Today is the day! Months of anticipation approaching their climax as I taxi down the runway: first stop Minneapolis to pick up some good friends from the Mitten, second stop Orlando for the IF:Local Leaders Gathering.
Back in May, my dear friend Caitlin and I were calling back and forth onthe phone, having a bit last minute decided that we were going to try and snag some tickets to this event. At that time, I didn’t know where I would be living come September or have any clue what finances would look like but we did it anyway. Another one of those anythings. God grabbed two more dear ladies from our IF:Holland leadership team and we booked flights and rooms. Oh my. Then this morning, I woke at 3:44, kissed my babies and said so long. Now, the plane rises with the sun and the peace and joy are overflowing. Steady, heart, steady.
The journey to today has been surprising. The week after we moved to the farm, IF:Equip began a study of the beautitudes; each week we focused on one verse. What an awesome reminder of how we are to live in relationships! I loved how each week seemed so timely: reminders of grace when I was frustrated, or mercy when I saw pain. There are no coincidences I guess. Being at the farm has been tough — learning how to navigate the waters of relationships that have been long distance for at least eight years is not easy. NOT easy. My parents have been close friends to Jeff and me for years, but our family of four disrupts very particular rhythms. Plus, we can be messy. 🙂 I love how God provides the words we need for our various seasons.
Then, a few weeks ago, IF:Equip began a study of Nehemiah in preparation for IF:Pray tomorrow night. Nehemiah was an interesting man! What amazed me was how he did nothing without first approaching God is prayer! A good reminder. Nehemiah, in good favor with a foreign king during a time of exile, was given even greater favor to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city of the Israelites. He rebuilds, againts foes, gathering the community of God’s people, listing them by name over and over and over. I love this image of community.
For tomorrow, I have unexplainable hope. A night dedicated to prayer. A little back story: as Jeff and I prepared to move to the farm this spring in a whirlwind, many people prayed over us and the farm. We believe God was calling us back to the land of our family. Words of healing, restoration, growth, unity, living dirt, permeated prayers and prophecies. We believe God has great plans and desires for this land we’ve moved to in ways we cannot even imagine, that my Grandpa did not imagine, that parents have yet to imagine, and we want to step into that promise without fear or hesitations. For those of you who don’t know, Healthy Homestead, my Mom and uncle’s business that operates on Grandma’s land, was named after 2 Chron 7:14:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Thus the name, HealTHY Homestead. This land, and our family, is in need of great healing. Unity, community, humility, grace….are lacking. So I send an invitation to my family, and now to you who support us, near and far: join me in calling on the name of God, humbling ourselves, seeking Him who gives all good things, to interrupt our lives of security, independence and self-sufficiency and let us dive more deeply into relationship with God, where no part of who we are or how we live is left untouched by His influence, His love, and His truth. Join me, in the name of Jesus, demanding that the devil release his grip on our hearts, relationships, and on this land. Like the Israelites in their exile, we are ready to return to God to rebuild what He has given us – each of us individually important in the communal restoration, rejoicing in the Lord.
I have great hope. More to come soon.