Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Strike a Juxtapose

So...sorry about the ten dollar word. In my defense, it was one of my favorite words long before Project Runway laid claim to and overused it. The same thing happened to "narcissist" when Six Feet Under made it trendy fodder for modern-day beatniks. Of course, unless you are addicted to cable series like I am...then this is all just a little crazy sounding, and you're probably thinking I have just taken leave of my rocker. Well, don't worry...I have. I am about to decide I may have a split personality disorder...if only internally. I have, as of yet, been able to keep them in their own corners, but since the "Great Utterback Radical Purge of 2010" began...I'm not finding that so easy to do.

Here's the glimpse into the raucous battle going on in my heart and mind...

Picture this: a celebrity death match between 2 clay-mation versions of me. One all buttoned up and combed, wielding a day planner and a Crate and Barrel catalog at the other me...the one with the long braid down her back, wearing a re-purposed burlap sac skirt, homemade shoes, and sporting a sunflower on the right flank of her head. Now if you know me, then you know I'm actually the ref in the middle, trying to keep the 2 from killing each other...and me. But seriously...this is the internal state I'm in at the moment. Why, you ask? Far be it for me to not tell you:)

As you all know, Brandon and I have found ourselves in quite the unique state of circumstance. We found ourselves deeply buried under a thick layer of need-to-get-out-of-here, at the same time, mind you, and then we were presented with the opportunity and wherewithal to actually do that. Uh oh...be careful what you wish for, right? The problem is this...our radicals are fighting with our practicals...and we actually feel the right thing, for us, is somewhere in between.
I don't really know how to describe it...so, I'll take a stab at a synopsis. I've stated that we feel called to move forward on the sustainable food movement, in some way. We've committed ourselves to living authentically (even if it kills us:), yet the parts of us that have been taught to stick to a budget, keep a steady 9 to 5er, get a 6 month rainy day fund & a secure retirement , all while keeping our house clean, are wagging their manicured fingers at us...furiously. I had a really bogged-down feeling all this past weekend, because I KNOW that we need to do this, but I feel pulled in 2 different directions.

As is our game...God gave me this picture...while I was in the shower. Like I said, He's really into making a captive audience of me...but, I don't mind, since I so love His company.

He reminded me of the story of Jesus walking on the water. The disciples all thought He was a ghost, but Peter said, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you on the water." He reminded me that Peter was able to step out of the boat, into a raging sea, and walk towards his Savior...because, he wanted more faith. And boy howdy...did he get it! I mean...that is an Uber-faith! Can you imagine?! Yet, even with that huge measure of faith...as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. Still, Jesus brought him back up. Then God drew my attention to the oft-overlooked aspect of the other disciples in the boat. Were they any less His disciples because they decided to stay in the boat? I don't think so...but, here's the difference...Peter asked. He actually wanted a reason to get closer to Him, to trust Him more fully...so. he. asked.

Ugly self-truth alert!!!
Philosophically, I'm a Peter. In practice?....I'm a boat dweller. On a usual basis, I am more than happy to watch someone else step out of the boat, and then rejoice in the miracle that God performs in their life...and proclaim "SURELY! He is the living GOD!!" I will always praise Him in the storm, and lift my hands...as long as it's someone else's. Ugh...gross. I hate admitting that. I'll let you in on a little secret. There have been 2 times in my life that I have stepped out of the boat. Only TWICE that I can think of asking God for something, with a heart that was willing to abandon all my own junk, and answer YES! to His call. Just TWICE. In my whole life. I surrendered, and I meant it...2 times. You want the punchline?

The first time was about 11 years ago. I had just been to a friend's wedding, and I knew that I was ready to step out of the place I was in. I asked God to do it...and I met Brandon. I may not have told this story on this blog, yet, but this was a RIDICULOUS scenario...not to mention dangerous by all accounts. I met a man online, who looks like my husband, and lived in L.A. Not only that, but my 21 year old self invited him to come and see me! Everyone I knew went NUTS! Now that I look back, if I confronted my 21 year old self, I would probably duct tape her hands and put her in a closet...dumb little girl...he could be ANYONE! But, I knew. I was too young to know it was God talking to me, at that point, but I knew. Everyone who loved me was sure that I had lost all my good sense, but I saw it through, and I let people be bewildered by my choice, and even be angry at me, even though it made me sad that they were. And now, I have a marriage that has outlasted all the ones that started conventionally, and my husband is famously the man that my friends wish they could clone;)

