Family: Chosen, Given, Found

Every year at Thanksgiving I try to think of three things that sum up my year’s blessings. I couldn’t sum it up this year. I tried, but in all of the joy and heartache I couldn’t figure out how.

To start – Going back years I always thought I had to chose – Friends, Family, Adopted, Biology. In my mind there was never room for both. There wasn’t time for everyone. I was selfish. I wanted it to be about me. Given, I was fifteen, but still I was locked down.

In time I learned what is obvious –  Love makes room.

In February I doubled my family, We chose who we love – not just romantically. We lock out in laws, friends who’ve hurt us, family who disagrees with our decisions. Why? Because it might hurt. This year I gained an entire family and it has made me love and value my parents and sisters more.  I realized loving more people does not make you weak or in pieces, it gives you more to pour out into those around you.

In July I found out I was pregnant – one more life so filled with love before we had even met. When I lost him, I was told by some I was just practicing for a real baby, that I couldn’t love a child I never met. My arms ache for my child. But successful parenting is guiding a child to heaven. I have not lost forever, just for now. Our little gift expanded our hearts again and left a gap.

Around the same time, I got a phone call from my brother who I never thought I would have a chance to know. Again my family grew and with it my heart.

This year is ending with hope, fullness, and an excess of love.

Our family is only limited by our choice to love.

I’m thankful for my husband, my child, and my brother and the family we have.

– M

Confessions… I like vlogs

I have been doing a ton of work over on my other blog, Homestead Revival. My house is filled with Sourdough starters, ferments, kombucha scobys (I really want to make that scobies, but my husband points out it is an acronym) , and flats full seedlings. I am living my dream. This guy would be proud.


But I have a distraction – Intelligent vlogs.

At first it was these classes done online in a really interactive way:

Then I started checking out the guys who wrote them and they are pretty cool:

This list is all of their current events explanations. All of their other videos, while hilarious and interesting suck you into the kingdom of Nerdfighteria….

We’re all mad here…

These guys are liberal, but there is a lot we agree on for different reasons. I believe in being ecologically responsible because of my God given stewardship, they don’t want to destroy the future. There is some language especially in the earlier videos, but they discuss literature, current events, and being active in the world around you.

After these videos I got attached to transmedia renditions of some of my favorite pieces of literature like Pride and Prejudice:

Jane Eyre:

and Emma:

I have to pull myself back into the real world now… and look at starting a seed bank and do dishes.

– M

Let’s Start At the Very Beginning…

I live in the top story of an apartment building.

We love it here. No neighbors, kindly landlords, and a rooster that crows on the far side of our draw at 0430 every morning.

I love my kitchen which has developed a lot since I wrote the original post about it.


There are a ton of things to do here:

– Find a place for the books I am pretty sure have multiplied since E and I joined our collective libraries. They are climbing up the walls now.

– Do Mason jars procreate? I started out with a couple flats for canning and now I have two cabinets full plus a bookshelf full of jams and preserves.

–  Figure out how to have two people’s clothing in one closet (If you figure this out, let me know – you should get a Nobel)

Those things are minor details in light of one fact: We want to farm. 

We want that rooster.  

farmingI’m not saying we are desperate, but I have a bad history with roosters and even with the scars I’m willing to go beg for chicken time.

I grew up with my parents in constant transition from house to homestead. We started with a huge garden at the bottom of a gully and graduated to one on top of a mountain. Over the course of six or seven years we got chickens, goats, and bees, as well as the obligatory two dogs and indeterminate number of cats.

Then in February I moved and we no longer had a way to get our farm fix, so in March I started work again at our local farm.

Before I knew it I was itching to ask my landlord if we could get chickens. IMG_0678

When the season ended for me four weeks ago, I tried to get my fix by living vicariously through the lives of Barbara Kingsolver, Kristin Kimball, and Jenna Woginrich among others. This only served to expand my fantasy farm to include guard geese and heirloom vegetables I’ve gathered in my travels.

After a long discussion on our life goals, we have decided for the next six months I get to start figuring out what area of farming fits us best.

I am so excited!

I am going to explore dairy operations, beef and poultry set ups, full diet, specialty crop, and shepherding.

My goal is to garner as many skills and as much knowledge as I can for the two of us.

In one of the homestead planning blogs they made a list of twenty things they had done to get where they are and another twenty to direct them.

Here is my first one: Exploring fall gardening. Which method of planting works best for fall crops? Vertical shafts made of chicken wire, wood pallet garden, raised bed, or hanging basket.

Since we’re at the beginning, I’m linking a few buttons that helped me get organized. I’m far from all set, but as my husband pointed out – We need to just jump in.

– M










The Purpose of Parenting (Why a Miscarriage is A Success)

In the last couple weeks I have been struggling – which is to be expected.

Everything is to be expected - bleeding, pain, hormones, depression, tears.

I was sitting in the emergency room last week across from a room that had a beautiful baby inside, about six or seven months. She didn’t stop crying the entire time I was there – about four hours. The nurse looked at me like I was crazy.

“You’re sure you want one of those?”

Her mother was attentive, not leaving her, talking to her, trying to calm her down. The parenting had already started.

