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Logo of AdAgrA 2020: A Living Parable

How & Why to Move to the Country Part 2

Keith Hankins Renee Hankins

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Through our not-so-normal testimony, we aim to encourage you with the reality that there is no one way to experience country living. Come and har how God led us to our ‘Living Parable’.

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  • January 15, 2020
    9:30 AM
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So there is no one way to get to the country. We believe that you can where you are right now. Begin to make the moves to get to the home that you desire Ok. Change your mind set things like that as the light yourself the Lord he will give you the desires of your heart so that was the 1st and foremost thing that. Want you to think about is ally yourself in the Lord in asking him for what it is that you desire Ok Because if you're walking in his way he will give you desires of your heart. Ok so there's a running joke that earlier in the 1st hour mentioned that he lived in the country he was homeschooled I didn't find any of this out till years into our marriage and pretty serious and excited when we 1st got married I never even heard the word homeschool I don't even know if I knew what it was but he had a life where that you know the whole you know those bedtime. Uncle authors bedtime stories kinds of kind of experiences you know go out to the to the watermelon patch and pick one up and drop it loops by accidents by accident and then have to eat it you know out there in the garden kind of thing you know those are the experiences that he had was it a watermelon or her. I'm almost. Right in this picture here this is him he's born in Boston South Boston Virginia right sorry and. That's just the life that he had a home school that the age of 45 years old and just having a beautiful experience out in the country. I was born Bronx New York. In the city concrete jungle. I had a taste of country living when I went to visit my godmother in the summertime and I went to Massachusetts and my experience was like seeing a cat give birth to kittens you know and not really understanding what was going on you know little girl or seeing cows just walking by and you know and they're massive because I'm little and seeing a sunflower for the 1st time in real life I mean that maybe it might not be a big deal to any anyone else but it was just like you only see them in cartoons you know and they was huge as big as my head if not bigger it was just like this is this is beautiful what is just amazing experience so that was a taste that he gave me even though my husband as a child got got the the full meal. So like my mom my mom. Well sort. Of. My wife will say yes I will tell a book of the cancer because. It was it was a it was a wonderful experience and one of the things that I'd fill my my family about is how my godmother used to. Prepare chickens and one of the things that traumatized me was actually seeing her. Kids I want to cover the area. But actually catching a chicken and. Taken an axe and chopping his head off and watching the chicken run around like his head was just cut off and so when people said that joke I had a visual What there really was like and seeing the chicken flop around and I was like wow I don't want any chicken any more and so. It is a very traumatizing experience but I did used to love to go out into our garden and pick you Cumbers off the vine and pick tomatoes off the tomatoes plants eat them right there as a young As a young boy and just run around in and play and that was part of my homeschooling experience when I was a kid and so I didn't even really think about it until just maybe a year ago that I was actually homeschooled. Up until about 1st about the 1st grade and so when my wife said that she wanted to homeschool our kids. About 10 years ago. I said you want to do way what what is that I didn't realize again I didn't realize I was even home schooled. And. I wasn't sure exactly what that was or how was going to work but I had confidence because my wife was a teacher. And she was a good teacher in the public school system and they gave me a lot of confidence not that any mom needs those type of credentials to be a good home school teacher Ok. Yeah I was here interjecting this of the but I. But that was what I needed. To even even consider that because I was concerned about the kids academics they were doing well in school and public school our little ones they were going to a daycare at the time but our older ones they were in you know middle school and junior high doing very well and I wasn't so sure that I wanted to take them out of that regular. Way of life and and such but my wife she didn't stop she wanted to homeschool and we were you know we were making it on 2 incomes but so I was thinking 2 things how we're going to do this on one income and 2. What's the kids' academic life going to look like afterwards how how do you do that how do you how do you structure that right so those are 2 concerns but by and by. By a by we made that work. God made a way for for it to work. You want to interject. I don't know. First. I want to ask the kids how many of you just reminding really how many you eat fruit or well you have made over fruit things like tomatoes and cucumbers Have you ever had a chance to eat those straight off the vine or out of a garden Yes Do they taste or say Have you ever had the fruit vegetables from the grocery store as well which one tastes better. The one from the garden and one from the garden and. Anybody ever seen a chicken on the run of it. And want to know what their experience is. I think a quick question how many be homeschool. Homeschool Yes. 2 or 3 anybody else and maybe you want to homeschool when you have children or you have children now you you don't go but you want to school or you want your grandkids I do homeschool you still want to homeschool them. I'm so busy homes on have had a home school right. Ok. My credentials as a teacher in the public school hurt me. If you stiff your teacher I've met a teacher already in public school no disrespect because I was there 6 years just 6 years. But the training and so on it actually hurt me because I just kind of stabbed just recently I started diving a little bit deeper into true education. That's radiology I mean I can say it here and I can see to it like oh yeah I said it anywhere else. What what true or do what the rest of the falls. So I had to deprogram myself from what I was trained in order to do it. God's way with my kiddos that makes sense. That was my only objection. I think. You. Go for those homeschool. And I think. This has this ever been your experience. Great kids breakfast is out of the way the kitchen is cleaned up let's start school all yes. I mean you know me how was your day to day how was school. Night. It's already 630 time for dinner Ok anybody had that experience my homeschooling Ok so this will have a crying session later Ok And you mean this sometimes often felt like my experience. Our homeschooling. We see it seems like a good labor be laboring that but our homeschooling journey brought forth fruit that was preparing us for Country Living so we're home schooling her in a home in the suburbs and then we are in this apartment and and we'll share all that later but it was. Conditioning us and preparing us it was a gateway to