Thee Farm Wife

Thee Farm Wife

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cultivating Kinship

Summer Sunday afternoons are my favorite. I take a four hour nap. Wake up only because they are hungry. I go outside and sit in the sun. Maybe pull a few weeds if I feel like it. Reflect on my day.

Thee Farmer moved the swing set to the side of the house by my office window. I hear little girl giggles and see the dogs waiting at the bottom of the slide so they can catch her again.

My office is actually a sitting room. All for meeeeeee. Two huge windows -  one facing east, the other facing south. So much sun. Beautiful trees that beg me to climb up in the shelter of their branches. I have a loveseat. A rocking chair. A desk that is actually an antique farm table. I am surrounded by my favorite books. A Christmas cactus that has been in my family for over 50 years. Pens waiting to write smoothly over paper, spilling out the words of my heart. And pictures of Grace and Gratitude. You know the old man and woman that are praying? My mama found them for me. I want to grow old and be Grace.

A friend of mine gave the sermon at church today. He's a farmer, too. His wife, a friend who shares my maiden name, and a passion for life and who offers me love and understanding unconditionally. He talked about seeds. That planting is up to us. We scatter seeds around us. The routines our family follows. How we live our lives for all to see. Seeds that are going to help us grow. And some seeds, we keep casting them out and they don't seem to take root. We see nothing above ground. Begging The Father to do something, anything, to show us that those seeds are gonna grow. We have a sign hanging in the entry way that reminds us: "Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow." 1 Corinthians 3:7. Some versions say that it is God who "gives the increase."
We are instruments, used by God, for Him to be glorified. When we start loving on those that hate us. We grow. When we take the hand of a stranger and say, "It's gonna be all right." We are planting seeds of hope. Plant seeds and open doors of opportunity. He is the Vine and we are the branches.

Kinship is relationship. Building on similar nature and character. Soul sisters. "Bosom friends" as Anne of Avonlea declared. From the Greek gignesthai - to be born. We have to plant seeds and cultivate relationships. Invest time. Reach out. Just be.

I write this to encourage you. Whatever it is that you are waiting for. Wait expectantly for The Lord to do great things.

"God is within her. She will not fall. God will help her at the break of day." Psalm 46:5

~for you, Dee. Look up. Look up and see that He is good.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

"What do you do all day?!?!"

someone recently asked me.

I wake up between 5 and 6. Make coffee. Pray. A lot.Wake the girls up at 6. Help them get dresssed. Breakfast. Pack lunches. Off to the bus at 7:15.

Back inside after a short walk. More coffee. Get dressed. Throw in a load of laundry. Check email. Pick FlyLady task for the day. Empty dishwasher. Switch laundry. Fold and put away. No clean clothes left in laundry baskets.

Time for the boys to wake up. Cuddle time. Bible stories. Breakfast and get dressed. More coffee.They get to watch one hour of TV. I use this time to bake bread, plan meals, blog, read my Bible, or do my Weekly Home Blessing.

Seriously. You need to go to www.flylady.net right now. It will get your life in order. Not perfect, but peaceful. I promise. Been following her since 2007.

Outdoor playtime. Help Thee Farmer with chores.

Lunch. Watch the news/weather. If Thee Farmer comes in we may watch Days. The boys have quiet time and naps if they need one. I switch laundry. Four loads by four is my daily goal. (See the book Large Family Logistics on Amazon.)

I'm tired already just typing this out but I have a secret on how I make it through each day. 8:00. That's right 8 pm the magic hour when they all go to sleep. I look forward to that time every day. I only have to make it til 8. Then I get Thee Farmer all to myself. I can sit. Relax. Read. Watch an episode of Leave it to Beaver or Keeping Up Appearances on Netflix. Get into my granny nightgown and s-l-e-e-p.

In between 6 am and 8 pm there is also: cooking, dishes, playing, teaching, baking, cleaning, organizing, writing, sweet tea making, pet chores, phone calls to and from friends (a must have for every day), errands, toilet cleaning, list making...

I don't tell you this to make you say "Gee, she does a lot." or even "Who cares what you do all day?" I write it out for me. To remind myself that I DO make a difference. That staying home matters. That Thee Farmkids and Farmer are my world. That in the end, money isn't what matters. Time well spent is. Raising Kingdom kids is. Having a happy Farmer is.

