Monday, March 30, 2015

Prayer of Jabez for Women

I read my first book on the Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson a few years ago and found it extremely encouraging and can count many blessings because of specifically praying the prayer almost daily. 

My daughter Jennifer gave me a copy of the Prayer of Jabez for Women written by Bruce's wife Darlene Wilkinson and read it earlier this year.

I was reminded of the truth behind the obscure little piece of scripture hidden away in 

1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez,[a] saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 
Footnotes:,[a] 1 Chronicles 4:9 Jabez sounds like the Hebrew for pain.
New International Version (NIV)

The prayer is based on verse 10 and divided into four parts:
  1. Bless me
  2. Enlarge my territory
  3. God's hand be on me
  4. Keeping me safe
When you study this prayer and pray it on a daily plan you will begin to see God working amazing things in your life. Darlene addresses this prayer on a woman's plane and how it can be used in her role as mother as well as in ministry, thus seeing God work miraculously in many situations.

A write up that accompanies the books write up reads.

  • The phenomenal impact of The Prayer of Jabez is shown by reports of changed lives, expanded ministries, and spiritual breakthroughs among believers everywhere. Now women have their own unique version, written by Bruce Wilkinson's lifetime partner in marriage, that is full of significance for women's roles and ministry opportunities in God's kingdom. A must-read for every woman, whether she has read The Prayer of Jabez or not, this book addresses important questions such as, How can a busy mom expand her territory without neglecting the most important territory she already has, her family? Darlene Marie Wilkinson's warm, personable approach reaches out to her reader, encouraging her to become like Jabez and experience the extraordinary life.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

And the Garden Now...

From the post below this one you will know that I am keen to get our vegetable garden sorted and ready for winter plantings. I had thought I would have to do it on my own but hubby has been working with me now.

Much to his embarrassment I am now going to post a series of before's and after's to not only show you how bad it was but to show you how much we have done and how you will see that it could only have been done as a joint effort by both of us.

Early summer had vegetables growing well with new plants being added in the plot I had started. I thought I had it all in hand but the rest of the vast garden protected from roaming hens was starting to become quite overgrown with unkempt weeds that in fact a good mow would have kept in tack. But I don't know how to use a lawn mower.


The one bit of advice I have kept to from my mother before I married was, "if you mow the lawns once you will always have to to them" - so I never have.

As the summer months grew hotter and drier and being busy gallivanting around the countryside with Thelma and family - the garden got neglected and had to fend for itself.

So like 'when the cats away the mice will play' the weeds took over; the self seeded parsnips, self seeded again and the convolvulus had come to join the party in stampedes.

Even the grapevine from over the neighbours fence thought it had been invited and wound its way over the fence and into the game.

The convolvulus was not content with just arriving uninvited - it proceeded to carpet everything in its' track with no stopping, including the chooks run.

But like all things one has to find the blessing in it!! and yes it provided shade from the hot late afternoon sun for the hens!

We discovered quite early on, it is one weed they don't touch.

But Hubby got onboard and started pulling out the parsnips and then the other long weeds. We removed the invasive convolvulus from the fences and freed them up so once the netting could be rolled up and set aside we could start repositioning everything for the new layout.

We were pleasantly surprised when it came to shifting the chook run.

This is a dog run Harry had adapted two years ago to keep the chooks within their own run so we didn't have to clip their wings. He had also mounted the frame on wooden planks so we had thought it was going to be quite heavy and would need the able bodies of our son and a couple of his mates. But we were in luck. Using a plank in the middle of each end we were able to pivot it along the whole width of the garden alternating each end with us both lifting it and repositioned it in its new spot.

We then carefully rolled the hen house along and positioned it in its place. The rolling enabled all the old chooky poos and straw to be tumbled out and once in place, I refilled the nesting box with fresh straw. We found the second plastic egg we use to encourage the laying of eggs, under where the nesting box was in the old run, so that was a bonus. Being light the hens can sometimes scratch the plastic eggs over the edge but it can also be gathered by the excited grandchildren and maybe discarded on the way back to the kitchen.

