PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDHow are your preparations going?  We’re not finished yet!  Today, let’s do something to serve the ones in our home.  I hear you saying you do that every day – lol!  You may feel as though you serve those in your own household every day, but I want to invite you to take a look at the chores assigned to each member of your family.

Who usually feeds the pets?  Who usually gathers the garbage to go out to the curb every week?  Who is the one that cleans the toilets?  Ugh…  lovely chore there! 

Today I want you to do a chore that you don’t usually do – just take over and do it – no pomp or circumstance – and no announcement.  Just do it.  When you are asked WHY you did it – then you can let your family member know how much you appreciate them – and their faithfulness in doing that chore on a regular basis.  In my family, that would be followed by “Don’t expect it all the time, but…” 

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Do we tend to take our family members for granted?  Well of course we do!  When the trash gets taken out to the curb – it just magically takes itself out, right?  Stuff just happens – we each have our chores and that’s how life works smoothly.  This is just a little exercise to let your family members know they are appreciated.

As we take in the life and light of our Lord, may it shine forth in our attitudes and actions toward others, but especially in our own homes…  that’s where our mission should always begin – inside the walls of our own residence.

WRAPPED GIFTSGOD WITH US…  EMMANUEL.  He is our gift of hope in these uncertain and divisive days.  He loves every life – every soul is precious to Him – every one of us matter to Him.  We need to show appreciation for one another in our homes to begin with – then others around us – and finally to those who are a little further away – then we need to show the respect and honor to others that we want them to show to us.  Wrap a gift for other people and call it respect.  It sounds so very simple – why is it such a challenge?  :-/

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AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

TL AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

SIMPLIFY – To make simple or simpler: as a :  to reduce to basic essentials 

b :  to diminish in scope or complexity :  streamline <was urged to simplify management procedures>

c :  to make more intelligible :  clarify

A SIMPLE LIFE

It seems to me that it should be simple to simplify, ya know???  No matter how much effort we put into trying to simplify, it seems we work twice as hard to make it happen.  Now, does that make any sense to anyone?  No, I didn’t think so.  :-/
Well, here’s my take on simplicity.  I honestly believe that it begins within.  How high-maintenance are you, and what would you be willing to live without?  I’ve had many friends through the years and have traveled with a few.  I never let them know I was doing this, but I was secretly observing the luggage they carried.  You see, the things we travel with are the things we are not willing to part with.
The more stuff you are willing to live without, the more simple your life will be.  If you truly desire simplicity in your life, it’s necessary to let go of some non-essentials.  I know they seem like essentials right now, but stay with me.  This may make you re-think things.
For example, do you need a ton of makeup when you travel?  I’m not suggesting you go without makeup altogether (oh, heaven forbid) – but there are ways to travel with less.  I take one container of mineral make-up, a tube of mascara, a shadow, brow pencil and lip gloss.  Choose one color of lip gloss and plan your wardrobe around that theme color.  I usually choose red in the fall/winter months or dark pink in the spring/summer months.
I believe simplicity begins with the discarding of extras.  It’s about organization and pre-planning.  To make life easier, surround yourself with less.  It sounds like you would be denying yourself of things, but it is the most freeing experience to rid yourself of clutter and get organized.
Recently I went through my closet and took out pieces that I have not worn in the past year – for whatever reason.  If you have not worn a piece of clothing in the past year, you probably don’t need to keep it.
In the kitchen, organize with cook ahead cookbooks, or go online to find some great recipes.  Here are 20 of my favorites!  http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/make-ahead-meals-0
If you cook on the weekend and freeze each serving, that frees up the weeknight to relax and enjoy your family.  Simple.
Teach kids to pitch in and help with things like laundry.  Even boys will need to know how to do that at some point when they get older, so you’d may as well get them involved now.  They will feel like they are helping out and it will take some of the load off you…  get it – load – laundry?  Never mind.
 When you make a conscious decision to make do with less, that is when simplicity will become a reality.  When you organize things a bit and enlist help from the rest of the family, it will pay off in the long run.
Give it a try…  and bask in simplicity!  🙂

GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY

TL 7-23 GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY

7-23 GRANNY LAVELLA
Today is GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY. When I get to heaven there will be so many things to see and do, and first I want a hug from Jesus – not one of those “good to see ya” hugs that last about 2 seconds, but a really long hug! He’s been my best friend for so many years, when I finally see Him face to face, yeah, I want a hug!

The second thing I want to do is renew the relationship with my family! I didn’t know Granny LaVella very long, but I knew her well. She and Grandpa Frank lived on a farm in Northern Oklahoma. We got to visit the farm nearly every weekend and I looked forward to those visits.

