Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let Go

I ran into this piece yesterday. It is unfortunate that the author is unknown, because it is quite powerful.

I have been wrestling with God lately. Mostly parenting and marriage stuff have been my challenges. I want what I think I want. I don't want to wait. I don't want to persevere. I just want it NOW!!! I was so encouraged after reading this. I hope it encourages you too.
(Jessica took this picture today)

To "Let Go" Takes Love


To let go does not mean to stop caring; it means that I can't live someone else's life for him.

To let go is not to cut myself off; it is to realize I can't control another.

To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another; it is to be responsible for myself in that situation.

To let go means I want what God wants in the situation, not what I think is is best for me or the other person.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own lives.

To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny, but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the good in it.

To let go is not to criticize or regulate anyone else's life, but to do my best to become all that I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and to live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and to love more.

To let go is to hug someone, but not hold him so closely he is crushed or smothered.

To let go is give a person or a situation to God, who is the only One who can work everything together for our good and His glory!

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I couldn't help but highlight the ones that spoke the most to me today. I want so badly to trust the Lord in ALL things and in every situation. He loves me and He loves my loved ones. Thus far the Lord has helped me and I know He will continue. I just have to live today. I can do this, and so can you!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Lily!

 I haven't done a birthday post in awhile. I have a tradition of writing my children a letter for their birthdays. I want them to know my love for them, my hopes and my prayers for them. The past two years the pain of life kept me from this. I want my traditions back. So here it goes...
 Dearest Lily,

Words cannot express my love for you. You are the baby of our family and I grieve constantly to know that all of your firsts are all of my lasts. I so want you to grow up, but I also want to go back in time and carry you around with me and have you suckle at my breast. The joy and peace of those days are something to be treasured. I have tried to really cherish this last year we have together before you head off to school next year. You are my little sidekick and you make me do things I don't necessarily want to do (like go to a park, go outside and swing with you, have a million tea parties, read lots and lots of books, dance, sing and act silly). I am an old fuddy-duddy, as your father would say. Much too serious. But your silliness makes me laugh when life hurts.

One of your shining milestones during your fourth year of life was asking Jesus into you heart. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. You constantly are trying to wrap your brain around the omnipotence of God. You always ask me whether we are swinging, or in the car, "Is God sitting by me and holding my hand?". Oh, Darling, yes!!! He is sitting there always beside you and holding your hand. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is always with you. I am so thankful that you seem to have such a heart towards spiritual things. You have so many questions. Keep questioning, keep asking, keep praying those sweet little prayers. He hears you and He loves you so much.
 Your are such a funny girl! You are the most expressive of all my children, and I can tell you have a very BIG personality. You aren't shy and you love to dance. You sing EVERYTHING! You dress up in the funniest outfits and you have a great sense of humor, like your father. I will never forget finding you in my bed dressed up like Bat Girl watching your movie.

I love taking your places. You have such good manners and you truly appreciate it when we do special things. I have probably spoiled you (you are my baby), but I pray I haven't spoiled you rotten. I also pray that I have learned to be a better parent to you then I have to your older siblings. The things I stressed out about when they were little do not seem important now. You are reaping the benefits of all my mistakes, failures, and successes. You get a more relaxed mama, who isn't quite as fearful as she once was.

I know you have been wishing to turn five for almost a year, but I'm going to be doing a little grieving. When your oldest brother was born, I remember looking into his eyes when he was laid in my arms and thinking, "one day this kid is going to be five." Now here we are, the youngest of six, 15 YEARS later, and it is your turn to be five.

"The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor him for he is your lord." -Psalm 45:11

Lily, you are beautiful. God thinks so, and your family thinks so. We love you so much and enjoy you. Thank you for being YOU!

"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." Psalm 71:18

I pray that I will continue to live for God by example so that you might know of God's power and that you will eventually teach His ways to your children.

Love your BLESSED Mama,

Stacie

Monday, March 17, 2014

Getting Back to the Things I Love

Life just gets in the way sometimes. Pain stifles creativity. It feels like it wins. Well, I am coming out of a numb fog, and I want to enjoy some of life's simple pleasures again. A couple of those for me are photography (I am VERY much an amateur), reminiscing simpler times, going for long walks in the countryside and hanging out with my six children. I got do all four of those things yesterday and this post is a result of that.

 We went back to the old ranch I grew up on. The people living there are incredibly gracious and we have an open invitation to come back anytime we want. I love people like that! here are the kids in front of the main hay barn.

 Lots of time spent in this barn. Same hook was on the door. I must have opened it a million times growing up.

