Tuesday Homestead Update

Hey everyone! We have new and exciting news for this update. We have 16 new meat chicks! These came as a complete surprise to me. I did plan on purchasing some this year, just not for another few months. Luckily, I already have a baby chick set-up at my house. So all I had to do was dust everything off, purchase a new heat bulb, wash the feeder and waterer, and let them go.

I’m so excited about them. They are a quick source of meat to stock our freezer with. Much less time than the rabbits, but alot dirtier too. Thats the only downside. Meat chickens are NOT cute. I mean, they start out cute. But they grow up to look ugly. Poor guys.

In other news, we have bred both of our female rabbits, so by the end of January we will be welcoming more kits. That’s always an exciting time. Hopefully we don’t have a major cold front move in. In Louisiana it could be anywhere between 20° and 90° at any given time. Heck, it could be 20° in the morning and then 90° by lunch. Louisiana weather is stupid.

We also have a new saw mill! It was my husband’s Christmas present. So this week has been spent putting it together finally. I’m officially over trying to level it. I’m just saying. There are only so many ways to get something level before you just call it a day. Am I right? I’m a finished product kind of girl. My husband is a detail oriented person. He keeps refocusing me on the small important steps that matter as I try to rush him to the end! It’s pretty comical to watch.

Thats all for today! We will see you next Tuesday!

God bless,

Grace Revival Homestead

When God is Your Husband

Can I get personal with you? Like, really vulnerable?….My marriage almost ended a couple years ago. It was so close to ending, I’m sure satan was dancing with glee at the thought of his plan working.

Between life, sin, infertility, child loss, T1D, and a little bit of faith there was a family barely holding on. A threshold for sin to saturate. A wife letting her emotions rule her household. Children stuck in a game of war that they never asked to be in. And God, trying to help us see Him.

Life began to spiral out of control a few years ago, but I held on to my vision of being OK for as long as I could. But then the bubble burst, and I was left sitting there in a pile of clothes and sheetrock, crying out for help from a God I didn’t think knew I existed.

With my heart in pieces and my marriage in shambles, I laid on my bed empty searching my Bible for anything to make me feel whole again. And there it was, in the book of Hosea. I had never felt so connected to a book of the Bible before. He understood my pain. He had stood in the ruins of a marriage too. And God had responded to Hosea just as He had responded to me. “Go, show love to your wife again,….Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…” Hosea 3:1

It was in this book that God put my heart back together and taught me the truth of marriage. Hosea 2:16 was the key verse that taught me.

This verse gave me so much hope! I learned how to accept the love of God in the place of the love of a husband. I allowed God to work on me and re-define marriage for me using His definition, instead of the world’s. He completely flipped my views upside down! I learned that my husband isn’t supposed to fulfill me or complete me. God is!

Thats why so many marriages fail! We go into marriage placing our spouse on the pedestal that God is supposed to be on. No wonder there is strife and bitterness! Only God can fill the emptiness in our heart. No other human alive can carry that weight for to long.

Through that season of sacrifice and pruning, God restored my marriage and I learned what true love really is. This eventually led to my husband accepting the free gift of salvation!  It was a wonderful ending to a very stormy season.

If you are in a stormy season in your marriage, let my testimony give you a hope for the future! God is the restorer of marriages. He heals the broken hearted. He is the miracle worker. He can and will restore what the locusts has eaten, if you are willing to let Him.

Please reach out for prayer or encouragement if you are struggling now. I’d love to pray for you!

Tuesday Homestead Update

Hey yall! It’s been a hot minute since I posted one of these, so I decided to just jump right into it!

Since our last update, we have expanded to include meat rabbits! So far this adventure has been incredibly rewarding. We have an amazing meat source that we can monitor exactly what goes into it. It’s healthy, low fat, and can be used in the place of chicken in most recipes.

As of right now, I have 2 does, and 2 bucks in rotation. I plan on keeping a doe from this litter to add on as well. That should cover us for a while on meat!

We also just put up a new chicken coop and run. Hurricane Ida completely destroyed our last one, so we picked up old fence pieces from other areas and built this beauty at almost no cost! It houses our wonderful layers. We have 14 hens and 3 roosters. However, one of our roosters is about to go to his new home very soon.

We are still building and repairing things the hurricane took out. The rabbit grow out cage needs a roof, our chicken run needs hardware cloth over it to keep hawks out, and the horse’s fence needs restrung. But every day we get one step closer to being done. Then we can move on to our next animal adventure!

I sat down last month and wrote out our homesteading goals for the next few years. I have such big dreams, my husband just laughs at me. I’ll just give you a hink; oink oink and buzz buzz are coming within the next two years. Well, God willing and the creek don’t rise. Seriously though, we flood way to much, I need the water to stay down so we can achieve these goals.

