Life is all about re-adjusting to find your tribe. The necessity of connection with your village of humans, is as uplifting as it is deeply strengthening on a foundational level. Indeed, discovering that can carry you through the darkest moments of life, and shine the light brighter in the highs.
Carving it Out
I received a message recently. It was enlightening and drove home something I have been thinking about. While the message itself was not one of hate in the least, rather it was written in love, it was still a message of “critique”. And no one appreciates a loving “critique” more than this girl…it’s HOW we grow as human beings.
The beauty of being critiqued makes us reflect upon what is priority to us. If there is one thing I have lived, it is a slew of constructive criticisms from others. Sometimes in love to help me grow, other times in mean judging, (haven’t we all?). But that, my friends, is always a gift to us. It helps us reflect on what matters most to us, what we embrace at our deepest level, and what we live for.
In this case, it brought far more reflection on what I want to ‘define’ as our tribe here at Hope Valley. Not because all people are not welcome…EVERY person is welcome here at our homestead!
But a ‘tribe’ in this sense, are the people who will ‘get you’. It is the ones who chase the same dreams, hack away at the same goals through toil and grave effort and who celebrate alongside your victories. It’s what gives us a sense of ‘connectedness’.
There is NOTHING wrong with NOT sharing the same vision with everyone. What a boring world that would be if we did. Being different helps us sharpen one another.
But to carve out and find your tribe takes effort. And it is something we are still working on, and ‘failing forward in’ as you can see.
So allow me to clearly draw a line in the sand, so you know what to expect here from our homestead in the future. That way you will not be disappointed if something pops up in your newsfeed that does not reflect your life goals.
3 Things Hope Valley Is
#1. This is a reflection of the real “Us”
This blog represents our family. It is a passionate display of our heart, our soul, and what ‘makes us tick’. I have no intention of defining our niche so specifically as to eliminate some of the most important values we live out daily. It is our joy to share them, and they range from logging (my husband’s niche) to rabbits nesting (coming soon!), our Faith, and my own health journey.
I can totally understand how any one of those items will be offensive to someone. An Atheist may or may not be offended by my Faith in Christ. I am surely offending some vegans (especially since I used to be one!) with the fact that we will be slaughtering our own animals to eat. And for sure, some will have a bad taste in their mouth for a larger corporation like Beach Body, even though they have “changed my life” in the tackiest and best sense of that phrase.
Some will be offended by the tightness of my clothing, even though I wear my “tight” pants for compression to help me not pass out during workouts. I understand and DEEPLY respect all of those concerns. This is not the blog of a wholesome woman who wears long skirts. I have the deepest respect for those women and follow some of their stories. But that isn’t me.
I am a hippie Jesus loving homeschool Mama, who used to eat a box of cookies in one shot and run ten miles for fun. My southern self will be wearing shorts, t-shirts, muddy boots, bare feet and compression yoga pants. Just so everyone understands that.
My clothing also does not define my sincere love for Christ or my neighbour, any more than the ‘wholesome woman with long skirts”. I have known both since childhood and witnessed the same humanness coming from each.
For this reason, and I cannot emphasize this enough, you HAVE to find your tribe. I am not offended at all…if for you…that is not me.
#2. We are ‘kind of’ Chaotic
You will not find a perfectly organized life here. And even though I admire those who have a dozen children and are the next Martha Stuart, that is not my tribe.
I am a ‘get my hands dirty’ very GIRLY Tomboy. I love the smell of a barn and a good book to read. Those two factors alone determine that I will spend less time organizing my life to perfection.
For example, one day, my niece climbed in our van and left with a peanut butter sandwich attached to her foot. We let our kids eat in the car and we clean it out every few days. I literally wash my floors dozens of times a month. But a breath mint lasts longer than the organization and cleanliness here. And I’m fine with being ‘a work in progress’.
We ALL pitch in, but we are a LOT of people.
We KNOW what we are prioritizing and that usually looks like more family time and fun food fights.
It that’s you, welcome aboard. If not, feel free to sit by and cringe or find a new tribe. But know that we welcome everyone to the circus.
#3. There are like…a lot of themes going on here.
I get it. I really do. What in the world does
Beach Body have to do with homesteading?!
Well, nothing to a LOT of people. And that’s ok.
But for those who battle chronic pain or an illness that debilitates them, they will GET how losing mobility can hamper your dreams.
They will also be chasing “avoiding a wheelchair” like I am every single day. They will understand why if I want to physically homestead with my family, and not watch it from my living room window, I have to exercise EVERY DAY.
So I am sorry, (and there is ZERO ‘snarkiness’ in that statement), if the “exercise” does not fit with your your jam…there are TONS of women writing far better blogs than me on more narrowed topics. And if you message me, I’ll even recommend them to you (I know some GOOD ones!).
