patience and promises

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I have a little friend that saved my schedule everyday. This friend reminds me what I need to do, things I need to mail, work training events, doctor appointments (there are always those).  This little friend is my planner.  It’s a paper planner.  I learned of my need for one of these in high school.

I used to forget things all the time. I’ve shown up late and a week early to events more than once in my life. Only in the last four years have I gone back to the planner. Although I’ve always had a home calendar with all things written, I needed something I could take with me.  Enter my recent planner obsession.

My best-laid plans still fail.

A few day ago Josie had physical therapy.  We signed in, waited a few minutes, and out came the therapist to inform us that we were an hour and a half late.

Perfect.

Thankfully, he had another patient not show up at all.  We had our session.  Driving an hour to see the PT didn’t turn out bad.

The very next day I wasn’t so lucky.  I drove another hour to take Isabel for oral surgery.  This time the mistake wasn’t my fault.  They informed me that we were a week early when I know that I didn’t schedule it on that day since I am scheduled to work then.

My favorite.

Isabel wasn’t too sad about it.  She hasn’t been looking forward to the surgery.  I for one was not excited. I could think of nothing but the fact that I on;y came to town for this.  I wasted two hours of my life driving for nothing.  Nothing.  I was so upset by this mistake.  I have so little “extra” time in my life right now.  Shall I mention how disrupted school was because of this?

Driving home I was reminded that I’m impatient.  God is always reminding me of this in His gentle way.

He reminds me that I need to release control. I need to relax.  He whispers to me to let things be.  To rest.  His soft prodding compels me to sabbath.  I’m so task-oriented.  What I took from the hour drive on the way home was the promise of his presence.

He’s there when I’m checking things off my list.  He’s there when I’m sharing moments with the kids.  Still, He makes himself known during a scary call at work.  He’s there when I royally mess up.   He gives me victories through his grace.

His promises never fail.

He promises to never leave me or forsake me.

He knows that plans He has for me to strengthen me and prosper me. To give me a hope and a future.

He is with me, even to the ends of the Earth.

I know these truths.  These are the thoughts and verses that come to mind when life seems overwhelming.  Life is so hard, and busy, and tiring.  God is so easy, and still and restoring.

Our lives aren’t meant to be flawless.  The Holy Spirit guides and directs us the The Father through all situations, if we are keen to listen. Do you need to hear this now?  I know I do.   I constantly need the reassurance that I’m not stepping out-of-place in my walk.

I thrive on knowing that patience is being worked in me through all the hurdles that come my way on this race of life.

I rest and refresh in the promises of God.

Just when I am at the peak of frustration and inconvenience, God paints a rainbow across the farm.  Our happy place of the world that he has provided so well for us.  The peace of coming home after a day’s travel to see the reminder of all that hope that is in Him, works just a tad more patience in this wild heart of mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

relying on who you’re not

IMG_4447IMG_4454 Last weekend we had our friends over. Both of these friends are artists.  I’m talking about painting and drawing type of artists.  That’s not something I would classify myself as “accomplished” at.

My friend asked me if they could bring over supplies to make slime with.  Supplies like beads, sequins, and glitter.

I admit that my insides tightened at the mention of loose glitter coming into my house.   Ever since Olivia poured chunky glitter into her eyes as a toddler twice in one week, glitter of the loose sort has been banned from our house.

Banned.

Glitter glue…okay.  Flaky, loose glitter that sticks to you for weeks…nope.

Here we are, years later with glitter of every shape and color on our kitchen table.

Why?  What has changed in me to allow this abominable craft medium back into our household?

Nothing, really.

Nothing has really changed in me and my thoughts towards glitter.  What has changed is my perspective on what I believe about how my kids are shaped by others.

What’s important for me to remember is that I’m not the only person that has something to teach or offer my children. Everyone that my little peanuts are exposed to have different gifts, experiences, and learning opportunities they can absorb.  I’m not always the “fun mom” that I idealistically want to be.  I can get around this deficit in my personality.  I can allow people who are gifted and passionate about horribly messy crafts and activities the blessing of sharing their excitement with my kiddos.

I know I’m not alone in this distaste of glitter.  The husband of said friend called loose glitter the “herpes of crafts”.

Spreads, can’t get rid of it.

You get the idea.

I was thankful that God pressed on my heart to let someone else do the “fun” thing with my kids. Even my teens couldn’t resist the sparkly mound of activities. Do you have friends like this?  Are you that friend yourself?

I’m happy and grateful to rely on people that I’m not.  It’s truly freeing to rest in who and what I am, and let others do the same.  I believe we all have great things to offer each other.  I don’t need to be all that things myself.

Are you feeling this in your life?  I feel it’s so tempting to try to be the “superwomen” mama.  I find that role so exhausting and unfulfilling. Instead, I want to send up a bat signal when I’m noticing something the kids need that I can’t provide.  I want to call for help and have someone else meet their need alongside me.  I aim to use my resources to expose them to things I would put off or avoid altogether.

