Sep 29, 2013

Selling Our Home -or- The War Within

 

So I told you in my last post, that we were selling our much loved country paradise.  It's true and well I also told you in that post that I would be back to give you the reasons as to why.  So I'm back....but I'm having trouble finding the words to write out the reasons to the why.




































I think...well, I think it all boils down to the fact that....partially, I don't believe it myself!  I mean, when I moved here I figured the only way I was leaving was when I was being carried out...in a box...if you know what I mean....










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...not to be morbid, just in a "this is my forever home", kind of way....forever in that, unless God tells us otherwise....the thing I missed might have been that God didn't necessarily have to tell US...but at least one of us....and it seems that my hubby was in communion with Him and well has been feeling the pull to move for a few months now.






































Now he, my husband, can't say 100% that God is calling us to move - but just that Dave feels that we are stretched too thin here and he thinks it would be best if we made some changes to better follow what he feels God would have for us.






































Dear hubby thinks that financially this isn't the best option for us.  It's not that we cannot afford to live here but could we better afford living somewhere else...probably.  At the end of the day...err paycheck, there isn't much....to save, to spend, to give!  So this place doesn't exactly have us living outside of our means, but living here and spending the way we would like to, certainly has us spending outside of our means. 




 
 
  
And then there is time.  Time seems to be stretched even more then our finances.  Where we are is a half hour from the city where Dave works, where our church is, where all the shopping is and it's twenty minutes from the girls' school (which I have to drive them to and pick them up from three days a week).  We have to mow about three acres of grass, chop over 20 cord or wood for heat this year, load that wood into the basement, we have regular house hold chores, farm chores, family time, visiting time, down time, creative time, time, time time....there just isn't' enough. 
 
 
 

 



































The half hour drive has also made it so that we don't get visitors as often.  People love it when they are here but that drive both here and home...well it adds up!  And for us, often it's that drive that stops us from visiting, volunteering, being involved, and partaking.  Plus my husband is just tired of the commute.










 And friends....honestly...I understand....but honestly... I just don't want to let it go.









 
 
 
This place is more then I could have ever hoped for, imagined, dreamt about.  It's perfect, right down to the amazing neighbours and our fantastic telephone number!  It meets every expectation and then tops it with a cherry!  I sigh with deep contentment every time I gaze out the windows, walk the yard or sit and listen to the sounds of nature abundant around me.
 



 
 
  
Want even more truth...I sobbed when my husband told me we would be selling. Sobbed! S.O.B.B.E.D!  I know, I know...it's just a house, a place to take shelter from the elements...it's just a first world problem...the idea of selling one home so that I can buy another one...I get that...I do.  But it's where I am right now, it's the place God brought me to, to give me healing and comfort after the loss of my dad.  It's the home where I envision my children growing up, running through the fields, climbing...and inevitably falling out of, the various trees.  It's a place where we would host many gatherings, family reunions, neighbourhood parties.  It was dreams of a wrap around porch, a guest house, a curious shop, honey bees, homemade cheese, bon fires and camp outs. 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 It was a dream.....brought to fruition.


 




And now a for sale sign sits on the front lawn.  I feel like I'm being spilt in two.  I see the wisdom in what my husband is saying, I can get excited at the possibilities of being closer to...everything and I can't help but get caught up in the idea of 'new' and change.  But then I take a long hard look at all that is around me.  At the beauty, wonder and majesty around me - the glory of our wondrous, creative, awesome, Creator.




































But it's also that Creator that is calling us to be wise.  To chose the eternal over the fleeting.  It is my God who told me I would have one fantastic year - who gave me this gift, who wrapped me in His love and said, I will never leave you, I love you more then you will ever know.  He told me in His word and He told me in song.  He has spoken to me numerous ways over the last few months, preparing me and I never knew it....or didn't want to see it.








 
 
And I think I still don't want to see it.  I cling to what is, scared to look to what will be.  I have a hard time imagining packing up the boxes here...and the idea of driving away for the very last time brings tears to my eyes...even as I type it out.....but I want to give back to Him what He has given me.  I want to offer up an empathic yes to all that He is asking of me.  I know that my reward is in Heaven.  That I have eternity to bask in the glory and wonder of the Almighty....but in the right here and the right now...I can lose sight of that.  The war within is that my flesh says stay but my spirit, my heart cries out to follow Him.
 

