This week was long. School was challenging early in the week. Two favorite farm animals died slowly from illnesses. Everything seemed dirty and covered in manure. Annoying summer insects, like fleas and wasps, showed back up due to the heat. Nothing seemed right in my world.
God used an amazing Bible study with the women of my church and a quote to change my perception of the week.
The quote was from a Dale Carnegie book that said “Two men stood behind prison bars. One saw the mud, the other saw the stars.” I was seeing the mud early on in the week, but God got a hold of my mind and helped me to peer up at the stars about halfway through the week. Peer towards the amazing wonders He has created on Green Acres. Peer towards my sweet family and loving friends. Peer towards the truth of His word and how He can expose unhealthy thoughts in our minds that need to be redirected.
Yesterday was a glorious day of fun spent with Miss Sunshine and her friends at her sorority initiation at her university. It was an easy, beautiful drive up there to see her cousins and aunt who would be pinning her for the sorority. The weather was warm, but comfortable, as we went about our day going from one place to the next and enjoying one another’s company, visiting with family and friends, and meeting Miss Sunshine’s residents on her floor. We capped off the day with a delicious pizza dinner at a local restaurant with one of her sweet friends who surprised us by showing up to eat dinner with us. It was really a blessing to enjoy the time talking and laughing with them both.
On the drive home last night, there was literally not one car visible in front of me or one car behind me on the entire ninety-mile drive. I passed very few cars going the opposite direction as well. Since I don’t prefer to drive at night on these small, dark roads, I was really grateful for the wide open views of the road and the ability to keep my bright headlights on for most of the trip. It was a joy reminiscing about the events of the day on my quiet drive back to the ranch.
Back to the ranch. It is unbelievable that I can even write that sentence, much less believe I live on an actual ranch!! The immediate peace I felt when I arrived back home was overwhelming and palpable. The moon was gigantic and loomed over me so that, when I arrived back home, I could easily see the animals, barn, shed, and house very clearly. I quickly fed and watered all of the animals before retiring to watch a couple of Season 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
This morning, I awoke to surreal views of ducks swimming on the pond, a cardinal searching for food, cows wading in the pond, dogs and cats sleeping in unlikely locations, and roosters crowing intermittently. After over a year in our new home, it has become clear that it is almost impossible to remain stressed out at Green Acres. Even when the house is a mess. Even when the barnyard looks like a barnyard. Even when we have had a busy week and haven’t had time to keep up our chores. Still there is peace.
My desire for my family and I is to keep this peace in our hearts at all times, under all circumstances, and in the face of all difficulties. We have been through a myriad of struggles in our family. Many things have threatened to overcome us, but God has constantly reminded us that He is bigger than anything that is facing us. Divorce. Debt. Depression. Anxiety. Confusion. Misunderstandings. Hurt. He has slowly and methodically led us out of each occurrence and lovingly reminded us He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. He has taken it all and has used it to make us stronger and more able to serve His kingdom.
In addition to trusting God with the details of your life, let me encourage you to find your own “Green Acres”. Claim a place to help you find peace in the midst of chaos. It may be a small lake house, a beach house, a cabin in the woods, a travel trailer, a tent, or a home renovation to help your home be better suited to the needs of your family. The Outdoorsman and I knew the type of environment we needed for us to be at our absolute best. We made some decisions about our budget and location and trusted God to work out the details. There were no roadblocks, no forced decisions, no closed doors, and no question in our minds that Green Acres was His plan for us. He did some amazing things–even with the financing–that made it possible for us to purchase the ranch before we even sold our other home. When He moves on your behalf, just hold on and be ready to move quickly.
My hope for you is to find your own, unique place of peace. Wherever that may be. Green Acres is the place for me.