Thursday, August 25, 2011

I have learned that the farther away I get from typical city life, the more I enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I grew up in a little town that grew into a big town. I never thought that much about it while living there because I didn't know any other way. When I got married and had kids, my thinking started to change, ever so slowly. One day, out of the blue, my husband told me he wanted to move to Georgia. You know when you get prompted like that, it is usually God talking to you, prodding you to do something. For the first time in our lives, we listened...and obeyed. Flash forward 6 years and I am ever so grateful we did what we were being led to do. Our lives have changed, most assuredly for the better. Our problems and trials didn't magically disappear but our way of dealing with them changed and I don't think that would have happened if we had stayed where we were. This kind of life isn't for everyone but God knew it was what we needed and I am so glad we listened. My kids are able to be just They can be carefree and explore the world around them without being "of that world". They get to focus on what they can do for someone else instead of what someone is going to do for them. Homeschooling has been a very large part of that transformation. Again, had we not listened and obeyed to what God was prompting us to do, we might have missed this experience. I get to spend all day, everyday with my children. Not just teaching them school knowledge but life knowledge, a skill that is almost completely lacking in traditional education. They get to see first hand how a household is run because they are involved with everything it takes to run the house. They see us working out budgets, figuring out meals, saving money where we can. They see us paying bills and making choices to bring our family to where God wants us to be. They help in the cleaning and caring for our home as well as learning, right along with us, how to farm and care for animals. They see how the circle of life works when we plant crops and supply food and water to the wildlife and then how that wildlife is harvested to feed our family. They work right along beside us in working the land to provide for our family. I didn't grow up that way and to be honest, up until about 4 years ago, if the grocery store was out of something I needed, I had no idea what to do. Imagine if there was some kind of disaster where food trucks couldn't get to the stores and we had to do without for a long period of time?  Traditionally raised city folk would have no idea what to do. I am not condemning them, I was one until recently. But think about it...what would you do? Because we listened and obeyed we know that there are fish in our pond and we can catch them and eat them. We know that there are deer, turkey and pigs in the woods and we can shoot them, clean them (ok hubby does that, I can't stomach it...yet) and eat them. We have chickens that provide us with the best eggs ever and, if needed, we could eat the chickens. My point is what is God prompting you to do? Are you listening? Will you obey? What are you missing out on by not paying attention?
Now back to those simple pleasures. My lunch today consisted of cornbread and beans. The beans were dried beans when I started and over the course of the day, they turned into a luscious combination of smooshy and yummy. Tucked into those beans was a nice ham hock. No fancy steak or 30 ingredient salad. Just wholesome beans and homemade cornbread.
Yesterday I walked out to what is left of the vegetable garden. The intense heat and lack of rain has taken its toll on it but there amidst the drooping leaves and yellowing vines, I saw some of the last grape tomatoes ripening. I plucked them off the vine and ate them right there in the grass. There is nothing better than a fruit or vegetable taken right off the vine and eaten where it was grown. I wish everyone could feel the joy you get from eating something you grew.
I glanced off the porch yesterday because I heard a ruckus by the chicken coop. Turns out it was just one of the cats chasing a dragonfly. She was only giving it a halfhearted attempt almost like they both knew they were only there to entertain each other. You haven't lived if you haven't watched a cat chasing a bug whether in the air or on the ground.
Pulling a fresh loaf of bread out of the oven. You cannot even imagine what that smells like. If your only source of bread comes from a store, you are missing out on one of THE simplest pleasures of life.
Simple things that only a few years ago, I took for granted. I just assumed people lived this way because they didn't have the money to live in the city. I mean, the city is where all the action is, it's where the fancy restaurants are and that is where the shopping malls are located. All those things I used to love and thought I could never live without. Now, only a tad bit older and a whole lot wiser, I realize the people who live this way do it because they wouldn't want to live any other way. They aren't backwards. I think they just realize that we can learn so much by the past and that the old ways just might still be the best ways. I found my Mayberry and this is where my life truly began.

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