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Oh, what a season we’ve just come through. Or, maybe, we’re still in. I always start off things with good intentions, and somewhere along the way, I lose my momentum. But this, this is different. This has been so incredibly challenging.
This season has challenged my faith, it’s made me question our intentions for starting on this journey, it’s made me struggle with my own identity. This season has shaken me to my very core.
When we embarked on this little journey of ours, the goal was to move on to some obscene amount of acreage and farm. We finally sold our house in suburbia and we were going to move far away and start on a new, bigger piece of property. But, life had other plans.
Unbeknownst to us, we had a little girl preparing to join us in life’s parade. And oh, oh what a joy she is. Our plans changed, rapidly. We had sold our house and needed to find somewhere else, quickly. And we did. Our little 1 acre plot isn’t much, but it’s ours. And it’s beautiful. And it has oh so much potential. We made plans to start in the spring.
I bought our first chickens at 34 weeks pregnant. We built a makeshift coop in the middle of February just before I had our little farm chick. We had a beautiful little girl a few weeks later and we were on our way!
But, God had other plans. At 6 weeks postpartum, my mom died. And my entire existence was turned upside down. That makeshift coop? It’s still standing. The garden? Oh, you mean that pile of weeds I planted seeds in the weekend before my mom died? Yeah, nothing happened with that either.
Grow our own food? Fix the coop? Get ducks? Turkeys? Goats? Build a garden shed? Plant some trees? You must be joking. Why bother? What’s it all for when life is just going to kick you onto your rear end whenever you finally start getting ahead.
The entire summer went by without me so much as noticing. Somehow we went from May to almost the end of November and I’ve barely noticed. Our baby is 9 months old. She’s celebrated her first Thanksgiving. She’s crawling and almost walking and brings so much light to our lives. Our other two have learned to read (I taught them, but honestly can’t remember a thing), and do arithmetic. I’ve worked tirelessly in the kitchen, tried to keep the house clean, and educated the older girls the past couple of months and I haven’t even noticed.
It was all just so incredibly overwhelming. Too much. Too soon. Give me a minute!
God? Are you listening? I’ve had enough, please. And He was listening, but I wasn’t listening to Him. I was sitting over here questioning everything. Everything we wanted. Everything we were working toward. Life’s too short, may as well eat store-bought crap and mow my lawn instead of growing food. Right?
It was a dark season, and in many ways I’m still in the depths of it. There are days, especially now with the holidays, that all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry.
But, I finally started listening. And I finally realized this is what we were meant to do. Nothing good comes without hardship. No one said any of this would be easy. Did I think I was going to have to do this without telling my mom all the crazy stories of our mistakes and learning experiences? No. Did I think my children would grow up without their grandmother watching them? No.
But, we didn’t start this for my mom. She was proud of me (and I know she still is). But this life isn’t hers. It is ours. We did this for us. We did this for our children. We want more for our children. We want them to experience life. Real life. Watching things grow from tiny seeds planted in the ground and harvesting them.
We want them to know that real living takes hard work and dedication, but it pays off. To know where their food comes from. That nothing comes easy and things like butchering an animal, are bittersweet and difficult. But, we thank God for His provisions.
Happiness doesn’t come from a screen or a box. Happiness comes from sticking your hands in the dirt and digging up something glorious that your hard work has provided. Happiness comes from being intentional. Spending our time reading, taking any extra money we muster up to put in that wood stove we so desperately need. Playing a game together. Shutting off the screens and truly living in the moment.
I want to now, more than ever, share this journey of ours with you. Do I think it will be easy? Ha. It has been anything but so far. But, it will be worth it. And I’m more than ready. Will you join me?