Simplicity

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Growing up, my family had great expectations for me. I was smart, so I was constantly told. I was talented, so my dad always said; you’ll be working for Disney one day! Words of encouragement! What a lucky kid, right? Isn’t that what everyone wants, people to believe in them? I was indeed the only one in my family to graduate high school. And although I didn’t apply myself to my full potential, I was accepted into the University of Missouri, although I never went.

I often wonder if there is just something wrong with me. I do have talent. I am smart. I do have so many ideas and thoughts. I am full of potential. Yet, here I am, struggling financially and stressed about how we’re going to pay our bills. And what about my spouse? She works so hard to be the financial support of our family. I just want her life to be better. I want us to be able to provide for our son, our family, without so much worry.

Is there a reason that I struggle so much? The thing is, I’m mostly happy! The constant “support” from my parents when I was growing up, stressed me out. I felt their entire identity revolved around me being successful. But, what if success isn’t meant for me? What if that’s not my purpose in life? What if something from a past life is making me have to learn humility in this life?

Im not sure. But I do know God will reveal His plan for my life, in His time. There isn’t anything I can do to hurry it up. I do what I can to help provide for our family. I sell items on EBay. I have an Etsy store, https://www.etsy.com/shop/2findpeace?ref=search_shop_redirect  that I am continuing to work on. And I recently signed up with this company and launched my online store, https://www.countryscentscandles.com/store/mg  and I am hoping to bring in income that way as well.

My family and I recently bought (mortgaged) a small fixer upper home on 20 acres. The place had been neglected for at least the last 15 years and needs a lot of work. We have a TERRIBLE mortgage, and pray that somehow we can find a mortgage company or bank with a HEART, to refinance for us, without closing fees. Anyway, it’s always been our dream to be farmers and we really want to raise our child in the life of homesteading. But, we are not spring chickens! We are not rich! We are not even in very good shape physically! And trust me, nothing is as easy as it seems on HGTV.  The only thing we have going for us is our FAITH.

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We trust that God put all these feelings, ideas and passion in our hearts for a reason.  Those feelings and ideas that you dream about, that are always in your heart; that is your destiny! Or so, that’s what I believe, and it’s what has driven me in life.  And that takes me back to my parents, and their desire for my success.  Am I smart? Yes! Am I a talented artist? Yes! Actually, when I take time and draw daily, I’m very good. But, what has always been in my heart, what has always been my dream?

Simply, to be a mom! It’s all I thought about. And it took a LONG, CRAZY journey, but I am a mom.  And it brings me more happiness and fulfillment than anything else ever has.  So, in a world that pushes their kids so hard to achieve and media constantly pushing consumerism, “BIGGER is better”, etc.; what if I don’t want that? What if being “just a mom” is enough for me?  What if that is my destiny? What if I just want a low key, simple existence?

Maybe the talents I have and the knowledge I have is for me to pass on to my child. Maybe its just for me to share with the world to help others, but not to benefit me? You know, I think that’s ok with me. It’s truly my life goal to just make sure our child has a great childhood. I just want him to be a kid! I don’t really feel the pressure for him to be the best, as the world defines it! I just want him to be the best version of himself. God put him on this earth to fulfill his individual destiny, it is just my blessing to be his mom. He is an amazing child, he has his entire life ahead of him; I’m not putting pressure on him, the world will do that in time. It’s my job to nurture him, not to fit him into some box that the world thinks he needs to fit into.

We will be homeschooling for that very reason. I don’t want him growing up thinking he needs to fit into a box like everyone else.  He’s a very unique soul, I don’t want to take that away from him.  And of course I want him to learn, learn to grow in life, not learn to take tests!

We often talk and plan of the livestock we want to raise to become farmers. And we’ve put a lot of thoughts into the breeds we will raise and I can easily envision raising our child learning to be a guardian of the livestock and a gentle/humane farmer. I know he will benefit greatly from this life experience.  We also talk about having a small orchard and garden as well. We do have great ideas and plans. We also know we have much to learn and much to do to get our farm up and running.

