This whole moving experience has been exhausting. I don't remember it being this stressful 6 years ago. But then again, I only had a baby. We've been learning tons. And have gotten frustrated. And have been blown away by how evident God's hand has been. I specifically prayed for that. We really didn't think any of this would actually work out, so I prayed that God would make Himself VERY evident. Thanks for the listening ear, Lord. :) In the midst of it all, I've been forced to look back over the past 6 years, and wonder what the next 6 will be like. That's when I realized my mother ruined me. I have a very vivid, clear memory. Growing up, our home was ALWAYS clean. Of course there were a few times when Jamie's room was messy, (grin) but we were never allowed to go to bed with it looking like that. There was ALWAYS dinner. There was never a "well, can you just have another bowl of cereal?" Or a "here's bread and butter". My children probably take comfort in those words, whereas I had never heard them in my childhood. The grass was always mowed. Every single room was decorated, vaccuumed, and dusted. She NEVER sat and watched tv during the day. She was rarely on the phone. Internet didn't exist. I never had to climb over a 4 inch pile of shoes, socks and toys in the car to get my seatbelt on. Our clothes were clean and put away, unless of course my dad got home first and hung our bras on the ceiling fan. In other words, my memories were far different than my own kid's memories will be. And I hate that. She ruined me. Her standard was way too high. Of course I don't remember the "poor" days. Days spent filling the holes of the pickup with old underwear so they wouldn't arrive at church covered in dust. Or days upon days of eating deer meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner because there wasn't money for anything else. I have no memory of those times. As far back as I remember, whenever I was struggling with something, she'd softly sing "Count Your Blessings". It probably annoyed me. But after I birthed my own daughter, I quietly sang those words each and every night. She's 3 1/2 now and won't go to bed without it. But tonight was different. She sang along. And I was swimming in tears. For some reason I never expected it. Didn't think it meant all that much to her. I just did it as a reminder.... for myself. But instead it's ingrained in her mind as a memory. And I wasn't even trying. It made me think about all of those memories I have, and wondered how many of those were made on purpose. Such conviction. It's not the memories that I'm trying to force, but rather my daily motions. That's what they'll remember. Thanks for ruining me, mom. :)
Five years later, I am still so thankful he picked me. Blessed beyond belief with three miracle babies. Exposing my soul on a worn piano bench. Collecting my thoughts through dressage. Sipping something sweet and hot in the rain. Speechless of God's grace.