On Shifting Sand

Farming:
Sinking sand is what gravel roads are like around here. I’m so glad we live on asphalt. We see rain in the forecast and actually plan it will come, unlike before when we figured the chance of rain would disappear before the day arrived. With all the rain, little has been planted this week. We’ve heard some talk of the wheat possibly scabbing or rusting or something; but we’ll still take the rain. Speaking of wheat, I need to get you pictures of the winter kill. It’s all over the place. It’s on my mental to-do list.

Recommendations:on shifting sand

On Shifting Sand by Allison Pittman was sent to me by Tyndale House Publishers so I could review it for you. I wouldn’t recommend reading it if you’re looking for a light read.

It’s written in first person present, with the first person being a young wife and mother living in Oklahoma during the dust bowl. It takes on an erie feel to start and rarely feels light hearted. You read so much about all the dirt and dust it almost makes you feel dirty. I have a whole new appreciation for anyone who lived through that depressing time.

All that dust and dryness Pittman uses as a metaphor to sin, and the impact of sin on the main character’s life is devastating just like the drought. You can’t read this book and miss that point. Realizing that metaphor made me appreciate this book, and I then ended up wanting to read it. Before that I was just depressed by the lack of rain, the impossible task they had of keeping things clean, and the main character’s poor choices. Overall, I’d say this is an impressively written book.

What I’m Thinking and Learning: 
The above book and a variety of other things have me thinking of this verse.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I  call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life [following God’s way] in order that you may live, you and your descendants,

Asparagus 

Update: 
Juliet turned 1 this week. I stole her mom’s picture off Facebook, so you could see her sweet face and family.

juliet1Small Town Nebraska:
The kids and I were just finishing up a little community service project, (little being the key word), when a country neighbor pulls up to give us some asparagus and eggs (and some seed corn Brad might need if he ever gets to plant again).farm eggs and asparagus

I think God was reminding me I can’t out give Him. Then He made sure I got the point when we were given more asparagus later that day. We really like asparagus.

We don’t so much like this,
snake in the housebut I’m super excited about this row of sunflowers popping up!
sunflower sprouts

Farming:
If only I could count how many times we check the weather in a day. Brad needs little wind to spray and the field to dry out so he can plant. We’ve had very little of either. We’ve actually had Brad here to eat supper with us, but it feels slightly unsettling because we wonder when it will ever work to get that corn planted. At the same time, we work very hard to not complain about the rain. It’s just so strange to have had it appear repeatedly for more than two days.

Today he was finally able to get a full day of spraying. We saw him for 2 minutes when he rushed into the house at supper time, (Guess what we were having for a vegetable.) washed his hands, grabbed some Snickers, and said he was going to the big town to get some parts. If you’re going to have a break down, the end of the day is the time to do it I guess.

Recommendations:
May I recommend Focus on the Family’s Family Project to you?
Family ProjectTheir website says it best, “The Family Project is a 12 session DVD experience for couples or small groups that explores the theological, philosophical, and cultural underpinnings of the traditional family, and combines that information with inspiring stories and practical tools to help 21st-century families thrive.”

We went through it with several couples and enjoyed it and learned from it at the same time. If you’re interested, I know where you could borrow the DVD’s.

 

One More

Farming:
It’s been a rainy week! We are rejoicing! It can continue for as long as it would like because when it stops raining out here it takes it too long to start again. Rain this time of year is an extra treat because it gives Brad a break/us a break. I was beginning to remember why I resented this occupation when I moved here with a 1 year old and newborn. Those little people get to see their dads so little when it’s this busy and don’t understand what is going on. We’re just glad to see him when we can.

This rain gave Brad time to go buy a “new” truck. This one is 581,000 miles into its life, but that’s so much better than the other one with 1.5 million. That beast was shutting off randomly, which is just slightly scary when you’re pulling a sprayer and whatever else down a main highway. So now we have one more vehicle. I’m not even going to start counting how many that makes.

What I’m Thinking & Learning:
My mom picks up the Bible Study Fellowship Home Training Lessons for us. In 8th lesson from The Life of Moses they said this weighty statement:

“Ask God to keep you as sensitive to your own behavior as you are to your child’s.”

Recommendations: Henry Hodges Needs a FriendHenry Hodges Needs a Friend is a cute children’s book about a little boy who feels like he needs a friend. I like the lines on the front cover flap,

“So you’re pretty special, and that’s guaranteed. Maybe you’re the new friend that somebody needs!” 

