One thing I know well about myself is that I have an often poorly-timed inclination towards wanderlust of the soul.  I think it’s my desire to make sure that I’ve left no rock unturned, no corner unexplored. I have this tug to start at things just to see where they go.  I guess it could be said that I’m not scared of commitment in some smaller sense – I didn’t like the graduate program that I started, so I left it.  My husband and I lived in a new home every year for the first five years we were married, mostly just to try on different ways of living.  Were we farmhouse-in-the-country folk?  Or did we connect more with  busy town life? I don’t like the feeling of being boxed in. But I do have enough sense to keep this in curiosity in check when it’s come to the biggest decisions of my life: I knew with certainty when I said Yes to my husband that I wouldn’t keep searching.  And raising babies has kept some of my longing tendencies closer to heart.

Which is why I surprise myself so much with this struggle of being settled.  We have lived in this house for five years now, and most of that time has been with my babes.  This is the only place they have ever known, and I am grateful that I have been able to give them some sense of physical stability in their early years.  But it wasn’t until this summer that I embraced our settlement here.  Mostly I just felt like this was where we were, in this moment, so it seemed impermanent somehow.  And isn’t that truth? For sure.  But I had something switch in me, something click that finally said that this moment, this place is enough for now.  And that I need to be settled in this moment.  Seems so simple, huh? And for most people probably pretty obvious.  But this was a big deal revelation for me.  As I look back, I can see that this is something I was beginning to turn over in my mind at the beginning of the summer, but it took a while to soak in.

What this means is that I am finally going to paint my ceiling, which is pink, because I don’t want a pink ceiling.  I’m going to sort through the graveyard of furniture in my basement, getting rid of anything we’ve saved for some place else. We’re going to stop dreaming about our house, and start doing.  Stop weighing the equation: does this investment make sense in our house?  Sure, we can’t afford to landscape our yard the way we’d love to, but we can make it enjoyable and comfortable for now, and plan a bit for the future.  Our kitchen leaves a bit to be desired with it’s ancient cabinets and it’s electricity-sucking appliances, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a vision for how to use it for His glory now.  For so long we haven’t moved forward on the dreams we have for our house because were uncertain of our future, untrusting of my own heart full of wanderlust.  I don’t know that anything has changed there — I still feel incomplete in my physical, geographical journey.  But I have a new peace about where we are.  It is in this moment that we are here, and it is in this moment that we are going to live in this space to it’s fullest, most beautiful and life-affirming way.  Sure, it’s not the sprawling old farm house full of stories from generations past that my heart desires, but it’s our space where our stories are unfolding.

This sense of physical space is a reflection of my inner geography.  Something clicked for me inside, too, this summer.  I have this beautiful sense to see the moment for what it is: here, now, fleeting.  I don’t want to lose what is in front of me because I was wasting time worrying about, planning for, anticipating what is maybe up the road, down the next path.  As we plan towards welcoming a new babe in the new year, I am eager for this new life to join us, and anxious for that to begin. But I don’t want to wish away this time now.  Now, in this moment, I am building up this family of four, laying the foundation, doing to the work to be ready to receive what’s next. I have peace enough to be settled where I am. I have dreams and visions for our family, but I know in my heart that if I nurture this precious space of now that it will only strengthen and beautify who we will be, where we will be, later on.


3 thoughts on “settled

  1. This was so beautifully said. I am the same way too, so it really speaks to me. You expressed just what is in my heart. It’s always hard for me to balance my tendency to dream with living in the here and now.

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