Trust God and Fear Not

To our friends scattered to and fro,

It seems like things have been a bit more quiet here on the blog smog (loving name given to my ramblings by my brother-in-law) Silence does not mean things are slow here on the home front. I’ve spent the last month soaking up the beautiful Valley springtime and traveling here and there for a day or two at a time.


This spring has been so beautiful; the rain showers come and the clouds are fascinating to watch. The air is so clear after a rain. My heart rejoices as the sunshine dances back across the fields and the earth smiles.


I watched the clouds move out after a rainy day recently. The white fog enveloped the mountains behind our house, but occasionally sunbeams would break through the clouds and shine on the green fields below. It was breathtaking watching the game of  cat and mouse taking place in the back of our property.

That scene pretty much sums up my life right now.

Years ago when I came up with the big idea to develop a blogging habit, my mom had one concern: “Don’t air the family laundry” Wise words, and I’ve attempted to take them to heart. So I hope that this post is not breaking that code.

This year has been an incredible journey for my nomadic heart- the adventures have been amazing. And as I look ahead on my calendar- 2017’s joyride is not nearly completed.

But the gray cloud covering my world is an ongoing health issue that is relentless. I was diagnosed with a form of ulcerative colitis. This condition is not the end of the world, but drains my energy and makes eating a chore. And traveling is not the best companion. Yet here I go.


A church sign in PA this week read “Fear Not is quoted 365 times in the Bible, one for every day of the year” I researched this, and while that figure may be debatable, there are hundreds of commands to “Fear Not” and “Be not afraid”.

The opposite of fear is to trust, so I’m challenging myself to trust- unconditionally. There are so many times when God has provided for me above and beyond what I needed. Somehow, it’s easy to forget. So I’m compiling a list of verses on trust, and I intend to refer to them often with in the next few weeks.

Deborah and I leave shortly and spend a month touring the West with a group of ladies (stay tuned for more details) and I am so excited to see how God will provide for us!

We’d love to have you along vicariously. (Sorry the van is full, but you can follow along all sorts of ways, thanks to social media) And if you think about it, will you say a prayer? Pray that God will go before us, arrange our contacts, and give us-me especially- strength.

Isn’t it wonderful to rest knowing that God will make a way?

What is the cloud covering your world? I’d love it if you’d share your favorite trust verse with me!



Bonus Pics:

Prov. 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


 Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.


Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the LORD says— He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

P.S Aren’t River and Ingrid the cutest?


Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit


#23for30: Silo Singing

Precious Memories, unseen angels, sent from somewhere to my soul..

We have this moment to hold in our hands, and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand, yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow may never come, but we have this moment today…


The music rose and fell. Our voices blended and ascended into the dark tunnel above, and echoed a reply.

I looked around me at the familiar faces, gathered in a circle, focusing on the songbook in front of them, and remembered all sorts of memories from the month that we had traveled together.

And my heart was full.

Last night, the “Out West Gang” (both the ’10 and the ’14 groups) gathered in Dayton, and we all climbed into a Harvestor silo, and sang.


I’ve known about a “silo singing” for a number of years. I’ve heard stories of the challenge of climbing through the small door in the bottom of the metal giant. I’ve heard how incredible the acoustics are.

And now I know!  Click here for a brief video of our silo singing

As I listened to the words of the music, they spoke to my soul. Songs about God’s faithful, love and provision. And I returned home blessed.

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Ps 42:11


Bonus Pics:

Did you happen to notice the little blonde pup in my video? Meet River Muckalee! Latest addition to the Weaver Household. 😉 Em and KJ, your little yellow lab is adorable!



Singers Glen, My Hometown

It’s been a little over a year now since my parents made the trip into Welby’s office and returned with our latest adventure in tow (a house and a pond and some farmland).

An entire year.

The transition from living on the dairy to the house up the road has had it’s challenges.  I  moved frantically before I rushed off on a British Isles Adventure . The furniture moved in my absence (thanks mostly to the men my sisters have added to our family 🙂 ).

But it’s taken a little bit longer to get my heart to move from Paradise Lane.  Don’t misunderstand- We watched in amazement as God carefully ordained every detail of this event. And I’m so thankful to have a sister and a bro-in-law to move onto our family farm. It’s a gift to watch Paradise Lane love them as well as it loved me. It’s change, and change is hard.

