We’re busy wrapping up summer on the farm and I’m feeling reflective as I clean out last season’s old growth, making room for new crops. The garden and orchard took a beating this year; between fungus, bunnies, bugs, Bermuda grass, a hungry escapee goat, ignorance, a couple of flash floods and intense windstorms we didn’t have the harvest we had hoped for. Most of the growth we experienced was in our hearts. But I’m grateful for all we learned and experienced this season, and like any true gardener, I’m already busy dreaming up next year’s botanical adventures
I feel as if the season of my own life is also late summer. My children are almost grown and I’m looking forward to what is next while at the same time enjoying the fruit of our labors the past twenty-five years (although our work is far from over.) My Mom tried to explain this to me years ago but now I get it- you don’t stop being a parent just because the kids grow up; they always need you! I know as an adult I have leaned on my parents and greatly appreciated their presence in my life. This summer has been pretty intense on the parenting plane. I’ve felt helpless at times as I’ve tried to guide and encourage two of my children through really rough waters. I am thankful for God’s presence and supernatural peace to cover us. And I’ve been comforted while watching my children love each other; there have been hundreds of lingering hugs, constant communication with the long distance brother, thoughtful little gifts, long talks in the kitchen and many lighthearted board games enjoyed while reminiscing about their childhood. As a family we’ve been cleaning out the dead, spent material of the last season and making room for what comes next. The sweetness of God’s presence and our unity helps us overcome the stress and disappoints and have hope for the future.
Thirsty Goose Farm is entering a new season as well. For two years we’ve been working like maniacs building the house, preparing land, planning and planting, hosting dozens of short term guests and long term residents, and fostering community in our neighborhood. The soil has been challenging, the weather at times destructive and sixteen months of separation for my husband and I in the midst of it all was wearisome. But he is coming home soon and we are enjoying the sweetest, most wonderful friendships with our neighbors. The original ministry plans for this place didn’t come to pass and that was a surprising and difficult transition which forced me to press into Jesus in the midst of loneliness and confusion. I wouldn’t trade the lessons learned and intimacy with Jesus gained for anything- even perfectly executed plans (like that ever happens in life anyways!) As a natural gardener, I know that all the rubbish of last year’s garden mixed with manure (plus air, water and time) makes an invaluable compost that nourishes the next crop. The same principal holds true in life- the hard knocks and manure of living can be composted in God’s truth about who we are and redeemed as powerful growth agents for the next season.
As our family has hosted people, potlucks and gatherings it has become evident that God has gifted us to gather and love people and anointed this property with His peace. Every single gathering has been life giving and every guest has been refreshed. That is something only God can do. Last night I overheard a little boy begging his daddy to let him stay a little longer. It brings me great joy to see toddlers and children playing with our spoiled, attention seeking animals and touring the gardens. I feel we are truly successful as a home and farm when little children want to be here 🙂 It’s becoming more evident how we are to focus our time and energy, and as we open our home and hearts to people we find ourselves refined and rejuvenated. I am excited to be exiting this season of toil, frustration and separation. Scott and I are looking forward to working together and pressing into the beautiful gift of community God has handed us here in Campobello.