Finding Your Place

The place you feel at peace.  The place that makes you happy.  The place you can call home.

I’ve blogged about this some in the past.  Or maybe I’ve blogged about it a lot in the past.  Hubby and I have many things we have wanted to do and many things we hope to do.  Life is too short and adventure awaits!!

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Our biggest dream was to buy some land and build a homestead where we could raise our own animals and food.  That dream didn’t produce anything though because of physical problems that seemed to be getting worse.   Instead of moving forward with our plan, we threw it away (although there is still a part of me that wants my chickens, ducks, guinea fowl and goats).

We pushed aside our fears and doubts and began the process of becoming licensed foster parents in Illinois.  We had four foster children and after having the last two for 15 months, hubby was offered a new job opportunity in Texas.  With tremendous heartbreak, we moved our two foster sons to a new foster home, packed up our belongings and left Illinois after almost 20 year of being back in the Land of Lincoln.

It’s been about 2 1/2 years since we moved to Texas and while things haven’t gone exactly as we envisioned them, there have been some definite highs.

Hubby’s job has gone well and it was absolutely the right move for him to make.

After buying our house here, we got our foster license again and have fostered a total of 8 children in the last year.   While it has been very hard in many ways, I’m having trouble imagining life without any of the children that came into our care.  While the goal is to give these children all that we can, the truth is, we have gained much from having them be part of our lives.

We’ve made new friends and reconnected with family.

At the same time, we miss those we left behind in Illinois and haven’t been able to get back as often as we had hoped.

Over the years, I’ve heard many people talk about their wishes and dreams.  How they would like to pursue a new hobby or a new job.

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How they wish they lived in the mountains or on a lake or near the ocean.

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How they wish they were living in a different town, state or country.  Yet, very few of them make those changes or moves.

Our homestead didn’t happen because we knew the physical limitations would prevent us from being able to properly care for the homestead.  We didn’t know for sure when we made that decision, although we do know that for a fact now.  At the same time, there was fear involved in moving ahead with homesteading.

When we decided to make the move to Texas, there was fear involved.   There was sadness involved.  At the same time, there was excitement about the possibilities.

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The common theme through all of this though has been fear.  The fear of the unknown.  The fear of failure.  The fear of change.

Finding your place in this world isn’t always easy.

Fear will keep us from pursuing things that may truly make us happy.  Staying in the present is safe, but it’s not always joyful.  Keeping with the status quo may be easier, but it’s not always fun.

Then there is the person who knows they want to make a change.  They may even need to make a change.  However, they have no idea what change they want or need to make.  Instead, they live their life in limbo hoping that something will simply fall in their lap so they don’t have to take risks.

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Finding your place means taking risks though.

Maybe it’s not the best time to look for a new job, pack up your family and leave for a new adventure, but maybe the risk is worth it.

Maybe it seems stupid to move half way around the world to find a better life for yourself, but maybe the risk is worth it.

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Of course the big one always seems to be the “M” word . . . money!

– I can’t afford it.

– It’s too expensive.

– I don’t want to take the financial risk.

But here is the real question . . .

Is it worth putting your fears aside?  Is it worth the expense?  Is it worth the possibilities?  Is it worth the risk?

The answer to those questions will be different for everyone.  For me though, taking risks in life is part of what makes life exciting.  It’s how we discover new things and make memories.  It’s how we find our place in this world.  The place we feel truly at peace.  The place we can finally call home.

Have you found that place?  The place that makes you happy and content?  That place you can easily call home?

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Where In The World

Is Carmen Sandiego?

It was a show on PBS and is also a series of computer games and books teaching kids geography.

However, this post is not about Carmen Sandiego, but it is about geography, learning more about other countries, and exploring the possibilities.

At the moment, Lili’s favorite subjects are art, history, science and geography.  It makes sense as these subjects are intertwined.

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Naomi has some interest in these subjects as well and as a child, I had limited interest in any of them.  My interest developed in my adult years and these are some of my favorite subjects in our home school program.  It’s partially why I was drawn to the “Build Your Library” curriculum.

