When we moved here to Missouri, we never dreamt that it would be as difficult as it was to get the homestead we had purchased up and running. Don’t get me wrong, we knew it was going to take time, effort, energy, resources, optimism, patience, and a whole heck of a lot of faith. Did I mention patience?
Yeah, patience and optimism was the issue for me because frankly, I had zero of both.
When things didn’t turn out the way we had hoped with the first homestead, I became terribly discouraged. The new house was nice, it had three, possibly four bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining room, washer and dryer hookup and a whole load of potential. But the land…..well it was just meh. It was quite hilly and in spots, it was pretty steep, there was no water source, it was right on the road, yadadayadada….
You get the idea. Everything, no matter how big or how small that I could find wrong with the land, I found it.
I was so negative about the entire situation that for 14 months I refused to even talk homesteading with Dan. We kept our layers, but that was about it and only because the kids begged me to. They begged for us to keep our Bourbon Red Turkeys too, but with a lack of resources we had no building or fencing to provide for them and were forced to rehome them. Our vision for the first homestead was to raise Bourbon Reds and eventually a Heritage Breed of pigs to help sustain our homestead. I was so disappointed and felt like such a failure with the first homestead, that I just decided that homesteading was not for us and we were going to have to explore a different way of life than what we had always dreamt of having.
If you have a relationship with God, then you know what I’m talking about. It is in those miserable, uncomfortable places of life that God teaches us some of the biggest and most important lessons. It is here, where He has an opportunity to shape and mold us to be more like His Son and He did just that.
For the last few months, God has been dealing with me about why we moved here in the first place. He reminded me that it wasn’t so we could work our tails off at our jobs only to watch the financial resources He was blessing us with be wasted. He wants us to be good stewards over our finances and spending a good portion of our budget on unhealthy, processed, chemically infused food was not a good way of doing that. We came here, by following His leading, so we could provide our family with a simpler, more relaxed lifestyle. So we could grow, raise, and preserve all our own food. So we could raise our own layers, meaties, piggies and possibly turkeys in the future. He brought us here so that we could live our lives abundantly free from the stress and anxiety that the world offers. We followed Him so that we could provide our children and our community with homegrown, home-cooked, home-baked, non-GMO goodness.
We left our homestead back East, that had become over-populated and tragically over-run with drugs, gangs, and crime two years ago to come to Missouri and give our children a safe upbringing. We wanted to be able to make memories with our children by living a lifestyle that taught them the importance and immeasurable value of faith, family, and homesteading.
God was quite firm about making sure I knew it was time that I got over my pity party and got back to working with Dan to make this life of abundance happen. I believe that for me to genuinely worship God in spirit and truth, I must be willing to live my life in obedience to Him.
So the planning has begun and it is quite simple. A 32×50 foot garden, with raised beds made from any free or cheap pallet wood (or any other wood we can find), good organic soil, seeds from Baker’s Creek and Sow True Seeds, three piggies, an expanded flock and an expanded coop, a few meaties and we should be good to go for this year. If things go well, and I am believing that God has great things planned for us this year, we should be preserving and harvesting our own food again come the Fall.
Did I mention that Baker’s Creek is only about 20 minutes from us and Living Traditions Homestead is just about 35 minutes from our homestead? We’re also not too far from Cackle Hatchery, so when the time comes to expand our flock and add turkeys back to our homestead, we won’t have to wait for them to come in the mail. All of this makes me giddy because I know I don’t have to wait for my seeds to come in the mail and I have friends right up the road who have been homesteading for quite a long time. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have the courage to even think about getting pigs, but thanks to their amazing YouTube channel, I am feeling much more confident. When we lived at the old homestead, I used to complain because we were too far away to go to Baker’s Creek for their Heritage Days Festivals or their Spring Planting Festival. We were too far away to go visit our friends at Living Traditions and share some of our goodies with them. A year ago I was so pessimistic about this entire process, that I couldn’t even see that God had moved us and planted us right where we belonged. He was re-directing our path much the same as a GPS does when we take a wrong turn on our way to a new location.
Dan and I took our first walk around our entire property today. The first walk I have taken on this property in the 14 months we’ve been here. Once we got past the garbage pile that the former occupants left behind and got down the one steep hill, it wasn’t too bad. It actually flattens out enough that we will be able to raise a good amount of animals and do much of what we wanted to do this entire time. All of the animals we intend to raise do not require a ton of space and the land size is quite manageable for us. As long as we are resourceful, frugal, optimistic, and patient, within time, we’ll be able to do all we have ever wanted to do.
A very, very dear friend of mine gave me a plaque for my wall for Christmas. She and I just became friends in the early Fall of 2018 and she is already more of a sister than a friend. It says “Where God Guides He Provides” Isaiah 58:11. I have no doubt that this is 100% truth! Where-ever God has guided us, He has always provided for us. My prayer is that He removes the veil from my eyes so that I can see Him working and moving in my life. I do not want to ever miss Him again.
Funny thing, back in 2017 when we were just starting out here in Missouri, I ran a blog that is very much like this one, all about Faith, Family, and Homesteading. It was that very verse that the blog was built on. That blog flourished and grew and many people grew in their relationship with the Lord and learned new things about how they could live a simpler, healthier lifestyle. I am just praising God for the second, third, fourth, the million chances He has given me.