This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Month: August 2018

Providence’s Perpetuation Provisions: 2018 Goat Kids

Back in November last year, we put bucks and nannies together for 2017 goat breeding time.

Sadly, our multi-colored buck Rocky was too injured to do the job, and so eventually we had to put Shakespeare with the younger nannies as well, which ended up spreading out the birthing over a couple of months.

But Shakespeare did the job, and here are some of the results! Interestingly, it was 3 to 1 bucklings to doelings:


2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

(What a great picture, IMO: 😀 ):

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

And then on the day they went to their new home:

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

2018 Goat Kids

Sadly at the end of one day, one of the little bucklings was stammering around, and couldn’t keep his balance. With the extreme heat, we thought maybe he had a sun stroke. We got him into the barn to try to help, but over a few days, he got worse and worse, and eventually, when it sounded like fluid was building up in his lungs and I didn’t want him to drown, I gave him the coup de gras. Sigh…that’s always hard to do, especially when all your efforts are to try to keep the animal alive. But, death is a reminder of sin, and something I believe should help us understand a little as to how much God hates it.

But, we are thankful also that there were no other issues with mama’s giving birth or kids dying…thanks to God!

But, sadly also, over the winter we lost Gracie, and then Winnie. We’re not sure what the reasons were, but we are thankful to the Lord for all of the provisions He granted from them.

Winnie started it all way back when. She was always the queen goat…I called her “your highness”. 🙂 Goodbye Winnie…


And here is Gracie. Goodbye Gracie…


And sadly as well, Rocky ended up maybe too injured to do much, and after moving him into the barn to take care of him, he eventually succumbed to something, and we lost him too. We thank the Lord for all of the kids He granted from him as well. Goodbye Rock…

Our Buck Rocky

However, another buck that had been used by others in the fellowship became more available for us to take over care for, and so he and Shakespeare have been pals ever since, and we look forward to him going to work with our younger does this November, Lord willing:

Our Buck Elvis

Finally, here’s this year’s 2018 kid provisions video:

We are always grateful to God for His provisions, and try to never take them for granted. We deserve none of them, and so every one is a gracious blessing! And we now thank Him for the milk He is supplying from them!

— David

Marriage Marker – 15 Years

Fifteen years ago today, the Lord granted Sue and I be married. Our fathers performed the ceremony, we appreciated our family and friends participating with us, and it was a joyous day!

For me, our marriage has been joyous, and Sue has made that possible. She is a godly woman. She is the most considerate person I know. She evidences God’s graces in her all the time, and she would be the first to acknowledge those are none of herself, and loathes her own sin.

I marvel at her cheerful and uncomplaining willingness to serve others and me, especially in bringing her out from a life of comfort to something of a wilderness, with mud and poo everywhere, often on us. 🙂 She never complains when hauling a heavy 5-gallon bucket of feed up to the goats to go milk them; she never complains when having to haul four 6-gallon water containers up to them in a wheelbarrow; she never complains when she has to carry two of them by hand from the cistern to the house to fill the Berkey and indoor elevated dishwater tank.

We have a ton in common, in beliefs and principles, and even had similar life paths growing up. For instance, we both had sung in barbershop quartets before. What are the “odds” of that happening? (100% when it’s part of God’s plan! 😀 ). We even grew up in the same general area, and attended the same church but at different times. We often wonder if we had ever crossed paths at any time. And then God brought us together in His perfect timing. By God’s graces, we get along extraordinarily well, and she makes our relationship easy.

She has forebeared much with me, and has been a great help. I am ever thankful to God for her, and other than having been given God-fearing parents, she is the best temporal gift I have received in my entire life. If God could have designed a wife/help-meet in perfection for me, she was it!

We have always viewed each other as gifts from the Lord to each other, and in fact, this was the theme of our wedding:

Jam 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

It is how I felt when I asked her to marry me, and still do today.

I considered it so much so in late 2002, with anticipation of asking her for her hand in marriage (after graciously receiving permission from her parents), that I wrote for her a song to God about her as that — a great gift from Him!

After the one time of singing it to her, the song has just been in my head all of these years, with a little help from some handwritten notes and the lyrics saved on the computer, and so for this fifteen year anniversary, I wanted to surprise her with having recorded it and putting it out in a blog post with my thoughts about her.

