Sunday, June 12, 2011

Let's Get Realistic

Recently, Joe and I began realizing just how much we were getting over
our heads with the homestead dreams. The biggest obstacle is that we
were following "our" dreams and not listening to the Lord's guidance.
The end result is that our homestead is not being blessed in our
efforts. So, we are taking a step back and re-evaluating. Yes, it
would be wonderful to raise all of our own food and have livestock
again. The question is, would that fall in line with the Lord's plan
for our family? For now, we are stopping our plans. We will maintain
what we have, but do nothing more or add anything new.

The fact is, with Joe on the road, it is all too much for me to handle
on my own. My oldest daughter's family lives with us, but they are
unable to take over as much as we would need. My daughter is expecting
a little one in 2 months and is homeschooling their 5 yr old son. My
son-in-law has a new job along with other responsibilities. They are
just too busy or otherwise occupied.

Living without the conveniences of electricity, the tasks that need to
be done each day are more labor intensive. Yes, it can be done but it
does take much more work. Add in homeschooling our 5 yr old daughter
and a special needs 3 yr old and I have a full day. I can easily see
where it was so important that farm families had the entire family at
home. The menfolk had to be there to do the outside work and tend the
livestock. Even among many Amish families, it is common that a young
mother would have a young single woman (often a relative) come to live
with them and help with the tending of the children and/or household
duties.

One factor we are looking at is that my chronic pain is returning. I am
having more bad days with it than I used to. Yes, it is in part to
being 48 yrs old and having a more physical life than many do. Whatever
the cause, the end result is that I can't do it all on my own anymore.
So, reality steps in and kicks me in the backside from time to time.

For me, the priority is always the care and well being of our children.
Homeschooling them is a joy and a challenge. I am finding that while
Abbie is becoming more independent with her homeschooling, Micah is very
high maintenance. I love homeschooling them and watching as they learn
new things. I am seeing that the time I would have spent in the large
garden or with livestock is better spent in raising and teaching our
children.

We are now praying for the Lord's guidance in what He has in mind for
our family. He blessed us with this property and now we need to learn
what His plan is for how we are to use it.

4 comments:

Bean said...

It is definitely too much for one person to do. We keep a huge garden, chickens, and raise a steer or two, if my husband wasn't here it wouldn't happen. My husband hauls the water for the steer, twenty five gallons a day, he tills the gardens, he does the planting, I do the hoeing, weeding, canning, freezing, feeding of animals, etc. it is truly a team effort. Take today for example, my husband works construction so after a ten hour day, he came home to put our hay up. I was home today, did around the home chores, ran an errand with my youngest, then walked two and a half miles to my daughters house to see her new washline, walked home, then went to the neighbors to help her paint a shed, then joined my husband to put our hay up. Putting the hay up, my husband cut the hay and raked it into rows over the weekend, however we do NOT have a baler, so we spent three and half hours with lawn rakes, raking and lifting hay into the truck, taking it to the back of the field, unloading, going back for more. We started our day at 4:45 this morning!! Neither of us could do this on our own, we are a team and we have to work together and we are very BLESSED that we can do this and we enjoy it so. I think you are very wise to sit back and see where the Lord leads you. And, your children are young, they don't stay that way for long, our youngest will be eighteen tomorrow.
Spend time with your children, it is time spent that you will never regret.

Blessings to you,

Bean

Amongchosen said...

So you are w/out electricity? How are you on the net if you are? Why would you be? Just curious ;)

Prairie Mom said...

@ Among Chosen - yes, we have been without electriciy by choice now for 3 yrs. In the past few months, we set up a small solar power system so that I can charge the cell phone and netbook batteries.
We went off-grid in part due to the fact that it is not a necessity. Society makes you think that it is, but actually having electricity is simply a convenience. We have found that being without it, there is very little that we miss. The only thing that I can think of that I miss is having a fan in the summer. We don't miss TV or anything like that. There is the battery operated radio that we use to keep up with weather and news. We spend more time doing things together as a family, reading, and just enjoying each other.

Scarlett said...

I would love to try to live the way you do off the grid. But having Fibromyalgia, I can see how hard it would be to do it all. It just isn't possible for one person to do everything. I think you need to pray and find the things that are most important to your family and God and do those things and let some other things slide. Don't be so hard on yourself!