<![CDATA[[caption id="attachment_2426" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Life is not perfect - but we are abundantly blessed. (photos: of our actual life!)"][/caption] ‘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?]]>
Back to the Land: the View From Here
by J Fowler | Jul 22, 2011 | Features, Voice of One Calling | 6 comments
After a disasterous storm ruined most of the garden, we have replanted, thanks to friends, and we may have a harvest after all. Our landlady and I are co-sharing garden stuff, so that means lettuce and peas this week! Mine will be along soon. No goat kids, after all, but we should have chickens in about a week; I’m hoping silkies. It has been a long recovery for me this year, but God continues to bless us.
I’m so glad you guys ha e made it back to the farm. I hope you guys and the farm have a great time becoming reacquainted.
Hi Jason (and Pam and kiddos!) — thanks so much for this update! I’m thinking of y’all today because Tracey and the kids have started caring for Arlo one morning a week, and today she told me about your new cows … made me think to come over here to see about more news. I’m so happy to hear about all the lovely things summer has brought for you guys. I would love someday to come meet Elias, and those cows. I hope too that some Saturday relatively soon I’ll be at the Forest market! Just last weekend I went to my first market in over a year — it was just wonderful to be around our CSA members and market friends again.
Hi Lisa! We’d love to have you’all over sometime. The cows really are beautiful – we named them Lucy and Ethel 🙂 – We hope to see you at the Forest Farmers Market too!
I wish you lived near me in Seattle! Your commitment to sustainable living and Christ, and your writings about both, are a constant encouragement. I travel and teach, and pastor a growing church. Both of these callings are in tension with the simplicity of rootedness, locale, and tilling the soil. But we’re working on small steps…and every visit to your blog is an encouragement to keep the path.
Hi Richard, Thanks for the encouragement brother! Small steps are like seeds so keep cultivating them- over time they may overtake everything else in your “garden” 🙂 – By the way -thank you for the copy of your new book- we featured an excerpt of it recently. -shalom!