About Farmer Gal's Market

Welcome to our sweet little online home! In real life our home is a sweet little farm in Minnesota. This blog is our place to share our simple day-to-day farm life, faith, family and fun!


Farmer Gal, Mr. Blue Eyes,
Miss Peaches, Little Blue Eyes and Short Stack!

         

Sunday
Feb082015

50 Shades of Grace

 

I'm just gonna get straight to the point here, ladies.

(Men, you are welcome to read on as well; just know it is written specifically for my women friends.)

We've all heard about it.

The book-now-turning-into-movie that's swept the nation.

Maybe the continent, globe, universe.

I honestly don't know because I don't pay it much attention.

But that's sort of the point... Even though I have no interest in it, there it is, smack-dab in front of me, everywhere I look.

On the endcaps at Target. (You know, where they place items that they really want to promote.)

All over Facebook.

In the news.

On the lips of my friends, family, aquaintances.

(And if it's everywhere and everyone is reading it, doing it, seeing it, talking about it, it must be okay, am I right?)

Not only have most of us heard about it; many of us have found ourselves in the awkward position of having a conversation about it at some point, and within that conversation there is usually some combination of the following viewpoints...

#1: The woman who has read the books and loves them unabashedly. If she's married or in a sexual relationship, she might say it has actually been good for their sex life.

#2: The woman who has read the books 'out of curiosity' and says 'it's not for her' but doesn't see any problem with it. She might say reading them did her no harm and it has not affected her relationships at all, and everyone has the right to make their own choices.

#3: The woman who has read the books but may be too embarassed to admit it to anyone.

#4: The woman who has never read the books but may be too embarassed to admit it (yes, this can go both ways) and/or wants to avoid the conversation altogether.

#5: The woman who HAS read the books to educate herself on the debate.

#6: The woman who has never read the books, has no intention to, and is not afraid to say so. (Hi! That's me. I did read a summary of the first book on Wikipedia, solely for the purposes of this post.)

I'm just speaking in generalities here, from my own experience and some good old common sense. I realize that we are all beautifully unique and complex individuals, but I think this gives a pretty good breakdown.

So, as a Jesus-loving #6 on the list above, from me to you, friends (because, as far as I'm concerned, no book is going to be the determining factor on whether or not we can be friends) who consider themselves a #1, #2 or #3 as listed above, if we somehow find ourselves on opposite sides of the '50 Shades' conversation, and I furrow my brow in concern, here's why: My heart sinks, quite simply, because I want more for you. I want more for all of us than to submit to the idea that there's nothing wrong with being in bondage to sinful behavior. I want all of us to know we're loved more deeply and intimately by a Savior whose sole purpose in life was that we might not live in darkness, nor any shade of grey, but instead in His glorious light.

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5


Yes, I am a Christian, but my choice to not read these books has nothing to do with following any sort of religious 'rules'. On the contrary, it is for freedom that I have been set free (Galatians 5:1), and in my freedom I have the right to make choices, and my choice is to honor God... In my actions, in what I choose to view and read, write, meditate on, listen to and speak. I'm certainly not perfect, or even good at it. My sins aren't any 'cleaner' or 'better' than anyone else's. I don't make these choices because I'm a 'good Jesus girl'. It is because I have been there, in those dark places, those grey spaces, where I like to try to convince myself that a little sin here and there is okay, especially if it feels good, gratifies my own desires, and doesn't appear to hurt anyone (that last one is never true, btw). I've been under the oppressive black blanket of forgetting how much Jesus loves me. (Loves me even there, in the dark. Especially there.) Don't think I don't know temptation and sin. I know how good it can feel. And I also know the loneliness of shame, regret and emptiness that inevitably ensue and never fill those God-shaped holes in my heart. I've lived depression, rejection and desperation. It is because I do know those places, better than I'd like, that my heart cries out when I see another woman wallowing there, making choices that allow the devil to keep pieces of her there.

What I want for you, what I pray for you (admittedly, sometimes impatiently and in frustration... see? sooo not perfect) is to take a chance on turning away from any form of darkness, one choice at a time, because the light of Jesus... gals... this light of Jesus is nothing short of G.L.O.R.Y. He wants you fully, wholely and completely, not because He wants to control you or make you follow some list of rules, but because He wants you to know that you are fully, wholely and completely loved, and, just as soon as you ask for it, forgiven. He wants you to know every shade of grace. (Not just 50.)

"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6:11-14


So I have my right to choose, and you have your right to choose, right? Right. It's true. And that's one of the arguements I see and hear being flung around... "Everyone has the 'right to choose' what he or she wants to read or watch. It's no big deal. We should all just respect and support each other's choices." Or something along those lines.

