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It’s Time To Make Life Happen

>27 December 2012
 
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our land

“I wish I could… , BUT…”

 

Oh how often I hear this phrase, with all the gaps and excuses filled in, always uttered with regret-filled longings.

“I wish I could have a garden, but I just don’t have time!”

“I wish I could move, but I’m stuck where I am.”

“I wish I could homeschool my kids, but we just can’t afford it.”

“I wish we could have more time together as a family, but we’re just so busy!”

 

The combinations of unique situations is infinite. But I bet we can all fill in the blanks of this sentence with something.

Why have we allowed ourselves to be convinced of such helplessness?

I challenge you in the coming year to take control of your life, and stop accepting the notion that you are a victim of circumstance. Somewhere along the line of history we have lost our will to fight, to sacrifice, to take risks in order to live the lives we’ve always wanted. It doesn’t have to be this way, you know.

Think about it. It wasn’t that long ago when our ancestors left the comforts of everything they knew and loved, and jumped on a boat with only the clothes on their backs and a few precious belongings in hand, braving a long and dangerous journey across a seemingly never-ending ocean to a fresh beginning in an unexplored, scary and new world.

Talk about fulfilling your wildest dreams! Think about how crazy that was! They had nothing but hope waiting for them, no idea what to expect, how they would survive, where they would go… and yet they did it. It was far from easy, but they did it.

And here we are afraid to sell our big house, possibly at a loss, in order to be free to explore new possibilities. Or maybe we’re afraid to sacrifice an income and the material perks of having such in order to be able to give freely of our time to our children, or to some calling we feel led to.

What is stopping us from doing what we really want to do in life?

Often times we blame a lack of money for our problems. If only I had x amount of money… We forget that thousands before us have made their dreams a reality through hard work, ingenuity, and resourcefulness, without a dime to their names. They started from the ground up, content with having enough for the moment, yet always striving for something better. Why do we accept that this isn’t possible for us anymore? Why are we content with unfulfilling lives? 

We also blame a lack of time for not being able to live the way we want. But where are our priorities? How do we spend our precious time? What do we do that is truly necessary, beneficial, and profitable? Not necessarily monetarily profitable, or socially profitable, but life-quality profitable. We all have the same amount of time each and every day. How we choose to spend every single moment determines our life’s course and the joy or regret that follows.

What can you cast off to make your life more joyful?

Often times, our lives are weighed down and our happiness robbed by burdens we feel obligated to carry. Maybe we feel we owe it to somebody, or people will look at us badly if we didn’t do certain things… or have certain things.

But I ask, what can you get rid of to make your life simpler? What can you stop doing in order to breathe a little easier? What is stressing you out, causing you pain, or filling your life with sadness or dread?

Why do you continue to allow these things to affect the quality of your time here? Who is telling you that you must continue to commit yourself to the things that bring you down, and why do you allow yourself to believe them? What changes can you make today to make your life, and your family life, better tomorrow?

I think, for some of us, it is time to reevaluate what is truly most important.

If you could do anything right now, what would it be? If you knew you only had a short time to live, or a short time with your loved ones, what would you change? And what is holding you back from doing these things right now?

Who says you can’t spend more time with your family? Who says you can’t live without the burdens of today’s society? Who says you can’t just leave it all behind and start fresh? Who says?! And what do they know?!

We have bought into the lie, “It just has to be this way”. I’m telling you right now, IT DOESN’T.

Life only happens ONCE. And it is either what you make it, or what you allow it to be.

What are you willing to sacrifice? What notions are you willing to cast aside? Whose opinion are you willing to challenge? What comforts are you willing to trade for the freedom to make life happen the way you want it to?

When will we start living like we realize that we only get one life, one chance to make it what we want it to be, one moment at a time with our loved ones? We can choose to embrace a life of boredom, regret, time spent away from spouses and children, placing the opinions of others over our own happiness, etc. OR, we can make the decision that we are going to make the most of this one life we have, and live it to the fullest.

