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Nine years ago we bought the farm. Much has changed since then. I moved into the farmhouse with some specific expectations of the call on my life. I (and others) had been praying over this call and this move for years. But God had to get my expectations out of the way so His plan could be accomplished.

A key verse given to me before I even left the city was to cast my bread upon the waters. That verse is about making an investment and watching to see the return of that investment. I have found its encouragement to be invaluable when my faith wavered about what I was doing here. I now feel like I have been to school with some advance training. Here I’m going to share with you a little of what I learned and how that scripture manifested.

First, I invested some time (about 3 years) in a small local youth group. In the beginning I was appalled at the socioeconomic differences and dilemmas between those in rural vs affluent urban areas. But, as I grew to love the children many of them became an integral part of my life. I still enjoy running into them in the community and seeing how they’ve grown! In that same church God put a group of people to love on us, encourage and help us to navigate through this new way of life.

It was there I learned about Baptist doctrine, congregations of 50 vs 5000 and some of the problems common to both. As an intercessor God often shows me the wrongness of a situation so I can join in praying for it to become right with His. The results are not immediate rather similar to dropping seeds for a crop yet to be harvested. Many of the old structures we have created need to go because they are hindering our growth in the Kingdom. We need to adhere to a policy of love God and love one another with no respect to age, socioeconomic parameters etc. I was also reminded most people do not like change. We like to remain in our comfort zone where life is familiar.

Speaking of comfort zones… I invested some time in a community venture and met some wonderful people. I saw the great need for community and how isolated many of us have become, living our lives vicariously through the people we see in the media. I also experienced first hand how close-minded, possessive and unwelcoming people can be when they feel their comfort zone is threatened. Remember what I said about change? Instituting a whisper campaign to malign your name or call into question your actions resounds of Ezekiel’s need to ‘set his face like flint’. It was difficult for them to see the big picture of what community events could bring the the town overall. A great deal of prayer went into this season and I know one day, despite all the drama, those seeds will bear fruit.

A large investment of my time went into the farm. Although I had studied and practiced to a limited degree before leaving the suburbs, being on 40+ acres was a whole different story!. My faves are still our Jersey cows! From one milker to three interest in their delightful milk has skyrocketed. My fondness for goats waned. They can be cute and cuddly for sure, but not worth the time to me. I possess an inordinate fondness for our big pig, all 600 pounds of her lumbering self. Our Clementine has so much personality I enjoy writing stories about her shenanigans. And the turkeys are fun to watch!

A painful investment during this season came through mourning. My father passed after a long life of 83 years and the loss of my best dog ever, Ruwa sent me into a spiral of grief that still brings tears. I understand better how people can die of a broken heart. Currently i watch mom’s mental status decline as she crosses over into her 90’s and try to support my sister who is her primary caretaker.

Last, but of utmost importance is the impact of a generational investment illustrated best by becoming a grandmother twice over. Tempered by the special needs which accompanied the arrival of my 2nd granddaughter I do whatever I can to ease the challenges her parents walk through. I will leave that story for her mom to tell in her eloquent way. Suffice it to say, I have watched her parents rise to the challenge using healthy ways to process the stress the first year has brought. There are not adequate words to describe the joy my grands bring to my life!

As this decade draws to a close I am excited about seeing even more return for my prayers. God is doing a new thing and if you’re like me, He has prepared us for it! So, if you haven’t already, cast your bread upon the waters, make an investment and trust God. He will give you a multiplied return!

Cast your bread upon the water and there you will find it after many days ~ Ecclesiastes 11:1

Photo credit: J. Switow