You know how sometimes you get so deep into something that you’re not really sure what you’re doing?
Well, that’s where we’ve found ourselves the last few weeks. Not at all unhappy with the life that we’ve chosen. On the contrary; I’m (Hannah) extremely happy on the homestead. It brings a lot of joy and peace to my life.
But between milking goats, making cheese, feeding chickens, fixing fencing, and working full time, one can tend to get overwhelmed with the day-to-day.
So, I figured now was a good time to revisit our vision. The same vision that we had when we started this whole adventure together. Maybe see where we are lacking, and where we’re doing really well.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Groth
Are we cultivating creative, adventurous, and imaginative minds?
Creativity has to come out in problem solving around the farm – we wanted to build a root cellar, but didn’t have the time or resources to build the one we were envisioning, so Ryan dug a hole in the ground, and we bartered for a large freezer from our neighbor, and we’re going to bury the freezer: root cellar! Adventure for me looks like trying new recipes, maybe they fail, maybe they work. Or butchering chickens or milking goats for the first time. Or attempting to develop an online business. Ryan is currently working on finishing my dream library in our living room.
His creativity and imagination (and thoughtfulness) is making our home even cozier than it already is.
Are we finding joy in knowing and interacting with the people we live around?
Yes. 100% absolutely. This one is easy. Have I mentioned our neighbors?
Are we sharing what we have with others?
This is actually something we’ve talked about lately. We’d like to be more generous in the way that we think. There is a family here in the valley who are some of the most generous people I’ve ever met. They have us over for dinner and when we leave, they always give us a bag of natural, herbal goodies. They are the most hospitable people; hosting folks in their home constantly, cooking great quality food, and giving away so much of their time and resources.
We want to be more like them in the way of generosity. With our mentality on serving others, and giving where it’s needed and asked for, and even where it’s not. We don’t want our lives to be about ourselves.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” – Paul in Galatians 5
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” – Jesus in Mark 9
Are we appreciating music & art more fully?
Definitely could be more intentional about this. I was chatting with my sister recently (she’s an artist who just recently completed her senior art exhibition) and she recently had her senior art exhibit. She shared with me that when most folks view or experience a work of art, their first thoughts and questions are always “how?” related.
“How did you make this?” How is this held up?”
She feels the need to address the “how” questions first thing, so that the viewer can move on to the “why” questions.
I love this. & I also feel like the season I’m in right now has been more of a “how” season. That is fine – and needed. I need to know “how to” milk a goat, “how to” make goat cheese, and “how to” butcher a chicken….etc.
But I love the thought of a season dwelling more on the “why”. I think that this will bring more art & music into our lives naturally.
Isn’t that what art is? An expression of the “why” of life.
Are we developing knowledge and creativity in horticulture?
In smaller ways, yes. We’ve spent time foraging & harvesting from our land this fall. Since we moved onto the farm and just got going in July, it was too late to start a garden, but we’ve started to think about and plan for what we’ll grow next spring/summer. We’ll definitely be learning more about this in the next year.
Are we acknowledging and appreciating the existence and creativity of the God of Israel?
This one is convicting to some extent. We cannot help but acknowledge the existence of God. We’ve both seen and experienced too much to be convinced otherwise. However, there are seasons where God just seems to go silent. We see this in the Bible, we can look around and see that this happens with others, and we experience this ourselves. This is part of the reason for this vision revisiting. We just sometimes find ourselves doubting whether or not we are actually doing what He would have us do. Life has seemed like an up-hill battle for us since we met. We’ve listened for God’s voice and at times, He has spoken very clearly, and we’ve acted.
Then, in the silence, we tend to doubt what we heard in the light. Which, is not something we’re supposed to do, but we struggle with it.
We don’t believe in the prosperity gospel.
But we hope that we can evoke the favor of God to some extent, through our obedience.
And at least sense the Spirit of God in our daily lives more.
But this article contains a lot of truth about our generation & here is an excerpt that concludes it nicely::
Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it’ll work itself out—just dive in somewhere.
Stop thinking that you’re special. The fact is, right now, you’re not special. You’re another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.
Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy others.
Are we encouraging others in their journey to discover themselves capable of creating a simple, fulfilling, self-sustaining lifestyle?
I would hope that this would happen, but I guess the only thing that we can control is to live this out for ourselves and make friends along the way. Which is what we attempt to do.
There are many other points from our original vision for what our life could look like, and maybe I’ll revisit them at some point.
Ryan: It’s encouraging to look back and see that even though we envisioned our lives being different in a lot of ways, all of our goals still apply. And we’re achieving/practicing most of them. Even though we’ve been discouraged at times when things haven’t worked out according to our vision of how they should go, God has still been faithful to the things he’s spoken over us, and in a lot of cases [like the tiny house (plan A) or the purchase of land and trailer (plan B)], His provision has been greater than we had envisioned for ourselves.
For now, we’ll just leave you with this verse that we are convicted & challenged by often.
“If you get rid of the yoke from those around you, the finger-pointing and malicious speaking, and if you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in the darkness, and your night will be like noonday. The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry. Some of you will rebuild ancient ruins; you will restore the foundations laid long ago; you will be called the repairer of broken walls, the restorer of streets where people live.” (Isaiah 58)
Photo Cred: Elizabeth Groth