Choosing My Hard

Choosing My Hard

Trusting and waiting is hard.

Staying focused and motivated is hard.

Choosing joy is so hard sometimes.

Maybe it’s a woman thing. Maybe it’s what happens when you find yourself staring up the mountain of purpose and see your dreams looming down at you, seemingly impossible to reach.

But you know what else is hard?

Killing your heart with self-doubt.

Forgetting God’s promises for you.

Destroying your worth and purpose with fear.

They might be easy to do but they sure are hard on the heart.

I’ve been unexpectedly vacant from my farmhouse social media which is a big, “no-no” when you’re trying to operate social media as a business. Every blog or business development workshop you attend will tell you that consistency is key. People won’t know you exist if you don’t give them something to look at, after all.

But then there’s strategies on specifics: specific times of the day to post, how many times in a day or week to post, posting on your stories, using your business stats, the list goes on and on…..

It overwhelms me.

I want this to be an honest place for myself and for my followers. Here’s the honest truth about the reasons why you haven’t really heard from me lately:

  • There is life to be lived and I need to enjoy the moment entirely by putting down my phone. I’m just not good at being intentional and telling my followers what is happening.
  • I start to post something and then delete it because I don’t want to fall victim to vanity by seeing how many “likes” and follows it will give me.
  • My heart is in this entirely, but sometimes it takes more effort than I feel like I can handle to pursue even the things I am very passionate about.

I want substance. I want quality. I want honesty. I want vulnerability in everything I put out here for you guys.

The problem comes when I fill my mind with fear and doubt and guilt. When this happens, I tend to isolate myself. This makes it hard for even the most enthusiastic person to stay focused and motivated on the tasks I need and want to accomplish.

To top it off, it feels like it has been impossible to find someone to relate to.

I’m not a mom so it feels like I can’t relate to any of my friends at the moment because they keep their timeline busy being a mother. My husband’s career is busy and booming and while that makes my heart so happy for him, he also doesn’t quite understand what this feels like either. So it’s really easy to feel alone with these thoughts.

After a much needed phone conversation with one of my closest friends, she reminded me of a simple truth that I continually forget:

I’m not alone.

Jesus is with me every day, even on the days that I choose to ignore him. I am loved. I am understood. I am blessed. I am here in this waiting season for a reason. Nothing is meaningless. Nothing is circumstantial. It is all to bring me closer to Him.

I have come to realize that I have a choice to make on how I want to set my mindset for the day, the week, the year and for the rest of my life.

That might be the biggest sigh of relief: I get to choose.

So, it’s time. It’s time to choose which hard is worth fighting for today.

I no longer choose doubt and guilt and fear. I am choosing joy, hope and determination. It’s going to be hard every day to remember that I can make that choice, but that is far better than the alternative hard.

The following is a quote I read yesterday in a Desiring God article that really helped me. I invite you to read the article for yourself as well. It’s called, “When God Calls You Out.”

“This is the truth that resounds in the depths to which God calls us. He invites us to step out and follow him. To dream. To plan. To build. He invites us to put our hands to work for his name’s sake, not based upon our expertise or know-how or giftedness. He invites us here based upon who he is himself.” -Jonathan Parnell.

-Kelsey

What’s next? An update for Farmhouse on Five Mile

The heating bills are piling up high, but so are the plans rising for the Farmhouse in 2018.

Flash back to January 2017: I decided to type up my very first blog post. It was a decision I had thought about for a while but with no real set destination in mind. I just knew that I liked writing and I was somewhat good at it.

Fast forward to January 2018: I’ve learned SO much about blogging. One of the more essential aspects of growing a blog is networking and creating undeniably great content. Now I have an updated vision for the blog from this newfound research…to make it a career. I’ve come to realize that this writing thing I do doesn’t have to be simply, “something I do.” In fact, this can be an essential and primary part of what I do as I integrate into a self-sufficient/home-making/homesteading lifestyle.  The key is this: YOUR support…which has already been so great! Every time you click on the website, subscribe (<— that’s a link, by the way) with your email, share and make comments on all the platforms- YOU are making the difference, thus keeping this dream alive. And for that I’d like to not only thank you from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to actually do more for you in return.

