I have taken a long break from posting here. After about 4 years of silence, I’m sensing that it’s time for me to return and start sharing again.
Some of you may be confused by the new name - so I thought I’d explain, and catch you up on my life a bit.
This blog began under the name ‘thrifty good life’. I found so much joy in sharing stories, recipes and snippets from my life as I discovered the beauty of living simple on our urban homestead. It was not an easy journey for me to learn how to live ‘thrifty’. Through financial difficulties, tight times and health struggles, I discovered that I really could live ‘the good life’ on very little. Sharing simple daily discoveries with my homeschooling girls in tow - it was a special season for me. Thrifty Good Life became the title of my book - a compilation of many posts I had originally shared here. It has been fun to have my story in book form to share with others.
Much has changed since I began writing in 2012.
My four daughters are now in school full time. We are in the thick of adolescence and teen years, with our hormone-charged home containing the ages of 11, 13, 15 and 17. It’s always been noisy around here, and that hasn’t changed. Instead of stuffed animals, dress up clothes and art supplies to trip over, there are bras, school clothes and the remnants of the hurried, morning dash-out-the-door to be found. There are tears and fights over borrowed clothes, as well as excitement over driver’s licenses, school crushes, new relationships and first jobs. My baby birds are starting to show their uniquely-feathered selves, spread their wings and prepare to leave my nest. There is grief and joy in all of this.
I find myself continually overwhelmed by gratitude as I spend time tending the gardens, harvesting food and learning from nature here in my little corner of the world. There are benefits and challenges to growing food in an urban environment, working with small plots in front, side and backyards… but mostly I just can’t believe I get to ‘farm the neighborhood’ each day.
As I interact with plants, the soil and the diverse creatures of the natural world, I learn so much. I often am caught off guard when ‘nature’ reveals something about myself. Recently I stood staring at a bundle of herbs I had picked. I was admiring the unique colors, textures and thinking about how amazing it is that each one offers so much unique flavor; not to mention different health and healing properties.
I’ve spent countless hours deeply fascinated by MBTI personality typology over the past few years. It has been incredibly helpful in understanding my family, how we each see the world differently and interact in specific ways. This past year, I’ve delved into the Enneagram, which to me - is one step deeper and touches on the soul, ego and shadow work. It has been painful to look deeper at my own uniqueness, realizing how hard it is to accept parts of myself. (More on this in future posts.)
Watching the sun light up the leaves on the gorgeous little bundle of herbs I had collected to use in my meal, what came to mind was this:
I can be so frustrated that I’m not basil, when I really need to just fully embrace being lemon thyme!
Not literally, but … you get the idea.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to my family at mealtime - “Isn’t it incredible that we get to enjoy so many different flavors in the food we eat?” The endless combinations of different herbs, fragrant spices, pesto combinations, garlic, onions, shallots, ginger… the earth is so full of diversity - which makes life so tasty.
I feel wrapped in Divine Love when I enjoy nature’s unique abundance. I mean, really. All the layers of color within a hibiscus bloom - all shimmery and iridescent, looking just like silk. The scent of mint under my feet at the edges of my garden - so generously offering enough to cut and dry for tea each season, the flavor hidden inside the beauty of a fennel blossom after it goes to seed.
It’s a bit silly that I call what I see around me ‘nature’, but forget that I am nature too.
Those hibiscus blooms sure do make a mess in my front yard. They open for only one day, then drop their dried petals everywhere. Mint spreads and creeps into my raised beds endlessly, and I never seem to catch the fennel in that delicious, sweet bulb stage, our Colorado heat sends them up to flower too soon.
So it is with my Sarah-ness.
I can turn a dried up lawn into a lush, food producing garden - but I can not for the life of me keep my house organized. (Even though I yell at my girls to deal with their laundry, if you looked inside my drawers right now you’d find most of my clothes are shoved wherever there is room, inside out, and probably dirty).
I’m passionate about issues of sustainability, social justice, all forms of faith/spirituality - curious about politics. I’d really love to discuss these things with friends and family, and yet when I try to open up a conversation - somehow I often end up offending people.
I am really good at convincing myself I have an urgent need for more fruit trees. I am not great at remembering to pay the utility bill.
I tend to get so caught up in my own projects that I forget the people whom my projects affect. Driven to accomplish my task, I can be blind to other’s feelings.
I’m constantly learning by listening to podcasts and books, and I’m certain my girls will be scarred because I always have my earbuds in and they have to yell “Mom!” to get my attention. It’s hard for me to be present in the mundane moments of life.
I’m learning to love and accept my own unique ‘flavor’. I’m allowing my own quirks, failures and flaws to belong - and to remember that the world is better when my own ‘special spice’ is thrown in. Even if at times, my flavor leaves a funky taste in people’s mouth.
Through the years, I’ve decided that the word thrifty doesn’t seem to fit for me anymore. It was perfect for a season where I needed to embrace simplicity, and that was good. If I’m brave enough - I may share with you lots of things that don’t fit for me anymore. But for now - I’m sharing how I’m replacing the word thrifty with plenty.
Everywhere I look these days, I see plenty.
When I begin to slide into fear and scarcity, this beautiful little word which I chose to name my little farm years ago - pops out of my mouth and I remember… there really is enough.
I’m grateful for this place to share what I’m learning as I bump into the beauty of this world. I’m grateful for you who may read this - and I’d love it if some of my ramblings would spark more dialogue.
Thanks friends, for following along as I learn to open my eyes and enjoy living in plenty.