But the honest confession is- I’m falling for our new hometown.  We live just a mile outside of Singers Glen, a picturesque, sleepy town, chock full of history.

After a year of hurrying down Main Street, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve now witnessed, twice, the early spring purple carpet lawn, in front of the one house. I’ve learned how handy it is to have a basic general store so close by (I ran out of flour while making a yeast dough, of all calamities… Grandles Glen View Store to the rescue) I recognize the lady who sweeps the sidewalks every afternoon. I chat with the lady at the post office. I plan to support the Tenderloin Supper that happens six times a year in the Community Building, every time I get a chance. I’ve learned to respect the 25 mph speed limit that is enforced with Barney Fife fervor.


Yes, I’m not sure when it happened, but I’ve fallen head over heels for our new hometown.

There’s one place in particular, that has me mesmerized.  It’s an old deserted homestead, that stands right outside of town.


A stubble of ivy grows untended across it’s once clean shaven stone face. It doesn’t matter what hour I come past, It watches my journey with vacant eyes.

And somehow, when I’m out of things to imagine, I find myself thinking about the original family who cleared the land and hauled the rocks and who gave the place life. I wonder if they were contemporaries of the Joseph Funk who’s music changed our towns name from “Mountain Valley” to “Singers Glen” . I imagine light and laughter and warmth and energy streaming out of those boarded windows. I wonder why someone’s old homeplace stands empty.  It responds to my pondering with the ultimate sound of silence.

This spring, little bits of sunshine entered my musings. Daffodils popped up all over place. And I considered who placed them there. I imagined that it was the lady of the house. I wondered what storms were being battled in her world/ in her soul, while she faithfully tended her flowerbeds, planting bushels of bulbs


And I question if there is anything that I’m doing today, that will create some sunshine for a random stranger down the way.

There’s no way to know.

May I be inspired to be faithful, regardless.



Bonus Pics:

We’ve all coped with the move a little differently. I’m not really sure if it’s a mid life crisis or what it can be accused of – by SOMEONE (who shall remain nameless) has started a new hobby with their free time. It so happens that my email is easy to remember- so my inbox is becoming full of necessary accessory purchases. The new motto is #borntoride . I’ll let you guess who the new cowboy is 🙂 Let the warm weather fun begin 🙂 And thus begins the “boys only” bike ride around the block.



Our canine friends have perfected that motto too. #borntoride

Pointers from the Pond Progress – told by the Site Manager

The sun had hardly begun to peak over the Blue Ridge Mountains and smile down on Windy Hollow before Detriot was up making his rounds. Today was different. Well at least it was going to be. Nothing different yet.

  •  Complete surveillance of the entire property-✔️
  • Cat nap in the upside down crate until breakfast time ✔️
  • Same insanely irritating ability of the mindless assistant (the chocolate lab-Rolo) to decide to exit the “bedroom” (a.k.a doghouse or upside down crate) at the same instant as the Head of Ranch Security and squeeze his sides into the door frame- annoyingly ✔️

 ” I can feel it in my bones-something is going to happen today. ” Detriot said as he picked up his favorite stick of wood out of the corner of the yard and carried it about 3 laps around the outside of house in the building anticipation. Rolo wasn’t into wood gathering, but not to be left out, she tucked her tail and ran with reckless abandon around the yard to celebrate too-whatever this event could be.

Then the dogs busied themselves as they prepared to wait.

The neighbor drove across his field-the dogs set up a volley of alarms, but he stayed on his side of the fence and after awhile disappeared all together. Nope, that wasn’t it.

Someone rode a bike up the road. More warning barks that were virtually ignored. Still not it.

Then it happened-unloaded at the end of the lane was the biggest yellow truck ever. The truck lumbered slowly along turning its head from side to side. A much lesser dog would have fled the scene and beat a hasty retreat to the bedroom as the smaller of the two suggested. But the Head of Security stood unwaveringly, watching the Beast move up the lane. He stalked emotionlessly across the field to where the Beast stopped and after circling it a few times, he broke the silence “Very good” he barked “welcome to Turleytown, I’ll be your job supervisor, we expect you to report to duty immediately ”

And the great Haul truck did just that. 

