Psalm 71

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.

10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,

11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.

12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.

13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.

14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof.

16 I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.

17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

18 Now also when I am old and grey-headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!

20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.

23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.

24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

At The Name of Jesus, Every Knee Shall Bow…

DSC_0053

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own interests, but every man also on the interests of others.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Philippians 2:1-16

So do not fear, for I am with you…

April 29 2017 019

10.So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

11 “All who rage against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
    will be as nothing and perish.

12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing at all.

13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.

Isaiah 41:10-13

 

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

Isaiah 54:17

Update on the Price of Toilet Paper in Tête-à-la-Baleine

“I love daisies…They’re so friendly. Don’t you think that daisies are the friendliest flowers?” -Kathleen (Meg Ryan) in “You’ve Got Mail”

As you saw in my last post, we have been having LOTS of rain this spring! Consequently, the wildflowers have been BURSTING to life all over the place. We are loving it, the chickens are loving it and the bugs are loving it. Though it’s not a great picture, I found two bugs ‘doing it’ on the Queen Anne’s Lace.

“Birds do it, bees do it Even orange and black bugs do it… Let’s do it, let’s fall in love…”

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before, but we have been on a Ketogenic Diet. It’s basically an updated version of ‘Low Carb’ that is High Fat, Moderate Protein and Low Carb. I’m also reading Dr. Mercola’s new book, “Fat for Fuel” and there is a lot of science that supports the Ketogenic Diet to regain health. Bud and I both feel really good when we are on it. This is my favorite Keto Site.

The Diet Doctor

Of the recipes I’ve tried, there are very few I would not repeat.

I’ve been struggling with headaches, brain fog and fatigue ever since I came back from my hike. I have a history of headaches, but these have been different. The headaches have been incapacitating, and have continued even with a change in diet, vitamins, and having Bud pray for me. I think God can choose to heal any way he wants to….through prayer, through doctors, through diet or vitamins…I don’t understand sometimes, but I’m always eager to learn whatever I’m supposed to through it.

I really think this was to be an exercise, of sorts, for me. One day, after crying out to the Lord about the situation, at the end of my rope, I felt a strong urging to ask a particular friend to pray for me. I resisted at first…didn’t want to do it, but it’s not often I feel an urging like this. It wouldn’t go away. It wasn’t a nagging thing…it was gentle. It’s not easy for me to reach out, and especially hard to ask for help from anyone but Bud. I just suddenly felt strongly that at this particular time, for this particular situation, that it was very important that I ask this particular friend to pray for me.

Since I asked her to pray for me (which she graciously and happily agreed to), I’ve had more ‘good days’ in the past week than I have had in about 8 months! I’m praising God for it! I feel like a different person and the oppression I was feeling is gone. I’m not completely headache-free, but I have lived with headaches most of my adult life. I can happily settle for lesser headaches, but being able to function! I will keep seeking answers on this.

My neighbor (The Soap Lady) gave us about 2 Gallons of Strawberries she grew herself! Nothing tastes like home grown fruits and veggies. Strawberries are low carb, so we’ve been eating them mostly with whipped cream. Mmmmmm….

My Garden has been doing fairly well this year. I’m not always good about weeding. With all the rain, weeds have been hard to keep up with. We’ve gotten lots of Kale, and two kinds of Lettuce. My tomato and pepper plants are putting on fruit, my beans and cucumbers are growing, well….like weeds! I even have some zucchinis starting to grow!

Bud has had quite a few of his compositions for String Orchestra published! He even has a ‘Public Figure’ Page on Facebook and YouTube Channel now. Check it out!

Bud Woodruff – Composer

Bud’s YouTube Channel

I’m so proud of him!

Bud’s Mom passed away. She was 95, and had been in a Nursing Home with Dementia. What a dear lady she was, and what a legacy she left, not the least of which is the man she raised that I ended up marrying. She was also a perfect mother-in-law.

Bud credits her with being instrumental in his music career (no pun intended). She would play many types of music for him when he was very young, and taught him to appreciate music. I can’t say enough good things about her. She was quick to laugh, almost always had a smile and a kind word, she was loving and gracious. She was an amazing lady.

