Author Archives: Cassandra

About Cassandra

Writing's a bit like cutting off a slice of your heart, setting it on your prettiest napkin then laying it out on the kitchen table for the world to dissect. And I can't imagine ever not doing it. I love Jesus, my big strong husband, the four kids God gave us, the people He puts in our path and the critters on this crazy little farm. It's my heart's delight and drive to write down the days as I journey with them all.

Too Long

Sometimes too much time can go by and every passing minute and every passing hour and every passing day… hope gets smaller and smaller.

So when the sow labored in vain and our prayers weren’t answered the way we wanted them to be, the hope got small and the tension got big.

She tired and she weakened and try as she might, she just couldn’t get the job done.


And when the body doesn’t do what we want it to…and people we love disappoint…and when stress levels heighten… and finances cause strain…and when the unexpected hits…or when disease overcomes…or children break your heart…or prayers aren’t answered the way we hoped…and the world is just too much…

don’t we weaken and tire?

And try as we may, doesn’t it seem like sometimes we just can’t get the job done?

And then time just becomes still with hope too short and it all has just gone on too long…

too long.

We let her labor all day Tuesday and that sweet gal just gave us her friendly new-mama self and she walked and she shifted and she grunted when we’d encourage her and she’d tilt her rounded belly toward us to give my girl better access to both rows of colostrum founts.

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A friend walked the hard and long with us on up til dinner time, cancelling gymnastics for all six of her babies to bring them over to play so she could go elbow deep into mess with us and try to help us find life.

She told us we’d know when it’d been too long.

We would know.

When this world is gross and messy and futile and straining, isn’t there someone who needs us to go elbow deep into their mess? Who needs us to help them find signs of life?

This was the second sow my daughter had troubles with in her new pig-farming venture. We’d already seen our lot of loss on the farm for the spring.

We hoped this one would be just like God and nature intended.

We prayed. We helped. We encouraged.

We trekked the snowy trail a hundred times in the dark.

Wednesday morning we knew.

It’d been too long and we needed to go after life and if we were going to find it, there had to be a death.

Too long.

We trekked the snowy trail one last time and my husband sent her humanely into eternity and together we all went after life.


We never lost hope and we worked and we prayed and we encouraged.

But there was a huge loss.

It had just been too long.

We gave it all we had but soon it was too long again and we knew it was time to stop striving after death, and when we were done focusing on death, we were left with one life.

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She named him Sean, and I don’t know where you are in your mess of life…

if you’re just starting to strain or if nothing seems to fit or if you’re at death’s door or if you’ve just plain lost hope in the labor.

But what we’ve learned from one bitty pig named Sean is that as long as there is breath in the lungs, there is life… and when there is life, there is hope.

Sometimes nature doesn’t work in our favor, and sometimes God gives and sometimes He takes away and death will come for every one of us sooner than we ever want it to.

But when we turn from death and we focus on life, there is joy and there is faith and there is love.

And when we push and strain and labor and strive to focus on those…we’ll find the gift of life amidst all the death…

and it won’t ever be too long.


As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. Psalm 71:14



Milk and Tears


Years go too fast,

when days seem slow.

Seasons fly high,

we’re growing old.


Where are the days of milk and tears?

Where is the time of toddler years?


Childhood brings wonder,

our house is at peace;

so many kisses,

so many feet.


Gone are the days of milk and tears.

Gone is the time of toddler years.


Preteens and pimples,

laughter and shrugs,

testing the limits,

still giving hugs.


Take me back to the days of milk and tears.

Take me back to the time of toddler years.


I’m forced to keep up;

embrace the days.

Teens bring hectic,

bigness, and craze.


I miss the days of milk and tears.

I miss the time of toddler years.


The time will soon come,

the day’s coming fast.

They’ll be adults

into worlds vast.


Remember the days of milk and tears?

Remember the time of toddler years?


They bring such deep joy,

these big kids of mine.

They’ll soon be my friends,

and they’ll do just fine.


There may come new seasons of milk and tears.

There may come new seasons of toddler years.



Jesus loves the little children…all the children of the world! Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight…Jesus loves the little children of the world!

~Jesus Loves the Little Children, C.H. Woolston

You Can’t Have Me Hypo

673F058A-7B7A-4E9D-B078-9EDB041D2A2AIt sounds like such an innocuous, old lady thing, this “hypothyroidism”.


