Have you ever noticed the trend in yourself, among other homesteaders and self-sufficient folk, this idea that more is better? Whether it’s an increase in knowledge or skills sets, we cheer one another onward.
You’ve got this! And once you’ve reached your goals, it’s time to up the ante!
Making 40% of your food from scratch? A-a-a-mazing! Now try to increase it to 50%!
You’ve mastered homemade sauerkraut? Oh happy day! Now that you’ve developed this skill set, be sure to add these 2 recipes to your fermenting list!
Raised a small summer garden? Three cheers for you! Here’s why (and how) you should add on.
Managed to put by 50 quarts of food for your family?! Look at you go! Next year, be sure to do at least 75 jars!
Is More Better?
Homesteaders talk about leading a simple life. And yet? They often push self (and others) to take on more.
But where does it end? How do we know when we’ve done enough? At what point should an individual be content with their land, homestead and skill sets? When can we stop feeling the need to learn more?
I believe the answer is found when we look at the heart of homesteading.
Homesteading is About Quality Living
Homesteaders of today believe there’s a better life to be had.
They believe it’s found in growing their own food. Preserving garden-fresh produce. Raising animals for meat, birds for eggs.
They believe in cooking from scratch. In home remedies and handcrafted hygiene products. It’s about keeping a natural home.
We’ve returned to old fashioned living because we believe its the better way.
Homesteading often overlaps with other important areas of life. It usually boosts our health. Helps us form relationships. Teaches us diligence and work ethic. Of patience. Helps us train our children.
For some, living next to the land is refreshing, even draws them closer to the Lord.
Homesteading often compliments our lives.
In the midst of learning, it’s important to remember that homesteading activities should consume only a portion of our lives! As with anything we invest our energies toward, it can become self-defeating, drawing us away from what really matters most.
Questions We Must Ask
Are we actually leading a richer life because of our homesteading activities? Or could it be that our pursuits of ‘natural living’ have taken us from things of utmost importance?
What expectations have you placed on yourself? Are they realistic?
Do you have time for friendships, for your relationship with the Lord? Or have you worn yourself so thin that there’s nothing left to give?
What about your family? How do things stand between you and your spouse? Are you missing out on your children’s lives because there’s always “one more thing” on your to-do list? Have you pushed aside their personal needs in your zeal for homesteading?
When we look back over our lives, I doubt we’ll find ourselves wishing we’d canned more pickles in year 2018.
That we’d spent less time with the kids and put more effort into the garden.
I certainly don’t think we’ll regret investing into our marriage or into friendships.
NO FOLKS! NO WAY ON GOD’S EARTH!
It’ll be about a life well-lived before God Almighty. About the people we love. How we spent the time we were given.
Rebelling Against the Homestead Mentality
Don’t get me wrong! I love the homesteading movement, am tickled pink when I see people raising their own food! I enjoy watching folks learn and take hold of change. Seriously? I thrive on farm life!
But there comes a time when we need to stop!
There is a time to rebel against the “do more” mentality. More isn’t always better.
Do You Need Change?
Do you feel burnt out? Does it seem impossible to meet the demands made on your time? Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by the constant push to do more!
If so, it’s probably time to put on the brakes!
It’s probably time to weigh your activities, to consider the life you’re currently leading.
Take time to evaluate the effect each homesteading task has on you and your family. Consider the health benefits. The emotional side. Perhaps your family loves one particular activity, while another is high stress…and no one enjoys it!
Also consider the time, energy and finances required to make each homesteading task go ’round.
What is vital to your farm and what can be released? Perhaps you need to scale back in a particular area? Be sure to talk it through with your family. Listen to their perspective and together, make decisions.
Put those decisions on ink and paper! Record what you released, what you kept and the things you are going to scale back on. Beside each, record the “why.” You may need a reminder throughout the year, and particularly when spring fever hits!
With new life bursting from every corner of the earth and renewed energy for the year to come, a reality check is a good thing!
Ensure that your homesteading activities better your life. It’s not about doing more. It’s about quality. Each person (or family) will draw the line in their own unique place. Don’t compare. Draw the necessary line and hold to it!
What are your thoughts? Do you need to embrace the reality that more isn’t always better?