 
 




I know that the God I serve cares for me greater then I will ever know in this life.  That my days are in His hands and that the work He has for me is far more fulfilling than anything this world offers.  I know that every good a perfect gift is from above and that I am more blessed by knowing Him then I will ever find in the riches around me.  I know that my heart longs to serve Him, follow Him, love Him and I know He is greater then the weakness of my flesh.  I know that as we move forward in this direction He will be there, carrying me along and leading us where He want us.



And if God is calling us to a 'new land', to do His work....in His way....who am I to say no?  I am the one who gave nothing, He gave everything - the moving of my physical location is little value compared to all that Jesus gave for my eternal soul.  My home here is temporal but what Christ offers, that is eternal, and isn't He worth it?   After all He gave, after all my Lord has done - leaving this to better serve Him....that is more glorious then any old farm house, more lovely then any sunset and more beautiful then any view.






























The sun shall be no more your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon give you light;
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.

Isaiah 60:19

 





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Sep 22, 2013

Our Country Home


Well, I promised this months ago but I have just now finally got photos ready to show you.  A little tour of our country abode for y'all. 

;)

If you were here in person I would serve you coffee...or tea.  You can be sure there would be music playing and a few candles going and once we meandered through the house we'd plunk down in the living room or gather at the kitchen table and chat the day away.  Oh yes...there would probably be some sort of baked goodie to enjoy as well!


So imagine if you will and enjoy a peek into our home.



 
 
We enter through the porch and come into my farmtastic, sunshine yellow, country kitchen!
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
I just adore an eat in kitchen!! We are not a formal dining room kind of family.  I love to have the kitchen the hub of the home.  The place where people gather and stay for hours!  I also love having my sink in front of the window, where I can gaze out at the girls on the tire swing, or the chickens running in the yard or look beyond the barns to the giant old oak trees.  Bliss I tell you, bliss!
 
 
 



And here are just a few details from around one of my favourite rooms in the house!




Oh and yes, we can not forget the walk in panty!  Didn't know how much I needed one of these until I had it!  Now it's hard to image living without one! ;)  It's just lovely, not as organized as I would like it but pretty good for me!  There was a door on it but we took it off so that it is really a part of the kitchen now, plus since we cleaned it out, painted it and organized it, I very much enjoy this space!


 
 
 
 
Next to the kitchen is the room without a name.  It is technically the formal dining room for the house but we currently use it for a multitude of things.   It was our homeschool space, but it also serves as a kids play zone, crafting room, office, games room and whatever else you could cram into an area.  The window there over looks the best view of the house. 


 
 
Every room has wonderful views but it is the windows that face the back that overlook the valley, with the hill of trees in the distance and the largest expanse of sky around, that are the best!  In front of this window is where you will often find me blogging....when I can take my eyes of the beauty before me long enough to put fingers to keys.





 
 Next to the no name room is our weirdly giant two piece bathroom and laundry room - it also doubles...err triples, as my studio space.  It's a great space just strangely large!
 
 




From the formal dining room space, it's an open concept move into the living room area. 


 
 
 
And since we loved them so much, we duplicated our corner shelves from our last home.  But this time we used barn board from our barns. 
 

 
 
 
And I took a little close up of the ladder shelves we have hanging over our couch.  I love how they look and how they can hold a collection of photos and important, memory laden nick-knacks.  We bought this old ladder at a local curious shop for only $8.00!
 
 
 
And we can't forget my much LOVED wallpaper collage wall!!  LOVE it still sooo very much!! It makes me awfully happy every time I see it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
And so ascending the stairs there, we come to the master bedroom.  Originally we gave this room to the girls because well, it's ridiculously large!  (Seriously, this old house has crazy big rooms, oh and closets, seriously LOTS of closet space in a 126 year old house!) Anyways, after a while we realized the girls just felt over whelmed and so we took back the master, complete with three large windows, a big closet and it's own staircase down to the kitchen.
 
 






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This is the room the girls now share.  It's big enough for two but cozy enough they don't feel so overwhelmed.  I love it! Such a sweet space.



 

And then to round it all out is Joe's room.  Another large bedroom, another great space!



