March 27, 2012

But Why??

This past Sunday I rode the elevator with someone who shared their disapproval of our choice to move to a farm.  "Why in the world would you ever choose to move away from your parents?"  How was I supposed to answer her question/accusation in 4.5 seconds?

Anytime someone does something out of the norm, there is likely to be naysayers and backlash.  Even when it comes from an inconsequential source, words can burn like a brand.
I have had to remind myself that those words usually sprout from a lack of understanding.  I'm a softy and I'll be the first to admit that I allow my feelings to get the best of me sometimes.  However, it is hard to be gracious when my family is the brunt of their need for self-approbation.  Someone recently said to my husband, "so you're going to move to the farm, homeschool, and live off the land. Ha!"   While it was a totally distorted statement, the underlying implication hurt.

I have had to do a lot of deep soul searching over the last 7 months.  Even though we don't feel the need to defend our decision (though some tried to make us feel that way), there is merit to explaining our choices.

1. Sometimes the BEST decisions are the HARDEST.  Yes, we have a wonderful situation living next door to my parents.  We'd love to pack up the two houses and move them both to the new piece of property.
It isn't about leaving them.  It's about making wise decisions for our own family.
2.  It's never too late to make wise financial decisions.  We made many stupid financial mistakes early on, and now we are paying for it.  Basically, we can't afford to live in the house we are in now.  We need to sell our home (ASAP) and use the equity we have in it to start fresh.
3. We know what we are getting ourselves into.   We already live 12 minutes from the nearest grocery store, so we're used to the drive.  Adding on 6 more minutes is totally worth it.
4. We are not rednecks.  I still like monograms, polka dots, and an evening out on the town.  Just because we are choosing a different lifestyle than most, doesn't mean we have a camouflage bedspread.
5. I am proud of my husband.  Even though we have made some mistakes along the way, he is willing to step up and do what is best for our family's wellbeing.  Blood, sweat, tears, and all!
6. What's wrong with what we are choosing?  We think it's pretty cool that our kids will know where an egg comes from, how to mow a couple of acres of grass, and all the other responsibility living on a farm will bring.
7. Homeschooling has nothing to do with it.  Just because we are currently homeschooling doesn't mean we want to isolate ourselves from society.  In fact, we've had more visitors to the farm in the last 6 weeks than we have in our own home.... and we LOVE it!
8. We are not Doomsday Preppers.  We leave that to the Nat Geo peeps.  Yes, I'd love to grow enough to share and put away for a rainy day.  I may even learn how to can beans!
9. We want to share with others.  We hope to share the fruits of our labor with our community.  We see our new farm as a place to bless others.  Hospitality is our love language and we can't wait to get started!
10. It's our life.  I don't judge my friends for living in a neighborhood (how ridiculous would that be?!)  This is the life WE are choosing.  It's radical.  It's different.  We love it!

To sum it up, we believe this is where the Lord has brought us.  We desire to honor Him with our decisions.  We give him the glory.  Who can argue with that??  :)

25 comments:

Shannon Dingle said...

I find that the best answer sometimes is, "Because God's calling for your family and God's calling for mine might not be the same thing in [insert area here: type of house/schooling/etc], and I love the diversity that creates in the body of Christ. Don't you?"

And I do love it, and I love what God is doing with your family!

the bennetts said...

i just don't understand why other people feel the need to give their two cents anyway. it's called a "filter", people! unless you ask them... goodness. it's just ridiculous.

sreyner said...

Excited for you guys. You will create lots of great memories together. And your kids may even learn the value of hard work along the way.

Shay Reyner said...

Excited for you guys. You will create lots of great family memories and your kids may even learn the value of hard work. Grace and Peace to you.

KR said...

You go, girl! You handle this kind of stuff so well. I'd be all "what's it to you, you...you...you...goober!" And what's wrong with being a redneck? There's a lot of fun to be had there.

Thoughts for the day said...

What you are doing is good. We had to start over also one time in our 'younger years' we gave our house back to the original owners it was a private contract and we walked away beginning as a renter then building a home as we could. It is a good thing that you are both on the same page and you encourage each other to do what is best for your family. I am sure your families understand.

Georgene Boyden said...

I find nothing wrong with living on a farm. I think it's great!
Just think how fresh your vegetables will be. I don't know about you, but I've noticed a big increase in my grocery bill over the last six months. Not only will you have fresher eggs and vegetables, but the cost will be much less.
I also enjoy living where I can hear the birds singing and catch a glimpse of wildlife. Life is stressful enough without the rat race of the city. Enjoy your peacefulness and the beauty of nature.
Don't pay attention to what other people say. Live the life best for you and your family.

Leeanne Burda said...

Well Gretchen, I think my first thought was "Why WOULDN'T you want to live on a farm?".. How cool is that!! So proud of you for doing what God has called your family to do. Choosing obedience over pleasing man always produces great joy. :) I can't wait to invite myself on over and bring all my babies out the farm!

JKLBens said...

I personally think you could make a camo bedspread chic, post pictures and then everyone would be dying to have one too!

JKLBens said...

I personally feel that you could make a camo bedspread chic! You are a jewel to your family and all who know you!

jason and jen said...

Gretchen, I love this post of yours!!! I am so excited for your family and the adventure that is ahead of you! It is so encouraging to watch friends truly follow the Lord and His plan for you! Can't wait to stay updated on everything through your blog!

patricia w said...

We also made a similar move from a gorgeous, but cookie cutter, tract home, less than a mile from my parents.....to a home on 2.5 acres... 8 miles farther out in a more rural area. Honestly, I have to say, I LOVE it!!! We are surrounded by nature rather than neighbors, and it is so very, very peaceful. My favorite thing to do is sit on the side porch and watch all the birds, butterflies and other critters. While our property is not a farm, there are corn fields and farms around all around us. It's not uncommon to have to stop the car in the road and wait for chickens to cross. Makes me smile every time. The more relaxed atmosphere does wonders for the soul. Last night I was even thinking about getting some chickens or a peacock.... But I digress! Your property is absolutely gorgeous and you and your family are going to love it. I believe those who question or criticize are secretly jealous. Oops...Did I really just say that out loud?!?? Enjoy!!!!

Auntea said...

I am so sorry that people can be so thoughtless with their words & use them to wound instead of to build. My gracious, I am so happy for you. I grew up on a farm and it is a wonderful way to grow up. My dad loved farming (even though he had to also work in a steel mill) and we had 8 acres that fed all 7 of us children organically, before I had ever even heard of the word organic. My husband does not want the country lifestyle and so it has sadly not been an option for me, and yet the dream is still alive, maybe someday. I am now a Grandma of 4 precious children, trust me, they will happily drive 6 minutes, how blessed you are to be so close, mine are 8 hours away. I as a Grandma, and a mother, and a sister in the Lord, am so very happy for you.

Amy said...

You are going to LOVE it! Trust me!! The farm/country life offers SO many real life learning opportunities for our kiddos. My kids have grown up planting & tending a garden. They LOVE it! My college girl is actually bemoaning the fact that she will miss out on the planting this year. And I could teach you how to can beans, my dear. ;-) We also have the chickens....which are the boys' responsibility & we've got eggs galore right now which we are able to share with our family & friends. Not to mention the fact that the boys hunt & fish & provide food for us that way too! We even grind/process our own deer burger here at home. It's definitely a family affair. And don't forget about the wood burning stove.....there's always firewood to be cut/stacked & weathered for another year. I'm so excited for you all!

monicadvance said...

We are so excited for you guys and can hardly wait for you to be there! We are looking forward to lots of fun times with you all on the farm! I think my sweet man is serious about leaving a 4 wheeler out there for riding pleasures. :)

Bugs and Sunshine said...

I just love you! This is an exciting adventure, most of all because you are stepping out in faith to what God is calling you to! Yay for you!

Camoflauge bedspread-LOL!

ashley said...

