homesteading

Necessary Pruning

The other day I was trying to get rid of the weeds and bramble around the cabin. I was using a large tool that got extremely heavy the longer I pruned. Doing the job became more of a chore than what I had planned.

Once I was finished I turned around and noticed I hadn’t gotten the thicker sticks close to the ground at all. I was trying to make sure they were removed so no one would trip over them. I cut some more. I Looked again and thought, wow changing my perspective and looking from a different angle I could once again, see how poorly I had pruned.

This got me thinking about when God prunes me. It hurts to be pruned and when I think God has nothing more to get rid of, I can see more areas that need my flesh removed. He is faithful and continues to remove the ugly things in my life that trip me up. Granted this takes time and He knows exactly when and what to prune at the moment I need it. If He were to do it all at once, I would not survive. But, in His omniscience He knows as I grow and mature, I can handle the next pruning.

I now realize pruning is much needed and as the ugly things of my life disappear, I know one day I will be a beautiful tree producing godly fruit for all to partake of.

God is everywhere and He shows me biblical things daily. What has He shown you lately?

“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” Matthew 7:18

We made rose petal jam with the wild roses on our property!
homesteading

Blessings Abound!

This has been a busy season and I am amazed by all the blessings God has given us!

It is awesome to see God’s people be the hands and feet that we all need. Here is an update on everything that has happened this past month…

  • Started the Selah Cabin
  • Enjoyed many guests
  • Two huge garden spots cleared
  • Planted herbs in our herb garden
  • Land cleared
  • Bigger and better water filtration system installed

These are just some of the highlights! As my book Beautiful Dependence talks about the need for God first and others second, we are seeing this lived out.

We could not have done this without the help and support of others. Sometimes I just sit back in shock and awe of all the things surrounding me. Not only do we live in a beautiful place, but we have wonderful people who care for us and some who even venture up the mountain and experience life with us.

Tears streamed down my face one night as I ventured out to the new cabin. God has supplied everything; Not only the building supplies, a fantastic wood stove refurbished by my brother-in-law, windows, flooring, cabinets, and so much more.

How is this possible with how crazy our world is? I can tell you it’s because God is bigger and mightier than we can fathom. He gives us exceedingly abundantly beyond what we could think or hope for.

Do I have a new view of life after cancer? You bet I do! Enjoy every moment. Enjoy every sunrise and sunset. Enjoy the laughter. Enjoy sitting and talking with those around you. God is good. He wants to share His goodness with us. Stop. Listen. Breathe and Praise Him for his goodness!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

Our daughter getting a tractor lesson from a guest who brought this machine up!
christianity

Near to the Broken-hearted

Why is it easier to pray for healing for other people rather than for yourself? Recently I had to come face to face with this when I received the cancer diagnosis. We put out a call for prayer and I knew I had several prayer warriors praying for me.

As the days wore on and emotions were raging, I felt like I should pray for myself. Sounds simple enough. I’ve often prayed for things in my life. But, this time was different. I struggled. I couldn’t find the words. I had fears and doubts. Thoughts crept in, “What if I pray and God doesn’t heal me?” Is it because of sin in my life? Is it lack of faith? Or the hard truth that maybe my time on this earth is finished?

I didn’t know where to even begin. So, I cried out. The tears flowed. How many times have I prayed for people with cancer without a second thought that God could heal them? So many times…but this time I lacked the strength. The desire was there but I was fumbling.

As I cried verses began to come to mind, “Jehovah is near to the broken-hearted; and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. “ Psalm 34:18…

And immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Matthew 9:24

Then the reality hit me. God was just waiting for my true heart to shine through. It wasn’t about a grandiose prayer full of scripture and flowery words. He wanted the tears. He wanted my anger. He wanted my thoughts-the good and the bad. He wanted to exchange my fear and anxiety for life.

The words began to pour out of me. Yes, I prayed for healing. But, just like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, I ended it with “Not my will Father, but Your will be done,” Matthew 26:39

A few weeks ago I went in for another test to see where we were at with the cancer. I had my surgery back in October and this was the first glimpse of my left breast since then. Did I have scanxiety? (Its a real thing.) Yes, but somehow I knew the results were going to be good.

Sure enough, there is no more cancer! I am cancer free! Some would say it’s because of the surgery, or changing my eating habits. I believe God healed me as a result from everyone praying. And I give all glory to Him!!!

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

christianity

I Will Never Leave You or Forsake You!

