Over the last few weeks, the life I am meant to live has become more apparent to me. As some of you who have been following me for a while know, I went back to full-time work in November. It was getting harder and harder to keep up with the bills and no nearby teaching jobs were opening up, so I decided I had to bite the bullet and help my family. I thought to myself, “Alright! Now, we’ll have some money! We’ll be able to do things with our friends like go eat at that fancy restaurant they like and take vacations!” As of today, we have never made it to that restaurant or even talked about a vacation. Instead, our dinners out are at the Elgin Moose Lodge with some of the most amazing friends we have ever met. The food is awesome and the fellowship is even better. We might take that trip, though. On a bus. To Milwaukee. To watch the Cubs play the Brewers with our fellow Moose members.
When I went back to work, I thought our money problems would get better. We’d have so much extra cash to buy a new car and save for another since both of our cars are older than dirt. Then, we saw the monthly premiums for our health insurance; almost one whole check a month would be going to pay for that. I became a little disheartened. Okay, so I cried a little. I cannot lie.
It seems like every time I think we are going to get a little bit ahead, a big expense comes up. Car repairs. A tree falls on the house. A tooth starts to ache. A knee starts to hurt. Then, it occurred to me: I’m not meant to be monetarily wealthy. I sat and chewed on that for a minute, and you know what? I am okay with that and I will tell you why.
For most of my life, I have felt like I was being called to live differently. I loved reading and hearing stories about “the way things used to be”. My favorite book series as a child was the Little House books. It was also one of my favorite shows. Now, don’t get me wrong; I like my indoor plumbing and electricity and won’t be getting rid of it. Ever. What I do love is being connected to the land and being responsible for caring for my family. I love that my husband is able to fix things and build things with his own two hands. I love planting a garden, watching it grow, and then using that harvest to feed my loved ones.
I realize that a lot of people I love and respect disagree with how I live, and that’s okay. I’m not asking anyone to jump on this bandwagon because it is not for everyone. We all have our own path to walk (or row to hoe). Sometimes, I get a little sad when folks don’t (or won’t) understand. I get a little down when I feel looked down upon. Then, I remember: God has a plan for each of us, and our callings are not all the same. He has gifted us all with different spiritual gifts. Some of us are meant to be stewards of the land, some are meant to be teachers, some are meant to be healers, and so on. I know this is the life I am meant to live.
As I sit here typing, our baby White Leghorns are peeping away in the next room. We brought them home last night. The best way to describe the feeling of that car ride to pick them up and the ride home was sheer, unashamed joy. I had to let my husband drive or I would have been a maniac (I already was on the way home. I’d been dying since I got the call at 10am that the babies had arrived!) We were laughing at the headline I was picturing in my head “Woman dies in fiery crash on way to pick up chicks”. Since I made it home unscathed, I figured I wouldn’t tempt fate again and let him be the chauffer. He had me laughing so hard (“We should name them Parmesan, Fried, Nugget, and then if they die, that’s what they become for dinner.”) So inappropriate but so hysterical at the same time. I was so happy to be going to pick them up that I didn’t have a care in the world.
The drive home was the same. I held that box in my lap and listened to their little peeps for 30 minutes and was absolutely giddy. The dream I had held for so long had finally come true! We had our chicks! I didn’t even want to go to sleep last night because I was so fascinated with them. Yeah, I know. You all are thinking, “Silly First-timer.” It’s okay. You can judge me. My prayers have been answered, and I am content.
Now, back to the beginning. I’m not meant to be monetarily wealthy. I have so much more wealth than money could ever provide. I have the love of my husband, our family, and our small circle of friends. I have the love of my Savior. I have the love of my church family. I have a home with a little bit of land that I can grow food and keep a small flock of chickens on. I think you see a theme here: love, love, love. Oh yeah, and just enough money to make it all happen and keep this boat afloat. I could not ask for more. I know this is the life I am meant to live.