frame.of.mind

8.15.2014

Mill progress report.



 
   For those of you who may be new around here, a few months ago a fire broke out at my husband's workplace and burnt their family-owned feed mill to the ground.  You can read more about that here.

  This would have been a huge loss for Randy's father alone, but it was also the location housing two other businesses, Smucker Bros. Trucking (my husband and brother-in-law) and RS Feed, my husband's feed business.  It is still a little bit hard to believe it actually burned.

  Since then, they have all been hard at work frantically trying to rebuild everything in time for their busy season, which is usually right after harvest season around here.  They are making lots of progress, but they still have a long way to go.

  Of course, the Smucker men being the ever-optimists that they always are, don't seem to be too worried.  I certainly hope things keep going smoothly (aside from a few setbacks) and according to plan, and all of their highest hopes come true.




 The girls and I love popping over to visit Randy at work, partially because the girls miss him so much throughout the day but mostly because he just looks so cute in a hard hat.

   Jocelyn was very concerned when the mill burned and referred to it often saying, "Daddy's work fell?"  She now seems to have a new sense of purpose and pride in what he does, saying "You fixing your work, Daddy?"  And seems to grasp a little bit of what is all going on.





   I have no idea what is going on here with Jocelyn's expression.....fairly typical these days when she's being squirrely for the camera.



   Another reason I love stopping in with my girls is because I want them to understand and appreciate the fact that their daddy works so hard for our family, and to somehow start putting an image to the concept of "providing for a family" in their little minds.

   This morning at breakfast Jocelyn was doing her usual litany of demands...."I want milk in my puppy cup....no the orange cup.  And cereal from the red box."  And on and on it went.  She was disappointed with the spoon she got, and she didn't like this or like that until finally I said in an exasperated tone, "Jocelyn, STOP WHINING.  You need to be grateful! Some children wake up in the morning and say, 'Mama mama I'm so hungry!' and their mama says, 'I'm so sorry but we have no breakfast today.  We have no food'.  And so you need to be grateful that you have any breakfast at all."

   She sobered immediately and then began asking questions.  "Why do they have no breakfast?"

"Because they have no money."
"Well....where's their daddy?"
"Maybe they don't have a daddy, or their daddy doesn't have work."
Pauses......and then proudly....."OUR daddy has work!"

   I was just so impressed that without me prompting, she made the connection between what I said about not having money to her next question which was, "Where's their daddy?"  I am so glad that she is beginning to understand where Daddy is all day and what exactly he is doing....providing for our family so we can have food, clothes and a place to live.

Now we just need to work on the whining.

8.12.2014

Greater is He .

FRIENDS.

   This is going to be quick because today is Grandma Day and we all know time is precious but on G-Day, time is P-R-E-C-I-O-U-S.

   But I simply could NOT let this day go by without sharing what happened this morning.  It was one of those total, absolute, soul-filling God moments, and I feel like if I give testimony to it, then somehow, in some small way, that drives the stake deeper in the ground and gives roots to what took place, making it harder for the Enemy to steal away.

   The day started like any other ordinary, blessed, Grandma day.  I dropped the kids off at my mother-in-law's, and grabbed an iced coffee on my way home.  First up on my agenda was exercise and I use this video, in case anyone is interested.  It is a combination of pilates and ballet, which fulfills all of my deep-seated longings to have taken ballet classes as a child.  Or at least it comes close to that.  


  Plus it has like, zero jumping around and hard-core cardio which I have come to loathe.  I used to try my hand at P90x and Insanity, and then I slowly but surely discovered that it's not called "Insanity" for nothing.  So now I do barre, and I LOVE IT.

   During my workout, I had the music cranked and a song came on the Pandora station that I wasn't entirely familiar with.  After I was finished, I went back over to the computer and looked it up and watched the music video, and that is when the gray clouds cleared and the sun broke through.

   Perhaps you've already heard this song and maybe even I have too, but today is the first day I really HEARD it, you know??

The first time that the words were meant for no one else in the world but me.
The first time I let myself hear with my heart, instead of only with my head.
The first time I dared to believe that this could really, truly be TRUTH.
The first time it felt as if it was actually God speaking, and not just Mercy Me.

Please do yourselves a huge favor and take a listen:


   I sat in stunned silence as the music played over the speakers.  The lyrics spoke life to my heart and healing to my wounds and suddenly, I found myself kneeling on the ground and crying out to Jesus and then standing with arms raised, dancing with tears streaming down my face.

