Seeded: An Eye for Potential

The door swung closed on another holiday season, another year and the end of the decade while the dismal days of winter stretched ahead. Not being a fan of winter herself the little round woman negotiated her way through a landscape of clothing scattered in piles on the floor lamenting the amount of laundry cold weather brings. The clouds outside forecast yet another dreary gray day.

As she rekindled the fire in the wood stove wondering if there would be snow this year the realization hit: no need for a laundry lament today, the seed catalogs had arrived! #daymade!

With chores completed and catalogs spread on the table it was time for a hot cup of tea, some graph paper and big dreams! Oh what pleasure came from drawing out a garden plan and making a list of seeds to buy. Of course, there is a big stretch between seeing the fruit produced in the catalog and the reality of producing said fruit in your own garden but that was neither here not there. This is dream time!

The potential of fabulous fruit is there, in her mind’s eye. Succulent tomatoes, crispy cucumbers, new potatoes swathed in butter and the wholesomeness of green beans and broccoli all swirled in her head. She could picture them on her plate, lined up in rows on shelves and tucked in the freezer. There is nothing better than homegrown produce!

Although this year presented new challenges since the determination was made to plant early in the high tunnel and attempt some seedlings. With uncertain inner temperatures this was new territory to explore and hopefully conquer!

You see, the little round woman had an eye for potential. She could see the potential in the garden and she can see the potential in people, especially children. After all, that’s why she was planted in far northeast Texas in the grove of mostly pecan trees and that why she lived in the little yellow house with her five dogs. Give kids the right environment, proper nutrition and appropriate nurturing and the possibilities are endless! Seeing the rebellious discover the love of Jesus and become a new creation is pure delight! Watching the explosive growth discipleship brings to young adults intent upon the pursuing the Lord is utter bliss indeed!

However, seeing potential can sometimes be a detriment if there is too much focus on potential and not enough on reality. Unfortunately, there are some with great potential who do not choose to raise their head to the sun, receive the water or submit to the pruning the Master Gardener brings. Sadly, these plants do not thrive and often produce sickly fruit.

The good news is: inside each of us is a seed of potential, a seed of faith planted there by God Himself. Each seed with great potential to bear fruit in the Kingdom. What will we do with the seed we have been given? Will we allow the seed to be buried in the dark and broken apart so new life can squeeze out? Will we wait for our roots to anchor in the soil so we can grow up out of the darkness and into the light? Will we submit to the Master Gardener so He can fertilize and prune us into shape helping us through the dry seasons to receive the refreshing rain?

It’s a choice. An environment of love bears much fruit. Love is patient and love is kind but love also sets boundaries and enacts discipline. Love is not jealous or envious but it rejoices and encourages, it is not rude or self-seeking, it bears all things and never fails.

The potential is there. Do you see it?

“For I will turn to you with favor and regard and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will establish and confirm my covenant with you” ~ Leviticus 26:9

The Little Round Woman

Recently, I was approached about writing an article for a monthly community newspaper which has since morphed into a column. I hope you enjoy reading. It is a little twist on what I have written in the past.

Near a tiny little town in far northeast Texas lies a grove of mostly pecan trees. Underneath that grove of mostly pecan trees nestles a little yellow farmhouse inside of which is a little round woman and her five dogs. It was the little round woman’s dream to one day have a cow and as such things do happen, the day came where she not only a cow but a farm full of animals.

The little round woman is a minister dressed in farmer’s clothing and has a heart for children – children of all ages, even grown ones. She pictured herself as ‘the (not so old) woman who lived in a shoe and had so many children she didn’t know what to do’ until the Lord reminded the little woman she absolutely knew what to do. She knew to pray for the children, love them and make sure they were not forgotten or allowed to fall through the cracks of life.

It’s like this: the Bible says every child is a blessing; they are a heritage, a reward and blessed is the man (or wo-man) whose quiver is full of them. Every child, not just some, but every child is a reward. Not everyone realizes this. Whether the child has been wanted, abandoned, abused, neglected, cherished or nurtured, every one is a reward. Some are loved and wanted but are not parented; others are tossed aside or smothered.

