Monday, July 30, 2012

California Dreamin'

My parents left at high noon this morning, headed west to the place where I was raised, but no longer live. Yesterday, we took them on a tour of the surrounding towns here; all in all, it took us 4 hours to give the roundabout scenic expedition. You see, we live smack dab in the middle of nowhere....just past the plains and before the prairie. Ain't nuthin' much round these parts.

But, to me, this is God's country.

 As much as my heart aches for the home I grew up in, I have found my place here in the wide opens spaces, among the tall grass and roaming cattle, where horses graze and cowboys ride, with miles upon miles of untouched land, basking underneath a great big, blue sky. My heart swelled with pride as I was able to show my parents around, to give them a little taste of what I enjoy everyday.

There is something unbelievably special about working alongside my Mama cooking meals for the family while my little one looks one. Three generations talking and laughing, sharing smiles and making memories, both my Daddy and my husband grilling out back. In these simple moments, in what would normally pass without a second glance, I soak it all in, knowing that this moment will forever remain etched in my heart and I will carry it with me for all my days.

I thought my folks should experience a little bit of small town life before they headed back to the big city, so we enjoyed an ice cream social in town to help celebrate the museum and keep the funds going for the next year.

That's my Mama with my son, she's got the grandma touch as you can see!

There are times, when you start to think that surely your heart will burst at the seams, overflowing with love and happiness. As cliche as it may sound, life is truly wonderful. Today's good-bye's were hard to say, but just like knowing that you can't have Christmas everyday and still savor the special moments of a Christmas morn', you also must say a 'see you soon' to people who you hold close in your heart.

I have a life I never thought I would, a life I treasure deeply, a life that I pray pleases God, a life that I have done nothing to deserve, yet am eternally grateful for. Out of the millions of people, my husband picked me to be his help-meet, and God picked me to be the mom to my son.

 I could wish upon a star, but really,what more could I wish for.....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

When Family Comes to Town

My parents came to Texas on an impromptu visit this week....

We are enjoying a weekend sans chores and to-do lists, throwing out bedtimes, bath times, and adding extra cups of coffee and leisurely mornings.

We will be back to the regular scheduled programming in a few more days.

But for now, we have a little more time together, a few more meals, a few more cups of coffee, and plenty of hugs to go around. It's not about the days you have, but how you spend them.

Have a wonderful Sunday, I know I will.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coffee Counselor

These last few days have been some of the most difficult and trying this house has experienced in quite some time. Or more realistically, in all time.

The Lord has been working in my husband's life and mine as well. We are starting to see how what we thought would be a test of faith, was nothing compared to the real deal. We have struggled, we have prayed, we have been left wondering, and we are waiting. Without going into too much detail, our family is waiting on the Lord to do something big. We are all healthy and happy, in fact, despite what would tear some marriages apart, my husband and I have 'circled the wagons' on our homestead. We are fervently praying and spending time talking things out. We are being patient on the Lord and kind to each other, and I must say, that no matter what happens, I am beyond thankful for my husband.

 He is a man who says little and loves much.

 He is harder on himself than anyone else is.

 He is patient and gentle, strong and gracious.

In the mornings, we share a few cups of coffee together, and in that time, we are able to bring our marriage back to center. We focus on God and we eager await the future. There is a greater lesson in all of this, and lucky for us, our faith has grown tenfold.

And that is far better than any 401K.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Real Deal

With social media the way it is nowadays, we are constantly being inundated with the everyday happenings of those going on around us, depleting our own accomplishments in juxtaposition to those who render more from the day. To simplify, it is easy to feel as though others are able to do everything while I'm unable to do most things.

I read blogs, ones about raising large families or homesteading or crafting for your home, and I start to wonder how they do it all. How do wives find the time to make the homemade meals, do the art projects with the kiddos, take care of the babies, keep the home clean, do all the laundry, and manage to have some sort of 'career'?

I have a few books I want to write. I have projects that have been waiting to be done around the house (a coffee table that desperately needs to be painted, among other things). I feel like I am constantly doing laundry at 3 am just in an attempt to stay on top of it, and most nights, I'm baking bread at 11 pm for the next morning. What this all boils down to is this--in reality, we don't do it all. We tend to say what we think others want to hear, shielding ourselves from the reality of the day to day.

I thought for so long that if I pretended I could do it all, if I worked from sun-up to sundown than I could fool myself into believing that I was one of those women who did it all. But, alas, I am just one person, and I don't do it all. The laundry goes unfolded sometimes, the dishes pile up in the sink, the books I have written remain unpublished since no one wants them others remain in the storyboard format, and the giant garden I had planned on planting will be attempted again in the fall.

But what it boils down to, the family sits around the kitchen table for dinner, the baby is played with all day, the house has a 'lived' in look, and our house is a home. And there is nothing better than home.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Through the Hard Times

This weekend was one of those weekends where every time the phone rings you cringe a little, fearing what could be awaiting you on the other line.

Family members hospitalized.

Friends talking about legal separations.

Loved ones on deployment overseas.

In the back of my mind, I kept wondering what would it be like to be in their shoes. What would I do if my husband left me? What would I do if he was the soldier overseas? What would we do if one of us was hospitalized?

I guess you could say I "what if'd" myself til I couldn't think straight anymore. In those moments when my head gets all twirly and there are no longer cohesive thoughts from one end to the other, my intention is to bring myself back to center and to realize the gifts in my own life. To focus on the now, not the future.

The future can be a scary thing. When I think ahead, I begin to wonder how we will afford the bills to come, or how we will buy the necessities for home, or if there will be jobs awaiting us next week, next month, next year.

I heard a saying once that read, "Do not fear the future, for God is already there". Knowing that God is waiting for me, to guide me and support me through whatever may lie ahead makes every 'what-if' a miniscule and insignificant lapse in time.

Despite the hard times, despite the struggles, there are moments when nothing can bring you down, when life seems to ebb and flow just as you imagined it, when you believe that if life was any better, your heart would truly burst.

On the Fourth of July, we set up a little pool and the little man enjoyed a dip in it. He is such a sweet boy, he makes this Mama proud.

He is such a good Daddy, I fall in love with both of them more everyday.

The little slugger...

Many blessings.