Traveling in Georgia

We’re traveling in Georgia today. Making deliveries for Azure Standard and visiting local farms and families along the way.

As soon as we began this trip I was craving raw milk. I decided to start searching online for a family farm who offers raw milk to their local community. I found, My Dad and Me Family Farm out of Powder Springs GA, who appeared to have just what I was looking for. When I called, I was greeted by a sweet young woman named Anna, the daughter of Daniel and Susan. I told her who I was and what I was looking for. Anna was friendly and knowledgeable. I explained we were just passing through as we made deliveries and were hoping we could stop by to pick up some raw milk on our way. They are normally closed by six however, she said she would be open and welcomed us with a smile.

My Dad and Me Family Farm

After a long day of deliveries and fighting Atlanta, Georgia traffic, I told my Joe and Daniel, “We’re here to breath. Let’s get out and be refreshed.” We all agreed that I had suggested a splendid idea.

Danny played in puddles as we made our way up the driveway.

Daniel Playing in Puddles

 

It was raining lightly; you know the kind of rain that I’m talking about don’t you? Like the rain, you welcome and feel refreshed as you lift your head and hands toward heaven. It was that type of rain!

The farm was peaceful. I could see the cows grazing in the pasture, hear the chickens clucking, and see an assortment of fruits and veggies growing in soil that looked well nourished and cared for.

cows grazing

 

gardenmydadandme

We took some time to wander the farm, clear our minds and stretch our legs. The hospitality from Anna was as refreshing as the rain. We gathered an assortment of goodies for our trip on the road: Cheese, Jerky, raw milk, fresh asparagus, honey, and granola. Best of all, we made new friends. I look forward to getting to know this family more.

Danny and Joe enjoying the farm

 

raw milk

If you’re traveling in Georgia I would highly recommend you take time to visit My Dad and Me Family Farm. You can read more about their family and farm when you visit their website. Don’t forget to like them on Facebook as well.

As Danny would say, “Today was a great day!”

Traveling in Georgia

Proverbs 16:20: Handling Matters Wisely

Proverbs 16:20

 “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.”

Wisdom gains respect now and in the future.  A man/woman who is found to be wise in his/her affairs is spoken highly of by others.

When we handle all matters wisely, it is a reflection of our discipline of abiding in God’s Word.

Without His Word, we could not give discernment to the decisions made (see Proverbs 13:13).  When we abide in God; we have not only our human ability to make a decision, but we have that of the Holy Spirit who comforts us with wisdom and encouragement and points us to our LORD Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:17-18).

We must remember that when we handle matters in the world, the world is watching, even in small matters. We live for Christ, and he will keep us in perfect peace when we set our minds on Him.

Handling Matters Wisely Blog

When we trust in the LORD the reward is more than the profit of man’s praise; the reward is God’s blessing to be established, grounded, eternity minded, yielding spiritual fruit, and perfect peace; because our mind and our heart is stayed on Him (see Jeremiah 17:7-8 and Isaiah 26:3-4).

Prayer: Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Your loving kindness and truth preserve us. Show us how to be wise in your Word and ready to give an answer to those who ask about our hope in you.  We will praise you today and ever more with all our heart and glorify your name forever; for you are worthy! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Abiding Still

7 Essential Steps To Grow A Garden Successfully

Anyone else planting a garden this year? The last few years, I’ve been assigning the garden to different children. I was telling my mother this evening that while I saw a lot of character growing, we didn’t get much plant growth. This year, I will be using other sources for character growth and take the garden back into my hands.

I do love to garden.

The beautiful weather here in Kansas has brought out the desire of planting a garden in many of us. Emails and private messages have already started coming in. I always have so much fun getting to know new gardeners and hearing their excitement; it’s contagious. We all have the same question, just asked in different ways, How do I plant and grow a garden successfully? I decided I would take some time to answer that question in a blog post with my 7 essential steps to grow a garden successfully.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional horticulturist by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t even call myself a gardener. “Cultivator” would describe me best. I enjoy playing in the dirt and pulling up weeds. I thrive on the challenges nature presents, humbled by rewards hard work produces, and motivated to learn more all the time. In this blog post, I am sharing resources that have been a genuine help to me. I will also share how I used them or what I learned most from them. The books listed in this blog post are link to my Amazon affiliate program- only click through if you’d like to support the blog. All other links listed in this blog post are not connected to any affiliate program. Well, now that I have that out of the way, let’s get started talking about the 7 essential steps to grow a garden successfully.

