pigeon pea

A couple of months ago I published a little piece called You Can Take Your Quality of Life and Stick It. I realize the title alone is a bit provocative but it actually does convey exactly what that concept of “quality of life” can do, as far as we’re concerned.

But let me back up and tell you where that title came from.

I can’t quite explain why or how people get here and read the words we write and see the photos we share. For my part I think I began writing a blog when my eldest was a baby simply because I was looking for a way to reach out to like-minded people in a very isolating time and place in my life.

And it has evolved into me sharing our (odd to some) life and why we are living it. Except, I don’t really post about the why very often and every time I do someone, somewhere says something ridiculous. Something along the lines of “Well, what you’re doing isn’t really practical for everyone.

Okay, exactly along the lines of that.

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So, I sit reading that from my inbox and I snort… and steam visibly escapes from my ears. Because it’s funny, you know, in the way that factually-incorrect, historically-unprecedented statements can be. And because, as I said before, it is actually the way we live now that is not practical.

  • Is it practical to have no idea how to maintain life for your family in the form of food, water, shelter?
  • Is it practical to know how to do calculus but not know how to butcher a chicken?
  • Is it practical to live in a place where you can not put seeds in the ground or raise animals in order to feed your family?
  • Is it practical to be dependent on non-renewable resources for an entire society to function?
  • Is it practical to buy land, homes, cars, education, or stuff when you don’t actually have the money to do so, but on the promise that you will be a slave to that debt for a decided upon number of years?

It is that last concept, the concept of debt – done openly, freely, happily -  that baffles me the most about our society and creates a culture whose priorities have to be compromised because they are enslaved to that debt.

boyshammers

The Importance of Starting with Nothing

Once upon a time you started simply, with nothing really, when you came into adulthood. Of course at that time the majority of families worked the land as their means of feeding their family. Many probably helped out on their parents farm, or took over a portion of it, until they had enough to buy land of their own. Because debt was frowned upon.

And when you had land you were wealthy. That was it, that was the one thing that meant you “made it” – a simple patch of bare land.

And then you built it, from the ground up, with your bare hands, maybe with the aid of some animals. To have to live on credit when you bought the very basics of supplies was shameful and made it difficult to sleep at night.

pea

It was in that process of building from the ground up that you learned to truly value everything you had and cultivate a spirit of gratitude because it is in that leaning upon the Lord for all things, in all situations, and through the toughest of times that you understand that everything you have is by God’s grace.

That is not something you can cultivate when you graduate from college and buy a house on a 30 year mortgage and live in a world where everything is at your fingertips instantaneously.

Seeing Both Sides

That time you spend working at a very specific task for some large corporation who doesn’t give a lick about you, your family or your deepest convictions; that is time you could have spent working alongside your children, both mama and papa, digging that soil, building that home, planting those seeds. That is time you will never get back, memories you can never re-make, lessons you will never have the opportunity to teach.

I say that because I know. I’ve watched my baby stand at the end of a hallway, pudgy hands outstretched for Papa, who just came home from his day at the office only to walk by that heartbreaking scene on his way to job number two. All so that we could pay off those student loans that I accumulated… so that I could acquire a certain “quality of life”.

And I’ve watched my babies stand alongside their Papa on a daily basis – learning, living, loving – and building something together from the ground up. There is no replacement for that time spent, those memories made, those questions answered.

edaddy

That’s not to say that we don’t spend time away from our children working, because we do. But it seems more balanced and deliberate now and less “What the heck are we doing this for anyways?

But the decisions we make in how we spend our time, how we raise our children, how we cultivate relationships with each other and those in our community, and how we can live in obedience to the Lord looked very different when we were paying off student loans and living near town and in the thick of industrialized society.

Rather than making decisions based solely on biblical principles, we were inclined to compromise and make them based on our dependence on, and therefore allegiance to, an ungodly system.

belle legs

So while you might see it as impractical to give up your job, move to a couple of acres, and set out to live as subsistence farmers – working the land in order to provide only what we need – I see it as the opportunity I want everyone to have.

It is an opportunity to see things more clearly, to have more historical perspective on just how blessed we really are, to have the peace and contentment that can only come from working with your hands, and to cultivate relationships with the ones you love based on the shared responsibility of building this life from the ground up… building a life from scratch.

