Sunday, June 29, 2014

Moving Past Grief

I have a serious confession to make about this homestead / preservation.  When the severe family issue exploded, I was truly grieved.  I realize where there's life there's still hope, but I'm addressing the emotional impact at the time it occurs.  I'm also going to be honest about the fact, it was far from the first disrespectful outburst, but it is the last one I will allow on this place.  It took awhile to make peace with the fact, that particular relationship has no future, as it stands now.  I still love the person, but everyone and everything we love isn't necessarily good for us, and we're not necessarily good for them.  In taking the time to actually grieve the situation, there has been healing and resolve that I didn't know could even exist.  This has been the first loss that I didn't attempt to stoically pull myself up by my own bootstraps.  I cried and I prayed and I cried and I prayed some more, and then cried and prayed again.

I also noticed there were a few things I just couldn't face for a time.  Here, I'd been raising most of my food, including the meat, but that summer invasion and explosion left me seeing and feeling reminders in so many places that had once been such a part of the plan and purpose.  The enemy works like that . . .  I'm not saying this individual was "the enemy," but Y'hshuwah very clearly identified who our enemy would be and I'd not only allowed this, but invited this one with open arms . . .

Last year was so difficult to be in a certain part of the garden, that I actually moved the garden.  My son-in-law had been such a part of the gardening the year before and my grandchildren, so it was just a sad reminder when I went in.  Besides moving the garden spot, I also planted a number of vegetables in the orchard.  Ultimately, Abba used that to show me how I would be raising my own wheat after Shemitah.  It would have been nice if I'd have been able to receive the plan without what I allowed here, but unfortunately, I just had to learn this part the hard way.  This year the garden is beautiful, in yet a new garden spot, and the plans for the mini wheat field are taking shape. 

The other thing that I really dropped the ball on was raising my own chickens.  I continued to collect the eggs, but every time I went out to get a chicken for dinner, I just couldn't do it.  My son-in-law had helped me catch the roosters I'd raised and each of the grandchildren wanted to learn how to "kill up" a chicken and make dinner.  To be honest, I haven't fixed fried chicken since that summer.  I say it's for health reasons, but I know the reason, and Abba knows my heart, so . . . I also had the excuse of a broken arm recovery, but the reality is, I was back to milking and typing very quickly, after that injury. 

That summer, even the youngest grandchild in that bunch had learned how to process a chicken from free range to fried chicken dinner.  The first time they wanted to help, I was sure we'd end up having PB & J for dinner, but I was wrong.  They took serious ownership of the dinner!  So, I've taken a year to grieve and eat chicken from the local Family/Farm Market, because it was just impossible to pluck a chicken while crying . . .  This year the preservation is back to full functioning and should probably be at double meat production the year of Shemitah.

And the Sabbath of the land shall be meat for you . . . And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.  Torah of Holy Scripture 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Do I Really Need to Know?

In the past, when I've sustained a serious injury, the break has been obvious, so Xrays were unnecessary.  This past week, I've managed to do something to my left foot which I truly do believe qualifies me for the "injured reserve list," but I can't say there's a fracture.  I will say, even Mr. B has shown some compassion, so it must look serious.

As I've contemplated slowing down a bit, I'm so thankful that it's even a choice.  I feel relatively certain, at my age and the rest that goes with me, if I were to darken the door of an ER, the Xrays and testing would be numerous.  I can clearly see that it's swollen, therefore; injured.  I can look back on past fractures and know very clearly, I was outside of the will of  G-d, therefore outside of His protection.  That is not to say every injury sustained is a sign of disobedience, but in my case there was compromise.

I'm not one to accuse the accuser too often and claim to be under attack, as the adversary is not omnipresent, so I figure he can only be one place at a time, and there are countless reports of his presence all over the place.  This particular incident though, does reek of havoc.  In preparing a new ministry website and moving toward a fuller outreach, I really do think, I irritated the enemy.  Here I'll even be addressing physical and mental health without giving the adversary any negative credit!  

Since YHWH inhabits the praise of His people, it has been my theory for years that the enemy is pleased with negative credit from the people of YHWH.  So, giving all glory to YHWH Raphah, without being presumptuous, I plan to be posting recover photos soon!

Here are my feet, in side by side photos, at the end of the day.  There are a number of healing promises in writing!  That's what I need to know!   

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  Prophet of Holy Scripture

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Taking Notice

Next year the land is to rest, so this year, I'm taking notice of just how many things the land produces without my cultivation skills.  There are a number of broad leaf herbs that are edible, so salad looks quite probable.  Then of course, there are the berries on the lane.  The dewberries are just now ripening, so it will be a couple more weeks before the blackberries are ready.  The wild blackberry vines literally line the lane.

Scripture tells us there will be rain in its season and an abundant harvest the sixth year, if we are obedient.  Adonai states there will be enough to eat through the seventh year, have seeds to plant, and still be sustained until the harvest of the eighth year.  I've heard a number of people comment on just how lush their gardens are this year!  Scripture also refers to eating meat that year of Shemitah.  I'm hoping the community will begin to gather and we'll feast on a fatted calf!

