Friday, March 28, 2014

Gentling Mama: Heavenly, Herbal Healing

I have a confession.

 I am often times, just too tightly wound
 I can get anxious easily. 
 If I were a horse, I would be labeled "high strung."

The last 5 years I have worked very hard to relax, loosen up, trust God, 
and maintain a gentle and quiet spirit.  
But, it does not come naturally to me.  
It is a battle.

I often see myself winning this battle now that I am older 
(I just had a birthday, and wow! am I feeling older!).  
But, I do not ALWAYS win.

This week has seen extra challenges for me, 
and I have not met them with a gentle and gracious spirit.

Despite my prayers, my time alone with God, my plea for His peace, 
I think my blood pressure its up quite a bit.  
I have felt worry and anxiety creeping in, and with it, irritability- a sure sign of stressed not managed.

It is high time to gentle mama, .....again.

I spent the morning allowing the children to run out side while I read the psalms, 
played serene music, and talked to the Lord. 
The healing balm of uninterrupted time with my Heavenly Father did it's work to my heart.  
Seeking forgiveness for allowing the poisons of pride, tension, and anxiety to be effective in my life, 
I could feel the burden lifted, as if 10 lbs had been removed from my shoulders...
the sigh escaping bringing chills to my arms. 

 Now to repair my nerves.
 I went to the kitchen seeking herbal healing.  
Knowing my weakness, my cupboard is stocked with soothing herbs. 
 Four of these, I combine to make Preacher's Passion tea.
(equal parts of chamomile, passionflower, peppermint, and oat straw)
 I may rename it "Calming Mama" tea.
The hot brew ministers to my body.  Sarah Reeves speaks to my soul.

 Next, I smothered my skin in a recent gift of lavender lotion from my sweet friend,
Enola Gay, 
who made a basket  of natural products for my birthday.
Lavender is a calming herb.  I often put a few drops in my dishwater, just cuz'.

If I find myself overly emotional, I would treat myself to a dropper of Valerian;
a calming herb which, in tincture form, is effective instantly, Praise the Lord!

Lastly, if at all possible, (it is not today)
I will take a therapeutic walk in the great outdoors of Idaho. 

Sometimes my husband has to remind me that taking this time is of utmost importance. 
My tension effects everyone in the family,
dog included.
However, yelling at my self to "BE STILL MY SOUL!" is never really all that helpful.
That high strung horse has to be soothed and talked to in a still, small voice.
We mama's need quiet time.... and I know just where to find that voice.....

A little maintenance goes a long ways.

I have had the time today to dress my
battle wounds an resume duty.
I may limp a bit yet,
but I have whole pot of that tea,
and many more psalms and prayer times to pepper my day with.

Humbly Yours,

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Life After The School of Honor

Life will never be the same for the 24 of us
 who gathered at Providence Lodge for Idaho's first School of Honor last weekend.  
It was a sacred time.
18 young men, ages 9 - 17, drank in the enthusiastic teaching of Logan Wilson. 
 Honor, chivalry, civility, and lessons from heroes of the past 
kept the students enthralled for three fast paced days of learning.

As fabulous as the material was, 
the real life model of Logan and his two impressive Interns 
meant just as much to the admiring boys, 
whom I think, would have followed them to the ends of the earth. 

 For Brian, Rose and I, 
words cannot express the emotions we feel, 
or the depth of gratitude for what the Lord has done, 
but longing for you to hear, 
I will do my best.

First and foremost,
if you ever have the opportunity to send a young man to the School of Honor, 
do it.  
What power there is when a young man speaks life and godliness to other young men!  

The manner in which Logan teaches his materials reaches into the depths of human emotion,
 and draws out from that
inspiration and motivation,
and joy to pursue honor. 
 I saw it in their eyes, the 18 boys we hosted here.

On the lighter side,
I also saw with my own eyes, 
7 loaves of fresh baked bread disappear in one meal!  
...Nearly 30 lbs of chicken at another, and a daily ration of three gallons of milk per meal.

 I have a new appreciation for the Duggars.

 They were, in all honesty, very well behaved - 
and Brian and I enjoyed having 21 young men in our home.  
We enjoyed feeding them.  
We relished watching them rapt as Logan taught.

I have already heard from several parents
 that what their sons learned is being applied at home already, 
 a new course for living a more God honoring life charted out and implemented by the boys themselves.

 Our family was very blessed by these three godly young men.
 What a pleasure to have them in our home!

God is at work in this younger generation.
He surely has something very big in mind for them...
seeing the caliber of men and women He is raising up gives me much hope for the future.

Truly, It  has been a most amazing event!!