But, there are days when I don’t want to do any of it.  I think to myself, I just want a simple life. Do I want to be a caretaker of more livestock? Do I want to be on baby watch? Do I want to have to constantly pluck weeds from the garden? That all seems like the opposite of a simple life. But, the fact is it’s not about what I want anymore. God have me what I wanted.  I am a mom, and that’s good enough for me.  I don’t need to be remembered for anything other than being a mom.

But God did provide this yearning in the hearts of my spouse and I about owning land and being farmers. It is something we always talked about. Not anything we ever took time to plan or learn about; but something we always wanted. It’s not something that is logical at all. So, I always felt it had more to do with our future child, than with us. And that is when we have to be BRAVE! We have to have trust and faith in God and know we are raising our son the way he needs to be raised. That we are following the plan put before us to live the life we were destined to live.

Living a life of a homesteader has a great appeal to me. I have this unexplainable desire to pull away from modern society and learn the old life skills and crafts. I didn’t feel this way before. The idea of living on land before was always more about not having neighbors and just preserving land. But, over the last few years, it’s definitely shifted into a different reason to have land. And I do desire a simple, peaceful life.  What I am having to learn though is what that means for my family versus someone else’s.

And I think for our family it means we just have to continue to nurture our child and make decisions based on his welfare.  That we have to continue to be brave and face fears and take some risks. We have to learn and grow and step out of our comfort zone. And we have to take baby steps, because as long as we are moving, the tasks will get accomplished. Doing nothing is failure! So, we have to just move forward and continue to take steps to live a more peaceful and simple life. It doesn’t come cheap, it doesn’t come easy; but I believe it’s our destiny as a family. We don’t measure our success in life by what is in our bank account; we measure it by the amount of love we put into our soul account.

It is our wish as parents that our son will always follow his dreams and live a simple, joyful life; on his terms. We know God will watch over him and guide him to his destiny.

 

God’s Plan. God’s Timing.

Thinking today about stuff and honestly, I’m struggling a bit.  JEALOUSY is such an ugly trait and something I try hard to not let creep into my heart. But, when we are feeling low is when Satan has the most power over us, and he likes to plants those thoughts into our hearts and mind. So, I am just an imperfect human and my way of working through these thoughts is to put it down in writing. And it’s always my hope that words will help someone else who is struggling as well.

Anyone who knows my family, knows that finances are a big struggle for us. And I guess that’s the biggest thing I struggle with, is understanding WHY, why does it have to be? What is Gods plan for my family? Does He not see in our hearts? Does He not understand all we would like to do to help others? Does He not hear our prayers? Does He not see the emotional toll that our family faces daily? Are we not WORTHY of having these prayers answered?

My spouse is pretty damn amazing! I will brag on her until the day I die. She is the type of person any company should be PROUD to have as an employee.  She’s dedicated, ethical, driven to be the best at her job, and she’s adaptable.  Her forte’ is Inventory control and/or management. She’s got a keen eye for detail and a knack for spotting costly mistakes. Despite this, it’s been incredibly hard for her to find a job to replace her previously highest income jobs. And unfortunately that creates a lot of stress in our family.

My spouse worked for Walmart for almost 16 years before quitting. The decision to quit, it’s a bit complicated. Basically it boils down to we unfortunately ended up at a store that was out of control; and we didn’t believe in ourselves enough at that time to stand up for ourselves. It was easier to quit! That is not a typical character trait of my spouse at all; in fact she’s anything but a quitter! So, was that part of God’s plan for us? Was there something in our future path that wouldn’t have occurred (a blessing for us or someone else) if we had stayed employed by Walmart? It’s definitely something to think about. We do know that the company did a lot of “cleaning house” at that store after we quit; so our concerns were validated.

