Our son, born May 30th, has a unique name connected to our intentions here at Abundance Endeavors. It has two parts; Dutch and Hebrew. The Dutch part is straight forward. Kyra's beloved Dutch grandma is named Roelofje (feminine form of Roelof), and Shalom was born on her 90th birthday! The Hebrew portion is more nuanced.
Psalms 37 has encouraged us repeatedly, embodied (we hope) in efforts at Abundance Endeavors. The arrival of our Shalom has brought us here once again, especially these verses.
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.... 11 But the meek (sometimes translated humble) shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant (rob) peace (shalom).
When conjugated as in verse 11, both shalom and rob are nouns forming a compound word like sunflower. They mean completeness/soundness/welfare/peace (shalom) and multitude/abundance/greatness (rob).
Josh's health has been critically challenging, yet breakthrough seems imminent. At this juncture, we are feeling quite meek or humble as abundance swells up in the kiddos, animals, and plants. Shalom Rob is a prayer, a prophecy, a hope, reception of a promise, an end to a painful season and dawn of a new season. He is our 7th child, born 7 years after Josh left industry work (i.e. slavery). It is 7 years after our first attempt at farm life imploded. It is also a week after Josh's 39th birthday, like a beginning of a year of Jubilee. We are not superstitious or numerologists, but these are numbers of completion. Further, we have been devastated by mold toxicity and a host of ancillary hardships reminiscent of Job's rough streak. But the end of Job's story is inspiring with an exact doubling of his wealth. This is not trivial, since in the Mosaic law, the penalty for theft is very often double repayment. Repayment of a debt, as incurred by theft, is a shalom; squaring things up, paying things in full, closing the deal, coming to terms, these are the completeness referred to by the word shalom. For a small theft, this would be a small shalom. In our case it could well be abundance.
Celebrate the birth of Shalom Rob Roelof with us, and pray with us the hopeful prayer memorialized in his name.
We thought our 100 Cornish cross chicks were coming the 5th (their ship date), but they arrived the 7th. When 105 healthy chicks arrived from Valley Farms ($1.86/chick) the kiddos were elated. Then chicks started dying because the heat lamps were insufficient - 6 the first frosty night, 9 the second. Tears were shed. When I went to get broiler feed from Zakaraison Partnership Feed Sales, Sheryl heard our plight and lent us the pictured AWESOME Premier heater plates. She was a godsent, and our losses stopped at 19 total (none after the plates arrived). We will buy some of our own just as soon as Premier gets more in stock. Sheryl and Eric, thank you so much!
Perhaps five years ago, Courage officially asked me for a horse. I promised that if we ever had a place with pasture, she could. Finally, after a marvelous offer from a family moving to Oregon, we purchased a sweet, well-trained, 22-year-old mare named Shammie, a chariot, and a horse house (thank you Jamin for lending your truck) for $600. She eats only a ton of hay per year, which made me happy. Note Gabe, Ela's calf, grazing next to her.
Josh: Founder, father