Monday, October 26, 2015

Faith and Trust

Jasmine, October 2015
This web site is mainly about the animals we care for, our journey balancing the caring of them and of ourselves on a small, rural homestead. I do not often post about the faith Sean and I share, but because our faith shapes us into the people we are, sometimes, it has a place here, too. Today's post has to do with faith and trust and how we feel Jehovah's care for us in providing for our needs.

Neither Sean nor I have taken a vow of poverty. We are not allergic to money. Sean and I work hard to provide for our family while maintaining a balanced view of material things. Sean could work more hours. I could work for someone else. But in our eyes, the trade-off in time makes that a bad bargain. We only have this time with our daughters once. Too soon, they grow and take on the world in their way. Our marriage is important; that takes time to care for, too. To be honest, we struggle financially- more than I would like to most days. There are times I question our choice to live life on a homestead. It requires so much more than strong backs and arms, a working truck and tools, and the grit to make sometimes impossible choices. It takes imagination to see what something might become and resourcefulness to make something from nothing. A spirit of contentment helps- being satisfied with what we have. And, for us, faith and trust that as long as we put God first in our lives, the rest of it will fall in line. We may not be eating filet mignon every night, but none of us are starving.

The left boot is nearly split in half!
Resting besides the list of things that NEED to be finished on the homestead before snow flies, has been the knowledge that my Goodwill-found boots from 2013 were now thread-bare and beyond wear. The near-new pair of boots gifted to Meg last fall were still too big for her feet and gave her blisters. Thankfully, they fit Kristen perfectly. I also needed new Wellies to wear while working in the barn or around the yard. One was completely ripped through; the other had a large slash and a small hole in them- neither were water-proof (mud-proof or muck-proof) any more. These were needs. We need proper, safe and warm footwear to preach the word and for working. We have a limited amount of funds. We gave priority to the good boots, the barn boots would wait.

Sean sent Meg and I shopping last Thursday. Our budget: $50 or less. We stopped at Walmart first. (We are thoughtful about where we spend our money. Supporting local, small business is a priority for us, but sometimes, it is what it is. This day, I needed 2 pairs of boots with the money that was available in my wallet.) At Walmart, we found some cheaper made boots for $19. and some better ones at $29. Ouch. We passed. Target was next. The least expensive boots that day were $44.99. No joke. Pass. We stopped at a Thrift Shop- no boots in stock at all, but I did find Sean a new pair of Wrangler cargo pants in really good condition for $3.79- SCORE! Then, we tried KMart. They had a Buy One, Get One 50% Off Sale. The prices were in the $24- $39 area, but the boots were better quality and the sale made all the difference. Meg found a pair she liked, that fit for $29. I found myself some boots for *gulp* $39- I have not dropped that much money on myself since before the girls were born. With the sale, our cost for both totaled $54. Slightly more than I hoped to pay, but we decided to get them. At the register, I got a happy surprise, our sale qualified for $10 in "Bonus-Cash". That meant our boots cost $44! I was thrilled to buy boots under our budget. Blessing #1.

On Saturday, we hosted our Apple Pressing Day. About 20 people came from the community to use the press and make themselves cider. We showed people around the homestead and visited with the animals. (Important side note: Sean's truck has been off road for a while. We raised some money to help pay for a new engine for it, but money is always tight and replacing an engine is costly. Sean's truck has been sitting at my Grandmother's house for months- waiting for us to move it to get repaired.) When my cousin, Jeramy pulled up in a flat bed truck, I pounced on the opportunity to see if he could pick up Sean's truck for us and deliver it to where we needed it to go. He agreed. Since the flat bed was not his, he had to clear it with his boss. With some creative bartering, it cost us 6 gallons of fresh apple cider and $20 cash, Blessing #2.

New Wellies for ME! :) 
Just after Jeramy left to get the truck, my Mother handed me a pair of striped Wellies and asked if they would fit me. Like. A. Glove. One of our guests who came by to use the press with her children, learned from my Mother that I needed some barn boots. She had just purchased some new rubber boots for herself and gifted me her old pair. Seriously. I teared up. And, did a happy dance. Blessing #3.

It isn't that faith is some lucky charm to be rubbed and wished upon. I try hard to look for the good in people and things, to remember the blessings that come our way and to be content with what we have been and are being given, to live a thankful life. Sometimes, I am blessed to be used to help someone else. As I see God's hand in our lives, the feeling of trust and security grows. Sometimes LIFE is more lemons than lemonade, but even then, it is comforting to know that we are worth more than many sparrows. Why should I worry?

At the end of the weekend, Meg and I had good boots to wear, I had been gifted barn boots, Sean's truck was delivered to the shop and we spent time with friends and family pressing fresh apple cider. All told, Sean and I pressed 23 gallons of cider. 3 gallons for our fall CSA shares- (Leslie, Sue, and Naomi, expect another half gallon this week ♥ ), 4 gallons to thank the people who allowed us to glean their apple trees, 6 gallons for truck towing and 10 gallons for us to freeze fresh to drink through the winter months. Sean has not preserved any of his cider yet and since we have used all our apples, we'll spend more time together picking apples this week. He plans on making 10 gallons of hard cider and perhaps another 5 gallons of apple cider wine. All in all, it was a good weekend.

Thanks for visiting with us today, friends. Your company is a blessing.
~Sonja & Sean ♥


  1. Sean-N-Sonya: Keith and I had a great time visiting you and your farm Saturday. We got just a glimpse of how hard you both work to keep the farm running. You both work so well together, feeding and watering animals, making fresh pie, letting the kids have a part in making the cider, and tons more stuff you do daily. I was so happy to have shared the moment you received your boots! You are so appreciative and thankful for them, it warmed my heart and yes I cried, to see you in tears of happiness. Keep up the hard work of putting Jehovah first and caring for your farm. Hope to get to know you better, Love Pat and Keith Hand, Bucksport, Me.

    1. I count meeting you as one of our blessing, Pat. Thank you for coming and for your kind words. ♥

  2. Wish we could have come to visit. Thanks for sharing - this was an encouraging blog & all praises to the King of kings & Lord of lords!!