Well until next time!

Thanks for coming on this adventure with me! God Bless!

Grace Revival Homestead

EOW 5/24/2020

Most people in my area know who I am. But for those of you not from around here, my name is Stephanie Smith. I started this blog about 3 years ago and was beginning to get pretty consistent with my posting, until that fateful day. I’ll explain that a little further down, but I’ve been off of here for over a year now. God spoke into my heart to begin writing again just recently. I love to write! Writing comes easier to me than even speaking. So, here is the story of the most terrible week of my life, to catch you up to speed.

My brother was a state trooper who died from injuries sustained while on duty, and its been a heavy heart ache since then…

George was a stubborn, goal oriented man. Every goal he set, he conquered. He planned out his path and then worked with everything in him to achieve it. From joining the Marines at the age of eightteen, to becoming a cop in a small town, all the way to becoming a state trooper! He was my hero.

From the moment we heard of George’s accident, we prayed hard for a miraculous healing. I gathered my trusted prayer warriors and we stormed the gates of Heaven all day, every day. I laid hands and prayed over him, I laid hands on his wife and prayed strength and comfort over her, then I would go to my spiritual leaders and let them lay hands on me. There was such a huge move of God during that time!

I had such a huge hope and expectation that George would get out of that bed, that I would almost laugh at the doctors telling us that there was no hope. I was so expectant, that I sat by his bedside an entire day, waiting for him to wake up and look at me. I knew he would not only wake up, he would walk out of the hospital, broken bones restored! It was deeply embedded in me. My faith soared!

Everyday, the news grew worse and worse. From there is no hope, to second and third doctors telling us the same thing. Before my brother had even passed, I got on social media to be bombarded with ‘RIP” posts made about him. This is how dire the situation had become. But God is always up to something good. Even when our circumstances are bad.

You see, my brothers injuries were only in his brain, brain stem and ankle. He had led an outstanding life and remained healthy. He was a prime organ donor. Even able to donate two perfect lungs! (which doesn’t happen often) so we made the hard decision to set him up for organ donation. He had donated his life already to keeping people safe, might as well keep that going even in death.

My brother’s story doesn’t end in death though, it ends in life. He was able to directly save lives! On the day of our deep mourning and grief, others were celebrating answered prayers. We may have not received our miracle, but God revealed to me that many others had. And if this sacrifice brings even one life to Christ, it is all worth it.

We praised God for those saved lives at George’s funeral. We prayed, praised, and gave God all the glory. We cried, laughed, and buried a piece of each of us that day. George left behind a wife, a daughter, a mother, a father, two sisters, and many friends and family. The community drew closer together as they lined the streets for the funeral procession. Waving flags and signs with his name and call number on it. His military family drove from all over the country to pay their respects as well. It was such a beautiful and humbling experience.

I was ok for a while after the accident. It wasn’t until everything calmed down that I began to feel the intense hurt. Then I shut it down with anything I could. Distractions and busyness. Until God called me to attention. I spent an entire year working on my relationship with Him. And now He has encouraged me to begin writing again. I’m so excited to see where He leads me!

New Beginnings

Hello 2022! Come in, sit down, and no funny business! Just kidding!…….maybe.

Today is day number two of this year and we’ve already had a few crazy things happen. However, as I sit here watching my husband build lincoln log cabins with my two boys while my daughter finishes cleaning the kitchen, I can’t help but to be excited about this new season. I love new beginnings!

It’s a new opportunity to try again! This year is a far cry from where I was two years ago……

God had moved so much in my life. He was so faithful and merciful. He had all reason to drop me like a sack of potatoes. BUT He didn’t and I’m so thankful that He is love. After my brother passed away, I was not a faithful servant to Him. On the outside, I had the act almost completely down. But on the inside, I was withering away in bitterness, unforgiveness, and wrecklessness.

God allowed me to wallow in my sin and selfishness for a while. Then He brought me back to reality. It was like He removed a blindfold from my eyes. All of a sudden I could see again! It was terrible and wonderful at the same time. I saw the reality of my heart and the seriousness of my decisions. I also saw His grace and love overflow from His throne. It was humbling.

So in this New Beginning, I’m so excited to see where He takes me. The verse He spoke over my marriage and family is: I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6 CSB

How beautiful of a reminder is that?! So with that on my heart, I wrote down my goals for this year.

