Getting Ready – Homesteading

There’s more to homesteading than milking the goats, it seems. I posted a list of practical things I thought to do first, but it is more than just “back to the land.” It is a mind shift, a sea change, a new way of being in God’s creation.

So these are some other ways to get ready:

1. Thank God continually. I am thanking God for the delays of last year. While we didn’t get started on the homestead, we are moving to a better place than the one before, we had time to recover from our physical and emotional traumas, and we formed a deep, lasting sisterly friendship with someone who had been just an acquaintance before.

2. Put the things of this world out of your mind. We will be leaving television and shopping malls behind, and it’s time to put them in perspective. We don’t need them, we don’t even need to think we enjoyed them much. For others it might be Saturday night at the pub, first run movies, restaurants or salons. It’s not that you won’t ever see any of these again, but it’s best to place them at the back of your mind as something you don’t need, and will hold you back if you pursue them even in memory. We have a Christian friend who works for the Lord, but had a rather dissolute youth. He talks about it a lot – the music, the bar scene, the old friends now gone. Some of us wonder if he finds his present life dull in comparison, even though he is happier and healthier. Live in today, not yesterday. The monastics were always told to forget their past, and not discuss it amongst their brothers or sisters. It’s still good advice for Christians.

3. Give first place to prayer and worship every day. The world forces us out of our daily cycle of prayer and contemplation by making us busy. If we live out of the world’s gravitiational pull, we should be able to resist this busyness. Start the day with prayer and thanksgiving, end it with prayer, praise, and petition. Ask for God’s presence in everything you do. 

4. Take the seasons as they are. Here in the North, we will be cold in the winter, hot in the summer. Snow will block the roads at times. Longing for summer days and notching up the thermostat will just make us poor in spirit and purse. And I am determined to never get caught on the road in a blizzard again! Our old heroic attitude was that we would get through the storm, no matter what, to make that meeting, that worship service, that visit. I’m so sorry, but I’m older now, and saner. Sometimes it can’t be helped – I’ve left home in light snow and driven right into the storm farther on – but even in just five years, weather mapping has improved. I intend to be more mindful of my time, health and energy, and flow with the seasons.

5. My Hebrew studies professor used to say, “People are more important than papers.” (Although that excuse worked one way – she didn’t like late work at all.) People are more important than my planned tasks, facebook, this blog, and my so precious sense of privacy. We need to make more time to sit and talk, share a loaf of bread, and hear about the people of our own community. Praying spontaneously with those in need is not weird. Always ask a blessing over food, even if it is just coffee and bread.

6. Take criticism with a grain of salt. Have confidence in the Lord. Trust those who have proved themselves wise and generous in spirit. Avoid those who always have a negative word to say about what you are doing – they may be envious, selfish or arrogant. Don’t let their angry spirit ruin your joyous spirit.


11 thoughts on “Getting Ready – Homesteading

  1. :0) This all sounds like good thinking.

    The people versus planned tasks has to be re-visited from time to time though.

    As a writer working from home I have found that, though I allot time to those people who are travelling life’s way with me, there are also people with time on their hands who will make you as much of a companion as you permit, and also pressured people who will make you a resource if you let them.

    Consequently I think I prefer to balance people and planned tasks rather than always prioritise the people. Some things just have to be done.

    • I’m too much of a loner! I’m trying to balance that out. Yes, there are the people who call just to ask, “What are you doing?” We will be on a dirt road, well off the beaten path, and I expect the neighbours, once they see us, will keep themselves to themselves! But I know what you mean – people who don’t have many inner resources are always looking to alleviate their own boredom!

  2. Amen. I shall miss thy blog, however! It has encouraged me so, even though I only found thee recently! This IS a wonderful path to follow, which will enrich life, and if I must do without hearing your encouraging words so be it; I will rest in knowing thy family is living to the fullest, as the Lord meant thee to. I agree with what you have said, avoiding those who discourage the efforts to find this way of life and change the current ways. It is tough, and I look to you much as a mentor, an example that it can be done. Thank thee for that and for your F/friendship. Blessings to you! I wish you all the success possible.

    Maybe we could exchange mailing addresses and keep in touch the “old” way? I would love that. It would be another way to slow myself down and engage in a nearly lost art of writing a letter! I will send thee my address in a message on Facebook.

    • I’ll still be writing – we won’t be off grid. I am being cautious about that. we are connecting more with our children, so we want to stay in touch. Aren’t you going to come see me when you move!?

    • Oh, please don’t misunderstand, I don’t want to or mean to be a drain on thee. I see the above comment now and feel floolish. I don’t want to be “one of those” that burden thee. I just hoped that I had found a friend who understands my seemingly rare interests.

      • Ha! A smart girl like thee! I am looking forward to being better friends. Thee will be busy in Augusta. I need to be more of a friend than I am. I’m a bit ashamed of how instrospective I am. Ember lives in a town where anyone can just drop by and when one works at home, that can be a big drain on one’s work time. When I wrote at home and had small children, friends would call me to babysit for them since I was at home anyway! Please continue to write, and we will see each other in Maine, I hope.

  3. I definitely need to work on number 3. Unfortunately my spiritual life has been too much on the back burner. I need to read the bible as well as praying. I work late almost all the time now because I have loads to do but I will not let work be an excuse to neglect this part of my life because it is really more important than everything worldly.

  4. Oh, thank thee for the reply. I would love to make a trip to see New Brunswick and thee, my new F/friend! I have felt such a kindred-ship with thee. I never want to be a drain or a burden. So glad to hear that you will remain online, although I do believe that limiting our time spent here is a positive thing…

    • Right now I am playing with this new toy, the laptop, but the glamour will wear off soon! And I set things to publish later than I write them sometimes.

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