Three Years On Our Farm

Today is July 7th. 7/7. I’ve always liked the number 7; I wore it on my jersey for most of my pitching “career.” Some say it’s a lucky number and some say it represents completeness and perfection. Whatever it means, I knew when I woke up, even before I knew the exact date, that this particular day was significant. So I looked back at my old blog and found this post from three years ago. I wrote it on July 6, 2012, the day before we moved into our farmhouse. So that’s it! July 7 was our move-in date, three years ago.


Hard to believe it’s been three years since we left all that was familiar and comfortable in the city and moved to a completely unfamiliar, unpredictable farm life in the country. And not in Texas at all, but in Tennessee! Sometimes I still can’t believe we really did this. That I did this. It still feels like the craziest, bravest thing I’ve ever done. {Aside from barebacking the pony in my pasture with no saddle, no reigns, no nothing. Now, that’s a story!}


I get more emails from blog readers about our move than anything else. I’m blown away by all the people who want to know about moving to Franklin specifically. And some who are dreaming about farm life. But more than anything, people just want to know about chasing a dream. They want to know how we did it and what the hardest and best parts have been. They want to know if they can do it, too. My short answer is yes, if God is speaking to your heart and directing your steps, you can do anything He inspires you to do.


But of course, there’s always a long answer. I have lots of words to describe what this move has been like for me, which is one of the reasons I continue to write my heart out over time. I also know our story isn’t finished. Sometimes, we still don’t know why we’re here. All we know is it’s a bigger story than just moving from the city to a farm. So, I still don’t have all the answers, but because we’ve been here three years now, I thought I’d do a little reflecting…just whatever pops up in my heart this morning. {It might be interesting to see how this post compares to my reflections only six months into our move.}


I’ve heard people say it takes two years to settle into a place. For me, I’d say it takes more like three. Maybe I’m slow. Or maybe it’s an introverted homebody thing. Either way, I’ve learned to give myself a lot of grace. So what if I still use GPS to get around most days? When you’ve only lived in one place your entire life {and stayed close to your neighborhood most of that time}, you don’t develop very strong navigational skills. You just put yourself on autopilot and go, because you know your lifelong bubble like the back of your hand. Not knowing where I am still happens to me often here. It’s disorienting. And it’s okay.


The hardest part of living in a new place has been the unfamiliarity of it all. Not just the getting lost while driving, but not seeing anyone I recognize when I’m out and about. I still walk into Whole Foods, Target, or wherever else and hardly ever see a familiar face. And the rare times I do see someone I know, I’m so shocked that I’m almost speechless! Again, part of this is just an introverted homebody thing, but sometimes I miss the feeling of being in a store and running into someone who’s known me my entire life. Someone who knew me when…. I’ll never have that here. Nor will my girls. But I’ve learned that’s okay, too. I’d rather be deeply known by a few than run into everyone I know in a grocery store.


So yes, after three years, I still feel like the new girl at times, but not nearly as much as I did in those first two years. And guess who’s developed a tender heart toward the new girl? You guessed it! I can appear almost extroverted when I meet a new girl, especially the quiet, introverted kind who doesn’t look like she knows where she fits in. I know that place so well by now and recognize it when I see it. I’ve actually formed a dear friendship with a new girl in the last year. She moved from her familiar, comfortable life in Minneapolis to an all new farm life in Franklin. Oh, how I can relate! It turns out, we’re kindred spirits in a lot of ways. Long, lingering visits at one of our farms has been a huge gift to my heart in the last year.


Okay, so the getting lost and not feeling known or knowing others will make any move feel uncomfortable for most people, but add a whole bunch of farm animals to the mix and now you’ve got a girl who’s so out of her comfort zone that she couldn’t find her way back to it if she tried! I’m a different person than I was three years ago. And much of it has to do with living on a farm. It’s just messy! And the more animals you add to the mix, the messier it becomes.


I still can’t believe we went from no pets to all these animals. I’ve lost count at this point. Sure, I could stop right now and count them all, but it’s not really the number that matters. It’s what they represent. Not only the mess, but the huge learning curve. Talk about newness! With each new kind of animal, you have a whole new set of things to learn. Even with the dreamy kind. I seem to forget this is true. So take the pony in our pasture for example. In my dream world, she’d just graze and gallop and look pretty. Nope. Her presence has thrown all the other animals out of balance. The alpha role has been seriously rocked. And of course, the mess. The bigger the animal, the bigger the mess! But as with all of the other animals on the farm, she’s teaching me things. About myself and about life. About beauty and brokenness.


And this shedding Sheltie at my feet continues to deposit massive amounts of hair all over my house, but I’ve learned to let it go for longer periods of time. I don’t use the stick vacuum nearly as often. And the brown stripe across the skirt of my favorite white linen chair? Letting that go for now, too. Because if I wash it today, he’ll just rub his dirty farmdog body against it again tomorrow. Sometimes I shock myself with this increased tolerance for messiness and dirt. Animals have been a huge part of my therapy, but so has counseling, inner healing prayer and lots of time alone with God. I’ve learned that when your internal world is peaceful, you don’t feel the need to control your external world as strongly. And honestly, everyone in my family is thankful for that!


So the hardest part of our move? Honestly, for us, it’s not the newness, the change, the starting over or even all the animals and hard work that goes into keeping a farm. We wish those things were the hardest parts of our move. All of those things would’ve been more than enough for any family.