You know what?  I am totally willing to do the same for people in my life.  Just as a marriage is made of two different people working towards a common goal, friendships and child-rearing can be the same. Two gifts or talents being exchanged to better the children we long to raise as well as we can.

Don’t carry every burden of this perfect mama illusion you see plastered on the internet. You are enough for your tiny humans.  Every has a special gift to offer another.  Rely on who you are not. That mama is plenty.

 

 

back where we thrive

We’re back.

Back at our farm. Back to homeschooling. Back to what we love and thrive at.

It is completely where we belong.

I shared already about our decision to go back to homeschooling here. We are three weeks in, and I am pleasantly surprised and relieved that things are going very well.

Yes, I still work FULL time and I work outside the home.  I haven’t had a mental break-down or screamed at any precious humans.  In fact, I would say the opposite is happening.

I sat on my porch this morning and listened while sipping that magnificent first cup of coffee. I listened to the distant hum of a center pivot slowly watering a crop of cotton.  Birds of all sorts were chirping and flitting back and forth.  I even enjoyed the birds that were louder and slightly annoying.  You know the sort, right?  The ones that squawk. Yeah, even they seemed nice today.

Coyotes howled and screeched as the early sunlit horizon warmed my face.  Hornets buzzed and floated on the (less warmer then usual) air.   I’m certainly not going to call it “crisp”, “Fall”, or “cool”.  It’s still Southern AZ I live in.

This may sound terrifying to those of you who didn’t grow up in the Southwest.  Coyotes, hornets, squawking birds in September. Fear not! I was in no harm.  I was in my blissful place.

The point is this.  I haven’t sat in such silence for a year. I haven’t heard the sounds of nature and farming country for too long.  Something that refreshes my soul has been gone.  Nature.  I really can’t do too much city.  I feel closest and most appreciative of God and who He is when I see it everyday in this form.

Gratitude and peace overwhelm me here.  I heard, feel and witness that glory of creation daily at the farm.  Maybe that’s what I personally need.  I see so much devastation and destruction in my line of work.  I see the worst people in society, I see the moments in humanity that impacts the future of a family.

A lost life, a mangled arm, a new life.

The most amazing and tragic days are my job. Also, some pretty disgusting humans are out there to grace me with their issues.

I need a refresh. I need a long drive to unwind, and to prepare.

I think that’s why I breathe in the refreshing scenes and sounds out here.  I breathe deeply and often.  Intentionally.

I know I’m not alone.  The kiddos took roughly 30 seconds of living out here to soak it in and get right back to catching toads, frogs, and bugs.  Day one there was a teen eating dinner in the tree.

They PLAY!

I can’t tell you how much having a rock backyard the size of a postage stamp muffled the energy out of these five children.  Their energy was turned on each other- not in a great way.

Now they all have room to spread out and explore, create, have fun.  Together.  They are choosing each other!  It’s like a miracle has occurred here.

Listen when I say this.  They still bicker.  Space doesn’t cure everything.  It just has given them more options.  :)

I love how they can open the door and go outside.  I’m not worried about them getting kidnapped from our yard.  I’m not worried about them getting hit by a car while riding their bikes.  I’m not worried that someone is going to come into our yard at night.  I’m not worried that they are playing too loud.  I’m not worried about my dog barking.   I’m not worried in general.  Some may think that living out in the middle of nowhere is scary.

Isolating.

Unsafe.

I would argue that the more people you are around the more unsafe you are.

We have all isolated ourselves in the “safety” of our city house for a year.  Going outside has been planned instead of organically happening.  You can’t go to the park without an adult.  We have driven around the streets of a neighborhood that is “family friendly” for a year.  You don’t see families in their yards.  The streets are vacant. No one sits on their front porch.  I wouldn’t recognize more than 3 neighbors.  I never saw even a glimpse of them.  They drive into their garages, shut the door, and are never seen.  Seriously!  Who have we been living next to?

If you are a city person, that’s great!  I’m not.  I don’t know how to feel the same things and live the same way with all the crowds.  I’m so thankful that we aren’t being called to that right now.  We have seen what the city has to offer and we have declined.  We have come full circle to the place we have all loved for so many years.  We have grown here, just as lush as a beautiful garden.  We have lost here.  We have become different here.  We have loved it.  Every bit has changed us into the family that we are now.

I feel a stirring again inside.  I movement that causes reflection.  I can hear a whisper of my voice coming back to me.  I haven’t felt like this for so long!

Maybe it was the stress of college, life, busyness of the city, goals.   Whatever it was, it’s going away.  My love for writing has never left me, but my ability to express it faded for too long.  Maybe I just had nothing to say.   This place sparks instant inspiration.

We are simply free here.  We are free to play, learn, refresh our souls.

We are free to thrive in an environment that tells us daily, ” You belong here”.