Hope Anew

This Resurrection week as we continue to marvel and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, I have been blessed to be reminded of the hope he brings and how abundantly he answers prayer.

This morning, my 4-year-old son awoke and shortly thereafter put on his mud boots to head outside. He came rushing back soon in an infectious flurry of excitement! “Mom, I found some birds, come see!” He grabbed the bird identification book off the shelf and waited patiently as he could for me to put my boots on.

As we made our way to the pond, we stopped and found the nuthatches he had originally seen. Along with a nest at the very top of the trees. We then made our way to the pond to discover a pair of ducks on the water, geese flying in a V overhead and sandhill cranes calling from the field. Several crayfish showed themselves along with many waterbugs.

All of this new life right in our backyard. Not that we didn’t have birds or wildlife in suburbia, but there is something special about living in the wilderness in the North knowing that there is more wildlife than people and we are essentially on their turf.

God reminded me of why we moved here, and our goal to live a simpler life, to homeschool our children and to be a close family. All of those prayers I prayed two years ago have been answered. I can remember watching homesteading channels on YouTube and wondering if we would make it to the life style we wanted while our little ones were still little. We made it. Thank you God. And to offer me another beautiful reminder yesterday evening while doing chores, I looked up and saw his smile in the form of a rainbow right above my head. God is great!

New Life

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Spring has sprung! The water’s are flowing, the chicks are hatching and the geese are starting to return. This is our first spring in our new home UP North. It is astounding to watch as the snow slowly recedes and life begins to emerge again.

On the Homestead, we have new baby chicks, a pregnant mama pig and the greenhouses are on the way. Snap pea sprouts are growing in the kitchen along with many other seeds.

As we emerge from winter’s darkness, let us remember who experienced the worst darkness of all for, our Lord Jesus. He makes all things new if you welcome him into your heart as your savior from sin.

During the season of new birth, step away from loudness of the world and take time to enjoy the world that God created.

God Bless and Happy Spring!

Pink Skies & Green Eggs

The beauty of this place continuously amazes me. While many are not “snow” people, I have found the winter here to be a thing of beauty. We see many sunrises and sunsets that are nothing but pink. And every time it happens, our little ones marvel, “look at the sunset!” and stare out the window in wonder.

It is those times that God is bringing it home on how amazing his creation is but also, how the wonder of a child is infectious.

In these trying times it can be easy to get down or focus on only the bad things happening. We are blessed to live in a place where we can shut much of the “bad news” out if we try hard and view the pink skies for what they are. A treat for our senses from the Lord.

In the same week, our hens have finally started laying again and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, they laid green eggs! Blessings abound!

A good day

I’d say it was a good day on the homestead. As we are so new to this, it can be hard to feel accomplished at times. Some days, we are feeling blessed that we have kept the children and animals well and fed for the day. (come on, you all know you have been there)

On Sunday, we decided to tap two trees that we were sure were Maples. It was an anti-climatic experience (other than sinking knee deep into the snow-pack and falling flat on my face) We checked the taps each day and there was nothing. Then Wednesday, finally, a yield. (Did we tap too early, as amateurs, we are learning as we go) I was super excited to go out to the tree and see the gallon milk jug a quarter of the way full of sap. Only 39 and 3/4 jugs to go to get a gallon of syrup. Hah, we shall see. I think we will be lucky to end up with a quart of syrup, but we will take what we can get for our first go-round.

We have had 11 pigs for almost 7 months now. The mama pig had her 9 piglets (yes, 9!!) in August and we have not been successful in selling any until this week! A couple of weeks ago, we bought a snowmobile from a man who lives on one of the Islands. He shared that his son is interested in raising pigs again. So finally, four of the litter will be rehomed tomorrow. Leaving us with the two adults and 5 piglets to cull for ourselves.

Next on the list is Nigerian Dwarf goats. We are in the planning stages of electric enclosure, a goat house and play things for them. As soon as the snow is melted, we can begin construction on the house using pallets. I can’t wait!!

Ready for Summer…a memory

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

I wake at 5 am, head down the stairs and get the coffee going.  I love the quiet of the early morning and the stillness that comes with watching the sunrise.  I grab my bible and daily devotional and sit down with my fresh brew to study.  I know the time may be short or long, depending on the waking habits of my 1- and 3-year-old children.  By 6 am, I am making my way round to make sure my two teenagers are getting moving.  Arranging breakfast for everyone, while checking email and listening to a podcast. I make my way outside to feed and water my flock, aka the chickens.  I love the bustle of the morning as everyone gets rolling into their day.  Everyone is excited this morning as we are embarking on our June summer tradition, strawberry picking. 

I recall that first year we started the tradition so vividly. The baby was only 2 months old, nestled in the snuggly on my chest with her tiny white sunbonnet.  My then 22-month-old son was ecstatic to run up and down each strawberry row, picking the juiciest strawberries he could find and sporting a strawberry juice goatee while my 13-year-old son chased him, trying hopelessly to yield a harvest.  My 16-year-old daughter and I enjoyed pleasant conversation across the row, the warmth of the June sun glinting off our shoulders.  It was one of those promising early days of summer, just a few soft clouds floating overhead.  The smiles we captured in our pictures were real, those of pure joy in enjoying each other’s company and the beautiful day we had been given.  The drive home from that country farm, the little one’s slept, and the big ones laughed and joked with one another, while my daughter made plans to go picking again with some friends the next day. 

