I woke up the morning of February 14th, 2018 and I prepared breakfast for my wife who leaves early to work at around 5:45 am. It was also Valentine’s day and I’m thinking to myself “what is the best way to express love to my family while financially I am broke?” So my wife leaves to work but in the back of my head, I have an idea of preparing a nice meal for my family.
Remember, I’m a work at home dad and so for me, everything is possible. At 2 pm, hell breaks loose and my son starts to convulse and I panicked a little bit but then started to administer some first aid as I prepare to rush him into the hospital. In the background I hear the song by Michael W. Smith singing, “this is how we fight our battles, it might look like we’re surrounded [by sickness, hardship, poverty, war,] but we’re surrounded by You [God]”. So as I undress my son because his temperatures were now at 38.9˚C, I felt peace in my heart and I started singing along, took my insurance card and I rushed him to the hospital. As I write this, my son is healed after spending three days in the hospital.
It was terrible for me when I saw my son convulsing and I was feeling like it was finished. But when I started praising God, everything changed, I got peace in my heart and I had the assurance in my heart that if my redeemer lives, then my son will live and he will be healed; the power of praise.
Praise works like a magnifying glass. It causes what you’re focusing on to get bigger, to be ‘magnified.’ David said, ‘Magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears’.
It’s a mistake to wait until you’ve no problems, fewer problems, or your problems are solved before you praise the Lord. Praise is one of the great Scriptural keys to problem-solving because it gets your focus on God, the problem solver.
Charles Spurgeon said: ‘My happiest moments are when I am worshipping God, really adoring the Lord Jesus Christ…In that worship, I forget the cares of the church and everything else. To me, it is the nearest approach to what it will be in Heaven.’
God has promised you ‘the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ It works like this. When you begin to praise him with a heavy heart, you experience a new sense of hope and joy. Through worship you are reminded that God is bigger than the situation you face; that he’s not only capable of managing your concerns but willing, wanting and waiting to. The Psalmist wrote: ‘Seven times a day I praise you’ (Psalm 119:164).
“Don’t just take coffee and tea breaks; take ‘Praise Breaks’! David Kedode”
Fill your day with praise. Don’t just take coffee breaks and tea breaks; take ‘praise breaks.’ Begin to praise God for two things:
(1) His attributes. His power, love, grace, favor, guidance, etc.
(2) His acts. Recall his goodness to you. Go ahead; take off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise.
Do you take “PRAISE” breaks?
Growing up, I often asked myself impatiently, “How can I keep faith while waiting on God to answer prayers?” I still sometimes reach that point even today-human nature. I thank God even when things become hard and I cannot believe God anymore, He [God] has continually shown me through His word how to wait on His timing.
Only God can see the big picture. He has planned out everything to intertwine perfectly in the end. Part of His plan includes working through our prayers. We pray, yet we doubt He hears us. He has promised, however, to hear His children. Although He hears us, He doesn’t always give the response we expect or the answer on our timetable. Just the end of last week, I got an invitation to attend a job interview which I really needed. When I got the invite, I started praying and prophesying to myself in my mind, remembering Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” I even asked my sister Tammy to pray for me as I prepared for the interview. On Monday 29th, I went for the interview and there were only three of us. God showed me favor as I was answering the questions from the panel. As I am still waiting for the response, I still believe God is going to answer my prayers. The Lord reminds me in the book of 2 Peter 3:8 the bible says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” His time is not our time.
When waiting on God to answer prayers, we must believe God will answer. Unbelief is the biggest obstacle to overcome in praying and waiting. “But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” James 1:6–7.
While waiting on God to answer prayers, take stock of your blessings. Are you breathing? Then, rejoice in life! Do you see the blue sky or even a cloudy one? Thank God for the ability to see. Can you hear the sound of the wind blowing through the trees or a child laughing? Praise God for hearing! Turn the wait into a treasure hunt for the blessings that we often take for granted. For remembrance, keep a prayer journal, listing all your prayers with the date of the request. Frequently lift up the requests to God, and record the date you received an answer.
Never forget that answers come in God’s time, not ours. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” God has promised His own a hopeful future. Rest in God’s faithfulness, He will answer you.
When you are faced with challenging situations, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by everything that is happening around you. Surprisingly, all of us experience major and minor life challenges. How we handle these struggles on a daily basis determines our physical, as well as our mental well-being. It takes only a single event to convince us we have no control over our circumstances. Sometimes these challenges consume us with guilt, panic attacks, or chronic fatigue. Our problems pressure us from every side, threatening to crush or break us.
Our challenges have a direct relationship in defining our purpose in life. If only we could find assurance that there was a plan or reason for the difficulties we face. We search for meaning in tragedy, questioning our reason for hope or a future. “Why me God? How can I ever forgive? I hate my life! How do I stop the pain?”
