As with all new changes and challenges, adjusting doesn't come easy. However, God's got this.
We are constantly reminded how this journey we are on never follows the plan we have in mind, but that this is God's journey for us. COVID19 affected our family more than we anticipated, however, it wasn't entirely unexpected. At the beginning of the year, God laid it in our hearts for me to leave the same company Josh worked for. It had become a toxic environment not only for me, but for our marriage. We always talked about work whether we were at work or not. Leaving was such a weight lifted, especially a release from the anxiety I had gained.
Since my departure, Josh noticed work had changed. Being a small business, there were no real regulations on how to navigate closing for the global pandemic. Of course Josh and I have our own views and beliefs on the pandemic but that is beside the point and the companies we worked for made decisions out of our control. We prayed that God would provide.
We took this opportunity to grow our homestead and we cannot take the credit alone. God heard us and didn't let us fall behind financially. Funny enough, we had purchased 1/8th of a cow in February and when the pandemic hit, our freezer was fully stocked and our garden was already in full swing. During the stay-home order, we added rabbits along with another 2,500 square feet of garden space for more produce. We added 5 turkeys, 32 more egg-layer chicks, hatched out 10 of our own eggs, and welcomed the birth of 12 rabbit kits. While we grew, God allowed us the taste of freedom that homesteading full-time could offer.
We delivered 4 puppies to their new families in Kansas, Missouri and Michigan; we were delighted to have the other four families pick their puppies up from our home the last weekend of April. This allowed us to completely pay off Josh's federal student loan, one of our big focuses of being free financially. We made the decision to add another female to our program later this year as we are proud to announce we have not only a full waiting list for our planned Fall 2020 litter but our 2021 litter as well.
As businesses began opening back up, I went back to work while Josh still waited to hear any word. In the meantime, our farmers market opened up and we began taking some of our excess produce, starting with kale, swiss chard, and red romaine lettuce. Josh started diving deep into finding varieties not known to many people in our area to really set us apart at the market. Yesterday, Josh sent me a message while I was at work and my heart broke for him. Rather than speak my mind, I spoke my heart and encouraged Josh to pray and ask for God's will. We prayed that God put Josh where He can use him. One thing God spoke to him was that his place is no longer in the automotive restoration industry and really set his heart on fire for homesteading and farming.
What's something in your life that you keep yourself from trying simply because you are afraid of the risk? We are constantly in a world that make us afraid just by not listening to ourselves but by listening to others. We could live in fear, or we can trust and say God's got this because I sure don't. A podcast we started listening to this week is called Behind the Scenes by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff, and if you don't know who they are, we HIGHLY recommend checking them out! One of the biggest take aways from listening to their podcasts the past few days is the reminder to always have faith and give it to God instead of giving up. God has a plan for YOU, are you living it?