Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Endless, winding, two-lane roads lined with corn and soy bean fields are my scenery as I pull into the driveway.  The quaint farmhouse with a red door and white picket fence are my sign that I've arrived to the arms, the many arms, of my family.  There are many of girls and five boys to be exact.  We don't all live in this cute little house anymore.  Actually, I've never lived here. My parents moved in after I moved away six years ago. There are only six of the twelve Johnson children still living at home.  Six still sounds like a lot kids to most people, but it feels like so few to those of us who are oblivious to the normal chaos of life with so many people under the same roof.

I always enjoy coming back here...the pace of life is slower even with such a large family, believe it or not.  There are exactly two stoplights, two decent restaurants, and a Walmart in the closest town with a population of 5,500. Life is much more laid back here. I look out the window and see miles of cornfields instead of miles of subdivisions (Texas) or seas of people and mounds of trash. All that green is breathtaking and the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of...SoIL.

As much as I love it here, I usually feel a little out of place. Everyone has a routine and my routine is nonexistent here.  The slow pace of life eventually catches up with me and I realize I'm terrible at doing nothing. I try to tell myself to just be still and soak up this time of rest where nothing else needs my attention. It works for a few days before I start to feel a little stir crazy, so in the midst of my stir crazy, nonexistent routine of rest, I end up having conversations about life with six and eight year olds that go something like this...

Abraham, 8 years old: "Bethany, why aren't you married yet? Are you ever going to get married?"
Of course he can't wrap his little mind around why I'm not married. All of my younger siblings 17 years old or older are either married or soon to be married. Two of them even have babies.

Me: "It's just not time for me to be married yet and I'm happy with that.  Why do you think I wouldn't get married someday?"

Abraham:  "Because you're too old."

I can't help but chuckle. I am old in his little world.

Hadassah, 6 years old, adds: "I don't think you'll get married because people don't like your job."

I laugh again. She's probably right. Goodness, I don't know if I'd want to marry someone who has my crazy midwife lifestyle.  I love hearing their thoughts on life.  They are pure and there's no chance that they'll withhold their opinion for fear of offending me.  I'm certainly not easily offended, nor am I desperately desiring to get married and start a family.  Their honest words are more comical to me than anything. Their sweet little voices and view of life on the porch swing that cool rainy evening make me grateful for this little time of nonexistent routine.

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