We all have an abundance of something, and sometimes we see our own abundance better through the eyes of someone else. We were put on this earth to share, to love, to give and to grow. Let’s live from our abundance together. And leave the legacy we are called to leave. Keep reading for tips, ramblings, recipes and more.
Years and years ago, when my son was only about five, he was helping me hang clothes on the line. His job was to hand me pins when I was ready for them, and he took his job very seriously, always watching me, anticipating my actions and ready with the pin when I needed it.
At one point, I reached out my hand for a pin. There was nothing. I glanced toward where he’d been and did not see him.
Still holding the wet shirt up at the line, I called, “Isaac?”
I heard something over at the opposite end of the clothesline, and I looked over. He was hunkered down, leaning against the pole, with tears in his eyes.
I let go of the damp material and went to him, crouching down beside him.
“Honey, what’s the matter?”
Isaac looked up at me with sorrow in his sweet little boy face.
“Mommy,” he said, “Jesus would have still died even if it had only been for me, wouldn’t He?”
My heart broke as I pulled my son to me in a bear hug. He was starting to get it. He was getting a glimpse of the love of Jesus and the reason for the cross.
I held him tightly and answered, “Yes, Isaac. Jesus loves you so much. Even if you had been the only person in the whole world, He would have still died for you.”
May we all live with this truth: Jesus loves us so much–so wholly and completely and miraculously–that He would have died, even it was only for us.
She picked on my kid! I couldn’t believe it. A real, live grown-up attempted to shame and humiliate my child in front of his teammates and a roomful of strangers.
And I wasn’t there to protect him.
Oh, I heard about it all right. From my kids. From other kids. From other parents. The whole world was indignant about the way my son was treated by this woman.
As the story was first being told to me by my son, I, quite frankly, suspected that the woman was justified in her frustration. I know he can be impulsive. Compulsive. Stubborn. I questioned him. He assured me of his innocence, and continued his account.
She harped on him. She nagged at him. She belittled him and accused him. She, almost a complete stranger to us and a woman in authority over my child, attempted to shame him in front of a roomful of people. Then, when the practice was over, she pulled him aside and told him that it she did it for his own good.
Are you kidding me?! I’ve played enough sports to know that there are all kinds of coaches. The ones I most warmly remember are not the ones who repeatedly griped at me and attempted to publicly humiliate me. No matter what kinds of results their tactics earned on the field, they did not earn respect in my heart.
So. What does a momma do? Well, I’ve been thinking about this. The way I see it, I’ve got two options. I can either ignore this situation and pretend it never happened OR this gal and I can have a smackdown.
She obviously needs to be taken down a notch or two! She needs to know what it feels like to be in a new situation and made to feel awkward and uncomfortable! She needs to experience the same kind of shame and humiliation that she tried to impose on my son. She needs to reap what she’s sown, get what she’s given, take what she’s dished out! She was an adult, placed in a privileged position of authority over tender, impressionable children! She had no right to do what she did! She needs to pay for her actions!
Doesn’t that sound fun?
Actually, part of me feels this way. There’s a momma bear in me that would love to go toe-to-toe with this woman. What she did was wrong. But, as my mother often said, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Let me tell you about my son’s reaction. He was embarrassed, yes. He was annoyed and frustrated. He felt singled out and picked on and kind of confused as to why she was doing what she did. But. He did not feel shame. He did not feel humiliation. He was in a new situation and made some mistakes. He did his best. He took responsibility for his actions. He knew that he had not done anything shameful and therefore refused to bear the burden of shame.
What a lesson there is for me in this! Just like this woman made the choice to leave a legacy of shame to my son, he chose to not walk in it. The mistakes he made were not worth the debt he was asked to pay.
What legacy are you walking in today? One of shame that someone else chose for you? Or, maybe you chose it for yourself with one bad decision after another. You feel that you’ve earned your shame by doing some shameful things, and you’ve determined to live up to your neck in it.
Sweet friend, there’s another option. It is grace. It is a path that starts at the feet of Jesus, and it is for every person, regardless of where we have been or what we have done. It is a path of forgiveness and peace, and it is yours for the choosing. Living our lives in shame is never for our own good.
If you ever want to know exactly what I’m talking about, just ask. My heart would love to tell you more.
Even though our Hoosier weather is still in a bit of denial, spring is certainly coming. Farmer Dave’s broccoli plants are a few inches tall, and I have salad greens peeking through the soil in my cold frame. The temperatures are occasionally warm enough to be comfortable in a sweatshirt, and I know the maple syrup farmers are busy hauling sap to boil. Spring is most assuredly on its way.
This winter has been one of healing for me–spiritually, emotionally and physically. I’ve forgiven some past hurts, adjusted my expectations in a couple of relationships, and I’m working on making my health a higher priority. I don’t know why all three of these things had been such a struggle for me…but they had. It’s kind of like a toddler fighting a naptime when rest is what they need most. Not logical, but certainly normal.
Each change of season brings a sort of anticipation for me, but I think Spring brings the most. On our little farm, there is so much hope, so much planning and so much investment of our resources during the spring months. In March, April and May, we sow for what we hope to be eating in three months, six months–even a year from now. In a culture of last-minute meals and fast food, we are preparing for the nutritional needs of our family on a significant scale–one that takes continual and committed management and supervision. We do what we can with what we can control, and we pray that our efforts are blessed. And, just as importantly, we practice patience and keep the faith when flooding rains, drought conditions, straightline winds and squash beetles threaten to nullify our efforts. God is still good, no matter what.