Life challenges enable us to see ourselves at our best and our worst. We may attempt to temporarily escape our circumstances, falling into alcohol addiction or drug addiction. Others find themselves overwhelmed, careening out of control — even contemplating how to commit suicide.
My drug addict brother abandoned schooling while pursuing a medicine course. I remember my late mother who was a widow, the stress she went through with her last born son becoming a drug addict and at the same time attempting to end his life. I thank God for his grace because he gave us the strength and wisdom to guard our hearts and minds. Personally, I discovered Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Prayer is how we communicate; and he always hears us when we speak. As you pray, pray as if the prayer has already been answered-that is faith. As you do so you will find a peace that cannot be shaken by any trial or circumstance. That peace will keep you sound and sure through many challenges, and you will be able to be at rest.
When we develop a personal relationship with the One who created us, we discover how God wants us to respond in any given situation. If you are facing difficult decision, trust Him to provide the comfort, strength, and wisdom you need in order to continue toward your goal Isaiah 43:1–2, the bible says, “But now, this is what the Lord says-he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; his flames will not set you ablaze.”
By placing our faith in God, we take our hands off our problems. Psalm 18:1–2, the scripture says, “I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold”. God gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, to reach beyond time, life’s challenges, and even death to save us.
Have you had second thoughts on whether to keep homesteading or not? Maybe you’ve felt like quitting during difficult moments?
I certainly have. In the past 10 years of living rural and homesteading on my own with my husband and two children, I’ve had those moments, too. And I’m not ashamed to share them with you today.
My hope after you read through what I’ve shared with you is that maybe I can change your mind about wanting to quit the life you set out to find for yourself. About feeling the need to get back to an easier life or try something else.
You see, homesteading is a lifestyle. Just like healthy eating and exercise. Just like mind-healthy habits you want to change for yourself. Homesteading and rural living is that lifestyle that you want for yourself.
At least you thought you did, right? Just like with healthy eating and exercise, there are always hard moments and temptations that make you want to quit. Am I right on this?
Well, in this post, I’m going to share with you:
- How to keep homesteading through hard times by changing a few ideas and taking action
- Things to consider when you think you might want to quit on your goals
- Some motivation and inspiration for you from my own experience.
Let’s jump right in to the very first obstacle. Your mind.
Think about why you started
Yes, your mindset is negative right now and longing to change to the positive, easier side. It longs for a break from thinking soo much about what to do and how to get it done.
But, I’ve learned that you don’t need to think about all the things. Just think about one thing right now.
I want you to go back and remember WHY you started. Why did you want to homestead? Why did you want children? Why do you want to raise goats? And the list goes on and on.
You see, friend, you have to go back and analyze if this is still something you want to pursue before you make any sort of decision about quitting. Quitting too early can result in regret and no one has time for regret in the back of their mind.
So, please sit down and remember why you started your venture. Talk with your team, your family. Here are some things to consider in this discussion.
Things to consider
- Why did I start this venture?
- Is this venture making me happy?
- Did this venture begin as a hobby I enjoyed?
- What are the problems going on in this venture making me loathe it?
- From there, what could be the one problem I can change right now?
- How will I change this problem?
What To Take Action On
- Have this conversation with your team or someone you trust.
- Decide what one underlying problem may be.
- Decide what action will be taken to change the problem.
- Decide who will take that action.
- Give it a month (or longer) to see actionable change.
- Follow up with your team and make the decision.
Follow Up Questions To Ask In A Month
- What problem did I attempt to change in my venture?
- Did changing this fix anything?
- How has this change made me feel about wanting to quit?
Focus Focus Focus
Quitting something is a HUGE decision. I want to encourage you to just focus on one thing or problem for now.
This is something I’ve really started paying attention to in my life in order to find that balance between life, work and play. Nothing in life is going to be peachy keen all the time. There will always be a problem to solve.
And sometimes we are too quick to just throw it under the bus. Mainly because our minds can’t handle that much disappointment and despair.
So, I want you to pick your biggest obstacle…your biggest failure. And just focus on that. I’ll give you some examples here in a minute. Just stay with me.
I’m about to motivate you now.
How to Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Quitting
A month is a LONG TIME when you feel like just throwing it all away right now. So, I wanted to share some motivating tips and tricks I have found very helpful through grace periods of my decision making.
- Communicate with your team and stay updated on progress
- Read positive books or articles related to the topic. Join positive online communities.
- Listen to audiobooks (A big one for me – Again, I’ll share soon).
- Start your day off right. Early mornings are huge for me.
- Keep three top things on your to-do list to focus on at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed.
