"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Empty Driveway

I held my breath as I turned the familiar three turns at the beginning of the neighborhood I grew up in. I was on my way to drop the kids off at my parents' house for a few hours. I was invited to a girls' night out at Painting With a Twist, and even though I was exhausted and emotional, I pushed the petal and continued on my way.

As I headed down the road, I let out a quiet sigh. The driveway was still empty.

Thank you, Jesus.

It seemed silly to want to deny the inevitable. Even though the moving trucks had yet to arrive, they'd be there soon. I knew that. I just wasn't ready to face them quite yet.

The emptiness of the house stabbed at my heart. I quietly fought back tears as I composed myself in my parents' driveway. I had just finished spending the day listening to the squeals and giggles of their girls playing with my crew - our last official play date. It was bittersweet knowing they were at our house so that their parents, our good friends, could sign the papers to finalize their move.

Deep. Breaths. 

I fully admit that I'm a very sensitive person. I could never do what they do. I always get so attached; I would kill me to move so often. They sacrifice so much, and while I am thankful for their service and commitment to our country, I am (selfishly) so incredibly sad to see them go.

Last week, by the grace of God and the help of my awesome big brother, we were able to go out on a kid-free double date. You know you are sharing a meal with awesome people when you start off with prayer and end with stories that have you laughing until you cry. It was so much fun; it actually made me really mad that we had waited so long to make it happen!

Check out that shiny tooth action!

As terrible as this sounds, as we've neared the end of their time with us, I've started to feel like one of my kids fighting to let go of a favorite toy.

Please, God, don't make me share!

The truth is, I don't usually allow myself to get this close to people. I've built (too many) walls trying to protect my heart from the pain of either being hurt or what seems to be (especially in the last few years) the inevitable move to another state.

Our kids are going to grow by leaps and bounds in the next few years, and we will have 2,000 miles separating us. I know that we have phone calls, texts, Facebook, and Skype, but I also know that life will get busy and phone calls are always so freaking hard for us mamas.

Let's be honest. This is going to be hard. 

But for now, we will take it one day at a time. We will say goodbye with tight hugs and heavy hearts. Hopefully the red beans from my parents will last them a little while, and the love we packed in their hearts will help get them through this hard transition. We will be praying for safe travels as they load up their van and start out on their newest adventure in just a couple of days. I know they've lived many places over the years, but I'd like to think that our family helped to make this place really feel like home. The only problem is, as much as that may have helped while they were here, it will also probably make it that much harder to leave. (You gotta love a good catch-22!)

Would you mind offering up a prayer for both of our families? Saying goodbye is going to be so very hard!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Never-ending Negatives

Lately, it seems like God has been calling me back to the keyboard, begging me to write again.  

God, what do You want me to say? 

I feel like I have nothing left in me right now. Some days, I struggle to pray prayers that I've known since I was a child. If I try to pray from my heart instead, I often come up with an emptiness that makes my heart swell with sadness.

What more can I say that I haven't said 1,000 times over since this miserable season began? 

But He is right. I do miss writing.  I miss having something to say besides, "Stop!" and "No!" and "I'm so tired."

Lately, it feels like my body and my mind are overflowing with negatives, and no matter how hard I try to pull myself out of it, it seems like I'm only allowed a gulp of air before I'm pulled right back under water again.

Buddy has been working an insane number of hours lately. His schedule at his full time job was adjusted a bit, and it has caused quite an upset in our already stressful lives. Before this change, he was able to come home in between jobs. He had just enough time to switch uniforms and grab a bite to eat, but it also meant hugs and kisses and being a family - even if for just a few minutes a day. Now, he goes straight from one job to the next, eating a peanut butter sandwich as his dinner on the way.


We both knew that those few minutes were valuable, but these last two weeks of adjusting to entire days without seeing him have been even harder than we imagined. I hate that he goes days without seeing the kids and that when the two of us finally get to see one another, we basically hug and collapse all at the same time.

Our days are long and our bodies and minds are exhausted.

I know there are lessons to learn in all of this, and I'm trying. I really am.

Unfortunately, there are too many days that I fail to understand what God is hoping to teach me. I find myself stuck thinking about the never-ending negatives in my life, which tend blind me from seeing the lesson I am supposed to be learning.

It's so incredibly hard to see my husband - an amazing man of faith, a man that is extremely hardworking, a man that can teach himself anything and then turn around and do it like a pro - still struggle to find a good job.

It just doesn't seem fair.

And I know what you are thinking. I know that life isn't fair. I know that God has a plan. I know that one day we will reminisce about this season and be proud of all of our hard work and everything that we survived together.

I really wish that our future selves could come whisper to our present selves the secrets of our future. Man, that would be AWESOME.
But even without knowing the future, I do know that things will get better. I have no idea how God will make this season change, but my tired heart does find rest in the constant that is my God. And right now, I am so incredibly thankful for rest.

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