She effortlessly made the trip between the pond and the field emptying the pond of silt that had found its way to the pond floor years before. 

The Supervisor was all business-He and His Assistant kept a close eye on the project; kept the work area free from muskrats, mice and lots of other varmits; and occasionally jumped in with the trackhoe operator to give a few pointers.

It was from the vantage point of the trackhoe cab that Detroit saw it all real clear: The Farmer’s Daughter decided to brave the snow squalls and come take pictures of the pond progress. So she donned her father’s oversized barnboots and trudged across the road to the job site. Now, bear in mind, the pond had the water level lowered all winter, so some of the surface had crusted over and dried out. The story goes that someone (who shall remain nameless) discovered that the crust doesn’t hold much weight and sank in well past their knees. The Daughter knew this, and thought about it as she headed towards the excavator, but in an effort to save some time, she cut across the pond. The Supervisor and his workers watched with unbelieving eyes as her boots sank nearly out of sight. She’d work and work to get one boot free only to have it sink in with the next step forward. It apparently was the most comical sight ever as she wrestled first one boot and then the other from the miry clay, and finally gave up on walking and crawled acrossed the mud floor with her father’s boots in hand. (Thankfully there is no photo documentation of this event)

This story took the long route home to bring out several lessons: Extend grace- she knew she had made the wrong decision as soon as her boot started to sink, and the last thing she wanted to hear as she slunk towards shore was “what were you thinking?!” or “I told you so…” (The ear to ear grin on the face of every operator spoke volumes enough). Learn from others mistakes- no one is exempt from gravity-especially on a pond floor. And always, ALWAYS keep the ability to join others in laughing at your own mistakes.


 Detroit Snappenbarker Mendoza (Supervisor)  and the muddy mess shivering on the pond bank, KH

Fleeting Moments of Fame

Do you believe in luck?  I don’t until I observe two of my sisters. Then I do.

You see, Ms Julia Margaret is the luckiest person around. She has been for years. We joke that if we want to win a doorprize, write her name on it. Invariably- Dairyman Specialty, James River, and Farm Credit have her number on speed dial after customer appreciation day.  This fall, Julia and her husband traveled to WI to the World Dairy Expo… and out of 70,000 people- guess who’s having UPS back up to the door and unload doorprizes. You guessed it- Mrs Showalter cleaned house. Again.

Now- my dear sweet darling talented sister Emily… Not so much. Poor kid. She has the most popular girls name in the US for over 20 years, and yet she doesn’t manage to really ever get it selected for the big win. or the small win. or any win. It’s depressing, I think.

Enter the Valley Living Magazine, a quarterly magazine that comes out in all our local stores and is celebrating 25 years. This summer, they hosted a photo contest. We take a lot of pics around here. We aren’t anything professional- we just enjoy being click happy. So Mother discovered the contest and suggested that I enter it. “Favorite summertime activity” or something.  Hershey’s family was here and since their children are cuter than most of my photo shoot options (with respect to my family) We had fun taking a few pics. Emily was here too, and we had a brief, mildly heated, sisterly discussion when we discovered we were submitting the same picture. Oooops I thought we were supposed to be more adult than that.


Emily meekly entered a different picture, and guess what?  My adorable watermelon/German Shepherd pic lost to a pair of sneakered feet dangling over a river somewhere… AND Emily’s sparkler girls brought home a grand prize of a wedding photography book. (If you are planning a wedding- Emily is one step closer to being able to perfectly capture the event.)  In the end, Emily and I were not in the same age group of photographers, so I’m not sure what would’ve happened if we’d sent in almost identical entries. But we won’t know. She won. I did not.


The final contest for Valley Living was to send in your life motto. I looked at this, but decided to pass- they didn’t like my entries anyway.

Meanwhile, our local feed company- Rockingham Coop sent out a flyer about a photo contest they were hosting. Julia alerted us to this one. I waited until the 11th hour and sent in a few pics. Julia and I received a confirmation email right away. Emily did not, which I thought was a little strange. But what do you know? Two weeks later, Emily received a phone call that she’d taken second place and there was a $150 gift card waiting on her. Emily sailed to town and without a backwards glance put the prize towards a .308 Ruger All American . She didn’t even care that they gave photo credit to “Melissa Weaver”. “I got the money and that’s all I care about” she said.  Julia lamented telling us about the contest, and I tried to console us that it’s wonderful that since Em has no luck at all, that she can win things based on skill.


