Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | May 11, 2010

Thoughts on motherhood…

This excerpt comes from Doug’s Blog, and I just wanted to share a bit of it here.

The Cost of Motherhood

Once a lady went to visit her friend. During the visit the children of the friend entered the room and began to play with each other. As the lady and her friend visited, the lady turned to her friend and said eagerly and yet with evidently no thought of the meaning of her words: “Oh, I’d give my life to have such children.” The mother replied with a subdued earnestness whose quiet told of the depth of experience out of which her words came: “That’s exactly what it costs.”

There is a cost of motherhood. And the price is no small sum. And if you are not willing to pay this price, no amount of encouragement about the joys of motherhood will satisfy. But the price of motherhood is not fundamentally different from the price of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, Christian mothers see their duty as mothers flowing from their calling to Jesus Christ. And what is this cost?

Christian motherhood means dedicating your entire life in service of others. It means standing beside your husband, following him, and investing in the lives of children whom you hope will both survive you and surpass you. It means forgoing present satisfaction for eternal rewards. It means investing in the lives of others who may never fully appreciate your sacrifice or comprehend the depth of your love. And it means doing all these things, not because you will receive the praise of man — for you will not — but because God made you to be a woman and a mother, and there is great contentment in that biblical calling.

In other words, Motherhood requires vision. It requires living by faith and not by sight.

These are some of the reasons why Motherhood is both the most biblically noble and the most socially unappreciated role to which a young woman can aspire. There are many people who ask the question: Does my life matter? But a mother that fears the Lord need never ask such a question. Upon her faithful obedience hinges the future of the church and the hope of the nation.

In 1950, the great Scottish American preacher Peter Marshall stood before the United States Senate and he explained it this way:

The modern challenge to motherhood is the eternal challenge — that of being a godly woman. The very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other kind of women — beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career woman, talented women, divorced women, but so seldom do we hear of a godly woman — or of a godly man either, for that matter.

I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern. The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith. The world has enough women who know how to be smart.

It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men, too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct.

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 29, 2010

Spring rain…

A few days ago our ditches were filled with cool, spring rainwater.  If you have been blessed with children, then you know how it goes.

“Mama, can we take off our shoes and get our feet wet?”

“Is it alright if I hold my dress up and get my legs wet, too?”

And before you know it, they are sopping wet from head to toe.  Why fight it?  Why not just tell them to jump right in, right from the start?  I am learning…

Come to think of it, if it were August, I’d be right there with them!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 26, 2010

Sorry!

I know, I know.  I owe you, like, three posts at least.

I told my husband that he was to keep me accountable with this computer thing.  I told him that I did not want my childrens’ memories of their mother to be of her sitting at the computer, so I asked him to hold me to a “I’m not to be on the computer during my childrens’ waking hours” rule.  As you can imagine, my energy and creativity is pretty well gone by the time they go to bed!  However, I have been noticing that lots more important things are getting done.

I had a picture post in mind and was all raring to go, and wouldn’t you know, I can’t upload the pictures for some reason.

Sorry!

Hopefully tomorrow night

Busy week ahead.  We’re getting 100 broilers Thursday.  Hello pastured poultry!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 20, 2010

Papaw Rule would be proud!

Beloved is one honey of a beekeeper.  This was handed down by his dear Papaw Rule.  He contributed so very much to the man Josh is today.  Firm patriarch of his family, anything mechanical, tinkering with old clocks, tinkering with just about anything!  He certainly passed along his love of beekeeping.  I wonder if he knows that Josh is teaching his little ones, too.  I bet he would chuckle if he knew how his softhearted grandson spent over $100 to buy a suit for his girls to share.  I think he would be proud of how careful Josh is to include them in everything he does.

There is a sweetie in there!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 20, 2010

Look who’s crawlin’

Howdy, folks!  Nate-the-new-crawler here.  My mommy thinks it’s sooo humorous to put an object I like just out of reach so I’ll crawl for it.  Then everybody jumps up and down and acts all goofy when I go for it.  What’s up with that?

Oh, boy!  My favorite blue ring and egg thingamajig!  I have got to get my mouth on those!

And I’m off!

Better smile for the camera and humor Mommy.

Now would be a good time to stop and lick the floor.  You know, just because.

Ahh, success.  How good it tastes.

What is that I see up ahead?  A stick?  From outside?  I have never tasted a stick from outside.  I must try it…

You mean I can’t have it?  You mean you don’t want me to crawl for it?  Of all the tricksy things…

And there’s my mommy taking pictures of my heartache so she can make a funny blog post.  Of all the nerve!  Exploiting her own baby!

What’s this?  You want me to chew on a carrot?  I have never tasted a carrot before…

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 18, 2010

Reevaluations

I have some confessions I need to make:

I don’t hand-wash my laundry anymore.

Gasp!!!

We motorized our wheat grinder.

Oh, no!

And I’m not even sorry.

Now you’re not interested in me anymore are you?

What is happening over at First Fruits Farm?

Reevaluating.

Our mission is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever and to raise up little people who will glorify God by enjoying Him forever.  Not to have the status of living without electricity or doing everything the old-fashioned way.  Nope, nothing wrong with either, in their time and place.  This just may not be the time for us.

We planned and dreamed these off-grid dreams because we believed it would greatly assist us in being able to provide for our family from our own farm.  Sounds reasonable, right?  No electric bill should be cheaper than having one, but it almost isn’t.  When you have to re-do almost everything on your farm, or buy costly wind and solar power gadgets, or all the power tools you have are no longer useful – off-grid becomes harder to swallow!

This is not to say that we’re tossing the cookstove and buying a dishwasher.  We are making huge strides in cutting back on our electricity usage.  For example, Joshua tied our hot water heater into our woodstove.  When the heat is on, we no longer spend money for our hot water!  When you don’ t pay for heat or cooking or hot water or a clothes dryer, you can get some mighty sweet $50 electric bills!

My Beloved would like to supplement our income with wood-working.  All of his tools are, you guessed it, electric.  So should we have electricity in the shop, but not the house?  I dunno.  When I found out that my washing machine usage probably cost me less than $7-8 per month, I cried uncle.  And now, I’m serious, I praise my Lord every time I put a load of clothes in the washer.  I think every woman should hand-wash her laundry for a few months and see if she EVER complains about laundry with a washing machine again!

So where are we going from here?  Wherever He leads us.  We’ve talked about running the electricity for 2 days a week.  That would allow me to wash the clothes, make the bread to sell, etc.  But what about our freezers?  It makes preserving our food so much easier.  So much more added stress to can everything…   See the circles we go round?

But I rest in this:  Father will provide what we need, when we need it.  If we can’t afford electricity in the future, with His help I’ll sing while scrubbing!  Right now, I’ll just praise Him for the washing machine!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 14, 2010

Not I, But Christ

Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted;

Not I , but Christ, be seen, be known, be heard;

Not I, but Christ, in every look and action;

Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word.


Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord;

Oh, to be lost in Thee;

Oh, that it may be no more I,

But Christ that lives in me.


Mrs.  A. A. Whiddington

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 13, 2010

Pet Cemetery and Children of the Corn

My children cannot let the smallest creature go without a proper burial.  We have even buried a stray cat or two.

Aren’t cemeteries  fascinating?  Don’t you just love to read headstones?  I didn’t realize until just a few days ago what a treasure lay behind my own house.  (Which means I might be a bad mother that opts out of chicken and cat funerals!)

And here’s our latest resident.  Black Susan was a stray that liked to come around now and then and sleep in our garage.  We found her/him dead in said garage.  Apparently she/he (never was quite sure) had been fighting.  Rachel promptly carried it out of the garage with a shovel and had it buried before I knew anything about it.  That’s the way I like it.  I cracked up over the “fondly remembered” bit.  Where did they get that?

Ok, completely unrelated, except for the goofy title, is our corn harvest.  In April.  Last year, the weather was so uncooperative that some farmers couldn’t get all of their corn out.  Our neighbor was one such farmer.  He generously allowed us to come harvest some.  Our chickens will be delighted!

That’s all,  folks!

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 12, 2010

Rising Star

Caleb’s got music in him.  Lots.  He hums incessantly, carrying tunes perfectly.  His repertoire?  Come Thou Fount, In Christ Alone, You Never Let Go, For The Beauty of the Earth, and O Christmas Tree ( I have no idea WHERE that one came from).

He got a toy guitar at a family Christmas get-together last year; the kind that plays really annoying music.  So, we took the batteries out and Caleb supplies the music.  He doesn’t have those words down yet, but he sure can hum.

Whenever Josh gets his guitar out in the evenings, Caleb runs for his.  Josh always loans him a pick, then Caleb sits on a stool and tunes his guitar, just like Dad.  After that he starts to strum while tapping one foot in time to the music.  Oh, it’s precious!

Couldn’t you just eat ‘im up?

Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 11, 2010

Good Ole Granola

My Kate used to say, “Mom can we have some gorilla for breakfast?”

Several people have asked for my granola recipe and I’m a little stumped as to how to give it.  You see, I basically throw in what I have!

Let me walk you through how I do it:

(You  do know this makes A LOT don’t you?  You could probably divide it by four and still have enough!)

I start with two cups of oil.  My preference would be half coconut oil and half butter, but since I’m out of coconut oil, I’m using olive, and it’s fine.  Two cups of butter is really the bomb-diggity, but I have to ration that butter.  So pour your oil/butter in a big, big pot.  I use a stock pot.  Add two cups of honey.  If you don’t have honey, sucanat is good.  If you don’t have that, you can use brown sugar and I won’t tell anyone.  Two cups of water is next, and you can use any kind of water you want ;).

Get your water, oil, honey mixture warm and thin.  Then comes the fun part.

I usually start with about 18 cups of oats.  Since I am in the western half of the US, I am soooo blessed to be able to get the majority of my groceries from Azure.  They are awesome.  I can buy most all of my staples in bulk— organic, and cheaper than I can get at the grocery store.  Plus they deliver to a town not too far away with a semi, and I don’t have to push a buggy through the grocery store.  So where was I?

18 cups of oats.  Add it right into your big pot.   Mix to coat with the honey/oil mixture.  Then add what you like, in what proportions you like.  Aren’t you glad I don’t write cookbooks?

Here’s some of the goodies I add:

Unsweetened coconut (I use four cups.  I buy it in bulk.)

whole wheat flour (a couple of cups)

vanilla

almonds

pumpkin seeds

flax seeds

sesame seeds

millet (dry, a couple of cups. Gives it a little crunch)

salt (a tsp or two)

cinnamon

This requires a good bit of mixing to coat everything evenly.  If you want to add dried fruit, do that after it bakes.  This makes about seven or eight large cookie sheets worth, so it takes me awhile to get it all baked.  I would bake it at no more than 350.  I usually just like mine toasted, so I don’t bake it very long.  Don’t you just love how specific I am!

What’s great is how much you can do with it.  Milk or yogurt, fruit or chocolate chips, or my favorite:  slice up a banana, sprinkle granola on top, and drizzle with peanut butter and honey.  Or you could make granola bars.  Or granola crusts for a pie…..


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