Tuesday, September 23, 2008

aaah! there's this thing that i can never articulate in speech or write. it's so frustrating... but this is it: I want to live well, but i don't want to live the life that everyone else lives and expects of us. i don't understand why i can't just move into the mountains and work at an ice cream shop or something, where i make only enough to make our life possible... we could do this, right? I WANT TO LIVE WILD - I WANT TO BE FREE!!! and i tell myself that this is childish - but...no, it's not! who is it that put this burden in my mind? it's not childish to want to live freely and completely. I want to have my children and have them able to distinguish birds and trees before fast-food chains. i want the world to slow when the snow comes. I want to wake in the morning and go for a jog through the woods and then come home and drink a cup of coffee over a book of poetry. I want to go to sleep at night without planning my agenda for work the next day.

I feel so trapped. wow, i hate to say that, but that's exactly it. And it's not my job entirely that has me feeling this way. I have a PRECIOUS ministry with my job, which is such a blessing - not many people get spend 8 hours a day like this! i want to be able to leave with our camp gear on our backs when we're done with a work day and spend the night in the woods. i want to leave for an entire day and light a fire and eat wild raspberries and put my feet into a freezing mountain stream. i want to be so alone in the wild - with just my husband and my duvi-boy.

the longer we're here, the more i like it, and that simple fact terrifies me. may i never feel comfortable living like this.

we were talking yesterday - can't we just pack our stuff into a storage unit and move to alaska for 6 months once landon's done with school? why is it "responsible" to work at a job that stresses you out and determines when and where you can enjoy your time off? do we seriously have to "settle down" for my child-bearing years? why does "responsibility" require acquiring money? I know that most people that love us are hoping that this is where our future is headed - financial success and "responsibility". Landon has never pursued higher education for a larger pay-check - it has always been for knowledge. it has always been to satisfy his heart desires and pursue what he thinks is most important in this life.

i hope we always will live like that - these few years here are driving me crazy - this is not us - we can't live like this. we need wilderness, we need to be free from traffic and neighborhoods and shopping centers. oh, please, will someone tell me that this is not crazy or childish? is this making any sense at all?

and i read over this and noticed that i never mentioned God's will here, and honestly, i don't know where that fits. I mean, i know that God is glorified when our lives are lived in worship of him. I know that he has plans for us, but just because he has "plans" doesn't automatically mean that they are plans of "significance" as you would think of them. Reading L'Abri has brought to light a ministry that is one that i never considered, but has been so impactful. Landon talks about opening a "camp" in the mountains for seeking God and growing in knowledge through adventure and outdoors. He still wants to pursue his education. I want to be a mother more than anything else right now. And i wonder when people tell us that we must have certain things in line before we start a family - i'm afraid they're right. but just because they were "practical" in their childbearing, does not mean that i must be their kind of "practical" in mine. A family is a family with or without a 2-story house and a 401K. I would hate for my children to grow up with their favorite hobby being spending money or watching television. Not with this beautiful world that screams God's glory and power surrounding us.

And many people warned us when we wanted to get married. That we were too young. We had no money saved. I wasn't out of school yet. Neither of us had jobs. We were going into the mission field for a year and we had just gotten married. This would be too hard. This was not wise. AND GOD HAS BLESSED US tremendously in our marriage, and in our ministry in Africa. He has always provided beyond abundantly for us. We have never been in need or want. Whatever it was that everyone else said - they had never considered what God had in store, they had not considered that we were not so foolish and we had spent time in prayer and fasting and could not live our lives and serve God in any other way at that time. We were living in obedience. God blessed us. And we ARE blessed!

I'm uncertain of how to live.


Cindi said...