This year I am setting out to create blog posts that are more centered on farmhouse related projects (don’t worry- I’ll still include my deep-thinking/Christ-centered/story-telling posts, for those of you who love that style of writing). This will include home renovations and Farmhouse DIY decor trends. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m willing to bet that the DIY projects you save on your dream boards- but never really set out to do- is because you probably don’t think you can actually, “Do it yourself.” You might think a project looks too pricey or you simply don’t have the time to put the effort in. Who wants to surf through all the pop-up ads to actually read the tutorial, anyway?

To add more fun and action into those dreamy projects we all crave, I’ll be documenting the whole process on social media and creating an ultimate one-stop blog tutorial here. These posts will be a breakdown of what, where and how much you need in time, money and motivation for your unique DIY masterpieces.

In sum, my trial and error madness methods will be for your benefit! My crazy mistakes and amateur attempts will end up saving you time and money…and I promise there won’t be any weight-loss-pill-to-reduce-belly-fat type of ads to interfere.

So, would you like to know what the first Farmhouse on Five Mile DIY project is?

Drum roll please…

DIY FARMHOUSE CURTAINS!
Just about every room in our farmhouse needs curtains- but especially the living room and master bedroom. More on this topic later, but be sure to follow Farmhouse on Five Mile on Instagram and Facebook for the announcement of when the first official blog post will be!

I’d also like to update you on the frequently asked-about: Horseback Riding Lessons at the Farmhouse. I am SO excited that so many of you are eager to get their kiddos and yourselves signed up for this! I am just as eager to get it started- however, I am unwilling to cut corners to get there. We are slowly but surely working out the details for a brand-new, footed, outdoor arena.  We actually just had someone out two weeks ago to come look at our location and we are eagerly waiting to hear back about the cost for this addition. Spring 2018 is when I would like to get the program started, but we are at the mercy of the weather as the ground needs to be pretty dry for the arena to be built. Please pray for us as we continue to work on this. It has been somewhat daunting with how long it is taking to get there- but I have an incredible feeling that it is going to be so worth it.

I have some Farmhouse Arena Fundraising ideas in the back of my mind to help jump-start this much anticipated lesson program. Want to know more on that? I’ll be blogging about those thoughts in the near future. Be sure to add your email (<— another link here!) so I can add your name to my list of people who are eager to be in-the-know and up-to-date on all the fun plans unfolding for Farmhouse on Five Mile!

Dear Farmhouse

Farmhouse,

Sometimes you need to be reminded of how beautiful you are.

Your flaws are easy to see and your progress even harder to show, but don’t worry. You are your own worst critic when it comes to your imperfections.

Stand tall, dear Farmhouse. You are growing older by the day but you are as sturdy as strong. They don’t make many houses like you these days. You were built with endurance in mind…handcrafted by an artist that put much thought into how to help you withstand time. Like a fine wine, you only age beautifully.

You are not defined by your lack of shiplap and white cabinets. You are all the best parts of you that make you unique to the world.

You are the walls that have sobbed and laughed with all the faces that walk by you.

You are the floors that have held the weight of many who felt like they couldn’t hold themselves together.

You are the front door that welcomes everyone to feel like they’re right at home.

You are the sunset that kisses your rooftop goodnight.

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That pine tree standing even taller than you is a daily reminder that your broken window in the back is a much smaller problem than what most have to face in this world. There are homes in many states and countries crumbling under the damaging weather, fires, and floods. But not you. You have withstood throughout it all.

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Don’t be afraid to strive for better…for greatness. It’s okay to aim for your highest potential. One day, your walls will match. Your furniture will compliment your smile. You will proudly wear your curtains as they hug you and you will never doubt yourself or your purpose here.

And as you wonder in these middle days of figuring it all out, I hope you know how loved you are. You are never forgotten or set aside.

Think of how proud your builder would be today that you made it this far.

I imagine they were completely satisfied when they laid down their hammer for the last time and looked up at you through the sweat and blood.

My letter to my Farmhouse.

My letter to me.

