Archive for September, 2013

Going Home

The view from my new front porch is breath taking. Green fields spattered with red clay and yellow flowers can be viewed for over a mile. Wiley bulls graze on tiny pine trees. Sometimes they bellow for no apparent reason.

I love it.

Two men are installing wood floors with our move-in date set for sometimes next week.

I can’t wait.

Currently, Tom and I are staying in the family farmhouse about a half-mile away. I visit my new house three to four times a day. I just go in and stare at it. I imagine where I’ll put one piece of furniture, or wonder which cabinet would be the best place for my new dishes. I’m counting the days.

This morning, it occurred to me that my new house, as nice as it is, is not my real home—my heavenly mansion.

While my mother-in-law was passing into eternity, her family gathered around her bed and sang:

“I’ve got a mansion, just over the hillside.

In that bright land where, we’ll never grow old.

And some day yonder, we will never more wander,

But walk the streets that are purest gold.”


I believe that but sometimes I don’t live like it.

In fact, often I don’t live like it.

Philippians 3:20-21 states:

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

My friend, Michael, explains it like this. It’s like a dog behind a closed door. The master comes home. The dog knows his master is home and claws at the door. The room he is in is just a waiting room. The real joy for the puppy is to see his master. To be with him.

My desire is to long for Jesus.

Sometimes, when sorrow hits our friends or family or our country, we feel some of that sorrow and long for something, someone, someplace better.



My Lord.

Another illustration of a longing for Jesus is a bride and a bridegroom. When my daughter was engaged, she couldn’t wait to be married! She thought about it and dreamed about it, and I suspect her bridegroom did, too.

Listen to this passage from Revelation 19:7-10:

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write, Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’”

Jesus invites us to a heavenly feast prepared for His bride, the church. He tells us a little of what has been prepared for us in John 14:1-3:

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

When trouble or heartache hit, Christ’s Words are something we can hold on to. Like my friend whose young husband went unexpectedly to be with the Lord. Or the parents whose child has been put in prison. Or the evangelist, who while proclaiming Christ in a hostile nation loses his family or his freedom, or even his life.

What kick-started my heavenly thoughts were words hand-written and taped into my dad’s Salvation Army songbook. They were composed by writer Anne Ross Cousins:

“Oh, I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine!

He brings a poor vile sinner

Into His ‘House of Wine.’

I stand upon His merit,

I know no other stand,

Not e’en where glory dwelleth,

In Immanuel’s land.


The bride eyes not her garment,

But her dear bridegroom’s face;

I will not gaze at glory,

But on my King of Grace.

Not at the crown He giveth,

But on His pierced hand;

The Lamb is all the glory

Of Immanuel’s land.”


My wood floor is beautiful. But it doesn’t compare with streets of gold.

And my Bridegroom.









The Mystery of Mopping, A Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife

If I were stranded on a desert island, and could choose one person to be with, it would be my husband, Tom.

The feeling is not mutual.

It’s not that he doesn’t love me. And he probably would say he’d like to be with me, but it’s just not practical.

He knows when faced with opposition, I would give up and die.

So when he went to a farmer’s day conference on squash (yes there are such things), he gave me one assignment.

“Mop the back porch, Pauline.”

“But how do I do that?”

“Get a big mop..” blah blah blah, blah blah blah.

It’s not that I wasn’t listening, it’s that mopping makes no sense to me. And the back porch was FILTHY DIRTY FROM 70+ CHICKS.

In the past, I’ve pretended to know how to mop. When ladies get together, occasionally the topic of mopping comes up.

“I mopped all my floors today. What a job!” my friend, Diane might say. I nod my head and cluck my tongue, but actually I don’t know what she means.

I can sweep. I can run the vacuum, and I can even dust. But I’ve got a mopping handicap.

You take soapy water, put a fuzzy white thing in it, swish it around and then push it all over the floor. Where does the dirt go? Is it magnetically attracted to the fuzzy white thing? Then the fuzzy mop thing gets dirty and then what? Rinse it out? Where? With what water?

So I never know where to start and where to finish. Like the chicken or the egg. Or getting your car registration. You need proof of insurance to get it, but you need the registration to get insurance.

I think.

It’s a mystery–like mopping.

But a farmer’s wife has to face her fears.

So, desiring to be the one Tom would like to be stranded with on a desert island, and trying to prove I could pass the Girl Scout badge for farming, I got busy. I moved everything off the porch, got a mop and pushed the fluffy white thing all around, pressing hard to get the really yucky stuff off.

I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed with a brush. I rinsed with water from a different source.

I sweated.

