Green

Summer Photos Part II

We have been blessed with guests over the last couple of months… We also have been busy getting our farm launched and announced! Our logo has been finalized and our website is up (click here if you’d like to visit it!). I personally am doing my best to savor every moment and step as we live out the dream God gave our family. There are moments of absolute awe as I ponder and realize, “we’re really doing this!”. No, it has not been easy, there have been challenges and slow downs, but oh, how I’m learning that God allows these to keep us relying on Him and to make the accomplishments even more worthy of celebration and outpouring of a joyful heart. Through the difficulty, we grow and are shaped. We choose to either run from it or walk through it. Let us all face the challenges in life and embrace the hand that reaches out to lead us through the valleys and hard times… God is there. Always. We can rejoice in that fact.

I hope you enjoy the photos… this is just a snippet of the happenings here in the life of our family farm! (P.S. If you would like to see the photo descriptions, once you hit play, click on the “Show Info” tab within the slide show window).

Spring Photos at the Farm

Enjoy our Spring photos!

Glorious Spring!

Spring on our Virginia farm has been glorious! To this Florida girl, it is beautiful to slowly watch everything come to life. Some trees literally blossom overnight. Everyday, there is a new color, shade of green or show of life that reveals itself. I love it here. I was reminded of a poem that Jonas and Evelyn memorized a couple years ago entitled “Spring” by William Blake. In this poem, it repeats, “Merrily, Merrily, to welcome in the year.” I never quite understood until now, how the new year relates to nature’s new year… the year beginning for plants and animals… and how in this newness of the world surrounding us, a sense of newness is revived in our souls. Awakening our wintry hearts by the warmth of the sun we find joy that God gives us in the simple beauty of His creation. I pray that you are celebrating the wonder of spring and welcoming in the new year in your heart, remembering anew that God is good!

Spring

Sound the flute!
Now it’s mute!
Bird’s delight,
Day and night,
Nightingale,
In the dale,
Lark in sky,–
Merrily,
Merrily merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little boy,
Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

By William Blake

True Beauty

“…let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:4

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30

Why is the cosmetic and personal care industry so large and continues to grow making billions and billions of dollars every year? How is it that we purchase products looking for the “next best thing” for our hair, skin, & body? There is a lie at war with women that tells us to be more beautiful than others… to work so hard to keep up our outward appearance and adorn ourselves with whatever is of the latest fashion. Perfumes, lotions, scrubs, make-up, make-up and more make-up! But what is behind all of this stuff that we rub on our skin, brush on our cheeks and spray on our bodies? This was an eye-opener for me.

Over a month ago, Ian and I were on a short car trip and listening to NPR where we heard about Skin Deep which is a database of all cosmetics, lotions, shampoos… anything that you put on your skin… and how they have been tested to see what sort of risk level is associated with the product. We have now thrown away all of our old shampoos, many lotions, and toothpaste (we actually made our own recently). I encourage you to take a look at the database and see if there are any products that you and your family are using that are possibly dangerous for you. It might just change your perspective on true beauty!

Hope for Creation

Hope for Creation: A Live Simulcast Event: April 21st

We are excited that our family will be participating in this first ever event that will unite churches all over the world to discuss and view a Biblical vision for creation care. This live simulcast is on Wednesday, April 21st at 7:30 pm EST. Watch this video preview of what is to come and then visit The Blessed Earth to find out how you can participate, too!

The Story of Bottled Water


The Story of Bottled Water

We can make a difference… Just say NO to plastic whenever you can!

Ocala MOPS

Last Thursday my Mom and I had the privilege of speaking at the Ocala MOPS group about Creation Care. It was a joy to see so many other moms, joining together to encourage, pray and learn together. I was blessed in being able to share a little about our family’s journey towards “greening” our lives, but even more importantly, how seeking and serving God first, leads us to better care for His world. And in our journey, I have found that when we’ve taken steps to honor His creation, that it seems easier to connect with God. It’s almost as if He removes a layer of this world from our soul when we sacrifice something that we think (or have been taught) we need… There is a freedom in realizing that anything I own is truly not mine at all. Of course, I have my days and moments of wanting whatever is the latest and greatest… but I’m learning to ask myself, “Why? Would this bring honor or glory to God in any way?” May we strive to honor and glorify God in all that we do, including our care for His Creation.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it…

Psalm 24:1

twothousandnine

2009 was truly a year of growth for our family. Not just physically, with the birth of our fourth baby, Joy Elizabeth, but also we each have grown spiritually. Over the course of the year, God has slowly given us a clearer vision of what He is leading us towards as a family… and now in 2010, things are coming more and more into focus everyday! We are celebrating and overflowing with joy in looking back at the last year, and even the years prior, and seeing how God has slowly, specifically, and lovingly (always lovingly!) been preparing us for what is to come and the dream that has been planted within Ian and I both.

Psalm 128
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion. May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!

We will be sure to keep you updated as our dream becomes more of a reality! May God bless you greatly in two thousand ten!

Soil of the Heart

“Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” -Mark 4:3-9

“The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” -Mark 4:14-20

The seeds all were sown… some landed on things and some among. Only one group of seeds were sown into something. Only in soil could the seeds be taken in, fully received. But the soil needs to be prepared and ready to receive seeds. Only God can prepare the soil of my heart, but I must be willing to hand Him the “plots” of soil to be tilled, weeded. Even the gnarly, nasty roots of lies and false beliefs must be dug up and thoroughly removed so that the Truth of God’s Word can be sown into the soil of the heart.

I have realized there are places within my heart that have been handed over for God to till and prepare and seed has been placed into it… however there are fences that I have put up, guarding areas of overgrown weeds and roots filled with bitterness or shame. Only recently have I acknowledged these borders and have allowed the Master Maker, Creator, and Gardener to tear down the walls and come in and remove the roots and weeds till the soil of my heart. He is beginning to sow more seeds of His truth into areas where lies have been rooted. I rejoice in God’s truths and look forward to seeing the harvest of these fresh seeds! I choose to plant His Word into the soil of my heart and continue to allow God to tend the garden of my soul!

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. -Psalm 126:5-6

God’s Beautiful Milky Way

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. -Psalm 19:1-5

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.