Saturday, January 28, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
A list I started while living in Boise, Idaho. I'm sure I'll be adding to it my whole life long. Want to join the project? I'd love to see your reasons in my comments!
No one-way streets. The way you got there is the same way you'll find your way back…no GPS required.
No street lights. You can sleep deeply—without curtains! Plus, you can see the stars.
No traffic noise. Instead, you get frogs, insects, and wind in the trees.
Fresh air. Feels so much better than exhaust fumes!
Quiet walks in the woods. The trees and grass in the back 40 acres may not be groomed like a city lawn, but the truly natural space can give you that awestruck, reverent feeling like nothing else can.
No easy access to fast food. We're healthier that way.
Going to the store is relatively rare—which makes it a fun event. Besides, you get to buy in bulk. Every time you come home from town, it's like Christmas!
More genuine…less artificial. Reality beats reality shows.
No stopping at green lights. In fact, at country stop signs, a rolling stop will usually suffice.
Parables and object lessons all around…that point to the character of God instead of how wicked humanity has become.
Big sky. No congested skyline to trap in the spirit.
No congested traffic. Ahhhh…stress-free driving. In fact, driving rural roads busts stress!
Dogs run free. Wouldn't you rather be a country dog that needs no leash or fence?
Birds and wildlife. Who needs the zoo? The pussy willow bush RIGHT outside the window teems with nature's aviators!
Big gardens and orchards. The produce tastes great…and it feels great to work out there!
No close neighbors = no need for blinds. The location is plenty private, so let the sunshine in!
Free communion with God. Fewer distractions! So much more creation to lift my thoughts to Him.
Sunrise and sunset. That beautiful flash of color that leaves you contemplative and poetic. Out here, sunset lasts an hour!
Awesome storms. There's something fantastic about watching the wind whip the trees back and forth as the sky lets loose a downpour—especially if it comes with lightning and thunder.
Self-sufficiency. When you live in the country, you know the power might go out, or the road might not get plowed immediately—and you're ready for it.
Simpler lifestyle. We may not get out as much—but that gives us more time for what's truly important.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
In every notable room in my parents' house, simple wooden shelves whisper volumes to anyone who stops to observe. They tell the purpose and function of not only the room, but also the people who use that room most. This ordinary furniture tells the secrets of thoughts, goals, dreams, and desires.
In my mother's office, the bookcase is loaded with volumes on two topics: spiritual instruction, and natural health and healing. The shelves in my father's studio host an eclectic assortment of artsy trinkets—and music books. The bookcases in the living room reflect their shared interests: gardening, traveling, family photos, hiking, nature identification. Like the pictures on the refrigerator, bookcases—full, empty, or absent—can help you get to know even a stranger.
I thought carefully when selecting the books for the shelves in my bedroom. I chose the books that I thought I would read and refer to most—and I boxed the rest up. Only later did I realize what the bookcase had to say about my passions, dreams, and interests.
Three of my seven shelves support books on birth, midwifery care, and home remedies. I placed them in the bookcase first, since I am, after all, a midwifery student. Two more shelves hold my spiritual books—not all of them, but the most special, as well as the ones I plan to read this year.
The remaining two shelves didn't make as much sense to me when I unpacked my books; I simply arranged them how my heart mandated. A few inspirational self-help books on personalities, relationships and romance, healing from past hurts. A handful of music books. My dictionary and thesaurus, Chicago Manual of Style, and Stein on Writing. Three empty journals received as gifts, twelve already filled, and one in progress. My writer's notebook, my binder full of Writer's Digest articles, and my writer's portfolio.
"The test of a calling, to me, is this," a friend recently remarked. "Can you do anything else? If so, do it."
When I left my job at Young Disciple, I didn't expect to be quickly called back into writing. Sure, I knew I would always have a writer's heart and I'd always dabble around with words. But, reasoning that the world has plenty of good authors (and no end to the mediocre), I planned to make my difference in the tangible world of mothers and babies.
And yet, as the bookcase testifies, the writer's calling has its stronghold in my soul. I can barricade myself with other pursuits; but like my friend, I have found that "God won't let me do anything else." As I cultivate new skills, knowledge, and interests—exploring the potential of new callings, to midwifery and other ministries—I have come to understand that in order to thrive, I must remain true to the calling God has already placed on my life, the talent He has already given. That's why, without abandoning my midwifery apprenticeship, I've added freelancing jobs and studies in journalism (plus a blog) back into my life, concurrently.
Do you know your calling, or would you like to discover it? Perhaps—just maybe—your bookcase already whispers it.