It might not happen overnight, or even in a month. It might take some forethought and careful planning. You might have to make some compromises, and do the best you can do at the moment. It might take a lot of courage and faith to make your life more the way you’ve always wanted it to be. But it can be done. With some sacrifices, hard work, ingenuity, and resourcefulness it CAN be done.

Let’s make 2013 the beginning of a truly fulfilling existence. It’s time to make life happen.

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41 Comments »

  • Jessica said:

    Beautiful post, thank you! I so agree!

    I’m reading Joel Salatin’s book: Folks This Ain’t Normal. And nodding my head in agreement as I read. Its really helped me realize how much time we’re wasting on things that really don’t matter. And also helping me realize that I can grow my own food like I want. I may not be able to raise cows and chickens too (just yet!), but I do have room for some plants.

    So I’m spending a lot of time in prayer and going to make things happen. I do not make “resolutions” but I’m feeling such an amazing sense of change right now. Good change.

  • Barbara said:

    Wonderful post! Thank you for saying what I know, but needed to hear anyway. It gives me the courage to keep walking through this season of change that my family and I are in. God bless you and your family!

  • ashmmorgan2 said:

    Thank you for such an inspiring post! It’s just what I needed to hear today :)

  • Ann said:

    I was saying to my daughter the other day that I wish I could move to more acreage again (I have 2 now). when she & her brother were growing up we had a small farm of 20 acres. she pointed out that I have goats, chickens, a huge garden,” you are still a ” farmer”, Mom! ” She just made me realize I am living the life I want where I am, contentedly. we are fairly selfsufficient. 20 acres would be great for the goats to have more browse, for us to have buffer from too close neighbors, to add sheep & a horse, so the dream lives, and we talk about how & when to act on it. My husband is retiring in a couple of years so that is the time, the how, we are working on. while you are dreaming of how you want to live, you can actually realize a lot of it where you are! If it is living in the country gardening, raising livestock, you can learn as much as you can now, so you will not be disappointed. It is work, & a commitment. Gardens & animals require dedicated care. If your goats are in milk, you have to keep to a milking schedule in addition to the feeding one. You have to check them everyday for injuries or signs of illness. All this is very rewarding and enjoyable, as long as you don’t idealize country life. I have friends who want me to drop everything for a day in the city. Half a day might work, but has to be planned. My grandpa would say a day away from the farm set him back a week. Not trying to bash anyone’s dreams, just you don’t want a dream to turn into a nightmare through lack of preparation.

  • kathy said:

    this drying rack is so cool. i have been wanting to hang out some laundry but hated putting a line up and having to leave it up. it gets really dark out here and was afraid someone would run into it

  • Amy said:

    Well. I am a single mother with three kids, and I don’t really know how I would be able to quit work and stay home and NOT PAY THE BILLS. Sure, it is wonderful to say that we should all give up things so that we can garden and preserve our own food and homeschool, but some of us really don’t have that luxury.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Amy,

    Is staying home with the kids something you’d like to do? It’s a little silly to assume your only option would be to not pay the bills. Do you have a talent, or skill that you could use to make money from home? My point is, if you really want something in life, there are always things you can do to get closer to your goals. It might not be easy, but if you really put your mind to it, anything is possible. I truly believe that.

  • Cheryl said:

    By far the best post I’ve read on here! Absolutely love it and agree with you 100%!

    Now just need to get some of my family members to read this. Thanks!

  • Jen @ Noting Grace said:

    This is a wonderfully inspirational article! It’s as though you are reading my mind. My husband and I live in the Vegas area, work in the entertainment industry and hope to move to some acreage within the next few years. Your post solidified in us the radical steps we’re willing to take in order to make the dream happen!

    Thank you for the gentle nudge! So glad I found you and have been blessed by your kind words.

    Jen @ Noting Grace

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    So glad to have you here, Jen. You guys can do it :) One step at a time!!

