Today, Allison from Seed + Sparrow (Etsy) speaks to us about a difficult time when she was filled with fear, homemaking and the beauty found in Jesus.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a beautiful Christian home. My father worked at a local factory and my mother was a homemaker; warm meals and holiday traditions and family vacations were woven into every season, and while it was a very ordinary childhood, it felt extraordinary. Even though my parents have since divorced, those foundational years of my youth are what have held my heart together during the hardship of watching my family splinter.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: I have found great comfort in recent months as I read Jesus’ words: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3-10
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Daily I pray: Empty me, Lord. And fill me up with your goodness, so that I may live a life that glorifies you alone.
Profession: I am a homemaker- I care for my husband, our children and our home by serving them in any way I can. I homeschool my children. I work part-time for a local real estate business + manage a local airbnb property (a beautiful cabin in a nearby state park), and I own Seed + Sparrow, an online (Etsy) shop where I sell handmade, small batch anointing oil, incense and local beeswax candles with the sincere hope of helping others build their Kingdom Homes.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? A Kingdom Homemaker
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? Honestly, I’ve always known Him. There is not a day that I’ve lived without knowing Him, and His love for me. My Christian walk and relationship with my Heavenly Father changed (grew deeper) during three specific instances in my life: my son’s Autism diagnosis, the death of my sister-in-law from aggressive cancer and my parents’ separation which ended in divorce. In each season, I felt like I was in the trenches, and God met me there and held me in His strong and steady arms. Those days where I cried more than anything, I would hit my knees in prayer and feel the warmth of peace wash over my weary spirit; even now, when I feel like the enemy is pulling me back into the trenches, I fear not because I know God is waiting there for me.
“Those days where I cried more than anything, I would hit my knees in prayer and feel the warmth of peace wash over my weary spirit; even now, when I feel like the enemy is pulling me back into the trenches, I fear not because I know God is waiting there for me.”
How would you describe Jesus? A perfect man with gentle power, righteous anger and an almighty love that covers an endless multitude of sin- who is my friend and counselor. I often find myself like the woman from the Bible who crawls through the crowd of people just to touch His robe. I just want to be near Him.
“I often find myself like the woman from the Bible who crawls through the crowd of people just to touch His robe. I just want to be near Him.”
How has your relationship with Him changed you? My relationship with Jesus has humbled me and made me much less selfish. What a beautiful change.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? Right after my son was diagnosed with Autism, my sister-in-law was also diagnosed with cancer and I watched her die. I was engulfed in fear- which quickly turned into a severe anxiety disorder in which I had a difficult time leaving my home. Every single one of my relationships suffered (and I lost many) because I was stuck in the mud and the muck, and I just couldn’t get myself out and up. I felt, daily, that I was inadequate and incapable of simply living. I cried out to God over and over again. A friend recommended One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I began reading and making a list of my own… I heard God’s voice as my son began to get His words back (I’ll never forget the first time I heard him pray out loud); I felt His presence when I would visit my SIL’s grave or make it through the grocery store without having a panic attack; I was fully aware of His provision as I watched our garden grow… God was alive in every single detail of my life, and this ignited the greatest hope and joy that I had ever felt, and allowed me to slowly walk out of the mud and the muck that I had fallen into.
“God was alive in every single detail of my life”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Being anchored to the word of God, daily worship and prayer, weekly fasting days.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson. I love her warm and simple approach to making a home and growing a family. This book blesses me each time I pick it up.
Top three essentials: I never leave home without my Bible, peace and calming essential oil roll-on and Chapstick.
How did God speak to you recently? Last week, He gave me two dreams (the second was a continuation of the first). I am still processing exactly what they mean, but they each led me to the book of Amos, which I am currently working my way through.
Hobby: Currently, curling up with my favorite blanket, a good cup of hot coffee and turning on a corny Hallmark movie.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Read your Bible daily, find a good and strong church family and establish regular fasts (I began fasting in the last year, and it deeply changed me as I denied myself).
Favorite person in Scripture? Jesus.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want them to learn that no matter where they are or where they come from, He is waiting for them with open arms. I want them to see His gentleness and love, but also His strong rejection of anything that goes against His Word.
How do you engage with your community? I volunteer regularly at our local pregnancy resource center and stay active in our church, whose arms extend greatly into our small farming community. We belong to a local natural foods co-op as well, and our local library is like our second home.
Favorite holiday? Resurrection Day
A goal you have? I’ve put my physical body through a lot in the last few years; my current goal is to heal it so that I can serve God better and glorify Him through my witness of having a strong, healthy temple.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Weeknight, candlelit dinners. So simple, but so important.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? My children and I talk about this often! For me, I want to know, “Did my life on earth bring anyone into your Kingdom?”
Thing you want to raise awareness about: The darkness of seemingly innocent New Age practices that have infiltrated the Church and the lives of Christians.
What does your morning routine consist of? Coffee and breakfast, snuggling my daughter who is an early riser, morning chores (breakfast dishes, making my bed, first load of laundry), getting myself ready and then landing in my studio for a morning of work until lunch. Sometimes, I gather with my children over a big breakfast and we work on homeschool during the morning (history and theology are the subjects that are not independent), and these slow mornings of schooling with them are some of my favorite.
What is on your nightstand? A crock of fresh eucalyptus, a small bottle of water and a diffuser and a book: The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Making a conscious decision, daily, to pick up your cross and follow Jesus Christ and the Word of God.
For more Allison:
Until next time, keep witnessing!