It's a long road back

Today, we took a day off from church. Last week, we went to the next nearest town, and attended a small independent evangelical church, it was a good place to be, it might be our new home. But we needed not to go anywhere this week. We need time to heal as a family. Because Neil works 6 or more long days a week, and we are always flat out, with community commitments as well as our own small farm to run, we find we seldom have days to just be. To just be a family, to take time, to live in creation. To worship with all five senses.
So today, we rode horses together, ate together, talked together, worshipped together (at home, by a roaring log fire, reading from God's word, and stories of heroes of the faith, singing, praying, being together) and we went and meandered around a garden centre, and drank tea, and drove around the villages where we first came to when we moved down here, and where Boo was born, and where H was a baby, and we aroused precious and somewhat enlightening memories.
Meanwhile, I was shadowed all day by a passage from Jenna's blog at Cold Antler Farm.

To be in her beautiful farmhouse drinking coffee near her woodstove while her new Lab chewed on a rope toy on the floor-felt wonderful. As we sipped our coffee and went through some fiber books I brought over, I couldn't help but look around her 160+ year old home. Mel was living my dream. A loving family, her own farm, a good dog, and a barn and truck outside the door. I used to look up to famous graphic designers and Iditarod mushers as my role models. Now I look up to people like Mel. Everyday people who made their lives what they wanted. People who raise children, go to work, and come home to make sure the pipes don't freeze. Fame or fortune doesn't prove self worth to me like it once did. There is nothing more extraordinary than what happens every day when people choose to be kind. Amen.

I almost hesitate to offer you a link to Jenna's blog, since the debate over her asking her readers to help her out has presented me with one of the most interesting moral conundrums I've come across in years. Is it a barefaced cheek for a single, healthy, employed person to come cap in hand to people she's never met, asking for help to buy a house, or is it a heart warming expression of our inner Amish - a virtual barn raising, a beautiful expression of community, albeit ethereal?

That aside, I realised, I am living the life, I am in 'Mel' s shoes, I have the farmhouse, the children, the Rayburn, the Beagador, the ponies, the soft meadows, the sheep, goats and hens, I am blessed beyond all possible measure. I remembered those days, when we first came down here from the world of home ownership, Neil's long hours in a high pressure sales job, my big girl, still toddling, my baby, unborn .... we arrived, we unpacked and before we knew it, Pewsey carnival was on, we walked down to the carnival field, feeling like Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, newly arrived in a wonderful, welcoming, crazy, pastoral, country life - heady and sweet - and a year later, my three year old won 'thelwell lookalike' on her pony, and my life was complete.

What that was, that blissful, simple, connected life, was an awesome, sparkling, gift from God. And who or what has robbed us of that gift? Churches. Pharisees. People who speak for God, and yet, they do not know Him. False prophets. It's a long way back. But we're ready.


Ellen said...

Jackie, you are definitely living the life. Relish it and thank our Lord for it! (As I'm certain you already do.) A dear friend of mine said last week, "Sometimes I say to my dh, 'Let's churck all this a move to the country.'" Well done to you and Neil for doing just that.

Jo said...

I know you and I walk different paths but often they are parallel. And I love this post :)

Catherine said...

That was a very moving post...thank you!

Cat said... I hear you.

After two years being too burnt out to keep a garden, I feel like I could turn the soil again this spring.

Removing the robbers and keeping the blessing-folk has been the best thing we could do.

Dorothy said...

Jac kie, I've only just figured out that you are still blogging here. I thought you'd dropped this blog in favour of the growing things one.

Sorry you've not been given the support you need at your church(es).

The best we can say about ours is that it's not actually bullying us like that last one. It's just too bland and ineffective for that!

What has kept us going, in faith, is our own family's music ministry. We offer what we can to God and He seems to be blessing us through it.

Powered by Blogger.