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-Hellen Keller

My two cents Hannah, if you keep waiting for the time to be perfect it will never happen. I've always loved your sensibility and the way you can step outside your situation and simplify your thoughts into what truly matters. I think you've done that here as well. Just don't be afraid.
For what it's worth, I think you'd make a perfect mother. Not because you're financially stable or finished with school, but because you're a kind, and complete individual who is capable and daring enough to teach a child the things that really matter in life. :)

/end rant

H. McBrayer said...

thanks, cinds - this really means a lot

Lindsey said...

i want you to have babies

Lindsay Schneck said...

I will second that I admire your affinity for a simpler life and your aversion to materialism and add that if you wait until you have enough money to have kids, you will never have them :) I think you are absolutely correct in saying that there is so much more to life and family than money.

I will throw a stone on the other side of the balance (is that even a metaphor??) and say that raising kids does take money. I think that is probably what the people who are pushing "responsibility" on you are trying to say - even if they aren't quite saying it the right way. I definitely don't want to be one of those "wait until you have kids and then you'll understand" people, but I went through a very similar thought process as you from the time I got married until Liam came. I wanted to be free and adventurous and untethered. It's not that those things have left me, but my perspective has shifted. I have realized that being a good steward of your money actually is freeing in and of itself as it allows you to give your family as full and rich a life as you want them to have. There's basic survival needs at first. Then you get into wanting them to have as many beneficial resources and experiences as you can provide for them (ie. education, travel, etc...) Then at some point you just want to be able to love them through gifting, even if the gifts are not "necessities." Then on top of all that, you want to be able to give outside of your family as well.

So, I guess what I am saying is that I had to turn my want to escape money entirely into a peaceful cohabitation with it. For whatever reason God has allowed us to live in a world where finances are a necessity for survival. As much as I often hate money, I would be lying if I said that God hasn't used it to bless me immensely at different times in my life. I am the free spirit in the family, but when it came time for an emergency c-section and a premature baby, I can't tell you how blessed I felt to have a husband who had budgeted and saved our money so I could still stay home with my baby and simultaneous not become slave to debtors. With everything there is a balance. God had provided for that need well before it even occurred (most likely even while I was complaining about making the money!)

I guess what I have learned overall is to rest somewhere in between the two aspects. On one end we are enslaved to the "responsibility" and on the other we are enslaved to financial limitation and potential debt. Either way we are serving our own fears and not our family and ultimately the Lord. You and Landon will find your balance and peace in the Lord about family when the time is right for you guys. The Lord will provide. Sometimes it is during, after, or even before a time of need. Sometimes it is unconventionally and sometimes it is through good old fashioned hard work :) It is then the stewardship part that is up to you.

Sorry this is so incredibly long. I just related so much to your post that I had to respond! The Lord has taught me so much on this topic lately! I tried to fit it all in without writing a novel. I hope it makes sense! I'll be lifting you up girlie :) (PS...Listen to the song Gratitude by Nichole Nordeman. So good!)

Anna said...

I'm feeling for you sweet Hannah! After two years in Missouri, I felt the same way and Justin and I were so close to just packing up and moving back to MT where the sky is bigger and the woods deeper.

I second Lindsey's response. Money sucks and not having it sucks even more. And doing things on a whim takes a lot of money and hard work. We planned our move and it's unbelievable how much money it has taken us to settle in Durango.

Making the ends meet is a tremendous burden. I am terrified at what feeding our boys will look like when they are teenagers! Going to the grocery store leaves me in a similar mood to PMS these days. It's tough. There is no doubt about that.

Being carefree doesn't mean that you can't be financially smart.

The idea is to work at something that you love so it doesn't seem like work or at least it is fulfilling and to have the free time to do the things you want, mainly, sleep on the ground under the stars and play in the dirt. It took us 5 years in Missouri but we made it. And did our best to make the most of our time there. Counting the days down only makes them drag on more and is a waste of time.

Your time is coming. Be patient. Hang in there. You only have a few more months and Landon will be finished with his Trinity gig. You can see what opportunities arise out of applications this fall and will have a better idea of where you are supposed to be next year I think.

[Hailes] said...

i love your spirit!