The Goldsmiths are standing at the edge of the cliff.....again. We jumped off 5 years ago and said "yes" to adopting older foster kids at the same time we had two bio baby girls, 6 months and 18 months. Those baby girls are 5 and 6 now and exactly the same kind of storm, magical and dangerous, as they were before they could walk. Our adopted kiddos, 11 and 13 are steadily discovering themselves and the meaning of family as they anchor themselves deep in us. Jim and I have grown to love and respect each other even more as we have held on tight to Christ, our parakleet, bringing us safely to harbor.
Our family feels whole. It seems stronger than ever with desperation and chaos no longer defining us. Except without desperation and chaos, we might dare to depend on ourselves or worse....our own understanding. Gasp. So God as drained the bathwater on us again leaving us standing cold and naked begging for a warm towel. Still in need, albeit a new kind.
You see, if you asked us our religion, we'd say Christian, but if you didn't ask and only followed us around like an invisible scientist, you'd determine us to be worshipers of comfort. If worship is a deepening response, you'd find us responding to our couch. Our air conditioning. Our cars that always start. Our 600 thread count sheets. Our ability to ignore our children and watch T.V. while they play upstairs or outside.....because we've made sure our home as a level of separation and a safe neighborhood to babysit them.
Sure, we are living a sacrificial life, we adopted kids.....that inherently means sacrifice. But I think we have smeared a big bloody A for adoption on our foreheads to remind ourselves how good we are, how sacrificial and holy, so we can go about deepening our response to recover all we lost when kids took away our comfort.
So, it's time to stand on the edge of the cliff. We thought about wandering over to the edge of the cliff and carefully inspecting the most effective transport methods to the bottom, but our loving and jealous God, drove up behind us with a wheel barrow, knocked our legs out from under us, butts into the barrow and pushed us to the edge. As always, we have the choice to jump, He doesn't dump.
Out of our home we must go. We will homestead on some raw land given to us to use for 3 years in exchange for the long term ownership of all the improvements we put on the land. Those improvements will be a 30x30' deck with three cabins ($3600 each) from Sweetwater Bungalows (www.sweetwaterbungalows.com), a composting toilet system, and solar power.
Our primary goal is to pay off all debt (law school, car loans, some consumer debt), our secondary goal is to learn how to live off grid and teach our kids a simpler life style. We are not doomsday preppers, but our day of doom did occur a few days ago when we were notified a lien was being put on Jim's paychecks by a student loan lender. We did not see this coming. This very literally means we cannot afford our life. Good riddance. God Provides.
We had been planning to make this move over the course of the coming year, now it needs to happen immediately as paychecks will be affected in 2 weeks! We have estimated it will take 2.5 years to become debt free by using Ramsey's snowball method.
It's a good thing we are adventure loving, outdoorsy types with hyper active kids who have to be lured out of trees and off of hilltops.
Another comfort idol we are burning in this process is the one where you don't ask anyone for help or money. Gonna have to let that go. We need the help of our community to do this and we will give back to the community in a big way when we are done by teaching what we have learned to others.
How are we gonna live with no running water or electricity or refrigeration? Good question and we don't have all the answers. We do have a 65 gallon water tank on the back of Jim's truck. Can we fill it up at your house sometime? That's one way you can help. We will collect solar panels as we can afford them ($135 each), it'll take a few solar panels to run a deep freezer. The deep freezer will make ice for the coolers (something else we need) that will keep food cold. We want a mini jersey cow for milk, butter, cheese ($3000) and will share the milk, butter, cheese with anyone who can help us pay for her). We will raise meat rabbits, chickens and hogs. Want a share a hog with us? Our cabins will have little Haier air conditioners run on solar for the hottest parts of Summer and wood burning stoves for heat. Our propane grill and a picnic table ($150) will be our kitchen and dining room and since I'm a caterer, I can bring home food from the commercial kitchen.
And what about this catering business, you ask? Yes, Wild Whisk is doing very well for a 6 month old baby business, but it isn't yet contributing to our bottom line. It will be soon no doubt. Another way you can help is to refer Wild Whisk for anyone needing catering, floral, coordination or event planning.
Our first step is to store what we want to keep, get rid of the rest and sub lease our house. Do you know anyone in need of a 4 bedroom off Borgfeld/Canyon Golf in Comal ISD? Then we have to get our deck built and put our faithful camping tent on it until we can purchase the bungalows. Immediate needs would be another tent (10 person or larger), lumber for deck, another water tank, 3000 watt generator and cots for kiddos.
So begins the next chapter of our lives. Join us?