As I mentioned in my last post, “desiring” is my star word for this year. The yellow glittery star is taped up in my craft room: Desiring. And the word is swelling my heart in unexpected ways as my husband and I dream about a home in the country.
We’ve talked about it for several years now–having some acreage just out of town. My husband already has chickens and raised beds with onions and sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Last year we grew sweet corn in our front yard.
I have ideas about a retreat center with a labyrinth and a craft room and walking trails and prayer gardens. (You should see my Pinterest boards!) It’s been fun to have the “some day” discussions.
And then this year, somehow, in the midst of my dad’s illness and death, “some day” turned into “Let’s go look at this house. Let’s get a real estate agent. Let’s rent a storage unit so we can get our house ready to go on the market.” (Anyone want to buy a nice 5-bedroom close to the University of Kansas?)
The shift has something to do with the fact that most of the houses around us are now rentals, which means a lot of noise and a lot of cars. It has something to do with knowing that, eventually, my now-widowed mother will move in with us. I’m sure it has something to do with my feelings of powerlessness in the wake of my dad’s death and my longing to have power over some aspect of my life.
But I think that most of this forward momentum toward moving to the country comes from allowing myself to claim my desire. With every country house we visit, I realize with more certainty that I do want to move. I long to move. And that longing, that desire, might not be selfish after all. It might just come from God.
I know my husband has this longing–like his father before him. My father-in-law died unexpectedly seven years ago after living his farm dream for only a few years. I hope my husband lives to be 100 and dies peacefully while feeding his chickens one day. But nothing is guaranteed. And if a desire is good and from God and within reach, why wait?
Except, you almost always have to wait–at least a little while. If despair is the shadow side of desire, then impatience is the annoying side. We found a near-perfect place. We put in an offer. And now we wait for the bank (it’s a short sale) to tell us if they accept our offer or not.
During my morning prayer time, I begged God to let me know TODAY about the house. (It wasn’t pretty.) God does not usually talk back to me during my prayer time–not quite so directly at least–but this morning God said, “Don’t you trust that I have a place for you?”.
Right. There is a place. And my desire for that place is good and exciting and even, maybe, holy. I can cling to my desire for a place of retreat and renewal to share with my family and others. But I have to let go of my desire to know the exact timing and place RIGHT NOW.
The call might come today or tomorrow or next week or–shudder–next month . . . The place might be the one we have the offer on or an even better place we don’t know about yet.
I’m finding that the tricky part of my star word is discerning which desires to cling to and which to release. May God grant me grace to loosen my grip.
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*Also, packing at my house means that the book-binding equipment is put away for now. I still have eight Colored Pencil Prayer books left. Once those are gone, I will not be printing any more until we are settled in our new place. (The electronic version is always available.)