I’ve been thinking alot about all the things that have been and are important to me, all the dreams I’ve had… The answers to the question “What do you want?”
Years ago, in 2002, I was reading thru Journey of Desire by John Eldredge, where he asks, and expands on this question; and here, in part, was my answer…
Oct 27, 2002
“Jesus, I want to be happy. I want to be at peace in my heart – content. I have in the past been content and peaceful when I’ve been at home (ie – not working outside of the home), spending time with You each day, doing “wifely” things, growing a garden, so I want to be home, I want to spend time with You each day, I want to do “wifely” things.
I want to be a mother. I want to teach my children about You. I want to nurse my children.
I want to have a close, intimate, non abusive relationship with my husband. I really want my heart to be known.
I want to be made well. (I was coming out of a long illness and battle with candida)
I want heaven. I want an intense intimate relationship with You, and others.
I want to live out of my true self & creativity. I want to write every day. I want to paint regularly. I want to sing. I want to dance. I want to have healthy passionate intercourse with my husband and in that, worship You.”
At the time that I wrote this, my husband and I were separated. I didn’t think any of the things I wanted would happen. And, I’d learned, from Journey of Desire, that I couldn’t arrange for it. God won’t give us the desires of our hearts until He knows we won’t makes gods out of them. I wrote, “It is so hard to hold onto this desire when it is quite clear that paradise may be the only place I see it. Yes, I believe in You. I believe everything I’ve said I want, except for heaven itself is possible here, it just seems so distant and unattainable. I guess that’s part of why I have to remember that I cannot arrange for it, Yet, I must have life! Yes, I must have life!! And somehow you have to teach me that it is coming – maybe even in my life time.
‘God tells us to love him with all our hearts and all our souls, with all our minds and all our strength. All we truly need is God. God saves us from the whole mimetic mess by turning our hearts back to him…. only as we truly delight in God is it safe to give into our desires…’ (JE, JOD)
So for today Lord, I give you my heart. Help my desires to be yours. Help me to worship You in all I do. I love you.”
Skipping ahead 9 years…
Little did I know that I was already a few weeks pregnant, after 7 years of infertility, and had conceived the night I finally invited God into my sexuality and entered into intimacy as an act of worship to our Creator. I am now a SAHM – a mother to two beautiful boys. My boys were/are breastfed. I homeschool, I live on 5 acres, in the mountains. I grow a garden each year, and preserve it’s harvest and bake my own bread, prepare meals from scratch, etc…On occasional Friday nights, at the end of the week, I delight in welcoming my husband home in a casual dress, with a dab of perfume and supper on the table, clean house, candles… I do “wifely” things – like dishes and laundry and yard work and cooking and child rearing and … I still want to write, and have had many times in the past 9 years that I wrote daily. I have sang, led worship, special music, etc and would love to do more. I have danced, and will again. I’m healthy.
Most incredible tho, is the work the Father has done on our hearts. No, our marriage isn’t perfect; hell, 5 mos ago, we were again in the middle of a separation, which ended in April… But, BIG PICTURE, there has been a progressive growing toward emotional, spiritual, personal and relational health. We’ve seen some incredible painful times – infidelity of heart and/or body, broken trust, anger, rage, depression, wound cleansing, warfare counseling & prayer, bankruptcy, separation, life threatening illnesses, several surgeries.. it’s been excruciating at times. We’ve each seen how we have been/are abusive to the other. We’ve battled some of our deepest held lies, started by some of our deepest wounds. We’ve spent nights in fights, nights alone, nights in prayer, nights together… However, in early 2007, we both went to Ransomed Heart events. I lit a fire on a snowy CO day, and let go of beliefs and a journal full of wrestling and longing, and allowed God’s love to finally be enough. I danced into a marriage relationship with my true Husband that weekend. Somehow, in the weeks and months that followed, I realized that what I had once felt impossible was true – my heart was truly and fully known, and loved, by my earthly husband – He is absolutely, my best friend! I won’t go into details, but the desire for healthy, worshipful intercourse has been met… there was much, much cost of pain to get to here, but, …. it’s beautiful…. absolutely, sacredly, stunning.
So, before I go on… Let me just take a minute to say – How awesome is Yahweh?!?!?!?!
At the time, in 2002, in the midst of physical disease, and emotional distress, I couldn’t see very far in terms of dreams… They were pretty close to home and family. However, I also have dreams bigger than myself and my family. Of course they include my family, but there is more.