Last year was really tough on my family. A friend helped my spouse get this job that paid really well; and we hoped it would be the answer to help us get caught up on our debts and move forward on some of our other plans.  But this job came at a great cost…it took my spouse away from her son for 3-4 days a week! That is a lot of TIME to sacrifice, that is a lot of FIRST moments she missed. And when the journey to become a parent was a 16 year journey filled with loss (I had 3 failed pregnancies) and bankruptcy; you shouldn’t have to choose between family and paying the bills.  TIME always has more value than money.  So, my spouse was laid off from that job in July 2016.  It’s been really tough financially on us since then.  Was this too God’s plan? Did God know that my spouse needed to have more family time?

So, here’s where I struggle the most. In understanding people’s motives. We have always been freely giving people. Giving of money, giving of gifts, giving of information, giving of advice, giving of support, giving of time.  Our motivation in life has always just simply been to be happy and help others be happy too.  If I can help you, I will. I can be struggling to pay my bills, but if I see a job opportunity that might benefit you; I will pass that along. There is a quote, “Do not expect others to treat you with the same kindness as you treat them; for they don’t have the same heart you do.”, this is absolutely true. I think our society is so competitive that people just aren’t inclined to help. They feel if they help you that you may somehow do better than they are doing. I think there is enough success in the world for everyone.

So, is it jealousy I feel? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s just heartache I feel. I don’t covet material possessions. I would just like my family to be able to pay our debts without worry. My could become a millionaire tomorrow (stranger things have happened), and I would still want to live a simple, frugal life. The difference would be I could afford to do so. I would be able to get solar power installed, buy supplies to can and dehydrate food, get our home updated to be more efficient, etc.  Having money would just allow my family to be together daily and to spend time learning life skills, growing food and working on philanthropic activities. We definitely have more ideas than money; maybe that too is God’s plan. Maybe one day it will all come together and make sense. Maybe much of what we desire in our life will happen in the future, through our son, not us.  That is definitely a lovely thought.

Well, I definitely know in life that the only person you can truly count on is yourself. (Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been blessed much in life by kindness from strangers, family and friends.) We don’t understand or know what God’s plan is for us, the path we need to choose. And I think that’s the hardest part of life. We think we are on a good path, but then it seems the bottom falls out! We know what we want, we want to be able to work from home, to eventually bring in all our income from working together as a family.

Work fromhome jobs are tricky, there are more scams than legitimate jobs. I am a pretty good novice at sewing. Our number one goal before this month is over is to unpack my sewing machine and get things functional so I can start sewing again. Then hopefully I can sell some stuff and start building a business. We had talked for years about doing a t-shirt business, but weren’t really sure what to pick or how to proceed. It’s funny how life is though, we talked so much about it that a person close to us actually did it! They had the money and resources to do it. Does that make me jealous? I guess, a little. They were in a position that they could afford to take the plunge, they had the money and a back up income source. We’ve never had that, so it makes it harder for us. Like we can’t afford for it to fail! But was this all God’s plan? Was it for us to plant the seed for someone else? Maybe, who knows?

The only choice we have in life is to continue to move forward. I will continue to try to find ways to bring in additional income to lessen the burden on my spouse.  I am looking forward to doing some sewing and hopefully people will be happy with what I have to offer.  And as a family we will continue to fight the good fight to stay positive and work together to achieve our goals in life. We will continue to show resilience and not give up!

We are looking into my spouse possibly being a realtor, but I believe to start requires about a $2k investment, plus the time to learn. And the additional income needed to get a better wardrobe and take care of some dental care.  But it’s an idea we are throwing up into the universe to see if God approves. We are keeping our hearts, ears and minds open to opportunity. We want to be able to pay back debts and kindness shown to us. I would love to be able to fund The Little Pantry and The Little Library movement and just do so much to help my family and others. And I know, that despite the hold and power that Satan has over this world, that somehow God will provide.

Somewhere through all this rambling, I find myself feeling a bit better. I still have no answers, but I can see that the answer will be provided.  There is a track record in our lives to the blessings that have been bestowed upon us; and that is it always comes in Gods timing, not ours.  So, we will stay open to possibilities and just do what we are capable of until He provides the solution.

