What can I say about homesteading?  Some might consider it a trendy term for those who engage in activities that were the norm years ago–canning, freezing, dehydrating, cooking, gardening, homemaking, etc.  Personally, I consider it another prayer practice.  Prayer?  Yes, prayer.

Several years ago my spiritual director asked me, “What is your prayer practice like?”  I explained that I was trying to be disciplined about centering prayer, but after trying it on the couch, my bed, and my yoga mat, it just didn’t seem to come naturally.

So she asked me, “Tell me about something you do that is enjoyable.”

I began explaining my canning process.  It is one I hold very sacred to my heart.  It begins with laying out a special cloth my mother brought me from Africa and transitions into using a ladle and large colander that I purchased with a friend in an Amish store in PA, and finishes with the jars singing their tune as they “ping” while cooling down.

My guide looked at me and said, “That’s your prayer practice.”  And sure enough she was right.

Just like gardening or farming, homesteading slowed me down and helped me appreciate the simpler things.  When I immerse myself in skills like canning or sewing or cooking, I give up all that ego of who I think I am, and I simply exist in the presence of the activity or of the Spirit.

I daresay that if you asked anyone to define prayer, they might just say the same thing.