Blog Post - NC Trip Report

2,800 miles
9 days
8 different Whole Foods
5 states
2 laundromats
1 flat tire

Our road trip to North Carolina went really well. We felt like we had been planning this trip for years. Everything about this road trip was planned. We knew that we wanted to not rush it and try and take our time. Our goal was to arrive in North Carolina on the ninth day. We planned on camping out in back of our truck a few nights. We ended up camping out one night and staying at a decent hotel instead. Seemed like it took forever driving through Texas. 

 

Our little girl did very well on the drive. We basically took all her toys with us so she will have things to do. We were also thankful for a good friend that gave her a giant bag full of activities and small toys all wrapped in tissue paper with notes on them. By the way, she maybe slept just a few hours in the car the entire 9 days! 

Before we left we mapped out the different Whole Foods Markets we can stop by. We nearly stopped at every single one. A couple of the nights we stayed at an AirBNB in Austin and Nashville. They both were great places to stay and cheaper than a hotel. As we were coming into Austin my front tire began to lose air. So we spent the first half of the day finding a place that would fix the flat quickly. Luckily we did! Standing in front of a tire shop while it began to rain wasn't how I wanted  to remember Austin. But man we were having too much fun! 

Towards the last couple of days we were ready to get home. On the last morning headed home I got pulled over by a state trooper. Said I was driving carelessly! Then he said he was going to have his police dog sniff around for narcotics! He was the nicest cop ever. He ended up giving me a warning and saying basically that he pulled me over because his dog needed stretch his legs. Only two hours from our house I got a phone call from our neighbor saying there has been some people driving through our property in 4x4 truck and destroying our property. We were expecting the worst! I mean we were two hours away and we get a phone call like that! 

We made it to our new place in nine days! No signs of a truck trashing our place! Looked like just as I left it 6 months prior. The first 20 minutes we arrived we met 2 neighbors and saw a snake! Overall the trip was a success and we would definitely do it again! 

 

Blog Post - The Farmer and His Seeds

After I graduated college, I got married and began my career in the fashion industry working for a high end, Los Angeles based fashion designer. My lifestyle was, at that point, all about consuming. Work was competitive and stressful, days were long and I remember feeling empty, constantly hungry and eager. Eager for something that I didn't possess.

 

Outside of work, I collected vintage furniture, vintage and designer clothing, and stuff that fulfilled hobbies. I would attempt to ditch the stress by attending hot yoga classes but that just added one more task to my long schedule and brought me home later and less time with my husband. I grew bitter about not having enough time.

The days of going to church with my family seemed like an impossible to tradition to carry on and too late to start with my husband because we were already set in our ways and well, our schedules were already full. I believed in God. Wasn't that enough?

In 2009, when Jason was diagnosed with a lymphoma cancer we prayed together for the first time. But when Jason became in remission, we returned back to our busy lives as normal. 

Then in 2014, Jason came down with another serious illness, an unexplained full body rash and night sweats. (Those are the same symptoms as lymphoma)

Maybe because it seemed like yesterday but I am always thinking about what we just went through and how he was so sick and how I just kept begging God to heal him...

and He didn't. For 7 long months he didn't.

I prayed for healing everyday. It just seemed that Jason was getting worse. I started praying so much that every breath was a prayer. Every foot step was a prayer.

At first I was angry with God. How could a God of love allow this to happen to Jason? How could he ignore my cries out to him?

So one day I just started praying differently about my trust and strength to get through this....

It was such a difficult and dark time. There were nights when I had to help him with his clothes but they didn't want to come off, so I had to peel the dried blood stained clothes off of his raw rashy skin. There were days when I hoped our daughter didn't hear his screams of anguish or of his cries wishing to end it all.

It was such a difficult and dark time. When I had to hush a toddler's happy squeals into a whisper because "daddy's sleeping" and keep her entertained when all my brain wanted to do was "fix" daddy even though there was nothing seven different medical professionals could do. Nothing.

It was such a difficult and dark time. Sometimes I heard him cry at night when he thought that I had already fallen asleep. I couldn't imagine the pain that he was going through. I just wanted to lay my head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat. But I couldn't. I couldn't even touch him. Then I would lay in bed at night and cry too, but not because I was tired, not because I was scared, even though I was all those things, I cried for him. I missed his funny ways. I missed him and the times we had together. Not the stuff I was surrounded with. I wondered if life would always be like this for us; if this was the new normal. I prayed and asked God if he wasn't answering my prayers of healing because he was going to take him from me. I begged him not to.

It was such a difficult and dark time. Lots of tears and crying from both of us. But I couldn't even hug him when he cried because his purple skin was peeling and bleeding all over. So sometimes I just hugged his head. And I prayed out loud over him, for healing and for strength to get through this.

