I am sitting here alone tonight, the kids all tucked away and dreaming happily, the animals taking another nap nearby, the house quiet except for the sound of my dishwasher running in the background.  It’s moments like this when my innermost thoughts can be almost overwhelming. 

I have so many thoughts running through my head.  Some might qualify as worries, others as concerns, some might even be fears, while yet others are simply pure curiosity and innocent questions.  Essentially they all revolve around one thing….what our lives will be like about 6 weeks from now.  Things could happen in so many ways at this point! 

  • Will we be living in a big house in the city or on some acreage in the country?
  • Will we be renting again or actually own a place where we can put our personal touch without concern of a landlord’s opinion?  (I’ve never had that option before)
  • Will we be limited still to our dog and cat, or will we have the option of having more critters?
  • Will I be able to find a good supplier of raw milk, or will I be milking my own goat?
  • If I can have critters, and I have the option of milking my own goat, will I be able to find one that has recently freshened, is a decent milker, and is for sale in June?
  • Will I be able to figure out gardening at 7000 foot altitude, when there is several inches of snow presently on the ground, and it is the end of April?
  • Will I be able to arrange to continue ordering our bulk food supplies from Azure Standard, and/or be able to recruit a few other customers for them so I can get a delivery to our new area?
  • How soon after moving could my husband deploy, and for how long?

Assuming for a moment that the property we are interested in actually works out, then there are more questions:

  • Will I be able to learn contendness in life and in mothering, in a crowded, old 600 sq ft. trailer, or the loft of the barn if a temporary living situation is necessary? (that thought makes me realize how truly spoiled we are!)
  • Will I be able to run an effective homeschool in the above situation?
  • How long will we actually have to live like that before being able to afford a new home?
  • If my husband deploys, will I feel safe enough and be able to fun a mini-farm and home with 4 homeschooling children by myself?

Oh, let me tell you, that is just the tip of the iceberg!   I have so many other thoughts running through my head, it just isn’t funny.  Unfortunately, I do tend to obsess and get very distracted in this type of situation.  It has really distracted me from my usual chores and responsibilities.  If I am honest, though, the biggest issue for me right now is really whether we will be able to have animals. 

Fact is, I am an animal lover.  Before marriage, and really up until I had kids, animals were all I knew.  I worked as a veterinary technician, I ran the animal department at a farm store, I owned horses and trained horses, I worked with the BLM horses, I trained dogs, I worked at a zoo and a nature center, I raised rabbits, I worked with the mounted police, and so much more!  I owned or worked with almost every species of domesticated animal at some time or another.  Until I got married, I was in school, majoring in animal biology, with the ultimate goal of going to vet school. Outside of being a believer in Christ, animals were really how I defined myself in day-to-day life.

The hardest thing I think I ever experienced was when God told me it was time to put the animals aside and focus on raising my children.  I fought it for a long time, but eventually came around.  I cannot deny I have been happy, and never had any regrets about that.  Nonetheless, I have seen it as a season in my life.  I have maintained a hope that God would eventually allow me the privilege of once again being involved with animals–even if it is in a different way than I had originally planned. 

This week, I almost feel like I am being tested somehow.  I can’t really explain it.  I got excited about the prospect of having a few animals at our new home, then those hopes were all but dashed.  Then we found this piece of property that seems so perfect with the exception of having to replace the house.  Everyone has been quick to recommend that we “just get a manufactured home and stick out there.”  Actually, that is exactly what we are considering, but there is a LOT more involved in it then that, and it just isn’t that simple for us.  Perhaps I will post about it one day.   As time goes on, though, this property becomes more appealing, and my hopes and excitement just increase by leaps and bounds.  How I would love to step outside to hear a goat bleat “good morning” to me again!  How I would love to show my children how to care for baby chicks.  How rewarding it would be to create a meal for my family that was provided by God and required effort on my part to produce, but allowing me to know the entire history of every morsel, rather than just running to the grocery store.  How much fun to cuddle with baby rabbits again. How I long to see my dog “set free” to be a dog and run to his heart’s content on our land, rather than be cooped up in a “postage-stamp” yard.

The truth is, I have no idea where we will be living, or what God is going to provide for us in the end.  Despite my efforts to not get my hopes up, I have failed.  I am cautiously optimistic, granted, but still, I know I will be disappointed if it doesn’t work out the way I dream at night.  It seems like such a silly thing to concern myself with, but I do.  It is so easy to say “just turn it over to God,” or “just pray about it,” or something similiar, but at moments like this, it is a lot easier said then done. 

At the same time though, I know God has the best plan.  He knows what the future holds, including all the details I haven’t even considered.  I know that even if I am disappointed in the short term, ultimately I will be much happier with His plan than my own, because His plan always works best for everyone and everything.  Fortunately, through the journey He has led us on over the last 2 years, I think I have spiritually matured quite a bit from when He initially asked me to give up the animals.  So despite my concerns, I have a new-found peace and satisfaction (even if I have to search for it once in a while!) that God WILL provide.  He WILL take care of everything for us.  It is simply our job to continue praying and following His leading. 

Whatever the final result, I look forward to getting through these next few weeks, getting all the questions answered, and getting back to a normal routine.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”     –Matthew 6:25-34