Sunday, October 30, 2011

I never get used to it.....


The morning sun spilling through the double paned window. I slowly remember we're in a little cabin in North Carolina perched on a hillside. The bears are often seen in the morning roaming around so I slowly peek outside. The curtains move and all I see is the beauty of the different colored paints dripping from the tall trees. I snuggle back down and smell the unfamiliar smell of a wood stove that is our heat for the time we're here. The house is situated on a hillside and so close to the river that I can hear her from my bed. I hear her moving as she slowly sings her songs. Calling me out. Calling us outdoors.

 The day before we had traveled through the Blue Ridge mountains and parked about half way through and climbed up to the top of a huge peak that over looked the Blue Ridge perfectly. We climbed (what seemed like) two miles to the top and it was breath taking as the wind flapped and the huge sun threaded her way through the trees, inviting us to meet her up there and meet her we did.

I had to tip my head so I could hear them through the wind. Their voices tiny as we're higher and closer to the sky. I fixed them in my gaze and then had to whisper, "Thank you God" for such beauty. I'm truly amazed at His gifts of land and sky. The deepest blues and the patch of earth that holds it up. My family on top and all around us His glory. It was perfect. We prayed on the top and I know God is always near, but being high up and over-looking His paintings made me feel closer to Him.

On the way down Cullen, who has a thing about hearts for me, got the whole family involved. By the time we reached the bottom I had 8 heart rocks to remember our trip by. Each one different, like each of my children.

Some of them were big and some were small but each one carried down that mountain a heart for me. I lined them up and took a quick picture and then loaded every single one in the van and plan on putting them in my garden. There are so many heart rocks. I wonder if God did that on purpose. To remind us if we look down or if we're down He reminds us that He loves us through His creation. He thinks of everything.

I rolled out of the comfort of the covers and made my way outside. The smoke from the wood heater bellowing out the top. I never get used to it, their voices in the hollow of the trees. The leaves falling all around us, they slip their feet into the chilled water and I watch as they splash and play...wondering how far they'll go if I let them.  Letting them explore and taste and feel God's power here. Taylor made her way out with coffee and we talked as we watched them. Such special moments.

Channie loved being in this place. She took her toys down and played while I gazed up at the trees that seemed to go up to the clouds. They seemed to be dancing as the wind would blow through and they would rock back and forth.

  She had to be called up to get ready to go and she begged to stay just a few more minutes. Her brown eyes pleading with me. Her eyes fully open to all the beauty that was surrounding her. The light was leaking out of the day and she knew that the darkness was gathering so she packed her things and made her way up the stairs to the front porch.

They wrapped in blankets and sat and laughed and listened to the quietness of winter approaching. The temperature was dropping like the leaves, and we made our way inside and shut the door to the cold. Tucker had chopped wood and kept our cozy fire going.  We stayed up way too late and enjoyed each others company. Sneak away if you can. Collect heart rocks and play in the leaves.
 Enjoy them and let them enjoy you.

A road trip that had us talking about God all weekend long....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doing What I Know

I opened my eyes early this morning and listened to him breathing next to me and knew it was too early to get up. I lay there, eyes closed in the darkness, and prayed. I remember one time a woman telling me if you wake up before everyone else it's because God may have gently woke you up so He could meet with you. So I have this habit of saying "ok, God. I'm awake, I'm listening." I'm reminded of the night before. Fevers, coughs, and runny noses and I put my head under my pillow and realize it's the day I walk out my joy, His joy, even when the day is not perfect. His warm arms move to find me in the dark. It's been one of those weeks where misunderstandings, and schedule conflicts have kept us going in different directions. Not this morning as I lay there talking to God.... He helps me realize that so much of conflict is selfishness. Thinking we know a better way or feeling justified in our feelings when we're mad or hurt. It's always going to be a part of life, but you see my clock keeps reminding me to stay close to him. My dad died 2 years ago and this is the one thing he left me. A clock that he had made. It doesn't work and the glass is broken but It does it's job. Reminding me to slow down.

This morning as I leave my room I know the day ahead will be full of grumpy babies and sick children but I know what to do. I read somewhere that an amateur gets confused and overwhelmed. I'm no amateur. I go straight to my camera and start picking the beauty of the day out of the sickness.

 Like how I know when Cullen is sick by the slightest weakness in his eyes. I've held him, I know him and I've studied him. So I just know. That makes me an expert on Cullen. So I'm not confused.

Like the way I know how to pull out black beauty and start my chicken to boiling adding a pitch of salt and olive oil to the water. Knowing she will come in handy just about around lunch time when they will be hungry, but not sure for what. I always make chicken and dumplings and have them simmering on the stove. They can smell them cooking from wherever they're at in the house. I will feed them because I know what they like even before they ask. I'm no amateur.

My living room holds most of them and I stand at the stairs and pray over them and they don't even know.
The coldness of the day will not move into my home. I will keep blankets out and books around and a big pot of chicken and dumplings going on the stove. I will not stop having joy. I will tend to each of them differently. Cooper loves to have you lay with him..Channie does too. Jo loves to be somewhere quiet and sleep it off. Cullen will tell you thank you over and over again for waiting on him. Tuck and Taylor just want to sleep. The girls just want you to hold them, they just want to be around someone.    
So it was no surprise when I felt her little soft body crawl in my bed with her dad and I this morning. Josie always wants to snuggle and this morning it was extra special as we whispered to her how much we loved her. My mission field busy this particular day but I had to let you know to count It all joy in whatever it is that this day brings to your doorstep.

blessings from the Farm

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The minute hand..

