07 November 2012

Change and its benefits

If you're just joining us, my family and I moved from the Boston area to a small town in Texas last summer.  We have lived in our new town for a little over three months.  Much of what I've written on the blog since our move has to do with all that the move entailed: leaving a home and church that we loved in order to answer the call of God.  I promise that I won't only write about that forever.  But that is my reality now, so it figures prominently in what I post.

What follows comes from something I wrote in my journal on October 11, almost a month ago.

What I've found, and what may seem obvious to some, but was nevertheless an epiphany to me, is that we take ourselves and our sin wherever we go.  Moving strips away all the things we used to hide behind.  What we are left with, in any monumental change, is our grief and our shortcomings.  We cannot get away from ourselves and the things that hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be.
When I find myself wishing that we were back in Arlington, in our old life, I realize that the problems I am experiencing now would not disappear.  Rather, I would have the old, familiar ways of making those same problems seem not-so-bad.  I would be able to find comfort in things such as place (my old bedroom, my old walk to the store) or friendships (people who know me and who speak the same spiritual language).  But in a new place, the old fightings and strivings seem amplified, for there is nowhere to hide.  There is no familiar routine for dodging such things.  The problems, they stare us in the face and dare us to do something.
So, we can either stew in our misery and wish for it to go away (it won't).  Or we can face it.  We can realize our weakness.  We call out to God and say, "Help.  We are failing.  We are falling.  Hold us up, as you have always done, only we've been under the illusion that we were somehow responsible for that. Now we know that we weren't."

In removing everything familiar, the illusion of control is mercifully smashed.  We never WERE in control; we only thought we were.

So now, I desperately awake 30 minutes earlier simply to intercede for my children.  To talk with my Father and tell Him how weak we are, how sad, how mad at each other, how grieved, and we are desperate for His joy and His help and His presence. 

Tiny comments become huge victories, like the night at dinner when Walter said, "I really liked the weather today."
Thank you, Jesus.

Psalm 94:19 When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.

Isaiah 40:11  He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in his arms; He will carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with young.

NOTA BENE: For those of you who have prayed and are praying, THANK YOU.  Nearly a month later, things are so much better than they felt when I wrote these thoughts.  We have more peace amongst us, and God is meeting us. Truly.  If you have been especially praying for Walter, THANK YOU.  He is better.  He is happier.  His heart is softening and we are thankful.  It's not perfect, but it's BETTER. God is here, and you are here by your prayers.  We love you.

Linking with Emily today and the Imperfect Prose community.

06 November 2012

A not-election post for your entertainment

I know most of you are probably watching election returns and either biting your nails or celebrating or maybe, like me, about to go to bed and see how it shakes out in the morning.  
I thought I would provide you some light-hearted distraction in the form of our pictures from the Hollow Weenie.
Theo and Lucy's school had a pumpkin display. Look at this amazing creativity!  I love the Dia de los Muertos pumpkin, done by my neighbor.

I like the Cookie Monster pumpkin!

This was the principal and assistant principal!  They were pretty convincing in those costumes!  
Here we are about to go trick-or-treating.  Vampire, Texas cheerleader, white Vince Young, and white Sean Alexander.  Sweet. 

But I have to tell you that my very favorite Halloween costume of the year was from my friend in Boston.  This woman is CRAZY creative and, in the few years that I have known her, always goes BIG for Halloween.  From this picture, can you guess what her daughter was for Halloween?
That's right.  Little L. was Mr. Rogers!  Her whole outfit is perfect, from the little sneakers to the parted hair to the cardigan.  
Can you stand the cuteness?!?  Look at the trolley!  The characters from the Land of Make-Believe! L's mom MADE all this, people.  She blew me away last year, when her whole family and a friend were Angry Birds.  And now this.  Simply amazing.  Way to go, L's mom!

And that, my friends, is my public service for tonight!  Buenas noches!

NOTE: I did receive permission from L's mom to share these amazing photos.

04 November 2012

A day with my honey

A week ago, John and I took a morning to go explore a little town near here.  We had read an article in the paper about a great new restaurant that was out of the way somewhere, so we set off to find it!
Find it we did.  For you locals, I recommend it.  Cute little place, really good Mexican food.  They have an amazing dinner special going on right now:  three courses for 2 for $20!  Next time, we'll have to try it for dinner.
Oh, and the cute-but-over-priced antique store next door had an adorable pot-bellied pig and chickens running around.  Loved it.
Bandera County Courthouse

03 November 2012

New light

Long-time readers will know that I loved to take pictures of the light in our old house in Arlington.  All the rooms in our house were really high up!  Not only was our house on a huge hill, but we occupied the second and third floors of the house.  From the third floor, we looked out over all the trees!  I loved the light, the sun streaming in, and the ability to see the horizon from almost any window.  Here in Texas, our house in on the ground, just one level. I have found it so weird to look out the window and be face to face with...the grass. I miss the feeling of being up in the air, in the midst of the trees.  Some of you may remember Lucy's prayer request that her new room would have a window where she could "see far, far away."  That is not the reality for her right now and I think she misses it.

Happily, I have been able to begin to appreciate light in a new way in our new home.  The children love being able to just run right out the door to the back yard (no stairs!).  I LOVE having the laundry just right around the corner from the kitchen (no more dungeon!).  And, I think it is God's mercy and grace and gift to me that our new house has an east/west orientation just like our old house did, so that I can have both morning and afternoon sunlight streaming in!

Here's what new light is like in our house.  Can you tell which is morning and which is afternoon?