Blessed
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So much has happened this week: -Being sick for a few days that seemed an eternity, -Finishing a book called Kisses from Katie, -Harvesting and canning produce from the garden, -Watching a movie called Awakenings, -Fixing meals with what we have grown.

All of these have caused me to stop and reflect on how very blessed I am to live where I do and to be as healthy as I usually am.  I did not choose when I was born or in what place in history or under what circumstances.  And I cannot decide if I or my loved ones continue to live or be healthy, but I can decide what attitude I will have in every ebb and flow of life.

The decision to be thankful, loving and kind in every circumstance and to every person no matter what is something I can choose.  As is the decision to talk, laugh and play with family, friends and acquaintances, (to engage others in life).  The decision to give to others, who have nothing, from the surplus that is lying around my house is also mine.  I will have found the joy in living, if I can say: “In every circumstance I have found peace and contentment.”  Of course I can’t do this on my own, but with Christ by my side everyday, through every situation, I will be able to change my heart and the lives of those around me for the better.

What about you, any eye-opening experiences this week?

 

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About Erin Phelan

Born and raised in western Michigan, Erin came to Polyface first as an intern in the summer of 2009. While here she met and got to know Grady Phelan, an apprentice at the time. The next spring they were married and after a couple years in Oklahoma they are back, working as sub-contractors for Polyface. Erin keeps herself busy with the jobs of a wife and mother, as well as helping with the animals, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, knitting and reading.
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14 Responses to Blessed

  1. Marilyn Wilkie says:

    Thanks Erin. Maybe even an old dog can learn new tricks? You have inspired me to be a better person today. 🙂

  2. Leanna says:

    Such a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing and encouraging! And your canned goods look so pretty on the shelf!

  3. Leilani says:

    It was a crazy week fuel pump went out on the van, huge limb fell on the house, refrigerator died. Now the blessings…… Husband can fix anything so he fixed the van were it sat in a downtown parking lot, hubby and I were able to cut up the limb so we now have more firewood and there was no damage to the house and although things are tight, there was money to buy a new refrigerator. Just last week we had bought a new upright freezer to replace one of our ancient ones that the door literally fell off so we had already put out big money on appliances unexpectedly. Hubby will rebuild the old freezer door so we can hand the beast down to our son Anthony who is just starting out homesteading and needs a freezer. So in the midst of turmoil and strife there are many blessings peaking out around the edges.

    • Marilyn Wilkie says:

      Leilani, isn’t it wonderful when you and your partner are truly a team in life. My husband has always got us through the hard times by reminding me that we are a team. We have been a team for the last 32 years. We combine our skills to create a life free from hiring out every task that needs to be completed. We are blessed and fortunate that he learned from his father and has the desire to do it ourselves.

  4. Thanks for the uplifting post, Erin. We continue to be thankful that our well and pump are staying strong to water our gardens here in Nashville, MI. It won’t happen today because of the heat, but the rest of the week must include weeding… and probably harvesting zuchinni. Everything happens a bit more slowly when the homesteaders are in their sixties. lol

    • Marilyn Wilkie says:

      Hi Zoe, I see you are in Nashville. We are just outside of Dexter, near Ann Arbor. It has truly been a very hot, dry summer here too. We are getting our first rain in a long time this morning. Every other day watering has been a must. We are thankful for our 3 year old well and pump. Even the large trees are showing real signs of stress now. This reminds me of 1988. We too are in our mid 60’s and everything happens a bit slower now. 🙂

  5. Annie says:

    Wonderful post! I did a similar one today as well. It was a rough week last week on the farm…

  6. Sue Eleazer says:

    This past week after reading Omnivores Dilemma and then doing online research for Polyface Farms, we took our 30th Anniversary trip and went to Swoope. I loved everything about our visit and my husband was amazed at how much I already knew about the operation from reading alone. That being said, it is nothing like visiting and seeing God’s blessings of a process that allows the animals to live, feed and grow in God’s natural creation. We bought the book, You Can Farm, by Joel and I read it out loud to my husband on the way home. We have always dreamed of having a farm and never realized we already have a great start here. We grow a huge garden and have our own eggs from chickens who live in the sun and eat our excess garden scraps and give us awesome fertilizer. So we will do some more reading go to our Sustainable Ag Conference this fall and start NOW! Whether we ever sell our produce is still on the table at this time, we can be in charge of our own sustainability. By the way the chicken we bought was such an awesome cooking experience: firm meat, no globs of fat, wonderful flavor and little remains. That was our eye opening experience and we are blessed from the experience! Thank you Joel, family and Polyface team for sharing your knowledge.

