I remember early spring days with dirty fingers sunk into cold dirt. These boys were much smaller then – four and two – but even at that tender age, we could see that this was exactly what they needed. Seeds were sprouted in so many ways on those long Sundays spent in the garden.

One of them was the hope that this agrarian way of life would pave a way in which we could provide the basics of life for our family while allowing them to spend their days living alongside their Mama and their Papa. For those days were long cubicle days for Stewart, followed often by long evenings of that extra work we needed to pay off student loans.


There was something about that time spent away – time you can never truly get back – that broke hearts big and small, and led us to seek out something different for these little loves in our care.

Fast forward a year or so and Stewart was quitting his job and we were preparing to move across the country with our two little men and little Annabelle on the way. We didn’t have much in the way of paid work lined up. We didn’t know exactly how this transition from bare land to food production would look. But we knew that this is what we needed to do and that the Lord would provide.

I was prepared for having less than we’d ever had. I was prepared for working harder than we ever had. I was prepared for Stewart to go from well-paid corporate job to minimum wage hired hand. What I wasn’t prepared for was how things really turned out.


That is to say, I was not prepared to jump into the land of the working-for-money while juggling babies, school, home, land, and work. The opportunities and employers we have been provided with have been tremendous and wonderful and literally a dream, to be sure. But I never quite managed to figure out how to be all there – for my family – while being all in on my work, which I had to be.

I’m sure it can be done, just apparently not by me.

And that very thing – the thing I could never quite bring myself to talk about in this space, for it broke my heart so – has been the hardest thing about these past two years of our agrarian journey. For all of us.


Which is why I am happy to say that, at least for a little while, I will be returning home – where I rock babies and feed the hungry masses and am really present for school and garden time and every moment in between.

I will still be a part of the Cultures for Health team, which we are so grateful for, and you can continue to follow along with our culturing adventures at the CFH blog. But I think we will be getting back to a balance that works much better for me, certainly, but also for every single one in our little family.

I never really left, not physically, but I am loving this process of returning home.

*Edited to add: The cutting back and finding balance I am referring to entails me working less on freelance projects for a while. Lord willing, we intend to continue blogging here in this space as always.*


13 Responses to Returning Home

  1. Jennifer hodge says:

    I love the way you write and I love how your focus is like a laser on the woman that God calls you to be. Blessings to you in the evolving stage of your life!


  2. Mary Ann says:

    I will so miss reading your blog. It has always been just the reality I needed. I have spent the afternoon pruning trees and wrestling blackberry beds and I came in and thought “I wonder what new on Nourishing Days?” Thank you so much for sharing your journey with me. It has been a joy.


    Shannon Reply:

    Mary Ann – I am actually referring to the freelance work that I have taken up over the past two years – and cutting back, not cutting out. Lord willing, I will continue blogging. Sorry for the miscommunication. :)


  3. KJ says:

    I am happy you are returning home, but does this mean you are leaving this blog permanently? If so, I will miss your blog immensely and will just have to spend my time going back through your archives. I hope you find peace with your children and family.


    Shannon Reply:

    KJ – No, that is not at all what I mean. :) I am actually referring to the freelance work that I have taken up over the past two years – and cutting back, not cutting out. Sorry for the miscommunication.


  4. Jaclyn T says:

    I do so know what you mean….we live in a small town, transplants from the big city thousands of miles away, and we live on less than we ever thought possible. My husband is a student, and now a budding farmer, and I work from home. Our boy follows his Daddy to the fields every day, and my heart breaks as I know I must get back to the desk. But then I remind myself, that I only work for 28 hours and I can give them a quick squeeze when I need to. This is a much better place than we were a year ago, my husband always away to work, and me, growing with sadness and resentment as I missed my best friend beyond words. That was until, we really listened to what God had been saying all along, and realized that we were not built for the common mold and that we need to be around each other. All day. Every day.

    My anxiety and sadness lifted (as did my husband’s apprehension for being away for so long) when we began our journey to work together. I hope to one day join them in the fields full time, but for now, I split my work, happy to know that this is a much better alternative to what was.

    Take Care, and enjoy home. It is the absolute best place to be.


  5. Tim says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog over past year and seeing your family grow. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.


  6. Lora says:

    Thank you for the clarification! I’m very glad that you will still be homesteading and blogging.


  7. Vanessa says:

    I’m glad to read you are coming home and focusing on your family. It would be a much brighter future if more parents would make such sacrifices for their little ones.


  8. So glad you will continue blogging. You’re living our ‘dream’. We’re in the process of paying off debt and saving, saving, saving to hopefully see it fulfilled in the next four years. Can’t wait for the arrival of your little one. Enjoy you’re baby moon, and time ‘off’ (does a mother ever get time off?).


  9. gogardengirl says:

    Blessings to you and your family. Balance has always been a struggle in my life and it something God is working with me on all the time. Snuggle that new baby and enjoy your time with all of your family. These times are precious and are over quick as a wink. I always look forward to your posts–but no pressure, take care of you. Enjoy the journey. :)


  10. Laurie says:

    I hope that while you are cutting back in the public freelance format you are still writing. Writing it all down. I love your story. I see the next Carla Emery in the works. You should write to publish.


  11. MissPeaches says:

    wonderful news. Being in a process of centering myself and returning to what truely matters to me I can relate. I pray that the Lord will grant you blessings beyond all measures.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.