Farm Life, Day One.

If you would have told me, six months ago today, that before Christmas I would be living on a 300 acre farm in a city an hour away from where I was living at the time,  I probably would have looked at you like you were crazy and asked what phsychadelics you ate for breakfast. These past six months have been host to some of the most wonderful, fast paced, intentional, and unforeseen events of my life. I truly wish I had done a better job of keeping this little journal updated as the story unfolded so far, but all the same, I have a feeling that the best is yet to come. I’ve gone from mountain-mom-stuck-in-the-city, to farm-living, remote-workin’ mamma. Here’s our story, starting now.

December 16th was the official move in day, despite having moved our things to the farm a week prior. Sterling and I arrived Friday evening, just in time to have dinner and visit with my boyfriend, Alex, and his family, before Grammy left to spend some of the winter in California. We settled in and built a fire that evening, enjoying its warmth in the glow of the christmas tree lights. The rest of the weekend followed suit, learning what my beginning responsibilities on the farm would be, continuing the seemingly unending project of unpacking box after box, and learning how to most efficiently heat the house with a wood burning stove. The stove is not a new skill for me, but one that absolutely needs sharpening. The weather has been merciless. Our first four days here have been sub-freezing temperatures without breaking. It has been such a lovely change of pace to wake up to the lowing of 60 cattle at pasture out our door, as opposed to the whistle and rattle of trains and cars passing all night long.

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Playing in one of the cattle pastures

I spent most of Monday feeling like I was living a dream, working my professional life, as well as interacting with the animals that keep my family fed and healthy. I took my darling boy to his first day at his new preschool, and he ran off joyfully after kissing me goodbye. Any parent can attest to the reassurance of their child’s joyful departure, especially in a new place. After arriving back at the farm, I set up my desk and “went to work” for the dental practices, beginning my day job. Between responsibilities for work, I got to get down to brass tacks washing basket after basket of eggs and cleaning the community rooms, kitchen and store. This level of multitasking was challenging, to say the least, and will take some serious getting used to. admittedly, I may have been slightly distracted by the deep feeling of value in the work my hands were doing. Selfish, maybe, but the emotional high of feeling like your work is deeply valuable makes it easier to be consistently joyful.

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The first of many baskets of eggs

Let me tell you the highlights of this farm where we now live and work. Lake Village Farm is over 300 acres, and is a non-profit organization prioritizing the preservation of the land and livestock farming practices that focuses on the animals quality of life. For those of you that know me personally, are you thinking, “This is SO Morgan!” yet? There is also a huge priority placed on education and helping the community get back in touch with where exactly our food comes from.(p.s. it’s not It shouldn’t be a factory!) Lake Village is home to at least 15 other families who actively contribute to the daily running of the farm, some of which have been here for over 15 years. The farm borders a lake, and is one of the most diverse and lively landscapes I’ve had the blessing of enjoying. This is the beginning of something new and beautiful, and I can not wait to keep sharing my crash course in the agricultural lifestyle.

I live an incredible life, and the gift of the lifestyle I was invited into is the best thing I never would have asked for this holiday season. Thank you Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself, and giving me more than I feel I deserve. What a gracious God, to love me this lavishly.

If My Story Were Written

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With the recent explosion of (what we call) social networks it’s apparent that most of our efforts are based around building community. We do it through Facebook, reading and interacting on each others blogs, searching hashtags and making new friends on instagram and all kinds of other platforms for connection. All this so say, I am deeply thankful for my friends and community.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to video chat with one of my longest standing friends, whom I hadn’t seen in nearly a year. What a breath of fresh air. He’s a pretty spectacular human being. As a performer in musical theater, he is naturally a great story teller. We caught up on the happenings of life, as much as possible via the web. throughout the whole conversation the way he shared what God has been doing in his life and the seasons he had recently been through, it filled my spirit with hope. It was the kind of conversation you could tell God was present for. I don’t know if you have ever experienced that sort of sensation but at the very least it holds your attention and you just know there’s something, beyond the actual words spoken, that is being told to you. God is saying something too.

In my case, hearing the victories Lance had just been given and celebrating what God had done to change his life so intimately lead me to think, “It’s got to be pretty close to my turn for this kind of breakthrough” ….
I held the thought loosely as I try not to dwell, but it kept rolling around in my head and changing shape. Something about that initial thought seemed like it is the way I feel, but it’s not the truth. I don’t doubt that breakthrough and greater things are exactly what God has planned for every moment of my life, but I’ve come to this question as my conclusion.

If my story were written, like they are in The Bible, would it say, “She was blind to the things God was doing.” or “God covered her eyes to these things.”
Ultimately have I just been so focused on the circumstances that aren’t what I want them to be, or is God doing things without letting me in on it, intentionally? I want to believe it’s the later but I guess I would know better if I had been spending more time hanging out with Him.

One part of this revealing conversation with my friend that really stood out, is how devoutly he and his friends have been laying every last thought before The Lord. Seems pretty simple, or at least a relatively basic part of living a Christ centered life. It takes a kind of awareness though, an intentionality and focus that I don’t think I’m alone in lacking.

“This is what it’s supposed to look like.”
That’s what God told me during this video chat sesh. Not that my friends story is flawless, but that every one of our stories are meant to be just as un-real, as if it couldn’t have been written any better, and that it starts with putting every moment in Gods hands. Not theoretically, but literally and in the moment consulting God on every choice, even if its a toss up between Arbys and Burger King.

 

How often do we blame our circumstances? How often do we complain about the struggle of the day? How often do we let frustration fill our scope when the truth about all of these things is that they have nothing against the author of history?

How different would life be if only we found the discipline to shift our focus?