7 essential steps to grow a garden successfully

Step 1 Plan My Garden

Spring days are spent planting all the dreams I’ve ambitiously planned throughout the Winter. For my plants to thrive, I must provide them with optimal growing conditions. I’ve learned that plants are as unique as people. While they may be able to survive in less than optimal conditions, they won’t thrive unless I carefully plan my garden. 

Space requirements-Think with the future in mind! When I am planning my garden, I have to consider the space requirements for the plants I want to grow at maturity, not just their current size. You can find plant sizes listed on most nursery tags or by looking the plant up in a reference book such as Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. The Arbor Foundation also lists a handy Tree Guide that is helpful. My father is excellent at this task of planning. He even designs the garden on paper with the size of the plant sketched out for us so we have a visual of what the garden will look like in 5 years from now, not just this spring. 

Sun/shade requirements- A plant will not thrive if it has too much or too little sun/shade. I would suggest you don’t do like I’ve done in the past and ignore the recommendations listed in the gardening reference book or plant tags. I have been able to keep a plant alive, maybe even had a bit of a success, but it was an upstream swim the entire time. I’ve learned no matter how badly I may want a plant in a certain area of the yard; it’s best to place the plant it where it want’s to grow! 

Soil needs- It’s critical for me to not only know what my plants need in the soil but what my soil needs as well. If I am attentive to both needs, the plants and soil will compliment each other beautifully sharing essential elements with one another.I enjoy using raised beds so I can adjust the soil for each raised bed and the plants that call this place home. 

Planting Zone- Know your planting zone. Simply enter your zip code into the USDA planting zone map to find out the planting zone for your area. So what is a “Planting zone”? Well, to answer that question in the simplest of forms, a planting zone tells you what plants will thrive best in those geographic weather conditions. 

2016 Garden Preparation

Step 2 Feed the Soil We talked about planning your garden by knowing the unique soil needs of your plants. To do this, we have first to start with understanding our soil. I like to use soil testing kits to get a good idea of what my soil needs might be. I’ve found that using the county extension for a soil test is always the best for detailed information. Clean air and water will provide my plants with the oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. I also need to consider my soil’s need for macro and micronutrients. Micronutrients are just as important as the macronutrients it’s just that they are needed in smaller quantities.

Macronutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur.

Micronutrients: Iron, Chlorine, Zinc, Molybdenum, Boron, Manganese, Copper, Sodium, Cobalt.

There are books full of information that shares the importance of the nutrients, how to cultivate them into the soil, and the tell-tell signs our plants will display if they are deficient in a particular nutrient.

Another resource that has been helpful to cultivate healthy garden beds is Lasagne Gardening This book helped me think of gardening in a different way. I had always dug up the ground, but my Joe would “double dig” the plot I was planting. Not only was it hard, back-breaking work, but it was also disrupting all the life within the soil. Since 2004, I have been using the principals I’ve learned from this book. My back and Joe’s back has thanked me a million times. In 2014, we did an experiment here on the farm. We planted the same crop in two different plots with two different methods, the traditional way of tilling the ground and lasagne gardening method. The lasagne garden won hands down! It wasn’t’ even close. The area that used the layering method had far fewer weeds, larger plants, and more produce.

Step 3 Plant quality plants and plant next to their companions! 

We will be planting our favorite plant starts from Sarah Starts through Azure Standard. We’ve used Sarah’s Starts ever since we moved to Kansas; I’ve never been disappointed. I use to start my plants from seeds. However, life has been busy enough that having quality plants from Sarah Starts has been a great blessing to the success of our garden. I first started germinating our garden seeds as a family back in 1998. However, for the time being, I had to set aside this late winter/ early spring tradition of starting my plants from seeds. Once life slows down, I just might get back to this activity. 

