In the beginning…
I grew up in a family of seven, and have lived in the Midwest most of my life. I am the 4th child out of 5, a middle child, born after the only boy and before the baby girl (a rather awkward spot in the birth order). I got married 2 weeks after high school, and am the mother of 4 grown daughters and grandmother to seven “littles.”
A few years ago we moved back to our hometown area, back to our roots. The move came about because my husband decided, after sitting at a desk for 37 years, he needed a change. He was tired of being a Financial Officer. He was tired of wearing a suit. He was tired of the city.
He started farming. Yes, farming! Tractors, combines, work boots and suspenders! Anyone remember the 1960’s TV show, “Green Acres?” I get called ZsaZsa occasionally (even though it was actually her sister, Eva Gabor, who played Lisa in the humorous series). But ZsaZsa is just fun to say, and yes, “Green Acres” has indeed become my theme song!
I enjoyed living in the city, and life was good, but I said an immediate “yes” when Jon talked to me about the move. It wasn’t until two days after the decision was made, the weight of what I had done sunk in…
“THIS is going to change my life!
But I knew in my heart, that if it was the right move for Jon, God would make it the right move for me.
…”Good-bye, City Life!” do-do-dodo-do-dodo
A season of “wilderness”…
Our nest emptied out the summer of our move as the youngest daughter packed her belongings and headed to college. So the word “change” seems too small to capture all that transpired over the next few months. We moved away from the area we had lived for 37 years and rented a house until we found “the perfect place.” No home. No community. No church. No friends. The only thing I had was one big pity party all to myself.
All the roles that had defined me were gone. There were some really hard days. Days when I didn’t know who I was or what I was supposed to be doing. “It’ll be right for me” echoed in my head on a daily basis. I began to claim it as a promise.
And I began to write.
Fast forward 12 years, and a lot of life has happened. I’ve written about it all: New roles, new purpose, new passions, new sacrifices (farming defined).
God made it right for me!
I’ll even go as far to say… farmers are who we were always meant to be!
And yet today I find myself in another kind of wilderness. This new place makes the previous desert look like an oasis. My Jon no longer farms. He no longer walks alongside me in this life. All the writing before, I see now, was just practice for writing about the really hard stuff. My heart was shattered on that evening in October, but somehow it still beats. I am still here. So I write.
Before and After.
Here are my stories. Transparency doesn’t always come easy for me, but every time I write, I learn something about myself, my faith, and others.
Vulnerability is not a soft skill, it’s a brave, warrior skill. — Elizabeth Ivy Hawkins