 
 
And then, my pièce de résistance, the upstairs bathroom! It may not be magazine worthy - not that I would want it to be...because then I would certainly have to clean it more often - but it's honestly the room that probably most sold me on this house in the first place!  It has a separate shower and when we bought it, a claw foot tub.  Yes, those are very neat, antique, charming...but people - if you are a bath person at all then let me tell you - practical, they are not!  They are hard, cold and small!  So out went ours and in went my deep, deep, looong, soaker! And also, and because he's the sweetest man I know - my hubby installed it reverse from the original layout, so that when I'm soaking away I can gaze out the window!
 
That's love!
 
;)
 
 
 

And then after all that, there is our third floor space.  A wonderful, large space with the best view in the house.  It could be an amazing guest space someday...but for now, it stores all of our crap stuff.


So that, my dear friends is a little peek into our much loved country home....



Okay but here's the kicker - this is our front lawn right now....





Do you see it there?  The for sale sign?


Yes friends, we are selling our much loved, prayed for, dreamt about country home.


Gasp away - I'm still in shock myself!  This post has been a hard one typing up because...well as I have been working away on it, we have listed this home, had a really good showing and even took a gander at a few other houses ourselves.

Where are we going?  Back to the city. 


But friends, I think I will leave it all at that.  This is long enough as it is and I feel I might better write out our reasons in another post - soon too I hope...seeing as the house is pretty much finished, the kids are in school, the pigs go to market in a week and the cooler weather is setting in - I just might find the time to blog a bit more!


 Thanks for visiting - come again, the coffee's always on!






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Sep 15, 2013

Riiiiing

Class is now in session!

Two weeks under their belts and my school going gals are doing....GREAT!



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So how did it all go?  I'm sure some of you are curious about the first day and even the first couple of weeks...seeing as I haven't been on to blog in that time.  Funny...since my gals have been off to school, I have been busier then ever!

Anyways, the first day started early! 





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Breakfast, making beds, getting dressed, heading out the door, only pausing long enough to capture my cuties on 'film'.




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I took the girls into their classroom and they settled in quite quickly.  The school is small, so they are in a class of about eleven kids from preschool to grade three.






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I only stayed long enough to make sure they were settled.  I joined them for "O Canada" and for the principal's prayer for the school year.  And then I was off. 



 
 
 
And no, there were no tears.  Not from them and not from me.  I'm happy and excited for them and they are happy and excited to be there.  I think though, that this week it will set in more.  I have been busy, busy - as I stated - but I think this week will slow down.  It's then, in the quite of my house, without laughter, shrieks, tears, giggles, whining and endless chatter that I will fully take in this new season.
 
 
But so far things are going very well!  Plus...I still have my baby boy here!
 

 

 
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What's he doing by that fire pit?  Well his daddy is starting him young....okay...not quite.  No, we decided to celebrate the girls first week of school with a family hot dog and marshmallow roast.
 
 




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 It was a nice time of just being.  Other then the flies, it was so lovely!  ;) 







 
And so tomorrow will be the beginning of week three.  Routine is setting in and I'm actually not minding the packing of lunches...not yet! ;)  I also will be teaching my first art class tomorrow - so I'm a bit anxious, yet excited too!  It's for the "big kids", as my gals call them - the grades five to eight, so hopefully it will be a good and eager group!


The weather has sure taken a turn here.  For a bit it seemed that summer was back with a bit of a vengeance but then, over the last few days, you can really feel Autumn is coming.  The trees across the valley are changing and I look forward to the beauty that will grace my view very shortly.







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Well I should go, gather what I need for tomorrow but I wanted to pop in and give a little update. It is also a great excuse to sit and enjoy my favourite cup of tea, an autumn candle of pure scent bliss, and the quiet of a house where the children are in bed and my husband is out.



Have a blessed week!










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Sep 1, 2013

And On That Note...Here's Why I'm Not Homeschooling...

Well friends...I must say...I feel kinda foolish...because I am going to follow up that somewhat lengthy and passionate post with a quite contrary one.

You see...after that post I have done some more searching (of my heart), praying, listening and considering.  My husband and I were up the other night and we came to some realizations that put a few things (finally) in focus and in that time we made the choice to not homeschool this year.

Yes, for this year - one year...or semester even...at a time. 





Okay, so the why of it, right?!? Well....let's make this simple, sweet and honest. (and please, this isn't meant as a debate.  It's not a stance per-say, no soap box here, this is really just my story and my feelings about all of this, for us, for right now.)

First I still stand by this statement from my last post;

"So I made the choice, when I realized that the issue was not that I needed a break from my kids - it was quite the opposite.  My kids were exactly what I needed..."

