Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fear vs. Love

My dear friend and sister in Christ posted this blog post the other day, and I just had to share it. I can very well relate to this post and in fact, just reading the Scriptures at the end brought me to tears. I asked her if I could re-post it on my blog and she graciously said I could. I hope it is as much of a blessing to ya'll as it has been to me.
and without further ado.....

Fear vs Perfect Love

A Bridegrooms love for his Bride is only a reflection of God's Perfect love for His Church.

Perfect Love - Agape love, a love that only God can show. Love that can never fail. A Love that defeats fear.

Fear - fear, dread, terror a) that which strikes terror ...a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Have you ever experienced fear? I have. The things I fear the most usually come in the form of thoughts...little lies that have a bit of truth in them or questions. The devil knows how to work, he plants a thought and lets it fester for awhile and then comes back and picks at it and on top of that pours salt in the wound.

I am going to try to make this short and sweet, I have actually been writing this over a period of about three weeks now, but I kept getting interrupted (that happens when you live in a family of five adults and one teenager).

Lately I have been struggling with a lot of fear in my life, fears of the future, fears of not choosing correctly in big decisions, fears of one day becoming the woman that I swore I never would be, fear of being a bad wife and mother, fears that my body will never be perfect and that no man would ever want me, fear after fear had overtaken me, consumed my thoughts to the point of deep depression.

A lot of it could have been dealt with had I just taken it to both of my Fathers (heavenly and earthly), but instead (as always) I tried to fix it on my own. I worked and worked at it for weeks, but instead of getting better my brother, sisters and Dad started to notice I was very snappy, I never smiled, I couldn't communicate with them and I was just all in all miserable.

My Dad asked me one day why I had not talked to him about these things, at first I was annoyed, why would I want to talk about these things in my life that scared me so bad? Why would I want one of the people that I try to please the most to know my faults and fears? But it was through him that I realized that God wants us to communicate our fears to him and our earthly authorities. It was only then that I could see the folly of these thoughts, fears, and emotions.

God does not want our lives to be ruled by fear, if He did why would He have sent His one and ONLY Son to die for us, when we could have just continued to sacrifice and live as best we could and only hope that we had done enough to appease God and get into heaven? Why would He write a love letter to each and everyone of us? Why would He love us that much? Why?

Because He is our Father, our Creator, our Bridegroom, our Last Adam, our Perfect Love, our Jehovah-Jireh, The Great I AM.

Only God can take my fears away and turn them into His strength, just like Paul's thorn in the flesh (see 2 Cor. 12:9-10). I really believe that is all I can say in my own words, but I think that the Word will have some light to shed on without further ado, here is 1 John 4 to finish off this post:

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."

visit her blog at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Fall Market

This past Saturday I was blessed to attend a small market in Monroe. I really enjoyed the day, and the Lord blessed my sales as well!

I had stayed up til 2 am that morning getting ready for it, and had to get up at 5 to load my truck. But I did it. And while walking outside that morning, while the sky was still navy bean blue and filled with stars, I was blessed with a brilliant sight. I witnessed an extremely bright falling star. I *so* needed to see that. I literally said out loud to myself, "WHOA." I then whispered a "thank you" as my warm breath made smoke in the cold autumn air.

I proceeded loading my truck, feeling cozy with the thought that I was not alone. Feeling blessed that the same God that made those gorgeous stars also made me. Feeling loved with the thought that He also holds my future.

I got to the market site. I had beat the sun. My tent was up before it was. It was freezing. But it was beautiful when the sun decided to wake.

I love this photo. It captures the feeling of that morning so well. It's a few men with their old GMC pick-up. They made very good Barbeque.

My table was filled with my herbal goodies. :)

And I, of course, had to bring what few zinnias I had left.

Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Few Things on Fall...

Tonight is the full hunter's moon. I went outside to take a look, but it's too cloudy out here to view it in its full glory tonight. But I know it's still shining. And ever so brightly.

The clouds just cover it.

You all know how I love analogies. Here's another occasion for one. :)

I know a lot of people who are going through hard times right now. Whether it's education, family, relationships...whatever it may be. Life is hard. There are ups and downs. I am struggling right now. There are a lot of unanswered questions. I feel like I have used the words "why" and "I don't know" way yonder too much the past several months. And sometimes, even when I know the moon is full, I look up, and all I see are clouds.

Does this make sense? I know God is in control, I know I can trust Him, and I know everything is going to be okay. Yet I look to the sky and wonder why I can't see the moon in all its brilliancy.

Oh it's there. It is. I promise. But sometimes there are clouds that block its full view. Just like if you were walking down a road. Maybe you know you are on the right road. But maybe all you can see are the steps you are taking right at that moment. You know it's a good road you are on..... (I have another analogy I could use, but I shall spare that for a later time. ;) Okay, back to the moon and such..... :)

I remember reading a journal entry I had written several years back. I was trying to be poetic I suppose at the end of my entry and said something to the effect of how it was so dark outside, and how brilliantly the sun must be shining on the other side of the world. I thought that was neat.

So tonight as I think on that beautiful hunter's moon that is right outside my bedroom window as I sit here typing this....yes, I may not see all it's brilliancy right now and I may not even be able to see it tomorrow night... I know that it's there. There. Where it has always been. Shining with such great vigor that it glorifies its Maker.

And that same Maker has plans for me. My life and His plan...kinda like that moon. There will be times when I can see the full glory and beauty of it all, and there will be times where all I can see are the clouds. But I must live with the contentment, joy, and peace that comes with the same knowing as when a moon is still shining on a cloudy night.

I hope this makes sense. It does to me. Sometimes it's hard to articulate what's in my heart. But I think it's good to make an effort.

On a simpler and slightly more light-hearted note, let me just say how thankful I am for Fall right now!! The cooler temperatures and the changing mural of leaves is a welcome stranger. Autumn truly is a beautiful time of year. I was looking through some photos from last year, and came across a few from a trip on the Blueridge Parkway I had taken with some great friends last October. They capture the beauty of Fall so well I thought I'd share some. :)

Amazing. Absolutely amazing how our Creator blessed us with such beauty to behold. :)

Well, a little update.....we found wonderful homes for all four of our precious kittens, so we are thankful for that. :) We do love our kittens so much.

A few days ago, Makayla's friend Betsy came over to play. It was so precious to see them play and spend time with the kittens. Made me wish I was a small girl again. Mmmmm.... :)

Now that, is brilliancy. :) Love these sweet beauties of childhood.

Hope everyone has a beautiful rest of the week!

And don't forget.... that glorious hunter's moon... it is shining... ever so brightly

Psalm 8:3-4
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The first day of autumn... trust... and I finally smell like a horse again!

The Autumnal Equinox took place on the twenty-third. It made me happy. The season has finally changed. So begins a new season in my life. Summer is over. The events that took place have passed. A new season has arrived. I am grateful. I am scared. I have a lot to do. I wonder. I ask. I am confused. Yet the leaves fall and I will look to each one and decide to look upon them ~ not as dead members of a tree, but as an opportunity for new life to begin.

This past summer I have learned a lot about trust. And lost a lot of it. I have always taken people at face-value. This year that has hurt me. It confused me and it hurt me. It encouraged me, though, that there is only One Being with whom I can fully put my trust in. That is my Creator. My Savior. The One who formed me and fashioned me. It has grown me closer to my True Lover than I ever thought possible. And that has been amazing.

On the Twenty-third I was blessed to be able to go riding with a very good friend of mine. I have not ridden horses since my auto accident back in '09. I have been hankering to something fierce! but just have not had the time. Now, many of you don't know that I used to own horses, but had to sell them back in '08. Anyway, needless to say, this equine-loving country gal was LONG overdue for some good horse therapy, that's for sure. It was such a beautiful day; a wonderful day; a freeing day. I thought to myself...hmm, riding horses is a form of trust. Maybe it is possible for me to trust again. The thought made me smile.

Well, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and it turned out to be a most remarkable day.

Psalm 20:7
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Ruth 2:12
The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

Psalm 5:11
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Psalm 16:1
Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Family Fun!

We were extremely blessed to have a very relaxing Sunday, and able to spend a lot of sweet family time together. :) It's days like this that I cherish. It's days like this that I will remember for the rest of my life. Days like this, I can hardly fathom how remarkably blessed I am.

We love to play wiffle ball. We kinda have our own rules that we play by, and sometimes that includes regularly changing those rules. ;) We are always so silly when we get to playing this game! I love it. That much laughing is good for the soul. :)

I just had to include these. =) Our family raises such sweet cats! I don't know what it is, but we always do. :)

I hope everyone had as blessed a Sunday as we did!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Musings...