7 Quotes to Keep You Going
- “Remember that sometimes, not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama
- “No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always become a better version of yourself.” – Madonna
- “Don’t keep allowing the same things to upset you. Life’s too short to live that way.” – Joel Osteen
- “Use your energy to create, not destroy.” ~ Mama
- “Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful.” ~ Grandma
- “Never give up on something you really want; it is difficult to wait, but more difficult to regret.” ~ Grandma
- “Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity.” ~ Grandma
It’s all about being happy. Like I mentioned before, your mindset means everything to your success. What you choose to do daily determines the outcome of your happiness.
But probably the biggest and best quotes I’ve followed have come from God in the words of the bible. I started incorporating daily faith into my life and it completely began to change everything for me during one of my hardest moments.
Before I go into my 2 hardest moments, let me explain how I let faith in and how I now walk with faith held high each and every day.
Let Faith into your Life
God and I have a long relationship but it’s been a rocky one.
I was baptized into his house as a baby and attended our rural church regularly clear up into high school. But when I was a Junior in High School, our relationship changed when my grandfather passed away from cancer.
To make a long story short, I turned away from God in my life. I didn’t understand why my Grandpa had to be taken away at such a young age.
It wasn’t until about 10 years later that I let him back in. Want to know why?
Well, have a seat and let me tell you about my two hardest moments ever where I felt like I wanted to quit. These moments are when I started to let my faith back in.
My Hardest Moment Ever #1
Raising goats shouldn’t be hard for someone with an Animal Science degree and a lifetime experience raising beef cattle.
But it seemed to be for me. My goats kept having babies born too early or underdeveloped. What was I doing wrong?
I felt like their nutrition was top notch. I know they weren’t wormy because they were fat, happy and their fecals showed to be worm free.
Well, in year #6 after a lot of research, Hubby and I decided to synchronize the does for breeding using natural hormones before turning them in with the buck. We knew exact breeding dates then so we could treat them for a disease called chlamydia. That’s the problem we focused on and guess what?
It worked. We used a very small dose antibiotic in our doe herd halfway through their gestation to prevent any more abortions from happening in our goats.
I had felt like quitting because I hadn’t figured out what was happening. However, when I focused on the problem, got my team of veterinarians together, we came up with a solution that worked.
Amazing feeling. And this was an easy fix. Let me tell you about another moment when I wanted to quit homesteading that was even harder to fix.
My Hardest Moment Ever #2
When I became a mom, I got depression. Postpartum depression. It was a low, low time when I felt compelled to quit homesteading. Even at times, my life!
Worst yet, my partner didn’t understand the extent of what I was suffering. He just saw what I WASN’T doing. He saw me napping in the afternoons and not getting the gardening or canning done. He saw me throwing away important tasks and having to pick up the slack. He said I was lazy.
To make a long story short…I wasn’t going to get any assistance from him. And seeking a therapist alone was out of the question due to my anxiety of going to see one. Nope – No way!
When I felt like everyone had their backs turned to me that’s when God stepped in. HE really does work in amazing ways. HE said, “I will help you get through this. Just turn to me.”
So, I did. And things started happening for me.
And that’s when I started my podcast. I listened to audiobooks. The best book I read was by Lysa Turkherst called Uninvited. Get the book and feel inspired!
Here’s what started happening: I started my farm market business. I began to feel my purpose in my community and it motivated me. Oh my word…I have tears in my eyes just telling you all this.
But when God and I had our conference calls in the quiet dark early morning hours, I realized the one problem was ME. It was my own mindset that needed changing. So, I let him change me.
Then, HE took me to a church 20 minutes away that has a faith-based school for my children to attend. As well as an amazing congregation with deep learning opportunities.
And remember when I said I turned from HIM when my Grandpa passed away? Well, coincidence or not, the preacher of the church looks, acts and talks LIKE MY GRANDPA! I think this is a gift from him, saying… “Here’s some comfort for you and a reminder that I love you.”
What a gracious gift. All worth the wait.
My faith in the Lord and turning to him is what changed it all for me. I hope my story inspires you to grow your relationship with your God so you can have faith in the big decision you have to make.
Biggest Lesson to Learn from My Experience
The biggest most valuable tool to keep with you during your times of trial is your faith. Keep your bible and your positive community with you to turn to. And just focus on one thing.
Friend, I know if you’re reading this, you have considered quitting one or maybe all of your homesteading adventures. That’s a big decision that will result in some even bigger changes in your life and I hope I have inspired you to take a step back, evaluate and change something for the better.
Today, I’ve given you some tips and methods to go back to the beginning and work through problems instead of just up and quitting. Quitting is not always the answer, even when it feels right.
The truth is, friend, that you have to realize you don’t know everything. And you never ever will because you don’t have to. You just have to enjoy your life and enjoy being and doing you. Today and every day.
~ Much Love ~
March 16th, 2018: In today’s show I discuss the importance of staying the course. We are almost through the first quarter of the year and I am sure many of you have already experienced some of life’s ups and downs, but these things in our lives are present to shape us and build us into strong warriors.
