Enjoying Summer While it’s Here

Sometimes I find myself needing that little bit of “quiet time,” even though I’m by myself almost the entire day. Sometimes I just need that little bit of time to sit and rest my mind. I have a very busy mind. If I’m not thinking, I’m sleeping. And sometimes I’m simply not sleepy. (haha)

I can see my family and friends raising their eyebrows if they’re reading this. They assume I’m always sleepy. Because it happens quite a bit, but not as often as they think.

Every now and then I need to rest my mind and just enjoy the life God has given me. I don’t always allow myself to do this. I tell myself, if I’m not working, someone else is. Taking time to myself is a challenge I accepted, and this past week I allowed myself to do just that. Yesterday, I sat in the shade of our elm tree and literally watched the corn grow. I savored every cucumber bite from my Kansas cucumber salad, and relished in the flavor of my cucumber water. Then I read a book for ten minutes. After fifteen minutes, I felt rested and ready to go back to work. It doesn’t take a lot of time to feel rested-depending on how behind you are.

I’ve learned that sometimes we just need to take the time and rest.

And boy, those cucumbers were good! I’ll write out the ingredients, incase you’re also up to your knees in cucumbers and need a good way to use them.

Kansas Cucumbers

Recipe from Sandhill Favorites Recipe Book.

1 c. mayonnaise

4 T. Sugar

4 T. Vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

3-4 large fresh cucumbers, peeled and sliced

Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Pour over fresh cucumbers.

This recipe book is loaded with a bunch of good recipes. A lot of them are traditional Mennonite recipes, but there’s a bunch of other good ones too. Here’s a link to a publishing company I found that sells the recipe book online, incase you’re interested.

I went for a ride this morning with my horse, Scarlett. Usually, before breakfast I work on my novel, but this morning I really wanted to go for a ride. I had a feeling it would be a beautiful morning, and it was. The sun’s light glimmered through the cloud cracks, slowly peaking over the light blue clouds, that stretched along the eastern horizon. The corn stood still and the birds sang in the trees, as we walked along the road, carved into the earth after years of farm traffic. Scarlett snatched a few corn leaves, unable to resist the greenery, I don’t think she was impressed though. She didn’t go back for seconds. 😛

(Last time I mentioned how we don’t farm sweet corn; to clarify, the corn crop I’m talking about will be chopped while it’s still lush and green, for cattle feed during the winter. Also, it was planted late, so growing sweet corn in it was not an option.)

This picture was taken while I enjoyed my Kansas Cucumbers, a day after I groomed the dog.

The dog trimming was a success. For a first-timer, I think I did verily well. But goodness, to anyone who grooms animals for a living, y’all do hard work. After that, my back was spent. The dog walked into the house, plopped down on the kitchen floor, and acted like he was tired. He just stood on the porch steps, sitting occasionally. (Haha) He was a good boy though, he did a good job.

I had a good week, full of work, friends, and family. We didn’t get the corn freezing done, but I’m hoping we’ll get that done next week.

I also spent one afternoon at a coffee shop, laughing and talking with some amazing friends. One of these days I will take my laptop, order an ice coffee, find a cozy corner in our local coffee shop and work on my novel. Or I’ll read a book. That sounds like a vacation to me. 😀

One day . . .

I will talk to you all back here in a few weeks,

Have a good weekend guys,


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Exciting things are happening in the garden . . .

It was a pleasant day. The sun gleamed on the ripening pumpkins, providing the perfect light for a quick photo, by my poor quality phone. (I refuse to get a new one until this one breaks.) Flies buzzed passed my ears, while others hovered over the dogs head, sneaking the occasional sting of blood from his ears. The dog huffed even under the shade of the small elm tree, for the weather wasn’t unbearable, but not enjoyable for a husky/golden retriever, with fur as think and long as broom bristles. I have planned to cut his hair this week yet. The groomer does an amazing job, but Buddy needs a trim so often it drains the stashed coffee pot. By grooming him myself a few times a year, I hope to save a few dollars.

I wanted these pumpkins for fall decoration, but looks like they’re going to be ready to early. 😛

After I swept the kitchen floor, made the bed, washed the dishes, tidied up around the house, and set out meat to thaw for lunch, I jogged down the porch steps and walked to the garden. I keep the garden hoe hung on the tomato trellis; it saves a lot of steps from the shed to the garden in the summer. But before I began the hoeing, I picked the ripe vegetables, brought them into the kitchen, washed them, then laid them out on a kitchen towel to dry before I set them aside for storage.

Today’s harvest.

My mom and I are planning on canning cucumbers tomorrow. We always can in her kitchen, she has all the supplies in her storage room. Because we share the produce in my garden, it makes me feel better about using her supplies and her kitchen.