For us, the harvest was only the beginning…those berries would be washed and then the myriad of delectable wonders would be produced in our kitchen.  Strawberry chips and fruit leather in the dehydrator, strawberry jam to be canned and enjoyed all year through and of course, strawberry shortcake for days. 

An evening of laughter with my children, red fingers from processing strawberries and that smell in our kitchen, a picture of perfection for me. On my refrigerator, I have a magnet that says, “God Has Called You to this work”, mothering, nurturing, caring for my young and providing these experiences for their memories.  My daily reminder of the blessings I have and even on those days when the world appears in chaos with four children…I know that I am fulfilling the greatest calling I have ever been given. Having all of my children together is a perfect day for me as my oldest will graduate in May and head off to college and my teen son will start driving, I recognize how very precious this time is.  Makes me value and prioritize my time with the little ones even more. 

As I sit this cold, snowy February afternoon, I can almost smell the strawberry jam boiling on the stove, I think I will head to the cellar and grab a jar to enjoy on some toast now.

How I got here

2 Timothy 1:7
"...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."

November 10, 2018 I wrote down what I wanted my life to look like. At that time I was working in a high-stress global corporate position, my baby girl was 7 months old, my son had just turned 2 and my husband was still recovering from multiple surgeries that had taken place during that year. The older kids were 16 and 14. Our days and nights were PACKED! Football, hockey, band, nursing baby and toddler tantrums. It was intense. The level of busyness had reached an unsustainable level. I wrote the following goals, but had no idea how I was ever going to reach them. I just knew that it was going to require drastic changes for this wish list to be possible.

  1. I want to work part time
  2. I want to be vested in the work that I do
  3. I want to be 100% behind the mission of the organization I am working for
  4. I want to be much more involved in the teaching and caring for our children

Today, I am working part time writing, I love what I am doing and am excited to grow my writing career. I am 100% behind my family, my husband, my homestead…the only truly important organization I can think of, and I am teaching my preschoolers. There were times on the journey here that I never thought it would happen. Fear kept me and my spouse paralyzed for a while. All of the “what ifs”, which ended up being non-issues. Lesson learned, God.

This morning, as I fed our pigs and chickens, I marveled at God’s answer to my prayers. He can and will answer during our times of greatest distress. His response to our prayers has been more than I ever could have imagined. We had to go through the fire, endure hardship in love and life, give up things that we thought we needed and once we did all of that….God answered.

Being Still

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

As a mother of a 2 and 4 year old, I find it difficult to find time to be still.  Thankfully, we decided to get a rooster so that I can have a natural alarm clock to wake me up at 5 am. Living in the woods of the Upper Peninsula just stepping outside is all that is needed to find stillness. As I walked the woods the other morning, I stopped and listened.  Silence actually seems to have a sound. I couldn’t help imagining it was the hum of the earth I was hearing.

What an amazing designer our God is.  We rush and rush and stuff our lives with man-made noise with small doses of stillness.  What if we turned the volume down on the man-made noise and turned the volume up on God’s creation?  He made it for us to enjoy, not destroy.

Take some time to Be Still today in the most quiet place you can find. I have been continuously amazed since moving here last year at how healing the stillness is.

remove the stuff

Crush Consumerism

Coming from the fast paced suburban life, some days I still struggle with the slower pace.  Like being weaned off of an addictive substance..removing oneself from the misleading temptations of the world is a process. 

What would it look like if you began to remove the “stuff”? Would you grow closer to your family, would you find hours of time wasted on meaningless habits now freed to be with the ones you love?

I found that the more I gave away, donated, and threw away, the freer I became. The “stuff” I thought I would need at some point, was actually keeping me stuck in a cycle of moving it and caring for it. I can’t tell you how many times I moved the same box of dishes that I “might” want to use some time. Or the countless boxes of Christmas decor, much of which I did not even use. Don’t be a slave to the stuff you have.

On our quest to simply living, we have discarded so much “stuff” and the sickness that is consumerism has grown less and less as result. A complete lifestyle and philosophy shift has taken place for us. We now say things like:

  • “Make do or do without”
  • “Eat in, not out”
  • “By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.” Agesilaus
  • “Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. ” Elise Boulding

Start your journey to simply living today. What one, two or even three things can you part with to make space for God and family? Your “stuff” is invisible to God, he is looking at your heart.

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Mathew 6: 19-21

Who Am I

Simple question. Christian, Mother, Wife, Homesteader. Recently recovering from the Rat Race. Life long writer, first time Blogger. I am the mother of 5, ages 19 to 2. I am married, but it has taken me two failed attempts at marriage to finally get it right. I want the Lord to use my gift to further the cause of Christ here on earth and am waiting eagerly for that glorious day of his triumphant return.

I have been broken in ways only God could heal. Abuse, rape, adultery, alcoholism, drug use, mental illness….all of these things color my past. Many of you will drop off at some of these words and never come back. That’s okay. The road to Jesus looks different for everyone.

I am blogging because my story may lead others to Christ. I am a real person, with a challenging history and a real love for Jesus. In this blog my story will be shared along with tips on living a simply Christian life.

What will I share in this Blog?

  • Homeschooling: Ages 2 and 4
  • Homesteading: Chickens, Pigs, Goats and Gardens
  • Devotions: Grow closer to God
  • Eating Clean: Recipes and quick meal tips
  • Real Life as a Real Christian

Hope you visit again! Until then, God bless.

EveryDimeMatters

Helping Couples Make Budgeting Easy

Severt Hives and Homestead

intentional, simplistic, country living

Farm Girl Homesteading

Into the woods I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.

All Is Right On The Homestead

The Journey of a Lifetime