{Update #2} Our Garden

Our garden grew a lot in the four days we were gone on vacation! We were excited to find how big the tomato plants and cabbages have gotten, how much the lettuce and spinach have grown, and the squash has sprouted. We were having trouble before with bunnies eating our peas and cabbage, but they seemed to have left it alone while we were gone, thankfully.

Our tomato plants now have little green tomatoes growing on them (about golf ball size), so it won’t be much longer now for those BLTs! The pepper plants have small peppers on them too, and the corn is much higher this week than when we left it.

My lettuce patch is much fuller now, but what with it being a mixture of seeds I planted, I’ve been slightly unsure whether some of it is actually lettuce or maybe weeds. I guess I’ll figure that out once it gets a little bigger.

Here are some pictures I took after we got home, to see the changes in our little garden.

Have a great day!
~Courtney Faith


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Our Vacation at Pensacola Beach

This week we went down to Pensacola, Florida to spend a few days at the beach with my husband’s parents and siblings. Since we all live in North Alabama and Southern Tennessee, we don’t go to the ocean very often. It was a several hours drive with a couple stops in between, and I was so pleased that Eden (15 months) did so well with the trip. There and back, she didn’t have a single cry-fest. Thank the Lord. (Her first trip — at 2.5 months — was to the Smoky Mountains, also a several hours trip, and that car ride was absolute terror.)

The last time my husband and I went to the beach was two years ago, and we’d just found out days before that we were expecting. I remember stepping into the ocean with her inside me, wondering when would be her first time to step in with her own two feet and see it for herself. So this was her first time, and she had so much fun in the sand! Being in the ocean was definitely not her thing, and I don’t blame her — it’s much more enjoyable to look at than play in.

My mother-in-law planned for us to all have our pictures taken on our second day there, and I am in love with how they turned out! The light blues and creams turned out to be great colors for sunset pictures on the seashore. Here are a few photos of our little family of three and some of Eden enjoying the sand. These were taken on a day she hadn’t gotten a good nap in, so she was not the happiest camper in the world by the time we were getting our pictures taken, but I think the photographer did a good job hiding the fact that she was squaling and squirming 95% of the time (but there I go, giving that secret away).

During our trip we also toured Fort Pickens, ate at some local restaurants, went go-kart racing and played putt-putt golf, and got to watch the Blue Angels perform and also toured the National Naval Aviation Museum. It was a great vacation and we got to spend it with great family. But no matter where I go, or how much I love the beach, there will never be a better place than home, sweet home.

Have a great day!
~Courtney Faith

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{Update #1} Our First Garden

We’ve had lots (and lots!) of rain recently, and plenty of sun the past few days, so everything in the garden has really shot up and is looking really great so far. The tomato and pepper plants have blooms on them now, the cabbage plants are huge, the peas are growing fast, and the carrots, spinach, lettuce, and fennel are sprouting up too. The other things we’ve planted are popping up, and it’s really starting to look like a good Summer garden now.

We’re super excited to be gathering food from our own back yard, and I’m so thankful we have this opportunity to show our daughter about God’s earth and how He makes it all grow.

 

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Eden by her garden.


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Sprouting!


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Carrots, lettuce, and spinach are popping up!

 

 

 

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Peppers, broccoli, cabbage, peas, beans, tomatoes, and the raised bed.


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Cabbage and broccoli.


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Tomatoes!


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“Clothes on the clothesline hangin’ in the sunshine, a garden growin ‘ in the ground.” -Josh Turner, “Way Down South”

Have a great day!

~Courtney Faith

 

You are More

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These days I’m noticing more and more just how much women are objectified. Women are viewed as pretty objects, pleasurable things to look at and toy with, something fun to use for a while until they’re temporarily satisfied or a prettier one comes along.

Before I go any further, let me get this straight: I am NOT a feminist. In fact, I feel that I’m about as far from modern “feminism” as one can possibly be without being labeled a “sexist” (like many men are wrongly accused of being these days, when actually all they’re asking for is a little respect. Funny how their cry for “equality” is always labeled as “sexist.” Shouldn’t we be calling it “masculism” and quit shoving “feminism” down their throats, because last I checked, every human has rights. But that’s a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day). So, no — I’m not a feminist who hates men, and this post is not about how women are mistreated and we need to stand for equality, blah, blah, blahhhh. Nope, none of that nonsense here on my blog, people.