   Somehow, in spite of my Mennonite upbringing, a little charismatic thread is woven through my soul.  Who would've guessed?

   It was the most incredibly healing experience.  I will be dwelling on these words for a long time to come.  I just want to emblazon them high and tall and wide in my home in the boldest of prints, so that each morning when I rise, my heart turns to truth and not lies.

Bring your tired
Bring your shame
Bring your guilt
Bring your pain
Don't you know that's not your name?
You will always be much more to me.


Everyday I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I'm not right

But that's alright.



'Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I'll never be enough.

And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world.


Bring your doubts
Bring your fears
Bring your hurt
Bring your tears
There'll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed.


Every time I fall
There'll be those who will call me
A mistake

Well that's ok.


There'll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that doesn't matter
'Cause the cross already won the war.


I am learning to run freely
Understanding just how He sees me
And it makes me love Him more and More.





   I just wanted to thank Jesus over and over and over and over.  It's as if He's always been speaking these things to me but I finally stopped listening to the lies long enough to hear His soft and gentle voice.  I am loved.  I am enough.  I am holy and righteous and redeemed.  And this might not be that monumental to any of you, but it was ground-breaking for me.

   I felt everything slightly shift.  As if this entire time I have been looking through a cloudy glass, and someone finally took the time to clean it, bringing everything into a bright and clear focus.  And I am grateful.

  For my devotions I just wanted to read everything I could about that verse, so I read all of 1 John, and I would highly recommend that you do that when you get the chance.  Then I made myself a real breakfast for once, because the girls weren't pulling at me in all directions....fresh eggs with basil from our garden, tomatoes from the neighbors and homemade sourdough bread with honey.  The bread had gone a little extra sour reminding me that it is time to make some more, and the eggs reminded me that I need to feed the chickens and the basil reminded me that there are other things to pick and weed and water outside.


   Life goes on.  The mundane, every day duties call at us on every side.  But that doesn't mean that God can't meet us in mighty and powerful ways in small, seemingly insignificant moments.

  And I won't pretend to believe that after this God-moment there won't be any more struggle.  That I will not feel the weight of my insecurities pressing in around me or hear the lies slowly whispered in the darkness......we live in a broken world and those times WILL come.

   But what I CAN believe, is that the One that is in me is greater than he who is living in the world.  That, I can know.  That, I can claim.

And I just had to share that with all of you.
 

8.11.2014

Be a friend.


Oil on my head.

Balm to my wounds.

Water to my thirsty soul.

  That is how it feels to have a dear friend with you for a few days, loving on your children and meeting your church family and seeing the places that make up your home.   Of course all of the other Iowa girls were dearly missed, but you know that there's something we could do about that, don't you?  Bahamas cruise reunion, anyone??





    I have found it comforting and cleansing and therapeutic to pour out my soul to her the entire time.   And I sincerely hope she isn't leaving with a migraine from all of my issues.  Ha.

I mean.....I should be a magazine, 'cuz I got ISSUES.

   We haven't always been the best of friends, but we have known each other for YEARS.  And over those years, while we have been through good times and hard, we have learned something.    Something deep and valuable and the kind of thing that can really only come about by seeing a person at their highest and their lowest.  We have learned to really KNOW each other.

   And not just in a "Hi, how are you? How are the kids" way, but in a "You know some of my greatest weaknesses, flaws, and my absolute Kryptonite, but you still see value and worth and potential in me" way.  It's the kind of friendship that goes deeper than gulping coffee and sharing fashion advice and magazines together, although we love to do those things as well.

  It is the kind of friendship that takes on a little extra shine as the years go by, because if I've learned one thing about relationships in all of my 28 years of life, it is this........

"You can't make old friends."

   And it's sad, but true.  You can't!  You can make new friends every where you go, for the rest of your life, in as vast a quantity as you can muster.  But you just can't make OLD friends.  That is why they are special.  That is why they are valuable.  And that is why they should be protected and nurtured and maintained.

   Unfortunately, I can kill a friendship ALMOST as fast as I can kill house plants, and that's really saying something.  It is one of my biggest regrets, one of my glaring weaknesses, and something about myself that I am trying desperately to change.  I like to think that I am making progress.

   I wrote about teaching my children to maintain friendships and you can read that by clicking here.....because I like to think that as awful as my track record has been in the past, I can learn from my mistakes and instill some better values in my daughters and encourage them to nurture their friendships.

