Blessings Beyond the Barnyard

Today, I want put in a plug for the niece of a family friend who has started running a new business out of her home (or should I say, out of her farm!):

Smith Creek Farm Facebook Page

We had the opportunity to attend a “Farm Camp” for Farm Explorers (children ages 3-6) at Smith Creek Farm last month and it was fabulous! For my little city boy (born in Manhattan) the opportunity to get down and dirty with the animals and Mother Nature in a fun, educational way was absolutely priceless. I learned so much while I was there as well – for instance, did you know that when you gather eggs from a chicken coup, you always have to leave at least one “fake” egg (at Smith Creek Farm they marked the “fake” with an “X” on the underside) in the coup or the hens will not return to the coup for fear of a predator? Just one of the many tidbits I picked up from farm life that day.

Another tidbit is that farm fresh eggs (and I mean REAL farm fresh eggs….eggs from hens that are allowed to roam free on the farm) – are so unbelievably better tasting than any eggs you can get in the store. We bought some fresh eggs while at the farm (they sell them for $3/dozen) and the yolks are so much more yellow, “fluffy,” and “buttery” than the grocery store variety. Yum!!! Here’s a picture of some eggs they gathered at Smith Creek Farm earlier this month:

If you’re within driving distance of Ft. Payne, Alabama (where the farm is located), I HIGHLY recommend you contacting Karmen to see if you can schedule a visit to the farm with your little one. A visit with to the farm includes an horse-drawn wagon ride, an old fashioned game of “tug-of-war,” a chance to feed the chickens and gather your own eggs, an opportunity to brush the horse and pony, pet the rabbits, and see the new piglets.

If you are not within driving distance, I recommend you checking out Karmen’s blog – she is a wonderful woman of faith and records her faith journey here:

http://keosmith7.blogspot.com

One last note…while at the farm, my mom and I both remarked how “mature” the farms kids seemed for their age. There’s probably a lot of reasons for this. For instance, they’re used to getting “scrappy” at the farm as opposed to being “coddled” (which I am guilty of doing with my young man)! I remember the six year old telling me a story about running into rattlesnakes in the haybales – yikes!!! However, I think one of the main reasons the farm children seem more mature (aside from Karmen’s faith-based parenting, which I’m sure is wonderful) is that these kids grow up taking care of others – taking care of the animals on the farm. They truly are being “stewards” of the earth at a very young age and with this, I think they gain a sense of maturity that is priceless. While there, I heard a story about the six year old being told he could have whatever he wanted for his birthday and do you know what he chose? He asked to have all of his family join in a wagon ride and grill out hot dogs together on a bonfire under the stars at the farm. Wow! I know my son probably already has a list a mile long of STUFF for his birthday next year! I guess when you take care of others and learn to be stewards as God intended you really do get your priorities in order. Here are the words to a beautiful and relevant song that we sang in church a few weeks ago:

“God made the world and at its birth ordained our human race

To live as stewards of the earth, responding to God’s grace

But we are vain and sadly proud we sow not peace but strife

Our discord spreads a deadly cloud that threatens all of life

We are called to be disciples of the Lord

To help to set the captive free, make plowshare out of sword

To feed the hungry, quench their thirst, make love and peace our fast

To serve the poor and homeless first, our ease and comfort last

Pray justice may come rolling down as in a mighty stream

With righteousness in field and town to cleanse us and redeem

For God is longing to restore an earth where conflicts cease

A world that was created for a harmony of peace

May we in service to our God act out the living Word

And walk the road the saints have trod till all have seen and heard

As stewards of the earth may we give thanks in one accord

To God who calls us all to be disciples of the Lord”

And a Bible verse to wrap this post up – “What are mere mortals that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, and the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swims the paths of the sea.” – Psalm 8:4-8

 

 

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7 Comments » for Blessings Beyond the Barnyard
  1. Krista says:

    What a nice post, Cammie. You touch on many things I have been pondering lately. I definitely agree that taking care of things and feeling like you are depended on allow little children to be more responsible. Since the Lord put us here to work and serve it is important to teach these skills to our children. Farm folks don’t have the option of opting out of their chores. They know that the farm cannot function without them. It definitely requires more planning and work for us city folk to teach our children that we depend on them and that they are valuable contributors to the family. It is sad that in our society it is so out of balance these days. Children think they are here to be entertained while the parents work themselves into a tizzy to provide for all their wants. I love the little boys birthday wish. It shows the beauty and innocence of his heart. My favorite folks for teaching children about responsibilities are Michael and Debi Pearl from http://www.nogreaterjoy.org. They offer lots of practical advise to teach children to work with a joyful attitude.

