Our weather reporter friend, Kevin Myatt, writes that we are experiencing the coolest July in years.
I love it.
We have to sleep with a blanket. Sometimes a sweater is necessary when heading out to milk. The mist hangs heavily all throughout the farm. Sometimes so heavily that sounds of birds and sheep and chickens are muted.
This year is a very good year for berries. Since it is a bit cooler I think we should try to harvest more wild berries and make some jam. We especially like to freeze our harvest. We rinse the berries, spread them on a cookie sheet and let them freeze, then transfer into a container to put into the freezer. Perfect for later enjoyment in yogurt, baked in tarts, popped in mouth like candy.
These days I am doing lots of praying while I work. Several people in my life are struggling with very serious issues.
My dear friend Becky's daughter Brooke is fighting a very violent battle with cancer. She is 21 years old.
Some other friends are struggling with trying to keep marriages from falling apart. Single mom friends are struggling to make ends meet. Mental health issues overwhelm another couple of friends.
So I milk the cow and pray. Weed the garden and pray. Eat and pray. Walk the fields and pray.
A friend expressed confusion regarding the concept of prayer. What's the point? Since it seems that God is going to do what he is going to do, why bother?
I pray because I can not NOT pray. I ask. I plead. I beg. I cry. I express frustration and fear and concern and regret.
Sometimes the answers are so brilliant, so clear, so immediate, so pleasing, I just know that God heard my prayer and I am pleased that he answered the way I wanted.
Sometimes there is silence. Or an answer I don't like at all. Reading the Psalms helps me to see that David liked to pray as well, and even when God was silent and didn't answer in the way he wished and hoped, the prayer was an outlet. A way to maintain relationship. An expression of faith and hope. David even expressed anger with God, lik in Psalm 22, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night and am not silent."
What I see over and over in the Psalms is a transformation. As the complaints and fears and cries of desperation roll out of the heart, peace finds a way to come in. "We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33
I don't understand prayer. I know it doesn't always make sense and yet... I will head out to milk Coco and pick berries and make pickles and will pray. Pray for Brooke to be healed. For Becky to be comforted in this really hard race. For my friends to find forgiveness, restoration and redemption in their marriage, for the single moms to have enough money to pay the bills and get the groceries, for the homeless to find a home, for grace to cover the rough spots, for peace to rule in my heart.