Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reflections... won't you join us?

"Oh love of GOD!
How rich and pure,
How measureless and strong.
It shall forevermore endure,
The saints and angels song."~ F.M. Lehman

Could it be that it is already just shy of 2 years (October 14, 2009) that our family has followed this God led journey to the country, to the land and to Him?

Some days the time seems to just fly… That seems to be during our successes and the “fun” times (hay rides, cottage guests, farm classes and family time)… Then on other days life can drag on and on, during the hard times, during the failures… (off-grid pregnancy, loosing horses, extreme heat , LONG MICHIGAN WINTERS and much more just to deep to share here).

One thing stays the same, during any of these times God has never turned away from us or has been closer to us. Just today we asked the children during our family devotion time, “Do you pray more here on the farm or at our last house”?... All of them replied they prayed more here at the farm… we asked them why and they all came to the conclusion that “we need God more here” and “we have seen Him provide for us”…

We have become so close to the Lord here, waiting on bated breath at times to see what to do next. Praying on our knees for his protection and learning to really LOVE spending time with Him during family worship and more.

I am not saying you have to live on a farm or live off-grid to find the Lord. For our family though this has seemed to really draw us closer in to God… Draw us closer to what seems to be important and to see life through much different eyes than most people.

We never take for granted being here in our life situation…. We know there are many that want to be here, where we are. I still find it amazing that you can live so simply and in the old ways even in this great technological age! The funny thing about this is that it takes a quite a while to get here… But, tomorrow we could have a "typical American" life back to some degree?. That doesn't seem to make much sense…

When people harass us for being here I just stop and think that I could be like them "tomorrow"but it took us a while to get here and I am again so thankful that we have had this opportunity of a life time! I actually feel sorrow for them as I know deep down they are very unhappy...

We have gotten to drive buggies 25 miles to and from church, deliver calves by hand, hay in the pitch dark into the wee hours of the morning with the stars over our heads as night lights… Learn many lost arts of days gone by and more… We have had the privilege to meet so many different people from all walks of life that have come to visit us at the farm. We have communed with a wonderful group of people that live as in ages of old and more and have continued some of these wonderful friendships still to this very day. We have seen “the other side” of situations and realize their truths. I have learned so much about myself living in the dark and being plain for a good part of an entire year. Our children have had so many incredible experiences living here on this farm and opportunities that are just too private and precious to share here with you all. Experiences of a life time! We would not trade this last 2 years for anything...

Through it all God has taken care of us and we still know that God wants us right here… right here farmin’ and workin’ outside on the land He has given us. Did you know even we have huge dreams of farming more land and more and continuing on! When dreams and visions die, I believe people spiritually die as well… Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. ~ Psalm 37:4,5 and Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish”… Thank you God for having us here...

Will you join me in remembering up to our 2-year anniversary of our journey of living off-grid up until October 14, 2010 with posts on looking back on our experience? Will you join me for a contest for some fun up until that time? Will you join me in leaving and comment on what you would like to see here or a class you would like to have at the farm? Would you please allow me to thank YOU, yes YOU personally from the bottom of our hearts for reading this blog and cheering us on? THANK YOU ALL!

Will you celebrate with us for the faithfulness God has given us this past 2 years and for providing for all our needs according to his riches? Let’s celebrate together shall we?

~The Matts
2 cool videos on our take on the move 2 years ago:


Farmgirl Cyn said...

Sitting here weeping as I see, once again, the faithfulness of our God. I count it a true blessing to call you all friends. Forever friends. Each and every last one of you.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at all you have done...Congratulations are in order.
Thank you for sharing your journey here!

Joe and Jeannie Family said...

Watching your families faith unfold in action is a blessing (and a challenge to me). . ."Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Jenni said...

It is amazing what your family has gone through in the past 2 years. You are amazing. You are an inspiration to us all. I am blessed to know you and consider you friends. Congrats.

Mrs. Trixi said...

I have loved following your journey the last 2 yrs. It is such a blessing.

Cheryl said...

I have so enjoyed all of your posts and seeing what the Lord is doing for your family. Life is good when we follow what God has for us no matter what others think. Congratulations on your journey these past two years.

Mumsie said...

Sometimes I yearn to go back to our life when we lived as you do! It was hard...but sooo good, too! It is not what we are called too at this time in our lives..but our faithful Father has blessed us with "kindred friends" who so openly and beautifully share their family and lives with us! As our present situation has some "similarities" I have been encouraged to remain faithful to what He has called us matter what the "mean" people say...and strive to pursue as simple a life as we can for now. Do some more "clearing of the clutter" in my life and find joy in the midst of the chaotic. Thank you Ang, Matt and the kinner for following the leading of the Lord...and your own hearts. God Bless you richly and may we meet this side of heaven,,SOON!

Kelle said...

First of all, Congrats and PTL for your witness and sharing of your life offgrid.

God is faithful, it is us that forget this, especially in the tough time. I read this post and thought, Oh my! there are others out there who deal with similar issue as we do and feel the same way we do.

In the almost 20yrs we've been living a very simple/ frugal/ sufficient life we've had some of the same dealings with people and the most hurtful, is when it comes from family. Our Ds told us a few months back that we live a sheltered life, not in the REAL world and he is embarrassed of us. That statement cut to the heart, but God reminds us that we are following Him and therefore will suffer persecution, even from our children.

You and your family are a blessing to us and you see the blessings you've been given as well. We so enjoy your posts, even if it is just a picture and a few words.
Thank you for letting us ride along in your journey, wish we were closer, so we could come to your place and meet you all.


Ann at eightacresofeden said...

