Community

Can you imagine kids riding these bikes all together around town? That’s community (even if it is almost all of the bikes in our town). Kids love it and need it!

bike brigadeI’ve been feeling so grateful for the communities God’s given me. I wish I had pictures of them all – work out group, Bible study, church, friends, family. Five years ago, I didn’t know that would be possible for me in my new location.
JulietFriday, this little jewel went to heaven where she is now playing and smiling in the presence of Glory. Thank you to the community of you who prayed for her and her family. Today I was blessed to be a part of a community of women who met together to support Juliet’s mom. I may not have a picture of all my communities for you; but I do have this one picture from today, and it speaks volumes in my mind to the power of true community.
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“Jesus does not want us floating through space or sitting in front of our televisions. Jesus wants us interacting, eating together, laughing together, praying together.” -Donald Miller

Psalm 145:17-18
The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.

Road Work

Small Town Nebraska:
I don’t know about your Nebraska county; but in our county, the county road maintenance (or lack thereof) is a hot topic. They decided to rebuild one of the roads that is next to the pivot Brad farms by bringing dirt from the ditch onto the road. So this is basically what the ditch was before they did their work.
ditch before road work This is the ditch now.
ditchditch after road work They did at least leave him one driveway into the field (see the left side of the following picture), although he rather preferred having many options.
field driveway The ditches are an okay thing to have, but the condition of the road is another story. Four inches of rain on a new dirt road meant the county road equipment even got stuck trying to fix it, and our friends (the only people who live on the road) had to use a tractor to get anywhere and their vehicle windows were too dirty to get a picture.

Farm Education:
Today marks the first day of the 2016 planting season for Brad. He’s mainly just making sure that everything is working correctly and will probably not plant much until after the predicted coming cold snap is over.

1st day of corn planting 2016I learned a great conversation tip for when talking with farmers by listening in on some farmer talk at the local gas station/restaurant/tire shop/coffee and donut shop. In the spring, a meaningful question to ask a farmer about their operation is,

“Are you doing anything different this year?” 

Or in the fall, after you get done asking how their harvest is going and then don’t know what else to ask, you could say,

“Did you do anything different this year?”

They may answer with something that you don’t understand, but that will just give you more questions to ask them. I’ll keep my ear out for more good farmer conversation tips for you.

You’re welcome.

Books:
Jesus- experiencing His touch
I’ve enjoyed doing several Precept studies in the past, so when I saw that Blogging for Books had Jesus: Experiencing His Touch by Kay Arthur and David Arthur has a review options I was happy to request it. The difference between this study and the ones I have done before, is that this is a “no-homework Bible study” designed to take 40 minutes. It says it is a small group study “for people are interested in learning for themselves more about what the Bible says on various subjects, but who have limited time to meet together.”

Jesus: Experiencing His Touch takes you through Mark 1-6. You study approximately a chapter each week, and the book gives clear directions of how to study the passage together as a group. You observe what’s written in a few verses and then discuss and then repeat through the rest of the selection for the week. The Arthurs also provide some helpful insights along the way. I’m excited to try this with my Bible study during the busy months of summer. I can tell it’s not as in depth as a study with more homework, but it is still studying the Bible! If you try it and like it, they have 40 Minute Bible studies for the rest of the book of Mark too.

Lamentations 3:21-23
This I recall to my mind,

Therefore I have hope.
 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

 

Loads of Information

Updates:
To answer the title of my last post, we were enjoying the Burr Hall Bull Fry on UNL’s East Campus. East campus is where Brad and I met, and I think every college bound student should go to UNL and live there; but that’s kind of like saying I think my kids are the best.

If this celery doesn’t impress you, I don’t know what will. Check out the progress from when I first showed it to you.
Celery GrowingWhat I’m Thinking and Learning:
I went to a conference for work last week. That means you’re going to get some education about kids.

Have you heard about the Marshmallow Test? It was originally a Stanford study done in 1970 that showed kids who could wait to do something they wanted because the reward was better than the immediate gratification scored better on the SAT by 210 points 14 years later and when they were 30 they had better jobs and health than those who couldn’t wait. This was a better predictor than their parent’s education level.

So if you would like a healthy laugh, watch these kids try not to eat the one marshmallow because if they wait, they will get two marshmallows. It’s way cute.
https://www.ignitermedia.com/embed/1350-the-marshmallow-test

Since you now see I didn’t lie to you about how cute that was, maybe you’ll take a minute to browse this post about preventing screen addiction. It challenged me. This is the first line, “A recent article in The Telegraph describes a very scary trend: “Children as young as four are becoming so addicted to smartphones and iPads that they require psychological treatment.”” And I can’t argue with this line, “As SLPs, we see the effects on language and pragmatic skill development caused by overexposure to screens, be it smartphones, tablets, or video games — not to mention the effects on attention, executive functioning, fine and gross motors skills, imagination, and higher level thinking.”

Farm Education (Farmer DIY):
Inside an old semi
When your luxurious semi doesn’t have a center console, you have to get creative with your cup holder.
DIY cup holderDon’t worry. That’s my cup, not his.

