Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This article has given me a lot to think about in the building of our domestic monastery. I am taking much of his advice, working with each suggestion, one after the other, as they relate to our life here, and our goals for life and land. His first suggestion: make a list of the four or five “most important things” - values, goals, priorities. What are they, and how are they placed in my life?

1. God. My primary value, goal, and priority is relationship with him. Now, and ongoing.

2. My family falls right below God. But what does that mean, exactly? I mean that my relationship to my husband, our life together is something I value more than anything but my relationship to God. Along with that - a part of it, and only slightly below it is my relationship to my daughter. The whole of it, our family life together, our shared solitude and shared community are priorities in my life, and I work hard to make them living priorities.

3. Beauty. A quick description would be that this is my commitment to building a life that embraces and nourishes beauty in the world. A clean home, a life full of books, and growing things, time for play all fall into this.

4. Art. Sort of a sub-group of beauty, but with a need to carve out a space of it’s own, art refers primarily to my writing and pottery goals.

5. Building a natural, semi-self-sufficient life. The homestead, gardens, animals, herbalism, food and fabric. Hugely time consuming, I know, but it isn’t time spent on nothing, it’s time spent enjoying my land, growing it, nourishing it, and crafting it into a thing of beauty.


  1. The self-sufficient lifestyle certainly attracts me, but I've never been adept at growing things. What I'd like to do right now--the little I can do--is start to bake my own bread and learn to crochet things other than blankets!

  2. There is an AMAZING and very helpful bread book, called The Breadbakers Apprentice..I don't remember the author, but I'm going to do a resources page (stealing from you actually ;) and put it there.

    It completely changed my baking, I used to be - eh- and now I'm good. Or, I will be good again once I get used to baking in a wood oven!

    I'm not the best at growing things, but my husband is, and I'm learning..slowly, sometimes, but we're not so self-sufficient I can't go drown my failures in ice-cream or something :)