InspirationalLifemarriageMotherhood

This Restlessness

 

Disclaimer: I desire for this blog to be encouraging, educational, and inspirational. I won’t bog it down with messy personal posts that delve too far into my thought life. I don’t want to bore you, and I also don’t want to come across as whiny. However, I also intend to be real, because I recognize that no matter what you’re doing with your life you probably have days that you doubt yourself. So do I. More than I’d like to admit. So this is me being real and (hopefully) relatable. I don’t always have it together, though I like to pretend I do. 😉 

The morning sun shines through the large hickory framed windows and onto the dining room table where I sit here typing. The children’s voices outside are laughing and cheerful, giddy with the warm-ness of this September morning and a youthful anticipation of whatever the day may hold. The baby, having awoken more times than I care to recall through the night now lies cozy and asleep in his crib, an early morning nap. It’s 9:00. We’ve been up since six- early enough to bid the 16 year old good-bye on his way to school and early enough that we’ve breakfasted, gotten all the chores done and even the house clean and should really be well into our school day. But it’s a beautiful morning and there may not be many left in this upstate region of NY where the winters are long and cold, so when they ran outside to play after their rooms were clean and their beds made and dishes and milking done, I didn’t stop them. And now I sit here in a quiet house with the prospect and preparedness of a happy and productive, and even maybe somewhat lazy day (if it’s possible to be productive and lazy in the same day)  stretched before me.

And I’m restless again.

This restlessness that’s followed me much of my life. And I have still yet to decide whether it’s restlessness, or drive, or calling, or immaturity. And so I pray for answers not always given right away. So much of my life is spent waiting for answers, or a sign, or an open door, or maybe even a closed one.

There are many things I want to do. Being a mom of many children tops the list and I feel satisfied that I can check that box off. Mom to lots and lots of precious, sweet, dirty, noisy, sacred, needy, children. Check. The job of being their mom certainly is enough to fill my day, fill my heart, and keep me from boredom.

But there’s more.

Lately God has placed people on my mind. People matter. People matter. People matter. All else aside, at the end of my life I want to make sure I’ve really delved into what matters most in this world and to God. People. I don’t know where this calling will lead, but I want to remain open to it. I’ve explored the possibility of furthering my education. I’ve been fighting a strong desire to begin work on my master’s degree and open myself up to missional work, near and far. Yet, my strongest desire resides in being available for my family. Being the best wife and mother I can be. I’m not sure I can do both well. Especially with eight children. As a mom of a large family I feel like I’m always going to be in significant need even as they get older, and I want to be available, not slave to a career.  In fact, when I was working full time (and even part time) as a Registered Nurse, I struggled to do both well and it was usually my family that suffered. You working moms can relate, I’m sure. Perhaps my mission field is right here in my home and neighborhood. But I don’t know, because God’s placed this desire on my heart too. and so I keep praying and waiting and I work to find joy in serving my family in the meantime. And if that’s all I do, I have to believe it’s enough. And I must learn to be content.

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And more…

I want to write. I have a book idea or two in my mind just waiting to be typed out. But all of the above pursuits keep me from it. So for now, in the back of my mind, a bit on this blog (and an odd journal here and there) is where they’ll stay until the time is right, if ever.

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Also,

There’s this farm. All this unused land that nags at me.  I never set out to be a hobby farmer,  but that’s how I feel lately, and it bugs me. If we’re going to do something proper with this place, I want to do it, already. Over the last four years that we’ve lived here there’ve been so many times we’ve wanted to walk away. Not feeling like proper farmers in a community filled with farmers has made us feel unsettled and sometimes even unworthy to own such a beautiful piece of property. But bills need paid, and small scale farming doesn’t seem to quite cut it. Especially when you have zero equipment and too few animals, and not exactly a hot bank account in which to make these purchases. And we’re not willing to go heavily into debt. And so, the farm sits, used a little here and there, but not enough to satisfy my whims.