Is Hope Valley Homestead going to remain an odd compilation of niches sort of blended? I am not sure. It is too young to tell (a couple months really). But for now it will be what we are. We are “A Bohemian large family living on homegrown happiness” and that means many things to us.
3 Things Hope Valley Homestead is NOT.
#1. We’re not ‘People Pleasers”
I like to believe I am pretty real with people about who I am as a human. I hope so anyways because it is something I’ve worked on profusely in my life.
Honesty is an essential worker in humanity. There is no mistaking I am imperfect. But I also am very comfortable in my skin that way. For one of my dearest verse remains a comfort of Grace, “for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10).
I have had people offended from my clothing to my smile and the fact that I say “thank you” too much. Really.
Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are ‘in the field.’ But what spoke to me deeply is that they are just looking for the ones they connect with best in this beautiful sea of souls. They want to find their tribe too.
And we will be so happy to welcome anyone from all walks of life, but know that we could not possibly shape our lives to accommodate everyone’s convictions…nor would we want to. We live fixated on the Joy of living for Christ and serving others.
Loving Others Through Finding Your Tribe
We all define “loving others’ differently. Sometimes it is trying to correct someone in how we think they should change for the better (in our eyes). Sometimes it is remaining silent instead of picking a fight or being kind when we could choose not to be.
Perhaps love looks like seeing someone “unseen” for the first time. That is loving someone.
I will never be offended if you silence my posts. But there are people who have already reached out to me desperately for hope…and I know that it is worth my time and love….as well as a corner of our blog. I am thankful they took the steps to fight for their health too and I am thrilled to be a part of their journey as I continue on mine.
On that note though…
Allow me to add, that there is a grave difference between being a ‘people pleaser’ and lacking love in your relationships. If someone genuinely confronts you with an offence, consider them.
If we really love as we say we do, we must be willing to set aside our ego for a moment and listen to someone’s heart. For only in kindness and careful reflection can we grow at the soul’s level.
But if my posts are uninteresting or my compression pants that I wear for my health to not pass out are offensive, it’s ok if you feel like you cannot relate. We love you from whatever place you are standing and we respect you. But find the tribe that you are as passionate about as I am for mine.
My tribe are the underdogs who are needing encouragement. The ones who fail sometimes. They have the bright hearts and the strong hopes that the world tried to crush but couldn’t. I am fighting for them. Because I am one of them.
#2 We are NOT professional Homesteaders…(or perfectionists).
I feel like I have said this before, but I realize with our web name, we might confuse people. I don’t want to do that. Let me clarify.
This is not the blog that you will find exclusive pictures of duckies bathing. As of yet, we have not discovered the perfect way to do any of this micro-farming business. But we will try everything we can and you can enjoy that process!
Hope Valley Homestead is a representation of the valley we actually live in, along with a deep hope we harbour to press forward despite our many attempts. You will find here, hope scraped from residual failures, where we are fighting to build a more sustainable life as a large family, stemmed from a childhood dream. A lot of that will include my health journey because it directly affects the very hope I hold for our whole life. Me showing up to fight for being the best me I can give my family, is a major part of why I am even sharing our story today.
Here are a few posts you will discover here, now, and in the future:
- Our Faith
- Bits and pieces of our large family life
- Our clumsy attempts at homesteading and building a more sustainable life through our hard earned lessons.
- Healthy Recipes we LOVE (healthier now than ever and coming soon!)
- My Coaching journey with Beach Body and how this company has saved my health and continues to strengthen me for being a wife and mother to SEVEN beautiful kids. As well… how YOU CAN JOIN ME if that inspires you.
- A mishmash of encouragements and advice I have learned from my marriage and motherhood
- Plant LOVE
If these topics above do not interest you in the least, my friends, you may have stumbled upon the wrong website. But don’t worry, you are welcome to linger and pretend we are having coffee together like old friends. If you want to come back we’d love to have you…if our paths crossing ends here, we wish you all the Joy we could hope for someone.
#3. We are not better than anyone else.
If you want to do ANY of what we are doing… It is obviously not difficult.
Anyone can do it.
You want to homeschool? Do it.
Gardening? Most of my tomatoes plants will likely die. You can do better than me.
Continuing on in the face of failure?
Yes you can.
It takes showing up.
It takes a willingness to fail A LOT.
And perseverance which is usually gleaned through a lot of failing.
If you want to Sign up to Change your Healthy habit destiny FOR GOOD…I would love to help you!
Email me, or visit our homestead Facebook page HERE to send a message.
Check out why my health is something I am fighting for HERE.
Subscribe to Stay Updated ON all Our Latest Posts!