Well, we went on our long trip and drove through the night on the way to and from Ohio. I am so very thankful for my husband, because no matter how often I would ask to drive he would just smile at me and say, “I’m okay.” I think the whole trip (8 days) I drove about 7 hours, and the trip home was in itself 22 hours without stopping. So needless to say, I have my very own Superman who takes such great care of me.
Unfortunately on the last day of the trip (Friday), I started to get a sore throat and then it turned into an icky head cold. Little Flint followed right behind me. It’s his first time being sick and I’m so thankful that it’s nothing worse than a cold. But the sad part about getting sick this past weekend was that I had to miss the 5K I had been training for. I say “training” in a very loose way. 🙂 But I’m going to try to stick with the running. A friend of mine is doing a 1/2 marathon in November, and although I’m not yet convinced I want to go that far, I think I might try to set my eyes on that goal. Maybe I’ll be able to go 13 miles by then, who knows?
Today Flint went to the doctor for his 4 month wellness check up. He has slowed down gaining weight, which is definitely okay since he was gaining a pound a week. Tonight he’s going to have his first experience with solid food! I’m so excited to see his reaction! I’ll have to try to remember to video tape it or something and then share with you all. At his check up he got his second round of vaccinations and he was not happy about it, as I’m sure is the reaction of all babies. At his 2 month check up he only cried for about 15 seconds, but this time he was inconsolable. He very rarely cries, so it’s weird for me when he goes non-stop for a while. I just look at him and think, “Who are you? Where’s my easy going kid?” But I just held and him and stroked his head and he eventually calmed down. But his little legs are so tender that ever time I pick him up or move him he starts up again. Poor little bean.
One thing that our road trip really showed us is that we live in quite an unattractive area. As we headed from the panhandle towards Austin I was amazed at all the wildflowers and the green grass, and then when we went up to Dallas I couldn’t believe how pretty the city looked to me. I knew it was nice when I lived there a couple years ago, but coming from Anchorage, Dallas having trees and being green was no big deal. Then of course being in Ohio and driving through Kentucky and Indiana and every other beautiful, hilly place completely took away our breath. Being stuck in what feels like a desert for two years really changes your perspective. As we drove from Amarillo to Plainview Ty said, “We really do live in the ugliest place on earth.” I was shocked to hear those words come out of his mouth. When we were first married if I would ever say anything negative about west Texas, Ty would get truly offended. And now here I’m the one defending the place. There is beauty here. It’s definitely not as obvious and if you’re not from this area, like me, it has to grow on you. I do sincerely pray that we won’t be here for much longer, but I have no idea if we’ll ever leave, so I have to make the most of it. When you live in a dry and desolate place you have to search hard for it’s beauty, for the things that make the place valuable to you. For me, it’s usually the people that makes the place. Of course, snow and mountains and moose really help, too. 🙂
I think it’s the same when you’re going through a dry time in your life. Whether it’s not getting along with your husband and wondering why you married him in the first place, or it’s a career that you feel is sucking the life out of you, or you are piled in so much debt that it feels like you can’t breath. When things like this are going on in your life it’s so hard to see the beauty in the day to day. It’s so easy to be bogged down and to just want to stay in bed all day. I’ve heard mention of the book One Thousand Gifts, and though I’ve never read it and don’t really know what it’s about, I think I can guess that it’s about trying to enjoy the little gifts that God has given you. Go and read it and let me know what it says (I’ve heard that the writing style is a little difficult to endure, which is why I’ve stayed away from it.) The author may say this in the book, I don’t know, but even though I think it’s good to try to find God’s gift or joy in every new day and it’s something that we should all try, where you think your joy comes from should be the question that you first ask yourself. Is your joy from your husband, a gift, your children, a pay raise, a beautiful hike, etc.? All these are wonderful and can add to your joy, but if your joy isn’t first founded in the gift of new life that Christ has given us, then it is empty. If you think that you will find contentment in the things surrounding you, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. It’s not your circumstances that fill you with joy, they may add to your happiness, but they are not the source. Only Christ is. Only then can it be true and lasting. That doesn’t mean that life is all peaches and cream, it will still be full of pain, especially if you’re a Christ follower. But it does mean that you can still have joy, even in the midst of your pain.
Please, try to find something each day that brings you pleasure and happiness and praise God for it, but know that unless Christ is in you, it won’t be lasting.
So even though I live in an ugly place, I can find beauty here because I call it home, and I’m glad God has put me here.