child's right-of-passage into the world of rejoicing in God's handiwork. One of the first objects to be noticed. I've never met a little one that didn't think that they're just marvelous. We all picked them for every soul we knew, and proudly so; and those that survived in the yard to full maturity had their tiny parachutes blown to every corner and beyond. (I'll never forget that hot Summer day when some thoughtful little friends of mine filled my car with them as a sweet "Thank You." Ever... :) Heat does amazing things to dandelions...) Perhaps we'd love them so for the entirety of our lives, if the day didn't always come when someone finally gets the heart to break it to us:

"Sweetie....Dandelions are...actually...weeds."

For just one moment, pretend that your mother never got around to sharing those harsh facts with you. Imagine that those bright sunny faces are meant to be liked again. That's what I did that dusky evening. I wondered, I admired, and I got to thinking...

What a miracle it truly is, that such a teensy soft little thing as a dandelion seed, could fly so far. (Over 100 yards.) What a wonder that something so tiny-small could survive even long winters, and live to put its roots down so very deep, and grow so sturdy, so strong. To thrive, no matter where it lands. Even when so much effort is poured into stopping them; they cannot ever be completely overcome. Their name means "Lion Teeth." So strong, and ferocious. 

And it crept over my consciousness:
  "What if I had faith, like that?"

Faith is on my mind incessantly right now. This exhilarating process of learning to believe what God has said, not just with my mind, but with my life. And not just with little sections of it, but all of it. Perhaps that is why this picture comes with such clarity right now. 

I suddenly long to have faith, such as that. At this moment in my life, so many of the Lord's promises may seem so tiny and delicate, and even unlikely to the doubting eye. But as I examine this intricate design of His, I'm reassured: those little fluffy things will travel so much further than even I imagine, some may even land in the most unlikely places, but they will grow. They will thrive. Those promises will grow strong, deep, roots - and they will defy the poisons that are intended to destroy them. They will leave their eternal sunny stain on all that comes in contact with them. :) And in due season, they will spread, until there isn't even a corner of my life that isn't brimming with the Will, the Grace, the Mercies, and the overwhelming Faithfulness of my Heavenly Father. That's what I long for.

Perhaps that faith of a child that Jesus spoke of  has a little something to do with a child's attraction to these "weeds". As we give up our wonder over the little miracles like dandelions, we seem to give up our complete trust in the one that created them. 

I'm seeking for that simple faith again, the faith that takes God at His Word, and is willing to risk all for His sake. 

Faith like a dandelion.

"And Jesus said unto them...
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,
ye shall say unto this Mountain:
"Remove hence to yonder place;
and it shall remove;
and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
Matthew 17:20

"Whoso therefore shall humble himself as this little child,
the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Matthew 18:4

May 18, 2011

My Mom

I know, Mother's Day was ten days ago...
but any day would be a good day to write about my Mom,
it's something I haven't done here much.

Where to start?
She's my best friend; always has been.
She has always been there for me whether I need to 
laugh, cry, or just sort things out.

She's hilarious.
We laugh until we hurt when we get started.
It happens a lot...

She's one in a long heritage of exceptional cooks.
She can make recipes up on the fly, and they still don't flop,
it's almost always from scratch,
and 97% of the time; it's very healthful too! :)

She's one of the most creative people I know...
Always teeming with inspiration.
We don't always agree on those things -
it can be interesting having two right-brained, 
artistic types in the same house sometimes. :)

One of my favorite things about my Mom is 
her Adventurous spirit. 
She's always up for something new and exciting.
Sometimes it cracks me up,
sometimes it scares me, badly, ;)
but it has made me willing to be flexible in life,
and I'm so very thankful for that.
Not to mention all of the incredible memories I now
have from all of those days that we just "went for it." 

I've met some pretty interesting people,
visited some fascinating places,
and have lots of great experience in all sorts of crazy things.

Whether just a trip to the store,
or a trip across the ocean to visit my sister in Germany,
each moment together has always been memorable;
and I love that.

 I might've even caught that Adventurous spirit in the process...

Most importantly,
my Mom loves the Lord more than anything;
and that is so very clear.

