New Beginnings

31/03/13 4:07 PM


Happy Easter!

From Brett and Michelle Darnell



What a weekend and what wonderful meaning it truly has for us! It just seem prefect that on Friday, I left my corporate job to start a new chapter in our lives. Today, the air is a little warmer and the flowers are blooming, a true sign that Spring is finally here and new beginning for the land. And today, being Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, a new beginning for all.

While, we are so excited to be starting this chapter in our lives, I would be kidding you if I told you that I had no doubt in what is to come; no worries that it will turn out as we had hope. One thing I have enjoyed about this blog is that through it, I feel like I can show others what it really takes to step out of your comfort zone and to pursue your dreams. So I try to be as honest as I can, to tell you of the highs and the lows so that you understand what it has taken for us to get this far.

As we come into contact with people in our travels and daily lives, we talk about our blog as a source of information on the history of Belle Grove Plantation and the history of our progress to opening it to the public. We joke about it being our “reality show”. But unlike the “reality shows” you see on television that are mostly scripted drama, ours is as you read it.

I would be fooling you if I told you that I wake ever morning with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. The truth is I have been waking up a lot earlier with agendas running through my head.

“Who do I need to talk to today?”

“Will we be able to get the Osprey nest moved before they lay eggs?”

“Will the Osprey take to the new nest that we have built for them?”

“Will we find the right people to cut down our historic trees and use them for something good?”

“Will we get the grading done in time and the seed or sod down so we can open with beautiful green grass and not puddles of mud?”

“Will we get the final engineering plans for the storm water run-off approved through the Planning Commission and VDOT in time to get the parking area completed before opening day?”

“What plants do we want to use in the flower beds and are they something special and will look good?”

“Will I be able find the right china and flatware in time and within budget?”

“Who is going to paint the inside and make the repairs we need and keep us from going bankrupt before we even get started?”

“Are we going to be able to raise the funds we need before the Summer Kitchen or Smokehouse completely slide off their foundations?”

To tell you the truth, I don’t know how I slept sometimes. There aren’t answers to calm my mind and worries seem to creep up on me out of the blue. Sometimes I have to ask myself, “Am I crazy or just stupid?” (to borrow the line from Forrest Gump)

I think the only thing that keeps me sane, beside my wonderful husband and our many friends and readers that keep supporting us, is the fact that it has all seemed to work itself out as it should. Everything seems to just show up at the right time or we have been in the right place or met the right people. It was as if it was destined to be. As if it was God ordained.

I know we have readers from many backgrounds and beliefs so I don’t want to offend anyone. But as for Brett and I, we have been Christians from many years. So I pray each day, thanking God for the many blessings we have received. I tell him how I marvel at how He has worked things out just right. I also tell Brett that in my biggest moment of doubt, I stop and think to myself, “How could God bring us to this point only to allow us to fail.” It is after reminding me of that, that I find a renewed strength to push on.

So yes, I believe with all my heart we belong at Belle Grove Plantation. I believe that it will become something really special. And even in moments of doubt which are completely normal for anyone that is going through so much change, things will be okay. But the most important thing through it all is:

I Believe!


Please visit our Facebook Fan Page

Facebook Link

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 59 Comments »

59 Comments on “New Beginnings”

  1. Happy Easter Michelle, Brett and Hurley! I did something similar, leaving a job with a regular paycheck and healthcare to become self employed. It has been scary at times and sometimes I miss the regularity of paychecks etc but I don’t regret it. I am thrilled for you and I just know you will be tremendously successful. Best wishes to all!

  2. Thank you so much for your support!

  3. CurtissAnn Says:

    I’m thinking of your words: “show what it’s like to step out of your comfort zone and pursue your dreams.” I say heartily that you do that. And having read your blog right along, I believe what you are doing is God ordained for you. I look back at my own life and see His hand in a number of seemingly silly things, like my learning to ride a horse. It was God ordained. πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you so much for your support!

  5. John Says:

    A great post! God bless you two and all your endevours. πŸ™‚

  6. Thank you so much for your support! We hope God will bless you too!

  7. πŸ™‚

  8. πŸ™‚

  9. edgar62 Says:

    Happy Easter to you all. I took early retirement a number of years ago and I have never regretted it.I have so much to do I sometimes wonder how I ever found the time to go to work in the first place. I believe you will be successful and I look forward to reading just how that happens.

