Great Homestead Expectations

My husband and I hit a low point about a week ago in our morale regarding homestead expansion.

We were discussing the necessity of the kitchen remodel before the floor falls through to the basement (I honestly don’t know if it’s that bad or not, but I don’t really want to find out after the fact). It happened that I was discouraged because of the infinite list of projects stacking up for us and the finite amount of money, time, and skills we need to accomplish them.

My husband was more discouraged about the fact that we hadn’t yet managed to fence the property or establish pasture or forage for sheep or goats and our plans to expand our livestock had stagnated along with the joy he was deriving from establishing the land. I am a gardener. I love the dirt, I love the plants, I love the produce- everything about gardening challenges my ingenuity and intellect in ways that other things can’t. My husband doesn’t get that same satisfaction or fulfillment from gardening. His joy is derived from working with animals. He would be ecstatic if we were able to be putting money into feed and care of sheep for some delicious lamb down the road (or any meat, really… he just really loves lamb.) Can you tell he’s a man?

We finally each hit that breaking point at which our frustrations boiled over into what for us is a shouting match… We are by nature very quiet people, so anything above a normal speaking voice makes the kiddos uncomfortable. As we “loud talked” through the concerns and disappointments we were experiencing, I realized our focus had shifted from glorifying God in what were were doing, to chasing after things we didn’t yet have… So, greed, basically.

Shoot. That’s a tough pill to swallow- feeling like you’re not progressing as you should, yet suddenly realizing how gracious God has been to even bring us this far…

So here’s a look at the blessings we’ve received that we overlooked in our frustrations.

We’re drastically improving soil quality using only woodchips we got for free and composted yardwaste.

The soil now
The soil when we started planting

We’ve got chickens who lay on average 5 eggs a day for us.

We have fruit trees doing well.

We have completed two swales and three of five teraces for the garden, using only found materials.

We finally got a riding lawn mower and have been able to painlessly bag and mulch and compost all of our yard waste

We have gorgeous compost both in our bins and in the chicken run by feeding the girls all of our yard and organic waste.

Through the permaculture landworks we’ve completed, we have eliminated the 8% grade that caused our driveway to wash out and diverted the water flow into the garden.

We have some wood drying for use in our fireplace from some trees we took down and hopefully next winter we’ll have the fireplace running.

Oh, and we’re raising two (soon to be three) gorgeous children who get bigger, stronger and smarter every day and teach us as much about life as we try to teach them.

I had forgotten how good God had been to me, and how good He still is. Especially in light of the weather causing chaos and distress for so many people, whether through loss of property or life- it’s incredibly humbling to see how richly and graciously God has given to my family when I don’t deserve any of it, and my feelings persistently tell me I don’t have enough.

Now that my head is on straight, I’ve had time to rethink things and just be grateful for what I do have and trust God to take care of my family’s needs… Just like He always has.

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