It's been too long again. Much too long since I have posted here on the blog. I've found myself in a reflective and introspective place as of late. Lots to think about, to ponder, and to store up in my heart. It's so easy to get bogged down in the negative...the difficult days that often seem monotonous or mundane. Just a few minutes watching the news will tell you things are far from perfect in the world. But for me, and for you too, we can shift our perspective with just a few simple things. If we feel and express gratitude, even for the smallest of things, we will find joy. Here at Hen Hollow Homestead, we seek joy! No, life isn't perfect and it is far from a fairy tale. But life is good...and we are thankful!
JOY in the kitchen...
JOY in shredding and freezing 10 quarts of zucchini that I purchased for less than $3.00 at the discount grocery store!
JOY in the fresh fruits and veggies I can feed my family because
it was all affordable at the discount grocery store!
JOY in the garden...
Our grapevine is doing fabulous...we are sure to have grapes this year!
JOY is found because even though working and tending the garden is hard work, it looks like we will have plenty of squash to enjoy. If you look closely above, we even have twins!
JOY at the signs of a bountiful zucchini harvest!
JOY as we watch the roses bloom out the front window!
(and yes, I have weeded the flower bed since this was taken!)
JOY with the family...
JOY as I watch Natalie teaching Levi to use the sewing machine! His wife will thank her later!
JOY when Natalie makes wonderful and healthy soaps.
JOY when I find time to read books that are rooted in scripture and such an encouragement for families striving to raise disciples! Side note: I highly recommend this book!
JOY in artwork!
I may be considered strange for this one, but yes, there is even JOY in purging junk! I've been cleaning out for a garage sale and anything not bolted to the floor is fair game to be priced and sold! I LOVE IT!!
There is even JOY in the hard times...
The day before his 8th birthday, Levi fell on his head and we ended up spending the day in the ER. He sustained a concussion, and had to have a CT scan to rule out more severe complications. After several hours of rest in the ER, we were released bring him home and watch him closely over the next couple of weeks. Bless his heart, he was so sad to be there since he was missing out on the family lunch and movie for his birthday. BUT, we found JOY in knowing he was going to be okay, and we found JOY as we were able to spend time together talking and giggling. There was NOTHING on TV that was child appropriate except for cooking shows. Levi watched for a few minutes and then proclaimed, "I give up. I can't watch this anymore because I am starving and I can't eat anything. This is making it worse!" Bless him. BUT, he is feeling good as new now, and we are so thankful to God for His protection of our sweet boy. Joy.
Carson's balloon release 2011
And then there is today. Today marks my sweet Carson's 9th birthday...he was stillborn in 2005. He is celebrating his ninth birthday with Jesus, and boy do I miss him so. I still long to have him here with me, in my arms, sharing my home and my days. But since he can't be here, he is in the ONLY other place I can be at peace about...Heaven. Absolutely there is sadness and grief over all of the things I miss, the dreams shattered...but through it all, there is a JOY. I can feel joy because my son is in the presence of Jesus. I feel joy because he is full of joy and laughter all of the time. I feel joy because I know that someday I will see him again...we will be together forever. Today, as I release balloons to my nine year old son, Carson Graham, I will feel JOY because I was blessed by him...changed by him. I am forever his mommy!