Hi y'all! It's been a long time hasn't it? I know you mostly know the bits from being friends on facebook, but I thought I would dust off the old virtual stationery and sit down and give an update.
The weather here in North Texas (as in everywhere else in the nation) has been hot! Yesterday the thermometer on the back porch read 116 degrees! It's all that people can talk about (including me.)
It has been about a year since the kids and I moved from Fort Polk while hubby was finishing up his final months of a 20 year career in the Air Force. When he retired, we had been married for 15 years. Added all together, the deployments and separations due to his job equaled 4 solid years. 4 years of our 15 year marriage spent apart. This past year has been such a blessing of having him home and the sure knowledge that we won't be facing those kinds of separations anymore. I would never undo those years and I am thankful to be in a new phase.
During the past year we saw many changes. We have already moved 3 times. Our second Daughter joined the Air Force and was medically disqualified and sent home after several months of making a go of it. She moved in (next door) with Grandma and Grandpa and is working several jobs to save up to get her own place and waiting for school to start this month so she can work on getting a degree in physical education. 18 is proving to be a lovely and difficult age for us to watch her be. I say, "watch" because that is all we can do now. She's a precious girl, finding her way and making some choices that make us wince and duck and get on our knees in prayer. I remember those years in my own life and thank God every.single.day that He pulled me through and out of those onto a solid foundation of believing and trusting in Him.
Our oldest daughter will be leaving her teen years behind next week. You want to talk about pulling through. Her son is 2 1/2 and she is a good, good Mommy. Again ~ a child making choices that sent us to our knees. Of course, we would love for her to be married and we are very fond of her boyfriend. Even so, we are ever thankful and proud that they are working together in love to raise their son and making him a priority.
The twins. Oh my the twins. They are starting their sophomore year in High School. And their second year in North Texas. They will be 16 in November and will be learning to drive soon. TWO of them. Learning to drive. Aaaaannnnnddddd back to my knees I go. :) Boy twin stands 6'3" and girl twin 5'4". No, they are not identical. Yes, people still ask me that.
Along with our daughter, Hubby will be attending college in the fall to earn a degree in welding. He has been wanting to do this for many years, and thanks to the GI Bill, he will begin working that dream into reality in just a few weeks.
We are coming upon a challenging life situation, which, of course, is nothing new. We have been living in the rental house next door over to our property for the past year and we received a letter stating that we are required to sign another year rental agreement or move out. We will be moving out.
We are making some bold choices about what to do next that will certainly take dedication, patience and prayer. (Is there a theme here?) The ideas that we had about what life would be like on the outside aren't the reality that we are living. Although I do have 3 jobs, they are not providing the income that we thought I would be able to achieve once I could work outside the home full-time and although Hubby's retirement pay is enough to live on if one has no debt and is not trying to build a new home, it is not enough to live on if you do have debt and are trying to build a new home.
So, we are now entering the beginning phases of plan "D". We are outfitting the barn with some living space and looking into bringing a travel trailer to our property to supplement that living space and we are moving onto our own land. Finally. Plan D allows for us to be investing back into our own future, rather than the neighbor's future and will allow us to easily live within our means. The plan is to work our debt elimination plan to completion and then build our house. Now don't get all wound up about, "Living in a barn?? Living in a trailer?? With four people and two dogs???" I did say it was going to be challenging. We have agreed that we will do it as long as we can possibly stand it and we are trying to make it as comfortable and doable as possible while staying within the budget we have for this endeavor and when the day comes that we can no longer deal, we will make other arrangements.
I celebrated my 39th birthday. I tell you what folks, I have really enjoyed my 30's. I will live this last year of them with joy and look forward to my 40's being even better!
I have had amazing blessings in this last year that I have been able to travel for photography and worship and although these trips have not been money-makers, how many people get to go to Hawaii for free and spend a week taking pictures of their friends and making new ones? And how many people get to say, "I got to travel to lead women to Throne of God in worship and all needs were taken care of." Well, I suppose a lot of musicians get to say that, but not me. 'Til now.
We have been attending a local church for some time now and I have begun to sing with the Praise Team. This is a church in transition and we are treading carefully on letting our hearts get too deep until we know for sure this is where we are supposed to be, but the people are so dear and the doctrine is sound. We shall see.
Blessings on your day my friends,