There are times in life that you find true treasures.  Sometimes in ashes.  When you have something that is tangible and it crumbles or is brought to ashes, you realize there is hope in the things you can’t touch with your hands.  My life was never easy and I found that I was always a stranger, never belonging to any people on this Earth.  I wandered from place to place but there was nowhere I felt I could fully relate or where I was fully understood until now.I thought I would die a wanderer in a strange land and my hope was set on things above.  The only place I felt I belonged was with the Lord in heaven.  He is the only one who knows my heart and can judge according.  I knew my heavenly home was far beyond reach yet so much more real than anything seen.  Faith is challenged when we are forced to believe without seeing and trust in the unknown.  At times we walk through different periods of darkness where we cannot see and we walk ahead blindly.  Some of us are afraid and we stop moving forward because fear paralyses us.  There are others of us that choose to keep walking with a smile on our face knowing God is in control.  Even if it does not turn out, it was another adventure and a place of learning.  Growing is going forward even when the eyes fail to see.  There are times when we decide to choose joy and it is the greatest gift.  Life is a series of perspectives.  It is in how you view things that defines your stance.

Standing on the Lord’s promises is a safest place. 

Basking in God’s faithfulness and His glorious banqueting table is something in my heart that I see with faith so it cannot be stolen.  I was promised to inherit the land that the Lord prepared for us.  It is the intangible things of life that seem the most real.  That promise I keep in my heart.  Walking through the Journey of Life, often we encounter things that are far beyond our control.  This past year we have been renting and waiting for a place to call home.  The miracle was that God invited us to His table and gave us the gift of true fellowship in a dark world.  A place to belong here on earth—a group of people that understood and could accept us just as Christ accepts us, unworthy by our own might but through Christ, the redemption.  Often we stare at each other.  We all know pain.  We all understand rejection.  We all look at each other with the same hope that is in Christ and we know Love covers the multitude of sin.  Transparent with nothing to hide between us.  Without condemnation and undercurrent.  Just purely the Love of Christ.  Never have I ever met people that treat life like this.  It goes far deeper than anything on earth.

God is in control.  It is unbelievable how He orchestrates things.  When we moved into our old farmhouse to rent from the barn house, we thought we would stay here forever.  I had lived a lifetime within these walls.  Grandchildren down the line coming back home to see us and swimming in the creek.  I had all but given up on fitting in and thought just living at a beautiful place like this would be fine and my family within these walls was all I ever needed.  We had each other.  Paying on two properties nearly broke us but we could not move back to the barn again.  We were ready to sign the dotted line and be in a contract on this home in a community that never accepted us for who we were.  Our children never truly accepted.  It is funny.  The barn house was ready to sell with a buyer ready to pay cash.  Yet, a dirty title with a name of a dead man who had kin we were not aware of.  We were not able to buy this home due to this issue.  For eight months we prayed for the Lord to help us make it financially with this great burden.  Each month would pass and we thought each month would clear that title.

During this time, the man who wanted to sell this home to us started to change his mind and he no longer wanted to sell.  Now what were we to do?  Do we pack and move back to the barn when the people who had the dream of owning that land frustrated to no end for the delays? We prayed.  That is all you can do when things seem so uncertain.  I hated the uncertainty of it all.  I was so thankful each day for a beautiful home but I knew it was not ours and that we had to find something.  I also know that we are not owed a home in this life.  It is all in your perspective.  God owes us nothing yet gives us an inheritance incorruptible.  We are spoiled and we go around thinking we have to have this or that, but in reality the treasures that we have from the Lord far surpass anything on earth.  There is so much to be thankful for.

We found four homes this past year.  Each time we came to the brink of moving forward and closer to our promised land, the door was closed.  The first home was 20 minutes from our new haven of true fellowship.  We had everything in place to move and all the documents and a miracle happened.  The deal fell through.   The next home was 10 minutes closer to the destination of promise, and that was a crazy deal.  It fell through the last day and was a quite impossible situation.  The realtor could not even believe it.  The day that came crumbling down the children waited for me to lose my peace and I said, “I already lived a lifetime within those walls, grew old sitting on that porch with that amazing view.  What more is there to life than that?  The life there was great.  I had banquets there, housed the poor.  I even had the basement there all set up, filmed a hundred and fifty more homestead videos that I posted on youtube there.  In my dreams, of course, but just as quick as the dream came, I could quickly pack all my boxes in my mind and I am already moved out.”  They stared at me with wide open eyes and mouths gaping trying to figure out what I just said.  I have a good imagination.

