Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sunsets, Campfires, and My Heart

I love this time in our lives and at the same time a part of me hurts. I miss my older kids being around for chats here and there. I long for their younger siblings to have the life they had with all of us together. I'm confused how to answer questions when visiting churches and they ask how many children and I now put 4 instead of 8 names. (I don't think they really want information on our kids that are married, living on their own, and living 900 miles away.) I feel we still adjust to only cooking for 6 vs 10. My kids call and are confused how to cook for 1 or 2 vs 10. (Who knew that was a problem. haha) It feels funny only managing 4 vs 8 and quite frankly I think I was better doing 8 vs 4. Either that or I am just getting lazy! I long to run into people I know when I am out and about. Our friends are confused at where we live. You are in AR? No you guys are in TN? Are you in TX? When did you move to OK? haha It feels like we currently live in 5 cities vs 1. The kids were excited about our move back towards family then 1/2 of them stayed in TN. WHAT?! (That RV looks better and better every day. Could the Lord just provide that already?)
I get distracted being in a town where everyone still lives in the same area and rather jealous of the fact that we don't get opportunity to worship together, take a son to dinner, or help my daughters shop for something important. I'm sad the siblings don't get to run around together and bond with friends, our home isn't filled with tons of people stopping by, our driveway now only has 2 cars vs 6 or more. It baffles me at the loss of time with so many moves these last few years, the limbo status, the change of direction that life can bring. Starting over whether different states, a different home, a different location is not for the faint of heart.

We love loving on people and yet for whatever reason the Lord has allowed many many distractions to interrupt relationships these past several years. I thought our home would always be a place for our kids to bring their friends and now I only know their friends by a picture they send not a body to hug.
Don't get me wrong. I truly am grateful for all God has provided and I am thankful my heart doesn't dwell long on what has changed in our lives. I won't deny tears still come but my heart does mend. I mean...how can I be sad when we have been blessed with 9 children. Yes, we have 1 in heaven, loss hurts even when that unborn child would have been 22 this month and we still have 8 other kids. Our kids are growing and scattering with another close to leaving the nest. (How is this possible child #5 is about to fly?)

How can I be sad when my children know the Lord and walk with Him. Not always choosing the things I would, but trusting their eyes are upon Him and He will continue to lead them in their walk with Him. How can I be sad when our change of location has brought so many new friends in so many different locations. How blessed are we? How can I be sad when we have gained a new son-in-law, who serves our country, and loves our daughter so well. Did I mention those two are bringing about our first grand baby into the family?! 'Honey and Bear' can't wait to get our hands on that little one! How can I be sad when through all our change the Lord has been the one we have had to learn to hold onto when chaos was all around, and nobody knew the inner struggle but Him. I think all of us would say our faith grew. Our job, our friends, our location didn't bring the comfort. Only the King of Kings provided that for each of us along the way. (He's a good, good Father! )

How can I be sad when He has provided for our needs on a daily basis. I am coming to terms with maybe my wants won't be met in my time frame but all my needs have been and are being met on a daily basis. We are healthy for the most part. Oh I have joints that may not be as strong as I long them to be but He has even provided for that as well.

Life will always be full of beauty and pain much like this rose. It is beautiful but you touch one of those thorns and pain can be around the corner! We may not be able to control all that happens but I can control where I will dwell.

I will LOOK to Him when I doubt.
I will LOOK to Him when I rest.
I will pray for my kids by day.
I will pray for their friends each night.
I will thank the Lord for the life He has given us,
As well as, thank the Lord for the lives that are gone.
When my steps are shaky, I will praise Him,
When my steps are assured, I will too.  
I will seek to forgive and I will work to love.
Above all, I will Glorify Him all the days of my life. 
I will remember the things He has done as well as the things He can do.
And I will find peace in the day to day with my eyes on Him ALWAYS.

Because of the Lord's faithful love, we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him. - Lamentations 3:22-24

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