Saturday, January 9, 2010


I should remember to take walks often.

Today, in the afternoon, when it was sort of warmish-er than it had been, i gained courage and bundled up and went for a walk in the frigidness outside. My motives for going had nothing to do with enjoying the day or getting some exercise - but i'm so glad i went. Going for a walk around the woods on our little piece of land helps me remember my dreams, my humble ambitions.

When James and i walked onto this property for the first time, we fell in love with it. And after we came to live on it, we had a desire to make the most of it - and to know it. Both of us knowing only a little bit of what it means to live off the land or to farm or garden, we started having big dreams for our little piece.

And the more i think about it, the more it seems to me that i can know so much more of God when i use the land the way He had in mind. In the Bible, when He placed His people on their promised land, He gave them all instructions to farm the land and to raise animals. There must be something in that for me to learn.

The first time i watched the feathers coming in on a growing chick, i was utterly amazed at the beauty and complexity God had built into a common, humble chicken. Astounded by the majesty of the evidence of God's hand in the creation of this funny little bird.

In the fall, i spent hours and days walking from tree to bush to tree, collecting leaves and twigs and running in and out of my house, consulting the internet for more information on all the different kinds of plants growing here. I wanted to know them. As i learned only a tiny bit of the mostly unused benefits of the plant-life around us, i experienced emotions of awe and excitement, hunger for more knowledge, and even anger - with the attitudes of those who would dismiss the benefits of what God has planted on this earth - and insist that only what man has made on his own could be legitimate.

As we dig for knowledge - and absorb only a tiny bit of what is available - we learn about simple ways that a tiny little farm like ours (the one that we dream of) can nearly sustain itself because of the beautiful design of God that allows different animals and plants to benefit from and give life to each other.

I am in awe of God. And i know that i have but skimmed the top of a teaspoon dipped from the deep well of knowledge of the intricate ways of God displayed in His creation.

In the past, we have spent a lot of time and desire seeking money and prestige and the approval of others. I think that's what most people seek - Americans, anyway. A friend i used to work with suggested the risk that my mind might be going to mush since i'm 'staying home.' But nothing could be farther from the truth. There's so much to learn. My mind is boggled, yes. But not lazy. It is constantly looking for answers to how they lived before our society provided all our needs for us. How is butter made? What about cheese? Did you know i can make my own vinegar? How do you render lard? Could i wind my own yarn?

I am romanced daily by my Creator. I feel like i see something new twice a day.

I have been relieved of a pride i once attempted to carry. I no longer care about what this person or that person will think about what i'm wearing - or if my jacket matches my pants. And i don't review my conversations in my mind to make sure i have stayed on script.

Now i am learning about my Creator and His intimate, intricate ways. I am learning that there really is something to "making a home," and it makes all the difference. In my mind i call myself a farmer, even though i have little produce to show for my efforts. But i can tell that there are many reminders in a farmer's life to thank God for His provision. The life of a farmer, it seems to me, must keep the farmer looking UP.

I have humble ambitions.

I have deep desire to grow in the direction away from the values of the world around me. I want to grow in the knowledge of the goodness of my Father God, and i want none of my occupations to compete with that pursuit.

I am profoundly grateful for this piece of dirt and the life that refuses not to spring from it.

I once heard that Jewish men wear the traditional covering on their heads "to remind them that God is above them." Perhaps my dirt is my head covering. It keeps reminding me that God is above me - and that He is responsible for my provision and the richness i now enjoy.

I am overwhelmed by His goodness.


  1. What a wonderful blog, Beth. You give me courage to speak more boldly !!!!!!

  2. It stinks when we get forgetful about all our Daddy so richly lavishes on us!!! Thanks for the reminder!!!!

  3. Loved it!!!! Sounds like you are living the full life and that is pure joy. I am thankful for sweet hearted people like you.

  4. Thank you, Laura! And thank you for reading my blog! My life feels richer now than ever before.

  5. Wonderful post! What a beautiful look at your precious life. Thank you.

  6. Thank you for reading, Patti! This is an older post, and i enjoyed re-reading it myself. :)


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