It’s been 592 days since my last blog post, but who’s counting, right?
I needed to take a step back. Listen more, talk less.
There was this rising happening on that day back in December 2015, and I found myself riding the wave.
Anger. Frustration. Empowerment. Fear. Solidarity.
I sensed that what the world needed is less talk and a lot more action. So I quit blogging, calling it the Farmwives Sabbatical.
I took a year long break from facebook too.
I thought I would write a book and even had a deal in the works. Blogging less would give me the time I needed for reflection.
In a creative turn of events (thank you, God) I got on the Sterling Noble detour. No, having a baby had not been in my plans.
I visited a monastery.
I turned away opportunity.
I started cooking more often.
I faced my past.
I realized that leaving or logging onto facebook means very little.
Time passed, and I started saying yes to opportunities that felt significant and real.
While writing a book would have been meaningful it seemed that the work I was doing mattered even more. Writing grants for food access, building partnerships in my community, advocating for better birthing systems and breastfeeding support that include all women, cooking for people (especially my family) and working on policy change.
In fact, I learned that the less I voiced my many opinions, the more I helped the people around me.
So many times I sat down at the computer to write something big and beautiful and “sharable,” but it just never felt right.
I’m not sure what it is about today, but it seems like that rising has finally come to a turning point.
The last 592 days have been marked by growth, change, a coming into the second stage of life. I’m confident I’ll write more about that in the future, but today I jot down a few ideas on raising a teenage son.
As a mother to a teenage son, I’ve got a significant opportunity to influence the everyday actions of his life.
First by example, of course, but also in reflecting, communicating, teaching and bringing up the value hidden in our everyday actions and decisions. The decisions that make up our lives and impact the lives of others.
We are given the opportunity to watch and listen to what is happening in the world-and here at home. To think to ourselves that we, us, those who I spend time with would NEVER do anything like that. We cannot even begin to understand that kind of anger, that level of hate.
That’s not the lesson, though.
As the effects of that hate ripple out and afar we must have already been prepared, already working diligently, already organizing and already pushing ourselves beyond what we believe is possible.
We must have been asking ourselves, “How does my time, my behavior, the fruits of my work help those who need it most?”
We must have been giving away our power, resources, time and opportunity to others who had theirs taken generations ago.
This giving away of the excess in our lives is what we desire when we feel stressed (not more simple looking decor or more down time or more of anything that only serves ourselves). And even then as we practice this giving away it can feel like just a drop in the bucket.
But when we add our giving away to others giving away it adds up to at least something that slows down that ripple of hate.
We don’t stop there, though. This is just the beginning.
The beginning of the beginning.
We wake up every morning and ask ourselves, “Who needs to be heard? Who is already on the ground with creative ideas? Where can we show up and just listen, serve, work rather than always needing to voice our opinions?”
It’s when we sacrifice the self in such a way that WE also feel overwhelmed and powerless that the real work begins. Together.
I learned that from listening to Jesus and the many women who surrounded, supported and creatively backed his mission of LOVE.