Need a smile? Need encouragement? Need to feel the love and grace in your lives again? Then let’s “run” back to where we will find wholeness again. On this fourth Sunday in Lent we ponder the parable of the Prodigal Son with a little help from Rembrandt, Henri Nouwen — and some cute little piglets! Enjoy your time in Vermont at Old Stone Well Farm. Comment, share…and let me know your answer to what brings a smile to your face.
I am entering into the Lenten wilderness today with some trepidation, sadness and joy. The world is broken. Rev, the cat, is showing signs of decline. A dear friend’s father is in critical condition having suffered a stroke. Writer’s block stresses the already-stressful deadlines on my calendar. The list goes on. Yet amid it all, I hear the birds singing. And don’t laugh, but I know spring will burst with new life soon as last night there was that pungent smell of skunk in the air! The little critters are out and about as the weather begins to warm up ever so slightly.
This Lent is beginning with a strong sense of change on the horizon. I don’t know what that change is, but I’m standing here knowing I need to put just one foot forward in complete faith in God who leads me.
So today I decided to be kind to myself — to be gentle and reevaluate my to-do list. Today I decided to begin this season with a new Lent tradition that centers my spirit and helps me to set my eyes to the hills where the psalmist proclaims our help will come. And I share it with you.
How is your Lenten journey going to begin? Pull up a chair and join me here at the farm.
Well, we had another snowstorm here in Vermont, which means more snow angels to make and more snowflakes to marvel at. While I yearn for warmer weather, there are lessons to learn in winter’s “slow down” mode. Lessons such as before jumping into saying saying “yes” to everything, discern the time and energy you have to give. Discern if what you are signing up for fuels your passion.
Even with that beautiful “Here I am” we wish to say to God, listen first for what is really being asked of you. So, sit back and enjoy what I call a “mini-retreat.”
Yes, these videos are your time to enjoy country living in Vermont with me. So enjoy Old Stone Well Farm — my little 18th-century home in a Vermont valley which is known by the locals as “the oldest house in Rupert.”
Invite your friends to come along and visit the farm as well. There’s always room at the old farm table. So like, comment and share Old Stone Well Farm Media & Ministry with friends and invite them to subscribe to the YouTube channel to get the latest news and reflections. This fledgling ministry is getting some attention. I am still not sure where God is leading me with it, but I have said “here I am” and I am excited and curious to what tomorrow will bring. So join me in praying for direction and wisdom.
Nugget, my miniature Easter Egger Bantam, lays the cutest little sage colored eggs. But I wondered what to do with such little eggs?
Then I remembered a wonderful 18th-century recipe I learned at my open-hearth cooking class. I could make Scotch Eggs! (Learn more about these delicious treats in the video.)
As I worked in the kitchen, Nugget’s tiny contribution to the farm made me smile. It also reminded me that we all have a gift to bless this world with.
We all have something wonderful that can bring a smile to others. With so much negativity in the world and so many people clamoring for attention and jockeying for position, I was reminded that everyone and everything has value.
Now if only we can live seeing the value in all things — even the smallest of eggs here at Old Stone Well Farm. I hope you find your time here in Vermont a blessing. Think of it as a mini-vacation, a step back in time and to a quieter place. As always, I love having you come to the farm with me.
Share the news of Old Stone Well Farm with friends and family.
(P.S. There’s currently no water here in this old house due to the joy of rural living and well issues. And so, pardon my unwashed hair today!)
I’ve always embraced January as a month to challenge myself to step out from what I am comfortable with and dare to step onto a new path. And so, step with me!
Step out of the cold and the snow (if that is where you happen to be either physically or emotionally), and come share the warmth of my 18th-century home, Old Stone Well Farm, as we learn how to trust and be guided by the bright Epiphany light. Share with your friends. Watch with a cup a herbal tea. Take these minutes to watch the video. Think of it as my gift to you. A gift to enter into my 18th-century Vermont life.
It’s joy Sunday, the day we light the pink candle around the Advent wreath and hear Scripture’s call to “rejoice, always!” It is also a day known as “Gaudete Sunday,” taking its name from the first line of an ancient hymn that was sung on this day that begins with the words “rejoice.”
But what is joy, and how do we find it even when life seems anything but joyful? And why the pink color for Advent? We will answer these questions here at the farm. (I will even explain that pink rose ornament that you see in the preview.)
And if you are curious as to what that ancient hymn sounds like, listen to the end for a snippet of it.
As always, thanks for spending this season of Advent with me here in Vermont.
On this our second Sunday in our Celtic Advent celebration, we get out the old bowls at the farm to whip up some holiday goodies. This day is known in Anglican circles as “Stir Up Sunday,” which gets its name from the collect in the Book of Common Prayer that asks God to “stir up” God’s faithful children. It was a day for families to “stir up” their Christmas puddings and fruitcake, allowing enough weeks for all the wonderful holiday flavors to mingle together.
I wonder, though, what does it take for our faith to be stirred up? What would it look like to live with such a faith? And, as we head toward the Thanksgiving holiday, who has been that special person in your life who has “stirred up” your faith? Think about that person and pause to give God thanks for them in your life.
Observing a Celtic Advent has become a tradition here at Old Stone Well Farm. Beginning on Nov. 15, Celtic Advent is often referred to as a “Winter Lent,” as there are 40 days which leads to the celebration of Christ’s birth.
The Celts used this time to embrace each ordinary day as holy and to ponder Christ’s arrival in the world, in our hearts and his promise to return again. So join me as we begin our Celtic Advent.
Share this new tradition with others and, if you would, please like the YouTube page and consider subscribing. I would love to start 2022 with a channel for Old Stone Well Farm.
Well, I am packing up and getting ready to return to Vermont. And so, a short greeting to welcome you to this week’s time together as we ponder those imaginary giants that we battle with in our lives. Are you tilting at windmills? It’s time to turn our eyes away from the things that drag us down, and look at all the God possibilities that are in our lives. See you next week back at the farm!
Blessings, Pastor Donna
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.