We recently acquired a new home on a bit of acreage out in the country. By "country", I of course mean the middle of no where. By "middle of no where" I actually mean The Edge Of The Earth. Seriously. Go another .3 miles and you fall off the end of the planet into a black hole or something. I am not sure what would happen because it's just too dang far for me to test out. I actually really enjoy the place. Yeah the ride is long but it gives my kids more time to argue and they so desparately need more time for that. *Insert eye roll here*.
We decided that we wanted to try out being farmers so before I knew it we had 10 chickens, a rooster, 3 horses, 3 dogs, a resident barn cat, and had accidentally acquired a baby goat. We had lots of land but it was all over grown with years of brush and vines, so to keep our newly acquired livestock in better conditions we had to start clearing out some land. Y'all, I don't know how to do that—as evidenced by the Great Lawn Tractor Incident of 2015. That was a tragedy that ended with a cracked something somewhere in the engine, black smoke, and me walking through the field mumbling things best left unsaid and heading back to the house, abandoning my ride under a wispy pine tree. Rest in Pieces Snapper.
Our neighbor took pity on us and brought over his big tractor. It's big. It has a detachable scoopy thing, tires as big as I am, and blades that could mulch up my Jeep in one pass. He ran that thing up and down, over and out, and here and there. And if you don't already know, men are drawn to the sound of tractors and the smell of diesel like a moth to a flame. By the end of the day there were a group of them in my yard enjoying the demolition (men, not moths). And by the end of the day what began as overgrown brush and unruly bushes became a giant heap of yuck cleared away to reveal hidden treasures in our yard! Among the many keepsakes we have discovered: a truck topper, hundreds of buckets, rolls and rolls and rolls of fencing, toilets, saddles, wheel barrows, pool liner, pool filters, rotten ladders, horse equipment, lawn chairs, mattresses, bed frames, hundreds of cinder blocks, rabbit cages, swing set, pony mats, and an entire out building for crying out loud! Why couldn't it have been a lock box full of money? Im still looking and remain hopeful my friends. But I'm not holding my breath.
What a mess. The previous owners ditched the things they didn't want to deal with and hid them behind trees and thick overgrowth. Who am I to judge? This girl has been there and done that! There's no one better at hiding than me! I've only recently started to let my Lord start peeling off the layers of brush and overgrown thorns to reveal the junk I've kept hidden for so long. It reveals some ugly stuff. But the Ugly has to be picked up and moved out to reveal the beauty that remains. All we can do is clean it up one scoop at a time to reveal what it will one day become and what Christ has created us to be.
Our farm is taking shape...I'm super happy about the fact that my neighbor keeps bringing over his scoop and tractor. And I'm finding lots of uses for the things I thought were ugly pieces of junk. See what I did there? Our Lord can also make beauty from ashes.
And I'm so glad He calls me Beautiful.
Isaiah 61: 1-7
1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace--
a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies--
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
and your joy go on forever.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.