But, then I thought, you know, she’s the only person who has ever heard this song before, and perhaps she would like to keep it as special only to her. And so, I surprised her with it the other day, and asked what her thoughts were about sharing it as part of our fifteenth anniversary blog post, and she agreed.

To get to that point though, we thought we’d share a little about the engagement day on February 8, 2003…

We spent the day in Carmel, CA, visiting the shops and then planning to end up at the beach later. Little did she know that two of my best friends at the time, Bob and Jeff, were running around purchasing dinner, and getting a table and chairs and table cloths and flowers and a cooler of food and a piano-type keyboard set up on the beach for us…

A couple of funny anecdotes:

At one point, Sue and I went into a shop that had mood rings. She’s like, let’s try them on. Well, hers was all blue, which means relaxed and emotional, and mine was black, which mean nervous and anxious. I thought, ahhh, this stupid ring is going to blow the whole surprise! 😀 Sue did wonder why I wasn’t relaxed and romantic like she was. 🙂

And then, it was time to get down to the beach. Once there, Sue went into the restroom, and right then my friends came out of their restroom and said “It’s not set up…we need more time!” I was like, ok, I’ll try to stall her, and they disappeared before Sue came out. Whew!

And so, Sue and I walked down the beach the “wrong” way for a bit, and then started moseying back the “correct” direction, slowly as much as I could.

Well, as we got closer to the spot, I spied that my friends had completed their covert operations, and we headed toward the dinner table.

My friends video-recorded basically the whole event, and we took a few stills from the video:

Dinner time:

Engagement Dinner

Song time:

Engagement Song

Proposal time:

Engagement Proposal

Putting the ring on her finger after her saying “yes”:

Engagement Ring

And right about then, we turned around to face the sun, and this is what it looked like, setting over the ocean! Wow wow wow! What a gift of timing from God!

Engagement Sunset

Then, Sue and I hung out on the beach for a while drinking sparkling cider, and left when it was darker, and my gracious friends, besides setting up everything and filming it, sat there until we were done and cleaned up everything. It was a wonderful time, and we thank the Lord for it!

To Bob and Jeff: I will forever have a debt of gratitude to you both for what you did that day, handling all of that, filming it, and just waiting there until we left, and cleaning up everything. A guy couldn’t have asked for better friends!

What follows is the song I believe God specially granted me to write (besides that we can do nothing without Christ, I have never written a song with those kinds of chord progressions before). In it, I wanted to acknowledge God as God, thank Him for His many gifts, and then for the gift of Sue (my Love) specifically, my prayer for myself toward her, specific ways He used her to help me in bringing her to me, my prayer for us as a couple, and then bringing all to God’s glory in the end.

These are our continued prayers. May God glorify Himself through us, and may we be godly servants of His and others! I am forever grateful to the Lord for granting me the gift of my Love, Sue!

(Click the play button on the inline player right below the title to listen to it. It was only recorded using the laptop sitting on a pillow on the piano, and I have a slight verbal fumble at the end which I wasn’t going to re-do the whole song over after many takes, but you should still get the idea. 🙂 If you don’t see the inline audio player, you can listed to it by clicking this link.)

The Gift of My Love

Verse 1
Father, may You be praised
Here and now and in the heavens
Father, exalt Your name
Here and now and forever

We bow before You, holy Lord
Singing praise and worship at Your throne
Be magnified, oh Holy Lord
Praying humbly before Your throne

Verse 2
Father, I want to thank You
For Your many blessings to me
Father, Your endless love
Is shown each day to me

You give so generously
Beyond any of my dreams
You give so ever freely
Above all of our dreams

And so I thank You, Lord, for the gift of my Love
I thank You, Lord, for her
I thank You, Lord, for the gift of my love
Please bind our hearts together

She’s beautiful, gentle, wonderful, so special
A blessed gift of grace from You

Verse 3
Father, You gave a love,
A gift who sets my heart afire
Father, she’s far beyond
My deepest hope and desires

Her beauty’s endless as the sky
I melt when I gaze into her eyes
Her smile’s as bright as the sun
She’s come to me from above


