Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Calm in the Midst of a Storm

  These are certainly troublesome times.  Grocery store shelves are empty, people are fighting over toilet paper, public events have been cancelled, schools have been shut down, businesses are starting to close, and I have heard of people in our area already starting to lose their jobs.  It really is almost surreal.  On top of all of this craze, Colton is in quarantine at work and has been since Sunday because he came in contact with a patient (Colton is a firefighter/paramedic) who may have Covid-19.  And this is just the beginning.

  Yet, in all of this chaos, I have a certain calmness.  As I continue on with my daily work, I can't help but stop and give thanks to God for the life He has led me and Colton to live.  I know it's not for everyone, but it is certainly for us, and never have I been so thankful for our garden, our chickens, and the old-fashioned skills that we have learned.  I am counting my blessings.

An abundance of eggs from my chickens

   For one, I'm grateful that God put it on our hearts to focus on our outdoor projects first.

"Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house."
~Proverbs 24:27

  Because of this, we have a more sustainable food source and don't have to rely so heavily on the grocery store.

Salad fixin's from last year's garden

   I'm grateful that Colton convinced me that we need a huge garden.  It has always been a dream/goal of mine to grow most of our food, but I also know it takes a lot of work and I doubted that I would realistically be able to diligently care for a huge plot, let alone preserve all of its bounty. Now I am seeing how blessed we are to have such a large space.  I'm also grateful that Colton got the water and gas lines put in before all of this happened, as it has allowed me to plant and carry on with my work with him gone.

Snow peas in our current garden

  I'm grateful that we have one million chickens and that my hoarding problem is coming in handy.  (Ok, I counted the other day and we actually only have 40, not including the chicks.)  That's a lot of eggs each day for ourselves and others who need them, including our pets if it comes to that, not to mention an egg-cellent (sorry, I had to) source of protein.  And I'm so thankful that no one wanted to buy my chickens when I tried selling some of them because I thought we had too many!

Happy, healthy, free range chickens

  I'm grateful that Colton is able to hunt and that he took the opportunity this winter to stock our freezer.  He is such a good husband, father, and provider.   I'm glad I got over my fear of pressure canning venison, and I'm glad that after we tasted the first jar, Colton decided to harvest two more deer the next morning so that I could can the meat and add it to the pantry.  Yes, it was that delicious.

Canned venison

   I'm grateful that we live on the ranch with Colton's family, as trying as it may be sometimes living in such close proximity to one's in-laws.  (Really, I love them and couldn't ask for better in-laws.  I know if I ever needed anything, they would be right here in an instant to help.)  We looked for a house in town when I was pregnant with John and a few times since so that we could have our own place, but each time God closed all the doors.  Now we know of a certainty that this where God has us, and I see more and more why that is.

  I'm grateful that living on one income has made me no stranger to frugality and resourcefulness.  "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without" is a saying that has served us well.  I know how to pinch pennies, stretch a meal, and find alternatives to things we need and want.  In times of scarcity, that knowledge is worth its weight in gold.

A frugal 'thank-you' basket of homemade bread, jelly, and zinnia seeds saved from my garden

   Yes, my heart is overflowing with gratitude for this life God has blessed us with.  But I will tell you, the peace I have does not lie in these things.  They could all be gone in an instant.  My peace rests in God Himself, and my point is that I can see His sovereign Hand at work in our lives.  That is what gives me an overwhelming sense of safety, security, and calmness in the midst of this storm.  All of the hard times we have experienced, all of the heartache, all of our failed plans- they were for our good.  God has been teaching us, refining us, preparing us.  It has been hard for me to see at times, but it is all coming together. 

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." ~Romans 8:28

  I know the country life is not for everyone, and that is ok.  It is what God has placed on our hearts, but even if He had chosen a different lifestyle for us, the fact remains that He will always provide for our needs.  The truth is, no one is "self-sufficient".  It is God who sustains us.  This doesn't alleviate our responsibility to exercise wisdom or work hard for what we have, but ultimately, God is in control and He will always, always take care of His children, no matter what is going on in the world.  He is still able to take a few loaves and fishes and feed thousands.  Please, put your trust in Him, not a package of toilet paper (or a multitude of chickens, for that matter).

  "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." 
~Psalm 23


  1. Thank you for your words of common sense. I’m not fearful, but have this vague anxious feeling, like unsettled. I have everything I need, but just hate the unknown. I need to dig deeper into my bible and rest on His word.

    1. Kathy, I definitely understand your feelings and won't pretend anxious thoughts don't creep in! I think these times warrant an increased sense of awareness and diligence as we steward our resources and care for our families. We are doing what we can, with what we have, where we are, but we know that God is in control of the rest.

  2. When the unsettled thoughts come in I remind myself this to will pass. I also remember what Daughter 4 shared on FaceBook... our grandparents were called to war, we are called to sit on our couch. We can do this. My parents lived through the Great Depression.I was raised knowing how to make due.

    1. Yes, generations before us had it much harder than we do, even now. They were amazing to pull through such hard times.
      A lot of the things we are now required to do, they did every day! I think we have become so comfortable in our modern day that many don't see the need to learn the skills that that generation possessed, nor do they see a need for God. I pray they will in all of this.

  3. My paramedic retired last month...and then went in to work part time on Monday. He didn't have to go on any calls for the first time in years. I understand all about the life of being a medic's wife. We do have to sacrifice our husbands/partners/champions for others needs in times like these and we have to be strong women for everyone's sake. And thank you too for a lovely post, really lovely, sane and yet not ignoring facts, full of blessings despite the season we are called to live in at present.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Terri. Thankfully Colton was able to come home today. Having him gone definitely took an extra measure of strength.

  4. Thank you, Kelsey ,for the beautiful and uplifting post. I was so glad to read that Colton was home. My husband spent his career as a paramedic in a large metropolitan area and retired in 2004. Terri put it so well about sacrifices and strength. Psalm 121 and 91 got us through some very unusual
    times and continues to today. Blessings, Cookie

    1. Cookie, I am so glad to hear from you! Thank you for the encouragement. Those are very beautiful Psalms.

  5. Kelsey, what a beautiful post and so well said. I'm glad to read that Colton is home. Cookie, Psalm 121 and 91 are some of my favorite scriptures, in fact I have memorized them.

    1. Thank you, Patsi. I appreciate your prayers for Colton's safe return. We are so glad he is home.


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