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Rethinking Things: How We Got Here

Welcome to the story of how we went from suburbia family to farm family in only 16 short years :-).  We hope you enjoy this story of “The Beginning”.

When we met and married in 1996, we also bought our first home in the suburb where my husband had spent his entire life.  5 years later, we bought our “forever house”, a big, beautiful newer house just a quarter mile from where my husband grew up.  Life was good.  We brought our 1 year old to her new home, and added 3 more kids in the space of 3 years.  With the cool playset in the back yard, a big beautiful house that was perfect for entertaining, we thought we were set.  Life was good!

During the last 3 years or so, our family had dreamed (as in, a pipe dream) of owning a hobby farm.  The hobby farm was to be our “vacation home” (this is hilarious, and you’ll see why later).  So we talked and dreamt about someday living on land with horses and chickens, and wearing overalls, boots and hats.

It wasn’t that we didn’t like our house in the suburbs.  It was, in fact, gorgeous.  3600 square feet, jacuzzi tub in the master bath, giant toyroom, etc.  It’s just that we felt drawn to a simpler life.  We figured “We need a vacation home, someplace to get away.”

You see, in the suburb where we lived, there were, well, expectations.  Expectations about the things you own, the things you drive, the things you wear, and the way you lived.  And we felt that we needed a place to go to get away from those expectations sometimes.

But as those 3 years rolled on, we realized that we didn’t just need an occasional break from life in the suburbs.  The fact was that we just didn’t fit into those expectations.  We felt, well, out of place.  For some reason, hanging out with horses and having poo on your boots sounded like a whole lot more fun.

But given our debt situation at the time, a vacation farm was simply a dream.  We had LOTS of debt.

But one morning, after I’d finished with prayer, Bible reading, etc., the Lord led me to read some more of a new blog I’d found called New Life on a Homestead.

As I read more of her blog, I realized that blogowner Kendra and I had quite a bit in common.  We both have 4 kids, homeschool, love the Lord and our families, and lean toward simple living.

Except that Kendra’s simple living concepts were, at the time, a bit more simple than ours were.  Ok, a lot more simple.

I’d always felt that, despite living in what many would call an affluent suburb, we’d done a good job of not falling into the trap of keeping up with the Joneses.

Then I read things like Kendra’s blog and heard about books like Jen Hatmaker’s 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and I realized we weren’t even close to living the simple life.

SO, one day, in March of 2012, I was fellowshiping with the Lord  when I heard His still, small voice:  It’s time to start rethinking the way you live.

The Lord, however, was making it clear that He had a different life for us than our life in the suburbs.  He wanted us to begin researching  homesteading.

Yikes! I’m all for planting a garden and dumping the suburbia lifestyle, but making reusable toilet paper squares and living without electricity?  Whoa, Nellie!

Ok, I wasn’t sure where this new info would take our family, but one thing I do know, though, is that every time God has directed me to change course, I’m always glad I listened.  So in October of this year, 2012, we said “goodbye” to our large, spacious newer home and “hello” to a 117-year old Victorian house on a little under 8 acres.  We’re starting a new journey, one which includes figuring out how to say “goodbye” to the boatload of debt we still have.

We hope you’ll come along with us as we see what God has in store.  He may give you a word or two as well!



  1. Pauline says:

    That is a great story, I was drawn to a simpler life ever since I graduated college and started traveling. Realized so many people are much happier with less stuff, waking up with the sun and working on their land. Now I have found a small home and started a garden and raising some hens, one step at a time. Looking forward to your adventures!

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks! You know, Pauline, we continue to be amazed at how wonderful and peaceful this life is. And you’re right about the people and how they’re happier with less stuff too. Less stuff, less involvement in the rat race or something, I’m not sure. Congrats on your hens and your own home – we’ll be joining you in the hen ownership soon enough. That should make for some fun stories too! 🙂

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