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Posts from the ‘Threshold Homestead’ Category

THE HARVEST YIELDS MUCH

THE HARVEST YIELDS MUCH

In this week’s blog, I’m trying to give back to my community.  Yes, I have finally created a video for my “Cracklin’ Cornbread”.  As a one-person household, I struggle to get in the kitchen and cook; for several reasons. 

One reason is due to the fact that it is not fun to cook for just me.  For all of my adult life, I have cooked for my family, and I loved every minute of it.  Two, after so many years of cooking BIG meals, it is almost impossible to cook a small quantity of food.  I usually end up eating a meal I’ve cooked for a week just to keep from wasting all of it.  

I do love to eat a good home-cooked meal. I always enjoy the memories which flood my present mind,  as I cook a favorite dish from my past.  However, those memories can be bittersweet.  As some recipes can trigger some not so pleasant memories.  

Thankfully, I have found a way to share some of my favorite recipes or everyday life events with you all.  As an extra bonus, I can also share a little devotion with you all.  This week I have been pondering about how often in my life, God’s provision for me was very timely and in the appropriate amount, if not overly abundant.  The title of this blog reflects this thought: 

 The Harvest Yields Much!

Well, it does, if I keep my focus and faith on God.  My scripture focus was 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15 

The Cheerful Giver

6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[a] will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency[b] in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;

    his righteousness endures forever.”

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they[c] will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

I know a lot of small farmers who plant gardens every year.  I have actually been setting down some more roots myself. The biggest news I’m hearing from my small cropping friends is that many are planting extra plants this year.  They are planning and hoping to have extra so they can share with their neighbors. 

I love how the scripture explains the simple concept of how a stingy planter reaps a stingy crop.  On the reverse side the planter who sows lavishly will harvest a lavish crop.  What we do with a lavish crop will either lead to more need or an abundance of overflowing rewards.  No, we don’t give so we can receive, but when we cheerfully and generously give to others, God will bless us even more, and all of our basic needs will be met.  One of the greatest needs God showers down upon us is His amazing grace.

And then some, Malachi 3:10 says: 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 

Just knowing He said He can open the flood gates of Heaven and pour His blessings upon us, so much so that we can’t store them, is so comforting. 

If He so chooses He can bless our crops so we not only have enough for ourselves but, also enough for our community.  

A giving attitude is so very important in this life. Especially now with the situation our country is experiencing.  Our food budget is being challenged to the max and many are having to choose between paying a utility bill or providing food on the family table.  God knows our heart and if we are sincerely asking for His blessing for an abundant harvest so we can give to others, some very awesome blessings that started in your garden or on your land will end up answering the prayers of some persons in your community!  Always remember, God is the source of everything good. It is by His example and help that we can do good for others.  This helps us to take the emphasis off of our own needs, fully believing God will meet our needs when we follow His giving example. Thinking of others is a very necessary way to extend the grace given to us by God on to others.  Acts of generosity result in God being Praised! Thanks be to God for His incredible blessings.  I pray I can be a good steward of the gifts he has bestowed upon me.  

As promised, here is the link for the “Cracklin’ Cornbread.”

This is the video that I promised to share with you all a while ago.  I am sorry it took so long to get it produced.  I am just learning how to edit and produce videos,.  Thank you for your patience!  Here is the recipe as best as I could remember from the recording of the process of making it.  

I made a double recipe, but you can divide it in half, if you only need a smaller quantity.  

Gluten-Free Cracklin’ Cornbread (you can use regular flour if you wish)/

2 cups of Blackwells Cornmeal

2 cups Allmond flour

1tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 beaten eggs

2 cups buttermilk (I had to add about 1/4 cup more to get the consistency that I prefer)

1 cup lard

1 to 11/2 cups of Cracklins

Place lard into a cast-iron skillet and put it into the preheated oven @ 350* and leave it until the lard melts. Place cracklins into the skillet and heat on the stovetop until they are warm.

While that heats up Combine all dry ingredients into the mixing bowl.

Adding the 2 1/2 cups of buttermilk  ( I added about 1/2 cup more).  Add the eggs and stir until mixed well.  Add the heated cracklins and about 1 cup of the lard to the mixture.  It will sizzle, , then pour the mixture into the warm cast iron skillet, leveling the mixture on top, and then place it into the oven, for 20 minutes, check to see if done or not.  Mine took about 30-35 minutes to cook.  Flip the cornbread out onto a plate, and enjoy it warm or let it cool.  ENJOY!

Why Threshold Homestead?

