Learning to manage our stuff and time on a family farm

I think that we’ve been running on adrenaline for about a year.  It’s as if someone has been slowly letting the air out of my balloon over the past couple of months and I’ve been flinging around from here to there until I finally find myself settled down on the couch, piled under a bunch of kids and surrounded by a lot of clutter.

About four years ago I began sharing about our experiences of overcoming obstacles in our lives in order to live the life we were created for.  And as it seems for those who share their personal lives so publicly now I am faced with overcoming many of those same obstacles again.

FoodClothing  –  Toys –  Trash –  Paper – Time

I look around and wonder how in the world we’re back in the same place we were before we began this journey a few years ago.  Reality is that too much to do combined with too much stuff will get you here every single time.  We started by giving ourselves a much need break and lots of grace during a time where individual attention to the people in our lives needed to take priority to everything else.  We will never regret stepping back and putting people first, and if in a similar situation again I’d choose the clutter, pizza delivery and chaos EVERY SINGLE TIME.  But at some point (much sooner that I recognized) the clutter and chaos has crept back in and become a distraction from the things that are most important to us.  It’s time to take action and do something about it.

While our lives are still really busy we are starting to get back into a routine and realizing that the benefits of a more organized home, better health and less time managing the stuff in our lives will help us spend more time and energy on the things that matter.

Faith – Learning – Serving – Loving – Feeding People

It would be easy for me to get really discouraged this morning as all of this is basically hypothetical since I haven’t really gotten started on any of it.  But rather than waiting to share once we’ve got everything figured out I though we’d share the process with us.  Trusting that we will come out on the other side with some valuable lessons and prepared for whatever is next.  I’m reminded of how little my faith can be at times as my daughter Lilah has started packing up her room in preparation to our move to our new farm.  We don’t have a farm yet, but not because we haven’t been looking.  But rather than be discouraged Lilah packs her boxes and believes that our farm is almost ready for us.

That is how I want to approach the process this time.  Believing that the time and effort that I put into it today will bring me to the place of space and margin that I strongly desire for my family.  So rather than focus on the piles of laundry, stacks of paper and excess junk food in my kitchen I’ll be thankful for open eyes and a willing heart to do what I can today and wake up ready to do it again tomorrow.  In addition to giving one another a lot of grace here are a few of the things we are focusing on this week:


Elizabeth and I are determined to get our family back on track with a focused diet on fresh, healthy locally grown foods.  We’ll be making a list of the foods available on our farm, at Community Farmers market and working through some cookbooks to make a list of quick and easy recipes we can make together.  We are trusting that when we move into our new farm that we will be able to grow most of our food ourselves and we want to be ready for the challenge.


I’ll break these down more in the coming weeks as we work through some of the clutter that has piled up in our lives.  But at this point everything is blending together.  It’s even hard to distinguish between what is trash and what’s really important.  We’ll be making piles and like Lilah trusting that our farm is nearly ready for us.  Some of the items will go into piles for keeping, moving boxes and a lot straight to the recycling or trash.


We aren’t really people with a schedule, but we are going to do our best to prioritize the important things and let the rest go.  We want to make sure that we are using our days in ways that are meaningful and fulfilling.  This week we’ll be making lists of the things that mean the most to us and the ways we’ve been wasting time.

Read more about the 100 Thing Challenge written in 2012.
Part 1
Part 2