Placid June days seemed to have exploded with searing heat and booming thunderstorms that pop up at the drop of a hat, but refreshing cooler nights that are most welcome. The newly mown hay dries in the fields, and the fragrance of sweet clover hangs in the air. Summertime days have a sleepy drone, and the evenings are long and pleasant.

Spring slides softly into summer as the leaves on the trees hang full and green. June is a “growing month” as seeds dropped in the ground sprout and spring up in just a few days. The early crops are lush and abundant, as summer squash and cucumbers are ready to pick. True, the weeds abound along with vegetables, but the same sun and rain that nourishes our crops nourishes the weeds also.

It seems to be a never-ending job to keep the weeds out, but just like the weeds in our personal life, they must be dealt with early and consistently. It is so much easier to pull them up while they are young and tender, instead of waiting until the roots grow and become entangled. Seeds of doubt, seeds of discontent, seeds of discouragement—these need to be pulled out, and the roots allowed to die in the sunlight of God’s love. Seeds of unforgiveness are probably the worst, for they will turn inward and grow roots in the heart of the unforgiver.

God has promised to keep us in perfect peace if we keep our minds stayed on Him, but we must keep the weeds out. How much better to sow seeds of love, mercy, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness and faith—these seeds produce perfect fruit. This crop will produce abundantly if it is cared for faithfully.

June, roses and brides seem to go together. It was a perfect time for our mock weddings when we were kids. It didn’t take much to have one—just an old window curtain for a bridal gown, and a willing groom. We always had an ample supply of brides, but grooms were a little harder to come by. I remember one beautiful wedding we had all planned out, and my brother Larry reluctantly agreed to play the groom to Janice Carole.

I made a clay mud cake decorated with rows of pink and red rambler roses, and was ready to perform the ceremony. (I was always the minister; as the oldest, I naturally took charge.) Janice Carole was a beautiful bride in her lovely gauzy window curtain gown, and was standing at the altar, when at the last minute Larry got cantankerous and backed out. (Maybe he was afraid he’d have to kiss the bride!) I threw a temper tantrum and stomped the wedding cake, and in the face of my terrible wrath, Larry ran away and wouldn’t play with us the rest of the day.

There were seven of us children, and normally we played together pretty well. Actually, the boys tended to play among themselves, and we girls had our own games. I loved my brothers dearly, but sisters seem to bond together at an early age. My youngest sisters were usually our babies, but Mary Ellen and I were “buddies.” I‘m five years older than she, but we were close all our growing-up years, and still are. If fact, all four of us have a relationship that is more than close—we are best friends even today.

Editor’s note: Alyce Faye Brag recently had an accident and it may be some time before she can submit another article. We wish her well and are hoping for a steady recovery!

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Alyce Faye Bragg

She writes the "News From the Hills" column. Born and raised in the country, and still lives on the same farm where she was raised. Has a sincere love for nature and the beauty of the hills. Began writing in 1981 & currently has three books published. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer