The Chicken Coop

Hey! We built a chicken coop at the Kineo Community Urban Farm.

Bet you thought this was going to be some philosophical ranting about how chicken coops have something to do with anything…

Actually, maybe I could ramble a little…

20131110-133627.jpgThe farm was given one mama chicken a few weeks ago. ¬†She was a roamer and seemed content bossing around the goats and mothering the bunny. We were told that she was old and no longer producing but decided a coop would be a good addition to the farm, as there was a hope for more chickens. As we began to build the coop we¬†noticed that she was watching and seemed to be anxiously waiting. Always close by, clucking and poking her head through the mesh.Then today, she was really creating a racket, so we picked her up to offer some comfort. She got really quiet and began to make a purring or snoring sort of noise. Moments later, she LAID AN EGG. It hit the ground with a splat, the bird dropped to the ground and in a flurry we were trying to scoop up the egg so she wouldn’t eat it. (Apparently, chickens eat their eggs if they are not trained)

And so, I ponder the question of home, what is home? Does a chicken really need a home? That chicken could probably live out a full live roaming the farm-yard with no coop, but we saw that the hope of a home provided the stimulation to actually be who she was created to be, an egg layer.

I’m not sure if the chicken coop analogy applies to us as humans but, we do see the value in the idea of home. However, our idea of a home is has changed over the past two years of nomadic life.¬†Home, for us, has become where ever we are. Maybe though, like the chicken, we don’t know any¬†different until that coop starts being built and our souls are stirred, and our physical beings are awakened to the point that we can not contain our joy.¬†¬†It reminds me of that old hymn, Softly and tenderly.

We have a longing for home, there is no doubt. That longing is not for a physical structure   or place but for a peace that passes all understanding, and for the restoration of our souls and communion with those who travel this road with us. Home.

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Refocus

20130930-160911.jpgAbout every three months or so we have a “dream talk”, a sort of come to the table talk as a family. Our hope is to refocus, hear each other’s longings, dreams, desires and frustrations, placing them on the table and offering them up to the author of our journey. ¬†We want to be obedient, we want to be good parents, we want to be good stewards of our finances and we want to succeed. However, this isn’t always an easy task as we each often come with different agenda’s.

Our latest table talk exposed a few twisted ideals. We found that we’ve worked so hard this summer, playing shows, releasing our third album, and toiling in the music business that we’ve drifted towards self-sufficiency rather than interdependence without even noticing. We also found that our dream talks were becoming angsty with both of our children making demands about their expectations and us feeling guilty for not meeting them as parents. Needless to say, it has been an emotionally exhausting couple of months. And, although we have seen some beautiful parts of the country, explored rock caves, beaches, forests and rivers, we have forgotten our first love. We have learned that humility is not something we have until humbling ourselves is something we do.¬†We have been isolated much of this time and we are longing for community and purpose beyond just playing music and exploring nature. (Although, we do love both!) Ultimately, this past table talk revealed that we needed to go back to the beginning, to remember where we came from, why we made the life choice we did to swim upstream, and who the author was. We needed to lay down our pride and revisit our vision statement:

“We are The Hollands! We are a Mother, Father, Sister and Brother. Bound by blood and vision to travel about this earth, spreading a message of reconciliation through LOVE. We make our way sharing the gifts and talents given us; Music, Craftsmanship, Mentorship and Instruction, Merrymaking and Community building. Our desire is to connect with those we find along the way and encourage community and growth in relationship.”

With this new focus we are anxious to enter into our next chapter¬†of service and although we don’t know exactly how we will be used we know that we will be used well.

As we make our way down the coast of California we will be connecting with our friends at New Hope Community in Oakland again. They have just experienced the tragic loss of their youth pastor, Jose. He was helping to push a car that was broken down to the side of the road when a drunk driver hit him. He was rushed to the hospital but did not make it. We are prayerful as we make our way to them and however we serve, our hope is to bring a tenderness and strength to our time with them.

The second week of October we will be serving alongside a new community in Monterey, CA. We connected with Brian Bajari through a mutual group on Facebook called The Parish Collective. (on a side note, we also met New Hope through this group.)  We are looking to meeting Brian and his community Gathering By the Bay, learning about their work with the homeless and helping any way we can. We are also keen to learn to surf and Brian has offered to introduce us to that world.

By mid-Oct we will be in San Diego with our hosts, the Penley family. We met them when we visited with our friends and their family in Colorado Springs, CO. They gave us an open invitation. My grandfather was stationed in San Diego and I have always had a fondness for the city. This will be our first time there and we are excited to neighbor with the Penley’s.

The end of October takes us to Arizona, where we will park for seven weeks and work alongside our Kineo Community in Central Phoenix. This will be our second long-term stop since we launched in 2011. Our longest was our first stop in Sister, OR where we stayed for twelve weeks, serving at Vast Church and building our bus.

We are so grateful for our Kineo community’s commitment to us and to all of those around the country who have encouraged us on our way. We are thankful for God’s amazing grace and patience. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.

Rest in the Desert

NeighborsOur last visit to¬†Phoenix in February of 2012¬†was one of the most profound moments of our journey. It was the place where we actually saw the hand of God knit together the body. We saw the miracle of community woven together like we had never seen before. It was also our first real taste of an economy not of this world. We were looking forward to going back but it is the desert. I know folks rave about this place but for a water girl, the desert is the desert! We were tired and the pieces of the puzzle that we had last time around were not falling into place. We didn’t have a clear picture of who, how, what or why for this visit. However, we moved forward in faith.

The Skeens were our hosts. Jeff, Amy and their four precious children.

Who knew our weary souls would find such refreshment in this dry desert? And, yet we did. Ten days we spent, pouring into community, soaking up the sun… and the rain. Yes, it rained for three days in the desert.¬†There was a harmony that washed over us the moment we pulled into their driveway and we knew we were with family. We shared story, encouragement, laughter, difficulties, meals, and more encouragement.

Because our schedule was light, with only one performance in the area (at the Chandler Multicultural Festival) we had more time to spend really tending to some much-needed areas, including our health. Amy took Grace and I to¬†Holy Yoga. We ended up getting in three session, just the kick-start we needed. I was able to find a chiropractor and a massage therapist to do some intense work on my traps and neck, relieving a head ache I had since October. Banjo was able to really connect with Noah, the Skeens oldest and enjoy the friendship of a brother. Craig and Jeff connected deeply as well and at one point I made a joke about them having a “bromance” but honestly, it really was great to see them as kindred spirits, working out story and building more on the bus. Graciana was poured into by Anna, a¬†Young Life¬†leader from Jeff and Amy’s church. ¬†A real joy and contentment fell over Graciana and a vision of her future was seen. ¬†We shared in song with friends from¬†Kineo Church. We enjoyed continued community with our friends, the Seymore’s, The Hummels, The Ortiz’s, Joel Pritchard, Lori Englert¬†and Steve from Hope thru Art.

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The desert is still the desert, but the community we shared in Phoenix will remain an oasis. ¬†And, we can’t wait to be with these kinfolk again.