Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Country Girl No More?

As a little girl, I always dreamed of living in the country. I grew up in a typical suburb. Lots of concrete mixed in with man controlled landscaping and an endless view of mini vans. On a sunny day you might even be able to see the MC Donald's arches that stood at the edge of our neighborhood, providing years of happy meals and processed cheese.

My fondest childhood memories were of the times we visited my grandmother and my family's wheat farm. Wide open spaces, country roads, fresh produce, and the animals. I knew my heart had found home in this quiet "peace" of land.

A few years back my dream was finally realized when my husband moved us on to a wheat farm 20 minutes out of town. Boy, it's funny, but our hearts desires don't always turn out like we imagine.

Life in the country these last few years have been mixed with blessings and hard ships. There are nights that I sit on my front porch with a glass of lemon aid and watch the wind blow the spring wheat like seas of green. In those moments, I think I've found heaven. Then there are the days that I feel so alone, so isolated here all by myself. I love to watch my boys play in the wheat, and the girls care for their sheep in the summer, but feel trapped in the cold winter when the house seems too small for 6 people, and the icy roads keep me home.

Despite it's draw backs, we had planned on staying. The beauty and peace kept us here.

Now, as we enter into our third year of country living, we have hit an unexpected glitch in our semi utopia. GAS PRICES. When it costs $10 to get to town, it's an issue. In the month of May our gas bill was over $1000. We didn't take any trips... that was just driving the kids to school (when the bus didn't take them), Chris driving to work, kids activities, and errands.

With groceries rapidly rising, we had to take a good look at our budget and decide what gives. It came down to this. Either the kids quit all extra activities (sports, dance, etc), I stop coming to town for anything other than church and once a week groceries, and we spend all our weekends at home on the farm.... or we move.

We spent most of June couped up at home. trying to cut back on gas. Let me tell you, It was VERY hard. We did cut back on gas by $300, but honestly, I kept cheating and taking the kids to the pool, or the library.

Now, out of the blue we were approached by a family about a house just down the street from our children's school. Houses in this little community are almost impossible to come by because of the fantastic school and "Mayberry" type community. This house would be larger than what we are in now, with a huge yard, quite affordable and is right across the street from a wheat farm. The kids and I could walk to school, sports, the library, the pool, church, and friends houses. With only my husband driving to work (a 13 mile commute) we would save hundreds of dollars a month.

It sounds like a God thing. With everything clicking together like this, one would usually jump at this chance. Yet I hesitate. This little farm in the middle of nowhere has changed me.

It's toughened me up, I can wrestle sheep, capture a stray horse, climb a barb wire fence, and stare a coyote in the eye. I've learned to shoot a gun, run a well pump, grow food from seed, and drive on REALLY BAD roads.

It's helped me to find beauty in loneliness, allowed me to fall in love with the land... not just the idea of the land.

Our decision is not made.

I'm praying for wisdom.

I'm fearing the unknown.... Like neighbors.

I'm worried we'll regret it if we move.

I'm worried we'll regret it if we don't.

It's hard to leave a dream.

No this is not my house (: It's actually an abandoned school house a few miles from my home, and my favorite place to come and pray.

Husband and kiddos in the corral

Can you believe how beautiful this is! These are the REAL colors! Not computer enhanced.

Our sheep Babe and Billy


javamamma said...

It DOES sounds like a God-thing. I'll be praying for wisdom for you though.

And just remember, if you do end up moving - that doesn't necessarily mean it's forever, it might just be for a season and someday you'll come back to the after the kids are out of school and all their activities. :)

So glad to hear from you again!

Halfmoon Girl said...

Wow, you sure changed it up over here! It looks fabulous! The new pics are great. Your oldest daughter is getting so grown up. I think she is the same age as mine? 12?

I have missed your writing. This is a big decision. The price of gas is causing us to reconsider many things too. I will pray for clarity for you and your hubby.

reallyniceday said...

Wow! Looks like Papa is letting you make a decision. I think He wants to partner with us more than we know and although that seems to make the decision harder, it shows how honored we are in His sight. He loves you! He's given you two really awesome choices. Stay or go, He'll provide. He loves you!

Remember, God's not mostly angry, He's joyful. He delights in giving good gifts to His children. He rejoices over you with singing! He loves you!

And I think you're pretty fab, too!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love the new look of your blog. Good job.

Change is never easy but it is often good.

God will give you the wisdom you need. Keep us posted.


Emily said...

You're a family on the GO, so living out in the country doesn't seem all that practical.

Moving is no big deal. Seriously. I've moved 5 times in last 2 years, and we're trying to buy a house, so make it 6...I like the adventure, 'cause I'm easily bored.

In fact....I'm going out on a weird limb here...Moving is HEALTHY for us. You'd be surprised at how attached we get to things and buildings and stuff that when they're gone?'s marvelous.

So I vote for the move.

AND I vote for you to keep on posting. Missed your rants.

Anonymous said...

We are in the same situation with gas. We moved farther south from the city for cheaper living and peace. And now with gas prices it costs us $10 to leave town and our town doesn't have much at all. We are currently praying for God's clarity on a few things, including moving a little closer to all the things and people we love.

His Girl said...

I am so glad you are back!!! whahoooo!!!!!

I love the pics, and can appreciate the dilemma. I'll say a prayer for you to find clarity this morning.

Again! Glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

NOT an easy decision. The new house sounds perfect...but to move...from such a stunning stunning area is not easy either. Good luck with your decision