To parent is to guide,

through life,

through hurts,

through hope, 

to find Jesus and His redemption.

Successful parenting is guiding a child to heaven.

It feels like it is shredding me to pieces – but I have a child in heaven

I have not lost forever, just for now. 

I am assured that at some point I’ll start to hurt less.

Right now – knowing there is a purpose to it is my comfort,

and knowing our family has grown by one is beautiful.

– M



Twenty First Birthday

The distance between me and myself one year ago is staggering.
Last year, on the cusp of twenty one,
more to be done,
the unknown yawned before me,
fear adorned me.

Now, almost twenty two
God has won.
He has taken my life and done remarkable things.

Often those things that bring Him the most glory are the things we dread the most to talk about.

What does it make me when I admit I struggle?
Small, not at all, undone and broken down before the God of the universe… who loves.

One year – battles and victories
Distance from the starting line and the battle line

Last year – struggle -
Bitterness, baggage, hurt and sadness bottled up for years-
Ache for lost family,
Bitter for not admitting my weakness,
Fear of being like the woman who gave birth to me.

553 Eric Kate-

Newly Engaged

I looked forward into my relationships and saw myself cowering, afraid to feel, distancing myself from the pain of loving.

Victory – Loving him, but the victory was not in loving him, but trusting that no matter the hurt God had a reason to guide me through the continuing struggle of my relationship.

I was ashamed of tears and now they are a release to me, a gift that cleanses.
Weeping heals sorrow.

From that moment of victory God took me through storms and fears, testing me. Then one afternoon I sat on a log and the man I loved said he loved me and the journey continued.

Three months – to finish school, finish childhood, and prepare myself for a life long vow.
I made that vow in my heart months before trusting that I was following God’s leading. (To be clear – there was the blessing of parents, pastors, friends, and family – All seeing the blessing God had poured on our lives. It just took both of us longer too)

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Six Months Ago

In February, I became a wife.

In sickness and in health was tested right away as I struggled with a kidney infection that had me bed ridden. I was resistant to all antibiotics except for one and my recovery was stilted at best.

In May, I was trying to work on a farm, run a business, be a wife. My husband was on crazy shifts – two weeks on nights and two on days, not enough days to adjust to one or another. I was still sick. We decided to try something new. It was radical.

A diet. At this point I was so gluten intolerant that if my husband ate something and kissed me, I would get sick

So we both started with only eating meat and vegetables for a couple weeks. No newlywed flab for us.
We worked at it – I cooked everything from scratch and E helped until I had enough energy to do it myself.

The purging process dragged through June, but finally in July I started to drastically improve. During this time E quit his job to help me expand my business and go to school this fall.


Just Found Out We’re Pregnant

Then on July 19, I got a call. My brother, the person I had ached over, found me.
And by God’s grace I was ready. We’ve been able to talk and become family. A victory again over the fear and bitterness I struggled with. This story is another year long miracle. 

On July 21, I found out I was pregnant. We were so excited. The feeling of being a mom welled up inside me and I could hardly contain myself. We wanted to wait to tell anyone for a while.

During the first part of August we drove up to Washington and tied up loose ends before E started school last week. We have been married six months.

Last week, August 27 our latest struggle began.

I lost our baby.

Our first child is in heaven.

So, here I am one year later.

Twenty one seems an eternity away.

From college student to wife and mother…

Who knows where the next year will take me?
Or even the next six months of marriage.


“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

Our Day

Once upon a time, there was a girl….

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She was blessed by friends

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And surrounded by family

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And there was this man

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A stunning, godly man who loved her very much…

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And she loved him so much…

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So, with all of these witnesses…

Screenshot 2014-04-10 10.04.02And a ridiculously cute flower girl…

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They got married

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And they made a vow before God – for better or worse

Screenshot 2014-04-10 10.10.14In sickness and in healthto love, honor, and obey…

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Until death do us part…

Screenshot 2014-04-10 10.10.53 And in that moment, we were standing on sacred ground,

consecrated in the blood of Christ and complete,

pledging our lives to God and each other.

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Then they celebrated,

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Screenshot 2014-04-10 10.32.09And they danced

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And then as the lights burned low, they left as husband and wife

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And they lived…





How One Moment Can Change Your Day… and Your Life

Have you ever been burdened with glorious purpose?

Woken up knowing what you needed to do and having the ability to do it?

What if that isn’t the dishes in the sink?

Sorry , Mom

No, I didn’t rinse them before I dropped them in the sink. 

What if it isn’t to finish the now hypocritical “How To Be Super Organized with Pegboard” post?



What if it is to ease the burden in your heart that you feel for a plan, a future, and a hope?

What if in learning to be a wife, to listen better, I stumbled upon something I have missed for years.

How to listen to God better.

Or maybe learning to listen to God better in deciding who to marry has helped me listen as a wife more.

A dirty house does not make me more spiritual (It can make me much less). However, learning to, “Do whatever He tells you.” has been my prayer. The framed verse on the wall is more freeing than anything.

So, I stop and I pray.

I remind myself of the praise words from morning.


Is prayer my ministry right now?

Is this the foundation I’m laying for our future?

It is important and difficult.

– M