Thursday, July 18, 2013

Country Girl Through and Through...

I'm the kind of girl who likes to walk in the mud without shoes. 

I'm the kind of girl who really prefers the country scenery to a movie anytime. 

I'm the kind of girl who thinks that a little dirt won't hurt. 

I'm the kind of girl who thinks that simpler is better. 

I'm the kind of girl who prefers worshipping the Lord out in His own creation instead of some fancy, fitted up cathedral. 

I like my tea sweet, my boots worn, my old trucks,
 and my britches stained. 

I like my horse rides, my country views, and my starry nights. 


It may sound terribly romantic, but all of the above is true. I was chuckling to myself as I was checking out a few things on Pinterest. People seem to have this view that being 'country' makes you cuter, better, or something. I only wish I could show them what I look like after a long day of working cows or building fence... dirt and sweat don't mix to make something pretty. Just sayin'.
   They also seem to have an idea that country basically means you go around in a fresh, white dress, cowgirl boots, picking flowers and putting them in the basket that's swingin' from your arms... oh, and that you pose for photos so everyone else can get a glimpse of this perfect country life.

Well, I'm here to put all those ideas to rest. Pretty much none of them are true. That's the sort of romantic country that people experience for a day or two on vacation. It isn't the real thing, though. Don't get me wrong, we do have our fun, but there's usually more work than fun.  We still clean house just like everyone else, we still have meals that pretty much look like everyone else's, and we don't have that romantic porch with the wooden swing at the end (not that some country folks do).

In short, it really isn't all it's cracked up to be... and yet it is. There is something about living out in the open spaces, ridin' horses, checking fence, and driving the old feed truck. Yeah, I guess it is pretty 'romantic', in it's own way. Country living isn't fun and games, and it certainly isn't photo worthy in 9 out of 10 cases. When you're covered in cow, um, patties, wipin' sweat from your face, and wishing the wind would stop blowing dirt in your eyes, it most certainly doesn't feel "romantically country"; and it most certainly doesn't feel 'romantic' when you watch a newborn calf die after you've spent the night trying to nurse it.

So where in the world did we get this idea that country living was so great and romantic? Discontentment, perhaps? All the folks that I see pinning 'romantic country' photos tend to be city, or slightly outside the city, folks. Not that it's wrong to pin cute photos and whatnot, but I think it's wrong to give ourselves this picture in our mind of something that doesn't exactly exist. Sure there are places that have picturesque scenery, and cute farm animals, but that doesn't mean that they exist for real everywhere.

I don't want to accuse people of being discontent. I'm not the judge of a person's heart. However, it has been a good lesson to me on many subjects. I should be content with what I have and not scheme up this idea of what it should or will be like. I could pretty much apply that to everything in my life right now...
Relationships, marriage, homeschooling, being a mom, book publishing, etc, etc. Just about anything. It's easy for us to get caught up in this romantic idea of how any of those things should look.  I tend to think that relationships will be like those in the Jane Austen movies. Friends can tell each other anything, sisters have the closest relationships.... but who am I kidding? It isn't perfect, and it never will be.

What about marriage? I sometimes catch myself thinking about the wonderful things that come with marriage (taking care of your own home, romantic 'dinner for two', moonlight walks, fresh flowers from your husband, etc). However, it will more than likely hurt me if I ever get married and have these views stuck in my head. I know that marriage can have those wonderful aspects, but I can't expect it to be like that all the time either. There will be the hard days of feeling utterly exhausted after you've been up with the baby all night. Days of washing dirty laundry all afternoon only to find another basket that was hiding away in the closet. The day when you realize that there is something your spouse does that really annoys you (and vice versa for your husband!).  If I only think that it will be romantic and flowers and loving words, then I'm likely to hit a very hard wall  later in my marriage when the 'honeymoon is over'. (Don't get me wrong, there could be those things, but I can't expect them 24/7).

