Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My brother Josh, my "adopted" little brother Thomas, Jacob and my youngest brother Patric a few weeks ago at home working cows.

Providence Wise

A few years ago I found a jewel of a little old book. It is an old hymnal from 1864 and it is a treasure trove of old hymns and poetry. I recently started reading through it again and wanted to share some of what I've read. This one is titled "Providence Wise"

Wait, oh, my soul, thy Maker's will;
Tumultuous passions, all be still!
Nor let a murmuring thought arise;
His ways are just, His counsels wise.

He in the thickest darkness dwells,
Performs His work, the cause conceals;
But though His methods are unknown,
Judgment and truth support His throne.

In heaven, and earth, and air, and seas,
He executes His firm decrees;
And by His saints it stands confessed,
That what He does is ever best.

Wait then, my soul, submissive wait,
Prostrate before His awful seat;
And, 'midst the terrors of His rod,
Trust in a wise and gracious God.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Adventures in Smocking

Recently I decided I would teach myself to smock. Having embroidered for many years I thought it would be easy. I wasn't disappointed :)
Below are two photos of a little girl's dress I am working on. Enjoy!

Close up of smocking on the front bodice.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Whole Wheat Brownies

This is a great brownie recipe that my mom created. It uses 100% whole wheat flour, so you don’t feel quite as guilty indulging in them, but I wouldn't consider them a health food ;) They are wonderful with vanilla ice cream, or just by themselves with a big glass of milk. They can be made even healthier by using homemade butter, freshly ground flour, and fresh yard eggs…

Whole Wheat Brownies

1 c. butter, softened

2 c. sugar

5 eggs

½ c. cocoa

1 t. vanilla

1 c. whole wheat flour*

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Add remaining ingredients and pour in a 9inX13in baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

You can also stir in nuts and chocolate chips when you add the flour.

*We normally use the Golden 86 or Prairie Gold varieties. White flour can also be used.

Friday, April 15, 2011

He makes all Things New

My favorite picture from the wedding! Maybe that is why I keep using it in my blog posts :)

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
~Revelation 21:5 (KJV)

It has always been amazing to me how the Lord allows our earthly human relationships to reflect His relationship with us. It gives us context and helps us learn and better understand His love for us. Before I was married I learned volumes about His love for me as my Heavenly Father from my earthly father.

Now that I have entered a new season of life I'm learning about another aspect of His love. I am beginning to see Jesus' love as the Bridegroom.

Everything in my life right now is new. New dishes, a new address, new towels, a new church and a new last name. My priorities have changed, as has my lifestyle. Marriage has completely changed my world and the way I live.

As I did when I was still in my father's house, I can see things that remind me of the Lord. I have a new perspective now and my husband and his love for me remind me greatly of the Bridegroom and how things change when you become His.

When you fall in love with Jesus and make a commitment to Him, you get a new name. You get a new life and a new set of priorities. Everything is new--a new heart, a new attitude.

Your life changes and with that new life comes a new set of challenges and tests. You'll be asked to move in areas that require you to leave your comfort zone.

I never dreamed my new married life would be so wonderful and full. I also never dreamed how trying some of the changes and transitions would be. It is scary to leave the safety of everything you've ever known and enter a new season.

But I haven't been alone. My husband has been patient, kind, tender and so loving to me. He has given me direction, encouragement and comfort on days when the changes hurt the most and I couldn't understand. He has loved me and made sure that my needs are met first and that I feel safe.

Just like our Bridegroom. He draws us close and comforts us; He provides for our needs and gives us direction. He is gentle and patient with us as we start our new life.

We are safe with Him.

Monday, April 11, 2011


A shot from last year. My husband and grandfather in the hay field. My view from the tractor cab.

Friday, April 8, 2011

And they LIVE happily ever after...

This is part 2 of this post.

In June of 2009 a very significant event took place. My maiden aunt Mary married a man named Michael. Michael had a friend close to my age that he really wanted me to meet. O
h, and did I mention this friend was a guy? Michael had been trying to set me up with this friend for almost a year despite my telling him that I did not date. (On a side note though, my dad told me it was ok for me to meet guys! Meeting them did not mean that I was flirting or dating them! Thank you Lord for a wise father and mother!) That friend's name was Jacob.

I first met Jacob at a softball game at his church in September of 2008. He and Michael went to the same church and Aunt Mary, my brother and I were invited. I went mainly because I wanted to be with Aunt Mary and to check out Michael, this fellow she had started seeing.

