Joy In The Mail

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This past week has been really busy. After a very long winter and an unreal wet spring, the farmers in our area were finally back in the field.

The river has been behaving again and so have the days. They have been breezy, warm (almost hot) and drying. There are still many wet holes in fields but farmers are now farming around them.

Some farmers do venture close to those muddy areas and do end up getting stuck. It has been a very normal thing this year to see Facebook posts with photos of tractors and equipment up their axles in mud.

The other day, my husband came to the house and said he needed my assistance. He and his tractor had ventured to close to an area that looked fine, but was way too wet. We did get it unstuck without to much trouble and it was decided that area would not get planted this year. (There is probably a life lesson in there somewhere.)

I am also still waiting to finish planting my vegetable garden, but I hesitate to mention it because I need the assistance of my farmer husband and he is quite preoccupied this week.  I know it will eventually all get planted….late…but that is better than not at all!

In the middle of all this odd planting season a bit of joy arrived in my mailbox. The picture above is a card from a blogging friend of mine. (moreinkplease). She knew I had been making jean quilts for my grandkids and she also knew the challenges we were facing with farming this year.

I am in awe of her talent at card making  skills (and yes she does sell them and I hope she puts a link to that in the comment section!) Here is the link for her Facebook page…Late Blooming Designs by beverly. I am also loving how she knew exactly the words to write to ease this farm wife’s heart and soul. She is an amazing example of how a few words can say and do so much.

Let’s finish this week following her example. Let’s encourage each other through the hard parts. Let’s see those who are stuck in the mud holes of life and the literal mud holes. Let’s offer words of hope. It doesn’t have to be big….a quilted card can bring a lot of joy! 

“Be humble,
be simple,
and bring joy to others.”
– Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

 

 

 

 

Go M.A.D. (Make A Difference)

IMG_4099 Burning off the Haze

Your loving kindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Psalm 36:5

 

In a world that seems to be swirling with fighting, violence, hatred and evil; there is something calming about a quiet morning. A morning that steals in subtlety with a hazy fog and the subdued voices of the wild birds is, to me, a blessing.

After being deluged by negative news stories of events happening in our world; I was treated to the gift of one of those wonderful quiet mornings. My husband and I sat on the porch and just soaked it in.

IMG_4098 Quiet of the Morning

 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James 4:14

 

There is something elemental…something so basic about a quiet morning filled with fog. There is a hush over the land as the vapor swirls, while the sunlight is trying to break through and burn it off.  It softens the edges of the world and has a beauty that is hard to put into words.

We are rather like the vapor that is only here for a bit. In the scheme of things our lives are just a tiny dot on the timeline of life. It is humbling to remember that….we are not as much as we think we are!

It is also good to remember that while we are here, we do get to make an impact…..for better or worse. Just like the fog nourishing the crop with the dew it sends, we can affect those around us. We cannot reach everyone and encourage them…but we can encourage the person next to us. We can reach out with love, compassion and joy. We can help someone else be renewed.

IMG_4097 Hazy Morning Over the Fields

Your vigor will be renewed each day like the morning dew.   Psalm 110:3

 

Like the fog, we can be subtle. We don’t need to be flashy, glaring or loud in our efforts to make this world a little better place. Sometimes quiet things like smiles, hugs, and candy go a long ways.

And now you are wondering, where in the world is that Chicken Grandma heading with candy?????  Let me take you there….

In our church there is an older gentleman who keeps candy in his pockets.  Anytime a kid wanders close enough they are slipped a treat.  (after a questioning look at their moms and dads, of course!) When my sons were young they were always on the lookout for this man, also known to them as, Uncle Howard.

There is no fuss about handing out the candy…..no big showy splash. Just a quiet nudge and an outstretched hand with the treat waiting. To the kids in our church those treats show love.  It shows the effort of someone, to make a little difference in their day.

When my youngest son was in the lower grades in elementary school, they had “Come As a Famous Person Day.”  On our way home from school he was grouching that he didn’t even know what a famous person was!  I explained that a famous person was someone that everyone knew. His face lit up and he declared, “I want to be Uncle Howard! Everyone knows Uncle Howard!”

He did, indeed, go as Uncle Howard. He dressed exactly like him, down to the tire tester in his pocket. He handed out candy all day long….. just like Uncle Howard. I wonder if Uncle Howard really knows what an impact he has made on all those kids during the years….and all it took was a smile and some tootsie rolls.

Many times it is the little things that make a difference. They are the things that get remembered because they do make a difference. We may only be as temporary on this earth as fog, but we do have a choice in how that temporary space of time is spent.

Perhaps this coming week we can be the person that makes a difference. We can impact just one person, young or old, and show them that they matter.  My sister has a saying on her wall, that you cannot miss, when you walk out her door:  Go M.A.D. ~Make A Difference.

Let’s be the person that goes M.A.D. this week. Let’s hand out some smiles and some tootsie rolls. Let’s show the world that good and grace wins every time and that love outshines evil and hatred. We may only be a vapor…but  let’s water those around us with gentle moisture while we’re here. May you be blessed as you Make A Difference!

 

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

 

“I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

― Edward Everett Hale

Security Under a Corn Tunnel

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I was really surprised today when I looked out my patio door. I could see rhubarb growing underneath it’s “cages”. I had not expected those plants to be that large already. It did not seem that long ago that my husband suggested I put some corn tunnels over them as they were just starting to break through the soil.

Rhubarb is a tenacious perennial; but I think the “girls” out-tenacious the rhubarb.  Before we put the protective corn tunnels over them the girls would spend hours just scratching and digging for whatever they could find in the dirt around those plants. It was getting to the point that the poor plants were losing the battle against the chickens.

I have found that if I want to have any rhubarb to freeze for muffins or use to make jam I had best protect them till the leaves are really big. A few years ago my husband brought me some corn tunnels to use to protect them.

I should probably explain what a corn tunnel is for those of you who have never dealt with storing ear corn in a corn crib. When you put ear corn (field corn that is picked and not combined) in a crib you put these wire tunnels along the bottom of the crib to help with aerating the crib so the corn will dry on the cob and not rot and turn to compost.

We have found these corn tunnels work great for a lot of garden plants and flowers that you want to protect from rabbits and chickens and who knows what else. Once your plants are mature enough you can remove the protective tunnels and let them thrive on their own.

I think there are times in our lives when we are like those new shoots coming out of the ground in the early spring time. We need “corn tunnels” to help protect, shield, and give us security from the things that would scratch and dig at us before we are ready to handle that kind of treatment.

In these last few weeks of recuperating I have felt like those rhubarb plants with their corn tunnel protection. I have been shielded, nurtured and protected by so many friends and family. It is truly a humbling experience; but oh so very appreciated!

I have observed others during their times of needing that same kind of help and it is wonderful to see people close in around them to take care and nurture. I have also found that it is such a blessing to part of the nurturing crowd.  It does take a conscious effort to do that and I find you cannot blindly ignore those hurting around you.

In this week before Easter I would encourage you to be the security……. be the corn tunnel for those put in your path. Be the one to step up and nurture them, give a word of encouragement, and be the blessing to someone else.  I have a feeling you will be greatly blessed in return.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verse-about-helping-others-21-top-scriptures/#ixzz4dtpppWYn

 

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully,
everyone is blessed.”

Maya Angelou