Cozy candles are welcomed after the 30 degree temperature drop
Brutus found a comfortable place to rest and Kate's pillow needed washed as a result!
Ever lose something special? Ever had to part with something you've taken for granted would always be there? Well, last week, my favorite pair of jeans had to be tossed. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but if you've ever had that perfect pair of jeans that fit without tugging, pulling, gaping, riding or even sagging, you'll understand. I noted thread bare areas in the seat and rather than risk the embarrassment of them splitting on me in public, I threw a big fit gracefully tossed them into the trash. I miss them. I have other jeans, but not MY jeans.....
In all seriousness, I have been grieving a few losses lately. I am really homesick. My precious friend is losing her father after a two year battle with cancer. I want so badly to be there for her. My mom is facing minor, out-patient surgery but being there is typical for me. I have found myself missing my old neighborhood, my home church and my dear friends a lot lately. That's not to say that I don't have some great neighbors, a wonderful church or new friends, but there is just something comfortable about "home". I miss it and the jeans were just the final straw.
Fall weather has finally arrived and I am so grateful for it's refreshing cooler temperatures. I am drinking in as much fresh air as I can. I love the house being cool enough to warrant a hot cup of tea to get moving in the morning, the long sleeved shirt needed for my evening walk and smell of chili on the stove. Above all, I am grateful for God's grace and mercy in reminding me that this too is a season He's orchestrated in my life. There is comfort in leaning on God's truth when my emotions are trying to rule. "We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:5
A certain little five year old has been a real little stinker lately.....love her but wow, has she been wound! Yesterday I caught her hanging on her little brother as he protested. I firmly said her name and she flopped to the other side of the room as though she weren't guilty of anything and asked me if I saw her. "Um, yes I did but that doesn't matter. You have to be honest whether you think I saw you or not". At this very moment, fingers entered her ears and she grinned at me. Ahem....let's just say that she isn't enjoying the loss of privileges today.
As usual, when I am frustrated by the behavior of one of my children, God speaks to my heart and its condition. Saturday night's service was amazing, not so much the specific message (that was also good) but the worship and the way I felt God really talking to me about my attitude. I've been searching for the peace I've not felt for awhile. It was finally clear to me that I can easily depend on God, trust God and have faith when I am fighting external elements. It's my PRIDE that hangs me up. I want to be right rather than grow. I want to be in charge. I like things MY way. I love God loving me and I am learning how to love Him the way he deserves. I have treated him like an earthly father that loves me and catches me when I fall, even if consequences are imposed. I know I am loved and I love back but not the way my Lord deserves. The internal conflicts are the ones I allow to weigh me down. I easily want God to carry me through the valley's of life but want to maintain control when things are smoother. Just acknowledging this sin in my life was a weight lifted on Saturday and now, the journey continues.....I have my fingers out of my ears today.
We were planning on guests for the day when they had to cancel (insert disappointed face here). I was already in the throws of preparations when we got the call so I completed the meal, dessert, new bread recipe and the soup I was taking to both new mommies in our neighborhood. Changing course from relaxing with friends, we opted to enjoy an early meal together with Greg's amazing whole grilled chickens which just happens to be something the entire family loves and then hang out together outside. When I delivered meals, one precious baby boy was placed in my arms and my oh my, is there a better feeling in the world than that of a newborn in your arms? I was in my own little heaven! We spoke with both sets of our parents and I even had a phone conversation with Kristin.....IN COMPLETE SENTENCES!!!! We accomplished a lot but mostly just enjoyed this day.
We had a perfect day at the zoo today. We had the place to ourselves and the animals were actively entertaining us. Ty called all of them "Brutus" and Kate was too busy playing with Shelby to notice much of anything! The tortoises were even moving around and eating branches from low lying trees. The giraffe drooled right in front of us while moving his tongue all over his face. Ty imitated that and grinned!We caught the tiger training session and the lions were perched right along the edge of their rocks providing an excellent view. All in all, it was a great day to enjoy the zoo.
So I've held my first garage sale... Theresa had a garage full of things she needed to sell and living in the country does not make a garage sale profitable. So, we jumped in on the community garage sale bandwagon. It was a decent money maker given the threat of rain and how little I had to contribute. I was a little sad seeing all the baby clothes Ty will never wear again lined up on the table. The dishonest few surprised me though....why on earth is integrity getting so difficult to find? We had a few things stolen. Anyway, throughout the course of the day I had a friend ask me if Theresa was my daughter and another neighbor thought my mother was my sister.....I wish I had been surprised.
