Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A girl named Rosebud

Rosebud of Chandler Farm 
This little girl is named Rosebud I know she is so pretty she doesn't look real but she is...she is 3 months old and is a miniature jersey milk cow. She is beautiful and she will give our family an average of 1-2 gallons of milk a day. Why? you might ask well...for one reason we live on a 40 acre farm and have tons of grass, fields of hay, and lots of lots of children who need work to do. So we invest our money in things that will produce work and teach our children responsibility. We don't do sports because of the sheer number of children we have but also because we would be at the ballpark a lot and well, I can't see giving up my meal time with Scott and singing around our big ol' table at 6:30 every night for the bleachers.  We also only have a limited time with each of our children and I don't know but working along side each other and building these memories of working on the farm seem like our best investment.The best use of my time.
Why is work so important? Canning tomatoes and weeding the gardens? Feeding chickens and gathering eggs? Cutting grass and picking blackberries? It teaches work ethic. For our family it has been teaching endurance lately. That's the great thing about having lots of things to do when you live on a farm. Some days it's a pleasure getting up early and weeding a vegetable bed and some days it's the very last thing you want to do but you do it because you have to, not because you want to. Old logic...I hear myself. I sound like my grandmother sometimes but it's true. So many times we don't want to do things that God has designed to make us into the people He wants us to become. A little dose of hard work usually keeps you from gossip and from having a bad attitude. (I say usually ok) After the guys have been working for a while in the heat we'll take them a water or a popsicle and the smiles can't be hidden. I'll say words like "fine job son" or "you're going be able to teach your children so many different things". Work, it was what made my father in law such a hardworking man in hard times. It was what made a boy a man and I want that for my boys. I want them to be hard working men who know a thing or two about dirt, animals, and taking care of things. Now don't get me wrong...we have had lots of trials and many errors since we started. We are new to this whole living on the farm thing..but we're learning together.  

Our girls wear aprons and our boys carry knives (most of the time) and our guys can change diapers if needed and our girls can hang a picture with a shoe. :) We hang our clothes out on the line and only eat oatmeal in the morning unless Taylor makes her homemade cinnamon rolls.  We are learning new things every single day. I hate the t.v being turned on during the day and we usually only watch one show at night together.
Our oldest work along side us. Go ahead and gasp! I know, it drives some people crazy to think that our 19 year old daughter still wants to be in our presence..but she does and she does it well. She is canning tomatoes right now with Channie, and James Taylor playing in the background. She is so old school. :) Tucker is painting a room for me and does all the chores outside. He has grown into a remarkable young man..already thinking of his future wife and how he's going to support her. I love that! I love that my guys already have the mindset of marriage.

So work, it's been a good thing for us. We work hard but we also have fun together... So what would I do if we didn't live on a farm? I would have above ground gardens for the kids to work. I would go to the farmers market and give each child $5.00 and have them pick out something for supper; haggling with the old farmers on the back of their trucks. I would make my own bread or soap..I would always have the yard work done by the children. 
Grow a flower garden. I did this and it was just 2 packs of wild flower seeds and I threw them in a dirt we have fresh flowers at our table every night from our garden.

We have always wanted a milk cow but didn't feel like we had enough older ones to start but now we do...We are also going to get a couple of pigs to add to our chickens and rabbits. So that equals work and lots of it. :) I love that! I love the sound of work for my children. 

Don't you? Now you get out there and make you a long list of work for your'll feel better and so will they. 

I promise if you don't believe me just see what the Lord thinks on the subject of work..

Proverbs 21:25) “The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.”

(Proverbs 26:14) “As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed.”

(Proverbs 26:13) “The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!’”

(Proverbs 12:24) “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.”

(Proverbs 10:26) “As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy man to those who send him.”

(Proverbs 18:9) “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great waster.”

(Proverbs 6:6) “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.”

(Proverbs 26:16) “The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.”