  7. Tracey says:

    We hosted a family of 4 visiting missionaries for a quick overnight and I realized how energizing hospitality can be. I used to be burdened by perfectionism when inviting people over, especially overnight guests. But the more I do it the easier it gets and the more we enjoy it.

  8. kimberly says:

    I have a bit more to read in Kisses from Kate. I just don’t want to reach the end yet. 🙂 It is an amazing story of an amazing life lived for an amazing God.
    It’s been a crazy few weeks here as the garden explodes with freshness and we joined the local Farmers Market for the first time. Eye-opening event=realizing 28 zucchini plants is just more than anyone needs!

  9. I HAD JUST DONE A BLOG EARLIER ABOUT POSITIVE ENERGY AND PUTTING YOURSELF IN GOD’S HANDS WHEN YOU ACCEPT HIS ONLY SON IN YOUR HEART AS YOUR SAVIOR. AND HOW EVERYONE CAN ENCOURAGE SOMEONE AND THAT IF WE SHARE THE WORD AND SPREAD THE WORD WITH POSITIVE ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS WE WILL BE AMAZED AT HOW GOOD YOU WILL FEEL WHEN YOUR COUNT YOUR BLESSING INSTEAD OF WALLOW IN SELF PITY BECAUSE THINGS ARE HARD OR NOT THE WAY YOU WANT. JUST REALIZE THAT GOD WILL DO THINGS IN HIS TIME AND HIS WAY SO IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR PRAYERS ARE NOT BEING ANSWERED MAYBE LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE PRAYING FOR AND KNOW HE WILL ANSWER IT MAY NOT BE THE ANSWER YOU WANT BUT STAY ON THE PATH AND EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT AND IF YOU HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE IT WILL JUST MAKE EVERY THING SO MUCH BETTER AND KINDNESS IS NOT WEAKNESS AND PEOPLE WHO DO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOME ONE KINDNESS SHAME ON THEM BUT CONTINUE BEING KIND AND HELPFUL AND THE MORE POSITIVE EFFORT YOU PUT INTO LIFE THE MORE POSITIVE LIFE WILL BE. WE HAVE AN AWESOME GOD WHO LOVES US AND CARES FOR US AND IF WE ALL LOVE EACH OTHER AND CARE FOR EACH OTHER LIFE IT SO MUCH BETTER TAKE A MOMENT AND LOOK AROUND AND THANK GOD FOR ALL HE HAS GIVEN US IT MAY NOT BE IN MATERIAL WEALTH FOR A LOT OF US WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT THE 1% THAT HAVE THE 99%. WELL MY HUSBAND HAS MS AND I HAD TO RETIRE FROM NURSING AS A RN DUE TO LUPUS AND FIBROMYALGIA AND WE ARE TRYING TO LIVE OFF OF A LITTLE UNDER A THOUSAND A MONTH BUT YOU KNOW WHAT GOD STILL HAS BLESSED ME WITH THE MIRACLE OF CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN WHO MAKE MY LIFE SO RICH. GOD GIVES YOU GRAND KIDS AS A REWARD FOR NOT KILLING YOUR KIDS AS THEY WENT THROUGH THEIR TEEN REBEL YEARS LOL. THE MIRACLE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND LOVE ONES IS SO GREAT AND THEIR IS NO COMPARISON TO MATERIAL THINGS WOULD I WISH FOR MORE MONEY SO I DO NOT HAVE TO DEBATE ON PAYING PETER OR PAUL AND BEING BARELY A WAY FROM HOMELESS SURE I DO BUT I WOULD NOT TRADE THE LIFE GOD GAVE ME FOR ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY BECAUSE MONEY CAN NOT BUY THE JOY AND WONDER THE LOVE I HAVE GIVES ME. LOOK AROUND BE THANKFUL BE POSITIVE HELP SOMEONE ELSE OUT AND YOU WILL FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOUR SELF WE ALL NEED TO SPEND ALL THE TIME THAT BEFORE WE WERE BELLY ACHING ABOUT THIS THAT AND THE OTHER AND GO DO SOME THING POSITIVE HELP PASS THE WORD ALONG JUST BE HAPPY DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY WAS A GREAT SONG WHICH I THINK WE SHOULD BRING BACK AND TEACH TO EVERY CHILD AND SING EVERY MORNING. I AM GRATEFUL TO OF FOUND THIS WONDERFUL SITE AND I AM GETTING SOME POLYFACE BUNNIES HALLELUJAH AMEN GOD IS GREAT