 

Books:
BookLook Bloggers let me have an eBook of Love’s Complete, A Russian Adoption Journey by Teresa Travous Hull to review for you. I don’t see it stated directly, but I would guess the author wrote this based on personal experience. It’s written as a very simple poem that would be easy for little kids to understand. The pictures help tell the story since each page only has 14 to 28 syllables on it. I would see it as being helpful to read to young children in a family in the adoption process. I wouldn’t recommend it for any book awards, but it does tell the story it was intended to tell and provides additional information about Eastern European adoption.

Loves Complete

 

Currently

Stuff of Interest To Me and Maybe You Too:
I would say “before” but it’s not really before when it’s how it is today. So currently, my new garden spot looks like this. Brad sprayed the grass to kill it (obviously) last fall.killed grass

I was going to have him till it up for me, but the dead grass just scrapes away. I’m going to see if I can plant in it and keep the dead as a little weed prevention. It worked for planting onions but might be difficult for things that need to be planted deeper. We’ll see if the ground is loose enough for things to get their roots down. I did see a worm, which should help!

onions planted

Onions are in there.

This celery will go in the garden once it gets roots on it. It’s just the bottom of the celery I bought at the grocery store. I chopped it off and stuck it in a little water.
growing celeryYou really should try this if you haven’t before. It’s so amazing and grows celery you can eat, or that the neighborhood dogs can unload on and in that case it kind of makes you afraid of eating it. At least you’re not out much if that happens.

I’ll be happy to show you “after” pictures of those current things. Remind me if it gets to June and I haven’t.

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Another great recommendation from my friend Jailyn. Take a moment to listen.

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Look what beauty I got from another friend. They’re not dyed either. She just has creative chickens. The middle and last egg aren’t white if it appears that way on your screen. They’re a lovely light blue green. It will be sad to crack them.

colorful eggs

Family:
We didn’t get a nice family picture on Easter, but my sister took nice pictures of all of us. She forgot to tell me my eyes were disappearing.

Acts 2:22-24
“…Listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”

The Shop Office

What I’ve Been Thinking and Learning:
As we consider Good Friday, the following words from “When I Survey the Wonderful Cross”

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

connect impeccably with something I read earlier this week.

Jeremiah 9:23-24
Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

Try putting “trust” in for where ever you see “boast.”

Small Town Nebraska:
I ventured deep into Brad’s building in search of our bucket of cans to be recycled and found Brad has an impressive office back there. It includes a practical coffee table/desk, and each chair has a personal space heater. If nothing else I’ve ever said makes you want to come visit, this will do the trick.
shop officeWhile you’re talking in the office, your child can play basketball or play farm. Pouring wheat is good for ages 2+.

Farm Education:
I stopped to pick up two manuals for Brad at the Case dealership. What size of books do you envision when you see this invoice? If you can’t read it, one book is $102.18, the other is $25.56, and they charged $15.94 for freight. Must be some heavy material. Case Invoice

For over $100 couldn’t at least one of the books be thicker than a half inch? Nope. Must be a large demand for this reading material, or Brad is the only one who actually wants them, or they haven’t adjusted their prices since the price of corn tanked.
combine manualsBooks:
Change of Heart
Tyndale Blog Network let me read Change of Heart by Courtney Walsh so I could review it for you. I did not realize it was the second book in the Paper Heart series until after finishing the book. I never once thought I was missing information from a first book in the series when reading it, but I do wish (mostly because it really irritates me to not reading a series of books in order) I had read Paper Hearts first so I could see how the characters are connected between the first and second books.

Change of Heart has some comical minor characters and enduring main characters. It is a present day romantic fiction with a sappy ending. If only all real life romances could end so perfectly. Although it is primarily a romance, it does bring to light the importance of living to be the person God created you to be and highlights Ephesians 2:10: For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable book that will keep your interest, this book will do the trick.

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Jeremiah 9:23-24
Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man trust in his wisdom, and let not the mighty man trust in his might, let not a rich man trust in his riches; but let him who trusts trust in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

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Small Town Nebraska:
When listening in to Brad talking on the phone to someone who called with an electrical problem, I heard him say, “You have 2 phases coming in and hit one of them with the gun?” They live in the country and a grandkid didn’t really aim quite right when trying to scare off a stray dog. Half of their house was without power. Oops!

What I’m Thinking and Learning:
I’ve been thinking about these two quotes for awhile, and they both go right along with my resolution. Matt Chandler in Recovering Redemption talks about how when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we’re not just forgiven of our sins but we’re also adopted as God’s children. We have a loving Father. We need to “be His and be content with that.” I know I’m not content with just that, but I know that’s because I don’t know Him well enough.

That brings me to the next quote. Jen Hatmaker in For the Love suggests this: “Ask God: What lies do I believe about myself? What lies do I believe about You?” How simple and powerful is that!? I pray that we would all know Him better and better understand how He views us.

Family:
I looked back on the way to church and saw Liza praying. I don’t know what she was talking to God about, but I can only hope maybe she’s already started to pray for me!
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Psalm 103:8
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

 -Julie-