I Lift Up My Eyes to the Hills

As little Mr. A (6th generation Grieb) looks out Papa and Grandma Great’s picture window through the ivy frame past the avocado trees to the neighboring hills on the Grieb Ranch . . .  this passage comes to mind.

Psalm 121 NIV

I lift up my eyes to the hills – Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber;

Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life;

The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.


Friendship Baskets

Friendship Basket

Friendship Basket – Pineapple Guava and Vine-ripe Tomatoes. Fresh produce from Grieb Ranch.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

I (Connie) had a dear friend, who was from the “South”, come into my life who refreshed me.  Her “Southern Charm” –  making a person feel good when they are around you; serving others and doing the right thing – simply warmed my heart and others who experienced her.  Her charm continues to pour into my life with her incredible friendship and hospitality through her open heart and home.

One of the fun benefits of this friendship was the birth of the concept of the “Gift Basket.”  We decided to share a part of our world with each other through randomly filling a basket with samples of our corner of the world and passing the basket back and forth.  I would send samples of produce off the ranch that is in season:  apricots, avocados, pineapple guava, eggs and more.  She in turn would return the basket with sorghum, steak sauce, a devotional book or some fun goodie.

I have extended this idea to other friends. I fill a small basket with some ranch goodies and an encouraging note, then ask the receiver to fill the basket up and pass it on to someone else.

It only takes a spark to get a fire going and then all those around can warm up to its glowing. That is how it is with God’s love once you’ve experienced it.  – Connie Grieb Willems.


He Gives And Takes Away – Drought Devotional

Gives and takes away

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor the fruit be on the vines; yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18

“And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ ” Job 1:21

The drought on the central coast in 2014 has made a big impact on my life and family. With no affordable food and no grass on the hills to feed the cows we shipped cattle to sell and also shipped a few to Oregon. Through reading “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young and reading scripture, I am encouraged to rejoice in the Lord. I am reminded that God is with me through the drought. He will watch over me and my family constantly. Nothing – including the extremes of so much rain causing flooding that washes out dams to the driest drought years that leave the land bare – can separate me from God. At Grieb Ranch some of us seem to find God more during the dark times, when our difficulties force us to depend on Him. Others of us feel closer to God when our lives are filled with good things. I am learning to respond to both with thanksgiving and praise. God is amazing in that he knows precisely what I/we need to draw nearer to him. I am learning to go through each day looking for what he has prepared for me. I need to accept every event – droughts included – as a hand tailored provision of my needs. I must remember when I view my life that way the most logical response is to be thankful. I must not reject any of God’s gifts, and find God in every situation. “Blessed be the name of the Lord, He Gives and takes away.”  – Devotional by Connie Grieb Willems

Matt Redmond singing the song “Blessed Be Your Name”