understanding God's ideals for his people. Which of course was that was leading us towards this country living concept we had to start somewhere right we began in this journey educating ourselves and having kind of like these miniature restoration Reformation experiences learning about. You know like be more aware of media you know media discernment became a thing. Music discernment dietary practices we started learning about that you know 8 Laws of health that was kind of something very new a mix that but it's true. And this this was our experience that it was kind of a a gateway into the country living. But we weren't perfect but we changed as we grew. Each Luis to homeschooling and we didn't seem going c.d.k. were babysitting scouts and when it turned out that. When I found out that we're going to higher being homeschooling my. Sense ag really no way school and I thought that's what we had been dealing all the time since I did you know when my older siblings were going every day. So as for all this I was obviously in school the longest in public school the longest o.e. to 8th grade so I was rescued for high school I was meant to be with my family and I've always appreciated that because I hear horror stories and rather you go to. It's cool and and I am glad I bypassed that. But as so what but in school I was always just like kind of a book average student I just did my work got the class I was in and did the extracurricular. All over her stuff but when and when I was finally home schooled I I was able to come on my show a little more because I was always shy or I was come where softspoken and every year or every. Every setting I was in with the new kids or the new group people I would decide to become more myself because I've seen actually quite goofy and and very intelligent and I wanted to let myself explore that area and that helped me figure out what I want to do for my future career her now. C.l. like my sister and the 2nd oldest in school 2nd longest serving her you'd say that and it was definitely a culture shock going from public school to homeschooling the main thing was that I had freedom to like actually explore and discover what I like to do which is kind of weird. I learned that a I love to write I loved animals I liked all these different things because of homeschooling and like gates and doors were opened up for me. Another thing I think I was really important was that spiritual things really started to open up to me what actually began to focus on what it is that I actually believed like I mentioned it wasn't until we got to the country that I found out what the Gospel is so you know imagine the state of my life and just figuring out like Ok you know Jesus is coming soon and I should probably do something instead of just living life or whatever so I really started to think about those things more seriously when I had time when I had less distractions from being a public school. I just like to enter Jack that the kids have been baptized before we move to the country and going to the Regular church you know you could turn 1213 years or you get baptized now just the process but they actually started learning about Christ after we moved actually not just them but all of us so I lying about Christ and building our relationship once removed out. So when I was 10 years old 10 years ago I don't really understand what the concept of home schooling. But I was in public school 5th grade I was doing good always but really all I remember is what I wanted so I could just eat and play. And so as we transition to homeschooling. That's what we. Always I did motto was like freedom and creativity and I discovered you know playing with Lego as a stock. And as a Shannon video editing and eventually I got more into nature and I discovered gardening which. I could only do once we moved out to the country. Ok and to touch on back on what my sister is saying are some are special I've also I mean it's still maturing I actually was baptized twice once when I was younger like 12 or something and then again we had gone to. Called mission trips to the Dominican Republic and I was also baptized then again but of course as you get older there's trials and things that tested me but I'm now getting still maturing and it's getting stronger in my mind of relationship with the Lord. But that was only possible because I was able to be with my family 247 and learn and and get tested by the right people that would still love me either way. And so yeah we were together a lot and then and like we've been to before in. An apartment and so a small living situation than what you would think a family of 7 would be and so we learned to be content all with our space to learn to share and surprisingly enough in real life not too many people share easily so when I was handing to let it go I have to take it I asked somebody else for something. They were not as easy to give and I was really confused but I still learn to to do my part and share with others and then also I was able to discover some gifts that were were inside me like cooking was a was a big one I I end up being kind of a sushi chef after my dad and then now whenever I'm home I'm head chef of course but. But. I but I am I do love cooking I end up going to call it a school afterwards for playing face and cooking and I also got into natural hair and you know. The using the natural oils and all of that stuff until you see now how fit to go and I did shift on with but I am having fun with that and. Yeah I think in teaching my pros and sisters our house take care of our our hair and also music was a really big thing learned taught myself a few things a few different instruments and it's really good for your mind to just kind of explore that creativity and learning. And while this is coming at me. That and that was our experience that was my experience the getting baptized over and over again not understanding what this is all about and in our journey when we started homeschooling them we started understand learning about righteousness by faith and and all these things and you know you don't work your way to heaven and things like emotionalism that gets people sometimes to go get baptized and stuff like that these are the things that we were learning and the Lord was freeing us from some error that we had. Were following about why. So you have some things lined up and but as we're going along we're just energetic because things are coming to our mind that help to put everything together a little bit more. So we were never really financially stable so we balanced around a lot when I and from our home from different homes and apartments and things like that. And so we started our home schooling journey while we were both working. And living in a suburban house and then once we started homeschooling and went down to one income we had to move again and move to something that was a little more affordable so that's how we're picking up the story now can. We manage to. Eat I'm. Ok Also you act in a Jackson of so every time move to a different house I think we may change our homeschooling our name like twice or 3 times to that the street name that we lived on so I'm like oh all of our different like diplomas our high school diplomas like say something different for what's going to graduated from but just money. So I toast going. Because I could be closer to my pain to my siblings and I made friends with other homeschoolers. So while we were at this