Thursday, August 1, 2013

In A Nutshell

If you’ve stumbled across my Blog, welcome.  If you have been here before, welcome back. 

Those of you who have visited often know “something’s up”.  I have gone from checking in an average of 30 times a month, to 2. 

Honestly, it is God-driven.

There’s no easier way to say it, other than God is doing some pruning in my life, and that of my husband, Russ. 

Almost 3 years ago, Russ and I said a special prayer together, asking the Lord to lead us, as we follow Him.  {To “…take up the Cross”…Luke 9:23}   And he has led us.  He has been faithful, and present for us EVERY day. 

In some ways, it hasn’t been easy to slip into “God’s economy”, where you trust Him for your every need.  But it has been good.  And He has never (and I mean NEVER) failed us. 

Some of you know what I’m talking about.  Blind trust.  To walk by FAITH, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).  Sometimes it takes BLIND TRUST to get you through a day…an hour…a minute.  But it is amazing to see what He chooses to do with you during that time. 

I have my husband to thank for keeping me from worry.  When things are so financially strapped or we are facing a crisis, my husband asks “…do we have what we need for TODAY?”, to which I reply…yes.  “OK then…give us THIS day, our daily bread.  No need to worry.”  {Side bar:  Did you know that we are told not to worry 365 times in the Bible?  One for every day!}

Additionally, it meant the Enemy (aka the Devil) put us at the top of his chalkboard, with our names underlined, in BOLD.  The Enemy was relentless in trying to oppress us.  We had to call on the name of Jesus to keep him at bay. And it has worked, because the Lord doesn’t lie.  I remember stopping outside and huddling with my husband, our arms around each other, calling on Jesus to protect us from the onslaught of the Enemy. 

So, how did these changes come about over the past couple years?  

We started our pruning with no longer having television, several years back.  (A very wise decision…we no longer allow SIN to come into our home, un-invited, invited, or otherwise.)  We will never view television again.  No DVD's, nada.  Simply, no TV.

Then, we removed the Internet from our farm. 

We do not have a “fancy” phone.  No Internet on there either. 

Radio is our media, and it is honed on the Christian station during the evening. 

Next, my camera went.  This was difficult at first, as I “prided” myself as a photographer, having won several contests in the past and been published in a dozen or so media outlets.  As the year rolled around four seasons without hearing the sound of a shutter release, I knew it was good to be without a camera.  For me, it was taking too high a priority in my life.  {Idols come in many forms...}

In addition, we have reduced our goat herd to zero. 

We have reduced our horses to one.  Raz.  

Funny thing, we spend more time with him (both of us) and he seems happier being by himself.  As you can see by his hefty frame, he spends most of his time eating anyway, as horses should.

Another big change for us…we have “retired” from our dog sledding business.  This winter, for the first time in over a decade, we will have the dogs to ourselves.  I will not be booking appointments and answering the phone and returning emails.  Our website has been taken down, several emails went POOF, LinkedIN, Paypal, tweets have stopped Twittering and more.  (My life is getting simple.…er.)  Upon telling people, they say “where are your dogs?”.  They are here, and will be until they pass from this earth, back into this earth.  We have 19.  That number includes two 15 year olds, and several 14 year olds.  We only have 5 under the age of 7.  In simple terms, our kennel is aging out.  Kinda like us.

So what do we do all day?  We still have pigs (sus domestica, for you DNR folks...).  

We have chickens, with several broody hens who, in their patience and sitting, blessed us with 9 more chicks this summer.  Along with the rooster...couldn't have done it without him.  

And we have our free-ranging rabbits, both adults and several white/black/and gray bunnies skittering about. 

Although we keep very busy each day, our main focus is on our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We rejoice that He is in our life, leading us daily.  We rejoice that Jesus will return…perhaps soon.  We rejoice that we welcome His return, and look forward to being with Him.  We hope others around us will become lovers and followers of Christ, as we are, so they can have an eternity with our triune God.  Until that time, we continue to have our weekly Bible study at our place each Wednesday evening.  We always look forward to meeting in the presence of the Holy Spirit and talking about the Bible, the Living Word, and giving the glory to Him.