Then all that was left to be done was to re-fence the area for the next seasons gardens so we can start on them and keep the hens out. We took a huge trailer of green waste to the dump and with other places around the yard still to be cleared there will be another to go later.

In the photo below you can see the chook run then a strip with an openable gate at each end that will be left grassed for walking on.
I have already started to dig over the next part for winter vegetables then there will be another strip for walking on and reaching across the new plot.
Next to this is where the summer garden was with the remaining vegetables that survived on their own in the foreground.
The large gate right at the base of the photo is where the hen house and chook run was and will be used for composting grass clippings and other fine vegetation. Harry plans to fence this part off separately so the hens can be allowed in at times to scratch it over without getting into the main garden but not able to destroy the general shape of the plot.
Next spring Harry will then double dig it over to plant our potato crop.

And through it all there are still some vegetables left for us - a cabbage (that the chooks had a bit of a field day with, when left unattended, when the fence was down!) some broccoli, silverbeet and some beetroot.

We've already eaten the main broccoli heads but they are a sprouting breed so will still supply us with new shoots over the next few months.

So now keeping up with a little work in the garden each weekend, as I have been doing with the other gardens around the section. I will be able to keep everything in check and productive.

What a joy.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Count Your Many Blessings

You know you can be happily going along and just getting on with life then something comes along and bowls you over?

It could be in a good way or a bad way...
It could be something huge or just the last straw that breaks the camels back..

Some of you will know if you have been reading my blog over the years that Hubby has a Mental Illness of Chronic Depression. It is in control with medication and we both watch out for signs for when all is not going too well.

I have been working outside the last month each Saturday morning tidying what I can around the place as it as getting quite overgrown and messy and generally in need of care-taking. I've weeded and pruned our driveway garden; trimmed back and weeded the small native garden; pruned some of the fruit trees and now just finished the flower garden outside our dining room window. It involved pruning some rose bushes and digging out a huge clump of bulbs that should have been thinned a few years ago.

I now want to reclaim the vegetable garden and get some winter crops in before it gets cold but it looks like a wilderness of weeds and parsnips gone to seed. They self seeded from last years neglect but it's really only me who likes them so I never got to eat them all.
Harry has been helping a little pulling out the parsnips. I have found in the past that I get a blister type rash if I get any sap from the sprouted parsnip on my skin and it leaves a scar so I am reluctant to attack them myself.

Before I start the new plot in our vegetable patch rotation we really need to reposition the huge chook run on a new part so they hens can work on a new patch of ground and I can start a garden next to them. This will allow Hubby to start planting potatoes in the bit the hens are currently in early next spring.

All sounds easy enough... but unfortunately things are not quite happening and Hubby is spending a lot of time just sleeping. He says he is tired.... but I am watching... the job of a caregiver.

But this Saturday that "something" hit me and I felt really sorry for myself. There is a list of things to be done and I can't do them all on my own. I know widows and others living on their own have to do it themselves or find help some other way and all that, but the 'woe is me' kicked in.

I have learnt when this happens to let all the 'stuff' go and find something to minister and care for me. I have learnt to find the blessings, for there are many and so I wondered around the gardens that I have tidied up and admired the work I have done. It is early Autumn and the warmer days are fading - the flowers not quite so prolific, so I gathered myself a bunch. They may be a mixture of weeds and end of the season blooms but gathered up they made a bright arrangement on our table.

As I pass them now I am reminded that it is just one of the simple ways to boost how I feel and hum the little song we used to sing in church...

I am grateful for so much and know that in time everything will get done that needs to be done. It may end up not happening the way I think or would like but in the meantime I can be grateful for some much; good health, a great spouse, an awesome church family, a good paying job, a roof over my head, food on the table, great family, and an awesome God who always reminds me that He loves me!! And I don't have to be perfect or do things better to get His love!!