Welcome!

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog! I share a little bit of everything here on Obtaining Mercy.

You might find a recipe you’d like to try, or read an update on my son Isaac. I will probably share some things that I’m learning in the Scriptures or a quote I’ve discovered in a great book I’m reading. You also might see some of my latest Bible verse graphics, a new hobby I’ve been enjoying.

Feel free to look around, visit the archives and leave a comment or two. I’m so glad you’re here!

Alesha Kay

Hello August!

I’ve never really been a fan of August. As a youngster, it was always too hot to do much outside, and too boring inside. I was an only child until the age of 13, so no siblings to play with. I also had to start thinking about the upcoming school year, wardrobe, routine, pressures and supplies.

August marked the end of church Summer Camp weeks (my absolute favorite thing about summer!) and the lazy, unplanned mornings at home; and the calendar started filling up with lots of activities, some I enjoyed, but many that I didn’t.

Now, however, I’m finding the joy in August. Not only are some things started to really take off in my garden – despite the heat! – but now starts the time of planning and research and plotting out my new fall garden scheme.

I love researching what will grow here in my zone (9b) and learning which plants make good companions to others. Did you know that you should not plan onions and/or peppers near your beans? Yeah, neither did I, until I started studying.

And did you know that now is the time to start your seeds for all those things that wouldn’t grow here during our hot summer? That’s right – broccoli and carrots and lettuce will do well here during the fall when the heat diminishes and the hours get shorter.

There are also certain varieties of each veggie and fruit that do best here. We need onions and garlic that are short-hour varieties because our days are getting shorter now. We don’t have the 16-hours of sunshine a day needed for those long-day varieties.

And the Seminole Pumpkin does really well here in Florida because it’s a native variety. The Red and Yellow Roselle Hibiscus do well here too, and will soon have beautiful calyces to harvest for teas and preserves..

I’m also trying a tomato variety that is native to Florida, the Everglade Tomato. It is sooooo tiny, and the fruit will be very small, but it’s nice to have something that actually likes to grow here. 😉 And our course, a Mulberry tree is always happy in Florida. This one is “dwarf”. Yeah…I’m thinking it doesn’t know what that word means! Ha!

So, I’m finding plenty to be excited about in August. It’s not only a time of transition, but also a time of savoring…enjoying the still moments before the rush of our autumn routine pulls us away.

Enjoy what the last few weeks of crazy Florida heat is doing for your plants and soil, instead of wishing the hot weather away. Autumn will come, just like always. Let’s enjoy each day God gives us.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Tools that Make the Garden Happen

I’ve been so excited to share our latest venture with you:

We’ve added a double paneled arch to the garden! One end will have Top Mark Melons (cantaloupes) on it and the other end will have Sugar Baby Watermelons.

While it was a very simple project – hammer in the t-posts and tie the cattle panel to the posts – it was a big step for us.

Those cattle panels are 16 feet long! Yeah…we couldn’t exactly pop those into the back of the mini van to bring them home. We actually had to pay to have them delivered. It’s like we’re a real farm or something! Ha!

Thankfully there were multiple videos available to tell us what to buy, how to set them up and even what handy little tool to wrap the wires around the posts and panel.

I’m so impressed with how they look and couldn’t wait to show you the final project.

As with any project, there were some really important tools that we needed to get the job done. I thought I’d share those with you today. (The picture and title are clickable. Links may be affiliate links that provide us with a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

This small sledge hammer is amazing! It’s only 4 pounds, but it really packs a wallop when you’re inserting those t-posts into the ground. Doug had them all in, in no time, with this fabulous tool.

The second tool I mentioned above is the Clip Bender. It’s specifically made to help wrap the t-post clips tightly and to secure them to the panels.

Of course you need to start with the cattle panels and t-posts to accomplish this kind of project. I’d suggest checking out your local Tractor Supply Company for those.

We were able to pot up 3 of the recent purchases we made for our fruit forest. Getting trees and plants into matching pots and lined up along the walkway make me a happy, happy gardener!

This is a Cranberry Hibiscus, Longevity Spinach and a Jamaican Cherry Tree.

We hope to have our Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry and Longan Berry Trees in pots by the end of the week, and to get the seeds started for a Red and a Yellow Roselle Hibiscus. I’m very excited to have all of these growing in our garden.

What’s growing in YOUR garden this week?

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Planning a Productive Summer

As the temperatures rise and the activities of the school/college year wind down, we grab our coolest sunglasses and fix our eyes toward summer.

We head into this month of June with a huge list of To-dos, Must-sees and Can’t Misses. The 3 months stretch out before us uncluttered and full of promise.