Bud had to leave for the funeral early to sign papers, in fact, he had to leave the day he found out about it. I really wanted to go with him, but had to follow several days later. It’s not easy to ‘chicken-sit’ around these parts because everyone lives so far away. It requires coming twice a day-to let them out in the morning and close them up in the hen house at night. I try very hard not to ask for ‘chicken-sitting’ favors except in emergencies. At the very least, I’m judicious in asking.

The Soap Lady agreed to do it for me. She loves Grace, too, (who can be a real toot, sometimes) and I felt really good leaving my animals in her care. She did an awesome job! Thank you, dear friend! The chickens and Grace were sorry to see me come home since you took such good care of them. They told me to leave again so you could come back. 😉

Out here in the country, we don’t get out much. Since I haven’t worked for a while, I had no nice dress to wear that fit and wasn’t 10 years out of date. I went to the Dress Barn in Branson and allowed the an older Sales Lady to help me pick a dress out. (That, too, was an exercise for me. I usually shun help from Sales Ladies. I even tried the dress on for her to see what she thought! Waaaay out of my comfort zone. She helped me pick out a very nice dress.

I had to get a hair cut, too, because I looked like the Shaggy D.A. I don’t even wear make up around here most of the time. My visit to the hair dresser was….a nightmare. Hair cuts are almost always traumatic for me. The guy I’ve been going to does good work. It’s always a good haircut, but it never turns out like the pictures I take in. I really wanted to look nice, and sort of up-to-date. I came out looking like Angela Merkel. I was embarrassed; however, I got several compliments on it at the funeral, so that made me feel better.

The drive to Houston was brutal. It’s 10 very long hours. My hiney was so sore by the time I got there. I chucked my diet for the trip and we had Fajitas from Gringos, and BBQ from Pappas Brisket House while we were there(…not to mention Waffle House for breakfast.) OMG. My two favorite things, and it was SO good. You just can’t get good BBQ or good Mexican Food in Arkansas.

We also got out cars washed at a very nice car wash in our old barrio, Deer Park. They even dried them off afterward. (Can you tell we haven’t been to the city in a long time? LOL!)

Bud and I stayed at an extremely nice Super 8 Motel. I got to watch The Weather Channel a lot, and the bed was very comfortable. It even had a mini-fridge. My only gripe was that I saw a roach (one of those big’uns) in the bathroom. I screamed and Bud came and killed it for me. It brought back memories…nightmares I’ve tried to forget. I’m so glad we escaped that hell hole called Houston…not only because of the Texas Sized Roaches, but because it feels like you are literally baking in the Devil’s oven.

The service for Bud’s Mom was very nice. I was able to see lots of people on Bud’s side of the family that I hadn’t seen in a while and that was extra nice. Bud and  I drove home together…following one another. Again, long and brutal, and it was nice to be back home.

We were so glad to be back home! Bud and I, introverts that we are, were both buzzing after the excitement and activity of being in the big city around…’people’ for several days. Truly, there is no place like our home in the country.

Hope everyone is having a good Thursday!

 

…And the Spirit of the Lord Brooded Over the Face of the Waters…

The upcoming, potential deluge I was talking about in my last post finally arrived on Saturday. We were expecting about 7 more inches of rain.  I was worried about it, since everything was already saturated.

Just when I was beginning to think we weren’t going to get any rain, (Missouri, rather than Arkansas was getting slammed) it started pouring! It hadn’t been raining long, when I looked out the front door and saw it running through our yard again.

I’m not sure how much rain we ended up with, but it was a massive amount! It just kept on getting worse and worse. Flash flooding is common in these hills. The rain washes down the mountainsides, and then flows through the crevices to lower points.

The water level came up fast and far surpassed what we’d had on Wednesday. I just kept going from the front to the back part of the house, from window to window looking out and taking pictures. I kept thinking, “Okay, NOW this is the worst it’s going to get.” I wanted to capture it with my camera. It kept getting worse and worse…the worst I’ve ever seen it since we’ve lived here.