Like something that maybe grows on your foot.

Or something your mom would off-handedly complain about after she’s had a fuzzy navel or two…but would then dutifully take her medicine in the morning with all the rest of the pills that are there to “help”.

But now that’s it has been two whole years of walking with it…now that I can look back on that December afternoon appointment with my doctor and finally be thankful…

I have learned that this disease is anything but innocuous.

I have learned that the thyroid operates, regulates, or effects virtually every system in the human body and that there is nothing going on inside of me that isn’t somehow connected to that obscure little butterfly at the base of my throat.

I’ve learned that I must work harder than I’ve ever worked in my life to get through a day without running myself ragged, physically or emotionally.

I’ve learned that if I don’t make my health as big of a priority as my children, marriage, or finances, I may not be very effective at maintaining those things which are most important to me.

I’ve learned that I can’t do all the things I used to and do them well.

I’ve learned that some people will drain my emotional stores and that boundaries are essential to the health of my psyche.

I’ve learned that God is constant and quiet and a gentleman with my hormone swings and wild mood shifts. He never leaves me or gets sick of me, and instead whispers gently to my soul that all will be well and how to do the next thing.

I’ve learned that sometimes the best thing to do is just let something go.

I’ve learned that Western medicine places embarrassingly little focus on the thyroid and that you have to go looking hard for the answers to figure out how it’s all tied together.

I’ve learned how to know when I’m doing too much, worrying too much, working too much. That the ache over my kidneys and annoying buzz in my ears means something important.

I’ve learned not to hate my body, even as I still want to. It is fearfully and wonderfully made and will never be magazine beautiful, but it is a vessel from which my children came and it is soft and loved and warm for my husband to hold and for friends to hug, and it will become -is becoming- healthier and stronger, but never will be what it was. I have made peace with that.


I’ve learned that talking about hypothyroidism is boring and so I don’t that often. I have learned what I need to know to listen to my body, and I quietly learn and read and research to help me be all I can be, but talking about it makes other people’’s eyes -and mine- glaze over, so I try not to.

I have learned how to smile and serve even when it hurts my body to do so. There are days when I won’t push because I need to be kind to myself and take care of a setback or a particular challenge, but most times I’ve learned that instead of the outward, visible strength I’ve always exhibited, my strength is now quiet, and sometimes just between me and God.

I’ve learned that my family truly is the best gift and that they love me unconditionally.

I’ve learned that whole-food Vitamin C is a miracle and that my life looks so much brighter when I take it in high doses.

I’ve learned that sometimes the trip is a lot longer than what you thought it was going to be when you set out on the new road. Sometimes the destination is never even in sight and all you can manage is getting back onto the right road after a wrong turn.

I’ve learned that sometimes problems aren’t tidy or an easy fix. Sometimes you just have to let one sit for awhile and not mess with it.

I’ve learned to avoid soy but that my body can tolerate some caffeine. (Thank you Jesus!)

I have learned that my diligence wavers, my discipline gets dodgy, and that my disappointment in myself goes deep.

I have learned that I am a loyal and faithful friend in spite of not being able to maintain a social life.

I have learned not to take myself too seriously and to laugh more because laughter makes everything better.

I have learned that I am coming into myself.

I have learned I am so loved.

And so, two years to the day, when we had a flat and we were hit with one challenge after another while fixing it…I realized that two short years ago, an adventure of that sort would have done me in, made me cry, drained me and left me depressed (truly, that little gland, when hooked up with the adrenals, it has that much sway) and set my whole endocrine system into a spiral.


But this time, I had peace and I worked with my family and we laughed and we played and we got the job done and I was happy.

I still have so far to go.

But I celebrated yesterday too.

I smiled as I thought of the past two years…

and realized just how far I’ve come.


Not Ready

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights….James 1:17

Sometimes a life can be so fast and so busy that the end of a season comes quietly and it isn’t until you open the door to go outside and turn back to get your sweater that you realize how quickly the season is changing.

Sometimes eight years can go by with you loving and growing so much every day of those years that you don’t feel how fast they’re going until the day you look up and see how the season has turned and is quickly coming to an end.

But wait.

I’m not ready.

