Thursday, November 13, 2003

My Dream

“Now the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] out away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house to the land that I will show you….So Abram departed, as the Lord had directed him.” Genesis 12:1,4 (Amplified)

Recently I saw the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, starring Diane Lane. She plays a newly divorced woman who is traveling on a group tour of Italy. One day she was shopping at the outdoor market when a flyer advertising an old, run down villa for sale caught her eye. One of the local townspeople happened along and looked over her shoulder. “Are you thinking about buying it?” she inquired. Diane Lane laughed and replied, “Oh, no – that would be a terrible idea.” The woman said, “Sometimes those are the best kind,” and walked away.

Well, I have a terrible idea, too, and by the time this article is published, I will be two weeks into it. I’ll be living in Carson City, Nevada (where my sister Mary lives), following my dream to write our story – the one about our free speech case that ended up at the Supreme Court. I don’t want to write about the case so much; I want to write what went on in our lives during the five years it took to weave its way through the legal process. I want to write the personal side of the story. With God’s help, I hope to combine the most interesting aspects of our story with the most poignant portions of my personal journals.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a terrible idea. Some people thought it was a terrible idea for us to get married at age 19. Others thought it was a terrible idea for us to have children right away at such a young age. Then, when I was seven months pregnant with our first child, Keen lost/quit his job with a radiator company because he refused to deliver pornographic magazines with the radiators and we decided to move from Minnesota to Kansas even though Keen didn’t have a job waiting for him. Now that was a brilliant plan! (We did have a house to move into, thank God. We rented a house from Keen’s parents and later purchased it.)

Our next terrible idea was deciding to have a second child when Keen made less than $700.00/month take home pay. Later, when we were living in a house that was too small for the three children we had, several people thought it was a terrible idea to add a fourth child to our family. But the terrible idea that really took the cake would have to be when we decided to let our 16-year-old son transfer to Manhattan High School and live in a house with his older brother. Many people questioned our sanity as well as our parenting skills on that one – but that was where he met his future wife, so ask them if they think it was a terrible idea. And we have four wonderful children and two wonderful grandchildren as a result of all those other “terrible ideas.”

Sometimes we have to take risks to find out what’s on the other side of the mountain. Sometimes we have to leave our comfort zone to discover the beauty of the rainbow. Life is so full of adventure, if we’re just willing to stretch ourselves a little bit to reach for it.

My sister Mary gave Keen a plaque which displays the Chinese character for Chaos – Where Brilliant Dreams are Born. Underneath are these words:  

Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be Chaos. Before a brilliant person begins something great, they must look foolish to the crowd.

Now I’m not saying that I’m brilliant or that I’m going to do something great, but I can certainly relate to the part about chaos and looking foolish to the crowd. I mean, this is totally out of character for me. Ask anyone who knows me – I’m the biggest homebody you’ll ever meet. I don’t even like to travel. I’m like Dorothy – “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” So I really can’t explain this bold and drastic move I’m taking – and if I tried it would only appear that I “doth protest too much.” All I know is that this feels right in my heart and my family has given me their full support, so I guess that’s all that really matters.

Blessings for the journey ~