For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Monday, August 7, 2006

It's Fine

We've just finished dinner, and I'm reclining in "my study". I'm going to confess. I've got George Strait playing on my CD player, and I'm feeling a bit gloomy. No, I'm not feeling gloomy because of George. Sometimes I get a little homesick, and the country music CDs come out. I have all of eight, I think. George happens to make up for two of those, but this isn't about George. This is about my gloomy homesickness.

As I mentioned yesterday, I grew up on a farm. It wasn't an active farm. We did sow and harvest crops, but we had a variety of animals throughout my life. Someday I'll tell you some of my middle of the night animal stories. Storms happen in the middle of the night. Goats give birth in the middle of the coldest night of the year, and sometimes you have to thaw the babies to get them to live. Rabbits get hot and pile up so you have to put bottles of ice in their pens to keep them from suffocating each other. I remember getting up at 4:00 am to make bottles for calves and pulling the bottles in a wagon over a quarter of a mile because the ice made it impossible to drive. We broke ice so the cows could drink, and I've milked a cow by hand. I've also had puncture wounds in my leg because I made a pig mad.

Farm life is no picnic, even when you aren't depending on crops that often just pay off the bills from the year before. Still, I have great memories. My grandma owned 40 acres, and my dad, aunts, and uncles owned some land, and put it altogether, there was over 50 acres of adventure for a kid if she was willing to step outside and enjoy it. Course, wire on the barbed-wire fences were close enough to keep a bull or cow in, and wide enough to let a kid come and go. My family owned around 50 acres, but our neighbors owned the rest of the world, and they were willing to share.

I asked my mom if I ever said I was bored as a child, and she looked at me incredulously. "Bored?! You ate breakfast and then walked out the door. You called a couple of dogs (did I mention my folks raised and bred dogs? Now, there's some stories to be told there), and y'all would take off across the pasture. You were home in time for supper. You just weren't home enough to be bored."

Of course, life has changed there. My grandma passed 3 years ago. The farm has been mostly sold off, and the neighbors have either passed on or sold off their places, too. The Land of Adventure had shrunk significantly, and I don't live there anymore. I have my own family. My husband is a computer guru, and there just aren't many jobs for computer gurus in farm country, so that isn't "home" anymore.

Still, it is where I grew up, and the memories are good, and something in me had hoped we would retire there, to sit on the steps of the house and look out over the creek bottom while I sipped my coffee and watched the sun come up like my dad and I had on so many mornings. I looked forward to dances at the fire station and 42 games at the community club. Last week, though, my idealic vision was marred, and I'm not sure how it will turn out.

My mom has asked me to agree to sign a lease so an oil company can drill on our land. She keeps seeing progress. I see capped wells and torn up countryside. She's moving forward. I am not as ready to let go as I thought I was. However, I have learned certain truths in life. Wheat won't grow until the seed dies and falls to the ground. It's hard to move forward when holding on to the past. I see this in so many lives of friends of ours.

Relationships, jobs, offenses, and other "past" things keep people from moving forward. Sometimes the past was too good to let go of. Sometimes it was too bad to risk again. In both cases people are imprisoned by what is over and gone because they can't see what the future could hold. They choose to cling to the dead seed rather than letting it go and seeing what wonders they can harvest.

I'm not going to lie. I miss farmlife sometimes. I miss my dad often. I thought about my grandma earlier today and wished I had the chance to talk to her and ask her questions again. This time I would write the answers down, or maybe I would record her voice so I could hear it again and again. Yep, there's a lot of things that were that tug at my heart, and some of them I would like to give to my kids, but in reality, I only see a part. I know my God sees the whole, and if letting go of the plans I had for the future is the seed that has to fall, I can find peace in knowing God's harvest is worth it. I never out give Him. I will never give up more than He gives me back.

And, who knows? Maybe the farm wil be fine, but if it isn't, I know I will be. That is the inheritance I have from my Daddy.

Hoping you are okay, even when things aren't you aren't.......

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