Anyway. Now that we’ve got that straightened out (and if you’ve read any of my other posts it was clearly obvious already), let me just get back to what I’m supposed to be talking about. Sorry for rambling.

As I was saying, women nowadays are severely objectified. And while I will point out that males were intentionally created to be very visual people and their brains are just wired differently than females’ — that’s how they always have been and how they always will be — it doesn’t at all mean they have a good excuse for looking at a woman and lusting at her body, or only “caring” (if I may flippantly use that word here) about her physical appearance. But y’all, there is a huge difference between attraction & admiration and lust & selfish sexual desire. A man is naturally going to be attracted to and admiring of a woman’s body — again, that was exactly God’s intention — but there is a line that must be drawn there, so that attraction doesn’t turn to lust, which can then become merely a selfish desire to be sexually satisfied. Outside of marriage, sex is not a holy thing created by God; it is a sin. And thinking of someone, who is not your spouse, in a sexual way, is lust. Because of their visual characteristic, men have to work pretty hard to control their thoughts and guard their hearts in this area in order to be pleasing and faithful to God.

But I’m not here to harp on the men. I’ve explained enough and said plenty about them up to this point, but I am obviously not a male and therefore not qualified to instruct the male population how they ought to conduct themselves (#notmyjob).

Yet, I’m also not writing here today to harp on my fellow female population, either. I just want to make a point in as few words as possible and be on my way (because I am doing such a great job being so short winded thus far — ha ha).

When I said earlier that I’ve noticed women being viewed as pretty objects and things to be used, I didn’t specifically say that we’re seen that way only by a lot of men. No, women are seeing themselves that way, too.

And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

Society is telling women that “you’re beautiful just the way you are” while at the same time using half naked women in advertisements in order to sell everything from underwear to books to cheeseburgers. Hypocritical much?! It’s no wonder we’re so confused!

From the beginning, when God made the first man and the first woman, He made them special. He made people in His image (Genesis 1:26) and then when He was finished creating on Day 6, He “saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). First and foremost, you were created by God in His image, and He says you are good.

And as if that wasn’t enough, He says that women specifically are very special. A virtuous woman — a woman who is good and kind — is so very valuable in this world. Proverbs 31:10 says that a good woman is worth “far above jewels.” Later on in the same chapter (verse 30), it says that charm and beauty will fade away, but what is on the inside is what’s really important: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who reverences the Lord, she shall be praised.”

We can dress up — or like so many around us, dress down — or fix our hair or wear nice jewelry, but that’s not what makes us beautiful. What matters most and what truly defines genuine beauty is our heart. Our heart is so very precious to God, and if we have a good heart, the right people will see it and it will shine so bright it makes us beautiful on the outside as well. I’ve met people I thought were gorgeous on the outside until I got to know them a little, and came to find that their heart was bad, and unfortunately that then made them ugly on the outside. Peter tells us what God thinks about the inward-to-outward beauty in I Peter 3:3-4: “Your adornment must not be merely external — braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

We can wear pretty clothes and fine accessories, but true beauty lies beneath all that. And if someone can’t see past what you have on in order to know you are beautiful, or if the only way they think you’re pretty is if you’re not wearing anything, then you’re not looking to the right person to attract. A good man values women as precious humans to be loved and cherished, not looked to as a pretty thing with only one purpose — to please them.

Paul said in Ephesians 5:25, 28-29, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.” Ladies, if we are to be treated by our husbands as Christ treats His church, then we can know that our value is more than skin deep, and we don’t have to dress provocatively in order to be beautiful.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather dress modestly and discreetly and be respected by real men, called beautiful by my own husband, and know that I am cherished and valued by my Lord than to dress in as little as possible or show a bit of cleavage or too much of my legs in order to turn heads everywhere I go just so guys will think I’m pretty on the outside.

You are pretty on the outside, because God made only one specially perfect version of you, but don’t let that alone define you, because outward beauty is shallow and temporary. My great-grandma used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does,” and I remind myself of that often. If your heart is pretty, you’re a pretty person. Worry about being pretty on the inside, and that will shine out of you so that others will see your true beauty, inside and out. Wearing skimpy clothes doesn’t make you beautiful; it just takes away from the real you. You are more than how you look on the outside. You’re fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and that’s enough, so don’t ever tell yourself otherwise.

