Monday, February 27

Identity in Christ - Missional Mothering study 6/25/16

Identity in Christ

Let’s go around and choose one word that you would to describe yourself or who you are.

Today I want to talk about our identity as women of God, which means women in association with Him.

Ephesians 2:10 (our memory verse this week)
“You are God’s masterpiece, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

What implications does this scripture have when we consider motherhood in light of it?
I think: nothing is nominal or unimportant, no task is below me.
I think: no child is unplanned, whether we took measures to plan them or not.

What is unique about your family or heritage?  In other words, what benefits do your kids get from being in your family?  For being a Hagarty, you naturally become a foodie.  We love good food.  We are also ultra competitive so game nights get intense, we love to work with our hands creatively, and those are just a few things.

Ask for family specifics...

John 1:12
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed, he gave the right to be called children of God.”

Now, what is unique about God’s family that makes it worth mentioning that our identity as women is adopted into His family as daughters?

I think: my sins are forgiven through no effort of my own
I think: we get all of Jesus’s righteousness.  Righteousness is right standing with God.  So just as Jesus is in perfect standing with God, so are we.  It isn’t how well we parented or wifed this week…
I think: no longer slaves to sin
    Galatians 4;4-7

Tuesday, February 21

Contentment and Thankfulness Missional Mothering study from July 2016


Contentment and Thankfulness

Shared scriptures on thankfulness and contentedness:

(I asked each woman attending to bring and read a scripture that encouraged their hearts in thankfulness or contentment.  They read them aloud and then we talked about the message and context of each.)

Discussion Questions:
1. In what areas of life do we find ourselves defaulting to ungratefulness and discontent?
2. How do we teach our children contentment in a world that is always offering them the next and better thing?
3. How do we teach our own hearts to be content?

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where you Are by Ann Voskamp
    - watched her little brother plowed down by a delivery truck, her mother go in and out of mental hospitals, suffered from fear and depression her whole life and found her breakthrough through thanksgiving

Quotes from Ann:
  1. “The parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach, because who can bring peace unless they’ve held their own peace?”
  2. “...the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.”
  3. “That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.”   
  4. “Feel thanks and it is impossible to feel angry. We can only feel one emotion at time. We get to choose which do you was to feel?”

Ann ran online exercises, encouraging women to start small with thankfulness.  Three gifts seen before breakfast and women all over the earth responded with things like, “the sun across my bedroom wall”, “the curls of my son’s head as he woke me up”, “the snore of my husband, who has cancer”.

(Within our group we did these thankfulness exercises together for a week on our private facebook page.)
The cure for discontent is thankfulness.  If one of our kids complains about the dinner set before them, I tell them that they only have a right to complain if they made it, and ask them for the cure: three things they are thankful for.

Phil. 4:12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

2 Cor. 12:9-10 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Thursday, February 16

Making Christ our Treasure - Missional Mothering group 7/16/16

Making Christ our Treasure

When you hear these words: value, treasure, gold, precious….what comes to mind?

  1. For where your treasure is, your heart is there also. Matthew 6:21  
What worries is our heart stuck on?  What fears?  What consumes us and gives us the greatest joy? What fills our thoughts when we have a free moment to think?

When we make Christ our treasure, just like pirates fight to keep hold of their treasure, we will face some fights of our own.

  1. Fight to give Him and His Word priority in our lives.

  2. Fight against our ideals.
Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17

    3.) Fight to keep Him our treasure all day long.

Let’s challenge and encourage each other to memorize this or think on it daily this week:
Psalm 119:11  With all my heart I have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. Thy word I have treasured in my heart
Let’s take a look at one thing scripture tells us that God places great value on:

"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:4-5)

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

What do these scriptures say about what God values? He values us greatly.  As moms, we tend to downplay our existence, I’m just a mom, just a wife, just the person who cooks and cleans and it is in our finding our existence as a part of God’s divine plan that would not be without you in it, that we realize our great value in God’s eyes. You are irreplaceable.  
Look to someone near you and tell them they are irreplaceable treasure in God’s eyes.
2.) And now a look at what scripture tell us is good for us to value:

Psalm 119:11  With all my heart I have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. Thy word I have treasured in my heart

Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17

Proverbs 2:4-5The Message (MSG)

Make Insight Your Priority

2 1-5 Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you;
   collect my counsels and guard them with your life.
Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom;
   set your heart on a life of Understanding.
That’s right—if you make Insight your priority,
   and won’t take no for an answer,
Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold,
   like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,
Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
   you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.


