“BEING FORCED TO WORK, AND FORCED TO DO YOUR BEST, WILL BREED IN YOU TEMPERANCE AND SELF-CONTROL, DILIGENCE AND STRENGTH OF WILL, CHEERFULNESS AND CONTENT, AND A HUNDRED VIRTUES THE IDLE WILL NEVER KNOW.” –– Charles Kingsley
I am reminded this week of the value of effort and work ethic – effort to seek after that which is better; and not just better, but best. I had several thoughts on what to write about this week and I was not sure which one I felt the most moved by (no pun intended – I am moving next week to my new house). I have several irons in the fire and each one is exciting and challenging at the same time. I am incubating bantam Millie Fleur chicken eggs and so far four of the seven are growing, moving, and very healthy.
. I also happen to be growing some perennials by seed in order to landscape my new yard less expensively. I am researching prices and getting quotes for ways to save money in the move like TV service and internet. I am breeding my show Lionhead rabbits. I am editing my book (only 4 more chapters left and we will be done with the first round of edits!).
Honey-do-list: Can it be called a Honey-do-list if I have no honey? That is the whole reason I am asking my dad to come help . . . I have no honey to do it for me..
I have a dog who has a slipped disk in her back and was losing the control of her back legs so I am giving medicine to her twice a day and worrying about her constantly. I am in the process of changing my phone number and address to all the banks, doctors, utilities, and credit cards. I am preparing to move but before I move I have to fix up the house including arrange for a refrigerator to be delivered, carpet to be laid, and the “honey-do-list” I am making for my Pop who has graciously agreed to drive out from Colorado to help me with all the electrical and plumbing I cannot do by myself. All of this on top of the daily chores of cooking and cleaning and working full time. Phew! Is that all?
Here is the latest picture of the cover of Mr. Darcy's Promise. Color will be added next week! I love the little chicken!
The flowers I am growing are in that fragile state where they need more sun in the day but can’t afford to be out for hours on end. So I am constantly putting them in and outside of the house. My dog is doing better, and is almost back to full health but she has had to have strict kennel rest. And have you ever looked at your bundled internet and phone and TV bill for the right number to call? I counted the numbers on my 4 page bill – 7! No matter which one you call to change address of service, they all route you to someone else at least three times. So what you think will be a 4 minute phone call ends up being 25.
So why bother with all of this? Why put the extra effort to grow plants from seed, or why incubate eggs instead of order chicks, or why give 100% in the editing process on my book, Mr. Darcy’s Promise? I might refer you to the quote by Charles Kingsley above. He says: “Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know.” Being forced to do your best really will make it worth it. I think of the effort I put into these things and the benefit far outweighs the sweat and tears. I am breeding temperance and self-control. I am learning diligence and strength of will. I am learning to be cheerful and content. In short, I am learning. I believe that we must always push ourselves to learn new and unique things.
And at the risk of having a longer blog post than normal, I must add one more thought to this. I recently gave a 25 minute talk in church about the path we each have to make to reform ourselves. (Yes – that too, on top of all the rest that was going on). As much as I wanted to share my thoughts in the talk in a blog post, I decided not to. My testimony is sacred and far too personal to be examined by the internet. But I will say a few spiritual thoughts that are connected to this blog about opposition being a learning curve. When Adam and Eve were forced from the Garden of Eden, they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. They did this through having children, but also through tilling the earth and being forced to grow their own food and having to have noxious weeds to torment them. They also managed their animals and learned how to replenish their livestock. Was it easy for them? They had no resources to turn to like books, experts, or internet to teach them about the best time to breed, plant, and harvest. They had to work and work hard to get the fruits of their labor. So my point is, I am lucky to have these opportunities to stretch myself and grow because I do have experts, books, and internet to turn to in order to be successful.
As much as I wish all 7 eggs grew, 4 are doing well. As much as I wish my dog can run and jump, I restrain her to prevent paralyzed back legs. As much as I wait patiently for the flowers to take off, I know I have a few more weeks to see them healthy enough to transplant. As much as I really need a 5 minute phone call not to take 25, I still have the ability to simply make a phone call instead of driving to all these locations. I have it easy. Easy as breeding rabbits (which turns out not to be so easy). Easy as pie. Speaking of which, I have a recipe for you all. It is the best pie dough recipe there is.
In a separate bowl, mix 1 egg, 2 TBS sugar, 2 TBS vinegar, and 5 TBS ice cold water. Set it aside and mix 3 cups flour with 1 ¼ cup shortening and ½ tsp salt. Mix the flour mixture until it is in pea size crumbles. Then add the egg mixture all at once and stir briefly. Do not over mix. Makes two pie crusts with a little extra for cookies afterwards.
This really is a perfect recipe if you follow it exactly. It is as easy as pie. Although I do not call myself an expert, I do think that a tried and true recipe is worth all the work it took to perfect it. So I leave you with this thought. Life is not supposed to be easy, but with enough work, we will have the strength of character that being idle will never know.
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