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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Moving to Tennessee

We are planning a move to Tennessee right now.  The doors had opened up for us to transfer our rack making business and homestead store there.  We will be renting the same house that we filmed our fist Homesteading for Beginners DVD in near the Cane Creek community.  We feel like true pilgrims sojourning in a strange land, as it seems we have moved so many times already.  The good thing about moving is that you can weed out the extra things that make life more cluttered.  It has been a place we prayed about moving to for many years now.   We prayed and asked the Lord where we should go and what should be our plan.  He opened many doors to us.  I received a very nice call from Debi Pearl.  Just so happens that one of there photographers, videographers, and graphic designers is moving away when she gets married.  They are willing to help with some things even with my limitations and I can do everything from my own home on my own time.  Wow.  That is an offer that I could not pass up on.  Doing what I love, helping a ministry, and all from my chair, so to speak.  But now that I am feeling better with my foot, and continuing to improve my mobility, I will even be able to enjoy the work more.  

Here is another consideration about Tennessee that I would like to share.  It is a much warmer climate.  Now, what that means to our family is that I should do much better with my pain in the future.  For the past 4 and a half years, every winter I have been laid up with terrible pain due to the cold temperatures.  So painful it preventing me from getting out of the chair to cook meals or go places most times.  I sort of hibernate for 5-6 months out of the year.  It is not fun.  But I just accept it for what it is and try not to complain because there are others that are WAY worse off and can never get around.  So, my loving husband would like to maximize the amount of time I can feel good and moving to a warmer climate just makes sense to us.  As sad as it will be to move away from all our family in Wisconsin, we know it is for the best.  They actually want the best for us and understand it is foolish to live somewhere if it makes you worse.  Now that I am heading into remission, much more recently, I think the warmer weather will keep the disease of RSD at bay.  (FYI: the nerve injury was caused by surgery when a stitch injured my right sciatic nerve causing the trauma and nerve disfunction pain.) That is our prayer.  But nevertheless, I will cherish each moment while it lasts and if my pain returns, I will still be thankful for these more productive, less painful days I have been experiencing for the past couple weeks.  I am so thankful for the newness of life I am feeling at the moment.  It is still a long road to get all the functions of my muscles to work as normal, but I am well on my way.  Each day I grow stronger.  Each day I am so thankful I get to clean, pack boxes, and do things to help.  I have to be very careful because I tend to want to overdo.  I still take the oils and vitamins and they seem to keep me feeling great and the pain is still minimal.    

Another wonderful aspect for us, and something we have been praying for for a very long time is community!  In Cane Creek, there are dozens of families like us that share the same values in homesteading, homeschooling, and following Jesus.  Our kids are getting to the age where they need to start finding friends and having a bit more social life.  We have been about 7 years without  consistent fellowship.  This will provide us with some fellowship.  We used to go to Mike Pearls church years ago and it was very refreshing.  

There are many advantages to moving to Tennessee.  We know we can grow our rack business/store there.  We can make more great videos about things of interest as well.  We feel a peace about moving there and are so thankful for the Lord's mercy.  I held on to that the entire time going through all my trials, that God is merciful.  He teaches us through our trials, he leads us and when we make any life decisions, he is faithful to teach us through them.  No matter where we go or what we do, we take our God with us in our home.  He is inseparable to us.  No matter what dips come, we always have God to help us get back up and continue fighting the good fight of our faith.  We know that life is never perfect nor without challenge.  But, we will stand firm in our faith no matter what may come.  Please pray for us as we begin packing for our big move.  We plan to move this July so that is coming quick.  Thanks again for all your prayers and for praying again for this.  God bless you all for all you do in this community of HCP.  Hopefully, we can have some Homesteading Camps there and some of you can come and visit us, swim in our creek, and enjoy the fellowship.   We will continue to post blogs and content even from our new homestead in Tennessee.  Hope you will all enjoy the journey with us.   

In God's unfailing Mercies,
Erin Harrison

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pain and Grace, where there is much pain, much more grace doth abound.  It is day 7 and I am doing so well.  My muscles are so sore because they are finally being used which is a miracle.  They are waking up and working hard for the first time in years.  Before I could only be up for 5 or 10 minutes before I would have to sit again.  Sitting is all I have been mainly doing for the past 4 years, and that was because nerve pain is so terrible.  Nerve pain is different than muscle and joint pain.  Now I know the difference because I have had the experience of terrible nerve pain and now I have joint and muscle pain.  Nerve pain is relentless, is just always hurts no matter what you do, feeling like a nail is being driven into the middle of your bone all the time.  If you have muscle pain, you can stop using it and it stops hurting.  Amazing!  I also think the pain scale is different for most people.  My level 5 was like a normal person's 10.  And when I had a good day, to me it may have felt like a 0, but to most it would be their 5.  Sounds confusing, but when you have chronic pain, it is something you ponder.  Now that I have normal pain, I can justify my theory on pain levels.  I am just so happy to have sore muscles again!!!  It means I am having a more active life.

To be a mother of five, not being able to work hard or do the simple things like picking up around the house, cleaning, laundry, cooking, it makes you feel like you are useless.  When I would hear other women complain about how much work they had, I would just wish I could do it for them.  Before my accident, January 12, 2009, I was nicknamed "The Bumblebee" because I never sat down, EVER.  I was happily buzzing around the homestead.  I wouldn't just walk up the steps, I RAN, I jumped and chased, raced the kids, climbed trees, hiked, cooked, cleaned, gardened, milked a cow, took care of 5 little ones, all the while I ran a full time photography business.  When you have abilities taken from you, you begin to really appreciate the little things.  I will never forget to appreciate the simple, so called mundane, daily activities of living.