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#TrayerWilderness #MountainWomanRadio #PositivelyEncouraging #EmbraceOffGrid
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I am sitting here in my robe by the fire, with my coffee and felt compelled to share my thoughts this morning.
There is something so precious and peaceful about a slowly started and peaceful morning. Can you relate to this? I hope so, but my fear is that the majority of the population today starts their morning with such a frenzy – the alarm blares, you quickly spring from bed, with lightning speed either dress or shower, wake the kids, remove the skin from your mouth by quickly inhaling that first cup of hot coffee, grab something quick for the road and race out the door. Oh WOW, just writing that gave me anxiety and stress – I have indeed experienced that in my life, BUT I am so thankful for the life I have created.
We are in a storm of sorts currently so just like you when traveling through the high winds it is not easy, but at the same time, I am able to realize how blessed I am that I have the ability to determine my day and even more so my life. Despite the hard and maybe even the unknown – I know by trusting and having faith there will eventually be a light at the end of the tunnel and I will be a warrior on the other side.
This feeling I am experiencing this morning is reminiscent of my summer vacations visiting my grandparents. I think they too understood the benefits I am experiencing. I just so clearly remember their routine and it puts a smile on my face. Yes, they woke to an alarm (one I never heard), but every day they woke at the same time, started the coffee pot, put the bread in the toaster and pulled out their bibles.
I would not wake to their alarm because I always slept so good in their home. I believe because It was something unfamiliar, a comfortable spot for me. I would awake to the smell of coffee and toast. To this day, that is a distinct smell to me that just gives me such joy and takes me back in time. I don’t know what it was about their coffee or their toast, but it was just such a unique alluring smell. It would allure me out of bed and as I would head downstairs I would always find them both at the kitchen table each with their bible partaking in their daily devotions.
I never really understood the value of that daily peaceful routine and even more so that deep walk with Jesus that they both enjoyed so much until we embrace our off-grid homesteading life. Why? I think because my pace was so great that I missed the simple joys that came with the slow and simple in life and because like many Christians – aside from Sunday church I was afraid of offending someone while speaking my faith so I shared it with a few safe people and the rest of the time I stuffed it! There is something so incredibly freeing to be in the company of people such as my Mountain Man and my son that allows me to be who I am – to be able to wear my heart, soul, and faith on my sleeve and not have to hide! So empowering to be around safe and comfortable people for the first time in my life!
This slow pace is an acquired and evidently needs to be a learned, almost forced pace on our lives. I see so many people fight to slow down and pride themselves like a champion at the speed of light they travel – when if they resigned to the slow and peaceful, their lives would be truly something they could pride themselves with!
My grandparents were referred to by some as bible thumpers and even hypocrites (the only thing I ever really saw them do was from time to time talk about the neighbors or local people)- they made mistakes just like the rest of us, but they were such good people. I strive to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. I am not perfect and I will make mistakes, but if I take on the title of Bible Thumper I will wear that badge proudly. And because of all the miracles I have visibly seen over the last 10 years and feeling and seeing God’s gracious hand on my life and my family, I can no longer hide my joy, my faith and all that I have to celebrate. I have learned that I will more than likely inspire many and actually offend less. I am not shoving Jesus and my faith down people’s throats, but more so sharing my excitement, my faith and the miracles that are happening around me. It is just JOY and extreme FAITH spilling out of me.
I can truly praise and thank my pap for the faith I have today!
His encouraging and wise words were stored in my heart and revisited often throughout my life. Often during some of my greatest struggles – he was there!
So today on this quiet Friday morning – just me, the dogs and my coffee by the fire I feel that God blessed me with those simple joys and fond memories created as a child so that when I was an adult I would remember those times with great appreciation and peace.
We have been stuck on our homestead since Saturday after receiving 20” of wet snow the weekend before and this last weekend receiving another 24” of fresh powdery snow. Our backhoe is down and our backup equipment couldn’t move that volume of snow. We could have chosen to panic – we did have places to be and things that needed to get done, but when these things happen I truly believe we are right where God wants us to be. We are forced to pull into him – trusting and waiting to see what will happen next. It builds on our faith, it causes us to have a closer walk with Jesus, it makes us think about what is most important in our lives and it also causes us to re-evaluate what we are doing in life… It makes us wonder if God is putting us in this current place to show us what he desires for us rather than what we desire for ourselves. Quite profound – yet is it so? I think YES!
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I also believe that amazing things happen in the still, quiet, peaceful moments we allow in our lives. That small voice can be heard and direction can be found.
Do you create those peaceful moments in your life right now?
Do you know the amazing peace that comes from a walk with Jesus?
Well, maybe it is time you should!
PS – My journaling bible is the first bible that has truly made sense to me (those thee’s and thou’s lose me even though I love the authenticity of the King James Version of the Bible). I thoroughly enjoy reading it and being guided through it! This is my favorite Bible app.