We often joke in our household that no one would believe what actually happens here. We joke that we should have our own reality TV show, though ultimately we’re not interested. Sometimes stuff happens here which simply couldn’t be planned or scripted. Okay, most of the time this is the reality of our home, and probably true of yours as well.
I think about life within the four walls of our home quite frequently. It’s a busy place because of our business, but it’s also busy because we’re open to people.
When we were trying to figure out which house we were going to live in on this farm, I naturally had my heart set on the farmhouse. The little house just felt too small. The bigger house would have allowed for more people, easier entertaining, a more comfortable space. But Grandpa and Grandma were a little overwhelmed with moving, so they asked to stay in the farmhouse. Moving is overwhelming as a young person, and I can’t imagine how it feels to a mid-80’s person!
When we were trying to figure out where my dad would live when he was ready to be closer to one of his children, I knew our home would be too busy for him. He wouldn’t know what to do with all the bustle about our life.
We own a 26 stall boarding stable which means there is a lot of activity with the horse owners coming in and out. During the summer in hay-making season, there is a lot of tractor and wagon activity. There are horse trailers in and out with trail riders, horses moving in and out, and all the other general activity which goes along with owning property and a business. Though my favorite part of all of this is the people we get to meet.
Lately I’ve been thinking about all the things which go on here, and how sometimes it seems there is a gap between all of the components of our life. Some spaces don’t feel like such a big deal while others feel like a big, dark abyss.
The space between almost empty nest and empty nest.
The space between the end of caregiving and the next thing in life – which seems to be taking quite a bit of time in which to figure out.
The space between working on the farm and working off the farm.
The space between young life and older life (midlife is quite unsettling these days).
The space between teenagers and young adult people.
The space between understanding and embracing military life and the non-resistant way of life I was taught.
The space between learning how to cook more healthy to accommodate the people who visit and making the traditional PA Dutch food comfort foods.
The space between disagreeing with someone’s political views and embracing their individuality and friendship.
The space between leaving church and finding fellowship.
All this space is called the space of loving people. What makes this space feels like a black hole most of the time is the effort it takes to live in this space. It takes a lot of choosing to not be offended; standing up for one’s own principles and beliefs in the face of being misunderstood and judged. It means living authentically, messing up, owning it, and moving on. It means being questioned and being real enough to give the tough answers knowing you may lose a friendship. This space includes flexibility with boundaries. It means sitting around the table talking about life; listening without fixing. It means working together and playing together. This space includes late nights and early mornings. It involves tears, laughter, and never stopping the praying.
Never stopping the praying.
THAT right there is the secret weapon to thriving in this life, in this space between the world because the challenge from the scriptures to love others is ever before me.
To become love. To live love. To spread love. To give love.
Unconditionally. Not holding back.
The space between the worlds is where life happens, lives intersect, and differences are made.
And this little house??? We fit a lot of people in here. We sleep a lot of people, feed a lot of people, and love a lot of people in this space.
What are your in between spaces? How are you thriving?