It has been such a joy to share in your journey. So glad I found you and can't believe it has been two years and when you asked me if I had a blog that is what inspired me to share with the world a little glimpse of the life of our family in Australia in the beautiful place God led us to. You have inspired my family! I'm always mentioning you in conversation to my husband. I told my husband about your stove - we now have a wood fired stove for winter because he said 'Well let's pray for one!' And God provided. I cannot tell you how much respect I have for you and your family. God is blessing you in ways which some may fail to see as living a blessed life. They think you are depriving yourselves and making your children work so hard! How little they understand but you are seeing a harvest not only in the natural but also in the spiritual. God is good! May He continue to pour out His love as you seek to serve His purposes.

Renata said...

Hi Ang
I have so enjoyed following your journey through the last couple of years - I remember when I first found your blog about a week later you announced that you had purchased this land! My kids also enjoy looking at all your pictures - they love seeing other kids on farms!
God is so good to us all - thanks for sharing about His faithfulness through both good times & hard times.
Looking forward to continueing following your adventures.
May God bless you

Anonymous said...
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Kathy in KY said...

Thank you, Ang, for your testimony and sharing. I think of the poll on your sidebar about what is keeping me back from my dream, and it is a fear of failure. I am on the cusp of embarking on a lifestyle that will be somewhat like yours, but not totally. I have shared this with some friends, but am hesitant to share with others, especially my family, who would not approve. In a small sense I feel what you have gone thru with rejection and meanness. I am sorry that you have had to endure such treatment. I have just been following your blog for a short time, but truly admire you and your family. You have God's favor and blessings and I wish you much happiness and success in the future of your Plain life together. Thank you for sharing your life with us; and to me, it shows that this can be done. You are an encouragement to me, I think, in ways you cannot fathom. Take care, from KY. And God Bless.

Dee said...

I am celebrating God's goodness and grace with you!!! Oh what a mighty God we serve! When I am having a terrible day, I come to this blog because I know that God has you on a beautiful journey and that only because of God could you have made it through this far. It gives me faith and hope to see it to fruition and to see it prospering. I sometimes fantasize about being able to visit the farm, and I'm just a FL city girl.

I love everything that your family is doing. I love your beautiful home, the richness of the farm and farm life, the pics of the children who always look so happy to be doing what they are doing, and the inspiration I get from knowing that you are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Be encouraged! You are following God's perfect plan for this season of your lives and I am just happy to be taken along for the ride, even if only through the blog experience!!!

May your blessing continue and never end!!!

Dee in Sunny FL!

Mama Hen said...

I have enjoyed getting to know your family through your blog. We are way down in Alabama, but I wish there was some way we could come stay in your cottage for a couple of days. Maybe the extreme heat will pass soon and you will be enjoying a wonderful fall soon.

Anonymous said...

I have been following you since before you moved, and your trial and tribulations in the beginning at the farm, but overcoming all the problems and once making your big decision going on to make Maple Valley Farms, what it is today. You and your family have done so much in 2 years, but it also started before the move. You had a vision, God provided the way and you, with his good grace have become what you are today. I certainly respect all you have gone through and all you have done. It isn't an easy life, but you have, with your faith, made great strides and along the way I have enjoyed every single post and hope that you continue doing just what your doing. Those who critize, have no idea of what a great life you have. They don't understand and are ignorant and like you said, don't enjoy their own life. You are very blessed, and I am blessed by being able to read about your life and able to witness all your great adventures via this blog. God bless you and your family and congratulations for 2 year's of hard work and success!! ...debbie

Nadine said...

I unfortunately don't comment too often...but do know your family has always been very close to our hearts and prayers.
Your family is absolutely amazing ...your listening to God and following your dreams.
Your a great example to the rest of us and we have much to learn from people like you.
I only wish I lived closer so we could visit you.
Keep up the great works...pray for the ones who persecute you, they are lost souls.

In Christ

Much love
Guy and Nadine (Alberta, Canada)

Sarah said...

You and your family are such an inspiration! Thank you for such an honest and heartfelt post. What an encouragement you are!

Robby - Cathy and Boys said...
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Sherry in MI said...

Hey Ang and family - congratulations on this awesome anniversary! How right you are to celebrate the two years and all of the blessings, growth and more you have received since being there. Keep up the positive attitude! And my offer still stands to edit your book for free if you ever decide to write one in your spare time. *Grin*

Ma said...

I have followed your blog for a while & have really enjoyed it. It seems to me that you have a very fulfilling life & that it's brought you closer to God. I can't help but be curious though as to why people would be angry with you for chosing to live a simple life. We aren't off grid but do try to live a self-sufficient life as we can right now. We've had some laughs & jokes but never anger. If you ever want to share I'd like to hear about that.
I hope you have a blessed day.

Caroline said...

I found your blog right around the time you went off Grid. I was really sad when you put up a post that said you wouldn't be blogging and then was THRILLED when you started blogging again.

I love reading about your life on the farm and how great your life has become since you have simplified things.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I have grown to care for your family very much.

.::Our Waldorf Home Mama::. said...

Amazing! And before I move to CO from MN I should really come and visit! I've been reading your blog for a while and we are attempting the smae thing in CO come this Spring. But while I'm so close to you all I should really get over there!!


Audrey said...

Thank you for sharing your journey, struggles and all! My husband found your blog recently and shared it with our two boys. Today I was looking for videos on baking in a wood stove and found your videos and then your blog. We moved off-grid 11 months ago in the Saskatchewan Prairies and would NEVER go back! We are so encouraged - keep following HIS leading.
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