Saturday, May 10, 2014

Going' Country...
How We Chose a Name For Our Farm
Well, it's been a little while, but I'm happy to say we officially have a name for our farm. Yep.

Vine Living Farm
We thought of a ton of names. We had multiple suggestions, and maybe it was the fact that every time we go back to our property, I spot more and more Fox Grape vines (I can't wait to grow them around our chicken coop for shade in the summer. They're pretty). Maybe it's God's way of nudging us a bit. Anyway, it feels good to have finally settled on a name. I kind-of had a "duh" moment. Yeah. Why not? It's our family verse. The name of this blog. Rob and the kids loved it, so there you go. {smile}
It's been our adventure from the start. John 15 and pruning from our Heavenly Father.

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. By this is My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." 
John 15:1-2, 5, 8, 16
 We have been asking God to prune us in the areas where we're not bearing fruit, and He's done a lot of pruning. {grin} He has guided our hearts in such a way, cutting out things of this world that have proven time and time again not to bear fruit for our family. Certain things have been more difficult than others.

#1...Financially getting out of debt has been a long road, but it's one we're so thankful to have taken the challenge on and we know it has honored God and the earthly, temporal funds He's given us. It has humbled us tremendously. It has left our hearts open to future ministry. We don't know where the Lord will lead, but having our home paid off, low bills, etc. in the next few years (our land has already been paid off in full), definitely opens areas for ministry and service.

#2...Home education has also had its difficult days, but I wouldn't trade any of it for a chest full of diamonds. The fruit, oh, the fruit. Cutting out the priorities and activities of the world, just slowing down and enjoying some of life's most simple, but yet, important things has been such a joy. Taking in every moment for what it is, for what God intended each moment to be. Knowing that we'll never get these moments back, with our one shot at living this earthly life. I think that's why I cling to Charlotte Mason so.

#3...We've also been pruned in our parenting, cutting things out (disciplining out of anger, maintaining self control, scheduling, organizing). Parenting God's way takes work and persistence and getting back on the horse when you've fallen off and failed, but it effects the HEART.

#4...Rob really leading our family as God created the man to do has brought a tremendous amount of fruit. If there are any men out there reading, you watch and see the looks and blushes you get from your loving wife once you start really leading your family.

#5...Family worship at night has really been a complete joy to watch as we share with our children how to worship, the privilege of worship and the glory is brings to our God. It has required us to limit other outside activities, but the fruit from family worship versus baseball practice has been incomparable.

"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love; These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."  John 15:10-11

Did you hear that? We have to keep His commands to experience true joy. Full joy.

(Because every barn should be red, right?)
Do you feel as though God has something BIGGER for you? Are you tired of the daily wake, rushing around, taxi driving to school, lessons, appointments, "keeping up with the Jones's", etc.?
God does have something bigger for you, but it's going to take some slowing down, saying no, PRUNING. If we don't personally prune things out of our lives to be still and let the Holy Spirit speak, He may prune for us! The times when I've really heard the Holy Spirit speak were times of complete silence. How many moments in our day can we say we have complete silence? We have to make time for it.
John 15 revolves around Jesus' teaching in the vineyard the night before He died. Jesus wants to bring us to fullness of life and fruitfulness, but we have to let Him.
I love how Ann Voskamp lives out her life in simplicity. Being still in the moments to allow God's richest blessing to shower her and her family.
She takes time to enjoy God's most simplistic gifts in everyday things.

 Please know that I'm not insisting that everyone go out and make drastic change to their lives overnight. Certainly not. PRAYING is the first step. Be on your knees, begging for God to prune you and your family, then sit back and WATCH. Watch as He transforms your heart and mind and those of your family. He will begin to convict your heart when you truly surrender. Examine each area of your day.

Does it honor God?

Does it bring you closer to Him?

What can you cut out?

He wants to know YOU on a DEEPER level. On an intimate level.


Oswald Chambers says...

"Joy comes from seeing the complete fulfillment of the specific purpose for which I was created and born again, not from successfully doing something of my own choosing."

Ask God to show you a glimpse of what your harvest could look like by this same time next year. Journal it and thank Him for the difficult pruning (which isn't always easy) and the fullness of blessing that comes from endurance.

Titus 3:14 says...

"And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful."

I love I Peter 2:11-12 and how Peter tells the early Christians to live in such a way that the unbelievers might be persuaded to glorify God when they saw their good deeds.

What are you waiting for?

Pray that God may find favor in you and that you can begin abiding with Him, being aware of pruning and the spiritual fruit (Galations 5:22-23) about to take place.

Thanks to everyone who assisted us in helping with a name. We're so blessed to have such supportive, loving friends and family.

Now to create an entrance sign...

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