Today went by with such a fervor that I can't even remember taking a breath. Well, I take that back. Yes, the first eight hours of the day were complete craziness (isn't that the way it is in any work place on a Monday?), but I finally got to the point of clocking out and heading towards home.

I finally did take a breath, changed into my Levi's, and went out to look after my chickens. I decided it was time to put my little brood of five yongsters in with the rest of the flock. They have never been happier! I have grown very fond of those five. They were hatched at a time when I really needed to see new life. They were a blessing to me in the darkest part of my summer. And boy have they grown! They seemed to mingle with the rest of the birds very well. That made me happy. :)

I got to sit down outside for a while with some of my favorite gardening books (ha! Is it EVER too early to start planning for next season??! My brain is so full right now it is (happily) overwhelmed! "Hairy vetch...when do I plant that? Gotta get my tiller back...which market will I do next year...gotta sell my truck...need a source for seedlings...or a greenhouse..haha...don't you dare start looking at seed catalogs now, Jess...need to read more about irrigation...oh and brush up on companion planting...." etc and etc! =)

It was really nice sitting out there, soaking up the sun and watching the long, late afternoon shadows it cast.

.....Have ya'll noticed all the butterflies out lately?

Oh my goodness. I love butterflies. So very much.
Just another thing that is so precious to me. I love to watch as they carelessly flit about. I was talking to a co-worker the other day about the little beauties and how much I loved them. I told her I loved how they always seemed so happy. She replied by saying that even if they occasioned a little unhappiness, then we would have no way of knowing. Hah! I puckered my lower lip in a sad face and told her, oh well, they seemed like they were always happy to me. :)

I think it's true. They are amazing creatures. They're beautiful. And to me, they are a symbol of joy. Of happiness. And almost, of peace. I guess it's not that they "carelessly" flit about. Because they are certainly smart. After all, the Monarchs migrate to Mexico I've been told! How incredible is that?

I guess....well, I guess they just peacefully flit about. I like that. And when I see butterflies, it always brings a smile to my face.

Here's one little happy fella I shot a picture of while outside today...

While I am at it, let me post a couple pictures of the adorable kittens we have right now! There are four in this litter, and they are about four weeks old right now. Definitely the cutest stage of a kitty's life! They are so much fun to have around, and oh. so. cute. :)

Happy Monday, everyone!!

Monday, August 22, 2011


I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight. Silence would teach him the joys of sound.

Now and then I have tested my seeing friends to discover what they see. Recently I asked a friend, who had just returned from a long walk in the woods, what she had observed. "Nothing in particular," she replied.

How was it possible, I asked myself, to walk for an hour through the woods and see nothing worthy of note? I, who cannot see, find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch. I feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf. I pass my hands lovingly about the smooth skin of a silver birch, or the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. In spring I touch the branches of trees hopefully in search of a bud, the first sign of awakening nature after her winter's sleep. Occasionally, if I am very fortunate, I place my hand gently on a small tree and feel the happy quiver of a bird in full song.

~Helen Keller

I am reading a very good book right now, and included within its pages was this amazing account.

Ponder that for just a second.

Now, me...see, I am already a very observant person. I inhale sunshine, I tarry under the dappled shade of an old, spreading oak tree. My heart smiles at each mockingbird that rushes from brush to bramble. I love God's creation. I appreciate it.

But think for just a second....all Helen Keller-isms we really observe, inhale, inspire, digest, and truly, truly appreciate everything that God has blessed us with. We can see. We can touch, feel, hear, smell, and communicate. We have health, we have our needs supplied. We have the love of our families.

We must take the time and "feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf".

Absolutely no denying it. I never want to be guilty of walking through the woods, or life, guilty of observing "nothing in particular".

Monday, August 15, 2011

...and God gave me flowers

Ya know how sometimes life can really be confusing? Ya know how sometimes the ordinary seems really ordinary and you just feel like you're existing? It's really hard to explain. To articulate. But I just have to share this fact.

I planted sunflowers this season with muh excitement. I love them. Always have. A lot. Well, all season I watched as the plants matured and grew, and were just about to bloom. I always looked upon them with love, with anticipation for them to finally stretch those petals and shine.

