Where has the time gone? And where has our faith gone?

I started this blog in 2015 as we were planning our wedding, purchasing our first home, and adjusting to my new career. Oh how things have changed sense then.

We have sense sold our first home and moved to the family farm. We now have a 2 year old daughter who I have the pleasure of staying home with every day. My husband now works for UPS and farms. We no longer count on my income to support us. Thanks to my husband and Dave Ramsey.

Through all the ups and downs of life my husband and I let our personal relationships with God suffer. Honestly I don’t know if we have ever put God first in our marriage until now.

We have both known that it is important to put God first in our marriage. We had been told this several times through out attending church. But no one taught us how to put God first in our marriage until now.

My husband and I learned fairly quickly with Covid which churches were choosing faith over fear, and Gods authority over government authority. Through this experience God led us to a new church.

Our new Pastor Dee Duke teaches some incredible, kingdom seeking, life changing courses. My husband and I have had the pleasure of going back through the audio of the classes we missed in 2020-2021 and beyond.

Through his Ladies Leadership course 2020-2021 and his marriage course from 2012 we learned to implement the following disciplines into our lives daily. A commitment prayer, marriage vows, 15min. Of bible reading, 15 min. Of personal prayer, and scripture memorization. Along with these 5 disciplines Dee emphasizes the importance of making goals.

Dee encourages every member of the congregation to make a list of goals for the year. He personally strives to make the same number of goals as his age for that year. Dee encourages us to make goals that fuel our physical, emotional, and spiritual tanks. He also encourages one off the wall goal.

Dee asked the class, how do you know Gods will for you? Dee’s response was the desires of your heart are what Gods will is for you. He then emphasized this is why I encourage you to write these desires in goal format.

As well as the goals for the year he encourages us to make a daily to do list. He suggests making a to do list that is 80% accomplishable and 20% extra to strive for in your day.

Implementing these disciplines feels overwhelming at first. But it doesn’t take long before your striving and starving for the kingdom. Below are my personal goals from June 2021-2022. I’m still a few short of 31 goals for the year. It’s a work in progress.

These Goals Are The Expression of My Heart

“God communicates his Will for you by the desires of your heart” Dee Duke

“Get close to God and do what you want” Dee Duke

Psalm 37:4-5 NIV

4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

“People don’t like setting goals because they define success. They rather just muck through life” Dee Duke

  1. I will memorize 52 verses
  2. I will exercise 30 min 5 days per week
  3. I will prep 1 yrs worth of food
  4. I will add 12 recipes to my cookbook
  5. I will take a shooting class
  6. I will read one bible story to Aubrey 5 days a week
  7. I will teach Aubrey to clean up after her self in the evening
  8. I will meal plan 4 dinners and lunches per week
  9. I will go to bed with a clean kitchen nightly
  10. I will dust, sweep, mop, vacuum once weekly
  11. I will wash bedding once weekly
  12. I will go to the beach 3 times this summer
  13. I will weigh 130lbs
  14. I will lead 1 person to salvation
  15. I will heal from infertility
  16. I will pray a commitment prayer every morning
  17. I will tithe faithfully (monthly)
  18. My outrageous goal- I will save 100,000 dollars towards my desire to own land
  19. I will make a recipe book of bargain meals
  20. I will read 10 books
  21. I will read the entire bible
  22. I will incorporate fly lady cleaning routine into our home
  23. I will incorporate Aubrey’s home schooling into our daily routine
  24. I will write a blog post every day

1 Step at a Time

I didn’t get to my nightly house cleaning chores last night with the ER visit. Needless to say, my kitchen was a wreck this morning. I spent most of the day catching the house back up.

I made meatballs and BBQ sauce from scratch tonight. Served with a side dish of summer squash and asparagus. I was very ready to sit down and enjoy a nice family dinner together. We haven’t been able to in awhile.

Tyler was out on the tractor towards the back of the farm. I called Tyler and got his voicemail. I then received a text saying I’m on my way. I texted back and said dinner in 7min. After 25min. Of waiting I decided to sit down and eat dinner with Aubrey before it got much colder.