 My sister can appreciate this! When we crawled up to the rafters on the side of the barn, I found our old play fort. We had hauled this stove up there probably 33 years ago. Lily and Jessica were beside themselves when they found it. They thought it was so cute!

 It is quite vintage looking, isn't it?


 Josh is just getting so big! 

 Our old swimming hole.

 Looking for snails in the midst of the seaweed in the water trough.

 Here is the old bridge where we used to find old, rotten goose-eggs and throw them at the tree in the creek. Fun times! That is what you do when you don't have T.V.

 Couldn't believe I found this still on the fence post! This was the old coffee can that we hung from the tree and would shoot our .22 at. Someone saved it and put it up on the post. Talk about memories!



 This is the road that my mom affectionately dubbed "Lover's Lane". It leads to the lower barn.

 Jess likes to take the camera and get more artistic angles.

 The old farm equipment we used to climb on is still there. Look how far it has sunk into the ground!

I have another post coming up. Don't want to overwhelm you with too many photos ;)



Friday, March 7, 2014

Sharing My Childhood with My Children

 The kids and I were dog-sitting the other day and were kind of feeling the cabin fever creep in. I told everyone to hop in the van. We were going to go for a ride down memory lane. I drove my van to the ranch I grew up on. We parked on the gravel road and jumped out. As we walked up the road, memories just flooded my mind. I told the kids about racing my horse as fast as I could down this road (bareback mind you) and trying to just hang on! We used to play Indiana Jones along the "jungles" of the creek's riparian zone. Now there is a fence along the creek to keep the cows out.
Of course, I had to talk about the dump, too. To the left side of the road was an old dump. As kids, one of our favorite things to was to go to the dump, find every glass bottle and smash them on the biggest rock we could find. I was able to point out the rock, too! The same old stove, box springs and washing machine drum was still sitting there. Crazy!

I told them about the bones of the old cow that used to be scattered under the trees. We used to pick through them and count the vertebrates. I looked over there, there were still some bones there!


Then I saw the big rock we used to climb. I remember my mom taking pictures of my sis and I on that rock. I told the kids to jump up there so I could a picture. I wish I could have got all of them on there. But only three were willing.

I told them about some of the naughty things we did as kids (like spitting on signs as we went by). My seven year old, Jacob, looked up at me and said, "Mom, I wish I had a childhood like yours. Yours was fun!". You are right, son. It was fun. It was free from TV, video games, computers, and phones. We just used our imaginations and played. My kids really can't imagine a world like that. Just like I can't imagine a world that my grandparents grew up in.

I am so thankful that my parents still have a ranch that my kids can grow up going to. We are truly blessed. Even though it is a different ranch, it is still a world away from the town life. Such valuable life lessons are being taught to them.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Taking Time to Play

Sometimes you just have to pause and just have a little fun in life. After church last week, we headed out to my folk's ranch. It was almost 60 degrees out. The kids saw that the creek was running and begged to play in it.
 I was tempted to say "no", due to the fact that we had no extra clothes, or shoes if they fell in and got wet. I decided to just not care. My kids are not going to melt and they are not weenies like their mother. I grabbed my camera and decided to come with them. They set up a "camp" and started finding old metal stuff and began "cooking" some stew. It reminded me exactly of what I used to do growing up on a ranch. We did not have TV, video games, phones or the internet. We just had a huge 3000 acre ranch to run all over and explore! We would play for hours by the creek. Mixing up mud-pies and selling them to pretend costumers, was one such adventure.
 Well, you guess it, the kids got soaked! They were cold. Their teeth were chattering, but they were having so much fun!

Here is Lily capturing some water for her tasty "stew".

We enjoyed each other and the beautiful February day. After being cooped up in the house this winter, it amazes me how much less they fight when they are outside in the open space. Suddenly they are working as a team to build something. They are unified!


I want to do this more often. Take time to play. Take time to enjoy these precious six blessings that God has given me. My oldest son has only a few more years before he flies the coop. Is it possible? I look at my youngest and know it will truly happen in the blink of an eye. Am I too busy to enjoy it? Am I too focused on escaping the chaos that I miss my opportunities to have fun with them. Why must I always be so protective? Serious? Impatient? It is usually because I am focused on what isn't important.

"Please Lord, help me to focus on what you want me to focus on. Let your love, patience and joy come out of me and pour onto my children. Our family has been through a rough time. We have shed many tears. We have been angry and hurt and torn. But you are restoring us to something new. You are pouring out your compassion upon us. We have survived this and now let us not just survive, but thrive, Lord! You have cut off our branches so that we might bear more fruit for You. May it be a great harvest!  In Your precious Son's name, Jesus, Amen."
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