During the school year, we live in a home on a block in a city. One block from the small park and fire station, four blocks from the ambulance station, each notifying us daily that people are hurting. Our postage sized, fenced in yard with corresponding cement slab boasts the neighborhood play yard at 3:30 on school days.
It’s here, at the white house as my dear son calls it, where we live out the monotony of our days with dad’s work schedule, our home school schedule, diapers, baths, music lessons, gymnastics, church activities, friends and neighbors. My alarm sounds at 5:30AM so I can start my day with JESUS and PEACE before CHAOS and LIFE cascade down the stairs.
I’m not saying life isn’t exciting. It is exciting when the kids play for twenty minutes on their own only to find that I have paid dearly for this sweet solitude with a room ripped apart and rebuilt into a fort. It is exciting trying to smash a Costco run between gymnastics and dinner on Thursday at 5:15PM. It’s busy living in town, filled with activity, buzzing with traffic.
This is where I thrive and my husband fades.
School is out. Well, except for summer school that is. (Sweet, innocent kids have never known a traditional American summer!) Gymnastics, soccer, music, and co-op are completed for the year. The black and white calendar I love to fill in with bright markers is blank. With commitments completed, we packed up our belongings and headed for the mountains. We have played this game twice before and won.
The first year, it was my hair-brained idea. Live off the land! Teach our progeny what outdoor life, caring for animals, playing in the dirt feels like! Three summers later, I can see my Father who loves me AND my husband put the original adventure on my heart. My faithful, hard working man needs this place. His eyes brighten as city lights dim in the distance.. Slowly, I watch the man I married nine years ago emerge from this confining “city suit” replenished, wondering about life once more. His one hour commute to and from work blesses me as well as it reaps dividends in our conversations that were quite predictable in town.
So, we live here, in the woods, with a mountain river rushing behind the cabin, where our chickens, who were jumping our fence in town, cluck freely, and my kids are dirty from the first scream of “MOM!” in the morning until the bedtime Bible story. Why wash them? Dirt builds resistance, endurance, vitality. It is here with no internet (except spotty cell phone service), no cable, bugs and QUIET that my husband comes to life.
You see, he is an introvert. I suck life from people. I use my daily allotted 50,000 words. He thinks them. He prefers sitting out back watching the river smooth out the rocks. I love doing the same surrounded by people talking about the rocks, or on the phone when flesh isn’t accessible.
The day after we moved here, my mate swept through the kitchen and said, “I already feel different, more…free. Is it the same for you?”
Silence and a smile was my response.
“Really? It’s the opposite for you, isn’t it?”
It shouldn’t be though, right? I mean, in the yellow room filled with windows that overlook the serenity we all long for in our souls is a verse plastered in black letters, “Be still and know that I am God.” I spent two hours sticking that truth to the wall to remind myself that this spot of inactivity, little media, nature alive with the pulse of my Creator, kids bouncing off trees instead of walls-this is where I can here the Holy Spirit a little more clearly. Rather than rushing my little blessings through a litany of merchandise they play outside while I watch, or knit, or read, or clean, or fold, or plant, or weed.
My mate is a wise one. God rescued him in a mighty way, changed his life, gave him wisdom, discernment and a voracious knowledge of Truth. Then our loving Father gave him me. The sprightly, tempestuous, orange headed, Minnesotan who cannot remember a name, but will talk like she’s known the barista since kindergarten. The opposite of him in almost every way.
My partner in this life knows we need this place. Our roots grow deeper into the True Vine planted by the Waters. This river out back fills the RIVER in our individual souls and the soul of our family.
This season is rich.
The less I update my status and post to my boards I will feel this. I trust my husband.
More so, I trust the One leading my husband who has led us here. And I’m thankful.