A time of change......
Change is in the air. The winter has given way to spring and everything is coming alive again. My lilac tree is in full bloom and brings a fragrance so sweet it can carry one away from the chaos of the day. My once brownish lawn has become a lush green carpet underneath my feet. Daffodils and tulips share the space where they have been planted bringing with them visual delights.
I wish all change was so welcomed; so, embraced as the change from winter to spring. How much easier life would be.
We accept that not all change is bad but sometimes change can be difficult. Especially when we don't see the need for change. Why can't life just carry on.... without interruption to my routine; without loss of loved ones; without pain and sickness?
Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation but be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. Even with His promises we still struggle.... I still struggle.
Father, help me to embrace the changes you have for my life. Help me to surrender my will to Yours. I know that as I do it will go well with my soul for You have overcome and I am Yours.
SUMMER OF ABUNDANCE
Today when I arrived at the grocery store, the store sandwich board on the outside of the door caught my eye. Along with some general information it had the written words “Summer of Abundance”. When I read those words deep in my spirit, I took note. At that moment I sensed the Lord say “yes, daughter, this season will be the summer of abundance for you; for anyone who has ears to hear”. As I pondered those words, my pessimistic mind started to say “but what about all the things happening in the world, Lord? What the war in Ukraine, the food supply chain; what about the political landscape; have you seen the stock market? What about the crime that is happening?" My “whataboutisms” continued to roll in my mind like water rushing over the falls. Then the gentle Holy Spirit reminded me that it is in Him we have hope; In Him there is no lack; in the Kingdom of Heaven there is abundance of peace and supply. In the face of difficult or uncertain times, He is still able to meet our needs if we seek him and put our trust in Him.
I encourage you to set your heart towards the Lord today and trust Him with whatever is going on in your life. He is faithful to bring an abundance of whatever we need when we need it. You may need peace; you may need a miracle; you may need a breakthrough. Seek the Lord; trust Him; He is never late.
It all began in a garden....
Tonight while I was preparing dinner, I was overwhelmed with a sense of humility and gratitude. I have experienced this often since we started down the road of understanding the greater picture of how food is one of God's provisions for bringing health to our bodies.
Several years ago, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I recall the day as though it were yesterday. We were attending a wedding in Upstate New York in July when we received the call from the doctor confirming that the biopsy indicated there was cancer found. I would like to say we were completely surprised, but in all honesty that still small voice had already spoken to our hearts and we were already preparing for the news.
It was during this time that I began to assess our life. We were like most people our age with careers - my husband with his business; me with my work as a project manager. Both of us very successful and honestly, very happy. And both of us were very grateful to God who had brought it all about. We were active and tried to eat well, following the recommendations of the doctor - low fat, minimize red meat, etc. We had tried to be faithful to the doctor's advice. But the call from the doctor that day sent me in search of answers from our creator about why the body gets sick and is there a way to strengthen it against disease.
As a christian, I believe that God created the earth and all that is in it. I also believe He is the author of life. And as the creator He is well acquainted with humans and knows exactly what is needed to sustain us. So in my search for answers, I began to ask God for direction and wisdom. During this time I became aware of a book by Jordan Rubin titled "The Maker's Diet". The book chronicles Jordan's struggle with Crohn's disease and how by applying biblical dietary principles and consuming probiotics he found healing for his body. Through this book I learned about other resources that were useful in my education on the proper preparation and place of food in our lives.
I found the more I read and became educated on the subject of food and its ability to nourish our bodies if prepared properly, the more gratitude I felt toward God for his provision. He truly has provided for all of our needs. And with this gratitude came a sense of completeness. A knowledge that God loves all of me - body, soul, and spirit - and has a plan for all parts of my life. Even for the food I eat. What a good, good Father.
Some days come
There are some days when you feel like crawling under a rock. Not because you did anything wrong, it was just “one of those days”. You know the kind – you wake up to a phone call bearing bad news; then you move on to emails that aren’t so wonderful either. And all of a sudden, the day you had planned is not the day you will have.
My bible studies lately have been on the topic of persevering. Nehemiah persevered in rebuilding the walls; Noah persevered while building the ark; Jesus persevered through the suffering of the cross. In each scenario, there was a precious outcome to be had; a time altering experience that would impact the world for eternity.
Although I doubt the challenges I am facing right now will impact the entire world for eternity, my response to them will impact the world around me. It will be a testament to the goodness of our Father and a reminder of how lost I am without Him. And based on God’s word, if I persevere, I am certain to find that the joy in the end was worth the price.
Lord, thank you for loving me through the times when I am weak. You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
What a Day!
Thank God It's Friday! I don't know when I began to appreciate Friday's so much, but the last year or so Friday's have become like a friend that I am dying to see. Maybe it is age or just the stress of life; whatever the reason, I am very glad to see it comes each week.
Weekends around here are often spent in the kitchen preparing nourishing foods for the coming week. This weekend we will make beef broth and homemade yogurt as I have extra milk from the farm that needs to be used. In addition, I will be making Oxtail Barley Stew - a family favorite this time of the year when a bowl of hot soup hits the spot on a cold day.
We are very fortunate to have local farms to source most of our foods from. We purchase almost all of our meat from two local farmers. To help with the cost of purchasing our beef and lamb, we usually make an annual purchase of one cow and two sheep. This gives us all cuts of meat for the same per pound price. To purchase chicken, we participate in a chicken CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program that provides us a certain number of birds each month during the growing season (did you know chickens had a growing season?) We will purchase more the last month if we think we will need more for the winter as in our area the growing season for real free range chickens runs from May though October. For milk we are part of a cow share program that provides us a source of raw milk each week to drink or to use in making cheese curds, kefir, butter, or yogurt.
During the summer months we also participate in some form of a CSA for fruits and vegetables. This year we will join a local pick your own farm to meet this need. The membership at the farm means we do not have to pay the normal entrance fees and we receive a discount on the food we pick and purchase. It is a win-win for us as a source of local produce/fruit.
Well, I guess it is time to get on with my day. I will post more about my weekend food adventures over the next couple of days.
In the beginning.....
Well, it may not be “the beginning” but it is the start of something new for me.
For sometime now I have wanted to begin a blog. But like many wanna be bloggers, it was difficult to decide which direction to go in. If any of you know me on Facebook, I often post things that I find interesting related to faith, food, health, family, or finances. These are all topics that I have great interest in sharing information on, discussing with others, or learning more about.
I guess this defines my site as one of a lifestyle blogger. My topics of interest should intersect with one another over the course of time. For instance, it is difficult to discuss food and not talk about the role food plays in our health. Or, how our faith can impact child rearing decisions. And we all understand how finances impact every aspect of our lives from daily living to giving to the needs of others.
What I hope comes out of all of this is useful information for you, the reader, and maybe a smile or two along the way.
With that settled, we are off to the races! (Figuratively speaking, of course!)
Tara - blogger, foodie, manager, keeper of the budget and the home :)