The problem is that, usually somewhere around the middle of August, we realize that the To-dos didn’t get done, the Must-Sees weren’t viewed and the Can’t Misses were…well, missed.

With that in mind, I’ve created a cute little 90-day Summer Planner.

(The picture and title are clickable. Links may be affiliate links that provide us with a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

It’s called “The Summer of Me” not to enforce a totally selfish mindset, but to remind us that WE only accomplish what WE plan to accomplish. No one else can set our goals for us. They must be something we’ve determined through prayer, Bible study, advice from trusted counselors and the Holy Spirit’s leading.

This little planner has 3 month calendar pages:

14 weekly pages:

Several pages for notes, summer activities and a look toward the Fall, and a Daily planner layout for each page of the Summer.

It has everything you need to plan a great Summer and actually succeed at having one!

When you pick one up, I’d love it if you left a review – pro or con – whether you like it or not. This is my first foray into self-publishing and I’d really like to know what you think!

Thanks so much for reading.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Growing Along

I know you’ve been waiting a long time for a garden update.

Here’s a picture post to hold you over until I can sit down to do a proper post.

Pickling cucumbers
Lima bean pods.
Zucchini and yellow Squash.
Orange bell pepper.
Purple Hull Pea blossom.
Cantaloupe & Watermelon seedlings.

It’s been quite an education out there in the garden. It’s so odd – the things that don’t grow & the things that do. I am constantly surprised.

We plan to harvest our first set of potatoes buckets in the next day or so. I’m hoping we won’t be disappointed. The first bucket we harvested when they should have been ready only had 2 little potatoes in it!

We’ve got cattle panels to set up for all the melon seedlings that are ready to be transplanted. We’re planning to make arches with the panels. It’s so exciting to see the back yard come together as a food forest!

We had to take Isaac for some medical tests this week in Orlando. When we told the tech we were from Haines City, his next question was “Oh, so you guys have a farm there?”

We just laughed & said no. But then we thought about it.

I told him, “Well, we do have a garden this year! It’s not quite a farm, but we are growing things.”

It was funny that he thought of our area as farm country. It is very rural, I guess. I don’t mind that at all. I’m so glad the Lord didn’t “plant” me in the big city. I’m grateful I have lots of nature & clear blue skies where I live.

That’s it for this update! I hope to be back soon!

In Him,

Alesha Kay

The Promise of Things to Come

Just as the garden gives us glimpses of wonderful things that are in the future, so does the Word of God:

1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

The Master Gardener is at work in your life. Don’t give up hope. He has beautiful things in store, just for you!

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Garden Update

Happy peppers & potatoes
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
Blue potatoes
Blue potatoes
Soon-to-be Rattlesnake Pole Bean blossoms
A perfectly twirled tendril – so amazing!
A new cucumber blossom!
And he has friends!
Cantaloupe & watermelon seedlings
A sprouting field of wild flowers planted in an old tire. Can’t wait to see what pops up!
Happy little fig tree!

Everything is growing so well. I’m surprised every day by some new growth or blossom or bug or snake… you just never know what to expect in Florida!

We’ve had some disappointments, too: yellow peppers that refused to germinate, cilantro that has only grown four tiny leaves, & tansy that never grew. Our sugar baby melons are struggling & the oregano never even popped its heads up out of the seeds. The loquat tree is being munched on by weevils & out of 8 plants, I have only 1 tomato growing.

But the process had been so rewarding and I’m learning SO much! I love being outside right now before the horrible heat arrives & the Lord is showing me many Spiritual truths out in the garden as well.

Thanks for following along.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Three Days Alive

Psalms 68:18 (KJV) Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

Ephesians 4:7-10 (KJV) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

When Jesus’ physical body died on the cross on Wednesday & was in the tomb for 3 days, His spirit was not there in that tomb as well.

He was busy. Descending. Ascending. Leading captive ones. Attaining gifts.

It’s a hugely complex study.

But the crux of the matter is that He was still at work during those 3 days, assuring the forgiveness of our sins & our eternal home in Heaven.

His resurrection was the “Hallelujah!” exclamation point to the story He began in that stable over 30 years before.

Because He came, we have hope.

Because He died, we have a covering for our sins.

Because He lives, we live eternally.

Read that first verse again.

“…for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.”

What a glorious truth, that even when my rebellious heart had no desire to know its Creator, He came & died to guarantee I *could* be reconciled to Him one day.

I am filled with gratitude & awe as I reflect on the work He did to ensure I could live with Him in Heaven throughout eternity.

Hallelujah! What a Saviour!!!

In Him,

Alesha Kay