I was their youngest grandchild, so I got some very special treatment. I was the miracle for my folks. They could not have children and adopted me when I was only a few days old. There are a few basic lessons I learned on the farm. Lesson number one: the chores do NOT wait. You get out there and get it done – NOW. When it’s time to milk the cow, son, you’d better get out there and do the milking. Bessie does not care if you want to sleep another half hour, and she doesn’t care if it’s cold outside – but you’d better warm those hands up or else.  Lesson number two:  don’t drink the cream off the top.  There are consequences for that action.

I miss the farm and yes, that feather bed! I’ve always said I could leave the city and go live in a small community somewhere and be fine with it. Some people think they would be bored or it would make them crazy, but not me. I would enjoy an uncomplicated life.

Grandpa Frank and Granny LaVella were the sweetest people and they were God-fearing souls who would not hurt a fly. They lived their lives and loved their God. They walked humbly but stood proud for the values they embraced. May I do the same.

LIFE ON THE FARM

TL LIFE ON THE FARM

FARM COMFORT
2014 is the year of the family farm. There are still a few of them around, but as generations die off, fewer people are interested in carrying on the traditions on the family farm. I’m thankful for the small family farms. They are the backbone of our country!

Although my family members are happy in heaven, my mind goes back to a time when they were all very much alive and well on planet earth.

I suppose it’s because Spring has arrived. The jonquils are blooming and so are my allergies! These subtle signs trigger memories of the past and I have no choice but to re-live them! They are happy memories and I treasure them so very much.

Every year around my birthday, we made a special trip to grandpa Frank & granny LaVella’s farm in Oklahoma. I looked forward to it because I always got to ride my horse, Ol’ Blue, a Palomino with the prettiest blue eyes! Granny LaVella made my favorite meals and you can be sure we ate three squares! We went back home to Wichita with some extra pounds, but preparing meals was granny’s way of showing love for her family.

There were chores to be done and conversations to be engaged in. We talked about everything in my family from the weather (farmers are great at talking about the weather) to the newest feed available for the stock, to the latest project that granny LaVella had going on. She was always doing something for somebody. She knitted little caps and crocheted booties for every baby in their community, I think!

It’s funny how the senses can take you back in time. The bed I slept in on the farm was an old metal spring bed that was probably an antique back then! Every time I moved that thing made the most unusual noise. I especially enjoyed being wrapped up in one of granny’s quilts. I always felt so safe and secure all snuggled up.

The only real problem was if I had to visit the outhouse. I made sure I didn’t drink anything before bedtime because even though I felt safe indoors, venturing out at night to an outhouse is a real experience – one I tried to avoid as much as possible.

I’m thankful to God for precious memories of childhood. I pray that I never lose them. I’m thankful that spring has finally arrived. Peace to you today! ❤

LIFE ON THE FARM

TL LIFE ON THE FARM

 

I have enjoyed writing poetry using the pen name THE PRAIRIE LADY. The name came about as a joke, really. I was chatting on facebook with my friend, Lucinda Berry Hill (author of “Coffee with Jesus”) and we were discussing the regions we come from. I mentioned that I was a Jayhawker, which means I was born and raised in Kansas. One thing led to another and suddenly I was dubbed THE PRAIRIE LADY.

They say a person should write about what they know, which makes sense because that is the writing that flows and comes most naturally. Anything you try to write with little or no knowledge under your belt will feel “forced” when it’s read. I have a college degree in KANSAS and a lifetime of experience, having lived on the prairie my whole life. I embrace the simplicity and contentment this part of America exudes. We almost pride ourselves on being in touch with nature (ask anyone who has lived through an F-5 tornado).

The nicest comment was posted on facebook shortly after I shared this poem. It said:

“Your poetry is so beautiful as well as accurate.”

I thought that was simply wonderful and appreciate that assessment of it!

My grandpa Frank and granny LaVella had a working farm. I learned everything I needed to know about life at the farm. The early bird gets the chores done earlier and gets to do other things earlier. I don’t know about getting the worm, but this bird did learn that a good stiff cup of coffee helps just before you go out to get started on farm chores. That is especially true in the wintertime. There’s an old saying:

EVERY MILE IS TWO IN WINTER
I learned that if you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to work hard and get plenty of rest at night. Believe me, on the farm you have no trouble sleeping at night. You’re so tired, when your head hits the pillow – boom – you’re out!

It is my hope to eventually publish a book of poetry one day. I’d like to call it THE PRAIRIE LADY’S BOOK OF POETRY. Well, it’s a start, but it will take more than just a title to make it a reality. It will take hard work, but don’t worry… I’m a farm girl and I know how to work hard to accomplish a goal.

There’s no room for manicured nails here… lol. 🙂