The Move

First, I have to apologize for the lack of activity on here; things have been crazy to say the least. We have officially moved to what I am calling Hyssop Farms! However, right now it’s just a place of dreams, hopes, and some fears. But isn’t that the way of moves? Regardless of the type of move, a job, a home, or even a move in a game. They all come with hopes and dreams of better things; a winning move!

Too often, though, I can become overwhelmed with the fears. Those fears are mostly based on a lack of trust and a lack of control. With all of the stress of things, I found I needed to return to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. It’s been 26 years since my last meeting. One of the things I have realized for myseylf, is that when I feel like I can’t control the things around me, I can create very “feel-good” reality through escaping into a chemical induced hell. I call it hell because at the time it feels so good, but it breeds nothing but pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is not a winning move; we can all agree on that I am sure.

Thursday, February 23, we realized that our new water company was not going to have our new water tap installed before we moved in. I lost my mind! We had to make this move on Saturday the 25th, and we were going to be without water for an unknown amount of time. Talk about a lack of control! Even though, as I sat on a five gallon bucket in a cold and windy barn, I was reminded that God was in control and at least I had a bucket and four walls to poop in. Many don’t even have that. Many in this world don’t even have access to clean water. All I have to do is go to the store and buy it. I guess what I am saying is that we really can’t control anything other than our choices and responses to the all the elements around us.

The first step in AA is, We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable. I truly believe that if we were honest with ourselves, we could all replace the word alcohol with something.  That step causes us to make a move… step 2: We come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity; step 3: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him. That is the greatest move we can make in our lives.

Do you need to make a move?

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The Day After

I did a painting job once that required a 40 foot extension ladder. That’s quite a climb! The first time I ascended that monster it was exhilarating! Once at the top, I found myself breathless from the climb, and the amazing view. Everything looked different from my new perch; I felt like I was on top of the world. Then there was the decent back to the earth’s surface. When I reached the bottom things felt slightly disappointing. Highs and lows are like that.

I have had many highs and lows in my life. Some people I know have had much deeper lows, and they seem to handle them better than I feel I ever could. Much of my past experiences have felt like my ladder climb, but followed by jumping off the building instead of climbing down; it’s similar to a blackout drunk followed by the feeling of living death the next day. I blame some of my issue on adolescent drug use; ever since my first high, it has been a battle to reject the urge of getting as high as I can.

Enter, the day after. I have come to realize, the days that make me feel so high (say my birthday yesterday) are going to be followed by a low. However, when one looks at these moments as a 40 foot ladder climb with a new view followed by a slow decent to the earth, we can see that our high just gave us a new view to our reality below.

One can say, I have seen the rooftops and treetops, and that has given me a new way of looking at the world from below. I daily remind myself to see the lows just as valuable as the highs.

Age

In two days I will be 46 years old (I confess, I had to use my calculator to figure that out). I was lying in bed this morning at 4:30 watching my 4 year old son sleep, and thinking that in one week and a day we will be closing on our little house as first time home-buyers. It’s crazy to think that my time here on earth is almost half over, that is if I stay healthy and live a long life. This could be depressing; however, I have the gifts of youth right before me, along with a God given purpose and plan. Age is just a number; it’s what we are doing with our lives that really matters and makes us young.

I feel like I have been given the gift of hindsight. I can see the decisions I have made over these past 46 years, evaluate their outcomes, and adjust my choices from today forward to see more fruit. Seeing things in this manner give us the wisdom of our years, helps us evaluate the knowledge that we need to change directions, or it can confirm what we have already been doing very well.

I met with a nutritionist once. When I walked in the door, I saw a very overweight woman in her 50’s; I was shocked. One of the first things she said was, “if knowledge was the solution, I wouldn’t look like this.” Up to that point, I thought knowledge was the solution; it is, in part. We need knowledge to understand the how, but we need decision and resolve to turn that knowledge into change. Age, one would hope, gives us a much broader palate to choose from to paint a better future; it’s a positive!

To quote my teacher, Matt Powers, “Be the change!” In an age where everyone is screaming, I say stop, listen, and be the change.

