homesteading

Rest is a Weapon…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

We had a beautiful day up here on the mountain so my husband and I went for a much needed walk. My naturopath said that vitamin D is an essential part of health and building up the immune system.

Stopping to take some time in nature and to see the near future build site of another cabin was a blessing (even after trudging through a foot of snow in some places).

Every day I am amazed at what God has done and is doing up here. This has been a dream for so long and although we saw some of the dream as a reality that started many years ago, now we are seeing Him actually finish what He started. Which is exactly what He said He would do when we left Mexico.

In the midst of this crazy last year with COVID, cancer, and even death, people are coming to the property and finding the peace and rest they have longed for and sometimes didn’t even know they were missing.

God’s timing is awe striking and when I reflect back and see a family or guest leave and another one comes an hour later (sometimes unannounced) we always, somehow have room. Not only that, but when we are on the brink of feeling exhausted, we get a break in the schedule and have time to rejuvenate.

Our little cabin in the woods.

I am also learning to take time out and just rest. There are always things to be done on the property, but with “Doctor’s orders” just finding time to meditate and do deep breathing exercises has helped my stress levels tremendously. Not only that but, it helps get the lymph system moving and brings oxygen to cancer cells, which cancer cells hate, and end up dying. One of our pastor’s tells us that rest is weapon. I am beginning to believe that.

I am learning so much on this cancer journey. God gave our bodies the ability to heal themselves with proper nutrition and rest. I am seeing areas of my life where I struggled and had made bad decisions and started bad habits.

I am So thankful that God did not leave me where I was and that He has placed the proper people and information at my fingertips to blaze ahead and leave the old self behind.

homesteading

Why a Vertical Log Cabin?

It has begun! What a few weeks it has been. After my mother’s passing, I needed something to cheer me up and this certainly has done the trick.

We started work on a cabin for our youngest daughter and her husband, which will also serve as a guest cabin! This has been a project my husband and I have thought long and hard about because it is not a normal log cabin with horizontal logs-it is a vertical log cabin otherwise called stockade style.

Why build vertical instead of the traditional way? We have had this question asked numerous times in the past week, so I decided to explain our thinking behind it. There are many reasons why we wanted to build a cabin like this. Here are some of the reasons:

  • The need for large or heavy equipment is reduced or not needed at all because of the length of the logs.
  • Vertical log shells can be built in half the time as horizontal shells.
  • The logs we are using are 10 feet to go from floor to ceiling verses having to use 24 foot logs for the whole length of the cabin. Two people can easily carry the 10 foot logs. (Which is great for us who aren’t as young as we used to be!)
  • Due to the direction of the cracks that may form in a log, virtually none of the cracks in a vertical log home will direct water infiltration back into the home which can happen with a horizontal log home.
  • Windows and doors can be installed directly to the logs with no worries about settling or shrinkage of the walls since logs do not shrink vertically.
  • Wiring can be installed easily between the logs where as with a horizontal log wall, each log has to be drilled to allow the wire to pass through.
  • Last but not least I like to think outside the box and I really like the look of the vertical logs.

I’m sure I will be posting more photos of our journey through this process. It has been great seeing everyone come together and share their strengths in working on this project.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9

homesteading

You Never Know…

You never know what an impact you will have on someone’s life. We have had several guests at the cabin lately. It’s been a little crazy and we never know what a day will look like.

Last night I sat down with one of our guests and as the day turned into night I started lighting candles, then the kerosene lantern. The conversation was rich. We talked about life, simplicity of daily living at the cabin, and most important our relationship with God which spills out on those around us.

As we were talking her daughter sat down in the wicker rocking chair and started to express her joy and thankfulness that she was able to come for a visit. She said, “It’s so peaceful here and I feel like I’m living like Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie.” She then said, “I also love how I can talk to your family about anything.” (My heart leapt at that moment.)

What she didn’t know was that I was a little nervous about her family coming because we live a rustic lifestyle. Outhouses, hauling water, heating water on a stove for showers, hand watering a large garden, etc. Although they read my book Beautiful Dependence, reading and experiencing off-grid living are two different things. We can easily romanticize something we read about or see on YouTube.

This family came and got to experience Cherith Brook. They were so grateful for so many things at our little hide away. Why? Because they had just been on a camping/backpacking trip. They were eating MRE packs (Meals Ready to Eat), they had no access to showers, and had to use an outside bathroom with no walls.

By the time they arrived at our place, we had a hot meal for them with ‘real’ food, a warm bed, hot showers, fresh drinking water from our spring, and an outdoor bathroom with walls!

Thankfulness is the key to contentment in life. Here, I was concerned that our property would be too rustic. It ended up being a luxurious get away and a place to refresh as they continued their ‘outdoor’ adventures for the next few days.

Again, you just never know what’s going to happen or what an impact you will have on a person’s life. I think of Jesus and how one conversation changed so many lives…the blind man, the woman at the well, the lame man, etc. One conversation. One small moment in time can change a person’s life for all eternity.

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

homesteading

In the Off-Grid Groove

We’ve been back in the states for about 8 months and honestly I wasn’t sure how easily I would transition into our off-grid lifestyle. But, it has been pretty amazing being back on the property.

The winter was a mild one compared to other winters we have experienced here. It was great having snow again and having a crackling fire to warm up by. Spring is now upon us and we have many projects going on – finishing our guest cabin, log peeling, remodeling the 5th wheel, starting a garden (25 feet by 15 feet), and firewood splitting to name a few. Also, Our discipleship program is in full swing.

We just purchased some meat rabbits-a breeding pair and three baby bunnies. We had to do some repair to our old turkey coop to accommodate the rabbits, but after a day of repairs and keeping a watchful eye on the bunnies, they are doing great!

With the threat of the COVID virus among us our plans had to change as far as being at my parents house more often. They are at the age where the risk is higher so we have stayed at the property longer.

There is always something to do at Cherith Brook and our good friend pruned our apple tree so I had lots of applewood to make a craft project with. I decided to make an outdoor side table. I am happy with how it turned out!

Needless to say, I am loving the peace of the land and the simplicity of life. Things are a little more difficult to do off-grid and they definitely have to be planned out. But in the end, I am home and living in the place where I was set free!

“Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

homesteading

Threshing Floor

Are you being threshed?

When we first moved to our property the Lord was showing me the threshing floor. I began to study what the threshing floor was and how it applied to my life.

The threshing floor was a smooth flat surface that was used in the process of harvesting grain. It’s where the farmers would separate the grain from the chaff, through the process of beating the sheaves, called winnowing. The wind would then blow the chaff away, leaving only the good, edible grain.

The threshing floor was usually at the top of a mountain (go figure). Spiritually speaking, it was where good and evil were separated. The Bible shows the chaff as evil and the grain as good. In Matthew 3:12, John the Baptist refers to Jesus as the one who would separate the good grain from the chaff with a winnowing fan. It says, “Jesus will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

God showed me that the beating of the wheat represents trials in our life; and as a result of the threshing we are then able to enjoy a bountiful harvest.

God was changing me. The process had already started. He was changing me more and more into His image and burning away the chaff in my life. Trials are hard. Life is hard. But, if we can hold on tight to Christ we will get rid of the dead unproductive fruit so we can have a beautiful harvest.

(An excerpt from my book Beautiful Dependence)