In the Garden

The Garden: “a covered or hidden place.”

This morning, during my quiet time, I was reminded of my grandmothers’ favorite song – ‘In the Garden.’

As I sang the song quietly to myself, my eyes filled with tears, as sweet memories came flooding back… memories of spending time with my grandmother, in her rose garden…

In the Garden

Since the beginning of time, the garden has been an important part of our culture, and is viewed in many different ways…

For instance, one might view the garden as a place of beauty that is filled with the fragrance of flowers and fruit — just like grandmas…

Daisies

Another might view the garden as a place of shelter and shade from the heat of the day.

Yet, there are other ways in which we can view the garden…

It can be a pleasurable place to meet friends… for picnics and other social gatherings…

The garden is also a place in which food is provided…

But, the garden is also a place of quiet retreat.

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Tending my own garden is enjoyable in a number of ways… although it is beginning to fill with oodles of veggies, which will provide sustenance, it is also a pleasurable place for social gatherings. I have enjoyed many a conversation over the fence with my neighbors and with those traveling on the trail near our home…

Yet, amid all the people, I also find my garden to be a place where I can retreat from the crowds…  a place of solitude, where I can be refreshed, simply by sitting and enjoying the sounds of country life on my little homestead… and yes, that includes the sounds of my chickens!

Junior

I don’t know if grandma has passed down to me her ability to grow a rose garden, but I do believe that I have inherited her passion for gardening…

It’s true what they say… a garden can take a lot of time and effort… but, oh, how sweet are the rewards it yields in return!

Till next time,

~ Sheri

It Starts with a Dream…

Quiet Road...

Homesteading and the single life isn’t how I imagined my life would turn out…

When I was young, I always imagined that I would get married, have oodles and oodles of kids, and live happily ever after – in the city!

As a teenager, I’d changed my mind many times as to what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up.’ I envisioned myself becoming either a veterinarian, an interior designer, a teacher, a jewelry designer, a seamstress or a fashion designer! And, as for kids, I ‘just knew’ that I was ‘the last of the line.’ If the man of my dreams wanted kids, we could always adopt!

Nope! Homesteading and the single life never entered my mind!

But God had others plans for me…

Little Chicks 2

A few years back, dad become ill. Mom asked me to move back home – to take care of him while she was at work.

Diagnosed with Dementia, it quickly became evident that dad needed full time care. With all the usual bills, including two mortgages, mom worked 50+ hours a week, while I became dads’ full-time caregiver.

For me, it was financial suicide… but what was I supposed to do? He was my dad!

It was during this time, that I’d gotten into direct sales… I think somewhere, in the back of my mind, I’d always wanted to have my own business… so, this seemed an ‘easy fit.’

Let’s face it, working my home-based business allowed me to earn some money, while affording me the flexibility to be at home for dad!

However, after dad’s illness took him from us, I found myself needing to figure out what I was going to do with my life…

Garden - Seeding

It was during a time of fasting and prayer, that one morning, I woke from an unusual dream… I found myself in the middle of a very large field… I started planting rows of seeds… when I was finished planting, I stepped back to view the work I had done… As I looked, I saw the seeds begin to sprout… in the center of each sprout was a person that grew in height… it was then that I woke from my dream…

For the longest time, I had no clue as to what the dream meant… other than a recurring thought… “Planting seeds so that others may grow.’

I had that dream 5 years ago…

Four years ago, mom surprised me with wanting to move to the country… she wanted to raise chickens and goats and grow her own veggies!

As you can imagine… being a city chick all my life – I thought she’d lost her mind!

However, 3 years ago, in July 2014, we made the move…

To say, ‘It hasn’t been easy’ would be a HUGE understatement! The first two years, I struggled… always fighting the idea of this ‘homesteading gig.’

But then this past year, something changed…

During a particularly frustrating day, I needed to get away from the farm… I’d had enough!

I needed a break… and I needed to think… so, I went for a drive!

With no particular direction in mind, I found myself on the ‘other side of the river in farm country.’

I’d found a local park with a lake… so, I decided to stop for a while, and go for a walk… to think… and to pray…

Before I left the lake that day, I had a sense of peace… a peace so strong that it passed all understanding…

On my way home, I passed a huge farm with fields of corn as far as the eye could see!

My heart swelled as I drove past… this is what I wanted!

I could now see the vision mom had for our little farm. In fact, I was envisioning a much larger farm… much, much larger!

It was on that day, that I stopped struggling. I stopped trying to talk mom into moving back into the city… and I started taking a real interest in learning all I could about this self-sufficient, homesteading thing

More than ever, I’m interested in learning the ways of our ancestors… in learning how they did things ‘back in the day.’

With others moving into the area around our farm, I find they are seeking the same self-sufficient lifestyle that mom and I seek… and as I get to know them, they ask me questions… I share with them, both my struggles and what I have learned…

…and no, it hasn’t been lost on me, that I am ‘planting seeds so that others may grow.’

Till next time,

Sheri