Dirty.

When I look in the mirror, there are so many different things that come to mind.  Of course, vanity kicks in and I think about how I am aging.  I think about how many different hair colors and styles I’ve had through the years since starting beauty school in high school.  I think about how I favor looking like my dad over my mom.  I love my dad dearly (wonderful man!), but if you’ve ever known my mom, and how she ages- you understand where I’m coming from! I look in the mirror seeing the woman I’ve become and the woman I’ve yet to become.  I think about how I am lucky to be called Seth’s other half, and Ruby’s mom.  All in all, I prefer to dwell on God’s grace and His goodness.  I want to look at life with the glass half full and have a general hope and outlook on life.  I’d say 87% of the time, I do.  Then there’s a side of me that sees the mistakes I’ve made and the sins I’ve committed staring back at me.  (Some of those things have aged me as well.)

His Word says: “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-” Colossians 1:22

I find so much hope in that.

On our farm, we have a garden.  I should really refer to it as “an experimental plot of land designated to produce a certain yield”.  My parents always have had a decent-sized garden in their back yard.  They knew how to dig their hands in the ground and grow things like delicious tomatoes, raspberries for homemade jam, and peppers.  I’m not quite sure how or why I had never paid attention to their technique though.  Last year was the first year for our garden.  I had no idea how far apart to place our plants, how big the plot should be, or even when certain things were ready for harvesting.  We had cucumbers a foot long and so many tomatoes that all I could see was red outside of the kitchen window.  This year, I was a little more conservative in my choice of what to plant.  There’s always so many factors involved with growing something.  My farmer husband, Seth, has elaborated on this to me since we’ve been together.  Just the right conditions can make it or break it with a multitude of variations involved.  Seeds can lay dormant for x amount of years, then all of the sudden you have a yard full of garlic.

Surprisingly, there really wasn’t a major difference in yield from last year to this year despite huge atmospheric differences.  July’s rainfall broke an 140 year old record.

I lost my beloved Grandma Micki on June 30, age 91.  I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was/is for me.  I miss all day, everyday.  I always ask the Lord to tell her I love her and to give her a hug of me.  She grew up on a farm, and we talked about it often.  I loved her stories-recounting her tiny mother chasing around a headless chicken in their yard for sunday dinner.  “It was always the best chicken you’ve ever had”, she’d say.  I was so happy to make her proud that I ended up marrying a farmer.  I think about her every time I retrieve anything from the garden or eggs.  I can’t tell you how much gardening helped me during the time of losing her and its such a sweet time for prayer.  “Thank You GOD.”

I have to be honest.  I love getting dirty.  I don’t want or mean that to sound in a way it shouldn’t.  I truly love sticking my hands in the ground and digging my fingers in the soil.  There is something so healing about it.  I usually walk out to the garden a couple of times a week and harvest the ripe deliciousness awaiting me.  As I walk back in, I am always so flabbergasted at God’s goodness.  How He hold’s everything together, creates certain conditions for things to grow, and how he created every single domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.

He provides.

I can’t help but think about how that is such a beautiful, tangible metaphor for life.  Despite doing things how we interpret should be done to get a certain result, we still end up dirty.  We are still sinners.  Then there’s God.  Who loved us so much that He sent His only Son, for us.  He creates everything, plants, animals, and us and then a way for us to be without blemish.  So that when He looks at us, He does not see our dirty hands.

Seth and I call this adventure, life.  We are only our second year in growing and starting to raise animals for our food.  I tell him all of the time that I am so grateful to be doing this with him and that it is so much fun.  I am so proud to be living this life with him.  I realize that a lot of Americans have excess when others don’t, not just in America but elsewhere.  I should never take a meal for granted.  If I’m being completely honest though, when I sit down before a meal that I know where or what it came from, I can’t help but be so much more grateful.

The Lord is earnestly speaking to us, in everything.  He is begging to have a relationship with you, and for you to see Him in the simplest metaphors of life.  He wants you to look in the mirror and to see what He sees.  A clean, child of His.

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I like her.

Sitting across the table from my doctor last year, she said, “Based on all of your panels, it seems as though your body is starting to go through menopause early.” I was absolutely shocked, and I sobbed the whole way home. My husband held me as I explained the painful news. I had just gotten married to a man that I could not wait to have children with. I just turned 30 this past February, and lets be honest-  my clock was ticking. And it had been for a while.  Little did I know, I was actually a few days pregnant. Miraculously. Thankfully, I had been getting my blood checked regularly and found out quickly. I also found out that my progesterone was dangerously low, so they immediately put me on a supplement- so I would not miscarry.

