Thursday, April 21, 2011

A "Little House" Life

Things have been quiet on this blog lately.
Only five posts in this month of April - small doings compared to my usual 20+ posts a month.

I'm busy as a little birdie finishing up a semester of school {finals due today!} and planting the kitchen garden and trying to keep up with all of the things life with the three little piggies brings.
And dreaming...I've been dreaming a lot.
Asking questions.
Praying and bringing ideas to God.
{Ideas are useless until they've been brought to Him, I've found.}

I'm afraid this post is going to be a thoughtful one.
So, if you're into the pictures and the funny/sweet anecdotes and not much else, you may want to skip to the next blog on your list...

I've been asking myself "why" a lot - which always leads me to asking God, "why" a lot.
Why do I have the abilities and interests I do?
Why am I going back to school?
Why do I want to be a nurse?
Why am I raising my children to know the goodness of God?
About all of it.

I've gotten some answers...thankfully.
I'm not going to presume I know all of the ins and outs and how things will turn out and what God wants to do with it all.
I don't know...and I'm glad. Because, after all, if I were able to figure out every nuance of how God is directing my life, if I knew everything there is to know about the way He works, He wouldn't be very mysterious would he?
If I knew just how He was going to do things, He would be a whole lot like me {scary thought!} and He wouldn't be too worth worshipping.
So, although I wonder and wish {and, periodically freak out} I'm glad I don't know exactly what He's doing.
There is comfort in that, oddly.

I don't know to a T...but I've gotten some beautiful direction in the past few weeks.
Just enough to keep me keep me excited and focused.

I have always wanted to give my children a Little House on the Prairie type of childhood.
You know, the kind where Ma is always at home and ready to give, and she's baking bread every Thursday and hanging clothes out on the line every Saturday.
Pa is out, making the living and then he's home and telling stories by the fire in between songs on the fiddle.
Mr. B. doesn't play that's out.
But you know what I mean.
Little House on the Prairie; where things are routine and comfy and sometimes there's a great big snowstorm that keeps you cooped up for weeks but things pretty much run smooth.
And it feels good.
Like home.

But why?
{Told you I was asking that a lot.}
Why do my children need Little House on the Prairie?
Will it strengthen their character?
Will it teach them to serve?
Will they grow closer to God?
Maybe. Possibly.
But have we been called to a Laura Ingalls life?

Not really.
Here's what I've been called to:
{And you too, if you call yourself a follower of Christ.}

"Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.
Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys."
luke 12:32

"...He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound...
to comfort all who mourn..."
isaiah 61:1,2

Those are big words.
Revolutionizing words.
Especially when comfort and a sweet home life and steadiness has been your aim.
There's nothing "Little House" about that.

But lately, comfort and home have been much less comfortable and home-like to me.
I've been squirmy and less confident in my own skin, so-to-speak.
I've seen the hurt and need in the world and I've looked at my own life and said...
"This isn't what its all about.
I have something to give...I can help them...
and I'm not."

I just finished this book {admittedly, it is probably the catalyst for many of these thoughts I've been having} and this portion struck me.

"...orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."
-Radical by David Platt

Which is so true.
Since I held those doe-eyed, glossy-haired orphans in China; so full of need, I have not been able to shake them.
{That was almost 10 years ago.}

If I am called...ordered to go and bind up the brokenhearted what am I doing here?
Hunkered in my little house on the Midwestern prairie with my sweet babies and a man that loves me?
Why aren't we using our resources to go, as a family, and do what God has told us to do?

Those were my questions...big ones, right?

Here's the conclusion that I've come to:
Everything that I'm doing, right now, and in the future, is done with this end in mind:
To serve other people and glorify God.

My schooling & a nursing career are the bottom rungs on this ladder that I'm climbing to get me to the place where I can go
 {into the world, you guys, not just next door...into the world}
and pour myself out for other people.

The end goal here is not to be a nurse and have a fabulous job outside of my home and give my family good things.
No - it's so far from that.
I have to do this to give us the opportunity to be mobile.
So someday we can sell our things and roam the earth and find people that are in need {physically, but even more so spiritually} and help meet their needs.

It's a life of sacrifice.
But is it really?
Wont my children learn so much more about God and life and love if they're out serving with Ma & Pa than if they're cuddled up under hand-stitched quilts by the fire?
Isn't a life of giving and service so much more meaningful than a bedroom full of Zhu Zhu hamsters and iPods?

I say, "Yes."
A resounding, "Yes."

We're not going to pick up and leave the US in the next month.
{Although that would be wild fun...}
Probably not even the next few years.
We've got some hard work to put in before we can be free enough to make a big move.
But, while we work and wait, I am going to be conscious of the small things I can do to bind up the brokenhearted and serve the poor where I am.
And you can be darn sure I'm going to be planning and dreaming and preparing for a major life-shift in the next five to ten years.

It felt good to get that out.
I've been mulling it over so much lately that putting it "out there" is freeing, somehow.

I hope you have a beautiful Easter weekend.
{If you make some bird's nests it is sure to be a sweet one.}
: )


Andrea said...

such sweet and beautiful words. thank you for sharing your heart, and your dreams with me! i enjoy this kinda post every now and then again sprinkled between all your other fab posts!

Alicia Marie said...

Beautifully written. I feel like I ask those questions quite often, especially when I barely get out of my pjs all day and my house is a toy-filled mess. My pastor once said that mothers that stay home with their little ones are impacting the world just as strongly and as great as those who are out in the mission field. The ability to direct the course of a new life is a steep order and nothing to look down upon. Everything in life is a season, and us mothers will have our chance to do more in the world, but now is a small short season in life where we are impacting our children's world.
Whew. That was long, and my pastor said is sooo much better than i just paraphrased it.
Anyway, rambling aside, thanks for the great reminder. Happy Easter!

Alexandria said...

you're inspiring. i can't wait to see where we all end up .. the kinds of lives we're all going to live.

love you. keep truckin' ... someday our educations will pay off :)

Lucy said...

Wow, so exciting. And I have had similar thoughts, but I don't have a young family to centre me. Some people might say it would be harder to travel and help others if you have a family, I disagree. I think it might help to have that unit to operate from and in, so that you all have each other and that key part of your life fulfilled as you operate in the wider world. And that it need not be sacrifice, it makes sense in a way that helping others should be a gift to both sides.

I think you are so doing the right thing with your nursing (good luck re finals btw!), and I feel in the future you could really help alot of people, I hope the plan unfolds in time and my guess is it will be glorious!!

Pepper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pepper said...

In 15 years when your kids are teenagers they may have wished to have had a home that served as a base, they may have wished to have friends that had know them since they were 3, they may long for some sense of "normalcy" but essentially I believe they will be forever grateful for the experiences you will give them and will have so much of a better understanding of the world.

Friends can be made everywhere, homes can be made anywhere, and normal can be anything..

I so support your ideas and your longing. It is refreshing to see a person with such a vision.. I cannot wait to see where you and your loves go!