Good Morning Everyone!
Late Tittles again! :-) This has been a wonderful and busy week, but I have been away from the computer, so I will try to recap as best I can.
Last week our dear friend had her baby at home, a healthy little boy - named Ezra Joseph on his 8th day. He is a precious little boy. This is their 5th child. I was able to spend the better part of her first week, helping around the house as she healed and bonded with baby. It was such a precious experience. She did the same for me during our last baby. Our families are very close even though we live over an hour and half away. We are truly blessed to have such good friends!
It was our original goal to try to BE THERE for the birth, but I had a very strange "reaction" when she was in labor. I has severe leg and abdominal pains that put me in bed for a whole day and one of recovery. We joke with each other and say it was sympathy pains in the Spirit for her labor (you know like those weird stories about twins mile away who feel things when the other has some sort of physical trauma)...because this was the first time I ever experienced anything like this before out of the context of my own pregnancies!! Weird Huh??!!! I WAS very prayerful for her through that time but told her I would like that to go much differently next time if she had anything to do with it!! :-)
I took Chazaq (my 15 month old) with me as well as Hailey (almost 13). Chazaq is still nursing, so I wasn't ready to be away from him for that long yet. Hailey was the helper's helper. :-) As was Morgan, Amy's daughter, who is 10.
Amy had prepared a lot of meals ahead which really made my job easier, it was so wise of her to do. In the last couple months of her pregnancy, she simply doubled the meals she was making and put them in tins pans in the freezer. She marked and labeled them. She had plenty of food in the freezer when I left, too!
I returned home on late Thursday night. We had a busy Preparation Day the next day. Ben did a great job while I was gone, but there were lots of things to "catch up on" before Shabbat.
Ben was so instrumental being able to help Amy during this time. He held the fort down like a champ, even without me and Hailey there! This was a very creative effort on all their parts, because He still continued to work (bank sales) AND farm chores while caring for 4 kids (10,7,5,4) all the while. What a Renaissance man!!! So we really had a chance to "serve others" last week!
In the midst of that all, we also brought home our herd of Barbados Black Belly Sheep!! 9 Ewes and 8 babies. This also included lots of last minute preparations. We made a shelter for them in the barn, and changed some fencing around (MUCH more of that needs to be done this week.) They are so neat and we are learning how to care for them as we go. The family we got them from was a widow whose husband used to care for them. They had a larger herd and she was eating her way through them, but had full freezer and filler her adult children's freezers and still had all these sheep. She was ready to move the herd on, since she has arthritis and did not want to care for them. We got a pretty good deal and she was relieved of the burden. I hope to post more about them another time, with pictures and such.
Did I mention a couple weeks ago we got a donkey???? He was free (meaning $0) and we know very little about his history, which we know is NOT ideal for getting livestock!!! But we thought we would take the chance. Our hope was to use him for a guard donkey for the herd. However, we are thinking now that it might not be a realistic job for him under all the circumstances. (We hope to post more on him with pictures too...if we can! This season is so crazy...so many things to do it is hard to blog about them too.
Last Shabbat we took a trip to visit some dear friends over in Russel Creak (about an hour and half away). We had lots of catching up to do. They are a lovely family with 11 children, many of which are now young adults not yet married but still living at home to help and serve as a family until Yah leads them to their spouse. Purity and simplicity, service and love pour forth from this family who are zealous for YHVH, His Torah and His Messiah! It was a long long day but it was so worth it!
Their oldest daughter was married last year and she and her husband live on the farm in a separate house. They just had their first baby, and we missed their shower because all that sickness we endured last month...so we got to see their precious little baby girl and visit with them too. They have also been instrumental in encouraging a family in the "plain" community in their area whom YHVH has hearkened to Torah!!!! How exciting is that??!!! This is a very tumultuous situation for this family, because the Father is showing them so much in Scripture they never saw before. Lights are going on left and right in their spirit, and our friends have been there to help encourage them when they have questions. This has been such a challenge for them because the community down on Russel Creak is "Plain" -- very similar to Amish (they are often called Amish, but they are not - however they do adopt many similar practices of dressing plainly, living in CLOSED community, with strict religious control and choosing to live off the land and give up many modern conveniences). Long story short, the family (the McJ's) are under great strain and persecution from their Community. They are trying to share what YHVH is showing them in Scripture, but the group is in great opposition and see them as "going astray" and are trying to break them down with guilt and many many interventions to get them to stop talking about such crazy heretical things as is plainly stated in Scripture (but conflict with their understanding). Living in this tight community, they have given up all their "wordly" assets and are feeling very stuck. They know they must leave, but are "tied" with no place to go or resources to get there - they really are dependant on the community. Our friends, the F-Family have been trying to connect us with them. They were supposed to come over for this Shabbat, but they were struck with a similar sickness as were we for the baby shower when we were supposed to meet weeks earlier. So the men walked up to their place, this last Shabbat to meet with Mr McJ and encourage him (shortly after they were there a van pulled in from out of State, from another branch of the "brotherhood" for another intervention to try to talk the family back into their senses!) Long story short.... after the van left, Ben offered for the family to come to our farm as a retreat and regroup place. However, we only have the one small house. We have the matter of a shelter for them to figure out! (With no funds!) They have 7 children in our family's age range and she is expecting #8. They are much younger than us. :-) So if you would please pray for this precious family and how we may help them...that would mean so very much to both of us!!! They really are feeling desperate and trapped and hoping to be "set free" to follow the Scriptures as the Father is leading them to! They are also hoping to go to Family Week with HaYovel for their first Passover. This would be such an amazing blessing for them to see and experience some of our community from all over coming to together for the Feast.
Lastly, the other thing to "catch up" on is rather strange to announce. But 2 weeks ago, we completed our process of ordination. We are officially legal paper carrying Ordained Ministers! We hope to post more about this, as it too was a precious day and piece in Yah's puzzle for His plan for us (that we do not fully understand...but continue to follow Him step by step as He unfolds it). It is funny because this "piece of paper" means nothing to us....but was clearly something he was calling us to do...so we do what anyone who is living for HIM and walks in the Spirit does - we obey...whether we understand/agree or not!!! We have become quite resolved to being on a "need to know basis". He tells us what we need to know, when we need to know it...so we don't go getting our own "big ideas" and going ahead of Him and spoil His plan. We have learned to embrace this sovereignty and protection and LOVE it....this is just one of "those things". :-) We hope to post more about that later too.
I am sorry I don't have pictures to share this week. It is all I can do to get this typed out.
Love to You All in His Precious Name!
The Tribe of Ben
Welcome to Home Shalom!
Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!