Striving for Independence…

I think I’ve finally learned the secret to contentment…

I’ve finally found that one thing that lessons one’s worries, creates a peaceful existence, etc… A Self sustaining lifestyle. {I know, I am pretty much the last person to learn this, I learn slower than most I think.} I’d read about this phenomenon, and heard about it, in the way that one hears about rocket launches and moon landings. Distant. Untouched. I’d known no one who had any semblance of this type of life, therefore it became more fairy tale and less possibility.

Then this amazing girl, whom I call a friend though she is technically a friend of a friend, writes these eloquent blog posts about making her own yogurt, cheese, butter, etc… (Does she do her own flour? Probably, but I don’t know…) The point is, this very idea sort of rocked my thoughts a little bit. I mean, the truth of it is I don’t really want to be making my own dairy products. Then again, though, maybe that’s only because I don’t know how…

I was awed by how she can pretty much handcraft or grow nearly all that they eat, as I’m newly proud of myself for making crock pot yogurt and homemade granola. How can she do these things, and homeschool her girls? {I have suspicions that there may be super powers at work here, which I’d always believed were also stuff of fairy tales- until now.}

My awe of her ceased, and my envy engulfed me however, Sunday afternoon when we were at the super market. We, as a nation, are getting ourselves into quite a predicament I fear. People losing jobs, cost of necessary things like fuel and food on the rise… A fine line can only be balanced for so long. My husband, thankfully, still has his job- but even at his lower wage and forced time off- we can’t afford $150 a week in groceries. It’s ridiculous that we should have to. All of this effort and all of this money that’s gone to prolong the immaturity help the richer corporates (known as banks and greedy auto manufacturers) has done essentially nothing to help us. To truly help us. Because, at the end of the day, if a bank teller still has a job- or an assembly line worker still gets a paycheck from Ford- what does it matter if they can’t even buy their family a loaf of bread?

All i know is, a self sustaining life really is where the secret is. Would it be perfect? No. But the less dependence one has on someone else- the better. It feels completely out of reach and unfeasible but baby steps are something I believe in. So, while I am still eating store bought cheese and sour cream- I am gleefully jumping up and down because my little urban container garden is sprouting!

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12 thoughts on “Striving for Independence…

  1. I am so depressed at the cost of food that I wish we could grow more and hand make more, but I have NO green thumb and so here I sit. Depressed. Employed and still broke.

  2. hey I hear ya on this.. i started the yogurt thing, and even my own laundry soap this year (which I might add is actually better than any store brand i’ve bought!)i think there is a deep satisfaction in knowing that you’ve done things the hard way! :)btw, did you try the yogurt? how did it turn out for you?

  3. Nikke, I have been a failed gardener. This year though, we are doing this container garden and the very sight of things sprouting has made us joyful. We’ll see…

  4. Amy~ It was great. My one problem (and it’s trivial) is our lives need quick yogurt for on the go and Plain wasn’t really condusive for that. I need to play around with it and come up with flavored yogurt. Over all though, it was so easy and I LOVED it!

  5. I would disagree. Dependence on others isn’t such a bad thing. It may be painful, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t profitable.Perhaps the secret to contentment is trusting God at his word to provide our needs. And as for the cost of groceries, I have 2 words: Angel Food. Seriously. We spend between $60-80 on Angel Food boxes and then only $60/week or less at the grocery store. This week, I only spent $33 because I just picked up my boxes on Saturday.

  6. Sarah, we will always have to depend on someone. But being self sufficient is crucial, I believe. one hundred years ago, if market prices soared and the economy collapsed, the majority of people still were able to feed their families and wear clothing. I think each family has to find what works best for them, though I don’t think striving to be self sufficient is lessoning ones trust on God. In fact, the more I ponder this I see that it’s increasing one’s trust. In the past many decades, our society has greatly strayed from the home. I want to get back to that… How? I’m not sure… In re: to Angel Food. It isn’t everywhere. It isn’t here. In fact, it isn’t a lot of places. And again it comes back to that whole “teach a man to fish” philosophy… Getting help when one needs it is good, but in the mean time I feel preparing your own lives to be less vulnerable the next time around is fairly vital.

  7. I am on my second year of container gardening and I was really surprised last year at how much we got from a few containers! I go through phases of wanting to make everything from scratch. And, it is a great feeling to know you provided something healthy for your family with your own hard work and attention!

  8. Misty,You’re right about Angel Food. It is a rapidly growing ministry, however, so hopefully soon, you’ll find a location near you.I also don’t disagree that we can take steps to make our lives less vulnerable to economic crisis. That’s why Billy and I work hard to get out of debt and save an emergency fund.I only disagree with the idea that doing something is the way to contentment. I would submit that it is believing something that leads to contentment.

  9. (And just a clarifier… Angel Food isn’t a handout or anything. A lot of people don’t realize that. If someone can get Angel Food, it doesn’t take it away from other needing people. The more people that participate, the better the ministry works, in fact. I see it as a great way to “teach a man to fish” by offering good ways to steward the money God gives.)

  10. i remember when we were in michigan I first heard about Angel Food… I don’t think it’s a hand out, however I am leery of anything which can cause someone a dependence. i think it’s too complicated for a blog thread to say what I’m getting at. :) I believe that contentment is a verb more than a noun. It’s the result of action and choices more than it is a feeling… There are SO MANY aspects that I see a self sustained lifestyle could pave the way for contentment. That was all i was getting at.

  11. We planted our little garden this year. It’s a great thing for the kiddos to get involved with. Unfortunately, we eat so many veggies, there is no way to grow enough.One thing we have done is buying more canned veggies vs fresh. At least we still get them…it’s tough right now.

  12. re: yougurt.. I keep a bag of frozen fruit and toss it in when the kids like it frozen but probably a good idea to let it defrost first! or i mix in strawberry jam for a quick togo flavor!

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