One last thing - one thing I haven’t talked about in a while - is my relationship with the Amish community.  My interest in the Amish people spans nearly 30 years. It has grown leaps and bounds in the last year, since I attended an Amish church service last summer.  Since then, I have been meeting regularly with an Amish woman, circa my age, at her home for Bible study.  I met with her yesterday, in fact.  Driving home last evening, clutching a container of freshly-popped warm popcorn she made for my road trip, made me wish I could stay forever, in their world.  I glanced over at the loaf of fresh-made bread sitting on the front seat of my truck, straddling the animal feed bags I had picked up from another Amish friend.  The bread had risen and was baked in her wood cook stove while we sat and visited that afternoon.  But more importantly, I take home the lessons learned during our day of delving into God’s word.  I truly know this friendship, and that of her family, is God-sent.  I treasure it like all my friendships with Plain People.  What I love about being with them is seeing the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…) played out before my eyes.  Perhaps some day, I will immerse myself even deeper into their way of life, Lord willing.  It will be the Lord’s doing, for both Russ and I.  Right now, I am just following the path before me.  

So, in a nutshell, I plan to take a break from yet another medium in my life.  My Blog.  It’s been coming for some time.  And now is the time to take a much-needed break. 

I hesitate to remove it entirely, like I did my “older Blog”, which showcased our early years on the farm.  Truth is, I poured my heart and soul into those blog posts.  And I miss pulling them up when I desire to check on something.  So this Blog remains.  (For now.) 

Those of you who are also on Facebook have not seen me on there, as I have deactivated my page for a couple months, perhaps forever.  We’ll see where the Lord is leading me…and what He is preparing me for…

So, taking up the cross daily, in addition to this pruning process has been interesting.  {Read John 15}  

How about you…have you made a decision to take up His cross and follow?   I would love to hear your testimony.  

Blessings to all, and enjoy this beautiful summer.



OurCrazyFarm said...

You know my cross, Sherry:) You are an inspiration, and I am so glad that we met through the blog world. At the same time, I am with you... just being quiet, and drawing closer to God simply, is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony. I read this post literally moments before my husband came in to tell me that the employers at his much needed second job informed him they were outsourcing and would no longer need him. It helped to remember what you wrote about simplifying and about how amazing our God is. I'm feeling a little discouraged right now but I know God will provide.

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

Bless you, bless you, bless you Sherry!

Simply Shelley said...

I will miss reading your post,and seeing your beautiful photos,but I know all to well what you speak of...better to obey God,than man for sure. I see you have your mailing address at the top of your page...I will jot it down and keep it...maybe you will find a snail mail from me in the future :) Blessings on your adventure as you follow close to the hem of his garment....I truly admire you for your obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. Please,pray for me, that I too my know his voice when he speaks and be ever quick to obey.

Anonymous said...

Whatever direction you take, I wish you and Russ good health, good life, and to be blessed by the Lord each and every day. Your posts, be they few, were always a welcome and refreshing read. They have a grounding effect, a reminder, of what we should each look for in our lives…..Our Lord Jesus Christ and the beauty of simplicity.
Thank you so much for sharing.

I trust that snail mail will remain available for occasional chat and updates.

John T.C.

Anonymous said...

Hi sherry.....remember Levi and Rachel your boer goats? I am the gal that bought them from you a few years ago. I stumbled upon an old blog entry for the Record Eagle and saw where you had a goat named cocoa that kidded, only to find this blog and discover you are taking a break from goats for awhile. Anyway I wanted you to know that Levi and Rachel have had several handsome offspring since then (actually she is in getting bred with him this week) as well as my others he has fathered with my dairy goats. Rachel strated as a timid wallflower afraid of her own shadow and has blossomed into Queen Bee of the herd! Just wanted to touch base with you and see how you're doing. Blessings to you and Russ! -Michelle

Sherry Sutherby said...

Oh much time has passed since I have checked in. I miss everyone of you. Thank you for the heartfelt comments. Amazing blessings still continue at our place, with the Lord shaping our path. I hope all of you are feeling those blessings too, even among the grumblings or disappointments. Michelle ~ thank you for the update on those two sweeties!! I will have to steer you to some Blog posts that highlight them in many ways, when they were here. I'll stop "in" soon. Blessings to all.