Who says the good old days are gone forever? For centuries our relatives have depended on their land, their family and their faith in God to get through this thing called life. Today we rely on big box stores, modern technology and cheap overseas labor for everything we need. But are we really living the good life?
My name is Barb, and in June of 2006 I quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I and our children decided to change our entire lifestyle – to live simply, naturally, and frugally like our grandparents did. And so began our homestead. We raised chickens and grew our own vegetables, fruits and herbs on our 1/3 of an acre "farm" in the middle of (a 40,000 population) city in the Carolinas. We made many of our own cleaning products, outbuildings and even some toys for the kids. We tried to live in an environmentally friendly way in order to be good stewards of what God had given us. Life was great and we were happy.
But life is full of twists and turns and ours was no exception. In early 2010, I found myself raising my children alone. My orderly little life was over and before long we lost our home to the bank. The kids and I ended up moving in with friends in a beautiful, tiny, country town (population 1,300). Today we are starting over and working towards building a new homestead – from the ground up. My first step was to get a job, then to get a piece of land, then a house, and now to make our new place into a brand new homestead. In today's economy and considering what a small town I now live in, finding a job proved to be difficult but I now work for a hospital in a nearby city. We now have a small piece of land (almost two acres), and a tiny, single-wide mobile home built in the 1970's. We spent a lot of time (with the help of friends) making it livable and were able to move in during the spring of 2012 - without owing the bank a penny! We are still working, one step at a time, to make our new homestead. It's a long, hard process, and working full-time while raising two boys on my own means it's a slow process. But Rome wasn't built in a day!
In order to move on with my life, I felt I had to make a conscious choice. Instead of dwelling on life’s twists and turns, I have chosen to be content with my life. I believe that contentment isn’t something that either comes to us or doesn’t. It’s a decision - a commitment I must make and act upon. Some days I fail at being contented, but God always forgives and tells me to start over. Although I don’t yet know God’s plans for me, I know I have a destiny to fulfill. Recent events are but a stumbling block on the path I have to follow. I have faith that God will continue leading me. And as He does, I will lead “A Life of Contentment.”
As the apostle Paul told the people of Philippi, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13