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A Generational Light...

I was riding in the car with my mother a few weeks ago. She had come all the way from Alabama for a visit. She was in awe of this new place we call home. As we weave through country roads, we identify the various crops and comment on the vastness of them all. We guess how old some of the farmhouses are. We talk about how peaceful it is here. She and my father left the city life for a quieter suburban one decades ago. Yet, she has never had the desire to live in the rural country. She loves the idea of it but enjoys the modern conveniences that I suppose most folks do these days. At the same time, I can tell she is happy we live here. Happy we have land. And even more, that we have chickens. I think it reminds her of her grandmother. My great grandmother, Casey Mae.

On our ride through the countryside, I finally mustered up the courage to ask my mother something I had been curious about for awhile now but didn't want her to take offense to. How did I get here? What I mean is, how did we go from generations of homesteaders to me starting all over again as a first generation homesteader? What happened in between me and my great grandmother?

It seems the women in my family shared a burden. A burden, I have discovered many generations of American women share. Women had been simply surviving for centuries. Trying to just get their dang footing in this new land. Busting their tails to keep things going. Amongst disease, drought, war and with little to no modern conveniences. Daily life was often filled with more hardships than comforts. They did what had to be done. All the while, their bodies and their souls were exhausted under the weight of building a place from scratch.

As men built a brand new civilization. Women maintained a home front. Day in and day out. Up until the 1900’s, they were the keeper of their home. They were usually on their own until their children were old enough to pitch in. They were the maids. The cook. The seamstress. The family nurse. The teacher. The grower. The raiser. The butcher. While somehow still being the soft spot in their homes. More often than not, they were tasked with securing their homes when their husbands were gone. They were just about everything. They had the burden of keeping their families going strong or merely surviving at times. Their load was heavy and their light never went out. Yet, they desperately longed for rest.

Around the mid 1900’s, after a Great Depression and back-to-back world wars, a "savior" came along and introduced them to the concept of ease. The idea that their loads could be lightened. Someone would give them a hand. Someone who would keep their light going while they closed their eyes for a long rest. But the problem was. This wasn’t their savior at all. A wolf in sheep's clothing. Someone who promised to keep their family’s light going, but instead hypnotized them into a sleepy daze. Quietly extinguishing the light of the sovereign American home. Creating generation after generation of even more discontent women. Our ancestors sold their souls to the devil himself and with that they cursed their granddaughters.

So, here we are. Waking up from a generational sleep. Discovering what was taken away from us. Coming back to the home. Back to the land. Trading in our ease and convenience for sovereignty and freedom. Running from a modern world full of synthetic food, clothing, and people. Back to a simple world detached from the noise, but one that connects us to the heavenly realm through nature, animals, food grown from our hands, selfless service and hard work.

We aren't the families that are just jumping on the virtual homesteading bandwagon. We aren't just dipping our toes in. And we're not diving head first into the shallow end either. We're planning and preparing. We're getting our finances in order to buy more land and animals. We're doing one thing at a time. We're starting small. With visions of building something bigger. More sovereign. We're growing our community because we know we can't do this without the ones whose ancestors didn't bite the forbidden fruit. Who kept their lineage intact. We're learning from the ones who grew up with mothers and grandmothers that sewed and farmed and cooked and preserved and chose to keep their homes. The ones who chose dirty hands and sore bodies at the end of the day. We're leaning into our community. Because we know that's how we survive. That's how we maintain this beautiful life.

You see, if this is going to be for the long run, the rest of my life here, if I'm making the decision to do this, homesteading, whatever you want to call such a life as this...we're changing the course of our lineage. There is no going back for me. There is no going back to the suburbs. To public school. To modern healthcare and meals out of boxes. Chain stores and cheap stuff. I won't hand over my family's freedom for comfort. I hope the women who come after me, my granddaughters, great granddaughters, there's a good chance they'll be another Casey, I hope she knows how hard we worked to get our family back to this life. I hope she appreciates it. Even when it's hard. Even when there's an easier way. I hope she knows easier rarely equals better. I hope this line of living continues for generations to come. And hope, my dear granddaughters, you never fall asleep again. Always keep your light burning.

Proverbs 31:10-31



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