  • Chanda said:

    I have given up alot to be where I am today, I locked the doors ona busy hair salon about 5 yrs ago and sold out, walked away ad never looked back. I returned to the land and the animals I love so much and went back to doing everything I was raised doing. I grew up “homesteading” only we just called it life. One thing I would nnevr be willing to part with is my big house, I love it here and my acreage, I have lots of family who visit, collections to house and I love to decorate, not everybody aspires to live like an Amish person and with the bare bones. I am friends with plenty and they to love their pretties and space. I did however give up tons of crap in our lives that allowed me to be a housewife again.(Our children are grown), juice boxes, disposables, pkg process food, material junk that soon became so far on the back burner it was never missed because so much joy filled its space. One fun thing we made happe this year is we spent some of our saving on a fun little vintage sports car. We are older now and a big night out is not what it use to be so the car is great. In the summer, I dress in a pretty dress, we take the tops off the car, head down the highway to dinner somewhere and take our time. Great time together and lost of fun. Probably not the most practical thing we have ever done, but hey I live frugally 90% of the time and we earned it. I am still making some life changes this year, one is to get off the computer and not spend my morning coffee time reading rubish. Too much garbage anymore and it preys on peoples fears and in the end they are profiting from keeping people in fear with propaganda. It is as dishonnest and unGodly as anything out there. I choose to live life and live it as beautifully as I can and take this world by its tail and enjoy every wonderful thing it has to offer. Life is too short to spend it worrying, all worry does is rob today’s peace!
    Peace my friend. Chanda

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Love it, Chanda! Thanks for letting me have a little glimpse into your world :)

  • Sherri said:

    All I can say is, “WOW!”. This is an eye opener for me. Thanks for the kick in the pants…so to speak. I do believe that this is a year to make happiness happen…Not just dabble in it. God bless & have a blessed new year.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Sherri,

    Glad I could give you a virtual kick in the pants, lol! Blessings in the coming year :) Good things are in store!

  • Andi said:

    Kendra,
    Shalom… and I loved this article! Praise Praise – your points were beautifully made and confirmed what is my heart, I love the comments and your responses… thank you!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hi Andi,

    Thank you for your kind words. Shalom, and blessings in the new year!

  • pat said:

    Kendra,

    Thank you for this thoughtful and encouraging post.
    @Amy: You have an awesome responsibility raising three children on your own. God is faithful and is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides! I pray that believers in your area will encourage you and help you in this endeavor. I did not get that Kendra was calling her readers to live her lifestyle, but to live a purposeful, meaningful life whether we live in the city or in the country, whether we are married or single, homeschooling or public schooling, etc. Please don’t miss the heart of what she is saying. You can’t do what Kendra is doing; DO YOU! On the weekends, gather your children and teach them something(how to tie their shoes, make cookies, anything; remember you are their first teacher. No room or time to garden? Have the children start some herbs or tomato plants in pots. Then, if they’re old enough, they may want to start cooking some of the meals. Who knows, you could have the next Food Network chef on your hands! Don’t allow yourself to become discouraged and complacent because of the things that you can’t do. Focus on God’s blessings and pray to Him to lead you into those things that He can accomplish through you and remember your children are watching you. Be an example to them by prayer and hard work. Do you want them to say, “I can’t do this because I was raised by a single mom.” You want them to say, “I was raised by a single mom who taught me to set goals for myself and to persevere through prayer and hard work in reaching them.
    Praying for you!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Very encouraging words, Pat. Thank you for adding that here. SO true :)

  • Anonymous said:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I agree with what you said. We are still figuring out how to make it happen. We own a small business and are in debt up to our ears in back taxes. And we are still recovering from our business being robbed last May. Recently our situation has improved and hopefully there is something in this new year we don’t expect that will turn everything around for us.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your business. Being self employed is tough… we tried that for several years before city regulations and expenses forced us to close our doors. I hope you are able to thrive in the coming year :)

  • Shaye @ The Elliott Homestead said:

    Booya, girl.

  • Debi said:

    So interested in this type of lifestyle and would love to win the dvds, drying racks to start my life off in a self-sufficient way.