The story focuses more on a pet being a friend when you don’t have friends near. I was hoping it would focus more on being a friend when you don’t feel like you have one. The last page does encourage that some while tying the book altogether nicely. Pet loving people will like this book. The story is written with great rhyme and rhythm and kid friendly illustrations. Children will laugh at some of the silly ideas that Henry imagines, like maybe getting a goldfish with antlers. The author of this book, Andy Andrews, is actually the author of three New York Times bestsellers. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program and the opinions are all my own.

Family:  Brad captured this on Sunday.

Nebraska Saturday Phone Dump

Please excuse the lack of a post last week. I won’t make a habit of that. It was just a cluttered week. This week it’s all about a couple of April Saturdays in Nebraska.

A week ago Saturday we went to Lincoln to take in the “Spring Game.” We went early to see if we could get Ameer Abdullah’s autograph. Way too many people had that same idea, so a disappointed Wyatt had to settle for just standing near him and looking.

Ameer AbdullahWe joined the over 77,000 to watch a football practice and worked really hard to not pull the plug out of the kid in front of us. (I probably haven’t told you this before, but I can be really good at being critical of others. I only just worry about my glaring issues you’re thinking about. Just tell me to my face. I can deal.)IMG_2075Brad wanted to check out the highest seats in the house. He’s in this picture. Take my word for it. Nebraska Spring GameThis most recent Saturday was adventure on this side of the state.

I saw this.

Cattle DriveThen later that day we drove west on the interstate and saw this.

April HailI promise you, that is NOT snow. It’s hail!

Hail

P.S. We had over an inch of rain! Hallelujah!

I Will Fear No Evil, for YOU are with Me

What I’ve Been Thinking:
The Kara Tippetts story has spent some time consuming my thoughts lately. In her suffering Jesus was her comfort and hope. I’ve recently read in the Bible about God’s presence being such a privilege and joy for the Isrealites, and then verses giving us reason not to fear solely because of his presence have come across my path.

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

So I’ve been asking myself, “Is Jesus presence enough for me?” and my truthful answer is that I don’t understand how it can be, but I’m going to trust that it is.

Wyatt has a real fear of tornados now that we are in “tornado season.” I can’t honestly promise that we won’t be hit by a tornado, but I’ve decided I can tell him Jesus will always be with us. I get hit with fears like all mom’s do. What if I have to give up chocolate? What if I live in this house the rest of my life? What if  ____________ (insert terrible, tragic, unspeakable thought). Now, I pray it never happens, and tell myself that Jesus will always be with me. Even though I don’t understand how that can be enough because I don’t know Him well enough, I have found it still brings me peace.

Does it you?

Farming:
Gear BoxesThese pivot gear boxes were out getting warranty work done on them. Brad put them back on this week and some tires too. He also sprayed some wheat with fertilizer and in perfect time. We got moisture the next day! It was in the form of snow, but we don’t care how it comes.

Nebraska:
This was Elliana’s view on our way to school this April morning.

See the deer?

See the deer?

That was the first of four sets of deer I saw along the road today. It’s always so good to see them and to not hit them.

Book Recommendation:
Bearenstain Bears God Made You Special

I can’t compare God Made You Special by Mike Berenstain to other books about children with special needs, but I really like how this book approaches the subject. It starts with talking about how kids hear about God’s love for them and can see it in things around them. Then it makes them think about how that love is for everyone. It never mentions a specific disability or label but still points out that some people are created with very obvious differences. I really appreciate that it points out that those differences are there to teach us something, and I really like the questions at the end of the book. They opened the door for great conversations with my 5 and 7 year old. I’m very thankful BookLook Bloggers sent me a copy of this book to review for you, and they didn’t twist my arm to make me tell you positive things either.

Nebraska Recommendations:
I know these two Nebraska bloggers, and their recent posts make me want to be a better writer and make me think they need to post more. You will be touched and inspired if you take time to read God Moved My Finish Line and Can You Still Feel The Butterflies.

Coming up next weekend!

White Barn Treasures

It was a huge success last fall and is sure to be a bigger success this spring.

My Family:
Ever felt this way? Maybe try taking a nap next time you do.
IMG_2061 IMG_2059
What if she doesn’t nap?! Will Jesus be enough for me then?

Spring

Nebraska:
Spring = Daffodils!

Daffodil Row

My Family:

Farming:
You know the song “Rain on Us” – the title comes to my mind often these days.

I heard the price of a bull this week – $7,000 -$9,000! With that price he better get his work done well!

What I’ve Been Thinking:
Brad’s grandma passed away this week. It is sad to not be able to see her on this earth any longer, but it is amazing how the hope of heaven softens that sadness. We’re experiencing the joy of Easter in a fresh new way this week.

I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ presence too. Maybe next week I’ll have more words for that.