May I cherish her, this Love of mine
May I honor her through the end of time
May I love her as You love your own
Thank You for this Love, from love You have shown
She’s my Love, thank You for my Love

Who’s helped break through the pain
Of hurt and sorrow, a broken heart
You’ve mended me back together
With her You have restored me

And set me free
To love again
Thank You for this love
May it never, ever, ever, ever end

Verse 4
Father, be glorified
By us, the two of us together
Father, our lives are Yours
May we worship You forever

We bow before You, holy Lord
Be magnified, oh Lord
Singing praise and worship at Your throne
Our love eternally before Your throne



For Your glory forever
Be glorified forever
Through us be glorified forever
Praise your holy name forever


© 2003


— David

Garden – Spring & Summer 2018

I meant to post a blog post about our garden goings-on earlier in the year, but didn’t get to it, so here is a catchup blog post about the Lord’s provisions from the gardens from Spring and Summer so far this 2018!


In our last garden blog post, we mentioned we planted garlic last year:

Garlic Plants

Well, back in May it was harvest time! Thanks to the Stonger boys for the help!

Garlic Harvesting

Garlic Harvested

Time to dry them out for a couple of days, and then I hung them in the meat dryer to cure:

Hanging Garlic To Dry

Drying Garlic

And here are the final results, with those ready for next year, Lord willing, on the left, and the ones for use this year on the right!

Garlic Harvest Ready to Use

Then, it was to time for the main spring garden. It needed some weeding first, and thanks again to the Stonger boys:

Garden Weeding

And then we planted beans, squash, and spaghetti squash:

Bean Plants

Squash Plants

Spaghetti Squash Plants

And here they are about a month later:

Bean Plants Growing

Squash Plants Growing


More Squash

Spaghetti Squash Plants Growing

Spaghetti Squash

And here are some of the results!

First Squash 2018

Squash chips! Yum! (see recipe here):

Squash Chips

Here’s a freebee turnip plant from seed thrown down in previous years (more on this in the Summer part):

Freebee Turnip Plant

And then it was time to plant okra, which usually works very well around here:

Okra Sprouts

Here I tried throwing a bunch in rows, just to see how it worked:

Okra Sprouts

We also wanted to do sweet potatoes again this year after good success, thanks to God, from last year (see last garden update in the link above).

In fact, here’s a freebee from last year’s planting!

Freebee Sweet Potato

We tried to start our own slips, but they sadly just never grew:

Trying to Grow Sweet Potato Slips

And so we purchased some:

Sweet Potato Slips

And here’s the area we cleared and where they have gone:

Sweet Potato Cleared Planting Area


Sue got to processing the spaghetti squash by this time, and here are the results! Yum again!

Spaghetti Squash Fruit

She roasted some:

Spaghetti Squash Fruit Prepared for Roasting

Cut Spaghetti Squash Fruit

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

And made “pasta” from the “spaghetti”:

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

And here’s part of the squash haul, and them cut and preserved in apple cider vinegar:

Squash Harvest

Squash Preserved in Apple Cider Vinegar

Here’s the freebee turnip — nice!

Freebee Turnip

Thanks to inspector Mimi for allowing it to pass inspection! 😉

Mimi Inspecting the Turnip

Finally, here we are catching up to today. We’ve had a very hot spring and summer, and drought conditions, so some things are barely hanging on, although we do have rain percentages this week, during which we pray the Lord grants rain. But, here are the beans:

Bean Plants

Separated okra plant (many which got razed by something early on):

Okra Plants

And in rows:

Okra Plants in Rows

And okra fruit:

Okra Fruit

Here’s the freebee sweet potato from above:

Freebee Sweet Potato Plant

And another one that grew by itself:

Another Freebee Sweet Potato Plant

And the sweet potato bed:

Sweet Potato Bed

We are extremely grateful to the Lord for Him granting the provisions from the gardens this year so far, and we ask for those continued as He might will. We thank Him for the spots of rain He has provided to keep things going, and we always pray He grant spiritual rains of nourishment in our hearts so that we may thrive and grow spiritually for His glory in obedience to and more like Christ Jesus!

— David