Monday, June 25, 2012

When it's hard to love~

 I wonder why I get to live here? Why, when the sun goes down, I get to see her beauty as she splashes herself all over my little girl's hair. My favorite time of day is right now. My walk at the end of a very long day. Asking God questions about myself and really wondering if I want to know the answers to such questions. My feet knowing this farm and my heart knowing that what I'm doing is the very sweet will of God for my life right now. I know to some the crazy days and some times the long nights would make you gasp, but I am here. I rise with the sun and the endless amounts of cooking and cleaning await me. The training is never ending. "Why did you hit your brother?" and "you know we don't say that" and "hurry and run to the potty" are all very over used words in my home. I myself would like the potty room. To be alone with my thoughts and not have five different people knock, knock, knocking on my door. I breathe and remind myself that this is not easy because it's not supposed to be easy. Parenting is hard work. Why do we insist on easy? Do we not grow more during the challenging times? Do I not appreciate Scott more at the end of a hard day? We learn gratitude and we learn to appreciate the days when we have love and help. That's what we're supposed to be doing anyway~ Some days when I see Scott's car at the top of the driveway I sigh a big sigh of relief knowing my help has arrived.

I have learned to laugh more these days and I've learned that scraping the skin off your old selfish self is painful.  I have learned that sometimes you don't get to sleep past 6:00 am and you don't get to bed before 11:00. I have also learned that some days you have to look for your beauty. God urges you to seek out beauty. He reminds me that the tall grass and the blackberries that need picking and the sun that falls at the end of the day and the chickens that lay perfect eggs and the clothes line that dry my clothes for free is all for me and for my children. I have to breathe and remember that some days are good and some days are just hard. Getting through those bad days and finding the beauty is truly my goal. Finding the beauty in each and every moment is where the Lord wants me to live. This takes a certain amount of forgetting what I think beauty is and remembering what God thinks is beautiful.

All He wants from me is to learn to truly love. I thought I was good at loving but it turns out that I have a lot to learn about love. I was loving good when the loving was easy, but when the loving is hard and diapers are dirty and fights seem never-ending, I retreat. I can't love all of that. He pushes me out and tells me, commands me, to love and love well. So on this Monday morning I will pray for more love...I will love the things that seem unloving and when it's hard I will take a walk and remind myself of all my gifts and pick a few blackberries along the way~

Anyone finding his life will lose it,
Anyone losing his life because of Me
will find it.
Matthew 10:39

So here's to losing my life today so that I can find Him. Love well....<3

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:12

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Winner is....

Nancy Schaefer!!

Please email me at with your mailing address and I will get this in the mail to you! Congrats! 


Monday, June 18, 2012

When I'm afraid of deep waters

Sitting on the side, I watch. I watch them jump and splash, learning not to be afraid of the deep. They look at the line that holds the deep waters and I see their fear. The deep. That place where they know they can no longer navigate by themselves. I hold them and slowly take them to the edge of the deep and they hold tighter to my neck and I hold tighter to them because I want them to know that I won't leave them there.  Deep waters are scary and when you're dog peddling, you might just drown. Even they know this.

 As I navigate my home lately, I'm dog peddling. Keeping my head above water but still feeling the deepness of it all...a place where my feet can't quite touch the bottom. Clinging to the Lord with a vice grip because I don't want Him to think I have this. I want Him to know that I'm dependent and if He lets go I will surely drown. I keep looking at the rope that marks the deep waters in my life. I'm in the deep. I'm dependent here and without Him I can't make it through the next hour. It's a good place, just a very vulnerable place to be. I'm terrified trying to navigate the deep waters of having five extra children in our home right now because I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk and physical exhaustion threatens to over take me on the hard days and I want to swim back to shallow waters where I'm safe and comfortable and ignorant to the needs of others but I can't find one place in scripture that tells me to be comfortable. As I walk out my days I'm reminded that I love children and as I delight myself in this place that He has called our family, I realize just how happy I am feeding and holding little ones up out of deep waters and teaching them about the Lord and how He is the only one that can truly save them. I thrill to wake up and hear the bustling of voices that are waiting outside my door. I always pray, "Lord I can't do this. You will have to show up and help me." I open my door and 13 children are running my halls or needing to talk. Leaders being born as more responsibility is being put on older ones. I see them growing closer to the Lord.