M, my youngest is 3 and becoming more independent, which allows me the time to even think about what I want to be when I grow up 😀
After A. reached that milestone, one of the things that was on my heart was dance – still is, and I began to do conditioning and eventually took ballet classes. I plan to do that again!
There are other dreams tho, and I’m hoping that getting them out on paper will give them a place to rest, a place to grow and a place to develop. I don’t think, in my lifetime, that they can all be accomplished, so some may rest forever while others develop fully. Of course – given how well Abba fulfilled my first list, who knows what is in store for the next 9-10 years!!!! Here is the starting point.
I think my oldest dream – as in from childhood, has been to own at least 20 but closer to 100+ acres and run a farm, a ranch etc. Maybe raise animals- fish, sheep, cows, chickens, a horse or two… definitely blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, peaches and a big garden. As I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve gardened, I’ve come to truly appreciate being so close to nature, dependent upon the weather for my daily and weekly schedule. Experiencing the cycle of the spring time push to plant in between the rain showers, the very full summer of work, fall harvest and preservation, winter Sabbath. There is something incredibly grounding about that cycle, and I love it. Coupled to the seasonal cycle is my love for the seasons themselves, which, in part dictates “Where” that farm needs to be. I need 4 seasons. I’ve lived where fall and winter meant rain. I’ve lived where winter was cold, dreary, spitting, cutting cold, but no snow, and I live currently where the spring and fall are half rain, half clear crisp days, where summer is hot, but not unbearable, even without an AC, and where winter brings 2 mos of white stuff. I really, really like that. So, where? means above 3000 ft in NC, TN or VA, maybe a little lower altitude in WV or PA. High Country. Frigid, breathtaking creeks; Temperate rain forest; green, green, green in the warm months; a spring up every “holler”; sticky sunshine, bright sunsets… I think I could also go west, but again, I want mtns, so that means CO, WY, ID… maybe.
My next oldest dream, I think, is to adopt. I’m not sure where it started, but it truly took hold in the years prior to my oldest son’s birth which came after 7 years of marriage. I don’t remember what brought me to international adoptions, but the more I learned the more I wanted to adopt! My frig was plastered with pictures of beautiful, fatherless, motherless children, abandoned and stuffed away in orphanages across Europe and Central America. There was Svetlana, and Ian, and Liam, Maxim and Jose… I seriously told my hubby I’d like to adopt at least 12 :D, and, if you read their stories, and the statistics, you know why… kids “age out” of the orphanages at 16 and are sent on their own, which means to the streets, where, within 3 years most are involved in crime, prostitution, or have committed suicide… When I want to know about something, I will spend hours researching, pouring over the information at hand, and I did that for at least a year. Then, we were surprised by our own little one, and adoption took a back burner. Recently, it came to the forefront again – this time thru a friend’s post on FB about the children on Reece’s Rainbow with Downs, HIV, or other disabilities who will be moved at age 5-6 into adult mental institutions where their hope for survival into adulthood is slim.
As I looked thru the pictures, and, in particular prayed for two little brothers to have a family of their own (they now have a family committed to bringing them home!), the fire was kindled once again. However, as I looked around my house, I realized, and was convicted that I will never be able to truly help others outside of my family, if I do not get my home to a place of “well-ordered”. The hectic, putting out fires lifestyle that I’ve been leading will neither help myself, my boys, my husband or any other children we might add thru adoption, or any other people we might want to be helpful to along the way. It’s time for changes – and so, I’m working on those things!
The reality is, we aren’t ready to adopt. Our house is truly too small – just under 1000 sq ft, as is our annual income for international adoption requirements. However, the resurgence of this dream was the kick in the pants that I needed! And, hopefully, one day, we will adopt. There are definitely things that will need to happen first, a larger house, a larger annual income (I think we’ll meet the requirements this year), some more healing of our hearts….