To be honest there weren't fireworks and I didn't hear violins playing the first time I saw Jacob. It wasn't love at first sight. I don't really remember much about him from that day other than that he had a really nice truck. Jacob, however, remembers in detail what I was wearing and how I had my hair fixed!

An amusing story from that day is what happened when the guys asked my brother if I was his sister. He told them yes, but not to ask me for my number because I wouldn't give it to them. Talk about a first impression!

I didn't really think much of it (or him!) after that day. I didn't think I'd see him or that church again. I was wrong.

Michael and my aunt became engaged in January of 2009 and I realized that we would be seeing more of that church and Jacob, especially since Michael and Mary were buying a home close to my parents. Also Aunt Mary often went to Michael's church on Sunday nights and she didn't like making the long trips home late at night alone. (She lived over an hour away.) So I went with her.

Several times before the wedding Michael had some young people from the church over to he and Mary's home. Somehow I always found an excuse for us (me) to go over there when the young people (Jacob) were there. I didn't realize it, but that's what I was doing. I think I used the excuse "Oh I really enjoy the fellowship with their godly young people."

One such evening we took a trip on four-wheelers and a Kawaski mule down to the river and Jacob let me drive the Mule back. That was a very important little ride. He wanted to know "if" he wanted to date me, what he'd have to do. I told him to talk to my daddy and I shared with him how I felt about relationships. I told him that I felt you shouldn't date unless you were almost positive you would marry that person.

That really surprised him as he'd never actually met someone who believed that way. He'd heard of it, but never actually met one in the flesh. He told me that night that he'd never met a girl like me before

I thought that after that conversation I wouldn't hear anymore from him. I was wrong again.

About a month later Mary and Michael married. We had so much fun the weekend of their wedding. Jacob and I both played music at the wedding and because of that, we sat together during the ceremony. He was so sweet the whole weekend. He waited on me hand and foot, had Kleenexes in his suit pocket for me if I needed them during the ceremony and was so attentive. I didn't know what to think of it.

Just before my family left the reception he caught me off guard and asked me for my phone number. I almost slipped and gave it to him, but I caught myself and pointed toward my father. I told him if Daddy didn't mind him having my number, then I didn't. He promptly went over to my father and asked for it. Daddy smiled and told him they'd have to talk about it.

This wasn't my dad's first time to interact with Jacob. Actually my parents loved him almost from the first time they met him. Daddy told me not too long after that incident that more he was around Jacob, the more he liked him.

We saw each other a few more times that year and Jacob called my father wanting to talk to him about dating me. Daddy let me know about it and wanted an answer to give Jacob, if I was interested or not. For the longest I wouldn't give him an answer--I was still trying to make a decision about someone else. Jacob kept calling and Dad kept putting him off because I wouldn't give an answer.

Finally at the end of November of 2009 I was in a position to consider Jacob as a suitor. Daddy came to me one more time and told me that Jacob had called again, and he didn't think it was fair to Jacob to keep avoiding the subject. Jacob deserved an answer.

I told Daddy that I was interested in him and asked would it hurt for Jacob to come over and us just talk and see how things would work out? It couldn't hurt just to talk, could it?

On December 1, 2009 (which was a Tuesday and a work night) Jacob made the hour long trip to come talk to my father about dating me. He ate supper with us and then he and Daddy got down to business.

I know I shouldn't have, but I hid out in our dining room and eavesdropped. I couldn't help it! I wanted to hear what they said. I thought I was doing really well at being invisible, but my siblings kept walking by and talking to me.

Daddy shared with Jacob our family's views on relationships and by the time he left that evening (at midnight!) I had a beau.

One of the things that I love so much about Jacob is his understanding of and respect for authority and those that God has placed over us. He talked with his pastors and parents about me a lot and wanted their blessing before approaching Daddy for permission to date me.

On my 21st birthday I went with him to his church's Christmas banquet. I had so much fun. It was the most fun I'd had in a long time. We talked and laughed and found out so many things that we had in common. It was the most wonderful birthday I'd ever had. I went to bed so happy that night.

Three weeks later I knew that I would marry him. From the very beginning he told me he wanted to do things right. And he did.

He began to love me like Christ loves His Bride and through that, the Lord healed my broken heart. I was still struggling with my mistakes from the previous season of my life and he constantly reminded me that it was under the Blood and it didn't matter to him. It was over and I needed to forgive myself and move on.

