Friday, October 31, 2008

Christmas @ Bittersweet Farm will usually find me either behind the desk in the first photo, or running out the front door of the house to greet you. The second photo is my straight-ahead view and the next one is section #2.

Some more photos from inside the shop. The final one is of the porch on the way in. I have hot spicy cider available on the little placemat when you arrive.

The weather has been exceptionally beautiful the last few days for this time of year. I thoroughly enjoyed collecting my boughs and putting them out on Tuesday.

I need to retake some outside photos because the sun was shining so bright, I couldn't get a picture without my shadow in it! I tied a bunch of boughs and rosehips on a sled outside the door. I also embellished tobacco stick stars the same way. I tie them on with a piece of torn burgundy homespun fabric.

I hope you enjoyed the little tour. I will be back soon. Kayla is building me a website at school, so that will be coming sometime soon...

P.S. Be sure to click on the photos for a larger view!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My goodness, where have I been?

Yes, for those who asked, the header picture is of my yard. Before the leaves dropped completely...oh how fast fall falls...before long I will have a new picture of snow for you Angie!

I have been burning the midnight oil for the past two days. The shop is in transformation mode, and my body is in-well, weary mode. My storage for the shop consists of a "side" of the basement, which is down a flight, around a chimney, and up a large step to a converted garage which has a slanted floor so I have to duck down lower, the farther I walk up. I always put the new merchandise in our unfinished room upstairs. Point being, I am up and down; down and up, and bending over alot. Then I am up a ladder in the shop to put the garlands around doorways and the celing...My hands are raw from opening the branches of the trees, and the winding the boughs of the garlands around little nails so they dont fall down...hands, back, neck...sure signs of need of rest-and you thought I was going to comment about aging! I wont do that, my kids do it enough :d

So I will post pics soon. I have one more day. Tomorrow I will be cutting the boughs and rosehips for outdoors and changing my lights from orange to white. It is funny, I have two holidays going at once at my house; pumpkins on the porch of the house, and boughs in the shop.

I have been listening to Christmas music as I work in the shop...It works to get me in the mood! So, that is what I have been up to. I'll be back in a couple days...Be blessed!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Live Life


I stole these pictures from Ethan's facebook. I love them because they remind me of what is truly valuable in life. In the face of our country's dilemas; in all the things that "could happen"- I am reminded that there is joy that costs nothing.

That joy is found in our relationships, and in living life together. Laughing, learning, loving, encouraging, praying...This past weekend Ethan's football team lost 56 to 19. (and yes, I was praying!) It was quite an upset and as you can imagine, the mood was a little low. But it didn't spoil their plans to get together afterward to enjoy one another. It is nice to know that circumstances do not need to dictate our enjoyment of life when we focus on the right things and choose to celebrate what we do have.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Day

1 Thessalonians 5...
1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,

2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

I believe "the day" refers to God's glory or Heaven where we will not need the sun because His glory will be our light. His LIGHT. That light that lives in our hearts, that burns within us. In the day of the Lord's return the "sons of the light" will be revealed...

Romans 8:18[ Future Glory ] I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 8:19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

So since we are sons of the day, we should put on the breastplate of faith and love-this means guarding our heart by continually believing God, and by loving Him and others. We are told that in the last days the love of most will grow cold. Probably due to the recurring offenses that we have to forgive in order to keep that light in our heart (keep it from growing cold). Also highlighted is the helmet of salvation, which is guarding our thoughts/ our mind. That means continually renewing it with the Word of God.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ephesians 5: 25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

We notice in the above Thessalonians passage that "self-control" is used twice. In the King James Version, it is "sober". We must diligently guard these two vital areas in order for the light to continue to shine in the darkness mentioned.

Heavenly Father, our source of Light. You are the fire in our hearts, help us keep oil in our lamps, to keep the fire of your love burning bright in our hearts! Thank you that you are able to keep us blameless until that day by the blood of Jesus. Set our hearts on fire! In Jesus' brilliant name, amen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Fall

Fall... I love the colors, I love the weather, I love the fragrance, I love decorating, I love bonfires, I love taking drives in the country...

Sunday I took a road trip by myself. I wanted to get out there and see the colors. My "boys" were off getting another wrecked vehicle to fix up. Kayla was w/ her bf and his family. So I meandered through tree-covered hills, and over country roads. The weather was in the 70's and cloudy, but the clouds didn't distract from my enjoyment of the day.

