Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year and a New Plan

Do you ever listen to certain music and just feel it in your bones? This song is so empowering and describes where I've been for the last 12 years...I call it my "time set apart." It was spent caring for my Grandmother and Father before they passed and then most recently my Mother, but it was also time spent losing myself. It's so easy to get all wrapped up in the lives of others and neglect your own. I don't regret being there for my family and would do it all over again, but with one change...I wouldn't let time pass by without honoring myself.

I started pondering about those many dreams, ideas and plans that were started but never completed. Huge gaps of time can pass in the blink of an eye, but what would this life look like if my best was given each day? What if I really focused, regardless of how tired or overwhelmed I felt, and gave it my all? What if I decided to embrace challenges head on? How much could things really change in one year? Would it be the same? Maybe slightly altered? Or would a great metamorphosis take place resembling a magical transformation? I don't know, but I'm willing to offer a year to find out.

And so The Homesteading Apartment is my new project this year. I'll focus on the areas of Faith, Relationship, Health, Business, Finance, Passion, Design, Organization, Simplicity and Homesteading, post updates on my progress, give it my all and see what happens at the end of the year.

On this new journey I'll be listening to Chantal Kreviazuk's song "Time" as a reminder to continue no matter what, because time is a gift. I've learned that so well within the past couple of years with the deaths of those dear to my heart. We each have our own "time set apart." Sometimes it can be painful, sometimes seeming longer than we can bear, but it does have great rewards.

Joseph had his time, Job experienced it as well, I just wish I had handled mine with the grace and patience that God was offering. I seem to take the stubborn path and make the process harder, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I just turned 40 and the visions for my life within the last few years are so close and clear I can almost touch them (: I'm so glad I didn't give up!

My life is so far from where I thought I would end up, but now I can see the magic. Now I can see that each and every experience was a preparation for the future. Those days of sheer exhaustion, confusion and anger were not lost. They were just days of soul cleansing love leading me to better days ahead and I wouldn't have missed that "time set apart" for anything! It doesn't mean the wait is over, that everything is perfect or that there isn't another "time set apart" in the future. It just means that I'm on the right path for me and I can't wait see what God has around the next bend.

So, if you're in the middle of your "time set apart" or even just beginning, don't miss a moment to learn. Embrace each and every lesson coming your way because it makes a path directly to blessings. It's a time of great trial and spiritual change...think of it as a honing of the best part of yourself. The journey during this time is just like swimming...if you freeze in the middle of the stroke, if you tense up or struggle you're going to drown. But if you keep on going, stretching one arm out in front of the other while kicking in perfect rhythm, you'll glide through the waters and be on shore before you know it (:

"I will be happy when the way is rough, because it gives my patience a chance to grow. So I will let it grow, and not try to squirm out of my problems. For when my patience is finally in full bloom, then I will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete."~ James 1:2-4

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Thursday, December 17, 2009


Mother Earth News defines 21st century homesteading as "Self sufficiency — wherever you live. It’s about using less energy, eating wholesome local food, involving your family in the life of the community and making wiser choices that will improve the quality of life for your family, your community and the environment around you."

To me homesteading is a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency. For years I've dreamed of building a quaint cottage and studio off the grid (solar/wind power and rain water collection system) on a 10-30 acre piece of land, growing vegetables and herbs, handmaking most of the things we need, enjoying the peacefulness of reconnecting with nature and getting back to basics. But right now I'm living in a 1200 square foot apartment in the city. I am blessed that we have natural areas within the complex and we're very close to the lake so reconnecting with nature isn't as challenging as living in the middle of a concrete jungle. But the call to the homesteading lifestyle is still there nonetheless.

I know most people dream of traveling the world and experiencing new places, but I'd rather master the "the art of being" and journey outward later. Sounds strange, I know. I guess all of the traveling in my teens and 20's has tied me over until another day (:

So...until dreams of becoming a full time homesteader occur, I've decided to create my own little apartment homestead. I'll be sharing my journey of getting back to basics by posting tips on how you can have the homestead lifestyle no matter where you live. I'll also be sharing my faith and how God has been leading in this homesteading path. I'd love to hear from you if there are any tips and tricks you'd like share. The more the merrier!!
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