a small house in the country

tonight i am dreaming of a small brick house in the country,

with a garden full of fruit and flowers,

and a lovely, light-filled kitchen from which

will come tastey things to eat.

tonight the quiet and crickets of that scenario entice me,

and i feel cozy at the thought of the solitude,

the sewing, the baking, the photographing, the reading,

the strolling through gardens in cool afternoons with clean air,

with my husband and children alone as company.

tonight it sounds attractive to have that space

to re-examine, to find our bearings, to perfect our love,

to bask and rest in the Father’s love without pressure to minister.

i am hard on myself to the extent that

even as i’m dreaming of this scenario i am

also judging myself for it’s sharp contrast to

the city life among the poor, with door open to homeless friends

(that picture i’ve thought that our life would be about).

it is odd to yearn for a thing so completely other than that,

and i wonder what my soul is asking me to pay attention to there,

what the Father might have to speak into that.

i am not too proud to change course, nor to do

something other than what i have always said that i would do,

because sometimes i make resolutions He hasn’t asked me to make, and

it’s possible such a move might be faithful to His nudges

(i will not rule out that possibility).

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4 thoughts on “a small house in the country

  1. Brooke, I totally relate to this! Last summer, Adam and I were looking at houses both within Madison and out in Stoughton, and I felt so torn between those two ideas of ministry. The urban- life with the poor and homeless, planting gardens next to dirty sidewalks for people to take from freely. The smalltown- the quiet, plum trees, and raspberry bushes, being faithful to these small places that so many look over, being faithful to the farms, our neighbors, our home. A part of me felt guilty for wanting the more rural scenario.

    We didn’t really chose one over the other, but our choice in houses led us out of town. And I find the work I am doing here very good. Especially after reading Wendell Berry (I posted a link to a talk of his that I find very encouraging on my blog, if you like that sort of thing).

    I know between your heart and God’s nudges, you’ll end up someplace very good. If you do end up in a small brick house in the country, I hope it’s somewhere close by. 🙂

    • lindsey, thank you so much for sharing your story of a similar sort. it helps to feel understood. so, where have you ended up, and what is the work God has given you to do in the place where He has planted you? i would love to hear about it! and i WILL check out that link. thanks!

  2. Brooke, I am planted here in a little blue house on the corner of a quiet street (except after the middle school gets out) near the river that runs through Stoughton, Wisconsin. We arrived here in August, when I was 7 months pregnant, and those first two months were mostly spent painting walls, visiting farms, watching the river and canning tomatoes. Since Reed has been born, loving and tending him has been my main focus. But spring is nearing and I sense the beginning of something new. I’m not sure the work God has in store for me, here. But I believe he has something, and I believe there is so much possibility in this town. Right now, I am just learning this place, getting to know the people in the shops, the make of the soil, the ducks and geese on the river and the trees and our neighbors and the street names. I love it. And I think I would have loved the urban version of this time of my life, too.

    I look forward to seeing where God takes you. I’m sure it will be just right.

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