This was the note I had tacked in my kitchen for two years as we waded through the difficulties of not only giving up our custom-built farm home, but the land, the animals, and the dream…the “dream” that included a high mortgage and more balls than we could juggle. We understood and embraced the call for homesteading and fostering a more self-reliant lifestyle–we still do–but the Lord had much to teach us about relying on HIM first. You can hear about our journey through our podcast.
We went through so many difficulties, that now on the other side I am in a wonder. Our marriage, home and business were in enormously difficult places, in the “for worse” places. So we downsized our lives–what’s really important here?–and downsized and downsized some more and when we thought we were finished downsizing, the hardships and flooding and damage we went through in our little cabin rental made us downsize and downsize some more. I just kept thinking that the Lord was saying, “You don’t need this, either…nor this…not even that…” After all, it’s easy to give up the things you don’t want.
If all of that weren’t enough, the Lord had to deal with my longings and desires for what homeschooling looked like, what an orderly household looked like, what raising children “properly” looked like. A midwife abandoned me at labor, but that probably saved my daughter, who was breech and born with Down syndrome eight years ago. Four years later, I had two more daughters, and one of them had (and has) Down syndrome, too.
THEN a tree fell on my van with myself and a number of children in it. We survived. It was another “bad day”, another “I can’t possible endure this”. But here I am. Still. And that finally describes my state of being right now, too: Still.
I feel like we went through a decade of dust storms where we really couldn’t see and now the grit has finally dampened, returned to the earth. I find myself almost completely quieted, seeing that all is at peace. Well, our credit rating is sunk because we don’t owe anything except the last of one student loan. And we’re still driving the car down one cylinder and rasping towards 300,000 miles. And we still have challenges with not only Down syndrome, but in simply (simply! ha!) raising children. But all is well, and especially–especially–with my soul.
It is one thing to believe the promises of God. It is another to actually live through seeing them happen. All I have needed, His hand–and His heart–has provided. Right now, He is granting me rest, and I am thankful.
So what am I doing now? The same as many of you: homekeeping, homeschooling, and enjoying my husband’s companionship. Still dreaming of owning property and livestock again, but knowing should that happen again it would be very different. And also knowing that I could live the rest of my life content without those gifts. I have lost much, but I have at least gained that jewel.
I have no idea what’s next. I am working on some writing projects. Still studying botany and practicing herbalism. Spinning wool on spindles and weaving a variety of beautiful scarves and towels and whatnot. Still homeschooling my children, still stirring pots on the stovetop, still hopeful above all. Still simplifying (always!), still cultivating a lifestyle of being fully present, and still loving Jesus, my utmost joy.
Thank you for being a part of my journey! And thanks for being here; I’ve missed you all, too, and hope to be here more in the coming year. You can also find me sharing dailies and mini-blogging (as I call it) on Instagram.