A Disciplined Life and Celebration of Independence

One way to immediately plunge yourself into practicing and attaining a more disciplined life is to assume the responsibility of a 1,000 lb ultra-scheduled animal otherwise know as a dairy cow. An Amish dairy cow for that matter who is use to a prompt 5 am schedule that we are slowly retraining to 6:30.
Believe me when I tell you that the romanticism of the agrarian farm life…that of living in a quaint little farm house surrounded by picturesque gardens and fields bustling with the sights and sounds of farm animals, children and nature is nice to think about, however in real life it takes on new meanings you can’t possibly imagine until you are put in the position to experience agrarian farm life in the raw. The old family farm scene typifies the quiet slower paced lifestyle that is long forgotten in today’s modern culture. However, I would just say that the definition of quiet and slower are just different than what modern culture defines them as. Quiet and slower from the hustle and bustle of traffic and smog and the corporate rat race…yes absolutely. However, quiet is a term to be used cautiously when talking about a farm. The quiet farm life consists of cows constantly mooing at all hours of the day. Mooing isn’t the only sounds cows make. As I have said before, the words, “African safari come to mind”. The quiet farm life consists of the sounds of chickens and guineas squawking, turkeys gobbling, birds chirping, pigs squealing and snorting at unheard of sound variations I hadn’t thought possible. The morning time is bustling with the “quietness” of the distinct sounds of farm life. As for the slower paced life… I haven’t worked harder and longer in all my life. The slower pace is really out of the rat race and instead of spinning wheels, we are spinning the wealth of the land for the benefit of our family and community. Work…absolutely! More work in fact, however work that weaves a fabric of multifaceted threads of family life that unite us together as a distinct unit working on our family’s multigenerational goals and visions. It is wonderful work that has brought our family together enabling us to learn more about one another, challenged us to love more sacrificially and most importantly endeared us to our Creator from which all things come.
All this to say, we immediately became aware of how soft and weak the character trait of discipline was in our lives and became keenly aware of how much we did not know.
I am currently reading a book called, “The Family Cow” by Joann Sills Grohman. Albeit a few references that show her lack of understanding of the 6 day creation and age of the earth, the book is absolutely excellent in regards to agrarian based economy and the practical aspects of the family cow. I am loving the book and highly recommend it. For now, it is providing me not only with much appreciated information about the how to’s of milking, but the why’s and history of the cow in regards to how family life operated prior to the last 100 years of disintegration of true freedom found in properly functioning family life and work, sustainable agriculture and local based economy.
On our white board where we keep our daily stats for milk times, milk quantity and egg production as well as any other noted farm product produced here on the farm, I wrote this quote from the book:

“A dairy cow doesn’t ask for much but she asks every day. People who are creating wealth with a cow either are hard working and reliable or they get that way in a hurry.”

I can say that we are not automatically “disciplined” people. We lack the ability to keep or maintain a schedule especially when dealing with early morning hours, however, I can testify to the fact that we are quickly becoming early morning scheduled and routine people who operate on a level we never operated on before. For me, I am so thankful that God placed me in this situation and gave me these circumstances to refine my character and quickly throw me into a more disciplined life than what I am use to. Hard work. Lots of work…but I am seeing huge returns and enjoy those early mornings milking our family milk cow while chatting with my husband. Some people chat over coffee, we chat over a milk pan.
Today, we celebrate Independence and in our family, here at Vaughnshire, we also celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Independence from our corporate American job. It was a joyous occasion with much gratitude and awe to God for His grace and blessings for the path the Lord has walked our family down this last year.


  • Billy Ray says:

    Hey Paul & Bethany,
    Thanks for not glorifying it all… thanks for sharing the realities of farm life, not glossing over everything and sharing how you’ve learned to be a more disciplined family through it all.
    Paul, you’ve got quite a good writer there in Bethay… nicely put.

  • Sarah says:

    Yep. The good ‘ol realities of farm life. I thank God that He has provided for some to live on the farm and some to live in the city. I am thankful for the city. I am also thankful for good clean farmers.