starting at the beginning, part 1: take dominion

Since I vented a little last week, I’ve been struggling at where to begin my newly acquired, long list of posts. Today I just decided I would start where it makes sense: at the beginning.

As homesteaders and Christians, we turn to the Bible to instruct us on what we should do in all parts of life (or at least we should). So what does the Bible first say about homesteading? To the very first man and woman, who he created in a garden full of vegetation and animals, He gave this charge.

Genesis 1:27-28 (ESV)

“So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Then God destroyed the earth with a flood, preserving one man and woman and their progeny. Again, He charged them,

Genesis 9:1-3 (ESV)

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.  Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”

Later on, the Psalmist, David, would sing in praise of the mandate God has placed upon mankind.

Psalm 8:3-8 (ESV)

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
 what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
 all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”

The prophets prophesied about what manner we are to respond to the creation, fellow man, and the Lord.

Micah 6:8

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

What can we learn about homesteading through these verses?

“…subdue it, and have dominion…”

When we think of the words “subdue” and “dominion,” several thoughts may come into your mind. You may be thinking of “dominance,” which may in turn cause you to think of “abuse” and/or “slavery”. I believe this is a very toxic way of viewing this mandate. God did not charge mankind with abusing and enslaving the earth, men, and animals. However, since sin entered the world, it seems as though that is exactly what mankind has done.

We have seen how barbaric some of mankind has been. Over the course of history up until present time we have seen slavery in many forms, and toward many people groups, along with various kinds of abuses including prostitution, human sacrifice (both child and adult), fighting to the death, warfare, etc. Testing, fighting, and other kinds of abuses in the name of both science and entertainment have been inflicted upon animals. Finally, there is earth abuse which we can see plainly from landfills, oil spills, air pollution, radiation, nuclear warfare, etc.

This is not dominion. This is sickness.

Christians should be the remedy instead of contributing to the problem.

Dominion comes from the latin dominus, ‘lord, master.’ In other words, humankind is to take charge of the earth and all that dwells therein. Furthermore, God destroyed the earth with a flood when men became corrupt and wicked, preserving the one man, Noah (and his family), who still obeyed Him. God wants His people to obey his mandate; to be benevolent caretakers of the earth He created. “Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly…

It’s sad to say that the tree-hugging hippies and environmentalist pagans are doing a better job advocating for “mother earth” than the Christians who were given this charge.

Jesus told this parable:

Luke 12:35-40

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Do you think Christ, at His return, will be impressed at that you were waiting at the door of your house reading the book of Revelation? Or do you think he would rather return to His people who are working hard at obeying all the commands of His Father who sent Him.

Love God above all (obey him, not man)

Love others (do justice, love kindness)

Take dominion

Be fruitful and multiply, filling the earth
(have sex and babies! make sure there are more babies than parents – this is how multiplication works in case you forgot. if you can’t make babies, adopt!)

Make disciples of all nations (not just witnessing, but training)

more to homesteading.

So far as this blog has been concerned, I haven’t talked a WHOLE lot about my spiritual beliefs. For the most part, I wanted to keep those kind of things off the blog to make it more accessible to to the masses. I haven’t shied away from talking about my faith completely (I did have Thursday Thanks going for a while), I just chose not to make this the forum for talking about faith.

I didn’t want to offend people by my beliefs and get hate/controvercial comments. I was afraid I would end up making enemies of the people who like me based on what they don’t know about me.

I believe this was a mistake.

For a while I was able to make this blog work. Talk about farmy things, talk about family things, talk about kitcheny things. Blah, blah, blah.

The problem is that my faith is the essence of who I am. The way I look at farming, family, food, my entire world is based on what I believe (or don’t believe) about God. Without connecting my life with my faith, my world seems duller to me; uninteresting. When I connect my life to God, my world becomes beautiful and alive. By disconnecting the two, I ran out of things to write, and the motivation to write.

My apologies to those who like to read my blog. I will be writing more, and the content will become skewed to my moral biases. You can continue to read if you like. If what you read offends you, makes you mad, and you don’t like it, well… 3 things. 1) You can talk to me in a kind way about it, and my mind may change, 2) you can talk kindly to me about it and my mind may not change, but we can agree to disagree, or 3) you can stop reading this stuff that upsets you so much.

The things I will talk about:

  • This is a homestead blog after all so I will write about the earth, and what we believe our responsibility is to it from our Christian perspective
  • The home, and what we believe our responsibilities are there. Homeschooling, housework (cooking/cleaning/playing),
  • Marriage
  • Gender roles, which I believe are equal in importance, but different.
  • Eschatology (how we view the future)
  • Probably other related stuff that I can’t yet think about.

People will get a good look at how abnormal of a person I am. But you know what? Who wants to be the same?

thursday thanks

7 of 8 chicks that have hatched…several more eggs remain unhatched

Taking time to reflect on God’s goodness, no matter the circumstances.

