2014 is a year of stepping out of comfort zones, pursuing dreams, and big changes for our family. I have wrestled with anxiety going into it, for I have been in this place before...
...and I know how much God asks of a person when they are standing in these shoes.
You hand your life back over to the One who gave it to you and ask to be stretched. You give up control. You ask to be willing, for there is nothing in you that wants to sacrifice. There is nothing in you that makes you any stronger than the next person, or any more brave. You ask for courage, because your flesh is weak. And you are tired.
I find myself alone in the bathroom for a few quiet minutes asking God to meet me. Right there and then. I ask Him to clothe me with His bravery, His armor, His fatherly arms. I ask Him to make me feel Him when I am far too spent to search for it. And somehow He does. In our weakness, He brings the strength.
He sends people and places to wrap their earthly arms around us when we need tangible reminders of His presence. He sends brand new lambs and timid calves to show us life is made, kept, and restored through His plan. He shows us that all our basic needs...food, clothing, shelter...are all met and that we would do well to be content. Not pine away for the next pair of shoes, or the next follower on Instagram, or the next stop at Starbucks.
But oh the gifts! All around us for free, but at a high cost to our earthly mindset of materialism and self-gratification.
We have tried to stay busy these ten days that our schooner daddy is overseas. I planned a trip for me and the kids out to our friend's farm in Missouri...a little town called Hartville in the middle of nowhere. It's the kind of place that runs on a slow kitchen timer, where wifi can be found at the local Subway, and the neighbors drop in to sit down and chat about the cow that got loose in their field. It turned out to be just the escape we needed before life hits the fan, moving is in full force, and my book travels take me to the east coast.
The kids loved helping with all the chores and the feeling of responsibility placed on their tiny shoulders. I am certain I need to up our chore chart after becoming surprised, yet again, by how quickly they learn. Hard work truly does produce character and pride in a job well done...a dying trait in our culture.
Look at me! I swear I sound like my grandfather!
The funniest part of the whole trip was how seriously Ems took it upon herself to catch the lambs. She would face plant in a pile of manure, get up, dust off, and go right back at it again until she caught one and made it obey her.
Meanwhile, quiet little Shiloh was off to the side gently petting two baby lambs who were content to just stand there and look at the foolishness. There is a life lesson to be learned from this....mark my words. Something about work smarter, not harder. ;)
Keller is the orneriest of the ornery. He's ticked that Shiloh got to carry the bucket full of eggs back up the hill. And that little puff of smoke just kills me. Kills me.
Our last day there I caught sight of the chickens running away from Ems...all the way up to the front porch. I see a touch of my dad's stubbornness in that girl with the innocent dimples in her cheeks. Lord, help us!
Thank you, Wright family, for being apart of the book and hosting our family for several days. We will forever treasure the memories!!!!