Though it came close to the house, our house is pretty high up, so there was no danger of it coming inside. The above picture is the corner of the planter in front of our front porch. At one point, I decided to move my car, because the water was flowing through the back tire.

After (or during) the last rain, a tree bent over the dry stream bed. It didn’t uproot–just lost it’s mojo and curled over. At first, I thought it had uprooted, but it was still firmly planted.

You can also see how docile the dry stream bed became after it drained. Usually, it is completely dry.

During the height of the storm, I was standing on the front porch taking pictures, and I heard a loud CRACK. The tree that had been leaning over the dry stream bed had broken and had wrapped around the tack house.

Later, we found out that there was a blockage of limbs and leaves just in front of the log cabin (beyond the tack house) and that was contributing to the water in the dry stream bed being diverted out of it’s banks and through the long cabin!

The chickens were outside in all of this. I had run the chicks into the hen house during a lull in the storm (before things got really bad.) The rest of the big chickens were either on the front porch, underneath the back deck, or underneath the eves of the pump house.

The back yard was really bad, and the entire thing flooded! It just continued to get worse and worse. Eventually, the spring branch was too full and couldn’t flow through the culvert any more, so it backed up into our backyard.

I waded through the water to the wooden bridge to get across to check on the hens that were already in the hen house. I was worried about the bigger hens pecking on the little ones. When I went to cross the bridge, it was floating! That bridge is heavy.

The weather continued to get worse. I had no idea how bad it was going to get! The wind was really picking up! So I decided to corral  the rest of hens into the hen house. They were freaking out because of all of the water. They didn’t know which way to go.

A couple of hens tried to fly cross the water where they usually cross at the bridge, and they landed in the middle of the water. Did you know that chickens float? They do! Thankfully, the water from the spring branch was not swift like the dry stream bed, and the chickens were able to get themselves out. I had to hand carry a couple of hens to the hen house.

A couple of the hens ran up the hill. The wind was really picking up! I went up the hill for a long way, but they just kept trying to get away from me and went further up the hill. Also, I couldn’t see well because the sky had darkened, and since the plants are really springing up with all of this rain, there is a lot of undergrowth in which to hide.

I decided to wrangle the rest of the hens back around the yard, back behind the pump house and into the hen house on the other side of all of the flooding.

A seasonal spring opened up to the right of the pump house. I saw it as I was taking the hens around back there. There was a hole about the size of a grapefruit or larger. The water was shooting out like a fire hydrant and down the hill.

I came back inside and saw that I had a phone message from our neighbor. They had gone to town, and couldn’t get back home. There are creeks on either end of our gravel road that almost always swell and run over the bridge when we have a good rain. She was calling to tell me that we were under a tornado watch out here. We aren’t hooked up to TV, and when it rains really hard, our satellite internet loses it’s signal, so I had no idea. I was glad for her call! Thankfully, we were not in the path, or it didn’t touch down.

I was grateful that Bud called while I was inside. I asked him what I should do about the two hens that run up the hill. I was drenched and cold, wanted a shower and to get dry. It was getting dark by that time. I could  leave the hen house door open for the rest of the night, hoping the wayward hens would come back, but that would leave the rest of the hens in the hen house vulnerable to any predators that might waltz in. Or I could close the hen house door and let the two wayward hens fend for themselves all night, but the rest of my flock would be safe. I knew I would worry and not sleep all night knowing two hens were still outside in the dark and defenseless.

Thankfully, when I went back outside, the decision was made for me. The two water-logged hens had come inside the hen house while I was inside.

I forgot to mention that Bud was at a church conference and missed all of this excitement…BOTH floods. I was all alone, but amazingly calm through it all. I was mostly shocked and amazed at all of the water! It has never been this bad before.

Thankfully, all’s well that ends well. All of the water had drained out of the yards by the next morning.

 

 

Didn’t it rain? Children, My Lord! Didn’t it Rain!

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

My title is a line from a song about Noah that I sang in Sunday School as a child. It is still stuck in my head. To my recollection, the words I sang in Sunday School went something like this:

Didn’t it rain for 40 days and 40 nights without stopping
Didn’t it rain so hard that the water stopped a droppin’
Oh didn’t it rain, children, my Lord, didn’t it rain!

