Finding Balance During Transition

In October when Berry Man starting working at home full-time, I knew it was going to be a transition…for all of us. But I really don’t think I understood all of the transitions that would need to take place.

Since we are still building our homestead, we had several projects to last the whole winter…building a bigger chicken house, cutting firewood, building fences for future animals, and building our outdoor kitchen.

In past years, Berry Man and I have both worked full-time and tackled these “extra jobs” together in the evenings and weekends. But now that Berry Man is working here full-time, our hours have changed. Now, when I come home from work, Berry Man is also finishing up his day of work. This has greatly freed up our evenings and weekends for much needed family time.

All of these winter jobs were really jobs that Berry Man would lead for us anyway, and I would help out as needed.  All winter, I just was feeling blessed to be able to relax a little. I could come home from work and my work would be done for the day…novel concept, I know.

Now that it is spring time, I am struggling  little more with the transition. I know it has been over six months since we have made this change, but this is the time of year we would really spend a lot of time getting things ready for the season. Now when I get home from work, everything is done.

I thought I would be grateful for the free time, and I am…but to be honest, I really miss it. Since I am the one with the summers off, I was more of the “manager” of the berry patch. Now, I am more of the assistant. I have spent the past several years researching and planning everything with the berries, and now I am releasing much of that work to Berry Man. I know he will do an excellent job, and I need to let it go so I can have more focused time with God and my family.

So tonight we sat down to discuss our roles and how they have changed. We talked about what parts of the farm are now part of Berry Man’s job and what parts I can continue as part of my “hobby time.”

I will continue to care for my beloved (and finicky) blueberries, and Berry Man will take care of the rest…at least until summer break. On the weekends, we spend time together and with our family, something we haven’t been able to do in quite some time–working full-time jobs on top of our berry farm.

And believe me, I’m counting down the days…until those three special months when I can focus all of my attention on my family, our homestead, and our berry business. It can’t come soon enough!


What Can We Possibly Give to Jesus?

What can we possibly give to Jesus picture (2)

The events the past couple years have really helped my whole family grow closer to Jesus. As we look around at all of our blessings, direct answers to prayer, and daily guidance in our decisions, we realize how we it all to Him.

We have always explained to the kids that Christmas is Jesus’s birthday and tried to work against the societal norm truly focus on the “reason for the season” rather than Santa Claus and presents, but about a year ago the kids suggested taking it a step further.

We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and tried to think of a present to give to Him.

What can we possibly give to Jesus? My husband and I have faithfully modeled good Bible-reading habits as we have grown stronger in our faith, but had not really shared that joy with the kids.

It was time for that to change.

The kids were so excited about the new change to their bedtime routine. Every night we discuss our favorite and least-favorite parts of our day. Then we read a section of the Bible. Usually it is not a whole chapter, but one heading of a chapter at the very least.

At first we started in the Old Testament. I made bookmarks with a reading plan that outlined what we were going to read each evening and we went down the list and looked forward to the next evening’s reading.

We had been watching the History Channel series “The Bible” as a family over Christmas break. This seemed to give the kids a general background knowledge of what was happening, and whenever we read a story that was visualized in the series, the kids would make connections as we discussed the reading.

Listening to them discuss the Bible with each other has been absolutely amazing! Just another blessing to add to the list.

Anything that involved Jesus totally engulfed their attention, so as we progressed, we decided to put away the daily reading bookmarks and focus our studies on the New Testament.

Did we finish the entire Bible in a year? No, but what we gained was so much more.

  • We are redirecting a small amount of time during our day for quality time with each other and with our Lord and Savior.
  • We are remaining in God so He can remain in us like John 15:4 guides us to do.
  • We are creating a lifelong love for God’s word by making connections to things in our everyday lives, from guidance on how to choose friends to praying for bullies.
  • We construct a family basis of knowledge of how to live in a way pleasing to God. This really helps rationalize disciplinary procedures for all of us.

The Bible truly is the living word of God. It answers all of life’s tough questions. 

I thought it would be hard to think of something to give to Jesus. His grace is beyond compare, but He wants our time to draw us nearer to Him.

Time…a gift beyond compare.

Do you read the Bible with your kids? What are your routines? How has it changed your family? Share your comments below.



The Best Gift Money Cannot Buy

gift smallWhy would you want to do that? I hear it over and over again as I talk to people. Why would I want to grow my own food, run my own business, make my own medicine, raise my family in such a way that is….well…weird? The answer is easy…Time.

God has shown me gifts the earth He created can provide. I have tasted the wonders of home-grown food, and have suffered the digestive consequences of the processed foreign materials purchased in our grocery stores. I have experienced the love of family, in which time, and not money matters. What can I say, I enjoy my homesteading lifestyle.

Everyone has a story. For me it has been a journey…a journey to help my family be self-sufficient…a journey to put God and my family first…a journey to leave a legacy and a business for my children, so they will always be taken care of.

There is just something about putting a plant in the earth, watching in grow, taking care of it, harvesting it, and eating it that is just so breathtaking. I did that! God did that! My family did that! And we did it working together, growing together, and spending time with each other. Time. Something you cannot buy at a store, and better than anything money buy. Give it a try.