Thanking God for:

  • the opportunity to see chickens hatch. It is such a cool experience.
  • not being able to find my canner. There must be a reason I shouldn’t make dill relish today?
  • P being able to poop again, and for the wisdom to figure out it was a [cows] milk allergy.
  • being out of the woods with my morning sickness. Now just waiting for the burst of energy that comes along with the second trimester.
  • getting to meet with my midwife on Monday.
  • the wisdom imparted to me by my parents.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God concerning you

*ahem*…an announcement

We have some news on the homestead, and I’ve decided to let Piper share it with you : :

That’s right, folks! We’re expecting another little farm hand at the end of March! We couldn’t be happier.

Morning sickness this time around has been much more bearable, but it is the reason that my posts since being back have been scarce and I’ve been lacking the motivation to take photos. I’m currently 7 1/2 weeks along and I’m hoping things will get back to normal in a few weeks once I’m in my second trimester.

Goat News / /

Rosie May keeps kicking/getting her foot in the milk pail lately (which she wasn’t doing before), and so I’ve lost quite a bit of milk this week. Fortunately the ruined milk has been able to go to the pigs (I hear milk-fed pigs are very tasty).

Garden News / /

Joe was able to pick some early potatoes for us yesterday and a couple of more summer squash! It’s so lovely to have food in the yard. He is also digging more beds for our autumn crops (peas, lettuce, garlic, brussel sprouts, cover crops, and more that I can’t remember or don’t know about).

Piper News / /

We have been teaching Piper sign language for communicating to us while she’s still not using words. She has been saying “all done” for quite some time. She understands the signs for “down,” “eat,” and “more,” but won’t do them. She blows kisses when you ask her to say “thank you”. And her most recent favorite is “please,” and she will even say “pee pee” while signing it! However, she’s still not sure what the context for “please” is yet.

we’re really doing it!

Here’s a confession. Previously to this week in my postings I have felt like a huge fake at this homesteading thing. I’ve really tried to write posts that are homestead related, but a lot of the time I felt like I was a lot of talk talk talk and no action.

Not only did I feel this way in the blogging world, but also felt it with my husband. He gets pretty down on himself and says the same kind of stuff I just admitted to, “I just feel like I’m faking it,” and so I know I need to be the voice of encouragement in is life. I do this, not to lie to him, but to give him hope to keep plugging away at his dream to one day be totally self-sustained. In the beginning of a huge venture such as this there does seem to come a lot of setbacks and discouragement, and since I love him, I try to do my best to cheer his spirits.

Between the loss of animals (did I also mention we lost all the chickens to either a raccoon or a fox?) and unexpected physical ailments, it has been easy to get down on ourselves. But now I am looking out at our garden that Joe has dug and planted entirely by himself both from seed and from plants given to us by friends. I open my refrigerator and see that I have one shelf almost entirely devoted to milk that has come from our own goats that I milked myself. I am filled with a sense of pride in our work. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to God that He has helped us every step of the way despite our weakness, laziness, and ignorance. We are really doing this!

Photos are:
one – compost heap / / two – hops / / three – broccoli / / four – huckleberry / / five – potato / / six – wheat / / seven – peas / / eight – corn

thursday thanks

1 – our 1st ripening tomato / / 2 – pretty purple potato blossoms / / 3 – summer squash / / 4 – nursing kid / / 5 – goat hugs

Taking time to reflect on God’s goodness, no matter the circumstances.

Thanking God this week for:

  • restoring my computer to me!
  • the added blessing of a second goat in milk
  • fresh raw milk every day and homemade yogurt from said milk
  • learning new skills
  • the provision of food that is brought forth from the earth whose source isn’t the supermarket
  • cheap thrifted finds
  • a long afternoon nap for the little one
  • keeping me humble when I start to get a little self-righteous
  • my husband; without whom, my life would not be what it is. That he works so hard to make a reasonable place for our family and animals and that he challenges me to become more industrious, a harder worker, and a gentler wife, mother and woman.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God concerning you

new arrivals!

Ye Ol’ Homestead has recently acquired an influx of new livestock! Of course we couldn’t be more excited. Not only were we gifted with a new dairy goat (whose milk we find we love), but our pork on the hoof has arrived as well!

5 little piggies! Is it bad that the first thing I thought when they arrived was, “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home…?”  Just a little insight as to what a dork I am in real life 😉

The pigs arrived late this year because we got behind in setting up the new location for the pig pen and my dad, the man who takes care of them, got very inventive in the process. So even though we have late pigs, they have a pretty sweet spread; pallet fencing, equal opportunity trough and water feeding (hopefully no more slop fights), and even – yes believe it – a shower for those unbearably hot days (pigs don’t sweat)!

As for our new goat, she is very sweet toward us, and very good in the stand. However, she definitely asserts her dominance with the other goats. She was the queen of the herd we got her from, and she’s making it known here that she will be the queen of the herd wherever she goes! Belle is so sweet and submissive that I don’t think it will take long for them to establish their pecking order.

Her markings and coloring terrify me. She looks at me and I have to remind myself to not discriminate. Just because she looks like a demon doesn’t mean she is one!

And Piper likes to keep her distance !

In other news: Hipster Homesteading now has it’s own Facebook Page! You can link to it in the sidebar on the right —->