I have some dear friends who offer quality seeds through their family business, Seeds for GenerationsI just took a moment to visit their site. In a recent visit to their site, I was delighted to see that they have some excellent tools available that I could share with you. I encourage you to head over there and get to know them more. I am confident you’ll be blessed. In fact, if you sign up for their mailing list they will give you their Garden Planning Calculator. There’s also a training video available called, Garden Planning to Grow More Food. Both of these look like great resources. Thank you to the Matyas family! 

Once I have good quality seeds and plants growing I start plotting out what plants I will put together and which plants I will make sure to keep apart. The children can tell you stories of the year all of our cantaloupes tasted like cucumbers because they thought they had a “better” idea. I’ve studied this concept through the years. It’s more than just keeping certain plants away from each other for fear of them tasting like the other. It’s about plants putting certain nutrients into the ground and pulling other nutrients out. It’s about one plant repelling the pests that would want to invade a neighboring plant. I also use this concept to help extend my growing season with cooler crops by placing plants in the shade of a larger plant. I’ve found I can get a good return on the harvest using this fundamental principal when planting. 

One reference book, on the topic of companion gardening that I have especially appreciated, is Carrots love Tomatoes Companion gardening is something I learned to do many years ago with the help of my mother in law.  I continue to encourage others to learn about companion planting as well. This simple technique has provided tremendous benefits for my garden each year.

Planting A Garden

Step 4 Cultivate 

A garden is not a project for me to start and not finish; not unless I want rows of rubbish! My garden is a place to visit on a daily basis.  For me, a garden is meant to be a place where I spend time observing, mulching, watering, observing, tilling the ground, thinning the plants, planting new plants, observing, removing pests, looking for worms, feeding my soil, getting my hands dirty, and did I mention, observing? Having a successful garden depends on a harmonious relationship between the cultivator, plant, and soil. Just like all relationships.. they take time and steady work.

Step 5 Practice Patience

I cringe when I remember my first year to plant a garden.  It was Spring of 1992. I was a young mother with two little ones. My Joe had been listening to my ideas about a beautiful garden surrounded by a white picket fence for quite some time. I sat for hours in our local library looking at gardening books in-between the picture books with the children. I selectively picked the seeds for each row of the garden that Joe carefully plowed for me. The picket fence and gate were picture perfect. Now I had to wait. I watered the ground every day. By day two I was already growing anxious. Day seven and I was beside myself. I couldn’t wait any longer. I decided I would carefully dig up each seed and just check on it. What a mess I was! I remember the excitement when I uncovered the seeds and saw new life and growth. I would carefully pat the dirt back down on each seed I had uncovered. I remember sharing with my mother in law in the evening on one of our weekend phone calls. I can still her sweet voice of encouragement reminding me to be patient, not to grow weary and then her reminder she often gave me over the years saying, 

“Jeanette, take the time to lean on your hoe.” 

Lord knows that’s a hard task for someone, like me, who has trouble slowing down. It’s a conscience decision I must make and one I have never regretted. I have learned much in life, not just in gardening, but by taking the time to lean on my hoe. 

I don’t remember growing much in the garden that year, but I still benefit today from all that grew inside of me. Nature continues to present many lessons in life’s classroom when I take the time to lean on my hoe. 

This year, Danny Boy will join me in the garden. He will learn to cultivate the soil, feed the plants, water, and even kill the bugs (This should be interesting. Danny Boy finds the good in every living thing and argues when I suggest we kill any insects or rodents). 

Buried Treasure

Step 6 Encourage beneficial bugs. 

