As most of you know, I recently moved to the country…
Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to live out in the country where I could garden and have animals and live a simple life. Like many, I grew up reading the “Little House” books, and read the entire series to my children as they grew up. I have always had a fascination with simple, agrarian living. Thankfully I married someone who had the same aspirations.
I add several new posts every week – Sign Up for the Free Newsletter and Never Miss a Thing!
The first thing I did when moving here and getting settled, was start my flock of chickens. My chickens are breeds that are good layers, because at this point I am only raising them for eggs.
When they are fully mature, I should get at least a dozen eggs every day. That means not only will I have plenty of eggs for our household, but I will be able to sell them as well. That will easily cover the cost of having chickens, making them pay for themselves.
My grandmother always had a big garden every year. She tilled, planted, hoed, weeded, watered, harvested. Every year she would “put up” all that she had grown. Not only that, but the she would take me to the “you pick” apple orchard and pick bushels of apples.
I have such wonderful memories of that. You could eat as many apples as you wanted while you picked. Then we would go up to the farmhouse and pay for the apples we had picked – but that wasn’t all. We would go over to the stand and get fresh apple cider – straight out of the press.
Later my grandmother would take all of those apples and make homemade apple sauce, which she also canned and “put up” every year. In her basement, there was a room lined with wood shelving. Each shelf was filled with jars of homemade jelly, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, apple sauce, and more.
She never let anything go to waste, and even reused bread bags for other things. That is my goal!
“Go to the ant, you lazybones!
Consider its ways, and be wise.
It has no chief, overseer or ruler;
yet it provides its food in summer
and gathers its supplies at harvest-time.”
Proverbs 6:6-8 (CJB)
Recently someone asked me “What is the draw?” What was the draw for living like this, gardening, working hard, etc.
I explained to her that I have always wanted to live this way, that I also think that our society relies too much on stores. What if something happens and I can’t get to the store? I want to be able to “make” my own food and know where my food comes from.
She looked at me funny and said something that struck me oddly.
She said something to the effect that “focusing on being self-reliant can lead to not having faith or reliance upon God.”
I was a bit taken aback by her statement.
Wanting to be self-reliant (as much as I can and not live off grid) is showing a lack of faith in God?
I beg to differ.
You know, there is a reason that middle America – the “flyover states” tend to lean so conservative. By conservative, I mean that they conserve and preserve the values that our nation was founded on. Faith in God, working hard, making your living with the sweat of your brow and the determination inside you.
Why is that?
Because middle America is where most of the farmers live.
Who could possibly have a greater reliance upon God than a farmer? I think that farmers, more than any other profession, are profoundly aware of just how not in control of things they are. Those who live closest to God’s creation, with their hands in the soil.
A farmer knows that they are completely reliant upon something other than themselves.
They plow, they sweat, they work, they plant and they pray.
They pray because the farmer knows they can’t make a drought end.
They pray because the farmer knows they can’t make the plants grow.
They pray because the farmer knows they can’t make the rain fall.
They pray because the farmer knows they can’t stop a plague of locusts.
They pray because they know they have no control over the harvest. Will it be bountiful or will it be scarce?
The farmer prays because he knows he truly has no control over anything. He does what he can, what he knows to do, and the rest is up to God.
When you know you don’t have any control, you MUST have faith.
At the same time, I believe that we are supposed to work. Our bodies were made for it. When Adam & Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, what were they told to do?
“therefore Adonai, God, sent him out of the garden of ‘Eden to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.” Gen 3:23 (CJB)
Jesus told countless parables related to farming and the harvest. There is something to be said about this connection.
Secondly, she mentioned the physical work that all of this took. Do I really want to do all that? Of course!
I believe we were made to work. Our body needs physical activity. Without getting too preachy here (I know, too late) look at the ailments that so many Americans suffer from. How often are we told over and over and over again by doctors to get more exercise? Get in shape? Lose weight? Our body was made to work.
For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: if someone won’t work, he shouldn’t eat!” 2 Thess 3:10 (CJB)
So, do I think that Self-Sufficiency leads to a lack of faith in God? Nothing could be further from the truth.
18 thoughts on “Is Self-Sufficiency a Lack of Faith in God?”
Absolutely Spot-on Constance! I moved to the country 12 years ago ( goodness, where’d that time GO??!) and experienced similar comments from my dear church friends at the time. Even when l had told them that l’d settled for the dream maybe never happening, and how l had set about to make our best country life in suburbia…and then how God had given the go-ahead one day, and led us here (long story, but good!), they still looked at me blankly, like l was nuts. Then came the patronising comments, and verbal pats on the head.
It was such a wrench to leave, but weirdly, this reaction (of most people), did help me to keep on with what l knew was His Will for us. I prayed a lot about it, as to why they would be like this…it really hurt, and this move was hard enough! Then God( who is Very Wise😏) explained to me about jealousy and fear. Hmmmmm. Jealousy that it’s what they’d like, but were afraid to do. Also, that it made them Very Uncomfortable with the amount of work involved, in both getting here, and then converting a blank canvas of bare, rocky ground into productive gardens. Add to that the harsh climate… it seemed ridiculous…impossible…
Well, l’m still ‘ere! It hasn’t been “all beer and skittles” (as my Grandad would say…and he was a non-drinker, as am l!!😁), and l think the local reservoir is probably two-thirds full of my tears!!….but l now have a shady, green, productive garden, and l still love being here… watching and hearing my neighbours’ lambs, sheep, horses; gathering my eggs; spreading the bunny poo & chook manure; watching the wildlife (instead of the passing traffic)… providing for my own needs, and sharing with others. No traffic fumes, and no “doof-doof” music from the neighbours… Thankyou, God for all your goodness, and for leading me here. (Now l’m crying!)
