Thursday, September 11

What a whirlwind of a month it has been in our home! We are back into the deep groove of lessons and learning and having a sort-of routine or as much of one as having children, a home under renovation and nice weather will allow! Sean and I have both felt such a strong impression to focus strongly on building character into our children this year. And so it goes that the math lesson isn't just about learning division but gently encouraging pleasantness during a least favorite subject and one volunteering to play with a rowdy younger sibling while Mama reads with a brother is heartily applauded and commended. As it should be, right?I love our life even with its may unknowns. Sometimes I struggle with the not knowing and have recently been reminded of the story of Eve in the garden, wanting to be all-knowing like God and the dominoes of trouble that wrought. We have big unknowns with the boy-who-just-turned-four and his kidney status. He'll have another scan in November. On we go! There are other unknowns but of course this is highest on the list and so we wait and trust and are satisfied in knowing that God is ever present even in the unknown part of our lives together. Onward. Forward.God has been bringing so many things of my heart to my attention lately and dealing with me strictly but tenderly. Sean is a wonderful husband, supporting me faithfully in prayer and encouraging me daily. I am ever-so uncomfortable with the limelight and this is why blogging has been such a comfortable platform for me, sitting here in the quiet of our living room while children are napping or clicking away late at night. But out I go! Pushed, shoved, whatever! Forward. More and more, forced to be bold and pleasant and chit-chat (!) about the stance we take on marriage, family, and parenting as more people I don't know stop by Cultivating Home and comment to us while we're out and about. The way we live our lives is admittedly so counter-cultural, choosing to educate our children at home and be their main influence, choosing to raise a large family, being a keeper at home instead of pursuing a paid career, not caring that our home isn't decked out in Pottery Barn. But I am coming to be at peace with being the self described oddball. It works. I like my life.I feel such a deep responsibility to blog conscientiously, firmly supporting family and marriage. And such is the current groove God is pushing me into.
Here we go.

23 comments:

Karen said...

Hannah,
I know or at least I think I know what you mean when you call yourself an "oddball". I didn't have a large family but I homeschooled once upon a time and stayed at home to raise the children (now young adults)too. I felt that was the call that God had put upon me and I was grateful that we were able to squeeze our pennies to make ends meet. Now, more and more, people are homeschooling. By the way, I wish I could sew as nicely as you do!

It is not the norm for families to have lots of children these days because of the cost of "things" and education, but God will provide - I have no doubt. Who wants to be normal anyway?

A said...

Hi! from another "oddball" in the foothills of NC. I stop by your blog on a regular basis but have never said hello. So "Hello!" I love my life too, being a daughter of the Lord, wife, and home schooling mommy. It doesn't get any better! Thank you for the encouragement.
Enjoy the day!
A

The Coopers said...

I have to tell you that I truly love being the odd ball out. I love being a keeper at home and taking care of our 5 children and teaching our girls how to be wives and mothers and our son to be a strong Godly husband someday. We love home educating and teaching not just books, but life! We love the simple life and love keeping true to what the Lord wants us to be and do. I recently found your blog and I am enjoying reading. Have a blessed day.

Hannah said...

Karen, you're right. Where's the fun in being trendy and normal? LOL!

A, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good to know I have company in being the oddball!

Coopers, I really do enjoy my life and being the oddball. It only gets hard with having so few like minded families around. I remind myself that I am accountable to God and not the culture for the way we raise our family. I was drooling over the photos of that grist mill on your blog and that beautiful old house. I'd love to live there!
Blessings,
Hannah

Joy of Frugal Living said...

I totally agree about feeling like an oddball. But I have to say - if you look at "normal" it's really not too appealing. It's definitely worth the trade-offs to do the best we can. :)

Jen said...

What a great post. I love your blog!

Melissa said...

I've always enjoyed reading your blog and following along with your family. I feel like I've watched them grow. I feel like I sorta know you, only....it's been one-sided. Who knows maybe you'll visit my blog someday. I'm kinda the odd-ball too :D

Melissa

PS: I love your photography, but mainly because of the Objects in them. :D

Danielle k said...

hi hannah. i know you know me,lol but i figured i would let you know that after all my homework is done, and the kids are in bed that i love reading your blog. it is so fun to see what you and all y little kiddos have been up to in the last week! making pies, going for walks, i just love it...i decided i would let you know.lol
-Danielle-
PS: it is very difficult to type when having no "m" or "n". love ya

Farm Fresh Jessica said...

Oh, I want to come live at your house. Or at least hang out with you on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

Hannah said...

Thanks Joy of Frugal Living for commenting. The results of living and parenting "normally" concern me and help me be more comfortable with being the oddball.
Jen - thanks!

