Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Farming is For the Birds??

A few months ago, my husband and I were driving over the bridge to our house and looked over at the heap of corn that had just been brought in during corn harvest. Now normally, this would be no big deal except for this time the entire "corn mountain" was covered with little birds. I mean completely covered!! Hundreds and Hundreds of little birds covered this entire huge pile of corn. There were hundreds of birds flying in the air trying to get their turn as well. My first thought was...ooh gross, hope that isn't the corn that is going to be used for cornflakes!! But as we were driving away I thought...oh man God's word is so cool...he's using man's hands to feed the birds. So farming really is "for the birds"...but more from a provision standpoint. I wish I would have had a camera with me that day so I could fully illustrate this point.

Farming corn takes a lot of work. My grandfather was a farmer and so I have first hand knowledge at all the time, work and preparations that go into producing an acre of corn. I rode with my grandfather as we plowed the field getting it ready for planting. I got to watch the planter put the corn into the ground and rode with my grandfather as he turned the irrigation sprinklers on and off. I watched tiny grains of corn turn into huge giants. I used to get out sometimes when we were checking the fields and walk into the forest of corn...until a dumb horror movie came out about Nebraska and cornfields and I never entered a cornfield again! I also have ridden in a combine and watched the huge stalks of corn turn into a huge truckload of golden grains of profit!! I have watched as the corn was taken from the truck and loaded into the grain bins for drying and/or feeding to the cattle. I rode in the truck when we took it to the Coop to sell it as well. I know full well how much work goes into it. As an adult, even though I do not live or work on a farm, I look at what it costs to farm as well because the cost eventually trickles down to the final product sitting on my table.

So knowing the work that goes into corn made me realize how God uses the hard work of the farmer to feed even the birds. As the economic crisis pours into the midst of my own family, I have to continually meditate on God's word:

Matthew 6:25 "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to to his life?"

So why worry....if God will feed the birds...he will take care of EVERY one of my needs!!

Saw this really cool video that kind of went with my blog entry today:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Red Tab, Disk Backup & God's Camcorder

When we got back from vacation, I decided to start to do some work on my graphics and noticed that I was missing FOUR of my graphics/photo disks. I have absolutely no idea what happened to them, just that I can't find them!! lol!! The sad part is that in total if I was to estimate the total market value of them it is unbelieveable! I cried, I stomped and fretted, but there's nothing that I can do. One of them wasn't a big deal because it was a backup disk when our computer crashed of PSP tubes that I used to play with when I was learning how to play with my new program. My husband thinks that is one the disks that we had thrown away when the boys crushed it with the desk chair. The good news is most of the graphics that were on my original graphic disk are my name t-shirt graphics that are uploaded already to my t-shirt printer and my base graphics are backed up...sigh a breath of relief. I guess one would probably be initially worried about someone getting a hold of them, but I'm not. Working for a trademarking/copyright attorney was probably the best thing I could have ever done, because I protect every single one of my graphics, original writings, and designs which I encourage all starting graphic artists, writers, and designers to do. The point is, I got a little careless and should have had several copies of them like I've always done with my original photos!! I need to get a zip drive or portable major purchase on my business shopping list.

So that wasn't it...after that...I thought...oh man what about all of our videos that we've taken on the camcorder...I really need to get them put on DVDs!! So I pull out the camcorder...eagerly searching for Josiah's precious baby video. On this video we had baby Josiah about 10 months old in his crib raising his hand and saying "Paayyze Jesus!", as well as just after his birth, his first few months and the first time that his paternal grandfather met him. When Ray Sr. saw Raymond "Josiah" for the first time he cried tears of joy and that moment was all caught on tape now forever lost in erased video land. We had Josiah's first year on that tape and I was just dying to see all those short clips. So I start one of the videos and it's a tape of Brandon's football games a year ago...I run it forward to the end of the games and see this clip of the boys playing with leaves in our first house here that we were renting. Josiah is about 18 months or so in this video. Then it totally hits me....oh my goodness we taped over it!!! Not to mention the fact that I still can't find the video of Hannah's Front Street show either and I'm thinking that became a victim too!! Well I remembered, right about the time Brandon had football I was trying to figure out how to get the videos to the computer and had re-wound the tape and probably had it either in the bag or in the camera itself and know the rest of the story. So in researching this week, just found out there is a little red tab thing that you click over and it prevents it from being recorded over!! Oh Gee where was that article almost two years ago.

Well the thing is...a tape is a tape and a graphic cd is a graphic cd. They have no life they have no spirit and they are just man-made things that will eventually turn to rubble, break or get a very disorganized mom!! I have the memories hidden in my heart and I plan to write a book (and hoping to recruit the hubby) for each of my children with all the special memories that I have of them and putting their pictures in them for them to keep. I am hoping that these memories in my words (and hopefully their dad's) will be something more significant that 50 short clips of their childhood. I know I have video clips of me as a very young child that were taken by my grandfather, but the memories that I have hidden in my heart, are 10 times more significant that the videos.

God has a video camera in his heart that he takes "videos" of everything I've said, done, and thought. They are forever transcribed into the Book of Life. He knows what you've done...good or bad. He knows every good and hurtful thing you have done to others. He knows every word you've said and every lie you have told, EVERYTHING!! It's kind of like a scrapbook or a baby book that a mother keeps of her children's milestones, except God does a better job and he does it for all his children from birth-death. When I think about that, I want to be more careful about what I say and what I do. It's also like a surveillance camera that can't be obstructed or shut down and sees EVERYWHERE!!

I want to spend more time with my husband and children, rather than sitting in front of a computer wasting time on message boards and networking sites. While I still need to design graphics and clothing, I still want to make sure that I give my husband and each of the boys a special moment alone every day.

This morning Josiah crawled up on the couch and snuggled me. I kissed him on the forehead and he kissed me back and said "I love you mommy! You are the best mommy ever!" I melted and my anger about the lost video subsided because I had the present and the future of this little boy to look forward to! Tonight rather than sit and finish a client order, I grabbed the big stack of books my four year old brought to me and read them all to him. When my seven year old needed help on something I immediately stopped what I was doing and took the time to help him rather than make him wait until I finished what I was doing. I took the time to pack a lunch for my hubby, chat with him and give him a huge hug as he headed out the door for work. THESE are the memories I want in my children's "mommy scrapbook" and God's Book of Life.

I don't want to be remembered as the mom who sits in front of the computer designing graphic after graphic, or networking, or crocheting. I want to be the mom who read that book, played that game, or sang that song with my child. They grow up way to fast and it just seems like yesterday that I was pregnant with Jonathan...working my last few weeks of the job...wondering what staying at home with my children would be like. God has truthfully blessed Ray and I and even though things are very tough for us right now, he gives us signs every day that we are special in his heart and that he will take care of us!! What is going to be on your "Life Video" when you die?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pineapple, Cookies and Grandparents!

Today Jonathan was digging in the food cupboard and pulled out a can of pineapple. He was talking about how this was one of his favorite foods. He said "I know how I got to like pineapple. Grandma Edwards used to give it to me every time we went to see her. I used to call her Pineapple Grandma." Brandon chimed in and said "Yep and you used to call Grandpa Edwards "Cookie Papa" because he gave you cookies when we saw him in Florida." My father in law has since passed away and is waiting for us in heaven. When he was alive however, he would make sure that he gave the boys his full love and attention when we saw him. Jonathan was only 18 months when we went to Florida to see my father-in-law and because he was so shy Grandpa bribed him with cookies to get him to come and sit in his lap. It was the perfect bond between them and for years after Ray Sr. passed away, my little boy would look up at me with his beautiful blue eyes and say "I miss cookie papa so much." I guess the way to Jonathan's heart is his stomach and Grandma Edwards followed suit and would give him pineapple chunks as a treat. That little boy I think would eat an entire can by himself when we were there. Like the cookies, it was something he identified with her and made her special in his heart. When they talk about my brother they identify the fact that he is the army and served our country. My children get to see my parents more often so it's hard to pinpoint that one memory that they identify them with. My mom is always doing some kind of project with the boys whether it's painting or baking. She also loves to read with the boys, something they enjoy very much. My dad is known for taking them out in the yard and letting them ride on the riding lawn mower with him, he also has an antique John Deere tractor that he often lights up at Christmas time, something they always love. My kids and I love to talk about all the good things that have happened in our lives, especially those family members that we do not get to see as often. I think it's so important with children to focus on the happy things of the past, especially when you have a situation like ours when the present isn't exactly cheery with some family relationships. I want my kiddos to remember the good times that they have had with these family members so that if they never see them again, that they will cherish THOSE memories. I have always tried to see the good in people no matter what they have done or said to me. I think it's just maybe a gift that God gave me to not dwell on bitterness and unforgiveness. God forgives us too for all the sins that we do against him. God sees us as the "apple of his eye", I think it's so cool that when God thinks of me, he thinks of the happy things that I have done and not the silly mistakes that I have made throughout my life. The other day my husband called me when he was on the train. He had been praying because there was a real possibility of being laid off from work that would put our family in a tremendous financial crisis. As the economy continues to decline they cut more and more positions from the railroad. It's something that we have been praying about daily. Ray told me in this phone conversation, that God had woke him up in the middle of the night and spoke to him in a small still voice and told him that he would rather cast the stars away which he knows by name then to ever let our dear family fall from his hands. In these trying economic times it's so important that we fix our eyes on our father who reminds us that we are the apple of his eye and he will not forget us.