The last two days, I cleaned, I did laundry outside with the girls while I filmed it all, I packed a bunch of boxes for our upcoming BIG move to Tennessee, I cooked many meals, and went for a WALK. Walking, wow.  It is such a blessing to walk again.  I know I am probably overdoing it, but please understand why...when you have been trapped in a painful body for years, you just have to explore life again.  It is going to be a long road ahead to recovery, but I am so thankful that there is recovery, that there is hope again for me.

I feel that God has been healing me and I am so humbled by it.  I almost hate to say it was the vitamins and oils I am taking, even though something changed since I started, because I would never want to take glory away from God in any way.  God created the plants in them, but still I want to praise HIM for this whole thing.  Every day I feel like I am in a dream, that I will wake up and be in terrible pain again.  It is such a gift to have had pain because it taught me how to be joyful in suffering, how to be content with what the Lord gave, appreciate every single blessing I have in life, and learn to put all my faith and trust in the one who gave us life.  If I never went through these hard valleys, I do not think I could have understood others.  I would have lacked the compassion for others.   

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father          of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Even if this does not last, I will never stop thanking God for my window.  I have such an amazing opportunity to have another chance to be active.  I feel so loved by God that he allowed me to go through so much so that I could learn true thankfulness and joy.  Because of my great pain, His grace over me so abounds to overflowing.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Walking Lessons

1: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 
2: But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 
3: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 
4: The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 
5: Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 
6: For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.  Psalm 1 KJV

As a mother of five, wife to one, I have to continually search these verses out with the world that I was born into.  When we choose to follow Christ, we experience a new birth so we must know at all times where our feet are planted as well as where we walk.  Let us first examine walking. Walking is a fundamental exercise.  We learn to walk at the same time we learn to talk.  These skills develop over the same curve as we grow.   I do not remember what it was like to learn how to walk but I have five children whom I was blessed enough to watch learn the task.   Our first baby, Miles, was so alert and ready to walk at a very early age.  I had all the time in the world to teach him things, but I did not have to teach him to walk, babies just naturally do this.  We hold them up when they are wobbly and soon they take the first step.

They learn how to sit, eat, talk, stand, and walk all on their own.  Even families that have no education, have children that walk.  It is just amazing.  Four children later, I can say without a doubt, that they have all mastered the walk.  
When we read the very first verse of Psalm 1, we see an admonition to NOT walk after the council of the ungodly.  What does the word ungodly mean?  Let me look it up...


  1. Irreligious or immoral: "ungodly lives of self-obsession, lust, and pleasure".
  2. Unreasonably early or inconvenient: "I've been troubled by telephone calls at ungodly hours".
impious - godless - unholy - irreligious

Wow, immoral lives of self-obsession!  So much of society today is absorbed in self.  I call it self indulgence.  People with their cell phones, computers, television, and entertainment have fixed themselves in a position to feed their senses continually.  Fast foods at our disposal, clothing we can buy at the store to fill up our closets to bursting over.  How, in this present age of technology do we stop from walking in the path of the ungodly?  Do we turn our devices off, throw them away?  I do not know.  I have made a conscious choice to NOT allow my kids to indulge in so much of these things.  I chose very early in my life that I did not want to march to the beat of popular opinion or culture.  I chose not to allow video games and ipods for the kids.  I do not shop at abercrombie and fitch.  I do not judge others if they choose to be main stream.  I just do not feel comfortable with too much of the world's comforts.  Are these indulgences sinful?  Not really, but I think that they can be if you do not moderate them.  Hollywood has their icons that much of society takes council from.  I look at the stars and I say, "I do not want to be them".  They can not go anywhere without being noticed, they have no freedom.  Often times they have been married to many different people, caught up in drugs, most of them have sold their souls to the devil and all I see is misery-slavery to sin.   A cesspool.  Many people deny Christ, deny creation, deny God.  They forget how much faith it really takes to believe we came from frogs or monkeys.  
I do not want to walk after the ungodly.  This we can teach, as a mother.  

We can instill a spirit of thankfulness in our children.

We can choose everyday to be thankful.  Thankful is the opposite of ungodly self indulgence.  When we are thankful we stop scorning.  When our face unfurls, a breath of life flows through us and we are like a tree planted by the rivers of fresh, living water.  When we say to our children, "It is time to pull weeds in the garden," on a misty, mosquito infested morning, and our child gives us this look that displays utter disappointment, it is our God given duty to teach them to walk all over again.  We tell them, "Be thankful we have a garden, when much of the children in the world starve today."  There is always something to be thankful for.  You take their little fragile mind, turn it in the proper direction, and you are teaching them how to walk all over again.  You give them some perspective and they can learn to walk out to that garden and appreciate the goal you have set as a family working together to put some fresh food on the table.  It may not be easy, and it sure comes with a cost but the paybacks are worth every ounce of struggle.

They begin to gain perspective each time they are reminded of what someone else less fortunate has to suffer while they are granted such provision and love.  It may take 100 times to train their mind to switch from self indulgent to selfless and thankful.  

"God teach me to be more thankful and selfless.  Give me wisdom each morning how to be a good example to thankfulness to my children.  Help me to walk in your ways.  Leaning not unto my own understanding.  Let me acknowledge you in all my ways because I know you will direct our paths.  When I am weak, please teach me to stand strong for them.  Teach me to be ever mindful of training my children how to gain a perspective of how blessed our lives truly are.  Most of all, thank you for coming to earth in the flesh, taking my sin upon yourself, shed your precious blood so that I could really LIVE. ~in Jesus Name, Amen."