Needless to say, I have neglected this site for some time. I have had good intentions. I planned on staying up to date here, hoped to post inspirational tidbits, and share my latest kitchen adventures. Instead, I found myself completely uninspired. I refused to force it, so I chose to avoid writing until I really felt the need to do it.
In April, it will mark one year since we bought our first house and moved to the “hills”. It has been a major learning experience, and a lot of work, but overall, incredibly rewarding. I have found that even with maintaining my home, taking care of the children and their education, and keeping ridiculously odd hours, I am left with a lot of quiet time. That doesn’t mean I’m not BUSY, just that I can think. At first this wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I found my thoughts to be quite loud, and I couldn’t head out to the nearest thrift store to distract myself. I couldn’t take a quick trip to the store, go to the park with the kids, or stop by and visit the hubs at work. The fact is that I am 40 miles away from the nearest ANYTHING, and I was forced to listen to myself, so to speak, and deal with my thoughts and ideas.
I thought about a lot. Some things were rational thoughts, such as how I wanted to landscape the front yard. Some was not, such as how I was going to get us completely “off grid” in a year. Right. Funny how free time to think can twist reality.
Most of the time, though, I thought about who I was becoming living here. How I was changing, and perhaps more importantly, how I was staying the same. More specifically, how I was becoming myself even more. I realized that who I was all along was discovered while living here, and how that person isn’t that much different from who I was a child. How my hopes and dreams as a little girl were finally coming to fruition, and how faithful my God is. He heard me all those years ago, and took notes. He listened to my weird thoughts and aspirations, and brought them to light. Let me elaborate.
As a little girl, I never had hopes to be a career woman. Being raised in the 80’s, I was the exception among my peers. All my friends knew what they wanted by the time we left High School. I didn’t. Well, I did, but I was afraid to say it out loud.
I always knew I wanted to be married, have children, and be a stay at home mom. Before my kids were born, I knew I wanted to homeschool. I wanted a house on acreage, a small farm, and a beautiful garden. I hoped for two girls and a boy, but wanted to boy to be born first, so that he could protect the girls as they grew older. I wanted a good Christian husband that would be willing to entertain my vision, and see the value in living such an oddball way of life.
I met my husband when I was 15. Married him at 19, and by 21, we had our first child, a son. 15 months later, we had a daughter, and another daughter followed a little over 3 years later. By the arrival of our third (and last) child, I was a stay at home mom, and a homeschooler to boot. Although I hadn’t married a Christian man, he became a Christian 5 months after we got married, and he steadily grew closer to God all the time. I did not find the value in my calling until shortly after the wee one was born, but for the last four years or so, things have become so much clearer in that department.
After moving something like 14 times in 11 years, we finally bought our first house last year. A house on acreage in the hills, with room for a small farm and a beautiful garden. I have not realized the full potential of our little ranch yet, but its coming a bit at a time. I am still homeschooling, tending to my home, and doing the best I can to be a good wife, but that nagging feeling of “not good enough” tends to creep up on me from time to time.
You see, I haven’t given my parents “bragging rights”. I haven’t made it so that they can tout my achievements around the break room table, or highlight my accomplishments in a Christmas letter to extended family. I have, however, probably perplexed, confused, and baffled them from time to time. That is not to say that they dont approve of what I do…or support it…but there is the occasional thought in the back of my first born mind that causes me to wonder if I have disappointed them. Irrational perhaps, but the thought pops up every now and then.
As I stand washing dishes, or pressing shirts, these are the thoughts that zip through my brain. Letting my mind wander can be a bad, bad thing. I contemplate whether or not I should have “me” time. Typically, I do not feel the need for it, quite honestly. This is unsettling to some, and I sometimes feel as though I should have more “me” time just to appease them. Other times, I consider whether or not I am accomplishing what I was made to do; or if I even know what I was made to do. I am much happier when I don’t question things, and just put one foot in front of the other. This is easier said than done when your mind works like mine does.
Recently, I had a bit of a meltdown in front of my husband. I told him that I feel like I am failing at everything I do (another irrational thought) and cried profusely about my inability to make everyone happy. He simply smiled at me, and said:
“Honey, you are not simply living your life. You are creating a legacy.”
No pressure, right?
The more I thought about it, the more I was encouraged. I may not go down in history as a woman who blazed trails and broke barriers. I will not be the most accomplished and credentialed female who ever lived. I will certainly not be rich and famous. But I will be remembered as someone who was truly devoted to her family and more importantly, to God. I will leave a legacy that will hopefully inspire my daughters to be the best they can be to their future spouses and children. I hope that I will raise my son in a way that will cause him to be a man of great virtue and character. This will, in theory, inspire their children’s generation. I hope that what I am investing in my family will start a trend of sorts. One of hope, integrity, and character that will be infectious, and carry on for years to come.
I have had time to contemplate who I am so much, that I have managed to make it more complicated than necessary. That said, I have also achieved what I always hoped for. In a round-about way, I have discovered that what I was created for is exactly what I am doing. I was prepared from a young age to be a revolutionary of sorts. To be what is unpopular in this day and age…to be what is unexpected and sometimes disapproved of. I was groomed from the start to be a throw back to earlier times, a square peg in a round hole. A sort of rebel WITH a cause. A cause much greater than myself.
So as I ask myself the original question, “Who am I?” I am given a simple and effective answer. I am, and hope to always be, A Hopeful Housewife.