the other night, I was squeezing homemade toothpaste on my toothbrush when andy came down the hall. we got ourselves into a volley around all the mis-prescriptions we had about our lives that are now true. it went like this:
“. . . I NEVER , ever would’ve lived in Wisconsin. I hated Wisconsin.” –me.
“. . .& there was NO WAY I was going to date a girl from North Dakota. I didn’t like North Dakota people. . . .” –andy. (he’s recovered.)
“. . .& I NEVER planned on staying home with kids. I was going to go somewhere big, maybe New York, have a career. but home all day with kids? not the plan. . . .” –me.
“AND I was NEVER planning on having a big family. a couple kids, maybe, down the road. after i’d gotten myself established. . .law, or something important. . . . but good, grief – 4? no, that would be too much for me. . . .” –still me.
“. . . & homeschooling! NO. absolutely not. we weren’t going to do that. people need to put their kids in school. homeschoolers are nuts. to do that would’ve been ridiculous. . . .” –yes, still me.
“. . . good grief. what happened to us. . . ?”
[smiling at each other & bumping knuckles.]
: : : :
the list of how we’re living now opposed to what we thought we’d do goes on: andy starting his own businesses (not one, but two, with a third coming ’round the corner: shhh.). his working from home, in the basement. having only one family vehicle, more than a decade old. (we have a pick-up, too, even older, given to us.) eating all hippie. spending our everyday time 99% at home. giving away or selling 60% of our possessions. spending as little money as possible. my being a recluse.
no plan for any of this. the opposite, in fact.
surely by now, we had finally untangled ourselves, after absorbing so much new direction & four kids! NOW we KNEW where we should be going. (chuckle.) so last summer, we tried to sell our house, buy a bus, travel around & around, & then settle onto a homestead, where we’d build a much smaller house, & grow things, like children & vegetables & chickens. we thought we were following the string.
what we got instead was a bit more tangle, the nod to stay in this exact place we’re living in. which, we’re realizing, isn’t the tragedy we had thought it would be, as we untangle ourselves from what the plan was.
my friend heather posted this recently:
at some point, you just have to let go of what you thought should happen & live in what is happening. –hplyrikz.com
yes. the what-is-happening! now we’re busy weaving our dreams & stringing them into a here-shape. thalia asked for chicks for her march birthday. andy picked up coop-building books at the library on his last trip in. we’ve marked trees to cut down in the front yard to clear space for bigger gardens. we’re rearranging the house yet again, shifting rooms & taking down shelves, to better accommodate all the making & doing we want to have going on here, for both us & the kids. (more on that in the near future, but let me tell you, things are getting unconventional around here, y’all.) & we’re taking the 2015 decluttering challenge (found here), like we did last year, where we finished with over 9,000 things leaving our home. (we’re at a pleasant 500 so far.)
things are movin’ & groovin’, & we’re still dreaming the bus dream, too, only not to live in full-time. it’s a thin thread, but a thread we have woven around our hearts nonetheless. we can’t untangle it, so we’ll keep holding the string.
we all know life will not go as planned.
but even more than that, I know that if I give God my thin thread, He will most likely unravel my whole life, in the very best of ways.
i’m realizing we’ll never have it figured out, not in the way we think. so we’re learning to live with our thin threads held up into the what’s-happening-now, & swirl our prayers around them. we plan & dream & clear space in our hearts & our heads & our home for what could be, while we live out our ordinary days.
we’re going to just keep holding up our thin threads.
it’s getting good.