Friday, June 20, 2014

Playing Catch-up and Goin' Country Updates

What stinks about this post is that there are NO pictures. Sorry folks. Coming from a visual learner, no pictures is no fun, however, I thought I'd take the time to update today.

The month of June has definitely kept this bunch busy!

Catch Up...

Lincoln celebrated his 7th birthday recently and we had a small, but fun party for him. I made him a vanilla cake with gumballs and a helicopter on top. He was stoked! This young man wants a pocket knife and this wise mama has been holding it over his head that he needs to prove maturity first. Needless to say, at the end of the day, it's customary for him to ask if he's been mature that day. I smile and encourage, even when there are mess-ups. Sweet boy.

Norah is about to celebrate her 5th birthday. My "baby" girl who is not-so-baby now. I had a misty-eyed moment last week with  my husband, thinking about her and how grown up she's becoming. Am I the only mama wanting to freeze time sometimes? Just adore her.

Isaac is our caboose for our summer birthdays. He'll be THREE this year. Our Fourth of July baby. I'll never forget holding him as he's not 24 hours old yet, starting out our hospital room window, watching the Independence Day fireworks. Such a precious moment. Now he's potty-training (slowly starting, we don't usually start until our children have hit 3 and are really ready), plays cowboys and Indians with big brother, and can scale anything in the house just about. My monkey.

Titus took his first steps on Father's Day. That was definitely the highlight of the day as we spent Father's Day packing boxes, filling in nail holes in the walls, painting, doing small home repairs, and cleaning things out. Every moment is so precious as nothing is easy with five children. There are always interruptions, boo-boos, discipline to administer, so we're feeling "the crunch for time", if you will. There have been many-a-nights up late painting and packing.

Goin' Country...
This process of moving started well over 2 years ago when we first began looking for properties. Then, to finally watch as it unfolds in its last days is almost like a dream. A dream that we often feel unworthy of, to be honest.

Our house is finished being built and is being stored away in a large warehouse (yes, they can do that with manufactured homes...pretty neato huh?) until our land clearing friend is done. We're having a 100 x 100 square foot area taken down (mostly of pine which can be dangerous if close to the house...a soft wood that can brake easily onto your  home), but I'd like to keep the actual logs for gardening beds. They'll rot away eventually, but it'll get us started and by the time they do rot away, we'll have killer soil (thanks to Molly and Mabel, of coarse).  I've never thought of myself as a "tree hugger" per se, but when Rob cuts them down one by one, I do often feel sad that such a beautiful creation has just ended its life. We're logging all of the wood to use for future firewood and garden beds though so they'll continue their life, just a different way.

Our chickens are gone. Our coop is gone. Our girls pulled SO.MUCH.WEIGHT around here that I don't know if I'll ever want to go without having chickens again. Seriously. They handled our manure perfectly and now to be shoveling and disposing it into the city dumpster just feels like a complete waste (no pun intended!). They ate our table scraps, took care of the weeds for us in the garden, and helped keep our backyard "raked over" with all the scratching they did. To feed 20 chickens (and we use Hiland's Naturals, non-GMO, non-soy feed), it's chump change to what they give you! Over a dozen eggs a day is what this family needs with the amount of baking and cooking we do. Dropping $4.00 for a dozen eggs when they're not coming from my own flock does NOT make me happy. I'm itching at the bit for new chicks. Trying to be patient. Gonna order turkeys this time also...yep, "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas".  Rob has been brainstorming chicken plucker ideas. An electronic one would be great, but we're thinking hand-crank possibly.

This house is looking empty and bare. Bitter sweet. The camper is getting fuller and fuller, but I sometimes wonder how long we'll actually be in it with the way things are slowly progressing. Our storage POD was delivered today and we pull out next Saturday. It's really starting to sink in and we're really going to miss our family, friends, and mentors beyond words. Raising our children together, worshipping the Lord together, crying together, praying together, studying God's Word and gleaning together, fellowshipping together, gardening together, just sipping sweet tea and soaking in God's goodness. Too miss our friends and family is an understatement. Thank goodness we're not moving out of state and we've already had friends promise to come and visit.

If there is anything that I've learned through this, I will say that it is to WAIT, LISTEN, and then FOLLOW.

I've been reading My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers lately and soaking in his wisdom.

He says...

"Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, He put him, as it were, in the shadow of His hand, and the saint's duty is to be still and listen. There is a darkness which comes from excess of light, and then is the time to listen. Genesis 16 is an illustration of listening to good advice when it is dark instead of waiting for God to send the light. When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will make you in accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time. Never try and help God fulfill His word. Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all self-sufficiency was destroyed; there was  no possibility left of relying on common-sense ways. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not of displeasure. Never pump up joy and confidence, but say upon God. (Isaiah 50:10-11)." (Oswald Chambers)
He goes on in another illustration to say...
"If you open your mouth in he dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don't talk to other people about it; don't read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed. If you talk to other people, you cannot heart what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light. After every time of darkness there come s a mixture of delight and humiliation (if there is delight only, I question whether we have heard God at all), delight in hearing God speak, but chiefly humiliation - What a long time I was in hearting that! How slow I have been in understanding that! And yet God has been saying it all these days and weeks. Now He give you the gift of humiliation which bring the softness of heart that will always listen to God now. " (Oswald Chambers)
After meditating on God's Word for years and reading Mr. Chambers' recollections, I have only begun to scratch the surface of knowing my God and Savior.
This also speaks volumes...
"How many of us are set upon Jesus Christ slaking our thirst when we ought to be satisfying Him? Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him. It is easier to serve than to be drunk to the dregs. The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him. We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battlings. Are we being more devoted to service than to Jesus Christ?" (Oswald Chambers)
We're so eager to sign up for this area of service, or that area of service. When do we actually ASK GOD if this is something in which we should participate. When do we meditate on His Word and wait, heeding to see what He wants? I know I am guilty as charged. Slowing down is the goal now. Slowing down to listen, modeling for our children, the next generation, how to slow down and heed.

There was a time awhile back where I had to ponder on if this move has been of God or of our own desire. In the beginning, I think it was a simple desire of our hearts. It fell in line Scripturally. A desire to be out of debt completely, space to steward His creation while providing more "real" food for our family, etc. The more I saw God working, the more we saw revelation after revelation, showing us to continue in this process. I do believe that the Lord gives us passions for a purpose. He can draw our hearts towards certain areas to serve Him, as an instrument for His glory. As we read through Hebrews 11 (one of my favorite passages of Scripture), these amazing servants for God had REVELATIONS. It was revealed to them through God what He wanted them to do (I'm sure that Noah probably wasn't in the mood to build a large vessel to defeat an earth-wide flood and we are told that Moses wasn't too keen on approaching Pharaoh regarding freeing his slaves, etc.), and when we jump outside that revelation and do what WE want, we miss the opportunity for wholeness of Christ, truly knowing Him and His divine character.
Just because there is a door open, doesn't necessarily mean we are supposed to walk through it. We are to LISTEN for the Lord, watching as He moves and speaks to us, revealing. 
In all, we have definitely seen the Lord reveal to us that this move is His will and we are thankful for that revelation.
We only hope to be good stewards of what He has given us, never forgetting what he has done. We are sad to leave, but excited for new opportunities. The next week will be a difficult one so we ask for your prayers as we continue packing boxes (with 5 cute monkeys running around), attempt to organize our camper (with 5 cute monkeys running around), keep two cows dry in a small area as it's rainy season here in Florida (we get showers almost daily for a few months), paint (with 5 cute monkeys running around), attempt to paint and show a house (with 5 cute monkeys running around), and make time to visit with friends before we pull away.

"The soul has got out of intimate contact with God by leaning to its own religious understanding. There is no sin in it, and no punishment attached to it; but when the soul realizes how he has hindered his understanding of Jesus Christ, and produced for himself perplexities and sorrows and difficulties, it is with shame and contrition he has to come back...get into the habit of steadily referring everything back to Him; instead of his we make our common-sense decisions and ask God to bless them. He cannot, it is not in His domain, it is severed from reality. If we do a thing from a sense of duty, we are putting up a standard in competition with Jesus Christ." (Oswald Chambers)

I'm not quite sure how I'll be able to continue updating as after next week, we will be without Internet service for a bit. We'll be on Facebook, so you're welcome to join me there for the time being.

Blessings to you all, sweet friends!


Janet said...

I just stumbled across your blog. What a wealth of information! We, too, are finally moving to a farm in a few weeks. It all started with a garden last summer, and learning about GMO's. I will definately learn alot from all the links on your sidebar. Saw one link in Sarasota. Our oldest son lives in Pensacola (works for ABeka). I hope all of your summer accomplishments are going well. Blessings, Janet in AL

Abigail said...

I am so excited for you guys. I'm just getting back to my blog after two years of working on life. Your blog was the first I sought out! You guys hare moving! And two cows! And such a beautiful family! You guys are greatly blessed!!