Saturday, February 8, 2014

What I've Been Up To

Hello friends. It's been a while and I feel it is time to give an update as to the comings, goings, and general happenings here on the farm and beyond. We have been busy around here and life is always happening. Time is not in abundance and everything has to have a priority. I am doing my best to be a good steward of what God has blessed me with and so, I have begun a journal so to speak to keep track of what has been done, what needs to be done, and anything in between. Farmhouse, homeschool, barnyard, and garden are my main sections with other subsections to help keep track. I am a person who must write everything down, if I don't I either forget what needs to be done or become overwhelmed with all there is to do. Writing is what helps me to think better and to know where I am in all of my to-do's.

This Fall was so beautiful and the kids and I found ourselves always making excuses for going outside. Thankfully we were able to be a little productive by enjoying the sunshine and picking up walnuts from our
walnut trees. I had such a wonderful time talking to the kids about the blessing of where we live, while watching them load the overflowing baskets with the little gems of nature's goodness and laughing at the same time. It does my heart good to see my children find joy in the simple things and to see their imaginations soar
with what God has provided in nature to play with. I am constantly at war with the temptation to let my kids
watch TV and movies. Maybe others think it a little thing, but I want my kids to grow up in reality. That a person knows how to think, how to work, how to enjoy what God has made, and that nothing is more important, exciting, or amazing than God is of utmost importance. The glitz of this world gives a false glow and it is unfortunately so alluring to children...and adults. My children have no idea how to operate a computer, get on the internet, or how to work the TV. They do know how to shoot their bows, catch chickens, cuddle chicks, and hunt for bison, grizzly bears, stone sheep, and moose in our back pasture. I am thankful beyond measure.

We were able to harvest our first animal on the farm a few months ago and it was truly a special experience. To have a steer arrive in a shrunken and wrinkled frame and to have had him end his days as a healthy, vibrant, and large animal was rewarding to say the least. The children were all present when the butcher arrived and they got to witness the whole process. There was no crying or shock, just excitement and interest in what was happening. The butcher was great with the kids and explained everything he was doing and how to do it. The kids got to see what the lungs, kidney, liver, and heart looked like and were amazed at how big Gus's stomach was. My little ones got to see firsthand where their food comes from and I was a happy mama to see that for them, as it should for all, this was normal and a day to be thankful. I was very pleased with how well our steers organs looked and the butcher said that he was very healthy. This is an animal who was true to the meaning of grass fed, no antibiotics, no hormones, no grain - just grass, sunshine, and time. Let me tell you
friends, the meat is some of the best we've ever eaten and we are thankful to have an extremely full freezer. I had the pleasure in the days to follow to render the tallow from our steer and it has beauty in its own right. There is so much to learn from living on a farm and caring for livestock. No matter what I'm doing, or where I turn, I see the hand of God intricately weaving glimpses of himself in what He has made. I am convinced that in my life of being a wife, mama, and shepherdess, that I am never far from the daily graces and blessings from the Lord.

Last week we got 30 chicks and let me tell ya, they are cute. It's difficult to be productive when there are so many adorable, chirping fuzzballs in the greenhouse brooder box. I go out often with the kids for obvious reasons, but I also let them hold the chicks quite a lot so the newbies get used to us. I have no use for crazy animals and so we will win the affections of our livestock either by handling or food. We are getting 20 more
tomorrow and so I've officially become a crazy chicken lady. Seriously, we're going to have almost 70 chickens total by tomorrow evening. Crazy. Chicken. Lady...   All joking aside we are taking a step of faith
and venturing into the egg business. I think it's something that is doable for my kids and I and so we have remodeled a second coop and are going to go for it. You will never know if you can do something unless you try. I have quite a few breeds living here on the farm because I like to try new things and I had a few new breeds that I want to give a try. Here is our chicken line up: Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, Ameraucanas, Barred Rocks, Cuckoo Marans, and Black Australorps. The Ameraucana chicks are especially endearing because of their unique markings. Here's my favorite.