Wednesday, February 15

When this house was a seasonal rental, this is what the dining room looked like.
We used this as our family dining room after we moved in for a month or two.  We added two leaves to the table to fit our family which pushed us out against the walls. Chairs constantly bumped and scraped the walls and I'd sit and look at the room and the marks all over the walls and try to figure out how to make it work for us.
I thought about a square table.

Or round.
And then I gave up the ideal of having a separate dining room and made it a sitting room.
More on that and where we do eat soon.
See that far wall up there?
See those massive windows that just a corner of is showing? Endless. Sunlight.
Those two words can pretty much sum up Florida life and as this room is so bright, I knew swathing that nook against the far wall in a rich charcoal would look wonderful.
So I did and it did (look wonderful).

This nook in our dining room soon-to-be-sitting-room because it is too small for our family is so much fun. I painted it a deep grey today and with gold sharpies (swoon) am drawing a giant bouquet on the wall. And yes, I painted this corner dark because i

And as things usually are when one walks around Target at Thanksgiving, I saw gold Sharpies and a lightbulb went off.  Must.  Have.  Sharpies.
Must have Sharpies and color on the charcoal wall.
Color on your walls. #sharpie  Photo by the 13 yr old fellow.

I cannot however, take all the ingenious credit for coloring on the walls because if you google it, you'll see it has been done before.
Now go get yourself some Sharpies and color away!  neon on white - ooooh!  or white on a black wall! or vice versa!  Then link to your photo.  I want to see it all!

Tuesday, February 14

Nature Loving while Suburbia Living

'They like each other. #quail
Moving our family of ten 1600 miles to the south included a move out of the sleepy country and into a quiet side of a larger city.  Our country kids were suddenly suburbanites and the adjustment was difficult, still is in many regards.  Our much smaller but no-mortgage home here sits on just 1/3 of an acre, with a large screened in pool area taking up much of the back yard.
Wagons of goodness for our little yard. Lemongrass, kaffir lime, mangos, dragonfruit, cranberryy hibiscus, New Zealand spinach, garlic chives, bananas, avocado, blueberries, loquat and cassava. #tropicalgardening

Don't feel sorry for us just yet though; we love where we live and the smaller green space comes with a much, much longer and more generous growing season.

A few weeks into the move we picked up a van full from Echo Nurseries. We LOVE the mission behind what they do and the nursery sales people are incredibly knowledgeable about the plants that they sell.
A morning of digging and everything is growing so well: bananas, mangoes, avocados, jackfruit, sweet apple, fig, limes, tangelos, lemons, blueberries, cranberry hibiscus, garlic chives, lemongrass and a bunch more I'm forgetting off hand but even after all this planting, our little place still has a LOT more room for potential! I answered a craigslist ad and the woman convinced me of the wonders of owning quail.  Fifteen of them are cooing on our back lanai now under a heat lamp.
We went for a hike today in the state forest that our little neighborhood borders and forests down here sure look different than up north. More jungle-chic.
Another thing we appreciate about this spot in Florida is that our little neighborhood backs up to a huge state forest.  Hiking just means jungle scenery now instead of deciduous forests.  The forest is so incredibly peaceful and we've enjoyed watching gators from a distance, seeing all the new animal tracks and some familiar ones.
One side of our property edges over a deep ditch that is full of water year round, what up north we'd call a creek, and as we were clearing and cutting trees one day, I noticed the triangular formation of a few of them. 

"Tree platform?" I proposed to Sean, who liked the idea and now we're nearly done with a spot in the trees and under the palms for our children.  We're planning on adding to the railings, installing a permanent ladder, rope ladder, pulley system and I'm scouring craigslist for a slide, because how cool would that be?
We knocked out most of our nature highrise this afternoon. A better ladder and some lattice, a rope swing and pulley...and does anyone know where I can get a nine and a half foot slide?
Here too, is the Gulf of Mexico, just ten minutes away.  We usually go once or twice a week, usually early in the day or before sunset, to avoid the seasonal crowds.  There, nature is everywhere and seeing my kids immersed in it, fills my heart.  A manatee swam by our older boys while they were snorkeling, dolphins are frequently spotted and collecting fossilized shark teeth is a favorite pastime of seven year old Chase.
Salty braids.