  2. Cammie says:

    Krista ~

    Thank you so much for your comment and book recommendation. I have not yet read the book and I am so appreciative for the suggestion! I’ll admit…it can be sooo hard raising a “city” kid sometimes! There are so many outside influences – we certainly don’t have the luxury of being removed from the simplicity and innocence of the country life!

    However, I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. God has placed us where we are. I vividly remember hearing a sermon by Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC (where Manu and I attended while we lived in Manhattan) titled “Love for the City” that rocked my world.

    Here are a few of his quotes:

    “The church has to be everywhere there are people but the people are moving into the city faster than the church. If you love what God loves, you will love the city.”

    “If you want to go where the people are going, you’ve got to go to the city. And our churches are not going to the city nearly as fast as the people are.”

    It was really convicting to me at that particular point in my life (probably because I lived in NYC at that point!) A viewpoint (rather flawed!) I gathered growing up in the Deep South is that people outside of the Bible Belt are “heathens”/totally opposed to God, etc., but I found from a personal experience of 5 years in “the City” that many young people are very open to hearing of God, particularly from someone who is authentic. People in the “city” don’t “sugarcoat” things – which is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it makes a wonderful ministry field and makes for very “real” conversations.

    All that to say, yes…I TOTALLY agree that our world in general is turned topsy-turvy. I’ve found myself caught one too many times in the “rat race” of life and succumbing to the needs (or should I say wants!!!) of my child! Shame on me!!!! :(

    But I also wholeheartedly think that God uses us where we are. I am learning every day on this journey of life. My prayer is that my son is learning with me (by God’s grace) and that he can be used in either the City or the country. The country life is awesome – in a way, I feel it may almost hand us more “control” over our children and their external influences (and certainly provides many more opportunities for stewardship!!!) But, at the same time, God needs people in the City, and I just keep praying that God will 1) lead Shaan to himself, then 2) use him where He needs Him – city or country. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    Thank God for them both!!! Love the precious country kids and love the precious city kids! Love the “scrappers” and those who have been “coddled!”

    Totally in agreement with you though – raising a City kid (Biblically) does possibly require a lot more “planning” and “work for us” as parents. Ugh – it’s hard!

    Excited to check out the book by the Pearls – sounds like I could glean a lot from it! Thank you, thank you, dear friend!!!!

    You are such an amazing mentor and teacher! I hit the “jackpot” when I ordered MonkiSee! I had no idea what I was getting myself into! Thank God for you, Krista!!!

  3. Krista says:

    Hey Cammie,

    I feel an interesting book idea presenting itself as I read your comment. It could be a play on the country mouse and the city mouse but be about what you just summed up. God uses us where we are. You can write a great kids book about that. It’s just an idea…

  4. Karmen says:

    Thank you sweet Cammie for your “plug”
    We thoroughly enjoyed having you all with us on the farm. Fun had by all!
    You are a blessing to all of those within your influence. We are ALL at “10” at something. Bloom where you are planted girl!!! love you :O)

    • Cammie says:

      Thank you Karmen for your sweet words! I love the “We are ALL a “10” at something” quote! It reminds me of Romans 11:29, “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” What a great verse to remind us all to “bloom where we are planted.” Thanks again for a fun day at the farm, and for your encouragement! Love ya too!

  5. Ashley says:

    Cammie I love this post!!!! makes me want to move to the farm!(: But I read your correspondence with Krista and your right….we are where we are for a reason and God will use us no matter what- if we are willing!

    I want to take Ry to Ft. Payne to that farm…I”ll definitely look into that!

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