Foundations (July 30)

As I sit in the summer sun, looking out over a few bright wildflowers and a wide expanse of shady forest, I am…

Tired…and…Content…and…Grateful!

Tired because pouring a footing is hard work, lol! We had thought that this work would unfold a little bit at a time, since we couldn’t work in wet weather, and since we would have to wait for one section to dry before continuing on to the next…Buuuuuuut, we’ve had a two-week stretch of warm, dry weather, which has allowed each section to cure overnight, and we’ve been able to continue working every day!

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It’s been quite a process. First, dig a 2-foot-deep trench and install the forms for a 9-foot section. Then, wheel 160 lbs. of concrete over to the work area, add water, mix, shovel it into the forms, and pack it tight by hand. Repeat, 160 lbs. at a time, until the section is filled. Once dry, patch any gaps, then do a final coat of mortar along the seam. Finally, staple a layer of plastic wrap to the baseboard, place the sheet of insulation against the footing and foundation, pack dry concrete under the foam board to level it, and then back-fill the trench and rake it smooth, sloping away from the house. We figured out that we’ve transported over 4 tons of concrete over the course of this project. It’s been awesome! But tiring!

Content because it’s Sunday, a day of rest, and as always on this seventh day, I am relaxing and enjoying a beautiful view with my loving family, soaking up the peaceful feeling of another week of work behind, and a week of work ahead that’s not quite here yet 🙂

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Grateful because, as He always does, the Lord has continued to bring spiritual truths to bear in the midst of physical efforts! As we’ve worked on our home’s foundation, and as we’ve taught the children their homeschool lessons on the importance of foundations in our buildings and in our souls, the Lord has continued to work on my foundation as well! For example, as the weeks pass, I survey our small and struggling plants…They’ve had poor soil and dry days, and it continues to look like we will harvest very little this year. So what do I say about this un-harvest? I say, with great thanks, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord! Every day that we’ve spent in this house, I can honestly say that we have done what the Lord has led us to do. Each day, each week, each task, each project, we have prayed about and completed in obedience to the Lord, when it made sense to us and even-more-so when it didn’t exactly make sense yet! Now, after having obeyed in planting, I see little fruit coming to bear…and, naturally, it makes me reflect on much more than just gardening, on relationships and interactions, times when I’ve said something or done something at the Lord’s leading only to face rejection or disinterest or nothing at all…times when I’ve planted in obedience, and seen little fruit coming to bear. And so it fills me with hope! Because, what more could I wish for than to ask the question, “Did I obey?”, and answer, truthfully, “Yes!” Will I follow the Lord’s will only when I receive tangible results? Only when it bears visible fruit? Or will I follow the Lord’s will at all times, in all circumstances, regardless of what my eyes tell me about the results, trusting in His perfect plan that, thankfully, requires nothing more of me than to love and obey Him? And so, in a season of planting, without any fruit bearing, I say “Amen!”, and I will hope in You, Lord, and in the perfection of Your plans, all the more! I like foundation work 🙂

These summer days, working on the land and working on the foundation, have been long days of outside work, in the fresh air and sunshine, focused on some physically demanding tasks, but surrounded by the trees and the flowers and the squirrels and the birds and the bees, a truly delightful work environment!

I wish that I could take a picture of the way that warm sunshine feels on cool shoulders, or the way that cool breezes feel on warm foreheads…

I wish I could take a picture of the bright music of the birds singing good morning to the Lord, or the peaceful evening melodies as they wish Him a good night…

I wish I could take a picture of that sweet, flowery scent that drifts into the kitchen window on a sunny afternoon, or the spicy balsam fir smell that welcomes a step into the forest…

I wish I could take a picture of the excitement in voices that cry out, “Look at this, look at this!”, whether it’s a ripe pea-on-the-vine, or a butterfly in the garden, or an apple branch that is the perfect shape for making a bow, or a salamander guarding her eggs…

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But I can’t! So many little joys of daily life just can’t be captured in a picture…but, happily, some can!

Busy bees…

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Happy toads…

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Tiny shining creatures…

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Growing things…

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And things in full bloom…

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Climbing trees…

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And quiet morning snuggles…

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And so, tired and content and grateful, I look forward to each new day full of the many things that can be captured in pictures, and the many-more things that can’t!

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not…

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