I went to look at plans for our home today. We talked about closets and doors and wood and tile and elevations and drystack and insulation.
I have to admit that sometimes I just nodded and had no idea what they were talking about. It’s like they were speaking Jivvanese (as in the language Dr. Seuss talked about in Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?).
I thought it would have been nice to have a snack or something. But I had bottled water, so it was kind of like a snack. Like a snack for supermodels and good looking people.
I was thinking and praying before I went. It’s not every day that you plan to create a whole home. We are not pioneers anymore and house building is complicated and difficult and too much most of the time. It’s not like we’re in Peru where we just put up some canvas and aluminum and move in.
It’s so much more…stuff.
Sometimes I think it would be so great to be one of those hippies who build their homes out of reclaimed beer cans and cardboard and junkyard items and pieces of tree branch. It’s so amazing. And it ends up looking fabulous and it only cost them like thirty cents, plus their labor.
The problem is, I’m just not good at that kind of thing, and I have lots of kids, and most people who do that sort of thing don’t have children. Maybe they have a dog and two cats, or just a dog, or maybe they just have a partner, or a spouse or a soul mate, but usually they don’t have a dozen children.
Also, most of them have time to just, I don’t know, go find a mentor to teach them how to make their own nails or make staircases out of recycled tennis shoes or something.
I am more like the kind of girl who watches what they do on YouTube and then donates money to their cause. I am a hippie wannabe. I don’t wear commercial deodorant. I eat organic and do everything I can to live a life in harmony with the Universe, but living in a beautiful tiny home and building it myself is beyond me.
Sometimes I wish I could live in a tiny house.
I mean, we are staying in a little home in Ashton, Idaho, and it is practically perfect in every way (like Mary Poppins), and I love that it is small. Not much to clean up. Not much space to make into messes.
And sometimes I wonder if my big kitchen is really necessary. Then, I think about what I have cooked so far in the kitchen in the tiny Ashton home.
Sandwiches. Some oatmeal. My husband made bacon. Not real meals. Vacation meals, which are different than real life.
But, still, I find myself thinking I could be perfectly happy with less. So, why are we doing this? Why is this the path we feel to take?
I don’t know. But I do know it is right. And I know none of it is really ours. It all belongs to God and we will do whatever He wants us to do with it.
As we looked at the plans and changed the plans and then looked at the plans again and added and changed again, I was thinking about my life.
I was thinking about my plans.
How I try to draw up a plan, usually based on someone else’s.
I tweak it here and there and think I am pretty happy with my plan.
Then I take it to the Savior, and He, the Master Draftsman, changes it. Because He understands what can and can’t be done, and more importantly, what should and shouldn’t be done. Then He shows it to me, and I kind of disagree with some of what He shows me. I think maybe if I can just convince Him, He will see that I had a great plan.
Then, sometimes He waits, without saying much, until I realize that He was right all along. Sometimes, He allows me to change a part of the plan again and then He goes back and tweaks it again.
And then we have to excavate the ground and get it ready for the foundation.
I think I am in that excavating phase.
And it hurts, a little.
I am being dug up and cleared out to make room for my new life. And it is exciting, but sometimes, it’s a little ugly.
Like I always tell the kids, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.”
My heart is just being cleared of debris and dug out and it is somewhat painful.
I know I am making room for more. Sometimes I just wish I could live in a hut somewhere. Sometimes I wonder if I had a lot less, would I need so much excavation and reconstruction work all the time?
I don’t know. But, I do know that I am here in this place and it is right for my family. And if I let them, all of these things can teach me to be a better mother and a better wife and a better woman.
The miscarriage was so very difficult. Not in a negative, bad, depressing, discouraging way, though. More like just a weeping for life that didn’t get to be. I love life. I love creating life with God. I love all living things that try to exist in harmony with other living things. I just have such a reverence for it.
It is hard for me to let go because I made a promise long ago to God that if He were to send me many children, I would treat each pregnancy as if it were the only one. Meaning, it would be special to me and precious and most important to me every time.
I have kept that promise, and from the moment I discover I am pregnant (and often even weeks and months before), I am fighting for that life. I am exerting my spiritual energy on making the way for that life to grow in a positive, happy, loving environment.
That is hard work.
So, it is hard to let go.
But, I am alright with it. I am incredibly humbled at the many, many miracles that have accompanied this challenge in my life. It has truly strengthened me to know that angels abound, both on this side of the veil and the other. I know I am in God’s hands. It’s scary and beautiful at the same time.
And for those who have had miscarriages, I will tell you that it is the same pain that I felt when I lost Joy, only not as sharp and deep and defined. But it is the same pain. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you didn’t lose a child, or negate your pain. And don’t you negate your heartache. Just know that you can couple it with gratitude and it feels a bit better.
I don’t know what is in store for me over the next few months, but I am excited.
I hope this excavation roots out some of my weakness and makes me stronger. I hope I can be a better friend and woman and sister. One thing all of this has taught me is the remarkable strength and compassion of women. So many of you have reached out to me and just absolutely changed my heart when I needed it most. It is amazing what we women can do when we decide to celebrate our ability to nurture and love and show compassion. You all have inspired me in ways I cannot explain.
I love you all. Thank you so very much for helping me climb my mountains. I do not ever feel alone. I know that even in the darkest abyss, one of you is probably out there in the dark, groping in faith and hope that the light will come.
And we are the lights, you know. God lets us help Him by encouraging us to light the way for each other. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?