Coming Home

Nico the horse running in the snow

I must admit, coming home has been harder than I expected. At first, I was just happy to be back. I enjoyed seeing friends, spending time with family, taking care of the horses and having some time to relax. But as time wore on, I began to feel unsettled and confused. I had finished my whirlwind adventure and was now faced with daunting decisions about the future.

As well-meaning friends eagerly asked the, “So…what’s next?” question, I realized with alarm that I didn’t have an answer. For the first time in my life, I didn’t know where I was going. Admitting this was hard…really hard. I’ve always had a plan. I’ve always known the next step. I’ve always had a clear vision. In other words, I’ve always felt in control – and suddenly, I didn’t. I felt like a shocked pilot. I thought I knew how to fly the plane of my life, but then I began a spiraling, uncontrollable nose-dive that left me scrambling to regain some semblance of order.

To say I’ve contemplated a variety of different options for next year would be a major understatement. I’ve thrown around enough ideas to make anyone’s head spin. Should I raise turkeys? Chickens? Sheep? Cows? Do I teach riding lessons? Host events? Give farm tours? Hold summer camps? Do I try something totally different (not farming/horse related)?

As all of this ran through my head, I began to feel paralyzed. So, I stopped talking about the farm. I stopped blogging. I did chores but kept farm projects to the bare minimum. After all, how could I move forward without knowing the master plan? But in the moments of confusion, I heard God whisper, “Just take the next step. Trust me. Let go of your need for control.”

And after two tumultuous months filled with confusing unknowns, I’d like to report that…

I still don’t know the plan for next year.

That being said, I’ve heard action brings clarity. So, I’m rejecting the paralysis, getting off the fence and committing myself to move forward and embrace the unknown.

Besides, I do know a few things. I have three amazing horses to take care of. I have a beautiful property to steward. I love teaching and sharing what I’ve learned. I have a little flock of pullets who will begin laying in the spring. I have a passion for growing great food. I have a supportive and encouraging community of family and friends. I enjoy working hard in the great outdoors. And I have a God who knows how it all fits together.

Here’s to embracing the unknown, moving forward one step at a time and trusting that God will show us the path in His perfect timing.

Thanks for following along on the journey.

P.S. This means you’ll be hearing from me on a regular basis again…one new post every Sunday!

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10 Comments

  1. Praying for your peace as you continue to discern where God is calling you. If your future does end up including giving horse riding lessons, Gianna and Bella will be among those signing up.

    1. Thank you, Char! If lessons are in the plan, I would absolutely love to have Gianna and Bella in lessons again. It’s such a joy teaching them!

  2. There is so much wisdom in all of this, it makes my heart happy for you! You are talented and gifted in so many areas. We are very excited to see what God has in store for you!

    1. Thank you, Rebekah! This year has been an adventure. I am so excited to see what God has planned in 2020 🙂

      1. I’m so proud of you for sharing your vulnerability. Its a great adventure that we’re all on, a life full of so many surprises and unknowns. However, there’s one thing that NEVER changes. Our God. He’s not a shifting shadow. He’s steady as a rock, bright as the noonday sun. Ashley, keep leaning into him! Every day!! Then do the next thing that’s been set before you. Much love and prayers,

        1. Thank you, Brenda! My prayer is that I’ll approach each day as a beautiful new adventure. I know God has a plan and purpose in everything. He is at work, even in the unknown. Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season!

  3. Welcome back, Ashley! Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us who love you and have experienced your many beautiful gifts. God often speaks in the silence, and it sounds like you are listening. Waiting for direction is hard when we want to know the plan and move forward. You are a strong young woman–keep trusting in Him! Gemma is “chomping at the bit” to connect with you again, in whatever way that may be: horse riding, goats, etc. Praying for you to “be still and know.”

    1. Thank you, Susan! Waiting is hard, but I know it’ll all work out in the end. Say hello to Gemma for me! I would love to have her involved in whatever ends up happening on the farm!

  4. Thank you for being so open about what you have been through the last couple months! So encouraging that you can abide in what the Lord whispered in your ear. It will be fun to see how the Lord will grow your ministry in all of this! Blessing!

    1. So good to hear from you again, Brea! Coming home has had its ups and downs, but I am so excited to see what God has in store for the future. Hope you have an amazing Christmas season!

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