The most exciting thing that I'm doing right now is a little surprise that I'm doing for my dearly loved little ones. I feel so blessed to get to be a mama to the three precious souls that I've been given. There are some seriously hard, fall-on-your-knees-in-desperate-prayer moments and there are many melt-your-heart moments where there are silent prayers sent in a continuous stream to the Lord for His abundant mercy and grace. I have never felt the depth of my selfishness until I became a mama, nor have I felt the fierce love and willingness to do whatever it takes to care for another person, until I birthed a child. It is a miracle and a gift to be a parent, but it is also a tool for sanctificationLetters are my love language. I have begun a box for each
of my children am filling them with letters from me - their mama. One might be about my love for them,
about what we did that day, and another may be about a struggle we are going through and I want
that child 
to know the whys and reasons why their mama handled it the way she did. I want to give my children a glimpse of themselves from their mama's perspective and tell them stories of what they did and funny things they said. I want to write them letters that will encourage them in the Lord and offer wisdom that I've learned so far. This will be kept a secret from them until they've grown and are ready to move out of the house. I pray and hope this will be a treasure and blessing for them since this will truly be from my heart. If you know my kids...mums the word.

There is so much more that I can say, but this must be enough for now. Following is a little collage of random happenings and bits of beauty that I've captured on the farm. I am forever grateful to my God above for all that He's given me and am thankful for you friends, readers, and fellow believers. I will do my best to be a more regular blogger once again. I'm thinking of doing a giveaway. What do you think?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Homemade Larabars

Homemade Larabars. So good and so easy. I had quite a few recipe requests for the homemade Larabar picture I posted on Instagram this morning and so I decided to post the recipe here. (If you have an instagram account, go HERE) I have loved Larabars for a while, but their pretty spendy. Plus, I just love homemade food. It tastes better and is more than likely better for you. Hence me looking at the ingredients on the back of the package and thinking, "I could totally make this."  I was right. 

These bars are so moist and delicious that they put their store bought counterparts to shame. I know I'm a bit biased, but seriously these are tasty! Just a disclaimer, I followed no recipe and when it comes to amounts of ingredients used, this recipe is completely original. I hope you love these as much as my family and I do!

~32 oz of dates (I used two packages of Trader Joe's Medjool Dates)
~18 oz of peanut butter (I used Adams Crunchy Peanut Butter)
~1/2-2 c toasted almonds
~1/2 c chocolate chips

1. Put a few slits in each date and then soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes. The skin will easily come off and of course, take the pit out.

2. Next put half of your dates in a food processor and process until the dates are mush. It's ok to have a few chunks here and there. Put the mush into your kitchen aid (or other mixing bowl) and process the second batch of dates.

2. Once all dates have been puréed put them into your kitchen aid mixer and add the peanut butter. Mix thoroughly together. ***I would have added more peanut butter but didn't have enough. If you like peanut butter a lot then add a little more.

3. Next put 1 1/2 cups of your toasted almonds into your food processor and purée them until they are finely ground. Add the ground almonds to your date and peanut butter purée and mix. This is where preference comes in. Do you want your bar to be moist? Don't add more than 1 1/2 c almonds. Want your bars to be a little more dry? Add more ground almonds. Simple. (Just be sure to not add too many ground almonds. You want your bars to hold together and not crumble.) I made mine to be not really sticky when you touch them, but they are most definitely not dry. They are nice and moist.

4. Put your chocolate chips in the processor and grind them up until they are a quarter of their original size. (Again, this is preference too. If you want your bars really chocolate-y add more and so on.) Add to the mixer and combine. Taste your batter and you can see if you want to add salt or not. I added a few shakes from my salt shaker.

5. Line a 9x13 and an 9x9 pan with Saran Wrap or wax paper. Press your fruit batter into each pan. My bars are about 1/2 inch thick, but make them as thin or thick as you like. I then lightly sprinkled the top of the batter with salt.  ***You could even lightly dust the top with cocoa powder.  Mmmmm.   :)

6. Refrigerate for an hour. Once cold, pull the fruit purée out of the pan using the Saran Wrap and cut into desired sized bars. Store bars in fridge.