It never even crossed my mind that anyone would give you "trouble" about your exciting plans. I think it's fantastic that you're doing what you feel God calling y'all to do, and what a fun adventure it will be!!!

Tracey said...

It's called obedience. Sometimes it doesn't make sense to those on the outside. Sometimes it doesn't make sense to those on the inside...

But, standing in HIS will is still the safest spot on the planet.

The Corbett Family said...

We are very excited for this opportunity you guys have. As much as you open your home to others it just makes sense for you to be able to open this farm with even more opportunities to minister to others. I've learned over the years that comments like those stem from jealousy or lack of confidence. Deep down inside I'm sure that may have been a dream of their own. Everyone is different in how they choose to live so we shouldn't expect others to want to live the way we do. Praying this dream can come true soon!

Eleanor said...

Gretchen, I just love your expression of vulnerability and how you allow your readers to see that! I do not love that people force their unwanted opinions on you and expect answers in return. It is selfish and amazingly rude! Having said that, I am SUPER excited for your family and CAN NOT WAIT for future posts about this awesome endeavor (ahem, pictures when available please). There is no denying the Lord when He lays plans in front of you. Never doubt that, or the decisions your family makes together. You are one of the Godliest women I know and it is heartbreaking to hear how you endure persecution from time to time from others. Don't let that weigh you down! Enjoy every moment of this planning and preparation for your new home, land and farm So, so exciting!!! :) {{{Hugs}}}

Eleanor said...

Gretchen, I just love your expression of vulnerability and how you allow your readers to see that! I do not love that people force their unwanted opinions on you and expect answers in return. It is selfish and amazingly rude! Having said that, I am SUPER excited for your family and CAN NOT WAIT for future posts about this awesome endeavor (ahem, pictures when available please). There is no denying the Lord when He lays plans in front of you. Never doubt that, or the decisions your family makes together. You are one of the Godliest women I know and it is heartbreaking to hear how you endure persecution from time to time from others. Don't let that weigh you down! Enjoy every moment of this planning and preparation for your new home, land and farm So, so exciting!!! :)

Bree said...

I think it is the most wonderful thing to follow a dream that you and your husband have. Bringing everything before the Lord in prayer and then following-there is no better place to be. We moved from my family---not 6 miles but 14 hours, from suburban to rural...we got the same questions. But i will tell you, never, ever will we regret this decision because God has used it to HIs glory--and blessed us beyond measure in the process! I thank you for sharing these posts because we too have a dream and it has encouraged me tremendously. God bless you in your move and new season the Lord is bringing you and your family into. Great is His faithfulness! PS-The camo is okay ;)

Anna M said...

Just found your blog after reading your post on Heartland Farmhouse (I think that's the name..with Rebecca). Was immediately reminded by another blog I love...by another woman and her husband her were inspired to move to a farm: http://redfarmhouse.blogspot.com/

I'm working on a new blog about my family's life living out in the country: http://okrahillfarm.blogspot.com/.

Anyways, love your decision, how you stand by what you know is right for your situation. Not sure where you live in NC but I grew up near Wilkesboro, NC...love my TarHeel state!

Kellie said...

You know... people can say some ridiculous things to others. I have had some strange things said to me before. I completely understand wanting to live a farm life. I wish more people weren't around me so we could experience more. haha!! We love the feel we have in our "farmy" area and I wouldn't trade it for the world. You will love the memories made and what you will be teaching your children about learning life. They will be very well-rounded, indeed! I know it will be hard to leave where you are, but you will also be blessed in so many ways. AND... it is not like you are traveling 400 miles away from your parents to live in a co-op with other granola-eating, barefoot and non-make-up wearing hippies that only want to have love and peace, man, er, woman. :)

Carrie said...

I'm obviously running behind! I haven't read in a few weeks, since I changed my blog over and have been catching up.

Moving to a farm? What in the world could be wrong with that? Your children will gain an appreciation of the hard work that it takes to grow and preserve food and raise livestock. God forbid.

You can totally do this and you'll love it. It's hard work but so many blessings!