Do not fool yourselves, friends. You cannot be of two minds about this. If you desire to profess to know and love Jesus, you cannot love or even be indifferent to sin.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it - not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it - they will be blessed in what they do." James 1:22-25

This post is also for my #4, #5 & #6 gals out there, who are holding firm to their faith on this issue, shifting and shaky as it can sometimes feel. Don't forget... never forget... that you stand on a firm foundation. We serve an unshakeable, holy God "...though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day." (Psalm 46:2-5) He loves it that You are taking a stand for Him, whether it is outwardly or in your heart. 50 Shades of Grey and the things of this world will all pass away, but His love endures forever.

So, now what? Quite frankly, we're all going to go on being our imperfect selves, and that's okay. But I'm going to make another choice here, and that is the choice to BELIEVE that if you are reading this, and you don't truly know the love and grace that is in Christ Jesus, even though to me, my words seem small and unable to convey what I just know Jesus has for you... He is able. I am so utterly unable. But HE is more than able to spark some sort of change in your heart, some sort of small fire that begins to flicker and burn, fueled by even the weakest, smallest awareness that grace is alive in Him and it is FOR YOU.

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." Acts 20:24

If you find yourself craving more 'good news of God's grace', I soooo wish I could be with you to talk more, squeeze your hand in reassurance, and wade through this muck together. But since I'm not, I will entrust you to the power of God's word and encourage you find a Bible and begin reading the book of Colossians, and then, I would be humbled to help you simply pray:

"Dear Lord: Thank You for knowing me and loving me even when I don't feel like I truly know You. Thank you for Jesus' ultimate sacrifice of dying for my sin. Please open my eyes to the possibility of living in Your light, and help me to see sin in my life. Please help me to break free from the bondage of darkness and make right choices with You, one moment at a time. Please help me to accept forgiveness, and to know in my heart that if it is possible for You, Holy God, to forgive me, then I must also forgive myself. Lord, I long to feel Your grace, deep in the empty spaces of my heart, so that I might find security and contentment in You alone and choose to not try to fill those spaces with anything less than You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

By God's grace...
Farmer Gal

 

Tuesday
Sep162014

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

This picture was taken on our recent trip to Colorado, to visit family and friends, after a particularly long and stressful day of driving with a 20-month-old who does not like to go 30 miles to the grocery store, let alone 700+ miles to the prairies and mountains of our beloved Colorado.

There was screaming.

There was thrashing.

There was a random pointing out at mama and wailing, "No no!" as if to express his disapproval of the whole traveling situation.

(Thankfully the trip back home a few days later was much better. Short Stack was tired, and also somewhat resolved to our traveling lifestyle by that point, praise the Lord!)

Anyhow, I took this picture in the evening as we were just arriving on the edge of Colorado. We were enjoying a rare stretch of peaceful driving at that point, as Short Stack was napping, and Colorado, sweet state that it is, granted us the most beautiful big sky sunset.

I was mesmerized for quite some time.

Oh, Colorado, how I love thee.

Colorado will always feel like 'home'.

And 'home' (Minnesota) also always feels like 'home'.

Rather than be torn between the two, I've settled on just having two 'homes'. It works.

Anyhow, rare moments of peace have been the story of our life lately. I may be one of the few people anywhere, ever, who is longing for winter. Winter, for us, means life slows down considerably, and Mr. Blue Eyes and I agree that we are ready for a slow down.

Not to complain, however. Our summer has been filled with wonderful things... Puppies, horses, lots of outdoor time, beautiful weather, time with many of our family members, time for just our little family, music, weddings, time with friends, activities for the kids... It's all good stuff.

When we were in Colorado, I was giving Miss Peaches a little riding lesson on one of her cousin's big roping horses, and every time she stopped the horse she would say, "Halt," at which point I would explain to her that it's not 'halt', it's 'ho'.

But now I'm the one who kind of wants to say, "Halt!" to all the busy-ness, yet I can't... Not just because we have commitments to keep, but because winter will come soon enough, and we must take joy in all the abundantly good things God has placed in front of us, even if it can get a little crazy sometimes.

Crazy, like....... squaring off with your neighbor's mastiff-mix dog to get at your horses who decided they would bust out of their pen and go for a morning excursion to the neighbor's alfalfa and corn field.

But that's another story for another time. I am going to 'halt' for the evening. It's close to bedtime and I'm ready to put this day in the books!

By God's grace...
Farmer Gal

Saturday
Aug232014

Home, Gloriously Home

It is Saturday, and we are home.

Home ALL day.

Home with nowhere to be.

Home with projects to work on (boy was our lawn due for a mowing, which Mr. Blue Eyes is tending to right this minute) but nothing so pressing that it is bearing down our mildly tanned necks.

Home where the sunflowers grow, corgis and Burleys nap, kitties frolick, and the rabbits and the antelope play.

(All true except for the antelope part.)

I can't tell you how happy this makes me. With the amount of busy-ness we've had all summer, just being home on a Saturday feels like a foreign concept. Yet it feels so, so, so very right.

Ahhhhhh.