7. Try not to eat them all at once!

I hope you enjoy these and let me how how they turn out! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

That Woman

In the early years of my marriage I found myself drawn to martyrdom, and yes, I find myself still drawn. The way that the persecuted church just shines is just amazing and they are a bright and burning light in this dark and cruel world. I decided to read Foxe's Book of Martyrs and it had a profound and lasting mark on my life. It is full of stories of saints who paid with their lives to tell of the love of Christ. How can one measure one story against another? You can't really, but there is one story that has burned its way into my heart.

Its of a mother who had a young son and she had to watch him suffer and die. I am just going to warn you, if you are faint of heart, or don't like to deal with death, DON'T READ THIS POST! The contents following are hard to read (and type), but I am led to share this woman's story.


"Here again Romanus, taking good occasion, made a long oration of the eternity of Christ, of His human nature, of the death and satisfaction of Christ for all mankind. Which done, he said, 'Give me a child, O prefect, but seven years of age, which age is free of malice and other vices wherewith riper age is commonly infected, and thou shalt hear what he will say.' His request was granted.

A little boy was called out of the multitude, and set before him. 'Tell me, my babe,' quoth the martyr, 'whether thou think it reason that we should worship one Christ, and in Christ one Father, or else that we worship many gods?'

Unto whom the babe answered, 'That certainly (whatsoever it be) which men affirm to be God, must needs be one; and that which pertains to that one, is unique: and inasmuch as Christ is unique, of necessity Christ must be the true God; for that there be many gods, we children cannot believe.'

The prefect hereat clean amazed, said, 'Thou young villain and traitor, where, and of whom learnedst thou this lesson?'

'Of my mother,' quoth the child, 'with whose milk I sucked in this lesson, that I must believe in Christ.' The mother was called, and she gladly appeared. The prefect commanded the child to be hoisted up and scourged. The pitiful beholders of this pitiless act, could not temper themselves from tears; the joyful and glad mother alone stood by with dry cheeks. Yea, she rebuked her sweet babe for craving a draught of cold water: she charged him to thirst after the cup that the infants of Bethlehem once drank of, forgetting their mothers' milk and paps; she willed him to remember little Isaac, who, beholding the sword wherewith, and the altar whereon, he should be sacrificed, willingly proffered his tender neck to the dint of his father's sword. Whilst this council was in giving, the butcherly tormentor plucked the skin from the crown of his head, hair and all. The mother cried, 'Suffer, my child! anon thou shalt pass to Him that will adorn thy naked head with a crown of eternal glory.' The mother counselleth, the child is counselled; the mother encourageth, the babe is encouraged, and receiveth the stripes with smiling countenance. ( If your crying now, please know that I can hardly see to type.)

The prefect perceiving the child invincible, and himself vanquished, committeth the blessed babe to the stinking prison, commanding the torments of Romanus to be renewed and increased, as chief author of this evil.

This was Romanus brought forth again to new stripes, the punishments to be renewed and received again upon his old sores. No longer could the tyrant forbear, but needs he must draw nearer to the sentence of death. 'Is it painful to thee,' saith he, 'to tarry so long alive? A flaming fire, doubt thou not, shall be prepared for thee and by and by, wherein thou and that boy, thy fellow in rebellion, shall be consumed into ashes.' Romanus and the babe were led to execution. When they were come to the place, the tormentors required the child of the mother, for she had taken it up in her arms; and she, only kissing it, delivered the babe. 'Farewell,' she said, 'my sweet child; and when thou hast entered the kingdom of Christ, there in thy blest estate remember thy mother.' And as the hangman applied the sword to the babe's neck, she sang on in this manner:
All laud and praise with heart and voice,
O Lord, we yield to thee:
To whom the death of this thy saint,
We know most dear to be.