My boys have grown into young men whose hearts are for hard work, fresh food, and country living.
And, yes, working hard, whatever one’s physical limits, is GOOD! Who needs a gym, when making and keeping a productive garden exercises every muscle in the human body?! And l get organically-grown veggies too!! And there’s ALWAYS something that needs doing yesterday!😊 You’re proving that, Constance, in your Shabbat Year!
So, go… make happiness, satisfaction, solid sleep, productive gardens. Fill the larder, share the bounty (even when it’s small!); learn New Stuff; get fit. And keep going into old age, even when you can’t walk any more. Do what you can, where you are, with what you’ve been given. And pass the knowledge on, to the next generation! Then die happy.
Well…that turned out to be a long “thumbs-up” comment from me..! 🙂 I hope it is a blessing and an encouragement to someone out there…
Lots of love, from Bev, in Australia. 😊 ❤ 🦘🌻🪴🍊🍓🥬
I just commented on your video for this, but was again so inspired by what you wrote here, I decided to add something I didn’t say over there. I couldn’t agree with you more. When you are working with the earth and the animals, you are so close to God and his creation. You made such great points about farmers and how their prayers for their farm is crucial. I can’t imagine having a farm and not knowing God. I mean after all who feels close to God when they’re at the grocery store…except maybe when they’re praying for a good parking spot, right?
Keep up the hard work!
Thank you Lysha!!! :)
This is a wonderful post.
Thank you Daisy!
Amen and Amen!
I couldn’t agree with you more on every single point.. Great post!
I too have fond memories of my Mom and Dad cultivating the land, given to them through a generous corporation who had land that was sitting there and yet to be developed. My Dad asked for permission to use the land and he was granted to do so. To the shock of many who would otherwise believe that God had a hand in this gift of offering such a piece of land to my parents to harvest, it was a blessing to all. Dad was always a hard worker outside of his day job he would come home every evening and tend to the crops and fruit trees and be at it again day after day. The land yielded a plentiful amount of harvest each year, enough to bring neighbours over to pick what they desired to have from this piece of land. It was something I will forever remember when Dad was the happiest doing. He never slumbered and even at an age well beyond his retirement, he never settled and continued to work that piece of land until it became evident that he could no longer walk. My children grew up knowing the precious gift of having grandparents who strived to work hard and appreciate the simplicity of having crops/food all year round. They both worked to meet the needs of others and they instilled that quality of life in me and my children. I miss them dearly and I know that without their faith and trust in the Lord for all things, I doubt they’d be much hope if things just didn’t work out as they had intended. Although Adam and Eve would have had a totally different lifestyle had they not sinned, God still looked out for them and give them everything to do to be self-sufficient in this world. We should do the same and cultivate that into this generation for which unfortunately has come so far away from even wanting to know who God is and why we were even put on this earth in the first place? I’d like to say you ‘hit the nail’ with this one and even if it struck a nerve or two, it’s the truth and you know as I do, the truth hurts. Thanks for sharing and sorry for the long e-mail but I had to share. :)
What a wonderful, wonderful story Ana! Thank you so much for sharing that. What joy that must have brought both your parents and their “lucky” neighbors! (I don’t believe in luck.) And what a blessing that the company did such a wonderful thing! That’s almost unheard of in this day and age. Please don’t apologize for the long post, because I certainly appreciate it. I love hearing stories from all of you. Much love to you Ana!
I enjoyed reading your post. So true and something we need to be reminded about from time to time. Thanks.
Great post. You ever hear the story of the man relying on God to save him from the flood? God ends up sending all sorts of help but he wanted God Himself to come save him I guess. Personally, I think what you are doing is TOTALLY relying on and having faith in God. Just my two cents for what it’s worth.
I couldn’t have said it better myself! What you are doing, and what I’m also trying to achieve, is all I’ve been hoping for! Best of luck to you and I hope those little green bean plants are bountiful!! I have some just like them. :)
I love your vlogs and enjoy seeing your new home and I love your pets!!
Take care and may God Bless you!!
Well put, m’lady. Such a shame the following generations will not have the same values as our forefathers …
Constance, I totally agree with you….I grew up just as you did, and for the early years of my marriage I worked a garden and “put up” vegetables and made jelly every summer…!!! I also had access to fresh eggs…now I do not and I miss it so much…!!!
I watched both my grandfathers and grandmothers work hard all their lives…what I would,not give to put my feet under either of my grandmothers’ tables again…food has never tasted so good since…!!!
I think we are beginning to see a real awakening in the country…I truly do…!!!
Wow.. Good word!!! (I enjoy your blog and perspective on things)
Thank you Barbara :)
:) Thanks Kathy!