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We need the tonic of wildness...

After breast cancer, something within me changed. I felt like I climbed out of my old skin and began searching for the new me. On July 6, 2018 I was born again, baptized in the rejuvenating waters of Lake Michigan.

When I came out of the water and took my first breath, I felt like I was found.

At that point forward I was hungry, hungry for more… it was like I had an epiphany and realized I had understood life all wrong. At that point forward, I shifted my focus on what I felt Jesus breathed into my life that summer day.

My dream started with becoming a homebody and wanting to homeschool my daughters. Then it grew and I realized everything I ever knew was not as it seemed.

I began to question everything, going through cancer treatment and being flooded with medical care, I learned too much about the healthcare system.

I just wanted out. I wanted away from the “normal” culture. Suddenly, anything that was popular in mainstream I had a wary feeling about. Clinging to my faith is what got me through this cocoon moment in my life.

I realized what my true dream was. I wanted to be independent, to live off the land, to live holistically, to learn with my hands, to be outside, to go against the grain, to teach my daughters how to rely on themselves and their community. To weave Jesus into our every moment of everyday.

Relationships became incredibly important to me and creating that circle of likeminded families.

I began to write these dreams down, fall asleep praying about them…waiting waiting waiting for one day when they might come true.

We searched for property with acreage thinking this was the only way my dreams would come into fruition… we scrolled through thousands of listings a week.

Then one day after a long talk about our future, I decided, “I’m done waiting.”

And that morning I researched winter plants, ordered seeds, watched videos on gardening, and November 30, 2020 I planted my first seeds in my first garden. (More info coming soon.)

We may only have 1/3 of an acre, but I was determined to pour into the land we did have and begin my dream.

Two weeks later we had sprouts. Today, we have pea shoots, spinach leaves forming, and swiss chard stalks growing. I have planted 20 veggies/herbs in the last 30 days.

My heart leaps at the gratification of growing something with my own hands where I am. Showing my daughters we can do this, creating a foundation within my girls that they too can do this. It makes my heart leap when they say, “On my farm I want to…”

My word for 2020 was simplicity and God delivered on that one. Our year halted, we pushed pause and then beautiful things started to happen.

I learned how to bake sourdough, I continued making bone broth and learning other ways I could nourish my family with what we could produce. Our life became simple and connected.

For 2021, my word will be contentment. I felt a stirring in my heart that I was praying for the wrong things. I was discontent based off my expectations and attitude. I needed that shift in mindset.

The conversation with my husband forced me to forego my discontent attitude and embrace contentment. I could feel the negative attitude, the frustration, the disappointment creeping in when God swooped in and suddenly shifted my perspective to “be content where you are.”

That day, I started researching about raising chickens. We were going to start a suburban homestead.

“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

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