As I think back on 2016, I'm brought to tears. The many accomplishments are evidenced by physical manifestations in front of my eyes every day and can ONLY be credited to the great power and love of our God...
The beautiful, thousand pound animal standing in front of me, just one year ago abandoned and neglected, is now at our farm, enjoying her morning grain, snorting warm breaths in puffs of fog out her nostrils. She's fat and happy and purposeful. She is one among many at our farm. Our small but MIGHTY barn stands like a monument on our farm, covered in thick, fresh paint that was labored over by faithful old friends, new friends, and family. Our tiny house has held so many warm memories of friends laughing, hours of joyfully cooking for volunteers, tons of hurried, muddy footsteps running in and out on busy days, and best of all inviting many new, beautiful volunteers, participants, and others into our "tiny" way of living.
Perhaps most of all, I am moved when I look out our tiny house window to the round pen. I recall Jeremy marching the long walk from the pile of lumber to the site, each 30 pound fence post rested on his shoulder. He placed each post himself into the holes that he struggled to dig into the deep clay. His saintly parents, my amazing mom, and some cherished friends flexed our muscles and tested our strength to bend the 16 foot oak boards around the pen to be screwed into the posts. This small round pen was built out of love and faith for our mission and was the first thing to really fulfill our mission... months later young girls walked that round pen with a single horse. They shared their fears, their triumphs, and opened their hearts to be changed in that round pen. They fearfully mounted their horse for the first time in the round pen and quickly grew with great confidence in partnership with their thousand pound friend.
Yes, 2016 was an incredibly amazing year... I cherish every blade of grass on this farm, every animal, every person, every fence post... for they are not ours but our makers. Just as we have lifted up this farm in 2016, we look forward with the same perspective. Please join us in lifting up our farm in 2017 and most of all the young men and women that will be coming here. May their hearts be open to change and the love of God as they walk alongside us in our mission of tiny, purposeful living.