2017 was a full year for our little crew. As we prepare to usher in 2018, I can’t help but look back over the year in awe. When I think about the moments that defined our path, a few come to mind…
Our time in South Africa changed our family. We all fell hard for the captivating country and God worked healing and restoration in our hearts during the time away. At the start of our trip, God gave me two very clear visions. We had been walking in a hard season for the past several years, and the weariness had really begun to weigh on us. God is so gracious to call us away from our comfort zone, from our ordinary routines and draw us closer to Himself in order to reveal His heart. He did so for our family there. It was a holy time of rest and connection and renewal.
I wasn’t sure what God had for me in Zimbabwe. I simply knew He had asked me to go and I went. Obedience brings blessing and life. God was so very near during my time there, freedom and peace were the overarching themes for that trip. A new path was forged for our family there and we now can see why I needed to go.
The Berry Farm
Now we know, Zimbabwe and the Gatehouse Project are tethered to our family’s work at the farm. We launched our first harvest season, benefitting the boys in Zim. We renovated our barn at the farm and hosted friends to hear the stories of the good work being done around the world. We open the doors of our little barn on Sunday mornings for a humble and holy gathering. God told me the farm would be so much more than just a farm. And, it truly is.
The humble gathering on Sunday mornings was born out of a year of study and prayer. God drew us, along with a few close friends, on a journey of learning more about His heart and deconstructing everything we have learned about religion. Everything about this journey has been unexpected and beautiful. We are a ragamuffin little crew, admittedly broken and messy, with a longing to know Jesus and to live our lives in a way that reflects His deep love and unreserved grace. It’s been a privilege to open our barn doors and welcome in old and new friends to worship and study together on Sunday mornings.
Our Summer Road Trip
After one of the most intense months of the year, our little crew needed to hop in the car and get away for an adventure. We drove many, many miles, laughed with old friends, visited family, made memories and rested. It was the sweetest few weeks. And, so, so good for our hearts.
A New School
This was a milestone year for our littles. The boys started a brand new school (which has been the biggest answer to prayer – we couldn’t be more grateful for the blessing of this school and their teachers), Sylvie started Kindergarten and Charlotte (my baby!! where does the time go?!) started PreK for the first time. We’ve had growing pains and tears, but, undoubtably this year of change and transition has been so very good for my little people. They are all thriving and my heart soars when I think of how far they’ve come these past few months.
The most unexpected and wild ride this year has most definitely been our work with HGTV. The show was a part of the entire year – we learned of the next step of a sizzle reel while in South Africa, filmed for a couple of days in February, in April we learned the news of a green light to film a pilot, filmed in June and the pilot premiered in November. It has been a crazy ride that we still haven’t quite wrapped our heads around.
We’ve had some big changes and big moments define 2017 for our family. Yet, life is funny. The big moments aren’t the most important ones. The little, everyday, ordinary moments really are the ones I treasure the most. My heart is full of gratitude as I look back on the year. 2018 has big shoes to fill. <3