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Welcome to our new site design!! Web designer Micah J. Murray and I have been working on it for months. We hope you like it. I have been pleased as punch with the site I had before, which was also designed and also wonderful, but people change and so do websites. I have big plans for this new layout, and mostly I’m just thrilled to have this lovely space in which to hang out with YOU.

Plus: COOL NEW STUFF.

Check out the “media” page, where you’ll find my TEDx talk embedded, plus links to articles and interviews I’ve done over the last several months.

Check out the “videos” page, where you can see all the recent Fouch-o-matic Off Grid videos.

And then…when you’re good and ready for a beautiful, amazing surprise, check out the “books” page. ‘Cause you know what? I’ve been writing you a book for the last hundred years, and I’m finally (almost) about to be able to actually give it to you.

Then come back here and tell me about how your jaw dropped.

The timing for all this is crazy and wild. But isn’t it always like this? We’ve been clearing brush and building our dream/small house and taking care of our kids and our animals, and this week we got not one, but TWO colonies of honeybees. We got going too fast last week and our kids showed the strain. Then we slowed down and ate a lot of fried potatoes, and promptly TED released my TEDx talk on YouTube and Zondervan released my gorgeous book cover and Chris Verkerk found us a swarm.

But it’s cool, really. This is normal. It’s just spring.

In the spring things burst up into new life, all over and in between, in all the places you thought were sleeping, or even dead. In the spring things come up fast and surprise you. Even if they are doing the same as last year, it still suprises you. In the spring water moves and little animals move and things are born and you can get your world rocked any day of the week by beautiful, normal, ordinary people.

I think one of the things that has surprised me the most, about trying to live this intentional life, is that just because you accept “slow” doesn’t mean that slow is actually what you’re going to get. Just because you aim for small (or real?) doesn’t mean that real is always small. It just means you’re less in control of it. Also, you can’t always tell what’s going on. Because sometimes the people who are REALLY listening to you, the ones who are hanging on every single word, and even drawing life from it, are the ones that you have no idea are there.

Folks, I just can’t do all the things for all the people. The standards of the world are high, and based in artificial things, and I just can’t do it. I can’t do social media all the time and I can’t always travel and I can’t always (or ever?) understand what’s cool right now. And I certainly can’t watch numbers and make platform goals, at least not unless I feel like lying down immediately after dinner with a headache.

But I can do this much. I can live out loud.

A friend who is very wise once told me that the secret to public speaking is hospitality. I think this is the part of it I love. I just love saying to people, “I can’t tell you what I am, but whatever it is, I’ll share it with you.” “I may not have it all figured out, but I can do life with you.” I can put my weight in this certain direction…so if you’re moving that way, too, maybe the air won’t be quite so heavy to push against.

So. Friends, acquaintances, people who have never said anything to me ever before…consider this your welcome mat.

Come on in and wipe your feet. Or don’t, come to think of it. That’s not really what we’re about. Come in, dirty feet or not, and hang out, and feel welcome, and take little bits of rest or beauty or sanity or company wherever you can find them. You’re worth it. And we all need a little bit of nourishment now and then.

Meanwhile, I promise to be here when I can, as much as I can — certainly more than I have been around the last few weeks! I’ll be hanging out here, doing my best to stand tall for a way of life that I think could really use some champions: in which passion is the fierce pursuit not of fame or recognized accomplishment, but of productive, ordinary, meaning-filled human life.

Thanks for hanging out with me. You’re my favorites.

Love from the yurt,
Esther

PS. Feel free to tell Micah if you like the website! His site is here, and his Facebook is here. The photos were taken by me and/or Nick, though. And the homestead, you know…is built by love. Enjoy.

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