Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let it snow, let it blow

It is snowing again. I love snow. Unfortunately, I need to drive 400 miles to pick up Bella, the new puppy, on Thursday. I really want to pick her up, but I may need to drive the big truck (10 mpg) in order to do so. Or I could wait a few days and drive the small truck. (20 mpg) Hmmm. What to do. I also will need to plow the driveway so that a) I can get out with either truck, and b) so that the propane guy can deliver. Heat is a good thing. I've been trying to figure out how and where I could put a wood stove for supplemental heat. It would be good in an emergency and would be cheaper as well. I also need to figure out how the stove pipes would work so as to not catch the roof on fire. I may need to talk to a professional about that one.

The seed catalogs have already started to arrive. It seems a little early. I've already seen some new things I'd like to grow. I'm going to get a big bag of corn seeds to grow corn for the pigs. I really need to cut my feed costs for next year. Folks are already selling weaner pigs in the paper and online. It seems a little early for that too. It is supposed to be bone chilling cold later this week. After we get a foot of snow tonight, that is. It's hard to pretend that spring is near.

Jenny and her three boys have plans to move in later this spring. It will be a mighty time. Having children in the house will be a big change of pace for me. But a welcome one. What an adventure. What a blessing. I have been so truly blessed. I don't know how I can fully express my gratitude for the grace I have been shown to me. What a gift.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A prayer for guidance

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"

Friday, December 24, 2010

And to all a good night...

Well, it's Christmas Eve and I haven't written much this month. A wonderful new woman in my life has proved to be such a blessing. At some point in the future, she may move out to the homestead with a crew of three young boys. What a blessing. What a gift.

I am in California for a rare weekend away from the farmstead to celebrate Christmas with my family. What a blessing.

Tomorrow morning I hope to attend Mass at a local Catholic Parish with family. What a joy.

I hope this holiday season finds you and yours well and at peace. Blessed be.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Prayer for the day

"Take my memory, my understanding, my imagination, my body, my will, my entire self. God, I give it all to you. Give me only your grace and your love. That is enough." - Saint Ignatius of Loyola

My tractor was buried in a 5 foot snow drift in the driveway. I spent an hour digging it out enough to move it. Then I put the chains on, which I should have done before it snowed, and began plowing. After clearing about ten feet of drive, I have a 50 yard driveway, the tire fell off and shredded. I sat there in shocked silence. Snowflakes drifting peacefully down around me. I shut off the tractor...and laughed. God, I am truly getting the gift now. I really mean that it is a gift. The gift of humility. The gift of practicing serenity. The gift of facing overwhelming adversity with a little grace. Of knowing my small little place in God's universe.

That is not to say I never blow my top at broken shoelaces. But this particular instance was so completely "not funny" that it was funny. What else can you do but laugh. The driveway will get plowed. Or maybe it'll melt away in spring. Whichever comes first I suppose.

Grace and love. That is enough. And I am given those things if I ask. If I let go of anger and self-pity. If I let go of my entire self. If I even let go of everything I hold dear. God, I am willing that you should have all of me good and bad, root and branch. Just leave me your grace and love...that is enough.

I have been truly blessed. Everything I "have" is such a gift. Except that I do not really have it. It is not mine. It is all temporary. Like the tire on the tractor. One minute it is a tire, the next it is shredded rubber. In the end, all I really have is God's grace and God's love. And that is enough.