Two years ago I was sitting on my couch, head swirling with ideas of what we could do with our first piece of real estate: a 3 bdrm, older but newly renovated, townhouse in the downtown core of our city.

Little did we know, we were on the cusp of a total family transformation.

We had just bought our first home and it was a true blessing. Josh was content to stay there for a long time. I had more of a 5-year plan (still a twinge of sadness that we couldn’t “afford” a detached home with a big backyard as we had hoped). We scrounged every last dollar we had {Yikes! Not doing that again!} and our mortgage broker fought long and hard for financing. But we made it and June 2016 we were there.

The Townhouse

Our First Home – The Townhouse

Josh had a good job, bills seemed to always get paid. We had good neighbors, besides the vehicle break-ins and the occasional swat team in the night. We were finally comfortable in our home for 4, awaiting the birth of our 3rd child, picking paint colors and building workbenches.

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But then life got real.

The Lord started to convict us on our life of comfort and perceived stability in our Earthly things. He was calling us out of the normal. And then things changed.

The first change happened 6 months pre-townhouse actually, and we really do attribute our new life to it. Joshua and I were baptized in January 2016 and got serious about our walk with the Lord. Or was it the Lord gently drawing us nearer to Him for a purpose? I’d say both. 

That year we bought our first home. I felt called back to my work as a mother in my home and with my children and out of my doula business. By Christmas, we were on a plan to financial freedom.

2016 was definitely big and scary and hard, but 2017 was filled with JOY and transformation!

We started our Dave Ramsey budget January 1st and what a shake-up that was! Never before had we written out our expenses and income in such detail. The reality was nothing short of scary, knowing we need to get wise on the subject fast. 

We then welcomed baby Barrett into our family in February. 

And May 1st I dove into the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan for health. Completely turning from the way we had been fueling (or not!) our bodies and finding a better way to eat and live.

We saw so many great rewards of our shrinking debt and my shrinking waistline! We felt on top of the world!

Josh started some hobbies in his shop, playing with the idea of a craftsmanship side business and we started watching farming vlogs (bye bye TV and Netflix for the sake of the budget, hello free YouTube!).

We became engrossed in homesteading and the desire to live off the land. We had a 5-year plan to financial freedom, with a move to the country and Josh working from home as the light at the end of the tunnel.

Then Fall 2017 happened.

In a continued yearning for deeper faith and an intentional life, I reached out to a friend who was a great inspiration.

She sent me a sermon that touched her and her husband’s hearts and encouraged them to examine their lives and choose to no longer be complacent in faith and life but to jump into long-term missions with their young family! We listened to that video with our hearts and minds open.

As it finished, I asked Josh “So what does this mean for our life? Are we being called to missions too?”.

He answered, “I think we need to buy a farm”

I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement!

My heart had been longing to move on and the 5-year plan was starting to feel like a long, heavy burden. It wasn’t so much the place, our townhouse was great. But I yearned for my kids to play freely outside. To have places to dig and run and climb without having to make a day trip to the park every time.

Joshua and I also felt called to have him in a more hands-on fathering role. Our lifestyle (as with most people’s) had him gone most of our children’s waking hours and we knew there was great blessing in being together more. But our solution had seemed so far away! 

The property

Within a week we were in contact with the best realtors in town, who informed us of the crazy amount of money our townhouse could sell for. We made a plan to find our home in the country before listing in our hot housing market… not wanting to be without a home!

Joshua and I searched for months and knew the odds were stacked against us. Only people in the cities sell their houses during the winter, the rest of the province waits until spring. But I’m an impatient being and we searched and searched and searched.

Finally a second look (online) of a property we once laughed at, a rural elementary school. It was farther away than we had wanted to move, less land than we had hoped, but the price was right. We were affirmed in our pursuit, and even seeing it just after the year’s biggest snowstorm did not deter us! A school. A school?!? Yeah, we were those crazy people, just crazy enough to buy a school. 

That brings me to today

I am sitting here, looking at a chalkboard filled with our renovation plans, kid’s drawings, daily schedules, and magnetic farm animals.

A place I NEVER imagined before.

But how rich a blessing it is, and only two years after our first home purchase!

We are now debt free (besides a $60,000 mortgage to help with renos and farm start-up costs).

I’ve lost 80 lbs on Trim Healthy Mama.

Our daily walk with the Lord is stronger than ever before.

And Josh only has to work 3 days in town so he has more time to build his business and to raise our children together.

Just WOW!

This great transformation in our life and the HUGE leap of faith into the simple, homesteading life, is God’s handy work for sure. He has provided and guided our way, for which we are so grateful. Even when it was hard. Even when it will continue to be hard. We are thankful!

Justin Rhodes, a maker of our favorite vlog and Abundant Permaculture where we have learned all the homesteading things, just went on a crazy adventure with his family. They decided to jump after asking themselves “What would we do if we weren’t afraid?”.

We were prompted to ask similar questions of ourselves.

Questions like

“Do we have to stay in this city?”

“What if we could be debt free?”

“Can we start a farm and make an income?”

“What if we could???”

*That last one is from Danny Valez on the Trim Healthy Mama podcast! Truly inspirational all around!*

So I’ll leave you with this:

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Think about it.