Grit Blogs > Transitional Traditions

Hope and Sunshine

A Sell Family PortraitI was driving to Omro around noon today in order to make a deposit from our weekly earnings. We are down to about $25 in both our personal and business accounts as we approach the part of the month where all our bills show up in the mail.

Ethan was sitting in his carseat munching on a cucumber. He and I went alone while Andy and Elly stayed home to work on lunch (sushi!!). As we buckled up, it occured to me that I was actually warm today.

I know. That sounds a little bit odd to say. But you need to understand: today is the first day since Memorial Day that we've seen sustained sunshine. 12 of the last 16 days have had rain. Of the days where the rain held off, we were encased in abysmal clouds. Half a month of dark, cold, rainy weather. Our garden is a mud hole. We have a few hundred plants sitting on our patio waiting to be planted. The hay is overgrown and worthless. The hay that was cut but not able to be harvested is a matted pile of debris. We'll still harvest it, but it won't be the wonderful hay that first crop is supposed to be.

On a personal level, Andy and I have been struggling with family relations as we strive to make this farm transition work for both parties. It's a process that no one should go into lightly. We had no idea it would be this emotionally taxing, for both sides. And we know that both sides want to be done. Now.

Couple this with the sudden death of one of Andy's close, personal heros and we have been pretty down. The kids have picked up on it with cabin fever and strep throat, teething and all around crankiness.

But this post is not about all that. I was merely giving you a background of our situation in order that you might fully understand the significance of a single day of sun.

Ethan and I reached the end of our driveway and turned into the road. I looked back at him staring at the neighbor's field and said, "Ethan, let's jam out!" I popped in my favorite Switchfoot CD and cranked it up. The rock music filled the van, and Ethan's little hands went up and waved side to side to the beat. I began singing along as loud as I dared and suddenly, I began to feel an awakening in me.

I don't think it was any one thing that caused this lift, but a culmination of many things. Two weeks ago, our church held a 24 hour prayer time for an event they were going to be holding. People volunteered to go to the church during 1/2 hour intervals from 6pm on Friday night until 6pm Saturday night, non-stop. Andy picked up the 5:30am slot Saturday morning and went to pray. There was a list of things to pray about and he said after awhile, he just got into the groove and was really praying well. He said God kept putting the word "Hope" on his heart, so he kept applying it to all the facets of the event. Still, more Hope. So he prayed for hope in the people. Still more. He prayed for hope in the community. A few times, the Farm came to his mind, but he pushed it away stating that this was not prayer time for the farm. It kept creeping back in his mind and he kept saying "Not the right time!" Finally, he was like, "Ok, fine! And hope for the Farm!"

Immediately he said he felt an excitement or exhuberance in relation to the farm. It was like a confident, expectant Hope overwhelming him, causing him to feel ... well ... Hopeful! He realized then that Hope was a feeling that had left him awhile ago. To feel it again was an amazing upwelling of joy for the future.

He told me that story when he came home. He also thought that Hope might be the name of our third child, whom we are expecting in late winter. We won't be finding out the gender this time around, so this will be a nice, expectant wait for us and family.

Since that day, we both had been feeling better about making plans for the farm. More confident in setting up projects and trying new things. Even daring to expose ourselves online once again.

Pea blossom and a fly

And today the rain was gone. The clouds were gone. I ventured out to the soaked garden to pick some snap peas for lunch. I remembered to bring the camera and ended up capturing some lovely photos of the peas in bloom and some red lettuces and even a fat garden toad. Being in the garden lifted my spirits and seemed to give me energy, rather than drain it.

Red head lettuce

The sun made me squint as I entered Omro's picturesque downtown, but I loved it all! As I pulled into the bank's driveup, I reluctantly turned the music down. But I kept on singing. Ethan kept on waving. The deposit I handed the teller was enough money to cover all of our monthly bills. This is an amazing miracle because the money came to us in a single week's time. Sometimes, it takes us all month to come up with that same amount. God is still watching over us. And now we are renewed with His Hope.

It's a good day. It's a good life! Thank you so much for this sunfilled day. And to all our readers ... WE'RE BACK!!

A toad in the garden


Rebekah Sell lives on a small plot of land with her husband, Andy, on which they are hoping to build a sustainable homestead. With a small business and four kids, life is always interesting as Becky and Andy live fully the idea that the journey is the reward. Find her on .