pickles and perspective

Yesterday was Pickle Day here at The Farm. Refrigerator pickles are one of my favorite treats of summer! I started making this summer staple of the Long household years ago when Carl’s Aunt Sherry shared her recipe with me. It is simple, easy to double, triple, or even quadruple! Her recipe is below if you want to give that version a try, but…true confession, last summer I discovered my new favorite recipe for these pickles from “Our State” magazine here in North Carolina. Y’all, these are hands down the best pickles I have ever made. There is something about the celery seed, turmeric and ground mustard that make these pickles special! So, since that recipe isn’t mine, I have linked it for you to easily find.

Here is Aunt Sherry’s yummy recipe if you don’t like the extra spices or don’t have them on hand.

The process is the same for both recipes. Simply heat all of the ingredients in a large pot until the sugar and salt is dissolved. I heat mine just to boiling. Layer the pickles and onions in the jars, fill with the pickling liquid and seal the jars. Let me know if you give them a try or if you have a different recipe to share!

We like to grow our own seasonal vegetables, but if you don’t have time, energy or space, I hope you will support your local farmer’s market. When I am in the garden or working on a project around here, I have precious time to think. So, Fourth of July weekend is upon us and for our family it is indeed a time to celebrate and reflect. What a blessing to live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. In spite of the news cycles that never end, politics and the virus, we press on, enjoying family, rooted in faith.

These drone photographs were given to us this week and they got me thinking about perspective. Here we are, living on this farm, taking care of the animals, working on numerous projects and it is hard work, that is for sure. It is so nice to look at this place from a different vantage point. In the midst of the laboring, progress isn’t always evident, but when I see these pictures from above the farm, I can see evidence of our efforts. Isn’t that so true about situations in our lives? We can be in the middle of a challenge or season in life and it is difficult to see any progress or maybe the right road to take. Yet, when we step back and look at the situation differently, things can come into focus. For me, it is slowing down to look at things through a biblical lens rather than a secular view. Seeing these pictures of The Farm made me smile to think about how fortunate we are to be stewards of this special place and to see the fruits of our labor. Yet, there is still work to be done!

I believe that God calls us to be stewards of whatever He gives us, whether it is our homes, children, resources, talents, or time. My prayer today, and everyday, is that I step away from the hectic pace of this life to listen to God’s Word and His direction for me. His Word offers a perspective to navigating this world that we don’t hear on the evening news and it is so needed right now.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalm 119:105″

My desire is to prayerfully start my day with my hope built on nothing less than Jesus and his righteousness. (The hymn is ringing in my ears.) There are chores waiting for me, so I am about to head outside to help Carl, move some mulch, check on the chickens and tend to my garden. For now, that’s my perspective from the ground in Gastonia, NC! Enjoy your friends and families this weekend and take care! From all of us here at The Farm, we wish each of you a wonderful 4th of July! #BeLight

~Laura

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