Hi, guys! Welcome to Planting Vineyards. I’m Audriana Smith, a married stay-at-home mom of 4 from a small town in West Virginia.
Have you ever felt like there’s more for you out there, but those little Debbie-downer voices in your head are holding you back? Me too. That’s why I started Planting Vineyards.
I’ve found so many women us struggle with feeling like we’re failing, like we’re never enough, like we can’t do this, and like we’re alone. That’s why my passion is weeding out lies of the enemy and replacing them with God’s truth. I want to help you fully realize who God designed you to be! And I want to do it authentically. Like we’re having coffee in my living room while our kids go nuts upstairs.
We’re not perfect, life isn’t perfect. But we are real and raw and beautiful, just the way we are. Without all the masks and pretenses. I hope my words can highlight God’s truth in your life and set you free from whatever lies are holding you back!
A Bit of my Story
As I mentioned, I’m married (to a really awesome man) and am blessed with the opportunity to stay at home with my babies! I’m living a life I’ve dreamed of since I was little girl, running my baby dolls up and down my road in their stroller with a diaper bag slung across my body.
But this wasn’t always my life.
I got married straight out of high school to the guy who I thought I would love forever. He was my best friend, and you’re supposed to marry your best friend, right? But unfortunately, our relationship wasn’t exactly the fairytale I dreamed of.
I had this idea in my head that had been planted there by the world. It said that crazy and erratic love was the best kind there was. It was painful, but it was worth it, right? Didn’t all the fighting and toxic behavior actually mean we were deeply in love? Didn’t all the high and low emotions just come with the roller coaster of passion? My idea of love was a little skewed.
After 2 babies and 4 years of trying to make it work, I made the decision to walk away. Like any mom, I didn’t want my kids to have a broken home. But the divorce ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. For more on my thoughts about divorce, follow the link. (And thankfully, even after all of the difficulties between us, their father and I are able to co-parent civilly.)
After I left, there was so much healing that I had to go through. And every single step made me more aware of God’s closeness to me. The season I was in was hard. I was living with my parents again. Going to school. Working to cover expenses for my kids and myself. Learning to share them even though I never wanted to let them go. Figuring out who I was all over again. And forgiving when all I wanted to do was hold onto my pain.
But by the grace of God, I got through it. I met Chris at church and fell in love, and we started building our new life together. Was that exactly “easy”? No. Entering into another marriage and learning that you can’t drag all your baggage along with you is hard. Becoming a functional blended family is hard. It’s messy and imperfect. But it’s worth it.
And if I can just help one person through their mess, I’ll call that a success.
Why “Planting Vineyards”?
She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
Proverbs 31:16 (NKJV)
Shortly before my first marriage ended, God led me to Proverbs 31. He breathed on the words there, and they came alive to me. I was fine one minute and the next, I was sobbing uncontrollably while my babies napped peacefully beside me. In that moment, I felt some unspoken promise from God ministering to the deep places within me. (Little did I know how much I was going to need it!)
Ever since, God has continued to bring me back to that passage during different seasons of my life. It’s like He uses it as a road map. Certain verses stick out more to me at certain times.
The 16th verse never really struck me as anything important until almost a year after starting this blog. I used a different name for it at the time–a Life so Sweet. It was an okay name, but it felt like something was missing. Like that wasn’t really the name of my blog. Still I had no idea what to change the name to or if I even should. Then while studying intensely in Proverbs 31 (writing the devotional series, Heart of a Woman), this verse clicked in a deeper way for me.
Without going into the meaning of every original Hebrew word, I’ll give you the abridged version. When it says “she considers” the field, it actually means she’s fixing her thought on the field to obtain it.
And the “field” isn’t just some piece of ground. This is her domain and her battlefield where she wages war against the enemy. Another description says, “a pasture where sheep are fed.”
That’s what this blog is to me. Getting it started wasn’t easy. It was pretty rocky, in fact. But I’ve fixed my thought on it. I’ve decided I’m not moving. This is a platform for me to feed God’s sheep and push back against the enemy. This is my field.
So what does she do after she obtains the field? She plants a vineyard–a place where fruit is grown for pressing into wine. In scripture, wine symbolizes the new covenant and the Holy Spirit (which was poured out, signifying the new covenant).
That’s my hope for Planting Vineyards. I want to plant seeds in the hearts of my readers that lead to fruit and Spiritual understanding in their own lives.
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