I’m not ready.

When fair and all that comes with it wraps up and the harvest is in and the freezer is full and the smell of snow tickles our noses, the pace picks up even though what we really need is a slow down, and in the hustle and bustle all I hear in my heart is the mantra  I’m just not ready.


How do our kids grow so quickly that every day brings new things; things you didn’t know you were going to have to handle…things that you didn’t know were going to fill your heart with joy unimaginable and challenges unknowable.

How did I not know that this season would be so fast?

Am I really the mom they need me to be when most days I feel like I’m just not ready yet?

In the footprints poem, is He running alongside during these fast seasons…or are these the seasons He carries?


Our Annie Spruce is getting ready to leave this world and that’s all my heart has been saying these past days.

I’m not ready, Annie.

I’m just not ready.


How do you give a gift back?

How do you say goodbye to the sweet soul who help you raise your babies?

How do you put to rest the biggest season of your family’s life?

I’m not ready.

As her body declines, the kids keep growing, chores keep happening, the days keep cooling, the jobs keep waiting.

We’ve blocked out what we could, kept our phones out of reach as much as we could, we’ve worked, fought, loved, sighed, and napped as much as we needed these past two weeks and we’ve accomplished so much that has been waiting to be done.

She’s watched over us while we watch over her.

Daisy keeps close to her always these days.


She sniffs the air of her farm now as if each trip out may be her last.

She stays close, so close to her people, and we pet her every time she’s near.


As her body starts to shut down I watch her closely wondering if her last breath will be  here at home or will I need to take her in.

My husband and sons will dig her grave tonight.

How do I give this gift back when I’m just not ready?

How did our eight and a half years with her go so fast?

How does the life of a dog go by so quickly that one day you’re looking into the eyes of your old friend while your heart is breaking with the impending goodbye?

I’m not ready.

I’m just not ready.


-Good Old Dog-

With your old gray face

you sure know how

to brighten up this place.

Your pace is slowing

 time is wearing thin

you won’t be here for long

Old Dog I’ll miss your grin.

Before you go

there is one thing to say:

Old Dog I love you and

I’ll miss you the rest of my days.

It’s been a true honor

to walk across this land

with your faithful head

right at my hand.

-Savana Frame




Weeks and Years

Sometimes a week’ll come at ya and it just won’t quit and you’ll get to the end of it feeling a bit pummeled about the head and neck and then when you think it’s all done, news will come that could near knock you to your knees but you remember…

You remember that no matter the stress…no matter the criticism…no matter the silence from those who should be speaking…no matter the juggling…the struggling…

You’ll remember that there are people in this world who are connected to you in a way that no one else will ever be and that all good things will someday run out their course and that the only thing to sometimes do is hold those people close, so close in your heart, and thank our Creator for making them and bringing them into your life and into this world where they shine and shine.


When the day pulls and tugs and your sighs bring sadness and your heart wants to stiffen and you yearn to hear all the words unsaid…

you remember all the months and all the years of a friendship building and how is it that when it finally reaches that comfortable peace of old friends who have been knowing one another well, seeing the heart even through distance…

how is it that so soon…too soon…how is it that it’s nearing the time when generations change and the young ones become old?

How is it?

Wasn’t it just yesterday when I brought my firstborn to her and we awkwardly made our way through such unfamiliar friendship and mothership joy and in her strong way she showed me how she used to stroke her babies on the forehead with her fingertips until they’d sleep peacefully?


How is it that the very same yowling baby brought dinner home tonight for his family and does he know that she was the one that put that in his daddy who then taught our boy so well?


Wasn’t it just a season ago that  I first observed her inward steeliness and confidence and watched her quietly from a distance, wondering what it must be like to carry life so stoickly within, before I boldly and shaking, secretly took a little piece of her grit for myself and admiringly made it my own when I made my last name the same as hers on that day I married her baby?

How is it that the same grit I learned from her helps me love that man and listen to him in a way I never would’ve had the patience for if I hadn’t have watched her love him first and that because she taught me that, I am blessed in ways unfathomable?

10252178_10204930069912418_167760168140901940_n Wasn’t it just hours ago that she traveled the continent to see the life that boy had made for himself?

Wasn’t it just last week that we sat in peace and we talked about the mountains so patient and we had understanding and we became friends?