    And so while I will readily admit I am basically the WORST at maintaining friendships, I am glad that this one has survived.  I am glad she has stuck around, and extended grace to me, and shown up, time and time again, to be a listening ear and a word of advice.  And that.......

.......that is what every friendship needs.

Hug a friend of yours today.  


8.06.2014

You can't always do everything.



   Today I am preparing my hearth and home for a very special friend who's coming to visit and I can HARDLY wait.  I am hoping to pack each available moment of our time, and I'm quite sure that as always, the time will pass wayyy too quickly.  Coffee will be consumed, pictures will be snapped, laughter will be heard, and good times will be had by all.  But before all the relaxing and the chatting and the fun, things need to get decent and clean around here.

   Yesterday I made a few meals for a couple of families and it left my house in a national state of emergency.  Also, the central AC which has been chugging along faithfully like the Little Engine that Could all summer thus far, decided to quit on the ONE DAY I would be spending all day cooking.  Perfect.  I always wanted to welcome my friend to a house of horrors and a sauna to sleep in.

My husband (being the heroic figure that he is) texted me asking,

"How could I make your day better?.....Name it."

And I replied (with my usual wit and candor),

"Hire a maid. Ha."

  And you know what?  That's precisely what he did.  And so today I had the help of a dear sweet cousin of his, and we cleaned and mopped and scrubbed and shined and the Heavens opened up and the angels sang when I heard her say those four little words that EVERY woman everywhere loves to hear......."I love cleaning bathrooms!"

????!!!! Who IS this person?  And how did she come to be this way?!

    Regardless of her inexplicable taste in cleaning preferences, I'm choosing not to question it, I'm thanking the good Lord for sending her my way.  And for giving my husband the discretion of knowing when his wife has reached the end of her rope.  Because let's just get one thing straight off the bat here folks, if you ever start to wonder how I "do it all" than let's just play it safe and assume that I'm NOT doing it all.

   I mean, don't get me wrong, I have my superpower days where I feel like tackling the world and I actually get pretty far with that goal.  Don't we all?  We make a monstrosity of a to-do list and one by one, we push ourselves harder and farther until we even surpass our own expectations.

It happens sometimes.

   But then sometimes my whole family suffers a little bit because of it.  Or suffers a lot. Or maybe they don't, and everyone's still fairly ok and the house is sparkling and the car is vacuumed and the to-do list is neatly crossed off, but I'm in the closet eating Nutella with a spoon and sobbing into a pillow.  Figuratively, anyways.  I mean, come on, everyone has their limits.

   So the beauty is found, not in never having weaknesses or limitations or imperfections like we always assume, but in recognizing the ones we have and not continuing to live in denial.

   So today, I'm thankful for friends coming to visit, Heaven-sent text messages, husbands with an eerie sense of timing, and cousins who mysteriously, actually like to clean bathrooms.

What are you thankful for today?

8.04.2014

The power of the tongue.


Dearest readers,

Thank-you.  

   Thank-you for being open and vulnerable, raw and beautiful, and caring enough to leave me comments that made my heart lodge in my throat and brought tears to my eyes.  I was so hesitant to share my last post and now am so, so glad that I did.

   I am the worst at replying to comments.  Literally the worst.  But please know that I read each and every one and they often make me laugh or smile or send me humming about my day because of the genuine warmth of your kindness.

I am humbled and grateful.

  And thank-you too, to the people who came up to me in person and thanked me for what I wrote, and were brave enough to voice some of their own struggles.  I am so relieved that I am not in this alone.  That means more to me than you'll ever know.

You have great power, you know.  

   Power in the written or spoken word to speak life into someone, or bring them crashing down.  To breathe strength back into brittle bones, or snap them in two.  To bind up the wounds of a bleeding heart, or stab the knife deeper.  Power to harm or to heal, to sting or to soothe, to tear down or build up.

   And this idea isn't original with me.......the Bible tells us in Proverbs that death and life are in the power of the tongue.   That's heavy.  It describes harsh and rash words as "sword thrusts" but gentle and wise words as a "tree of life" and "bringing healing".

   That power should not be taken lightly, or over-looked, and sadly, I've overlooked it far too often.  Not taking the time to respond, the time to acknowledge, and the time to give thanks.  Well, today is a day for that.

Thank-you for speaking life to me. 

 (I've shared some of your life-giving words below.)

