Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On the Fence...

I read this http://www.grassfedcooking.com/radical_homemakers.html and thought "Yes!" because in so many ways this speaks to the yearnings of my heart. Maybe I read it and felt validated because I enjoy doing all sorts of "domestic" things at home with my passel of children. Who knew such things were so "radical"?!

While I don't see myself ever raising livestock though because I am a big ol' chicken, there are parts of homesteading that sound downright appealing. To be honest,though, there are certain creature comforts I just "need". The Husband could tell you that the way I whine about my van's lack of working A/C is well, let's just say I could give a two-year-old a run for his money. I just don't do well in the heat, I guess.

But...the concepts of sustainability, of social justice, and of doing things from scratch...they speak to the part of me that yearns for a patch of our own land where we can grow a big garden and the boys can run free. I love to knit and have been wanting to learn to spin for a while.

I have pieces of expensive paper that say I've studied hard (or at least studied), but what I really yearn to do is be home with the boys and cook things from scratch, knit their socks and hats and sweaters and be their primary educator. I crave the ability to chuck most of the consumerism. ("Most" because I do still find myself drooling over other people's stuff...there's still a part of me that longs to spend with abandon and engage in "retail therapy.")

Even though there are days when I think that I surely will go stark raving mad fromthe shrieking (theirs, not mine...mostly) or that I will be highly qualified to be a bouncer at a biker bar after breaking up so many brawls, I long for the homeschooling experience and responsibility. (I also fear that we'd drop the ball horribly and prevent our kids from reaching full potential.)

I guess what I truly yearn for is the courage to truly live my convictions...I think. It's easy to romanticize a "simpler life." The truth is making everything from scratch is not easy. Growing your own food and knowing it has to sustain you is a lot of hard, sweaty, dirty work. (Right now we simply do not have the space. Excuse or reality? Your guess is as good as mine.)

I live in a culture of convenience and I have enjoyed the spoils, mostly. There's a difference between baking a loaf of bread when the mood strikes and knowing that if I don't knead it, it won't be there when I want it. When I'm craving a sweet treat, if I haven't planned ahead, that craving is going to have to wait until the butter softens, the oven heats and the cookies are cool.

For now, I will be content to bake the bread when the menu warrants or the mood strikes, to knit up the sweater or socks as a special thing and have the pleasure of working through the boys' homework or interests while they still attend public school. I will operate on a case by case basis and recognize that nothing is in stone.
While I'm not really as "radical" as some, I am inspired by their stories and also self-aware enough to realize that I can't go quite that deep yet or ever...but I never thought I'd have 5, almost 6 kids either so what the future holds is a mystery.
I guess when it comes to the simpler life, I'm on the fence...

I pray that we each can find the strength, opportunity and balance to live our convictions and our dreams.


1 comment:

  1. You can do lots of what you want, right where you are at! As you said, knit away my friend, and I can assure it is lots more fun when you are doing it cause you want to, not cause your 6 kids will be sockless if you don't! ;) You can grow lots of garden items in pots; tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, green onions, lettuce, carrots, etc. I'm giving up my 5 acres and livestock because God is leading me in a different direction, but I'll still be able to grow some stuff in pots. As big as my garden is, I still have to buy lots of stuff from the store. The trick is to do what you can, when you can and trust God to provide the rest! (and I know you already know that) I think lots of blogs romanicize the "simple life" and the truth is it isn't all the simple. Unless you've got the capital to buy your land with CASH, then you will be looking at lots of debt along with all that hard work! ;)