Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Your home is so beautiful"

Little House on the Prairie
{photo source}

It's back: house envy.

I go through bouts of severe house envy from time to time; after ten days back home where everybody owns their own place, it was bound to set in.  Add in the fact that a younger cousin of mine just bought a house (a government-owned foreclosure selling for next to nothing), and my green-eyed monster has me sulking.

Owning a home makes no sense for us now (we'll certainly be moving when the Professor finishes his PhD), but...oh how we long for a place of our own, grass to dig our toes into and claim, walls to paint, maintenance to do.  All of our daydream conversations revolve around our "someday" farm and property; sometimes it just feels so far away that it might never happen.

But God knew I would have this struggle.  That's why he sent my Indian friend, P, for a visit before my trip.

She gasped when she crossed the threshold, and it took her a full minute before she said anything.

"Your home is so beautiful."  She said it over and over again, wide-eyed and open-mouthed as I gave her the 30 second tour of our 750 square feet.  P noticed every picture on the wall, every knick knack (impressive as there aren't many...clutter makes me crazy), every touch I had added to hide the fact that our walls and carpet are bland, builder beige.

Our daughters got down to playing, swapping baby dolls and smiling shyly at one another.  I asked P about this and that, and while she answered my questions, she wasn't fully engaged in the conversation.  She was luxuriating in the splendor of my apartment.And so, even while I long for colorful walls and a real washing machine, I am trying harder to be content and to praise God for what he has given me.

A larger-than-your-average-apartment kitchen.
Space in the closet for a portable washing machine.
Nice living room furniture, a wedding gift.
The most comfortable bed.
The space and ability to hang our favorite art and photos.
A just-the-right-size bathroom.
Shelves full of books.
Sufficient closet space.
Uncluttered (mostly) surfaces that make the whole place look bigger.
A garage for our rather needy car.  (And a car at all!)
A family to love, serve, and live for.
And for God Himself, who is there no matter my housing situation.

If I can put aside my envy at what others have and enjoy what He has been faithful to give me in the here and now...then anything bigger/nicer/fancier/better than this will be just gravy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Home again!

After ten days in Minnesota on my family's farm, I have plenty to say about our trip...but I'm not sure I could hold your attention all THAT long.  So, I'm taking a note out of Kari Patterson's book and doing a "thankful-for" post (inspired by her "Week's end with thanks" posts that show sweet snippets of her week and the blessings in it).

So, without further ado, I am so grateful for...
  • Safe travel.
  • Room to run and space to breathe.
  • Not cooking or cleaning.
  • Being back in the barn.
  • Visiting family and old friends.
  • Our first overnight getaway together since Pookie was born.
  • Health and recovery after looooooooong colds.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Celebrating Pookie's birthday with ones we love.
  • Lunch at the best Chinese place in the world.
  • Best gas station breakfast sandwiches...twice.
  • Rice Krispie bars made just for my birthday (if you're sensing a food pattern here, bear in mind that I am pregnant).
  • Brunch at an elegant restaurant, knowing my little brother {all-grown up} was behind the kitchen door making our food.
  • Long naps and restful nights.
  • Watching Pookie blossom and thrive on the farm.
  • Experiencing all my favorite things...and watching them happen through her eyes.
  • Picking raspberries.
  • Crying for the first five miles home...because it's always tough to see tears in your big, strong father's eyes.

And I think Pookie would have her own separate list:
  • Skipping breakfast until Grandpa comes in from the barn and makes eggs.
  • Going out to the barn.
  • My Curious George birthday party.
  • Two bouquets of birthday balloons.
  • Watermelon nearly every day.
  • The cows.
  • The new baby calf, Meg.
  • Red, the dog.
  • Charlie, the cat.
  • Chocolate always waiting for me in the barn fridge.
  • Shouting "Happy Birthday!" and reminding everybody we had cupcakes.
  • My own pool.
  • Freezies after swimming.
  • A parade...with horses and tractors and princesses and clowns and candy.  Lots of candy.
  • Fireworks.
  • Waking up with Mama and Papa in the same room as me.
  • Going to the zoo.
  • Having lots of extra people to love on me.
So, that was our trip in a nutshell.  We're mostly unpacked and I'm sure I could dig out the camera and share some more photos...but my brain hasn't quite gotten out of vacation mode yet.  Maybe soon...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Riu Bachata beach, Dominican Republic
{photo source}

Gotta love auto-post.

No, I'm not anywhere quite that sandy or pretty...but in my eyes, my parents' Minnesota farm is just as beautiful.

As this posts, it'll be my birthday.  I'll be waking up on my first overnight getaway with the Professor since our Pookie was born. Nothing fancy, just a hotel in a nearby town with a pool, room service...and plenty of quiet.  Then lunch at the only Chinese place the Professor trusts and back to the farm for the same angel food cake my mom has always made to mark my birthday.

Ten days of family, food, rest, and escape from the daily grind.  I'm bound to get out of my rut and come back ready to tackle the world.

Hope you have a wonderful 4th!
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