Hannah said...

Danielle - I love you!
(Danielle, is, btw, the best babysitter in the universe and we are crazy about her, as are the kids! She has the patience of a saint and if I could clone her and market her to parents everywhere, I'd be rich! We are VERY selective about who we allow to watch our kiddos.)
So anyway, Danielle, you are awesome and yes, it is a pain in the backside to have to click on the on screen keyboard to type m's and n's.
Hope Aiden didn't give you too much trouble tonight!

Hannah said...

Jessica, there's a house for sale on our road...

Catherine Holman said...

I think your life looks pretty great! I'm past that stage in life but did stay home to raise my children and have never regretted it. You're doing the most important job there is.
Hugs,
Cathie

amy said...

There's a house for sale on your road? We are so there!!!! LOL, (with a hint of truth in it.)

Anonymous said...

Hannah,
I consider it a compliment when I'm considered an "oddball". We are aliens and are not of this world and we should be different! God has shown me through many years of struggle and joy that this is not my home and I will not fit into the worlds mold. I will do many things different because God has called me to His plan.
We sold our "big home" to buy a smaller home that has a very small loan to get out of debt, we homeschool, cook and can, stay home a lot, have five children and two in Heaven, shop garage sales, use candles and lamps for lighting and heat with wood and sew beutiful things for me, the children and for our home. We live on less than others and do strange things like spend time with are children because we want to, go for walks, go camping, ride bikes, sing together, play games and all sorts of other things. Over the years, God has shown me that he is faithful.
Resting in Him,
Kim Eversman

By the way, my husband is pretty sure that petrified wood (smile)on your floors is Walnut. He worked for many years at a lumber company. He says the longer it is down the harder it gets.

Would you email me?
eloisecarpenter@peoplepc.com

~~ said...

She Lord has given you the desire to live the way He wants you to. You are doing the right thing. We are also "different", so please know you are not alone! Stay on the path. Your life is beautiful...
Patricia

my house by the river said...

Dear Hannah:

If being at "oddball" means staying true to the values and morals and standard of God, then, go for it... You are following your Master :-)

blessings,

mari

Brandy said...

Looking forward to checking in with you while God is working in you:)

Kim L said...

Hannah:

Funny, in all the time I've know you and your sweet family, the word oddball never crossed my mind. Being true to personal convictions, preferences and leading your family through faith only serves to highlight your refreshing uniqueness. It doesn't make you "odd" any more than it would a person who cares a great deal about fads and fashion or pursuing a career.

Celebrate who you are and that you are physically able to have a large family and walk confident as you live out your faith and convictions. Labels, self-imposed or otherwise, are for clothing - not people. We love you, Sean, and your family and that's all we think about when we see you. Anything else would just be - odd.

Hannah said...

Thanks, Cathie.
Amy, how nice that would be!
Patricia, I love admiring your beautiful life via blogland!
Mari, thanks for the encouragement!
Kim, we love you guys too and I like that you think I'm "refreshingly unique"! I'm comfortable with oddball too. A few friends e-mailed me wondering what I was thinking in calling myself an oddball - I guess its just choosing the road less traveled that sometimes sets my hurling into the oddball field.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I just had to comment on this wonderful post. I too feel like an oddball, even at our church, and especially out in the "world". It is difficult to always feel like I am going in a different direction and try to explain our convictions. Even fellow Christians don't seem to understand homeschooling, living a minimalist lifestyle and letting God plan our family. I get a lot of encouragement from your blog. It's nice to feel "normal" for a while :0) Just wanted come out of lurking to say that.........Janet

kitchendoor said...

Hannah,

I have to say, I always look forward to your posts. Reading your blog is a glimpse into a life that's totally different than mine, but I so identify with feeling like an oddball, and like the things that are valuable to me sort of strike other people as a little off-kilter.

In any case, thanks for bringing a slice of something really beautiful into the blogoshere (is that the right word? I'm so new at this). Have a good one!

Sarah said...

And thank you for that! I just happened upon your blog today and I'm enjoying "meeting" you and your family! I too feel a bit counter-cultural at times, making my own bread, culturing sourdough, sewing . . . smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles!

The fact that I have bookshelves full of actual books in them is nearly a shock to most people who come by! :) The fact that I spend time making homemade whole wheat graham crackers (pumpkin shaped this last batch!) is more than some of the mums I hang out with can even imagine. Unfortunately, too many of the stay-at-home moms that I've met (other than online) tend to still be focused too much on self, rather than the gifts they can give to their family. I think I stick out.

Which is why, again, thanks for the great writing! I relate! I look forward to reading more!

Best,
Sarah