Friday, September 6, 2013

"You can't get there from here..." or can you?

Confession: I love blogs written by Farmer’s wives...The Pioneer Woman ( ...A Holy Experience ( , these are two (very different) examples of life stories/ blogs that rope me in completely every time I read them.  I am absolutely fascinated and terrified by farm life.  

Perhaps the fascination was sparked by reading Little House on the Prairie or by  the cover of an old book my mom had entitled, "True Women." Such a great title.  It chronicled the lives of several women who traveled out west and made their home out of the blank slate of land they found there.  I never actually read it, in fact I was a little traumatized by it because my mom reported that many of the women shot themselves out of complete despair.   Nevertheless, the women on the cover looked brave and strong, if not happy.  

So, back to the farmer's wife thing...I immediately wonder if I could make it.  Do I have the hutzpah to work the land sun up to sundown with my family... to live miles from the nearest hospital, police station, coffee shop?!  Would I be able to face everyday with joy and not succumb to the apparent temptation to go out to a field and give up on living?

Somewhat ironically, my husband grew up on a farm. I mean he isn't currently working on his family's land so I wouldn’t bubble in Farmer as his occupation but sometimes I wonder if it is his vocation.  That sort of thing is in your blood right?  Every time we get to some place with open space or large animals I sense he becomes a little more himself than he was before.   

I haven’t found that place yet, the place where I can breathe easy and just be me.  

So, how do you find that place?

Even as I type that I think of the verse from the Bible in John 14 when Thomas asks Jesus how they will know the way and Jesus says, “I am the one comes to the Father but through me.”  I’ve always imagined that wasn’t exactly what the disciples were expecting to hear. 

Not surprisingly, Philip asks a follow up question.  He asks Jesus to show them the Father.  Jesus doesn’t seem to be of the opinion that there are no stupid questions...or if he does, he chooses to answer them with questions of his own, “Don’t you know me Philip, even after I have been with you such a long time?”  He continues to lovingly explain that he and the Father are one which I can only imagine totally blew the disciple’s minds.  

I don’t pretend to understand the complete unity and yet distinct persons of the trinity.  Here is what I get from the encounter...Jesus is the way, that’s it, if you have him then any place can be that place of peace for you.  

Fortunately for me, who still feels lost most of the time, the next thing Jesus does is promise the Holy Spirit.  He refers to him as “The Counselor” which is exactly what I need when I contemplate all of this.  So, by the leading of the Spirit which Jesus elsewhere says is like the blowing of the wind, we find our place, our identity in Christ.  
Where do you find peace?  Are you a farmer?  A farmer’s wife?  A city slicker?  An urban hoodlum? 

Whatever you have been, have you found Jesus?  If so, would you share the way he changed your life and the world you live in?  I need to hear that today.  Maybe we all do. 


  1. Hi Kate,

    Thanks for your response on Books and Such and for dropping by to my blog. I have had limited support but I think that I have been my own worst enemy too. The disappointment of being rejected at the last minute from a publisher was very difficult to take, as it was at the end of a six month journey with them. I haven't had the heart to send it out again and I have questioned the whole project. It's on the shelf for the moment and after having a period of self-doubt and a sense of failure I am now trying to be nice to myself. That’s been surprisingly hard to do. Having permission to not be perfect is something I am trying to take hold of.

    1. @sallynapthali It was a joy to drop by your blog and read your posts. I agree with you that self-care is a super important skill to practice. One of the most helpful things someone once told me was to: 1) write down the lies I am believing (for example, “I have to be perfect”) and then 2) write down how they affect me and make me feel and finally 3) write down evidence for why they are just lies and not truth that I should be accepting. What are some of the other kindnesses you practice toward yourself? I made a list of nurturing activities that help me feel and stay healthy such as exercise (I love going for walks in nature), healthy baked goods with a hot cup of tea or coffee, and best of all investing in the friends that I love and trust. Building each other up takes vulnerability but is so worth it.