   "I feel like I live in a world of self doubt with no confidence at all. I thought by the time I turn 30 I would have my act together. Thank God for His grace."

"...I am pretty sure that everyone struggles with this to some extent.  I know I do and being more of an introvert myself I struggle with wanting to be more talkative and outgoing. So i guess it's just learning to be content in who God has made us (easier said than done :)"

   "It hasn't always been acceptable in Christian circles to be depressed and need meds. While I am not openly criticized for it I know others have been. I feel like I am benefiting from their hardship and going before me."

   "I resonate so much with the paragraph where you talk about feeling like "too much." I know that feeling. Too loud, too awkward, too snarky, too opinionated, too emotional. And those are the surface ones. Some cut much deeper. Thanks for expressing that so honestly. "

   "...the messages (lies) women are told are that they are either too much or not enough....Such a shaming message and so easy to pick up on and believe, especially, as you said, in the presence of someone who seems to have the right quantities all around."

"I love how you share what is on your heart, you are never too much."

"So so true about the feeling "too much!" I love how you put that; it's not a nice feeling." 

"Such good thoughts...I totally agree. thanks so much for sharing!"

   "I too have always thought I was too much. I always had it in my mind that the proverbs 31 lady was always meek and mild. And maybe she is/was. But I know that isn't me. But 1 morning, before Christ my Savior the words sunk in that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God made me. He gave me the personality that I have. I wish I could meet you in person. I think we would be friends. :)"

  "Me too. Me too is about all I can say. The curse of the extrovert, yes, how well I know. I think I'm gonna go read this again! Thanks for taking the time and effort to write this out." 

   And finally, one that just completely makes my heart sing for joy..........

  "I do find, however, that when people I admire share their hearts, including their insecurities, I view them differently - but in a good way. They suddenly become more relatable and brokenly beautiful.  This world needs a perfect mixture of dainty and volume, of silent and loud. I am all for ending the stereotype of what a "beautiful woman" is. It is time we as a culture realize that "beautiful femininity" doesn't have a single definition, but is vast and very different."


Speak life to someone today. 
   


8.01.2014

When you don't like who you are.

 

   It feels so strange, almost foreign, to be on such a blogging roll lately....as opposed to the stretch of April-May which felt particularly dry and empty.

  I'm sure it feels weird to you too, "Why is she blogging SO much? Doesn't she have anything better to do?!"  And I don't really know why either.  Trust me, I still have laundry and kids and berry picking and so on and so forth, so I'm not even sure where I'm finding the extra time.  I mean, I know why I didn't blog much before, but I'm not sure why it's all gushing forth like Old Faithful now.  I know that general busy-ness was a big part of the reason for the lack of blogging earlier, but...if I'm honest, an even bigger part was due to something much more.

   I went through a really low, dark time this spring and it's not something I hope to revisit any time soon.  And I am not writing this for pity, truly.  I'm not even sure why I am writing about it.  Maybe because I just finally feel like I can write about it, and so I do, because that's kind of what I do.  I write.  It's the way I process things, the way I make sense out of the hopeless jumble that is also known as my head.
 
   Sometimes when I haven't written for a really long time, it starts to feel like everything inside of me that needs to be written about is trying to escape. And I'm never sure when or how that will take form, and so that's a little scary.  It also feels like it wants to eat me.  And that's not a great feeling so.......I write.

   So take it for what you will, or even better, take it for nothing at all but just what it is.  Things are not always as they appear.  People who seem really happy are not always just that.  Sometimes the most confidant of characters, is the one shrinking daily underneath the Mount Everest of their insecurities until it threatens to swallow them whole.

I once confided in a friend a little bit about my insecurities.

   Not the deepest, darkest, completely-freak-you-out stuff, but just the surfacey stuff.  And even THAT surprised her.  She could not hardly believe that I would ever struggle with insecurity.  And it left me feeling even more hopeless than before.

   I was left wondering....why?  Why do I seem impervious to that particular struggle?  What is it about me that makes people (wrongly) assume that I wouldn't battle insecurity as ferociously as the next person?  Is it because I'm outgoing?  Because I talk a lot?  Because I blog?

*Silently curses for being extroverted*

   I'm not even entirely sure I AM extroverted.  But I supposed by most definitions I am.  But that doesn't mean I always like it.  It boxes you in, and shuts you up tight in a narrow definition of what everyone assumes you to be.....happy, bubbly, confidant, secure.  Always sure of who you are and where you are going, and how exactly to get there.  Living the life you've always dreamed of and perhaps even a little bit more.