Saturday I was blessed with a busy day in the shop. I am excited to report that I sold 3 of the 4 pairs of mittens that I got in on the first day. (see previous post) I tried to reorder today, but didn't get a rep on the phone. They are beautiful, and I know y'all would want a pair if you saw them! Well, unless you live in Florida :)

Christmas is arriving here soon. I have a hard time thinking of it so early, but my job requires it. By the end of the month, I will have evergreen, and rosehips filling containers outside of the shop, with my pumpkins still on the porch by the house. Maybe even some mums will be left blooming if I take good care of them.

I just want to end my aimless post with a praise to the Lord for His bountiful blessings. My husband, who is in commercial construction, has been "demoted" twice in the last month. He was a supervisor with a gas card, then he went back to assistant supervisor without a gas card, now he is a carpenter foreman. But we are very thankful that he still has a job. His company is really slow. Even things they had in the works have come to a halt as companies wait for money to proceed. But we are grateful for God's provision and mercy.

Dale was a mechanic before he went into construction. He truly is a jack of all trades. I am proud of him and grateful for his go-get-it attitude. He is falling back on his mechanical skills. Buying "dead" cars and reviving them, selling them for under $2000. They are affordable and good gas mileage. God is good to give us back-up income.

Sharing a little Wisconsin with you. Have you ever heard of the one...why did the chicken(s) cross the road? I found out it was so I could take a picture!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Our Glory is our Hope

4 Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess 1:4,10,12

Yesterday in our Bible Study as we read these verses and those in between, I pictured a host of believers across the sky with scars and cracks and holes with glory shining out of us. All who were not a part of Christ were looking and marveling at our likeness to Jesus and our oneness with Jesus.

A potter demonstrated creating a pot at a workshop I once attended. She threw the lump of clay on the wheel, added water and spun it around-fast. She proceeded in molding it, pressing it, cutting away excess, squishing it, molding it again, adding water, and sometimes even cutting the whole thing back and remolding it. All I could think of when watching her, was "OUCH"!! I could relate to the Potter's hand on my life at times.

Then she went on to talk about the intense heat of the firing of the clay to set it into a vessel.

Along with this memory came a meaningful passage to me...
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Cor 4:6-9

The demonstration of the potter along with these passages of scripture gives an understanding of the blessings of the trials, and discipline we go through as children of God. The molding and shaping and pruning that He does in our lives enables His glory to be more evident in us.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:17-18

Herein lies our ability to weather any storm that comes our way...keeping our eyes fixed on the return of our Savior, and the glory that will be revealed on that day!

Jesus is our hope of glory! Let us continue to yield to the Potter's Hand. Trusting.
Hoping. Fixing our eyes on the eternal and on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.

Heavenly Father, wise and loving Potter, give us the grace to trust you no matter what and keep in mind that this isn't it...eternity is. Fill us with your glory and hope! amen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Well, it's past midnight again. My day was spent shopping for the shop, hoping people will keep coming to shop, when the economy has dropped. (my apologies for the Dr. Suess attempt, I couldn't help it-it is after all past midnight) (00ps I already said that!)

The Christmas season is approaching, and it is usually the busiest, with fall taking a close second in decorating enthusiasm. Fall has been considerably slower than last year, and as I have prayed and cautiously treaded forward (& conservatively compared to the past) I feel a certain peace. I also feel compelled to keep the flow going to the degree that I can comfortably accommodate.

I keep picturing the economy as a river, and the reality of the situations we are facing along with the news reports coming in daily keep throwing more logs in the river. As more logs pile in, the current slows. I noticed the flow of my traffic in the shop slowed gradually, but considerably over summer with the gas prices. Now, again, as things eb and flow, so I see eb and flow in the shop.

The things I sell are enhancements to life, not necessities. Sometimes not practical at all. I have begun to shift my thinking as I shop for items for the store. I ventured into hats and mittens today. I found some really beautifully knit hats and mittens with fleece lining that I can sell at a really good price for the quality. Something you might pay $40 for at Gander Mtn, I will be selling for $20. or less. It will be fun to see how that goes.

I have also noticed that with the regular eb and flow of life, there are continuing events taking place...weddings, showers, birthdays. Things consistently coming across our calendars that we purchase gifts for. My prayer is that shoppers stop here on the way to Walmart. Keeping the flow going...

