As much as I love the convenience of living in a city, there’s nothing I like more than leaving it for the freedom and peaceful beauty of the country. The ability to simply stand and ‘be’ in the middle of a large field, listening to the wind move through tree boughs and birds calling to one another is one of the many pleasures life in my little part of the world affords.

When Sherrie rang up and asked me if I could take a few pictures of them and their newborn daughter, I was really excited. They live on a beautiful dairy farm just outside of Caledonia. Farm life can be demanding, but it’s a genuine labor of love, and that’s what I found when I arrived at their home. Like the land they care for, the Houwers are a beautiful, hard-working family that radiate a kind of quiet contentment that’s both refreshing and encouraging. Sherrie’s hands are full with two fun-loving, energetic boys and a brand-new baby girl to care for, but she was happily unconcerned for the photos—“Oh, whatever you think—I trust you!” she laughed as one of the boys turned and sprinted toward the other end of the field. (Don’t worry; Dad got them back in one (clean!) piece). 😊

As I watched them interact with each other, I was reminded that it’s this careful combination of lively energy and quiet restfulness that makes a happy family as well as a productive farm—both need the vitality of new life and the renewal of rest. It was a joy to spend the evening with them.