In the meantime, I am taking note of just how many wonderful herbs and plants our Creator made that are indeed edible and undoubtedly healthier than most of the fare we work so hard to prepare and make palatable.  I'm truly excited to be given this opportunity now that I finally have an understanding of Abba's timing in this matter.

It's a glorious thing to know that YHWH doesn't change.  That means what He said thousands of years ago, still stands today.  As we are watching so many evils coming to pass that have been prophesied, I take comfort in knowing His promises continue to stand.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:  Prophet of Holy Scripture

  And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and G-d saw that it was good.  Torah of Holy Scripture

Monday, June 9, 2014

Torah Observant Agriculture

Being awash in goat's milk has been a real blessing while I'm bottle feeding calves.  Years ago, I established a plan to not have to milk on Shabbat, and it worked, until I started raising bottle calves.  I don't think it's sinful to be the middle man Shabbat morning in getting it from the goat to the bottle to the hungry calf, but, the calves are now weaning age, and although I'm a big softy when it comes to the evening bottle, the morning Shabbat bottle is no longer a necessity, therefore it needs to stop.  The deal is, I can't just stop a single morning bottle or one morning milking, this has to be consistent.

For years I was blessed to just separate mamas from babies six days a week, have them together evenings and nights, and mamas and babies celebrate Sabbath together, but this year I bought four milkers without their babies.  Let me tell you about breaking in milkers.  When purchasing goats in milk that have never been milked, it means the babies keep them drained 24/7.   I couldn't let them go an entire 24 hours without them becoming engorged, which would have resulted in my being kicked in the head, rather than their training.  So, we went with two milkings a day, and the progress was truly blessed beyond anything I would have asked or dared imagined.  By the fourth milking, they had it down pat!  Literally in three sessions, they got it and demonstrated their cooperation immediately and consistently.

Now that it's time to wean the calves, I have faced a Torah reality.  If I don't cook and I use the grain or lettuce or milk or whatever that day for food, that's what Messiah did.  The fact that I do not like warm milk and will not willingly choose to drink warm milk means I have to adjust the milking schedule back to once a day.  I've already moved morning milking and bottles back a couple of hours and I'm not draining the girls in the morning milking and the calves don't even look for their "morning bottle" til nearly noon.  I know it will be a smooth transition, because YHWH has blessed this so abundantly, and the gradual transition leaves none of the goats in discomfort.  This is, I believe, the final transition week.

What a blessing it is, to see so many Torah Observant homesteads popping up.  Nine years ago, I was clueless and didn't know who to ask.  Now, by the grace of Elohim, some trials and errors, I can even be a resource for others.  In some areas I can be great encouragement, even offer some useful advice, and in others I can certainly offer a horrible warning!

  And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household . . . a Proverb of Holy Scripture 

Sunday, June 1, 2014


As we prepare for Shavu'ot, of course there two schools of thought, probably more, but some will be observing mid-week, others this coming Sunday, and some are doing what I did for a few years, which was to observe both countings.  Regardless of which way you count or day you observe, we can see even in the differences, a coming together.  I wrote last week about communitying up and I'm excited to see so many others are thinking, hearing, or envisioning along these same lines.  I've always known this would be just one of several small community gatherings.  Social media has really helped in letting each of us know where others stand on certain beliefs and understandings and I think that will make the gathering easier.

There are a few that tend to believe it all has to be the same or else, but I see it a little differently.  I already mentioned being tempted to have the morning to evening Sabbath keepers here to get done what I couldn't get done by sunset, but I know that would be wrong.  Seriously, though, let's consider the differences of observance for just a moment.  Of course the big debate about sunset, dark, night and day is really only an issue because we now have electricity and motors.  Messiah said nobody worked at night.  It wasn't a command, just an obvious fact of life.  Back when folks plowed with oxen before tractors, nobody tied candles or lamps on their horns to keep plowing in the dark . . . Same with riding horseback or on mules.  The animals had to stop, be fed, watered, and rested.  I'm sure when there is no buying and selling, there won't be time for so many debates . . .

New months are also debatable, sliver, dark, full, but the reality is, some of us have simply accepted we'll know when Messiah returns.  What would it hurt for me to observe the way I keep the new month, and then out of respect for my brother or sister, spend the day they observe, NOT arguing with them about it?  I do believe as the end of days unfold and communities do gather, we'll realize a greater purpose and appreciation for each other.  I'm also guessing the proper time spent in prayer and the effort it will take in just staying alive will greatly reduce the divisions and discord.  I am also aware that not everyone will share this perspective, and the perk to that is, there will be more than just one kind of community.

I really do see social media as the stepping stone for many of us to see where others stand and who and how we can work together, as well as who and why we cannot.  It's so good to know who "Ameins" who, now; and who annoys who, now.  It's also good to know, regardless of the differences or because of them, there will be a number of communities organizing soon!

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, says YHWH, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, says El Shaddai.  II Corinthians 6:17-18