homesteading

Necessary Pruning

The other day I was trying to get rid of the weeds and bramble around the cabin. I was using a large tool that got extremely heavy the longer I pruned. Doing the job became more of a chore than what I had planned.

Once I was finished I turned around and noticed I hadn’t gotten the thicker sticks close to the ground at all. I was trying to make sure they were removed so no one would trip over them. I cut some more. I Looked again and thought, wow changing my perspective and looking from a different angle I could once again, see how poorly I had pruned.

This got me thinking about when God prunes me. It hurts to be pruned and when I think God has nothing more to get rid of, I can see more areas that need my flesh removed. He is faithful and continues to remove the ugly things in my life that trip me up. Granted this takes time and He knows exactly when and what to prune at the moment I need it. If He were to do it all at once, I would not survive. But, in His omniscience He knows as I grow and mature, I can handle the next pruning.

I now realize pruning is much needed and as the ugly things of my life disappear, I know one day I will be a beautiful tree producing godly fruit for all to partake of.

God is everywhere and He shows me biblical things daily. What has He shown you lately?

“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” Matthew 7:18

We made rose petal jam with the wild roses on our property!
homesteading

Blessings Abound!

This has been a busy season and I am amazed by all the blessings God has given us!

It is awesome to see God’s people be the hands and feet that we all need. Here is an update on everything that has happened this past month…

  • Started the Selah Cabin
  • Enjoyed many guests
  • Two huge garden spots cleared
  • Planted herbs in our herb garden
  • Land cleared
  • Bigger and better water filtration system installed

These are just some of the highlights! As my book Beautiful Dependence talks about the need for God first and others second, we are seeing this lived out.

We could not have done this without the help and support of others. Sometimes I just sit back in shock and awe of all the things surrounding me. Not only do we live in a beautiful place, but we have wonderful people who care for us and some who even venture up the mountain and experience life with us.

Tears streamed down my face one night as I ventured out to the new cabin. God has supplied everything; Not only the building supplies, a fantastic wood stove refurbished by my brother-in-law, windows, flooring, cabinets, and so much more.

How is this possible with how crazy our world is? I can tell you it’s because God is bigger and mightier than we can fathom. He gives us exceedingly abundantly beyond what we could think or hope for.

Do I have a new view of life after cancer? You bet I do! Enjoy every moment. Enjoy every sunrise and sunset. Enjoy the laughter. Enjoy sitting and talking with those around you. God is good. He wants to share His goodness with us. Stop. Listen. Breathe and Praise Him for his goodness!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

Our daughter getting a tractor lesson from a guest who brought this machine up!
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 Waiting

We have had a few guests recently at our little cabin in the woods. Christmas was spent with a young family who came to get away from it all and see our small place on this earth. We had a wonderful time with great conversation, deep fellowship, and of course terrific food and fun.

They got to see how our day is spent with all the chores that need to be done – hauling water from the spring, filtering the water for drinking, getting firewood, sweeping (lots of sweeping due to wood chips), and general household chores that are common among most homes. They even had the chance to take a shower with our new real shower head that works with an aquarium pump that pushes the water through in a giant 5 gallon cooking pot!

It’s been great to be back on our property and as the chores are many and some are very hard and difficult to do in the snow, I am so glad to be here. As I once said a long time ago, “I feel like I’m home.”

Everything takes a little more time on the mountain. I think that’s what we are missing in our ‘rushed’ society. We are used to having things whenever and wherever we want. Internet is no longer just in businesses or schools, it’s in our homes, and at our finger tips on our phones – taking up our time.I’m not saying online access is a bad thing, but I am saying imagine if we didn’t have 24/7 access to it? We actually use the internet for a number of reasons and although we don’t have access to it at our cabin, we are able to get it (very slowly) at what we call the phone booth – the stump that we have to take a hike to.

Our life has slowed down drastically since arriving at our property. Patience is something that you just learn up here. One of our guests who came for New Year’s commented on how next time she is going to bring her Keurig coffee machine with her. I laughed and said, “Yep! Even making a cup of coffee teaches you patience up here.”

It’s been in the slowing down that I have appreciated all those things I thought I would miss and yet, come to think of it…I don’t think I have missed some of the modern conveniences I was able to partake in even in Mexico!

Yes, things take time. But, in the waiting that’s where the deep conversations begin. That’s where patience is taught. That’s where you appreciate the simple things and know that when your husband brings you a cup of coffee it was well thought out and planned.

Life is harder on the mountain, but it’s the simplicity that I have fallen in love with. And guess what? The coffee tastes better!

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5