Lots of life is like that. We do what we can with what we can control, and we practice patience and keep the faith when people fail us…or poor choices haunt us…or diagnoses redirect us. Even in the bad things, God is good. In every season, in every circumstance, we can choose to nurture new growth.
My thoughtful husband and I just came back from a couple of days away. We didn’t go far, and we didn’t stay long, but it was wonderful. We had no major agenda. We spent no major money. But it was really, really nice. I tried chicken and waffles for the first time in my life. (Yum!) We went to our favorite international grocery store. Perhaps most excitingly, for the third time in three months, I slept an entire night without waking up to a dog needing to go out or a puppy barking. Big stuff for this girl.
When we got home, I hugged all of the kids and listened to the them talk about their weekend. I then donned my outside clothes and puttered around in the afternoon sunshine. My son and a friend of his put together a simple cold frame for me last fall, and I’m excited to try it out. I added some composted manure to it, insulated it with piles of hay and planted some kale, lettuce and spinach. The saturated soil and a few days of sunshine should be a good jumpstart for my seeds.
While I messed around in the mud, so did Libby. I confess that she played much harder than I did and therefore required a bath before being allowed back inside. She’s our most patient pooch in the tub, but even she was getting a bit antsy with my rinsing. We persevered, though, and she was finally released to head into the living room.
Libby, Daisy and Curly are all now camped out on the floor at my feet as I type. My oldest is preparing a simple supper. My redhead is walking Butch and Rosie. My son is in the shower, and my husband just came in from puttering around in the garage.
The time away, the fresh air and sunshine, the people I love safe and healthy–all of these things are like a big, deep breath for me. I love my family. I love my life. I love my husband who sometimes knows what I need better than I do. Thank You, Lord, for these good, simple gifts.
My amazing friend, Betsy, brought these little meat loaves to us after the birth of our son. We have made them often since then, and I always appreciate the yummy meal as well as the sweet memory of my thoughtful friend.
By the way, that son Betsy helped us celebrate is making this recipe for supper tonight. He’s (gasp!) fourteen now and will eat more than his share of these tasty meatloaves with multiple helpings of the peas and mashed potatoes he’s making to accompany them. I asked him if he wanted to make the loaves in heart shapes for Valentine’s Day; he declined.
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. cracker crumbs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. finely-chopped onion
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 t. salt
1 t. Italian seasoning
2 lbs. ground beef, pork or turkey (or a combination)
1/4 c. ketchup or barbecue sauce
In large bowl, combine eggs, crumbs, milk, cheese, onion, Worcestershire, garlic, salt and Italian seasoning. Add ground meat and mix well.
Shape into 10 mini loaves; place on rack in a shallow pan. (A broiler pan works great!)
Drizzle ketchup or barbecue sauce over mini loaves.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-55 minutes, or until no pink remains.
These little guys freeze beautifully both before and after baking.
Well, this should be the last blog regarding Daisy’s first litter. All but one of the puppies are adjusting to their new homes, receiving MUCH more individual attention than our family could give them. The remaining pup is Belle, and her Texas family has asked us to keep her until they can get up here for her in mid-March. Belle plays hard and sleeps hard. As a matter of fact, she was ready for bed early in the first half of last night’s Super Bowl.
As promised, Daisy Mae got her spa day today. We shaved off her matts, trimmed her face, clipped her nails and gave her a warm bath. She looks pretty naked, but she seems to be enjoying the freedom of her new do. She’s been running around like a nutjob, which landed both her and Liberty (aka Libby), our 7-month-old standard goldendoodle, in a time-out.
Libby is growing at a fairly rapid rate right now, and she has a tough time keeping tabs on all of her body parts at once. When she plays rough, furniture and lamps can get a bit knocked about. Daisy can now duck under Libby, which leaves Liberty confused and keeps all of us entertained. At one point during the big game last night, Belle was playing under Daisy, and Daisy was playing under Libby–while Libby was trying to watch them both. Craziness.
Although Gracie is shouldering the biggest part of the potty-training load with Miss Belle, it definitely takes a village. Belle’s doing pretty well, but she has to be watched every single minute. And, she’s currently not too crazy about time alone. Littermate withdrawal is a terrible thing for a puppy.
All in all, Daisy’s first litter was a success. Daisy proved to be a great momma and maintained her health throughout. The pups enjoyed good health and are now welcome additions in some fantastic families. The kids made back their investment with money in the bank, and they learned a lot about responsibility, teamwork and business in general. And, our family made some new friends along the way–folks we may have never met if it weren’t for these furry babies. We are truly blessed.
I am a selfish person, and my understanding of the depth of my selfishness increases with my age. I would really love to die to this nasty habit once and for all and just get it over with! It would be like Abra cadabra: New creature made perfect!! One…two…three…DIE, Selfishness, DIE!
I don’t think that worked. I guess I will have to wait for Heaven.
So, I continue to slog along with my selfish, sinful self, trusting that You can use me as I am–incomplete, imperfect, somewhat short-sighted and disgustingly self-absorbed–but willing to be better for You. I thank You, Lord, for Your loads of mercy and Your patient grace…and Your willingness to see me through the perfection of Your Son.