Simple Living, or Simply living?

A slight play on words, but look at how a small shift can change the entire perspective.  Life changes.   In some seasons of life this change is more apparent than others.  It may be a small shift, or it may be a dramatic tip the world upside down, shake it around, and dump you back out on the ground.  It doesn’t matter how you land.  What matters is how you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and where you choose to go from here.  Each moment, each breath, is a chance for a new beginning.  All we need to do is choose it, be brave, and take the path less traveled.

This is how we, as a family have come down a grass-roots road of simple living.  Life changed.  Perspective shifted.  Things that once seemed important faded into the sunset, and priorities shone forth like the rising sun.  The very first priority, was the fact that we needed each other.  We needed constant, daily, loving, connection, and interaction.  Not over the phone, not over email, not over a distance made less by technology.  Nope, we needed to touch each other, we needed to look each other in the eyes lovingly, we needed to laugh together, we needed to hold one another as we cried.  We needed to be a family.  A Mom, a Dad, and four boys, all under one roof.  Every day, every night, always.

Take the first step in faith, and you will be shown where to go from there.  So that is what we did.  We became a whole family again.  We accepted an income that left us wondering not only how this would work, but if it would work.  We prayed.  And then we prayed some more.  We simplified, we prioritized, we refinanced, we got rid of excess, we rejoiced, and then we exhaled.  We delighted in each other’s company, and hard work.  We had the opportunity to dig deep, into our own souls, and into the richness of the earth as well.  The garden became larger.  We began to study the traditional ways, the ways our grandparents, great grandparents, and those who came before them, lived. We learned about sustainability, and self-sufficiency.  We listened to stories of hard work, hard times, and perseverance.  We learned about nurturing the earth, to grow our food in a way that is not only traditional, but also sustaining to both us and to the future generations coming. We learned to heal our bodies with herbs and tradition, but most of all we began to heal our hearts.  We learned the old ways from those who remembered.  We studied how to home dairy, and how to raise our own meat and eggs.  These are things that were not completely foreign to my husband and I, we had both been raised in homes where our grandparents had farmed the land, hunted and foraged food, had been and remained to be, independent, productive citizens of our country.  We were a young family filled with love, passion, determination to live fully and richly in God’s Grace; with four small mouths to feed. We learned to lean on faith, love, and good old-fashioned hard work as we preserved the harvest.

We grew.  The children grew.  We continue to grow as a family, in God’s love, and in our faith; with a true grit perseverance that makes life worth living.  It makes life alive.  It allows you to feel the pulse of the earth when you dig your hands in the garden, and the breath of God on the breeze.

We appreciate the little things, but most of all we appreciate each other.  The blessings that have come along with the lessons, are no less than miraculous.  The simpleness of life are where the miracles lie.  Quietly waiting for you to slow down, to breathe, and to embrace the joy that comes in the moment.

I know there will come a day when I will have time to look back over these years at the choices we have made, the miracles and blessings we have been shown, the tears we have cried, the sacrifices that have been made, and be overwhelmed with awe at the power of faith. Taking that first step in the right direction of the heart, to walk the path God shows you; unfolds a road lined with a peace and joy beyond anything I could have ever planned myself.  I know I am already filled with amazement and gratitude in the busyness of living, but when there is a pause, a lull in the moment, this is when I can feel God’s love and Grace shining down on our little homestead.  I smile and give thanks for the blessing of family, for the blessing of life.