apartment that Alyson mentioned we learned a lot we actually started learning about agriculture there I don't know what year it was quite 2012 or 13 yo may have. Heard of it was like a a weeklong agricultural. Conference but it's all online and they had all these speakers coming on and talking about Adventism and agriculture and the whole week we just listened to it the kids may have been just getting it by osmosis but I was just glued to the you know the internet listening is all audio is pi a lot of people here are running this whole program but I had no clue who they were and it was just intriguing to me and I thought yes I want to get out into the country we got into listening today Westbrook show of hands of those you know Dave Westbrook Ok we got 1234. Good amount of you heard Dave Westbrook we started listening to his. Teachings and his seminars and it was interesting while he was talking about country living he actually we were learning a lot about spiritual growth from his from what he was talking about a lot of his videos are about herbs and plant based cooking building shelters how to start a fire these types of things and little do we know that God is preparing us for a crisis that was about to happen through this through his information. So. Through listening today whereas pledge of course the next request after homeschooling came. A few years later was I want to move to the country and it was echoed by my children Daddy can we move to the country I'm just. Getting used to homeschooling I'm trying to adjust to working off of one income this is where I am and I'm thinking I'm doing Ok you know hey we were working this thing out here we're balancing you know just settle down weirdos. What's the. Host has made say but. But we you know by and by I started to listen to the day Westbrook lessons as well my wife signed up for a class began to listen and. Take in all that he was saying and I was no stranger to country living at all My dad was a lyric she evangelist he believed strongly in the health message and in country living. And he always talked about moving to the country and wanting to move back to Virginia we had moved from Virginia to California where I was raised and but he always wanted to move back home he's always on my going back home so here my wife comes with I want to move to the country now. My thought about moving to the country that. Oh yeah. Yeah. My thoughts of moving to the country had everything to do with Ok so we're moving to the country we're going to need based on what Dave is saying we're going to 20 acres minimum $10.00 to $20.00 acres right and so on these 10 or 20 acres I'm not building a house because I don't know how to build a house neither do I have the money to build a house but we're going to be a nice house on the acreage we need to have all these slopes and these have this and he had that I'm going to tractor I want a nice truck I want to make sure the land is is fenced and so with this information I started searching right. I started searching we're going to get to more than the 3rd hour but I started searching and seeing some of the prices in Texas where we were staying anywhere remotely around Houston was exorbitant and I said Ok yeah we can move to the country after I made my 1st 1000000 and. And so little by little my mind started to change about how this is going to be possible but I had great anxiety about even thinking about moving to the country. We passed out some fear cards that you guys have a chance to to write down your fears and. Kind of you have any fears about maybe 3 or 4. Years. Like. Yeah so who wants to share one of their future. For my house minutes employment he could be you he feels all the same way about everything that you just said and for me as I don't have any over feel if years except about midnight Some nights I'm thinking you know what to do I don't know I don't have the know how to do it. So those are my that's my fear Ok you know how he fears. Yes and I'm just not quite my own fear is fear that other people are putting in what if you get sick and you have an image and see hospital and not close I think putting feel in my mind that I didn't have exams and we got some of their from my in-laws. We're How close is the closest hospital going to be what happens if the kids get sick what are you going to do right now coast to coast store. And heal and heal things. Like I said with you away as a teacher to myself but I like I like I love nature without the animals I would have snakes ants. You name it and everything I told my husband last night that as long as it is all paved. I have no problem my daughter says Mommy Mommy This is not going to happen then finally muslin said Ok let's compromise Ok you can you know pave some of it but I said I'm not good at you know gardening I've never done that I have Black Tom I don't know what to do anything but you know it's kind of feel full to me. Those are all valid fears and concerns. That was also my concern that my as new would be a way for him because of the commute and. You know he we just won't be together as a family as much as we really would like to be so I can relate to that. So just to. Just as speak on our parents so they cared a great deal about us as as a couple and about their grandkids and they just wanted to make sure they know we were taking care of them and that we kept everything in perspective in mind before we made such a big move so in looking for a place we made sure that we were close to a small town that had all the modern conveniences that we needed there was a hospital there that there was stores there within driving distance so we would have to drive an hour to get anywhere that was necessary for us to to live or survive or in case of emergencies we have something else close enough that we can get to an emergency who gets us if necessary Ok So that was our in our 1st move that's what we looked for. But just a touch on my perception of country living when we 1st got into it. I was overwhelmed by the idea and I was because I was leaning soley upon what I could do I was not trusting in God at the time I was not saying Lord you see what the desires of our hearts are please provide for us open a way I wasn't doing that and it's like some time for me to get there. Very kids are going to share some of their fears that they have as well. As your at. All. And hours after you see the country. Because they like Renner and side sheds and stuff and that can skate. My fear away native. Country me my made you feel was that I thought country living would be boring compared to city living we mention this place called City Center it's like you know the place where you have your stories and your experience and your lights and music and you know just that re stimulating like oh this is exciting kind of thing and I saw that I was like I don't want to leave this you know to go to a country where no there's nothing except for account maybe and so that was my concern but that really worked in my heart so that later on when I would go to the city center place or city whatever I lost a desire to be there anymore I was like yeah I'm kind of done with this let's get out here. And I'm so very mine was being far away from friends. I mean we didn't have a turn either way we play like that because we were kind of friends to each other in this 5 of those kids so but that was a concern of my not being able to either go out to them they had a birthday party