   Is that really the way it seems?  Just because my personality is outgoing, it makes it seem as if I am invincible to pain?  Struggle?  Loneliness? Jealousy? Fear? Comparison?

Spoiler alert:  I'M NOT.

    Sometimes I feel as if extroverts suffer more than anyone, because they have that much more to lose.  By constantly placing themselves out there and extending themselves to other people, they greatly benefit in the areas of communication and relationships, but they also experience great pain in miscommunication and broken relationships.

   Confidant people are not infallible.  They fall just as hard, and just as often as anyone else, but they get back up again and try again.

   Sometimes I wish I wasn't who I am.  I wish I was more quiet, meek and mild.  Seen and not heard.  The type of girl who holds her tongue, and never finds herself at the center of a debate or discussion.  She keeps her opinions to herself, her tongue in check, and never finds herself desperately wishing she could eat her words, because they never leave in the first place.

  That person is liked by EVERYONE, because they never offend anyone.  That person is perceived as sweet as honey, delicate as a rose, and gentle as a fawn, because they never shout, trample, or grasp.  They never barge.  They never protest.  They never......anything.

And I find myself wishing......desperately and achingly.....to be more like that.  If only I wasn't me!

   But I'm not.  Oh, I'm far from that.  And I know some women who are just what I described and more, and nothing makes me shrivel up into a pile of self-loathing quicker than being in their presence.  I just feel like a big, lumbering, oaf around them.  Not graceful enough, not dainty or tiny enough, not prim and proper enough, not domestic enough, not mild-mannered enough, not nurturing enough........everything about me just screams "TOO MUCH!"  Too much volume, too much opinion, too much restlessness in my bones.

Just too much of me.

   It was this, (and other things that I won't mention) that had me in a rather dark place.  Hence the lack of blogging.   When I find myself sinking down into that pit, I start to run out of air a little, and my writing dries up quicker than a wet towel on a hot July day, and I just have nothing left to offer.

   And while I can't say that those feelings/that struggle is all behind me, I CAN say that I am seeing some progress in the battle.  I am taking it day by day and step by step and at times when I feel it closing in all around me I just cry "Jesus."  I recite verses if I can think of any and if my brain is much too muddled for that, I sing.  And getting in the Word helps too.  And little by little, I climb back up out of that pit, (or rather, am pulled out) and I can begin to breathe again.

   And before I go, I feel I must mention this......back around the beginning of May, someone (an angel, really) took the time to email me, saying they thought I seemed depressed.  They then proceeded to share from their own experiences, and offer some of the most helpful tips for dealing with it I have ever come across.  I remember feeling so many simultaneous emotions when receiving that email.  Surprise, embarrassment, fear, and then.....relief.  At least I wasn't completely invisible.  Because I suppose I had gotten really good at hiding my truest self from all of those around me.  Well, except for Randy.  I can never really hide from him for long, and he knows more about me than anyone else ever will.  But this was from someone else.....someone who had an objective point of view and could share their learned advice and wisdom and.....it was just priceless.

   I am still not quite sure where I would be, had that person not taken the time to email me.  I hope that I would still be making progress, (thanks to God not giving up on me) but I'm not sure if I would be so honest with myself today, or if I would be at all brave enough to talk about it.  Well, I'm not quite sure if I'm brave yet, but I'm at least writing about it.

   And I write because I think that it thrives when we keep in it the shadows.  I think that's where it lives and breathes and grows, and I think that it shrivels up a bit when you bring it out into the light.  So, that's why I guess.

   Perhaps there is someone in your life that you are supposed to be that email Angel to.   Someone that you see going through a similar struggle that you yourself have faced, or someone dealing with someone you have a little experience with.  SPEAK UP.  You have no idea of the lifesaver you may be tossing out with your words.  It may be coming at a moment when they would not even be able to ask for help, or even know that they should be asking, and that is the beauty of you just offering.

  And one last thing....






7.31.2014

Camping doesn't have to be crazy.


   
   Last weekend, the husband and I decided to go on a very last-minute camping trip with the girls.  Camping and kids aren't a match made in Heaven to begin with, and throwing "last-minute" in there sounds like it would be a recipe for disaster, but surprisingly, things went amazingly well.  