 

 

 

“For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses- as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” Hebrews 3: 3-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fail Big

This year I set out to put all of my Pinterest inspired plans and acreage to good use. Measure out my dimensions, buy the seeds, till the soil, fence it in, plant, water and repeat until it’s ready to harvest. How hard could this gardening thing be, anyway? (says the millennial)..

I didn’t get my seeds started in time so I had to purchase started plants in late May (I tried to with my strawberry seeds…they didn’t turn out like I had hoped). I dug my holes at 2:00 in the scorching hot afternoon because I was too lazy to do it in the crisp morning hours. I forgot to water for a few days in a row…more than once…and almost lost the entire garden multiple times. Half of the tilled soil was a garden of weeds and the cucumbers were just about suffocating the other half of it. And for the love of all things gardening- I didn’t even get to put up the tomato cages.

Through it all, I still somehow managed to carry in baskets full of tomato and cucumber plants over the last six weeks. God probably felt sorry for me and sprinkled His miracles over my weed garden 😉

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I’m a failure at pretty much everything I try to do in life.

And so are you.

If that sounds harsh, I’m sorry but, you are. We all are.

I’ve learned something before that I’ll never forget- that even on our best days…our best days when everything in our world seems to be going right…we still don’t measure up to the only perfect human that ever existed: Jesus. So, why do I think I can do anything completely on my own? Why do I feel a need to anyway?

{Insert pride here}

The source of my strength comes entirely from my Savior and the good news is that His strength never fails- even though I do daily. As a believer, this is what I hold my hope in. This is where my anchor lies.

It’s not that I didn’t try my best to avoid these mistakes. I just knew from the beginning that mistakes were bound to happen (does anything ever go as planned?). Instead of letting the inevitable discourage me, I kept pushing through and had a harvest that equaled the intentional effort I gave. I also think the land we live on here in southern Ohio is super fertile and will be my greatest advantage in the future years to come. I can only imagine what the produce will be when I apply what I’ve learned from this year to next year’s garden…and next year’s mistakes to the following year….and so forth 🙂

My failures amount up to nothing short of a learning experience for anything in my future that will go right. How do we know what success is, or what blessings are, or what glory feels like…if things don’t ever go wrong? The bigger my mistake is, the more He seems to use it better for His glory later on.

Keep showing up. Keep learning, growing, investing into and expanding your knowledge. Keep failing and keep pushing through the trials.

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Another important lesson through this failure/learning experience: networking is key, no matter what you’re trying to build. After an unexpected visit with our elderly neighbors a few weeks ago (we were helping my friend look for her runaway dog), I marveled over their abundance in produce and well thought out garden layout. It was obvious that they have had decades of experience in this area. I decided then that helping them with their garden next year is going to be one of the best ways I can help my own garden. Even more than that it’s a great way to build a closer relationship with them. I also realized in that moment that I had several close friends offer to help me through this process and I let my pride get in the way instead of taking them up on their offers. It was almost like God was saying to me right in that moment, “The answer was in front of you all along. You have help- look around you.” Quite literally…200 yards to my right! All I had to do was, “love my neighbor” (Mark 12:31).

 

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13.

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Yours Truly,

Kelsey

God’s Assignment for Me

The man standing on the front porch step of our home that we had already created two years worth of memories in…I didn’t choose him.

He crossed his arms after wiping tears from his glossy eyes. I never decided he was, “the one for me.”

He hugged his parents, then mine, and I stepped up to stand next to the man I never dreamed of.

But you know what I did do?

I married the man I was assigned to.

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You can argue all you want on how the world turns. You can provide the evidence in hand and give me every scientific reason to believe that we’re all just “here.” However, my faith in that the world was designed and created by God and that our souls were bought at a price from Christ Jesus is infinitely larger than that. And my proof in that belief is through the marriage God gave me.

