Write 28 Day Challenge—#28 Stewardship

My husband and I are stewards. We run our household, domestic concerns, rents, and keep accounts of our properties. We take our stewardship seriously. Truth is we are all stewards over something or someone.

We have been called to stewardship in Scripture. God instructed Adam to tend the Garden (Genesis 2:15). Joseph was given stewardship over all of Egypt, answering only to Pharaoh himself (Genesis 39:4-6). The king appointed Daniel over his entire kingdom (Daniel 6:1-3).

He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit. And he who cares for his master will be honored. Proverbs 27:18

We also answer to our governments, local, state and national in regards to our stewardship. However, not everyone is responsible in equal ways. “The poor” Jesus said, “will always be among you.” Just the same, our caring for our personal concerns, household and personal accounts are our responsibility.

I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley. We have a large Mennonite community in our area. They live very differently from us, according to their Christian beliefs. It is wonderful. One belief that is different is in regards to the poor. They help one another in many admirable ways. Yet they believe that, though one may be poor, it is no excuse for being dirty, nor sloppy around their homes and farms.

My sisters are professional real estate agents. They say they have often seen neater, tidier mobile homes than some of the largest homes in their area. That, gentle reader, is what stewardship is all about. Taking good care of what has been entrusted to us.

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:12.

Write 28 Day Challenge—#27 Favorite

Who at my age, having grown up with Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music, does not think of her singing ‘My Favorite Things’ to the frightened children? Remember? The thunderstorm and her singing this song to comfort the children?

I have carried her advice from that song ever since she cheerfully sang it:

When the dog bites; when the bee stings; when I’m feeling sad; I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad!

I wonder if she had any idea just how much her song would influence so many folk. It encouraged us to count our blessings in the midst of our pain (when the dog bites) or real fears of life. Recall the children went to her for fear of the thunderstorm.

The Sound of Music is one of my favorite all-time films. Filled to the brim with all the hope and joy available to us all, if we choose. While not leaving out the fears, doubts and sad disappointments we also experience in our real lives.

The ultimate win against evil as a result of their bravery and working together to gain that win makes it the best family show I have ever seen. Little wonder it is one of my favorite things.

I think it is movie night tonight. Guess what is on the play list? 😊

Write 28 Day Challenge—Saver

I do not think I ever considered myself a saver of this sort until I looked up the meaning in my Webster Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1936. My second favorite book, next to the Bible. Saver: verb; To make safe; to rescue or deliver from danger. This is going to be an easy word prompt.

For most of our nearly forty-five years of marriage my husband and I have saved dogs in dog pounds. From all over Virginia we have picked our rescues. The joys these dogs have brought to us can barely be told.

The last two dogs that owned our hearts were from the same pound. I had picked one for our Mom, and the other for me and my family. Whoopie, was Moms dog, she lived with Mom until her passing. Upon which Whoopie came home to our house to live. Here she and Dandy (our rescue) lived happily together for years. I love “100% Pure Pound Dogs”, as I always called them when asked what breed they were.

The smiles and company they brought to our lives cannot be measured. Constant companions with smiling, happy faces. Who ever dared to complain about that? They both are gone, buried side by side here on our farm.

We have new dogs now to fill those empty spaces, which is a joy. Still I would like to share with you some photos of two good dogs we chose to be the saver of.

Sweet Whoopie
Our boy Dandy

Write 28 Day Challenge—#21 Adore

Oh, Come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord…

This wonderful Christmas Carol came immediately to mind with todays word prompt, adore. It is a reverent word that I use when thinking of our Lord. Most of the time I do anyway.

The problem is with my older twinsters, and my own twinster. You see I adore them way too much. I thank the Lord continually for them.

Oh there are times we all drive one another mad! Mom (who was also a twin!) taught us the importance of sticking together, and stick together we will do until the end.

In 2019 we twins took a four week long Twinster Vacation to our New England States. It will forever be a special highlight in our twinster hood. We rented a van and hit the road with a travel log that included sights, excursions, and towns new to all of us on the sea coast of six New England States. Driving through twelve states was a grand adventure!

We still talk about that terrific road trip, the fun we had and joys we shared. So while I use the word adore for Jesus only, that trip holds a high place of honor in my life. That trip and my twinsters.

Write 28 Day Challenge—#20 Changes

Do you like changes? First it must be defined. Changes mean to substitute something for something else. All sorts of changes occur in our daily lives. So maybe it depends on what changes I am talking about as to whether we like them or not.

Certainly some changes are harder than others. For example: a youngster changing schools; giving up driving because of old age; suddenly loosing a spouse of many years. These changes are nearly experienced by all of humanity.

Other changes may bring great joy to our lives: a new baby; new home, car, shoes, or a new pet. These can be exciting and fun.

Changes can also be terribly challenging. Desiring a change in ourself, our relationships with others, or our lifestyles can be overwhelming and feel near impossible. Good grief, just trying to loose ten pounds makes slaying a dragon seem easy to me!

Or how about changing an attitude toward a co-worker that is difficult to like? Or maybe changing one’s own irritated tone of voice when speaking.

Is it safe to say we all want to be happy? Would we agree that in order to be happy, changes must begin within ourselves?

I do not know all the answers to these questions, but I do know this—God never changes. He is always here to help me substitute something for something else. I have but only call out to Him. He is waiting to hear from me and you. He will help us be the change we want to see. Call out to Him today, won’t you?

For I am the Lord, I do not change.