The Lord told the little round woman, “I’m going to give you a place where children can come and get back to the basics of life. Where they can belong, build community, grow food and get fed, learn job skills and hard work and most of all, get to know Me!” And He did. So she did.

And that’s how GlenHaven Farm, home of the Grove was born. GlenHaven Farm became the vehicle for the ministry. In this day of video games, processed food, and isolation, we bring the kids outside in the fresh air and sunshine where they can get back to the basics of life. From milking a cow and hauling hay to Bible studies and prayer, we gather together so God can transform us!

GlenHaven Farm raises pastured meat and eggs. We teach animal husbandry in a sustainable manner as God’s provision for meat and income. Basic financial principles and educational responsibility are encouraged. Muscles strengthen, endurance builds and confidence grows. Relationships develop as we work side by side and enjoy meals together under the trees and around the kitchen table. Four generations on forty acres doing what they can to change the culture one truth at a time.

Learning opportunities include basic carpentry, safe power tool usage, calf wrangling, food preservation, cheese making and a host of other skills. Tire swings, collecting eggs and chasing goats are treats for the little ones in-between spelling words and reading practice. While the ever ubiquitous weeding, sweeping and poop scooping keep us all humble!

But, by far the greatest joy is the babies, both animal and human! The first of the 4th generation arrived a year ago with another due early 2020. Multiplication and legacy are the keywords of the day. The little round woman is happy in her little yellow house in the grove of mostly pecan trees mostly because she knows the Lord is good! She lives His goodness every day and you can too.

Glen Haven Farm meats and other products are available for sale on site at their farm store Eggscetera, online @ http://www.glenhaventx.com and at the Winnsboro Farmers Market.

In this case, you’re not just buying local but you’re growing local too.

Warrior

Photo by Susan Livingston

A common Christian cliché is: God will never give you more than you can handle. Many of us fall prey to these words, especially when we have also fallen on hard times. Scripture has a lot to say about trials and tribulations, but truthfully that cliché is nowhere in the Bible. I have always found it difficult to decipher how I am supposed to handle the painful, sorrowful areas of life, so God sent me Warrior.

I consider myself a connoisseur of dogs, specifically large breed dogs that most people find undesirable. My mom has a tendency to huff and puff when I find a big baby like Warrior, before finally admitting that I only get it from her! We found Warrior at a junkyard, in a cage, on a hot summer day, after being hit by a car. Though he was clearly in pain he greeted us with a smile and that did me in.

His previous humans gave him to us, as they could not afford to care for him, so he became a part of our family. A defenseless, injured pup that we found out had two broken hips and a broken femur. He had to have surgery to repair the damage, and a bit of rehabilitation before he could walk, but he was worth it.

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Photo by Samie Perez

Now Warrior is Glenhaven’s best guardian and loudest line of defense. He is a Great Pyrenees mix, so he is nocturnal with instincts to guard, and to listen.  He finds snakes (and sometimes turtles) and corners them until we can kill them, and he keeps other dogs away . He is an essential part to life at Glenhaven that we would never have had if he had not recovered from his injuries successfully.

Warrior taught me a pivotal lesson. It took less than 2 seconds for him to be hit by a car, but both surgery and long-term recovery for him to get back to normal. There was nothing he could do on his own to start the process of recovery or to heal himself. He was this crazy talented LGD (livestock guardian dog) that needed help.

Here was this dog who naturally would be self-reliant, who after a terrible injury needed help. If this was the case for a dog, why do I assume that it is not the case for me? Why is it so easy to believe the common cliché over Scripture? John 16:33 say’s “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

That means we can trust the fight is not for us to face alone. While Scripture does teach us that we will face tribulation, there is nowhere that God tells us to conquer or face it on our own or in our own strength. The victory is His and His alone! Whatever you’re struggling with today, take it from Warrior, depend on the community God set around you and His victory on the cross to get you through it. It may take time, but His glory revealed through the warrior you are becoming will always outshine the pain and suffering.

