I was off of social media all weekend. Instead I drove my kids through 112 degree heat to a country wedding, where we replaced our sweat with Tang and light beer in plastic cups, and I got to swing dance with a leather skinned man in cowboy boots. But at night the conversation turned to national events.
Something God has been showing me lately is that I don't have to be a prophet all the time. This is a tremendous relief. For you, I'm sure, but just think -- so much more for me. Think of the weight I've carried, feeling that I couldn't ever rest from telling people things they don't want to hear, that I couldn't ever shrink from researching truths that make me and everybody else uncomfortable, that I couldn't ever stop taking the mic and the stage in order to recite our litany of sins.
I've hardly left my property in more than a week. Head underwater, I guess. Deep in homestead life and homestead planning. Projects every single day. But I missed you all. I thought I'd bring my head up long enough to say hello.
I am not going to preach today about Josh Duggar and the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’re all too addicted to these stories, of how the famous rise and fall. We have too much invested, in their fame in the first place, and then the wild, untamed feelings released by their apparent fall from grace. We are too quick to feed on the frenzy.
Let it be known...I am gardening like a champ right now. The raised beds, the fruit and berry cane forest, the new sheet mulch around the drip line of the yurt. PLUS all the spring projects mostly on schedule…chicken tractor, goat barn, Internet installation, and all the while, homemade bread fresh out of the wood-fired oven. Put a superhero cape on me, y'all. I am killing it. … As long as you don't ask me about my writing deadlines.
I am a contemplative Christian. But I am not the kind with a cloister. I'm not even the kind with a door that locks. I'm the kind with a toddler who gets into the trash. I am a homeschooling mom with three children under the age of seven. And I'm a contemplative. Don't tell me, this sounds like the set up for a joke.
I haven’t written about race or racial reconciliation here in months. For months I’ve let it simmer, let even my RT’s on Twitter sift down to a trickle. I had said everything I knew to say, and my hands had come up empty. I gave my prayers to God. We have a long road ahead of us, America. There is no argument, no genius social policy -- no, not even a heartfelt prayer for grace -- that can magic away the work of centuries.
Spring isn't the best season for me. I'm afraid it might lose me my place in the earth-lovers hippie Christian club to admit this, but the truth is I think spring is unbearably messy and I'd really love to just organize it all properly in drawers. Having all these things popping up and out of everywhere makes me anxious.
I finally got the whole day off yesterday. I didn't leave the property once, except to get my kids from the school bus, which hardly counts because this whole hill is home. I had my little one with me all day, too. Dressed up in her shiny blue dress-up dress, or her homemade fairy skirt, or nothing at all, depending on the moment. She changes her clothes a lot. We walked around all day and took care of things.
We lost one of our baby chicks, while I was out of town. I was gone for four days, two days of Christian writers' conference and a day of personal retreat on either side. I wore cute shoes, and fixed my hair. My body missed my children like a drug. I came home late, full and rich and blessed and also sucked completely dry. I stumbled, walking down the hill in starlight dark in my cute shoes. But I made the stairs by feel and I opened the yurt door to candlelight, three sleeping children and a perfect, warm, small fire in the stove.
When I want to give up on church–I mean, when I want to give up completely on the whole church–I think of that place in Nicaragua. I think of how the people cut the lock on the door.
We create cultures by cultivating same habits and shared values. What makes a society cohesive is a collection of mutually agreed upon, if not explicitly stated set of rules for living. There is great comfort in homogeneity, in staying within the boundaries of accepted behaviors, acknowledging with ease that this is the way things are done. Except it doesn’t look very much like God’s plan for us.