It was fun to see the entries that placed. I was shocked to see that two of mine made honorable mention. But there’s no money in placing that way. But what is money? I really don’t need a new gun.


Like Mary of old, I was pondering all these things in my heart, when I received a mysterious email from the editor of Valley Living:

“Dear Joyce, Thank you for your submission to our Life motto contest. Congratulations on being our grandprize winner!”

What?! A quick phone call confirmed that the editor did indeed have the right Joyce in mind. (my parents find it easier to give out my email address, than to check their own account ) and my mom had submitted a quote from Martin Luther King Jr on the sly.

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.

She was ecstatic with her big win and we all cheered for her.  I told my family that I’m pretty sure I’m a loser in a family of winners. Em wins. Jul wins and wins. My mom wins…

Friday, Emily and Mother were in town and they stopped in to pick up their prizes at the Valley Living office. Emily received her book, and Mother received a painting.


The lady picked it up, dusted it off and handed it to my wonderful Mother “here this is, we had it on our wall until we got tired of it. Oh, and let’s see, this second place devotional book goes with the first prize…” (Thanks Emily, for reporting this)

So I’ve reached several conclusions:

  •  not many people in the Valley have life mottoes.
  • maybe it’s not luck, but an inherited gene that causes my sisters abilities to win

AND on a completely unrelated note- my thrift store pile is really growing of late… Stay tuned for chances to enter random contests and become a lucky winner…

Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them” Ps 126:2



#16for30: Life Lessons in Basket Weaving

Saturday, I was the recipient of one of the most thoughtful gift ever. My dear cousins were apparently on the quest for a multipurpose gift for my  impending milestone, which is rapidly approaching on the horizon…  Juanita was texting my mom for a while trying to get everything arranged. The mark that they’d set was to find something fun, something for us to do together, AND help cross something off this #30for30 list.

Enter Jess, her hilarious sidekick Lauren, and the Basket Case.


Jess’s parents graciously opened their home to our invasion and so we ventured over amidst the frosty morning air. What a wonderful day.

I finished up the day back in the dairy barn, milking, and rehashing with Julia.(I loved this too 😉 ) We decided that there were some life lessons in our experience. So in short, here they are:

  • Upon arrival we were all given identical bases. We had 2 options of shapes for our basket, depending on how we wove. So with our finished product in mind, we set off.


  • As I wove, I tried to make sure my weave was “packed” tight against the bottom of the base. This wasn’t hard to do, and both times that I felt rather smug with the job I was doing, the instructor came by and with experienced hands, packed my basket down another half-inch…


  • We each had a moment or two (or more) of panic when we looked at our basket and realized that we were rapidly heading in the direction of a shape that we had not intended… (who wants a basket where the top is smaller that the base and its side shape in 😦 ) Again, the experienced hands of the Instructor took over and had us back on track in no time

Julia: “I’m trying to look like I’m concentrating”

  • Words of encouragement are never wrong. We had great fun exclaiming over each others work, but  there was something really fun about affirmation from an outside source, whether it was the man of the house, or my mom stopping by to check in on things.


  •  It’s important to be surrounded by good humor. The sidekick Miss Lauren and her Nana added lots of chuckles to our day. Lauren came by often to help hand out reeds and most importantly play in the water that the reeds were soaked in. She invariably had a song like “row row row your boat” or “hallelujah” Even her melt down over the fact that the water had disappeared in her absence was adorable (“All gone All gone All gone” in the most devastated voice) Oh and her determined aversion to her imposed nap time… A 2 years old’s take on life is great. 🙂


  • But I think what stood out to me the most, were the end results. As I mentioned, we started with the same tools, instructions, instructor, and a clear vision of what we wanted, but things happened. A reed or two broke, We wove tighter here than we did there… And the finished products were not quite like we’d envisioned. (Close, but not exactly) And each basket, though beautiful, was unique to itself.