There has never been a moment I've gone through,
where she didn't have a Scripture to encourage me, 
or a minute to stop and pray.
There has never been a time when those weren't the first answers,
and I'm so especially thankful for that.

I'm thankful for her wisdom, her grace, her daily
example of selflessness.

I'm so thankful for every single day working with,
learning from, and being blessed by her.

I hope I'm a lot like her someday. :)

I love you, Mom!

May 14, 2011

a visual explanation

I haven't been the best blogger of late,
because life has been keeping me busy.
I thought you all might enjoy a brief explanation,
in photo form.

Potatoes, Cabbage, and Sage. A happy trio.

First off, the garden.
A few short months ago, all that existed of our new
garden area were some sketches on paper, great ideas from friends,
 and lots of dreams in our heads. 

The whole process of building, filling, planting,
and general moving, transplanting, and landscaping -
has been a lot of hard work.
As we continue to shift the focal point off of our previous house
and begin arranging a new garden etc. based on our new home.

It's going to be completely worth it though.
I love being outside, so no complaints here! :)

Here's a little section of my herb garden that I just finished
building (using bricks from the 100 year old school house down
the road that is in the process of falling down.)
I'll have to get a photo of the whole area once it's finished.

Then there are always the animals.
You've seen the sheep plenty, but wow -
my little chickies have grown up since their last blog appearance.

One of our little meat birds. They grow so, so fast.
Those chickens have been quite the little project.
Moving them around, and keeping them confined is 
almost a full time job.
I'm trying to do a better job of keeping these tame,
(just less flighty and easier to manage.)
As a result of a long list of circumstances,
a bunch of them were loose and running around last night
just as it was starting to get dark.
(The cute little things don't like the dark, so most of 
them came running to me. :)
I finally had the last two in my arms and on their way
back to their house (running from mosquitoes)
and one crazy little hen bit me; and would not let go.
Since my arms were full of chickens, 
there wasn't much to be done about it.

Lovely little beak mark on my arm...

Makes me wonder if all of that taming and
classical music business did them any good at all... 
I'm feeling very betrayed at the moment.


That's about it for now.
The rain is taking a break around here,
and we're taking advantage.
I've been snapping pictures like crazy though,
so there are bound to be more posts soon.

Have a great weekend!

May 10, 2011

A word from Pollyanna

Well, actually several words; she has quite the vocabulary you know. I took the opportunity to video her on the sly one afternoon while she was having one of her talking fits. It was brought on by a lovely instrumental CD that we were listening to. For all of her own obnoxious squawking, the bird does have quite the musical appreciation. Violins especially, make her very happy indeed. 

So, without any further ado, here is three minutes of proof for you all that our little green fluff ball does truly speak. I'm interested to see if anyone else can understand her without it being interpreted... You can definitely tell the point in the movie when she spots me - as she begins asking for crackers, and then when denied, progresses to laughing at me before completely relapsing into the typical bird behavior... Preening when we actually want her to say something. :)

I'll do some interpretation if nobody is able to figure any of it out. :)

By the way...the clips on her doors are there for the purpose of keeping her in... You would be surprised.

(Later: Some of you are understanding her pretty well! For the rest that are still wondering, she is saying: "step-up", "come on", "good boy!" "I love you!" "Meow" "Here Kitty, Kitty!" "good girl" "pretty boy" "wanna cracker?" "huh?" "pretty girl" and at the end she is giggling to herself and muttering "really..."

May 3, 2011

a promise in the sky

Friday afternoon, the storm clouds parted for just a moment -
and in the east, we spotted the biggest, brightest rainbow that 
we had seen in many, many years. 

It had begun to fade a bit by this point...

I was immediately reminded of God's promise.

"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and
it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears
in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and
you and all living creatures of every kind.
Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it
and remember the everlasting covenant between God and
all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

Genesis 9:13-16

If you live anywhere in the Midwest right now,
you might need a reminder of that promise too. ;)
It's beginning to seem as if the rain will never stop!

But, for a little bit Friday, and then Saturday -
we had a short reprieve.
Time to work in the garden, and enjoy the apple blossoms.

it's raining again...
but I'm learning many lessons about trusting
in God's promises in all areas of my life.
He is good.