"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing." "The Lord will fight for you; you need only stand and be still." "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."

I have always love the land.
I've been in big cities with buildings stretched toward heaven, wandered crowded museums, toured and explored in the places man has built.
But I love the land.
And admittedly wonder how people can love God and despise the creation He made.


My children know that the smell of rain in the woods reminds me of camping, since every camping trip as a child was accompanied by rain.
And I loved it.



When I was a girl, I'd trip and meander my way behind my dad into the woods, holding surveying stakes and tape and looking for old fence post corners and notches in trees.
I thought I'd be a surveyor too.


Sitting by the creek up at camp this past weekend was drinking in a cup of the bitter with the sweet.  Toes in the cool creek, kiddos splashing and catching crayfish, Benjamin and I in the shade, while Sean hiked with friends and I thought about saying goodbye to the cabin that Sean built with sweat and friends and an old suburban.


This world is not my home.  The places I go, the places I love, where I raise my children and then move on, bring new babies home and then move on, sleep under the stars and lean my head on Sean's shoulder beside campfires - all these are just stops along the sojourn

IMG_7195 IMG_7194 IMG_7192 IMG_7215

Thursday, November 19


It is dark outside but as I sit here on the lanai, I hear the crickets chirping and the pool pump churning up the water in the hot tub, which will be a welcome reprieve after a hard days work cleaning and unpacking. Inside the sounds of dinner clearing and children playing reach out to where I sit.

As we settle into this tropical life in a quiet neighborhood (well, quiet until we moved in) I am again struck by how God orchestrated this all so well.  Moving a family of ten a distance of over a thousand miles, emptying out a home and witling down all of life's stuff into a sixteen foot trailer, all while showing the house was more than I would have imagined I could handle.  It brought me to tears many times. But His grace was there. Our NY home gets handed over to the new owners on Monday and that large season of life living in the northern part of our country closes.

These days, I mostly just monitor comments on this blog, most of them on old how-to posts on butchering and homesteading.  I've been asked if we're still homesteading and we are, albeit totally differently.  Now we have less than a half acre, but it is ours debt free and the year round growing season will allow us to putter in the gardens we'll build to our heart's content.  There are fruit trees here too among the old pines and palm trees, grapefruit, sour orange, clementine, lemon, and fig off the top of my head.  My rhubarb plant which I tenderly brought south felt the warmth and poked its head out of the soil. It thinks it is spring and I'm looking forward to trying to nurse it along here, giving it a "winter" inside the air conditioning when it is done bearing.

Life has changed a lot and I have changed a lot since I began blogging.  Besides the obvious things like growth in family size, I see that God has taught me a lot about grace, forgiveness, hope, and the preciousness of life along the years.  Life is less formula driven than it once was. I would like to continue blogging, since writing is sweet to me but I can promise this blog will veer off course from where it began.  I don't forsee much animal processing here in the south but my passion for marriage and family still are as strong.  Studying the Bible has become so sweet to me and I'd like to share some of that here too. A few years ago I began writing a children's novel for a gift for our children, which will be their Christmas gift this year.  More of my free time now, like these moments after dinner or early in the day, is spent giving time to this new door God has opened.  I never imagined I would enjoy writing fiction as much as I have.  I do have the best nine cheerleaders cheering me on, which no doubt helps.

Below are some photos, just off my phone, from the move and our week and a half in the tropics.  Where ever you are, may God catch you aware of His love tonight,
The Hampton Inn has been fabulous. This morning half the staff stood around while we ate breakfast, asking questions about our family, asking if we've been contacted by #TLC (hahahaha!), talking to the kids and handing out Toblerone. Later, I introduced t There is no way to inconspicuously walk 2.6 miles down a highway to a hotel when you number ten. The server tonight at the restaurant said, "Hey, I saw you all out walking earlier!" then proceeded to lean back, count us in Spanish, and watch us greedily c Washing off the grime of travel this morning. I think the sunshine will stay a novelty for a while. #Florida #thehagartysdoflorida Florida in November. The struggle is real. @katiesgrasso Addie wants Lyla to see the flounder she caught with her new pink fishing pole. One day of laundry and Big Ben. #largefamilylogistics Pretty cool field trip this morning to a privately owned air transport company and the Sherrif's office helicopter unit.