Back at the beginning of the summer, a childhood friend of mine read the blog for the first time. We now live 2000 miles away from each other, so she e-mailed me and asked me what I meant in my blog subtitle by "a real life". This spurred a good month of really thinking about the question.
Unfortunately, I think I offended her. I never meant the title to imply that someone not living on a farm is not living a real life! I still think that "learning to live a real life" captures very much what we are trying to do here. But let me say to all of you... we each are on our own journey home and living it as fully as possible is living a real life, in my opinion. That long walk will be as different for each of us as we are from one another.
Here's what it means to me:
I want to be more connected with the people in my life. I want to fully enjoy the beauty of creation. I want to know where my food comes from and I want it to taste delicious. I want to take risks and I want to make mistakes. I want to experience getting hurt then healing, and finding greater strength for it.
I don't want to watch life on TV, I want to be there. I want it to happen to me, and I want to be scared and overjoyed. I don't want to take things for granted. I want to touch my bread before it is baked. I want to really know my kids. I want to struggle with my husband over little things and big things, and learn how to sacrifice for him, and ask for forgiveness, and grow in humility. And throw my arms around him because he is my husband and I love him.
I don't want to be in an emotional place where at the end of the day I feel I have to turn on the TV or a movie to escape from my life. I want to dig in and live it, right through the conflicts, the cactus thorns in my hand, the sunsets, the kisses, the accidents, the downy baby chicks, the stinky chicken litter, the goats getting out, the wasps in the house, the warm snuggles from a 3 year old in the middle of the night.
I want to be here. Right now.
That's my idea of a real life.
I don't think you have to live on a farm to take that in and try it. Be there. Listen to those people you love with all of yourself. Make something from scratch. Pick flowers for no reason. Bring a little beauty into someone else's life by giving them the gift of YOU. Stop being so scared.
It's all about the love, baby...