It is so like God to have me sitting here in my pajamas at 3:00 P.M., eating Paula Deen’s homemade macaroni-and-cheese for lunch, and watching out the window as it rains intermittently throughout the day. You see, God has been going out of His way to make sure that I take time to rest, relax, and keep things in perspective as the wedding of my only son quickly approaches in only five more weeks. He wants to make sure that I take time off from my hectic pace to soak in the joy and majesty of the moment. The way He has accomplished this recently is by causing the tumultuous weather to keep me indoors talking with friends, making detailed lists, reading good books, and writing new blogs. I am grateful for His timely interruptions in my busy schedule.
There are many things vying for my time and attention right now. Our son’s college graduation. His wedding the following week. Family and friends seeking both celebratory opportunities and information about upcoming events. A demanding teaching schedule full of end-of-the-year meetings, projects, and events. Hungry and ever-increasing numbers of animals. Farm projects that must be completed both indoors and outdoors. You probably get the picture.
So, I sit here gazing out the window at our six Blue Swedish ducks skirting the pond, our ever-curious-and-meddling donkeys feeling the need to boot the ducks off the peninsula they have finally settled upon, and the winds causing the water to shimmer across the expanse of the pond towards the ravine. Occasionally a cow or two comes into view and looks for fresh grass within my window-sized view of our pasture and I feel the relaxation wash over me just as the water ripples across our pond.
In four weeks, my son is graduating from college. The University of Texas, no less. He was raised by two die-hard Aggies, but insisted that A&M wasn’t the right fit for him. I will admit that he was correct. UT has been an amazing place for Brave Heart. He was reunited with his best friend from kindergarten while at UT. The person whom he loved and felt the most comfortable with while he attended schools where I first taught in Deer Park, Texas. They did not see one another for eight long years after I remarried and moved our family to another city, but immediately reconnected when they saw one another as young men attending The University of Texas. I am so thankful for God’s hand in helping them find one another among the sea of people attending the university. Now his kindergarten-best-friend-turned-Best-Man will be standing beside my son in just five more weeks celebrating his marriage to Beautiful Soul. In addition to his Best Man, he will have some amazing and special young men from childhood, middle school, high school, college, and WyldLife standing beside him to show their love and support. What a blessing to behold. There is a big possibility that I will cry just to see the faces of these boys-turned-men who have helped shape my son into the person he is today. I am grateful for their presence in his life.
There is no doubt that God has given The Outdoorsman and I the perfect location for our family to enjoy this season of life despite the many things vying for our time. We are within easy driving distance of all three of our children, their friends, and their universities. In addition to that, we can ease the stress of our daily responsibilities by merely walking around our pond, pastures, and trails each night. Contrary to public opinion based solely on pictures and Facebook posts of Green Acres, our farm and farmhouse are not even close to perfect. Our thirty-acre farm is dirty on a daily basis, disorganized at times, and hard to keep tame during certain seasons. Our farmhouse is small, unfinished, and inconvenient, to be sure. The bathrooms are possibly the smallest bathrooms I have ever seen in an American house. However, we have learned to make mental adjustments to our expectations and live comfortably within the imperfections. The things that would have bugged me to no end (and I’m sure garner questionable thoughts from our city-born guests), are now noted as mere inconveniences that do not define our character in any way, shape, or form. Different priorities take precedence when you have the responsibility of dozens and dozens of animals in addition to family, work, and home responsibilities. Like keeping things alive. When living things look to you for their comfort and care, it becomes extremely important in the scheme of your day. When we arrive home from work each evening, there is inevitably at least one of our animals that needs our immediate attention. Whether is it a small injury, a virus, or some other discomfort, we drop our current plans to address the more pressing issue at hand. It usually takes us a while as we doctor up the animal by providing medicine, new housing, or supplemental food to the animal in need. All just a day on the farm.
The reason for sharing my somewhat scattered thoughts today? To share with you God’s everlasting care and concern about our daily lives. The very fact that He knew me so well that He set me upon a veritable goldmine of peace to help calm my soul is remarkable. Our farm is an amazing elixir for my natural-born propensity to worry and grow anxious over details outside of my control. He has taken me out of the hectic world I was living in for fifty years and given me an excuse for solitude. Along with an excuse for solitude that I was needing, he gave our family the ability to regroup every evening after work and at least one day every weekend between short, frequent trips to see our three children, Brave Heart, Miss Sunshine, and The Trooper, and their friends. Do not be afraid to follow His lead concerning finding a place of peace for your family. Just as He did for our family, He will guide you in your search. Do not ignore His leading and definitely do not ignore the roadblocks He is putting up to keep you from moving forward in the wrong direction, either. He will make your path clear. Open doors and clear pathways will, almost always, indicate His will. Closed doors and complications will arise for things not within His perfect will for you and your family. Be patient and heed the warning signs. Do not find a human way to go around His warning signs. He only wants the very best for you.
It is so like God to help direct our steps along life’s journey. I am so very thankful for His guidance.