I know of some homesteaders, I mean real homesteaders, who live a life completely off-grid and utterly detached from industrialized society.
They live a simple, Christian existence surrounded by like-minded people and are dependent on no one except the Lord.
Before you start frothing at the mouth, you need to know they have given up many creature comforts that most of us wannabes would never dream of going without.
And honestly, I’m a little envious.
I remember reading that they were helping their neighbors thresh their own wheat field.
Can you imagine threshing your own wheat field? The only other time I’ve heard of threshing wheat was in the Bible.
Then again this is coming from someone who became confused when she saw little white flowers on her first tomato plant instead of tomatoes- she had no idea that the vegetable grew out of the flower!
I often wonder, “gosh, will I ever be so self-reliant that I’ll thresh my own wheat?”
And the answer is no, I don’t think I will. Even if I wanted to, I don’t how I could ever come to owning my own wheat field or even knowing anyone that does.
And that question begets other questions:
If I don’t live completely off-grid then does that mean I’m not really self-sufficient?
How much can a person straddle the fence of modern life and true self-sufficiency?
Are the two diametrically opposed?
Is it a waste of time if I don’t go “all the way?”
What is True Self-Sufficiency?
While my ultimate goal is to be self-sufficient for all the important things (food, energy, shelter) I cannot afford to be paralyzed by the possible combination of answers to those questions.
I do NOT believe the world is going to end on December 21, 2012 but I know things are changing. Time is of the essence and those who are prepared will be better off.
But what does “better off” look like?
I’ve realized that everyone has different ideas of what self-sufficiency is.
Some think it means detaching oneself from the debt-based financial system we live in, while others think it means having a working homestead regardless of the mortgage. And then there are those who think threshing wheat by hand is the ultimate sign preparedness maturity.
Is there only one accurate description of true self-sufficiency?
I don’t know.
I’m a wannabe, remember?
But here’s what I do know- you are here because you possibly have an interest in becoming more self-sufficient. Maybe you know how fragile our industrial, consumeristic system really is and you dream of greater personal independence.
Whatever your vision of self-sufficiency is, you need to follow that dream. As you progress, you’ll discover where you’re lacking and make the changes as your ready to.
Don’t Get Discouraged
But if you fantasize about bee-keeping and root cellars but keep finding yourself in the Wal-Mart produce aisle, don’t give up.
It’s easy to look at established homesteaders and assume you’ll never get there.
As Simple Mom says, “don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter 20.”
She’s talking about blogging but I think this statement can apply to all kinds of situations, including the journey to self-sufficiency.
Like anything actually worth it, the self-sufficient, homesteading lifestyle takes a lot of work and depending on your current lifestyle, a lot of patience and sacrifice.
To achieve a greater level of independence, you’re gonna have to do more. Prepare yourself to work for the things you may currently take for granted: running water; electric heat; food.
It’s a physical and mental journey. Let yourself take it.
Drown out the background chatter and naysayers. Focus.
It may sound simplistic but write down your homesteading and preparedness goals. Seriously. There is something powerful about writing your aspirations on paper.
You may not have all the answers right away but that’s okay. Remember, “problems are opportunities in disguise.”
Find like-minded people who have the same goals as you. Work together and encourage each other.
And above all,
Commit to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. -Proverbs 16:3