Isn’t that life? We start out determinedly, with a clear vision of what we wish to conquer. Then life happens. And, the face of our vision changes…


But we continue on. Sometimes needing to alter the course of where we are heading, or take time to add some fancy work to the task at hand…


In the end, it’s a beautifully unique piece of handwork, ready for service… Bless all of you who came together to make this happen. I loved this!


May the basket weaving of my life be beautiful when I present it to the Great Instructor…



Mountains of Reasons to Worship

If you were to ask which part of nature speaks most of the Creator, I would have no problem answering that. “The ocean,” I’d say “impresses me with the vastness and mystery and unconquerable depths… The constant power of the surf. The unrelenting tide… yes, definitely the ocean.”


But recently, I’ve had a number of days I’ve been called to the mountains. I spent a very relaxing weekend reconnecting with old friends, watching- from the porch of our mountainside cabin- as the world yawned and shook the dark shadows from its valleys in the fresh morning light … I stood in reverence from multiple mountainous precipices, as the sun slipped behind the clouds and bid daylight adieu. I am inspired by the different attributes of God that the mountains call to my attention: Strength. Constance. Color. Stability. Solitude.


I need these reminders right now. There are so many things that can cloud our vision of Who the Creator of the Universe is and what being His Child means… Maybe it’s fear- fear of the future- I’m honestly so tired of this election roller coaster ride. Or the grieving process that our family is currently in… Or an unexpected diagnosis… … The list can go on and on- there are so many hard things in this ol world… So I’m going to the Promises in Scripture to turn my Worries into Worship…


1 Chronicles 16: 27 Splendor and majesty are before Him;
    strength and joy are in His dwelling place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
    bring an offering and come before Him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.


Ps 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    He lifts his voice, the earth melts.


The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done..

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”.


 Psalms 19:The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of His Hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun…


It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.


14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in Your Sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.



Bonus Pic:

No buyers regret for the $2 I spent at an antique store to be able to add this trivet to our kitchen… This was one of Pappy’s favorite sayings:


#13 for 30:Answering the Call 🚑

I’ve been excited about Emily’s emergency work for years. She has so many intriguing stories like this one from 2013   But I’ve basically never seen her in action. So I put that on my #3o list hoping that eventually the stars would align and I could gain some priceless experience. We tried once last spring during a baking day at our house. We ran out the back door and jumped in Emily’s truck to respond to a drug overdose. Only to discover that running a call was apparently on our canine’s bucketlist too- they were loaded on the truck and hanging for dear life and we were part way out the lane before we noticed them with the wind in their face, grinning from ear to ear. The patient refused treatment and we returned home, unable to cross that one off the list. But we tried.


Silly Benelli, I miss that dog

11:00am We are eating one of Eber Wenger’s delicious pork BBQ sandwiches and chatting with old school friends at the Spring Creek barn sale and have no way of knowing that way up in the mountain a little lady is going for her first four-wheeler ride… Takes the corner to fast, rolls and is suddenly in need of help

11:30 We are about a half mile past Clover Hill Fire and Rescue when the call comes in “trauma injuries… ATV accident…” Em says ” I’m going to run that” and I say “can I go with you?” And then like usual, I chicken out and my family insists… So we whip into the station. B is already there preparing to be our fearless driver. The introductions are brief. “Kendra, this is B, he’s our driver. B this is my sister Kendra, she’s here to observe.” Em rides shotgun and runs the sirens and radios. I jump in the back of the ambulance and we are off.

I can’t believe how people hit the ditch for us. We sail through the 33 intersection without a backwards glance. (Except for me, my seat faces backward.) We head for the mountain. Em takes turns thinking about the task in front of her “I’m mentally preparing to stand down Air Care, I don’t think we are going to need them” (apparently it’s common procedure to have the medical helicopter ready to launch in case the patient needs to be flown) “how can they know the name of some boondocks camp ground and not know whether she is conscious or breathing?” And sending KJ a shopping list “can you get cream cheese?” B the driver proceeds to explain that he hates cream cheese.

11:52 We drive and drive and drive and finally come to the intersection where a black Dodge Ram is going to meet us and lead us on. Not there. Squad truck 173 continues on up the mountain and finds the pilot car. We follow suit. I wonder how far they had to go to find cell service to call for help.

