"Pickin' on the Prairie" is a successful antique show held on our property every August. Click here for more information: "Pickin' on the Prairie" Antique Show & Artisan Market
It's almost here . . . only 12 days until "Pickin' on the Prairie!" We are so excited . . . we have the most amazing vendors and we just can't wait to show them off to you. Make sure you keep your calendar clear and come on over for a visit here at Past Blessings Farm!
But speaking of clear calendars, I have been doing a lot of thinking this last year or so about life. Not just life in general, but the life my husband and our family has. And I've come to a very profound realization (drum roll please . . .) "Our life is too big!!" Not that it isn't wonderful in so many ways. We have this amazing 10 acres with the most beautiful views. I never get tired of the beauty of where we live. I have an fabulous husband and three great kids, that are really young men now. We have dogs, and barn cats and chickens. A garden growing in the most adorable raised beds we made from old . . . well . . . beds! My husband has a well paying job. We have lots of family living nearby. We have some great friends. We are involved in church and have our fingers in several other worthwhile things within the community. Our business "Past Blessings Farm" is growing and flourishing. We are in the midst of getting our online business up and running and are excited about what the future may hold for that. I am a vendor in the most amazing shop, "The Reardan Plowboy" in a sweet little farm town just outside of Spokane. I am a vendor in The Farm Chicks each year, which is one of the most loved and attended shows in the country. Yes, there are so many wonderful things about our life.
But here' the thing . . . it's too big . . . it just doesn't fit well. I am like the little girl playing dress up in her daddy's overalls . . . I just don't have the ability to fill it up and still keep my peace and sanity. I am too small and my life is too big. So what is the answer when life outgrows you? When there are more things on your plate then the plate will hold and less time on the clock than the day needs. It means something has to go.
As I have blogged about over the course of the last year, I have been in search of simplicity. But primarily that has entailed getting rid of stuff. This has been and continues to be a great first step. Our house and shop have went on a major diet. We have been to the dump, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity so many times, as we offload more and more stuff, that I am thinking I may need to start going incognito . . . but I may have given away all our costumes!
I used to wonder what could possibly drive someone to a minimalist life. I have always loved being surrounded by my collections and my stuff. I like my "pretties" and the originality it gives my home. But I am starting to understand the draw . . . making sense of the oft heard phrase, "Less is More." As my junk drawers becomes a singular junk drawer and my closet has only clothes I actually like to wear, there is a certain peace that comes in having less.
But what about the non-material things. The busyness. And especially if that busyness is for good things? How do you minimize that. What do you prioritize as "must keeps" verses things you let go of. If you came to this blog thinking I was going to give you some great insightful answer, I am sorry, you've come to the wrong place. I am still in the pondering and contemplating stage. But that's okay . . . I do not want to hastily shut a door until I know the door is meant to be shut. I don't want to say no to what should be a yes. But I know there needs to be a few more "No's" and some boundaries drawn.
I am evaluating what deserves to be a keeper and what can be let go of. Of course my husband and children are keepers . . . even on the days they may push my buttons and make me think of what my life may have been had a become a nun!
My husband's job has been averaging 70 or more hours a week lately and I work at my business well more than full time hours as I do my show and monthly sales, refinish furniture, make signs, and hunt and gather treasures. While I know adding online sales is "one more thing", we also believe it may be an integral part of the changes we need to make.
We have aging parents that are now requiring more time and help. While our kids are pretty independent these days, there is still meals to be made, laundry to be done and a house to be cleaned. And, yes, the saying "this house isn't gonna clean itself" is true. Trust me . . . I've waited to see . . . and it didn't happen. Still waiting to see if the weeds will weed themselves . . . I'll get back to you on that one!
My husband is on the board at our church and plays the drums for the worship services. He teaches Wednesday night classes often and substitutes for Sunday School frequently. I volunteer in our church's coffee shop. And then there is our property . . . our beautiful peace of paradise. Paradise, we have discovered, comes at a great price. When we bought this 1898 farmstead, we knew it was a "fixer upper" . . . but somehow when you are in the midst of buying it, you envision yourself with a bandanna in your hair and a hammer in your hand, conquering all the creative endeavors your little heart can dream up. You don't think about disasters happening and the mundane breaking down. The visions of putting in beautiful moldings get waylaid by repairing plumbing and nailing on roofing as it blows off whenever we have a windstorm. The creative side of the term "fixer upper" has been replaced by the mundane side that rears it's ugly head and forces it's needs to the forefront.
And then there is this other word. A word I don't like to use very much, because it goes hand in hand with a word I really disdain. The word is tired . . . and yes, you guessed it. The despised word that skips merrily along side of "Tired"? . . . "Old." I hate to even say it.
So what do we change. So many things we love . . . so many people we love . . . our beautiful location we love . . . my dream job that allows me to be creative everyday . . . where is the wiggle room? What can we eliminate so that our life fits just a little better. We need to go on a diet here . . . a "our life is too big" diet . . . all the signs are clear . . . but now it is just figuring out what diet plan works for us.
As I write these ramblings, I really have no idea what changes the next year or two will bring. We just know change is needed. We are leaving on a much needed vacation to Nashville two days after our show ends. I am praying that during that away time we will not only get the rest we both seek, but that God will give us some clarity on the changes we need to make.
I am not down in the dumps of depression or fearful for the future . . . in fact I am excited about the possibilities that are out there. So for now, I need to just keep plugging away . . . I need to get our farm "company ready" for "Pickin' on the Prairie" and have a lot of projects to get done. My hand is on the plow and I am only looking forward. But change is coming . . . and I have no idea what that will look like!
How about you? Is your life too big? If so, maybe you too can join us on this life diet. But one thing I know . . . no matter how big our life seems right now, or how overwhelming life can be, God is bigger still. We serve a big God and He wants us to live lives of peace and calm. Lives that have plenty of room for time with Him, for time with who and what matters, and time for rest. Can't wait for Him to show us what this diet plan looks like!