Summer is in full swing here. I know it’s true, because the air conditioner kicks on more often than I’d like, battling back the sticky heat of East Tennessee. As much as I dislike the full turn in the weather, 0ur farm is loving it. Thunderstorms gave the ground a deep soaking a few days in a row, and both of the gardens exploded into action. We now have pole beans with four foot runners winding their way up stakes, yellow squash nearly as tall as my knees, and a fresh crop of weeds ready to do battle with our army of hoes.
The animals are growing, too. Our first New Zealand Red doe birthed a litter of six kits mid-week. All appear to be doing well, and the doe is mothering quite well for a first timer. The second doe is due to kindle in a handful of days. These are meat rabbits, remember— not the sweet, floppy-eared variety destined for laps and ear rubs. Our animals are of the “Farm to Table” ilk, and will be either sold as such, or residing in our own freezer come the beginning of September. (If you think we’re nutty to undertake this particular endeavor, check out Joel Salatin’s son, Daniel.)
In less agricultural news, I spent several days at the Charlotte Mason Institute’s 2017 Eastern Conference in Wilmore, KY. The keynote speaker was Dick Keyes of L’Abri Fellowship, someone whose work was unfamiliar with to me. However, his engaging speaking style, insistence on making the Gospel not only central but also approachable (his mini-rant on pastors using “unnecessarily big seminary words” made me want to give him a standing ovation), and encouragement to cast a “hero” vision of Jesus for our children was enough to make me put one of his out of print book titles on my search list. The rest of the conference was equally refreshing. I loved the sessions, and came home brimming with excitement at the thought of the work ahead. I also had the rare but delightful experience of meeting two women, in particular, who immediately fell into the easy “I get you” banter that frankly, I never expect to find. I look forward to seeing what God does with those seeds of friendship, and am grateful for the chance to have had real fellowship with others who understand. Personal growth— with a side order of fun.
This week promises to be one that stretches and enriches our family. We’re looking forward to a friend and her young children moving in with us for a season as they walk through a tough valley. Again… another opportunity to grow. After returning from Nepal and being so well loved by so many believers willing to be the hands and feet of Christ, it’s our turn to show the love and grace of the Father to a family who needs to be held. Both sides of the equation— those in need and those giving support— have so much to gain from being part of these blessed exchanges in God’s Kingdom. We’re expecting to reap quite a harvest as this summer wears on— one where every member of the household continues to walk closer to his or her purpose as we serve and experience growth.