The Farmer’s Lamp Journey Begins

on April 15, 2016
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journey-begins

To Encourage and Inspire You On Life’s Ever Changing Journey

If you are a subscriber to TFL’s Bi-weekly newsletter, then you know most of this story. Last November, my husband and I loaded all the belongings we could into a 5’x8′ U-Haul trailer and moved over 2500 miles. We moved from the family farm in west central Louisiana to the wilderness in the panhandle of Idaho. Talk about climate change!

The question on your mind is probably the same as it’s been for everyone else. Why?

Well, I’ll share that with you, but first let’s talk about the idea of it. In today’s culture here in the U.S., we hear a lot about people losing their jobs, sickness taking everything a family owns, divorce devastating a household, so many things happen the life of a person. Often times, there is no one thing that brings drastic change to a life. It seems to be a combination of things. 

Life is precarious. It’s fragile and a thing to be valued. We only get one shot at living it richly, honestly, and purposefully.

**September 1, 2016 UPDATE – We are renting a house while we look for our homestead. We like this location and have decided to rebuild our homesteading lifestyle here. We’ll keep you posted.**

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So what led us to this total life change. It was a combination of things. My husband was offered a job with a box store in the management training program. He was already an assistant manager with another box store and he wanted off their merry-go-round. He took the job and turned in his notice at his then current job. They refused notice and had him leave immediately. Fine, we thought, we’ll take a couple weeks off and then start the new job. In the meanwhile, the other store decided to halt hiring. We found ourselves with no job.

In the area we were in, there aren’t many job opportunities. The oil field is the biggest employer there and they were already in major layoffs. We had been caring for and building up the family farm for the past 10 years in preparation for taking over it. Suddenly, it was no longer going to be a family farm. There is no blame. Everyone makes the best decisions they can at the time they have it to do. We found ourselves with no idea what to do. Our lives were turned upside down. Everything had changed in just a matter of days.

We had several people praying with us for guidance and direction. We had decided to get a tent and live in it for a while at a state park in Mississippi. We began making plans. We had many offers from friends who so generously opened their homes, their lives, and their homesteads to us. We had no idea so many loving, thoughtful people still existed in this world.

Idaho

We heard from some dear friends of ours who invited us to come stay in their guest cabin. We were thrilled. A cabin in the mountains has always been a dream vacation spot for us. We sold everything we could sell. Everything we thought would suit an off grid lifestyle was kept. If something didn’t sell, we gave it away. If we couldn’t give it away we left it behind.

So we loaded up the few things we could get in the U-Haul, our two dogs, and started our journey here. You have to know, I had never been further west than Houston, TX. I’m not a traveling girl. I got to see places and people I never thought I’d see.

I realized life is too short. Follow your dreams. If it’s travel, travel. If it’s writing, write. If it’s having a certain kind of homestead, build it with all your might. Is traveling my dream? No. I’m still a homebody at heart, but as I taught my kids, home is where the ones you love are, not a building made with hands.

Tumbleweed! Everywhere!

 

journey-begins

A Wyoming Rest Stop

We arrived into the loving, comforting arms of friends.  God’s plans and designs are higher than we can think. He had sent us to them at a time in their lives when they needed help. My friend was very sick. She and her family faced the real possibility of her death. She shares her story with you, so I encourage you to listen to her message and share it with others. She’s healing now, miraculously, mercifully, she’s getting better every day!

We found ourselves thrust from an on grid world to an off grid world. The cabin we are in has no running water, no plumbing, no electricity. We love it. It has it’s challenges and rewards. We call Tammy and Glen’s house “The Big House”. They run off grid with solar power.

We haul our water in 5 gallon buckets to the cabin. We use an outhouse and at night I use a chamber pot. Yes, they still do make them. We shower at The Big House and take Granny Brown baths in between. We are in the process of looking for what God has in store for us next.

We are loving the mountain wilderness of the Idaho panhandle that’s for sure. The weather here is nothing like I’ve ever experienced. In the matter of one hour, I kid you not, I’ve seen it snow, rain, sleet, and the sun shine! It’s a wonderland. I don’t know how else to describe it. Time seems to move quickly here. I’ve no idea why.

journey-begins

journey-begins

If you are someone you know is facing life altering circumstances, encourage them, love them, pray for them, listen to them. If it’s in your hands, offer help to them. People have survived things in this world we may never experience. I hope you never know the pain, betrayal, and grief we had to pass through, but if you do, there is life afterwards. There is hope and love.

You’ve asked me so many times to share the story with you. Now I have. Our journey continues. Do we know what direction our journey is headed? We have an idea, but until we receive clear direction, we’ll hold it close to our hearts.

Your kind emails, comments, and words on our social media sites have encouraged us and made us feel your love and support. Thank you to all The Farmer’s Lamp Community. We are excited to share this journey with you.

Won’t you come with us on this journey? Won’t you share your journey with us?