The second time was about 3 1/2 years ago. Brandon and I had been struggling to conceive a child, and we wanted one soooo badly. It took over our lives, and our joy. This is a very long story, and I will tell it, but in the interest of time, let me just say...I had a heart to heart with God one night...you know, weeping and begging and such...and I finally couldn't do it anymore. I needed out from underneath the crushing weight of disappointment and sadness, and so I dropped it. I gave pregnancy to God. I begged Him to take over, and fully surrendered having any plans to start a family. I simply dropped the bags...and let it go. THE NEXT DAY, He gave me my son. THE NEXT DAY. Strangest. day. of. my. life. It was the scariest thing I have ever endured in my life so far, but I'll be doggone if I don't have the most beautiful son you have ever laid eyes on, not to mention a true point of reference in favor of reckless trust. There is no way around it...there was nothing normal about it. People who don't even believe in God were like...oooookaaaay...there just might be someone up there.
So, there you have it...the 2 times I emptied completely out in favor of God's perfect will for me, I got the 2 greatest loves of my life...my boys. There have been a couple of other times that I have followed small things He was asking me to do, and even those produced miraculous results!

So, why all the fuss? I mean, I know He is faithful to us. He NEVER fails! Why do I need to learn this lesson time and time again?! I suppose it's this: I believe in trusting Him with abandon, but I also believe in being a good steward of what He gives you. I believe in stepping out in faith, but I also believe in being wise. So, I guess my struggle is how to do both at the same time. Can we sell most of our stuff, and hit the road, look for a little perspective and a new lease on life and still be wise? When we come back, will we be changed people, or is this just the catalyst for a whimsical road trip and a hard landing when we get back? Are we being good stewards of our resources? Goodness knows, I don't want to be the guy who harbored his talents, for fear of failure, only to be rebuked for not multiplying them.

So, here's what I will resolve myself to. There is common wisdom, and there is uncommon wisdom. There is nothing wise about stepping out of a boat, ONTO WATER, and trying to walk. But, Peter did it, because Jesus called to him. Brandon and I are united in the feeling that God is calling us out of the boat. I know that we need to be good stewards of our resources...and, I believe that promoting sustainable food is doing just that. There is nothing wise or stewardly about perverting our land for profit, or eating groceries that have been mutated and robbed of all God-intended nutrients, simply because it fits into our budget. We are CREATING new forms of death, in the name of not getting our hands dirty or doing manual labor...the new meaning of conventional. We have redefined value as how much we can get for a buck. One of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver wrote "Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation an longing." (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.) It's easy to see why a society that has never had to wait for a seed to be planted, watch it grow, and then harvest it with joy and savor every last bite, (because it's all readily available, at the fingertip, at all times), is slow to recognize the value of a baby's life before it's taken a breath. I mean, the process is just a process, right? We're most interested in the final product...and then, only if we don't have to do much to get it, and then...only if we can do it on our time frame (which is usually IMMEDIATELY.) All the other stuff before it, doesn't count. In fact, we aren't even satisfied with not having to plant and harvest...we're no longer willing to chop our own lettuce or grate our own cheese...and for heaven's sake, that's if we even take the time to actually cook ANYTHING! Reverence for life has taken a back seat...no, make that a trunk seat...in just 2 generations. Almost directly concurrent with our disrespect for food, has been the complete disintegration of human value, relational value, and the value of life. It all goes hand in hand.

So, the thing is, I don't know what form this is all going to take, and I don't know where we'll end up. But, I do know that I believe it's worth fighting for. I do believe that I can't rest on my convenient laurels while my son's generation suffers our perversion of value into a see-how-much-we-can-get-away-with-not-doing-but-still-demand-abundance-at-all-costs mentality, and then call that progress. I do know that we are abandoning this post, at least for now, and we are going on a vision quest. My prayer is that I am able to keep my eyes on Jesus...'cause the last thing I want, is to sink...especially in this cesspool.

Save the Food, Save the World...that's juxtmyposition:)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's a Food Revolution!!!

