The snow started falling on Wednesday evening. The kids looked worriedly out the window, afraid the storm would prevent our friends from driving up for Thanksgiving. The snow continued through the night and most of the day Thursday, but our friends bravely ventured out and made it in time for lunch! We were so happy to host a large gathering this year. Our house has a huge dining room in it so we seated everyone with ease. (23 people)
This morning it was snowing again, lightly, softly – and I laced up my Whites, zipped my parka, and headed out with camera in hand. I love catching ranch life during a snowstorm. There’s so much ‘feel’ to it!
At one point, my fingers were freezing from being out of my gloves too often, so I hung out in the barn and blew on them warm them up. The barn is always full go fun things to photograph, anyways. A good day to not be a horse! Although their thick winter coats keep them toasty, don’t worry! God designed them in a very special way to insulate them and protect them. The cattle were enjoying some hay, unmindful of the snow piling up on their backs. That’s a good thing, by the way, when the snow piles up on their backs. It means they are not losing body heat. The hair and hide do such good job of insulting them, that the snow doesn’t even melt! God is an amazing Designer, and you can rest assured knowing His plan is perfect. I hope your Thanksgiving was pleasant, and your days warm!
One fine, windy day in October, my husband needed to doctor a couple heifers. It was close to the house, and my mother-in-law was visiting, so I drove her out to watch her son rope stuff. I parked in the pasture and snapped the shutter as my husband was chasin’ cows.
Gettin’ his eye on the sick one.
This heifer had foot-rot, (if I remember correctly) and in typical cow-fashion, the minute you start swingin’ that rope, the ‘sick’ bovine decides it is quite healthy after all! Off she goes, fast as her legs will take her… which isn’t really very fast, if you know anything about cows. (calves, on the other hand – those babies can make time!)
Not every catch is picture-perfect. Sometimes he catches only one foot, other times he misses altogether. But that’s real life with pasture-doctoring. We don’t go to many rodeos, but when we do, we often remark: “hmm, would like to see him do a little pasture-doctoring on a windy day!” 😉 You keep practicing and improving, but you have to get the job done, whether it’s a windy day, your horse is feeling cranky, or the snow is blowing. Cattle health waits for no man. (or woman!)
Meanwhile, the rest of the cattle were just taking it easy… munch a little here, taste a mouthful there…
And just plain relaxin’! Once the cow is down, my Man gave her a shot and a couple pills. HUGE pills, by the way, called bolus’s. Yuck.
Then he let her get up, and off he went to catch the next sick cow. Hope your day is lovely, warm, and not windy — especially if you’re chasin’ cows!
November has brought with it the beginning of winter, finally. We enjoyed such a lovely fall, that it seemed like winter perhaps wasn’t coming! But of course, it did – in due time. We have had several light snowstorms, and some windy days and cold nights. Nothing too major yet.
I have been busy working on some cinch orders, lately. Some are to be Christmas orders, so they need to go out soon. (speaking of… if you want a cinch for that horseman on your list, on’t delay! Soon it will be too late to get it done before Christmas! 😉 )
I have also been enjoying some slower days at home – just puttering. School takes up my mornings, of course, and sometimes part of the afternoon. Then there’s meals and laundry and cleaning. I have been putting a lot of effort into learning the art of a neat home. My kids are getting older, so no excuse on having piles of mail and random clothes laying around! Of course, the mess still happens, but my goal is to keep after it – get it picked up and neat before supper, for instance, and sped more time on wiping off fingerprints and splatters.
I used to feel it almost pointless to keep cleaning surfaces that would just get spattered again in a few hours, but I have learned that it is blessing my family, when I spend time cleaning my house and keeping it tidy. There is little value in blessing others, if I am not blessing my own family first. So now I grab a cleaning rag and a spray bottle and get busy, and I actually enjoy it! Haha! Never thought I’d say those words, but there you go. Ask God for a heart that is willing to bless your family, and you might just get it!
Which reminds me — I felt cramped in our previous house, especially when hosting overnight company, or serving a dozen cowboys lunch. So I prayed for a bigger house… this house, specifically. And God allowed us to have this house, after several years. (different house on the same ranch) But guess what?! I forgot that a bigger house means more cleaning! LOL! I now spend at least twice the time cleaning, and I don’t especially enjoy cleaning! So there you have it – be careful what you pray for!
I wanted to expand and perhaps clarify on my previous article about contentment at home.
First of all, I do have a number of small income-producing ventures. I am not against side businesses. It is my opinion that many women are talented or skilled in many money-making ways. Also, many women are ambitious, organized, or driven, and can therefore expend some energy and time on a business venture without sacrificing her home and family life. My point is; the home must come first. I have stepped back from several projects, simply because they were taking first place in my mind, energies, and time. I have a hard rule for myself that my family will always come first.
Second, I do believe that wives and mothers are to be primarily homemakers, not career women. If there is an emergency or necessity, of course God will grant grace. This is why I specify ‘side‘ business. But – living a more luxurious lifestyle is not a necessity. We have grown so accustomed to luxury and ease (in America especially), that it seems ridiculous to live in a small home, or not have the latest tech toy. I do not believe women should be giving the lion’s share of their waking hours to a job, when there are children at home. Titus 2:4-5 We should be investing into their hearts, teaching them about Jesus.