It was such a difficult and dark time. I felt alone, as a wife and as a mother. There were family members offering help but I still felt like a single mom taking care of two infants in need. I couldn't see past the illness. It was bigger and darker than my eyes could see. How long had he been sick? Days? Months? It felt like years.

 

What I couldn't see was that we were changing. We were breaking. Our soils were being prepared. Like the way a farmer first breaks the ground, rips out the weeds, clears out a path and turns the hard ground into soft soil. Because you see the old dirt wouldn't have been ready to receive what was to be planted.

It was during these difficult and dark times was when I learned I was weak in my faith. I had doubted God and his plans for us.
It was during these difficult and dark times was when I felt the comfort and closeness of God in my heart because I allowed God to meet me in my darkness, because I was reading scripture, praying throughout the day, and earnestly seeking Him.

It was during such difficult and dark times was when I learned how to pray. I stopped praying for what I wanted, which was immediate healing. I started praying that God would give us strength to endure this painful and dark season. I started praying for the grace to benefit from it, and the willingness to let God use it however he sees fit in order to bring glory to HIS perfect kingdom. And the courage to tell others how God worked in our lives.

Jason still isn't completely healed, But he is alive. And we are changed because of our journey. I left my career in the fashion industry shortly after Jason went through cancer, chemo, then remission. Little did I know that just within a short time, this prideful girl would willingly strip down to nothing and surrender my belongings; my career, my car, my big beautiful home, my designer clothes, my time and my heart to have a real relationship with Christ.

 

Since this illness, Jason and I have sold most of all of our belongings and are in the middle of moving across the country to find land and build a homestead and live with less and live simply.

This isn't a story of how we became farmers but how God has worked in our lives. How our faith has been made stronger. Our hearts have been prepared, seeds planted and now as a married couple its up to us to keep our roots in Jesus and bare fruit for others to see God in our lives. It's up to us to use our story of how we grew our faith to share with others.

Blog Post - All In

This is the story of how we got to this point in our lives. Where we sold most of our belongings to move across the United States to live!
This journey began six years ago when I was diagnosed with Cancer (lymphoma) (my cancer blog). After my last Chemotherapy session I asked my oncologist if I should be eating differently or healthier. She said, “No, just go back to how you were eating.” This never made sense at all and then that’s when we took control of our eating habits. My wife and I began to pay attention to where our food comes from and how we can be healthier. We believe in eating organic, pasture raised meat, whole foods, no wheat, no sugars, nothing processed, fewer ingredients, nothing from a box and simply eating real food. We truly believe that food has the power to heal. It took some time to figure out how to prepare foods the slow way and from scratch. Eating healthy takes a different way of thinking. We started talking about having some land and growing the best food possible. Really just talking about our dreams and beliefs and figuring out how to make that happen.

We became so passionate about this idea of growing our own food that we started reading books, taking workshops and visiting nearby farms whenever possible. Then we also realized that if we were going to move and buy some land we had too much stuff and we needed to get rid of it. Slowly we started to assess what belongings we had and if we really need them. It was hard at first to let go of something that you held on to since forever. It’s amazing how much stuff you have that really doesn’t make you happy. When you think about each thing you own and if you ask yourself, “Does this item make me happy?” And your answer is, “No, that thing does not make me happy. That memory makes me happy. Or the process that it took to do that makes me happy. But that thing that I’m holding onto in that box tucked away in the corner of the house or garage that nobody sees does not make me happy!” After getting rid of most of our belongings, it was like a relief. With less stuff you have less distractions in your life.

My wife and I were still not sure if we were really ready to pursue this dream or not. We prayed and asked God if this is what he wants for us. I would hike up the nearest mountain and pray, asking God to open doors for us to go live the life we dreamt about. We prayed for a few years asking, “Is this what we are supposed to do?” All of this led to finally selling our house. This was one of our “all in” moments. When we sold our house in January 2015, the goal was in March 2016 we would have land and move. This was before we even knew where we wanted to live. Getting rid of our house and belongings was like us changing our old way of thinking to something new.

This past year we took some trips to explore where we could possibly find land. Something about North Carolina kept calling us. Everywhere we looked NC always managed to pop up and remind us to go! We were keeping an open mind and trying to listen to what God was telling us. When we finally found a place for us it was another “all in” moment. The land was officially ours on New Years Eve 2015 and we are moving to our new home in March 2016 like it was planned all along.

It started with cancer to wake us up and realize what we want out of life. We chose this path because of our passion for real food. We chose to rewrite our future to follow our own path out of love.

- J + L + P