I’m feeling a bit nostalgic at the moment. I’m half way through pregnancy. Last time I was half way through pregnancy we moved out here to our house, our property, our first time living in the countryside. I was setting up house, doing a bit of weeding, pruning and planning what to do with the run-down garden and delighting in my first three young chickens: Frodo, Sam and Strider.
Now that I’m at the halfway point again, a lot has changed. In April we will have been here for 6 years. Pregnancy has been a bit harder this time around, yet here I am, butchering chickens, tending to a vegetable garden that is bigger than I ever thought it would be and preserving the harvest from it. I don’t know how many chickens we have at the moment because their numbers keep changing, but it’s a lot more than three. And Frodo is still with us. The chicken that was only meant to be a means of egg production and enjoyment survived my novice incompetencies and every challenge that has been thrown at her, and became the reason that I’m breeding Australorps now and the reason I learnt to butcher excess chickens I hatched.
There’s still a lot to get done here, and sometimes I feel frustrated that I can’t do more at the moment. But I’m doing more than I was. We’ve come a lot further than where we were. And my dreams are bigger and more tangible than they were then. Looking back, I am thankful for what we’ve achieved here and for the way that God continues to provide for us on a tight budget.
The name of our homestead, the website, the whole thing, is about to change. I like the name Twiglet Homestead, but it was really about me and what I was doing. It’s no longer just about me. The homesteading way of life has become more of a family thing, more of a teaching and inspiring others thing and a totally wrapped-up in God’s abundant life thing. There are exciting things going on now, but there are even more exciting things to come as we grow, share and hope for a homestead bigger than this. I felt like we needed a new name to better state who we are, not just right now, but going into the future.
While I was ‘sidelined’ with my leg injury in late winter and early spring last year I had enforced time to sit down and work on the new logo, thumbnails, banners and so on. Being sidelined doesn’t have to mean being useless. I’ve actually been pondering through this name change for a year, but the ideas and process really got rolling during lockdown.
Something I secretly worked on during lockdown was merchandise. I started creating designs for t-shirts and hoodies, to start with, that people could purchase from a webstore. I got to the point of almost ordering a few samples with my designs to make sure they were good enough to open to the public. Then I paused. I looked at the name Twiglet Homestead that appeared alongside each design and I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure if that was the name that I wanted to put out there for the world to see and associate with us as a whole. I wasn’t sure if that was the right name to carry us into the growth of the future.
Thus, the merchandise department halted while I pondered. And pondered. And prayed. And pondered. I pondered the name, I pondered the timing, I pondered what I wanted to do in the future, I pondered all the things. It’s a big deal changing a name that you love. But at the same time, the name was waning in my eyes as I looked at it and as I looked at what we do through the lens of God’s eyes.
When I explored the theme of hope and wrote the devotionals about it, hope became something really important to me. It stood out. It became a defining word for me and what our homestead means to me.
The other defining thing that I keep coming back to is a scripture from the Bible. It has become ‘my scripture’. God brought it to me five times over the course of many months. Each time it was in different ways, but each time like a jolt that gave me shivers of excitement or pricked my eyes with tears. God has been slowly unravelling this scripture for me, word by word and bringing other things into the story like a mysterious, beautiful, exciting puzzle that has been teaching me great patience. I have no control over the pieces of this puzzle. But I’ve learned to trust that God keeps doing it. He shows me another piece when I’m ready for it. Along the way I learned that this scripture was about our homestead. It’s about what I’m called to do with my life and the future of what God can do through our homestead. It was foundational in me starting to write the devotional blog posts and foundational for stirring me to hope in dreams that lay dormant within me or were yet to be born in my mind.
So, what is this curiously meaningful scripture?
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19
At some point, I will probably explain more of God’s meaning in bringing me this verse in the way that he has. There’s a lot of story to it that I’ve written down. But for the purposes of a homestead name, I wanted some aspect that related to this verse. I wrote down a bunch of possibilities. I kept coming back to one of them. And yet, I was still unsure. Did it have to be goodbye to Twiglet Homestead? I tell ya, I can overanalyse anything. The real crux of it came when I was checking out the domain name and psyching myself up to purchase it. I had a bit of a malfunction and suddenly thought I’d lost the ability to grab my domain name. Our future homestead name. The scare of that instantly made me realise how much I wanted it and how much it was the right move. And then I calmed down and realised all was not lost. And I purchased our domain name quick smart.
This is our new homestead name and website name; the new banner over everything we do…
Wild Hope Homestead
I hope you all come to appreciate everything that it means and bear with me as I change all the naming around here. We’ll be switching over to the new website on Sunday evening 7th February. It should automatically link to the new website with everyone’s subscriptions, but just in case it doesn’t, keep an eye out for the change. If you’ve got the website bookmarked you will need to re-save it once the new website is live. And there will be a merchandise webstore to look forward to in the near future, under our new name.