In my front yard, is a small miniature horse, about 3 and a half feet tall. He is timid and sweet and has the temperament of an old loyal dog. Across the drive, in the pen is a llama named Abednigo… Bendi for short who is being weened off of his mama and is none too happy about it. When I go outside to walk to the sheep pen, I must break for the ducks and geese that cross the road and I wait for the Turkeys and the Guineas to signal if there is a snake nearby before i walk to the place where my timid sheep are awaiting the births of their lambs. There are two goats, a very old horse we keep just to let him live out his old age in peace and a pregnant Donkey with what I believe to be an unnatural affection for Cowboy. And they, and us- Cowboy and I and 5 kids and my mom, frolic on 20 acres out in the middle of the desert with the most amazing sunsets and dreamy coffee mornings.
In my dining room,is a place where we gather for meals. Near the window is where we spin wools into yarn and weave rugs and create fiber projects. There is a room dedicated to learning cluttered with books and papers and science supplies. And in my bedroom is a corner filled with paints and inks and book presses and papers where I spend hours.
We don’t have cable out here because we choose not to. We have ponds for our ducks to splash in, a trampoline built-in the ground for our kids to play on, and a tractor named after a Russian hooker that cowboy uses to keep the roads clear and level. We take walks and raise our own beef and have our own language. We pray before meals, study Gods word almost every day, laugh, joke, fight, stomp, apologize like a fallen televangelist and occasionally cuss like sailors.
Cowboy stops what he is doing, even if he is driving, turns up the music and two-steps with me right out in the middle of the dirt roads,cactus and blown hay…. whenever the right song comes on the radio no matter who is around. Thank you God, so much, for this amazing thing.
If you fight one of us…. you fight us all. But visitors are treated like family. If you came here we would show you where we keep the beverages and try to feed you while asking you to ignore the dust or the science project on the counter. We would apologize for Solomon- the peacock perched on your car but not for his presence. Those peacocks take my breath away every single day, as does the smell of the fertilizer with which we are blessed abundantly here.
And all of this seems perfectly normal to me. It is who we are.
What does not seem normal to me is trying to be who everyone else thinks I should be. I put other peoples expectations on myself and I try to be what I think the world wants of me and guess what… It makes me so miserable. I don’t know what to say so I ramble, I don’t know what to do so I stumble and I don’t know how to relate so I am offensive. I truly want to be like Christ,part of the body of Christ, a light to the world. But Being like Christians you know is not the same as being like Christ. What other people see has nothing at all to do with who you are. What you do when you are alone is who you are. How you treat people who can do nothing for you is who you are. How you treat your family where prying eyes can’t see is who you are. When those all to overwhelming expectations get between you and being like Christ…. It’s time for a break. Phony is exhausting.
Most people don’t choose to be phony. They just wake up one day in the middle of it and realize they were trying to be something other than what God made them to be to fit in or accomplish a goal. The thing about being a phony is that if you are really good at it, no one knows you are a phony. If you aren’t everyone knows your full of crap. Either way, it’s a lot of emotional noise and an enormous amount of work and it never gets you to the place your trying to get. Spiritual travel takes an authentic mode of transportation.
Being genuine and authentic is tough. God calls us to die to ourselves and follow Him( Luke 9:23-24) which leaves some people feeling like they must abandon themselves and be like others to accomplish it. I believe it is more about… no it is all about… being like Christ… living on this earth, as the person He made us to be, with our talents and abilities and interests without sin, putting others before ourselves and to purpose to treat this world with the same care that Christ did and does. He does expect us to put our backs into it.. to be real and honest about it and to repent…truly repent. He calls us To Be our own Muse…. to inspire our lazy, wretched, rebellious, angry selves to be excellent.To be the truly unique excellent person he created us to be so that we can serve others selflessly, love without limits and conditions, and share Christ fearlessly. Attitude is everything.
So I am taking a short break… Just a few moments to regroup and step back and reclaim my own authenticity and to re-evaluate what I am supposed to be doing, what my priorities are and with what heart I am doing it with. It’s time to abandon some things that I have given way too much of my time too and to pick up things I have been neglecting.
And it is time to be the master of my attitude.
And to work on my grammar.