Fear And Love

I am convinced that my un-welcomed fears have made far too many decisions for me. Reflecting on the emotional rollercoaster that has been this most stable and wholly loving relationship I’ve ever been in has made so clear what I had been lacking in the past.

Silly thing, but listening to a One Direction song it all came to mind in a single second.
“She told me in the morning she don’t feel the same about us in her bones”

Wait, really? The implication is that a relationship is ending because of a feeling. It hit me hard, because this is such a prolific rudder in modern society. I find it immature and stupid, and then realize it’s been such a theme in my life before. Sparing the gruesome details, every romantic relationship I have been in has ended because of either being cheated on, his leaving because I wouldn’t have sex with him, or because he simply lost interest and “ghosted.” All of those things suck, but worse than that is way it all happened. Without warning. Every single time, I would have a conversation with him and share my thoughts and feelings, ask where he stood and try to get on the same page. We would talk, he would kiss me, look in my eyes and assure me that we were in a great place and then head home. The very next day there would be a confession of cheating, a break up text, or that would have simply been the very last time I heard from him. The worst part truly was being lied to so many times. I became jaded.

Now, here I am in this most wonderful relationship with an incredible man. He love the lord, loves me, loves my son, is honest to a fault, and from day one has been perfectly transparent with me about what he wants and how he feels. I spent the first few months waiting for the other shoe to drop. The part where he disappears, or doesn’t keep his word; that’s been my consistent experience in the past. It’s a challenging thing to break through my jaded, insecure heart and keep sharing my love as much as I feel. I’ve been so  meticulous to guard my heart, which I think is important but it’s also of foundational importance to remind myself that I can trust him. If I had let my feelings make decisions for me I would have, in my jaded guarded heart, let my unfounded fear of him turning out not to be a man of character, cause me to pull away. I would have made my goal distance. I would have begun adding brick and mortar atop the tower that already wrapped around my heart. I would have “felt different about us in my bones” and walked away just to avoid heartbreak again. I would have chosen fear. Instead, he stood there, leaning on the wall I had built and looked into my eyes, waiting, saying everything without a word. It’s a good thing he’s such a strong climber, and could withstand those new layers I had frantically added while I let my fear motivate me. He just keeps stepping up, showing up, and patiently letting me learn that I can trust his integrity.

Finding myself here, I have a clear mind to share what I think love is. Love is a choice, it is a commitment, a code of ethics, a glue and finally a feeling. Let your feelings serve you, but do not let them lead you. Every morning you have to wake up and choose to continue pursuing connection with that which you love, whether it is a person, a business pursuit, or a faith; you still have to intentionally choose love every day. Some day’s you feel awful, whether physically or emotionally,  and you still have a choice. In this way, love is a commitment. You have to give yourself to it, or them, even when you don’t feel like it. Love, as a choice stewarded well and a commitment, that kept, will hold together even the most god-forsaken shipwreck. I am constantly challenged to choose love over fear, but I believe it to be me the most valuable battle to take on.

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Farm Life, Day One.

If you would have told me, six months ago today, that before Christmas I would be living on a 300 acre farm in a city an hour away from where I was living at the time,  I probably would have looked at you like you were crazy and asked what phsychadelics you ate for breakfast. These past six months have been host to some of the most wonderful, fast paced, intentional, and unforeseen events of my life. I truly wish I had done a better job of keeping this little journal updated as the story unfolded so far, but all the same, I have a feeling that the best is yet to come. I’ve gone from mountain-mom-stuck-in-the-city, to farm-living, remote-workin’ mamma. Here’s our story, starting now.

December 16th was the official move in day, despite having moved our things to the farm a week prior. Sterling and I arrived Friday evening, just in time to have dinner and visit with my boyfriend, Alex, and his family, before Grammy left to spend some of the winter in California. We settled in and built a fire that evening, enjoying its warmth in the glow of the christmas tree lights. The rest of the weekend followed suit, learning what my beginning responsibilities on the farm would be, continuing the seemingly unending project of unpacking box after box, and learning how to most efficiently heat the house with a wood burning stove. The stove is not a new skill for me, but one that absolutely needs sharpening. The weather has been merciless. Our first four days here have been sub-freezing temperatures without breaking. It has been such a lovely change of pace to wake up to the lowing of 60 cattle at pasture out our door, as opposed to the whistle and rattle of trains and cars passing all night long.

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Playing in one of the cattle pastures

I spent most of Monday feeling like I was living a dream, working my professional life, as well as interacting with the animals that keep my family fed and healthy. I took my darling boy to his first day at his new preschool, and he ran off joyfully after kissing me goodbye. Any parent can attest to the reassurance of their child’s joyful departure, especially in a new place. After arriving back at the farm, I set up my desk and “went to work” for the dental practices, beginning my day job. Between responsibilities for work, I got to get down to brass tacks washing basket after basket of eggs and cleaning the community rooms, kitchen and store. This level of multitasking was challenging, to say the least, and will take some serious getting used to. admittedly, I may have been slightly distracted by the deep feeling of value in the work my hands were doing. Selfish, maybe, but the emotional high of feeling like your work is deeply valuable makes it easier to be consistently joyful.

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The first of many baskets of eggs

Let me tell you the highlights of this farm where we now live and work. Lake Village Farm is over 300 acres, and is a non-profit organization prioritizing the preservation of the land and livestock farming practices that focuses on the animals quality of life. For those of you that know me personally, are you thinking, “This is SO Morgan!” yet? There is also a huge priority placed on education and helping the community get back in touch with where exactly our food comes from.(p.s. it’s not It shouldn’t be a factory!) Lake Village is home to at least 15 other families who actively contribute to the daily running of the farm, some of which have been here for over 15 years. The farm borders a lake, and is one of the most diverse and lively landscapes I’ve had the blessing of enjoying. This is the beginning of something new and beautiful, and I can not wait to keep sharing my crash course in the agricultural lifestyle.

