Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sowing Seeds Part 2

DSC_0097Buddy and I have been watching our flats of seeds very carefully to see any signs of life.

The broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and eggplant came up quickly, followed by the tomatoes.

But the entire flat of peppers remained barren.

There was no change.

A niggling of concern entered my mind.

Another week passed.

No sprouts.

Concern turned to worry as I envisioned an entire year without jalapeno and fresh peppers.

Every day we studied the dirt filled holes searching for any signs of life.

Finally – today – we saw our first tiny sprout.

And then another, and another.

Such a relief.

I was powerless to make those seeds sprout.

I had done all I could do. I planted. I watered. I kept them warm. And I waited.

It’s the waiting that’s hard.

God understands.

He said in Mark 4: 26-29 – โ€œ…This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grainโ€”first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.โ€

“All by itself the soil produces grain.”

I can’t break open each seed and force the spouts out.

I can’t pull each sprout into a stalk or create a head.

I cannot create or ripen one piece of fruit.

But I can plant.

I can prepare the soil.

I can water.

And I can wait.

Because the soil itself will produce the grain.

Everyday we have the opportunity to sow seeds of kindness, of love, of grace, of forgiveness.

But we cannot make those seeds sprout.

Or grow.

Or produce fruit.

Sometimes we want to dig in the soil a little and see if there’s any life. We want to force growth, create change.

But we are powerless.

We plant the seed.

And wait.

 

Unskilled Labor

Three of my kids were in Des Moines this week attending Teen Pact.

Which meant my house was really quiet, dishes were limited and whenever Jan needed help outside there was only one option – me. Poor guy, he had definitely reached the bottom of the barrel.

After all – I am definitely unskilled labor.

I can carry water to the pigs – 4 trips to Jan’s one.

I can feed the chickens and gather eggs.

And I’m getting pretty good at chasing the calves back in their pen – if I can catch them before they head down the road.

But this was a week to expand my horizons and increase my limited skill set!

I can now open and close gates for Jan while he feeds a bale to the cows.

I have learned how to walk the fence line and check the wires to figure out why the fence is shorting out and the calves are in my yard again.

I learned that screaming loudly and swinging a big stick will remove the cows from the hay bales – but that it is wisest to leave the bull just where he is until my husband comes home.

And – are you ready for this – I even drove the tractor!

Yep. I did.

White knuckled, without a bale, in low gear. But I drove it. Five times even.

And I parked it in the shed – by myself – and didn’t hit anything.

Although Jan still laughs when I let off the clutch too quickly and give myself whiplash. (Wait – that is called the clutch – right?)

I have even progressed to the point that I can switch gears without assistance.

Yep. I definitely expanded my horizons this week!

And – as exciting as it was – I’m quite ready for the kiddos to come home!

They can go back to the chores they do so well and I’ll head back to my house and garden.

Washing dishes never looked so good!

Sowing Seeds

I’ve been sowing seeds this week.

Hundreds of seeds.

Seed

Tiny little bits of black, white, or brown.

Tomato, pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage.

The first of thousands of seeds that I will sow this season – beans, corn, radishes, lettuce, kale….the list goes on and on.

Not every seed will grow.

Seed flats

Of the ones that do – not every one will produce.

Some will be eaten by varmints, ravished by bugs or destroyed by weather.

But still I sow, knowing that some will grow and flourish and bear much fruit.

I sow in faith, believing that in these tiny seeds there is a potential for an abundant harvest.

Tomatos

These aren’t the only seeds we sow in life.

Everyday I have the opportunity to sow seeds of kindness, of love, of grace. Seeds that could have eternal impact. Seeds that could change lives. Seeds that could bring the gospel to hurt and needy people.

Not every seed will sprout.

Not every seed will grow.

But still – I must sow knowing that some will grow and flourish and bear much fruit.

And I must have faith, believing that in each seed of kindness, each seed of love, each seed of grace, there is a potential for an abundant harvest.

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

The Dream Truck

DSC_0001Dagmar bought a pick- up.

We knew it was coming. She’s been talking pick-ups for months. Eating, breathing, sleeping, dreaming pick-ups.

So when her Ford Escape developed yet another funny shake, rattle, and noise – we knew it was inevitable.

But this couldn’t be just any pick-up. Oh no. This had to be THE dream truck – a green Chevy Silverado with extended cab, 4×4, cloth seats, and in her price range.

And not just any green. Oh no. This had to be a specific green.

And they found it.

On Craig’s List.

Just 45 minutes away.

So she test drove it with her daddy, fell head over heals in love and bought it.

Ahh – a country girl’s dream had come true.

But not for long.

She drove it to the hospital to start her shift that same night – and before the evening was over the entire instrument panel had gone out.

Everything. No gas gauge. No speedometer. No odometer. It was all blank.

She hadn’t even owned it 6 hours.

‘Twas a sad country girl. ๐Ÿ™

‘Twas a sad daddy. ๐Ÿ™

‘Twas a sad dealer just 45 minutes away. ๐Ÿ™

But thankfully – he was an honest dealer and replaced the instrument panel for free. It just took two weeks.

During which time she drove without them, which I’m sure was very safe. Not.

But never fear, this is one story that has a fairy tale ending.

The truck is now fixed and Daddy didn’t have to do it. Dagmar never got a ticket for speeding and never ran out of gas.

She put on her cowboy boots, cranked the radio, rolled down the window and drove down the gravel road.

A country gal and her dream truck – happily ever after.

Good-bye to a Landmark

The row of white pines that lined our driveway could be seen from a distance.ย  There were massive trees that had stood guard for years.

If there was any breeze on a hot summer afternoon – it could be found under the branches of those trees. As could cicadas, tree fogs, any number and variety of birds, and the occasional opossum.

One of the first things Jan did when we moved in was to hang a swing from one of the branches creating the most amazing playground ever invented.

Thousands of hours were spent in the shade of those trees.
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A sandbox was added.

Then a second swing.

The play set was set up next to the swing so the very daring could climb up and swing off.

And a Windy Ridge landmark was established.

It was the first place kids ran to when they visited. It was the last place parents carried them off when it was time to leave.

Elaborate “swing shows” where performed and amazing swing tricks where created.
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As the kids grew older, the swing would sit idle for months, used as a quiet place to sit and think about life, then would see a flurry of activity when we hosted VBS or a home school get together.

I enjoyed sweet day dreams of someday playing with my grand babies under the big shady boughs and pushing them in the swing.

But an infestation of pine beetles destroyed that dream when they killed the entire row of pines last summer, and on Saturday, a couple of passes of the chain saw took them down.

It was a sad day at Windy Ridge.

We all understood it was needed. Instead of a welcoming landmark – they had become an ugly reminder of what used to be.

I cried.

But now that “what was” is gone – we’re able to think about “what can be”.

And just as soon as the ground thaws – we’ll be planting several new trees.

After all – those future grandchildren will need a shady place to play.

And swing.

And make memories.