But for us, the hardest part of our move has very little to do with the move itself. The move just exposed what we had ignored and avoided for so many years. When we got here, we moved into uncharted territories…physically, emotionally and spiritually. Three years in, here’s what I know: everyone has a story. And most of our stories need healing in some place or another. To receive the healing, you have to know where it hurts. {Think of a child who needs a kiss or a bandaid on an ouchie. The first thing they do is show you where it hurts.} Pressing into the hurting places is painful, but this is where the healing begins. The last three years have been the most broken kind of beauty I’ve ever known. But God continues to infuse hope into the hardest places. He’s doing a new thing! And while the process of being made into a new thing is painful at times, we’d rather be made new than go back to the way we were.


As my oldest daughter wrote in her latest song, it’s messy to come alive. Everything about this move has been messy. But as I look at the four of us, I can see that we’re more alive than ever. Despite the hard parts of moving into uncharted territory, Ten 10 Farm has become a place of life for us. And our greatest joy is when we get to share the life we’ve found with others. Whether it’s having someone over for tea, cooking dinner for friends, sharing our eggs, or hosting an occasional beauty hunting retreat, we’re always looking for ways to give more life away.


Wishing you abundant life right where you are today!

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  • Becky Mullowney - “I’ve learned that when your internal world is peaceful, you don’t feel the need to control your external world as strongly.” Awesome! I’m quoting you today on FB and linking to your post. Thanks! Blessings, Becky M.ReplyCancel

  • Julie - Hi Linsey ~ Beautiful post! Where, oh where, did you get your egg container and labels?! I’m sure you designed that amazing label! Thank you, ~julieReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Yes, I designed the labels. I think I bought the containers from I remember googling “round plastic egg containers.” They’re a little pricey, but I love the way they show off the beauty of the eggs. Plus, I love pretty packaging!ReplyCancel

  • Eliza - Well, what do you know? I was searching guest rooms on Pinterest and up came a pic from your blog. What a treat it has been to get to know you over the past year. I love the way you write about “being fully known”. Thank you for the honor of allowing our sweet group of women to get to “fully” know you over the past few months. Love your heart for God and your obedience to His call. Believing for great and mighty things for you and your family this year! Love you, sweet friend.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - I love how God does that. How He brings people here through beauty. While I no longer blog much about interior design beauty, God still uses it often to make a connection. So glad you ended up here, but even more, I’m glad I ended up in that sweet group of women who have prayed like mighty warriors over me and others. I’m with you…believing in great and mighty things!ReplyCancel

  • Inga - Beautiful post!
    Yes indeed, you can only heal if you know where it hurts and where the pain came from, so very true! I had a ‘little ‘ issue this week and as I was reflecting I realized that I am not afraid to fall (off my horse) but to get hurt…
    Animals give us so much unconditional love…get a little robot vacuum for the hair, it does a good job!

    Have a blessed day!ReplyCancel

  • Eleanor - Wow. This post rocked my world more than you might ever know. My husband and I have held a long standing dream of buying acreage in TN. It has begun to evolve into something real and with God’s grace we may be there before the end of the year. At times when it didn’t seem possible I reminded myself that God never puts a dream in your heart that he doesn’t bring to pass. My trust is what continues to get me through as we currently hover in a “holding pattern”.
    Thank you for your words today. They were such a blessing. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • kristi - Such a wonderful journey. We have just begun ours and a friend turned me toward your blog for guidance along the way. We moved from a golf course community to a mini farm 4 acres that backs to an 8 acre lake. I’m thrilled to start this “farm” life as soon as baby 7 makes her debute next month. I’m already at more peace just looking out the window. Blessings for your continued journey!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - Linsey, I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since you moved and I found your sweet blog. I’ve loved following along this journey of yours. You have a beautiful way of writing and sharing your heart. Your family is precious and it’s been such fun to watch your girls grow. Thank you for sharing your life and more importantly, your heart. I know that God is going to continue to Bless you and your family! Here’s to many, many more wonderful years of Bravehearted Beauty!
    Oh, and I completely agree with you about the animals. We have two precious rescue dogs that fill our lives with so much love and acceptance. (And Inga is so right, the robot vacuumes are amazing.)ReplyCancel

  • Teresa - Thank you for such an inspiring message! I’m a country born but city bred girl myself, and am both extremely excited and anxious about making our family’s big move from the west coast to Franklin. We just bought a 15 acre mini farm and plan (hope, pray) to be there by next summer.

    We’ll be leaving our beloved adult children and long-time friends behind and just taking our youngest 12 year old daughter with us. It’s very scary to think that we will not know a soul in our new home but I think my heart is already in Franklin – fell in love at first sight last summer and again during our next two visits before we found our property. Im just hoping we all adjust well to the move, especially our daughter in her new school.ReplyCancel

  • Katie - Hi- It is refreshing to hear this. I am not even two years in to my new town. We live near the Woodlands, TX. TX in general is all new to me. Some days I feel like I love it and other days not as much. It’s hard to explain these feelings to most people who have never moved or have not had to move a lot. I do have a few friends but it’s hard to meet new friends as you get older because I think you know yourself more and how you want to spend your time. I love all sorts of people but the people that I want to invest my time in and share my heart with are far and few between. It’s so weird that I live in Houston now and you live in Franklin. My stepmother and brother actually live in Franklin and I love it there, it is beautiful. Maybe if I ever come back to visit I can stop by the farm and bring my kids to see the animals. Have a great day.ReplyCancel

  • A Different Kind of Broken » Bravehearted Beauty - […] hunt for beauty. Finding beauty in brokenness has emerged as the theme of my life, especially since our big move. I pick up my camera like a sword on a regular basis and fight to see beauty in every broken, […]ReplyCancel

  • Mary Smith - Hello,

    Where do you get your round egg cartons, please? I always have extra eggs but don’t have cartons to give them away. I love the round ones.