12:00 We turn off the main road and start bouncing back a path that goes behind a dam…and over hill and dale and with 2 river crossings… Big discussion over whether the Ford or Dodge ambulance would be more preferable here… Regardless-the Ford is performing just fine

12:20 We turn at a paper mache monkey holding a balloon. A man on a four-wheeler waves us on. We drive past a tent city and back into where the patient is as relaxed as you can be laying on gravel with a back injury for an hour. (Em “stands down air care”)

I jump out and follow Em. There’s no grass growing under her feet as she hurries to the scene “Hello, I’m Emily, did you have a little accident here?” Immediately, she’s on the ground beside the patient, talking, assessing, and preparing for transport. P arrived on 173 and he’s quick to grab any supplies Em needs. A neck brace, and a back board make up a few of the essentials.


12:35 Two massive Great Danes lumber over to where we are and look me straight in the eye. (This may be a little exaggeration, but not much) I discover that I have the ability to not say a single word for over 20 minutes.  But I’m taking it all in-the leaves on the mountain are just starting to change. The forest around us has been recently logged. The patient’s boyfriend has refused to drop her hand for a second. Somebody with some medical knowledge is obviously present-the bandage on her arm wasn’t wrapped by a rookie…

12:40 We are loaded and start the long trek back to civilization. The boyfriend follows about 2 feet behind the ambulance. I watch Em and P interact with the patient. P has a story about a scooter that fell on him one time. Em has visited the Big City where the patient is from. P remembers with fondness the hamburger he left on the grill when the call came in. Meanwhile B is doing the best job possible to get us over this logging trail with the least amount of jolting

13:00 We hit black top again. We all breathe a sigh of relief. Em starts doing a more thorough evaluation of the patient’s injuries. Again I watch silently. She moves around the ambulance ignoring the fact that we are hastening down the mountain, curve after curve. She holds onto the bar above the patient, bracing herself. I thank the Great Physician that her shoulder allows her to do this type of thing again.

13:06 We enter cell phone service. The boyfriend stays 2 feet behind the ambulance, texting frantically. I hope we don’t make any sudden stops.

13:08 Em asks if it’s ok if she starts an IV. “Sure.” I admire how brave and agreeable the patient is. Em jokes that if I faint, everybody is supposed to ignore me. The patient comments “Good luck finding a vein, I’ve been told I have small veins.” I’m still watching everything like a hawk. I can’t help be feel a little proud when Em hits the vein so effortlessly. And a little proud that her squeamish older sis didn’t even flinch. I wonder what I would’ve done if this had been a major trauma case.


I updated Deb on Em’s IV ability via snapchat. but I guess Deb already knows- Em has used her for practice. (!) Not me, brother

13:11 Em calls into the hospital “Hello M, this is Emily with Clover Hill Rescue 178, we are about 10 minutes out with a patient involved in an ATV accident. She is….” She goes over her evaluation. “Ok, Room 8? Got it. We will see you soon.”

13:21 We arrive at the hospital with the texting boyfriend still on our bumper. The stretcher is so cool- they push a button and it automatically lowers the legs. And we are unloaded. The doors of the hospital swing open to meet us. Four nurses immediately follow us into room 8. Em briefs them on the case, there are a few signatures required and this part of our job is complete.

13:31 We exchange the IV box in the EMS Room at the hospital for a new one. The quote “Whenever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference” stenciled across the wall inspires us as we open the door. Em gathers the supplies she needs, and we return to the ambulance.

13:35 Em and I ride in the back, Em finishes up the report the entire way out of town. And I continue surveying the inside of the ambulance, lost in my silent thoughts. One small vehicle that has, and will continue, to impact so many people. Because of Em and comrades who are spending their lives making a difference…

This was up on the board in the EMS room.


So I speak to Emily, but this is for all of you who bless our community so selflessly :

Thank you for the continual sacrifice this lifestyle demands. For getting up in the middle of the night, going out in the worst weather conditions, skipping meals and sacrificing over and over and over, knowing that you are simply giving your time and energy, not expecting anything in return.

Thank you for understanding-that I don’t understand-when I get grouchy that our supper was delayed or you didn’t show at all, because “I’m on a call”. Supper can and will wait. There are people who need you desperately, NOW.