Of course this is not popular teaching. I find in my own self, the same selfish desire to do something for me. But the Christian life is at its core unselfish. Dying to self and living for others – this is the way of the cross. Following Jesus in every way – whether it is popular or not. Matthew 16:24 Remember, Jesus too, was unpopular when He walked here as our example. He was so unpopular that people tried to kill Him!
So my thoughts summed up, are these: Seek the will of God in every area of your life. Ask Him to show you His will about your ambitions and dreams and goals. Ask Him (and your husband, if you have one) what your priority should be. Read the Word of God. Spend time in prayer.
Be willing to be made willing, as Corrie Ten Boom once prayed.
If you are already a full-time stay at home mom? Learn to find contentment in washing clothes, picking up toys, washing dishes, cooking tasty meals. Every job you do is so very important. It is a calling. It is a foundational career. God sees every effort, hears every prayer, and knows every pain. He will give you wisdom and grace to find contentment at home, if you truly seek Him in the midst of your daily duties.
In today’s busy world, there are so many things clamoring for our attention, that it seems rare indeed, to find contentment at home. Society and culture shouts at us to enroll our kids in every thing, start a home business, don’t miss any deals at the store, maybe a side job, hmm? Well, I have done all those things – of course they are not wrong. But the thing is, are they necessary? Are they the best? I have been pondering this a lot the past few weeks.
I started a side business this summer, offering photo sessions. I also make custom cinchas for cowboys. In the past, I have done couponing, Tupperware®, and even started a business of making gourmet pickles and selling them at the farmer’s market. I have dabbled in many more money-making ventures, and ideas and projects. I love to research an idea and work hard to get it off the ground. So, I totally am coming from the perspective of been there – done that!
But something I have noticed in every venture… if it takes me away from home a lot, or if I am at home but it takes a big chunk of alone-time – my kiddos suffer. When I am trying to do too much, I get tired and then I tend to get grumpy, annoyed or frustrated easily. When I have a lot on my mind, I want the kids to just go away and play nicely. Ha! When do kids do that, I ask you?!
I’m being pretty open here, folks. It’s hard to admit. It’s hard to give up my ‘dreams’. It’s hard and unpopular to say that I can’t have a flourishing side business because I am not good enough to do that andbe a loving mom, at the same time. But I see more and more women throwing all their energy into money-making ventures, under the guise of ‘following their dreams’, and ‘not settling’, and lots of other self-centered nonsense. YES. I do believe God gave us dreams for a reason. I do believe that often our desires and purpose are intertwined. I also believe that there are many times that He wants us to wait. To learn some deep lessons of life as hidden homemakers before we can be used effectively for Him.
I can’t say where the line is for you. Maybe you ARE superwoman, and have your ducks all in a row. But I doubt it. Probably somewhere there is a mountain of laundry you were too tired to face, or a desk piled high with papers you need to file, or a child feeling unloved because your ‘passion’ took you away from them again over dinner hour. There might be a husband who is a teeny bit lonely, deep down, but wouldn’t dare touch your ‘passion’. You know where your limit is. I know mine!
I am not saying you shouldn’t do things you enjoy, or start a side business. But NEVER at the expense of your family. Of course it looks different for every family. I see some women sitting at home, bored and lonely, and wish they would start a side business! But the point is – don’t take on more than you can handle. Make sure your family gets your best, not your leftovers. Even if you don’t have children, your husband and home should take precedence. Learn to find contentment at home, cleaning, cooking, creating a place of rest and beauty.
I am still learning when to say no, and when to say yes. I want to give my children a deep memory bank of wonderful home memories… mom in the kitchen cooking, mom reading to them, mom laughing and playing, mom working in the yard… all those simple things. They only have one mother, and we only have a few years before they are grown and gone. Let’s make every day count!
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5
Here is a list of 5 great posts to read this week. I browse several blogs each week, and here are my top picks for the Christian mom. Leave a comment to let me know what great reads you found this week!
On becoming Christlike…
“Much as I despise encountering sorrow and suffering on my own journey, they are the most excellent tutors I have ever known.” ~Jeanne Harrison
“Mommies apparently are naturally wired with the unconscious ability to detect germs and viruses on their babies. They can then automatically produce the antibodies needed to protect the child.” ~Stephani Scruggs
Breakfast quickly falls into a rut, for me. Toast, eggs, sausage… pancakes… biscuits and gravy…
Great food, of course, but once in a while I like to switch it up. So this week, I tried my hand at inventing some tasty little breakfast tarts! Now, ‘tarts’ may be a bit misleading, since they don’t have a crumbly, homemade crust. But I hope you forgive me when you realize how simple and tasty these are.
Take a package of wonton wrappers, place one in each muffin cup. I gave my muffin tin a light spray of cooking spray – to keep the cheese from sticking, and give it a bit of that fried texture.
They will look like they aren’t big enough – not coming up the sides very far – but they will be fine, no worries!
Then you add the eggs and sausage, topping with a small slice (or spoonful of shredded) cheddar cheese. I think swiss would be good, too! I used about a tablespoon each of eggs and sausage.
Slide it in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, depending how crispy you like your crusts. Serve with fruit or juice. Perfect for little hands to grab and eat on the way to school! (not messy at all)
What are you serving for breakfast, these days? I’m always open to new ideas!