And just because we started down this path (and it may seem idealistic to you) doesn’t mean we have “arrived” or don’t still really struggle at times.  We may never get to where we would like to be (or ought to be) along this journey, but in the process of separating, living simply, and seeking the Lord there are two things I can tell you.  One, it is worth it.  Two, it is all a lot more clear from where we are now than where we were then.

 

25 Responses to More on the Quality of Life: On Debt & The Importance of Starting from Scratch

  1. kathy says:

    Most of us, if we quit our jobs our income would cease to exist. You and your husband still work and have income from your blog, e books and his graphic stuff, right? Pretty hard to build infrastructure with ZERO income. As long as you are still taking money from the world (us)please stop being so judgmental of those of us that are still trapped here. Advice as to exactly HOW those of us without blogs or home businesses can escape (with no income) would be more helpful.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Kathy – Yes, we still work and have income from outside sources and that is only of the Lord. When Stewart quit his job we had NOTHING significant lined up as far as income went. All we knew was that the Lord was calling us to live simply and separately and that we had to do it. We did not know how we would make money, or if we would make money. We only knew that the Lord would provide and we would work to the best of our ability with whatever work he gave us.

    Our first thought was that Stewart would be a day laborer, in some capacity, after we moved. That was not God’s plan, though.

    There are many, MANY people who live simply and whose work almost entirely revolves around growing/raising food for their family. Beyond that their are some who humble themselves enough to trade a day’s labor for a few simple meals and supplies to keep themselves going. We have it easier than most and are not special. Any work, money, resources, or infrastructure we have is not because we “figured it out” and made a great plan and then moved on that.

    Everything we have is of God. When we have nothing it is still more than we deserve. We believe the Lord will provide for all of our needs and all we can do is be obedient to Him and his call for His people to live simply and separately.

    As I explain in my post this is the why behind what we are doing and I am merely pointing out how when we were in debt we had to make decisions on that and you can not serve two masters. I appreciate your comment, but I disagree with the idea that it is “judgemental” to say this is what we’ve figured out through our experiences.

    [Reply]

    kathy Reply:

    @Shannon, Shannon, thank you for being gracious in your answer. I am sorry that I miss read into your post. I have no idea why. I re read it again, and have none of the same feelings.

    You are right, the Lord is the one providing for your family. You are working hard too, but all blessings come from Him.

    I am not sure what poked me. Jealousy? While I am very blessed to have some land to plant on and the gift of homeschooling, in obedience to my husband I will not be able to make the break from this industrial world. It does not consume me, but I am not free from it either. I can feel the weight of it.

    May God continue to bless you and your family Shannon.

    Again, I apologize. I am sorry :(

    Kathy

    [Reply]

    Bethany Reply:

    @kathy,

    I don’t know anything about Shannon’s story before they made the move, but I really want to encourage you that it may be you don’t take the same path she does, but maybe you do a similar one.

    Our process so far has taken almost 7 years from when we sat down together and told God what we wanted out of our life, to this month when we are now moving onto our land. We are planning and moving forward with building a small cabin this summer and you know what? We only have about $5000, and my husband still has a job about 90 minutes away so very little building time. We don’t know how we’re going to do it, but we are feeling VERY strongly that this is the right time, so we are going for it.

    It does require sacrifices and a change of mindset. There may be sacrifices you would be willing to make but your husband isn’t comfortable with just yet. I’ve been in the same situation. If you are not quite 100% in the same mindset with your husband, just do what you can do and rest in the knowledge you’ve done your best.

    Truth be told, my husband told me several times he did NOT want to live in a camper with our kids. Who could blame him? But then the opportunity came up, and he was 100% for it. He also wasn’t particularly interested in being off-grid, but now that we’re seeing that we could build one, he’s changed his mind. Just continue to pray and go where God leads you… it will be different than everyone else but no less valid.

  2. Justin says:

    Great post Shannon.
    And amen on the final lines of your last paragraph. So true; so true…

    Don’t wanna be this week’s serial pest commenter, but if I may, might I provide a personal testimonial that answers, I hope, some of the points Kathy and Kathryn raise in the comments above?

    Shannon’s post today resonates very strongly with me, although I do not live in Texas, or a community in any sense of the word. I raise my family on a small 3 acre property that we all but own, after paying over 85% up front nearly seven years ago.

