The busyness of life has been weighing on me these last few months. It’s incredible to watch a large event come together, but I always underestimate the amount of work that will go into it. This year we decided to make the Homesteaders of America conference a two-day event, and I’m so happy that we did. Next weekend, October 12 and 13, I get to see all of this hard work that myself and my team have put into this event finally come to fruition. It will be grand. It will scream freedom from the rooftops. And it will bring together a community of people that believe in being good stewards of the land. We’re different to some people, and completely normal to ourselves. I can’t wait to celebrate this life with my fellow weirdos.
In the course of the last two years, I’ve planned two years of homesteading conferences, written two homesteading books, spent every hour of every day being a mom, a friend, and a teacher. During the course of the last hour of me trying to write this blog post, the phone has rang six-and-a-half times, a nine-year-old little boy with crystal blue eyes and dirty hands needed lunch, a basket full of laundry has been folded, and I’ve stared out the window for about forty-five seconds wondering where I put my wallet . . . and my mind.
. . . and all I can think about is, “I just want to write.”
And that’s exactly what I intend to do when the chaos is over, the lights go away, and everything becomes calm and quiet. I’ve never been the person who’s wanted to go completely reclusive, but honestly, I’ve said it more times than not that I’d love to go to a cabin in the woods this winter, sit by myself, watch snow fall, and just do nothing but write by a fire. Perfect world, right?
But even just a small, little break (this blog post) makes a creative’s soul happy. So today I’m writing . . . and it might not make a whole lot of sense . . . but it’s old school blogging at it’s finest. Welcome to the early 2000’s and the way we used to blog.
I want to document this life that is flying by me so fast, here we go.
I looked into the eyes of my little boy this morning and realized—with the weight of 1,000 stones—that he really isn’t going to stay little forever. His shoulders are more defined. His face is turning into a pre-teen’s face. And next year he’ll be double digits in age. And what have I done to change his life? What have I offered him that he can give to the world? I hope that I’ve done enough to make him a good contributor to society—a hard worker, a loving and kind husband, a gentle father—but these are only things a mother can pray and hope for. In nine year’s he’ll be eighteen and more than likely out on his own. In nine years, I’ll have all the time in the world to do the things I do now that I feel like I have zero time to do. And I’ll be a young empty-nester . . . forty-years-old in just nine more years. They say forty is the new thirty, right? A reminder that life’s first priority and blessing as a woman and mother, has been him. This little boy who’s not so little anymore.
I want to make a difference. And I want to write about it. And I want to live it. Someone who’s been in a different type of spotlight recently said to me, “I’m not in the business of entertaining anymore, I’m in the business of making a difference.” It completely changed my mindset. Those few words literally stopped me on the phone and I had to scramble to make up conversation after that. I love words. Words are a powerful thing in life, even if you don’t realize it. It’s the missing piece to the chaos I’ve been organizing these last few years. Making a difference makes it all worth it. I wrote a little more about that here. And normally, hard things in life aren’t easy (hence, why they’re hard), but they make a difference. Like a chisel to stone that creates a diamond—one day it will all shine. All things work together for the good of those who love Him.
Often times we get confused, lost, distracted—we need people in our lives who will sing our soul songs back to us when we’ve forgotten how the melody. And this is exactly what happened that day on that phone call. And maybe he’ll never know, but I’d like to think that someone, some day, will sing that same song right back to him. What you put out into the world you’ll get back . . . of this I’m certain.
I’ve been blessed with a lot of people like that in my life. Two of my closet friends—Ann and Nunda—have been a rock for this girl’s heart and mind this past year. I couldn’t ask for two better women to love on me, preach gospel to me, be a listening ear when I’m upset, or celebrate life and happiness with me. You can always tell who the good people are in your life—they’ll celebrate you, even if they’re going through a hard time of their own. And likewise, you for them. It truly is an iron sharpens iron relationship. We’ve laughed together, cried together, hurt together . . . friendships like ours deserve to be documented and celebrated. Strong women friendships are the best friendships . . . and yes, they really do exist. You have to go find your tribe, my friend. Your tribe has to be found, fought for, and tended. It won’t just show up one day.
I want to write songs. In fact, one of my goals for 2019 is to get almost all of the 25+ songs I’ve written copyrighted. It will be something new for me, but necessary. My dad has been on me since I was 15-years old to copyright my music. Actually, most people don’t realize that my writing journey began because I just loved writing songs. Raw emotion captured in words—it’s my favorite thing in life. Writing books and blogs didn’t come along until later in life, because I’ve always believed, and still somewhat believe, that writing songs will get me (personally) no where in life. But then I think of all the things I’ve accomplished on my own, and I realize I’m the biggest hypocrite to tell myself that. It’s one of the final things on my life’s “bucket list” to accomplish—publishing a song. But the funny part (and the most frustrating part for my dad), is that I don’t want to sing it. Sure, I can sing alright (a “songwriter’s voice”, I call it), but I’ve never wanted to be a singer. Just a writer. I just want to write . . .