This summer has been a good summer for me. It has been joyous, exciting...and it has been solemn. It has been hard in many parts. And as much as I despise cold weather, I am ready for the season to change. For indeed, there is a time and a season for everything. But this summer has been one of growth. I have grown. I have laughed and smiled, and I have wept bitterly. I am not going to go into all the reasons and the details. There is no need for that. Suffice it to say, well, like I said, it's just been one long summer of growing. Trying. Crying. Calling out to my Savior. Him taking me by the hand and saying, "It's okay, Jessi. Just trust me." Him holding me, and whispering into my ear, "I love you." He has blessed me. He has protected me. He has been gracious, faithful; and His loving-kindness has not been exhausted.

One day I went out to Darby Farms. I was really strugging this particular day. I was trying, I really was, but I just needed to go and cry and talk to my Abba Father. I went out to the field, and I knew I had a lot of picking to do, and I remembered to myself ...."ooooh, I bet a lot of the flowers have bloomed!" (for it had been a few days since being out there)

I parked my truck in the middle of the field like always, and even before I swung my legs out of the truck door, I saw them. There they were. Stately, gentle, humble, and oh so lovely yellow---sunflowers. It was a strange sensation. I slammed the door, I threw down my harvesting baskets (for I was supossed to be picking peppers) , and I raced down to where the small regiment of flowers stood. They were beautiful. I crawled under my electric fence and came close to them. I bent one very tall one down to my face. With my eyes I absorbed its beauty. Its detail. Its intricacy. I released it and took a few steps back. I went to the next bloom. This one had more color. It looked like a gorgeous sunset. I stood back again. I looked down the row of flowers. I smiled.

The wind blew slightly, tossling my long hair over my shoulders.

I stood still. I was overwhelmed by this gift of yellow beauty.

Then it was like God reached down, put His hand on my shoulder, and said.

"See baby. These are from me. I hope you like them; I sure do love you."

Tears began to flow. I strode back to the stand of flowers, I gazed up at them through a watery gaze.

"Thank you."

Thank you so much.

This may seem different. It may even seem way too transparent. But I am a passionate and transparent person. Truth is; fact of the matter is, well, this moment was incredibly special to me. And I believe with everything within me that those flowers were a gift from my heavenly Father. Just as His word is a Love letter, well... He brought me flowers. He loves me. Enough to show me His loving-kindness and his grace through a humble stand of Sunflowers.

Thank you, Father. I love you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

~Blessings at Darby's~

I have to say, one of my favorite things this Summer has been going out to Darby Farms and having a garden space over there. It has been a challenge, no doubt, and if it weren't for some certain factors in my life right now, I know it could have been even better. But the fact is: The Lord has blessed it abundantly.

I wanted to share some photos of the garden out there, since I really haven't posted much about it at all. It has been such a fun and wonderful and challenging and back-breaking and overwhelming and awesome adventure. :)

This is my very first year growing watermelon. Well, all right, I did grow "Sugar Baby" watermelon one year, and it did pretty well, but to me, that ain't a REAL watermelon. Ya know, a good ol' "Georgian sweet and juicy and oh my goodness give me more" melon. This year I knew I wanted to grow some of the aforementioned variety. So I did. And while I have yet to taste them, for they are still quite small, I have a feeling they are going to be delectable! I am quite excited. :)

It is the chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented.
~Mark Twain

The rain we were blessed with two weeks ago certainly helped out with things a great deal. Note Daniel Dover's portable chicken pens in the distance. Just one more blessing of being out there is being close to all his happy chickens and turkeys.

One of MANY pepper plants and MANY varieties. It's funny how much I love to grow peppers, considering I will only eat the sweet ones. ;) Oh well, they are so much fun to grow!

Beautiful watermelon vines..... (happy sigh)

To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds and watch their renewal of life -- this is the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can do.
-Charles Dudley Warner

Gotta have plenty of good ol' okra and squash!!

The kiss of the sun for pardon.
The song of the birds for mirth.
One is nearer God's heart in a garden.
Than anywhere else on earth.

`Dorothy Franes Blomfield Gurney

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Markets 4 and 5 :)

The Market on July 2nd was the best market yet. Plus, it was so much fun to be there and enjoy the patriotic spirit that filled the air!

Enjoy a few pics from that day. :)

The Market this past Saturday was also very good! I am just really, really enjoying these so very much!!