or something or if we wouldn't like invite them over no one wants to drive an hour and a half to their friend's house on a daily basis. And you know there's. No. I mean. There was he was a young teenager and fearless. So. Earlier I mentioned that we learned from Dave West books. Seminars and teachings and so on. About how to move to the country and what to do in survival type methods and so on because. And it helped prepare us for the crisis that was to come and so basically what happened was my daughter and I were in a car accident and the car was totaled and we had to buy a new car and. Getting the into this new car it causes a strain on our finances and so we had to. We pretty much had to just keep. We tried our best to hold on as long as we could and in eventually we just had to move financially we just couldn't handle where we were and the new car payment and we had a lot of friends friends from home school conventions came in and just poured into us it's amazing what people have been through and then they when you're going through it they can help you and that's what happened. You think you're the only one whenever you go through with crisis you think this I'm the only one that has going through this but apparently many people have been through similar situations and someone gave us as advice to move to a state park. A state park. And so that's what we did we decided to move to a state park and save up to get ourselves out of the country. So talk about humbling. Talk about humbling. The amount of loss to see that. So. I was not for this at all. I'm just a pause just for a minute. Everybody's been camping before. Have you ever been camping long term. Have you ever had to go to work and still be camping. I'll let that sink in for a little bit because that's what I had to do is let this sink in. The reason being is that I promised my family that the next time we move we're moving to the country. Be careful what you promise your family Ok yes I I had to keep my word I had to keep my promise because before he would see apartment that actually there was a request to move the country and we ended up moving to this apartment 1st and so I say Ok look next time we move we're going to move to the country so. Yes So that was it. We moved to this state park reluctantly on my hand on my part and that's where we're going to pick up the rest of the story. So I got a little taste of the country when a family moved to a state park and at the state preg a link. Had built 5 days in for it. And going to go wild animals and we had lots of exploration and adventure. And you know honestly of I'm sure this was a stressful time for my parents but for me and I know for my siblings it was like the funnest time of my life because like I never really been camping before you know so like here we are for this long term camping trip I could do this you know of and it is incredibly educational and brother said you got to build things you got to learn about wildlife you got to just it was so cool of and it really I think really helped us to prepares for when we did do country living you were experience with like you know getting our hands dirty not being afraid to do all kinds of stuff so it was a real blessing to be there at that time. Honestly. I was right there with my kids it was awesome I hugged it out there I felt so free it was unreal to get up every morning to Fresh Air If you notice it looks like Windows but it is completely massed screens yes screens it's like the screen outside of your window remove the window and you just wake up to Fresh Air bright that's they start to come out you get your sunshine. There's no words that can express how beautiful it was out there and there was a nature center that was out there so they had live animals and it was awesome. And my friend that told us you know to scold the state park tell your kids at the bench. Lifetime I mean she really really helped me to change my mind about the whole thing because I could have been like oh is me but it was like this and then venture home schooling at the park guys is what we're doing and. We start we continued there was one moment I have to share this moment there was one moment I was feeling a little down low stress and I stepped outside and I just looked up I don't know if you've ever seen these types of birds I don't even know what type they are but they were white and they flock together in big groups and they just came and flew and stopped and you know I see you shaking your head you know what I'm talking about what are they called. Say it again a grid. Crane Ok they they. Yes. It's like they all came literally and stopped right over our cabin and I just looked up and they stayed right there and they swayed back and forth and this like they did a dance and the sun glistens off of their wings so that it changes and it you know like a kind of a shimmer and then it goes go and then the shimmer again and they did a dance and it felt like eternity and I felt like the war was saying I'm right here I love and so much here's a little little show for you. And it and you know all the kids watching I think we had cell phones at the time and we got a picture I deleted it I feel so sad and after a while they just stop and then flew away and I felt revived again and I've heard stories like that he does that he brings animals to just bring just a piece of your life and while we're out there we continue the country use continue searching they will talk a little bit more about this later but Dave says you know be in the area that you want to live in and that's what we do we just started searching you still far from his job and we started searching and and because of what we learned from his Web site when we went to the different homes to talk to the people or when we were talking to realtors we felt so educated. So what side is that the slope in that what I mean even though what I'm saying but I use the terminology you know is there well water is there. Was one is there natural is a door facing the east one of the sons or in we were just using all the tech the techno returns how many a graduate is it clear that of of the stuff we didn't know before and we use all the terms we felt very confident and we could tell that we got a little bit more respect you know and we got more information then if we had known nothing we could have been taken advantage of so we do appreciate while you can't you may not be able to follow all of the aspects of what you teach you might not be able to get everything perfectly he still gives a nice foundation for you to be able to just follow like. Based on your personal likes and abilities. So during our experience I did understand what was going on because those older insole of my parents would talk to me about some things are just good like the background but eyes try to be a good example to my present sister is on our attitude and how we are going to take the situation even when I mean we didn't mention that this was in December so it was also wouldn't tear we were out Sunday and for her month in the winter time and that yeah. It was it was Ok it wasn't the worse because I mean I was still Texas Texas doesn't truly have like snow or anything like that but we all you know Salumi all slept together nice and snug That's why I was talking about the small spaces for 7 people so I when we have when we have we visit people are all we only have one room that's plenty like we could all fit in that one