I'm also feeling groovy because we completed our first (successful, I might add!) week of homeschool. Ever. First week ever. I'll never be able to say that again, because this is our first week... ever. And it was good. And we completed it. And nobody cried. Not even me. And we all learned something. Especially me.

We completed our first ever successful week of homeschool. Have I mentioned that? Just in case you missed it, I wanted to mention it again.

At some point in this blissful day of self-imposed home-boundedness I'm determined to write about our first week of homeschool (over on my homeschool page). There were so many funny, special, interesting things about the week that I want to share.

In other news this week, Little Blue Eyes officially has the cutest toothless grin I have ever seen...

I don't know what it is, but I just love kids without their two front teeth, especially this kid. He says he's not opting to do any jobs to earn a quarter here and there around the house these days because he's holding out for lost-tooth money. He also has a hard time taking pictures in any kind of sunlight whatsoever, so this is his new philosophy on such photos...

I may be a little biased, but I'm pretty sure he's a two-front-toothless genius.

Now I must go as Short Stack appears to have climbed out of his crib (for the first time ever... I guess this is our week for 'first time ever' kinds of things!) and I must tend to his short, snuggly yet surprisingly agile little self.

By God's grace...
Farmer Gal

 

Friday
Aug222014

Our Wild Blueberry Yonder

Well, folks, we have made it thus far: It is Friday morning of our homeschool week. We have happily completed our lesson plan (minus a little reading, spelling and geography to do today) and we are enjoying a quiet morning of eating blueberry pancakes. There has been no weeping. There has been no gnashing of teeth. There have been large moments of thankfulness and small moments of joy for Mr. Blue Eyes and I that 'we are actually doing this'. I'd call that a success!

(For more details about embarking on our wild blue yonder of homeschool, hop over to the homeschool page!)

Mr. Blue Eyes also put in his usual amount of work, we had youth group with the church high school kids last Sunday, I had piano lessons for my ten piano students, a website design meeting, a piano teacher's workshop, a funeral, and the kids did a tractor pull at the local fair on Monday. We didn't take pictures of any of it because... well, we were too busy! (Much of which was made possible, by the way, by Grandma and Grandpa helping out hugely to watch kids and shuttle them around!)

Yes, I could have put off homeschool for another week due to knowing it would be a busy week for us, but I didn't want to feel like we were starting off behind schedule. (The local schools started on Monday as well.) And the kids were so excited and ready. And I was excited/terrified/overwhelmed but ready. So we just dove right in, and I'm so glad we did! Even though most weeks won't be as hectic as this one, it feels good to know that we can still accomplish homeschool in the midst of 'real life'.

By God's grace (boy do I feel this to be true this week!)...
Farmer Gal

Monday
Jul282014

Dog Days of Summer

I think I'm going to officially call this the 'summer of crazy'.

Why, you ask?

Because it's been crazy.

The end.

Good bye.

Or not.

You didn't think you could get rid of me that easy, did you?

So, the crazy... the why...

Well, just in the last ten days I have...

1. taken our sweet Daisy (the puppy mama) into the vet for an injury (sore on her back left side... don't know how/why), while at the same time being informed that my sweet hubby acquired a 3 inch cut on his head while at work (thankfully both of them are recovering superbly!)

2. taken 5 puppies in for their vet checks

3. sold 5 puppies and actually sent 2 of them off with their new owners (the other 3 are going this week)

4. fielded about a bazillion phone calls/emails/texts about said puppies

5. been impacted by the emotional toll of selling our puppies... we have had every intention of selling them from the get-go, but to actually come to this point, where we are sending off our little babes, our very first litter, in whom we have invested so much time, love and effort, is really bittersweet... they've become a part of our family these last months

6. thrown a birthday party for fifty people

(actually it was a birthday party for ONE person, Miss Peaches, but Mr. Blue Eyes' whole family was in town so the guest list was around fifty)

7. spent several days of fun time with Mr. Blue Eyes family

8. been puked on

9. held my sick baby

10. snuggled my sick kiddos

11. cleaned up puke on the bathroom floor

12. diffused copious amounts of thieves oil

(hand, foot and mouth disease anyone? no? that's what I said too... yet here we are)

That's just the last ten days... The rest of the time I've been trying to teach my kids good habits for keeping things clean (the house, their rooms, their clothes, teeth, etc...), shuttling puppies in and out the door, lifting an 18-month-old off of various types of furniture, making a feeble attempt at weeding the garden, and running my two little business enterprises. The other day I seriously wanted to lay on our bed and drape my hand across my head in a dramatic fashion, wave my white flag and surrender.

But I have been reminded several times since that moment that doubt, stress, or even failure don't mean that you give up and give in... They just mean that you learn lessons from each situation and keep trusting in the Lord to lead you on. And I have to say God has been so faithful to answer our prayers, even in the seemingly 'little' things, like getting all our puppies sold and giving us beautiful summer weather. We are thankful!

And tired.

But I think that one was implied already.

What has summer brought your way?

By God grace...
          Farmer Gal