Call to arms wide open

I am so tired of caring about everything. Of having an opinion about every single headline. Of having to have arguments at the ready, or at the very least, responses. To misdirect, self reflect or just avoid. I am so tired of this shit. I am so tired.

And that doesn’t make it easier, or over, or ok to stop moving forward. I’m just weary. I am so weary of the world we keep inventing for ourselves. Where our righteousness is more aligned with our self-inflicted comfort zones than any actual gospel. And the Gospel doesn’t even have to be mine, it can be yours. His, hers, theirs. Just, other than this.

What are we doing? What the fuck are we doing? I don’t want to keep writing this but I can’t stop coming back to it. Start in your home, at your table. Talk to your neighbors, like, very literally go outside and talk to someone who lives next to you. Say hi. Hello! Look into their eyes, know their children’s names, pet their dog. Remember their address, anniversary, retirement, grandchildren, birthday, sadness, celebration. Remember anything about them. They’re the house with the broken fence? Fix it.

FIX IT.

Care. Give a goddamn about someone else. Get outside, see some trees. Stand on the ground. Dirt, grass, mud. Get your naked feet on top of the earth any way possible. Breathe. Look up. Please, look up. UP! See the trees in the breeze, watch out the window when you’re a passenger. When someone talks, pay attention. Is there music out your window? Enjoy it. Is it different than you would normally play for yourself … go see why. Go to the block parties, go to the performances, go to the places where people who are not you in the mirror or a reflection of you on a screen are living on purpose. Go. See. Be there. Breathe there, too. Be you, be curious. Ask questions, cook together. Get involved.

Be better.

We are better than every news anchor is making us out to be, we just are. We are. We can do hard things. We can learn and unlearn and we can change our minds and expand our possibilities. We can grow. We can. I know we can.

Because I have.

I’ve been in the places where people point and snicker, whisper behind our backs. Love us in the moment and then immediately cast us as other when we’re gone. I have been in those places, I am those stories. I am those women. I am your sister, daughter, friend. I remember my before.

I was right, then, too.

We can do hard things. We can do this. Shut your mouth and open your heart.

Next

Over eight years ago we bought our Faithful House. I wrote about this on my blog … about how this house taught me about weary bones and being brought back from the brink of the edge. How I felt, driving aimlessly around our town looking for a home we could afford to purchase, that this home would hold something so essential, so completely life giving to our family that I could trust God. That what I had dreamed of, what I had heard in the whispers of my soul – I hadn’t made up. I hadn’t heard wrong.

This house was our Faithful House. God is faithful. These walls, this foundation, this fertile ground we grew up and out of – it bore so much fruit in our lives. Memories and being woven together as a family and sleepovers and friendships and the gift of hosting. We’ve shared this home with so many people, whom we love, this house knit us back together after the storm of life ravaged our hearts. This home held us together through life crises and helped me flip decades from 20’s to 30’s. This house was a dream maker, a hospice for our souls. And we have loved her so much.

In April of 2020 we made a list of the Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves for a new home in my journal. We very much wanted to buy an existing home that we could do some (not a ton of structural) work to. We wanted the same amount of yard, or more, and more room inside the home. The kids each got to give us their input and then we kind of laughed at each other and were like, what now?

I’ll tell you: months of looking. Seeing every home we thought might fit the bill, our rock star Realtor was always available. We started looking at land to build, because, as it turns out, we were very serious about moving. But we started to feel weary in the search. It’s definitely a sellers market, so homes we would look at inevitably had multiple offers within days. We were ready, but we just couldn’t justify any of them as the place we wanted to fight for.

I had to wrestle all kinds of demons about what it meant to find the house we wanted, if I was “allowed” to have a home like this or if we “deserved” it.

But now it’s time to move. So we sold this faithful house. In a whirlwind 29 hours from listing to signatures. The house we bought is another blank slate that we can’t wait to pour into.

Since I can remember, I’ve never pictured my life beyond the age of 36. That was just the number for me. My mom’s life changed dramatically for her at age 36 – and I think it just stuck with me. If I can make it to 36, I’ll have lived. We’ll be closing on our new home days away from my 37th birthday. God. He writes the most beautiful stories.

He let me do it all. He let me write life lists and cross off items as if I was the author of it. He let me have my babies, and He let me heal from the pain of my past. He let me have a beautiful marriage and a man who never saw anything but beauty in my mess. He let me go, and watched with wrapt interest in my love for this world as I came running back to Him, enamored with what I saw. What I had learned. He held me as I wept over loss and healed my broken pieces with compassion and understanding. He never told me I did it wrong, He never told me not to. He waited for me to walk – and then He went with me. EVERYWHERE. God. He writes the most beautiful stories.

This new home is the home my children with leave from. They’ll leave as adults, carrying their wounds, accomplishments, their tender hearts and their future hopes and dreams.

They’ll leave my nest and return to me a beautiful creature in flight.

Thats what this new home is.

It’s next.

control

First, Thanks! For taking the survey and for giving me some much needed feed back for the future of this place. We’re getting a little facelift here in the next couple months and if there’s any time to make a change, it’s now. So I wanted to be sure. You’re all great!

The survey itself will be up for a while yet, so if you haven’t weighed in yet and want to – you’re welcome to do so. It’s anonymous.

AND! Today is the last day to put your name in the drawing bin for a bouquet of flowers. Weather has turned grey in Holland so I’m excited to be sharing some upbeat flowers with you.

Now, I’m feeling very out of control of my life. All the things that I think I, as a mother and as a woman, want are gone from my life. A house to make a home, space to create things, babies, security and even my own body image. I’m grasping at strings for something to make me feel like I’m DOING something. No matter that I still make meals for our family, mother our children, help with homework and write, take photos and go to events.

All of that is worthy of mention but I still feel so out of control of my own life. I don’t feel sorry for myself (most of the time) I just feel … bored. And a little lost. Like I’m walking on this path with no map and that’s exciting and very much an adventure … but there are stretches of the journey that I just need a destination.

Have you ever felt like that? Are you with me now?

A few weeks ago our pastor at church mentioned how he and his wife had literally fell to their knees praying about their baby who was still in the hospital and I remember thinking to myself … how uncomfortable. How awkward. With your spouse? Praying outloud?? On your knees?

How about I just lay it out there. We don’t do that but I want to. Praying is weird to me, I do it and I even enjoy it and I believe it works … but still. Talking to nothing? I might as well talk to myself. Talk to nothing WITH someone else? Who can hear what you have to say and how you say it? Um. No.

Lets just say that I need to get over myself more than anything else. I’m aware.

Going through this transition in our lives I’ve found that there are days when the ONLY thing I CAN do is literally get on my knees and trust that someone is listening.

I’d love to keep it light here. To only show you the fun and the crafts and the smiles. To talk about food (mmmmm) and share recipes, how tos and DIY lists. If that was all I had to do, this would be cake. But you’ve been my “talking to nothing” for so long. I would feel lonely without this kind of outlet.

So, I’m feeling out of control of my life. Which is ok. It’s probably good for once. I’m not feeling helpless or without a solution. I’m just feeling … different.

And different is good.