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.
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.
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.
I’ve been in Exodus for a few weeks now, commemorating my own exodus from the world and this one verse spoke millions to my heart. “Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.”
Aaron was following the directions of God, performing mighty acts to show God’s judgement on Egypt and His glory to them.
The Egyptian magicians and sorcerers duplicated some of the acts that Aaron had performed. BUT nothing of this world is as powerful as God! Aaron’s staff swallowed theirs! God deflated their magic trick and humiliated them in the process.
You see, the world tries to act like God. Some things that are shown to us look good, but they really aren’t godly. And its just that, an ACT! It can never work. Not without God being in it. All that is out there in the world is hardness and failure.
God is so much more! God loves us. He desires us. He has some amazing things in store for us! We are not meant to stay here.
Our exodus from the world looks alot like the book of Exodus in the bible. There was intense spiritual warfare, wilderness walks, camp outs with God, and God showing us His glory daily. We yearned for our daily manna from Him. We spent so much time with Him. There was a Honeymoon phase where all we wanted and sought after was Him.
But just like the Israelites, we tend to wander back into the lusts of the world. Our hearts are deceitful and cannot be trusted. But God always pulls us back to Him. He woos us softly and tenderly. He chastises us like a loving father. He defends us as a protector should.
How was your exodus from the world? Are you currently going through it? Is your battle intense, or on the ending side? I’d love to pray for you or with you. Comment or send me an email with any and all prayer requests! I’m all about my Father’s business.
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!
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!
The plan for my homestead is so exciting. This year was really a trial run. To see if I could even grow anything. I normally kill everything I plant, and I mean EVERYTHING! Its kind of embarrassing the amount of plants that came home with me to die.
So our garden is small. Really small. I may have enough tomatoes to kind of can a few different things. But other than that, these veggies may feed us for a week come harvest time. And I love it!
It gives me so much hope for the future, confidence for a bigger run next year, and trust that my Savior will bless our hard work and multiply everything we sow. He is good like that! Without His blessing and help, this garden would not be here and thriving. We have prayed over the soil, over the seeds, and over each individual plant. God did the rest!
Here is some of our tiny garden. We have spaghetti squash, lettuce, okra, corn, tomatoes, green beads, potatoes, and cucumbers here. On another part of our property we have watermelon, cantaloupe, onions, and some herbs. Then we have blueberry and blackberry bushes growing along our fence. We do have some strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and chives in pots right beside our house too.
As for animals, we have one horse, five laying hens, one rooster, and six chicks. Then three turkeys and four meat chicks. We hope to get some rabbits soon to add to our list of meat choices. And of course, a cow is on the dream list of future possibilities!
So, this is our little homestead, we welcome you to it! We appreciate advice, information, prayer, and all kinds of help along this new journey we are on.
I love lemonade! However my son’s body doesn’t love the sugar that comes along with it. So we make refreshing sugar free lemonade from home to enjoy on these nice spring days by the pool!
1 1/4 cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar substitute
7-8 cups water
So I squeezed enough lemons to make 1 1/4 cups, but I’m sure you could use the kind out of the container and it would work just fine too.
Then I mixed the cup of Splenda with a cup of water and heated it up on the stove until it dissolved.
Next came mixing the syrupy liquid with the lemon juice and adding water to taste. I would add 7 cups of water and taste it, then add more if you want.
Make sure you remove the seeds from the juice before mixing it with the syrup mixture. Also check whatever sugar substitute you are using, because the ratios may be different.
Yes I drink my fresh squeezed lemonade out of old honey mason jars! Doesn’t everyone? I added a few strawberries from our strawberry plants as garnish as well, they just make everything seem prettier!
The best thing about this lemonade is my son approves! He is a picky eater (and drinker) and he doesn’t like sour things. But this lemonade is the perfect amount of sweet with a hint of sour. If you make it, let me know what you think! Also if you have a sugar substitute that you prefer, with a low glycemic index, share that as well! We are always looking for healthier ways to cook for our son.
So a few days ago, we celebrated my sons “Diaversary”. If you do not know what this is, then you are blessed! If you do know what it is, feel free to comment your diaversary date so I can send you some celebratory stuff on the date! But any who, it is the anniversary of his diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes (T1D).
I had plans to make it super special. Low carb cake, balloons, rides to places he enjoys. However, the entire world is shut down right now (thank you Covid-19). So my plan was a stay at home party of five. THEN we woke up and realized his insulin pump had shut off last night…that’s not good. Apparently his sugar spiked right at bedtime due to a small head injury after dinner (no worries, it only bled a little!). That sugar spike caused his alarm to go off all night. Which then led to his battery going from 50% to 0% in the middle of the night.
Talk about a long night for everyone, except him. I started using some essential oils on my children and now they can literally sleep through anything. I have even moved a dresser while tripping over toys inside their room, and no one budged! (Thank you Peace & Calming) Those oils are truly a life saver for a mom of a diabetic child and a toddler who share the same room. the alarm wakes the toddler and then no one goes back to sleep.
So anyway, back on task Stephanie! His insulin pump died, which causes his CGM to disconnect from his pump, and it stops reading how much insulin he has in his pump. It kind of snowballed by 7 that morning. All before I had even consumed coffee! I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and done with the day. So I did what any mom would do, I did the next right thing. (hello Frozen 2 song lyric).
We reset his pump, there was no saving that CGM connection, but luckily it stays connected to my phone too. So at least we have that. With him reconnected and that crisis kind of avoided, I sent the kids to the sand pile. I oiled up with some Stress Away and then joined them. BUT the craziness of this day was not yet over! My son meets me at the door holding his pump and attachments. his insulin pumped had gotten snagged on something and ripped completely out.
Luckily I had just put on Stress Away lol. So, we unhook everything, fill his pump up with more insulin, reinsert it into his little body, and try this outside thing one more time. Yall! I was at my limit of the day by this time. And it was only noon. I could feel the tension in my body, I could feel the shortness in my answers to the kids, I was not being the best version of myself.
Then my son did an amazing thing. He laid hands on me and started praying for me. My humble, wonderful 8 year old child prayed for my heart, my happiness, and for Jesus to help me to feel His love for me. As Wyatt was praying, my four year old son, Mason joined in. With both of my tiny children laying hands on me and praying for my sanity, I felt the layers of stress begin to melt away.
God began to minister to my heart and mind through the actions of these tiny humans. It was a humbling experience. And yes, I ugly cried. Hard. My children are the best blessing I ever received from God. They are truly faith builders and love connectors. Pure. Set apart. I learn about love and acceptance from them every day. Through the faith of my children, I was brought back to a place of perfect peace once again.
So, we finally celebrated his Diaversary in true us style, by swimming all day long and playing with baby chicks. By the time my husband got home with my surprise of chocolate covered pretzels, I was my normal happy, healthy self. We wished my son a happy 1 year Diaversary, told him all the ways we are proud of him and love him, then explained God’s love for him. Wyatt truly is a remarkable kid, his love for God is incredible and we are ready to conquer diabetes for another year.
Grace Revival Homestead
BTW! If you are interested in any of the oils I mentioned, shoot me an email or comment below. I’d love to help other mommas find peace in the night and relaxation during the day!
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!