The numbers aren't crunching. The kids are crying. The teen is whining about chores. Goats are jumping our old worn out fence. The stress keeps coming and coming. Suddenly, I'm tempted to throw in the towel, sell the animals, put the kids in public school, and get a paying job.
Homesteading, homeschooling, and homemaking tends to invoke peaceful images in your mind. Steers and goats grazing in their pasture, chickens pecking around, students with shiny faces sitting at the table happily awaiting the days lessons, a tidy house with all three meals made from scratch and with ingredients from the family farm.
The reality can at times be that but I've found that most days the goats will find the low spot on the fence and jump out and make a beeline for the newly planted garden. Chickens will promptly head to the back porch and set up shop and poo every where making it a land mine of chicken poop. The excitement of a new homeschool year is gone within a month and we spend the rest of the year fighting bad attitudes. The garden won't bear as well as the books all say or the livestock will get in and enjoy the buffet! Oh, and those from scratch meals? Clearly, I haven't figured out how to run our farm and household in a timely, productive manner yet. I tend to find the morning gone after the chores get finished. Lunch is haphazard because the fences need mended and garden needs weeded. Dinner doesn't hit the table till almost dark! And bath time? Unless the kids are so dirty I can't tell who is who, it doesn't happen till Saturday night!!
Suddenly, I find myself battling some serious discouragement. I look around and only see all the work that still needs to be done. I don't see how far we've come. I forget to look for God and search for His will. I've filled out applications to try to bring in more money. I've put a child in school. I've tossed the cookbooks and bought only pre-made food. I've listed my goats on Craigslist. I look for peace in all of the easy places. I long for the clean house and a yard that doesn't have animal poop in it. I come to the end of my rope. I have no where left to go but to my knees.
"Refresh me Lord!" I cry. All the job applications bring no interviews. The teen helps out without being bribed. The girls turn a corner and are suddenly playing nicely! We have a few really GREAT homeschool days. The pig stays in her pen. The goats stay inside the fence. We find all the eggs. I successfully milk the goat. I make the time to fix breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I include the kids when I'm weeding the garden, gathering eggs, and picking berries. Like a bright new morning, I'm reminded why we've chosen this lifestyle. It's not easy. It's not even pretty. However, there's never been a time in my life when I've fallen on my knees more.
This post is linked to Homestead Revival's Barn Hop and The Morris Tribe Homesteader Blog Hop