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My family has had the opportunity to do some traveling across the U.S. and I love taking the girls on trips.  I want to provide them opportunity to learn outside a classroom setting, including the classroom that is also known as our dining room.

Although the girls haven’t been with us on every trip (after all, they are only 7 & 9) we have visited well over half the states in the U.S.  We’ve also had the privilege of visiting a few countries.  Guatemala and Ethiopia are near and dear to our hearts, since those countries gave us our beautiful daughters.  We’ve been able to travel back to Guatemala a few times since and hope to return to Ethiopia (once things calm down there).  Our cruises have taken us to The Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Jamaica, Grand Caymans and Cozumel.  Next month the ship will take us to two new countries – Honduras and Belize.

Travel is definitely one of my passions.  I enjoy seeing new places, meeting new people, seeing the diverse landscapes, learning the history of the places we visit, and seeing how others live.  It’s one of the reasons I have demanded that each of our cruises include stops to places we have not been before.

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My interest in learning about and exploring different places around the world is continually growing and changing.  On a blog post a few weeks ago I asked the question, “If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?”  I received a couple of responses that caused me to check out some places I hadn’t considered visiting before.  One I didn’t even know existed.  Now I’m looking for participation from my readers once again and have three questions.

  1.  How many different cities, states and/or countries have you lived in?
  2.  Of those places, which was your favorite and why?
  3.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

I think it’s fascinating to not only know where people have lived, but what draws them to a certain places.  Is it the landscape?  The culture?  The people?  Jobs?

Since I’m asking you to answer these questions, the least I can do is answer them too.  So here is goes.

  1.  I have lived in 9 different cities (although, a few of them are not actually cities, but villages or small towns).  I have lived in 4 different states and I have never lived outside the U.S.
  2.  Of all the places I’ve lived, Tacoma, WA would probably be my favorite.  I loved being sandwiched between the ocean and mountains.  I appreciated the beauty and diversity of the area.
  3.  Hubby lived in Germany for two years while in the Army.  The girls started their lives in other countries.  I’ve only lived in the U.S. , but I think I would love the opportunity and experience of one day living elsewhere.  Where, I don’t know.  But I’m quite sure gypsy blood runs thru my veins and the thought of a new adventure in another country is certainly appealing to me 🙂

What about you?  Are you living in your perfect corner of the world?  Is there a place you would rather be?

Please share!

 

 

 

 

$1 a Day

My 1st world problems . . . . .

What am I going to fix for dinner?

Should I have hubby bring dinner home?

Is it time to buy a new car?

When do we want to replace the carpet?

Will we be able to find our homestead by the end of the year?

These are just a few of my 1st world problems.  I don’t often think of the fact that there are moms in other parts of the world who aren’t asking the question, “what am I going to fix for dinner”?  Instead, they are asking, “Where will I find money to buy food for my family”?  There is no phone call or email to her husband asking him to stop somewhere and bring dinner home.  They can’t afford a phone.  And forget the question about a new house for these moms.

Recently I was introduced to a documentary called, Living on One Dollar.  Four college students travel to a rural village in Guatemala with the sole purpose of finding out what it is like to live on $1 per day.  Lili was born in Guatemala, so I immediately went out to Netflix to find the documentary and watched it.

These 4 guys did a great job of helping me better understand what living on $1 per day is like.  How much planning someone has to do to live on such a small amount of money.  The opportunities that aren’t available due to the lack of sustainable income.  How many things, we take for granted, are not part of their daily lives.

We have a family of 6 right now.  If each of us were given $1 per day just to buy food, how would that change our lives?  Maybe that’s a challenge my family should take?

I encourage you to watch this documentary, Living on One Dollar and then tell me if and how it changed your views on life.

 

Landscape

My lack of posting hasn’t been from a lack of things to write about.  It’s been more a matter of not having the words to write all my thoughts, feelings and information about life right now.  There is nothing bad happening, just a lot of thinking and discussion taking place these days and that’s a good thing.

