January 25, 2016

One Day at a Time By Vickie Stam

1 Corinthians 13:4
          "Love is patient, love is kind."

I recently returned from a trip to Florida, a place my husband and I will be visiting much more often over the winter. You see, we retired from raising pigs this past November and our goal is to spend more time in Florida, away from the ice and snow.

We haven't given up the farm. Cropping will keep us busy during the spring and fall from now on. Farming is in my husband's blood. Still, we have commitments this winter in Ontario so we have decided to make the trek back and forth via car instead of our usual mode of transportation by plane. We used to visit Florida for only a week at a time, counting on family to look after things on the farm while we were away. Our lives have changed quite a bit since then. We now have the freedom to stay longer than a week. It's wonderful!

But with these changes I have to admit my writing has sort of made a detour. I can't say that I had any particular goals in mind for this year until a very good friend who I will call, "B" suggested that I write about this new "style" of living.  

While in Florida, I took some time out to settle down in front of my computer and pluck out an e-mail to "B" and let her know that our new found freedom had at times left us infringing on each others space and how after one week we seemed to be tripping over one another in the house. Some more changes need to happen. We need to find things to do now that our focus has shifted. 

Even though we had worked together on the farm for a number of years, being in the house together felt quite different. It was not at all like being in our place of work. There were no deadlines to meet, no pigs to feed, sort and weigh and nothing to ship to market. There were no rooms to pressure wash, no barn clothes to wash and fold. And to my relief....no more early mornings. So what do we do now? That was the burning question. 

In all of this, I never once told myself that I would have more time to write. My mind was quite full just trying to figure out what our time together might look like and then my friend, "B" suggested I write. "Journal!" She said. But even that was the farthest thing from my mind.   

"Write everything down that you shared with me in your e-mail. The things that made you laugh and the things that didn't. Don't leave anything out. It will prove rather interesting for you a few years down the road. " She said.

She's right. Writing them down sounded like a great idea. A start to a new beginning. And I'm sure in a few years when I do look back and read about some of our challenging moments, I will laugh all over again. It might even provide me with a some helpful tips to offer someone else who is facing those same hurdles with their own new freedom.  

We know that God has a plan for those days when we're not quite sure what to do with ourselves and I'm certain he played a part in this little nudge from my good friend who encouraged me to write about our new life style; the one we've decided to take one day at a time.  



  1. Vickie, you are living what others consider "the dream" and yet even the dream has struggles. The choice to journal these ups and downs will surely lead to wisdom you can share.

    1. Our ups and downs are all part of God's plan for us. Your right Marnie, even living the dream can have it share struggles.

  2. These will be wonderful memoirs even if they are for your eyes only. but who knows? You might end writing a book about your experiences.

  3. Vicki, I hope each day is a gift, there are seasons for all reasons. This may not be the writing season, it may start again. But certainly the journaling is a great way to collect bits for yourself, perhaps for future writes. Isn't it great that God has different plans for each season.

  4. I enjoyed your honesty and the open-mindedness in what you wrote. I chuckle, Vicki, at the similarities to what my husband and I experience. After down-sizing considerably, it is much easier to collide at the kitchen sink when I am washing my hair and he is getting his coffee or pills. (I used to wash my hair in the laundry sink, plus our kitchen was bigger and more suitably designed.)

    The Norwegian generally wants me to go with him on errands, shopping, or even visiting with a buddy in the hospital. Sometimes I enjoy staying home and having a quiet place to myself for writing. Then I am reminded of my good friend, (V), whose husband passed away a few months ago. She comes into the living room to tell her hubby something and he isn't sitting on the couch where she'd like him to be.

    Yes, we need to take what each day offers. I am getting accustomed to Hank and I being together in our smaller space. I can watch the news while I'm cooking supper or emptying the dishwasher. I am learning not to interrupt when he is reading or watching the news. He is learning not to ask me questions when I am writing. There is "a time to be silent and a time to speak."

    I am also learning that I can't be on the computer writing or doing writerly things--being productive--all the time. I can spend more time just relaxing, even (gasp) watching TV with Hank. There is "a time to keep and a time to throw away." By that I mean downsizing the things we don't need anymore, but we can also downsize our productivity time.

    Could the wise man who wrote Ecclesiastes be reminding us that we could give away our time as a gift to our spouse, our grown kids, our grandchildren, and our friends?

  5. Isn't it great how our friends, like your "B" remind us to get back to our writing, our journaling. And I'm sure God will reveal His plan for you each day. Thanks.


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