  10. Happy Easter (day after really)! Thank you so much for your support!

  11. Wishing you a beautiful Easter and may God bless you in this beautiful journey ! πŸ™‚

  12. Thank you so much for your support!

  13. MCatherine Says:

    Redirecting the energy of nerves and excitement is the key, but it takes a little doing. I remember when I sang at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and 50 of my relatives bought tickets…OMGosh, singing for family and friends is the hardest performance to enjoy, but it keeps a performer on her toes. You’re are on your toes and have prepared well, so I’m confident all will go splendidly as you take this journey into this new and brilliant experience.

  14. Thank you so much for your support!

  15. belocchio Says:

    Michelle – that is a beautiful picture. I just said ahhh when I saw it. I am so thrilled with your your plans and your amazing journey. A happy Easter to all. Virginia

  16. Thank you so much for your support! Happy Day After Easter! πŸ˜‰

  17. Clanmother Says:

    I am so happy for you! I have been following you from the start of your adventure. I look forward to every post!!

  18. Thank you so much for your support!

  19. Can’t wait to visit your beautiful plantation B&B when you’re up and running! πŸ™‚

  20. Thank you so much for your support!

  21. Dianna Says:

    Goodness, you have a lot on your mind! I think you & Brett have the perserverance and faith that it takes to make this happen.

  22. Thank you so much for your support! We know we will get there!

  23. Brett and Michelle – well done to you both for pursuing and living your dream πŸ™‚ You’ll be absolutely fine πŸ™‚ Have a lovely, Peaceful Easter and lots of hugs to you and your gorgeous Hurley too x x

  24. Thank you so much for your support!

  25. You’re welcome πŸ™‚

  26. Sandy Says:

    Congratulations to you for following through and pursuing your dreams! I look forward to learning all about your successes!
    God Bless

  27. Thank you so much for your support!

  28. Happy Easter! Hey, the best is yet to come.

  29. Thank you so much for your support!

  30. Happy Easter Michelle! Keep up the positive attitude – you are doing great and things will all fall into place! Camille

  31. Thank you so much for your support!

  32. Angeline M Says:

    What an incredible journey. You are just lifting off into the wild blue horizon of your dreams.

  33. Thank you so much for your support!

  34. Wonderful picture! Happy Easter – a time of new beginnings!

  35. Thank you so much for your support!

  36. Good for you, go well, and enjoy!!!

  37. Thank you so much for your support!

  38. Wishing you every success and happiness! It takes great courage to leave a well trodden path to blaze your own trail. Just making the decision is so much of the battle. I have every confidence that the choice is right and that a good outcome awaits!
    Best – Steve

  39. Thank you so much for your support!

  40. Jane Sadek Says:

    I believe too! You’ve got what it takes and WHO it takes. You’ve also got a friend here in Texas cheering you on!

  41. Thank you so much for your support! Like your new picture too!

  42. Sarah Says:

    I felt this way when I became a stay at home mom. I’m grateful that God provides always. Can’t wait to see what’s next for y’all!

  43. Thank you so much for your support!

  44. Kudos to you for following your heart!

  45. Thank you so much for your support!

  46. The thing I always remember is this, God will not forsake us. I looked up forsake once and it means (my definition) that He will not turn away from us and move in the opposite direction. He loves us and will be by our side. After many years of marriage and being a Christian, I know that when things get tough and difficult, I can remember all the times that He has provided for us and kept us through the hard times. He has done it for us and I am certain, He will do it for you. He knows the number of hairs on your head and you are one of His favorites. Have a great day and take deep breaths… DAF

  47. Thank you so much for your support!

  48. David Says:

    You’re on your way, with very exciting days ahead.

    I understand on what you write. I have a laundry list of what needs to be done, what I should consider or not, etc. The hard part is not worrying about those things on the “what if” list.

  49. Thank you so much for your support!

  50. lynnwyvill Says:

    What a cute picture!!!! If you didn’t have doubts and worries, I’d be worried about you! LOL What you are doing is HUGE! But you are doing it!!! Of course, with help from above. It’s always amazing to me how things line up sometimes.
    Best wishes for your very exciting days, months, years ahead.

  51. Thank you so much for your support!

  52. terry1954 Says:

    the wonderful part of this new chapter, is it is your chapter, your decisions and your joy. Not the corporates. Have fun, and you will get everything done!!!

  53. Thank you so much Terry!

  54. Patty B Says:

    Enjoy this new adventure in your life – and thanks for having us along for the ride – it is exciting to read about everything you are doing. Blessings ~ Patty

  55. Thank you! I have enjoyed having friends along too!

  56. Amy Says:

    What an awesome adventure, and you have determined to get there…

  57. I will. It just takes time!

  58. T Hollis Says:

    Your Golden is beautiful!
    Thanks for stopping by my Post!

  59. Thank you! You are so welcome!