Our small group through church had spent a significant amount of time last year reading through an online book called, “You and Me Forever” by Francis and Lisa Chan (it’s free to download the book as an app onto your smartphone- I highly recommend looking it up and reading through it yourself). One of the best quotes that has stuck in my memory was from Lisa:

“Christ-likeness may be especially important in our marriages because marriage is such a powerful way to display the gospel and the glory of God. It is the first place people will look to see if we believe what we say we believe. Someone can have a dynamic speaking gift, or generously give to anyone in need, or appear to know a lot of Scripture, but if they have a terrible marriage, it raises questions. How can he treat his wife that way? Why is she so disrespectful to her husband? They obviously do not believe what they claim to believe. It should burden us deeply that many of our marriages paint the gospel in a bad light. Can you imagine if the divorce rate among Christians was next to nothing? What an incredible way to cry out to the world that we are different! We have the mind of Christ, we have the power of the Holy Spirit, we choose to die to ourselves and love and forgive even when things get difficult. This is what God wants for us as His people.”

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God gave me an assignment to marry Michael on August 22nd, 2015. You can’t convince me that I could have ever saw that coming. I longed for a perfect love but I never knew how much I needed my marriage to glorify my Creator. I never knew that marrying my best friend meant that I was called to love someone patiently and unconditionally- for more than myself and even more than for my husband. We are far from perfect but every day I am going to keep pressing on to be selfless in this way. It is by God’s perfect timing, God’s perfect decision to bring us together, and God’s perfect love for me that motivates and inspires me to love my husband the same way.

 

P.S.

In lieu of a unity candle to signify two becoming one flesh (Ephesians 5:31), we took soil from my parents’ yard and from Michael’s parents’ yard and poured both into a single soil pot of a Catalpa tree we would plant in our own front yard a month later. As the years and our love for another grows, so hopefully will the tree to remind us of our two souls becoming one.

Today, the tree stands taller than Michael.

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Happy two years of marriage, my love.

Yours Truly,

Kelsey Moeller

 

Small Farm, Big Dreams

“Some people are a bouquet of red roses. They’re beautiful, stunning, and passionate about whatever that one thing is in their life that they’re good at. But you? You’re a wildflower. You passionately love many, different things about life. You’re a little bit of everything. And I’d personally rather have a bouquet of wildflowers than a bouquet of roses…” -Told to me by my friend, Nicole, as we were taking a sunset walk down Upper Five Mile.

I started the beginning of this year not exactly sure what was going to become of Farmhouse on Five Mile- let alone how I was going to get anywhere with it. I knew I was passionate for our little farm here but I didn’t exactly know what it was meant for or why. I am in a constant state of changing- changing decisions, changing dreams, changing emotions. I have always viewed this inability to commit to any one passion as a negative, a drawback, a failure, and even as something that God disapproved of in me.

What Nicole said to me that evening was a small reminder that God made me who I am on purpose. All of the things I dislike about myself are not equaled to what God thinks of me. He is much bigger than my doubts and insecurities.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

With all of that said, Farmhouse on Five Mile is always going to be growing and ever-changing, much like myself. It is a place where people will come to remember what silence sounds like as they watch the sunset from the front porch. It’s where people will come to learn how to ride a horse and leave with a newfound meaning on communication and trust. It’s where people will come to pick up a dozen eggs and a jar of strawberry jam to take home to their families. It’s where people will appreciate the lost art of growing fresh produce from their own backyard. It’s where people will see how taking intentional and active care towards the animals, the land, and the environment we live in is glorifying to the God who created it. This small farm is being built on the many different ideas that God put inside of me, and I will do whatever He calls me to do here. And now, I am pursuing this positive and uplifting notion that I can learn to love myself as much as I love the blessings He has given me.

Small farms with big dreams seem to start with small beginnings. I may have taken the “small” part a little too literally 😉 I would like to introduce to you our two new miniature horses: Jewels and Lola, and our two new 15-week old Nigerian Dwarf goat kids: Chomper and Ducky (Yes, they are named after the cartoon characters from the movie, “The Land Before Time”). Instead of babbling more words about their unique personalities (which I’m sure will be talked about quite often in future blog posts), I will let the pictures do the talking. Please help us welcome the newest fur-children of Farmhouse on Five Mile. Let the big dreams commence 🙂

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Lily would graze with the minis if she could. She is slightly obsessed with them!
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Jewels (left) and Lola (right) the evening we brought them home.
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Holly sharing even when she doesn’t want to means Holly must love them 🙂
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On the way home, Ducky wouldn’t stop crying because she could see us through the window.
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Chomper (left) and Ducky (right)
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Ducky looks for security often and loves being in my lap!
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So this is Chomper…

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Not sure who is making the weirder face here…

Yours Truly,

Kelsey

Practice Makes Progress

Two months later…it is finally finished!