Who is that old woman looking at me in the mirror? I honestly get caught off guard sometimes when I catch a quick glance of myself. I have aged so much in just a few years. Our last family photo will be four years old at the end of the month and I think I look at least a decade younger in it. As I think back I realize that I grew through a lot of challenging life circumstances where I allowed God to carry me. The journey was so overwhelming that I had no choice but to fully rely on God. Now that life is more "settled" and we are only dealing with daily annoyances and smaller life issues, I tend to think I am taking it all on myself and waiting on the big stuff to have God take off my shoulders. The aging process shows that system isn't working out very well for me. I remember being told that I looked like I had joy in my life when I was balancing Greg's ongoing medical needs after his accident while caring for a newborn, three year old and five year old. I don't see that joy reflected anymore. I can only work on my heart and hope to finally allow God to take the reigns (Let's all just pretend this is a new idea and not a re-run theme in my life!) As for my faith in others, I am trying to find balance in boundaries, love, grace and truth.....it's also a journey.
My parents came down on Friday for Dad's birthday so we had homemade mounds bars and spice coffee cake....mmmm. Birthdays are sweet!
We inherited a "less than pretty" dining table with three chairs from my sweet friend, Cherie who had acquired it with her current home. The condition was rough to say the least. Fast forward countless hours and about $100 in materials and we've got a brand new, gorgeous dining set that will seat 8!!!! Our old set no longer fit our family with seating for 6 so we are truly delighted with this hand me down! Thank you so much Cherie! I hope you don't want it back now!!!!
I love the fall....really love it. I love the brisk mornings with a good cup of tea, the cooler evenings that require a sweatshirt for the start of my evening walk, the gorgeous trees that make the mundane errands an event and the bright pumpkins that pop up all over town in between mum and straw displays. I just love it. A friend of Erin's wrote an article for her high school newspaper this week that talked about how much she fights change. It was very well written and I was left agreeing with her. I also am very much a creature of habit and don't care to have my world change. It is typically in a season of change that I grow but I tend to enter it kicking and screaming! But,the fall is always welcomed as I am ready for the routine school offers after a lazy summer, the crock pot comfort meals, baking without roasting in my kitchen and the ease of jeans and long sleeved tee shirts. It just fits me. Casual, comfortable and colorful. We finally got the cool front I have been asking God to send. I am drinking in as much fresh air as I can this weekend as we are expected to be in the 90's again this week. Just the sneak peak refreshes me. It had been a week full of unwelcomed changes here though.....Erin's 8 month relationship with Brad ended and she isn't pleased with the decision. They were so mature in the way they maintained the relationship so I expect we'll be seeing him again in the future. They are both responsible, intelligent and driven kids. The intensity of this school year so far has made all social aspects difficult to balance. Erin's dealing with a few underwhelming teachers. Tenure should not mean crazy people get to stay employed where they can impact the lives of 180 kids per semester. I am working with a chiropractor three days a week to get my back straightened out. The x-rays were a bit frightening. I have arthritis and degeneration in my lower spine. It was likely caused by pregnancy and babies on my hip. Given that we are still in the "baby on the hip" phase of life, I will be continuing my treatment despite the cost! At this point, it is costing me to go to work....grrr. So, back to a few blessings.....
Ty was busy moving rocks from one landscape bed to another. Kate was thrilled to have temperatures low enough that she could wear her new fall outfit....We snapped these before heading out to get Erin from work. She had to teach makeup classes for three hours yesterday morning since the gym will be closed Monday for Labor Day. Afterward, we headed out to find her some shoes and stopped at Aldi for oatmeal...just a quick stop....right? Now, a little background. I didn't want to renew my cell phone contract given that I don't need it, we are trying to cut expenses and frankly, don't like having a "tracking device". Well, Greg's safety wisdom prevailed when he pointed out that I will be leaving for work in the dark on cold mornings while he is on his way home from work. If I were to have van trouble, he wants me to be able to reach him. Since the van will be 8 years old next month, he is right. I don't like losing but he's right. So, I renewed my contract this past week and got a new phone because the old one had blank screens and could only be used in limited capacity. (Note: cellphones may make good teethers/distractions for a minute but it is not good for the phone) Anyway, I left my cell phone at home on the charger because it was more likely I would need it for church later when Greg and I touch base between services about where to meet with Ty's check in information. Enter Aldi again....I left Erin in the van with Kate and Ty since it was only going to take a minute. They requested the radio be left on. It was a gorgeous day so I left the windows down and let them listen to the radio. Aldi was busy so it took a few additional minutes. When I returned, the van would not start. I spent 25 minutes trying. If I had a cell phone, I don't know who I would have called given that Greg sleeps through a ringing phone (Typically a good thing). We were trying to formulate a plan, trying to remember ANYONE'S phone number when God sent an angel in the form of a lady from church. She loaded us up in her car, stopped at Walmart, and then took us home where we were able to wake Greg and get back to Aldi. It failed to start. Ty was exhausted, hungry and tired of being confined to his seat. We headed to church to teach when I ran into Jennifer and she took my kids into church, covered my class and offered different jumper cables. I literally prayed the entire way back to Aldi, where the van finally started. Getting back to church we found that others had stepped in to help comfort Ty by giving him milk. Greg took him home to nap and I took my class back. It is fun to look back and count all the ways God watched over us but as Greg said, "it is always something"!