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2019: The Year of the Puzzle

2019 is a culmination of all of the things we have been working towards over all of the years of our marriage, particularly the past few years since moving here. 2018 was about trying to find order amidst the chaos. We found a whole lot of order, but we still have a little ways to go. 2019 is like the year of the puzzle. I don’t know about you, but I put puzzles together methodically. I start by finding all of the edge pieces to create the boundary. Then I make sure all pieces are right-side up, and I begin sorting through the pieces. Eventually, I work on putting the whole thing together. That’s what life has been like for us these last few years.

Over the years, we’ve worked on different aspects of our lives… our finances, organizing our home, teaching our kids how to be responsible for particular duties, homeschooling our kids, running a homestead, learning new skills to get us further on our journey, changing our eating habits, changing the habits of our faith life. The list goes on, but I think you get the point. We’ve worked on everything the past few years.

But just because we worked on something doesn’t mean that it stuck. We’d work on improving our finances, only to have stress and illness or disaster overturn things. In some ways, we’d give up on it. We worked in different phases to improve our eating habits. For a time, we cut out most sugar from our diet. I worked hard to changing eating habits and spent a month doing the Whole 30, but ever since E’s hospital stay, it’s mostly gone by the wayside. We set up meal plans and got the kids involved in cooking, but when the fire burned our coop, my knee flared up, and the garden needed to be planted, it all got thrown on the back-burner.

The one thing we’ve steadily pushed forward on is changing our overall home life. We have been gradually teaching the kids new skills so that they can be more self-responsible. The older three are now responsible for doing their own laundry. They’ve all been assigned an animal chore to take care of on a daily basis, and they all have a room in the house besides their bedroom that they are responsible for cleaning. We’ve worked on purging our house of things, little by little, and we’ve worked steadily towards getting all of the rooms of our home organized. If everything has a place, then cleaning is much easier.

We’ve gone through phases of doing many things simultaneously. I baked bread regularly when we had a meal plan. I budgeted and was more frugal with my grocery shopping. And the kids were getting the basics of homeschooling done. We were also doing most of the daily chores. But then we got sick and the chores floundered, which wasn’t a huge deal, but then the weather warmed and there was much that needed to get done outdoors, and the meal planning got forgotten.

This year, we’re finally ready to pull it all together. The chores, the school work, the meal planning, the budgeting, the homestead plans, the homestead responsibilities… We’re ready to make it all happen. We decided years ago to embark on a lifestyle change, but we didn’t think it would take so long to learn how to actually do it all. We were doing a little here and there, but we lacked consistency. Well, baby number 6 is going to be here in just 7 short weeks, and if we don’t have our act together by the time he arrives, if we don’t have a concrete plan for the year, the year of the baby could set us back quite a bit.

And I’ve learned what things we needed to let go of. I’ve learned what wasn’t working for us and how to cut it out of our life. We’ve seen the importance of having a plan and sticking with it. With Scott working a full-time job away from home, we need to have a plan. We need to stick with it. If we want to see our homestead move in a positive direction, we need to learn how to say “no” to things, even when every fiber of our being longs to say “yes.” If we schedule different jobs for the times Scott is available, we need to firmly stick with the plan so that we can continue to bring order to our homestead.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that we’ll face challenges. I know that unexpected things are going to come up. I know that chicken coops can burn down and children end up in the hospital, that illness can slow you down, and that natural disaster can upset all of your best laid plans. I know that we need to allow time for fun and make time for the important people in our lives. But our family contains the people most important to us. And if we aren’t functioning well as a family, then we will end up struggling and stressing.

It wasn’t intentionally done this way, but the beginning of 2019 is a turning point for our family. The last time I felt this way was the year before we moved. Our life at that time had really come together, like the pieces of a puzzle. I had tried to keep that feeling with me after we moved, but our life had sort of fallen apart… In a really good, but difficult way. We spent our first few years here working on building the border of our puzzle. Last year, we worked on flipping all of the pieces right-side up and sorted them out to make the picture easier to put together. This year, we’re putting the picture back together. I just hope we have all of the pieces!

What big changes do you have coming in 2019? Do you have and plans, goals, or resolutions for this year? I’d love to hear about it!



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