4 kids

Having another child was a major step of faith for me. Three kids was far from easy. Call me crazy or tell me I’m making things up, but I felt very strongly like God wanted us to have another one. I’m guessing I’ve thought of all the selfish arguments that could be made as to the practicality of not having four children but being obedient seemed like the better option.

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God has a perfect plan for him.

I had to come to grips with the truth that just because I do what I think God wants me to do doesn’t mean that He’s going to make it easy. I didn’t have a guarantee of an uncomplicated pregnancy or a baby without significant medical issues. This was actually my worst pregnancy (which still wasn’t that terrible considering what some women endure), Brad got SICK two and a half weeks after William was born, our third child is determined to always be the center of all attention, and our house and vehicle haven’t magically expanded; but we don’t regret our number four at all.

img_0791We’re a month into the four kids journey and have seen so many blessings. Parenting any number of children is a great daily reminder of how much you NEED God every moment. We have the guarantee that He will show up, and He definitely has.

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When we were in the hospital waiting for William to be born, we had people text that they were praying for us and we hadn’t even told them we were at the hospital. We’ve been well taken care of with food, gifts, and extra help with taking care of kids and house work. God keeps showing up everyday.

Yes, she put a blue stamp on her forehead.

Yes, she put a blue stamp on her forehead.

Then there’s the bizarre events. Since having my fourth child, I’ve started making my bed and I’ve read three books. How does that even fit into the four kid equation?

New Plates

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While we were in the hospital after having William, Uncle Darin had two reasons to come to town. One reason was to meet William. Another reason was to stop at the county treasurer to hopefully get the farm license plate numbers he wanted before someone else took them. I’m not sure which reason was more of the priority for him.

This year all vehicles registered with farm plates in Nebraska get new license plate numbers, and some people (all of the men in Brad’s family) like having meaningful plate numbers. The extra fee of getting new plates before the old ones were expired was worth it to them.img_0384 Barely into the second week of January all five of the men in Brad’s family had been in to get the plates they wanted. When you live in a small county in Nebraska, the county treasurer tells you this when you’re there. “Your dad was just in this morning.” “You’re the last of your family to come in.” She also told us one farmer was waiting outside the first day they were open this year to make sure no one else took his number.

Brad got license plates that are our birthdays. Yes, he licenses enough vehicles that all six of us have our own plate, plus one or two more! That doesn’t even include our non-farm vehicle or any trailers. Minimalistic living isn’t in Brad’s future.

More in 2017

2017 feels like it needs to be the year of “more” for us.

We know it will be the year of more farming. God has provided Brad with more land to rent. It is all unirrigated, which is positive in that he doesn’t have the daily work of pivot checking in the middle of the summer; but it means will be praying more for rain and for the price of corn to increase.

Brad also has more opportunities for spraying. That means when April hits I plan to be on my own with the kids at home. I’m thinking I’m going to need more help – mental help, physical help, personal chef help, spiritual help – you name it, I think I’ll need it. I either need to chill out and let go of expectations more or actually get help; or maybe what I’m anticipating won’t be that bad. Time will tell. Actually if you could pray about that for me and let me know what help for me is actually supposed to look like, I’d be appreciative.

While you’re at it if you could pray and let me know how we should go about getting more living space, I’d appreciate that too. We waffle between thinking we need to be content with what we have and thinking we are so crammed we can’t take it anymore! Today, I’m feeling we’re at the packed like sardines point and could get really excited if 2017 was the year we figured out what more living space is supposed to look like for us.

I’d like to say that 2017 means I will blog more, but if I have any more mental blocks like I just had for the last month I promise I won’t waste your time on posting just to post. I’d like to read more in 2017 and spend more time with friends, but I see I can’t let those things to trump my need to love my family more.

I definitely know I need 2017 to be more about worshipping our mighty God. I want to be intentional about living for Him more and less for myself. As a friend recently posted, “John 10:10. “Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I [Jesus] have come to give you abundant life! Life to the full.” If I need anything in 2017, I need more abundant life.

How about you?

One of the Few

Books:
In honor of Veteran’s Day and the Marine Corps birthday this week, I have a book you may want to consider reading. one-of-the-fewThe author, Jason B. Ladd, asked me way back in August if I would review it for you. Reading has been very hard for me to squeeze in these days, so I haven’t been able to get it read. I do think One of the Few looks like a good book. I say this because it is Christian non-fiction and more of the autobiography type of non-fiction. It isn’t all about fighting in a war, which I would be afraid to read, but about many aspects of life. One of the Few has an average rating between 4 and 5 on a 5 point scale on both Amazon and Good Reads. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought; and if you haven’t read it already, let me know if you decide to. I hope to get to read it someday.

A big thank you to all who serve and have served in our military. We have no idea how our lives would be different without their service.

Small Town Nebraska/My Family:
Brad decided this morning to go deer hunting. When you have family with land and live right by it, you can make last minute decisions to go hunting. Wyatt was very excited to go hunting for the first time with Brad, even though he’s too young to actually hunt and probably didn’t have a clue what he was going to be doing.  img_0450Brad got a deer, which means I have one less thing to worry about hitting when driving. Wyatt thought the best part of it was getting to touch the deer, and his second favorite part was helping Brad to gut it. Now we better start making room in our freezer.

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Isaiah 61:1-2
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn…

Fall 2016

My Family:
Elliana and I thought it would be fun to recreate our fall picture from two years ago.

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2014

We should’ve waited for the sun to be in a different spot. :/

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2016

Here are some other cute pictures to make up for that sad one.

Farm Education (Garden Style):
I told you I was excelling at raising root vegetables this year. Here’s more proof. That is a regular size football and some huge carrots! (Yes, they’re supposed to be white.) I guess even though I’m not paying any attention to the garden, the carrots are still growing. I thought maybe they’d just be dormant and stay the same size until I picked/dug them.
HUGE CarrotsWhat I’ve Been Thinking:
I’ve been having to fight to not be anxious about Tuesday. (DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW!) It has sure motivated me pray for the spiritual state of our country. I did get my ballot mailed in and for some reason that made me feel better. It was a good year to request an absentee ballot because it took me a long time to figure out how to vote for all the things I didn’t know would be on the ballot until I saw it.

3 food for thought links on the topic for you-

Janet Parshall Commentary – Rights and Responsibilities

An encouraging prayer based on Daniel

The Political Gospel

Funny thing – we have 7 people vying for 3 spots on our town board. I’m not even sure we have 30 registered voters. It’s a hot political climate around here.

No matter the results of the election, I have this truth:

Psalm 34:7-10
Taste and see that the LORD is good;

blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the LORD, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow week and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

 

2016 Harvest in the Books

combine to grain cart to semiBrad finished harvesting his corn today. He’ll still be helping another farmer with harvest, but his corn is out of the field.

The big highlight of this harvest was Elliana learning to drive the grain cart. Brad started showing her the ropes Sunday afternoon.
7250 TractorAunt Renae rode along with her yesterday, but Elliana just didn’t feel like she could go by herself yet. 2016 Corn Harvest img_0350Today she and Brad went out to finish the last 100 rows. He thought the way things were set up would be perfect for her to drive by herself, and she did. Don’t worry about her being overworked. She’s been SO EXCITED all week about driving the grain cart!

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Looking for corn that the combine missed

Another highlight was getting quality, one-on-one time in the combine with the big kids. If you want to see how your kids are different, just spend a few hours with each of them in a combine.

img_0351Wyatt and Liza rode with me for a short bit and were more than happy when a better option came up for them. Three people in that small space isn’t ideal for long periods of time.
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Now we’re praising God that a safe and happy harvest is complete!