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

homesteading

Got Salve?

I had the joy of doing something that I enjoy very much! I was able to make some Healing Honey Balm.

We all have passions in life and mine has become making salves, lotions, lip balm, and soap. Before we moved to Mexico, I had a small business selling my creations. However, after we moved it was difficult to get the supplies and my time has been taken up with teaching and planning for school. Now that summer is fast approaching, I hope to set more time aside and continue this hobby.

I love reading scripture that talk about different oils and herbs. Gleaning the knowledge that the Bible has, I have learned much about olive oil, frankincense, myrrh, milk, and many other natural things with healing properties.

My salve consists of unrefined beeswax, olive oil infused with lavender and calendula, almond oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E oil. We use it to moisturize, stop itching from mosquito bites, rashes, and some people use it on psoriasis with great results.

Thank you Lord for giving us an abundance of things in your creation to help our body, mind, and soul.

“After she (Esther) had been purified twelve months, according to the law of the women (for so the days of their anointing were done, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with the perfumes of the women).

family, marriage

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence on God

I want to bring up the importance of dependence. It’s a topic I have learned quite a bit about living off-grid. I even wrote a book on it called Beautiful Dependence.  I am not talking about being dependent on vices in our life, such as alcohol, drugs, or food. The dependence I am speaking of is true dependence on God for everything that we need.

When we become too comfortable in life, we often forget about our need to go to God daily. We become complacent. We think Life is good – until it’s not. Then we have a trial that comes our way and we quickly realize how weak we truly are. Jesus is our example. He woke up early every morning and prayed before He did anything else. He went to the Father for direction, guidance, and companionship.

In my own life I fought for independence. I wanted to be the strong girl who could conquer anything set before me. In many cases I succeeded. However, after living on a snow-covered mountain, with a vehicle that wouldn’t get us up the hill any longer, I suddenly realized how important my neighbor was to me. Or, seeing how wonderful my husband was to get up every morning and start the fire, so my kids and I didn’t have to wake up to a cold cabin. Trials became something to expect on the mountain. I knew in order to make it through those trials I had to cry out and depend on God to get me through them.

I have never liked trials. At one point in my life, I was willing to be a lukewarm Christian because I noticed the more I grew in the Lord, the more tribulations came my way. I wanted nothing to do with hardship. I wanted things nice and cozy. Until I realized you can’t stop bad things from happening. We are in a fallen world and its a promise. Jesus says it in John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

Now, I am not afraid of trials. I know I will be refined and grow into the person God wants me to be as a result. I will also have compassion for others going through similar circumstances.

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence

  1. Pray your family would become more dependent on God and less dependent on the things of this world.
  2. Pray for a humble heart for you, your spouse, and kids. When you see someone struggle to ask for help on a task, pray that they would be able to get rid of pride and ask for the help they need.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

christianity

Obedience in All Things

We made it to our destination in Mexico! It had been a long four day trip to move down here. We have all of what was left of our belongings with us in two trucks, a Ford Expedition, and a work trailer. Most of our things had been either sold, given away, or taken to the dump. It’s amazing how much you can accumulate in six years.

We prayed for an uneventful trip in our travels. We didn’t want any car problems, sickness, or accidents. All of which was kept at bay, thanks to the many people who had been praying for us and to our friends who helped get our cars in good working order. 

As I drove up the long dirt road to our house on the hill, I had flashbacks to twelve years ago driving up to our little cabin in the woods, where God would forever change my life. Now, I am further south and in a new country, with people that I can’t understand because I don’t speak their language. What will this journey entail?

Already God is showing me obedience. Obedience in the midst of being in a strange land. Obedience in obeying God even when others think we are crazy. Growing in understanding that it’s not complete obedience if we kick and scream along the way.

In looking at Jesus’ obedience to death on the cross, I am reminded that obedience comes with a heart that is pure and wants to obey out of love. Again, it’s the dying to self and putting other people’s needs above my own and doing what God desires most.

My prayer is that Mark and I, and even our girls will trust That God has something great in store for us in La Mision. I know there will be trials along the way. I understand that it won’t always be easy, but nothing worth fighting for ever is.

So, what are we fighting for? We are fighting a war against good and evil. Against the lies Satan has sold us and the truth that will set us free. Whether we are in America or Mexico, the lies are the same. Satan doesn’t use new tactics depending on where we live. He has come to steal, kill, and destroy. But, we rejoice because Christ has come to give us life and life to the fullest! (John 10:10) that, my friend, makes me want to rejoice and obey all the more!

Sunrise in La Mision

homesteading

Let there be Light

I will never forget the day when we got light switches installed in our little cabin. We had been using kerosene lanterns to light our dark nights with. Which, was romantic for awhile but soon the small light that the lanterns enabled us to see by were not enough. Especially if we had just had a long day in town and came home to a cold, dark house. Having to use a flashlight to find the matches to light up the kerosene lanterns was a chore all in itself and with the glass lamps not giving off much light and moving them from one place to another, we risked them breaking or spilling the oil and causing a bigger problem.

Finally we decided it was time to set up our electricity. My husband had been working all day with the electrical wiring and I couldn’t wait to be able to see if the lights were actually going to work. Our son, Aaron had been watching him intently and my husband was explaining the process with him. Showing him the negative, positive, and neutral wires.

At last the task was done and we fired up the generator. Mark (my husband) called me over and said, “Christine, check out your new lights!” He pointed to the switch and indicated that he wanted me to be the first one to turn the light switch on. I quickly flipped the switch and low and behold we had light! No fumbling for a flashlight. No worrying about batteries being drained. No risk of knocking over a lamp of oil. Just a perfect switch that gave off light immediately.

I spent the next few moments in awe…flicking the switch on and off. Amazed that the light worked properly each time. Appreciative that we had a way to light up our humble home. It was such a small blessing, but it was huge in my eyes.

I imagined God when He created the universe and created light. The Bible says, “The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep…Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light! And God saw the light, that it was good. – Genesis 1:2,3

Light is good…very, very good.

To read more about our off-grid living please order my book, Beautiful Dependence at our website.sunlight