On May 2nd, 2010 Jacob asked me to marry him. I could say yes without fear because I knew that he would love me and take care of me. I knew we were in the will of God and I had an overwhelming peace in my heart.

I don't want to give the impression that we had a perfect, smooth courtship, because we didn't. We had some pretty rough patches, but through the Lord, we worked them out. They just drew us closer together and we are stronger for them.

Like I said in the previous article, our courtship wasn't typical. We went places alone, we held hands and yes, we even kissed before we were married. I don't regret it at all. Our first kiss was so sweet, I almost cried. It wasn't awkward and it wasn't lustful. It was exactly how a first kiss is supposed to be.

We were married on January 15, 2011. Life with my best friend has been amazing. I can't imagine being with anyone else. He is the fulfillment of all my dreams and prayers and I couldn't be happier.

The Lord knows exactly what we need and when we need it. I never imagined myself with someone like Jacob. I thought that I would marry this certain type of man and we would live a certain type of life....that was more of me putting the Creator of the Universe in a little box. Instead of that (which would have been very dull), He's given someone who completes me.

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Jude 24,25

EOA Link up #13

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Courtship? Are you crazy?

Photo by Susan Addington

Courtship seems to be one of many controversial subjects in the conservative Christian world. Especially in the homeschool movement. Either people love it or they hate it. Either they had a wonderful experience with it or they were burned by it.

Mine and Jacob's courtship story is neither typical nor mind-blowing. By not typical I mean we didn't follow the 1+2+3= courtship formula. By not mind-blowing I mean that we weren't halfway around the globe and found out about each other through someone's uncle's cousin's best friend. It was very simple but the hand of God was evident throughout the whole process.

When I was young the Lord placed in my heart a desire to do things differently. (It was probably due, in part, to being homeschooled.) From an early age I didn't want a scores of boyfriends. I only wanted one and I wanted to marry him. I didn't want the heartache and baggage that I had seen come from multiple relationships. I chose not to date.

When I began the "I don't date" journey I truly believe my motives were pure. I had a goal in mind and I was focused--very focused.

As I grew older though, I began using my convictions on romantic relationships as armor to protect me from the ever present "Do you have a boyfriend yet?" and other such questions that inevitably plague a girl reaching marriageable age.

As a result, my perspective became skewed and my focus blurred. By the time I graduated high school I was very disillusioned with the whole concept. I had put God in a box and decided that since we didn't have the ideal conditions and environment for a "perfect courtship" it wasn't going to happen for me. I wasn't going to have the cookie-cutter courtship like you read about in the homeschooling magazines. I felt like God had failed me and that I needed a back-up plan. I couldn't understand why he had placed that desire in my heart then left me hanging. I doubted my Creator.

In consequence I became involved in a relationship against the wishes and advice of my parents. It placed me out of the will of God. I learned some very hard, painful lessons by the time I finally ended it.

Regret? Baggage? Oh yes I had them. Heartache? More than I ever imagined. Everything that I had wanted to avoid now consumed me. The realization that I had failed was probably the hardest thing to bear.

Long story short, the Lord humbled me. He got my attention and when my heart and spirit were teachable again He began to move in my life in ways I'd given up hope of ever seeing again.

Two of the most important things I've learned throughout the courtship and marriage process are these:
  1. God is sovereign. Period. He knows all, sees all, commands all...He holds everything in His hands and works things according to His purpose and our good. He knows what He's doing. Period.
  2. There is no such thing as a perfect, cookie-cutter courtship. It just doesn't happen. Courtships are made up of imperfect people--imperfect couples, imperfect parents, imperfect families. I'm sorry, but all those negatives do not make a positive. I'm not saying that the outcome can't be wonderful, but I am saying that just because you chose courtship over dating does not mean that it will be easier for you.

I often wondered after I began the courtship with Jacob why the Lord allowed me to mess up and get so far off course before He brought Jacob to me. I didn't understand why He didn't save me from all that.

I came across the following quote from Elizabeth Elliot in her book A Chance to Die. It sums up many things for me and many of the lessons that I've learned. I'm only human, but the Lord still chooses to work through my flawed flesh.
"A Sovereign God...works through flawed human instruments to whom He has given the power of choice. Sometimes our choices are mistaken. Divine sovereignty permits those choices."

to be continued....