at the park

we were at the park yesterday afternoon.  the one right down the street.  just the kids and i.  we took a basketball.  we attempted to play a game of basketball.  it didn’t go very well.  but, we had fun.

the boys were running so fast.  and they were always trying to steal the ball from one another.  amelia wasn’t running quite as fast.  and she was pretty much scared of the ball.

standing in the middle of the basketball court, i remembered so clearly bringing them to this park the first summer they were home.  i was always afraid they’d fall and get hurt as they ran around the court.  i was especially afraid of little orville falling, as he had only started walking the day before he came home.  i tried to keep them on the playground where things seemed a little safer.

they have grown so fast.  they have changed so much.  getting to the park used to be such a task~a diaper bag, drinks, snacks, a stroller, a wagon, etc.  and it was so much work for me once we got there.  everyone needed to be pushed on the swings, and orville was in a baby swing.  they were scared to climb up the ladder to the slide.  they were scared to go too high on the “climby things”.

yesterday we all walked and all we took along was the basketball.  and we all played together.  and no one needed my help.  and we had fun.

as much work as those early days were, i miss them.  and i know when these days pass, i’ll miss them too.  and i am so grateful for all of this time with these three precious kids.

temptation

orville and i were out for a bit this morning.  we had some errands to run.

i took the long way home.  it’s scenic.  it’s a familiar path from my childhood.  it winds alongside a river.

right at the start of our journey home, there is a house that i love.  it’s old.  it’s big.  but not too big.  it’s white, with black shutters and shingles.  it’s on a large piece of land.  it’s right next to the river.

i have loved this house for years.  every time we pass it i think, “that would be a great house to get a hold of.  it probably needs some updating which would mean the price would be lower than most in the area.  and it would be a great place to raise our family.  and it would be a great place for our children to visit with our grandchildren.  plenty of land for family reunions and big birthday celebrations.”

and today, as we came around the bend toward this house, i saw it~a for sale sign.  right in the front yard.

temptation.

i have given up houses for the next 40 days.  this house is one i desperately want to look up.  ridiculously, my heart is feeling a bit of an ache.

“would it be okay to look up just this one house?  just one?”  no.  it wouldn’t be okay.

40 days is 40 days.  and i hardly ever stick to anything i say i am going to do.  this thing, i will do.

39 days to go.

giving up, taking on…

today is ash wednesday, the start of lent.  i grew up in a Christian home, but my mother was raised catholic, so lent was a pretty big deal.  we were always encouraged to “give something up” as we went through the lenten season, preparing for Easter.

i often chose things that were simple for me to let go of for 40 days.  like ice cream.  it really wasn’t important to me, though i did enjoy it.  and usually i wouldn’t last all 40 days because after a while, it seemed silly to me.  Jesus sacrificed His life for me.  was the sacrifice of no ice cream really a big deal?

this year i have been convicted to give something up.  this past weekend, i was a part of a women’s retreat on contentment.  our speaker encouraged us to really look into our hearts and see where we struggle with contentment.  she said some of what we may come up with may seem silly, especially if we say it out loud.  and she challenged us to finish this sentence, “if i had _______, i’d be content.”

i didn’t even need to think about it.  i knew my answer immediately, before i even had time to say the sentence, let alone fill in the blank.

“if i had a newer,  bigger house, i’d be content.”

yep, that’s it.  that’s me.  wow!  seems silly to think it.  even sillier to speak it.  but there it is.

i am an architect’s daughter.  floor plans, blueprints, and home shows all surrounded me as a child.  to this day, these are things that i love.  love.

and often i find myself driving through other neighborhoods imagining what the homes are like inside and what i’d change about them if i had one of them.  and how much easier my life would be if i had more space-a mudroom, a laundry room, a pantry, a master bathroom, a longer driveway, a deck, a patio.  the list could go on and on.

and i spend time looking at houses online.  checking out the rooms to see if they’re big enough, if the furniture could be arranged the way i’d like.  are the paint colors good?  is there too much wallpaper?  again, on and on and on.

yet, God has given me a home.  and we fit well here.  and it’s a good home.  a solid, old, character filled home.  it’s an answer to prayer.  it is His provision.  and wonderful provision at that!

why do i want more?

i am giving up houses for lent.  no more driving around looking at them.  no more looking at them online.  i’m finished, for at least the next 40 days.

this past weekend, i was also encouraged to not only give something up, but to take something on.  and exercise it is.

for the next 40 days, i will exercise every day.  every day.

i hope by Easter, to be very content with our home that God has so graciously provided.  and i hope that this body, His temple, is in much better shape.

here we go…