Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Summer of 2013

This picture sums up our summer!

Ups and downs and twists and turns - not knowing which way was up at times and wondering if this crazy ride would ever end...  Hair raising, sick-to-your-stomach, certain you are "going to die", completely out-of-control and having to trust that nothing bad will happen.  Yep, it was one of those kinds of summers for our family.  

Now, this was not the kind of summer we had planned at all.  We had a totally different picture in our minds:

Quiet.  Slower paced.  Idyllic....  Country living every day.  

Joy Bell Farm ~ from dream to reality

We prepared to transition our 7 years experience of building an urban farm toward building an organic, biodynamic permaculture production farm on acreage...

When suddenly, God interrupted our plans and asked if I would lay it all down and move back up into the city....and I said, "Yes, Lord."  And, upon sharing with Blaine and spending time in prayer, we were in agreement that it is the direction God is having us go.

From a growing season that rejoiced with early harvests due to incredible summer weather in Seattle (although the heavy rains that arrived in June ruined the strawberry crop) to hoping to sign a long term farm lease in Olympia to searching and searching and searching some more for a rental house in familiar Seattle neighborhoods.... Returning after 14 years away.  Wow!  This summer has held beautiful blessings and tearful goodbyes (and more to come still).

Where this has been the norm:

And now, with our foreclosure auction set for August 30th (oh, how we hope people do their homework and discover the serious environmental impact of this neighborhood and the underground water issue and how it has undermined the foundation of this house), we are not only packing up our belongings, but I am also giving away my entire garden.  I've kept just a few small pots and two of my dear maple trees...

This is going with me.  I couldn't bear to leave all my beautiful soil behind... 

Knowing soon, we will be seeing this in our new neighborhood:

And, I will have to trade this:

....and, eventually, this ~ 

For this:

Becoming a volunteer with Seattle Tilth and assist with garden classes (and in various ways they can utilize my service - events, in the office, etc) ...

Plus, visiting local Farmers Markets to purchase local, organic produce

...and find sources for local eggs, chicken, beef and pork

And, make this and Metro buses my main forms of transportation...

Instead of a car trunk, I will have panniers on my bike.

And, I will certainly continue my role in cheering on (and supporting) our local farmers.  You'll find me delivering farm guides every spring for Cascade Harvest Coalition!

In the midst of loss and laying down my farm dream, I am eagerly and excitedly embracing this new season/new lifestyle ahead of me.  And, I am so ready to learn more of who God is, what He desires to do through my life in sharing His love with others and to continually discover the wonders He has done.  

My people, hear my teaching;
    listen to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth with a parable;

    I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

things we have heard and known,

    things our ancestors have told us.

We will not hide them from their descendants;

    we will tell the next generation

the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,

    his power, and the wonders he has done.  Psalm 78:1-4

And, praying that scripture shared with us, as we take a big step of faith into this new season of our lives, is truly evident, in some measure, daily!

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

   because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
   to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
   and release to the prisoners; 
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,
   and the day of vengeance of our God;
   to comfort all who mourn; 
3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
   to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
   the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. 
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins,
   they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
   the devastations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:1-4 

Phillips, Craig and Dean sang a song that is still a favorite of mine.  So I guess, it's really time to:  Let go of the wheel, take a reckless ride of faith!

I'm ready!  Are you?


  1. Yes, it has been a roller coaster ride for you and you really came out on top. I feel the same about us. We put this move in God's hands and he let us know that it was ok to move on. Today has been a grand day for us both. Love you so much dear daughter. Onward and upwards for all of us.

  2. Wow! Another adventure for you - and it sounds like you are indeed "ready"!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. It's more "ready or not" it's time to make the leap. Lots of emotions - highs and lows. Sometimes the reality of everything I must let go of is quite overwhelming. Working through it day-by-day. So thankful for God's faithfulness.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie