Life is not perfect - but we are abundantly blessed.

Life is not perfect - but we are abundantly blessed. (photos: of our actual life!)

Back to the land‘ is a phrase that has real, personal meaning to us. It’s been almost three months now since we moved back to the farm we help take care of (owned by an older Christian couple who are friends of ours). We were gone for several months living with the in-laws who so graciously helped us through a very intense time. As we struggled through the reality of our son being born with Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect – we were overwhelmed by both darkness and light – fear and uncertainty, as well as GOD’s grace and support from many friends and family near and far. I’m not sure how many of our friends and family read this blog- but we are thankful for all of you- for all the many prayers and financial gifts and conversations and more that helped sustain us.

So now here we are- after the battle – a bit stressed still, a bit beat up- but our baby son’s life now has a second chance. We slowly are settling back in to life among the mountains and streams again here in Bedford County, Virginia. Suburban rhythms are steadily being replaced by rural ones – letting the chickens out, feeding the animals, mowing and weedwacking around the farm, picking wild raspberries, strawberry and blueberry picking at local farms, planting seeds, weeding, hunting squash bugs in the garden, turning the compost…etc.

I’ve found very little time to blog as you may have noticed but this summer has been full of an abundance of small blessings. We didn’t think we would get to garden this season but many hands make light work and there have been many unexpected graces- the folks who own the farm bought chickens, there has been an explosion of volunteer squash in the small compost pile, garlic in the flower bed (that we thought was flowers), new friends, a new farmers market and the list goes on.

We’re making an effort to pursue more of the ‘sustainable traditions’ that we feel the LORD calling us to- eating more locally and in season, widening our circle of Christian fellowship, taking small steps towards greater self-reliance, and many more habits of life that we have barely begun to step into but still talk about and plot a course towards – intentional/shared living with other Christians, integrating times of prayer into our work day, re-establishing a weekly sabbath, reaching out to those in need within the wider community, growing more food and hosting events…and much more.

Our life is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination – but we are abundantly blessed (though we often forget it) and we know we are in the hands of our Father who both refines us and continually renews us.

That’s the view from here- how about you?

J. Fowler

J. Fowler is the website editor and co-founder, along with his wife Pamela, of the Sustainable Traditions project. The Fowlers live with their seven children on a farm near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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