Friday, February 27, 2015

Lent journey: WAIT

"Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 27:14

Personal reflections:  How many people do you know that like to wait?  When you wait, are you watching the clock?  Do you begin to fidget? Do you begin to get irritated if you've been waiting too long (at least according to your own definition)?  I DO NOT like to WAIT!  I have often said, "Patience is not one of my virtues."  Maybe that is one of the reasons God continually teaches me this lesson over and over again.  The above scripture seems fairly "harmless," right?  But, what if He has you wait a very, very, very long time for provision or an answer or .................. whatever you are waiting on Him for?

In the year 2000, God repeatedly drew me to Psalm 27 and highlighted a few specific verses, especially this one. When I saw the word for the day, I instantly knew which verse....then I wondered what I would take a photograph of.  It didn't take long to figure it out - one of my most precious possessions (made by a friend whom I've lost contact with; worked at Eagle Hardware and Garden in Tukwila in the early 1990s - her husband was a woodworker and they custom made me this clock).  

In 2000, I was very ill and was leaning on/trusting God for healing.  This verse encouraged me greatly.  I believed that as I waited on the Lord, He would bring healing to my body.  But I've been waiting a very long time for my greatest passion to be realized.................... our farm.  And, I have been searching for land all my adult years.  Ask my husband and our children.  They'll tell you it's true.  But, I am still waiting.

Since I was a child, I wanted to live on a farm after the first one I visited.  Since high school, I have wanted to "run away and live off the land;"  be a farmer or farmer's wife/homesteader.  I am a wife, but I'm also the farmer....  There have been many times, over the years, that I determined, "it's just not going to happen."  I would try to put it out of my mind; go in a different direction.  It never lasted long.  This verse continued to resurface in my faith journey - keep believing, wait for the Lord, He will provide.  In 2012, Joy Bell Farm was born on our urban farm in Burien, even though our garden had been expanding and growing for 5 years already.  It was the year I got my chickens.  I was overjoyed, ecstatic to finally be living my farm dream at some level - and I was connected with the urban farm community in Seattle.  But, things happen in life and we had to leave our urban farm behind in September 2013.  I re-homed my chickens, sold the chicken coop Blaine and I built together (but thankfully God used it to bless a neighbor), and also gave away all the plants and garden materials - even had people come haul away the beautiful, fertile soil...  Pain, heartache; feeling absolutely lost, but praising God and giving thanks in the midst of it all.

Several months later, a farm property came to our attention.  From several sources, God seemed to be guiding us to a particular property in Enumclaw. We contacted the land owner, explained our situation and sought a lease agreement (we need a 3 year lease option to establish our farm business and then flip it over to a purchase), but the answer was no - 3 times it was no...  God provided for us though and we were blessed with a wonderful rental house located on a 25 acre hay property with good landlords, who understand our situation and are willing to keep our rental agreement as a month-to-month, so if we find "our dream farm" we are free to go.  And, that property we felt God led us to is across the back pasture.  Daily, I prayed blessing upon the land owner and her farm business and that the property would sell (because she definitely wanted it to sell and be done with it).  It did finally sell in November, 2014...  Now, I pray blessings upon the new owners and the former owner.  It's what God wants me to do as we continue to wait.  

WAIT - a verb.  We are ACTIVELY WAITING on the Lord. Still waiting for God's provision.  Still waiting for God to make His plans for our life known to us.  But, we are not sitting idle; wasting away.  I am continuing my farm education, I am getting to know other farmers in this community, I am learning more about the main two types of soils in the area, I am lending a helping hand on other farms as God leads me.

We don't know the hour or the day or the year or even if God will fulfill our hearts' desires for Joy Bell Farm to be a real place (again) and enable us to farm in the way that He has revealed to me, but I'm still believing; still waiting....

What are you waiting for?  Are you remaining strong?  Are you remaining passionate and keeping your heart engaged?  Will you wait for the Lord and His timing?  I hope so.

Today, I attended the Pierce County Farm Forum to learn more about agritourism in our region.  At first, I winced seeing my name tag  (as I felt like an imposter), but then I saw it as hope.  One day, I believe I will be able to say, 
"Hi, Welcome to Joy Bell Farm.  I'm Joanie, the Farmer!"

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