Purpose

I can’t wait to close on our home next week; it has been quite a ride so far! When I walked that six acres and asked God for that land, I told Him that I would use it bring glory to His name. I told Him that I would serve others with it, and that I would share the abundance with those He has called us to serve. It’s really simple: my purpose is to serve my Heavenly Father by serving others in His Name.

Where things get really amazing is in seeing the way He has been leading me into places, relationships, and concepts in which He wants to shine His light. I thought I had it all figured out; I was going to serve Him by growing vegetables and raising animals to feed the hungry. Simple enough! However, what I am realizing, more and more, is that God has big plans on the pathway to the dream.

This week in my class, we are discussing “What to Plant.” There are so many things to think about, details that need addressed, questions that need to be answered, measurements to be taken, and the list feels endless. But that’s the great part!! It’s the Dream stage, as my teacher Matt Powers put it, and just as there are many things that need attended to in that process, there are many things that God wants to attend to through me on the path that leads to the dream.

The lesson? It’s really simple: my purpose is to serve my Heavenly Father by serving others in His Name in everything I do! What’s yours?

Investment

I have never been much of an investor; in my mind, I could be labeled more of a consumer. I realize that we are all a little of both, but problems can arise when things get out of balance. There are many types of investments. We invest our time, our money, our love, and our energy (just to name a few). What about what we consume? How much time, money, love, and energy do we consume without return? Are we a taker or giver at heart?

In the permaculture class I am currently in, I feel like more of a taker. However, I would like to believe that there are things I am giving as well.  Regardless, the principles that I am learning (if put into practice) will turn into a lifetime of giving and caring for others. The definition of others, here, is to include people, animals, and our greatest resource… the earth. It is the earth that God uses to keep us and sustain us. However, I am afraid that we (including myself for sure) have consumed more than we have invested.

Investment can be tough, but overconsumption leads to the death of a system. I had such amazing garden plans for this coming spring at our new home. However, as I have been consuming massive amounts of information, I have realized that to truly see my vision of giving and sustainability, I must invest in a firm foundation. That means currently planting the things that will replenish and strengthen the soil from which we will consume nutrients to provide bountiful plants.

To see my dream and the vision God has given me succeed, I need to first invest in the necessary foundational systems. My short-term gratification needs to take a backseat to the long-term vision. There will be an abundance, but first there must be investment.

So what are you?

Listening

Listening can be very hard; I want to be a fixer. However, it is very hard to fix something that you do not fully understand, and to fully understand we need to listen. The problems in our lives, in the lives of those around us, and in our world can be so overwhelming. Sometimes the listening in necessary just to figure out what to tackle first.

I started out my morning trying to drown out the noise of April and Samuel doing their morning routines so I could focus on some reading I had to get done. It was only partially working. Distractions make listening difficult, and I was trying to listen to the words I was reading. I looked at the clock and realized it was time to check on and feed my rabbits. When I opened the door, I realized that I had not listened to our doe, Scratchy, enough in these previous days.

Scratchy had pulled a huge mess of hair out last night. This is a sign that she is about to give birth. I have thought for weeks that this might be the case, but it just didn’t seem to make sense. Being new to rabbit keeping, I just tried to listen. I realize now, that I need to listen more to good books, then opinions. It’s not that the opinions were bad or wrong… they just hadn’t been listening to Scratchy; they were listening to me.

I’m committing to become a better listener; will you join me?

We Need a Filter

I am headed to our new place today. We seem to have a water retention issue. The bigger issue is where it’s coming from and what might be in it. Much of the water is flowing into our land via the neighboring farm fields. Why is this an issue you ask? I don’t know what pesticides or fertilizer might be flowing in with the water.

That’s much like life. We have a lot that flows into our lives every day. Regardless of the source of the flow, some of it is good and some is toxic. The solution posed to me for our land: find the source of the flow and create a natural filter that will cleanse the toxins.

This is harder to do, I believe, in our lives. There are times that we have become so used to toxins that they change us. When this happens, we need to add a filter into our life that can recognized these toxins and help us remove them. One way this can be done is to find a counselor. They have been trained to find these life toxins, their sources, and to provide ways to remove them and their effects from our lives.

Take some time today, with me, find out where these things are flowing into your life, and come up with a tangible filter system!