Journey toward…

South Dakota lone tree
Living in the country has taught this gal much.

For example, being stranded 20+ miles from town due to icy road conditions has taught me to appreciate the sun when it shines. Or how the pups drive me crazy until I boot their furry butts outside on a nice warm day, to which I find myself peeking out the window often to see how they’re doing on the big porch.

I am also learning about sacrifice. Not a seasonal sacrifice, but a sacrifice for a lifetime. A daily, intentional, dutiful, purposeful sacrifice. Sacrifice that develops, really develops, from soul surgery, the scalpel exposing the grim truth. I may have put this off for years had I not been placed in the middle-of-nowheresville, day in, day out. And you do see people go through this. The children have left the house, the economy is shaky, marriage is stale …ย  purpose and existence being challenged.

Personally, I don’t want to be a part of this process, to go through the fire and valley. Who does? It hurts, it’s hard; it tears down pride and reveals ugly judgments that leaves me with no response but to bury my head in my arms, hiding shame.

When I consider this, my mind quickly goes to how self-involved this sounds, like I sit under a neon sign labeled “ME”. But I know better. It’s much simpler to continue finding things, people, positions to fulfill me and offer an identity, something tangible I can grasp and say, hey, do you see what I have to offer? Let’s talk about that! I no longer have an intelligent sounding job, nor am I married to a man of extremely rich resources that allows me to wear the finest or flash my fancy items. It seems I am being stripped of everything I can credit to my worth …

… and in the process, learning what it really means to love people, not for what they do, not for their talents, and not for their status. What it means to serve. And you know what, on the surface, some people don’t make it easy to love them. Like a porcupine, you’d much rather stay away so you don’t get hurt. So far I’ve taken a few shots, and to my surprise, have worn the porcupine suit myself.

To quote C.S. Lewis, “It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one.”

South Dakota trail

Continuing on this journey, from bore to …

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29 thoughts on “Journey toward…

  1. Wow. You are raising some of the same questions I’ve wrestled with myself……
    I enjoyed reading your post, it made me think…plus you quoted C.S. Lewis. One of my favorite authors of all time.

  2. Ah, a familiar journey for me. Yes, there are many painful pitfalls, but every time you climb out of one, you emerge a better, brighter person. You’ll find you’ve left a lot of pain back in those pits, pain that won’t continue plaguing you anymore. And you’ll look back and say that every step of that journey was worth it. Journey on!

  3. I love how you said ” to my surprise, have worn the porcupine suit myself”. It takes a strong person to own up to having faults and knowing your sword was in the fight. Very inspirational post!

  4. This is perhaps your greatest writing… the realization of life lived. Experiencing what we do not know brings understanding, compassion and love. You have captured the essence of life’s struggle on this journey… and like many of us, what you own of yourself, frees you from the shackles that once kept you bound. It is the discovery of who we are, and who we are not. This writing made my day… you bring all of us to a better place by sharing your soul/spirit!

  5. Oh, such beautiful reflections and how I value your thoughts, as I am having some of the same struggles — finding myself in challenging circumstances that reveal the not-so-nice parts of me and forcing me to confront what I say vs. what I do. Your thoughtfulness and insight are really welcome!

    • I so understand what you’re saying there. I’ve been challenged to consider what I say before I speak it aloud. Is my yes a yes, and my no a no? I’ve been really blessed with wonderful people in my life to offer support and words of wisdom … the best coming from 60+ year olds. So much wisdom there!

      Good to hear from you!

  6. I know exactally how you feel! I too live in the country, and it was quite a shock the first year! Twenty miles from the nearest anything! We have since moved intown and it is much nicer, but still…The winters are miserable! So any chance the sun is out, so am I! lol…

  7. The thing is, you may not have fancy things to flash around, and at times this way of lif will drain you. But you will appreciate life more than the people that do have those flashy things to flash around.
    Because are they truely happy? Sitting around with their possessions surrounding them?

    • Very true, Katie! I think you will learn as you get older, and perhaps settle down a bit (marry, career) and make choices to become an active citizen in your community and all that stuff, that the pressure, or temptation, exists within the social structure to acquire more or have more. It’s a daily decision to remind yourself of what is important, and what isn’t… And I have seen in other people with money use it for such wonderful things, and I find them truly inspirational. So having money isn’t bad ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks so much for stopping in!

  8. Insightful and thoughtful post, really enjoyed reading it.

    My experience? It takes a lot of effort to separate the list of “should haves” from the “what is.” And when you strip all that stuff away and really see who is left standing there, many cannot face what’s left. Congrats on doing the work – it’s necessary, painful at times, and rewarding … but, in my experience, it’s the only real path to figuring out who exactly you are.

    Looking forward to reading more! MJ

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