I’m Julie, and years ago I lived one of the most chaotic, crazy, busy lifestyles you can imagine. It took moving to a farm, adding even more work to my days, and almost getting to the point of giving up before I had what I call a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting with myself.
From that point forward, I started regrouping, determining my priorities, and learning to live a life that was fun.
My life is now focused on the things I love to do, such as homemaking, gardening – and canning the harvest. You will frequently find me in the craft room. And I love setting aside quiet time and enjoying a good Afternoon Tea.
I am a writer, speaker and teacher on all things relating to living a Simple Life. I host a website at The Farm Wife and have now started this podcast.
And I love teaching others about how they can live that Simple Life!
Find out more about Who I Am, and why I chose to make the shift to a Simple Life. And while you are listening, just pull up a rocker, grab a glass of lemonade, and get comfortable. It’s time to
Relax and Enjoy!
Find out more about living a Simple Life at The Farm Wife
Get helpful links and transcripts for this episode and others at The Farm Wife/podcasts
(And be sure to stop by - there's a free recipe for Spiced Oatmeal cookies just waiting for you to download it!)
If you want to learn more about living a Simple Life or just have a fun visit, you can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.orgSupport the show
Welcome to Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View. Thanks for stopping by! Grab a glass of Lemonade, pull up a rocker and join me for conversations about living the Simple Life. Go ahead. Get comfortable and settle in for a good visit. It’s time to relax and enjoy!
Episode 2: Who I Am
Welcome back to Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View! Go ahead, pull up a rocker and settle in for a visit. Get out your bag of knitting, your carving knife, or whatever craft you are working on. Help yourself to some Lemonade and try some of those cookies. This week it’s Spiced Oatmeal…fresh from the oven, with hints of cinnamon and other spices.
Since today we are just getting to know each other, let me introduce myself. I am Julie. I am a writer, speaker, teacher, and blogger over at The Farm Wife website. I am originally a city girl and had dreams of one day living in a bigger city.
But in 2003, all that changed when we moved to a 60-acre piece of land in Northwest Louisiana. From the first moment we laid eyes on this place, we fell in love. There was almost a perfect balance of pasture and wooded space, a couple of ponds, and an old house that had been moved to the property in the early sixties. I confess there was an element of ‘Green Acres’ – the old 1960’s sitcom, and a lot of work that needed to be done. But we knew down deep this was where we needed to be. Our faith in God is strong, and from that moment forward we have been striving to be the best stewards of this land as we can be.
That doesn’t mean it has all been confetti and cake. No, we have had our share of struggles. As I like to say, facing trials, troubles and disappointment just means you have been blessed to wake up to another day. But when the successes and joys do come, the day just seems a little bit brighter and our smiles a little bit wider.
When we first moved to the farm, I confess to still having a ‘city attitude’. While living in the city, I had grocery stores, shopping, and almost every imaginable convenience within a few miles. Even then, I still made meals at home, packed lunches for my kids, and maintained a budget.
I took advantage of all that convenience, though. It wasn’t anything for me to run to the grocery store for a forgotten item. I joined several groups and attended the meetings. I had a monthly Bunco game and was often asked to sub for others. The kids were actively involved in at least one after-school activity. Despite not having a job, I was still constantly on the go.
When the kids were young, the decision was made for me to stay home and be available to them. We lived on one income, which meant money was tight. And that meant I had to get creative. So, I took on a couple of part time jobs I could either do while the kids were in school or work from home. For me, that meant cleaning a couple of houses each week, and even offering to do one person’s ironing. Once the kids were in high school, I went back to work full time.
When we moved to the farm, the first thing that hit me is there were no more ‘quick’ trips. The closest grocery store was 10 miles away – not right down the street. In the city, I had one dog to feed. At the farm, I had cows, chickens, guineas, cats – and the one dog.
In the city, I was used to central heat and air. Out here, I had two window units, a fireplace at one end and a wood heater at the other – both of which needed firewood to work. And where our home in the city was painted with cheery colors and filled with bright natural light, this one was dark with cheap wood paneling throughout, and almost cave-like and depressing.
