Selling my home and moving to a farm seemed like an overnight and irrational decision to many…but those that know me best realized it was the fulfillment of my lifelong dream. Each step of the way was so astoundingly God-lead that it was astounding to many and jaw-dropping to most.
The most frequent question I was asked in those early days was whether or not I would continue attending my local church. Odd? Not really. I have been actively involved with Graceway in one way or another for more than 20 years and spent 10 years on staff. I am connected to multiple generations thanks to my volunteer activity with college students and international trips teaching English and Bible. I know these people and this place well, and through all the ups and downs (as happens in any church community) – it’s where I’m supposed to be.
Moving 20 minutes down the highway certainly wasn’t going to change that – but I understand why folks would think it might. It’s an easy excuse to drop a connection that may feel less important than it once did. Personally? I have no reason to leave my church. I love the people, I love the connections, and I’m excited to see what happens in the near future.
Yesterday’s time in that space just confirmed that choice for me. It was filled with fortuitous meetings from start to end.
- Parents of a student I worked with drove my shuttle down to the building. We talked about my new farm life and they were clearly excited for me.
- Eggs were sold to a good friend volunteering at the children’s counter and I chatted with all my friends working there.
- Another longtime friend (mother, grandmother, pastor’s wife) saw me in the coffee line and popped over to chat – she’s quite interested in my eggs and our goat milk and I put her order on my waiting list. My chats with her are highlights – she has similar food issues and shares my need/concern for good foods.
- While waiting for my latte I chatted with another friend (father of a former roommate, I got to know he and his wife on an ESL trip to Asia) about peach trees. He offered to let me know when his pecans are ready for harvest!
- I sat with my dear friend during service and our farm chat afterwards was wonderful as always. We talked about the tomatoes and peppers I’m growing for her; she offered to sign me up for a new-to-me farm magazine (squee!)
- I talked with my egg-purchasing friend’s husband on the way out the door – he apologized for missing me earlier and intro’d me to a new-to-the-church gentleman. The man heard us talking about eggs and expressed interest in my farm – that’s why I put farm info stickers on my egg cartons!
- I was startled to turn and see a friend that’s currently living in Texas – I had no idea she was in town. It was great to hear she and her hubs are doing well and will be moving to Hawaii in the near future (he’s a doctor/military and stays in one place for about 3 years).
- The man driving my return shuttle was beyond excited to hear that I’m running a farm. He and his wife are looking for a local farm supplier of eggs, milk, and produce – I was happy to write down my site address for him. (Creating business cards has moved to a priority for the week!)
It’s not that I’m more connected to my church community now that I’ve left staff – I have a different connection is all. Its difficult to serve God when our bodies aren’t strong and healthy. I love educating and helping people through my work in farm world and enjoy the new relationships I’m forming. I’m excited to share what I’m doing, I can see God’s hand on my life, and I cannot wait to share the produce of my farm with my friends and family.