    Without the advantage of being an avid gardener and involved in horticulture all my life, it could be said we came into this lifestyle cold, pretty much. You know, buying everything from the shops, employing contractors, sending kids to school, etc, etc.
    Since then, we attempt and sometimes succeed in living an obedient reformed Christian life according to God’s will. I no longer have a job outside the home. We homeschool our eldest four children. We raise and kill a couple of hogs every 3 months and they eat little more than grass, garden scraps, and kitchen leftovers, but we get 100kg or more of meat each time.
    We grow a reasonably large vegetable garden, and can and bottle and preserve lots of stuff. Our orchard has a bit of everything, but its all a blessing and we bottle and dry what we can any given year. Any excess fruit and veg goes to animals. We have raised three steers to kill. We currently have 3 Wiltshire horn sheep and one remaining Boer goat left from 4. We have a small laying flock of around 30-ish Rhode Island Reds and Australorps and Light Sussex crosses, that provides cockerels every so often. And we advertise locally for free roosters… cheap meat!
    The wife makes soap sporadically from olive oil sourced up the road from an Italian family, and sells a few bars at a time to a couple of shops and customers.

    Anyway, point is that all these things simply represent an intentional choice. Choices that are largely alternatives to the way most folks do most things nowadays, but not that long ago, these ways and the ideas and thinking that produced them were far more easily found. Indeed, in pioneering folk, they were a prerequisite.
    As Shannon states, having lived in both camps gives one greater perspective as to the rightness of the current Christian agrarian way of life, that is impossible to fathom before any change occurred. And I guess that’s why she and I feel ‘on the same page’ to some extent.

    I am a Christian agrarian separatist. We do not live in a community. My family and I dress modestly, but not plainly. The areas where we share a similar path with Shannon and her community are in theology; the basic taking of God’s commands in the scriptures to separate from the world, and live simply, tilling the soil and raising your family right, very seriously.

    Just like a lot of things, it’s kind of easier to understand when you do it, and until you do, your level of understanding will always be limited by your basic lack of experience.

    So yeah, a few short years ago, I too was a reliant, dependent, wage slave. Now I have or am developing skills and knowledge more in keeping with a Godly life that my children see and live in amongst and take part in and understand intrinsically as good and right and normal.

    Unlike some of the existences their father and mother escaped from.

    I know, I know….it was a bit long, and I apologise. Just sitting around recovering from a slipped disc, and feeling chatty.

    Hope it helps.

    Justin
    Western Australia

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  3. Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt says:

    Amen, Shannon. Blessed words, as always. No matter the struggle or the number of excuses (some would say “reasons”), living life as a reflection of your relationship to your understanding of God/the Divine is the ONLY path we should be seeking. Great way to start my week! : )

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  4. Judy Bowman says:

    Shannon, you’ve pegged it again. Thank you for your eloquence. Not everyone can live the way we do. Before I came home full time I regularly heard “Oh, I’d love to try that but I just don’t think I could do it.” When I was younger (in age, in the Lord and in agrarianism)I’d reply “Sure you could.” Now I just say, “You’re probably right.” That’s not pride or judgement, just fact. We are truly blessed and having met and visited you and your family and community more than once I can testify that I have not one worry about your children’s safety and well-being. You hang in there. :)

    Judy
    On Big Turtle Creek

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Thanks, Judy! I totally understand what you’re saying. I’m not trying to tell people to live this way, I’m just trying to convey the benefits of it and the why behind all of the “this is how it’s going”. I have put that comment that you are referring to on hold because of the personal attack nature of it and the fact that it drags our children into this. I appreciate your perspective and support.

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  5. Good grief! So sorry for the length of that comment. :-/

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  6. Lori says:

    Hi Shannon,

    As a fairly new subscriber (past year) I always appreciate your reflections and the daily bits of your life. A friend sent me a link to your site and I thought it a nice site to follow.

    It is amazing how so many people can take words out of context. I get it that you are tired of people judging you for the choices you and your family have made on this journey you feel called to. I in no way see you telling others they have to live like you do or follow the same path as you have. I see you are merely following a course set by God for your family and you get tired of people freely choosing to follow your blog, and then send you hateful and hurtful responses on your choices.

    These are typical human responses for when people feel inadequate or uncomfortable with themselves or their lifestyles. I never understand why people think that others are insulting them, being snide, or putting them down because they do not live the exact same way as the person whose blog they choose to follow. We each walk/dance to our own drum beat as God calls us, and for you, it has been to step back into time and live a traditional agrarian lifestyle; for others, it is to live another way, though some may wish to live your way, or some may think you are crazy, but none of it matters, what matters is that everyone is respectful of the choices others choose to make. I did not see you being disrespectful or judgmental of anyone else’s choices, I read where you found those choices (that you’d lived before) to no longer reflect who you are today, where you want to be in life, or how you wish to live, based on your own lifestyle memories and experiences.

