Christmas on The Farm

Posted December 22nd, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, REPLENISH, Word of Encouragement

So many wonderful happenings this Christmas season at The Farm…let me share with you!

The wild turkeys roam about The Farm leisurely (since Thanksgiving is over!) as I drive out to

Select Growers to purchase a large magnolia wreath.

It is a beautiful and peaceful spot outside of Deland.

I look forward to working with them on some landscaping ideas in the Spring.

As I walked in the warehouse filled with every type of greenery imaginable, the scent of Christmas filled the air! Look at the length of that Magnolia garland!

Preparing for 37 women for the Replenish Christmas gathering, I pulled out all my Ina Garten cookbooks finding wonderful recipes for lemon honey pound cake (I substituted orange for the lemon), pecan shortbread cookies, chocolate ganache truffles, etc…

In the middle of preparations, Jim knocked on the kitchen window…“come see”...

A bit of history, really 40 years of history, lovingly set aside for a new story to unfold. After working closely with the very creative Jeff of Deland Metal Crafters, the new sign for The Farm was being installed.

My inspiration was a single handmade iron cattail purchased while visiting mom and dad in N. Georgia.

What do you think? Jim and I really like it!

December 13th turned out to be a cool, misty morning, perfect for a Christmas gathering!

Good friends, Marcy and Kat, manned the kitchen…their gift and expertise. They made Italian wedding soup (an Ina Garten recipe) with chicken sausage meatballs…DELICIOUS!

Gail, in her beautiful green sweater from lauren nicole boutique, is so creative and helped decorate the tables and organize, well, everything! 

Elizabeth Schenkel, our guest speaker, shared her tragic testimony of surviving a nightmarish attack by Al Qauda while living and ministering in Uzbekistan. As only our God can do, the events turned out for her good and God’s glory…really, as Elizabeth stated, “the best day of her life”. She challenged us all to consider what has been the “best day of our lives”, along with, at the end of our lives, gladly being found guilty of sharing our faith at every opportunity.

At the end of the post, I will share with you Kat, Marcy, Gail and my thoughts from Elizabeth’s message.

A beautiful day for beautiful women to step away from the busyness of Christmas to be REPLENISHED!

Our new friend Loi led us in some Christmas Cheer!

Gail introducing Elizabeth

From KatFrom Gail

From Marcy

Over the telephone Marcy shared how she, like Kat, had been pondering the “best day” of her life thus far. And, she said, I want to be found guilty of proselytising!!

Some notes I jotted down the next morning in my journal…

All of us are on a journey- some of the hardest, most desperate times in our lives are the sweetest times with Jesus, for suffering draws us near to the only One who can comfort, help, heal and restore us.

Elizabeth said she forgave her attackers before she ever left the room!!!  {Could I do that Lord?}

She and her family went back! They went back to finish what had been started. Before the attack, the Muslim women discounted 80% of what she said. Now, they were open to hearing about Elizabeth’s God of love.

Eric, her husband, said to her as she lay near death on their bedroom floor…”One day you will look back and laugh about this!”  What- only the Holy Spirit would have allowed this to come out of his mouth. I knew then, Elizabeth said, that I was going to live.

As you prepare for a JOY-filled Christmas celebration, remember that our greatest gifts come with sacrifice, and often times, suffering.

As you spend some alone time drawing near to the reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus, ask yourself this question. What has been the best day of my life?

Merry Christmas sweet friends! I pray that out of our God’s glorious and infinite riches, He will open Heaven’s windows and pour out all you need for this journey we call life. Remember, the beautiful climbing rose you planted on the garden wall may not bloom until it reaches the neighbor’s side. God’s mysterious and beautiful plans unfold day by day, so enjoy the journey…and share your faith!

For Christ alone,


One Response to “Christmas on The Farm”

  1. Carolyn Moor says:

    Thank you for sharing Leah- I hope the peace of this day lasts into 2013 for us all who you have touched and shared Jesus’ love this year.

    You are such a blessing and so is your farm. Absolutley LOVE the new sign, can’t wait to see it in person.

    In servitude for peace of earth,

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