Tired, but  very blessed,

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Young Entrepreneurs

The rain, 
pouring down day after day this whole week has proved amazing results: 
 it looks like spring! 
 The snow is nearly gone, the creek alongside the cabin is a swollen, rushing torrent, 
and low and behold - we even had blue sky today! 
(the first in weeks)
 Such a marvel!

We have all been busy with our work. 
 Brian has a new young men''s Bible study on Tuesdays. 
Today they are going to hear a speaker tell them about the Patriot Academy.  
Apparently, there is one in every state, 
teaching young people about legislation and helping them to get a start at the state level.  
Very interesting.

I am doing our spring cleaning. 
 Well, actually the children are doing most of it,  I am mostly administrating.  
This is in preparation for the School of Honor we are hosting later this week. 
 We are expecting 21 young men here for three days of intensive training. 
 Watch the You tube, it is goose bump raising.

Rose is doing her best to get two orphaned baby goats to live, 
although one is giving her a run for her money, poor little thing. 
 The mama collapsed last Wednesday, (we do not know why), 
and thus we have had the two week old babies in the house, bottle feeding and keeping them warm. 
They have now moved back to the barn with the other doe and her two babies. 
 Rose is feeding bottles three times a day, and the littlest one has still not taken to it, 
so it is a time consuming process requiring much patience and persistence.

And the Little Woodsmen, (when not kept cleaning), 
have their own work to do. 
Brian and I believe in training the children up to have creative, innovative ideas 
that will get their hands wet in entrepreneurial industry. 
 Joe, Jim and Ben 
have taken our nudging and are now in business making cedar kindling bundles to sell. 

 Just down the county road is a cedar shake mill.  
All the leftovers come out of the mill forming mountains
 of 1 to 4 inch wide cedar sticks about 16 inches long.  
One of us will drive the truck down there, 
the boys will fill the truck up, 
 we bring it home,
 they unload it, 
then Joe cuts the cedar into even lengths with the chop saw.
Jim and Ben wrap the bundles which are then ready to sell.  

They use my small soup pot to measure the bundles.

There is very little cost involved.  
They work together and share the profits equally.  
This they do one or two days a week. 
 The more they sell, the more they are motivated to put more time into it and have more product to sell. 

 Bethany and Gabe (they are 5 and 7) see what a great thing it is to have your own business, 
and are begging me to help them come up with an idea.  
For more inspiration on young entrepreneurs,
about a 6 yr old who wants to buy a backhoe, 
it is a great story!

 Blessings to you and yours this week!  I will be back after the School of Honor.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Searching For Owls

The baby goats were born a week ago.  
Our two does each produced healthy twins, and all are doing well. 

 Now to keep them safe from predators!

 Living out in the woods, we have a variety of threats. 
 Last year we lost two kids to the coyotes, who lured off the dogs in one direction 
and came in and took two babies in the goat pen.  
This year, we are hearing the low steady 
whoot whoot whoot 
of an owl close by the the towering pine trees next to the goat barn.  
This has the boys all astir.  
What kind of owl is it?  
We have several varieties that habitate here, such as..

The Great Grey Owl:

The Great Horned Owl:

The common Barn Owl:

Today, the boys have the animal encyclopedia out 
studying the habits, calls, and physical features of various large owls. 
This we have made our Nature Journal topic of the week.  
Drawings, labeling, and short reports of various types of owls prepare them 
for the finding of the local silent flyer who could easily pack off a newborn goat kid.

As soon as lunch was over, they are off to the woods for up to three hours of free time.
(After "gearing up" for 20 minutes, that is)

Not really knowing how long they will be out and about, 
what they will encounter, 
and what adventures they will have, 
they are ready for, um...pretty much anything. 
 Hatchets, sheath knives, fire starting kits, possibles bags that contain first aid kits, paracord, flashlight,
and who knows probably, and more knives. 

Waterproof  BOGS are a must in this weather. 
Long underwear, wool shirts over the layers, and hats top off these little woodsmen's outfits.

And, they are off!

I followed them for a bit, telling them to just ignore me while I snapped some pictures.

I started back to the lodge to prepare for afternoon tea, 
knowing that they will likely return in a few hours hungry 
and ready to tell of their adventures over a hot cup of tea.

No owl found yet, 
but they did have a great time.
Just another day in the life of our little woodsmen.

Jim and Ben went outside tonight to try to hear the owl hooting.
 They did hear it, and called back to it.
The owl answered, and they went on "talking" to it until they located it.
 They were so excited!
They came in chattering all about it , but not knowing which owl type it is.
So, I  helped them look up on You Tube various owl calls until we found a match.
 No surprise, it is a great horned owl.
Now they want an owl for a pet.

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