I clucked my tongue.

I think tomorrow, I’ll call my friend, Diane.

Peeled Poplar Ladies, A Sad Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife

I cradled the small bird in one hand and stroked it with the other as I sat on the back porch.

“I’m sorry baby chicken that you are hurt so bad.” My body shook as tears streamed down my face.

She rested in my lap for several minutes. Finally, we put her out of her misery.

That was hard.

It came after a long day. Tom had been working on the new coop for a few days. The chicks were too big for their brooder. Each time Tom and I changed the food or water, several of them flew to the edge and escaped.

The term, “Flew the coop” has a whole different meaning to me now that I’m a farmer’s wife.

We came up with an idea of using our new EZ Up Farmer’s Market tent set low to the ground. We surrounded it with mesh to house them in the field outside the farmhouse. Catching them in the brooder was difficult but doable.

Their first day foraging. Their first day on grass eating bugs.

If there were chicken class pictures, I’d have 73 of them.

What we didn’t think through was transferring them from the outside tent area back to their cleaned-out, moved-outside brooder. Catching 73 birds in a tent area provided quite a challenge. Many escaped under the mesh. Sam watched and barked and then he chased them.

One was severely injured in the chaos.

We placed her in a separate box, hoping she’d get better. She didn’t.

Animal husbandry is new to this city girl. It’s a big responsibility.

Cradling my little ameraucana chick gave me the opportunity to think through and appreciate some things.

It made me think through the Scripture passage in Matthew when Jesus said His Father knows when one sparrow falls. I’m glad He cared about my little chick.

My thoughts turned to the priests in the Old Testament, daily making blood sacrifices for the sins of the people. Innocent animals died to cover the transgressions of the guilty.

I thought of Jesus. Wounded for our transgression. Bruised for our iniquity.

The innocent for the guilty.

Hebrews 7 states:

23 “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son,who has been made perfect forever.”

Jesus. Our Perfect High Priest.

He died for us. And now He interceeds for us. Forever.

It makes me grateful.

Even though I only have 72 class pictures left.

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The Walk of Faith With Dirt Under My Nails, Part 2

Note to reader; this is not a funny post.

Just thought I’d let you know. I’m being all melancholy and introspective. Maybe you can relate or even make suggestions like my good friend Carey did on my last post about dirty fingernails. He told me to wear gloves.

I’m writing to you about my lack of faith. I’m a “Faith Light-Weight.” I suspected at one time I fell into the “Faith Heavy-Weight” category, but I was mistaken.

You see, if Facebook asked me how I felt, I’d say overwhelmed and exhausted.

Overwhelmed at the immensity of changing states, friends, churches, careers, and homes all at the same time. Add starting a new business that requires a Walton-Size-Family to work 6 days a week, 10 hours a day. Instead, it’s just over-fifty Tom and me.

Sure, our farming stuff grew. Little shoots came out of rocky soil and we praised God. Now, our plants are unhappy. My 73 chicks have turned into 73 chickens and require new lodging ASAP. I start work around 7 or 8 and finish around 9. Everywhere I look, stuff needs to be done.

The dogs dish is empty or the chickens need food. My mom needs me and so does Tom.

I feel like the children of Israel after God sent manna and quail. Complaining began seep into my thinking.

Sunday, Mom felt bad and our caregiver couldn’t come so I stayed home. I took a bath. I cut my fingernails and toenails and got almost all the dirt out. I caught up on the mammoth-size-piles-of-paperwork and straightened the house.

But then Monday happened. Labor Day. A holiday for most. My day began at 7 and ended about 9:30. I cried over the phone to a local farmer and was short with my mom because she needed me and there was nothing left for me to give.

Then I got alone.

Depend on me, that’s what you desire, isn’t it, Pauline?

God’s Spirit spoke to me again through Scripture. Remember not to worry about tomorrow since tomorrow has enough worries.

I thought of my friends who buried their father on Saturday. And another friend who found her husband and father of their two children dead in their home.

And then there’s my FB friend, Rachel, who has Parkinson’s. Her FB statuses inspire me.

The Lord brought the believers from Syria to mind, and my friends Jonah and Jennifer who returned to Pakistan today. I prayed for them.

Praying for others helps me to realize how insignificant my boo boos are.

There. Now you can see I’m a light-weight.

But, God still loves me. He’s still teaching me. I’m still learning.

I decided to phone my friend and share my thoughts.

“Siri, call Miriam Brinker.”

“I’m sorry, Pauline. Did you want me to call you a pimp?”

So thanks to Siri, this post is a little funny.

And I still have dirt under those nails.