I started this on a whim in the beginning of February and soon realized it was going to take much longer than I expected it to. It’s pretty typical of me to get a jump-start on projects without fully thinking through all the details first. My self-awareness on that should have been motivating, but it actually turned into overwhelm after about the first coat of paint. These moments usually result in either unfinished projects or something that looks absolutely nothing like what I had in mind…or like that Pinterest article said it would…

I was looking for something in one of our spare bedrooms when I stopped for a moment to look at this pitiful, brown desk I kept hidden. We’ve had it since we first moved in together but I honestly couldn’t tell you why we kept it and why we moved the darn thing from place to place. It held some important papers but for the most part it was just storing junk!20170204_123554

I’m pretty certain my thoughts were really just looking to clear up the clutter within my mind- so when the opportunity arose to clear up some physical clutter and re-purpose it into something beautiful- I didn’t think twice about letting my enthusiasm take over. This, “clear out the clutter” and, “give this desk a new purpose” is suddenly all so relevant to where my life was in uncertainty of my purpose. Looking back now, it’s almost as if I believed that if I just took the time to make this into something more beautiful than it was, or just distracted myself long enough from my day-to-day thoughts, then my purpose in life would be more clear to me too. These were not conscious thoughts, of course. It never ceases to amaze me how absent minded I can be in the moment, yet how intuitive and analytical I am when reminiscing on the past.

Life happens. Other tasks crept in and piled one on top of the other and before I knew it, it had taken me over a week just to put the first coat of chalk paint on. I thought to myself how I should have sanded it down like that Pinterest pin said to do, or maybe I would have been better off using spray paint? I decided there’s definitely something therapeutic about painting with a brush (and Lord knows I have plenty of therapeutic opportunities around the house for years to come!). It took two coats (some areas took three) of the chalk paint for the brown to be completely hidden but it did indeed work! As therapeutic as it was, I wish you could have heard my sigh of relief when I washed out the paint brush for the last time!

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The first coat of overwhelm!

Three coats of the “Sheepskin” color Folk Art chalk paint, three trips to the store to try and find the right sized baskets to fit in place of the bottom two drawers, and an afternoon of learning how difficult it is to paint stencil designs with absolute perfection (and failing)…I had the most imperfectly perfect desk I had ever seen. And the best part is that it turned out to look even better than how I imagined it to be…way more unique than anything I could find online!

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The burlap baskets don’t fit in there quite perfectly…but after three trips to the store I decided to settle. Good enough until I happen to come across better ones!
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I found the perfect dresser knobs to match the color of my Folk Art Cascade blue stencils in the clearance section of Marshall’s…$7 for 7 knobs. They were the only ones left! It was clearly meant to be 🙂

The only thing left was to put a layer of the wax seal on the top surface after the stencils dried…and voila! My very own piece of artwork…and a great sense of accomplishment.

This dresser is definitely not photographed well with my dinky smartphone camera.  You can see brush strokes throughout some parts of it still. You can see where I messed up the stencil paintings and then tried to correct myself. The baskets don’t seem to fit perfectly in place despite all the careful measurements I took, and since I’m being honest here…I didn’t even paint the inside of the top two drawers! But I definitely learned a lot of what to do and what not to do…just by doing it!

So what is its new purpose, you ask?

I still have absolutely no idea 🙂

My original plan was to use this as my coffee bar since I was having a hard time finding the perfect piece at local antique shops, but I fear it is still too big for the area I’d like the coffee bar to be. It might still make its way to the dining room though…and I’ll be sure to post pictures when it’s in its perfect setting when the time is right.

As I continue forth on my journey of finding my own purpose and clear my mind of the clutter of the world, my focus seems to have changed from obsessing over perfection to being focused on progress. And every time I start a painting project like this, I’ll just keep getting better and better.

Bring on the next project!

 

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Those stencils were hard! But my favorite part!