The innocent's head being cut off, the mother wrapped it up in her garment, and laid it on her breast."
                                                                -Foxe's Book of Martyrs (end of chapter one)


This story has more do with the child in ways and let me just say for sayings sake, I'm not sadistic nor do I desire any of my children to die like this dear boy.

I so deeply desire for my children to grow up to love and to know the Lord. I don't want to raise little pharisees that know all the rules, but inwardly are as dead as a corpse. There are so many things that I could want for them, but to know God is really my main concern. It is so convicting to read of this mother who no doubt loves her child, BUT she loves his soul more. By her words and her actions she proves where her heart truly lies, and it's with Jesus.

There are so many distractions, so many things begging for our attention, but at the end of the day what truly matters?

Over the past 6 months or so, the Lord has been greatly changing and impressing upon me the importance of a life lived for God. Nothing else matters. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. I have experienced a closeness with Jesus that I dare not to give up. He is more real than the air I breathe and I want to serve Him with every ounce of my being. It is so frustrating to fail and realize how far I truly fall short. And the fact that God chose to make me a mother is just amazing (and terrifying) to me. I am one of the most selfish people I know and I can rival my kids any day. Thankfully the Lord never gives up on His children.

I have been given a very precious treasure in Christ and it needs to be guarded and cherished. It also needs to be lived out and shared with those that God has placed in my life. I often wonder how this woman raised such a spiritually mature son and the young age of seven? How were their days together, what were their conversations like, how did she live in front of her son? I could cry right now just thinking about the hugeness of this task; this task of parenthood. This mother no doubt, did nothing but live, eat, breathe, sleep, and speak of Christ to her son. That sweet boy saw Jesus every day. He saw him dwell in his mother with such severity that he could not deny the power and reality of such a Savior. Oh, that this would be the case with me! I am not this woman, but I want to be her.

It hurts to think of being anything less than being totally devoted to Jesus.

I can't imagine witnessing such atrocities against any one of my children. I am almost to sobs just thinking about it. Then the heavier questions arise in my thoughts, "Is Jesus worth it? Does He mean enough to me to encourage my child(ren) or myself to suffer for His name? Is my treasure/heart with Jesus or do I care about comfort for myself and my family more?

May my walk grow stronger daily with Christ, may the frivolities of this life fall away every second, may I cling to Jesus with such severity that my children have no reason to deny our blessed Savior. May I live, teach, eat, breath, and show my children why were are serve our matter what.

If you've never read Foxe's Book of Martyrs (AFL), you really should. Sure you'll cry, cringe, and be sick, but so be it. We live in such fluff, such comfort and ease that we have no sense of reality. People die every day for the name of Jesus. And no, they're not just shot and then die, they are tortured and suffer greatly.

There is so much more that I could say, but I'm sure once you've read this story, you'll understand what I mean when I say, "I want to be THAT woman."

Amen. So be it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Homemade Tallow Balm

For the past year and a half I have embarked whole heartedly into my whole foods journey. I have always had more of a "natural route" approach when it comes to feeding and caring for my family. In finding out about the Weston A Price organization I had an 'ah-ha!' moment. It was like I found what I never realized I was looking for. An organization - more like a group of people -  who are dedicated to eating what is nourishing to our bodies and are committed to helping others do the same. I became a member immediately and in doing so I received their quarterly journal quickly in the mail.

I devoured it. I read it. I scoured it. And I learned from it.

I can't emphasize to you enough of my enjoyment of reading that lovely journal. In it I found a jewel, one that I have been looking for long and hard.

I have been battling diaper rash with my daughter for months. It seems like I have had an issue with it since she was born last July. It has been terribly frustrating to not be able to figure out why it wont go away and not have any home remedies work in healing her poor bottom. Weston A. Price to the rescue! In the quarterly journal there was an article about tallow balm, it's history, it's healing properties, and a 'how-to' in making your own. There even was mention of a mama using it on her baby's diaper rash and it was cured. Say no more, I decided that I was going to try it out. What was there to lose? Nothing. Absolutely nothin'.

