Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pushin' the Plow

Here's a photo I discovered on my camera when I did the last download. It was a total surprise to me. I guess my kids took over my camera on Easter Sunday while I was getting dinner on the table. I am glad they did!
At first, I looked at this photo and just laughed--my kids were having fun and just being silly.
Then, I stopped laughing.....and I thought...
Pushing the plow.
How far would that get you if you were breaking ground for planting?
Not very far.
But how often do I try anyway?
How often do I make MY plan, and just expect everyone and everything else to fall into place? If I put my head down and push, maybe I can bulldoze right on through.

How much harder it is to wait.

Right now, I am in a season of waiting. Our house is on the market and we prepare to move. Closer to home. An exciting time.
According to my plan, we would have had our house under contract about 2 or 3 weeks ago, would have a closing date, would have an appointment for movers to come. Now, we'd be choosing a new home.
Guess what? Nothing is going according to my plan.
Our house is for sale. Each morning I arise, make my bed, clean floors, sinks, toilets. Make sure every dish is put away. At least twice a week, I dust. I do the laundry almost daily because I wouldn't want stinky laundry in the hamper when someone looks at my house. I sweep porches, water flowers and pick off every dead blossom. I strive for perfection.

Then, I wait.

The housekeeping, I do an okay job with.

The waiting, not so much.

You see, I want to push that plow. To DO something.
Alas, there is nothing I can do.
Except wait. And have faith.
"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5
Each day, I remind myself.....God's got this. He has a plan for our family. His timing is perfect, his plan is perfect.
Time to take a deep breath, remind myself of God's promises....
and stop pushing the plow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back to Easter for a Moment


Here's my family on Easter Sunday morning. I totally forgot about these photos until I downloaded everything from my camera to get a Mother's Day photo!!
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

Ah, it's that time of year again. Spring. Flowers in bloom. Here in Georgia, already hot and humid. May. The end of the school year. Mother's Day.

I was about 13 when my Mom's mother passed away. Every mother's day after that, my own mother just seemed....sad. Most Mother's Day Sundays at church, she would look like she was fighting back tears. She smiled at our cards, small gifts, and attempts at breakfast in bed....but there was always this sadness behind her smile.

I had no understanding of this.
We were celebrating HER day.
Pampering her.
Showering her with gifts.
My teenage mind thought she should have been really happy on that day.

Twelve years ago, I gained a perfect understanding.
Mother's Day 1998 was my first mother's day without my own mother.
We had buried her less than a month earlier, with no chances beforehand to say goodbye. It had all happened so suddenly.

On that mother's day, all I could seem to do was to look at my own children (ages 3 and 7) and grieve over what they would miss by not having my mom in their lives as they grew up. And what I would miss by not having her wisdom and experience to guide me as I parented them.

Twelve years ago....and still, mother's day is difficult for me. Don't get me wrong. My family always makes my mother's day special. My husband always does something really nice for me (and he takes the kids to buy cards and flowers). I reflect on how much my kids have grown and how proud I am of the adults they are becoming. They all make me smile. But often, I admit, there is sadness behind my smile.

I miss my mom.
Every day.
More than I ever thought it possible to miss another person.
How I wish I could buy and mail a card, send flowers, take her breakfast in bed or take her out for a special day together.

How glorious and comforting the thought of seeing her again.
What a Mother's Day THAT will be!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My new Hero

This is Molly...a new Hero of mine.

She is a barn owl who lives in California. I've recently been pretty entertained by her webcam. She and her mate, McGhee, are raising 4 babies and there is a camera in the nest box. Gross, sometimes, but fascinating. The "babies" are getting really big, and there is not much room in the nest nowadays, so I guess they will all fly away one day soon. But it's been fun to watch her sit on the eggs, watch the hatching, and those little bobble-head chicks.

I want owls. One day, if my wish to live way out in the middle of nowhere comes true, I want owl nest boxes. I've looked at websites that have building diagrams. I am convinced that if I build one (or two or three), they will come.
Why is the owl my pet of choice?
Why do I want these great beasts to live near me?
Why are they my new heroes?

In a word....rodents!

Anybody who knows me well will know that I am afraid of mice. Well, "afraid" is a mild word....more like terrified to the point of intense anxiety. I'm not quite sure why, but I have some pretty irrational fears when it comes to furry little rodents.
Back to the owls...now that these four young owls are growing so fast, the parents hunt and bring them around 8 to 10 rodents a DAY!!! Mostly mice and rats. (Okay, just for the record, they also hunt cute little baby rabbits too, but we all know those things can multiply fast enough to keep up the supply!)
So, I know when we move to the country that mice will be an issue, and I was pretty much thinking that cats would be the answer to mouse control....but now that I'm watching the owl webcam, it's got me thinking that cats have to look like slackers next to these owls when it comes to the number of mice they can do away with!

