|I wonder if I could have a seat in this Adirondack chair and take snooze?|
I've had people ask me ever since we moved out to the forest why would we ever want to live so far out from "civilization"? I want to ask them, "Why do YOU want to live in the middle of too much civilization?"
Too much crime, too much traffic, too many crowds, too much noise, too much strife. Too many rules and laws about such petty things, like how many shrubs you can plant in your own yard, and what kind, and how close to the road. What kind of grass you are allowed to grow...and what days are you allowed to water your yard and if you are caught watering on the wrong day or too often, you could be fined. What color you are allowed to paint your house, how many cars you are allowed to have in your driveway at any time, what kind of flags you may fly (if any), how long you may leave up your Christmas decorations or any other kind of decorations. How long your company is allowed to visit...and the lists go on and on and on. You may not believe all of those rules, but I assure you they do exist in communities right near where you live, if not exactly where you live.
I know people who never open their drapes or blinds because they don't want the neighbors to look inside their house, or for the burglars to see what they have that they might want to steal. There are people who are afraid to walk outside of their homes for fear of the neighborhood hoodlums or even the nosy neighbors.
They live in fear and darkness all the day long. I cannot imagine living like that.
Okay, I know many do not have any other choice. And I apologize if I appear critical of your situation when you may wish you could be somewhere else. But I started writing this because I wanted to answer the question about why I would ever want to live so far out from civilization. True, I don't have many shopping opportunities out here in the woods, nor do I have many choices of places to go out to eat. I don't really have too many close friends or neighbors, although we are working on the "friends" part little by little.
The title of this blog is "Closed Doors, Open Windows." Our choice of a place to live is the result of a closed door on a home that was far too expensive for us when my husband lost his job due to job cuts, and no longer worth the amount owed. Miraculously, God "opened a window" of opportunity for us to get out from under that burden and placed us in a home that not only was affordable, but exactly in the type of place my heart had always longed for. The woods. The country. The "boonies", if you wish. Back to nature. A place where I could leave my window open for a view upon the exciting beauties that only forest living could provide. Nearly everywhere I look I see green trees and leaves...
|Looking out from the sun porch. The fence is there to keep the bears out of our|
patio/courtyard area. Although that doesn't always work, we found out recently!
(This picture was taken in 2013. That is now where The Secret Garden grows!)
|looking out into my back yard from my bedroom window|
|Looking out my kitchen window we saw this big fella came to get a drink of water one morning|
|This little guy has been visiting us rather frequently the past few days.|
|Now this might be a little more than I want to see outside my|
open window, but he IS a harmless black snake...and he
takes care of the mice, rats, and even other poisonous snakes!
|This little cottontail has become the closest thing to a pet we have. He|
seems to feel safe here in our back yard...and we enjoy talking to him. He always
listens and twitches his ears at us as if he really knows exactly what we are saying.
|You never know where you might find a new friend peeking out at you!|
|Then there's these funny lizards who love to show off their "colors".|
They think they own the place and show us every chance they get just
who's the boss around here!
|Oops! Excuse Me! I didn't mean to interrupt a private moment!|
|What are YOU looking at?|
|2017: This beautiful female Summer Tanager was perched in the Secret Garden one afternoon this week...just sat there waiting for me to come take her picture! Isn't she lovely?|
Okay, I know you probably aren't all that impressed with all my "wild friends" and neighbors. I suppose I just get overwhelmed with the beauty I find all around me, and I love to share it with you. We don't have a fancy home or great amenities to offer. What we have here is Peace. Joy. Love. We have hope. The presence of God is in this very place.
Perhaps your place in the middle of "civilization" isn't as bad as I've described above. You may have lovely neighbors, parks, friends, churches, places to shop and enjoy lunch with a friend. God may have placed you in that exact location to be a lighthouse to others...a person who can be a true friend and neighbor to those in distress. Your home may be exactly what you've always wanted, right in the heart of the city. And that's wonderful...for you! It's where you are supposed to be. And the presence of God is also in that very place. If you look around you, you can find many things to make you rejoice and be glad for where you are.
I guess it is all in the attitude of the heart. When I lived in the city I loved where I was at the time, because I knew that was where I was supposed to be. Now that I am in the country, I love where I am, because this is where I am supposed to be. If I had to move back to the city, I would probably be like "Granny" from the Beverly Hillbillies, and you'd have to tie my rocking chair to the top of the truck to get me to move...(just kidding) ...no, seriously, if that is where I believed God wanted me to be, I'd be there, with a smile on my face. (well, at least I'd try to smile!)
One thing I have learned (and am still learning) in this life is this:
"...I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Verse 13:) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13
And to add to that, I have also learned this:
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
So, no matter where we may be living, whether it be the country or the city, be content. And if you think that is not possible...claim verse 13 above...and believe what verse 19 says. God will give you the strength you need to be content and to endure the things that you may not fully love about where you are...and if necessary, He will supply the means to get to a better place, in His time and His way.
I pray that wherever you may be tonight, whether it be where you want to be or not, that God will give you His peace and comfort and strength. That He will give you the courage you need to step out on faith to change your situation if that is what is necessary. Or that He will give you that sense of knowledge and gratitude that He has blessed you exactly where you are.