News from Bittersweet Farm
If you know me well you know I am a “Gentleman Farmer” which means we don’t really grow crops or raise animals on our acres in the country but we live where we have some elbow room. I grow grass and feed birds and putter about, but mostly I work with words. I write a lot. Lois grows flowers.
Pastoring is part contemplative and part people.
I do the people part of ministry at Bethel Church and around Jackson.
I do the contemplative part of ministry out on Bittersweet Farm.
Our home is a 120-year-old farmhouse with a matching century-old carriage house a half of the upstairs is converted into a writing loft where it is always quiet save for the kind of noises that contribute to contemplation.
Across the road is a forest wrapped over a hill. To the west a deer preserve. To the north field on field of field and forest and wetland habitat for waterfowl. We have wildlife on our acres every night and birdsong every morning this time of year.
For the last week we have been away. We travelled to Texas to meet two of our newest grandchildren, a son born to our son Daniel and his wife Kate and a daughter born to our son Wes and his wife Dylan. It was springtime in Texas.
One afternoon Lois explored antique shops and I walked around Historic Downtown McKinney just to feel the warm sun on my neck. There is something powerfully therapeutic about the sun on your neck after a long winter as any aging person will tell you.
In McKinney I found a hat shop. They outfitted me with a beautiful Open Road Stetson straw hat. I like to call it my “Storyteller” hat. We had some BBQ and visited In-and-Out and Whataburger. Mostly we enjoyed being with our son and his wife and their daughters who are building a good life in a good place there in the Lone Star State.
Spring will be here soon. It’s walking steadily north now as it does every ear. Soon we will sit on the porch in the morning and feel the full benevolence of the warm sun and watch the antics of the birds. We will enjoy the color of the flowers and the greening of the countryside once again and our hearts will flutter like we are young and in love. And we will make sun tea and maybe sweeten it a bit and it will remind us of our trip to Waco to see the “Silos” and the Magnolia Market…
John Van Lester
thank you for your blog it is encouraging I have a cousin in McKinney. I love it at Northeastern and God is good. you always warm our hearts when you are visiting NE. you remind me of Gene Sigler he was a long time RBM missionary that spoke at Camp when I started doing camp with Bethel in Kalamazoo he was known as the backwards story teller. what a hoot .
Your grandies are adorable! And I really like your new hat!
Blessings in abundance,
Sandi in FL.
I am glad you got to go to Magnolia Farms! That was on my list when Brittany lived out there and was going to go the next time we were out. Then covid hit and she moved to Florida, so doubt I will ever get there. The family is growing! So great to see you get out there. Its hard being a grandparents to the little ones so far away. It hurts every day. I hope you and Lois are well, we miss you both!
Jodie; You are so right-It is hard to be so far away. Thanks for taking time to stay in touch. We miss you all. -Ken and Lois
John. Thanks for connecting. Small world, eh?