Don’t Fear the Storms

Into every life a little rain must fall.

Isn’t that what they say? I’m deep into the psalms in my morning quiet time and storms do come but the testimony of God’s people is one of faithfulness and steadfast love, of rescue and salvation, of deliverance and praise.

He is mighty to save, abounding in steadfast love and mercy.

Maybe that’s why I love a good storm. I see the clouds moving in and feel the change in the air and know that the world is going to be washed clean.

After the thunder fades and the lighting ceases I know there will be a freshness, a newness to the earth. Some things will be removed and washed away. Some things will be refreshed and nurtured.

And no matter what the earth will still stand, upheld by his hand.

Do not fear the storms that come your way, friend, no matter how fierce they seem.

“When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19

Friday Favorites ~ Mr and Mrs Peterson

Whew, what a whirlwind week it has been! Emily and Hays came to visit last Friday and left on Monday in time for some dear friends to arrive from Florida and stay for a few days. Both visits were just so much fun and good for my soul. So that explains the lack of blogging this week but sense I finished up Brandon and Jillian’s wedding pictures yesterday I could not pass up sharing a few on a Friday Favorites post.

This wedding was beautiful. To be honest, when I heard the color scheme was going to be shades of pink I immediately thought soft and princessy but I should have known better for two reasons.

Firstly, the bride is the daughter of one of my oldest friends who has impeccable taste and she raised her girls to have the same. Secondly, the event was being coordinated by the ever so talented Soiree By AJ, also a friend and Em’s wedding coordinator.

If it was a wedding fit for a princess then it was more along the lines of Princess Kate and not a Disney character. It was elegant with just the right amount of glamor from touches of gold.

All of the girls had cute matching pajamas to wear while getting ready and they just looked lovely from start to finish. They also had a fantastic playlist going most of the morning too.

The guys don’t have nearly as much fun getting ready as the girls. Or do they? Somebody was having a good time.

The ceremony itself was beautiful and the singing joyful. I really had a hard time narrowing down some pictures because of the sweet way the groom was looking at his bride during the service. And have you ever seen a cuter ring bearer or flower girls?

Afterwards the party was awesome! There was dancing, dancing, and more dancing.

Brandon and Jillian, your family and friends celebrated you well and with much love and happiness. May the Lord bless your marriage as you establish your family and home in His name and for His glory.

Looking Ahead

It was a simple lesson really.

There were a few things weighing heavy on my mind and I had kind of fretted myself into a place of worry. As I was walking the pups in the early morning I was somewhere between praying and talking to myself.

A couple of decisions needed to be made and I was anxious about making the right ones and thought to myself that I wanted to look back a year from now and laugh at how silly I was being.

Barely had the thought finished when this verse sounded in my head,

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” ~ Proverbs 31:25

Why wait to laugh about this thing next year? Why not laugh now knowing that God’s providence can be trusted? Don’t anticipate looking back. Look forward with anticipation, knowing God is faithful.

Later as I noodled on that whole exchange another verse came to mind.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105

Sometimes we can get ourselves so worked up but if we have been faithful to be women of the Word it will indeed come back to our mind and show us the way we ought to go.

So here is your encouragement for the weekend, dear reader. Look forward from whatever situation you are in knowing that God is faithful to complete the work He is using your current circumstances to accomplish.

Wait, What?

How in the world is it almost August, you guys? The weeks seem to be flying by and I feel like one moment I am in Florida and Alabama for a wedding and then suddenly it’s a week and a half later.

The wedding was beautiful and it was so very good to see friends that I haven’t seen since our move to Louisiana, if not well before then. I got to meet the precious baby of some dear friends and enjoyed some sweet hugs and catching up time. My parents have begun attending a new church and I enjoyed being in worship with them very much.

As we were driving back home I was thinking how good the visit was and it made me so incredibly grateful for a world that is marked by grace, mercy, and kindness. Love does indeed cover a multitude of sins and a brother is born for adversity.

Last week was busy with friends over for dinner one night and getting Claire back into a school routine. It is so hot here that most of our homeschooling friends start back in July. Long breaks scattered throughout the rest of the year make this really great! We are liking this hybrid sort of homeschooling we find ourselves in. She schools at the church with some other families but works independently so it’s the perfect blend of social and academia, relaxed and group motivational at the same time.

It was also bread week. I made homemade hamburger buns and some pretty tasty dinner rolls. You use the same recipe for both only dividing the dough differently for each.

When I made the buns Monday night I was a little frustrated because I couldn’t get the yeast to get all bubbly and ended up just adding some instant yeast to my flour. The buns weren’t perfect but pretty good for a first attempt.

Looking at this picture I can see how horribly I sliced that bun.

On Tuesday I decided to double the recipe and make the dinner rolls since we had a family from church coming over for dinner. When I was putting everything together I felt like such a goober because I realized that I had not added the sugar to the water and yeast the night before which is why it did not activate. I made sure I did it for the rolls so everything was great, right? Nope, because it felt weird when I started to knead the dough and I once again felt like a goober because I had forgotten to add the egg this time. Had to dump it all out and start over and I am delighted to say that if you pay attention to the recipe it is really easy and the bread is delicious. I’m actually planning to make them later this week for barbecue sliders.

