Sunday, November 10, 2019

On Moving and Moving On

Moving is EASY. I know that’s probably not a statement most people who have moved would agree with but bear with me. Moving is easy...compared to making where you’ve moved a real home. I’m not talking about a house. We are working on that but it’s mostly within our control. Furniture, your things put away and pictures on the walls. It’s a work in progress but it’s also a labor of love and just takes time. But we choose when and how. We aren’t dependent on anyone else.

A view of our backyard on Halloween morning when fall dresses up as winter
The hard part is finding your place in the new community while recognizing that your old “community” has moved on. You aren’t on their radar any longer. Out of sight, out of mind. While that hurts, I do understand.

Meanwhile, your new community doesn’t have an empty spot just waiting for you and your family to fill. The loneliness is sometimes overwhelming between two worlds. Maybe more so as a homeschooling family. If there’s not a homeschool group nearby that just happens to be a this wonderful fit, you’re floundering. Kids don’t have friends and mom doesn’t have support. Field trips are not on the calendar...

We have made a couple of friends, and for that I’m thankful.

Sometimes when life gets “flip turned upside down”, it feels like it will never be right again. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Old Walls

When we walked into our home we fell in love. Within minutes we knew, just knew, it was supposed to be our home. It’s over 100 years old. The original floor plan may not have included an indoor bathroom (I need to see if I can find out!). We knew it had imperfections. And we were fine with it!

But once you start painting. When all of the sellers “stuff” is out. When every little lump and bump and crooked corner is highlighted in its nakedness...I started to get a little sad or maybe frustrated. Every wall has a story of something someone else did over the last 100 years. These old plaster walls tell a story. A story of how the previous owners did or didn’t know what they were doing. 

This wall is where it is the most obvious. We repaired (with spackling) the worst of it but decided to leave it perfectly imperfect. It’s also still half painted. 

And it hit me. This is life. (I’ve spent hours and hours painting so I’ve had a LOT of time to think!)

The last five years have been probably the hardest in our marriage. No marriage is without conflict and a little strife but I always felt like we came as close as anyone to having a happy, fairly easy marriage. So, now we have some bumps. Some scars. From our own conflict as well as external factors. We are like those walls. We don’t look all smooth and straight like we might have 10 years ago (I don’t know if we did or not, but in my memory we were pretty stinking happy! I know memories sometimes delete the day to day trials and you tend to remember only the good) but I hope that we are stronger. I keep wanting us to be who we were 6-7 years ago. But I’m coming to realize we can’t. And imperfect is ok. (That’s really hard for a perfectionist to say!) I didn’t want bumps and lumps and proof that we didn’t know what we were doing to be part of our story. But here it is. And like this beautifully, imperfect house that we are making into our home, we need to care for it. We need some patching up and some paint. We need some extra time together. Time spent just on each other. Sometimes, with 3 kids still at home, that isn’t easy because they need us too! But it needs to be a priority. One thing we are doing is going away this weekend. Just the 2 of us. No kids, no paint, no brushes, no rollers. Just us. With the lumps. The cracks that have been mended. With the quirks and creaks. Hopefully we will discover new things about each other just like we are as we explore our home!

What do you do to keep your marriage alive and well? Or what do tounwish you had done? 

Now, back to painting. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

I Think I've Always Wanted a Home

From the time I was a little girl I loved books. All the books. And I loved for my mom or my grandma to read to me. In turn, because I had such a good memory of that, I loved to read to my kids. A favorite book for all 3 generations was 

So maybe it’s not weird that this book came to mind now that we are getting a home!

For over 2 years we've actually been "homeless". No, we weren't living in a cardboard box or under a bridge, but in a travel trailer. A nice one, but the state of Texas it's legally considered "homeless" if you live in a travel trailer! 😱

During those 2 years of living in purgatory everyone's dream, I stayed alive by dreaming of a home. 
I always wanted us to build a little home. Nothing big or ostentatious. Just enough. (I'm done with tiny living but I've never wanted a large house.) I drew floor plans on graph paper, I searched Pinterest ad nauseum, I saved paint samples. I searched websites for companies that build shells.