Hey all...I want to encourage you to watch or set your DVR for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution tomorrow night on ABC! This is a groundbreaking show that I hope and pray will take aim at the mainstream to take stock of their food sources. Anything to get the word out on our country's food situation is something I am going to promote!

Jamie Oliver is an awesome chef, who has used his passion for food and fatherhood to completely change the landscape of the British school lunch line. Schools in Great Britain are now feeding their students nutritious food, and are not suffering huge financial setbacks! GASP!

Please support this show...I would be thrilled if the Neilsen ratings system was bombarded with viewership for this wonderful movement:)

Remember to pick something local to eat today. If possible, do as much grocery shopping at your nearest farmer's market this week...but, make sure they are actually a local farmer, and not a produce dealer:) I walked up to a dealer a couple of days ago, and asked her where in the world she got in-season blueberries this time of year...(for the record, blueberries are only supposed to be available June-July in this part of the country:). She told me "they're from Chili." Thanks anyway...I'll wait:)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No Row to Hoe...

Well, it's been a long few weeks. I truly did not realize that life would be taking on such a different shade throughout this experience, but that it has! I have been struggling with how to explain where I am, right now, because the truth is...I don't know. So much has happened in the few weeks since I last wrote, regularly, and it's hard to pinpoint what to cover. So, my solution is to just start from the beginning, and try not to babble. Sound like a plan?

When I started this particular blog, my plan was to chronicle a journey that I have been wanting to pursue for years...the journey towards real, nutritious food, and a more purposeful family life. I feel that family is being attacked, and I feel that the food crisis in this country goes tandem with that issue! So, I had simple plans to start making my own bread, and only buy a few things from the grocery store. I believe in food preparation. I believe in "from scratch". I didn't realize that God was going to "scratch" EVERYTHING!

I have lived with a gnawing feeling of "not right", for a long, long time. My husband and I are the kind of people that really have a hard time swallowing this life that "they" want us to live, but for years, have swallowed it, for lack of knowing what else to do. We have been wanting what "they" tell us to want, and buying what "they" tell us to buy, and the whole time, we have felt a palpable sense of irritability about it...always feeling like we were failing at doing something that we were pretty sure was going to make us miserable. Housing developments, Chili's, shopping centers that all look the same, and have the same stores from head to toe...this may sound dramatic, but this stuff makes us look at each other and roll our eyes. Strange thing is, I'm pretty sure we never communicated it, save our mutual affection for Austin (in all it's glorious weirdness), and the first time we heard the theme song to Weeds...which pretty much articulates how we feel...a sweet, music box-y, go-with-the-flow mentality about something we actually hate! It's like watching yourself as a sheep going into the slaughterhouse, and screaming for yourself to stop, but the Pied Piper is tooting you along. (Do you think that is enough hyperbole for one sentence?:) Anyway - all the theatrics lead to this...we want liberation and authenticity, and realness, and...well, life...true life.

During my first few weeks of blogging, I came across several blogs that were all about natural food. This, naturally, led to bloggers that lead "off the beaten path" lifestyles, what since leading a natural lifestyle, is, as of yet, "off the beaten path". A lot of them live "in transition", meaning they literally sold all their belongings, and moved into an RV, and are now citizens of the country. This intrigued me, to say the least, but I chalked it up to, "wow, how gutsy and awesome...might be fun if I didn't need to live a REAL life." Alas, it gnawed and nagged at me. I didn't say anything about it. Enter...Food, Inc.

I had been hearing about this documentary for a while, but I was reluctant, because I thought it was going to be some PETA-driven, "don't murder the cows" campaign for vegetarianism. But, in the spirit of making educating decisions, I thought I would give it a go...and drag my husband along for the ride. (mwahahahaha!) Well, how wrong I was. I could, and probably will, do an entire blog post about Food, Inc., but in the mean time, it is absolutely IMPERATIVE that everyone who eats food...any food...in this country watch this. My husband huffed and puffed, but he sat down and crossed his arms, and did the "fine! if it will shut you up" face, and we pushed play. Let me just tell you, but the end of the opening credits, his arms were uncrossed. It is so well done, so entertaining...and it just might save your life.