room together it's fine. And and then of course I was talking how I usually would cook for a family so now my mind met is in kitchen skills how to transfer to an outdoor setting and my brother of course he's learning how to build a fire wood kind of figured out how to do when they were it looks like a like a stove like with a piece of wood in the back in a kind of we had like a little it was cool it was really cool and so I would you go up super early make the fire that I would come up after him and then I would start making food and one day I might learn how to make Can't bread which is like this really cool little recipe for just like an easy bread to put over prior and I started going to my chef mind and I decided to make a pie so I made a really batch of it and I found some fruit and like canned peaches and I made a peach cobbler and I will try and like a chef or spy and so we have like a little general a Toronto. We had a few few days like that but we had instead of making it we don't have any food I just ran with it and see what we could create out there so yeah. So needless to say coming home was an adventure on the weekends we go hiking and things like that and it was a lot of fun. And like my wife said it was really preparing us for our next home because eventually after a short stint staying going back to our parents for a couple weeks we found a place God bless us with a country home out and Bellville Texas and this home was built in 1941 but because like I was telling you earlier the surroundings of it was we it was a house that we rented and it was on an acre of land that we rented but is sat on a 100 acres that the landlord gave us access to. They were running cows on the 99 we call it the back 99 acres and we could explore. All the acres back there. Now this house it was. It was a 23 bedroom if you will really 2 with all the other formals. But compared to step back. But compared to our previous home. It was a mansion. Right that actually had a bathroom. No bathroom. Had a kitchen. No kitchen. Either they didn't have electricity here. There were glass in the windows. No no no glass here but there was glass here right. You know we couldn't open it no we could open the windows Yeah put your windows. Average. Oh where. All the windows were we had don't screw the windows so we can do some pressure in the House of however the House did not it was not insulator. So because of our previous home go back to our previous home we were used to that because air would just fly straight in and we'd have to insulate ourselves by hanging up our jackets in front of the screen windows to keep the cold air out at night plus we had warm bodies to keep ourselves warm and believe it or not staying here we probably grew. No pun intended we grew closer to each other. More more than we probably even wanted to at the time but because of this experience we really became a very very tight knit family. More tight knit than we were previously we were close but we came even closer we began to trust each other more we came to came to depend on each other more. And more qualities came out and the kids were more helpful as a result so we moved to our next home. Thank you we moved to our next home every by we work together as a team and getting the property ready to go in lawns and doing chores around the house and I have to say that if it wasn't for our experience at the state park this would not have been an option for us. This house would not have been an option I would have looked at this and laughed which I actually did when I found it online I looked at and laughed and I said Honey let's go check this one out. How we were there for 2 and a half years. So. It became it became it always is in a place where we learned about true country living. We had a lot of memories their. Home was old so you know those those little cartoons where you know you step out of the home you step out of the home you slam the door behind you and then the whole house falls down into or. Bill that's just that's kind of how it felt like it was at any moment you know you touch a window and one of the thing the people were just playing off of and just kind of like whoa you know but it is it had sturdy structure I mean 140 s. right and still there but it was strongly peaceful we were on a back back back back back back road we saw a car went there re few hours. It was just really really peaceful I actually enjoyed me enjoyed being in a tent on the outside of the home and just sleeping out there under the stars more than being inside but it was a very peaceful home surrounding my son got to to watch the neighbors cattle he got the neighbor that owned. Lease the land paid him for watching the cattle and counting the cattle and you know looking out for it a lot of what I paid him to fix the fencing out there are 2 little ones explored and saw wolves in the distance and. My goal was the wolves or coyotes and he thought what else. Hocks and just all kinds of beautiful things that they got to experience pretty much for the 1st time in their life so it was really a sweet experience. Introduction. Only interjections. This one place. It's. Just a reminder with. The cabin. That was a training ground for us but it helped us help helped us to think differently about where what country life really was we were thinking you know 100 acres 4 wheelers big house. It be a blast but that's not what country lives about and that's what the quote said earlier expensive dwelling elaborate furnishings display luxury in easy not furnished the conditions essential to a happy useful life. And so God is trying to show us that from going from cabin to this next house that that's not the point is not to be looking in the country but to have the experience of of what Jesus would do learning to be getting closer to God So if you're if that was your picture of you know a nice country home maybe you should shift it 1st and if you have the money to do all that that's that's great but make sure you're focusing on your True. Where you focus is in the country which is to have peace and learn of God to nature. Yeah I remember. Living to the country a whole new world of discovery opened up for us I remember once remembering that we had not only having awesome donkey. And find out his name later but we got to raise animals which I'd never done before the most I had was like any peaks fish you know. And there's one time I was doing my night. And in the dining room and I hear this commotion outside my siblings or in the elevator I didn't hear whatever and I find out that our neighbor who's in for a Scouse was bringing his full Also your picture. I hope another week I'm very anxious that his name is roll. And he's bringing him I was like so excited I ran out to watch him and I got to see this ball for the 1st time in my life I never seen you know these 10 animals like up close and personal before and it's like this is it was a beautiful experience like just the freedom to discover new things every day. With no hindrances it's just the way life should be. One quick interjection. Always to go is exploring the exact 99 at 1st it was a little it was a little scary because you have these huge beasts that are back there right. These cows that we never really had interaction with before but once you start seeing them having babies you know and what you see that. They're just so close you can just hop over the fence and as we do we have to with this we just go back