Your Thoughts Please

I’d be grateful if you would help me out on your thoughts about the Proverbs 31 passage and the woman portrayed. Does she intimidate you? Inspire you? Are you familiar with her? Do you even want to be? What do you think about the roles of wife and mother today? Do you consider them to be important still, in our day and age? Or do you feel they are outdated, not necessary, or becoming obsolete in our culture?

Please leave me a note in the comments and be honest about your personal opinions/insight, or whatever you think about this portion of Scripture.

Thank you in advance!

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Proverbs 31:10-31

 

The Virtuous Wife

10 Who[b] can find a virtuous[c] wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

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Fall in The Valley

 

This valley is more and more my home. Transplanted from the Puget Sound area, where it’s cool, wet, piney and certainly more watery, I have come to love this desert. I love it because of the agriculture, the rich history and the beautiful people. The generations of tough ranchers who refuse to surrender to the elements; the Native Indians who persevere and continue to teach their culture to their children and ours, as they share their resources with their neighbors. And the hispanic peoples, who work harder than everyone, and populate the valley with generations that value education and family, (and make food worth eating- how could we live without salsa and tortillas?) all of us living side by side and melding into a colorful and beautiful desert tapestry. Irrigation waters the valley to verdant green and fruitful, but calloused hands of all colors labor to tend it all and make it productive.

Fall is without a doubt the absolute best time of year for me. The colors are wild and vibrant, the apple scented air is cool in the mornings and at night but still hot and sultry during the day. (The smokey air this year has stolen the sweetness we usually experience, but I love it still.)

I enjoy early mornings on the ranch. Every window in my home opened up to the slight chill and Bible on my lap, good Essencia coffee in hand, made richer with raw goat or sheep milk from my herd, I feel like a wealthy woman. I sit in the peace, savoring the countryside and it’s early morning people and animal bustle. I hear the orchard workers calling out to each other, tractors and back hoes at work on one thing or another, for there is always work to be done on a farm. The horses are neighing and the geese honking. My rooster crows and the neighbor’s cattle low. Then there are the doves cooing, an occasional hawk crying to her mate. In the evenings the coyotes sing and threaten, the owls in my Black Walnut trees hoot, and the frogs sing a chorus. Crickets accompany and all the neighborhood dogs start their boasting and gossip.

All of this goodness is so much better in the fall. The valley is irrigated and the rich soil generously gives us enough food to eat here and share elsewhere. There are squash, tomatoes, pumpkins, melons and corn tucked in every corner store in town, trucked in from the many and varied local farmers who still live simple, good lives. Hard work is cleansing and these ones have dirt under their nails but clean souls, for this community is generous toward it’s neighbors. The homeless are bussed in from Seattle, Portland, and other places because nobody goes hungry or without shelter if they have a mind to be polite and humble about taking what’s offered. The christians shelter them and the farmers feed them.

The longer I live here, the more I appreciate it. Wheat, apples, pears, cherries, hops, mint, and cattle, everything is abundant. For one who loves farming and ranching this place is an opulent home.

Today I think about the farmer and rancher, as I sit smack in the middle of apple orchards and cattle and small farmers too, and I drink it all in, pray for rain, and ask God to bless my neighbors. I hope you love where you live too.

 

Smoke and Mirrors

This morning I took my baby to the eye doctor to get his glasses. The doctor promised these would help him with the difficulties he has had in learning to read. We are both pretty excited about that, my son and I. Besides he thinks they look great. They do.

 

 

I love living in the middle of orchards. I’m surrounded by the life cycle of apples and some pears. It’s glorious – which is my new favorite word.

I made this raw goat milk washed curd cheddar a few months ago. The curd was washed in Angry Orchard hard cider, the crips apple flavor. It turned out creamy and buttery with definite strong apple notes. I’m thrilled and proud. I’d really like to make at least one more this year. Next year I’d like to make several.

The smoke is so heavy in the air that it’s hard to breathe. Eyes itch and throats scratch. I feel for the folks living closer to the fires and especially the ones having to evacuate. That happened to us once several years ago. It’s upsetting at the very least.

 

The animals seem to want to hang out closer to the barn in the mornings and evenings now that there’s so much smoke and it’s much cooler. The weather has kicked the bucks and ram into rut, and now the girls will start to cycle. I won’t breed sheep until the end of next month, and the goats maybe even a month later still. The spring floods are still fresh in my mind and I have no wish to care for babies in ankle deep water again.

Pinterest and Instagram have made the Squash Blossom necklaces popular. I’m grateful since mine is an heirloom made by my grandfather as a gift for my grandmother at least 40 years ago and likely even a decade more. Their popularity gave me the guts to wear it out. It’s an eye catcher of sure and I don’t much like standing out, but I do love this necklace. My grandparents would be proud to see me wear it.