Thursday, April 10, 2008

My story

Here I am, sitting in my living room, doing precisely what I used to scorn my mother for. I'm a mom of an 18 month old rascal who I adore. I'm the wife of a man who is currently working in the world of high finance, (although we want to eventually become farmers and sink our fingers into the soil... its quite the long story of how we are where we are.) And I am NOT a high powered member of an NGO, which I always expected.
Life takes twists and turns; ducks into valleys and then races up mountaintops.
I love it.
Once I learned to trust that I was loved and would be cared for I began to truly enjoy this unpredictable journey.
5 years ago I was in California studying International Politics and planning to change the world through grassroots NGOs.
4 years ago I was in California planning to forsake my education and travel the world with an evangelical, fundamentalist missions group.
3 years ago I moved back to the Chicago area, committed to a decade of singleness, my cynicism running so deep, and my angst so overwhelming that I nearly lost the soul of my life, my faith.
2 years ago I married an incredibly intelligent and driven man who held my hand while together we battled out of that pit. He planned to be a professor of Philosophy and I planned to work in the inner city until we could join the Peace Corps.
That summer we travelled Europe together and experienced deep healing from our church related wounds. When we returned home we sunk our toes into one of the healthiest church bodies i've ever had the chance to be a part of and drank deeply from its fount of grace.
1 1/2 years ago I gave birth to a 9 lb 7 oz bundle of energy.
1 year ago Ben lost his faith in academic philosophy's power to transform, and I was working two part time jobs and caring for a six month old son.
8 months ago we cut all ties and planned to move to California to pursue a lucrative job opportunity in the medical business community.
7 months ago we opted out of that move and instead spent 2 months with my grandparents deep in Louisuana, marinating in the rich traditions of Southern community and hospitality.
6 months ago Ben ran the Chicago Marathon and the next day we moved to Norway and lived, praying and listening for direction, and peace while making organic soap and tending the grounds of a Cistercian monastery on the island of Tautra.
4 months ago we returned once again to the Chicago area, with much more peace, but still no direction except that eventually we hoped to own and work a small organic farm, positioned so we could still serve others, and yet deep in beautiful (hopefully mountainous) country. And we also knew that close community, deep roots, and rich hospitality were central and integral to our vocation.
2 months ago, after applying for jobs across the globe from house parents in Omaha, to directors of a homeless shelter in Seattle, Ben was offered the one job in the "for--profit " industry that he had applied for. He took it, and now he is gone from 6:24 until 5:52 Monday through Friday working within a bond-sales firm. He is learning deep and good lessons about hard work and integrity from these men of character that he is daily surrounded by.But, we keep casting out the line for people to join us, buy land, and create rural utopia. (I know, I know, it doesn't really exist.
This month, and this day, I look back over those years and laugh at myself as over and over again I sought to control my life, and over and over again control was taken from my hands and I was forced to follow and trust and then receive a life better than what I had raced toward.

I am a DEEPLY happy and contented mother, dreaming of having more children, rejoicing in each day I spend getting to know the one I already have. I am reclaiming the delightful role of homemaking that I scoffed at along with most other women of my and the past few generations. I love learning to better love my husband and my son. My soul dances at learning to mold a home that can be a refuge of beauty not only for my family but for our friends as well. I take joy in simple things like baking bread, developing friendships, and learning, LEARNING, the complex art of shaping a home, a good life.
I welcome your help along the way.
I am newly fluttering on this path.

I invite you to join me as I contemplate and process what I discover.

But now I must say, "It is well, it is well, with my soul."


Gayle said...

May I be so honored as to be the first to comment......I am way ahead of you over the hills and through the valleys. But one day you will catch up, and I hope to be on the welcoming committee and there we can thrust our hands into the soil and it will be good.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Oh, Liz--I am so excited that you have started a blog!!!!

I love this post--I want my teens to read it. My life unfolded in the same way--not as I thought it would, but so much better than I had planned!

I remember almost all of those twists and turns in the last 5 years--whether from talking to you personally or from hearing about them from your parents. I have to say that I have always admired your idealism and enthusiasm--those are qualities that will make that organic farm happen, eventually! I wish WI had more mountains...but who knows how our dreams may one day intersect?

Love and blessings on your new blog--


(This is the second time in two days I have had occasion to give a "blog blessing" of sorts, like a house blessing. I must ask my husband to write a collect or something!)