On Saturday I made my first loaf of no-knead dutch oven bread and it turned out great! And that was a big deal because I was filling in for the sweet lil’ mama at our church who normally makes our communion bread and you don’t wanna be messing that up, right? I don’t think it was as light as Kaley’s but no one gagged or choked during the Lord’s Supper so I’m calling it a win. It’s a really good rustic loaf and I think it will show up on the menu during autumn and winter paired with some soups and stews.

If everything goes according to plan I hope to share one of the bread recipes on Friday. Which one would you like it to be…the brioche style buns or the rustic loaf? Both are super easy!

I had big plans to hit the ground running yesterday but instead I ended up sort of moseying into the day. Life on the farm can be a bit unpredictable because sometimes things come up that need tending right away. Like dealing with caterpillars (insert angry face here.) Ugh, as per our custom, Rob and I were walking the pups Sunday evening and we pulled off 5 stinking varmints from various flower stems! I lost around eight cosmo sprouts and it made me so sad. I don’t even want to know how many flowers that would have been.

Rob reminded me that our expectations from this crop were pretty low since we are using it as a learning experience. Basically any flowers we get will be a bonus and that made me feel a wee bit better. I’m serious, y’all. Go find a farmer and hug them and say thank you because this is not an easy way to make a living at all. I mean, obviously we hope to make back the money we are putting into our little farm but we aren’t dependent upon that to live and what we will eventually get back from the animals and vegetable garden will be a large part of our return.

Plus there is a deep satisfaction in putting my hands in the dirt that I can’t really explain. A contentment as we look around and see the fruit of our hands in such tangible ways, the results of hard, hot work after much researching and figuring out how to do the kinds of things we have never done before. It is something that settles into the soul and a new way of feeling of connectedness.

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.”
― Wendell Berry

It’s definitely a labor of love.

Friday Favorites ~ In The Kitchen

I love being in the kitchen. It gives me great happiness and satisfaction cooking and baking for my people. There are things about this kitchen that we will eventually update (I’m looking at you 1990’s tile countertops) but one thing I love is the west facing window over my kitchen sink that gets the most lovely light in the afternoons.

I also love my big kitchen towels I found at Target a few years ago, too. And apparently the dogs liked them as well and they had a grand ole time playing tug-of-war with one. Sad, I know.

But the good news is that I had to replace it and wouldn’t you know it, Target not only still had them but also in some new colors. They’re part of the Hearth and Hand With Magnolia collection. I am not a brand specific person, I like things that are well made, affordable, and do what they’re made to do, but I will say I haven’t bought any other kitchen towels since I found these.

I also found some napkins at Target because wouldn’t you know it, when the pups realized how much fun kitchen towels are they had to give napkins a whirl! We’ve had the majority of our cloth napkins for at least a decade but my favorites were some Pioneer Woman sets I got a few years ago. I liked the colors and they had the right texture to them. The way a napkin feels is the deal breaker around here so I am always on the lookout anyways but after the kitchen linen olympics with the dogs it has become more of a priority. I loved the color and subtle pattern to these sets, also done by Hearth and Hand, that come in packages of four. They also have some solid colors but I was drawn to these because they seemed so summery without being obnoxious.

I’m really excited about this next Friday favorite because it’s a book! A cookbook to be exact. I have been wanting to make a sourdough starter for a long while but the two times I attempted it I questioned what I saw and smelt happening and ditched the efforts. I have friends that tried it years ago and ended up basically giving themselves food poisoning and they are accomplished cooks and bakers so I am treading lightly with this kitchen adventure.

However, in our farm quest Rob came across a youtube channel and sent me a link to a few things knowing I would like it. The Prairie Homestead is just a well done online space for all things farming and homesteading. What I have found so engaging about their website is how easy it is to follow and understand…they present things in a way that makes you feel like they are just like you; and that you can do what they do. They seem normal, not like polished professionals and I mean that in the best possible way.

One of her videos was a tutorial on sourdough starter and I loved watching it. Next thing you know, her cookbook landed in Rob’s Amazon cart and then it arrived on my doorstep. It’s like magic, y’all 😉

I can’t wait to get back from Florida next week and start my starter! I will keep y’all posted on what I am sure will be my success. (Said totally tongue in cheek…I fully expect some bloopers because that’s the way I seem to roll.)

The last item on my list to share with you today is the reason my blog will never hit the big leagues, friends. Because y’all are going to love this dish and somebody is going to wonder where I got it, how much I paid for it, and how big is it. And I can only answer the first two questions.

TJ Maxx and $12.99

If you pushed me I might would say it’s a two quarter but honestly that is information I never paid any attention to. But isn’t it so pretty? Microwave, oven and dishwasher safe too! But sadly, not driveway safe. I had a companion dish that was oval shaped that met its demise, along with the English peas it was carrying, on our driveway one Sunday morning as we headed to church.

So there you go, friends, a few of my favorite things in the kitchen right now. What are some of yours?

Have a great weekend!

Think On These Things ~ I Corinthians 6

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 

Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 

Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 

So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 

I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 

but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 

To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 

But you yourselves wrong and defraud–even your own brothers!

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 

“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”–and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 

Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 

But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 

for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.