The idea that there are beneficial bugs was new to me many years ago. Today, I am carefully managing the garden pests with the help of beneficial bugs and organic practices. This means that I have much more time invested in the garden. We have successfully used our homemade recipe to kill wasps. I’ve learned that garden pests tell a story. Once I research the problem I discover that my soil is needing different nutrients. I’ve had great success with applying raw milk to the garden and pastures. It’s something we do on a large scale when we have our milk cow. This year will be our first Kansas garden year without the dairy cow providing this treasure for our garden so I’m not sure what we’ll be doing in that area. In the past, the children would mix old milk to a ratio of 1 part milk to 5 parts water. They would apply this mixture to the pasture, gardens, and yard with a sprayer. The results are visible right away (within a few days). Foliage will be a vibrant green, and you’ll notice the bad bugs will have moved out to find other poor soil and struggling plants to feed on. We’ve also added, Diatomaceous Earth and Kelp to the garden beds as needed. Spending time in the garden with a watchful eye is critical. It’s vital to be proactive when it comes to encouraging beneficial bugs and creating a habitat where they will thrive, and the garden pests will leave.  If you’d like to read more I would suggest getting the book; Good Bug Bad Bug Is an accessible resource guide to helping identify helpful and non-helpful bugs in the garden. Great visuals with color photographs are included with descriptions of both pests and beneficial bugs. This reference book is used every year in my home. The children like to take it out and identify bugs from the garden as well. 

Step 7 Harvest

If you plant in cycles, you can harvest in cycles. It’s helpful not to have the entire garden needing to be collected, prepared and stored all at the same time. If the first cycle of planting had some poor weather or growing conditions, I would have the ability to get a harvest with the second planting. I can do this in a variety of ways. I can double space the area between plants so that I can plant another plant in between two- three weeks after the first planting. I have also planted one raised bed at the beginning of the season and another garden bed two weeks later.

Another way I extend my harvest is by taking clippings instead of harvesting the entire plant. I will keep an eye on the weather in this regards. If it’s heating up and I’m clipping from a cold weather plant, I will harvest the plant instead of just take clippings. However, if I believe I still have plenty of cool days left to get another harvest, I’ll take cuttings as needed and wait to collect the plant next time.

grow a successful garden

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

Miracles from Heaven Movie Review

I don’t know that I’ve ever done a movie review here on the blog or anywhere else for that matter. I’m sure there are movie review professionals who have a list of do’s and don’ts (I don’t have that list). So, in my Miracles from Heaven movie review, I won’t be talking about the actors that portrayed the family, who produced the film, or if the characters were able to capture the Beam Family’s real life story. Instead, this movie review will share some of my take away thoughts and opinions. I hope this post will be much more than just a movie review. I hope it challenges each of us to think of ways we can make the life of someone else better.

Miracles from Heaven Pinterest

 

Miracles from Heaven Movie Review

I got this, or maybe I don’t…. I don’t know about other mothers, but this movie hit home in many ways. Jennifer Garner portrays Christy Beam, a TX mom who is just trying to hold it all together while she holds onto a child who is dying. The movie did a good job sharing the day in and day out realities of that Truth. As I sat watching the movie with my mother and daughter, many scenes portrayed real life events I’ve walked through myself. From the doctors who go above and beyond their “medical duties” to see us as humans with hopes, dreams, and pain. To the strangers that stop the hectic rush of their lives to give joy and love to ours. As the movie suggests, those are the everyday miracles we can all see if we care enough to look.

Dreams in the face of pain.  My daughter sat on one side of me often saying, “Mom this could be you.” My mother sat on the other side of me, reached over, and patted my leg at one particular scene. I sat in between them thinking, “Lord how did you orchestrate so many tiny details of this movie to reflect real moments of my life?” A trip to Paris is something our family has been trying to put together for Danny for quite some time. We use to say, “As soon as Danny can eat we’re going to have a picnic in Paris.” We thought it would be a great reward for a great accomplishment. However, when Danny’s cardiologist told us his heart was enlarged we started to view time as a gift, we may not be given. I remember Joe saying, “Jeanette, why should we wait, let’s go to Paris!” And so the dream was given some speed to do sooner than later. I am working on passports, have our TSA clearance, have AAA helping plan the trip (which has grown) and the calendar marked for April 2017. Miracles From Heaven shares the dreams and the pain when reality hits with his mighty blow. There are so many moments like that in the life of a child who faces Heaven sooner than the rest of us do.