Paul says in his letter to the Philippians that he 
"Knows the secret".
He has been well fed and he has been starving; he has lived in abundance and he
has lived with nothing. His revelation?
That he can do all things through Christ who strengthens. Philippians 4:13

This extraordinary task of welcoming 5 children into our home was not by accident. We had prayed for the Lord to use our family any way He wanted, to glorify Himself and so when He asked? we said yes. I asked, "where and how?" He said, "I will provide" and He has. I marvel at watching my husband rise up and be the daddy to so many right now. Whispering in my ear, "we can do this. It's beautiful and it's hard, but God called us to it and He will not let us go under."

We walk through our days still eating ice-cream, swimming and school. We are a lot louder, the bedtime routine takes longer, but is filled with more kisses. Yeah, it's a risk swimming in the deep. I look at the shallow end of my "used to be" life and remember praying to be used up. He answered.

So on this day I give thanks for daily bread and a table full of hungry children. The heat of a long summer afternoon and the simple beauty of my bed at night. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Giveaway in Honor of Father's Day

In honor of my husband, the best father in the world, we are giving away Vision Forum's Cd set of: The Master's Plan For Fathers. A $35.00 value.

A 7 CD set covering topics such as:

  • A Survey of Great Fatherhood Passages in the Old Testament — by Scott Brown
  • Fathers Who Love the Lord With All Their Hearts: Deuteronomy 6 — by Dan Horn
  • The Sanctifying Fatherhood of Job: Job 1 — by Scott Brown
  • A Case Study of Headship in the Home: Numbers 30 — by Scott Brown
  • Fathers Who Help Their Children Get Married: Genesis 24 — by Scott Brown
  • How Fathers Escape Laboring in Vain: Psalm 127 — by Scott Brown
  • Breaking Free from the Patterns of Unfaithful Fathers: Psalm 78 — by Scott Brown

Enter a comment telling one thing that your husband does for your family that blesses you and your children and you will be entered into the giveaway.

Daughters, you could even enter for your Dad and give him this.

If you win, it may be a late gift, but well worth it.

God Bless all of the fathers who seek His will in their lives and who lead their families fearlessly.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My weakness

"I thought parenting was going to portray my strengths, never realizing that God had ordained it to reveal my weaknesses".~ Living life amongst these guys makes me tired beyond what I ever thought possible. My body bending under the weight of needs, tears, and hunger. Knowing I'm here for a reason and I shall doubt, but not for long, that His plan for my life has me in the middle of something bigger than myself. What if I can't drowned out the voices of people who don't understand what and why we do what we do? I close my ears and seek His voice out from the crowd and there it is.
His voice so sweet. Only what you do for Me will last. Only when you give up everything will you find anything. Leave it all and follow me. His sweetness keeps me moving through all my days.  

So I pack.. Leaving the world I once knew behind but I have nothing really. I prepare to walk out this day following the Lord and leaving everything else behind.  So much hurting, so many people struggling and drowning what if I can't help? What if I'm not strong enough, what if I don't have enough? What if the voices convince me to stop...Oh, Lord, there is no one like you God and in my weakness you will give me strength. The world around us is hurting. I can no longer live in my "little world" because "I know" and once "you know" you can't hide your face from it. You can't pretend that all is well. We just stand in the middle of it all and pray that God will be glorified as we love on some amazing children, as we counsel hurting mommies...hugging grandmas that wonder what went wrong.

Open your eyes to the beautiful world around you. It's lost and hurting. Open your doors and clear off a bed. Clean out a room. Then ask God to use it..You will be surprised.      

