cleaning · cooking · fall · family · homemaking · motherhood · poetry

Housework

No scouring for pride
Spare kettle whole side
Though scouring be needful, yet scouring too much
Is pride without profit, and robbeth thine hutch.
-Thomas Tusser
fall · family · friendship · fun · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · kids · play · seasons

Happy Halloween..in all it’s gory!

Hope everyone has a safe and fantastic Halloween.  Don’t eat too much candy!  
Fun Fact:
My favorite candy treat is a Butterfinger.  I steal all of them out of the trick-or-treat bags every year.  
fall · fun · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · seasons

Blooms

Well, I have freshened things up a bit!  I will most definitely not be able to post everyday…maybe not even once a week, but I am opening up my blog.  I hope to reconnect with many of you and meet new friends as well.

The Michaelmas Daisies are blooming in my flowerbed.  I love October!  It’s good to be back.

faith · fall · family · food · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · nutrition · seasons · Spring · summer · winter

The Farmer

To all those farmers praying for rain…
Who make a living, or not, depending on forces out of their control…
To my brother, who as a child the farmers would call and say, “Ask Josh to pray for rain.”  And it would.
To all the animals who search for food and shelter in this hard drought…
To men and women who leave clean and come home dirty…
To my grandfather, who died tragically doing what he loved…farming.
To those who fill my tummy from the work of their hands…
To God who established seed time and harvest, and who makes all things grow, and who knows best.
Thank you.  
fall · play · seasons

Giving Thanks

Today I just wanted to say thank you for reading and sharing here with me.  
I have a big list of to-do’s this week, what fun!… and that means no time for blogging.  I hope to be back sometime next week.

I love Thanksgiving!  Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.
Blessings to you and yours,
Mandy

 

fall · family · homeschooling · learning · play · poetry · seasons

Autumn Fires


Autumn Fires

 by Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall! 

*We have been working on memorizing this poem, using it for copy work and dictation.
faith · fall · learning · Orthodoxy · saints

A faith like Saint Martin

There is great suffering in this world, and it is hard to take sometimes.  I woke up this morning, Samuel snuggled up close, nursing, contented, safe.  I made myself a cup of tea, prayed, made lists and to-do’s.  Warm Cream of Wheat filled bowls and everyone is well, clean, plump, happy.  I said thank you over and over.

In my heart I feel a swell of hurt sometimes.   It’s only a thought away, my mind wonders onto the suffering of others and instantly I feel a weight…the true weight of this world.  Death and suffering are all around us, we do not have to look very far…our neighbor, our kinfolk, our brethren.

 My great aunt from Virginia is visiting this week.  She was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.  When I see her on Saturday we will share a meal, warm conversation, and say our goodbyes.  Until we meet again…

I saw the link last night…Typhoon Haiyan, and I was scared to click.  It is hard to look upon another’s suffering and not DO something, to feel helpless.  I pray, I pray with a heavy heart.  My heart hurts for the Philippines.

I saw a man in the grocery store who could barely walk, his size and weight almost too much for him to bear.  I wondered who loved him, who touched him, who cared for him.  His basket was full of healthy items; vegetables, fruit, a package of chicken breasts.  He is trying…he sees his own weakness…he wants to change.  I began to tear up, and I fervently prayed that he would find success in overcoming his passion.  Lord please help him.

Today is Veteran’s day…need I say more?

I remember when I became aware of the fact that suffering is a universal experience, that everyone suffers.  It was the day that I got a call from my mom, “Mandy, pray.  Papa has been in an accident.”  Our world changed in that moment.  My grandfather, the patriarch of the family, fell into a grain auger.  His children were all there, some desperately trying to free him, some watching in horror, others praying for a miracle.  One son cried, “Dad what happened, how did this happen?”   My grandfather’s last words were, “It just happened, son.”  Another son had been the one who flipped the switch, not knowing that his father was on top of a mountain of wheat inside the barn.  When the auger began to turn it pulled my grandfather into its rotation.

“It just happened.”

I have thought about that over and over.  Is that statement true?  Is suffering a happening that just is?  My grandfather did not struggle or resist.  He did not feel separate or exempt.  His last words were humble.  Death and suffering touch us all.  “It” happens to all of us.

But sometimes the suffering I see seems unbearable.  And in those times I cry to the Lord, who knows our suffering.  He suffered too.  That is a mystery and a consolation.

Today as we celebrate Martinmas, I hope the crafts and gifts and fun do not dull the raw and vulnerable message of Saint Martin.  A man lay at a gate, freezing to death, and Martin shared his cloak.  The reality of that story is horrifying.  Most of the stories of the saints are.  But, it is the response to suffering that make saint days worth remembering.  Saints meet suffering with faith.  They look suffering straight in the eyes and believe.  Faith takes action in compassion, forgiveness, martyrdom, and courage.  It takes courage to face a world of suffering and unbelief.

May I not look away in fear, may I not shrink back in cowardice, may I touch the unlovely and befriend the unfriendly.  Let it never be said that a Christian is squeamish or afraid.  The Gospel demands that I walk by faith.  Death and suffering do not negate the Resurrection.  Who better to care for the dying, sick, and suffering than the people of The Way.  We are a Resurrection people.  In Him we live, and move, and have our being.  We live in a sober expectation of Christ’s return.

I want to shake off despondency and recommit myself to a life of prayer and sacrifice.  I want to be courageous and faithful.  I want to journey toward the Nativity with a gift in my heart…a gift of faith.  True faith.  A living faith.  A faith that redeems suffering.  A faith like Saint Martin the Merciful.