Thursday, January 16, 2014

Beloved; A Weekend Project On The Farm

A Christ-centered home doesn't look perfect... it looks to Jesus.

I've had to bathe myself in this lately.

In His Word He calls us these tender, heart-breathing names... Son, Daughter, Adopted, Accepted, Extravagantly Loved.

But lately I've rested in this one.


Let the BELOVED of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders. Deut. 33:12

Therefore be imitators of God, as BELOVED children. Eph. 5:1

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and BELOVED, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience... Col. 3:12

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  BELOVED, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears[a]we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

The world often displays a love that is contingent on the recipient’s behavior or form of repayment of the love. It is a give and take kind of love…a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of trade-off for love.

The word beloved in the previous verse literally means “ beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love”. It’s a word indicating an action on the part of the one doing the loving. The God of the universe, the same God who paints a sunset, shapes a mountain and plans the waves at the beach, has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our role in this is to BE-LOVED.

What does it look like to be-loved?

How it looks on this farm,
with these kids,
with this man,
and this woman,

It's so far from perfection.

It's sticky, messy. Sometimes seemingly sharp. Maybe mediocre, the same old same old.

But it's a place where the Lord is welcome and all eyes are on Him all-day-long. our eyes are on the one who sees us as beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love. 

On Saturday mornings the farmhouse inevitably smells like greasy, delicious bacon. And at the breakfast table everyone throws out their thoughts on what we should do over the weekend. This morning the Mama won-out and a project has begun.

The Cowboy, he's building me a shelf, a place to put all those hats and gloves and jackets and boots that take OVER the farmhouse day after day.

I'm in love with his kindness.


The littlest one went down for a nap and I went out to help gather the wood.

If you want to know what these five amazing treasures are like, all you need to know is what they were all doing while the Cowboy and I worked together out at the wood shed.

Without being asked, the oldest boy emptied out the van and vacuumed it. He spent the rest of the afternoon riding his quad around in the snow. {Beloved} 
The Dancing girl drew pictures of horses in her drawing notebook that she carries with her everywhere. {Beloved}

And The Spunky One and The Charming One, they keep me humble. They put my heart in a state of utter confusion... I never know whether to laugh or cry. {Beloved}

It wasn't to long ago that they covered themselves in homemade snow.

And today, well, I came in from tearing down wood planks with the Cowboy, and there they were at the farm table... the table that was now beautifully decorated in HUNDREDS of stickers. Yep, lovely stickers, e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. And when I walked in with a shocked look on my face, The Spunky One didn't even blink. She cheerfully pointed out all her favorites. :)

"Love? Do we put stickers on the table?"

She looked at me so matter-of-factly...


"Soooooo, why are there stickers all over the table?"

"Cuz it makes the table look sooo beautiful, don't you think Mama?"

"Oh, right.Ya. Beautiful...??? Guess what love? You and your brother don't get to leave the table, until ALL of the stickers are off the table."

THEN, she started to cry. {What, now you're crying??}

"Why the tears sweet Reese?"

"I'm never ever 
going to be able to leave this table again!" She buries her face in her little hands. {Drama anyone?? LOL.}

"You might be here a while, but hopefully we won't be putting stickers on the table again anytime soon, yes?"

She musters up the strength to nod her little head. :)

It took them awhile, but the farm table has been restored to it's non-sticker glory. :)

Admonishing little hearts. Consequences. Restoration. Grace. {Beloved}

Moving on...

I decided to take the Charmer outside with me.... at least when they aren't together there are less brilliant ideas for fun being conjured up. :)

He watched his Papa climb onto the roof of the shed.

He looked up so high,

"Papa", he said.

"You sure are up high. You must be pretty close to Jesus up there. Are you Papa, close to Jesus?"

I love this kid. {Beloved}

He stood there for a good 20 minutes, not taking his eyes off his Papa.... asking question after question after question. {Beloved}

When we had enough wood we brought it to the man cave and then took a little break from wood work.

Motorcycles. Me. My man. Wind in our hair. Farm fields. Snow. Laughing. {Beloved}

All the little moments.
There were smoothies for snack today. The Spunky girl asked me in her best English accent, "Mother, before you give us our smoothies could you please say to us, "Elizabeth and Sabrina, your order is now ready. Elizabeth and Sabrina."" {Beloved}

The oldest ran outside after lunch. A few seconds later he poked his head back through the front door, said "Thanks for lunch Mom", winked, and ran back outside. {Beloved}

Praying over the fussy littlest one in my arms.Him and I in the kitchen, U2 playing quietly in the background. {Beloved}

My Dad and My Man working together to bless this Mama. {Beloved}

The Dancing Girl, sharing her idea for the weekend's activities and ending her plans with her hands up in the air and a loud "Woot, Woot!!" (A HUGE Smile on the Mama's face)

A simple shelf made from a dirty, old shed on a Saturday in early January.

Beloved, that esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love, kind of love.

Beloved, Him lavishing it on me in all the not-so-little things.

All day long He whispers it so tenderly to this Mama, mothering so messily, out in the sticks,

"You-are -my-Beloved. You are my Beloved. You ARE MY Beloved."

So I tell it to myself ALL DAY LONG, Be-Loved.

Live all these crazy moments, Loved.

Well loved.

All this, only to discover that it's not even really about all that He does for me, but really it has always been and always will be about WHO He is towards me. He is the greatest reason to always live loved. :)