What do YOU do all day?

Monday, May 18, 2015

New blog title

Since I write mostly about Thee Farmer and our lives I decided to change Thee Blog website to theefarmwife.blogspot,com. We call ourselves JC Farms and not White Farms and decided it would be better for me to write and not use the White Farms name anymore.

Why JC Farms? Back in 2002 there were John, Carolyn, Cody and Jaima. All Js and Cs. And Jesus Christ at the center of it all. Thee Farmer chose the name and it stuck. Course, we've added a couple of As and another J to our lives.

The AC was on for a few days because we had high dew points and humidity. This morning, not so much. Forty-five degrees. Back to coats and hats and mittens. Eight days left of the school year. An orchestra concert and a dance recital to go and then it's S-U-M-M-E-R!! (Cue dance number and singing)

Stay tuned for a giveaway of the new Bible study from www.stonesoupforfive.com! I am so excited to share a new way of looking at the Word!

Saturday Morning Ramblings

I wake up at dawn nearly every day. I need the quiet. The rain falling off of the roof. Cats meowing for attention. Mama cows mooing for their babies, "Come and get it!" These are the noises of life that make the quiet so worth the hour less of sleep.

Yesterday, a hummingbird flitted at kitchen window. I have never seen one here on the farm before. Lightning quick. Darting all around. Sorry little bird, you won't find any flowers here but dandelions.

I wait until June to plant anything in the yard. By then the weeds have all been sprayed and I don't have to worry about drift. I plant in pots because I have learned that I don't like weeding. Thee Farmer likes to apply crop science to my gardening techniques. Sometimes, we have tomatoes by September. We laugh about it every year. We can grow cows, corn, beans and kids. Vegetables and flowers...not so much. That's why I go to the produce auction north of here. Baskets of tomatoes, peppers, melons, onions, cabbage, carrots...and I didn't have to pull a weed.

Seems so long ago that my Mama planted a seed in me. Softly humming lullabies and sweet Baby Jesus songs in my ears. Always telling me that I was loved. That there is Jesus and He is real. And yesterday, on the phone, she waters that seed and tells me that He is still right here with us. To look up. That who I am matters, but who He created me to be matters even more.

I started this blog in 2007. Blogging was new then. I wanted to record our lives here on the farm. I was home and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our miracle baby, Jaiden Ilo. I need to write. Words that are God's gift to me. I speak loudly, boldy. But when I write, words flow softly, quietly on to paper. Most know the loud me, few know the quiet me.

Lately, I have been helping other bloggers and their writing projects. I like being a cheerleader on the sidelines. Proofreading. Testing out their words.

Kari Denker is one such author. I "met" her on Pinterest. I had looked up Bible journaling. Check out her blog http://www.stonesoupforfive.com/ Make sure you sign up for her free Ephesians study. I promise you will love this way of diving in to The Word. Doodling and journaling your way through the Bible.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ramen and Grape drink

If you walked in my front door right now...first of all, if you could get to the front door. You would have to get past Big Dummy, our English Mastiff, who is laying on the steps because he has bad gas and I don't want him in the house.

Welcome to the foyer - "foy-yay" - a jumbled mess of muck boots and tennis shoes and single mittens. We have a mud room. In the basement of all places. But now my front hall has transformed itself into one. Apparently, going down the steps in the garage to the mud room is too much for my family. That, or the fact that there are BATS in our basement. Real life flying rodents. Don't ask my why or how. No one goes down there anymore. If we have to get meat from the deep freeze we put a basket on our heads and run. Real fast.

Thee Farmer is telling the boys to go to bed for the fourteenth time. He finally gets up and goes in their atrocity of a bedroom and tells them to stay in their room. I just made their bed and I can guarantee the blankets and pillows and sheets are already on the floor and they are jumping.

Our thirteen-year-old is in her room watching "Doctor Who" and doing her homework on her iPad. She hates not having text books and printed worksheets. The feel of paper in her hands. Her neck is strained from staring at the screen. I take her to the chiropractor weekly. Progress. She shares all that she is learning with me and I am amazed at her 13-year-old knowledge. Something about eco-whatchamacallits and biospheres. Biology in 7th grade. The world at her fingertips. Maybe iPads and Google are not so bad after all. I can tell it is the end of the school year because her trash is overflowing. The bottom of her closet is covered with clothes - tossed aside because of a whim. Her desk overflows with non-desky type things. A dozen purses and totes full of her stuff for each activity or event. Track. Dance. Pointe. 4H. Youth group.

