Tag Archives: simple life

A Secret Fantasy


I have a secret fantasy.

This fantasy has become a barometer of my mental health and its frequency is in direct relation to the amount of stress currently in my life.

The busier I am,

the more social obligations press in on me,

the more I find myself daydreaming of my fantasy life.

My secret fantasy is one of isolation.


I dream of buying a small cabin in the backwoods of Alaska.


I fantasize about simple living…

of off-grid living, of cooking on a wood stove, home schooling my children by gas lit lamps.

But the key factor in this fantasy is my location.

It all takes place on a piece of land so remote that it lacks telephone service and requires a Cessna plane to access it.

This is just a fantasy. It will never and could never be my reality,

but I do enjoy dreaming about the simplicity and isolation this lifestyle would afford me.

This is why I use this particular fantasy as my mental health barometer.

When many of my waking hours are spent wishing my closest neighbors were elk and bear I know I am on the verge of a breakdown…

Life is on the brink of engulfing me and it is time to pull back.

It is time to say, “No.”

I struggle so with that simple, two letter word.

I say “yes” until I am drowning and then I begin fantasizing about a life where I am so remotely located that no one can get close enough to ask me to do anything…unless you have access to a Cessna plane. 😉

It is not the tasks of life that wear me down, it is the “face time.” It is the interactions with other humans, trying to meet everyone’s needs, the guilt, and the emotional drama that makes me weary,

that makes me want to run away.

But I can’t run away and then I struggle with guilt over having these emotions.

That is why this particular fantasy has always been a closely kept, dark, little secret.

I mean, what would people think if they knew how much I long to be alone.

I long for the quiet of my thoughts.

I dream of a day when not one person asks anything of me.

I secretly admire those women who NEVER raise their hand to volunteer for those tasks I find myself always agreeing to.

I resent them, sure, but I also admire them.

They feel NO GUILT.

If they don’t want to do something they simply say no…

be still my heart!

Normally I don’t mind being a “Yes woman.” Great joys come from stepping forward and embracing the “yes,” but only when the motives are pure.

This is the lesson I continue to struggle with,

and God’s keeps trying to teach me.

When the “yes” is motivated by the Spirit then the burden is light,

but when that same “yes” is motivated my guilt or pride

that same task brings soul-deep weariness.

I am weary and my soul is tired. I am weighed down by dread and resentment.

When these feelings hit (and they usually do 2 or 3 times a year) I know it is time for some self reflection and reprioritizing.

It is time to reassess the “yes’s” I’ve so freely doled out and for the sake of my mental well being practice saying “No.”

It is time to start “trimming the fat” and cutting out the unnecessary.

It is time to spend more time seeking the Lord’s will and less time trying to please the masses.

It is time to throw myself in the activities that bring the strengthening power of the Holy Ghost…time spent in prayer, in meditation, in scripture study…so that I can take advantage of the guiding and strengthening power that comes from that well spent time.

It is time to let go of the need to please

and be ok with “Just OK.”

It’s either that or it’s time to start honing my cabin building skills…

Alaska, here I come!


Country Moments


“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” -Marc Riboud

This weekend the girls and I went out to the Homestead to visit my parents for a “girls only weekend.” The original plan was to take Zoey, the little girl we have been doing respite care for, with us and leave Ozzie, her brother, home with the boys but when Friday came Zoey was running a high temperature and ended up staying home with her foster mom. Ozzie still came and was eager for his “boys’ weekend.” (More on that in a future blog) After picking up Ozzie and dropping him off at home the girls and I headed to Ohio for a fun weekend with Mimi and Pop pop. The plan was to relax, do some Christmas shopping, see a movie and go out to lunch. We arrived Friday night just in time for dinner. After a tasty meal we played board games. In the morning Gracie joined Mimi and Pop pop in the barn for morning chores with her camera in hand. Her photography assignment for this week was a lesson on photo journalism. This week she learned the art of telling a story using only photos. She decided to tell the story of life at the Homestead…of country moments.

Here is her story….

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Grace McCleery #2

Grace McCleery #3

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Grace McCleery #5

“What I like about photography is that it takes moments that should have been forgotten, and just freezes them, and allows us to share it with everyone and share it with future generations. But there is also a sense of secrets of the picture, or the stuff you don’t know, or don’t see. You don’t really know what happened before or after a picture. It’s like time is frozen in that moment.”-Jesus Holguin