Where in the world is Jesus?

I am very disheartened this fine Easter Sunday. I am not disheartened about Jesus but I’m sad for him. I am sad for what his people have become. As I sit here in church there is a hole in my heart for what our church has become. I feel the dissapointment like small child would. 

The more we get involved with our community and the more we help those who need our kind of help the more exposed we are to the seedy underbelly of life, and I cannot understand it. 

Brothers and sisters in life, but especially my fellow Christians WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS. we SHOULD do better than this. 

I will start this with a quote from the pastor this morning:

“We are afraid to stand up for what is right because we are afraid of losing friends.”

Well I’m not because I know my friends, my real friends, deserve better than this. We need to stop focusing on the bottom line if it blinds us to the ability to do right. Period.  In the past few weeks I have come upon the realization that several companies I support have been paying their people less than minimum wage, lying about products they are selling, and justifying it by claiming God favors them. Saying My heart is broken is an understatement. 

C and I lay it out for you. We don’t hide things. We share our failures. We share our successes. We don’t hide the bad things to spare us the embarrassment of having to fess up to our mistakes. The most important thing is that I would rather close the farm then lie or cheat to be successful. Anyone who works for us will make at least $15 an hour, even if that means we have to work another job to pay our bills. If we cannot sustain our farm on our mission statement it will be us who will have to change, not our mission. 

You can either humble yourself in the beginning and not live a lie or you can humble yourself later after the lies overcome you. It’s your choice but they will be brought to light. Whichever you chose DO NOT use God favoring you as a justification. 

I will end with another quote from church this morning to remind you where your priorities should be:

“We aren’t trying to get ahead in this world. We are trying to get ahead in the next world”

Pipes!!

The ground is still dry enough for us to work on the plumbing. We put in 20 ft of the concrete forms at the highest point to make sure the plumbing is in fact going to be under the concrete. The we went to work digging ditches and laying pipe. The sewage pipe needs to have a 1/8 inch grade, meaning that for every foot of pipe the pipe needs to go down 1/8″. This sounds much easier than it is. After trying multiple ways of doing it we decided on using a triangle method. We know the length of the pipe and the depth of the pipe at he end based on the grade (this is why it is important to know math!! yay geometry).  Based on this we can connect a string that will represent the grade. Then we lay the pipe based on that grade. Then double and triple check we got it right before we cover it up. We have about 1/3 of the pipe laid right now. Here are pictures of us laying the pipe before we glued it all together. 

   
   Our first piece of glued pipe!!  

Laid it out… Again

It finally dried out enough for us to go out and lay out our floor plan. We needed to lay out exactly where all of the plumbing and electric are going so we can start laying the pipe. We got the whole thing laid out, C looks at me and says “this is a big house. We really could have gone a lot smaller.”  As much as I wouldn’t mind going smaller we are way too invested in the size right now and I know we are going to love it when it is done. 

   
 C had a helper. 

   This is a view of the kids bathroom. It’s huge, which is good because it will be handicapped accessible
 The entire downstairs from 18 feet above.    Our plans of the ground floor. 

 

Back to work 

Yesterday was a bright and sunny 75 degrees. C had the day off so we went out to the farm to do some work. He worked on drainage for the hole so that the dirt can dry faster. Once it’s dry we will flatten it out, put in the pipes, and add all the gravel. 

We also worked on the bees. We checked on them to see where the queen was to make sure we didn’t have to rotate the brood boxes, checked on the beetle activity (we didn’t find any which is pretty amazing), and put the super back on. Which means that officially it’s spring for us!!!!  By the end of April we need to have 4 more supers on our hive. We also need to have a few extra boxes around for hives that swarm. 

We also got to have a picnic with cookies and juice boxes:

   

   

The greenhouse

We had to make some major modifications to the greenhouse. After having a few storms come through we got really frustrated with the greenhouse blowing into the side of the house, crushing the plants, and cracking the wood base. 

After about 2 weeks we went out and got some heavier pieces of wood to use as the base, we replaced a good chunk of plastic, and screwed it into stakes we drove into the ground. It holds up pretty well now. 

  
   
 Our spring plants have really taken off. Most already have their second set of leaves and some are growing their third. We also planted tomatoes two weeks ago that are just now sprouting. This weekend we plan on planting rest of the summer plants that have to be started indoors. We are pretty excited about our plants this year. This will hopefully be the first year we don’t have to rebuy plants that ended up dying.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that one!  

  

Where is this going?

Last night C and I got into a bit of an argument. Nothing to worry about and nothing that wasn’t resolved. I have been having an internal struggle that I have been projecting onto him. I feel like I’m not pulling my weight (and I can hear my friends laughing now). I have always brought in some form of consistent income, but right now I really haven’t. I have been focusing my attentions on raising the kids, keeping the house in order, and building the house/farm. That takes a lot of energy, but truthfully I could fit in more if I wanted to. I feel like, by not bringing in an income, I am taking the “easy way out”. I know that C wants to be at home and I know he wants to spend his days working on the farm and I feel like I am selfishly taking that from him. I’ve been snippy and rude to him because I expect he is upset with me when he’s not. 

Then I went to church this morning. I always seem to get some sort of answers when I go to church. I realized that I am doing so much more than I think I am. Mainly I’m writing. I’m writing this blog of our journey not just as entertainment but also to turn into at least one book when it’s all complete. Right now is Cs time to be the “breadwinner” but once the house is built and the cars and land are paid off we won’t need nearly as much income and most of that will come from the farm, and the rest will come from me and possibly C if he wants to.  

Now onto the farm. 

I am constantly being reminded of why we are building this farm. To help people, but most of the time it’s hard to see what that means. 

I know that the path that has led us here has shown is the struggles people face in a daily basis and has given us ideas on how we can help, but what does that really look like?

Truthfully I have no clue, and I won’t until the house is done and we can focus our attention on where it needs to be. There are so many idea we have brainstormed, but we know we cannot do them all. So we will lay them out and see where God wants us once we have the opportunity to do them. We know we are going to feed people by offering naturally grown produce and pasture raised meat at low prices. We want to help people grow their own gardens, become less dependent on utility companies, and learn to cook from farm to table on a budget. 

Will we help people set up partial grid sustainable energy sources? Will we provide pay what you can services? Will we help develope community garden?  Only time will tell. What I do know is that we don’t want to offer food pantry type services. Food pantries are great. They are a much needed service in every community but they don’t tend to help people get out of the situation of needing their services. We want families to not have to be food insecure by helping them spend less on food and utilities. We shouldn’t be going broke on necessities. 

The joke is that one day I want to be on Ellen talking about the book and how important these services are, because let’s be real for a moment, we can either wait for people to be paid a living wage or we can decrease their spending so that their current wage becomes a living wage.  So let’s stop talking about the problem and do something about the solution.