There I was, standing in my kitchen looking at something that should be in a sci-fi movie sitting on my counter top. I had made several calls earlier in the week and had walked into a local grocery store/butcher shop and finally obtained what I was looking for. Beef tallow or as the butcher called it suet (I will proceed to call it tallow/suet since I have had so many people call it these two names). Since I have my quirks and like to have fun with my food I decided to name the newest addition to my REAL foodie journey.

Meet 'Little Miss Suet'.

Isn't she disgustingly awesome?

I think so too.

I'm serious, she was and is awesome in so many ways. I never knew the greatness that I had before me. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let me give you a few facts on tallow balm and why I am so excited about this. Once rendered you can cook with this, bake with this, and make your own skin care products with this. You heard me correctly. Skin. Care. Products. This is where I am heading with this post. Food tastes amazing using tallow/suet and it is full of natures goodness, but I want to focus on what it does for your skin.

In the article it states that, "From biology, we know that the [human] cell membrane is made up primarily of fatty acids, a double layer, to be exact. Saturated fats constitute at least 50 percent of the cell membrane. Since saturated fats tend to be more solid  than unsaturated fats at a given temperature, they help give the cell membrane its necessary stiffness and integrity for proper function...Healthy, "toned" skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin. Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all the rest being monounsaturated, so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology."

Isn't that just so amazing? I love learning about how the Lord made our bodies and how intricately we were designed. Did you also know that "tallow also contains fats like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as palmitoleic acid, which has natural antimicrobial properties?" (quotes cited from article)

I could go on, but I'll spare you. I'm hoping this will lead you to do some more reading and research on your own.

*wink, wink*

Back to my baby's diaper rash. I'll admit, this was my last ditch effort before I resorted to more drastic measures. I am so glad that I tried this because it really worked wonders and I love that I'm putting something on my baby's skin that not only is helping her, but is also healing her.

Tallow/suet balm is so easy to make. If your interested in learning how to do it follow along and then...get you some suet!

You'll want to cut up the suet in small pieces and cut out anything that isn't hard and waxy. The kidney you can either throw away or if you have a dog...give the dog a treat! Franco loved his treat so much he buried it. What can I say?  He's a smart one. There is major sarcasm going on here.

Once that job is complete, put the tallow/suet in glass cooking dishes and preheat your oven to 220 degrees. Just a warning, it takes quite a while to cut up this hunk of fat, so make sure you do this early in the day. By early I mean, start in the morning so you can have this whole process done well before bedtime. And yes, I was straining tallow/suet while the rest of the family was snoozing. I didn't get the early start that I'm advising...

You'll want to bake the tallow/suet for 6+ hours, or until all the fat is cooked out and the hard tissue is floating in the rendered fat. During the cooking process I took my potato masher and gave everything a good smooshing.

Once this step is finished you'll want to put a metal strainer over a large bowl and strain out all the large chunks. You will need to do a final strain through a cheese cloth to make sure that you got everything. I draped the cheese cloth in the metal strainer and then re-poured the fat through the cheese cloth. It was pretty simple. Don't worry about your cheese cloth, after I used it to do the final strain, I rinsed it out with warm water, gave it a good hand scrubbing with dish soap, let it sit overnight in soapy water, and then washed it the next morning with my laundry. It was as good as new. Whew, that was a mouthful!

Pour your liquid gold into jars and let cool. The rendered fat will stay good for a looong time in your fridge. I use it for all my cooking now and let's just's delicious.

I didn't make my tallow balm right away and so I just let it all cool. When this stuff cools it turns white and once you place it in the fridge it gets hard. When it came time for me to whip up some tallow balm, I just took a jar out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit so it would easily mix up with my other ingredients.

Long post made longer, here's my recipe for my tallow balm.

Homemade Tallow Balm
Here's a wonderful skin balm that has a wide range of uses. Such as face lotion, hand and body lotion, diaper rash cream, and etc.