Wasn’t it?

Wasn’t it just yesterday when I learned from her that you don’t have to agree…to love,  and that sometimes just accepting someone is the start to years of growing and understanding and friendship?


Wasn’t it all just yesterday?

So when the week pummels and your friends might not always act like your friends and the demands pile up and the days run too short for all the tasks, and the season may not look like what you thought it would…

Remember the ones who gave you the time you needed to become their friend and who let you grow until you became their family.


Remember that sometimes the week doesn’t always go right but that love always does and it is worth every second and every minute and every mile and every year because one day the years will taper and you’ll sit with them in your hands and in your lap and drawn on your heart…


and you’ll yearn for more time…

and you’ll wonder how all these weeks and all these years went so very fast.


When Daddy Has Girls

13700026_10207354848010355_4509519964525493000_n“Rainy day for the kids huh? That’s good for my boy…workin all day out in the rain.”

“Sis was out in it too, Honey. It’s good for both of them.”

“Yeah, probably. I’m glad they’re both working…

I guess for her I’d just like it better if it was sunshiny and warmer.”





One Little Word

My husband with his beautiful heart reminded me yesterday of the story of the adulteress that Jesus stood up for…and wrote in the sand for…and forgave.

I wrote this piece with her in mind, and for someone else that I know needs to hear this today, even though I don’t know her yet.  

I wrote it for my best friend who is brave and touched His cloak and has never looked back.

And I wrote it for me too.

Because sometimes we need to be reminded of who we were,

who we are, and who we are not.


There it is, that one little word.

That one little word, and here comes a flood of shame.




And it’s funny – but really it’s sad –  how slow we are to learn but how fast we are to run, and how easy is it to hide our past so deeply that even we forget it; – tucking it all into the suitcase of Once Was – while, with our hopeful smiles we cover the label there on the front that says SHAME.

How we can hide for a long time the load our heart once carried.

Until one little word reminds us.

One little glimpse at a girl who might look like one of my girls, or your girls…or any of our girls, but who definitely looks like a younger me…

and if I didn’t love that younger me then, how could anyone?

If I didn’t stick up for her and show her how to care for herself and be strong…

why would anyone else?

How could she do that to herself?

How could she allow those things to happen?

How could she stoop so low?

How could God ever love her?


But there He is…

beautiful and bent over in front of your stooped over self…

and He’s scribbling in the sand…and what is it that He’s writing?

Maybe a word…maybe just a few letters…there He goes writing it out there for the whole world to see…right there in front of all of them…those who would love to let you know how low you are.

And you know what you’ve done. You live with what you’ve done. Your voice joins them, maybe even the loudest of all, while they keep reminding you of how stooped down and degraded you look.

The whole group of them saying it.

That’s all your ears hear anymore.

But He doesn’t join them. He’s not saying their words.

These words He puts down…He wrote these words just for you.

Maybe His scribbles were bigger than the ones your ears and heart and self-confidence have been hearing for so long.

Maybe that word from His hand was heavier than the weight of shame you’ve been carrying,

and then when they all walked away because His one little word exposed the ugly truth of it all,

maybe their voices and their echoes trailed off with them…

and now you can start to stand up a bit taller…

because then…

only Jesus was left.


You split the sea so I could walk right through it

My fears were drowned in perfect love

You rescued me so I could stand and sing

I am a child of God.

And as you started to stand…started to look up…maybe that’s when He reached down on high and took hold of you and drew you out of the deep waters…and maybe that’s when  you put your hand in the hand that stilled the waters, and when you did He calmed your shame and He didn’t condemn you but instead He told you to leave your life of sin and He gently took hold of you and He said Follow me.

Maybe it hasn’t happened just yet, but it will because He stands at your door and knocks, and He’s standing there now…but it’s a gentle knock, not loud and demanding or kicking down the door of our heart like the others do.

He’s won’t demean you.

He won’t play games with you.

He won’t use you.

He won’t hurt you.

He doesn’t want you for His selfish purposes.

He won’t leave you laying there vulnerable, yearning, hoping this time for something that isn’t there.

He won’t ask you to harden your heart and put a shell of sarcasm and jokes around it to help protect from the pain…the want…the rejection…the lonliness.

He won’t.


