For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
As many of you know, we had a fire in April that destroyed our barn and garage. We lost all our animals. Chickens, rabbits, goats and sheep. It was devastating. We lost our tractor and all our implements. A lifetime of tools. My small welding shop. All gone in a couple hours.
It was a tough year to say the least. But God has restored. We have rebuilt the barn and garage. We have replaced the tractor (see video below). We have replaced a ton of tools. God has been good to us.
We are still waiting on putting concrete in the barn. That will happen in the spring. We had to move a bunch of dirt in to build the new barn and the builders recommended we wait until spring to complete the floor. Once that is done, we can build new stalls and finally start raising animals and livestock again! We can't wait.
The day we bring our first animals into the new barn will be quite emotional. It will be incredible. We plan on having some friends and family over to celebrate with us. There will be lots of tears of joy.
2023 also gave me a new outlook on life. Janel and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary. (see pic from our getaway). I started a new job this year. We grew our garden and had an incredible harvest this year. God brought so many wonderful people into our lives. We grew closer to our neighbors. I praise God for some of these changes that needed to happen.
I must confess that before the fire, I had become quite pessimistic towards people and society in general. I thought the worst of everyone and everything. I wasn't depressed or anything, but I was pretty much convinced that most people were evil, so let's just live in our little bubble and let a few people in and that's good enough.
Tragedy really forces you to get out of your comfort zone. When you lose control, there is an internal panic that makes you realize that you can't do it alone. That is tough for a man. Especially a prepper/modern homesteader like me. I'm used to solving the problems and making them right. I'm the one that gets stuff done. If there is an issue, I fix it. That's how it's always been.
Not this time.
I am thankful for the Lord stretching me out of my comfort zone. I've learned to trust and lean on others more. I'm not even close to where I should be, but closer than where I was. It's a good start.
So now we are getting ready to enter 2024. Wow did this year go fast. So now what? What are our plans?
We do have a bunch of goals and plans for the Homestead. Finishing the barn, new animals/livestock, new greenhouse, new pastures....but we are giving these all to God. It is in His hands and we are good with that!
But there is one VERY BIG thing happening.
We would ask you all to pray for us over the next month or so. We are taking a HUGE step out of our comfort zone. It is very exciting and we can't wait to share it with you. God has provided us with a very big opportunity and we are thankful. Your prayers would be an incredible blessing to us! Stay tuned....
So with that it's almost time to put a wrap on 2023. It was definitely a year of growth for me. It also gave me more of a positive outlook on the future. I'm looking forward to 2024. And I praise God for another year on the Homestead that He blessed me with.
Have a Happy New Year everyone! God bless! -Steve