Devotional The Struggles Of Homesteading
We have faced so many difficulties since moving to the homestead. Living in a hotel for 9 days, not having electricity for 2 months, not having running water for 3 months, our budget running out, time being short, money being shorter and our energy levels running at about zero. Our marriage was taking a hit, our family was taking a hit and there were often times I really felt like we were to give up.
I even went as far as to sit everyone down, tell them my concerns and tell them I was ready to move back to town. Anyone who knows me knows that if I’m calling a family meeting about a concern I have, then I absolutely mean business. The entire family was against the idea of course. Our dream has always been to have our own little piece of earth and turn whatever piece of land the Lord blessed us with into a productive homestead. We prayed for years to be able to own our own home with enough land to grow our own food, raise animals for meat and possibly create a sustainable income from our homestead.
I really believe that you just don’t move unless the Lord is telling you to move. We had been praying and asking the Lord’s guidance and direction for a long time and when Homestead Crossings found us this homestead, we really believed that like the Israelites, God was showing us which direction to go. The Lord had opened the door for us and made the entire process of moving our family of 8 the 1100 miles across the country to our homestead, very easy.
Sure we had reservations, we had a few bumps in the road, but the entire process from beginning to our arrival here was pretty smooth. But, our budget took a hit when a few weeks of being without power and running water turned into months. Money was running out quickly and so many projects we had planned had been put on hold indefinitely. The projects we could do were taking so long and weren’t working out the way we had planned. As a matter of fact, many just turned into disasters and Homesteader and I would fall into bed at the end of the night exhausted, and feeling like we were failing.
Feeling frustrated, angry and defeated, we were taking it out on each other. Our marriage was struggling, our family was struggling and I really thought that maybe we had fallen for temptation instead of walking in God’s Will for our lives.
I recently shared on Facebook about us visiting a new church this past weekend. We’ve been looking for a new home church since we moved here and when we were invited to this one, we decided to give it a try. I have never in my life been so thankful to hear a Pastor speak. When the Lord uses a new Pastor to speak right to your heart and you find yourself sitting there with tears streaming down your face, you know you have found your home church.
Our Pastor was talking about us being effective Fishers of Men. Bringing people to the Lord is important work, so I perked my ears up and paid attention. But what the Pastor was saying, well, it didn’t speak to me the way the Pastor had intended it to. I wasn’t hearing how I was supposed to effectively bring people to Christ. No, I was hearing something entirely different.
The Pastor reminded us that sometimes we find ourselves in a hole and we have no idea how to get ourselves out of that hole. He reminded us that we usually find ourselves there because we’ve been too busy trying to do things our own way instead letting God do things His way. The pastor then quoted scripture and he spoke right to my heart.
Psalm 46:10 ““Be still, and know that I am God”
I was feeling so weary and lost that when the Pastor quoted that Psalm, the tears just began to roll. I really need to remember to take tissues with me when I go to church.
God didn’t want me to give up. He didn’t want me to walk away from what He has blessed our family with. He just wanted me to rest in Him and know that He will work it all out. He will give us what we need and He will provide. I wiped my tears and breathed a sigh of relief.
But then, the Pastor reminded us of more of what the Lord has to say to us.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest upon me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, I am made strong.
Wow! Really God? This is what you want me to hear and I hear it loud and clear! The Lord was using our trials and difficulties to bring us closer to Him. To build our faith in Him strong and to trust that He will carry us through it all. Being faced with all these difficulties, it would have been us falling into temptation to walk away.
Discouragement is the Devil’s most used tool and he uses it often in God’s children’s lives to get us to move out from under the Lord’s blessings. By choosing to stay, enduring the struggles and allowing them to bring us closer to the Lord, strengthen our faith in Him and have a closer relationship with the Lord, we are then made strong.
Our new church family is filled with farmers and contractors who upon hearing what we are trying to do here, are more than willing to help us do the work that needs to be done on our home. They want to help us build our new bathroom, our children’s bedrooms and clean up the property. We have been blessed with an amazing community who genuinely care for one another and even though our family is new, they truly care for us as well. This is what we’ve been searching for our entire lives.
As I write this, The Homesteader is off with our neighbor to pick up our new hot water heater. By the end of the week, we should have hot running water in our home for the first time in 3 months!
The Lord has blessed us beyond measure. Not because we deserve it, but because He deserves all the glory.
As homesteaders and homemakers, we face difficulties every day of our lives. It’s absolutely normal to get discouraged and want to walk away. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human. But we can use that discouragement we feel to grow closer to the Lord and allow Him to be glorified through our struggles.