I started to go door to door in the neighborhood to see if anyone was thinking of selling.  I did not lose hope, I kept walking blindly forward.  There has to be a place.  The lady said she would sell to us and it was 2 minutes walk from our new community.  We had made another set of plans and lived another lifetime within those walls of my mind.  I swam a lifetime in the pond out front with donkeys surrounding me.  I had the greatest view outside the porch of my little log house and it was quite a dream, yet when the sweet lady changed her mind, I had to quickly move out of the recesses of my mind, pack the boxes and move forward.  In fact, the same day, I heard talk of the double wide modular home right beside the community fellowship of the Campbell's was going for rent.  There was no land to put the farm animals.  Not much for land to even speak about.  It was the house their precious daughter Pearl raised all of her children in.  In the safety of community, it was the most glorious place of all.  We did not want to rent, but if we could be right there where the children could walk and be in community with the most lovely, caring, compassionate souls I know, it would the perfect place of all.  The precious community even made arrangement to help us with the animals on their own land.  It was perfect.  Pearl had built her amazing home a few doors down and it was all rea
dy for moving into.  Mark had replaced the roof a month before and all the needed doing to ready the place was fresh paint and new flooring which they provided.  It was the perfect opportunity because Colin and Nancy Campbell need the rent from that place anyhow.  We would take great care of it and the rent is something they depend on for there income.  It was a win win.

We were all packing and arranging our new plans and then my oldest son came to our bedroom late on my birthday, November 30th, with a Live stream on his phone of a house burning!!! 

He asked, “Is this the trailer home you were moving to?”  It was.  And Pearl's baby photos and all their worldly possessions, furniture, kitchen things, clothing, and keepsakes remained in that lovely trailer home.  They were away on holiday and were waiting until their return to gather up all of these special items to move to their new home.  The older children were there staying while they were away.  So many miracles happened in that one day.  The children and the dogs were saved from the fire.  The timing was perfect so that Pearl and her family already had a home to move into.  We were supposed to be moved into there by then and it could have been our family that was in there.  The boys were at basketball and they actually came home later with my husband and the whole home was filled with black smoke.  They could have been asleep on any other night.  God was in control.  All the photos and tangible memories burned yet they all have each other and the memories of a life lived there forever etched in their minds.  No one could burn that.  God was merciful to all of us and it is a matter of perspective.  I could have been sad for the home we were moving to had burned to the ground, but we are alive.  Any mother would grieve the stuff lost, yet Pearl has hope for more memories and refuses to be sad.  This cannot shake her faith nor ours.

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."
​Isaiah 61:3

God gives us beauty for ashes.  In the original meaning, beauty was a word for royal headdress.  It was a crown.  When people were grieving or sad in biblical times, they would wear sackcloth and ashes.  Upon their heads they would sprinkle the ashes.  Yet the Lord says his gives us beauty for ashes.  A crown to replace the ashes upon our heads.  Beauty will come from this pile of ashes.  We know we will still go to live in our new community.  We live day by day.  We never know what tomorrow brings, nor where we will be.  We do know that God has it all orchestrated perfectly in His time.  I am walking blindly and I chose to walk forward with hope and that hope is a light to our path.  To God be the glory for the great things he hath done!


Just for a reminder…

Tea Time Talk Show Tuesday Upcoming Schedule:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018  at 10 am CST will feature Co-Host Owen Newman

  • The following Tuesday will be featuring Owen Newman from the hills of TN talking about homesteading and the simple life.  He has a lot of wisdom and experience living with less and making the most of each and every resource they are given.  If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below or send us an email or message on Facebook from the Keeper of the Homestead page.  

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0 thoughts on “Beauty for Ashes

  1. Beauty to me is when we learn to let go of our ways and give total control to God. He is and always has been in control. We put our faith and trust in him to day. My family has many flaws. I realize a lot or most faults are due to my and my husbands training techniques. When I finally was tired of trying to live a life of perfection and the flaws came out . no one is perfect except through CHRIST! NO one is perfect! I surrendered all! We are what we are and if we were talked about or excepted I no longer cared. What mattered is what Jesus thought about us. How was I living my please God or Man. I still go around people I do not feel excepted by. I got to church and church functions with people like that but God gives me grace to know what to say and I guard my family. I don’t let their rejection or there talking bother me anymore. I realize they have the problem not me. Im Free! No more condemnation from man! HE gives me PEACE! I am FREE!… John 8:36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
    1 John 3:14-16 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
    Much Love to you Erin 🙂

  2. I remember reading in the past on your blog Bloom right where you are planted and I would think how this seems to hard Lord how? Now I know!
    Thank you for the encourgement you have shared through the year!
    God Bless

  3. Erin, as always, thankyou for your encouragement in the Lord. We’ll be praying for the Campbells (and for you guys!).
    I don’t comment as much as I should on the posts I read, but I just want you to know that you have been a great encouragement in your strong attitude as well as faith and exhortations in the Lord. Your writings always seem to encourage my heart to its core. Thankyou so much for sharing. Thankyou for the vulnerability that you show, your love and faith in the Lord and his goodness, your encouragement and endurance. It’s been very helpful to this pilgrim! 🙂

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