I stayed busy. There was no free time. I had essentially gone back to school, only this time it wasn’t an academic program that would hand me a certificate of completion after a few years. Instead, I had enrolled in a program called, “This is Your New Life’. And as long as I am breathing, I will be attending classes.
At one point, I found myself dropping into the swing in the yard. I was too exhausted to even move my feet enough to create the rocking motion a swing is designed to do. Instead, my body, mind, and heart were too heavy. I was still working in the city full time. Many days I spent running errands or trying to maintain the activities and groups I was a part of while living there – which meant not getting home until sometimes very late at night. Gasoline prices had soared. Money was tighter than ever, even with two incomes. It was no wonder I could barely function.
That day on the swing, I had what I call a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting with myself. In fact, my first words were, ‘Help me, Jesus!’ And He did. It was at that very point, the next words out of my mouth were, “I am tired, Lord. I just want to live a Simple Life.”
From that moment forward, I started regrouping, determining my true priorities, picked myself back up and got started. Honestly, it wasn’t pretty at first. I had some serious changes that needed to be made, and few of them I had to drag myself away, kicking and screaming – just like a kid who wasn’t getting their way.
Now? I rarely ever think about the things I gave up. Instead, I love most every moment of my simple life. It just comes down to learning how to set your priorities, and then sticking to them. It is a matter of getting rid of the unnecessary busyness in your life.
Just because it is called a ‘Simple’ life doesn’t’ necessarily mean its easy. You still have to do the work. But for the most part, the work you will be doing will be what you need to do, and still have time to do the things you want to do. Yes, there will still be things you are required to do that aren’t always pleasant, but still have to be done. But even those things can be handled well, just by learning to accept they are part of life in general.
The results? My life is richer, more enjoyable, and I now have a deeper sense of contentment. What I do has meaning. Old dreams are being resurrected and new ones are being made. I have stretched my wings by learning new things. And yes - I have lost a few feathers in the process, and in some cases, even crashed and burned in mid-flight. But because I am becoming the person I know deep down I was meant to be, I just pick myself up and flap those wings again.
A lot of my work is centered around farm life – milking a cow, growing our food, preserving the harvest, fixing fence, and building animal pens, to name a few. But your Simple Life doesn’t have to include those things. You can live in a tiny house, an apartment, or in a suburban home. The Simple Life is adaptive to anyone, anywhere, who just wants to slow down and enjoy life, and learn how to become the person they were designed to be. And if you aren’t sure what that means, stay tuned for the next episode. We will be talking about how you can create your own personal definition of what a Simple Life is.
You have been so patient listening to my story. Now it’s your turn. Tell me a little more about you – your interests, your goals, your dreams. Do you live a Simple Life, or is it something you’ve been dreaming about? I see your rocker slowing down a bit over there, and you seem to be staring out across the porch deep in thought.
When you are ready to talk, just email me at email@example.com. I’m ready to listen.
I hope you become a regular visitor on the porch. There are plenty of rockers to go around. I just made a fresh pitcher of Lemonade, and there are plenty of Oatmeal cookies in the cookie jar.
But take your time. Help yourself to another cookie and take a sip of lemonade. I know that just sitting here on the Porch may be the first chance you have had to relax and breathe in quite a while. After all, that’s what porch sitting is all about.
If you want to learn more about the topic at hand, get the transcript for this episode – or want to get the recipe for the Oatmeal cookies we’ve been enjoying - just visit my website at www.thefarmwife.com/podcast. That is the Resource page for this podcast, and I have it set up by episodes to make things easier to find. To help you out, this is Episode 2.
And be sure to hit that subscribe button – you don’t want to miss a single conversation. I'll be sitting on the porch every Monday morning waiting for your visit!
Thanks again for stopping in. I am enjoying getting to know you better. I will see you next week. In the meantime, you don’t have to get up yet. Stretch out your much needed quiet time. Go ahead. Grab that glass of refreshment, another cookie, and just settle in. It’s time to relax and enjoy.