Owls....my new heroes! I think they may get a house out on the farm before I do just so they can clean up the neighborhood before I move in. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009



We've had many homes as the Army has moved us here and there. I've learned to be at home in a small apartment in a German village or a house just at the edge of the Ozarks where I watched horses graze out my back windows. I'm thankful for those experiences and all the others I didn't mention.
But I think that for every person, there is a one place on this earth that just feels like Home. Mine is definitely Tennessee. I was carried home from the hospital to a farmhouse in Rock Island, TN. Though my family built a different house on the same property when I was about 10, I lived there until I left for college at 17.
Throughout the years, as my own children have grown, we've always returned to the farm for vacations and visits with family and dear friends. A lot has changed over the years. My mom, who was the heart of our family, has been gone for over 11 years now. My dad has remarried. Old buildings have been torn down, new ones built. Familiar old trees that shaded me and my imaginary friends as we played together have died and been cut down. But the land itself does not change. I walk through the fields and the slope of the land is familiar and comforting under my feet. The smell of the air after a summer rain is exactly as I remember it from 40 years ago. And the falls at Rock Island (pictured above) are just as beautiful. I'll bet the water is just as cold as ever, too, though I didn't check that for myself on this trip!
I never understand how people can look at the earth that we live on, see the majestic beauty in both the grand vistas and in the tiny lichen that grow deep in the forest, and fail to believe that it was all created by God. I find it much more ridiculous to believe that any of those beautiful things happened by accident!
I'm glad I grew up in a beautiful little part of our big world. And someday, perhaps someday soon, I want to move back to those familiar rolling hills.
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

On to Orientation!


Well, we had a little time to unwind after the graduation celebrations, then it was on to Tennessee. One of the best things we did there was "Customs", the orientation program for new students at Middle Tennessee State University. It was an intense two-day event which included tours, overviews of the different areas of study, meetings with advisors for the students and information sessions for the parents. The weather in Tennessee was about as hot as it gets while we were there, but luckily they alternated walking tours of campus with air-conditoned seminars. I went with our daughter the first day, hubby the second day.
Soon after we arrived on campus and registered, my girl was off to take some placement tests. I stood on the front steps of the James Union Building and watched her walking away--around the curve and in front of Kirksey Old Main (see photo above). Kirksey was the business building when I went to school at MTSU and where most of my classes were. I think now it is all office space and one side seems to be closed entirely--our tour guide says the building is sinking into the ground at an alarming rate, so they're probably trying to decide what to do with it. It is a beautiful, historic building on campus, and personally I hope they find a way to save it. There was some feeling I had watching my daughter walk that same sidewalk I had trod hundreds of times, the remembrance of the excitement and energy of youth. As a parent I feel the weight of years of experience now...as I watch her walk away I worry--"will she be happy here?", "is it too far from home?", "have I taught her everything she'll need to know?" For every question, though, there's an answer--yes, I think she'll be very happy. Yes, it's far from mom and dad, but she'll have grandparents, friends, and cousins who live very near. And NO, I've probably not taught her everything she needs to know. Some of it she'll learn on her own and become more mature and independent because of it. And for other things, well, I'm glad we have cell phones and the internet!!
Her future's so bright, I think I need to wear the shades to look at her! For me, as a mom, it will be one more bigger opportunity to trust. Because there is One who loves her more than even I do, and He holds her days in the palm of His hand. May both of us, mother and daughter, learn and grow in the days ahead!
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Graduation Celebration

WARNING: Proud Parent Alert!
On May 23, we celebrated our daughter's high school graduation. Where has the time gone?? It's hard to believe that she's 18 and ready to go on to college and start the next phase of her life. She finished well, graduating with honors. We were blessed to have loads of family and friends come to celebrate with us--she had 15 people who love her cheering from the cheap seats at her graduation ceremony.
The whole weekend was a busy blur, but SO much fun. I had 16 people in the house to cook for on Friday night. I made a huge lasagna, fettucine alfredo, and penne pasta with meat sauce, salad, and rosemary bread with olive oil for dipping. Then it was on to preparing for Saturday's post-graduation party and our Mexican buffet. Thankfully I had lots of food choppers, cooks, and even dishwashers on hand to help. As my grandmother used to say "many hands make light work". This was certainly true!
And in all the hoopla surrounding my daughter's graduation, I can't overlook my son either. He finished middle school with high honors for 8th grade. That means all A's, all year. He accomplished a lot in the classroom and was also a starter on the school's basketball team and a valuable asset to the track team as well. He was also recognized on honors night with a poetry award! One well-rounded guy.
I am super-blessed with two wonderful children, and I thank God that He chose me to be their mother. They've probably taught me as much as I've taught them.
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