Saturday, June 30, 2012

On being an Amish Hippie and developing a spiritual rhythm...

The kinda sorta hippie me.  Hey--I have a bandana on my head.  That counts.

The Amish me.  I played dress-up for about 20 minutes the last day we farm-sat. 

This new blog is brought to you courtesy of Vacation Bible School.
Yes.  VBS. 
Two weeks ago, my kiddos were in VBS at my son's preschool in the mornings from 9:00 a.m. - noon.  During this time, I journaled and read and fed my emaciated soul, who was in desperate need of some time alone.  My plan for this blog was hatched during one of those quiet mornings, when I was sitting on my porch with my journal perched in my lap and a cup of coffee steaming in front of me. 
Then, this past week, our children were at yet another VBS, this time in the evenings, at another church.  (And no, we aren't actually VBS-hopping-parents.  Technically.)  Matt and I went on a beer-tour of Westport, if you must know the truth.  Six bars.  Eight different beers.  Endless conversation.  And that's where this blog sort of took shape a bit.  I told Matt my idea, with a bit of trepidation, because I am always a bit trepidatious about new ideas.  And he, being Matt, told me to go for it. 
So here I am.
I had thought of the title for this blog a long time ago.  I feel like an Amish Hippie.  I am a complicated mix of Amish-ness and Hippie-ness.  I spent five days farm-sitting an Amish farm, and I deeply admire our Amish friends.  I value the rhythm and peace of their daily lives.  Yet I am a bit of a Hippie, too.  I like long, swingy skirts.  I don't like to wear bras.  I like the smell of Nag Champa. 
I confuse even myself sometimes. 
The purpose of this blog is to explore a treasure that I have found when visiting our Amish friends, but I may write my thoughts on my porch while burning Nag Champa, wearing a swingy skirt, and not wearing a bra.
The treasure I found is rhythm.
A peaceful rhythm.
A soulful rhythm.
A spiritual rhythm.
It's a rhythm I don't have.  But it's a rhythm I find on our Amish friends' farm.  It's a rhythm I find when I hear our friends slowly and deliberately speak.  It's a rhythm I find when I milk a cow.  It's a rhythm I find when we sit around their table and sing a hymn after a meal. 
It's a rhythm my soul hungers for. 
It's a rhythm Matt and I are seeking a solution for.
Solution #1:
Buy a farm. 
In a way this is the more simple solution.  We can buy a farm.  We can buy a cow.  We can start singing hymns after meals around our farm table. 
Instant rhythm, right?
I know better. 
I would like to believe that if we bought a farm my life would magically flow with a peaceful rhythm.  But I know that's not how I work. 
I am a slow learner. 
And I really stink at rhythm. 
I hate chaos, yet I often feel chaotic. 
I need spiritual rhythm.
So here's my plan:
1.  Work on building a spiritual rhythm.
2.  Buy a farm. 
I am going to tackle a project a month, and I will see where this leads me.  I am not ready to share all of my monthly ideas yet, but I would like to share July's project:
going through the Liturgy of the Hours, using Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime.  I have been doing The Morning Office for quite some time now, and sometimes, when I'm not too tired, I read the Compline Prayers.  But I am going to try really, really, really hard this month to do all of them: The Morning Office, The Midday Office, The Vespers Office, and The Compline Prayers. 
This should be interesting.  It should be hard.  But I want it to be hard.  Well, not too hard.  But hard enough.  Hard enough to make me stop.  Hard enough to calm my chaos.  Hard enough to slow me down.  Hard enough to make me breathe a little more slowly.  Hard enough to bring me face-to-face with my fear of slowing down.  Hard enough to align my breath and life with God's rhythm. 
We'll see.
I'll admit.  I'm skeptical. 
I'm an Idea Girl.  Not so much an Implementation Girl.
I may abandon this project on July 5th.  Or July 2nd. 
But I hope I don't.  I hope I stick this out. 
And I hope to chronicle my journey here.  With you. 
If you would like to follow along with me, to pray along with me, to invite spiritual rhythm in your life along with me, I would love to journey with you.  Just let me know, and we can struggle and breathe and travel this road together.


  1. Jill, you and I are so much alike. Our interests are a little different but our intentions are the same. I'm not going to be good at encouraging you to continue on, because my view is, if it's not working out for you, try something else. Which is probably why I don't finish a lot of things. So maybe I should say, "You can do this! Persevere!" Whatever happens, you'll learn more than you knew. God Speed. (RWolff)

  2. Thanks, Rachel. I am really bad about starting thing and not finishing them. Surely I can stick this out for 30 days??? I guess time will tell! (Your comment here reminds me that I have an email to you started about something homeschool-related you posted on FB the other day AND about how you have been courageously giving up Diet Coke, which is an addiction I just c.a.n.n.o.t break.)