I want to write another book. But not a homesteading book. I feel like I’ve written and poured my homesteading little brain onto so much paper these last few years. And while I’m sure it has made a difference in people’s lives, I still want something more. There’s something more inside of me. Something that could really make a difference. I stumbled upon a half-written book that I started a few years ago. A raw, real, book about womanhood . . . about strong women friendships . . . about the emotions women go through in life. “Dear Younger Self” is what it should really be titled, but it’s not just for the girls. It’s for the women who walk through life every single day. The ones who need hope, redemption, grace, unconditional love. It’s for the girls who need to be reminded that their worth belongs in Christ alone—not a friendship, not a career, not social media, not a man. And yet, that those very things can create in your heart one of the most amazing women you’ll ever meet—yourself. Hello, self. It’s time I really got to know you.
For months now I’ve pulled myself away from social media enough to just be aware of top headlines, posts I need to schedule on my Facebook page, and the very few people that I interact with on a regular basis. Instagram has been my pretty place. A place to post photos, stories, life. I like Instagram. But more than that, I’ve loved not being so consumed by society through social media. It sure can bring you down when your brain is already on over load. I’ve been telling people that if they even remotely want to get in touch with me, send me an email . . . or better yet, pick up the phone. You know, the phone that still makes phone calls where you can hear the other person on the end of the line. You can hear their voice, their tone, their emotion. That’s where you can find me now days.
I want to spend more time with my grandparents. Sometimes we just sit there in silence, but even silence has a lot to say. I want to write their stories . . . their memories . . . even as they start to fail them. I want to be there. I want to be present, not perfect. Present.
One of my grandparent’s helpers was expressing her gratitude for my inspirational posts recently. How they make a difference, how they make you think. How people might wish to be “like that”. I want to do more of that. But I want you to be more of you, too. The world needs a lot more people like you . . . whoever you are, reading this.
More than anything, though, I ache for January. I wrote about this recently, too, again in a Facebook post. How normally people’s favorite holidays are the ones where you get presents, share love, or find chocolate eggs. My favorite holiday isn’t really a holiday at all, and yet it is—New Year’s Day. Brad Paisley coined it best when he said, “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” And it’s true. Maybe it’s immature to think that with a new year can come a new life or a new motive or a new destination, but I don’t think so. I think it’s a little thing called hope. Or faith. Or drive. Whichever you prefer to call it, it is what it is, and it’s the first book in a new year to your story. Shut the old one, pick up a blank one, and change your life. Make a difference. Do something.
Every new year morning I wake up and say, “today doesn’t have to be the same as all your yesterday’s . . . what are you going to do this year?” And then, it’s up to you to stick with it. January is a little over two months away. Write a goal list, take a leap.
I want to dig in the dirt, collect eggs from a nesting box, milk a goat, and preserve food for my family. I want to share life with others, pull inspiration from others, and sit in the quiet with the Father who quiets my heart and mind when I need it most. I want my yes to mean yes and my no to mean no. And I want to say yes to the things that I know I should say yes to, and to the things that might scare the life out of me. At the beginning of this year, at our New Year’s service the Pastor said, “if your goal this year doesn’t scare you, then it’s not big enough.”
God doesn’t call us to be comfortable, and the resounding quote of this year in my life has been this . . .
“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” ― Francis Chan; Crazy Love
I don’t really know what life will bring me next year, or even the rest of this year. But I do know this—I’ll write about it. It might not be tomorrow, it might not be next year . . . but one day, I’ll write about it.
And through everything that life brings my way, there will be inspiration, a plan. There’s always a plan, even if it’s not your own.
I say it often—those inspirational quotes you like to pin on Pinterest and share on Instagram, they don’t come from perfect people. They come from broken people. Out of the depths of happiness, hurt, jealousy, heartache, joy, hard work, and disaster always comes inspiration. Hindsight is 20/20. In your time of need, you look for inspiration (these quotes), which means you don’t currently have it. So how, exactly, do you think those people found it? After the hurt, happiness, heartache, hard work, and joy . . . there is always a new year . . . there is always a new morning . . . there is always something new. And they embrace it.
And they write about it . . .
So here’s to the word lovers . . . and here’s to life.
Here’s to writing—here’s to new chances, new words, and making a difference.