Not going to lie, I was pretty annoyed. Normally I would be erupting with anger. But I decided to give Tyler grace and respond in a loving way, and not with anger.

I finished eating and cleaned up all the dishes from dinner. Still no sign of Tyler other than a missed call. I called him back, he said, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to text you, “I’m on on my way”. He said, “ I just looked at my phone and saw I should have been home for dinner 40min. Ago”.

I was able to respond back in a respectful tone, and say it’s okay. We moved on with the rest of our night with no issues. We ended up with some extra time so we made special dark chocolate mini cakes for dessert together.

The moral of the story is. I finally showed my husband, the love and respect he deserves rather than lashing out with anger. It felt good, and I didn’t waste my entertainment putting out negative vibes. We got to spend it doing something special together instead of arguing.

The Hazards of Farm Life

Hello, and good evening. Today has been filled with party planning, an extra tired toddler, and an emergency room visit for the hubby to get a few stitches.

Unfortunately Tyler was hit with the handle of a car jack while working on our big gun this evening. Luckily it was just a few stitches and a headache.

I do have some really cool news in regards to an answered prayer, but it will have to wait until later. This mama needs some sleep.

Goodnight, and God bless.

Strawberry Filled Everyday Cupcakes

Last week our little family went strawberry picking. We picked 25lbs of fresh Sweet Ann strawberries. Aubrey had an absolute blast. We canned 10 pints of strawberry jam, freeze dried 18lbs of strawberries, and ate a few fresh. Whew! It was a lot of work, but will be well worth it this winter. Here is one one of my favorite ways to use the strawberry jam.

Strawberry Filled Everyday Cupcakes

1/2 Cup Butter

1 3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1 Cup Sugar

2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

3/4 Cup Milk

Mix all the ingredients together. Place in cupcake pan and bake at 375 degrees for 17 minutes. Once cooled, core the cupcakes and place filling (strawberry jam) in the center of the cupcake. Place a small piece of the cupcake core back over the opening where the jam is and frost if you would like. A cream cheese frosting would go fantastic! These cupcakes are absolutely wonderful!

Date Weekend & Marriage Class

This weekend my husband and I had the opportunity to have a kid free weekend. Our daughter spent the weekend with my parents. We even had the farm to our selves, which never happens. My in-laws also live on the farm with us. It was a much needed weekend of reconnection for us.

Saturday night we attended church. After church we went out and enjoyed a beverage and conversation. We even ran into an old friend. We practically slept the whole next day. But for reals we just enjoyed being in bed until 2pm. We then cleaned up the house a bit, baked some cupcakes and listened to our favorite radio show. Later that evening we listened to another one of Pastor Dee Dukes marriage classes.

We once again had our minds blown and discovered we needed to set some communication rules in our home. Today as I write this we have already caught ourselves breaking those rules a couple of times.

Pastor Dee suggests implementing the following rules into a marriage conversation.

  1. Do not speak to one another if you are angry or irritated for it is a sin.
  2. Do not interrupt one another when speaking.
  3. Do not correct one another if the information shared was incorrect.

We become so comfortable with our spouse that we tend to take out all of our emotions on them. Even if it wasn’t something our spouse did to spur on those emotions. Our husbands need for us to respect them as much as we ladies need to be loved.

We also will be implementing more date nights into our marriage. It’s easy to stop dating your spouse when life gets chaotic. Let’s face it, if we can make time to have “intimate time” with our spouse, we can make time to still date our spouse.

Until next time, God bless.

Bitterness

Ephesians 4:31

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Over the last several years my anger and resentment have grown out of control. Partly because I let my walk with God become lukewarm. As well as I didn’t know what the root cause of the emotions were. It wasn’t until I listened to a sermon on bitterness, by Pastor Dee Duke that I realized what the root cause was for all my actions and emotions over the last several years.

