Sunday, May 30, 2010


Two years ago today, May 30, 2008, I stepped off a plane, moved into a new home, and became a Washington state citizen. Big transition! We were kid-free the first week, thanks to Grammy and Paw Paw, so we busily unpacked and settled in as much as we could prior to their arrival. One priority that week was to spend time in prayer dedicating our home to the Lord. We have the understanding that the stuff of this world is not really ours. Everything we have has come through God's hands and is temporarily in our possession to be used for His glory. Our home is no different. In these two years we have hosted many people for a variety of reasons - Bible studies, play dates, dinners, mission teams, neighbors, out-of-town family & friends, parties, community events... And the last several months have been particularly busy. In fact, our girls think something is wrong if there are not extra people here for dinner and no one is sleeping on a spare bed!

Little did we know that after our big move that we would end up being a transitional point for so many others. In fact, we didn't have a "guest room" for several months. It was "Auntie Tara's room" - and will probably always be to some extent. :) She moved here from the Houston area last September and just moved out last weekend. The good thing is she's just 15 minutes away and the girls are already planning sleepovers with her!

Then, just a few days later, our young collegiate friend Alanna, who is a former student of ours from Nashville, moved in to spend the summer with us. Dale and I are really excited to have her here... Hannah & Kaitlyn are SUPER DUPER excited to have her here - she's definitely been feeling the love from them this week! In the meantime, our friend Jonathan, who moved here from Nashville earlier in the year, has been staying with us for a few days while he's in between jobs.

Transitions. They're everywhere. And sometimes they're not a lot of fun. So, I'm just glad God took our prayers at the onset of the biggest transition our family had ever undergone and has allowed our home to be a resting place for so many, whether it was for a simple meal or for an extended stay.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My "Day Off"

Mother's Day 2010: As the day was beginning I was greeted with smiles, hugs and hand-made items, all of which I gladly received. I don't require much. Although, Dale's special effort to get me some dark chocolate sea salt caramels didn't hurt, I'll admit! :) Hannah also sweetly informed me that since it was Mother's Day I didn't have to do anything. She was giving me the day off! Is that allowed or even possible? Not sure about that one.

But, I will say, my "day off" was one of the best days I've had in awhile. It started with a great time at church. The time of fellowship, worship and being in the Word was sweet. Afterward, we grabbed some Jersey Mike's subs and headed to Richmond Beach, a local spot to which we had not yet ventured. And God blessed us with one of the most beautiful days we've had so far this year - blue skies, bright sun, mid-60's.

As we drove with windows down, I was so excited as I imagined sinking my toes into the soft, warm sand, and not thinking about anything but playing and relaxing with my family. Compared to the Gulf Coast beaches I grew up around, these beaches have little sand. Although beautiful, the shoreline is rocky. But I was not disappointed. We found a good, soft sandy spot and camped there for several hours. We ate & played to our hearts content. I did get a few moments to sit back & let the sound of the waves lull me to a slight doze, which was so nice. And although the notion of a day "off" sounds inviting, maybe a day on a cruise ship like this...

... I was delighted to respond to Kaitlyn's "Mommy, mommy, come put your feet in the water with me!" One of her favorite spots was at the edge of the icy water with her feet in, throwing rocks or dancing and singing at the top of her lungs. She also willingly accommodated my desire to throw the Frisbee for awhile.

Hannah enjoyed playing in the sand, but spent most of her time at a driftwood "fort" with some "mean" boys whom she convinced to befriend her. I think they initially felt like she was infringing on their turf. But once they realized it would be tough to get rid of her, they let her join in, and before long were taking orders and playing right along with her ideas. She was having a great time! :)

Here are some pictures:

We stayed so long, we were hungry for dinner by the time we packed up. So we closed out our day at a random pizza place not far from the park. My artichoke, sun-dried tomato, garlic & cheese pizza hit the spot! I was one satisfied Mommy!

The Irony of Motherhood

I am discovering that there is much irony within Motherhood. I have seen and talked with moms who have grieved greatly during the empty-nest transition, and understandably so. I can only imagine the kind of heart pain a woman experiences after years of pouring daily into her children, only to send them off on their own, sometimes far from home. Even though this is the natural order of things, it's a transition that is difficult for most moms, as evidenced in the amount of books I've noticed on the subject. A quiet house is a painful reflection of the emptiness felt inside... a schedule that does not revolve around the kids' activities begs the question, "What's my purpose now?"... so I'm told.

Yet, many moms with young children look forward to moments of quiet, alone time, and a kid-free schedule. I know because I am one of them. And I believe this, too, is natural, as raising young children is so time & energy intensive, especially if you are a stay-at-home mom. As frustrated and weary as I may feel at times when it comes to parenting, I don't want to rush this season with my kids. It's passing quickly enough on it's own.

So, more and more I am trying to think ahead a few years and imagine life without my kids under my feet. Then, I do with them today what I will want to remember having done then.