there we walk right among them we walk right in between them these are thousands of pounds the ball is right from here to the wall right there you know I'm not biased cause we got to the book I guess just enough space to go you know ole or whatever and I just want to tell a story about that ball because Rolo roll over the powerful beast. And there was another pastor right next door and these 2 boys came to. And my son and I were out there mending a fence because they had already dug up the fence and we were going out to go in the fence and so Rolo where they're all going to the next Rolo he doesn't have any more they cut the horse they don't hurt nobody as if they need a horse to hurt somebody. Rolo stands about yea tall Ok. Yeah the taller he saw he's about yeah a wide Ok. On of his wire now he's about a wide. And so again Keith and I we were probably about from here to there when we were bending the fence and we hear we look up a rollover like this he's telling us to get out of the way we look at him he's looking at us he goes like this and we're like Ok so we were out of the way we got to back up and he's walking towards this fence and there's another born as out of the fence and these bulls come together they tell us noses and always sudden Rolo Larch is at this other bull and the other bull he backs up and he comes back and went from one Rolo Larch is forward you could see every sinew of his muscle. Flinch and I was like oh my goodness what a powerful you know the beast this is and we're just feet away from him and he's gentle as I don't know what but you can see it's like meekness is so much power into control he didn't see it as a threat. But he was always protecting He was always protecting the other cows out there he would protect the donkeys that were watching over the cows because the cattleman put down a dark out there to watch over the calves that's what that's that's who keeps the calves in order which is a really interesting dynamic that I never even thought about so they use these were some of the things that were learning we 1st got to this this 1st place. So the country give us an atmosphere of peace and freedom and after a while e it quite a gag and chickens in a donkey. And. Oh yeah I donkeys Neela's but I. Own chickens has no means. Is by us there is hock. Grey Gainey him in. Psychiatry. Glow Charlie inspect holes. Oh yeah still in time we went away from like to hang and that stood and we left the chickens out so then we come back and. I chicken named hock a standing by a fence and there's a hog just sitting on the fence just looking just looking at her like that's kind of a. Yes thing. But there were many times where the kids had to play protector over the chicken and one of the things that we got to is because my my wife she wanted chickens now is one of the things that she always wanted the house came with a chicken house. That was then just off the side of one of the barns and so a neighbor drove by a gentleman who drove by like almost every day this red pickup truck and he happened to stop one day me introduce himself my wife says she wants some chickens he said Oh Ok I have some chickens he brought over a dozen chickens. Here's some chickens. I must not just take a. We don't eat chickens we don't eat eggs but wife wanted chickens or must know she wasn't chickens they were brought chickens we in paper form and we had a whole buthe chickens who had more chickens and. And we got to learn how to take care of chickens my son even hatched help help help to had some and care for me while they were still amazed that was were pretty cool experience. Oh. There he can. Let me out of different animals 1st wild and domestic and. Much living on now for. A living say I much of what I know now after living in the country. I have take. Now if you put a book in front of the grocery devours it. Within with a few days and she just goes from book to book to book to book and we can hardly keep up with you have you actually careful with kind of books around the house because she will read anything that comes in there. Ok so much about this time we were learning about the s.t.a. the 7 year than his pioneers we never learned anything about them. Or had really. We just we just didn't we just didn't know about the history of our church and as we were learning about the history of our church they mentioned country living and and we were just kind of. Getting more and more pieces were coming together. When we were at this 1st house that we showed we started actually studying at home with a small group of people and the Bible which is opened up to us and we would study under the tree large pecan tree that was out in the back and we would study every Sabbath and just learn so much and the atmosphere really did play a huge role in how the word was opened up to us. And guys probably remember when I mentioned that when we started homeschooling I started learning more about God and then I mentioned that when we moved to the country as an actually 1st begin to. Underwrite the Gospel and so that happened I really did grow even closer to God. And at this time I was working in the city still going to work with my dad and I would get to come home to the safe haven in the country away from the noise from the vanity whatever city life so that was a blessing and later on live to our current residents I got to start working with I think animals out in the country. Which is also a blessing because now I'm out there all the time and I can. Just get the full experience of country living. And so after we actually got to that that 1st yellow house our 1st country home I was only able to spin the 1st 6 months having a country life. At that time and I was in my high school years so I end up going to going to school like I mentioned before Sally got to spend 6 months out there with them but I always had the opportunity to go back home and have that get away from city life and I moved to Austin Texas so there's like an hour half drive to work my parents were so it wasn't too bad so like every other weekend I would go out. To visit my parents and I can remember the 1st time I went to go visit them is really funny because I did not tell them at all that I was coming and mind you I'm like 19 years old I just had my 1st car and so I job during the day and always Houston hung out with some friends and then. Well when nightfall came I finally decided to actually drive out to the country and it was about 9 pm and I went to go knock on the door they don't expect any right to come out right now to their house in the middle the night and I knocked on the door and my brother team decided to come through the door with a bat because they think it was there was the 1st intruder or something and they files like guys it's me like me who is like guys with me to me who I'm like Brianna and they bust open the door and they're the budgeteers in all the kids cry I was crying and my dad he was crying because his daughter probably came home and it was just really a really nice time to just see that my family still loves me and that I can come back anytime I want and I have a home in the country. Ok at this point things Grae sharing that story everybody go ahead and stand up. There by stand up stand up stand up preach up into the sky or out for just this stretch stretch we're going to be taking a break soon but I just know about it's hard on the body to be sitting for so long because you're doing such a great job