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  • The Best Way to do Christmas Cleaning

    On Friday, December 07 th, 2012

    Why it happened right then, when she turned toward the stack of dishes on the counters, the squash peeling and apple cores and crusted pots, she had no idea. No idea why it came right then, in the midst of kids and mess and loud, like a coming around: How when you are turned away from God, life turns ugly, but when you are turned toward God, life turns lovely. S...

  • How Your Work Today Can Last Forever

    On Friday, January 20 th, 2012

    remembering this, this week… When the Farmer slumps against the door frame, slides to the floor, mumbles that he needs me to take him to Emergency, I nod mute. I haven’t the faintest idea how I’m going to get him there. In that exact moment, four of our six children wage desperate tummy revolts. I shuttle to each squirmish with cold cloths, courage words, a pr...

  • The Farm Report: {Work Days}

    On Thursday, July 07 th, 2011

    ‘Thank God every morning when you get up, that you have something to do that day which must be done… ~Charles Kingsley ‘We lived here by our work. Our life and our work were not the same thing maybe, but they were close…”   ~Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter :: :: And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing...

  • When the Grind of it all Makes it Hard to Keep Going

    On Thursday, March 10 th, 2011

    :: ‘I walk in our back door to candlelight still flickering, hang the keys on the hook, and look around at the steep mountain of laundry there in the mudroom, the shoes scattered, a coat dropped. The mudroom sink is grime ringed. Fingerprints smear across the mirror. And I laugh the happiest wonder. In an afternoon’s drizzle, I give happy thanks for the daily mess wit...

  • What Housework is Really About

    On Thursday, January 20 th, 2011

    They are two at the sink, in mama-stitched aprons, with the next basket of potatoes brought in from the garage, brought in from the garden, brought in from the long ago summer. And I laugh at the counter, laugh happy at this brother and sister scrubbing up spuds like long ago Brother Lawrence. Like thatBrother Lawrence who stood in a kitchen and said over his own spuds, ...

  • What We Inherit from Eden: Photos of a Day in the Life of a Farm Family

    On Thursday, June 03 rd, 2010

    Tomorrow morning comes early, that’s what The Farmer says every night by nine o’clock, every night like clock work. The Farmer feeds animals to feed the world and he works the earth to feed the earth. And I’ve lived all my life on gravel roads with working men in pick-up trucks, men with grease-lined hands and broad shoulders and steel-toed boots and it’...

  • What Must Not Be Forgotten Every Spring…

    On Tuesday, April 20 th, 2010

    A man goes to his field. It’s spring. Clay opens up the clay. And if I forgot, The Farmer’s country mile wide smile reminds me: we are meant for this, this knowing from whence we’ve come. The nostrils inhale it deep when I hang clothes on the line, loamy air, the dark, hidden promise, and after the winter, we’re anxious keen to remember. Remember that t...

  • What To Always Remember when You’re Working

    On Friday, March 12 th, 2010

    All work is good work. The work of our hands is always making the world a better place. And work is my liturgy, motions of worship to Him, who from, and to, and through, are all things. All once was perfect, ordered, pristine, back there, In the Beginning. In That Garden. But not now. Not in this house, not in this garden. Science may call it entropy, the second law of therm...

  • “Six days shall work…

    On Saturday, October 31 st, 2009

    Six days shall work be done …. but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD.” ~Ex. 35:2 Come Sabbath, come rest. Till then… this season, we’ll quietly toil, stewards. May your Saturday hold good, soul-nourishing, God-glorifying work and may Christ be all your rest this weekend, kind friends… All’...

  • What Time and Grace Gives

    On Friday, October 30 th, 2009

    I walk fields. Sun has dried the soybeans of summer rains and green life. Pods near split, spiral springs wound. Children laugh when the golden beans pop from their skins. Combines collect the gold pearls and I watch the great golden globe sink. “It will be late.” Farmer Husband unwraps the sausage on a bun from its foil heat blanket, glances at his watch. The ...

  • Our Best Bread Recipe: Foolproof Bread

    On Friday, October 23 rd, 2009

    You were asking about our bread? It begins in field, bread basket under sun, then wheat in bread basket in kitchen… to bread basket on table … Foolproof Bread by Phyllis & Shirley Preheat oven to 375 Place in mixer: 5 cups of warm water (95-110 degrees) 1/2 cup oil (you can use as little as 2 tbsp. or replace completely with applesauce) 3/4 cup honey, ...

  • Priorities: Things Unseen

    On Wednesday, September 30 th, 2009

    He comes to the back door, Opa Voskamp, like they all do. Never up the cobblestone walk to the front door, there off the porch, with its wreath and welcome mat, but to the back door off the garage, the one which purposely has no walkway at all from the laneway to the doorknob, and walk into the tossed shoes, the dropped bats and balls and shovels and gloves, in through the mud...

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