The Days Spent at Home in the Kitchen

Plus, there is something about working in the kitchen you learned how to cook in. It brings back memories of “the old days.” When warm summer air seeped through the kitchen window screen, apple pie filling bubbled over the crust edging as it baked in the oven, and steak sizzled in the pan as it fried on the electric stove top. The best part was when I stepped out the dinning room doors and yelled toward the shop, “lunch is ready.” Mom would over hear, and everyone quit their task and walked toward the laundry room door. They would ooh and aww while they washed up. I would always stand beside the stove, my smile reaching across Kansas, while my brother taste tested the food. Obviously, I was proud of what I had created, because I didn’t cook often, growing up. That’s probably why I remember so vividly the times that I did cook; it was such a rare occasion.

Anyways, back to today . . .

A part of my garden (a far away look at the corn stocks).

Mom has planned to also cut and freeze sweet corn this week. We always get a big batch from our farmer friends. Because my family farms alfalfa hay, we don’t plant acres of sweet corn. It’s easy for the corn farmers, they just leave a patch in their feed corn crop for sweet corn and treat it exactly like they do their feed crop.

I’m growing corn in my garden this year, I tasted it this morning–I’m glad we got the farmer’s corn to rely on. This corn I planted–we’ll I musta done something wrong, it doesn’t taste bad, it’s just not as good as the farmer’s corn . . . oops. I’ll try again next year. 🙂

After I fried fish, cooked rice and steamed vegetables (for myself, Willie doesn’t eat veggies) for lunch, I washed dishes, mowed, trimmed, raked the cut grass and laid the grass out in my garden as mulch. This is the first year I’m laying down mulch in my garden. The books and YouTube videos I read and watch say, “do not let your ground be uncovered.” So far I’m seeing good results–also, it helps keep the weeds away. But I still have to cut a lot of grass before the garden is completely covered.

A few other chores were done, but we won’t go into detail about those.

I did put together the stand up mirror my husband gave me for my birthday though. Here’s the link to the one my husband got me, in case you’re looking for one. I’m loving it! You wouldn’t want to have it standing in a child’s room though, it seems to wobbly for that. The children might run into it and I don’t think it could withstand that. But it’s prefect for an adult’s room.

It’s seven thirty and Willie’s going to be home soon, so I’m gonna prepare dinner by reheating leftovers, 😛

Until next time,


love YOUR NEIGHBOR as yourself

Love is in the air, or so they say.  Heart shape balloons line the shop windows, couples are getting ready to celebrate—everyone’s showing love to others. That’s the idea anyways.

One famous thing Jesus said, a phrase that’s been said many times, in many ways, “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:32) While we’re busy showing love to our neighbors, the one person we forget to love is ourself. See, the first thing we hear in that verse is, “love your neighbor,” and that’s what we try to practice. That’s we take away from that verse and that’s what we tell others. But take a look at that last part, “as yourself.”

How many people can look in the mirror and say, “I love who I am?”

Paul says in Ephesians chapter five verse twenty-nine, “no one ever hated his own flesh.” I don’t know what people were like in Paul’s days, but these days, people can hate themselves more than they ever thought possible. Sometimes this comes from something we’ve done, other times it comes from something someone said. But we hate ourselves. We despise ourselves so much that we torture ourselves. Not only do we physically hurt ourselves, but we beat ourselves up with the most hateful words. We repeatedly tell ourselves a lie, until we forget that the truth ever existed and we live the lie. We may treat others in way so they won’t become our enemy, but we treat ourselves so that our own mind becomes our biggest enemy.

In Genesis chapter one verse twenty-seven Moses says, “God created man in His own image.” If we were created in the image of God, who are we despising more, ourselves or the creator who designed us?

 We are not perfect like God, but He thought His creation, our body and personality, was perfect when He created it. The things I just mentioned are fairly deep. They’re real problems, living in real people. But not all self-hatred runs that deep.

Self-hatred can sneak up on a person anytime, anywhere, and it can stay for five minutes, then it disappears. That happens to me a lot. Some self-hatred hovers over your mind, it doesn’t run deep, but it’s there. Every time someone complements you; every time someone speaks kindly of you. It’s not that you don’t appreciate it, it’s that you don’t believe it. If you accepted their complement, if you believed their kind words, then you would be praising yourself. You’d be unhumble. You don’t know if you’re all those great things someone says about you, but one thing you know you’re not, is self-centered. Bratty people are self-centered and you’re not a brat.

That’s the thing, a lot of times people who are confident in themselves are considered bratty. Most of the time, the word “brat” is aimed at a teenage girl, but it can go either way. Both females and males of all ages can be considered self-centered. But there’s a difference between being a brat, and loving the person God created: you. God premiered a marvelous design when you entered the world. He didn’t design a self-centered, careless person, He designed a person with humility, respect, and gratitude. For you are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

If someone’s complementing you, then they’re taking the time to show love to you. If someone noticed your way of life and they’re sharing their admiration, then they’ve taken the time to notice your true personality. They’ve taken time to spend with you and show you love. Others love you, they are showing love to you, like you are showing love to others. You are their “other.” Take the love their giving to you and love yourself. Accept the love that the Lord gives you every single day, and love the person He created you to be. You are loved, and because of that, you have the strength to love yourself.