 

All these plans. I try not to be hard on myself. You could say we’ve been busy. We’ve added two babies to our family in the four years we’ve lived here. This has kept me distracted (and rightly so), because family is so very important to me, and the bearing and raising of babies is so dear to my heart.

Joe started a business a year and half ago with hope that it would free him up for more family (and farm) time. But so far it’s been the opposite. He works long hours and returns home physically spent. We’re certainly grateful for all the business, especially when the statistics are not generally in the favor of small business success, and so far he can’t keep up with all the demand, but ventures here on the farm are on hold while we try to figure out a balance. So, the future of this farm remains unseen, and my main focus must be to support this hard working man of mine and keep this household running as smoothly as possible. Still, in my mind I envision a large flock of pasture-raised sheep for meat and wool, maybe a handful of beef cattle, always chickens, maybe a couple horses for work and pleasure. We talk about a CSA in the sometime future. But getting there, catching up to where our minds go,  has proved a struggle. And there’s always the fear that once we’ve worked our dream into reality, we’ll get restless and be ready to move on. Sometimes I wonder if farming truly is in our future, although I love this land and this old house and our dream.

So there you have it. Mothering, farming, school, a career, writing. All of these I desire to different extents on different days. My restlessness. In the meantime, I will mother hard, and I will pray hard. I will write this blog, and I will trust God to lead me where he will.

 

What makes you restless?

 

Elizabeth

 

 

 

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17 comments

  1. I go through this struggle daily, except I act on my whims and always end up with more than I can handle on my plate.

  2. Thank you for being so open and honest. I understand you wanting to keep your blog positive and encouraging, while also being real. I can also definitely relate to the restlessness you described. We are at a very similar place in our life right now, although different circumstances and desires. But restless is a very good way to describe it! Praying and keeping on in the place where God has us now, that’s what we’re doing too.

    1. The waiting can be hard, for sure. But you’re right, keeping on in the place God has us right now is the best we can do. <3

  3. I very much identify with this. But I don’t think I’m as reflective as I could be, I just get caught up in being busy.

    1. I hear ya. Or sometimes I stay busy to hide my restlessness 😉

  4. I hear myself as I read your words. Forever restless… or driven… or immature. I, too, sometimes wait for those answers and find it comes in waves.

    Beautiful post. Thank you!

  5. This is a wonderful post! And you have a beautiful home and family.

  6. I often have a similar feeling of restlessness, but mine feels so much more chaotic than you have expressed here. So beautifully captured!

    (I grew up in central NY and I miss those winters so much!)

    1. I appreciate your thoughts. And, I have a love/hate relationship with NY winters. 😉

  7. Your nature pictures are beautiful! I can relate to balancing everything, and I only have two kids! I am a high school teacher, play director, and speech coach. It’s not easy to balance that with being a wife and mother. And now I’ve thrown blogging into the mix! I often feel that when I focus on one thing, the other things can suffer. I do okay multitasking most of the time, but I am human!

    1. We all have our own degree of busy-ness, no? Thanks for commenting and good luck with your balance!

  8. Wow! This is so beautifully penned. I love the way you articulate your mind. Plus you are extremely blessed. I have 4 girls and wants to have more but my hubby will not hear of it.
    Take it one day at a time. You can accomplish all th dreams God has laid on your mind in his own time.
    Keep winning.

    1. Thanks for your beautiful words of encouragement. I would add, if you truly want more children, pray for God to change your husband’s heart. Worked for me 🙂

  9. Well said. People do matter. Praying that God leads you in the right direction of what to do next in your life.

  10. Welcome to the world of writers, where there minds explode with stories here, there, and everywhere. I wonder if there is a writer anywhere who isn’t restless to see and feel and live and love and experience all of life and then some. It’s the blessed curse of being a writer. Oh, and those are the ones without 8 children and a farm. Love you, Birdie. Fly away, but not too far please, and always come back home.

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