Girls in the autumn colors of our farm. Their growing startles me and my growing startles me. What did I think? We would stand in time and they stay little and I stay young? It didn't happen. The wind blows through the tall trees and time blows through them and me. Time, it's always about the time. Why do I see these clocks going off in my head? Rushing to make sure I say and do the things that need to be done. Is it because of the little ones that I never got to parent? Was it the trip to Africa and the sad faces of little boys and girls who begged me to bring them home? Was it baby William laying in my arms saying goodbye to me before I even got to whisper in his ear that I loved him? Was it the girls? When they were placed in my arms and the gratitude I felt when they were given to me for the first time?  

My clocks going off... reminding me to breathe before I get angry. A clock reminding me to enjoy before they leave. A clock that reminds me to stand, cuddle, and laugh. My days revolve around them like the clocks little minute hand. I never stop. I'm always talking, changing diapers, fixing boo-boos, watching movies and washing their clothes that seem to pile up more day after day. I talked to God yesterday and I was thanking Him for the noise of my home. I told Him that I didn't look forward to the emptiness of my walls, the rest my floors would have when they left.  The quietness that is slowly moving it's way closer. He didn't answer me but I know He knows my heart. He probably laughed at me and told me to be content and not worry about tomorrow and it's quietness. I keep talking anyway because I know He listens. I ramble on and on about His children and ask Him to forgive me if I haven't parented the way He wants me to today. He listens, He always listens and I'm thankful that I can pour myself out to Him and He gets me, because He made me.

The fall winds blowing in the rain. I can't believe it's time for the seasons to change once again. It's happening faster and faster. The minute hand ticking and always moving. I stand in the wet grass and see my girls enjoying each other. I know it's just a matter of time before she is married and gone. Leaving this farm for her on true love, packing her suitcase for her journey to her own home. Leaving this farm and only coming home to visit.

 Coming home to remember her own childhood here. The Lord preparing me for the quietness of her being gone. I cry out to Him but He ever so gently reminds me that I will let go of all of them one day. I will swing open the door of my home and let them go.

 If I'm being honest I will miss so much about them now. Her being my best friend. Walking beside me, loving me, her secret letters, yoga mats, and trips to the mail-box... the way she loves her music when she cooks. The ways she gets hyper when she drinks Dr. Pepper. Her willingness to listen and her want to be heard.

I will miss the way sisters live together, sleep together, laugh together. I hear the clocks ticking and it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing. It's a constant reminder to keep focus. To enjoy every single moment and to lighten up and not take things so seriously. To not be easily offended, and to keep my head in the game.

The rain starts to come down and Channie-Mae is tired of picture taking so we head in to the house and I start my day again.
It's the same thing I do everyday and I listen to the ticking of the clock and I enjoy the here and now and decide not to worry about the quietness that the future will bring.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dangling Feet...

The weekend was full of friends and laughter as we filled our home. We cooked and sat around our big table while people danced and sang. We prayed and gave thanks for the many blessings that God has given to us.
Why do so many close their doors and stow away and never open up their home? I have amazing friends who have helped me learn the art of hospitality and I'm so grateful for their teaching because my home is open and full most of the time now and along with that comes a full and open heart. Loving on some amazing people and being loved on more by those same people. My children learning the art of hospitality and serving those that come through our home.

The girls all got cowgirl outfits and for two days I had to keep putting on these hot pink costumes. You know I don't mind though. I can't help but to look in the future and know that I will cherish this picture. They are talking now and I went to tuck them in the other night and Ellie goes "mama lay down." I laid next to her small little body and sang her a song, when I got up she cried and I had to leave. I stood for a minute outside her door and then I went right back in and laid beside her until she drifted off. She has never asked before and I'm not promised tomorrow so I cuddled and snuggled and prayed for her. I tiptoed out and slowly shut the door. I will never forget her smell and the way her little voice sang "Jesus loves Me" in the darkness of her little purple room.


Their little feet dangle as we're practicing a song we're learning and I had a moment when I reached for my camera and I thought "they wont dangle for long". Her long legs already closer to the ground then the week before. She is growing like a weed along with the rest of them and I'm here, I would be no where else. I wouldn't trade all the noise and piles of clothes, crying, hugs, kisses and band-aid moments for anything else in the world. I am a mom who loves her job. I know I'm working myself out of a job and I love that also.
I encourage you to slow down and see their feet dangle. Take a picture if you have to. In this moment of time God allows you to be their mama and if you fail to see the beauty of the every day then you fail. God gives us children as gifts to be unwrapped slowly and cherished.

I can't do an update without toothless grins and boys in hats. The reminder of fall and football.
I took a walk out across the pasture tonight and lay on the earth and looked up and saw the vastness of the sky and was amazed by my God. I look into the eyes of my children and am amazed at how He loves me.

Again I say
Thank you God!   


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