Hiking for a purpose!

Paving the path to a new project generally requires some research, planning, and legwork – usually figuratively, sometime literally. While today I have nothing tangible to show you for our efforts, however come mid-winter we will be producing our own maple syrup. So excited and can’t wait to be collecting sap and cooking up our first ever batch. Well, except for the whole getting out in the freezing cold to do it, but we just bought new winter clothes to try and keep old man winter at bay. Not that it broke my heart to do some shopping, especially from Duluth Trading.

We spent the weekend hiking up and down steep hills with our noses in the air looking at the quickly falling leaves on our and the in-laws 65+ acres for maple trees to mark. While some people are quite good at distinguishing between a tulip poplar and a maple by their bark this couple is NOT. Show me the leaves and I can tell you ever time, but as tends to happen in the fall the leaves are disappearing quite quickly. To me it seems the taller the tree the more leaves are currently missing. Hence our noses in the air looking at the two leaves that always seemed to be at the very top with a pair of binoculars. Binoculars we didn’t have to foresight to bring on our first day out. Live and learn, right? Good news we have found several groups of maples on the property (and a really cool mushroom colony on a dead tree), so many in fact we ran out of marking tape, and are going to have to make a run to get more and go back out on this lovely fall day to finish marking. Oh poor me. Now this legwork may sound awful to some, but to steal a line from Little BEST DAY E V E R! We ended our day finding the granddad of a maple tree right behind our house, totally physically spent, but in the best spirits. No better way to spend the weekend than with your love, surrounded by God’s creation, prepping for our first major homesteading MAKER project. Can’t wait to see this story unfold!

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The beginning

So as I ended 2013 I had a beautiful 2 year old girl (Little), a newborn bouncing baby boy (C), a ugly case of postpartum depression, a new house (4 years in the making), our starter house that needed to be emptied and put up for sale, and a desire to find the path God had laid out for my family. I was lost and just wanted something to cling to just get me though the day. My God is so awesome, as I searched blog after blog on organizing, parenting, being the perfect Christian mother, he directed me to an awesome post about a focus word for the year. As a meditated on it all I could think was how silly it was, and how out of all the words in the world would I find one to put focus and meaning to the new year of 2014 that seemed like it encompassed my life and where God wanted me to be. I thought how crazy my darling husband would think I was for saying “Let’s pick a word and make it our theme word”. And, as I so often tend to do, I let the awesome idea that God so freely give me to run with spiral into the depressing thoughts of all I can’t do, and all I should be able to do, and what is everyone else going to think of me, and on and on with all the lies I tell myself to keep from having to be accountable. So out of desperation to get this idea that kept coming to my heart out in the open, even though I still had no clue what the word God had in store for us was, I oh so casually tried to steer the conversation to “this silly blog post I saw on one of my Christian mom blogs”. Inside I was just bracing for Stephen to say that is just weird, totally ready for another wave of spiraling to the dark place with the depression in full swing, all he said was I don’t know how you would pick just one word to sum up our goals. Relief –having reach the same conclusion I let it drop, and we kept walking through our path in the woods talking, as we love to do, about all the things that need to be done and how with a new baby it was all such a big chore the words “We just need to push to get them done. There isn’t any other way around it. I just don’t know how to find the time.” fell from my sweet husband’s lips. And it that second in my spirit that clouds rolled back, the waters parted, that longing to cling to something tangible to put some kind of order in my crazy life leaped out – PUSH. There was so much God wanted for our lives, and I was letting fear, worry, and self-doubt rob me of the joy and service he called me to be to my family. I stopped and told him that was it. That what we needed this year was to PUSH, in every area of our lives. To his credit he went along for the ride. He even made me a sign the hang on the fridge. God just wanted us to take a step so he could take one too. I had come to a place that I had sat down and stopped trying out of pure, unadulterated fear. There was so much we wanted to accomplish for God and our family and we were spinning our wheels just talking about the shear volume of what we wanted to accomplish without every putting in any effort to make it happen. So 2014 has been our year to PUSH. Not to say that there aren’t time (quite a lot of it) that I haven’t just sat down and gotten complacent along the way, but we have accomplished some of our goals. Our big girl will be 3 in a month and has flourished this year, our bouncing baby boy is trying to walk, our starter house is (finally) up for sale, and our marriage has never been stronger. So as I sit in my house with toys to my eye balls, cleaning to be done, and more projects that I can count that we want to accomplish I can truly say that I am thankful God directed me to our word for the year because we really did need to PUSH so he could move in our lives.

So that sums up the first ¾ of our year PUSHing to catch up because we were so far behind we thought we were ahead. Last week we started planning Little’s first real birthday party. Her request was a chocolate/vanilla heart shaped cake, jumping, dancing, music, and fairy’s. I’ve got this under control. Bouncy house party place booked, momma and Little making her cake, and mom searching Pinterest for ideas for a fairy themed birthday party. Now we come the part that lead to the creation of this blog. After looking up crafty, and homemade, and a host of other diy stuff for birthday parties I was solid in the mood to create something. (Side note I am going to be trying to applique here a wand shirt and a fairy skirt stay tuned for that) As things in life tend to do, all this desire to create overlapped into my search to choose a new personalized license plate for my new to me car. I looked up everything under the sun that I could think of relating to crafty but they were all taken. So I googled “what is another word for crafty”. After searching for a while I found this awesome post on Mad in Crafts site about “What is a Crafter”. It’s a great read you should totally check it out, but basically she says “Makers are people who make….If your hands have ever itched to MAKE something, whether it was a quilt, a batch of cookies, a robot, a necklace, or a China hutch, you are a maker. “ I WAS IN LOVE, period. The thing God had been PUSHing me toward all year was so neatly placed right in front of my face. God was calling me to be a “maker”, to be a producer and not a consumer, to help others by getting out of my head and putting my hand to work. So I hope you will join me as I start my journey to follow God’s call to become a Maker!