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Helen's Mulberry Lane Farm Journal


These last few days I've been pondering the Bible verse in I Thessalonians 4:11.

Make it your ambition.

Definition of ambition: a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

Synonyms of ambition: aspiration, intention, goal, aim, objective, object, purpose, intent, plan, desire, wish, design, target, dream

To lead a quiet life.

Gerald looking over his garden on a Sunday afternoon.

To mind your own business.

No to this.

I don't need a million "friends" on facebook. I don't need to know every move they make, like where they ate dinner last night or what movie they went to or what dress they just bought or what color they just painted their fingernails.

All I need and want are real relationships with just a few real friends; people who see the good and the bad about me, and yet are still my friends, and vice versa. People who see what I look like without professionally done makeup or my hair blowing in the wind, and still "like" me. They don't evaluate me or rate me according to the (rust bucket) I drive. (Let us not even talk about my kitchen, at the moment, which would be rejected by Pinterest, but might win one of those "ugliest kitchen" contests.)

All I need and want are a few true-weather friends, who stay the course, through thick and thin. One of those is my husband. With him I have an old-fashioned, warm and cozy, yet honest relationship. He is my primary friend, and quite frankly, pretty much all I need. I have poured my life into his and he has poured his life into mine. We connect face-to-face on a daily basis, even several times a day. (He doesn't even read my Instagram posts!)

And then God has blessed me with a few other very special people. Some are even related to me and are still my friends---you know who you are! With these it is sharing and caring soul to soul.

Just a few. Quality, not quantity.

Loyal, honest, caring and unpretentious friends.

One of them is my 90-year-old mentor, Eldora.

Eldora and me celebrating her 90th birthday. January 2015.

Then there's my far-away friend---never-get-to-spend-enough-time-with friend---Sonya. (We are kinda related; her son is married to my daughter!)

Great time together in May 2015!

A few email friends, like Pauline, another 90+ year old! Wise. Spiritually deep. Gracious.

I love you all so much! Thanks for pouring your lives into mine.

I am "rich" and my heart is full of these special friends: the memories we share, the needs we pray for, the tears, the joys.

These are real friends, participating in real, meaningful living.

A view from my yard, recently enjoyed with my husband and children.

To work with your hands.

I love that Paul adds, "to work with your hands." Otherwise, we might think he had in mind sitting outside in our lawn chairs and watching the clouds go by all day long. You know, a quiet life in the country. But he adds this most important statement: "to work with your hands." That implies toil and sweat.

Working with your hands can look like many different things. Diapering or nursing a baby, taking a relative to the doctor's office, cleaning up from seven kids who have the stomach flu, making lunch for hungry boys, preparing a Sunday School lesson, getting a drink of water for a thirsty child at 2 a.m., buying groceries, washing a car, baking bread, going to a computer job five days a week, bringing a meal to a new mom, preaching on a Sunday morning, feeding the cat...and even cleaning strawberries.

We are to make this our ambition. Sure goes against everything we want to do, doesn't it?

Or work with your feet.....
My shoes and feet after mulching our four, 160 feet long rows of potatoes with leaves from last fall.

I want this verse to be my goal, my intent, my aspiration, my purpose, my lead a quiet life, to mind my own business, and to work with my hands. I am working hard to achieve this ambition. I am determined to do this. I'm striving for it. The Apostle Paul says I need to do this.

In other words, this is a life well lived.

This is "doing life".

This is living life to the fullest.

So simple, yet so hard to do.

My friend and mentor Elisabeth Elliot died today, June 15, 2015. Her writings impacted me more than any other person. She changed my life. She poured her life out for other women like me. She turned her back on adulation, on leisurely days, on self. She is now reaping what she sowed in her earthly life, and eternity is a long, long time.

Here is a quote from her:

This job has been given to me to do.

Therefore, it is a gift.

Therefore, it is a privilege.

Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God.

Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.

Here, not somewhere else, I may learn Godís way.

In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.

Elisabeth (Howard) Elliot

1926 - 2015.


Have you tried our freshly ground cornmeal?

Try it out! Makes delicious muffins!

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