My dad was going through some of my mom’s things and found something she wrote awhile ago. (She loved to write.) She had these made into cards and he handed me one and said, “Interesting timing. I think you might need one of these.” I cried when I read it. Once again, God’s timing is perfect. I discovered the lump on my breast in early August, my mom passed away at the end of August. I hadn’t seen a doctor yet when she died, so she never knew I had cancer. And yet, its as if she reached down from heaven and said, “God’s got this!”

It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions these passed few months. However, good things have come from it all. Once again, appreciation and gratitude flood in when the reality that life is not forever fills your mind.

I think everyone I know just wants this year of 2020 to be over. But when I stop and look at all the good that has come from it, I wonder if it’s exactly what we’ve needed. I’ve seen families actually spending time together, mom’s who were teetering on homeschooling their kids take the step of faith and dive in with both feet! I’ve seen a slower pace of life that I think our country needed. People are excited when they get toilet paper! Again, thankfulness for the things we take for granted daily.

Even in the midst of my cancer diagnosis we have had visitors come to our little cabin the woods. It’s been so fun and we have enjoyed continuing to build on our daughter’s vertical (stockade style) log cabin.

Windows are in!

Enjoying every moment of being with friends and family. I had a partial mastectomy on October 27th, so I was all rested and mostly healed by the time Thanksgiving came. We had bought nutcrackers to paint, thinking it would be fun to work on them after our Thanksgiving Neal. We were right! Our friends and family had a great time painting them and it was fun to see how different each one turned out.

In this holiday season, as strange as it may be, keep focused on what’s truly important…loving the one in front of you.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5,6

christianity

Will I Praise Him in the Storm?

What a couple of months it has been! My mom passed away and just before that I found a lump on my breast, but I put that on hold while dealing with the grief of my mother.

Once we were settled and I could think clearly I pursued getting care in our little town. I had to get medical records transferred and approvals etc. Which was not fun.

Finally I went in for a mammogram and ultrasound. The doctor definitely could tell something was on my breast so he ordered a biopsy. Two days later I had the results. I had an invasive form of breast cancer.

My mind went reeling. How can this be? I breastfed all my kids. Wasn’t that supposed to ward off breast cancer? My thoughts immediately began to spin out of control. Breast cancer runs in the family and I have had two aunts die from it. I couldn’t breathe. My heart was pounding and I was trying to fight back tears. (That didn’t last long.) I clung to my husband.

As we were waiting to tell our kids more thoughts came to mind. Will I have to do chemo? Will they recommend a mastectomy? Is it even curable? So many questions and very little answers at the time.

When we told our kids they were super supportive and offered encouragement in a way I never expected. They rocked it!

After a few days of processing it, I found that I needed to lay it at Jesus’ feet. I had to take it one moment at a time. It felt like a grieving process where the final stage is acceptance.

When we were meeting with the oncologist to hear what the next few steps would be, a flood of emotions swept through me. I didn’t want to be in this exam room – the room for cancer patients. I had no desire to answer all the questions they were throwing at me. I wish I could have lived in denial and not acknowledged that this was part of my life.

But, here we are. Tomb moments. Where there seems like there is no hope. The grave has been closed and there is nothing I can do…BUT GOD!!!

This is where the real testing of my faith comes in. I can speak about faith and saying “All things work together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:28) But do I truly believe that?

Again, tomb moments. Do I believe and trust that God will take this foul thing inside me away? Will I praise Him regardless of the outcome? My prayer is that I will praise Him through the hard times. That regardless of what happens He is still in control. He is on the throne and He will never leave me nor forsake me.

The Bible has been my anchor through this. I love to read but I just couldn’t read any other book except the Bible. I wasn’t able to focus on any printed page except God’s Word. Which is just amazing to me. His Word is life.

We have received some good news of my diagnosis. As of today, I don’t have to do chemo. I just had a lumpectomy and they took some of my lymph nodes to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread. I will get those test results soon. I am sore from the surgery and my throat hurts from the breathing tube. But, I am relieved because the doctor thinks he was able to get the tumor out completely. In about four weeks I will start radiation therapy.

I have so much to be thankful for. In the words of my dad – I get to experience God in a whole new way. Which has been so true. He is close to the broken hearted. He is the God who sees. The God who heals. The God who comforts and gives peace.

Do I wish there was a different path? Sure, but then I wouldn’t be refined into a beautiful vessel. If I can help one person through their fight against cancer then I believe it is all worth it. And yes, I will praise Him in the storm!

Thank you for the prayers and support. It’s been quite the journey.

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:19