A family of four has found happiness in the simplicity of everyday life while managing a community pasture in rural Canada.
They believe God brought them to their purpose in life and are joyful to be able to raise their kids while keeping their faith intact.
What are the details?
Levi and Vanessa Ould, who are both in their late 20s, live with their kids, Jeremiah and Hadley, in west-central Saskatchewan, Canada. The couple works on a community pasture for six months each year and can live there for the whole year.
"The Lord opened this door; we are so grateful," Vanessa shared with The Epoch Times.
Vanessa was always a horse lover and spent most of her childhood taking lessons and riding horses.
She also took part in competitions but never had a ranch. As soon as she moved to Alberta to manage a horse program, she felt inspired to change her life.
"I started helping neighbors with cattle, learned from friends who came to help, and was drawn to that way of life. I loved the lifestyle that came with cowboying. It was more than something to do on the side; a way to bring horses into every aspect of life," she said.
She also liked how neighbors felt like part of a family and how horses were involved in every activity. While working at a horse camp, she met Levi's sister-in-law and brother, who later invited her on a trip where she met her future husband.
"Even Levi knew they were trying to set us up. During the trip, something just clicked," Vanessa recalled.
During the next few months, they spent more time together and realized they wanted the same things in life.
"It seemed easy and so natural; we both loved the Lord and had a heart for similar things," she said.
They tied the knot after one year of dating. The couple got married on a hilltop as the sun rose, with friends and family gathering to share their joy.
Before setting up their home in Saskatchewan, Levi and Vanessa managed cattle in northern Alberta while patiently waiting for a chance to oversee a community pasture.
Today the couple manages five herds with over 2,000 cattle on 22,000 acres of big lakes and open prairies.
"In April, we start checking on the fences and getting the land and water systems ready for cattle. In May, they start coming in, and we begin weekly checking each, managing the grass, and ensuring the land is being stewarded and utilized well," Vanessa explained about their work.
In the off-season, the couple fulfills orders for handmade leather goods like cellphone holsters, keychains, or fridge magnets.
They also have seven horses on the pasture beside the cattle.
Vanessa and Levi feel like all the animals are part of their family; most of them were present on their wedding day and for both pregnancy announcements.
Their kids have inherited their parents' love for riding, and they also help with chores.
"Jeremiah rides by himself; Hadley rides behind Levi or behind me in a 'buddy saddle' that can be attached to our saddle," Vanessa said.
While she admits it isn't easy to live far from their extended families in Alberta and Ontario, Vanessa is convinced they "won't ever regret" this adventure they're living with their kids.
"The best things don't come easy; they take a lot of perseverance, hard work, and cheerful hearts," the mother said.
Faith plays a central role in the family's life, and Vanessa and Levi are convinced they wouldn't have had their unique life if it wasn't for a higher purpose.
"We often pray throughout the day; we can see God's hand in it all; I am a firm believer God has us where we are with purpose; the grass isn't ever greener on the other side, but where it's being taken care of," Vanessa shared.
The mom of 2 has also started posting about their simple lifestyle on social media, hoping to inspire others to choose a similar adventure.
"Happiness wasn't something chased after; it came from a 'simple life,' not the 'things' you think you need to be happy. Being happy with what God has already given us changes everything; contentment is much more than something that makes us happy for a moment. It's living wholeheartedly in every way: the good, the challenges, the hard, and seeing opportunity in it all," she explained about the important lessons they received along the way.
The mother advises everyone to stay humble, keep learning, and always hold on to their faith.
"Our life is blessed, not just because of what we have or what we do, but because our hope is in the Lord. When things get hard, we know He holds it; when things work out, we praise Him. Look for ways to serve others. Start being a good wife, a better employee, and a better mom. Do the best you can exactly where you are; make each day worth living," Vanessa concluded.