As a mother and farmer I find myself negotiating life during a most interesting time. Most of the intuitive decisions and labor of both have been distributed to institutions and corporations. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing and has actually become something very difficult to remove oneself from. When Nathan and I first married and decided to have a child we were flowing downstream living a life like most of the people around us. It felt comfortable and steady, but deep down a different way of knowing began revealing itself to me. What the doctors, companies, hospital, day cares, and even church were telling me didn’t always feel right.
As I began to think of life from a deeper, more conscious perspective the desire to control everything in one’s life lessened and the passion to live connected to the natural design God had created became more interesting, intriguing, and intuitive. I began listening to life with not only my mind, but with my body and heart. To live a life more whole and holy, it seemed, I’d have to take obedience more seriously. Not obedience to those in power, but to a loving creator who worked all things out for our good. This inner knowing began to nourish me in ways that little else could. Where I had once craved people, attention, the bigger and better I know needed moments of silence, stillness, and solitude in order to simply make it through the day.
This time spent nourishing my inner knowing allows me to live life with more peace. That peace flows into my relationships with self, God, and others. It pulls me forward towards spiritual maturity and responsibility. Clarity has begun to come my way as I discover my sense of purpose as a wife, farmer, mother, woman, business owner, community member. As advanced as our civilization has become there is much work to do in telling our stories in ways that reminds us of the meaning and importance of our lives.
This is a portrait of Michelle Howell, a hardworking farmwife, mother of five, author, and advocate. On the left side of the bust you can read text from the poem “Anyway” that was on a wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India. “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.” “The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.”
Leslie Nichols, Artist