The other day I drove home from town and when I saw our property, strewn with pallets and lumber, I smiled. For the first time since we moved here I had the feeling that I was home.

Once the basic necessities were taken care of we thought it was a matter of maintenance and larger projects. But every day brings new and different and spuratic challenges.

There is the sink that was draining (more important than running water, btw) that is now flooding half the camper. There is the temporary outhouse that is approaching the end of its life. There is the 6-day cooler that began leaking all over our (carpeted) camper floor. And then there is this this chest cold I’ve had for a week that I just can’t seem to shake.

These aren’t complaints, they are just the facts of life here. There is always something that needs improving, fixing, updating, or attention. There is always laundry to wash and dishes to do and three meals a day to cook. Everything happens slower, and somehow that makes it feel like life, not work.

Last Saturday morning when I was hacking up a lung and nursing a head that felt like a helicopter lived inside I had a mini break down. I say mini because whenever I have had a real break down it involves me laughing hysterically and uncontrollably on the floor for a good 15 minutes. I know, I’m weird.

But Saturday there were only a few tears, possibly of exhaustion or possibly of frustration, and then I finished my oatmeal and went back to bed.

And yet I have been thinking for days now of how much harder this could be. Like if the Papa had to work a full-time job away from the land every day. Or if we had a newborn at these beginning stages of homesteading. Or if our boys were younger or if I hadn’t had the unconventional childhood I did or if I was single or if the Papa wasn’t working his tail off with an incredibly enthusiastic attitude or if we weren’t surrounded by supportive and loving people who share our burdens and our joys.

Every day, as new challenges and new projects arise, we are reminded of God’s hand in every thing… that getting sick is just as much of a blessing as watching my husband crank out a cabin in what seems like no time. These challenges remind us that perhaps we need humbling or encouragement or eyes to truly see.

All of that seems clearer here, in this space with fewer distractions.