Much of what I post about my beloved farm life might seem peaceful and idyllic. But, trust me, peace at Kirkhaven Farm is hard won. The beautiful, refreshing, life-giving peace of God is all the more real to us, all the more appreciated, because we have experienced it IN THE MIDST of war zones.
I know what it's like to live within the walls of a besieged city. Arrows zipping past your head. Rhythmic booming of battering rams pounding relentlessly against the beleaguered gates of your heart. Taunting jeers of a merciless enemy echoing through debris-scattered memories. Skirmishes continually breaking out in dark alleys and garbage-strewn yards while the prizes of joy, peace, and sanity tremble weakly behind broken walls in the lonely fog of war.
In places like this, fake religion is powerless.
No time for name it and claim it.
No strength for self-improvement regimens.
No colorful pom-poms for “create your own destiny” cheers.
No resources to buy books and invest in systems and trade money for a miracle.
That kind of religion is false.
It promises prosperity but leaves you unfulfilled.
It offers shallow platitudes that slather cheap makeup onto the face of things ...
But neglects the splotchy, tired, baggy-eyed, inner-truth of things ...
And leaves you standing like an eerie clown-doll in a shattered storefront window.
Contrary to popular belief:
You are not the artist of your life’s canvas.
You are not the potter of your earthly vessel.
Your positive vibes cannot change the world.
Those kinds of things are idolatry.
They exalt the wrong god.
And they deny the Lord of the Universe His well-earned access to our hearts.
It is one thing to say that God is GOOD and that He does AMAZING things. It is quite another thing to stake your life on His Goodness in the midst of very real badness.
I know this to be true.
Because My husband and I have walked through the fire.
We have been hated by those we love.
We have been shunned by the people we gave our lives to.
We have been audited.
We have been sued.
We have been misunderstood.
We have worked long hours for sparse pay.
We have faced cancer in the family.
We have faced drug abuse in the family.
We have been lied to and lied about.
We have endured debilitating illness.
And every time God has been right there.
In the midst.
With His peace.
Real living needs more than sappy meems, sunset photos, and grace-grace-grace chants.
I understand that.
Truly I do.
Real living needs a real God.
And then it needs a heart courageous enough to trust Him.
Blessed be the Lord,
For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.
As for me, I said in my alarm,
"I am cut off from before Your eyes;"
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried to You.
- Psalm 31:21-22
So my fellow travelers on this journey we call life, I write about beautiful things because beautiful things are what I see.
Sometimes it’s easy to see them.
Sometimes it takes courage to do so.
But always, there is beauty.
Because always, there is God.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that
I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
So just know that as I post adorable calf photos and use words to paint snapshots of whatever I see that is true and noble and right and pure and lovely and admirable and excellent and praiseworthy, my heart is singing this:
By: Gesangbuch, Munster
King of creation,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’d love thee,
Truly I’d serve thee,
Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.
Fair are the meadows,
Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer,
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.
Fair is the sunshine,
Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;
Jesus shines brighter,
Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels in the sky.
Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration
Now and forevermore be Thine!