Recipes and References

Welcome to GlenHaven Farm!

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Hello! Sweet Pea here! Let me explain a little side note: we are in the process of renovating our site so if things seems a bit disjointed we’re sorry. Please bear with us as we get situated! The techno learning curve for these farmers is almost as big as my pregnant belly! 

 

 

One of the main products we raise is pastured chicken.  Currently they are sold whole and frozen so our customers frequently ask:

img_1730.jpgWhat do I do with this whole chicken?

Well, friend, let me tell ya!

There are Continue reading

G is for GlenHaven

Big G

G for GlenHaven

GlenHaven Farm – brought to you by the letter G! G for GlenHaven, G for God, G for green pastures and great animals. Gee it’s gosh darn hot outside so pass the sweet tea and take  few minutes to chat! Just when you think you can’t take another day of heat and humidity, (I liken it to roasting a wet sponge), God sends the rain! Hallelujah – it happened this morning and today, G is for glorious!

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We’ve got two very pregnant cows scheduled to deliver any day now. My plan was for them to be pregnant at separate times of the year, not at the same time  – somehow they didn’t get that memo so we’ve had no fresh milk since May! Aaagh – difficult for us raw milk addicts around here! So, for them G is for get on with it, already!

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G is also for goats, more specifically, Nigerian Dwarf goats! Their chief job around here is to prove no fence can stand against their escape tactics and then to climb on your lap so you can’t be mad at them! They’re very affectionate and nothing brings comfort like a 10 goat cuddle as the day wanes into night!

Jerid and Truman

Jerid and Truman

But the best part of the letter G is the great workers we have around here – running a farm like this is definitely a group effort, each person doing their part and we appreciate all they do!

I could GO on and on (see what I did there?) but I will go ahead and save some G words for another post.

Happy Farming!

 

 

 

 

Never Too Late

As I was perusing through Ezekiel during my quiet time I was drawn to chapter 33:14, “Again when I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die, if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right … ” I realized with a fresh awareness of the LOVE God has for each of us.

In the Old Testament, God exhibited His love by sending prophet after prophet to pull His children back from the brink of disaster; sometimes they listened but most of the time they were so caught up in doing what they wanted to do instead of what they should do. Often they didn’t see how trapped they were in a mess of their own making.

I have great experience with this . . .

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He was patient, told story after story, gave sign after sign, often waiting  decades for people to get the message; sending many warnings yet they wouldn’t listen. He only wanted them to have the best life possible.

I am familiar with not wanting to listen, too. IMG_1195

It’s a simple deal, really. We all make mistakes and do dumb things (some are dumber than others) but it’s never too late, no matter what we’ve done, to turn and walk a different way. Jesus is just waiting for us to call Him so He can pour out His grace on us.

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See, Jesus died for us – He gave His life so we could hang out with God both now and for eternity – through Him! Giving our life to Jesus is not just about eternity, it’s about having a more peaceful, fulfilling life here and now.  If you’re anything like me, you tried to find contentment in a myriad of ways: drugs, alcohol, poor relationships or material possessions and none of it mattered. None of those things can take away the pain or bring peace and contentment like Jesus can.

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We don’t deserve it – He did it anyway – that’s love.

Do you need some Jesus in your life? Do you need a fresh start?

Then make a decision to talk to Him right now.

Say something like this: “Jesus I have messed up and I am done with that type of life! Will you forgive me and help me walk a different way, Your way? Thank you for dying on the cross for me – I give my life to you Jesus! Amen!

That’s it.

Now, round up a Bible and start reading the book of John. It’s in the New Testament, 4th book and see the love God has for you! And when  you get to Chapter 14:6 underline or highlight this verse:

“For I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 

Just so you know – He is the WAY to truth and life, the only way –

and  if I had not given my life to Jesus I would probably be dead now….

 

Just do it! You won’t regret it!