Malachi 3:6

Write 28 Day Challenge—#19 Lottery

Lottery, as defined, is an affair of chance. Boy, that is so! Especially in the spring chick department of our local farm stores. We farm folk love spring time. The stores are filled with fluffy, chirpy chicks.

Rural living has many perks. One of the most fun happens in early spring when local farm stores are full of brand-new baby chicks. Fluffy chicks of all colors and breeds chirp happily under warming lights attached to large stock water tanks. Stores have an extra warmth to them because of the lights along with sweet sounds of baby chicks scurrying in the fresh-smelling pine bedding. All the hope of new and fresh fill the store with chicks in springtime.

The lottery is in purchasing them. They are hard to tell the sexes apart when so young. So a buyer could be surprised to really have a rooster rather than a hen. It takes a bit of time for distinctions between the two to show. There are several methods used to sex the chicks. They are not all reliable, so there is a lottery to it. We have not been surprised with a rooster yet.

A rooster is yet another lottery. Not having ever owned one, I cannot say one way or another. I have heard so many stories about them both good and bad, it is hard to know. It seems folks sure like them, or not.

I recall, when purchasing our horse, Duke, the farm had chickens and baby chicks all over the place. In one box stall on the floor was a nest with at least ten eggs in it. I had never seen that before! I asked the lady, she said the horses do not hurt the nest, and the eggs will hatch. There were so many baby chicks running around that proved her right. Talk about another lottery!

Now that I think about it, I guess a lot of life is an affair of chance, aka, lottery. We make plans, work toward objectives, look ahead, yet sometimes life does not turn out the way we think. Sometimes we get a rooster. So I expect should I get one this spring, because we are getting more chicks, we will take it in stride. There are some very beautiful roosters in this world.

We have not yet gotten a rooster.

Write 28 Day Challenge—Day #18 Tiny

Spring has come early here to the Northern end of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I have to say there has not been enough snow this year for me. One of the earliest signs of Spring are our happy, vocal Spring Peepers. However, they are still quiet. Perhaps they know we still have to get through March.

Just the same, a careful look at bird feeders reveal a small sign of Spring. The tiny, diminutive male American Goldfinch is beginning to put on his summer courting outfit. Goldfinches are year-round residents here in Virginia. Males loose their bright plumage for winter. This makes it difficult to tell males from females. Not to worry. Spring brings on the summer wear and males are very easy to spot then.

American Goldfinches, Carduelis tristis, are often called Wild Canaries. They are a very loved tiny bird that twitters upon taking flight. They fly an undulated flight pattern.

They come year-round to bird feeders. They love Nyger thistle (which is pricey!), but they also enjoy Sunflower seeds (not as pricey, and brings in more birds). I have them all year at my sunflower seed feeders.

An interesting fact: They belong to the finch family, and are the only finches to change their ‘coats’ season to season!

Hope you enjoy these photos I have taken of ‘our’ finches at the feeders. Happy birding!

He has a sunflower in his beak.
See the sunflower in his beak?
Isn’t he gorgeous?

Write 28 Day Challenge—#17 Reflections

I am an amateur photographer. It has been an enjoyable pastime since I was 11 years old and received my very own Kodak Instamatic camera. What fun it was! Wish I still had that little camera.

One of my favorite photographic captures are reflections. So I cannot think of any better way to ‘write’ this post on reflections than with some photos.

Please enjoy!

Write 28 Day Challenge—#16 Lonesome

Lonesome is a sad word that is hard for me to write about. There seems to be so many lonesome folk around. I recall Sid the Sloth from the movie Ice Age lamenting, “…off by myself, a lone, lonely loner.” “That’s a lot of loneliness,” the wooly mammoth replied. It is funny and true too.

We were created for community. The recent COVID lockdowns were devastating for many, many people of all ages in all places. Whether or not it was necessary is beyond the scope of this post. Rather it is the sad effects of the forced seclusion from society that brought intense loneliness to so many. I thank God it is over and done with.

I have also heard that social media produces a great sense of loneliness. That is rather easy to see, for while at social settings I have noticed few people engaging with one another. The vast majority are on their devices.

Two separate incidences formed a paradigm shift in my thinking over the years. When our sons had a playmate over one afternoon, the visiting dad told his son they were going to go home. Why? The children were playing video games. He told his son, “We are going home. You can play video games at home. We came here to play with your friends.” I never forgot that.

The other is a saying I’ve heard over the years: Wherever you are be there. I never forgot that one either. This takes deliberate effort at times because I can feel lonely in a crowd sometimes. So I must engage and be a part.

So what is the point? It is this: in many ways I can control the feeling of being lonesome. It may be in my power to do something about it. Should it not, I thank The Lord He is near. I pass it on to Him. He cares for me, guides me, and He loves me. He loves you too.

Write 28 Day Challenge—#15 Beautiful

How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. Romans 10:15

I have thought often about this interesting verse of Scripture. How are feet beautiful? Is it perhaps because feet are the vehicle used to bring the gospel of peace to people? In church, on the street, mission fields, or revivals, because men and women of God are walking and talking of the gospel of peace?

Our feet are bringing the beautiful message. Is that a stretch of a thought on this verse? What would you say?

Or maybe because of the message itself. The gospel of peace. This gospel, of Jesus, is beautiful, and made for all of mankind. So the beautiful feet are both the giver of the message and the receiver of the message. For both the giver and receiver are blessed.

Am I just digging too deep and looking for something that it really is not supposed to mean? I do not know. I do know that as this month comes to an end, I will not be sorry to see it go. It has been a bit rough. However the beautiful message from the beautiful feet that preach the gospel of peace has and will continue to hold me.