Somethings seem to always have been a part of our lives, constantly molding us.  One is the family from which we came, it made up a big part of who we are.  Then, the family you helped to create.  Many transitions occur to bring us where we are.  One certainty is that there are always changes, and yes, sometimes unexpected new beginnings.  At the beginning of every transition of life, there are doors, always stop and pray and ask for God’s guidance, before choosing!  Whichever door you open will make all the difference as to where your life will end up.  As you approach the door of your choosing, you must cross the threshold of your new journey! Cross the threshold with confidence toward the transition into your new life and enjoy every step of your new journey.  Your new dreams will unfold before you; some easily obtained, while others require much hard work, and many hours of time.  It will be worth all of your efforts, and time!

Always remember, when your past and present life’s dreams are swept away and your future direction seems unclear, do not lose hope! Keep looking forward, do not dwell on your past forsaken dreams, or grieve their losses too long.  Let all of them go, and keep your faith and continue searching for new dreams.  Share the new dreams with God, and He will keep them in mind, and little by little the new promise of a good and wonderful door of opportunity will be before you.  You will recognize it and you will be grateful and ready to open the door and walk over the threshold into your new and wonderfully fresh new start.

I am at one such time in my life where I am starting a fresh new beginning.  I’m crossing over the threshold of the door before me.

I have prayed and I have imagined new dreams for my life, but I am not without hope.  My future is bright,  it is not filled with loneliness, it is filled with great companionship.  I have earthly friends, and my greatest companion is Jesus! He has carried me every step of my life and will continue to be with me always. I am thankful for such a companion as HE!  Whatever threshold I have to cross, now or in the future, I am willing, and I AM READY!

GRIEF JOURNEY-Part 1

GRIEF JOURNEY

Every person has a different grief journey.  We are to come alongside our brethren, helping them most by serving them during their trial.  Sincerely praying for them is enough, and as our heart is moved by prayer and supplications, we are clearly led by God how best to help our loved ones and friends in the midst of a trial. I was just thinking about this today, as I continue to travel on my current journey, and after much reflection and conversing with God, I was convicted to learn from my experiences.  I was very much aware of what I should or shouldn’t say to someone who might be experiencing the same trial that I have traveled through under the grace and mercy of Jesus. At the same time, all of those seemingly empty unhelpful comments at times that were made were not meant to intentionally hurt me, so as my Heavenly Father covers me with His grace and mercy, I, too, must extend that same grace and mercy to those whose comments cut me to the deepest part of my soul. I am certain that the last lesson was the one God wanted me to contemplate the most. Yes, I forgave those who meant well and missed the mark, however, the strength I gained from those who were seasoned followers of Jesus were quite literally the hands and feet and mouths of Jesus. How precious to my heart were those words and deeds and love for my Journey, then and NOW!  Let us all continue to focus on the good Jesus brought to us and continues to bring to us, for that is what will carry us through the next journey of life; stronger and more faithful than the last.  

Are you going through a trial of life, that is testing your faith?  The testing of your faith means you have faith, therefore, you have hope. Find peace and help in the arms of Jesus.  Are you questioning why you must endure such horrible circumstances that exhaust your reserves to overcome? We live in an imperfect world, and my friend, everyone is experiencing a trial of some sort. You are not alone, there is hope, and a helper!  Are you overwhelmed, and even more so, when you hear those painful words, such as “just hold on the light is just ahead?” (Revelation: during a trial, God revealed to me, “ as a child of Jesus, the light is not at the end of the journey, it is within you ALL THE WAY”) or don’t worry, I know how you feel, it will get better.” Be strong in the LORD, when we are our weakest, then HIS strength abounds! Just relinquish your forgiveness to those who mean well, immediately, and find rest for your weary soul in the presence of the one who comes alongside you to bear every burden of life.  

Know without hesitation: Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you.  Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

During those most frustrating moments, remember to draw near to God, even closer than ever; truly, HE is the only one capable to bring peace in the midst of the raging storms of life.  

AS Christians, we are to be the hands, feet, and mouths of Jesus to others, we are not to expect those elements from anyone other than Jesus.  So when others fall short of what we expect, we only have ourselves to blame. Always, always, we must put our hope in Jesus. However, if we are so very blessed to have great individuals who bless us during our moment of need, we can be grateful to them, remembering always, the Glory goes to God.  Know without a doubt that blessing was intended for us by God, and He used His faithful follower to be His hands, feet, and mouth. What an awesome testament of someone’s true character, who truly has a relationship with God. Someone who doesn’t view God as a religion, but someone who is real, and worthy to praise and honor, and obey. That is a relationship!  