Oh! And this statement too;

"They are just little for such a short time and I realize that more and more.  They are growing crazy fast and the days fly by much quicker then I care to realize!  Yes, some days drag out and some days my kids drive my quite crazy....many days lately! ;)  But oh, those moments, those fleeting, special, gone in an instant moments, those are what make life worth living. "




And ironically enough it is because of these very reasons we have chosen not to homeschool!  Confused yet?  Well here's what it all boiled down to for me.

When I stepped back from the computer and the internet and my eyes were opened to basically my addiction to it, I realized just how much I truly loved, LOVE my children!  I realized that soaking up those little moments is special, wonderful, amazing, a blessing!  And I have been intentionally living for a couple of weeks now and it's making such a difference!  A difference in me and in the relationships around me - especially those closest to me!

That is, until I sat down to school my kids the other day.... and well...it all went to...crap!

I'm going to jump ahead and spare you the details of a tear filled, frustrated, sad and desperate time!  But basically things did not go well, as it often seems when we work on 'school' related things.  I have tried many approaches, avenues and well the short of it is - I don't want to do it anymore.

I simply want to be their mom.





Yup, that's it.  I just want to be my children's mom.  Nothing more. I do not want to be their mom and  teacher too - not to say I won't teach them in many ways.  I do not want to have to correct each mistake or be so exhausted that I cannot celebrate their joys when they finally get 'it'.  I want to encourage them, walk along side them, see them grow, blossom and become the people God wants them to be and I want to be right there while it's happening but just as their mom, nothing more.

I have found with (yes, the few short years we have been doing it) that in order to homeschool well, the mom part of me gets a bit lost.  It's a hard balance to maintain and right now and at this season I want to just mother them.  Love them.

If I could keep my kids home and not have to steer them in the ways of an eventual college education, should they choose post-secondary, then I would!  I would keep them home all day and we would enjoy all those little, wondrous, amazing moments that God has giving us in this world.  We would solely focus on God's word, learning to live and also love like Jesus and to worship our God.  We would relish in visits with family, friends and whom ever came our way.  We would take each day as it comes and let the ebb and flow of life be our lesson plan.




But, alas, such is not the ways of this world.  No, in this world I am by law, required to educate my children the way that our government sees fit.  Now, I'm not going to enter into the arguments that I can ignore the government, or that I can choose to school them how I please; I see validity in those stances and may get there at some point and in some fashion.

But for right here and right now I just want to enjoy my children. 

I hope at some point to return to homeschooling, as it has much to offer but for me, my littles and our season of life - sending them to school is our choice.  We have selected a wonderful and very small Christian school to send them to and I will be volunteering for this school.  So far I will be teaching twice a month, a one hour art class to the older grades but I will also be able to participate and be very much involved with my girl's and the things they do at school.

So we are all excited and yet still, slightly nervous and anxious as to what lays ahead. 





But I am most excited to just dust the weight of home education off of my shoulders and heave that already heavy love load of motherhood.  I adore these little people that God has blessed us with and though I don't want to miss a moment of it, having to school them myself is actually causing me to miss much of them. 

Miss being able to just mother them.

And so, on Tuesday my two sweet girls will be off to school.  I will drive them there myself and I will eagerly be waiting for them when the bell rings at the end of the day.  I will scoop them up in my arms and smother them in love, sweet, unbridled, mom love!

I realize that this may not make sense to everyone - but it's the first thing that has made sense for me in a while.  And like I said, these days of littles are flying by, much, MUCH too fast and that is why I want to spend the time I have with them, with them. I want to really take in the moments that are fleeting, precious and gone in an instant and not have to hurry along to the next lesson plan, chapter or criteria. 

I thought homeschooling was going to allow me more opportunities to soak up the little moments but right now, it isn't the case.  I have to divide myself between mom and school teacher and it isn't working.  I'm not able to focus on just them, on just who they are, the precious people God has given me.


 

And so for right now, this year, this season we are choosing not to homeschool.  We will take it all as it comes and re-evaluate in time, Dave and I are good at that it seems. I will still be living intentional, not wasting the hours between drop off and pick up with idleness or computer meandering.  I still have my baby boy at home and my middle one will only be in part time. I will still have opportunities to teach them, learn with them, grow with them.

But most importantly I will just be able to love them.


I will just be; mom.








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