Sunday, July 26, 2009

Refreshing and Renewing

For the first time in more years than I can remember, I spent time alone - really alone. No husband, no kids...just me and the dog. Despite a lengthy to-do list I was incredibly lazy, taking naps at will, sometimes staying up late and sleeping late, sometimes going to bed early and rising at dawn. Whatever tripped my fancy, that's what I did. Sadly, I think I kicked into "selfish" mode more quickly than even I expected...and I ran with it. I was reminded of the fact that selfishness doesn't get "used up" like the gasoline in your car. If fact, I found it to be quite the opposite with my self-indulgence only breeding more self-seeking desires. I have an endless supply of selfishness...something I'm sure my family can readily attest to.

However, I did attempt to redeem bit of the time by renewing my vision for our family, our school and my purpose at this particular juncture in my life. I had already started Keeping House and then began A Life that Says Welcome. Through these books I was reminded that though the tasks I perform seem small and insignificant, they can have profound, life-long effects on my children and husband. I was challenged to treasure the life I have, value the mundane by seeing it in a whole new light and dig a little deeper in an effort to serve those inside and outside my household. I snooped around some blogs, most notably Girltalk where I was smacked up side the head (again) with the challenge to be more hospitable.

So, in the weeks ahead I will be seeking to be intentional in my hospitality and in doing that I'll also be serving my family with renewed vigor and...well...happiness. It's a privilege to do what I do and my actions need to reflect that truth. I'm reminded of the childhood song, "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands...if you're happy and you know it then your face will surely show it..." Sadly, I fear my face doesn't always reflect what I truly desire to communicate to those around me.

And as if to seal the work God was doing in my heart, someone on a Yahoo group sent this link to encourage us homeschool moms. It really does say what I realized during my time alone...and says it much more articulately and creatively than I ever could. If you're a mom who feels might want to grab a tissue. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Fun

Everyone has returned from their various travels. Patrick and Kevin had a fruitful trip to Honduras while Victoria and Hannah had a memorable time at Grandma Camp. Alyssa took her first road trip with a friend while I stayed home and was just plain lazy.

Hoping to give more in depth updates at a later time, but for now, we are soaking up the last days of summer and enjoying them more than Duke (my nephew) enjoyed his Klondike Bar. Hope you all are doing the same.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Turn for the Worse

We just got word that Bj had to be put down just a short time ago. He didn't improve at all and took a turn for the worse during the night. As is typical, Hannah took the news well, but has retreated off by herself to process her loss. Wendy is getting a lock of hair for Hannah to keep and a print of a professional picture that Bj was in some years ago. Hannah is relieved he's not in pain any longer...but the barn just won't be the same without him.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Other Side of the Story

This is the companion view to Hannah's story found here.

Early this morning, Hannah and I arrived at the barn to find Wendy (owner/instructor) leading Bj, the horse Hannah usually rides, into one of the stalls that backs up to the covered arena. Odd...but I saw the vet there and so hoped it was a routine visit by him. That was not to be the case. After Wendy told us Bj had a bad case of colic, and she was getting ready to transport him to the horse hospital in Gainsville, FL, I knew the situation was serious. Hannah proceeded to help out with some morning chores and Wendy got the truck and hitched up the horse trailer. At some point she had told Hannah she could ride Buff, and so Hannah headed out into the gelding pasture to get him. Not really knowing HOW serious this might be, I asked another lady who was tending a wound on her horse if Hannah should say goodbye to her dear riding partner, just in case he didn't make it. She nodded. But Hannah was WAY out in the pasture and Wendy had already loaded the horse and was ready to drive away. But then she rolled down her window and said the words I was hoping not to hear, "Hannah may want to come and give this horse a kiss. He may not be coming home." Knowing Wendy was anxious to go, I tried waving and motioning to Hannah to come in...and she was, but not very quickly. So what's a mom to do? I couldn't let her miss her only chance to say her final farewells? Well, what option did I have? I ran across the gelding pasture...IN MY FLIP FLOPS to lead Buff so Hannah could run in and say her goodbyes. I was holding it together pretty well until I walked up to the gate and saw tears in Hannah's eyes. Then I broke down. I'm still not sure just what I was crying about...the horse, Wendy, Hannah's breaking heart. All of the above, I suppose.

I've been toying with the idea of getting some boots for my hours at the barn...and after dodging piles in my flip flops, boots may have just moved up my priority list.

The good news is the vet was optimistic that Bj would recover and after 48 hours on fluids would be released. Wendy generously offered to take Hannah with her on Friday, so the horse lover will be able to see the inside of a horse hospital. So, stay tuned for more horse lessons from Hannah.