I’m an odd duck, and I’ve come to terms with this. I have several friends that think I’m one step away from weaving my own toilet paper and going off the grid. I’m not. In fact I’d venture to say that most of the people I follow here on WordPress or even general homesteaders would find my measly efforts at self-reliance laughable. I’m no where near my goal yet, but the blog is an effort to recount my homesteading and simple multigenerational living journey. The question I’ve been getting lately is why be different. Friends seem to want to know why we’re moving this direction. Right now I think most of them just see me as quirky which is fine, but it did make me think. Why are we doing this?
Firstly, my faith in Christ informs and influences everything I do. At least it should. Several biblical principles are well reflected in the choice to homestead. Hard work, a mainstay of homesteading, is praised in the Bible, and laziness is warned against. The book of Proverbs is full of these admonishments. We are also supposed to care for our aging family. Jesus himself called out those that didn’t care for their parents in Matthew 7. I also think that caring for our planet is a Christian value. It’s ignored by a large portion of Evangelicals and Fundamentalist because they say that Adam was given dominion of creation. He was, but if anything that increases humankind’s responsibility to care for the Earth. Locally sourced food and a dialing back of my consumerism helps my eco-footprint. I also think that simple living quiets the soul and allows the Holy Spirit room to work in my life.
Secondly, my health is a big issue. I was not raised with the best relationship with food, and as an adult so far I’ve failed to change that relationship. I still struggle a lot with packaged and processed items, and I’m overweight, but I think that a holistic approach with help me change that. The more I grow my own food; the more inclined I’ll be to eat it. This will cut way down on the junk that is in my diet. Homesteading will also improve my activity level since gardening, animal care, and just regular chores require more physical effort. Since getting the ducks, making an effort to shop more locally farmed goods, and just becoming more mindful, I know that at least some of my diet has changed for the better. We’ll see how this goes as the journey continues.
Another issue is preparedness. I don’t think the zombies are coming. However, job losses happen as do local disasters, and it is hubris to think a nation wide disaster or issue couldn’t happen. The more skills I have and the closer I am to my food, fuel, and protection sources the better.
Family is my last big reason. I want my parents to have a safe home where I can help them if needed. Their being next door to me will fulfill that. I also want my son to grow up knowing where his food comes from, and having a connection to nature. Working together as a family on the homestead should bring us closer, help us make memories, and transmit knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to the next.
While there are several other small things that have influenced our decision to move and really begin our multigenerational homesteading journey, the main ones remain faith, family, preparedness and health, I guess that means I’ll continue to be an odd duck, but don’t look for me to start using homemade toilet paper!