  • Stephanie said:

    What a beautiful post! It is so timely for me right now, too! :)

  • Char said:

    I love your blog and your lifestyle, Kendra. It is exactly what I wish for and hope for my life and my family. My husband and I both work full time and we have 2 (soon to be 3) young ones. We love our pigs and our chickens. We want to be self sustaining. The not having money part scares me the most. But we are working onwards toward it. Getting those things worked out!

  • Cassidy said:

    You should keep this as a header post forever! Very well said!! I hope you have a fantastic 2013!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Congratulations on the ‘soon to be 3′, Char :) And kudos to you for being able to squeeze some homesteading in even though you both work full time. That is HARD for most people to do. Blessings in the coming year! The money part is hard… believe me, lol, we know! You just do the best you can with what you have, and pray for the rest to fall into place.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Thank you, Cassidy :) A fantastic 2013 to you as well!

  • Jackie said:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. For some people it is “I wish I could be a stay at home mother but we just don’t have the money” and I disagree with this point of view. We live in a society that likes to scare us into not taking risks. “You need two incomes or your family will be forever poor” “You need a 401K or you will die penniless” “You need to work outside the home as a mother in case your husband dies or runs off with another woman” You are so right – we only live ONCE. Stop listening to the fear mongering of others and do what YOU feel is right!

  • Betty Belcher said:

    I have recently began making homemade farmhouse cheese. When my husband told people in his office, they all said the same thing “where does she get the time” Ha. Cream cheese practicly makes itself, and I am convinced that a drunk, motivated monkey could make it, lol. I am from the south, and we tend to exagerate a bit, but I have heard excuses from people for too long, and I am tired of it too. This life style is very hard, but the money you save is incredable. I have not bought laundry detergent in two years, and have only spent maybe 20 dollars for the ingrediants for it. Very good read, and I am grateful for your time, and energy to write it. Be Blessed my friend.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    That’s fantastic, Betty! Keep up the great work :)

  • Betty Belcher said:

    I would also like to add that today I harvested a nice bunch of mixed greens for our dinner. Guess where I grew them. On my familyroom WINDOW SILL! One day I looked at the beautiful collection of african violets and said, “heck, if I cant eat it, why grow it?” I simply gave the plants away, and started growing carrots, radishes, and a large variety of different greens! Next the swiss chard, and spinach! This little project would be great for a start on a limited budget, and the children can help as well. I learned aa long time ago, that when my children are involved in the growing, or visiting a local produce stand they make better food choices.

  • Melissa said:

    thank you for the post. It really inspired me!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    That’s awesome, Betty!! Proof that anyone can grow something no matter where they live :)

  • Debbie said:

    I stumbled across your website as I was looking for information on canning soups, stews and chili’s. I liked the information I found and decided to take a closer look and LOVE this post. Hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to share it on my blog because it says so much of what my husband and I have been discussing lately.

    Thanks.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    I’m so glad you found your way here, Debbie! Feel free to share away :)

  • Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage said:

    I’m sitting at a Kenneth Copeland conference. This dovetails with the teaching this weekend. Well
    done and well said.

  • Kelly said:

    I take your challenge. One year to my dreams (or headed in that direction anyway). Thanks for the kick in the pants. I just needed someone else to say it.

    I am on my way…starting a blog soon, getting seeds started for the garden, have 7 wild chickens (neighbors moved and left them, now they think they live here), raising two of my grandsons…trust me, if I can do it (with no money) then anyone can do it.

    My husband keeps saying we “have to have a truck”, well, I disagree. It would be nice to have a truck to transport goods and service equipment, but we can get started without it and hopefully earn the money while doing what we love.

    Thanks again!!! Keli

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    I wish you the very best as you continue to work toward the life you are meant to lead, Kelly :)

  • susan said:

    Thank you for this posting! You have inspired me!

  • Erin said:

    Oh Kendra…. Loving this post, Love knowing I am not alone in feeling these longings…. I am seeing quite a few these days that are starting to courageously pursue their self sufficiency & back-to-the-lander dreams & throwing off those cumbersome things and taking the real living plunge!!! What an adventure for American families! We can do this, y’all!!!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    :) It’s nice to have like-minded friends (even if only over the internet) to encourage us along the way, Erin :) Blessings!

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