Monthly Archives: September 2011

What motivates the frantic gathering and harboring of food when there is a crowd of people?

What makes them plan ahead and ask for the leftovers to take home before the meal even begins?

What is it that spurs them on to ask if they can “Fix plates for Mom and Dad” before the line is even through?

And why the brown paper bag, stuffed full of all the gleanings from the table at the end of the night?

Lord Jesus, what is it that motivates ‘Our Kids?’  These kids that don’t belong to us at all,
and yet ‘belong’ to our church family and Daniel and me in ways the we don’t really comprehend?
Is there a threat waiting for them behind that stark, grubby door
(inside which I am seldom allowed)? 
Or is it soul hunger that gnaws away at their hearts and tells them that there will
No matter how hard they try.
Never enough food.
Never enough creature comforts.
Never enough energy to meet their emotional needs.
Never enough resources to meet their physical needs.
Never enough security.

Never enough love.
Lord Jesus, once again, my heart cries out to you for the children.
Could you build a protective wall around them?
And costly though that may be, may we count the cost,
and may we be found inside that wall.
Where it counts.
Where we can be found by them.
So YOU can make a difference.



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It’s been a busy day at Shady Acres.  For the past two days, our church has hosted a food/rest/pottybreak stop for Black Rock’s Bike-a-thon.  (See here:  What a great time it was, and the event is so well planned, down to the way the food stops are handled, it was a joy to be a part of it.

Yesterday, there were about 50 bikers that stopped at our little country church.  Gary Burlingame and I stayed for the entire time, and Christina with Charis and Deborah and Certain Man all did some helping, too.

This morning, the co-coordinator felt it would be wise for someone to be there somewhat ahead of time, and so I went up around 9:30 and set up what we had, just in case there were some early birds.  It was cold and overcast, and no one came early.

Pretty sparse fare at this point — just bananas and cookies
and, in the cooler, chocolate milk.

But with cookies like this, who needs much else?
Dave and Ilva came to be our church’s volunteers for the day,
And wouldn’t you know, I didn’t get a picture of them!
I am so grateful for their help today,
because it meant that I could go home after things were set up.


 Then the food wagon got there, and there were wonderful things to choose from.


These were the Black Rock “Foodies” for our station.
Jon and Rose Diener. 
Wonderfully organized, helpful and cheerful.


Pretty soon, the bikers started pulling in.


There were lots of stories and note comparing and encouraging words.


This is a mother and son team that were doing the ride today.
I think he said that he is 13, and this is his second year to ride.
After the first riders came through,
I left the Bike-a-thon in the capable hands of the team that was there
and came home to my waiting chores.


I had LOTS of relish waiting. 
I had gotten a batch into jars and sealed before I left,
but I had two more to go.  What a wonderful feeling!
39 pints (in 45 jars).  All sealed.

But then I kept thinking about how I had checked my Lima Beans
yesterday, and they were in dire need of picking.  So around six,
I went out and picked lima beans.  I got about 3/4 of a bucket.
Middle Daughter, home from her trip to the Baltic Sea, helped me shell them.

I washed them, blanched them, and got them into the freezer.
Four more bags!  Total now is 30 bags.

While I was picking the beans, though, I noticed a wonderful thing.
There are beans hanging on those vines in unbelievable numbers!
If we don’t get frost for a few more weeks,
I should have a couple of really good pickings left!
Even though it means lots and lots of work, I am so happy!
There really is nothing quite like Delaware Lima Beans.





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It is Autumn at Shady Acres.  There are candles on the table and they are burning!

But these candles are forced to run a tough obstacle course.

There is a little girlie who loves to blow out the candles:



The only problem was — this Grammy didn’t watch closely enough,
and, sure enough, she got that beautiful hair too close.

How great was the consternation and wailing and this Grammy’s guilt.

But her Mama assured me that she would be okay, that she was, in fact, quickly to sleep.

The hair, not too damaged, and the quarter-sized red spot on her cheek looking better.

I guess this Grammy learned her lesson. 

Even when their enthusiasm seems careful enough, it probably isn’t.

Even when you think you are watching with impeccable carefulness, you probably aren’t.

And when something happens that you regret, the truth is,

The little ones forgive you better than you forgive yourself.



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