Alone, yet not alone. I appreciated the producers sensitivity to address the feelings of loneliness, the insensitive comments from people in the Body of Christ, and the love of complete strangers. I can’t tell you how many times my heart has ached because of hurtful words or actions from those in the Body of Christ.

God keeps bringing people into my life to display the depth of God’s love for me, not the Body of Christ’s love for me!

The reality is, God doesn’t need the Body of Christ to show love, understanding, or compassion. He doesn’t need the Body of Christ to come alongside me and help me. God can and does use complete strangers to display His love towards me, and yes, sometimes He uses the Body of Christ too.

I have written another blog post with ideas on how we, as the Body of Christ, can help others. You can read that blog post here:  How To Help When Life is Hard.

Daniel's Hospital Days

A story of Faith, real Faith! Faith that is hard to find and at other times engulfs us. Faith that causes us to soar on the wings of eagles and other times pushes through the hardest and darkest of moments. The journey we each make to work out our Salvation with fear and trembling is a walk of faith that has mountain top experiences and deep valleys. It is a walk that is intimate and should never be pushed onto another person. It’s a journey that God walks with us personally. Miracles from Heaven graciously displayed how we should all be sharing Christ with others and respecting it as a personal journey with God that we can’t and should never try to force on people.

To wrap this unofficial first ever movie review on A Moment with MOM, I would say this film is worth watching. Miracles from Heaven shares the real-life journey of walking with a child through illness and facing death. It’s a 109 min glimpse at how your whole life changes when God invites you to such a journey as this. Miracles from Heaven does an excellent job telling this story in a beautiful and gracious way. If you’d prefer to read the Beam family story, Miracles from Heaven, Amazon has it on sale right now.

Are you planning on seeing this movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

100 Years of Paragraphs

It’s easy to read the Bible and miss the fact that I read from one paragraph to another forgetting about the time it took to live out those paragraphs. Sometimes there are 25 years missing, 100 years of missing paragraphs, or even 1000 years of moments that were never documented.

It’s easy to forget about the days that were lived out in all those missing paragraphs. There’s danger forgetting this reality.

I firmly believe that God wants each of us to share His story in our lives transparently. There are many exhortations for us to leave a record of His faithfulness to generations not yet born, to edify, fellowship, give a testimony of His work in our lives. God has given us this example all throughout Scripture. I read through the Bible, page after page witnessing the great and the small, the most victorious moments and the darkest of times. I read both the private and the public work that God was doing in the lives of generations who lived before us.

And yet, with every page I turn, there are a 1000 more pages never written.

“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jn 21:25). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

I am confident that there are times of space, unwritten paragraphs, that are accessible only to God and the one who lived them. It’s easy for me to forget this detail and often painful when I do.

There are seasons of life that take me to invisible pages, private paragraphs undeniably etched on my heart, yet invisible to those around me or the generations that are to come.

I’m living in-between the spoken promise and the fulfillment of that promise. I’m living in-between all the visible pages that people do see and the written paragraphs they can easily read.

100 years of paragraphs is a journey where Grace called me to take the first step. A place I didn’t want to enter and yet a place where my faith in God has kept me. It is a place where God has spoken to me in undeniable ways and a place where there have been many dangers.

Let me share just three of the many dangers I have found while living out my days, weeks, months, even years in-between 100 years of paragraphs.

100 years FB

The danger of isolation.

A spirit of discernment directs me to speak and to remain silent, to act and to be still. When God calls me to a place of silence, I must remember He has not called me to a place of isolation. God is always faithful to bring someone across my path at just the perfect time to remind me I’m not alone. God will never leave me or forsake me, and while my life may be lived out on invisible pages to the world, they are far from invisible to Him.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Dt 31:6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

 

The danger of discrediting the value of work being accomplished.

It’s important for me to remember the value of work done in the private paragraphs of my life. There is a spiritual work that is alive and active inside me and while it may appear silent to those around me or anyone who would read my life story it is far from silent on the other side of eternity.

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (2 Co 4:17–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.”

 

The danger of impatience.

I can be terribly impatient! Impatient to see His promise fulfilled in my life and the life of those I love with our own eyes. I sigh, as I write this truth. I so desperately want to see His plan fulfilled and so I wait for Him!

