Well, we've almost made it to the end of August. So much has changed this month, and I think we can all agree that 2020 is definitely a year to remember. In our family, in addition to the crazy COVID pandemic, we got to experience so far a new baby, a new pancreas for my dad, a new job, a change in housing.... it's been a lot. But we are moving forward and not looking back.
I'd be lying if I said it's been easy these last few weeks. Learning a new job takes a lot of time and energy, and I've been lagging in the things I need to get done for our homestead. I've been feeling like I haven't been as good of a mother and wife as I should be. I try to push through my tiredness at night and stay up late, working to make applesauce and revive my sourdough into the late hours of the night. I'm finding there just aren't enough hours of the day...and I'm coming to accept that it's okay sometimes to just be okay. There have been nights this week where I have been so overwhelmed that I just grab whatever I can from the fridge and give it to the kids. No perfect meal cooked from scratch- instead they get refrigerator surprise. I currently have four baskets of laundry that need to be folded, and to be honest I really should be doing that right now instead of writing this blog post, but hey...the baby is sleeping in my arms and looks so comfortable that I think I'll sit here, hold her and her little sweetness, and do myself some mental goodness by writing to all of you.
I'm telling you all about this because I know you can relate. I know that there are times when you, too, feel like this and are overwhelmed. We all have situations and things going on in our worlds. We all have our struggles and our dreams. I'm telling you- it's ok. As Anna sings in the new Frozen 2- "take a step. Step again. It is all that I can to do: The next right thing." Yes, I am taking advice from a fictional children's movie character. But, hey, I think they can be extremely wise and helpful. Afterall, Pocahontas taught me all about how to love nature.
I know this busyness won't be forever, and that things will slow down. August is a busy time in nature, so it makes sense that it's a busy time for me too. And if we continue to look at nature, we can notice some other things too.
The tomato plants are full of fruit and are producing everyday. The plants though, just aren't super beautiful right now. Their vines hang, their leaves are browning....same with the potatoes. The plants have turned brown as die away, yet the potatoes still grow into something wonderful.
I think the lesson is that things don't have to be perfect all of the time. They can't be. Right now, the tomatoes need to put their energy into bearing fruit to prepare for their next generation. That means that some parts of the plant, like the leaves, are going to lose out on energy. That beautiful fruit that's being created is causing the rest of the plant to die and be ugly, but the reward is worth it in the end.
I know that this is a hard time for us. I know that this transition might be really hard for my little ones. But, I also know that the beautiful gift we get at the end is going to be worth it. At one particularly difficult moment this week, I started wondering if this all had been a mistake. As I sat in a pile of clothes, emptied from the dressers that had already been moved out, thinking about the overwhelming amount of work from my new job that needed to be done, worrying about my little ones and how they will handle all of this, struggling with the dependency I've now had to place on others to help me with different parts of life, and realizing that we are going to be technically "homeless" in just a week, I thought to myself, "None of this needed to happen. We could have left things the way they were and continued on living life. Things weren't really that bad before...what are we doing?"
“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.
Or you don't.”
― Stephen King, The Stand
When those thoughts come, those feelings of doubt, feelings that I'm not enough, questions of whether or not God did really put us on this journey...that's when I have to remind myself that we're moving forward. We are working towards these dreams that we have had for a long time. If things stayed the same, these dreams would have stayed dreams. I still have to just stop for a minute to think about how amazing it is that these dreams are coming true. Things I have prayed for, yearned for, begged for....we are getting a chance to have that become a reality. God has sent us down this journey, and we are learning so much from Him through this. If it wasn't His plan, this wouldn't be happening as it is right now.
So yes, the in-between time is difficult, but that doesn't make our choice the wrong one. Yes, we are feeling the stress and pressure of life right now, but there are also so many beautiful and wonderful gifts that are happening because of all of these changes too. Those are what I need to focus on to keep me going, and those are what will get us through these harder months as we move towards these dreams. We will come out on the other side, thankful for the experience, what we've learned, and for the dream that has become reality.
We will keep moving forward on this Wisconsin homestead journey.
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