Jaiden is in her half of the room. Already asleep. Because this weary seven-year-old had a very dramatic day. Riding the bus is awful. Rain at recess is awful. Not being able to eat all of her lunch because she ran out of time is awful. And by the way, why didn't I buy her little garden tools for her flower planting field trip tomorrow? It's just awful. And I praise God anyways, because our little mute girl can say "awful" and a whole lot of other words that she picked up from her not so patient mama.   

The boys are out of bed again and Thee Farmer is giving them drinks and fruit snacks and more hugs and one last chance. They ignore him and run for our bed anyways. He stops them midway and herds them like cattle to their room. They broke the French doors to their room months ago so there's no way to corral them. I have pinned barn doors on Pinterest but there's no way that project will be completed before they graduate.

Dishes are on the table. Every.single.coffee mug is dirty. Ramen noodles decorate the chairs. Grape Kool-Aid makes the white tile floor sticky. A backpack hangs off of a chair that hasn't been emptied. Shoes kicked off that won't be found in the morning as the bus pulls in the drive.

Yep. I fed them Ramen and grape drink for supper. No veggies. No fruit. Just flour and sugar and salt and artificial color. Mom of the Year? Nope. But they love me.

Little Man is out of bed again. He has to pee because Thee Farmer gave him too much Kool-Aid. Before bed. And they didn't brush their teeth. Oh my.

I tell you all this because this is real life. It's exactly why I need Jesus. Time outs for me. Strong coffee and my hidden candy stash. As they s-l-o-w-l-y fall asleep I find time to pray. My heart pounds. I want to scream. Really loud. But my Savior comforts me. Tells me this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. And the two-year-old yells, "I gotta pee!" and I yell back, "You don't even know how to pee! Now go to bed!" and I finish my prayer. For now. AMEN.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My mind is full...

I could write to you for hours, dear friend. I could sit here and just pour it all out. How much do I share? Tell? Show?

Thee Farmer and his daddy are sitting at the kitchen table making plans for the day. Talking about rocks they picked up doing field work. So peaceful. I love this part of our lives.

It's soybean planting time. I'm already watching my corn pop up in rows. Now they discuss the forecast. When will the rain come? Will it be enough? Too soon? Too late? Our whole way of life is dependent on the weather and The One who makes the rain. "If only it would wait until tomorrow night and then we'd be done."

Now they discuss other farmers and their planting methods. Then there is always this mysterious "if a guy could". I have yet to find said "guy".

Today, I struggle with jealousy. I want to fill my heart with gratitude. To count our blessings and not our needs. But oh, some days, it is so hard to thank Him and count. I have everything I need. I have been blessed with five children that I screamed and prayed to Him for for over 20 years. He answered the cries of my heart and my empty womb and brought me my babies. I have a beautiful home. More than enough space. More than enough beef. More than enough. He gently tugs my heart and sings "All I have in You is more than enough."

Jealousy and coveting. I confess. I want what others take for granted. I see the starving in the world and I choose to help feed and cloth them. I don't buy new clothes for summer. I see all the women who do. I take in more children into our home. I try not to see the jewelry and new shoes and picture perfect homes on Pinterest and of my friends. That aching in my heart that is temptation. That Jesus tells me is an ache that only His perfect love can fill. But, Oh Jesus, help me to trust that you are the Provider of all that we need. That a trip to Target will not fill the emptiness in my heart. That a hug from a little girl who desperately needs You and love from a family is my more than enough.

So, I put on my big girl panties. Thank God I don't use credit cards to pretend to be like all the other girls. (And if they jumped off of the bridge would I follow? No ma'am.) They can have their Pinterest perfect facades. Braces for their children's teeth. Landscaping. Shopping trips and girls nights out. All of the things I have coveted.

For the Lord is good to me. And so I lift my voice. He's given me the things I need. The sun and the rain and the apple seed. Oh the LORD is good to me.