Tuesday Homestead Update

Hey! So sorry I missed last week’s update. I was down from a surgery. So to catch you up, we have officially milled our first pine tree! All of the material cut from that tree will be used for the raised beds for the garden this year! I am super excited to get them put together and filled. I realized a few days ago that I need to go ahead and get my potatoes planted asap. January flew by somehow. I already feel like I’m running slightly behind on my garden plans. Seems like that is the theme of this homestead!

More exciting news! My husband’s birthday just passed, and for that we bought a beautiful new welding machine. It will definitely be a huge help out here. He has all the ideas! He already began creating me a specific design to be used on dispatch day for the rabbits. Nothing says true love like making things easier and more efficient on dispatch day.

Speaking of dispatch day, our rabbits have gotten so big! We are technically behind on that as well, they will be 13 weeks before we send them to freezer camp. But its ok, all apart of the process. We also have 10 new additions to the rabbitry. Our Fawn Momma delivered! She is such a good mother and her litters are always fast growers.

I love when we have a fresh litter of babies. It brings a certain joy and contentment to the homestead. Plus spring is coming and with the spring comes baby chicks! Nothing says farm life quiet like seeing a hen walking around with her chicks scratching the grass for bugs. It’s just an awe inspiring sight! One of my favorite sights for sure! Here is some throw back pictures to inspire your own awe of spring!

Well thats all for today. I have alot of catching up to do now that I’ve healed from surgery. So until next Tuesday, God bless and Have a great day!

With All Of Gpd’s Blessings,

Grave Revival Homestead

Fighting For Your Family: Week 1

Hey everyone! Starting today, I am going to be starting a series on praying for your families! I’ll be posting one prayer a week that covers anything from marriage to your children’s future spouses to praying over your house. Prayer is such a vital part of your relationship with God. Without prayer we are just studying scripture and gaining knowledge, whereas prayer invites us into the Throne Room to speak face to face with Adonai. Without this intimacy, there is no relationship. It would be like being married, but never actually speaking with your spouse. Just learning about them from relatives or friends while living inside the home with a stranger.

So without further ado, lets kick off this series with a prayer to cover our family!

Family

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the family you have blessed us with. Thank you for being a constant source of peace and identity in our homes. I pray that you would give my family a heart that constantly clings to you. I ask that you teach us how to train up our children in the way they should go, so when they are older, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) Produce within us an attitude of integrity and a heart that seeks to give glory to only you. Protect each family member as they go about their busy schedules today. Bless them in everything they do. Clothes us in your love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:14) Help us to walk in grace, mercy, and Your Will all the days of our lives.

Bring unity into our households and restore any broken relationships inside these four walls. I pray that your hand of grace would never leave us and that you would strengthen us to stand strong against the worldly influences that surround us. Restore the hearts of parents to the children and the hearts of children to the parents. If there is any contention between them, I pray that your healing oil would be poured out over them. Make our homes a refuge of peace with the presence of your spirit always around. Thank you for being faithful to answer our prayers.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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

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

Day 5

MY HOUSE TURNED INTO A HOME

Dear Heavenly Daddy,

Today I want to thank you for the rain. It’s cleansing and purifying and it is bringing in the colder weather with it. As the seasons transition, I think back to how my own house has transitioned with my marriage over the years. This place was once a hostile battle ground with children held hostage between their selfish parents wants. Now God has purified this place into a holy temple that welcomes in the Holy Spirit every minute of every day. You pour out peace and tranquility on my home every morning before my children wake from their restful sleep. My cup overflows with your love. This house has seen many battles, both spiritual and mental, inside these walls. With Your constant guidance and strength, we have taken back territory from the enemy’s hands. You reached right into enemy territory and snatched my family and I right out; and for that I am eternally grateful. Place a hedge of protection around my house and place your angels on guard around it. Touch my children’s hearts with your loving hand so they feel safe and secure always. Protect their minds from any attacks of the enemy. Fill them with Your Word so they do not sin against you.

Lord, I pray that you do this exact same thing for the families of the world. Pour out your peace on their households. Protect little children from selfish acts of parents who haven’t yet witnessed your love. Help us to be examples to our neighbors of how a godly household should look and feel. Give us discernment to what the spiritual and physical needs of our friends and families are. Teach us to be a shining lighthouse to draw more of the world to the cross.

In Jesus name I pray, amen

With All of God’s Blessings,

Stephanie Smith

“I Wish I Never Got Diabetes”

Says my son. I hear this statement most days of the week. Sometimes multiple times a day. It breaks my momma heart, even though I do agree with him. I also wish he had never gotten diabetes, however I refuse to let any of us walk around with a victim mentality. So I turn it around with positivity and an extra low carb snack to ease his pain. He is beginning to be burned out with this season of life, and I don’t blame him. It’s just plain hard.

One day Wyatt asked me why he had gotten diabetes and why God hasn’t healed him yet. Talk about a hit in an already sore spot in my heart. I had asked God these exact questions already. Sometimes in frustration, sometimes just with a sheer curiosity that is common with us humans. But God had never given me an answer…..so i sighed, took a deep breath, said a silent prayer for God to speak through me to my sensitive child then spoke what came to my heart. It was in that instant that God answered my prayer through me. He spoke to my son’s tender heart and it warmed mine right up. Its reminded me that God never leaves us or forsakes us. This disease wasn’t a form of punishment or proof that God wasn’t paying attention to my family. It’s my son’s testimony. Whether God miraculously heals him or it is His will that Wyatt walk out his life with Type one, we dont know. But we do know that God is still good and He still loves us. He has been here with us comforting us the entire time.

So if you find yourself walking through a battle that seems endless, just know that God is with you. He will never forsake you. He loves you and He will walk through the fire beside you. The anchor holds, in spite of the storm!

With All of God’s Blessings,

Stephanie Smith