100 years of paragraphs is a spiritual journey, a journey that is beautiful, and often painful. A journey that is only for the eyes of God and the individual living them out. A journey I must embrace.

Do you find yourself living in-between all the written paragraphs? Do you question the value of His work in your life or if He’s even still writing at all? Do you cry out to God asking why He’s gone silent when you needed to hear from Him most? If you answered yes, I want you to know you’re not alone. I’m right there with you and many other women we don’t even know have also gone before us on this spiritual journey.

I am confident that He completed the work He was doing in their lives, and He will complete the good work He’s doing in our lives as well even if they are on invisible pages and 100 years worth of unwritten paragraphs.

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

How To Help When Life is Hard

Let’s face it; life can be hard at times. The Body of Christ should be proactively finding ways on how to help when life is hard. It’s important for us to be aware, and active in helping others in their time of need. Here are a few suggestions I’ve put together for you when you’re not sure what to do.

how to help when life is hard

How to Help When Life is Hard

Pray. Don’t just say we are. Taking someone’s burdens to the Lord is powerful!

Be mindful that each family is unique and handles things differently.

Be available when needed

Be sensitive to medical concerns. Don’t visit when you’re sick. 

Show love instead of casting judgments, opinions or questions.

Be okay with not understanding.

Remember; sometimes the journey is long. It’s easy to be available right at first, but that’s when everything can feel overwhelming. Send a note or make a phone call to say, you still remember, care, and are available.

Invite them for an hour out to chat over coffee (and don’t be offended if plans changed or canceled due to “life” happening) 

Offer child care for other children.  Be understanding if the children are acting out. Remember; it takes a toll on every member of the household, even the little ones. 

Share a meal. (Don’t forget about special diets and allergies)

Send a care package to the hospital when there are overnight hospital stays. Don’t know what to pack? Here’s an idea! 

PACK- Pack one item that is purposeful, appealing, comforting and a keepsake 

P- Purposeful. Pack something that may have been forgotten such as socks, water bottle, mouthwash, or a prepaid credit card for the cafeteria. 

A- Appealing. Add an item that makes it appealing to the senses. Such as a lovely package, scented soap, soothing music, etc. 

C- Comforting. If you know me very well at all you know that means, pack chocolate. Hand lotion would be another comfort item. Think about unique ideas that will provide support to the person you’re creating this care package for.

K- Keepsake. Packing a pen and paper or nice journal may be the perfect gift for some. Others may prefer a small photo album to document the special moments. 

Don’t forget the men! Husbands/fathers are hurting too. The men often have an incredible amount of pressure to provide and protect. Don’t forget their need to be encouraged by other men in the Church.

Display grace with a willing heart to love someone right where they are. After all, that’s what Christ has done for each of us. 

But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 12:24–26). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

how to help when life is hard 

Do you have an idea to add to this list? I’d love to hear! 

Until our next chat, 

Mrs. Joseph Wood

Thanksgiving Table Place Cards

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

If you find yourself needing a last minute template for name tags for your table setting, enjoy this free gift from all of us here at A Moment with MOM.

Download your Thanksgiving Table Place Cards Here: place card

May you find yourself surrounded by those you love this Thanksgiving!

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let Israel say:
    “His love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say:
    “His love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say:
    “His love endures forever.”

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
    he brought me into a spacious place.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
11 They surrounded me on every side,
    but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
    but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them down.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16     The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live,
    and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord has chastened me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
    I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
    through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
    you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
    let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us!
    Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    From the house of the Lord we bless you.[b]
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
    up[c] to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Because of His love,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

How to quickly heal a bladder infection

When my daughter has suffered from UTI’s my only question was, “How do I quickly heal a bladder infection?” I’ve heard lots of tips and ideas but in this blog post I’m only sharing what’s worked for us personally!

In fact, I’m calling this the unofficial “Ultimate blog post for Healing bladder infections” because that’s what it is! I’ve packed it full with information and products of exactly what I use when a UTI shows up in our home.

Seriously, what’s a mom supposed to do when her child gets a bladder infection? Run outside to the cranberry vine and pick a bushel? Well maybe not, but if you’re like me you probably instantly start to think of ways to stop the pain before it gets unbearable!

Here are some of my most tried and true tips for when my daughter or I deal with a bladder infection!

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Increase water intake: If you are horrible at getting a full 2 liters of water in each day like me, then it’s EXTRA important to make sure you keep a bottle of water next to you and sip on it as you feel the start of a bladder infection coming on… Do not wait for it to become worse.

Pure Cranberry Juice: I always keep a bottle of pure cranberry juice in my fridge for times when drinking water simply doesn’t kick it. For myself I personally set a timer to go off each hour and I take a shot glass size of the cranberry juice followed by 8oz of water and repeat until I’m feeling better. Important note: Make sure you read the ingredients on your cranberry juice. I was surprised how many had very little cranberry juice.

Essential Oils: This has never failed to show intimidate results! Remember the one hour timer? If you have these oils on hand go ahead and apply them each hour as you drink the cranberry juice. Sometimes I am not home to drink the cranberry juice or if I haven’t been to the store to buy a new bottle of juice then I skip that step and go straight to the oils! I’ve never been disappointed. The oils work quickly to relieve the pain and if I’m if I’m faithful to drink my water then the infection is gone in no time!

Apply topically on the bladder area (lower abdomen).
You can also add a few drops to your water, but watch out, that Thieves oil has a kick!
 

  • 3 drops Thieves
  • 3 drops Lemon
  • 3 drops Purification

 

AVOID: Avoid drinking alcohol, coffee or citrus juices (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit)

AVOID: Bubble baths. I know this isn’t a fun tip. Especially if you have a little one who loves playing in the tub yet, sitting in bath water that is dirty is not a good idea for little ones who are prone to bladder infections. Fragrances in the soap can also add to irritation and UTI”s.

Frequent Urination: Don’t hold it. Let your body flush out the bad bacteria. Sometimes you may not have a heavy urination flow, that’s okay, your body still needs to get that out. If my daughter is having a really stubborn UTI then I set her on the toilet while she’s drinking her water, this tip seems to help her relax enough to go potty.

Appropriate Dress: Think casual, relaxed, and flowy  clothing that lets your skin breath and help keep the bacteria away. Cotton underwear is best or even no underwear at all. Make sure you wear cotton pants that breath easily and not too tight. Moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, so make sure you are keeping yourself dry. Hold off on wearing skinny jeans or leggings for a few days after you’ve begun feeling better just to make sure you don’t irritate anything.

 

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My Toddler’s Labial Adhesion story, part 1

Hello friends,

I would like to invite you to join me for a private conversation as I share about my daughter’s labial adhesion and how The Lord is working in her life to bring healing! 

 Have you ever had a story to tell that was so important to you and you were so passionate about sharing it that you didn’t know where to start? You didn’t want to leave out any details or miss a single, God Moment. 

That’s how I feel about my story.

I want to share with you about the amazing journey God is taking me and my family on and I don’t want to miss anything, I want to show you how GREAT our God is, how BIG our God is. I want to make sure I don’t dilute the truth with “fluffy drama” to make it catchy. I just want Him to be seen through me and for anyone that’s been in my season of life or is currently there to say, “God you are good!”

Every story starts somewhere, so let us start where all good stories begin…In the beginning, of course.I would like to invite you to join me for a private conversation as I share about my daughter's labial adhesion and how The Lord is working in her life.

Ten months ago our 2-year-old daughter, Emily, started having frequent bladder infections and they were getting so bad that she wouldn’t go to the bathroom because she would be in so much pain and have bleeding. I kept encouraging her to not drink soda or juice even if everyone else was having it or not eat too much sugar or things with white flour. We changed our diets to help her with this yet still she would have a UTI at least two or three times a month.

One day she was using the bathroom and after going potty she starts clapping and says, “Thank you, Jesus, my potty doesn’t hurt today!!” my heart broke and smiled all at the same time. It amazed me how someone so small could see God in this.