I even went and visited said companies!!! And took a picture in front of what I wanted for my future home!

When it came down to it though, the last few years have just been too stressful to take on the stress of building.  We are tired. We just needed a home. So we started looking. And every house we found had something wrong. Something that just made me sad because my dream was slipping away. Location. No front porch. No chickens. A master bedroom that was not on the first floor (we want to be able to live in our home forever if we choose). We put an offer on a house. We gave up location, I gave up the front porch. And it needed work. A LOT of work. When our offer was accepted, I was sad. And stressed. Thankfully, the realtor caught how I was feeling and we got out of the offer (the seller hadn't responded within the correct time anyways). I'm so thankful!

The next day we looked at the house that is as close to our dream home as can be considering we didn't design it ourselves. It's in the cutest little town. It has a front porch. We can even have chickens! We could not be more excited. We are in the process of moving in and painting now! Not all of that is fun, but it’s worth it! I *know* I always want a home!


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Blessings Come in Different Places

Due to some rough life stuff,  I’ve been in kind of a spiritual desert 🌵 lately. Things have just been dry and HARD. Not fit for growing much. Or maybe it has been all for growth and I just didn’t do very well. But I digress.

We left the desert (literal) for a new job. A job that never came through. So, after two months of being in a climate that should have been ripe for much growth, we are back.

And if you just look around you see a lot of dry, brown, dirt, a few sad cactuses, dirt....and sometimes a dust storm comes along to make it really make it pretty. (Ok, I'm exaggerating but you get the point)

(The best picture I had of the ugly landscape around here-even though this picture shows some of my biggest, most obvious blessings 😉)Blessings

And then there are the sunsets. Oh. My. GOODNESS. So, tonight, it hit me. God blesses different places and lives in different ways.

Maybe I was looking down at the ground for my blessings. Maybe I was looking for trees and grass when my blessings, my sign of His goodness are in the sky.

I’m not as well traveled as some people for sure. But I’m not untraveled either. And West Texas has some of the most glorious, beautiful sunsets of any I’ve seen.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

G’bye 2018


So, normally I’m not a “wishing time away” kind of girl. (And clearly I’m borrowing time back if I call myself a “girl”).

But 2018 can just suck it. I’ll show it the door-and I don’t care if it hits it on the way out. 2018 has been a rough year for this family. 
The pendulum has swung from highs to lows. Hubby working so many hours that our family life suffered tremendously (cancelled plans when he was required to work on a weekend he was supposed to have off) for most of the year, followed by 2 months (so far) of unplanned, unpaid “vacation”. 
The only way we could get through the working-so-many-hours-you want-to-die part was reassuring ourselves that we were saving for a house! (Yay! Getting out of the camper!!). But when the next job doesn’t start when you were told it would, and things keep going wrong....the dreams of that house get flushed down the toilet quickly. And it’s ever so hard to pull yourself up out of the pit of hopelessness.  
I’ve always loved New Year’s. I stink at resolutions and I’m not a partier so I’m not really sure why. There’s just something about the fresh calendar and even the fresh bill folder. Empty file folders and a new number to write with the date. (Kinda like the first day of school and new books and supplies-if you’re not a nerd I may not be speaking your language.)

2019 needs to see some surrender I think. I need to surrender to whatever it is that God has for us. His plan certainly doesn’t look anything like mine. And fighting it doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere. I’m just tired. It’s kind of like dog paddling. You look really busy and you’re breathing really hard but you’re just going almost nowhere. 

I’m not saying I’ve “arrived”. And that there won’t be some kicking and screaming worthy of a spoiled, rotten three year old. But I’m going to work on this thing. Not as a resolution. We all know those usually hit the toilet around mid-January. 

“God has not promised us skies always blue, flower strewn pathways all our lives through...”

I get it. 

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