Finding Covenant Farms


Previously, you met Mr. Benton, Jackson and myself.  Now it’s time for you to meet the fourth member of our family, Covenant Farms.  I refer to her as a person because she has required almost as much blood, sweat and tears as it required to bring Jackson into this world.  And both of them, but especially Jackson, were worth it all and then some. I feel a peace here that no other place in the world can offer. In a world where crowds and lines have become the norm, even in deep east Texas, to turn down this road at the end of a long hard day is a welcome sight. Last week, an insurance appraiser came out and the first words out of her mouth were, “I feel like I stepped into the movie set of Sweet Home Alabama.”

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Go to sleep little baby

I am sure most of you reading this can relate--you have a new baby that you love more than life itself but you haven’t slept in three months and you are so exhausted you just want to be alone with your thoughts and such was the case for me, one hot July day back in 2002.  I’ll admit it took me a while to get the mom thing down and even now, I will tell you that I am a much better mom to a teenager than to a baby. It’s not that I didn’t want to be a good mother; prior to his birth, I had visions of rocking him to sleep, softly singing sweet lullabies in his incredibly cute cowboy nursery.  No one told me they don’t come here knowing how to nurse. No one told me that life as you know it is over. No one told me that going to the bathroom would become something you looked forward to because it was like a mini vacation. It’s a better life to be sure, but let’s face it there is an adjustment period. Anyway, it was on such a day that the baby and I, after trying desperately to get him down for nap decided to go for a ride.   We rode all around town, for two hours we took every back road there was until eventually I ended up on a big loop that I thought I was never going to see the end of. The road turned into red dirt, and apparently it had just rained so it was muddy red dirt. Log trucks, or maybe even just ordinary traffic had rutted the road so bad that there was no going around the “bad spots.” In those days, I drove a white buick and let me tell you there were moments, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out of there.  I had a cell phone, but you guessed it, that far off the beaten path, there wasn’t any signal. So I had a choice, keep plowing through or turn around. Knowing what was behind me and since there really wasn’t a place to turn around, I kept going.

Then suddenly, after driving for what felt like miles, I found a place to turn around.   Only when I stopped and looked up, there it sat, the most idyllic house on a hill that you ever did see.  I thought to myself, “Someday that’s what I’d like to have,” and I couldn’t wait to tell mark about it that night.  I turned that car around and plowed back the way I came. Little did I know, and wouldn’t know until years later, that I was literally only a mile away from a major paved highway.  

Fast forward six years to 2008

Mr. Benton and I are living in a small east Texas city, one we dearly love. However, the neighbor on the left of us, we suspect smokes pot and the one on the right is appropriately named after that place none of us wants to end up in the hereafter.  I am not even kidding. Also we really wanted to get Jackson out of his 6A school system, for obvious reasons. Plus, we just wanted a quieter, simpler life so we began searching for land.  

Luckily we found a place, rather quickly.  Though not ideal in all aspects, it was a pretty spot and not very far from our shop.  After thinking about it for a week, we called up the lady and say we want to look at it one more time and then possibly make an offer.  Literally that very morning, a guy Mark is working for calls him up and says, “Hey I have got this place for sale and wondered if you want to go take a look at it.”  So we load up in his Suburban and we drive out to look at it.

Now the place when we drive up is rough.  It’s all overgrown woods, not pasture land at all and it’s a total mess.  Mr. Benton however, saw something. He saw something he could shape and mold and make what he wanted.  He saw a pond that wasn’t there. He saw a hillside that he would make out of the dirt he took out of the pond.  He made an offer right then and there and we closed a month later. I thought he was crazy. I couldn’t see what he saw at all, all I saw was a big ol’ mess.  There was one redeeming factor however. The new land, it was right beside that idyllic house I had seen on that drive long ago and somehow, I knew it was meant to be.  And that first place we had looked at...well let’s just say that road has had more than it’s fair share of burglaries over the years. I am so thankful we didn’t end up there.  

Home sweet home

We named the new place Covenant Farms shortly after we bought the land.  We wanted a name with a Biblical connection, something that reminded us of our roots every time we said it.  I know this post has gotten rather long, but I am glad you stopped by. I hope this story gives you hope for your own hopes and dreams and I hope you will allow God to take the reins and direct your path.  He has something planned for you far better than you could ever imagine. And I hope that sometimes when all you see is a big ol’ mess, you have the strength to plow through until you get to paradise on the other side.  

Until next time,

Lady Benton

P.S.  The road was paved the week we moved in!  

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