safety, optional.

what i’m trying to get you to do is avoid being safe.  there’s no life in that kind of art.  –jeff goins.

oh, my word.  laid me out on the floor, these words did.  my whole life has been a carefully crafted exercise in safety.  (well, maybe not ENTIRELY (help me, God!), but it sure FEELS like it.)  i err on the side of the “wise” decision,” the well-thought out choice.  i’m terribly non-commital (sorry, friends & relations, but you knew this already.)  & while there’s nothing wrong with not being an idiot, i want to BE COURAGEOUS.  to be bold.  to live out loud & clear in such a way that i leave nothing unsaid that the Maker wants to speak through this me.

so, what’ll it take for me to be a little less safe?  (coincidentally & not at all, bob at eaglebrook (our church –woo-hoo!!) is speaking this month about “courageous choices”.  ever feel that when God is saying something into your life, said Voice tends to speak in multiple pitches & tones all around you?)

hmmmm. . . .some of these are “doing,” & some of them, just saying them out loud is the unsafe thing.  here we go:

  • starting this blog was one big thing;  continuing to write here is SO another.
  • looking bravely to the next house.  (we are, Lord-willing, movin’ on, my friends.  nothing large, just closer to church & the City, family & old friends.)  this moving is bringing out what a control-freak i am, JUST HOW IMPATIENT I AM.  God moves in His good time, & this is not safe.  heck, it’s downright irritating sometimes.
  • on that topic, living a life to follow God is SO not safe.  God’s nuts.  (& i do believe that to be a glorifying statment, i do.)  we’ve moved a whole pile of times, andy works out of our garage on an absolute shoestring, & the more we press in to listen to what the heck He’s saying, the stranger our lives get (& infinitely more joy-filled & peaceful!  ain’t that the truth. . . . .).
  • unschooling.  there, i’ve said it.  it’s what we do (or don’t do) to edumakate our children. it’s not safe, & frankly, it freaks me out regularly.  (check out wikipedia if this is new.  & keep an open mind when you think of us doing said schooling!  or don’t;  i guess that goes along with not being safe, eh?)
  • along with that, spending oodles & oodles of unstructured, low-key time with our three kids.  i don’t work for a paycheck anywhere, & we’ve committed as long as we are able to have me stick alongside the kids every (dang 🙂 day, talking, playing, feeding, managing.  consequently, our income reflects said choice.  not very safe.  at.  all.
  • scheduling very little;  keeping the calendar airy & open.  so very counter-cultural.  (i’ve had large episodes in which i assume i’m a bad mother for not getting out & “doing stuff” with my kids, for not enrolling in more “educational” activities.  we do dance & soccer, & church, but that’s it, formally away-from-home.  fortunately, i’ve got some serious friends who talk me down off this ledge regularly.  thank you beth & beth.)
  • minimalizing.  ahh, my latest passion.  not that i’m an actual minimalist (& probably never will be, in its truest form), but i sure do love what moving toward that life has done for our family.  more on this in a future post.  *promise.*  (this isn’t “unsafe”;  i just feel weird talking about this as part of us.)
  • attachment parenting.  if i’m going to lay it all out, i may as well just say right here that our kids sleep with us until they don’t want to anymore, that i breastfeed them a LONG time (two years or more, anyone?  TMI, anyone?), we wait to feed them “real” food, we use a midwife for birthing, & thus far i’ve gone drugless (hallelujah.) in birthing.  we keep our kiddos as close to us as they need to be, which means that they don’t go anywhere, including the church nursery, before THEY feel ready.  regardless of what ever “strain” this puts on me or us.  this is a HUGE topic of debate, & i don’t aim to suggest we are right, or even on the right track.  i’m just telling you what we’ve found to work for our crew.
  • keep eatin’ strange.  we do lots of homemade, very little (& still more than i’d like) processed food, & avoid for the most part, the entire mid-section of any grocery store.  we source our meat locally, & utilize our local co-op.  we are not purists, certainly;  we still shop big box stores (budgets only stretch so far).  we’re just aiming to keep walking down this road, for us & for out kids taste buds.  again, it works for us.  this fits also under “strange,” as opposed to “unsafe”.  the unsafe parts comes in telling it to you.

so, there it is.  i hadn’t intended to lay out my whole life alongside all our personal philosophies, but if i’m going to stop being safe, here is where it starts.  at least that what He said.

how about you?  are you a safe person?  where would you like a big helping of courage?  what would it take to start walking that road?

4 thoughts on “safety, optional.

  1. hey jillybeth! Just where I think I know you so very well….you throw out more wonderful thoughts, insight and wisdom! I have always thought you to be the quintesential mum of all the mums I know of and you know it! However, when you lay out all of your “stuffs” out on the table for all to see and contemplate….you are already walking a courageous road! I am proud of you for making the choices that are best for you and your crew and not lowering your standards. Give yourself some credit, by the way! Now….I need to scoot and get my crew up and going. It is isaacs birthday today so I am anticipating a request of French Toast with candles on top!

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