Let me just back up, here, and let you in on something else that plays a huge part of this. I have known for a very long time that food is part of my calling. For the past year, I have amped up my prayer about what I am supposed to be doing. I always figured that being a wife and mom would be enough for me, but I feel pulled to have an effect on other facets of life, as well. In the way that He usually tends to deal with me, God pointed me very clearly in the direction of blogging and immediately took over the process. I have learned to feel very comfortable with understanding when God is doing the talking...because, I simply don't get a vote in the matter. (Love aspect of Him: these situations always align with the desires He puts in my heart:) I really appreciate His being so clear with me...I really do. However, as a result, the big events of my life have been EXTREMELY unorthodox, and it's actually become a little bit of a game with He and I. ("What strange thing do you have planned for me, this year, Lord? I know You have something in store that's going to have my loved ones looking at me out of the corner of their eye, and giving me that fake, supportive look, that let's me know they think I'm nutso.")

Anyway - it's becoming clear that this is going to have to be a 2-part post. But, here's the turning point. On February 20, my husband and I were sitting at the breakfast table. We have had a very challenging year, because he has been working out of town, Monday thru Friday, for the entire year. We have been expecting the end of this separation, but it seems like it will never come. (as I write this...Friday is his very last journey home!!!) We were having that...I just want to get out of here...I don't want all this stuff, I don't want to pay a mammoth electric bill, again, and I want to be together again!!, kind of moments. Just a general sick and tired. I looked at him, and jokingly said..."Hey! Maybe we should pack up, get an RV, and set out for the year!"...hahahahaha!! We snickered at my foolishness for a moment, and then...we looked at each other, and abruptly stopped. At the exact same time we were like "you know...we could actually do that, you know...I mean...why not, right?" Well, for starters, we have a home, we have responsibilities, he has a job...it's not possible. And...so we prayed about our future. (We know enough, after 11 years of being each other's "different drummer", that when we both have the same crazy idea at the same time, we should probably give it credence.)

Continued in next post...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


That was Saturday. We prayed about our future, and asked God if there was any credibility to this wacko idea...that He would orchestrate it as only He can. Brandon had actually come home on Friday, to have a meeting with his bosses about his future with this company, after this project was over. Well...they missed it, and as of our infamous breakfast, we still had no idea. Over the course of the weekend, we found out about an internship, in Tennessee, for a biodynamic food farm. We realized that if we actually went on a trip, it could actually have an amazing purpose. Since watching the movie, Brandon has felt like maybe he has a calling to the food movement, as well. He is a horticulturist, after all. Our purpose in traveling could be to bring awareness to local & small farming, and help to push forward the Real Food Movement. We went to the Dallas farmer's market over the weekend, and then Monday morning, he went to the office again. Long story short...they told him they had no position for him, as soon as he was done. He was to be unemployed.


He went back out of town, directly after that meeting, and I went about my day. Late that afternoon...I got a phone call. From our landlord. She's selling the house. She and the realtor are coming over...in the morning. I just laughed!


Well, the next day is when my aunt had Evan, and we high-tailed it to Lubbock. We ended up being there for nearly 2 weeks, and you all know what occurred there. This led to more and more reflection, and as we were driving out of Lubbock to come home, this past Sunday, I had my moment over the whole thing. The heartache that we endured over that trip, paled in comparison to the blessing we received from it. It was such a beautiful experience, and the presence of God was so very palpable! He was THERE! We could feel Him...every minute. Not only that, but there was a common theme about planting Evan's life as a seed, and allowing God to bring fruit from it. Those fruits were fast-bearing! So much miraculous healing happened through his life. For me, I couldn't help but be taken by the continuous symbolism...planting and bearing forth. As we drove out of town, I was looking out the window. There are miles of cotton fields...the kind where, when you pass them, the rows are so perfect they look like a long legged man running alongside the car. This scene is the backdrop to a lifetime of reflection for me. I have been making that drive back and forth for my entire life, and so much self-realization, celebration, and grieving have happened watching those fields go by. I knew...regardless of how weird things happen with us, that we always end up realizing the perfect will of God and that it always ends up being right.

There is freedom in surrender.

