I’ve written this post out in my head, as well as typed it out, several times. Each time it was fairly conservative.
But I didn’t feel right about not giving you the entire story.
So here it goes. Full disclosure.
2 years ago if you had asked me if I was positive homesteading was the next step for me, I would have answered with a resounding yes.
I was positive.
I was certain.
I prayed on it.
I searched scripture for assurance.
I knew in my heart this was what I was supposed to do.
I’ve worked in bakeries since I was 16, and am trained as a baker and cake decorator. I walked away from a full time job offer (where I had been working part time up to that point), because I was positive that I was meant to be out living the God sufficient lifestyle.
I kept house, raised chickens, milked goats, butchered my first animal ever (and cried) and ate it. I made bread, stocks from bones, gardened, canned, budgeted everything to the letter, did volunteer work, pushed 800 pound hay bales around, and went to church every Sunday. I did what I was sure I was to do.
And then it all fell apart around me.
Things kept breaking and needed to be replaced. Bills kept going up and up. My garden didn’t supply as much as it had in other years. One of our goats didn’t get bred. And all of a sudden out of thin air we were stuck.
How did this happen?
I didn’t have an answer for that. I felt a little crushed over everything that I had worked so hard to establish seemingly going nowhere. Did I loose the vision? Did I misread what I was supposed to do? Did I do something wrong and am now being punished for it? I follow a lot of blogs, and the majority of them are stay at home moms or stay at home farmers. They seem to be able to do everything. Perhaps that was my problem to begin with. I wanted to be like them and perhaps I got caught up in the dream of having that much freedom.
Or was this just a long route to where I was always supposed to be and didn’t know it?
Was I always supposed to be a full time employee at a company and not a free living farm girl? Did God just take me for a walk through the woods to help me understand that?
I didn’t understand why I was so sure I was supposed to quit that job only to return a year and a half later picking up the same full time position that I had walked away from originally.
I wrestled with this for awhile. I was happy about it in one sense, but another part of me was sad and even grieving the lifestyle that I loved so much being seemingly lost or put on hold. But then I started to reflect on how I had gotten there to begin with. Yes the very beginning had been financial problems, which had lead me to start cleaning with vinegar and making what I could at home. But the main reason why I stepped out and started farming goats and chickens, not just making what I could from scratch, was sickness. In breakdown in the barnyard, one of my very first posts, I wrote this:
Why did I throw everything away and believe the myth that if I got chickens and goats my dreams would come true? That if I was home more, and made food from scratch, kept a clean house, and raised a few animals, my husband might get better, and our marriage stronger. That maybe everything would get better.
There had been so much more going on that at the time that I wasn’t willing to deal with.
My husband was sick and no one knew why. We learned that we couldn’t have children and I was mourning the loss of something that I had never really had to begin with, but had always pictured myself having. And the stress of these 2 things had put our marriage in a very rocky place. On top of that my manager can be a very… ahem, controlling individual. I, at the time, was her right hand man and the pressure that was at work was coming home with me to an already broken relationship. I was sad and I needed some sort of relief. I needed things to be simple. I needed black and white. I needed hope and reassurance and truth. That is what farming gave me. The hens will lay tomorrow. The rooster will crow when the sun comes up (and every half hour after that for the rest of the bloody day). The goats will test me and push me and help me to grow. Oh how I hated goats – because they reminded me of me. Stubborn and unwilling to bend to what the Shepherd wants because they don’t understand, and if they don’t understand then they will not do. The bible refers to us as sheep. I’ve never owned sheep but I know goats. And goats are stupid. They will break out of the fences that are in place to keep them safe. They will yell their heads off after dark for more hay completely unaware that they are bringing in coyotes who will snatch them up. They will literally eat until they fall over and die if they can get a hold of chicken food or grain. They will not do what they don’t want to even if it is in their best interest. They are gluttonous, they are stubborn and stupid, and I can see myself in them. During this time of simple living I gained peace. I gained perhaps a tiny bit more patience. I gained insight about my own sin. I gained time. Time to cook, time to invest in my marriage, time to listen to my husband without all the demands at work running through my head over and over again.
I began to love my husband again. He healed. We still can’t have children, but I have peace with that. Hubby still struggles with it, but we lean on each other and a loving God. My world calmed down.
I know my God has a plan for my life. I know my God is in control.
But like all seasons another one comes.
There is a season to grow, a season to harvest, a season to rest, and a season to start again. When you farm you are very much in touch with these seasons, and I needed to be able to find them in my own life outside of the farm.
I’m headed back to work, and I have peace with it. I’m excited for the future, I’m excited for my new position in my job and I’m excited to get away from the goats for the day! This is going to bring an entirely new set of challenges but I feel ready for the task this time.
I don’t have all the answers as to why God leads us in circles sometimes. I don’t know why you can be so sure of something and then find yourself at a dead end. I do know that God does everything for the good of those who love Him. I do know that sometimes we need to be lead beside still waters and need to rest. I do know that everything is possible through Him. I do know that his hand is in my life. I can look back at my past and see where he has done work in my life – although when I was in the middle of it, it didn’t seem like it. When you’re standing at a seemingly dead end with the pressures of life coming up behind you, just wait for God to part the waters. He’s going to show you the way, and he’s going to show you why.
It just might not make sense at first.
Shared With: No Rules Weekend Blog Party, Life is Lovely Link Up, Mix it Up Monday, Good Morning Mondays, Homestead Blog Hop, Totally Terrific Tuesday, Homemaking Link Up, Coffee and Conversation, Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop