It Couldn’t Be Done …..yet you did it!

Today’s post isn’t about solutions for your home, rather I’d like to encourage and inspire you! Winter can be long in Alberta, or wherever you live, and challenges abound around us all, yet life is beautiful. There is so much to be joyful and hopeful about and I’d like to point us all in that direction.

Do you ever feel like there are so many tasks, chores, or work to do that you don’t know where to start? Rooms to clean, menu’s to plan, errands to run, food to cook, activities to arrange, items to organize? Or that there are many lovely hobbies and activities that you’d like to do but don’t think you have the aptitude for, creativity for, or time to tackle such endeavours? After all, don’t other people have more skill and time?

Yet, I disagree! You can do it ! We’ve had many adventures in our life and the big ones took a lot of prayer and wisdom from others. Many adventures are simply meaningful little tasks we’ve tried along the way.

Throughout our life we’ve sometimes been told, “It couldn’t be done” about many things:…..getting married young without financial footing, not finishing my Education degree, being a homemaker rather than a professional, raising small kids in Hong Kong, travelling with small children by myself, homeschooling, leaving a job flying the biggest airplane in the world to getting paid a fraction of the wage and still homeschooling and staying at home, moving continents, moving from the city to living in a tiny cabin, building a log house, being our own contractors, installing our own solar system, homeschooling through high school, post graduation years at home, building up our farm. Over and over we were subtly or not so subtly informed “It couldn’t be done” And yet, we did it and we are still doing it!

If we can do it, so can you, and likely with many adventures along your way too.

Discussing the next step.

It was over 17 years ago that we decided to follow a life-long dream of Brad’s: building our home on the family farm he grew up on. So we were on our way to a new adventure!
We sold our Acreage, condensed our belongings from a 3000 square foot house into a 700 square foot cabin and began the development of our homestead where we installed a solar system and began construction of our log house. In 2011 we began farming, continued construction of the house and shop as well as clearing land for 3 barn sites, developed orchards, gardens, farm buildings, fences, and landscaping of our home site.

Spring will come!

Now, all this may sound glamorous and adventurous, difficult, impossible, daunting: yet really it has been numerous simple small steps, one little foot in front of the other. …….. It has been about the bumpy and sometimes uncomfortable task of working together as a family. It has been about not listening to those small little whispering and subtle suggestions that suggest “It cannot be done”…..

Even though this was, and still is, a LARGE SCALE PROJECT, my favourite ones are actually the little ones, the everyday ones, that seem just as exciting and daunting at times, such as planting tomato and pepper seedlings, figuring out how to put up a wall hanging on a plaster wall, making sourdough bread, organizing a closet, moving a heavy piano in the winter time, finding room for the piano in a somewhat full house, taking a health course, overcoming sickness, collecting eggs in the hen house with a rooster that likes to attack me! The list goes on!

Tomato and Pepper seedlings starting to grow!

My favourite poem, “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar Guest, has been a tremendous encouragement when I have any projects to tackle, large or small in nature.

It Couldn’t Be Done

by Edgar Guest – 1881-1959

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
     But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
     Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
     On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever had done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

What are some of the little, or large scale things you’ve hoped to accomplish this winter? What projects are you working on?

Could it be learning how to bake bread or make sour dough?

Perhaps planning and starting a garden?

Or saving seeds this year for your own Heritage collection of garden seeds?

Starting a business?

Are you learning a new hobby?

What about playing a musical instrument?

Maybe it is de-cluttering your house or even just one room or closet?

Sometimes the subtle “It Couldn’t Be Done” comes from ourselves! Trust me, I’ve had to learn most of what I do by a lot of trial and error, with a lot of mistakes along the way, a lot of humble pie, so if I can do it, so can you!

Your home matters, your projects, interests, hopes and dreams all matter, you are in your own family and community for a reason. By doing the little things right in front of you well, loving those right in front of you well, simple duties done well, responsibilities done well, little things done with great love will allow your strengths, gifts and your abilities to shine through.

Some jobs do not provide accolades at the end, yet they are essential for the operation of a family, of a business, of any organization. Every job is meaningful; the job of sweeping the floor, cleaning the bathroom, keeping the laundry pile washed and put away, menu’s planned, groceries purchased, stories read to children, walls washed, gardens planned, music played, games organized – all are a gift to others because it means order, wonder, and beauty in the home.

Rebecca encourages me in all my little and big projects!

In this adventure and journey of life, as our homemaking journey continues through beautiful seasons, through the darker days of winter, through hope filled moments or through more difficult days… can do it, one little step at a time.

Whether the new loaf of bread turns out splendidly or poorly, whether the tomato seedlings grow outstandingly or not at all, whether the homeschool day seems productive or disorganized, whether everyone is cheerful or grumbles at each other, whether the sun shines or it is a greyish cloudy day, whether the task you take on today seems large or small, whether the project feels big yet seems like it would be simple to someone else… can do it!

Your desire to love those right in front of you, to follow God’s will in the duty of the moment, His grace in your life, remembering that relationships matter more than anything else, and doing little things with great love will mean for each one of us “It Couldn’t Be Done”….and we did it.

Brad and Rebecca, encourage so many people in their little’s!

One last point: don’t be afraid to make mistakes….., any of you who are familiar with making kombucha or water kefir soda, or apple cider at home, may appreciate my kitchen quote: “We are not perfect, and things do blow up!” I’ve blown up a few bottles, quite literally, glass everywhere!

One of my numerous “blow up” messes in the kitchen! I forgot to put the lid on the blender and turned it on! Totally ruined the tamper too!

6 thoughts on “It Couldn’t Be Done …..yet you did it!”

  1. Yes! Step by step, little by little, enjoying moment by moment, living in the now and still dreaming big! Loved seeing your beautiful smiles!

  2. Catherine O'Toole

    Thanks for the messages Cindy. I needed to see this today. Someone is trying to tell me something today as I also got a lovely book of poems in the mail today. Written by a cousin about small things in life. When we stop and look at the beauty of a cup half full. Lovely to see your beautiful faces. 💖

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed the post! How encouraging your words are and I am so glad to hear about the book of poems; it sounds delightful. And yes, the beauty of a cup half full is so important to remember.

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