Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Louisiana Trip–Part 4

Picture yourself out in a body of water. Someone is holding your head under water. Just when you think you can last no longer, they release their hold, you come up gasping for air, breathing deeply over and over, and then back under the water you go. That is how the past month has felt for me.

Ok. maybe that is a little too dramatic . . . but it’s not far off.

Our trip to LA came during a very overwhelming time for me (not emotionally necessarily, but just the “to do” list of life). Our unexpected vacation, though filled with a sadness and a grief, was like a breath of fresh air . . . time together away from the school books, and chore lists. It was a break from menu planning and meal preparations and dishes (dishes don’t seem so “bad” when they aren’t your own). It was a slower pace, free from standing obligations, the opportunity to wake up each morning with no clear agenda. It was vacation.

One of the days we were in LA, Earl and David took care of Rita’s yard for her. This is always enjoyable for the kids, ‘cause they get to hopefully ride on PaPa’s riding lawn mower. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working well this time, but Jonathan got to sit on it while they pushed it back up into the shed. Once it did get running, Earl and David took turns push mowing and riding the mower.

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I LOVE Rita and Earl’s back yard. I always have. It’s so green (when I see it), and there are no fences (well, one chain-link fence to the north of them), and the kids have so much space to run and play. This picture below is now the desktop photo of my laptop:

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Jonathan found a little friend next door named Gavin who he enjoyed running around with one day. It was cute to hear Gavin at the kitchen door, “Hey, can your little boy come out to play?” It was just a different world for me. One that I’ve not wanted to leave this time.

Speaking of the kitchen door, that’s another thing that I love about Rita’s house. As long as I have known them they have not used their “front” door. In fact, I didn’t even recognize where it was for the longest time. Anyone who wants to come over just comes to the side door which opens into the kitchen and hollers their greeting. Of course, you can see anyone before they come because the kitchen window looks right out onto the driveway. I like that. It just seems a little more friendly to me . . .

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Here is Jonathan showing Gavin the grave where the baby birds were buried (notice the plastic spoon as a grave marker which was used to spoon them back into the nest the day before). We had to give the very specific direction NOT to dig them up. Jonathan wanted so badly to REALLY show him the birds!

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Rita and Earl Sr. have always been very diligent to keep the “fire ants” at bay by pouring gasoline on their mounds. Emily had the joy of being bit when she was two, but we haven’t had any trouble with them since then. However, the kids were all fascinated and wanted to know all about them . . . how big are they? what does it feel like to be bit? how do you get them off? etc. etc. One of our children preferred to stay inside instead of risking getting bit.

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Well . . . it has been a good break today . . . remembering our time in LA (This is for you, Sonya!). But lest you think that I am “barely making it” over here in CA, feeling like I’m drowning, let me assure you that the Lord is faithful to not give me more than I can handle. My body is adjusting quickly again to those early mornings spent in the Word, and I’m back to exercising. And my gracious Lord surprises me often with a kind word of encouragement here and there, or an unexpected visit with a friend, or a phone call, or an evening out with my man, or a quiet evening just relaxing. I’m slowing learning what it means to live life wisely during this season and it means earlier bed times, earlier mornings, and taking time to get my head up and out of the daily duties . . . focusing on others and laughing with my family.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm

(So good to know that the world does not rest on MY shoulders!)

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