  • Take better care of my skin and hair
  • Be intentional in my home
  • Cook low carb meals and snacks
  • Read the Bible in a year
  • Have my bills paid up 3 months in advance
  • Remain consistent on here
  • Finish my theology classes
  • Keep my mouth shut (more on this later)

Here’s to creating a beautiful new future! Share some of your goals for 2022 with me! I’d love to hear them and encourage you on your journey too.

Tuesday Homestead Update

A week from today, exactly 10 minutes after I posted last weeks update, I fractured my ankle. It was not a fun way to end that really peaceful morning. But it happened, and now we are just working around it. And by “we” I really mean my poor husband. He is picking up the slack like a champion all while tending to me. He is pretty incredible. But on to the important stuff, our homestead.

This week things have gotten exciting. We got to harvest some of our black cherry tomatoes. One of our green bean plants is about ready to be harvested as well! Its so exciting to see some of our hard work paying off already.

I took a class and did some research to learned how to use my essential oils in the garden for pest control, companion planting, and weed control. Its pretty interesting what these tiny vials of concentrated oils can do for us!

So we sprayed lavender oil at the roots of our other green bean sprouts to help them produce more beans. We sprayed rosemary oil around the perimeter of the gardens to keep the cats from using the soil as a litter box. We also mixed up a bug control recipe that won’t poison us when we eat our veggies! Pretty amazing huh?

In regards to our vegetables with vines, we skillfully planted them at the edges of our garden, so we just continue to encourage them to grow out of the garden. Instead of growing all over our other plants. Its so funny because when the spaghetti squash tried to fall over to vine out, I thought it was trying to die, so I kept picking it back up and adding more dirt to make it stand. My husband had to stop me! I was determined to not let my favorite plant die. But, come to find out, it was just doing what it is supposed to be doing.

As for our animals, they are all doing wonderfully! I mixed up a bug spray for our horse from my essential oils and she is very appreciative. We have oregano vitality on hand for any chicken illnesses in the future. Better to be safe than sorry! The meat chickens have grown so well that I would love to get more, however that will have to wait until I heal. And our little turkey babies are adorable and strong! They are so different from our chickens, its funny to watch.

If any one is interested in getting some essential oils to help with their garden,or tips and tricks, let me know! These are amazing to have on hand. Its so nice to know we are serving happy healthy vegetables to our family. No pesticides or chemicals in our house or outside of our house. Its a nice feeling.

God Bless

Grace Revival Homestead

The Battle of Loneliness

Lately I’ve been strugglng with loneliness. Not actually being alone, just feeling alone. I have people that would come sit with me and bring us dinners to help out. I have friends that would drop everything and come see me if I asked. I have a mother that would literally move in with me to help out. And yet, I still feel alone.

I’m surrounded by children and animals and my husband. I actually get touched out by bedtime still. And yet, I still feel alone.

I have a true church family that is willing to get in the muck and dirt of my life with me. Who have survived all of our battles with us. Who will fall on their knees with just a look of sadness from me. That has proven their loyalty and love to me. They surround us and fight with us. And yet, I still feel alone.

Spiritual warfare isn’t a fair fight. It spikes its ugly head at the worst possible moments. It speaks lies into your mind and anxiety into your heart. It puts you in a dark place where you find it hard to breathe or find peace. It surrounds you and tries to drown you.

But God. He stands in the precipice of darkness and victory. He holds His hand out, beckoning for you to grab hold of Him. To let Him be your knight in shining armor. To allow Him the chance to swoop in and save the day. All you have to do is cling to his shoulders while He fights off the demons and lies. Just hold on to Him while He speaks His truths into our ears to drown out the cries of the enemy.

Loneliness is an attempt of the enemy to get you weak so he can torment you. My loneliness allowed that for a bit. But over the loudness of the enemy, I could still hear the whisper of my God. He would tell me what to do to fight back. My flesh cried for me to go back to old habits and ways. To remember the days in Egypt when things were “normal and comfortable”. When I lived in the lie of the world. It wasn’t even for me to go back to doing bad things. Just to familiarize myself to people from my past, which I know leads to old ways.

But God’s whisper is easier to want than the screams of the enemy and my flesh. I’ve been down the wrong road enough to know that while I may crave it, it leads to death. But God leads to peace and fullness and love.

The whispers of God led me to His Throne Room. To prayer. To meditation on His word. To Him. To a place where I could crawl up in my Father’s lap and find comfort there. My faith doesn’t rest on my feelings of loneliness. And while this feeling may continue, I know the truth. I am never alone. I have scripture to back this truth up. I may wake up tomorrow still free falling in this feeling of loneliness, but I know my God is right here with me. Even when I don’t feel it, I know it. Even when I can’t see it, I know it. His love endures forever.