 In that verse (Ephesians 5:29) Paul also says, “they feed and care for their body.” We should care for a body God created, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

This Valentine’s Day set aside the self-abuse, shove the hateful thoughts away, accept the love from others, and love the person God made you to be: you. He made you to be you. In his eyes you were made perfectly and He wants you to be who He created you to be. If you do nothing this Valentine’s Day, if you do nothing besides remember that God’s love matters above all other love, then you’ve celebrated the best way you ever could. His love glows within your heart, and it’s enabling you to love the person you see in the mirror.

Wherever you are today, I pray you know the feeling of love.

Until next time,

Maria Friesen

Quick, before I leave, I wanted to remind you guys that my second book, The Mission, is out now on Amazon. You can check out my website to learn more about it or go to Amazon to order a copy now. If you do read it, let me know what you think. I always appreciate hearing from you guys. About both my books and my blog posts. 😀

*all Bible verses in this article are from the NIV*


My second book, a short novel, is now available on Amazon everywhere. If you like adventurous Christian fiction, then this book is for you. If you read it, let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from y’all.

Until Next Time,


About the book . . .

When Beatrice’s parent’s file for divorce, Beatrice’s determined those documents will never become finalized. She can’t stop her parents from signing, but maybe she can borrow them enough time to change their mind. In order to do that, she’ll need help. She turns to her three closest friends and her potential boyfriend, Nick.

Beatrice plans their first attempt. Yet when someone spots her car, she scrambles for any idea to save themselves and still save her parent’s marriage. Will she stop her parents from signing their marriage away, or will she only ruin any chance she has with Nick?

A Sunday Morning Post

Your soul: where is it headed?

The whole idea of an afterlife has been questioned for years. For almost the entire time the world’s been turning. Some people believe that once you’re dead, you’re dead: blacked-out, shut down, done for. Other’s believe that the deceased’s spirit watches the earth and protects their loved ones, but that’s it. That’s as far as they get. I think I can safely say, that as Christians, we also believe that our loved ones are still with us after they’ve passed. They’re with Jesus and the angles, so it makes sense. Just as Jesus and the angles watch over us, in the same sort of way, our loved ones watch over us.

Which afterlife are we headed to?

We, Christians, believe in an afterlife. But some of us question where we’re headed after our death. I’ve talked to people who joyfully discuss their death. They talk about it as though they can’t wait to live with Jesus. And then I’ve talked to people who speak of death with fear and sadness. The fear of not knowing where they’ll end up instantly depresses them. It’s hard to convince them that they do not have to fear death. They were raised, believing that salvation is never certain, and that’s the belief they’ve decided to stick with. But why?  

A lot of people believe that if they do enough good in the world, then God will accept them and He’ll let them into heaven. They think that they won’t know where they’re going, Heaven or Hell, until they enter eternal life. Because of this, their own death is their biggest fear. They’re afraid that no matter how many good deeds they do God won’t be satisfied.

Obviously, these people believe that God exist. They believe that judgement day will come. But they haven’t realized the trueness of God’s love.

Are good deeds worthless?

I’m not saying that doing good isn’t needed—James says faith without works is dead (James 2:17). But he also says works without faith is dead.

But what is faith? The people that I just mentioned, do they have faith? Webster’s dictionary explains faith as having complete trust. James says that without [good] works faith is dead. So, if faith is only another word for trust then James’s sentence doesn’t make sense. How can trust be dead? I suppose it could be in a way, but it feels like James is talking about more than trust. Faith is mentioned multiple times in the Bible and in the sum of it, it feels that faith means more than trust. So, what is Biblical faith?

Faith is believing that Jesus Christ died for you and rose from the dead on the third day. Believing everything He’s told us. Believing that he is the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. So, if we are to have faith, then we are to believe what He told us.

And he said that “whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) The famous verse in John, chapter three verse fifteen, says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

This is what Christ said, so why do people question their salvation? If we believe in who Jesus truly is and continue to do His will and follow Him, then why do people question their salvation?

 Sal-va-tion n 1: the saving of a person from sin or its consequences esp. in the after death
Salvation means saving a person from sin. In Romans 6:23 it says, “for the wages of sin is death.,” meaning sin is death.  Therefore, salvation means saving a person from death.

Death n 1: the end of life
But the death I’m talking about is the death of the soul: eternity in Hell.

The criminal, who hung on the cross beside Jesus, said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43) This criminal did not have time to do any good deeds, yet Jesus said he would be in heaven with Him that day. The only thing that criminal did was believe Jesus was the Son of God. And Jesus said he would be with Him in Heaven. Jesus did not say we’ll see when we get there, he said you will be.  

So why do followers of Jesus fear death? There is no need! Believe what Jesus told us, that He is the Son of God; know that he is your savior (if you’ve asked him to be), know that you are saved. Instead of being filled with fear, we can be filled with joy and peace, knowing that when we die, we can live with Jesus. Jesus clearly says that his followers will be with him in Heaven. So, live thriving to be like Him. Live knowing death is overthrown. We, followers of Jesus, our soul, will not die, instead we will live eternally with Jesus.