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mommy time

 "and they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
 and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people." Acts 4:6-7

 "We have all read these words, and, I suspect, have all reflected wistfully on such a life. Our lives are driven by schedules and agendas, by tasks and chores and errands. Our eating is more often just another task to be accomplished, than a time of fellowship. How did these early saints earn a living? It seems they did nothing but worship and fellowship, all day long, all week long! Either they had benefactors that funded this blissful life, or, perhaps, we don't have an accurate image of what their days actually looked like. Could it be that we, too, with all our day-to-day responsibilities, could have the delightfully vital and fulfilling life that we read about in this passage?

 Perhaps one way to achieve this would be to unpack our lives a bit, to examine and reorder our lives, replacing "busy work" and "self improvement" with Kingdom work. Lesson plans, school work, jobs, games, they seem to crowd every hour we have. Only when parents wisely and resolutely take charge of the family schedule can they avoid running breathlessly from one Sunday to the next. Living a blur of a week instead of blessed week.

But having a God-honoring, soul-delighting week takes more than just cutting out a few activities and adding a few better ones. It takes living consciously and constantly before God, presenting "our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service" (Rom 12:1).

 From the moment our head is lifted off our pillows, giving thanks for new breath and a new day to bring Him glory and to bring Him honor through all we say and do. We live our day as living sacrifices, behaving in ways appropriate for His blessing, not seeking to accomplish Godly things in our own strength in order to impress Him or others. We live our lives sacrificially, and in communion with one another.

Active, daily living reveals the rough edges of life, and then takes those rough edges off. If you live in isolation, you come to believe that everything is fine with you and then you believe that everything is fine with everyone not true. You never discover the annoying things about your brother, and he never discovers your faults, because you don't really know each other. But, as you spend time with him and get to know him, you find out that he has some rather unlikable traits, including a completely irrational dislike of some of your own sinful ways. hmmmm  

Until you lend something to someone, you will never know that they don't return things on time, and you may not come to realize your own grasping attachment to your possessions. Unless you regularly try to meet with someone, you will be unaware of their chronic tardiness, and of your own desire to have control over your time. Until you give sacrificially of your time or money in the service of another, you will be unaware of their selfish disregard of your needs, and your own selfish motives in serving them.
We all have things about us that are unlovely but instead of avoiding each other, and thus avoiding the pain of dealing with our sinful natures, we are called to deal with each other with great patience and humility, trusting God to gradually make us all more like Christ."

I'm finding out lately to be more like Christ is really not that fun. I love Christ, but dying to myself more and more is truly ripping away of who I think I am, of who I thought I was. At my doctor appointment recently he said, "do you get mommy time?" It sounded elementary almost, mommy time? Well if you count the drive here and then the visit to Sam's afterwards mommy time, then yes I get mommy time...but otherwise I get to walk along side 13 children right now. Yes, you heard me, 13....I struggle with the day to day battle of training, teaching, disciplining, and all the while the clock ticks..I'm like a deer panting for water. The Lord's water. My time precious to someone other than myself. I pour out and feed and love on these little ones. The battlefield hot and dry right now. Mommy time will have to wait. I'm in a battle for God's kingdom and I don't plan on just walking off right yet. I know my doctor meant well and there are days when I wish the mission field of my life was easier and less involved but those are the days that I usually am living and thinking very selfishly. I do take times for walks, so I can breathe and talk to the Lord...but right now I'm in the thick of it and so I stand.....

Now, don't go and say, "Robin said I don't need my time" that's not what I'm saying at all. It's just some seasons of our lives God requires more of us than at other seasons. Also, if your household is in order you will have time to sit and read the bible and pray in between nap time and supper during these busy seasons. You will grow weary and each week will bring with it ups and downs but be of good courage.

Sacrificial living is a life of communion. We are to look for every opportunity to bless each other, we are truly at peace with one another when we're serving eachother.


Thank you, Jonathon Sutton, for your beautiful words of inspiration.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...