Designed for Bravery

The other day, Country Man and I headed to the area of the Sandhills in Nebraska to check out a piece of equipment for the farm. Bobcat, loader? I have no idea. My stories would flow more like malbec than mud if I paid better attention.

What I do know is this: it was a 12-hour day trip with him, and those days don’t come often.

As we drove through Mission, reaching into the small hills and vast land that is reservation territory, a place where wild dogs roam and graffiti marks abandoned homes, I had that reminder once again of my isolated, quiet life and how easily I forget about this “real world” I live in.

A part of me wanted to lean over into Country Man’s safe arms; another part wondered when, if I abandoned my brave heart somewhere along life’s way?

Perhaps I know…

With the fortune of having nothing but sky and cattle and geese above, a home to protect me and a husband who adores me, I fear becoming comfortable.

South Dakota photography

Geese at dusk

Oh, I hate that word.

I’ve seen what happens to the comfortable, and I’ve vowed for a long time to fight that seemingly inevitable transition.

Comfort requires a level of conformity, to blend in, nod yes, smile, shrug, laugh when appropriate, wear this.

It’s an exhausting effort at first.

And as I sit weary of my own comfort of which this trip has reminded me, he slips back in the vehicle with pizzas to go, the smell taunting us for the next hour until we’re home.

Soon we pull into that same drive, under that same charming sky, and I am reminded once again of a life completely different than I had ever imagined. And daily I confront the luring temptress disguised as exciting horizons, easier life on the busy side, the greener grass … but daily I choose to stay, to work, to fight for boundaries in a boundary-less world.

To fight for love, for our dreams, for Hope most of all.

My heart, she is still brave.

South Dakota sky


44 thoughts on “Designed for Bravery

  1. Absolutely loved it! I always enjoy reading your blog, its a lot like my life…just on the gulf coast! My husband is also a farmer and we are buying new equipment as well. I guess its time for a new cotton picker to replace a 20 year old piece of rust! Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

  2. Hello Friend, I enjoy your posts and really relate to them, as well. I love my husband so much and appreciate the love you have for yours. So many women today don’t invest the time and effort into their marriages and really lose out on so many blessings. We have been married almost 40 years, and I am happy to say that every day is bliss with my knight in shining armor.
    Have a shining day!

  3. I like this conflict, the draw away from and the new-again joy at being glad for comfortable stability. I like the gratitude it evokes and vigilance to do and to be the next right thing. I think that I would like to learn that the feeling of comfort for me, isn’t a bad thing. I don’t need to liven it, unless I want to. I had to learn that grounding can feel like comfort, and learn to experience my life on life’s terms, gaining new while experiencing mooring.

    Thanks for posting this, and showing up. 😉

  4. Doesn’t sound like you fear comfort, sounds more like you’re afraid you might take what you have for granted. Hence why trips away from the comfort zone are necessary, if harrowing. character building, like my mum always says…

    • that’s a good point, and very true; i do not want to take my blessings for granted. but i do not *fear* comfort in the sense that I am afraid of it, but of what it will do to me if i allow it. there is so much going on in our world, and i don’t want to miss opportunities to reach out, grow, build character, as you said. it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day of life. thanks so much for reading, and for your insight.

  5. Every day I wake up and live a life I hadn’t imagined would happen – where I am away from my family and friends – learning new ways with the one I chose for life. Every day, I stay, as well…I appreciate your yearnings and thoughts about the greener grass – the busyness. Gorgeous skies.

  6. In a turbulent world a safe haven is welcome. Most of us live in uncertain times. I do understand what you mean though, i live in a world very different from yours, yet there is danger of slipping into the comfortable mode. Comfort brings with itself stagnation of the mind body and spirit. A new challenge every time is what keeps us growing and going. Lol

  7. That last picture with the hay rolls (or whatever you call them out there) is breathtaking. I think I would find myself overwhelmed in such a wide open space. I live in a place with far too much access, from Philadelphia 10 minutes to the west, New York City 90 minutes to the north, Atlantic City 40 miles East. And I seldom bother with any of it. But one thing I have been nudged to think about by your post today is, that dreaded comfort zone…maybe I will challenge myself to do something new or uncomfortable each week.

  8. I just read this quote from Madeline L’Engle and it seems to fit perfectly with your topic today: “We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.”
    Isn’t that lovely?

  9. I love this post (actually blogged on something similar today).. you have a rich life and the rewards are ones you will remember forever. Comfort is ok, just not stagnation..

    (Beautiful geese sky)

  10. i am reminded of the saying…don’t ask for your life to be easier, ask to be better. here’s to an uncomfortable and meaningful day! 🙂

  11. Though we live so very far apart and have such different lives and I’m so much older than you are, one of the things that resonated the clearest with me is your quickness to want to take that 12-hour ride with your husband. Whenever we take the 12-hour drive up the eastern shore to Boston to see our sons, I get so excited about the ride, the closeness my husband and I share during that time. Some people would think that ride would be a drudge, but we both love it. Wonderful post and pictures, as always.

  12. I’ve been there, too–riding alongside my husband on hunting trips to WI (I don’t hunt) or trekking across no man’s land in search of a power tool or buckets for the store. It may seem a little humdrum to most, but those hours — and sometimes days — sitting beside our manly men couldn’t compare to all the splendor and entertainment provided by this world.

    • I hear ya, friend. It is so nice to read another wife’s perspective, one who allows him to be who he is. One of my favorite memories was elk hunting with him in the Black Hills (my home area). We camped overnight and awoke to a herd of elk a mile down from us. The bulls were directing the cows for breeding purposes. It was a beautiful sight.
      Seeing them in their element… a beautiful sight! I am sure your husband will say the same about you when your little girl arrives.

  13. Comfort is not necessarily bad. If you fear getting too comfy, live in Cairo for a year. You’ll not only save some money because cost of living is really low, but you’ll be thankful for every piece of green land you see afterwards.

  14. Life will find you. You cannot hide. Enjoy the moments of comfort. They are too fleeting. Use them to fortify yourself for what is ahead. None of us remain unscathed for long. I’m afraid that every mountain is followed by a valley. Gather your strength when you can and be ready. Not being negative, just know what life is all about. HF

  15. Comfortable is NOT necessarily a bad thing, especially when you’re coming from less-than-comfortable. It’s complacency you need to worry about, and I don’t think that’ll be an issue for you. Another beautiful post, my friend!

  16. Beautiful pictures! I understand what you mean about fearing becoming comfortable..for me it also comes with the fear of change. I don’t want to become comfortable, a routine that is done without thought and emotion (that was the last 2 years of my life with my ex husband) I find myself fearing change at the same time. I don’t want to lose the things that bring me happiness, Its and odd combination. Any way beautiful post 🙂

  17. Very thought-provoking post. It seems to me you have found your “home” and it is where you are. Whether that is comfortable or not, is less important than the fact that you are where you are supposed to be. And that, my friend is a beautiful thing. Very well-written piece.

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