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand…” (Psalm 139:13-18)

Have a great day!
~Courtney Faith

Our Weekend

This past weekend the weather was absolutely perfect. And since we had been planning for a while to spruce up our front flowerbeds with an outside liner and new mulch, on Saturday afternoon we went to Home Depot and got the supplies we needed.

We were having problems with the old mulch that was already there when we moved here, because whenever it rained the mulch would wash out onto the sidewalk. The liner we put around the beds should hold the new mulch in now, and the landscaping fabric underneath it all will be nice for keeping the weeds from taking over.

The work didn’t take nearly as long as I expected, but we did wind up estimating a little low on how much liner and mulch we needed, so Hubby had to make a second trip to pick up more, but other than that (and the rain we unexpectedly got that evening which put our work off till Monday afternoon because we were gone all day Sunday) we finished up pretty quickly.

Here are some before and after pictures. Now that our flowerbeds are complete, we can put our full focus back onto the garden, which is growing quickly and beautifully! Soon we’ll have tomatoes and lettuce to make us some fresh BLTs. Yum!

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First step: Digging the Trench for the Lining

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One Side Dug and Lots of Dirt and Leaves Everywhere

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Lining Done!

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After: Right Side View

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After: Left Side View (with a Cute Little Addition to the Picture!)

Have a great day!
~Courtney Faith

Children are the Most Important Work

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“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – Dr. John Trainer

I was reading the latest issue of the No Greater Joy magazine the other day and came across this quote in one of their articles, and it really stuck out to me. It’s something I need to remind myself of every single day, and a blatant truth I must never let myself forget.

“Our children ARE our ministry. Sometimes I think I want to go OUT and tell people about Jesus. I want to do some kind of big ministry that’s bigger than me and affects the whole world. Maybe we should go to Africa or something. But then I look at my three babies and I realize their young, thirsty souls are my ministry right now. Maybe there’s a future for us in foreign missions… I don’t know. But right now, they are what God gave me to change the world.” -Hannah Stoll

It may be easy at times to look past the daily ordinary and think we could be doing so much more for God, so many bigger things for Him out there in the world that affect so many people. Changing diapers and wiping little faces and cleaning up the living room for the hundredth time in a day can be exhausting, and can feel like we’re not doing anything huge or important. But what we need to remember is that we were given this mom life for a reason, and our kids are the huge and important things of this world.

Sure, there may be people whose calling is to get out there and teach the Gospel to thousands of people, or feed orphans and widows on the other side of the world. That may sound so much better and more world-changing than cleaning the house and soothing a screaming baby and cooking supper every single night with a kid on our hip, but if that’s where we are in this moment, then that’s where God wants us to be right now. Things may change, but right here, right now, these little people are what’s most important, and to God they mean more than anything else. He gave you this job because He knew you could do it beautifully, and He knows you can do it even on the messy days.

Those little souls we’re raising are so very important–eternally important–and we cannot afford to take our God-given responsibility lightly, by any means. They are our ministry, they are the next generation, and raising them to be lights in the world and soldiers for God is the biggest job there is.

You’re doing a great job, momma! Happy Mother’s Day. ❤

Planting Our First Garden


This is our first Spring living in a house since we’ve been married, so since we now have our very own yard, we are super excited to be planting our very first garden together this year!

During the Winter we had to clear out a big spot in our backyard that was grown up and had basically been used as a dump by one of the previous tenants here, so that was a huge job itself, chopping down small trees and pulling up bushes and weeds and roots. My husband worked really hard at getting it done and then set to work tilling up the ground with a shovel and he built us a raised bed too. We finished the garden spot up by the time it was planting season, and now we have a small tiller which makes it so much easier to work up the soil for the seeds and plants to be put in.


After our last frost of the season (yay, Spring!), we planted several things– tomatoes, peppers, peas, onions, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and more. We’re a bit late planting a few remaining things, but with all the rain we’ve had lately it has put us a bit behind schedule, but hopefully the ground will dry up enough that we can finish the last bit of planting very, very soon.

I’m really excited to see how everything grows, and am crossing my fingers that I don’t let everything die. With the luck I have with house plants, it’s a wonder our garden is doing as well as it is at the moment! Haha.


So, that’s pretty much all I have to say about our little garden for today. I’ll try to post more updates as it grows and we start harvesting. We’re so looking forward to having fresh vegetables right from our own backyard!


Have a nice day!

~Courtney