I recently received an email from young lady we hosted as an exchange student. She wrote that she reads our blog, and has been inspired by it several times. This is part of the response I sent back.
The blog, which chronicles our "move to the country" was intended to do just that. To inspire. Not necessarily to inspire others to move to the country, (which is a good move) but to inspire others to do what they set their hearts on doing. In contrast, fear usually grips people and they feel stuck with fulfilling their family mission. They are afraid of the financial aspect of moving, of losing friends, and just plain afraid of change . . . I know so many people that feel stuck doing what they feel like they have to do, instead of what they want to do. Certainly I am not talking about being irresponsible, but given that God gives us plenty of choices in our lives, we get to decide how we are going to spend our time. This blog has been a great testimony of our desires turning into reality. We set out to value something and have now started that process with our actions.
Many times we think that our lives have been planned for us, and that we are bound by some, or if not all of our circumstances. And sometimes we feel that God has given us a "lot" in life and we must endure it, whether we like it or not. Truth is, God has given us aspects of our lives to sanctify us, challenge us, and mold us. But then He has also given us free will to choose many parts of how we will live. Choosing to do some things as a family means that you are also going to be choosing NOT to do some things with others. That's not new news. Fear however, should not guide our beliefs and actions. Values should. For example, if you value family and family time, where is your family and how much time do you spend with your family members? What kinds of relationships do you have inside your family unit?
This year has been a wonderful challenge for me and my family. Being out in the country, and pretty much on our own, our time is not filled with church meetings, visits from friends, running to the stores, decorating, beach visits, and the usual busy lifestyle that we are all accustomed to. In fact, a lot of time is spent here together, doing things around the place. Deciding on the best way to house the chickens, watering and weeding the garden, and keeping up with the daily tasks of laundry, meals, and cleaning to name a few. This time together gives us PLENTY of time to rub elbows, AND to get on each others nerves. This has been a time for us to really see, and evaluate, what kind of family relationships we have. Sad to say, they are not great. Sad to say, we don't have the model family that others should emulate. We have a family of self-serving sinners that need grace from God to recognize the value and the need of each other. We have the desire to function well as a family unit, and we are getting the opportunity to work on it without most of the distractions we have had in the past. I knew this move to the country was going to require some change physically and was up for the challenge. I am looking forward to how it will develop emotionally, spiritually, and relationally as well. :)
Inspiration . . . be inspired.