    My husband and I would not want to dress Amish, to live without running water (we have!), or to do without electricity (we have!), and I know you would never judge me for my choices as I know you know God puts desires in each heart. But for you and your hubby, the desire was to go back to the land and scratch out a living in a way you feel led to live.

    I have always been the ‘weird’ one in my community and area. I have always walked to a different tune from the rest of my peers and fellow townsmen. I have always chosen a path less beaten and less desired by those whom I know. I’ve had plenty of verbal attacks along the way, plenty of snide remarks, and plenty of hate-filed comments aimed my way. I’ve also gained the respect of those who used to do those things as they’ve seen over the years that my ways may not have been theirs, but it also was not so totally out there that I did not know where I was headed.

    Sometimes it just takes time for others to see where our path is heading, and that just because our paths are not on the same route, that we are all equally aiming for the same prize~ To live a God-filled life to its fullest and be all that God has called us to be, whether that be on a small two acre lot in the heart of Texas, or the concrete jungles of a big city, or the suburbs or small towns scattered all across America. Each one of us are on our own travels and journeys in life, and none will look the same.

    I so relate to your frustration. I have lived much of your frustration from a small town and now to a small city. My husband and I are not where we wanted to be. We are where God put us, and though we could not see it 20 years ago, we can now see why he put us here where we are as we’ve impacted our neighborhood in many good ways. I love my house. I love the convenience of living within walking distance (1.5 miles) of a store if I truly needed to walk (and have done so just for the exercise), and I love the people whom God has put into my life. Was this the dream I had for my life 30+ years ago? No. But I always want to be in God’s will, so I am happy despite the fact that I am not doing exactly what I dreamed of doing in my youth. I would have missed out on the many blessings that God has given me right here where I am.

    I wanted to homestead, to buy some acreage, to raise a huge garden, have chickens, a couple of nanny goats for the milk, and a couple of cows for the meat. It never happened. But we have found other farms to buy our milk and eggs and beef, and we raise much of our own food. We have chosen to bring some of the country into the city with us and do the best we can with what we have been given. And soon, the house we bought on credit 20 years ago will be paid off as we chose to live and buy well within our means.

    Had we chosen to have gone too deep in debt, we’d have been on that back 40 in the country, but we knew that was not feasible for us, it did not fit our frugal thinking. We did not want to be slaves to a piece of ground we could not afford. I wanted to stay home and raise my own kids, so we bought a house in a small city, a house big enough for the 10 of us, but within the small pay my husband worked so hard to earn. And now he makes much more than he did 20 years ago, the house will be paid off in less than two years, and we will think about selling and buying that small parcel of ground out in the country. It is never too late to dream or live out one’s dreams.

    Having raised 8 kids, home birthing the last 6 of them without any medical assistance (ahh, where some of that attack on my character and choices came in!), and having chosen to live simply and frugally all those years, with washing diapers by hand in the tub ever night for years so I could save money for bread and milk, and having a garden in any small piece of green growing space on our small lot, to making my own cleansers and soap, and anything and everything else I could. Most people just thought me strange, odd, and ridiculous. Who cares? They didn’t live my life. They didn’t choose my life. They didn’t have to be accountable to God for how I spent my money or time, or how I raised my kids. I left them to be responsible for their own choices. And though I did not need the fake fingernails to feel beautiful, or the day spas, or the designer clothes, I also did not expect my friends/acquaintances who chose these things to live my life or make make my choices in life. I let them enjoy their Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (back when these were the fashion statement and costly!), and I enjoyed my homemade breads and foods I made. To each his own. And though we made those very different choices, we remained friends and got along. And we appreciated the things we found in common and loved on one another.

    That is how I see and read into your post. Someone who is making choices on how they feel led by the Lord, but at the same time, who feels often attacked and subjected to snide remarks for those choices, even though others have made the choice to follow your life through your blog. I in no way see you judging others. Instead, I see others choosing to read more into your post than what you intended.

    I hope others can give you that choice and appreciate your ramblings and desires to live your life as God called you, and understand that you are not sitting in judgment on anyone, except yourself, for past choices and present decisions.

