So, it’s been a sweet week. Last Friday morning started with dropping Tanner and his friend off at his ‘Young Life’ ‘Brojangles’ breakfast at 7 a.m. It’s not always easy rushing out the door that early, but there are definite perks. Like this view…
At school, for our last Friday before the 3 week break (YAHOO!!!), I had coffee and emergency chocolate on hand. It came in handy. Full day.
Oh, and Hope must’ve known that it’d be super full because she dropped by around 1:30 bearing gifts. It was a cup of coffee and on the cup it said, “Happy First Day of Break!” Love when people celebrate big and little milestones. Makes them sweeter for sure.
We’ve had a lot going on at work, and there was a mandatory meeting Friday afternoon. I think we all knew what was coming, but it didn’t make it easier to hear. Our beloved, sassy, visionary, full-of-heart-and-compassion, fearless leader of a principal is retiring. Am excited about things ahead for her. But oh, the void that she will leave behind will be huge. Guess that’s part of making a difference. When we’re not there, well, there’s a void. But she’s left behind so many changes and beautiful things for sure.
So, on Saturday, I went on a walk, at the river of course. It’s just my place. Gotta have somewhere where we can think and breathe, (oh, and get my ‘steps in for that fitbit contraption on my wrist that doesn’t ever seem to count all my steps, ha.) Anyway, there were voids on my walk at the river too. First, the paths are being cleared, and there were all sorts of twigs and cut trees all laid by the wayside. It looked pretty bare. Process looks like that sometimes. Once you clear out the old, takes some time for the new to fill in the gaps.
And, well, the last time I was at the river was with my two middle ‘children’…Hope and Austin. It was the night before Austin left for NYC, and was sweet. But the whole walk, I kept seeing things from the week before…kind of like snapshots in my mind’s eye with them in the photos…only they weren’t.
They were making me laugh. It’s always an adventure with them for sure. And the picnic table looked so very bare without them.
And the last time we were there, we were sure to swing on the swing. I even got some shots of our feet high in the air. Was really fun. See why I love the Broad River GreenWay so much? I mean, there’s even a swing. We chose to swing H…I…G…H!
And, well, I had to be sure to swing when I went back to the river sans companions. I mean I always do when the swing is not occupied.
But it’s just not quite the same with just me. So thankful for photos and more than photos, for memories of time so very well spent.
So, time keeps ticking on and bring changes. Changes can feel like a void, but they don’t have to. And with all the changes, that river just keeps flowing. The sun keeps rising and setting and there are so many things that stay the same even in the midst of things that don’t. Gotta just be thankful for the things and people that are right here right now. And be thankful for the voids they are filling wherever their journey has taken them to. Because there’s always a beginning after an ending.
So I have had some extra time to read this week. Even skipped ahead in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest. Some days I just need some extra doses of wisdom and encouragement. Thankful it’s there for the taking. Just gotta make the time to get it. I love the truth of scripture that says that “the grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8. Some things change. And some don’t. Thankful that there are truths to live by and that God is the same today, yesterday and forever. Yes, am especially thankful for that when there are so many changes all around.
I’ve also had some extra time for photos and planting flowers and trying to make space by getting rid of the old around the house. Got three boxes in the car to take to Good Will tomorrow. Small victories! Yep, sometimes creating voids is a good good thing!
I loved seeing this little bouquet pop up in the middle of a huge field. It stood out beautifully…this little clump of light yellow flowers amidst a field of green.
Irises are blooming all around. Daffodils too. Spring has blown in like a lion with cold winds and even snow just north of us but the flowers don’t seem to care a bit. They’re popping up out of the bare ground all over the place right on time. Cool how voids are often filled with beauty at unexpected times and places.
And sometimes things are filled that should be emptied. Like this mug for instance. It’s become almost a nightly ritual for me. After cleaning the kitchen, I find….tops of strawberries. Yep, almost nightly. Because my husband is doing smoothies now. (It’s kind of comical to me, but I’m not sure why. )
But what has not felt comical is always having to clean up the remnants of what’s been left behind. I mean, it takes 2 seconds to wipe the counter, and 2 seconds to throw away the vitamin packet, and 2 seconds to empty the mug of strawberry tops. But …. nope. They are left behind as signs that he’s once again had his strawberry-whatever-else smoothie. And I know some of you wives won’t agree with me, but, well, I’ve learned to choose battles, and have determined that battling over the 6 seconds it will take me to get rid of what’s been left behind, well, it’s not worth a battle.
I can remember Elisabeth Elliot talking about the whole deal of “picking up the husband’s sock” rather than bemoaning the fact that you’re having to pick it up. I heard her speak of this years ago and as a young wife, I wanted to boldly say that he needed to be in charge of picking up his own sock. Well, through the years, our battles have been so much bigger than socks and strawberries. So I’m thinking that love sometimes looks like throwing away strawberry tops and picking up socks and not giving my head and heart a second to feel any lesser for doing it. Sometimes love isn’t black and white lines of wrong and right and your part and my part, but is a middle grayed area of “ours”. So his strawberry tops and socks become my socks and strawberry tops. His mess becomes mine. And mine his. And the meeting in the middle means to create space for unity rather than discuss injustices of doing more or less than the other.
It’s crazy how much time and energy can be lost in those battles. It’s that thing of voids again… If I’m bemoaning what’s not there (i.e., his picking up strawberry tops), I’m not really appreciating what is. And even though the man probably has no clue of how many million socks and strawberry tops are taken care of, well, at least we don’t have a wall being built by the things that could take me 6 seconds. And then again, maybe there are some things I have no clue about too. Maybe there’s a thing or two that he does for me and our family that I’m a bit oblivious to. Just maybe….
Well, the week also held some sweet moments like Tanner’s Team Celebration for Basketball. He’s been the Manager. The coach was kind in his words about how Tanner stepped up and was a big asset to the team. Love how people can fill voids and it ends up filling them. Yeah, this season was a good experience for Tan…
Oh, and speaking of Tanner…he came home last week saying he had won a bird feeder for me at the Silent Auction at school. As well as a candy basket for himself, ha! My first inclination was to talk about the financial aspect of it all…but I kept quiet and thanked him for the bird feeder (and determined to talk about the whole money bit later). Sure was sweet for him to get me that. He knows I love to see the birds outside the window… Anyway, we hung it up and voila!…the birds have been seen coming three and four at a time! Amazing how when the bird seed is provided, the birds flock on in. Love that.
Well, that’s about it. Rambled a bit for sure. I guess sometimes it just feels good to remember…and in the remembering, to share. I guess sometimes stopping to think about the week and be grateful for the little things can help me realize what a precious gift time is. A lot can happen in a week. And a lot can be missed. Am aiming to be intentional to make good use of the moments. Who knows what the next week will hold.. but one thing that doesn’t change is that when you look hard enough, there’s always something to be thankful for.
“Intentional living is about living your best story.”
“Wherever you are, be all there.”
“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”