I had become bitter about so many things in my life. I had let judgment, bitterness, and resentment rule my life. Not going to lie, a lot of it stems from the family dynamics and the stress of living on my in-laws century farm. It’s not an easy adjustment to go from city life, to farm life practically over night.

I also grew up in a very affluent area where it felt like you were constantly being judged if you didn’t have the newest materialistic thing. Not that this is an excuse for my behavior, but it certainly didn’t help teach me to not judge others or compare apples to oranges like so many of us do with social media etc.

My husband grew up with his whole family living within 15 minutes of each other. I grew up with my family living across several states. When we were young we saw each other about once a year up until high school. My husbands family on the other hand spends time with each other for every holiday, special event, and just because. This was very hard for me to adjust too, especially as an introvert. I had a lot of people to suddenly get to know and learn how to get along with.

When I find that a friendship or relationship feels toxic to me I want to pull away with the least amount of conflict. Unfortunately that is not always an option, socially accepted, or respected when you’re dealing with family members. Especially pushy or manipulative family members. Which has led me down the road of building up bitterness, resentment, judgment, and anger towards individuals. Eventually these emotions erupt into an anger spewing event that almost always obliterates that relationship. This has not only happened in my family life, but also spewed into my career. A lot of times I just feel unheard, unappreciated, unsafe, and judged in these relationships.

I now know when I feel unheard, unappreciated, and unsafe I need to speak up and communicate with that person before my thermometer of bitterness builds up to its boiling point. As for the truly toxic individuals I need a whole lot of strength, discernment, and wisdom from God. I need to think, what would Jesus do? How can I set boundaries with this individual? Is this truly a situation where I need to cut them completely out of my life?

Mark 12:30-31 NIV

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Letting Go of Control

I’m very much a type A personality. Which leads to a lot of stress and anxiety. I have a very hard time letting go of control. I also have high expectations. With that being said, those qualities don’t mix well in a marriage. Especially a marriage that is striving to put God first.

Colossians 3:18 NIV

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:3 ESV

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

I’ve read and known about these two verses for some time. But I have never really implemented them in our marriage. I’ve struggled to submit to my husband because of my need for constant control. But when I don’t surrender control of my husband, my daughter, the family farm etc. to God I’m saying to Him I don’t trust you. I can do better than you at controlling my life. This simply is not true. And when we don’t live by Gods commandments he won’t bless our marriage. This is what motivated me to finally start striving to submit to my husband.

My husband was brought up in the church, but fell away when he left for college. It wasn’t until we met that he started attending church again and repairing his relationship with God.

I on the other hand was a bran spanking new Christian who had just been baptized. I was on fire! Well that was until we got married and life got busy. The busier life got the more I sought out to control all the things. All the while my bitterness and judgement towards my husbands very slow growing relationship with God was beginning to divide us. The devil was taking over our marriage and I didn’t even realize it.

What I learned from this is that I need to change my own heart. I need to stop judging and controlling his walk in faith and focus on my own. Who am I to think God will bless our marriage if I my self am not being a Christ like wife to my husband.

To be continued as I now implement what God has taught me. Prayers are appreciated.

Burnham Update

Hello everyone! I’m so sorry that I have not updated my blog in 9 months. So much has changed for Tyler and I in 9 months. We bought a house, got married, and I started a new job just a week after we tied the knot. I feel so blessed. None of these transitions have been easy on either one of us.

We began our house hunt in the beginning of June. We had looked at a foreclosed home just 3 miles from the farm. Unfortunately the house already had an offer on it, but on the plus side we saw another home in the neighborhood that we really liked. Unfortunately this house had a sale pending sign in front of it. I began to pray like I never had before for this home. I knew God would open the door to this house if it was meant to be. About a week later I found out that the sale had fallen through for the previous buyers. Tyler and I placed an offer on the home. Our offer was not the only offer that was placed on the house. Tyler and I kept praying. We both were in the combine combining spinach the evening we found out our offer was accepted. We were absolutely ecstatic. We new that it wasn’t over yet. We had a lot of hurdles to still overcome before we could sign the paperwork. Little did we know that ¾ the way through the home buying process I would lose my job. We thought for sure we would lose the house. We kept praying and God kept providing. Finally September 29th, 2015 we received our keys.

