finding Purpose

A few months ago, I hinted at the possibility of a big move. Well, looking at you from the other side of this great event, I can tell you it's not at all what I expected. Instead of heading south, we came north. I could explain the why and how -- which is a fun story -- but for brevity's sake, I'll jump right into the where and what.

I live at the very end of a dirt road in the mountains, where my husband and I are full-time volunteers on a non-profit homestead run by the family living in the house to which our current apartment is attached. I am tired almost from the moment I wake up in the morning, and if my muscles don't ache when I crawl out of bed, they almost certainly do by the time I crawl back in. And yet, I don't want to be anywhere else right now. For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I am exactly where I'm supposed to be.

When I finish working for the day, even though I'm exhausted and the work is never truly done (it is a farm, after all), I don't feel compelled to throw a frozen dinner in the the oven and drop on the couch, or simply crawl under a rock and disappear. These are things that I felt in the past several years, while working office jobs, but I don't feel them now. Now, I am excited about the kitchen again. I walk into the apartment after digging and hoeing and mulching and sweating, ready to experiment with strawberry bread or figure out what to make for supper using asparagus and wilting arugula. Or, a constant battle, how many different ways I can use eggs (we have 37 laying hens in our backyard...).

I have been saying "I want to farm" for years, and sometimes the longing grew so strong that it became an ache within my soul. But recently I have been questioning that. Is farming a feasible occupation for me? Do I even want to do it anymore? Then I came here, and I know that this is my purpose. Every aching muscle tells me that I am feeding hungry people, and that is a beautiful thing.

I look out my window and see chickens, squirrels, and songbirds; I turn and smile at the solar panel providing our home with renewable energy. And at night, sometimes, I can open the back door and listen to barred owls calling to each other like howler monkeys.

My weeks are filled with planning, digging, and growing gardens. And my Sunday worship consists of volunteering at the local food distribution, where my low-income neighbors "shop" through a smorgasbord of items that the grocery store rejected and, thankfully, donated to our humble cause. I am not a people person -- not by far -- but as these souls wander through the fellowship hall, cheerfully loading up their grocery bags, we smile and greet each other and discuss the virtues of different kinds of bread. We laugh over spilled grape tomatoes rolling across the floor, and stoop to pick them up. The kind woman who dropped them takes the package anyway -- they'll be good as new after a thorough rinsing, she points out.

I'm not at all where I thought I'd be right now, but I'm exactly where I belong. God has a purpose for each of us. This is mine.


  1. Wow!! Just wow!! There were times when I dreamed of such a life. But to be honest, I'm made for the city! I love the hustle and the bustle and the traffic, and the rude shoulder bumps on a busy street or a subway car... as crazy as it may sound. But then I hear a story like yours (by the way, I really do want to hear the why and how... may be a future post?) and I start wondering if that could also be a kind of life I could live and enjoy. May be not full time... I'm too much of a high ruse junkie for that... but may be I could experience something similar for a few months ... may be even just one month in a year, every year. Would that be too detached a dream from the realm of all possibilities? I sure hope not!

    On a side note, if your farm needs a helping hand, let me know?

    1. There's always urban gardening, you know! And if you're really interested in checking out the rural farming life for a few months, definitely look into summer internships. There may even be some volunteer opportunities in your area where you could help out on a farm once a week or something. If you're ever in New England, shoot me an email -- we could always use a helping hand. :)

      I'm so glad you enjoyed my story, and I'll definitely think about doing a follow-up (prequel?) post. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. "For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I am exactly where I'm supposed to be." <<< THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL and honest and exciting!! So stoked for you, Serena! :) ALSO THE THING ABOUT THE BARRED OWLS OMG. what state are you in?!?? (if you don't want to say, that's totally alright) Where I live in Vermont, we can hear the barred owls calling to each other in the woods behind our house and IT'S ASDFGHJKLKJHGF SO BEAUTIFUL <3 it's probably one of my favorite things about the place I live. ^.^

    ALSO ALSO CUTE BABY CHICKENS ALERT !! that is a lootttta eggs hahaha. xD

    1. Thank you!!! And yes, the barred owls are AWESOME. The first time I heard them I had to convince myself there weren't monkeys in the woods... (maybe I shouldn't admit that?) I'm still going to be really vague and say I live up north, because you gave me permission to do so. :)

  3. Ahhhh Serena tHIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

    Thank you for sharing such an open, beautiful look into your life. Also thank you for farming and feeding people' I don't think we non-farmers appreciate it nearly enough.

    I'm so glad you've found your purpose. I admit, some days I'm still trying to figure out if I'm even on the right path.

    Your words and writing style never cease to make me smile.


    1. Thank you, Ashlyn, for your kind words! I know exactly where you're at -- I was there just a month ago. It's amazing how, sometimes, God drops things in our laps when we need them the most.

      There are six of us eating all those eggs, as well as a few neighbors, and several dozen go to the food distribution on Sundays. :)

      Blessings on your journey!

  4. What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing, Serena.
    I'm currently working an office job, so I get what you mean about coming home and just wanting to crawl away and disappear. I'm lucky to work where I do, but it's no very fulfilling and eventually I will have to move one. Very soon.
    I'm glad you have found peace, joy, and tranquility. We all deserve it.

    1. Thank you, Naz! I hope you find peace, joy, and tranquility as well.