Although I am 30 years old, I feel as though I’ve been alive for much longer. I have moved so many times in my adult life that I can’t count.  I’ve lived in various areas of the United States. I traveled for work for two years non-stop on world tours for a world re-known pop star. (It taxed my body and was to blame for the pre-menopausal condition.) I went to beauty school when I was in high school and started working full time at 18 years old. I had been married previously for about 5 years at a young age.   A few years into the marriage, I ended up pregnant. I had lost the baby within the first trimester, not knowing until the twelve-week check up. No heartbeat found. It was the first loss I had ever experienced. So I had to learn how to grieve. I felt the Lord’s presence in a way I had never experienced as I called out to Him for comfort. My ex-husband was no help by making painful jokes about the matter. Things with him dissolved shortly thereafter. Here I was, 25 and divorced. It seemed as though my life had gone backwards quickly as I had been married with a baby on the way, to being husbandless and childless. Doubt set in. “Will I ever marry again? Will I ever be a mom? Will I ever be able to carry a baby full term? What if God is punishing me for being divorced? I don’t deserve a second chance.”

God did have a plan much greater and more graceful than I could’ve imagined, dreamt up, or felt deserving of. I married a wonderful man named Seth, who is a farmer. He loves me like Christ loves the church. I never understood what that truly meant until I experienced being loved by him. We live on a farm with pigs, chickens, the whole bit. I absolutely love it, too. I gave birth to a chubby cheeked, precious baby girl named Ruby last August. She is about to turn one. And yes, I am getting super sentimental about it. I can hardly believe it. Mostly because I feel so undeserving, but oh am I grateful! Plus, time does go by insanely fast with kids. I think its because I’m having so much fun! She has a contagious belly laugh and there are rolls all over her body-too many to count. One eye is a slightly different in color than the other. She looks so much like her Daddy. She squeals in excitement for the movie Frozen, and loves her bed and favorite security blanket “Lucy.” She loves to be chased, loves our pets and has a major crush on her Papaw Doug. She loves all of her family and gets very excited to see them. She wakes up happy and is really serious about her food… so don’t get in her way of that! She is very sassy, but very sweet. She loves music and dancing. She hums to herself when I rock her and sing her “Jesus Loves (You)” at bed. And, the best part is, she calls me Momma.  Me?  A Mom.  Her Mom.  You see, it isn’t just that I love her, I like her. I really like her. She and I have a blast together! I am blessed to be able to stay at home with her. Seth’s job requires long, and continual hours at times. We knew this is the way we wanted to raise our kids and had discussed it in detail during our courtship.

Life from my perspective is this: There are women that can never have a child, and struggle for years after heartbreaking years to be able to. Or wait and wait for the child they dream of adopting.  There are women that have lost a child(ren). There are women that can have children that have not met their mate. There are women that have lost everything including husbands and babies. There are women capable of having a child, but their spouse is unwilling. God is a redeeming God and I truly believe His plans are good. His timing is Perfect despite our impatience or lack of understanding. Why He allows something’s for some and not for others is beyond my comprehension. It tests my faith- to be perfectly honest.

Ephesians 3:20 says “For by His mighty power, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we dare to ever ask or hope.”

I am a woman that has lived the perspective of many. I can empathize on such a deep level for wherever most people are. I cannot however understand how being blessed with a child, could ever be an annoyance or inconvenience or in simplest terms- not a top priority for someone.  I will not apologize for not wanting to join in on having a pity party in mourning my freedom or life with a child. I will not apologize for liking to spend time with my child. I do not regret where I’m at, who I’m with and what I am doing. I am the most joyful and most fulfilled I have ever been. I’m doing exactly what I know I am supposed to be doing. Some phases and days are hard- no doubt. I will be the first to admit, that I really have no idea what I am doing when it comes to parenting. I am super disorganized now, and disheveled 99% of the time. My eau de parfum is B.O., which I am not proud of- but my hygiene unfortunately gets bumped to the side. (I am a busy lady!)  I get out on my own very occasionally, and very rarely go on dates with my husband. We do strive to have some sort of regularity about it. But the truth is- life is not about us anymore. Ruby’s physical and emotional needs, as well as any other children we may have, are priority as God has entrusted us with their precious lives.  Every day that God is allowing me to be a mother, is nothing short of a GIFT, and an absolute BLESSING. I PRAISE GOD for the honor, though I am no more deserving than anyone else.