Sunday, December 13, 2015

21 years

Several weeks ago, the Coach and I went away for a weekend by ourselves.  There was a time when a weekend away meant a clean house, meals in the freezer, getting my nails done, having things organized for the kids, and packing my "nice" clothes.

This time?  I literally threw my yoga pants and a school t-shirt in a bag with my overnight stuff, grabbed my laptop, and left a sweet friend at home with the troops in a messy house.  We picked up take-out on our way (and enough for leftovers for lunch the next day) and packed oats and coffee for both mornings. Because we are pretty much 80 years old.  Ha!

And it was heavenly.

Sleeping until I woke up.  Twice.  Planning and discussing and catching up.  Without being interrupted or having the phone ring or stopping to switch the laundry or fix dinner.

Of course we had to come in for a game on Saturday night.  And we missed a game Saturday morning.  We finished it off with our long Sunday run (in the afternoon, because... sleep!).  Even squeezed a movie in before the game.

This week the Coach and I will celebrate 21 years of marriage.  

Which means I've officially been married as long as I wasn't.  Or something like that.

We'll celebrate with a basketball game.  Of course.

At some point over the holidays we'll go to dinner - we've already talked about whether it will be Charlestons (always so good) or the Cheesecake Factory (because we haven't been there in years!).  I'm happy just to BE with my Coach.  Sit across from the table from him.  Talk to him.  Discuss what's going on with the kids. Work through the next week's schedule.

Neither of us are who we were 21 years ago.  But the beautiful thing is that together we've both become something that we never would have been apart.  

I've been so challenged by the Coach's consistency and discipline.  I've even learned a bit of it. And he's learned to extend a lot more grace to his much less ambitious wife.

It's a gift, this thing called marriage. It was God's idea and it's a good one.

Last year on our 20th anniversary, the Coach had the flu.  Five of the kids had the flu.  I celebrated by caring for them.  Not a bad way to commemorate it, really.

This year?  There won't be a cruise or a trip, or much of anything else during basketball season.  And please, Lord, can we skip the flu part?

But real life is truly good.  I'd rather have quiet weekends at the farm working on the budget.  Moments watching our kids on the court.  Precious family time with our college kids home.

So. Very. Blessed.

Happy 21st, Babe.  I'd say yes all over, again.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I just saw my post from three weeks ago and I almost walked away.

I could say the very same things, today.

But isn't that life? Many days DO look the same.  My list certainly does.

Get up earlier than I'd like.
Drink coffee.
Put the laundry in the dryer.
Wake up Little Man.
Get breakfast stuff out.
Make sandwiches times seven.
Get six kids and the Coach off to school.
Start laundry.
Load and start the dishwasher.
Work out.
Drink more coffee.
Run errands.
Fold laundry.
Make something for dinner.
Pick up kids.
Go to basketball games.
Supervise homework and showers and more laundry for the next day.
(The Coach always supervises the dinner dishes - I love him for that.)

There may be a few variations, but this is LIFE for me right now.

Working through, processing, continuing to hand over the hard things to our loving Lord.
Focusing on, soaking in, reminding myself of the good in every day.

I'm still in the Psalms.  Still singing worship songs (and some Michael Buble' Christmas, too) in the shower.  Still playing Daily Audio Bible when I get ready in the mornings.

Maybe this is where I'm camping out for awhile.  Life is good.  And life is exhausting.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with our troops.  All home.  All eight.  So amazing.

Cooking, baking, running the Turkey Trot, time with family.  Cousins everywhere, two birthdays (Son #1 turned 20.  TWENTY!), an ice storm, family pictures.

And now, two weeks later, my college kids are headed home again.  Taking their last finals this morning.  They've survived their first semesters at new schools with new classes and new friends.  I'm so proud of them.

I finally got our Christmas cards ordered this morning - which means they may or may not be mailed before Christmas.  I'm headed to help my girl pack some things up to move into a different dorm room before break.  The Jr. High girls have games this afternoon, while the Varsity boys play at our gym.  The Coach is bringing the littles home so they can welcome our oldest when he drives in.  Dinner is ready to go in the oven and will be eaten as some point.

The house may not be as clean as I would choose.  I didn't have time to make cinnamon rolls for the kids.  A leg injury has kept me from running all week.  And let's be honest, we all have things that make the holidays a super hard time.  Family issues, broken relationships.  This earthy life is full of sorrow. Current world events and leaders make me long for the new heaven and the new earth.

But in the midst of it all... our Faithful God.  I trust Him, today, with all of it. The fun blessings and the not so fun ones. He's sovereign over it all.  Even when most days look pretty much the same.

I pray that your Christmas season is filled with the Hope of Glory.  The Savior of the world, who knows and loves YOU.  Numbers the hairs on our heads (which must be super difficult, considering what I clean out of the shower drain every day!), knows the burdens on our hearts, and loves us in spite of ourselves.

Happy Thursday.