4 more years…(not political)

With it being Inauguration Day, you might have thought politics were the topic of the blog today. I will refrain from political posts because I don’t think my opinion will change your mind. This isn’t about politics. My oldest son has a birthday coming up. He will be 14. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I only have 4 more years! 4 years from now he will be 18 and will be figuring out his next path in life. Wasn’t it yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital? So tiny in the big car seat?! Wasn’t it yesterday that he was farming and put a toy fence around baby Myles to make sure that he wouldn’t escape? Wasn’t it yesterday when he lost his first tooth, had his first day at preschool or learned to ride bike?

The picture above is his baby hat and one of his tiny socks (crayon for size reference.) Now, he is taller than me. He’s becoming such a neat young man. I get to drive them both to school in the morning. Yes, they could take the bus, but I really treasure our time together. Just a quick start to the day may turn into talks about school or ice fishing or the status of the home sale. I also take him to confirmation on Wednesday nights. They do it a little different here. There is a small service and then the kids break out into 2 groups and the adults talk about the Bible verse and our highs/lows. Anyone who knows me, knows that small talk with strangers makes me uncomfortable. It’s way way outside my comfort zone. Why did I agree to take him? Why didn’t I just drop him off and come back later? Example. I want to show him how important this is, and I want to show him that it’s ok to go outside of your comfort zone. I realize now that my mom did the same thing for me. Maybe 30 yrs from now, he will get to do the same for his kids. I’ve always been content to sit in the back and blend in. I’d quietly volunteer but not get too involved. I felt led to this place, and we happen to have a familiar pastor. Perhaps there are greater things at work here. In fact, I know there is. I just need to be open to it.

Some days, my journey of enough leaves me feeling like the sands of time are slipping through my fingers. Some days, my journey makes me feel like I should have done more as a mom. And then, some days, I get a hug out of the blue and a peek into my teen’s life. And in those moments, I feel enough. Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

Roller coasters, mess & hopes for the future…

Our pastor on Sunday talked about letting God meet us in our “mess.” We often show the best side, and fail to be real with each other. If you ever want to know how real I am, drop by on a random Tuesday and my house will likely make you feel better. (It’s not spotless!) Anyway, here is me – letting you in on my mess. What a roller coaster. The last few weeks have had us up and down and down and up again. When we decided to move to Alexandria, homes in our neighborhood were selling very quickly. We wrongly assumed ours would sell quickly also and we’d be able to move forward. But then it was the election and Thanksgiving and Christmas and not much happened. We thought we had it sold twice, but those fell through. Then last week we put it back on the market, ready to start over. Thankfully, the market has picked up, and 3 showings and 2 offers later, we can finally put a SOLD sign out front. Our ND realtors did a great job in making it all come together. Our MN realtor did a great job in calming the sellers here (of the home we want to buy.) By the end of February, we should be ready to really move forward.

We are thrilled there is a young family who will be loving our home as much as we did. It was neat to hear my boys talk about how much the kids will love the playground and yard… how they will think the park is neat… all the ways that the new kids will love to grow up in the house that was their home. There is so many things I hope for them…

I hope they get to carve pumpkins on the kitchen table in the breakfast nook. I hope they have cookie sprinkles on the floor and Nerf gun darts stuck to their dishwasher. I hope their kids “farm” the new carpet. I hope they open their home to the neighborhood kids & not worry if it’s clean or not. I hope they have S’mores in the fire pit and teach their kids to garden. I hope they ride bike or go for walks “around the loop.” I hope they get tons of trick or treaters. Mostly, I hope they make the house into their home – with memories that their kids will cherish also.

Sometimes our journey of enough takes is on a roller coaster instead of a nice smooth path. God has a plan for each of us. Sometimes it’s hard to see and it’s usually hard to wait, but it will come. Peace be with you on your journey. And remember, the roller coasters make us appreciate the smooth paths!

But it’s difficult…

Jeremiah 29:11. This is my favorite verse. It’s a common one, but in the past few days, I’ve seen it in some way or another at least 10 times. I know I should let God handle my problems… but it’s difficult. I’m a bit of a control freak and there is so much that is out of my control. I know fear and faith cannot exist at the same time, so I should have faith… but it’s difficult. It’s hard not to worry about things that seem big.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not the end of the world. I’m cancer free, my kids & husband are healthy and we are settling into our new town. The bumps in the road that we are experiencing are ones we will overcome… but it’s difficult. The stress feels like an elephant sitting on my chest. I’m sick to my stomach but still “stress eating.” It’s crazy cold outside so I don’t feel like going for a walk to burn off some steam. It’s difficult to know what to do. It’s nothing I can fix or control or make better.

I don’t have an answer. I gave away my magic wand before we moved. Let’s go back to the verse. The first part is what is commonly quoted, but let’s go further…

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Verse 12 & 13… “pray to me and I will listen to you. Seek me with all of your heart.” All of your heart… but it’s difficult – we think we know better. We think that we in control and it’s hard to let go. I have a lot yet to learn. We all do. God knows that, so he sends reminders- if we listen.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you pay attention to those reminders or messages along the way.