Make-a-change Monday~My Neighbor, the Farmer

I love the convenience of the grocery store. One stop shopping, everything in one place. I  try to buy organic when I can, shopping at Whole Foods or Earth Fare, but I do my share of Wal-Mart shopping as well. 

Well, my family and I went on a “Farm Tour” this weekend. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. Here in the Upstate, there are about 30 farms within easy driving distance that all participated in a tour to make people more aware of them and their products. There is a Buffalo Farm right here in Simpsonville! Real, live Yosemite Buffalo! And they are a breeding farm only…no killing. So I loved that. 

Anyway, one farm in particular really made an impression on me and got me thinking. Happy Cow Creamery, less than 10 miles from my house, works very hard to provide local, healthy milk to the community. The owner has grown the farm from the ground up. They have their own “closed” herd of cows so no disease or bacteria are introduced from elsewhere. They minimally heat the milk so any possible bacteria are destroyed, but the enzymes that are valuable to our health are not. Tom Trantham, the owner of Happy Cow, lives a good, but modest, life. He cares about people and wants to help provide his community with healthy milk. The kind of milk that has been shown to prevent cancer. The kind of milk people can drink even when they have been labeled “lactose intolerant.” And it’s affordable. He has even been to Washington on our behalf to fight improper labeling of dairy products that make the public think they are making healthy choices. 

I’ve bought Happy Cow milk in the past, but just when it was convenient. But Tom Trantham is my neighbor. He started this farm because he cares about me. He doesn’t know me personally, but I am in his community and he started this farm because he cares about his community. 

The second most important commandment in the Bible is this:

 B)”>‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
(Mark 12:31 ESV)

Let me repeat that. You shall love your neighbor as yourself is the second most important commandment in the Bible. Only behind the first: 

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul 
and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 
(Mark 12:30 ESV)

I’m thinking that God puts a pretty high priority on the whole “love your neighbor” thing. 

Today’s prescription verse to stir up one other to love and good works and to encourage one another. 

I never would have realized how much Tom Trantham has done for our community had I not gone on that Farm Tour. He has made me realize the importance of supporting what our neighbors do for us. I’ve always liked to support local business for the sake of the economy. But this goes deeper than economy. This is about community. I will be making a point to visit Happy Cow not only for the great milk they provide, but to support my neighbor in his good efforts. To encourage and motivate him to continue his efforts to make us healthier. He is my neighbor. I’ll be taking that little country drive out to Happy Cow for my milk and cheese from now on. 

Do you support people in your community who are trying to do good works? 

My {make-a-change Monday} challenge is this: Don’t get so wrapped up in yourself that you forget about your neighbor. Do something to encourage and uplift someone in your community who is trying to make a difference. 

Even if it is just buying the milk from their cow instead of someone else’s. 
From my heart, 


Make-a-Change Monday~Surprise!

My oldest daughter, Miranda, turned 18 on Saturday. We asked her repeatedly what she’d like for her birthday, and the only answer we ever got was “love.” First, she loves being loved, and second, she couldn’t think of anything she really wants. If you know Miranda, you know she is loved. She demands love and attention, but more than she demands it, she deserves it. 
Miranda had her birthday all planned out in her mind, and of course the day didn’t go at all as planned. Most things typically don’t, right? 
At the end of the day, she was a little bummed out. She didn’t want to be, but I could tell she was. 
What she didn’t know was the amount of “love” she’d be getting on Sunday. We had a big surprise birthday party planned for her. It turned out great. We surprised her for sure and had a house full of her friends jump out at her yelling “surprise” when she walked in the door. 
The previously bummed-out Miranda was now smiling from ear to ear.

  • She loved her friends for caring enough about her to be there
  • She loved being the center of attention
  • She loved the fun we all shared
  • She loved that we love her enough to have planned it
  • She loved the surprise    
The surprise built her up. 
The surprise made her feel special. 
The surprise made her feel loved. 
God commands us in scripture to build each other up. There is enough tearing people down in our society don’t you think? 
So…today’s make-a-change Monday is to surprise someone. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate surprise party. You could:
  • Take a bag of groceries to someone in need
  • Grab a Starbucks coffee and take to a friend
  • Plant some spring flowers for a neighbor
  • Babysit for a friend to have a night out
  • Take a friend to a movie
The possibilities are endless…and the blessings are plenty. 
You never know what small gesture will make a difference.
Was Miranda blessed by being the recipient of a surprise? Absolutely. Was I a pleased-as-punch, camera-toting mom? You betcha! The slightly bewildered, on-top-of-the-world look on her face was priceless; one I wanted to remember forever. 
Surprises are good for everybody!  
…And remember,
I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,
 you did it to me. (Matthew 25:40 ESV)

From my heart,

P.S. I’d love for you to leave me a comment with your surprise, and any blessings received!