In the video above of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the words are a bit different, but it’s worth it to watch the video. The Spirit was moving me yesterday, and I belted out the words off and on all day long. It’s a good thing Bud was not home to hear it. Grace (our cat) didn’t seem to mind, though. She is accustomed to my singing to her.

Why was I singing? Because it rained so hard that the water stopped a droppin! It was a real frog choker yesterday. At times, the rain was very heavy. Being in the hills, it’s normal for the creeks to fill rapidly when we get a lot of rain in a short period of time. This is our rainy season, so the ground was already saturated, which didn’t help things.

It rained for most of the day. I was grateful to be inside, but I worried about my chickens. They really don’t have the sense to get out of the rain. When it rains, they usually camp out under the back deck, under the eave of the pump house or on the front porch. Sometimes they get bored and just can’t stand it anymore and will go out into the rain to forage. Often, the rain will stir up bugs and worms, so it can be a chicken’s paradise out there.

I was worried about our little chicks, as this was their first major rain. They are about 10 weeks old now, and have been free-ranging and sleeping in the hen house for a couple of weeks. I was relieved when I found them on the front porch with the big girls. When the rain let up, the big girls left and I later found the chicks had made their way inside the hen house, and they stayed inside there for most of the day.

Our spring starts flowing really hard when we have a heavy rain, but it never gets out of control like the dry stream bed. Since it flows out of the hillside, I guess there is only so much that can flow out of the hole at one time. It rained so hard yesterday that the water flowed out of our front yard, across the driveway, and into the spring branch.

We have a dry stream bed in our front yard. If you follow the dry stream bed back far enough, you’ll find a crotch of three hills, so all of that water rolling off the hills has to go somewhere. There is also a seasonal spring that only flows when it rains hard–flows right out of the hill. The dry stream bed, too,  only fills up when there is a really bad rain.

The first brown streak is the dry stream bed, the brown streak beyond that closest to the house is water flowing to the side of it down the hill and through our yard. There is a culvert underneath the gravel road that takes water from the dry stream bed to the pond, but it’s often too much water going through there for the culvert to handle.There are a lot of leaves and dead branches that get dislodged and they often form a log-jam at the culvert.

When there was a lull in the rain, I went outside and found that, sure enough, there was a log jam right where the culvert goes under the road. It was making the flow go right in front of the garden. Even though the garden is built up, it was flooding the first two rows with the backwash.

I got a hoe, waded the road to the other side, and dislodged the debris. It really started flowing and the water went down a lot after that, but continued to flow over the road for the rest of the day.

When I go out in the mornings to let the chickens out, Grace often follows me and sneaks into the building. There are mice in there that she likes to hunt. If she goes upstairs while I am cleaning the hen house, she often gets locked in there. During the worst part of the rain, I looked out and happened to see her in the window of the outbuilding.

There were two squirrels taunting her by crawling around on the ledge. You can see one of them to the upper left of the window. Often, there will be as many as 10 squirrels on the ground in front of the outbuilding eating leftover chicken scratch. A neighbor joked the other day that we were raising squirrels as well as chickens. It wasn’t far from the truth! I went to rescue Grace so she could sit in the window in the house to look outside (rather than the outbuilding). At least she had food, water and a litter box inside the house.

For today, everything has been washed clean, and a cool front has swept in after the rain to freshen things. We will have a day of reprieve today before the next round of storms bring more rain–about 7 inches–over the weekend starting on Friday. That will be a lot for our swollen creeks to handle.

It was in the low 40’s this morning. I cranked up the gas heater and started a fire in the wood stove. Though I am enjoying the beginnings of Spring and watching everything ‘green up,’ I still enjoy cold mornings in front of my wood stove. Grace is curled up on a towel in front of it.

With each morning, your day has been washed clean, too. You have a ‘do-over’ with a clean slate waiting to have your ‘today’ written on it.

Hope all of you have a great day today!

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

-L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)