Getting started in the lavender business and buying our family farm was not our plan from the beginning.
Often times, people will ask me why I wanted to start Country Garden Farm. The short answer is we moved out to a piece of property, I had lots of energy, and people started giving us sheep since Zoe was in 4-H.
The long answer is a bit more convoluted …
I had always worked different jobs to supplement what Bill made pastoring, and I found myself in a job that had started as part-time and had grown to almost full-time. It was in an office, and I remember walking out of the office one day and saying to myself and to God, “I wasn’t made to be inside all day long.” That began the process of me praying and understanding God was asking me to leave that job, and in faith, He would bring the next thing and provide for us.
I didn’t quit. For a long time, I just kept working, until one day I was backing out of my driveway and I heard the Lord clearly say, “You are double-minded!” That caught my attention! As soon as I got to work, I looked up scripture and realized it said, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:5-8
Yikes! I rallied a few trusted women in my church and asked them to pray for me. It was very comforting and confirming I had heard the Lord. I quit that night.
One of the women kept seeing pictures of me being picked up and transplanted, small plants, and soil. She was unaware we had been given an opportunity to buy a lavender business. About 12 months before, we had been approached by a friend, who was selling her lavender business, saying she would like us to have it. The amount that she gave us was in no way doable. My answer was simple, “Thank you so much, but we have no money for that.”
She answered, “Just think about it.”
I prayed one time, giving the situation to the Lord, “If this is you, God, you have to make it happen.”
This exact conversation happened again 6 months later, only this time she had dropped her price by 50%. I prayed the same prayer, and let it drop.
During my prayer time with women at the church, I had received a call from that same friend, she left me a voicemail, saying she wanted us to have the business and was happy to let us have it with no upfront money, and we could pay it off as we could. Shocked, didn’t really explain what I was feeling.
Well, after some more prayer, we said yes, and started on a massive learning curve to running a business. It has not always been easy, and it has been a lot of work! We have learned so much and have enjoyed the journey, for the most part. It has allowed me to continue to work from home, and be flexible to help Bill in the church, and more recently to take care of my father who we have moved here to Ellensburg.
For our family, the farm is so much more than a place to raise sheep and lavender. It’s a place to raise our kids and create memories across four generations.