Well, we arrived home Sunday night, and my husband left again, for the last time. Monday evening, our landlord called again. They already have a contract on the house...and if all goes as planned...they want to close fast. Maybe as soon as 3 weeks. This morning, the inspector and potential buyer came. This is also strange, because we have been committed to our landlord for a 90 day term, but we were hoping to save that money, so that we could buy an RV, if that's what the Lord really had planned. (By the way, Brandon has been looking for a job, and there is NOTHING!) Well, if this whole thing pans out with this buyer...we won't even have to pay rent again.


So...that's where we are. Less than a month ago, we prayed what seemed like a silly prayer. As quick as we could stand it...God has pulled ALL of our roots from this ground. We don't have an RV, yet. We don't even know if it's possible. That's OK with us...we know He is faithful to us. As it stands right now, though...as of Friday, we have no job. In a couple of weeks, we have no home. One without the other is questionable. We know enough about our Father to know that when He does this kind of thing, He has big plans. We are ABSOLUTELY fine with whatever He does! We really are. However, we aren't immune to the "Uhhhh...yikes! Anytime, now!" feeling. So, that's why I am spilling all this to you all. It seems kind of foolish to put our pipe dreams out there, and especially when they seem so strange. However, I feel like it will be interesting to have your involvement in prayer, and to let you in on the journey...and the subsequent answers:)

So, the only missing piece, is the RV. If God makes that happen, we'll be hittin' the road Jack! Sooo funny! If not, then hopefully, we'll have a job come along that will help us get where we need to go, and still allow us to promote the Real Food Movement in a very practical way. Please join us in prayer about this...and feel free to laugh at our life:) We do.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Evan Michael Waters (March 2, 2010 - March 9, 2010)

I am committed to share everything that I write...this is what I was entrusted to write this morning. I am saddened and honored all at the same time. This will run in tomorrow's paper...

Evan Michael has joined his great grandparents Ernest & Alta Denney, Lila Crowder & Gladys Waters, at home in Heaven. Though he lived on this earth for only a week, he had a profound effect on those left behind. Though our hearts are heavy with loss, our spirits rejoice that Evan is now in the arms of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. His sweet life & early ticket home have served to realign our perspective to our true purpose on this earth…to impact the world for the glory of our Heavenly Abba Father.

Thank You, Lord for our beloved baby boy.

Evan went ahead before his parents, Ben & Crystal Waters, his sisters Amie & Emma, and his brothers, Jeremiah & Jacob. Also waiting to join him later in Heaven are his maternal grandmother, Maudene Deane, his paternal grandparents, Charles & Lila Waters, & countless aunts, uncles, cousins & friends.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Time for Everything...

We are a sad family today. A week ago today, my aunt, Cricket (who is more like my sister, given that she is only 4 years older than me) had a baby boy named Evan Michael. Today, he went home to be with Jesus. It's hard to describe what the feeling is...when a child lives for only one week on this earth. We know that he's okay, now...he's much further along than the rest of us, at this point. But, for those of us still here...especially Cricket...it's really hard to understand.

While I know this is a time for weeping, I have also seen such beautiful things happening, today. People started showing up immediately. There were friends that came to help with anything they could...there's already enough food in the refrigerator to feed an army for a week. There are people showing up in so many ways...so quickly. It. is. amazing.

As you might imagine, the lull in the blog has been a little out of my control. There have been several events that have taken place in the last 3 weeks, that have spun us into a different chapter of life, and I am just beginning to process it all. The loss of our baby Evan is the one that I will concentrate on for now, though. As soon as things settle down, I will write and explain the rest, that are more poignant to The Whole Family Project.

Thank you to whoever reads...prayers for comfort are very much appreciated, as the next few days are spent saying goodbye to a sweet baby we never even got the chance to know. Please pray specifically for comfort for his parents, Cricket & Ben, and for their other 4 little children...Amie, Emma, Jeremiah, and Jacob.

Evan Michael Waters (3.2.10-3.9.10)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yep...still here.

I'm sure some of you may be wondering if I have abandoned my post. The answer is NO WAY. This whole thing has taken a crazy turn, and I have been formulating how to put it all together. As of right now, I am on my way out of town to Lubbock to go see my aunt who has just had a baby. Hopefully, I will be able to blog while there, but chaos abounds on these trips, and it may not be likely. I promise I will be moving forward as soon as I get back.

There are exciting things on the way, my friends! You may not see this one coming:)


Related Posts with Thumbnails