Friday, February 17, 2012

2 Years Ago Today

2 years ago today we were moving into our 2nd home in the "hood." It was a long weekend filled with boxes, window blind hangings, friends doing things that only friends would do for you, and a flood. Yes, a flood. Day 2 of moving I decided to start a load of sheets in the washing machine so I could make the beds. My being OCD and all I wanted to get my beds made because I knew that would make me feel a little bit better. A little bit more like this was a home and not just sheer chaos.

But about 5 minutes into the wash our entire downstairs started to flood with water. And Tide. Which is the upside really because our house smelled like Tide with a hint of Downy for about a week. If life gives you a flood make sure you wash with downy or something like that. Anyway, we got it all mopped up, again with a lot of friends that literally held me up and even a special one that said, "Let's go to Target" in the midst of it all. And you know what, that little trip to Target kept me from the looney bin and jail, I am quite positive. So thank you sweet Courtney.

We have now lived in Binghampton for 6 years, in two different homes, two different streets, and many different friends and neighbors. One thing has remained the same though, our call to be here. We are so grateful and blessed for this community. We have seen good and bad, hurt and healing, light and dark. We have shed tears and we have laughed.

And it has been good. The lessons learned here, the relationships built, the seeds planted and the restoring of the broken both in our neighborhood and within our own hearts has changed us. We see things differently now, more clearly and for the better and I could not imagine my life without being here. I am grateful for a husband that trusted the Lord and followed His calling, it has made all the difference.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Might Feel a Little Tight

This is not a blog on my pants. Although it could be. Because as much as I try to remember I sometimes stick my pants in the dryer. The tightness has nothing to do with my eating habits and everything to do with my dryer.

But like I said, it is not a blog about that. I have had a couple of conversations with my two boys in the past week or so on what does or doesn't seem fair. Why one of them gets to do something the other one does not or why sometimes Braxton and I have to say "no" to something they want to do. Something that all of their other friends are doing, listening to, or watching.

The other day I explained something to both of them. And for the sake of me having to repeat it to them again. and again. and again, (because sometimes they don't hear me when I'm talking, I know...shocker) I decided to blog about it and then next time I can just send them to read this. Then we can count this towards their reading log. Killing two birds with one stone. I'm good like that.

Our goal as parents is to launch our kids. Braxton is amazing at this and says we are counting backwards, down from 18 years. At 18 we want to launch them like an arrow. We want them to soar far and high. We want them to have a solid grounding in faith, love and experience so that they will be able to be all that God has created them to be. And we are launching arrows, not boomerangs....

So this is what I said to the boys. You are at different stages in this process. I asked them what does it look like when a archer is about to shoot an arrow. From the beginning to the end. At the beginning he is setting it right in the groove, then he gets it steady on his hand and starts to pull back. The closer to launch time the tighter it gets in the bow. And right before he lets go it is at its tightest point.

So for Emma Sanders it is getting her steady at age 4. Teaching her how to respond in love and respect. How to treat others, how to realize that as much as she wants it to, this world does not revolve around her.

For Bennett at age 8 it is setting him straight in the bow, teaching him how to be responsible. That being a servant we do things for others without being asked. That we recognize our decisions have consequences and most of the time those consequences effect other people just as much ourselves. And it feels a little tighter for him sometimes that it does on Emma. But there are also things that he can do that she does not get to do yet.

And for Preston it feels even a little tighter. At age 13 we are about 4.5 years from the soaring off. And so sometimes with freedom comes great responsibility and that feels a little like pressure. Learning how to navigate that well now will be of great benefit in the long run. That as his daddy says, popularity does not always mean friendship. That athletic ability, academic achievement are great but we humble ourselves each day by remembering where those gifts came from. That becoming a man of honor and character far outweigh fast decisions that may just feel good for a moment. So it does feel tight yes, but you get more freedoms than Bennett and Emma Sanders and even when we have to say no we also get to say yes to you more.

And so we are in the launching process. And yes it sometimes might feel a little tight. But tight is good. Tight is best for you to soar.