Nick's Profile

lessons learned on the journey toward independence

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I quit!


I want to share with you a few old words of wisdom that prompted me to quit some things.
It's a quick excerpt from an old book on agriculture that was given to me.

"Some people seem to think they must accomplish in a
few years what their grandparents spent half a lifetime
doing, namely, carving a comfortable home out of the
wilderness….I see no sense in turning a potentially
satisfying and rewarding experience into a period of
nerve-shattering frustrations.  Why would you choose
to live in the country?  Most likely because you crave
the peace and quiet of the 'good life' close to the soil.
It is entirely possible that you could spend half of your
lifetime trying so hard to make yourself "comfortable"
on the land that you never have time to enjoy the peace
and quiet that you have around you."
(from The Country Way by Lloyd Eighme)

That hit me between the eyes and has prompted me to make some revolutionary changes.
Perhaps a quick bit of background is in order.

This is our first summer on a new (to us) homestead.  While we feel so blessed to
finally have our own piece of dirt after all these years, here's the stark reality…a
mountain of things are piling up that need to be done--yesterday!  At least it seems
that they are all urgent.

The fire season is looking grim this year and our forest would go up in flames like a
match box if it was ignited.  We need to thinned it out and remove "ladder fuels" and
we need to do it--yesterday.  We need to set up the water tank and fire pump that
will be needed if we do have a small fire pop up in the area, and we need to do that--
yesterday.  We need to establish a sizable garden plot--yesterday.  We need to plant
an orchard--yesterday.  The current off grid power system in this homestead, while it
is operational, it's old and needs some major overhauling before it disintegrates--
yesterday.  The gophers have taken over the entire area and need to be brought under
control--yesterday.  And the list goes on… (that's without mentioning making a living :-0 )

Does my list sound familiar to you?  Maybe not the specifics, but the long list of super
urgent things that must be done before…before…before what?  Before something happens.
For many years I operated in what I call "crisis mode" moving from one "fire" to the next.
I never had time to do anything particularly well because there were always more pressing
items on the burner.  And there was an overarching concern that these things get done
before…well, you know what.  After years of this, I finally came to realize that operating in
crisis mode is liable to catch up with you in the form of hundreds of unfinished projects or
jerry-rigged short term fixes that had to be redone periodically.  And that's not to mention
the physical and mental stress it creates.  Are you with me?

I'm just as concerned about the future as ever, and that's one of the many reasons I live
this wonderful lifestyle.  But I've come to realize that we can't let our concern over possible
impending events lure us into decisions that we will regret later on.  You see, I believe that
if we do things for the right reasons, we'll not only be thankful for those choices now, but
we'll be glad in the future as well.

So when making decisions, I've started to think further in the future than I used to.  I now
believe it's the better part of wisdom.  Think back to the 1990's.  Back then, I couldn't imagine
life going on as usual in 2…0…1…5!  That was unthinkable!  But here we are, and how I wish
I had thought about 2015 when making so many decisions over the years.  I think it boils
down to a healthy mixture of being ready for "things" to happen now, but yet planning for the
future (ever heard the phrase "keep planting"?).

What I'm Quitting
So here is what I'm quitting.  I'm quitting the band-aid approach to solving problems on the
homestead.  If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.  But even more important than that,
I'm quitting the ever-present stress that goes along with living in "crisis mode".  God has
placed us on this earth for a few short years, and why not make the most out of each one of
them and enjoy them for what they are?  Enjoy the blessings we have been blessed with, and
use those blessings as a means to prepare for the future.

So now, I do what I'm reasonably able to do, and then I don't worry about all the remaining
things that are still on the docket.  I'll get to them when I'm able to do them and do them right.
And you know what?  I think I'm able to get a lot more done with this lower-stress systematic
outlook, not to mention a much higher quality of life.  But it all hinges on doing what you can
NOW.  Procrastination is the mother of almost all panic.  Steady action is the mother of peace
of mind.

So what are some things you can do right now, even if you are far from having your own homestead?
Well, I put together a short PDF that you can download for free to give you a bunch of ideas.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD==> What you CAN do right now to prepare


b2ap3_thumbnail_question1-trans_20120704-012540_1.png What are you doing to prepare, right now?


  • Guest
    Barry Thursday, 11 June 2015

    This was very wise advice. Iam buying seeds as something I can do right now for the homestead I plan to buy. Whew one deep breath.

  • Guest
    Heidi Thursday, 11 June 2015

    I've always dreamed of and worked towards my own home off the grid,etc. But as life progresses it looks as if it will never happen. That is extremely disappointing. But I have begun to realize the joys of Heaven and long to be there more than ever. Truly this world is not our home...

  • Guest
    Bob Sunday, 14 June 2015

    Heidi, the pleasures we take from life change as you well know. We took great pleasure as we looked into our children's eyes. Then years later we see young parents looking into their children's eyes and relive that pleasure. Best wishes.

  • Nick
    Nick Thursday, 11 June 2015

    Hello Heidi, I certainly understand your feelings. I was there once. It didn't even seem like much of a possibility to make the move. But I have come to realize that if we think we can't then we probably won't. My advice would be to go at this with the attitude of "I'm going to do everything I can to make this work" and then do that. It's like the little engine that could. "I think I can. I think I can..." So do everything you can right now. Don't wait until you can do some big thing like buy property. Do all the small and insignificant little things that will need to be done to get to that point. And if you do that, I believe you will find the way to open before you when the time is right. It will take a lot of patience and perseverance. Almost everyone I know who has done this has had to have a lot of perseverance. So stick with it even when it looks impossible! We and many others have been there before you. God will help you.

  • Guest
    Ron Sagmuller Friday, 12 June 2015

    I totally agree with what you said here Nick, this has been my experience. It took me over two years just to find a piece of land that was right and that I could afford. By the time I found it I had also saved up a little money to do something with. I've lived a very austere life for the last three years, but now it's slowly paying off. God blesses, but there's a lot of effort involved on our part as well. The timing of everything involved we have to leave totally in His hands.

  • Guest
    Christopher Thursday, 11 June 2015

    Inch by inch is a cinch. Yard by yard is too hard!
    No matter how prepared we are, we constantly find ourselves unready for something. So, we must adapt. God is ready to give wisdom for every circumstance.
    And yes, no matter what situation we find ourselves in, there is something we can do to make the situation better.
    Observing nature is good for the soul. The wild creatures are always busy, but not too busy. Some are simple-minded, some astute. Some are likely to live a long time through great odds, others are rather hare-brained. But our heavenly Father cares for each one.

  • Guest
    Eugene (Gene) Augustin Thursday, 11 June 2015

    Nick, the older I get (and it seems to be happening every single day) the more I believe that what you're QUITTING has got to be the most sensible thing anyone could do. Now that I am old(er), I realize that stopping to 'smell the roses' and appreciate 'quiet' (with all of the noise pollution most of us are fairly constantly exposed to) and 'wilderness' and 'softly-falling snow' and the 'smell of 'clean air after a good rain' and 'a quiet time with God in the early morning' should not be sacrificed on the alter of URGENT THINGS THAT NEED DOING. The Lord has instructed us to 'BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD'. He knows that when we are constantly running here and there and everywhere (as so many do these days) we often forget Him. It is my daily prayer that He will direct my path--my comings and goings--every day. I will pray that your resolve will be sustained, as you allow His Spirit to direct your paths and that you will be able to complete all of the tasks on your 'to-do' list--everything in its time.

  • Guest
    Ann Friday, 12 June 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I often wondered how you all were keeping up with everything given how much you and your family sacrifice so much time and energy just to help people like me be prepared, for which I will be eternally grateful. I too began to become overwhelmed and experienced hopelessness, especially regarding being able to rely on solar for electricity. So I quit too!!! However, all my burdens seemed to roll away due to an expert survivalist at a church I attended who taught classes on survival techniques. It is so much less stressful and doable for me to focus on living "beyond off-grid" and to prepare for when we cannot depend on our solar systems, gardens, etc. and will have to think more primitively in order to survive. I do pray that God will give you and your family wisdom to balance your lives and accomplish all the essential tasks that should have been completed yesterday as you continue to minister to bless others! Psalm 37:23: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."

  • Guest
    Gin Friday, 12 June 2015

    how does one stay in touch with family while maintaining an "off grid" life-style? No phone, no internet... only satellite, which certainly seems to defeat the purpose of "off grid" ... would appr3eciate input.

  • Guest
    Living a Sustainable Dream Thursday, 24 August 2017

    Gin, I fit the category Nick is talking about. I live off grid using solar power for electricity and a well for our water. I have no utility bills or mortgage. My wife and I have cell phones and Internet. We have no need for cable television. We call our family same as everyone else and Skype them on special occasions.
    Nick, I too quit. Once again, I quit building my dream barn/shop to prepare for winter season. I am buying needed parts for the snow plow, fixing our vehicles, and building a shed for the tractor. Hopefully, next year I will be prepared to build the dream barn/shop.
    Mark @

  • Nick
    Nick Friday, 12 June 2015

    Hi Gin, I guess it depends on what you define as "off grid". That term seems to be used quite broadly these days but I use it to mean someone who is not connected to the power company. As such, we and almost everyone else I know who are off the grid have a phone (cell phone) internet service, etc and are easily able to stay in touch with family. If "off grid" means living like a hermit, then communication would be something that one would avoid. But that is not what we are advocating. Producing your own power and growing your own food does not a hermit make :-).

    If you are interested in communications options in a remote area, you might check out this blog post:

  • Guest
    Bob Sunday, 14 June 2015

    Good advice for anyone. If we carry what perhaps has made us miserable in prior lives and carry it to the "paradise" we hope to create, what have we gained?


  • Guest
    Tillie Sunday, 14 June 2015

    I am sometimes overwhelmed by the things to do around house and in garden and on property, and think it's because I live by myself. I have told God, "You have to be my husband, my father, my brother, my friend, because I can't do this by myself." He lets me work till I am tired or frustrated, but when I remind Him of my need of Him in those roles, I have found that things start working right, things start getting done faster than I expected, or easier than I expected. Then I realize I should have talked to Him sooner, and slowly I am growing more than a garden. I am growing faith here in this little corner of the world. :)

  • Guest
    Ed Tuesday, 13 October 2015

    Guys, Thanks so much for 'your start'. As someone said earlier, "Keep putting one foot in front of the other". I've just retired and am elated at what you are doing. One thing I've picked up on is the fact that you guys are Christian. I just want to say I've already prayed for you guys and we'll continuing praying for you. What a blessed endeavor!

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