Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reason #6

Whenever you decide to do something that is not status quo, you get a lot of unwanted critics and sometimes downright mean critics! Sadly, some of ours have been close "friends". There are a lot of reasons we have chosen to live our off-grid lifestyle at the moment and this decision was in no way made lightly or without much prayer and guidance from our Lord. Living "off-grid" is kind of like having a home birth, more than 3 children or homeschooling… It gets out of the status quo category so people are curious but they can also become vicious about it. It is ok if you don't understand why… Quite frankly the "why" is real personal, between us and the Lord. Assumptions are just that, your opinions… But you should know we are here for a specific reason, whether you understand or not is beside the point.

The Gentle Giant and I were discussing today again why we have done this but more importantly why we moved about 50 miles away from our friends and family to live off-grid, when we could have done this in our other home. I have touched lightly on this blog on the "whys" and here is another reason…

We are on a permanent fast from man's systems for a time. It is amazing when you take everything away how much you hear from the Lord when you become simpler. By this, I in no way mean, we hear more from Him than someone else, but in our circumstances, we are hearing directly from Him as a result of getting away from the world's systems of modern conveniences. We are on a fast from stuff right now! Stuff can quickly turn to junk when you get a lot of it and it muddles your way of life and in our case, our thinking.

We needed this as a family. We were slowly (but increasingly) getting wrapped up in the status quo of easy Christianity… We were not reaching out to others but comfortable in our life with all our safe christian friends and christian experiences… We needed to be broken before the Lord to see this so we could reach out to others. Could we have lived off grid at our other place? Yes. Could we have fulfilled our calling from God by living off-grid at our other home? NO!

We are finding out as much as it has been a rich and rewarding change to live off grid, that God really wanted to bring us to this new area, new county, new church to be used by Him for a specific purpose designed by Him just for us… We are rapidly finding out that living off-grid was a way to get us "here" but really not why we are "here". Nope, not a bit!

We are setting a lot of things down so God can use us. We are asking Him now to equip us so we can go about this specific mission He has for us. We would not want to just exist where we are, but LIVE where we are with the specific purpose God has for us. We actually do not know the specific purpose just yet but it is quickly being narrowed down as we hear from Him daily. As a family we are asking God, "Why are we here"? We want His 100% direction and for Him to equip us to do his work. We know He will come through for us on these things! We are living here, in a new area, on PURPOSE, on HIS purpose…


Misti Aldrich said...


I just wanted to send you a quick comment that I appreciate your blogs and chosen way of life so very much. My husband and I (we also have a 4 yr. old daughter) are trying to get where you are and I understand your desires and methods of downsizing. I commend you for standing up and making a decision that although difficult, you felt best for your family. In our society (sadly enough, Christians or not) people have been brainwashed into thinking there is only one "normal" and if you aren't doing what society says is normal than you are in the wrong. We also live in such a selfish society that most people can not fathom why someone would do something the "hard way" if there's an alternative. However, that is just a misdirected view taught to us. Most people do not understand the joys of hard work, the bonds you can make with your family when distractions are void, the satisfaction in teaching your child your values and not giving up your rights as a parent. Our society has been an enemy to this way of thinking and it takes fortitude and courage to work against that.

Good luck, and God Bless you and your family in this new year.


Farmgirl Cyn said...

Ang...Give me some names...come on...just a couple...I'll give them a good talkin' to. I KNOW you, I KNOW your heart here. These so called "friends" are really just acquaintances....KNOW WHAT I MEAN???
I have a few of these kinds of "friends" myself.
I love ya,

cityfarmer said...

Happy New Year.
May God richly bless the unity between the gentle giant and you.
I may not understand, but I chose to respect.
I truly do not know if I could do what you've chosed to do.

"....whatever you put your hand to...."

I know your heart and I am sure you are finding the strenghth to do what is put before you.

Jubilee on Earth said...

Hi, there... I've been lurking for a while, but felt that I had to comment. I know exactly what you're going through. I had friends react the same way to me when I went from being a fun-loving, shopping, partying atheist to a quiet, humble, church-going Christian. I love my new faith, and am very blessed to be at this point in my life. It's not always easy to remember that the whole thing is much bigger than what people do/say/think about how you lead your life. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't sting a little. I very rarely "envy" anymore, but as one who lives in a tiny condo in a big metropolitan area, I admire your gumption and know exactly why you did it. Know that I have a deep respect for you and your family, and love reading your blog. I have enjoyed living vicariously through your words, and look forward to many more.

Hugs and blessings,
~Maria from "Jubilee on Earth"

Sherry in MI said...

I think Cindy is right ~ some that you thought were friends were simply (and sadly) acquaintances instead.

Another thing that often happens in these situations is that others see what someone else is doing and it challenges them to evaluate their OWN choices in life. Not that their own choices are right or wrong, but when one starts questioning their own choices (translation - when the Holy Spirit starts to work on them), it's easier to point out the negative of someone else's life than work on their own.

You're doing great at listening, discerning and heeding God's call for you right now. He's the only person you need to impress! *Grin*


Amy said...