My feelings do not control my faith. So I will wake up and face the day with God’s truth. I will take on the day with God as my shield. I will conquer the day no matter how I am feeling because I know who holds my hand.

God Bless

Grace Revival Homestead

Couch Arrest

This is not what I do. There are animals to feed, gardens to weed, eggs to collect, a house to look after, children to chase. I do not have time to sit on this couch while my leg heals. BUT apparently, that’s what I am doing anyway.

At first, I was kind of ok with the forced rest I’m on. Then an hour passed and I realized just how long a sitting hour is. It is LONG, and boring, and frustrating.

Having to sit and ask for people to do the things around the house that I normally do is a hard pill for me to swallow. One because I do struggle with control. Two because I should be able to do it, but I can’t. And it drives me insane. However, this time really opens my eyes to the village mentality!

This is one of the busy seasons. We were hoping to get more meat chicks and purchase some meat rabbits. Alot of our ideas are now on hold.

But, I am choosing to try and see what God is working on in me. There is always a reason for the seasons of life that we go through. Instead of sitting here stewing over the things I cannot do, I am choosing today to start celebrating the things I can still do.

I can show more love and attention to my children. I can spend more time in the Word. I can dig deeper in my studies of Jewish culture. I can devote more time for praying for my tribe of people and the chaos in the world. I have the time to sit and let God work on me. Change me. Remove the nasty world from me and replace it with Him.

This couch is a hard spot for me to sit all day long, but I’m determined to turn this around for the glory of God. I mean, He does work all things out for His glory anyway. Might as well bend to His will so its not really painful for me!

So, there is a small update on our life. Everything is running as ‘smoothly’ as possible at the moment. This down time does give me more time to write, so that will be nice for the blog! And probably humorous to all of you. Until next time!

God Bless

Grace Revival Homestead

AND It Broke….

My ankle. Not all the way, just a fracture. But painful none the less. And I injured it in the most silliest way possible. Trying to chase my daughter to wipe my dirty hands on her shirt. Let me explain!

Yesterday, I was sitting outside, writing a blog post to update everyone on our homestead, just enjoying the peaceful day God blessed us with. I spot my horse and decide to bring her an apple to enjoy.

After she messily finishes her apple, my hand is covered in horse slobber and mashed up apple bits. So I turn to my daughter and proceed to taunt and chase her with my nasty hand. Trying to wipe it on her shirt.

Which led to me stepping into a hole, mid sprint/pivot, and hearing a pop then falling to the ground. It was terrible! Of course, my son and daughter run to my rescue. My son drops to his knees and begins praying for my ankle, while my daughter panics and runs around the yard. Poor child did not know how to handle momma in pain.

So I send her to get my mother in law, who lives next door, and we hobble me into the house. A few hours later, I’m splinted up and leaving the hospital wondering how to handle a homestead on crutches?….Thank God for both my momma and my mother in law for tending to me and the kids. It takes a village guys!

Now here I am this morning, watching a storm blow through with my leg propped up. Thank God because now I dont have to water the garden (God had my back there!)

So to everyone out there, life took a crazy turn, but I am not to worried. God has a reason for every thing. This is just another episode of Grace Revival Homestead!

God Bless

Grace Revival Homestead

The Mountaintop

So I took a small sabbatical from life while I learned how to survive the valley I was apparently still in. And now that I am standing on the mountaintop, overlooking everything that was supposed to take me out, I am content.

Its a marvelous thing when you are on the mountaintop. We went through a 3 year valley, and it was tough. But standing on the mountaintop, seeing the blessings of God fall on our family, makes every tear worth it.

From here, I can see how much I learned in our valley. We all grew deeper roots in Christ’s love. We all grew more perseverance. We all learned how to surrender our wills to God’s will for our lives. It was an amazing experience.

One I dont want to necessarily repeat, but I would do it again to learn the lessons I learned. The valley is hard and dark and scary. But it is needed. If you find yourself in a valley today, here is my advice.

Embrace your valley. Embrace the hardships, learn from your mistakes, and surrender to God. Let the tears fall. Feel all the emotions. Then ask God to give you His perspective, and follow His lead. He wont let you down. He will shape you into a greater person through this. Your testimony will be used for His glory. Bend to His will today.

And when you get back to the mountaintop, you get to look back at everything you survived! Its beautiful here 💙

So, now to catch everyone up on how life is going. We have currently started fulfilling my dream of having a self sustaining homestead! I am absolutely in love with life right now. God has fully and completely blessed our life, our garden, our children, our finances, and our health. It seems like the world is in massive chaos all around us, but here we are in the perfect peace of Jesus Christ.

Get ready to start seeing some pretty routine posts from me again!

God Bless!

Grace Revival Homestead