    Sorry so long!

    Keep writing those inspiring and insightful posts!

    In Christ,

    Lori

    [Reply]

  7. joanne says:

    Hello Shannon – You know, sometimes when we post things it hits a nerve with others for seemingly no reason. Maybe they are going through struggles or conflicts that we are clueless to? Maybe there is anger or bitterness and it’s being taken out on us? We may never really know the reason why some get so upset when we are just sharing what is on our hearts, but we must always be sure to love in return (this includes prayer). Of course too we must examine ourselves to be sure we were not in the wrong.

    I appreciated your post very much and found myself saying “amen” at the end. I am thankful to be debt free now but it sure took a lot of hard work to get here. I was a single mom, had a car loan and two student loans. Then once I got I thought I was ready to have a mortgage. Debt, debt, debt. I wanted to give my children a ‘good life’. I did not want to be a statistic … another single mom on welfare, foodstamps, and so on. I worked hard to pay off the debt. It seemed at times we could hardly make it and I did get foodstamps a few times (and was VERY thankful for them!!). Eventually I was down to just the mortgage.

    And then I started following the Lord. We are told that the borrower is slave to the lender. Why is this? I believe a big part of it is due to the fact that instead of spending money to bless others we are spending money to pay off debt. We are a slave to the money and the debt rather than a slave to the Lord and others in need. I pray this makes sense? I am not sure I’m being clear here. We cannot turn back time, but we can certainly move forward from here.

    I always wanted to live in the country, even when I was a little girl. My dad thought I was nuts. Even though I worked full time and began homeschooling my children, we still worked at learning different skills one by one (this was actually the main part of our schooling). The first was using whole foods instead of boxed, processed, packaged stuff. This is a skill ANYONE can learn, regardless of where they live or how much money they have. Just do the best you can. Bit by bit more skills were added. I remember the first garden we had – my youngest was 8 or nine and he really wanted to plant one so he did. He’s been gardening ever since (he is now almost 16. He’s built a few green houses, saves seeds, uses organic practices, and so on). Sewing was another thing I wanted to learn. I slowly learned how, got pretty good at it and then told my daughter I was tired of sewing so she had to get better and take over!! Now she has a sewing business and does professional quality work! (she is almost 18)

    We found a fellowship in SW MO. That’s a long story but the short end of it is we moved here 3 1/2 years ago. The church is in a smaller town, right in the middle of a neighbourhood. At first we lived in the church but then the house next door came up for sale and now we live there. Just because we are in the city does not mean we do not have ‘country things’ going on. We have chickens and rabbits in the backyard, a garden and green house in the church parking lot, fruit trees and strawberry plants in the church yard, another green house at a sister’s house down the street, and a large country garden (and soon our bee hives too) at a widow’s house in the country (we help her out several times a week and she was delighted to let us have our big garden there … also, she really knows about gardening in this area!).

    Anyway … my point is, bit by bit we ALL can learn skills to help us be less dependant on walmart, regardless of where we live. These things do not happen over night. These things take hard work, dedication, time and patience.

    The most important thing to keep in mind is “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”, “If you love me, keep my commandments” and so on. THAT is where our focus needs to be. The other stuff just kind of falls into place when our focus is right. I could have had a place in the country (I really wanted one!!) but I chose to wait on the Lord and he put me here, right in the middle of a smaller town. Now we have two nursing homes right down the street, widows all over town, neighbours in need, and so on. I am very thankful the Lord had us to live in the city.

    Well, that was a lot. Thanks again for the post.

    [Reply]

  8. S. Marie says:

    very well said. there has been much common sense lost in our generation.

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  9. Tiffany says:

    Not long ago, I would likely have responded to this post as Kathy did. I wanted someone to show me the formula, the path, the answer, so that I could reach my goals of buying acreage, having the big garden and orchard, raising our own animals, homeschooling our children. The funny thing is, that’s not possible. No one can hand someone else the answer. Each person’s path and journey will be unique, regardless of religion. I am fortunate that I found my niche, and while I am not homeschooling our 4 & 6 year old children, I am able to be a stay at home mom, and am slowly learning how to cook from scratch, teaching our children about gardening, values, ethics, and life. No, we don’t have my dream home on acreage, yes we do have debt, but we are living good lives, helping others often, and teaching each other valuable lessons along the way. We are living the good life, and making the most of what we have now, instead of being frustrated that we don’t have what we want now. That dream home on acreage will come or it won’t – it doesn’t matter. I’m focusing on living to the best of my ability in the NOW, and let the rest come as it may…or not. Thanks for the post, Shannon, I truly enjoy these slices of your life :)

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Tiffany – I could hug you for that. It is a relief to see that someone took out of it what I intended – the principle of moving towards agrarianism and sustainability are more important than exactly where you are in that process right now. And we’re all going to have to make compromises along the way in order to get there, but doing nothing because of those compromises doesn’t make any sense.

