A Special Mention

shuksan1021613

Thank you,  Ann Voskamp,  for linking to this Barnstorming blog over the past two years,  sharing my photographs of our farm and the surrounding scenery of Whatcom County with thousands of your readers around the world. Just this past weekend over 2000 of your special people came to visit Barnstorming in our little corner of the web, and many of them have stayed on to chat on our farm porch as well as yours.

If you have not visited Ann’s blog before, you must.  Look for “Only the Good Stuff: Multivitamins for your Weekend” every Saturday on  “A Holy Experience” and look for her stories during the week, along with news about her upcoming book.

Ann has transformed many lives through her open-hearted witness of her own transformation. As one of those broken people aching for gospel glue to pull my pieces together, I am indebted to her remarkable wisdom and grace.

Blessed by all who visit here and by Ann who led you here,

Emily from Barnstorming

Only the Good Stuff: Multivitamins for Your Weekend [10.15.16]

 

shuksan1021611

Prepare for Joy: A Reflection of God’s Face

hydrangeawinter2

“Save me from all oppression, conspiracy, and rebellion; from violence, battle, and murder; and from dying suddenly and unprepared.”
~The Book of Common Prayer

It used to be that people feared a sudden, unprepared death,
because they feared meeting God sudden and unprepared.
Now, we only fear death —

because we don’t fear God.
Turn on any street corner, walk through any airport, sit on the edge of any hospital bed, and you can see the glorious wonder of it:
All the faces of humanity carry the image of God.
What if deciding to end a human life is somehow the desecration of God’s image?
What if a human life is not only a gift of grace right till the end – but is a reflection of God’s face right till the end?
~Ann Voskamp from “A Holy Experience” in a blog post about the death of her friend Kara Tippetts from breast cancer

Such hard news this week:
A plane goes down in the French Alps, killing unsuspecting travelers, some so young, who had no thought of meeting their God that day.
A wife and mother, who has known for months she was dying, prepared herself and her family and left this world on God’s terms, not of her own volition.

What is man that we are His reflection, His face mirrored in ours,
whether we are old and dried up and wrinkled beyond recognition,
or we are a floating conceptus, yet to implant and thrive?

It is not up to us; we are not our own, but belong, body and soul, to Him.

quinceflower

Shades of Graying

Featuring fifty shades of farm gray

shadesofgray

grayfencedrops

graylichen

I could weep for a quiet love like this, the kind of love they don’t write movies about, but the Maker writes down in a book of His own.
It’s not the kind of flashy that makes any red carpet, but it’s the kind of unforgettable love that runs red.
It doesn’t matter one iota what the checkout glossies tout: Sacrifice is the most attractive of all.
And boring love is what touches the deepest– our lives boring down deep into each other’s hearts.
And I have loved you as the hero-of-few-words who has rescued me day in and day out, without any fanfare or flash.
You have lived and bore the weight of it —- I am far worse than I ever dreamed.
And yet you have loved me beyond what I could ever dream.
You have lived Gospel to me.
~Ann Voskamp  from aholyexperience.com

fogsun

graywebdesign

grayfencelichen

grayasphalt

grayknobs

On a day celebrated for honoring Love,
I grieve that women — mothers and daughters
who know nothing of slavery,
who know nothing but freedom,
seek out and pay out
for a fantasy of seduction,
blinded and bound by books and movie
that have nothing to do
with honor or love.

Give me boring gray love rich in so many shades:
love that bores deep into the other’s heart
and stays,
enduring,
before, throughout and beyond the gray.

The shades of gray in my life
will not be covered with dye and make believe,
but celebrated as reflecting
love not forsaken,
not for any one
or any reason.

We declare it to all who are to come after.

graybark2

graybarn

grayappletrunk

graybark3

grayfencetop

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Psalm 71:18

graybark6

graybark4

graybarndoor

grayfoundationcrack

grayladder2

grayladder

graylichen1

graymaple

graymirror

grayshingles

barebranchesgrayrocks4

 

graybolt

graypeeling

grayfencelichen2

graykindling

grayreflection

grayrocks

graymaplecenter

graysiding

graylichen3

graypoplar

graystonefrog

graywall

graywalnutscars

grayswing

graytreehouse

grayplum

graymapletree

graywalnutbark

graystairs

graywall2

graystonepile

grayroofing

graystump

graystonewall

graywebdesign1

The Sheer Sheen of Grace

rainbow961

rainbow96

Don’t grieve that it’s gone, wonder that it was.
Laugh that you lived and dance that you dared.
Inhale that it happened — and it was grace.
And I memorize the light — that is how to make the smallest life big and grand –

The best way to prepare for what’s ahead is to be present to what is now.
Be present to the gift of now.
And right then –

the sheer sheen of grace on everything lights.
~Ann Voskamp www.aholyexperience.com

sunset966