Friday, October 10, 2008

Taking Stock

First read this blog entry from the blog "How Many Miles From Babylon". Good huh? I really enjoyed it.

I started this journey of self sufficiency accidentally. Five years ago, all I knew is that something wasn't working with the credit thing and I wanted out of debt....Right Now! There was something in me that cried against being beholden to pieces of paper that came in my mail box every month and demanded payment for things that I had used up months and sometimes years ago. Ceaseless, endless, day in day out. What was I working for? To be miserable?

Daily I would strive to obey the Bible, yet tried to turn a blind eye to the whole borrower being a slave to the lender thing. Thankfully the word of God is a mirror. It reflected right back at me the image of who I had become, and I was far from thrilled. James 1:22-24 KJV "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (mirror): For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straight-way forgetteth what manner of man he was."

Attending church regularly, the mirror was held up to me constantly. I couldn't forget the mess I had created. I was forced to look at my spiritual self three times a week during the preaching of the word. Thankfully I wasn't left to figure this out on my own. Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." I began to ask, seek, and beat any door I could find. Only then did things begin to change.

It started when I stopped hiding and threw everything out into the open... Honesty with my husband, with my family and with my friends... No longer could I continue in the way I was going, no matter the opinions of others. I didn't need prestige or stuff. I needed peace and contentment. Doors started opening. From fear of the desperate hysterical person I had become, my husband actually stopped and listened to me. At first he listened to the whole "Debt Free Dave Ramsey Thing" to appease me made sense. Now our marriage has become two individuals working toward one goal, instead of two immature children keeping score. When that happens, watch out. A man and a woman can accomplish almost anything when in agreement.

Today I'm so happy we started five years ago on this journey. With the current hysteria going on in our world, I still have contentment. I'm not afraid. I John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us."

Sometimes it is good to stop and take stock (not the Wall Street kind). Remember where you were, where you are, and where you are going. It is important to remember the past, and then make goals and plan your path for the future. I cut a pot shot out of the newspaper before I was even married, and I still have it to this day. It said, "You can't make deals with the past, but with the future, everything is negotiable." Maybe you can't control it, but you can surely negotiate! Certainly you can't change the past, but remembering it prevents repeat mistakes.


Our marriage is stronger than ever.
I am content. (One should seek contentment, not happiness.)
We are debt free.
I got a solar oven for Christmas.
I am eliminating electric appliances as they die (so far the coffee pot and toaster oven).
I am reducing electricity usage to minimum. (We'd like to get an off grid system eventually.)
I have reduced unneccesary driving.

We have finished one third of our raised potager garden.
This year I planted, 2 fig trees, a guava, 6 mulberries, 12 citrus trees, 4 pecan trees, 3 pear trees, 4 banana trees, 2 persimmon trees, 2 plum trees, and 1 olive tree.

We have built our coop and aquired chickens. They give us 2 dozen eggs a day currently. We sell the excess and make enough to purchase all the supplies for them and give the girls a little spending money.
And....Our chickens are now giving us babies.

It's never too late to start, and there is never a perfect time to start living as self-sufficiently as possible. Have you started, or are you making plans to move in that direction?


tipper said...

Sounds like you are truly blessed! There is a great comfort in living a self sufficient life.

Egghead said...

You have done great and it inspires me to keep doing what we are trying to do. Before retirement we want to have no debt as well. But that will take selling our house and reinvesting when the market comes back up. That is why we bought this place because we got a good deal and have been putting lots of time and money into updating (nothing done for 30 years). Our intention is to live in a house with some acreage with no mortgage and a little closer to town than we are now. We are twelve miles away and the gas is a strain. Sigh! But I still have about ten years to retirement so we have time for that market to get better.