An Overdue Update To The Farm And The Family

Updates for the farm restoration have been sorely lacking. After finishing our living quarters and shop, we resumed clearing out the land. Our entrance to the property was horribly uninviting, and upon waiting for the arrival of our first grandchild, we decided to place cleanup of the entrance at the top of our priority list. Therefore, the house would wait yet another month.

Our grandbaby arrived in early September and several days were spent in Kansas cuddling with the tiny new addition to our family. He is such a wonderful gift from God!

Steve and I continue to work hard on the renovations of the land and the house. Although I have portrayed our restoration of the family farm as all well and good, unfortunately it is without the blessings of my mother and siblings—from whom we encounter many, many trials. I will just sum it up with this:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:2-4

Though they are difficult and hard to find joyful, I have gained much wisdom from these trials. And though it may seem strange, I am able to find thankfulness that God has brought them upon me. We do have many blessings from our Almighty Heavenly Father, and for that we are forever grateful!

My daughter and her first born child.
Grandmama admiring first grandchild.

 

 

Handing Down A Legacy


Excavation work has begun on the homestead—in preparation for rebuilding my ancestors’ home—and I can’t help but reflect on this legacy which I have inherited. Not just a legacy of my ancestors who lived on this particular piece of land in Oklahoma. But also of those who led the way while also walking different paths. I was once told that my Grandfather, while looking for land on which to move his family, walked to the top of the hill of this homestead, took a good look all around, and then firmly stated to my Grandmother without hesitation, “This is it. THIS is where we are going to live.” And so it came to be. He carried on with a legacy which he himself inherited. That is, a legacy to endure through anything life threw at him (in his case, physical and financial hardships) while never losing faith in God. And to cherish and care for land that a gracious God has provided.  A lifetime legacy of hard work, which he instilled in my father.

A definition of the word legacy, in the sense I am using here, is: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. When I think of legacy, my first thoughts are not of creating a legacy for myself. But rather, it is preserving and handing down—to my children and to others around me—honorable legacies left by those before me whether it be gifts given or lessons learned. Yet, at the same time, it means taking these legacies and making them better. Unfortunately, it seems so often nowadays that we are forgetting these handed-down legacies rather than preserving them. Or worse yet, we are intentionally tossing them away.

But as for me, I pray that all who enter this land which has been handed down to me will feel God’s presence here.  Steve and I have fought hard to keep it in the family and to improve upon the land, and we sincerely hope that what we are doing is pleasing in God’s eyes.  For what we truly strive to be is more like Apostle Paul—to fight the good fight for the Lord Jesus Christ.  And to one day hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  We still have a lot of work to do in that area.

I had an inheritance from my father, it was the moon and the sun.  And though I roam all over the world, the spending of it’s never done.

~ Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls

He Makes Beautiful Things Out Of The Dust

We began the first day of the new year attending a church sermon in which Pastor Joe Wright spoke about Christians making changes in their lives in order to attain sanctification—that is, allowing God to shape us into His image.  It was certainly one of those sermons in which one feels a direct connection to the message.  Before the sermon even began, Steve and I had walked into the sanctuary contemplating the changes we were about to make in our lives.  And we had been asking God to speak to us so that we may know we are doing His will and not that of our own.  Following the service, we attended an after-Christmas gathering with members of our church which dismally reminded us that leaving our home also meant leaving some wonderful Christian friends.  Yet, we drove home, picked up the phone, and made the call accepting an offer made to us earlier in the day for the purchase of our home in Kansas.  The deal was sealed—we were leaving the first home we built and which we love dearly and heading to Oklahoma to build our second.  And I couldn’t be prouder of my husband for what he has endured to make this happen.

I don’t know how to accurately express the feelings I am having—seeing where my husband is now in his life and in his walk with God, and knowing from where he came and to where he is headed.  Over 30 years ago he was struggling with addiction and, as a result, he served time in prison.  But he walked out of that prison clinging to the Serenity Prayer with great determination to better himself. Once a lost man who felt he could never do well in life and who believed he would never be worthy of owning a nice home, he has now learned that God will indeed change him into His likeness, if only he himself first makes the necessary changes.  I have personally watched God make beautiful things out of the dust, and I do believe with all my heart that our garden here on earth is finally about to be in full bloom.

I am sharing the below song not only because the song itself is beautiful, but also because it so well and so simply tells of my husband’s life.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NIV)