… were soul-searchers for me. Not that I expect you to be surprised that something caused me to search my soul.
First, of course, came our little family’s October 1st move from the VX to PV headquarters, into the house I grew up in.
Shortly after the move, my health, up ’til then my lifelong ally, decided it would no longer put up with my unappreciative nonchalance. There was the midnight emergency room visit during which an ultrasound revealed a gallstone. A few days later I miscarried a pregnancy we hadn’t known about until we were in the emergency room. A couple weeks later came internal hemorrhoids (self-diagnosed). I previously thought that hemorrhoids were a problem only for weak-minded people. I can now attest that they’re the real deal.
Through those last three months of ’16, a wisdom tooth ached on the left side of my head. I happen to believe that “wisdom” teeth are aptly named, because mine act up during periods of what I would guess to be Omnipotently-ordered growth and growing-up in my life.
My little family’s move back to the ranch none of us own and all of us care about way too much has found me checking myself daily in my efforts to 1) honor my parents through a generational transition they never wished would happen someday, and 2) refrain from being the Jezebel whispering in my husband’s ear as he assumes more management. Extended-family-wide hurt feelings over Thanksgiving weekend served to remind me that neither the nation nor the PV wants a woman for president. Also, that my absolute No. 1 priority right now has to be guarding myself against aggravations in my life so that I can be a steady and gentle emotional leader for these little Blake kids who are watching my every move.
There are plenty of chiefs out there. And I am needed within these walls to dry tears, draw baths, wipe bottoms, read books, sing the ABC song, and teach beginning math.
So: I mostly stay in the house these days and pretend I don’t know anything about ranching.
Which… maybe I don’t. Maybe I never did.
Sigh. It’s funny how life turns out.
(But, I guess, who’s to say our life has turned out? Maybe where Beau and I are right now is just another leg on our journey to… wherever it is we’re headed. I become less sure of our destination as years pass by, only more sure that our destination is, indeed, not even of this world.)
Sigh. It’s not easy being a woman.
But I don’t think marching on Washington is the answer.
I think the answer is in prayer — just in talking to God throughout the day — and in listening, always, for a voice talking back. In submission to a master plan for my life, for the universe, that far exceeds my ability to comprehend or control. In remembering that these people around me are eternal… but a ranch is only temporary. In balancing my husband instead of overpowering him, like we women tend to do; in reaping the benefits of just being plain ol’ kind. In reading the Bible start to finish — I already made it through the Old Testament and I’m in the Gospels now — and in realizing my (our) place in the history and story of mankind. (I promise, there are answers in those books. Every problem we have is age-old and/or predicted. Check it out.)
I think the answer is in choosing to internalize Peace and enjoying the accompanying health benefits.
And in abandoning, slow but sure, my quest for the president and/or queen positions… and instead… just focusing on doing one thing really well:
Again, again, again, I personally choose motherhood.
You know, some women think you can have it all, but that sure hasn’t proven true in my life. I believe life is more about a series of choices and trade-offs. As I’ve said before, the man who has enough money to own a ranch like the PV does not have the time or the internal permission to enjoy the land or the animals or the characters here. People make trade-offs like his, some less consequential and some infinitely more consequential, every day. Women make trade-offs. And a lot of women are miserable.
I also believe that God’ll attempt to break a person like me, maybe even every so often, in order to humble me, to get my attention, to remind me that life isn’t about me, to make me better able to serve His purposes. He just wants me to look for and listen to Him.
Maybe it’s the lack of sleep. Maybe it’s the weakened condition I find myself in after three months of wake-up calls from God. But, for some reason, I find myself quite content right now to serve my family.
I just can’t think of a single good reason to march on Washington. Because as far as I can tell, what’s going on in Washington has very little to do with what’s going on inside me.
You bet I’m pro choice. Here’s the decision we all face daily: we can choose to be angry and victimized… or thankful and peaceful.
And of course I am pro life. We treasure the little lives we already have here in our home, and we love the little one who we won’t meet this side of heaven. But that little life was, for whatever reason, not viable here on Earth, and having spent my years on a ranch working so close to death every day, that truth does not offend me. I trust that God knows way more about it than I do, and that we are both in His hands. That life was His choice… not mine.
© Tami Blake