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.*