Safe and Happy Journey,

Rhonda and The Pack

journey-begins

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18 Comments

  • mari

    Rhonda, what joy to know that you and your pack, are following our Lord’s plans. Sometimes, we have to strip s everything that we think it’s necessary and just trust completely in Our God.
    I know all about chamber pots…they are not as scary as one thinks :0)

    Praying that our Lord will show you exactly where you and your pack need to be, and if it Idaho, then enjoy the journey :0) mari

    April 15, 2016 at 5:40 pm Reply
    • Rhonda Crank

      Mari, Thank you so much for these encouraging words! It means more to my heart than you can know. We know whatever happens in our life is in His control and find great comfort in that. I will keep you posted. 🙂

      April 16, 2016 at 9:12 am Reply
  • Michelle Hedgcock

    Ha! You answered a question I was afraid to ask. So, where did you find a chamber pot? LOL

    Thanks for sharing your story. I wasn’t a newsletter subscriber at the time you were going thru all that change so I hadn’t known what prompted it. Truly in God’s hands. Both families needed each other and were brought together at just the right time.

    HUGS!

    April 15, 2016 at 6:42 pm Reply
    • Rhonda Crank

      Michelle, Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know your thoughts. The chamber pot is a funny…It’s really a bucket with a lid, I just didn’t want to really call it a bucket. It functions only as a chamber pot.

      April 16, 2016 at 9:09 am Reply
  • Tammy Trayer

    GIRL!!! This so made me cry and you are SO right!! Life gets better as you move out of your valleys and God sure has a plan that we may never fully understand, but his plan is grand and always a blessing.

    I will never forget that first embrace with you sweet friend! It was clearly a GOD thing and I will feel eternally grateful, thankful and blessed by his plan and your presence in my life! I will never forget the feeling that overcame me on the way to meet you to bring you back to your new home – the feeling & purpose of you coming to us as a blessing to me and my life instead of us being the one blessing someone… He had such a grander plan that you nor I could have ever imagined and it has clearly unfolded every day since you have been here.

    You played such a significant role in my health and helping me through my journey with such a destructive illness – I don’t know how I would have managed without your help, but it has also been the strong bond that words can not describe that has become a daily treasure!

    I am so grateful that God allowed us to share in your journey and also be blessed by it… I truly believe that life becomes better than we could have ever expected it to at the other side of the hard places we need to travel through and I also believe that every person that passes through our lives has a purpose!!

    Love you forever sweet friend! Thank you for all you have done for me and my family!!

    April 16, 2016 at 9:23 am Reply
    • Rhonda Crank

      Wow Tam! I can’t express in words the love and gratitude we have for you and your men. Thank you for allowing God to use you as a channel of blessing to us and sharing your lives and home with us.

      You’re right, the bond He has created is eternal and passes all expectations and hope. We love you all more every day and can’t imagine a life without your friendship and presence in it. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on the website. You are the treasure my dearest.

      April 16, 2016 at 11:43 am Reply
  • Terri Hughes

    Life can be so cruel sometimes. So sorry that you and your husband had to go through all this. But, God had a plan for you both and your friends. So glad that you have all been together to help each other out. Good friends are hard to find. We CAN live on less. We take for granted things that have made life so easy for us. But, we can and should live on less and be humble. So happy that your friend is doing better and for you and your husband being there for her and her family. God truly meant for this to happen. You all are living a simple and better life. Keeping you all in my prayers. God Bless and protect you all.

    April 16, 2016 at 10:07 am Reply
    • Rhonda Crank

      Terri, You are right. God always has a plan even when we can’t see it or know it. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and for your support.

      April 16, 2016 at 11:39 am Reply
  • Judy

    I wondered what was up when you said you were moving because it seemed sudden and was such a major change. I assumed family trouble. I kept you and your hubby in my prayers. So glad things have worked out well for you. At least you can now go barefoot in the garden and not worry about fireants!
    From your friend in Minden 🙂

    April 16, 2016 at 11:00 am Reply
    • Rhonda Crank

      Hey there Judy! So glad to hear from you. Thanks so much. I don’t have fireants or poisonous snakes! Thank you for your prayers and continued support!

      April 16, 2016 at 11:37 am Reply
  • Angie Morris

    Blessings come in all disguises!
    You all are in my prayers

    April 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm Reply
    • Rhonda Crank

      Thank you Angie for your prayers. It means so much to us all.

      April 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm Reply
  • Linda

    If we had not retired to Louisiana, to the house hubby grew up in, I would have loved to move to the mountains.
    I am glad to see you are loving it. I think you will all be blessed.

    April 17, 2016 at 2:12 pm Reply
    • Rhonda Crank

      Houses inherited are hard to leave, that’s for sure. Thank you for letting me hear from you and for your good wishes.

      April 18, 2016 at 7:38 am Reply
  • Rhonda Welker

    Rhonda, thank you for sharing your story with us. Like many others, I, too, wondered what had prompted your sudden and drastic move. I didn’t ask as I was sure you would share in time if we were to know. Watching the move unfold showed me it was all in God’s plan. Leading you to Tammy & family was something both families needed and has been such a blessing for all involved. I am so thankful for the outcome. It is such a blessing to watch the friendship grow and how blessed you all continue to be because you prayed for God’s guidance and then ‘listened’ when he spoke. Not only listened, but followed His leading! What a testimony and example you have set for all of us, at least for me. Thank you.

    April 19, 2016 at 6:51 am Reply
    • Rhonda Crank

      Rhonda, Your words of testimony are such a blessing to me. I cannot take any credit. It is our God who is faithful and trustworthy. How could we not obey such a loving and kind Father, even in the midst of our pain and loss, HE alone is good and faithful. Thank you for sharing your encouragement with me. It means more than I can say.

      April 20, 2016 at 1:04 pm Reply
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