Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weathering the Storms...

It's an eerie sound in the stillness before a storm to hear the rain inching its way across the field towards the farmhouse. When the storm hits it blows through the trees in the woods, it races around the corner of the farmhouse, and sends the porch swing banging into the house.

 The storm races my personal life "storms" rage at times. Too often though I initially cringe as oncoming winds of a storm race around "the corners" of my life. I cry out, "Why Lord?!" instead of crying out, "What Lord would you have me to learn of you through this storm?"....

The frequent storms we've had lately nourish our crops, and fill the farm ponds we use to irrigate. So we count them a blessing from God's hand! 

The guys have been digging potatoes in the mud, harvesting greens in the rain, and at best getting soaked from the knees down a lot this season. For some vegetables, it's a blessing as they soak up the moisture. For others, they've rotted in the ground. Such is life on a farm. 

The children and I have been playing in the kitchen this week. I don't have any grand experiment of my own to post...though I did "perfect" my zucchini pizza and have amended last week's post with pictures and my new recipe, which can be found just below this one. Give it a try as it's DELICIOUS! 

This blog is dedicated to all the children that read our blog...even the child at heart among us! I've asked my children to share their inventions with you. Here are a couple of the recipes I heard them narrate to me this past week...

Charity Rose (7) is my first "guest chef" this week on the blog. She makes a great stir fry and isn't encumbered by any traditions or rules, so she has a fresh perspective in the kitchen. Her new ideas repeatedly make me take a double-take! So, let's look at what she made a few weeks ago...

Charity's Gleanings
Stir Fry

"Open the refrigerator door and look at what you have. I had a turnip, Swiss Chard and Arugula greens, onion, garlic, and herbs. I use whatever makes me hungry! I like squash and kohlrabi too!"

Wash all your vegetables and gather a cutting board, knife, saute pan or wok, olive oil, and a spatula. 

Heat the pan on medium high, add a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.

Slice an onion thinly.

Chop a large clove of garlic real small.
(For little hands, I find a Pampered Chef chopper is easiest to use. I use it a lot myself too!)

 Add the onion and garlic to your pan and stir real good.

Gather washed greens. It's OK to use several different kinds!

 Slice the greens into long pieces, then cut across to make it easier to eat.

Add the greens to your pan with the onions and garlic. Stir until greens are wilted. Season with salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning, or other herbs you like. Optional: Squeeze a half of a lemon over the finished greens.

(A mother's notes...When Charity chooses other vegetables she throws them all in a bowl together and adds them together. I've grown up arranging all my vegetables on a round tray in order of how long they'll take to cook. I like Charity's time-saving methods, and it tastes yummy to boot!)

Recently we had a shake and popcorn night here with the younger children. We had eaten a late lunch and it was know the feeling as a Mom or Dad...Everyone was a little too hot to eat, but they needed to eat SOMETHING! I declared it was shake and popcorn night, and everyone came scampering to the kitchen with rekindled spirits! 

If you'd like to try this, I recommend laying down a few guidelines...for us it was ask permission for ingredients, and let the adults help you learn to sweeten your shake. We talked about what veggies and fruits work together well. Then they worked out their own recipes! We had fun and the outcome of their efforts were amazing!

Faith Anne's 
Market "Sorbet"

2 C. Raw Milk
1 C. Frozen Blueberries
5 Small Carrots
Double Handful of Ice Cubes
Dash of Vanilla Extract (we use imitation, so adjust)

Blend milk and ice cubes on high in a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients. Sweeten to taste, blending again.  Serves with popcorn for a light meal when it's REAL hot!

(A mother's notes...If you'd like more of a shake, use 1 handful of ice cubes. Faith Anne ate hers with a spoon!)

Levi was the winner in our shake night meal. At 9 years old he too is very creative, and has an eye for the unusual like Charity. This is a frugal way to use Swiss Chard STEMS.

Levi's Green Shake

4 Small Carrots
1 Bunch of Swiss Chard STEMS
 (Reserve greens for another recipe!)
1 C. Frozen Blueberries
5 Ice Cubes
2-3 C. Milk (Keep the vortex moving, add milk to thin.)
1/2 C. Peanut Butter
Splash Vanilla
2 T. Sugar or Sweet Blend to taste

Blend milk and ice cubes in blender on high. Add remaining ingredients. Adjust sweetness. Serve immediately. 

Why does it take me so long to submit to the "Wind"? He has shown Himself so loving, patient and, protective in past storms...the rains nourish the soil of my life allowing the fruits of love, joy, and sweet peace to bear fruit that feeds my spirit. 

 This season of my life is right in the midst of a tempest where the storm rages the fiercest! God's Spirit has whispered encouragement to me that I know by faith will help me come forth with a stronger faith, a closer walk, and a greater picture in my heart of my awesome God!

Are you in a "storm" of a trial right now? Maybe this poem, sent to me by my son Matthew a few years ago will has for me, each time I read it! (Thanks Matthew!)

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.

I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."

"Wait? You say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a "yes", a go-ahead sign,
Or even a "no" to which I can resign.

And Lord, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."

So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.

All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be...
You would have what you want--But, you wouldn't know Me.

You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair; 
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;

You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

You'd never experience that fullness of love 
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You'd know that I give and I save...(for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that "My grace is sufficient for Thee."
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!

So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late
My most precious answer of all is still, "WAIT".

For further encouragement please read,  "Five Words That Can Change Your Life". This is a post I wrote during another "storm" in my life. May it be a blessing to you.

"I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel..."
Isaiah 43:1b-3a

Abundant Blessings,
The Farmer's Wife
Val Colvin
"Lill' Val" (The Farmer's Wife) with "Big Val",
Valerie Siricco my aunt

P.S. Don't forget to view my updated version of Zucchini Pizza's in last week's blog below.