    2 Tablespoons soft tallow
    1 teaspoon organic olive oil
    4-7 drops lavender essential oil* (or desired scent**)
  1. Mix tallow and olive oil together in a small glass bowl.

  2. Add essential oils and mix.

  3. Once the desired consistency and scent is achieved transfer to a small glass container with a lid, keep at room temperature, and enjoy!

  4. Makes approximately 2 oz.

  5. *I would start with a few drops and then add more if you are wanting a stronger scent. You can always add more, but you can't take away.

  6. **Use essential oils that are known for being good for skin and skin health. I wouldn't use anything strong that could be an irritant. Peppermint for example would NOT be a good choice.

  7. ***I wouldn't recommend using any essential oils that aren't 100% pure therapeutic grade. DoTERRA essential oils are what I use and I highly recommend them.
I hope you love this tallow balm as much as I do.

However, I know that not everyone is up to making their own skin care products. If you are still wanting to have this skin care goodness but don't want to make it you can go HERE and buy some. You won't regret it.

And just so you know, I also use this on my face. Don't be shocked, it's wonderful.

If your in need of essential oils click HERE and you can find everything you need.

*** Excerpts in this post were from the article written by Andrew J. Gardner titled, "Traditional Nourishing and Healing Skin Care". It can be found in the Winter 2012 Volume 13 Number 4 edition of Wise Traditions.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Little Things

A few weeks ago, I had one of the best days I've had in a long time. It was one of those days that I could feel the Lord's working and shaping in my life. His presence was ever near and it was a sweet day of fellowship with the One that truly matters.

I am always thinking and scheming about how I can do something big for the Lord; something that would make a huge difference in the life of someone else. I have a list of things that I think are worthy of my thoughts and efforts and yet, that list seems so unattainable. It frustrates me to no end that I have all these burdens on my heart and I seem to be unable to do anything. 

We all want to do something big right? What about the little things? Or the daily events that we seem to just look at as unimportant?

This day was like any other. Nothing special planned and no outings to go and do. The day went along without a hitch and when the afternoon rolled around I knew I needed to start making dinner. Quite often I will make a meal that I know will feed our whole family and there wont be much, if any, leftovers. I was set one of these dinners, but for some reason I felt compelled to make something I haven't made in a while. In fact, I got downright excited to make it. Zuppa Toscana with corn of my favorites! 

Dinner time was quickly approaching and I did a quick look in the mirror to make sure I was not totally disheveled and was thankful to the Lord that I actually was on time with the meals preparations. Soup was ready, cornbread just came out of the oven, and the table was set. As I was on my knees in the pantry putting the granulated honey in the pot to melt it a bit, my hubby walked through the garage door into the house. No sooner did I peer over my shoulder to say hello than do I see a gentleman following my hubby through the door. I quickly got up and Seth introduced me to Casey. It is not abnormal for my husband to have a person to introduce to me due to him always hiring new employees for his construction company. I assumed he was new to the business and thought no more. I walked into the kitchen and Seth was showing Casey around and the kids were chatting away with our guest. 

We asked Casey to stay and have dinner with us and he kindly accepted. And was I ever so thankful that I made soup instead of a meager dinner!!! While the honey was melting, Seth quickly took Casey outside and showed him around the farm. I got a little curious as to why Seth was talking so casually with Casey rather than filling him in on business talk, but one look out the dining room window and everything made sense.

Let me give you a background on my man.

I had heard a few stories when we first began dating and experienced it in our early marriage. My generous hubby has been known from time to time to pick up hitch hikers and give them a ride or take them to dinner. While I love this about him, it also scares me. I'm sure I don't need to explain why. When we had our first child I asked him to not do it anymore because I didn't want him to get hurt (I won't get into details, but lets just say I know of an incident with a kid I used to go to school with and it makes me incredibly leery of this kind of thing). Anyway, I have become convicted recently about how much we are doing to help the poor and the needy and for reasons only God knows, Seth and I talked a few months ago and we decided if he felt let to pick up a hitch hiker, he should. 

So when I looked out the dining room window, I saw a back pack in the back of the truck...