I used to have this notion that I would be a famous author, be on Oprah, go on the Morning Show, and hit New York's Top Selling Book of all time. But, those expectations are dangerous. Dangerous because it caused me to be discontent with anything else. Very discontent. So much so that I pretty much went against what God wanted me to do.

The other day when I was taking a walk and having a 'talk' with God, I was praying for some certain things in my life. Things that I really wanted to have happen. I felt like He gave me a very clear answer. Until I was content with my life and HIS plans, my plans would never match up to His and we would constantly be wrestling over the issue. My heart has many desires, but that doesn't mean all of them will come true. Instead of pining away for things that I wish would happen, I should keep my focus on God's will for my life and what I can do to bless or help others. As soon as we get these selfish ideas and wishes into our heads and begin to listen to them instead of God, we are headed down a very dangerous path.

Discontentment is a worm that can eat at anyone about anything. I certainly don't want it to get a hold of me!!

So, for all those folks who think country living is romantic, well... I'd say to just look around you and find the 'romantic' things that are in your life right now. Because I could list off a whole bunch of things that aren't romantic about the country! :-) Every life can be good if you choose to make it so, or it can be drab 'compared to' other places. Your choice.


Alicia Willis said...

Very good post, my friend! And it's all very true. :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Sarah! It's so easy to fall into discontentment, but God has us right where He wants us at this point in our lives and it is far better to look for the good, the BLESSINGS in the life He has given us right now then to pine for what could be or what we *wish* would happen.
God loves us so.much. and has the very best in store for us. No, that may not be what *we* want, but it's what He has planned for us now, and we will be so much happier trusting Him than wishing for what we don't have (not that I have achieved that level of contentment in my own life, there are always things I wish for, or wish I had, or could do, but God is teaching me to find the joy in the life He has given me now and to trust Him with my wishes and desires)

Great post, something we can all work on more!

Lydia said...

Excellent post Sarah! You are absolutely right! While I do love country, I realize that Romantic notions can creep in and steal what we have now! Romance, to me, is anywhere. We can make a dull, dim, drab, shabby cottage, a haven of rest. IN FACT, by adding our own touches from what we have. a SMALL TOUCH, SUCH AS A VASE WITH FRESHLY PICKED FLOWERS. If we don't have fresh flowers, we can use plastic or dry flowers. Simply adding a home- made pillow, or books, or a tray with a steaming cup of tea and some bisquits, all add to the atmosphere and making of "romance". CONTENTMENT. Rearranging what we already have is another favorite of mine, in my home, to make it seem "new". So many ways to rest and be content in what we already have. Our contentmen is in Christ and what He has so lovingly, graciously, and knowingly bestowed on us, NOW. He has His timing, His ways are above ours, and yes, we need to find our all, our happiness, fulfullment and EVERYTHING, in HIM and know He is in control of all the details. He does wait for us, I believe, to be in a place where we can say, your WILL, not mine BE DONE, IN ALL THINGS, amen! Ah yes, I think dreaming is alright, but not to the point of making something seem better that what we have now. We need to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Be inspired, dream, PRAY, and then say "THANK YOU GOD, for ALL you have given me right now, right where I am"! Love you Sarah! Keep using your gift in writing and encouraging/exhorting us readers! <3 <3

Jeanne Drennan said...

When Kaitlyn met her husband and when I met your family, is when I realized that the life of a ranching family is definitely NOT romantic (especially during AI season, right? lol). But I must say, you all clean up very well ;) As I have posted before, comparison kills contentment. We all have expectations of what we think life should look like. My husband calls it, "Jeanne's perfect little world." With my 50th year just 2 days away, discontentment can still find it's way into my life. Just last week I prayed that I would let go of the life I think I'm supposed to have (I love the life the Lord has blessed me with, don't get me wrong) or the one I've created in my mind (think Duggar family) so that I can fully live the life God created me to live.
Happy early birthday dear Sarah!