I live an incredible life, and the gift of the lifestyle I was invited into is the best thing I never would have asked for this holiday season. Thank you Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself, and giving me more than I feel I deserve. What a gracious God, to love me this lavishly.

AsYou…

There is a contingency in this. I read the words, ” …as you…” and it was if my inner narrator enunciated them slowly, boldly as the words settled deep in my spirit. The key to unlock the fullness of hope, peace, joy, and power lie in trusting in The Lord. It sounds so simple, but is it really?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13

We have hope in The Lord always, but this verse really seems to suggest that there is more available when we actively trust in Him. It is written that we would have ALL joy, and OVERFLOW with hope as we trust. There is an extra measure available for those willing to trust in Him actively. Simply put, is your love or kindness to a non-believer not Gods goodness overflowing on to them? God’s goodness is for all of creation, not just believers, but this makes it clear that there is more for those who do believe and choose to trust.

This kind of trust is not a passive thing. Typically if you have to trust in something, or someone it is because there is something at stake, or a risk involved. You do not have to trust in a given. In this, you have to actively choose to believe that The Lord will come through. It escapes me why this is so hard to do, but it is a very present reality. Even yesterday I found myself full of anxiety and fear and realized there was plenty I had been thinking about, and forgotten to trust in The Lord for. From my experience, it becomes much easier to trust in The Lord when you take even a brief moment to remember what He has already done for you. When was there just enough, and you went without want? When were you certain things would go south, but then somehow they did not? Maybe you did not even pray about it, and everything still went okay. Make a list and remind yourself, write it down and meditate on it. Actively choose and decide to believe (whether you feel like it or not) and as you breathe in this decision, let hope, joy, peace, and power wash over you, fill you and overflow from you.

The final part of this verse takes the pressure off. It is not, and will not be, by our own power that we can accomplish any of this or find the fullness of hope, joy, and peace. It is the power of the Holy Spirit who makes this possible. It is not a natural thing, to just decide and believe. It takes a miracle kind of power only found in the Holy Spirit. You can stop trying so hard. Do what you can and rest in knowing someone far more powerful than we may ever know is on your side and fighting for you to have all that this verse speaks of; for every good thing.

Coming Back.

I keep writing drafts that start with, “It has been a while since I’ve written anything.” and proceeds to prepare my readers for the lack of gusto, or inspiration in my writing to come. I find myself justifying my level of writing, or explaining my absence. It fills me with anxiety and has kept me from posting anything. It is a strange way to think, that I own anyone an explanation for how, when, or why I write. Consider the ice broken. I’m happy to be back. I hope to be sharing more thoughts, on a regular basis,  very soon.

Also, I recently saw a funny meme which drove home the importance of the oxford coma. I’m going to use a lot of comas.

I’ve just learned that I’m an avoider. A runner. It’s always been there, at least the instinct if not the follow through. It’s ironic a little, because I’m quite the mama bear. One night after dark a strange dog without a leash, or a person, came running toward me and my two year old. I was quick to stand directly in between the dog and my son. The dog turned out to be our neighbors kind, and silly lab but  it wasn’t until after the dog began running away that I realized the 6″1′ man we were walking with had run the opposite direction and was now half a block away. Physically, there are very few threats I am likely to back down from. Emotionally, all it takes is a hint of doubt for me to begin dreaming of my Canadian escape. An A-frame at the end of a long pack trail. An Alaskan cabin on enough land to sustain My son and myself. A Washington sunset that colors my trail. A backpack stuffed with only the essentials.

I’m a runner, with knee issues.

Eclipsed

I took the garbage out tonight, well after I had crossed the dilusional threshold of tired. School work will have to wait until tomorrow but local sanitation services aren’t as flexible. I looked curiously at my neighbors, congregating across the street. One noticed me and pointed to the sky saying, “it’s the blood moon.” I looked up and was suddenly sober. The sight was pretty too but I realized, this is the first time all summer that I’ve actually stopped to look up at the sky and marvel at the stars. A thing that had consumed many hours every night, and much of my thought life in previous years had gone completely overlooked this time. My heart sank and the ache in my neck seemed to make more sense.

Have be I really been so busy so as not to see the eclipse?

An Open Letter To Whoever Stole My Phone

In a heartbeat you welcomed yourself to the rewards of my hard work. You think you stole a phone when in fact, you’ve stolen much much more.

In your hands is the sweat of my overtime at work, the priceless pictures of my little boy that I have no way of retrieving, and my connection to resources. You probably genuinely believe you deserve that phone, or the money you’ll get for selling it, and truth is you absolutely do! I don’t doubt that you’re working hard to overcome serious struggles, and doing the best you can, but so am I and I deserve that phone too. I don’t blame you, walking away from my cart was a dumb thing to do and I was certainly an easy target, but I didn’t have much of a choice when my toddler ran off. I am certain that the happiness this thing brings you is far less than the sadness of having it taken from me. I’m sure you assume I have insurance to cover the loss and replacing it will simply be an inconvenient hassle. You’re wrong about that one, my insurance is nothing more than my work ethic. You were smart to put the phone in airplane mode immediately so I can’t lock it remotely. I’m guessing this isn’t your first heist. Thanks for at least leaving my wallet, I just wish you had a little more compassion in the moment and decided against taking anything from me. I have truly worked hard for everything I have, and you’re so much less like Robin Hood than you may think. On the off chance you read this and change your mind, just leave an anonymous comment. In the mean time, I’ll be praying that you find such overwhelming success in an honorable way that you no longer feel the need to steal from anyone else.