On November 8th, 2015 Tyler and I tied the knot. We love being married, but marriage in its self is a huge challenge. Now that we live under the same roof with two different personalities we have been challenged to improve our communication and faith.  I’ve heard this gets easier with time.

All in all we have adjusted pretty well to married life. We both are welcoming the upcoming harvest. Though we are both a bit scared to see how it goes as a married couple.

P.S. We don’t have a dog yet nor are we expecting any children 😉

oregon-wedding-photographer-nicole-briann-photography-burnham-ceremony-and-reception-241

Harvest Favorites

Adjusting to harvest has not been easy for me because my love language is quality time. I’m not a super needy person or at least I don’t think so. I begin to feel disconnected from Tyler when I don’t get enough quality time and I dislike feeling that way. A relationship is a two way street, but in the summer there is no question that the farm comes first. Each harvest we go through we face new challenges. Each harvest we learn how to improve our relationship for the next season. Though I have not mastered how to deal with harvest there still are several things I enjoy about harvest.

Harvest Favorites

1.) Tractor Rides/Date Nights: I love riding along with Tyler because I always learn something new and its the best quality time we usually get during the summer season. Most of our productive and deep conversations actually happen while riding in the tractor. Some times I’ll even bring Tyler dinner and a beer. I much rather watch a sunset out the tractor window while enjoying some home cooked food with Tyler than going out to some crowded fancy restaurant. There is just something about mother natures beauty that makes the evening so romantic.

2.) Never Bored: During the summer season there is always half a million different things Tyler is trying to get done. Tyler hops from one project to another constantly. There are always challenges that come along with these projects that keeps things interesting.

3.) Date nights with his mom. If I’m not feeling up to riding with Tyler or he is doing something that I don’t really enjoy doing his mom and I have date nights together, usually on a Friday or Saturday evening. Our date nights usually consist of some sort of adult beverage, conversation, and some sort of TV show or movie we like. On occasion we will cook something together. Last week we enjoyed wine, fire, and smore’s on a beautiful Saturday night.

4.) Machine breakdowns or rain: Though neither of these events Tyler particularly enjoys interrupting his harvest, they mean quality time for me.

It will probably be many years before I’m truly comfortable with the harvest season, but once we are married and living under the same roof I have a feeling I’ll be a bit more comfortable with it.

Rainy Day Date Night

As you may already know I’m new to blogging, both writing and reading, and I’m really enjoying reading about the other farm wive’s experiences. Today I read a post by one farm wife that talked about how she is thankful for machine breakdowns and bad weather. Today I experienced her same thankfulness. I haven’t been able to enjoy many rainy day date nights recently because it has been a dry spring. He has been busy with planting and watering, but its been day two of rain and I am glad to spend some down time with Tyler. On this impromptu date night this recipe fit perfectly.

Tyler’s BBQ Style Stew

1 Crockpot

1 Fry pan

Image1lb Venison

1 Can diced tomatoes with roasted chiles undrained (or jalapenos)

1 Can kidney beans

1 Can white or pinto beans

8 – 16 oz BBQ sauce of your choice

1 Small onion

1-2 Cloves garlic diced finely

3 TBSP Olive oil

In your crockpot combine rinsed beans, tomatoes, and BBQ sauce. Cube the venison and place in a fry pan with the 3 TBSP’s olive oil, minced garlic, and chopped onion. Cook the venison until browned. Once the venison has been browned place it in the crock pot. Turn crockpot on high for 45 min. to an hour, then place the crockpot on low for at least an hour and a half. Keep warm unit served. P.S. The original recipe was a bachelor meal that Tyler used to cook himself: 1 can kidney beans, 1 can white beans, 1 container BBQ sauce, and a slab of venison. I put my wifey touch on it 🙂