Outdoor Play

IMG_0098As an older mom, I constantly battle with feeling that somehow I am letting my child down.  That they are at a deficit of some sort, because I’m not a younger, more vibrant mom. I’m trying to get back on a healthier track in life and hope to lose weight and become more energetic. I KNOW how to eat healthy and I know how to lose weight; but I’m finding it so hard right now. I know a lot has to do with worry over finances, as I am an emotional eater. But, I trust in Gods plan and know the resolution will be presented to us in HIS time.

That all being said, I have shed MANY tears over things that I feel are necessary for our child to have a great childhood. I swear I use to be such a kid & know how to play; but somehow life has just beat me down & I can’t get to that place. So, I think to myself if my child had a great outdoor play space, I could play with him and maybe learn to be a kid again. So, I have been OBSESSING over getting him a play kitchen for inside play (I love to cook), and for outside, I wanted to get him something from Cedarworks, Little Tikes, Step 2 or Gorilla Playsets.  All I could think is he NEEDS this amazing outside play area.

Our little boy actually enjoys watching American Ninja Warrior; it’s actually the only adult program I get to watch. He loves to climb and I know in my heart he would enjoy an outdoor play area.  So, I am constantly scouring the BST pages and Craigslist for a good bargain.  There have been a few obstacles with these finds though: (1) most items won’t fit in our SUV,  (2) even the good deals are typically too much for our current finances, (3) most people won’t hold items until you get there, and (4) people won’t deliver, even for gas money.  So, we’ve found it hard to find what my heart desires.

So, I tried talking with the companies that make the items I want. Asking them for discounts or anything to help.  What I got back was SILENCE.  This is hard, it’s actually a bit heartbreaking  I KNOW our son is not going to suffer from not having outside toys  But he is our only child. We are older parents who unfortunately also are poor financially; we just want him to have some things, the things we think are important.

Well, so then I was just at a standstill.  I was depressed and just overwhelmed.  I spend most of my time helping my spouse in her job search, selling (or trying to sell) items on EBay, and playing with our son.  So, I started thinking.  And I come to realize that I was allowing myself to be swept up in to the world of consumerism and the material world.  And I had to take a deep breath and remember why we are on this journey and what is important.

We desire to be homesteaders.  That though is expensive to start. Living a simple life, comes with a hefty price tag when you are starting from scratch!! But we view this as a worthwhile endeavor and it’s our goal to LEARN and to be able to TEACH our child.  So, with that in mind I went to my favorite Facebook pages to gain support and ideas.  These pictures are not mine, I found them on Google.  But after talking with some wonderful moms on the Waldorf Life Page and WildSchooling; these are my inspiration and what I hope to build for our son.

We have plenty of downed wood on our property and a few pallets. We are a bit out of shape, but we also are motivated. There are things we need: tires, pots, pans, buckets, washboard, sink or something similar and utensils, along with other miscellaneous items. The most expensive item we need is either a chainsaw or the money to hire someone to help us cut and move the wood. Even if we buy a chainsaw, we’ll probably still have to hire someone to move the wood to the build site. And then of course, the tires are the next most expensive item.  It’s all going to take time. And we have to do our planning to get it right. I have a post going on my local BST page asking for an old tractor tire and also for items for the music wall and Mud kitchen. I’m hoping to get at least one project done in time for Christmas.

The tire sandpit I had thought we were going to build this weekend.  But, we tend to get EXCITED and not always do our due diligence in preparing.  So, now we are looking for a tractor tire, as the tire on our property is pretty small. And we also didn’t have the area prepared.  We need to dig up the ground, put weed proof down and I’d love to cover the weed proof with some gravel or something.  Then we also need some plywood to make a top and a pool noodle, and maybe some paint. This quickly became a project that we can’t currently afford.

