THE INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY DAYS
Sometimes chapters in our life do not end the way we desire and we cause others a lot of pain.
Once upon a time, after reading books like "The Irresistible Revolution" and "The Divine Conspiracy" our family decided to take on the challenge and attempt the life of intentional living. To say that our dream of intentional community was very different from actually living it would be an understatement.
We became friends with a family we grew to love dearly, found a house on an acre, bought ourselves some chickens and pregnant goats, who just so happened to come with a free llama. The blog I kept for this chapter of our life was short, as we found out very quickly that living together with another family can be very difficult, especially when we don't know ourselves and don't know how to handle conflict very well.
This is a part of our life, however, and even though it did not end the way we had wanted it to, it was the launching pad that took us on a journey to self-discovery, which has been instrumental in our search to find a way to live that makes sense in a world that doesn't.
A lot has happened this last month. We found a house with an acre, which we're really excited about! We moved in, got a puppy, we were given a couple of chickens (we're definitely going to get more!), and now we're on to getting some goats. Yep. Goats. I want goats.
I think most normal moms want jewelry, massages, or clothes for their birthdays. Not me. This year, it seems like the country air has brought my inner cowgirl out. This year I want goats for my birthday. After scouring the internet, researching for just the right breed, then stalking craigslist for just the right ones, I have found our first two goats. We will be getting two does, one full-blooded Nubian and one full-blooded Alpine.
You see, goats are good for two things: weeding and milk. We have LOTS of weeds in the pasture area by our barn, so these goats will be wonderful little weed-eaters. Another bonus is that these goats will be expecting babies around February of next year, so we will be able to get some goat milk sometime next spring once the babies are weaned. Am I excited? Yes! I am VERY excited!
Not only are we getting all these animals and becoming small country farmers (which is something we have been wanting to do for the last few years), but we will begin to experiment with what it truly means to be living in community with another family that is moving with us in a couple of weeks. This is called intentional community.
We live in a culture that is saturated with the view that one can and must do life on their own. Our worldview explicitly tells us that what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours. This individualistic way of living has created a new wave of selfishness and greediness that is so contrary to what Jesus teaches us how to live. Jesus said we must give to the poor and needy; He taught that we must become like children in order to come to Him; He said we must deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Him. All of these things are the complete opposite of being selfish, greedy, or individualistic!
No, I'm not saying we all must come together and try to experiment with intentional communities, this is something that the Lord has specifically placed on our hearts and also the hearts of the family that will be moving in with us. We are excited to see what the Lord does this year in all of our lives. We are looking forward to seeing how we grow in Christ-likeness, how we learn together how to work through conflict in a Godly, Jesus-pleasing way, and we are looking forward to seeing where the Lord leads us through this adventure.
I'm looking forward to sharing our journey with you!
I would like to announce that we have officially named our community! As we sat around our living room, Ryan (my husband) shared about a book he has been reading called The Theology of Dallas Willard: Discovering Protoevangelical Faith. Now, let me back-track a little bit.
My husband is a huge fan of Dallas Willard, I mean HUGE! Ryan's life has been eternally altered because of the ways Dr. Willard explains what it means to live in God's Kingdom today. I am so thankful. I know Ryan is thankful as well.
Anyways, Ryan bought this book talking about Willardian Theology (how awesome to have a theology named after you?!?) and as he read it, a word came up that we have seen and heard before, but this time it was different. As Ryan read an excerpt out of The Theology of Dallas Willard: Discovering Protoevangelical Faith to us, we believed that the word metanoia defined exactly who we are:
"Willard's most popular work, The Divine Conspiracy, focuses on describing the existential condition and process of living in this convertive state. Willard also spends the majority of Renovation of the Heart discussing the reasons and hurdles that prevent persons from entering into the "easy yoke" of transformation with Jesus as a guide. Renovation pursues the roles anthropology, psychology, sociology, and epistemology play in the theological understandings of individuals and groups attempting to convert/transform their previous worldviews and enter into a relational interaction with the kingdom of God. This process is what Willard describes as the biblical understanding of metanioa or repentance, an important theme carried throughout his description of the apostle Paul's encouragement to become "transformed by the renewal of the mind." Willard defines repentance as "rethinking one's thinking" or "reconsidering one's considerations."
We are a group of people who have decided that the best way to live is to live in the Kingdom of God. This is what we believe we were created for: to live in community with God and each other; encouraging one another; lifting one another up; singing songs of praise and worship to our Maker; knowing that none of us is perfect, but striving to honor God in everything we do.
Now you know the story of how we became Metanoia Community. May you enjoy the blog posts as they come, however often they are written, deleted, or published. May you be blessed as we attempt to capture our journey in Kingdom and communal living, child-raising, animal care-taking, and gardening.
Friday, Lili and Ripley decided they wanted to have their kids on the same day. Both girls were pawing the ground and visibly uncomfortable in the morning.
As 1 pm neared, Lili laid down on the ground and the next thing I know, she's giving birth to her first baby. This little boy didn't move much. He was very tiny and we didn't think he was going to make it. My husband went and got a heating lamp. After momma cleaned him up, baby #2 started coming. So, we took baby #1, dried him off as best we could, and put him under the heating lamp just in time for Lili to start pushing on baby #2.
Shortly after Lili had baby #2, we milked her a little bit so we could get some food into baby #1's tummy with a small syringe we found. We knew we needed to keep the little guy warm and hydrated if he was going to survive.
We did not realize how little Lili's first baby was until baby #2 came out (or maybe it was the other way around!). Immediately after he was out, he was trying to stand and walk. This was a good indicator to us that baby #1 was definitely not doing very well. We were happy to see that baby #2 was another boy, active, and absolutely beautiful! This one will definitely be a wonderful addition to someone's Alpine breeding stock someday! His name is Eschelman and he is a cutie!
We were pleasantly surprised when Lili began pushing again (as we were expecting only 2). This next time, I realized that a baby was coming out but it was breach (legs first instead of head first). So, with a little bit of difficulty and some help from me, Lili birthed her 3rd baby. We were more than thrilled to see that it was a girl this time! She was also large and quick on her feet. She is definitely the most active and curious of all the babies so far and she's beautiful too! We're planning on keeping her for a future milking doe.
This is Lili's fourth freshening (pregnancy) and she has never dam raised before (nursed her kids herself). So, we weren't sure how she would do when her kids approached her to nurse. We were so happy to see her willingly stand for her babies as they fed on her! And the great news is that baby #1 is doing well! He is standing on his own and eating well from a bottle.
In the next blog, I will share Ripley's birth story, as they both had their babies on the same day, but both deliveries were very different. Lili was the textbook delivery, which I was very thankful for since this was our first time ever seeing a kidding goat, and also since Ripley's was not so easy.