Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sabbath in the Spring

There is really nothing like Shabbat in the spring on this preservation. It's a very special time of year as the green appears and the garden yields an edible bouquet just for the picking. Sabbath chores are something special too. Most of the year, I streamline chores for Shabbat, but in the spring it's an even greater difference. Most of the year, I do them early on Friday evening and late on Saturday evening, but I still open chicken houses and check on everyone to make sure there's nobody caught in a fence and everyone has water and access to food.

In the spring however, when the garden is producing tender leafy greens and the goat milk is flowing while the kids are still young, Shabbat is extra special. There isn't as much cooking to do on preparation day. Since we are told Y'hshuwah picked grain and ate it right in the field, fresh food that requires no cooking or preparation is still kosher for Shabbat! Although I do enjoy this privilege through the the summer, as well, there are few things better than a fresh radish sandwich made with challeh. A fresh mix of greens, with salted radish slices and challeh is delicious, as well. Don't even get me started about fresh ripe tomatoes sliced and topped with goat cheese.

I have the added bonus in the spring of not even having to milk after sunset following Shabbat. Most of the kids arrive between late January and early March, so before I sell the kids, they spend the nights with Mom and I separate them in the morning, so I can milk in the evening. I only milk once a day, so I never have to milk on Shabbat, but spring is even better. Shabbat morning, I don't separate moms and babies. Shabbat is a special day, even for the critters. The milkers get a break from the ordinary routine and the kids love all day with mom and the "all you can eat" option!

As I understand it, Shabbat is supposed to be a set apart day, out of the ordinary. Shabbat was created by our Creator, Himself, simply to rest. As I said, throughout the year I've searched and sought to do what I understand to do agriculturally in regard to Shabbat. The examples of that are few and far between here in America, but I've learned quite a bit and been able to implement it. The closest to work I get on Shabbat is opening a chicken door and holding a calf bottle.

To be surrounded in the beauty of creation through the season of life, is such a blessing and I consider it an awesome privilege. Shabbat in the spring is truly a celebration of our Creator!

And G-d blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which G-d created and made. Torah of Holy Scripture

Monday, May 20, 2013

A New Thankfulness

I came in from the garden the other day, simply thankful for being brown. I was brown before the days of tanning beds. As a matter of fact, I was in school a couple of years before the Civil Rights Movement and I was the darkest child in my school. I have always been "proud" of my tribal heritage, and pride may not be the right word or right attitude, but I am grateful. I like the fact that I don't sunburn. I'm grateful that I don't know what a sunburn feels like. So, as I came in from my gardening session, and was just truly enjoying basking in brownness, the phone rang and gave me something else for which to be thankful.

I didn't get into caller ID when it was first introduced, but now it is automatic on every phone service and phones, and after the call I received the other day, I'm grateful for caller ID. Now, if I can just remember to keep some glasses by the phone, I'm set! Caller ID isn't my big issue of thankfulness, but I'm going to be faithful in the little things. My point of gratitude and a genuine changed perspective did come through that phone call.

First, I've come to a new thankfulness when things don't turn out the way I'd hoped. Sometimes we just can't imagine what our Heavenly Father is trying to spare us of, when we are trying to make things happen. So, with the phone call, I became very thankful that things had not worked out the way I had first hoped. Then through the course of the conversation, I'll admit it, I got my feelings hurt being reminded of my past. It's taken me a couple of days to truly be able to realize this profound truth that I now embrace.

Once we are determined to follow Messiah, only the enemy will bring up our past. Now he gets help from various ones along the way, but a nasty reminder of the past, when we've been forgiven, is nothing more than the enemy trying to get us to fall under a spirit of condemnation. It's getting easier to recognize too, even in subtleness the intensity becomes intimidating, the analysis becomes accusatory, and the communication takes a downward spiral to confusion. In all of that, it became very clear that we were simply not on the same page, even if we were using the same words!

As I said, it took a day or two, but I now realize a new thankfulness that speaks of the grace of My Redeemer. When reminded of the past . . . I'm so thankful I'm not there any more. I'm thankful for the change YHWH has brought in me.

Therefore if any man be in Messiah, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thankful for What I Don't Have

It's an odd concept, I realize, but there are so many things I don't have; for which I am thankful. When I went into ministry nearly 20 years ago, and then was called to this specific lifestyle, I realized I was heading out of mainstream. I had no idea how far I'd gotten away from the plan of the G-d of Abraham.

