My mother was a very wise woman. She taught me so much in the short time she was here. One of the wise 'mom' sayings I remember hearing as I grew up was "You always make time for what's important to you." Think on that for a moment. It's very true isn't it? As I have lived life and observed others living it, I see this truth in everyone whether they realize it or not. For me at this stage in my life, balanced priorities are Faith, Family and Food. That makes me sound like a stuffy, perhaps idyllic, bible-thumping housewife....so let me explain.
I have experienced shifts in priorities in different phases, stages and life moments as I navigate this existence I've been blessed with. Right now, how many of our priorities have just seen a sudden and MAJOR shift (coronavirus prevention and toilet paper anyone)? I can hear my mom in my head often (for which I am blessed), "When you look at the way people live their lives, you can tell where they have placed their priorities." This is not meant to be judgmental, just observe people living their lives and you will learn a lot about them. This is the time of year on the farm where things start to buzz (and we haven't even gotten our bees yet)! I just LOVE this time of year. Lots of things are still in the planning stages, but there are adorable baby goats, chicks and seedlings being grown under lights. And lots of dishes are in the sink...and dirt on the floor. If you peer into my life right now, you will see a heavy focus on the farm (and not on housekeeping). It's easy for me to let my life priorities slip out of balance when I get excited for all the Spring activities and chores to be done...I could spend every waking moment with my animals and planning for the next year's growth. But I suppose I still must have clean underwear....so I eventually get the household necessities done.
My first balanced priority is Faith. God is my center and my sustainer. If I do not carve time out of my day for filling my soul and seeking his guidance.... the rest swings WAYYY out of balance (and often this is not immediate...it's a slow fade). I am a very driven individual and it's easy for me to get absorbed in work and not leave enough time or energy for nurturing my relationships. God has gifted us all with so much and we must honor His commandment to be good stewards of it. I must keep my priority of family in balance as they are so important to me. I don't want to look back someday and have regrets of time not well spent because of my to-do list. Another one of mom's sayings rings true..."Have no regrets in the way your life was lived."
Which brings me to the third area of my balanced life.... Food. Is that an odd priority? I began this journey about 10 years ago by starting with one raised bed to grow salad greens in my suburban backyard. Which I failed at initially.... but was still able to grow enough of it to realize the incredible difference home-grown food makes. It TASTES better and my body felt better after eating it (as I later learned it was due to better nutrients in the soil that were transferred to my body when I ate it). Fast forward a few years and I had taken over 90 percent of our suburban backyard (and side-yards) with a chicken coop and tilled the grass under for garden beds. And now I own a 35-acre working farm (BTW, there ARE gateway drugs and they're called chickens).
(Side note...if you've followed me from my suburban days and my previous blog, Fresh From Home, this was my garden pic where you had to find the 3 chickens, garden gnome and the giant bunny :-)
I am PASSIONATE about food grown RIGHT and it is a major priority in my life right now. I am passionate about educating others WHY it's important to eat food that is grown right and how it will impact them and the earth. There's so much to do and share to accomplish the goals I have rattling around in my head for our family, the farm and now our customers. The food we grow and share with others is DIFFERENT and healthier for our bodies and I am proud to be on this journey. Our poultry, eggs and goats are raised on pasture with non-gmo and organic supplements because that's a priority to us. We started our farm business because we were frustrated with the general food supply and wanted better for ourselves, family and friends. So our farm priority is on providing food that makes a difference in our bodies when we eat nutrient-dense, non-gmo and non-medicated food; in our earth as we heal the soil and steward our animals with the highest level of animal welfare in mind. It's all a full circle folks. When you eat food we have grown, you are showing that your priority is on food that has lived a healthy, natural and fulfilled life before it nurtures your body. You are saying that you value farmers that take care of the earth and are passionate about leaving it better than they found it; that you value YOURSELF and your health (and your loved ones) by eating food that will add positive health benefits, instead of food that creates negative ones.
So....Mom was right (of course). Peer into others’ lives for a moment. What do they spend their time doing? That's where their priorities are (at least in that moment in time). Peer into YOUR life? What do you spend your time doing? Is that where you want your priorities to be?
The 26th of March 2020 would have been my mother’s 66th birthday. We lost her 3 years ago to cancer. During her battle, we both dug deep into nutrition to help her body fight back. We ended up shaking our heads and our fists at the modern food supply and how much of it is just not a healthy option for optimal health. She's a part of my continuing journey in so many ways. It's a priority to me to honor her by living a life that is full and well spent. I mess up...CONSTANTLY. I jumble up my priorities OFTEN. Yet I always seem to come back full circle because of those central anchors I hold myself to and that she inspired me to pursue. WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you happy with where your priorities are for your life? If not, you can change them! It's simply choosing change then taking one step at a time.
If you are willing to share, I'm asking you to comment on one of two things (or both...for my fellow overachievers):
In honor of my mom, what is one of your mom's 'famous' sayings that helps you? And if you could change a priority area of your life RIGHT NOW, what would it be (besides getting toilet paper...we are all in that one together)?
For the love of clucks, ducks and bucks (and until next time),