He’ll embrace you like you’ve never ever been embraced before and He won’t ever let go and He will wipe those tears that will finally come as He softens you and He will lift you off the bed of filth and sin and He will make you never want to be in that place again and He will cradle your heart and He will be tender with that delicate side you’ve been hiding and He will show you exactly how beautiful and treasured and valuable you are because you are His child and He made you and He loves you and wants you to be free.

He will give you pictures of the things He wants to do in your life and He will show you  how you can change the world for good when you let Him shine through you.

He will walk with you through the hard times instead of walking away and causing hard times.

He will talk kindly and straight to you – through you – instead of whispering behind your back to others about all the things you’ve done.

He will show you goodness.

He will show you your goodness.

He will show you His goodness.

He will show you true goodness and you won’t ever want to let it go even though sometimes it may feel scary and unfamiliar.

He won’t leave when He’s done.


Because when He’s done is only after you’ve walked with Him and talked with Him all your years, and you’ve clung to that old rugged cross all your days, and you’ve praised with all your breath that up from the grave He arose…

until one day you’re with Him in person and He’ll hug you long and tell you how glad He is that you’re home and He’ll say you did good girl. Now stay with me forever.

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So you grab that hand with the holes, that hand that stilled the water,

and don’t you let anyone tell you not to, not even your scared self who might want to mock and scoff.

He can take your laughter and your fears and He’ll still be there so go on and let Him take hold and calm your seas and take your shame and let Him grow you.

And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:22

You are redeemed. He already bought you honey.

You’re HIS girl.

Let Him build you into who He made you to be.

Listen to HIS words. Read them as often as you can. Put them in your pocket and up in your heart and when your ears want to hear the nasty words, remember His letters in the sand and sing and make music in your heart to the Lord or if all you’ve got is a deep cry and groaning of your soul, He understands that too.

Remember the words He wrote for you.

Hold onto them like they are your life itself because they are.


And then…

when you’re a little stronger and you’ve learned to stand straight, and you’re learning this thing He calls victory and you hear Him say

Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering…

you might see someone who is still stooped low.

So you will be able to tell her.

That she is worthy.

That she is loved.

That she is valuable.

That she can leave her life of sin.

That she is forgiven.

That she can stand up straight now.

That she can be healed.

That she is free.

You’ll be able to show her the words He wrote for her.

And you’ll be able to point her to Him.



Author’s Note:

If you are the girl that needed this piece today, I love you and I want you to reach for the light of the Lord who bought your freedom and who will break your chains.  If you carry shame, please know He took that shame upon Himself so that you can live life free from sin and full of His spirit.

Fight your way out. Let Him fight for you too. Because He will. I promise you. He did for me and I fight every day to remember that He fought for me and fights for me still, and that I belong to Him.

That fight is worth it. With every breath in me, I promise you the fight is worth it.

Written into this piece are many scriptures, song, and lyrics. I list them below because I know sometimes we need something positive to focus on while we pull ourselves up, but the best thing for you to do is to get with Jesus Himself through prayer, confess your sins to Him, put it all on His cross and ask Him to help you give and live your life to Him and to turn it around. Then find a loving brother or sister in Christ and let them show you how to put your hand in His and how to keep it there all your days. 

If it’s you that I wrote this piece for, I love you so much.

Jesus loves you even more. Don’t spend one more day of your precious life without Him.

Love, Cassy

Into marvelous light I’m running, Out of darkness, out of shame. By the cross you are the truth, You are the life, you are the way

My dead heart now is beating, My deepest stains now clean. Your breath fills up my lungs. Now I’m free. Now I’m free!  

~Marvelous Light, Charlie Hall


References within “One Little Word”:


-Jesus Forgives an Adulteress Woman: John 8:1-11

-2 Samuel 22:17 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

-Luke 18:22 “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow me.”

-Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

-Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.

-Romans 8:26 For we do not know what to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

-Mark 5:34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Songs & Hymns:

-No Longer Slaves, Bethel Music

-Put Your Hand in the Hand, Anne Murray

-In the Garden, written by C. Austin Miles

-The Old Rugged Cross, written by George Bennard

-Christ Arose, written by Robert Lowry

-Wonderful Words of Life, written by Phillip Bliss

-Marvelous Light, Charlie Hall


I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19