What has me thinking so much about what I want out of life is that, we as a family, are getting pretty close to making some big decisions. I don't like big decisions. They scare me - I feel like you put all of yourself into something and then if it doesn't work out...well, the regret....I don't want the regret. It's a faith issue...it's a "I'm scared to jump" issue. It may be "I'm afraid to change what I've always wanted issue."
Maybe I'm just nuts. Maybe I just want the best. Maybe I should learn that we can learn without regrets - maybe that's it.
I'm an earth lover. Nothing makes me more happy than a long hike through sunlit woods and the smells of sap and earth and the songs of birds and bees. Nothing. I have been known to actually hug trees - to find a pine that is basking in sunlight and to stick my nose right up to it's bark and say to my kids "come here guys, smell. Isn't that just the most beautiful smell?" I love the earth.
Because of this love I have always thought that I would live somewhere open and green, lots of fresh air and quiet space. I thought I would have animals and possibly bees and fruit trees and rain barrels. I thought I would see my kids running free, jumping on rocks their second nature - hard good physical labor their hobby - I imagined little fingers helping to unburden the always full clothesline, I imagined berries in baskets...propped on little hips. I saw a pantry filled with little jars full of jams and homemade pickles, I smelled homemade bread and rosemary.
This is what I wanted. When I describe "home" I guess this is the dream that I wanted that for three long years I've felt could in no way ever come to true.
We have a dilemma. I think in the long run it's a good dilemma - but sometimes the longings of one's heart can get in the way of other longings. It's pretty conflicting. Our dilemma is simply: we love people. My husband and I really really would love to help people...the poor, the broken, the hopeless. We love them. Our second dilemma (did I say just just one?) is not as simple : we cherish financial peace. At least we think we cherish it...we've never quite had it but we cherish the idea of it.
Going off far from the city would maybe make us isolated...at least in the areas that we have looked (which is everywhere around here.) We could do things from far away...you can give online, pack care packages, drive into town often to meet at our church and volunteer around town...that could be a positive impact for sure. We have explored this option over and over again because our ideal is to not live in the city. We could try to find a very old house that wasn't very big...but land in these parts is pricey. Also, we don't know to what degree our sons will be independent when they are adults...it would be good to have room for them no matter what the future holds. Winters are long around here and we would enjoy SPACE for kids to play - we don't need a huge house. We would like space though. We have lived in 900 square feet before with four kids - we will leave it at "that was quite an experience." See...there are some significant dilemmas with my "dream."
I can't shake this feeling - maybe it's not a feeling. I don't absolutely know if our ideal is what is going to be best for our family. My hubby doesn't know either. He says we can have both...a home with all of those lovely things...garden, fresh baked bread, peace - and we can have the city if that's where things work out for us to be.
The good news...my heart is becoming excited about this possibility - this Urban Homesteading possibility. What if we did live right smack in the middle of a big metro city? What if our home was still a refuge of peace because of our spirit and our priorities? What if my yard, even if it was only 1/4 of an acre, was full of good things? What if I had fruit trees lining the yard, a small chicken coop in the corner, raised beds full of spinach and peppers and tomatoes to share? What if my hearts desire and my longings could come true even if they are different then I imagined? What if this would also allow me to be more flexible with volunteering, closer to where the homeless live, closer to music lessons and friendships? What if my heart is stirring and it's Him that's preparing me for something very amazing....a change of heart without a change of intent?
Deep down I know that beauty in simple things is who I am and no matter where I live, simple things will be a part of my life. The kids are already barefoot, my food is already homemade, flowers are already growing...music is constantly filling my home and giggles are abundant.
Today I'm just inspired. Today I've realized that a dream is what you make of it. Life is what you make of it. You are what you make of you...and home really is "where the heart is."
My heart is with my treasures...my four littles, my amazing husband, and my amazing God.
It's going to be fine. It's going to me more then fine. I'm already home.