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  10. Mpost says:

    All I have to say is GOD BLESS YOU!!! I admire you, every time I read your blog it gives me hope to one day live like YOU.
    Thank you :D

    [Reply]

  11. Cindy says:

    Nice post, Shannon, to see where you’re coming from. And I agree with so many of the posters who respond that it’s important for each of us to find our own path — that it’s not one-size-fits-all. I’ve never seen your endorsement of what you and Stewart have chosen for your family to be represented as the only path; it’s the path that is right for your family based on your priorities and convictions. I’m often struck by how things like the Internet, or Amazon, allow so many more choices for people like you and Stewart who choose a different path. Life is nuanced: If there weren’t those who forged technology paths, there would be fewer options for those who choose to live more simply but still have a need for some income. Each of us finds our own definition of living simply and in line with our priorities and convictions.

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  12. Laurie says:

    My goodness, some of these responses are longer then the post itself. I just wanted to say that I enjoy your posts, and as a member of the industrialized society, I don’t perceive you as being judgmental. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I look forward to future posts.

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  13. Lisa W says:

    Who cares what other people say. I love your blog, I have been following you for a long time and admire what you have done. I am a Christian and understand what you are saying. God has always provided for those who seek Him first. He will not let His people go hungery or begging for bread. I have seen His miraculous works since I was a child and he has never failed us. It takes faith to step out and trust that He will take care of you. It’s hard and scary for people who do not have that faith in God to understand. I know you know that already. I am more or less preaching to myself. :) I know this but sometimes it’s hard when we let our flesh get in the way instead of thinking in a spiritual way. Oh yes, you have inspired be to be more self sustainable, I am getting chicks in a couple of weeks and we are putting in a garden! :) I am thinking of starting my own blog about my journey into becoming more self sufficient and eating healthier. God Bless!

    Lisa

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  14. gail says:

    Hello Shannon, I too enjoy your posts. I was never taught to cook or clean a home or grow a garden when I was a child. It has taken many years to learn many skills that should have been taught to me when I was a child. My parents were terrific but very materialistic. It was all about money. I married a wonderful man who really had a similar upbringing to me. We just never seem to have enough money to pay for all the things we thought we needed. We moved away from the city onto a farm and it was tough but goodness they were some of the best years of my life. We were poor but we were happy learning new skills. We sold our farm when it became to much work as we were getting older and now live on 2 1/2 acres with a nice home and are fairly self sufficient and we grow far more produce than we need so we can help quite a few folk who are less fortunate than us. This is the good life. We are following our Lord’s leading and are so blessed. I understand this life is not for everyone but one has to be very careful not to be led by what the world says is right. Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts and may I say that I think you are giving your children the very best life and they will grow to be strong and capable well rounded adults.
    Blessings Gail

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  15. My family is secular, but the idea of moving toward a simpler and more sustainable life really speaks to me and I love that you were able to convey in this post that these things ARE possible and that our society DOES overlook the importance of these goals – without being judgmental.

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  16. Lisa Taunt says:

    Shannon, love this article. You inspire me to achieve the kind of life you are living…in this world but not a part of it…walking and loving the Lord. Thank you so much for this blog and your insight.

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  17. Avery says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog. Very provacative and I’m sorry to see such a backlash against your comments.

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  18. [...] Nouishing Days: More On The Quality Of Life [...]

  19. Wren says:

    Shannon,
    I first came across your blog several months ago while looking for real food recipes and blogs. I was fascinated instantly and it was quickly saved to my bookmarks bar. As someone else said, we are a secular family, living on a quarter acre in a medium sized town, but I still resonate strongly with what you say. I too believe that the way our society operates has diverged greatly from any kind of common sense. We are taking small steps to try to get back to some kind of common sense, paying off our debts, raising our own food, living more simply. Our life is nothing like yours, but I respect your commitment and passionate opinions. Thank you for sharing with us!

    [Reply]

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