Are you dreaming of a homestead but don't know how to change your life? Do you fear the outcome if you leave it all behind and try to make the transition? Find out what it really means to have the courage change your life.
As you know, last year my family took a huge leap of faith, sold our 3 bedroom/2 bath house in the city, and moved to a little home on family land way out in the country.
We did so to change our lives, to have more freedom, to give our son a better childhood, to have food security, and more.
And it was terrifying. I didn't feel brave in the beginning, I felt stupid... what was I thinking??
How were we going to make money in the country? We've never done anything like this before and I was so scared that we were going to fail. In fact, the number of times we almost threw in the towel were too many to count in the first few months.
It was odd to be so at peace with a decision and so scared of what was to come all at the same time.
Why am I telling you this? Because I've had countless emails over the past year from readers who talk about longing for the courage that we've had to take the leap of faith and leave it all behind. They tell me how brave we are, and how they wish the could be strong like we were...
First, let me say that each and every one of those emails touches my heart in ways you can't imagine. I adore getting them, and reading them, and responding... and I pray for each person who sends me one.
Why? Because I know how deep the longing is to be free.
I know the feeling of looking around and know that you're not "home" yet. That you are still un-settled, no matter how long you've lived somewhere.
I know the terror of realizing that you're about to make a giant change in your life that will either make or break everything.
And because of all of that, I pray for them. I pray for you.
Second, bravery didn't feel like it in the moment for us. It felt like we were free-falling from 40 stories up and praying desperately for something to catch us.
I don't say that to discourage you from leaping, just to tell you that we are no better than you are! And that if we can make it happen, you can too!
The Courage to Leap into Homesteading
There's a common theme in these emails that's I'm getting. I keep hearing "someday" in each story... Someday.
Here's the truth. You have to make "someday" happen. And yes, it's scary! I'm not going to lie, it's honestly the most terrified I've ever been while still feeling completely at peace about our decision.
But even with the fear, it is possible to achieve your dreams.
Make a Plan
If you want to do this, make a plan and enact it! Don't just sit around talking about someday. Get your stuff in order and DO IT! I say this with all love of course, because I want you to succeed and know the freedom that comes with homesteading.
The feeling of harvesting your own food, of raising animals, of watching your pantry fill with home-canned goods, of spending your time with family and on the land... that's an unbelievable feeling!
And if it's one you are longing for deep within your soul, I want you to find a way to make it happen.
1. Gather your assets
This might be money, tools, friends, skills... make a list of everything you have that can be used for the task of homesteading, and sell anything you can to help gather what's missing.
2. Set real goals
You may be in a position to clear the land and build a house with your own two hands like my friends over at Pure Living for Life... but likely you aren't.
So assess what your real goals are for who you are, what assets you have, and the area in which you will be living.
3. Acting on your goals
Alright, now that you know your assets and goals, it's time to actually DO something with them. Step tasks for yourself and your family to get you closer to your end goals and don't give up until you achieve them.
I know this is a simplistic look at the situation, but when you boil it down "make a goal and don't stop pursuing it until you achieve it" is really what it's all about!
What To Expect When You Leap
Before you take this big leap, there are a few things you need to know about what's going to happen afterwards.
1. Everyone will think you're crazy
This is a fact. Even the people who really love you will likely not understand what in the world you are thinking, unless they also love the homesteading idea.
That's ok, you are creating a life that you love and in which your family will thrive. And it's going to be different than the vast majority of society, so prepare yourself for funny looks and even some actual backlash.
2. It's going to be hard
And I'm not just talking about the physical labor of keeping the land, the garden, and the animals... I'm talking about the emotional toil of dealing with the change.
There will be days when you want to throw up your hands in defeat and run back to the city. It may only happen in your darkest of moments, and you may immediately regret the thought, but it will happen.
That's ok! Don't let that one moment (or even several) stop you from living the life you truly want. It's not a cake walk to homestead, by any means, but it is worthwhile.
Remember all the things you love about the city, and the things you hated. Compare that with the things you love and hate about homesteading... then see which one outweighs the other.
My guess is that homesteading will win every time.
Yes, homesteading is hard. But it was harder to be separated from my husband all day every day as we both worked for other people.
It was harder to spend 40% of my time on someone else's schedule and sitting in a desk 9-5. It was harder to buy my food at the store and wonder what I was really feeding my family...
I'll trade the "comforts" of the city for real life in the country any day, and I bet you're the same way.
3. It will be the best time of your life
On the really good days, and the vast majority of the bad days, you will look around at your life as you finally sit down in the late evening hours, and you will weep with joy for what you are building.
You will say thank you for every hard-won success, and every memory of things done by hand. You will succeed if you want to change your life, but only if you try.
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