I am continuously bombarded with requests and complaints of something someone thinks they need. That began years ago in another place. I have asked YHWH before about what I should give, what I should donate and what I should refuse to be a part of. I consider donations to also be an "investment." So when I'm approached with a need or want I ask YHWH and myself, what do I invest in the lives and needs of others that will bring them to the place our Creator has planned for them?

I learned in my last town, I am not to donate money to people who have enough money for entertainment. That may sound harsh, but that was what I was shown. Entertainment issues are two fold. 1. Entertainment is not a need and 2. If someone has time to watch TV, play videos, etc., then they have time for a lucrative hobby or a part time job. Living simply leaves me open to making very simple statements and kinder refusals.

I share seeds and I share food, and I share tons of information . . . I'm not a wealthy woman and for that I'm grateful. My bills are paid, all both of them . . . and all my needs are met along with many of my wants, but my desires are really not of this world, they just truly are not. I cannot imagine, that I would ever consider television programming or video games "quality time" with a partner or with kids. I'm thankful I don't have a television.

I'm thankful to have the knowledge I have, but I am also thankful that I don't have an impractical education for something I now don't believe in. I think it would have been more difficult to walk away from mainstream, if I felt more invested. I can process meat from the hoof to the freezer. I can can and preserve. I am blessed to have the knowledge to sew, knit and crochet, even if I don't do it a lot. I am thankful that I don't have to shop!

I'm thankful, for now, that I don't have a romantic interest. I think men are just wonderful, but for now I really need to focus on what I need to be doing as a handmaiden of YHWH. When I was rejected right after my last wedding, my feelings were pretty hurt and to be honest I didn't know why he didn't just stand me up at the altar, but that's been years ago, and I have so many more interests that truly do take my time and focus.

I'm thankful that the life I am living and my G-d I am serving is so full and so awesome that if I had any more it would be a burden . . . I think of the prayer in Proverbs 30.
Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is YHWH? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my G-d in vain.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Watch the Adjectives

We all have someone in our lives that can find the negative perspective to anything. Perhaps as a writer, I give more focus to adjectives, but they are powerful! There are two completely different images in your mind when you read, 'the tranquil sea was the perfect setting for . . .' and 'the raging sea was the perfect setting for . . .' Now if I'd have just written 'the sea was the perfect setting for . . .' you'd have still been picturing a large body of water, but the two adjectives literally created images a world apart. In the case of the sea, it's great to have an accurately descriptive adjective, but in the case of things that may not seem matters of life and death, adjectives can make a real impact.

I just came in from the garden and although it's nowhere close to the terms I'm using at this point, it's still a great example of my actual point. Think of the different picture you form in your mind when you hear these two words that can have similar meaning, but . . . Her garden was lush. Her garden was overgrown. Lush gives the image of big green thriving plants, probably with produce or at least blossoms in the foliage. Overgrown could indicate large plants, but more often than not, it's describing neglect or an abundance of weeds. Our adjectives should convey one thing specifically, but actually conveys two. The one things we count on when an adjective is used is an accurate description of the noun. The second thing I've come to understand about adjectives is how much they reveal about the person using them.

I've become acutely aware of people that always have a negative adjective to include. I made the mistake of allowing someone to see my inventory room. Now the mistake was not in showing it. As the post 9/11 Bushites used to say, "I've got nothing to hide." I was actually hoping to, of course, drum up some business by inviting that individual into that room. I was shocked and I don't why, knowing this person as I do, but as they looked at all the work I had put into establishing a new business, the comment was simple and amazingly insightful. They said, "Oh, this is your hording room!" Perhaps they are more television minded and not so gifted at vocabulary, but until that moment, I hadn't realized it, then I began to notice. Every noun, person, place, and thing, was described with a negative intonation or degrading adjective, or both . . .

Which brings me to the word of caution I want to share. Negativity can be contagious and certainly downgrading. Something else to consider, if a person uses negative adjectives and gives negative reports on other people, you can count on the same thing being said about you, behind your back. We all know if all we hear out of someone is something negative about someone else, that's what someone else is going to hear about us from that same individual, but I'm suggesting even more in this than the classic gossip. It is a serious character defect in the individual doing the talking, but as a society, we tend to prefer to believe bad reports as good ones.

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. a Proverb of Holy Scripture