A year ago this September, we moved to our house. I guess I still think of it as our "new house", but I could not imagine living anywhere but here. It was truly a gift from God--I know we couldn't have managed it otherwise! We used to live in a pretty normal neighborhood with neighbors stacked upon neighbors and streets of houses all connected to each other with more neighbors, pretty centrally in our little town--we were three minutes from just about everything. Our new place is ten miles outside the city limits on ten beautiful acres of desert--and having grown up here, I think my desert is beautiful. Breathtaking, really. One of the few places left in this country where wilderness is still thriving, mostly because there is little competition to take it over--so many prefer the ocean or northern California with its Oregon-like weather and greenery, or the central location of even Lancaster or Bakersfield, which "they" consider a vast improvement on Ridgecrest. On our property, we have chickens; I had my first garden; the kids catch lizards and grasshoppers and even snakes; we have quiet and security; we have fruit trees, and a well; we are setting up for bees in the spring; my house itself is built like a rancher's home with a big kitchen to feed all the "hands" and wooden floors with a big open room perfect for a country dance--I am so blessed. I know I must have many in my life who, in passing, have wondered why on earth I turned back to our hometown for marriage, career and children--I think I was an unlikely candidate for one "stuck" in Ridgecrest. But--truly--this is my choice, and I love it here. Love it in my soul. I am so blessed.
Somewhere, in all of this, I have been wrestling the past good year with the ticking clock--are we done? There is a part of me that wants more children in a desperate way--an emotional way--but is it a spiritual way? I don't know. I am answered with the many reasons why not to--I want to take good care of the children I have, some of whom are entering the phase where they think they need less guidance but actually need more...I don't want them to remember Mom as "tired all the time." I don't want the cuteness of a baby (or two??) to replace the magic of a 9 year old, or an 11 year old; room is definitely an issue, although one I can talk myself around *fairly* easily; working is an issue that I can't talk myself around nearly as easily. I trust God will provide, but I don't want to "get through" any baby years. I want to cherish them, as I was able to with my three. I want to travel--and some days that yearning is huge. But--the future is an uncertain prospect! In my head I think I've convinced myself that no more children = opportunity to travel? And of course, neither of those things guarantees the other. Forgive me for the highly personal post. I think this is probably a common struggle of women my age ;) and it helps me to write it out and process. I'm sure all the answers will now magically appear.