and I have a question for you don't sit down sit down question quick question which I'll rather live in the country and not be able to plant a garden or would you rather live in the city and grow as much fruits and vegetables as you'd like when my kids came up with this. Question As a tough one I know she's frowning like what in the world I hope I never have to experience that option city to grow all the fruits vegetables you want country. Not be able to plant a garden. You'll know which one. This country Yeah and then where are you going to get your fruits vegetables from. The guy with the chickens right I guess it's a trick question and just just get it from the the neighbor All right those are the is everyone standing how mean it's go ahead and sit down if the you are a garden already you're gardening already you have a garden. Or you know what. Was what you were. You wanted to find a. Garden meaning growing something from it and it doesn't have a mother. All right for those still standing how many of you want to guard in you want to start gardening and sit down if you want to start gardening. Awesome. You want to start gardening we have a resource for you and we'll share it with you at the end of our session. So we're going to fast forward through this experience we watched regimes you've heard of back to Eden. Ok a lot of you write we stumbled upon that I don't know how we watched it and then Casey said that's it let's start a garden because we were out at that house for a little bit and we just weren't doing anything we just were talking I said let's start a garden and so. He funny all started the garden. And he and it was a little plot and we started growing things and it was a sweet experience. At this point I was able to. Become mobile and get out into the community as my son mentioned earlier what about doing a Bible study and I started meeting people and. And started. Making networking and making connections and this was going to be very crucial for the next crisis that was on its away. So there were there are many blessings that we experience there were some more seen and some were not. But hindsight is always 2020 we want you guys to think about are some of your own personal living parables and if you write these down. Or just take some time during the conference where you just kind of meditate and just see how God is leave your life Ok. Just try and recognize those things because things that we went through we didn't see it in the time that it was happening but I we look back at it it was like wow wow guy was doing this I was doing that and preparing us in different ways and. And we still don't know where he's taken us this is just one step in our journey we were just glad to share. So you even some things that seem awful. If you pull a blessing out of those things that seemed like a terrible experience. You can see how God is still leading you I've even heard. How God in a recent. Podcast I was listening to we were all this you 2 actually. Call how they did that or why they did that. The gentleman was talking about how God used say to. Discourage David. And how it how it was turned around for David to be a better king he was already annoyed to King with some of the things that he went through God put him through so he would be better but he didn't he couldn't do that himself he allowed Satan to have his way in certain instances to discourage so that David by those experiences would grow is a really interesting podcast I can't put into words that the speaker did was very interesting just to check it out. And to let our We're going to our kids share a few things about the their experiences Joshie Keith become a. K.c. and. So you had it you got a card that had you to write down the blessings and the living parables are kind of like object lessons and anybody want to share anything that they they wrote on their card. Any blessings that you experience out in nature or just in the course of your life. Lessons that you learned. That we're going to share we're going to share some of the living parables that we experience our country. Seeing her sitting on all night with her chicks at same time in the she was a they can but sometimes you my me of how a heavenly Father protection guides us all at the same time with plenty of despair as it says in some sunny one for he shall cover this is for his wings just for me. My living parable was being on the garden and pulling weeds one day I I suddenly had the impression that wow. This is what God is doing in my life I'm like this plant that I am you know that I'm going I'm trying grow some a ruler that my son planted but I'm here and we now we know around these plants so that. They can grow stronger in everyway their point are where the tougher easy is just like we're crisis drawn with me pulling things out of my life so I can grow. For me there is one time when Keith and I were eating out in the garden my favorite hobby of and. We were we noticed how easy it was Amy some kind of obvious how much easier it was to put the weeds when they were young just small little things versus when they're big and ugly and you know how the root deep into the ground. Yeah and so it made me think about especially with children and just any habits or climate allies it's easier to really out of our lives at the beginning before it takes root and starts to you know fester too much on top of those really important lessons be to keep in mind. Sometimes we have when one of the things that I learned sometimes out in the garden that we have now we have these weeds and they have huge. White prickly thorns on them Anybody ever seen this in the garden and they're painful and you want to rip it out you want to just take your hand and just grab it out but it will be very painful to do and it reminds me of the big oh uh Gleason's that are in our life right and we want to remove it but it's painful and we don't want to we don't want to deal with it. But I notice that. When we leave it there it gets bigger and bigger and it seems even more daunting but with these little wee when you put a glove on a sturdy glove and yank out it comes out like it was never even the ground. The. The roots are so shallow and it just reminds me that if we just make an effort to remove God sin that thing that's in our life we just make an effort to just you know give it a go and just get rid of it it can be removed through with Christ it can be removed and just taken out out of our lives. Sometimes a document takes out of his pen and soon he found in like down there it is I think. Come back with this willingly and the lesson that it learned from this is that if we take one really frown. And he says bring us back to him then and we. Go back with him willingly. So for my living parable. So while we are back at the cabin in the in the National Park. We were all playing one day because I was still playing I was still young and 2 years there was some phone logs I decided to you know bound to walk across it and I was really confident confident in my balancing skills unfortunately I still slipped off to my surprise and. I fell into the brush but it wasn't super deep as I thought it would be I thought I was going to fall in for a while there the warns. Of but it didn't turn out that way and my presence is came to help me up there. Never mind me of my walk in my life I may think I have it together all by myself but I really don't I need help from the Lord and even if I do fall