My generation seems to be intrigued with exploring new avenues, trying different cultures, and taking new risks. We are happy with ending racism by ignoring it, and learning ways of life that we never thought of.
Just recently, my family and I have decided to take a bold step out of the city life and start a homestead in Texas. But this won’t be a normal homestead. Everything here has to have a purpose. And at the center of it all, nothing can take away from our relationship with Christ! We didn’t start out like your normal family. We were married young, had 5 children, and we took risks that most people wouldn’t dream of. We always believed that nothing really bad could happen to us, and that we wouldn’t die from it. Looking back, we know we were really immature and could have died several times, but we are here now.
Homesteading is family!
We love the life that we are living, and it is a step out of the norm, but it is well worth it. Just be very careful! Homesteading is not for the faint of heart. From getting chickens to getting goats to killing venomous snakes, a lot of this life is make up solutions as problems come. No one has all the answers to survival out here. You can’t work a 9 – 5 to solve all of your answers, and a lot of times your money doesn’t solve anything. It’s a wonderful life, but it is an unstable one. There are issues you would never expect, like overgrown weeds, where you wouldn’t have a problem before. Normally between the HOA’s and foot traffic, you would never think that grass is a problem. But let it rain two weeks in Houston, Texas, and your grass is 4ft. Leave it like that for a month and you will find a pit of Copperhead Snakes. Next thing you know, you have foxes, and you can’t figure out why all of your chickens are dying. All of this from GRASS. Just GRASS!
You couldn’t be more Wronger
But this life has it’s benefits too. You find yourself intrigued by where your food comes from, and what you feed your animals. You become encouraged by the quality of goat milk you can get from a meat goat, and you start to try things that other homesteaders wouldn’t. You start to build things that look like crap, but cost $0.49 in wood and serves the purpose. Whereas before, you would have built a beautiful $9,000 shed made from only the best treated wood. The best thing is, you watch your children grow up curious about the world and without fear. You see them solve problems that they normally wouldn’t be exposed to. You know they will be something great as they get older, but you will enjoy their ingenuity while they are young. And you will enjoy the attachment to your animals. As you learn their little nuances and see the way they interact day-in and day-out, your animals will become your adopted children. And for all of you who say, “I don’t like animals now, I will just want them for their production!” You couldn’t be more Wronger. Your love will grow and you never even know it. My wife was the same way, until she lost her chicken one day. Now her emotion is completely different.
And although you may get a kick out of that video, she was completely heart-broken. How could someone so cruel trade her beautiful chicken for 6 “ugly” chickens. Because of production? Not worth it!!
Again, these are some of the fantastic endeavors you will face as you start homesteading, but it is completely worth it. It keeps your life in reality. It keeps your family together. It keeps you grounded as a person. And it keeps you living within your means. Just think, based on the statistic of our culture, she should be arguing and throwing pots at me because I slept with her best-friend’s, cousin’s baby-mama, but instead, we are arguing and throwing pots because our Cinnamon Queen was given away without thinking. A chicken we would eventually eat! Yep, we will be married for a very long time, and our children will grow up in a happy and high-spirited environment. All without any access to the normal drama of life many of you may go through. Homesteading is family!
In the middle of yet another EXCRUCIATING, frustrating, exhausting conversation with my almost 20-year old daughter, I realized we just donâ€™t understand each other. We are not communicating, weâ€™re just talking. And worse, she has no idea what Iâ€™m talking about and thinks I have no idea what Iâ€™m talking about! She doesnâ€™t even care to listen to me. I never want to say â€œIâ€™m 46 and Iâ€™m right.â€ But the fact is, Iâ€™M 46 AND Iâ€™M RIGHT! Iâ€™ve been there done that and failed miserably at it. When I looked at her all I saw was myself at 20 making all the wrong moves, having the wrong attitude and not thinking like someone on the path to being a productive adult. So, I began to think how much better off I would be if I knew then what I know now and what things I would want my 20 year old self (and my almost 20 year old daughter) to know.
What I would tell my 20 year old self:
1. Listen more, talk less.
2. It’s ok to be wrong about something.
3. Be good to yourself.
4. Save/spend your money carefully. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’…the Jones’ are in debt.
5. Take responsibility for your bad behavior (choices, decisions, actions, etc.)
6. Forgive…..yourself and others.
7. Know your worth and walk in it. Don’t settle.
8. Dream big. But wake up, get up and actually DO SOMETHING to make your dreams happen. No excuses, just results.
9. There’s a big difference between taking a “leap of faith” and “taking a flying leap”. Choose wisely.
10. Think. Then react.
11. It’s OK to ask for help. But remember to show gratitude not attitude. YOU need the help.
Thanks Tracie for your continual support and posts on my blog!
If you would like to be the next featured blogger on In The Life of a Virtuous Woman, comment below!
Often times, complete strangers who do not even ask my name pay for dinner for my family and me.Â Â In the past few years, the most I have paid for any cost related to healthcare is $3.00 for co-pay on prescriptions.Â Â I am obtaining another degree that is not costing my family any out of pocket expenses.Â Â I am an Army wife.
Reaping the benefits of my soldier truly relieves some of lifeâ€™s difficulties, but these gains do not come without sacrifice.Â Often times when the disadvantages of military life are discussed, love ones fighting in wars is the first idea to come to mindâ€¦not my case.Â Â My husband will never have to deploy again if he chooses to remain in his current career field.Â Â The challenges I face are more of a result of my thinking, rather than my actual situation. It is only God that keeps the â€œwhat-ifâ€ thinker like me grounded.
Being away from family often makes me wonder, â€œWhat if an emergency happens? What if I need someone to look after my daughter? What if my husband and I need to tend to certain things that she doesnâ€™t need to be exposed to?â€Â Â After picking up and moving just as we became accustomed to a new environment and adopted new family and friends, the â€œwhat-ifsâ€ stirred up even more.Â Â â€œWhat if my new job makes me miserable? What if my husband has training to complete and Iâ€™m left to survive in a new city where the only person I know is a six year old child?â€ Then comes the hassle of finding genuine Godly fellowship and a place of worship that would nurture my spiritual needsâ€¦ Now, I have become the soldier.
Iâ€™m now on foreign soil, but I have been trained by the One who sees and knows all and I am protected because He is my Sovereign King.Â Â My comfort is in His word, â€œThough an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;â€¦For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion…â€ Psalms 27:3; 5