In any case, I put my trust in the Lord, for with the Lord there is Peace, Provision, Protection, and the amazing Precious Love and Promised Presence.

Please keep "the state of our country" in your prayers. Praise God He is always on the throne!
It IS past midnight!! I published my post, checked it out, looked at the title and realized that I never talked about the needs I set out to address. So I decided to stay up a little longer...

I encountered deep needs as I went through my day. One of my reps at the gift show I attend, who has become a dear friend, had some serious bad news while I was there. I prayed and hugged her. Continuing in prayer is all I can do...Then I met another friend on the way home for supper. Her marriage is in trouble. So I prayed and told her what the Lord had done in my marriage. Upon returning home and checking email, I learned of yet another friend in need of refreshment. I prayed and encouraged.

What would we do without the hope we have in Christ for the "working of all things for good for us who love Him?" Our needs are so deep, but His love is deeper. Oh how I love my Jesus! How blessed we are to be able to come to the Refresher of souls, the Rebuilder of marriages, the Restorer of broken things, the Redeemer of life... for His wonderful gifts! Glory!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

YouTube - Casting Crowns - Voice of Truth [LYRICS]

Click this link to hear The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns

Jesus the Word. Jesus the Truth.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” ~ Colossians 3:16

I am so thankful for the above-mentioned word of Christ that is available to dwell in us richly. In a world of humanistic ideas/ideology. Where reason trumps truth, and guessing on the origins of man becomes religiously believed as truth. Where the killing of innocent babies becomes a choice or a right. Where good is called evil and evil is called good. Where standing up for truth is called phobic, intolerant or judgemental. I am thankful for the anchor in our soul. The Rock that we have to lean on. The living, powerful word of God- sustaining us.

A simple story comes to mind. A little girl in school, hears the bully's taunting comments, they tell her that she is useless, ugly and needs to stay away from them. The little girl goes home to her daddy and cries from the pain of the rejection from her day. Daddy tells her the truth about herself and his love. He assures her she is valuable, beautiful and he wants her near him all the time. The knowledge of what her daddy tells her carries her through the next day and the day after that with the continual badgering she receives. She keeps coming home, receiving the truth from her source. Daily spending time with Daddy. As long as she can come home to such love, she knows in her heart that the bullies are wrong. She begins to have compassion on them because she understands that they don't have such a love to live for...

The Truth is this little girl's sustenance. It is her fortress, her stronghold. Her joy.

Thank you Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Light, the Life, the Answer, the Bridge, the Source, the Sustenance, the Guide, The Rock, the Cornerstone, the Firm Foundation...I could fill the page. Thank you for giving us YOU!!

Now the little girl is asking her daddy if he can help the bullies. Asking what she can do to help them see the truth. That they are loved by the Truth. That He died for them. She begins to smile at them when she sees them and hold her head high. Fear dissipates in the knowledge that she is loved.

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Today and every day I am THANKFUL FOR THE TRUTH!

Go visit Grace Alone for more Thankful Thursday posts.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More on God's Love

In my quest for more of God's love, I picked up a book by Bob Sorge called: "The fire of God's Love". What depth of insight into scripture this man has.

I am learning there are three "levels" of relationship with the Lord. Mr. Sorge uses the passage in 1 Jn 2:12-14 to highlight the levels. He also uses Matt 13:8 and John 15:13-15.

The first level being that of a little child. A new believer is a child.
The second level being that of a servant. The "young man" is a servant.
The third level being that of a friend. The "fathers" are friends.

He says the determining factor of where one is in their maturity is fruitfulness.

A child is not very productive; is being nourished... 30 fold produce. He has small tasks.
A young man is a servant with greater productivity.... 60 fold produce. He labors in the vinyard.
A father is bearing much fruit for the kingdom... 100 fold produce. He is a partner with God.

Here are a few observations I have gleaned from his dialog about servants/friends:

Servants focus on results; friends on pleasing the Lord.
Servants serve out of a desire to be faithful; friends serve out of a desire to love.
Servants are willing to work for the Lord; friends want to be with Him.
Servants operate in the idea of what could be; friends operate in confidence of what will be.
Servants go home after work, friends sit down to eat with the Lord.

So long as we keep plugged into the vine, we will go on to bear much spiritual fruit. We are always becoming...all He intends for us to be. Halleluiah!