it's never too far and he can still come pick me back up and with the help of my family friends are still someone there to support you. So something I learned. Or my living parable is that I actually I learned this from reading a book on orchards and saw a piece of where to be stripped completely bare and it may seem that life there is like no longer possible possible it could be. Dusty and just nothing there but with rain and sunlight and seas are blown in by the wind and dropped by various creatures. The seeds will start to grow and begin with small plants just covering the ground a little eventually grow and produce strong fruit bearing trees and life will flourish there again. So the lesson that is that when you fill up there is no more hope and your soul fears bear the Word of God which would be the light made affected by the Holy Spirit which be the rain can in your life. Quicken the seeds bring them to life and those seeds are planted by God's messengers as servants and. Those who will bring new life to her soul and with help your character and as your character develops eventually you will bring forth good fruit and can bless others with it. So we had some living parables and they also then we also had some just basic lessons learned in this process of getting out getting out of the country or being in the country. One lesson my job my Joshua my Joshua he taught us that your character depends on the seed you choose to plant the all agree with that. There was a bird at that that the 1st house that we showed you that would keep on. Flying and getting itself into the window has anybody ever seen that before it's a it's a weird phenomenon you have a-K. it just kept flying from a branch of a tree and it would knock into the wind I guess with its beak or what have you and then our son keep told us that. John was a brother deicing or he taught you that sometimes birds have a defense mechanism in there they are kind of. Trying to help me out like. It's only during mating season. They see a rival but it's really them. In their reflection so they're trying to attack this rival I guess are not smart enough to realize that. Yes it was a reflection in the window and we didn't know at the time we just literally learned a week or so ago and so what we are talking about it Brianna. I came up with. This thought that your greatest rival is yourself so whether it's a gardening issue or whether it's just trying to get out into the country or some other thing that's going on in your life sometimes we can be the obstacle with the fears or with the. Expectations are just way too way too high an unrealistic or maybe not even aligning with what God would have for us are our greatest rival can be ourselves. Any. Never heard this one. Don't burn down a tree to kill a snake. I did. Let's. Play this story later it has come to you that I'm going to. Alyssa tells us that. She learned that animals can smell your fear they can sense your fear and so if you don't want them to attack you then you need to not be afraid of them and show them who's boss for example a dog that just showed up on our property her name we named her charity and we didn't know but it is a blue heeler mix with. Pit bull blue heeler makes it which is nipping that big nipping at them and we had to put it in its place but after a while it was their best friend it would follow them wherever they would go and I felt safe when they would go out into the acreage because this dog which is protect them so. Don't show your fear. And as my son was. And get to share the story about the mulch that we had a truck just dumped some mulch on our property but as our son was getting into. Gardening and he was ordering books to to buy seeds and you have tons and tons of pictures of different fruits and vegetables and he was like This is ridiculous we why don't we have this in our stores you know there's like how many several types of cantaloupes and several types of different you know melons or what have you and 8 you know I can imagine the stories but the supermarket is only out like one and he just said we need to broaden our horizons when it comes to food or I'm paraphrasing. That that was that was what he realized. I was so we experience it and then you have what is this that it's on the screen. So yep yep jackfruit. Chopin's we ever had to act through Ok so it makes you want to get to heaven right. Man jackfruit is absolutely delicious and we experience it yeah it's what's inside of that. It's extremely ugly I actually covered it up with a towel because it was it made me turn and I was scared every time I walk to my kitchen but it's so delicious. But that's what we experience for the 1st time being out there. Can you help me out. If you want to do yours. And one major lesson that I learned just from this whole experience was that. It's a lot you see to go like we're going to go through trials right and she said the inevitable but it taught you to go through it as a family when you're working together and not to green lighting and things like that. You know for that sure working in the guiding me when we work together we get things done a lot faster so just one major lesson I've learned from this whole experience. I was able to come out of my little as a 7th Day Adventist bubble and when I joined the Bible study I met a lot of people from other faiths and I learned I know you probably already know this this is just my personal experience I learned that people of other faiths love the Lord. More more than I thought they did and way more than I did. It was a beautiful experience to meet people of the different faiths and to see how much they loved the Lord and how much they loved people and when we share more than the we didn't share our. Yeah the next crisis that comes up in our life at this house over in this kind comes in very handy the love of these people. But I learned that working in the garden also is very challenging if you don't know what you're getting into he grew my son grew like so much greens I don't even know what do you do with greens I don't even know what to do I just chop them and cook them chop them and cook them but you have to know what you're getting into you have to know what you want to eat you have to know what So you so it lets you know what you want to plant. Ok So one lesson that Keith O'Neil experience was that. Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and ye shall find knock and it shall be opened into you Matthew 77 folks in the country are usually very kind their giving their accepting a generous. And they are very sharing people and you just have to ask and sometimes you don't even have to ask and if you need tools or advice you're sure to get it and they will even share their produce with you sometimes for bringing something that we. Grew in our garden and we're bringing that somebody and then someone's run. Across the street to bring us something from their garden another person that we're giving the stuff to was saying here you know you look We give us and we go back home with more than what we left the house with and as it's an absolute blessing. So we're going to bring this session. To a close before we get into our 3rd session but again there's no one way to get to the country. That's that's the lesson here. And to trust the Lord to guide you in take you where you can watch this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.

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