Really, you are the backbone of the community, because all of us know that if something happens “call 911”. So thank you for giving us peace of mind,  that there will be help should we need it. Because you are using the gifts God has given you.


Thank you for being my hero.


 Matt 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Custom Cutter’s Creed

I am a custom cutter.

I am aware that the financal success of the farmer depends on my ability to perform my job well- ensuring him with the highest quality of feed available.

Therefore, I work with a sense of urgency, yet keeping safety as an utmost priority, realizing that mistakes in my line of work can be fatal.

That urgency still doesn’t dull the beauty in nature around me. I will still notice the wildflowers along the edge of the field, try to identify the flock of birds that migrate overhead, and appreciate that unique cloud formation on the horizon.
I will appreciate loyal customers and memorize those hidden irrigation risers, well casings, and rock breaks.
I will compromise mealtime and always bless the hands who send food to the field.
I will forgo social engagements, and skimp on sleep to ensure the crop is harvested in a timely manner.
I realize that the challenge of our season is tackled by our crew and I will be the best team player possible. I will admit my mistakes. I will join in the laughter even when it’s at my expense.
I will rejoice as the first rays of each day kiss the dew that glistens on the field. I will celebrate the heat of the day with a cool drink. I will watch the sunlight fade across the mountains and the evening stars silently appear over head with a full heart.

Because I recognize the beauty of the season, and the Blessings from the Lord God Almighty for allowing me this privilege; this incredible task.
Because farmers feed the world, and I am a Custom Farmer. 

Affirming August

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged in letter form 🙂 But here goes:

To our friends scattered to and fro,

Hello from Turleytown!         {Ok, so I’m still not used to writing that. Somehow Paradise Lane sounds much more picturesque.. And I refuse to change from Mountain Musings to Turleytown Trivia- even tho that may  be more accurate…}

Life continues to speed by around here. It’s hard to imagine that we are through August without hardly getting the chopper out of the shed! We did chop a bag at the home because the silage in our trenches is disappearing like ice on a warm day-but other than that, we wait with baited breath for the flurry to begin.


Lancaster Co, PA

Along with the ringing of school bells, came the parking of my vans. I am so excited! I’ve gotten in on so many neat things this summer, but enough is enough, and I’m beside myself to be at home and return to checking the crops with my dad and spending the  day roasting in the kitchen while canning with my mom and sisters. I’m sure I’ll be ready to travel again soon, but until then… 🙂


While checking our beans, we discovered a new weed creeping into our fields: Mare’s Tail. I don’t know if it’s as serious as our friends at the local seed and fertilizer made it out to be, but they said that it’s Round-Up resistant and spreads like wild fire- 1 plant today, 100 acres next year. Somebody tracked this weed seed for 300 miles on a strong wind, and says that it is worse than Johnson’s Grass was back its day. I don’t know, but just in case, we mixed up a backpack sprayer and spent a very warm afternoon wading through shoulder high beans-spot spraying. Since then, we notice Mare’s Tail everywhere. So if all of you within a 300 mile radius would kill the weeds in the ditches by your place,etc- we should be good! 🙂


(in case you don’t know what you should be annihilating- Mare’s Tail in all it’s glory)

I thought I wasn’t going to travel at all this week, UNTIL- we got an invitation from our soybean supplier to come for a low country boil out on the Northern Neck. What a feast.  All you can eat- shrimp, crabs, sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes… Unbelievable! And what a gorgeous area!




As we traveled along, my mom pulled out a quote book and this quote continues to challenge me:

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well -Martin Luther King Jr

I hope that this can be said of my life- that whatever adventure I’m called to, that I do it with all of my might for God’s glory.

Blessing on your week,


Bonus Pics:

Mother grew a 52.2 lb watermelon and it was delicious! Thanks Em for the pic 🙂


Perks of riverland, Father needed help moving the spray crew from point A to point B, so while we waited, Em and I enjoyed the coolness of Middle River. (This was before the Mare’s Tail incident, lest I leave you under the impression that we swim while Father treks back and forth with a backpack sprayer in the blazing sun 😉 )


And I’ll leave you with a few shots of the beautiful Valley…