In a perfect world, I could get the Mud kitchen and music wall built in time for Christmas.  And then start getting the logs cut and moved to build the playground and cut stumps and such for him to walk and climb on.  This is my hope.  I’m truly hoping that I will encounter some kindness from the community and people will donate some items so I don’t have to buy a lot. But, if I do have to buy, I plan to shop at Goodwill or places similar, as I know they provide many services to the community.

My spouse is excited about us building our son a playground.  My hope is that we can actually physically and financially pull it off!  I want our son to grow up being in touch with the earth and nature, that is my greatest hope for him.  But I suffer with great anxiety about the dangers in nature…. it’s one of the biggest struggles I have as a parent. I want him to be brave, explore and enjoy all there is in life; but I want to keep him safe.  The best way for me to keep him safe is to educate myself about our surroundings, to be familiar and to be out there exploring with him. This is a great challenge for me, but it’s an obstacle I have to overcome.  I don’t want him to inherit my fears and anxieties, I don’t want him to grow up sheltered.  I want him to be in touch with all that nature has to offer, all the blessings God has provided for us.  Making this playground will force me to take him outside more often, and that is the first step.  It provides a safe place for him to explore, to play, to be outside.  And hopefully it will be the stepping stones to greater adventures in time.

SIMPLE LIFE

IMG_9690.JPGWhat I want more than anything is to just live a simple, non-consumerism life. I want to learn to grow our own food and preserve it. I want to make memories and have great life experiences, instead of things. I want to have less financial strain and more joy and laughter! I want to squeeze every ounce of pure bliss out of life. I want our son to be able to say he had the most loving and supportive parents and the best childhood.

What I have is a life in progress, working slowly to that goal. It is HARD to achieve. Living simply, doesn’t necessarily equate to living cheaply; at least not in the beginning. It cost to live a simple life. But, I feel it’s a worthy goal and something I will continue to strive toward. One should never give up on their hopes, dreams or passions; the answer to your prayers might be just a eye blink away.

The Girl Who Would Be Called Dempsey

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This is a picture of a Miniature Donkey, that I was going to buy.  I only knew I was going to buy her for about a week, then everything changed. And somehow, this change has changed me. Logically, it doesn’t make sense that I feel as devastated as I do. There was a part of me that kind of thought it was a bit of a crazy purchase. But, then there is the other part of me that tries to have faith and stay optimistic. So, in good faith, I did believe we would be purchasing her.

The name Dempsey, it’s my Maternal Grandmothers middle name. She hated it! Thought it sounded too masculine. But, I think it suited my grandma; for as sweet as she was, she was also feisty too! My grandma lived to be 100.  My family is a complicated mess, but I do have many good memories around my grandma.

Anyway, this beautiful little donkey belongs to a precious friend of mine. Someone who I don’t think realizes how amazing she is. I drive her crazy and somedays I fear she’ll decide I’m too much of a mess and won’t be my friend anymore. I love her and her family, I love her kids like they are family. I refer to her as an Aunt to my son. And because her friendship is so precious, I informed her as soon as I knew that we wouldn’t be able to make the purchase. I thought for sure she’d be upset, but she handled it gracefully.

But, here I sit…. STUCK! And I can’t explain it. How on earth did I develop such an emotional attachment to a picture of a baby donkey?? Why is it having such a profound affect on me? I can’t explain it and I need to move past it. The only thing that comes to mind is what it represents. It represented hope, I guess. I guess the hope that one day my family will be able to have something like that. That we can buy our son a gift of that magnitude, without worry. I think that’s what it represented to me.

My family always seems to struggle financially. We want to be able to fix our home, raise a garden and some livestock and make our son proud. We want to leave a legacy for him. I think that’s why all this bothers me so much. It’s again just a reminder of our struggles. And again, I feel like a failure. I know going after your dreams is noble and a worthy cause. And I know raising our son in the country was and is the right decision. But I just wish God would provide some guidance. I just don’t know if I can continue this way.

So that’s it. I’m at a crossroads and I really don’t have the answers or solutions. So, I just have to pray. And just love my family and pray some more. I have to stay hopeful and faithful. And ride the wave until I can regain control