Hey guys! Today I want you to meet my sweet friend, Anna Hodges. Anna and I have been friends for years and years and I adore her and her precious family. I know that you will, too!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a wife and mom of two boys. We live on a small farm in the country. One of my life verses is 1 Thessalonians 4:11 which says, “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands.” I try to live that verse out as best I can.
Share your testimony.
I became a Christian when I was 12 years old. Like most believers, there have been ups and downs—times when I walked closely with the Lord and times when I didn’t. If I had to boil my testimony down to a few short sentences, I would simply share that it’s never too late for God to do a work in anyone’s life. No matter how far you’ve strayed or how badly you’ve messed up, God still longs for a relationship with you. The more you run from Him or try to push Him away, the tighter He holds on to you. As my dear friend Rev. Michael Mason says, “Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to see that He IS the rock at the bottom.” Can I get an “amen”!?!? I’ve been there, and so have many others…there is HOPE, there is JOY, there is PEACE available to anyone who wants to give it all over to the Lord and let Him take control.
You’ve recently become a stay-at-home mom. Is this something you’ve always dreamed of doing? What events/circumstances led to you making this decision?
About 6 years ago, my husband and I started homesteading—partly as a hobby and partly because we wanted to know more about where our food was coming from. As our homestead grew and turned into an actual business, it became more than we could handle well with both of us working full-time. I loved the idea of exiting the “rat-race” and ridding myself of all the stress that comes with it, so last winter, we decided that I would quit my job as a teacher and tend to the farm. It’s been scary giving up part of our income, but it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
What practical advice do you have for someone who is considering quitting their job, either to stay home or follow some other dream?
1. Be attuned to the Holy Spirit. Not every good opportunity is a God opportunity. If you’re just following your heart or emotions, it likely won’t work out well in the end.
2. Weigh all the consequences, both good and bad, of making the leap. Consider the consequences for your spouse and children as well.
3. Once a decision is made with Godly discernment, don’t second-guess it. Embrace the new opportunity (even the challenges that may come as a result).
What is something you are passionate about?
I volunteer each week at Refuge of Grace women’s ministry. Refuge of Grace is a jail ministry and residential program for women who have experienced crisis but are ready to be restored and transformed through the love of Jesus Christ. It’s an incredible ministry that is so dear to my heart.
Life is so busy these days–how do you recharge?
Life has really slowed down for me since becoming a stay-at-home mom/farmer. But my husband and I still don’t have a lot of “us only” time. We’ve started being very intentional about making time for that, even if it’s just for an hour or two. We plan lunch dates or drop the boys off at Nana’s for an hour so we can go for a walk. Even if you’re working full-time and running here and there with the kids, you’ve GOT to prioritize time with your mate. If there’s not unity in your marriage, everything else is likely to all apart.
Tell us three things you are loving (books, tv shows, products, etc.).
3. WordBrain game app. It is incredibly challenging but quite addictive. (I justify playing this game by claiming it’s an Alzheimer’s preventative.)
“Not every good opportunity is a God opportunity.” <–That is some great wisdom!
Thank you, Anna, for sharing your life with us! My favorite part of Anna’s story is that she had a dream–to stay home, work the farm business, and volunteer her time for God’s glory with the Refuge House–and she stepped out in faith. That’s great encouragement for the rest of us!