No matter the journey of grief that you are facing, it can only be overcome by the one who overcomes all obstacles that might destroy us without Him. Draw close to HIM, and He will draw close to YOU. 

 

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.  And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

My RE-Introduction

 

Most of you who know a little about my background will notice that this is a new introduction for my blog.  My life has changed quite a bit over the last few years. I am now experiencing life on the verge of a new threshold, hence the current blog description: threshold homestead.  I grew up living a sheltered life on a small 9-acre farm, and then married and lived the challenging 28 year-long life of building a productive farm while raising two children, who are one and two of the greatest blessings that God granted me to experience. As life can be challenging with or without the added struggles of making a farm dream become a reality, the ups and downs can knock the wind out of you.  With God’s help many times over, we just picked ourselves up again and again and kept moving forward toward the goals laid out before us. More times than most, we just kept our mindset on the small daily goal of making it into the bed each night, with the hope of doing the same thing all over again the next day.  

As I mentioned, my life has taken some expected changes and some unexpected changes.  My 28-year marriage was interrupted by a test that was not passed, some negative choices were made, and my ex-husband chose a different path for the future of the life, we had planned and built from the ground up.  His decisions forced me onto a new path, one which I am still trying to figure out. It has not been easy, but from the beginning and even before what I know to be the beginning, God has had me in the palm of His Hand, and I know exactly how very blessed I am.  

No, my life has not turned out the way I had dreamed, and many of my old dreams did not come to fruition. However,  I have been given the incredible blessing of starting over, to be able to see the potential for new dreams, fresh new doorways to walk through, and a chance to rewrite what I see, as I walk this new path, and I look ahead toward a promising new horizon.  

So much has happened, I am now the receiver of two great new blessings, my two grandsons, Roman and Knox.  I have a new home, one that keeps me busy, as I try to remodel and update it, as many of the 1950’s building codes don’t quite meet today’s standards. I am doing this a little at a time, as I am working and trying to purchase the required materials and labor as I can afford to do so without going into debt.  I have hopes to begin farming on a small scale compared to my old life, what can I say, my farming roots run deep.  

I was also blessed by God to be able to make sure my daughter finished college debt-free, and fulfill her dream of a beautiful farm-style wedding.  And, I have been able to help my son get a more solid footing for his future. God has been good to us all! His promises never fail!

And now, He (God) is saying to me, let’s get your show on the road!  I have put this off and put this off, but the day is finally here, where I begin my telling of my story.  I have struggled with where to start, and as I was cutting my grass for the last time this past fall, just shortly before my daughter’s wedding, I made a decision, the best place to start is right where you are.  Here I am….just the beginning, just the threshold, just the start….

Stick with me as I journey forward toward my new dreams, all being whispered to me as I listen to HIM: my father, my counselor, my protector, my provider, my redeemer, my ALL IN ALL, JESUS!

 

Laundry Detergent Monday!

Well, it’s Monday!

The weekend was long and to be honest I love a Monday morning!   I just love getting back into my daily routine, after a very out of ordinary weekend.  This particular Monday is laundry detergent making Monday.  I have had family and friends to ask me to post my “recipe”.  I would love to take credit for my “recipe”, but I can’t.  I first found it many years ago on a homeschool mom’s blog.  It has been so long ago, that I am sorry to say, I do not remember which one.  None-the-less, I am ever so grateful.  I have tweaked it here and there, and my “way”  follows with a few photos.

I gather my ingredients:

Laundry Detergent 1

1 bar grated Fels-Naptha (I place the bar of soap in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds to make the grating process much easier.  Make sure you break the bar apart to quickly cool it to avoid burning your fingers).

1 1/2 cup washing soda

1 cup Borax

1/2 jar of my favorite Gain fragrance

 

First things first, I add the grated soap to my pot, then add four cups water and simmer until the soap has melted and looks like the following photo:

Laundry Detergent 3

When the soap is totally melted, add the washing soda, stir, then add the Borax, stir, then the fragrance.

Pour this mixture into a 5 gallon bucket, add hot tap water to fill the bucket to nearly full.  Stir the mixture very well, and put the bucket lid onto the bucket.  Let set overnight, then open the lid and stir the mixture very well.  You can keep the mixture in the bucket or place into smaller containers.

I use 1/4 cup for lightly soiled clothing, and 1/2 for very soiled clothing.

You can use this mixture to pre-treat stubborn stains, as well.

Happy Monday! 🙂

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