   I mean sure, they both woke up at one point during the night and wanted to sleep with us, but hey, that's no different than life at home right now, so no big loss there!  I have to give all the credit for this one to Randy, camping was all his idea.  I was a little dubious at first, but life is too short to be dubious, and so we went.  And I'm so very, very glad we did.  I apologize in advance for so many pictures....it is just not my strong suit to edit them down!  I just want to post each and every one. 




 
   I see all over Pinterest these lists and lists and lists of things you need while camping with kids.  And while I will admit it's a whole different ball park if you're taking a tiny baby, if your kids are similar to the ages of mine, then the SIMPLER THE BETTER.

Apart from the basic staples like a tent and food, you need pretty much 5 things:

1. Clothes (several changes for getting wet, sandy, etc. and sets for both hot and cold).
2. Blankets (and plenty of them).
3. Potty chair (saves you from the dreaded port-a-potty).
4. Baby wipes and hand sanitizer (obviously).
5. Diapers.


  Skip the entrainment, toys, games and books.  They're usually content with something as simple as going on a walk or throwing rocks into the water.  You're outside, after all, the world's their oyster.  And I didn't even take things like toothbrushes and a hair brush and all that jazz.  It was only going to be for one night and I just made sure I braided their hair real good so it wouldn't need to be done again.  Gross? Grungy? Great? You decide.

   We took sunscreen and bug spray and didn't use either one.  So you don't need those either, I would say.  I bought them little flashlights that they never used too.  So like a broken record here, simpler is better.



  I kept the food as basic as things could possibly even be, eggs in tortillas for breakfast and hotdogs, potato salad, beans, watermelon and s'mores for supper.  We all ate good and had full tummies, and the girls gobbled everything down and didn't complain.  I'm telling you, keep it simple!  You'll thank me later.


   The next morning we went hiking, and I guess I DO wish we would've had some sort of fancy schmancy hiking pack to carry Charlotte in, but we didn't, and we survived.  Jocelyn was a trooper, hiking most of the way, and when she needed a break, I carried Charlotte and Randy carried her.  We kept it short and manageable and only hiked a couple miles.  And being the neglectful mother that I am, somehow the only footwear in Jocelyn's possession right now are sandals, church shoes and rain boots, and so she hiked in flip-flops.  Someone needs to get that poor girl a pair of tennis shoes for goodness sakes.





   Oregon never ceases to amaze me with its breathtaking beauty.  I mean seriously you'd think I would be used to it by now.  I've been to this exact lookout before, seen this coastline, walked beneath the trees, gazed out across the sea.......but nope.  Still gets me every time.

   After our hike we took our tired legs to relax on the beach.  The sun smiled down on us and they just loved playing in the sand.  I may or may not have dozed on a blanket like the awesome, fun mom that I am while Randy kept them entertained.  Thank God for daddies.




    If you would have told me a few years ago that one day I would go on a camping trip with my husband and two small children and later say (and I actually did say this) "I think that was one of the best weekends of my life".  I wouldn't have believed you.  But it's true, it ranks right up there with the other best times of my life.

   It truly was the little things....watching the girls tackle Randy in the tent, roasting marshmallows from a stick carved by a caring neighbor,  seeing them loosen up around animals and even *gasp* pet a few puppies, watching them talk animatedly about things like "hiking" and "the beach" and "camping" and just hoping that somehow, somehow this will be one of those moments that freezes in their little memories.......the kind of memory that you can still see, smell and taste years and years later.  I just loved every minute of it.

And yes, it was work and no, it was not perfect, but it was delightful.

  I guess they aren't the only ones growing up.  For a long time I felt like I always needed to be around a lot of people to be happy.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but for most of my life, staying at home with my family never sounded as appealing to me as a good party.  I wanted to be wherever the action was, and with whomever that meant.

   I would jump from group to group of friends, always restless and skittish of putting down roots.  I wanted the freedom to be able to fluidly morph and meld into whomever I wanted to be at the time, and whatever group of people kept my attention.  So the thought of sitting at home with a husband and children never sounded quite as exciting or thrilling as the thought of traveling, meeting new people, making new friends, and living life as One Big Party.



But I'm happy to say that people can change, and God's not finished with me yet. 

   I am amazed at how much I am growing to love our times together as a family.   No one else, no crowds of people or cool parties, no nights in the city or fancy restaurants.....just the four of us, doing simple things and living in the moment.  

It's really, truly, all that I need. 




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