One thing hubby and I have been discussing is what things are important to us as we search for our ‘perfect’ piece of homestead paradise.  We all have certain hopes and dreams about where we’ll live and what the landscape will look like.  Since our goal is to move to that perfect place, why not figure it all out and then figure out exactly where we need to land to find it.

Here are the choices.

1.  Mountain

2.  Ocean

3.  Lake

4.  Flatlands

5.  Hills

6.  Dessert

7.  Wooded

8.  River

9.  Any landscape I’ve forgotten to mention

My choice would be living on a piece of property that has some hills,

with a view of the mountains,

near a lake.

 

Of course these things aren’t all that’s important to me, but having some scenery like this every day would certainly be a wonderful way to live 🙂

What about you?  What’s your favorite landscape or combination of landscapes?

 

Mirror Mirror

I found this on Pinterest today.

Every day.

I agree it’s important for us to regularly evaluate where we are in life.  Getting where you really want to be in life isn’t necessarily easy though.

Everyone should strive to achieve their goals.  They should work hard to make their dreams reality.

I have looked in the mirror and asked if this is what I want to be doing.

My answer was both yes and no.

Yes, I’m doing what I want to be doing.  No, I’m not doing all I want to be doing.  And I’m certainly not where I want to be.

Now, as I look in the mirror, I ask how do I get from here to there?  How does my family reach our goals and make our dreams reality?

Where is that magic mirror with all the answers when you really need it?

 

Home Sweet Home, Where Art Thou?

Home is where you hang your hat.
Home is where the heart is.
Home’s where I belong.

For several months now, hubby and I have had a plan in place which includes selling our house and finding property in Missouri to start our little homestead. Part of that plan is still in place, but the part that is up-in-the-air now is location.

There are so many beautiful places here in the U.S. that will allow us to complete our vision – A few acres of land in the country. A home with a porch where we can sit in the evenings sipping a cold drink while the girls and dogs run around the yard. A creek that runs thru the property where we can splash in the water on a hot day or just spend time exploring. A pond for fishing. A large garden and a small orchard. Chickens ridding our property of bugs and providing us eggs and some fresh meat from time-to-time. Goats for milk and entertainment. A couple of horses for riding (if Lili has her way). Fresh air and a beautiful view that includes hills and trees.

I love the vision of our little homestead, but since very few people are able to live their lives without some source of income, we will ultimately need to go where the job leads us. So the question is, where is home? Where will we hang our hat? Where is our heart? Where do we belong?

And one last question . . .

If you could live anywhere in the U.S. where would it be and why?

Gypsy Baskets US map

Sparking Passion

Yesterday, my hubby and I were having a deep conversation about life. If you have kids, you’ll understand just how challenging it can be to have any deep conversations, but we managed to steal a few minutes to talk.

During our conversation we talked about how people discover their passion in life.

Passion: intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction; an object of desire or deep interest

We didn’t walk away with any earth-shattering realizations about passion in life, but the conversation has continued to circulate thru my mind.

Can a person have many different passions or is it possible to only have one real passion in life?

Is it possible for a person to not have passion about any one thing, but simply have interests in many different things?

If one does not have passion about something, is that a bad thing?  Is it a good thing?

Today, while watching Lili at her horse-back riding class, I began to discover some of these answers in my life.

Lili has passion.  She has passion about horses.  Lili has a deep interest in horses.  They are an object of desire.  She has a deep interest in learning about horses.  She has a desire to ride them.  They are her passion.

Will she continue to be passionate about horses?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that I need to support and encourage her passion for as long as it lasts.  It makes her happy!

As I watched Lili riding today, I also remembered my passions as a child.  Some of those passions faded away and simply became interests, except for one – Music!  I’ve always been passionate about music.  I have a deep interest in music, particularly singing.  Every day, I need to sing.  Not sing for other people, but for me.  It gives me  joy and I can’t imagine a day that I’m not going to sing.

At least in my case, I would have to say that I  have real passion about only one thing in life with interests in many other things.  Maybe, if I continue to explore new interests, I’ll discover new passion as well.

Do you have one passion in life or are you passionate about many things?

Are you searching for your passion or content with simply having many interests in life?