Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking Back, Looking Forward

What a year 2014 has been for us here on the Hoosier Country Homestead!  There have been so many changes.
  • Daughter #2 married the love of her life and we got a wonderful son-in-law and two precious granddaughters in the deal.
  • That same event made us (essentially) "empty nesters" although, in practice, the kid's bedrooms have rarely been empty.
  • Our son found a job that he loves and is turning that corner from a boy to a man.
  • Starting with an old 'bus shelter' we put together a chicken coop and, with the help of a niece, now have 13 laying hens and 1 rooster.
  • The coop and the barn both got a paint upgrade.  (And everything got a new roof courtesy of an early summer hailstorm.)
  • We got a start on the herb garden.
  • Oh, and I started a blog: Hoosier Country Home!  "Thank You so much" to everyone who has taken the time to stop by and share in the journey!

So what are the goals for 2015?
  • Get fruit trees, berries and grapes in.  We're thinking apples, pears, raspberries and a combination table and winemaking grape.
  • Get some additional fencing and shelter in place in preparations for meat chickens in 2016. 
  • Get some plantings and other preparations in place for bee hives.  Looking at 2017+ for those.
  • Get the barn cleaned out.  There are things that have been in there for 20 years and have not touched in all that time, and we need the barn space for more than long term storage of forgotten items.  We can feel a yard sale coming on!
  • Finish the ham radio tower I started two years ago.  It's time to get steel off the ground and in the air! (along with some wire...)

It seems proper to list the things we want to keep doing as we roll into the new year:
  • Being good stewards of the land and opportunities God has provided us.
  • Fine tuning the garden.  There is always room for improvement and something new.  We want to keep doing learning, canning, preserving and all that goes with it.
  • Growing the herb garden.  I'd like to add some medicinal herbs to plantings and start learning how to use them.
  • Continue building our skills in making, repairing and re-using.  We have been blessed with so many things. We want to be sure we are really honoring the gifts properly.

A theme of my blog right from the beginning has been that "We are Blessed" and I want to reiterate that as we take stock of the past year and forward to the next.  Again and again God has been faithful to bless us, faithful to challenge us, and faithful to carry us through the hard times.  While I have my list of goals for 2015, I want to recognize God has His own plan for our lives and I pray that we will be open to His plan first.

Regular readers will know I that almost always sign each post with a scripture reference - Col. 1:9-12.  It's a prayer the Apostle Paul offered for the church in Colossi and with each post I offer it as a prayer for my readers.   On this first day of the new year I'll write it out for you from the NIV translation:

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."

May God bless you and keep you all in 2015.



  1. It has been a wonderfully productive year for you! Such good goals for 2015 too. And I really like your idea of listing things to continue. I also should mention that Col. 1:9-12 is something I've prayed for my family for many years.

  2. A very thoughtful post in many ways, Mark.

    I think after our "rest" period this month of January, we'll sit down and go over last year's goals (it was NOT a good year for crossing items off the list!) and start thinking toward spring again. We, too, have so, so much to be thankful for.

    I'm glad I found your blog and look forward to your posts in the New Year!

  3. Great goals for the coming year! We are thinking of raising meat birds this spring. I find myself coming back to those verses time and time again! I believe the more we thank God for our blessings, the more we are blessed! Happy 2015!

  4. Leigh - Looking backward at the successes does help bolster the motivation for goals looking forward. Having the 'continued' things on the same page help me see the whole picture and keeps me from biting off more than I can chew!

    Mama Pea - Thank you!! I've come to really appreciate the homestead community that has come with the blog. There has been so much encouragement and so much to learn. We had more goals than we had hours when we started 2014. By the time I started the blog it had already been pruned back a bit.

    Liz - Welcome to the Hoosier Country Home!! Last year we were hoping for meat birds this year, but as we got the layers up and going it became clear we needed to get some more infrastructure (fencing, shelter,...) in place before we took that step. I'll be watching 'The Pipeliners Wife' to see how it goes for you. I, too, find myself coming back that to passage again and again, especially when I don't know specifically how to pray for someone. We find that the more we focus on noticing and thanking God for the blessing we have, we find more to be thankful for all the time!