This week, Laura and I were given the opportunity to visit Quiet Valley Farm in Pennsylvania as part of our few days off. It was interesting to travel back in time to the 19th century where life was so basic and family so important. The people working there lived as though there was no electricity, running water, cars, or mobile phones. Life in those days was hard. Of the German family who originally settled there, apparently only one child survived the trip across the Atlantic.
One of the really interesting aspects of the day was when we met the woman who made the clothes and curtains for the farm. She showed us how the machines worked and how she made her living. In another building we were shown where the cooking took place - the cups, bowls and cutlery were made from ram horns or deer antlers. The kitchen was built into a hill so it was essentially underground making it cooler in the summer. The downside of this is that the fire was their only source of light ... Either that or candle light. Candles were made on the farm and lasted roughly 30 minutes. The only time their candles were used was on a Sunday after Church when the preacher would come and read from scripture. In this difficult time, resources and energy were found to listen to the word of God.
When these people arrived at the farm with nothing, they trusted in God and set about their daily work to make a living for themselves. They took time to listen to the preacher, and wore their one special outfit to commemorate the Sabbath. Perhaps this is where we could take a leaf from their book - to trust in God. Not to ask to see where we will be in the future, or what will happen next, but to work hard, trust Him and allow Him to take us on the path He has carefully chosen for us, whether that be one we find favourable, or one laden with crosses that are difficult to bear. We can apply this thinking to our lives, but also encourage women in crisis pregnancies to think in this way too. St Francis de Sales said the following:
'The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you.
He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God. '
Over and out.
God bless, Vx.
Our Lady of Gaudalupe, pray for us.
St Michael the Archangel, pray for us.