Pay no mind to the naysayers ang. You're walking down your own path. I could not do what you are doing, my heart is living life just the way I'm doing it, but I respect the fact that you are following your heart and giving living off grid a go. I look forward to your new posts and lurk often. I do Not always have time to post a comment, but know that I am friend not foe:) xo

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Ang, Miss you. I fell off the blogging planet for awhile but will have pics of the princess up this afternoon (she is one now!!!)
I think your first commenter really touched on something - the something that makes me feel like an oddity sometimes (but A feeling that I have grown to love!)

"We also live in such a selfish society that most people can not fathom why someone would do something the "hard way" if there's an alternative."

From making my own pasta sauce to having my babies in my bathroom, the desire to homeschool my kids to my shear excitement over going out back and cutting my own lettuce for my salads. I really think people can not understand why someone would want to do something the "hard' way. And I have decided, ya know what? That is just the kind of person I want to be! I WANT to know how to sew, improve my breadmaking...I want to live without cable. While some see these decisions as making life more difficult however there is a beautiful simplicity involved. Life for me has become much more simple with less trips to the grocery store, less overwhelming options during pregnancy and labor and I look forward to enjoying the last few moments of summer with my kids while so many others are frantically back to school shopping...
It is not my intention to sound (read) haughty but I do think the bottom line is people get so threatened. They KNOW they could not make the decisions that you have made and so they choose to feel judged by you. As if you think everyone should go off grid as if I think everyone should grow their own dang lettuce.
And while it was the OPPOSITE of living of grid when I spent my time in Paris ALL ALONE I heard and spoke with God in a way I never had before and dare I say have not since. Sometimes we HAVE to unplug to grow with God. You know Joel I commend you and Matt for providing that environment for your marriage and for your kids.

I'm with Cindy - send 'em my way, I'll have a few choice words for them! (Spoken in love of course...HA!)

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

Such a beautiful and powerful post. I admire so much your courage and commitment to the path the Lord has led your family on. It is inspiring and a blessing!


Tracie said...

I have been a lurker for awhile. I could never live the way you do. But I also would never condemn you for making the choice you did. We all make choices in life that we consider best for ourselves and our families.
I really enjoy reading about a life that is so different from mine.
I wish you and your family all the best in the coming new year!

Mommaroo2 said...

I really admire what you are doing. It's something my husband and I have talked about doing since before we got married. We both lived for a while (before we knew each other)off-grid, and enjoyed it. We did it for a short time, due to necessity, with two kids. We have our sixth child on the way, and still want to do it, but haven't felt like we were at a place in our lives to take on all the extra work and burdens that off-grid living brings. But I think we're getting close. We have really simplified our lives recently, and look forward to the time when we can do what you're doing. I know the rewards are so very worth it. Living an "electric" life comes with so many temptations and distractions. TV, laziness, etc. I know I was happier when I lived off-grid. Life was peaceful and satisfying. No one can understand that unless they've tried it. And by the way, the people who say nasty things are just judgemental, and resent you because deep down they know that they are not strong enough or hard working enough to make it doing that. Basically, the same reason that people are so negative towards people like us who have "too many" children...they don't value children, and aren't willing to make the sacrifices to have that many. But instead of being honest about that with themselves, they become spiteful and mean, for no reason at all. If they were honest, they'd be more like the people who say "wow, that's amazing...but better you than me!" I'm not condemning anyone who chooses not to live off grid (obviously, since I'm not, right now), but rather their attitude, and their belief that they have the right to tear down other people who choose different lifestyles. (And these are often the same people who accuse US of this, because we disagree with liberal "lifestyle choices"...even though we aren't mean and wretched towards others with those lifestyles.) Of course, these same people wouldn't bat an eye at the Amish living off grid. They may see them as weird, but it's "okay" for the Amish...where as anyone else who tries to live this way is a "nutcase" or "abusive" towards their children. Sheesh! I'm so glad to find a blog like yours. Probably aren't too many out there, since blogging itself while off grid is a challenge...I'd like to hear more about your internet set up!

slaterlife said...

I understand what you are saying and going through. When I chose to homeschool my daughter and when we decided to go against the grain and live a different type of life, some family and friends got nasty. They are scared of what is different and of what they don't know.

Kristen said...

Wow! I love what you are doing. Hubby and I are in search of our 40 acres and simpler life. We are not off-grid, but we are unplugged from our People Magazine society. We homeschool our 5 (so far) kiddos and are constantly open to questioning, ridicule and sideways glances. I think it's amazing that you are doing what He has called you to do. I am happy to have found your site. Can you say which state you are in? I don't think I have found that yet. We have looked in Amish country as well...

Ben said...

Interesting post. I can whole heartedly say, "AMEN!" Our souls are, too, longing for something different. Perhaps living off grid is a step towards something greater. Perhaps when that call comes to go to--say, Albania for instance, there will not be a sacrifice, but a GREAT JOYFUL DESIRE to follow that calling! We all have different ways that we live, but the heart must always be desiring to glorify God. For some the result looks different then others. I can feel the heartbeat of this post though and I'm right there!

P.S. this isn't from Ben, but our google account is attached to a different account we have! This is Ben's mom! :)

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