Next comes the birth world – doula, midwifery, lactation consultant… That started with the birth of my little brother, 12 years ago. The first birth I’d ever attended. Then I played camera woman for a very good friend’s birth. Next, my SIL asked me to be with her during delivery, and it was during her pregnancy that I began taking my doula certification. Again, I jumped in with both feet! and spent hours pouring over books, forums, email groups to learn all I could about the birth world. I was a true birth junky and had a figurine of a preggo mom on my key ring 😀 . Rudy was in school at the time, and the plan was that after he got out of school, I would go to school to become a homebirth midwife. And then, I became pregnant. Midwifery really isn’t realistic for a mom with small children unless she has incredibly good childcare that can drop everything at a moment’s notice and arrive immediately. I have no misgivings about letting this go for now – my boys and family come first! I see midwifery as my post menopausal creative outlet, and between now and then will attend the births of friend’s children when and if I’m invited.
However, from that love for babies, birth, families and children, I grew into a dream for lifestyle education – wholistic health, whole family education and encouragement covering topics from gardening to herbal medicine, parenting to childbirth, finances to the bedroom… It’s a huge dream. I need more education & study to truly be able to make money out of it… I would incorporate all I have learned about health from my years of struggling with Candida, following Dr Day’s health plan, Dr Celltox’s detox, family health that I’ve studied thru the years including to vaccinate or not, wound care, nutritional needs, sleep needs etc of children. Add to that all I know and have yet to learn about Celiac disease, and soy & dairy sensitivities. All that we’ve been thru emotionally/spiritually, the good, the bad and the ugly, the counseling, books read, Holy Spirit/Wonderful Counselor sessions, and the spiritual warfare component, would be incorporated into relationship mentoring. Financial Peace University part of the financial education. And I still want to learn about organic gardening, really make that work so I could teach that. I currently try not to use chemicals, but when the bugs are so thick that I no longer have a harvest, well, insecticide is used, and when the rain has come day after day and my squash is dying from blight, never to produce more than a few malformed fruit, out comes the fungicide! I want to research other alternatives… I’ll want a big herb garden too, part medicinal, part for seasoning. Directions for making one’s own herbal tinctures, teas, poultices will be included. Cooking classes for GF cooking with flavor is a must. Yeah, it’s a very involved dream. 😀
Then there is the deli / cafe idea that we’ve flirted with for forever. First it was Celestial Seasoning cafe. More recently its been a allergen friendly cafe/deli that also caters to AT thru hikers in doing backpack & bag repairs, and backpacking supplies. Kinda like Cracker Barrel, with a twist on healthy, somewhat “crunchy granola”, with the “gift shop” featuring whole foods & accessories, garden fresh produce, camping/hiking/backpacking supplies, as well as some hunting/fishing supplies and with an eye on allergen free or nearly so.
Most recently I’ve been watching the Urban Farming Guys, and have thought of ways to incorporate some of their ideas and programs, especially aquaponics into whatever homestead I’m on.
Oh, and then there is the entire Biblical studies – the details and making sense of apparent contradictions that have long, long bothered me, the wrestling with doctrine and theology… That’s a personal drive. Not really a “dream” but at the same time, the deep desire to know Him better, and to bring my beliefs into more harmony with the incredible faith that He has blessed me with.
AND, there is a deep desire to mesh my dreams and my husband’s, so that we eventually work very closely together in life. (I already am the book keeper for his company, and we talk much about the details, but the current company is not his longterm dream…)
Other runners up include naturopathy, teaching homeschool co-op, massage, childbirth education, writing – both autobiographically, as well as devotional, and also recipe book, menu planning, etc… Gluten free education and cooking workshops…
Abba, here it is.
Thank you, first, for answering the desires of my heart over the past 9 years!! Please keep on with the healing that You started in our hearts so that we continue to grow towards one another, towards You, towards healthy in all areas of our lives, especially in parenting and finance, the things you told me about 4 years ago would be our next healing “project”. I rest in you to continue that work, on Your time table.
As we grow, I want to give to you all of these dreams here. I place them at Your feet.
As I can see, the things I can do to prepare for the time that You open doors that lead to these dreams – is write/blog regularly, begin ballet conditioning again, bring my home into order rather than fire fighting and clutter, learn organic gardening, keep learning new recipes and ways to cook healthy & GF, keep up the personal Bible study and wrestling, continue connecting with other homeschoolers in my area, keep praying for homes for all of the beautiful children needing love….
Yeshua, I give it all to you. I rest in knowing that You can fulfill my dreams completely, thoroughly, in Your time table. I surrender all of my dreams to you. Walk with me, and continue to direct me on the next steps ahead, on what I can do, to prepare for what is in store for my future.
July 30, 2011