I smiled to myself and actually laughed. I was so thankful to the Lord for the change of heart that I could rejoice in seeing the Lord work things out. I had made enough dinner to feed twice as many people as we had at the table and my husband brought a wandering soul into our home so we could talk, feed, and encourage him. My children got to see their parents welcome a stranger into our home and they didn't think anything of it. They in fact, loved having Casey there and he was great. Conversation seemed to flow seamlessly and we rather enjoyed hearing about his life and interests.

We can be so quick to judge and act out of fear. And this evening was the exact opposite. Casey was a true gentleman and was actually on his way home from visiting friends. He decided to hitch hike from Oregon to Georgia so he could meet new people and have an adventure. He works a couple seasonal jobs and was on a break. We talked at the table for quite a while and Seth asked if he was ready to go. Lets just say that it was so hard to not tell Casey he could sleep on our couch, when I knew he was wanting to continue on his journey. I felt very inhospitable, but this was how he wanted it. His only request was to try our raw milk because he never tasted it before. And of course, he loved it.

While Seth was dropping Casey off by the interstate (I know, I know), I was pondering over the Lord's providence and how He so perfectly orchestrates events in our lives. Once I got the kids to bed, I went outside to do the chores. I am a creature of habit and always do them the same way, but for whatever reason I decided to do things a bit different. I fed the cat, went to feed Franco, and then headed for the coop. With the layout of our fence and such I have to go through a gate to get to the coop and it's a good thing I went this route. Nestled in the corner of the gate was one of my Welsummer hens. I would have NEVER found her here because this is not the usual spot for a missing chicken to be, let alone the usual chicken. A Rhode Island hen is usually found roosting on the top of the run, so I would have never thought to look here. I picked her up and immediately thought, "Lord, you care about the little things too. Not just what I consider to be big, but you care for the little things too. Feeding and welcoming strangers into our home (big), but also a lone hen that might be harmed if left by herself in the night (little)." 

I tucked the missing hen under my arm and just thanked the Lord for His providence and care for His people and His creation. People are of infinite more value than animals, but that doesn't mean He doesn't care for them.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
Matthew 10:20-31

I walked into the coop, turned the light on, counted chickens, closed the run door, and then set the hen on the roost with the rest of the girls. No sooner did I set her down than did I realize she had a patch of feathers missing from her back. She was fine, no blood, but she probably got too close to Franco and got a few feather plucked out. I thanked the Lord (again) for letting me find her and see that she has some feathers missing. I now knew to watch out for her just to make sure she's ok.

I went to bed just in awe of how the hand of God plans the steps of His children and changes our hearts to want to do His will. I will probably not forget this day as it had a profound impact in my life. 


A few days before we left for our trip to Wyoming I found a letter in the mail that was addressed to Seth. It was from Georgia and I was so confused as to who it could be. I didn't know Casey's last name and I for some reason thought home for him was Texas.

I called Seth and asked if I could open it and once given the ok, I ripped the envelope faster than you could blink. I about started to cry once I realized who it was from and thanked the Lord that we were able to show the love of Christ to one who we may never meet again.

Not sure if you can read the letter, but here is the second half of it:

"The whole trip, Atlanta- Colorado- Oregon- Texas was amazing, but one of the best highlights and probably the most memorable moments was getting the chance to meet you and your family. I can't thank you enough for your hospitality, kindness, and gifts. When people ask about this trip, yours is the first stay I tell. Please extend my greetings and thanks to Noel, Jude, Ella, and Leah. May you all continue to be safe and prosperous. 
                                             -Casey Tucker "

Reading this means more to me (and us) than any amount of money or wealth. We are thankful for the chance to have met Casey Tucker and we pray that the Lord will work in his life.

If I have one thing to say it's this, don't let an opportunity to do another person good pass you by because your are afraid or because it might make you uncomfortable. God is the only one we need to please and He always, always cares for His children. May we always live to please him and never forget the poor, the needy, or just the traveler passing by.