We recently took a day trip to fish and play in a river a couple of hours away from home followed by a long overdue visit to Big Meadows. It’s rare that Jonny can take an entire day off, so it felt like such a big deal! Day trips used to be a regular occurrence for us as a family, but times change just as surely as the seasons do. Jonny later told me that he felt sad on Big Meadows. Not only because we visited the little grave of the tiny baby we lost last summer, but more so feeling keenly aware of the passing of time. We’ve been taking our children to Big Meadows for many years. It’s very easy to look across that meadow and picture our older children racing through the grass as little ones in twilight games of hide and seek.
I am finding it difficult to make space for all of the things that I would like to do, moving from one necessary task to the next, and rarely feeling particularly accomplished. By the time the clean laundry is folded, the dirty is overflowing and starting to spread out all over the bathroom floor. I feel defeated by it. I guess I need a shift in perspective. In most things, I try to place importance on the process, rather than the product. I believe that accepting and perhaps, embracing the neverending nature of what it takes to raise and support a family is part of my path to heaven. My goal isn’t necessarily a clean house (that’s just my dream), my goal is to one day be a saint. I have to remind myself of that almost constantly. The path to sainthood is messy and exhausting, and I often want to jump off. I am frequently fighting an inner battle over what I ought to be doing and what I would prefer to be doing (often disguised as something more important than the true needful thing). My simplistic prayers often go something like, “What do You want me to do?” over and over. There are people out there doing very exciting things but most of us are doing more ordinary work. I forgot to move laundry earlier today, so tonight no one will have clean towels. Mabel is whining and I need to get her ready for bed. I’ve started reading to her in my bed every night, after which she typically promptly falls asleep snuggled next to me. Jonny then carries her upstairs to her own bed. And here I run off on a tangent, because that is the nature of life, certainly my life. There are very few quiet moments, times to compose my thoughts or to write them down. I’ve been writing blog posts for more than ten years, and it is only getting harder. I’ve been writing one in my head every day for the past week. Each day it has been different.
Last week we had a little goat crisis. One of the babies got sick and I ended up collecting “samples” from all five goats to deliver to the vet for diagnostics. Date night turned into a visit to Tractor Supply for meds. Jonny and I have had lots of fun the past few days medicating stubborn animals with what must be very bad-tasting medicine. He holds the goat’s head between his legs and gives the dose while I stand behind him bear hugging its body. In the midst of the goat drama, Jonny commented that his super demanding law firm job doesn’t really go hand in hand with homesteading. This is very true, and we don’t quite know what the answer is. We built a life around a far less demanding job. I am pretty sure that we are in agreement about the fact that the answer doesn’t lie in parting with our goats, so don’t worry. Some of you suggested goat videos when I mentioned starting a Youtube channel. We sure would have captured some great footage for you this week.
It’s actually a little ridiculous to think that Jonny and the kids have even been contemplating a Youtube channel as if we have time. Well, the kids don’t get the time issue, so I guess it’s just funny that Jonny is on board with the idea. Many of you left really insightful comments on the post where I mentioned making videos and I appreciated that. I’m not sure what will happen but if a video is ever made and posted, I will let you know. Part of what might hold us back other than the whole time and equipment thing, and the fact that no one can decide what to name the channel, are our different artistic visions. Jonny and the kids are envisioning something along the lines of a couple of the family-oriented fishing channels that they watch. They are nothing fancy, but I guess they are highly entertaining to the right audience. When I think about making videos, what I imagine is a beautifully shot period drama. In reality, it would be a comedy or an episode of Dirty Jobs, but whatever, as long as it’s beautiful. My vision might be unrealistic, but I’m not sure I can settle for less. I am fine with you laughing with me over this. I am sure that editing these works of art would be time-consuming as well, but you wouldn’t believe how long it takes me to complete a blog post. Between uploading and editing photos, and the difficult writing bit, I easily spend four hours on a post, hence their infrequent appearances lately. My writing often looks like one of those mixed up stories we were all given as children to sort out and put in the correct order. It’s a mess. I’m a mess! But that’s okay. I’m just going to keep asking God what he wants me to do. I suspect I will be moving laundry, planning meals, homeschooling a bunch of kids, reading bedtime stories, and hoping to knit a few rows in there somewhere. But you never know, one day He might whisper to me, “Ginny, get out there and film those goats and share them with the world!” I’ll keep doing my best to answer His call, whatever it is.