to the 10-acre wood

For the last month or so, we’ve been living a curious journey. I wanted to write about this sooner because it has been the source of some profound reflection for me… but it includes news that my husband and I wanted to share personally with some people before I shot it out through cyberspace.

For many reasons, my husband and I had decided that this house we presently live in would be our permanent home. It’s not perfect. The location isn’t perfect for a family that loves the mountains as much as we do… but it’s home. It’s where we dove into ministry together; it’s where my mother died and my father spent two years living with us; it’s the home we brought our babies to after they were born; it’s where we’ve learned the art of hospitality, of sharing our home with others because this home belongs to God. Not to mention (and this is really the kicker), both of us despise– and I do mean utterly despise– moving. So we took on the stress of a major project, revamping the backyard to our liking, and we were at peace. Well, peace is relative, isn’t it? This past summer was not easy for either myself or my husband. The exhaustion and mess and busyness of adding the pool project on top of everything else took its toll (and it still is… we’re not done yet).

But… then God spoke. Do you know what’s coming? You got it. Something new is being born.

Out of clear blue sky, we were given an opportunity to buy 10 acres not that far from here. 10 beautiful acres in the woods with a babbling creek and all the wildlife and spaciousness we could want. Even though I verbally said “no way” as soon as the opportunity presented itself, somewhere deep inside I felt the urge to see it. I felt a drawing.

But it didn’t make sense. We love our neighborhood. We love our house. We’re creating a whole new living space in our backyard. Our roots are here. And what about our strong calling to hospitality and missional living among our neighbors? How are we being Jesus if we’re hiding out in the woods? Yet… God was drawing me… He was there as I walked the grounds, speaking to a deep place in me… Interesting, as I thought of grieving the loss of the place where I spent the last days with my mother, I felt her walking with me by the creek in the 10-acre wood, bird-watching and noticing beauty everywhere.

Small steps. We started exploring the possibility more and more– crunching numbers, making inquiries, talking about all the issues involved. I kept whispering a prayer, “close the doors, God, if this isn’t you. make it clear, please. make this clear.” Dreams. I started day-dreaming about ministry possibilities. What would it look like to be hospitable here? What could ministry look like here? I thought about all the monasteries and convents that invite people to come away and be with God. A retreat place. Yes… maybe a small retreat…

I spoke with my spiritual director not long ago about all of this and how crazy it seems. She said, “But Kris Anne, all I see on your face and all I hear in your voice is anticipation. You feel it, that God is, in this very paradoxical circumstance, calling you to another conversion. The extrovert called to the woods! Conversion of your known way of being and known way of living into a new way! You’re already open to the possibilities, aren’t you? Embrace the surprise and the unexpected, Kris Anne. Hear the call, whether or not it works out with this property.” Embrace the crazy? Ok… I might learn something, and it might be joy!

It is not official yet, but it looks like we will be living in the wonder of the 10-acre wood come this spring… maybe not until summer. The next few months will not be easy. We’ll be in the middle of more projects and preparations… but it’s a beautiful paradox to me. What a wonder it is!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Different Types Of Wood
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 17:29:22

    thanks for this intresting post, just wanted to say thanks

    Wood

    Reply

  2. tim
    Feb 11, 2010 @ 22:24:57

    That’s awesome. I mean potentially awesome.

    By the way, I almost always enjoy stories that push us out of our current trajectories and into new ones. The exceptions are when it’s my trajectory that needs altering πŸ˜‰

    Very happy for you and your family.

    Reply

  3. Chris Ann Schultz
    Feb 12, 2010 @ 17:31:48

    I love the photo at the top of your blog, beautiful and serene. All I see here is snow. I love the musings about the place you feel God is leading you to. It reminds me of how I have felt led to the Specialist I am now seeing, she is wonderful, and I feel like working with her, is like seeing God’s hand at work in our lives, and future children. Questions are truly being answered and others are still being asked. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  4. rob
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 10:38:28

    That is awesome KA! A retreat place….a oasis in the desert. Imagine the possibilities…..

    Reply

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