What does it mean to live deliberately?
To me it means to have the freedom of choice - to choose how to live based on your ideals and beliefs. It means making decisions that reflect these standards.
For example, our family chooses not to participate fully in the consumer society and instead we are working towards being producers. I cannot remember the last time I stepped foot in a walmart, for example. I did go into AC Moore while visiting my father last February.
Generally, though, we avoid buying new things - and we do look to local or small businesses first. It may be a few more dollars to buy a gallon of paint at our small town hardware store, but I am so grateful that it is there when we remember at 4:00 in the afternoon that we are out of chicken grain and it is 30 minutes to a decent size town. We chose to live in a very rural area in northern Vermont where there are simply less temptations for consumption - no walmart or department stores nearby and many others live much like we do.
We are content to live with less. By doing so it means that we don't have to put such a large emphasis on earning money. Yes, we have seven children to support and we do have to be realistic, but one of our goals is to learn to do more on our own or to barter so that money isn't our main focus. This choice allows us the flexibility to spend more time with one another or to serve others - like spending an afternoon together cleaning our church.
Renee, from the blog, FIMBY, reminded me recently "to not take for granted yesterday's plans and dreams that become routine." As our family is at the stage of moving forward toward creating new dreams, I need to push aside times of discontent and remember that we are living our first dream - of working, learning and loving together on a little homestead down a country dirt road.