It’s been about six months and even with a strict diet there has been little change so my husband and I decided we should take her into the pediatrician for some guidance on how to help her. We later learned that her body is no longer making enough estrogen to keep her body functioning the way it needs to and as a result she wasn’t developing correctly in her private area. He told me that I would need to apply a cream twice a day until she hit puberty and that hopefully once she’s older everything will balance out and her body will begin to heal on it’s own.

I left the doctors office not knowing exactly what I was feeling. Part of me was relieved that we had figured out the cause of her pain and another part confused. I’m the mom that eats organic, takes coconut oil, cod liver oil, daily multi-vitamins, and makes sure we get our exercise in. I felt like maybe I failed as a mom to give my daughter the proper nutrition, that somehow this was my fault. As I drove to the pharmacy to pick up her needed supplies I learned that her medication would be 250.00- it only lasted three weeks. I drove away empty handed. I didn’t have the money and I calculated what the cost would be for the next 11 years.. 47,657.50 … I cried. We don’t live a lifestyle that allows that. As I pulled into the driveway I took a deep breath and whispered a small prayer, “Show me what to do God. You knew this day was coming, you have gone before me. Please lead me.” Later that night I started to research the medicine our doctor suggestion. The very first warning said, “if you have a family history of breast cancer, uterine cancer, or ovarian cancer this will increase your chances to have one of the following.” Y’all, everyone woman on my mom’s side of the family has either had one or all of those cancers and later died from one of those cancers. The thought of giving this to my daughter made me nauseous! I felt that if I were to give her this for YEARS I would basically be handing her cancer wrapped up in bottle and I couldn’t do it….there had to be another way, this couldn’t be the only option!

10 weeks and 3 days later God opened the doors to help us find healing for Emily…..

Join me next week as I share the conclusion of our story!

 

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Our Autumn Walk

Every year since we moved to Kansas our family has taken an Autumn Walk. This year was special to have my parents join us. The year before last was memorable because Zech and Beth Joy were with us. The year before that we had special moments taking Danny Boy for his first Autumn walk. Each year, for it’s own reasons, our Autumn walk holds importance.

The location of our walk is not a grand park, most popular site, or a frequently visited location. It’s a small space in Kansas overlooked by many, not ever even noticed by most. Yet, it holds incredible value for all of us.

As you pull off the dusty dirt road, you may think you’ve stumbled on an empty lot. There isn’t much for the eye to see. Chances are your car will be the only car facing the small grass lot with autumn colored trees as the backdrop.

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As you walk through the grass and begin to enter the trees you notice there is more before you that you couldn’t see. The narrow path is covered with leaves, grass that has been trampled down, broken rocks, and branches that have fallen.

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It’s a place where you can hear the wind blow and the birds flutter. It’s a place where you can hear the leaves crackle and the twigs snap under your feet. It’s a place where the life doesn’t need to be grand where God reveals himself through creation, in it’s organic beauty, and it is enough.

autumnwalk3There’s a story behind this place. A time of activity, pioneers, long days of work, hot summers and bitterly cold winters. A time filled with adventure, hope, tragedy, death and now stillness.

Maybe that is why I like it so much. I think about the mothers and wives that lived in this place before me. Women with busy days, toddlers to care for, husbands to help, and homes to manage. They did it all without Google, without online communities, or DIY blog articles. They learned as they lived and built real life relationships. Relationships where they learned how to navigate through all the different seasons of life. Times of newness, birth, marriage, conflict, struggle, hardships, and death. These relationships were often built with vision for the unborn generation. A time when people honored friendships by their parents. A time when strangers helped each other and didn’t call each other strangers.

That is what our Autumn walk is all about- building relationships within our family for generations not yet born.

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It’s about thanking God for all we have.

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It’s about sharing dreams together. Conversations about the past, present and future.

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It’s a time to play together and enjoy a meal together.

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It’s a time to give thanks.

I am thankful we make time for this family tradition each year.  I encourage all of us to create these simple traditions that build relationships. Relationships that will have a monumental impact on lives… your life, mine, and yes… generations yet born.

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood