A Look Back, So We Can Look Ahead

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but them shall I know even as also I am known. 

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

I Corinthians 13:12-13

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Going through pictures yesterday, I was reminded of how things change.

I guess everyone is inclined to do that when they look through pictures – even if their not really old, per se.

I was looking through pictures of a couple years ago. 2011.

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Carra was 18, I was 19, going to turn 19 and 20 later on in the year.

Daddy had taken a day job in town for the first time in our memories, and us girls were at home most of the time; cooking, canning, and doing things we later would come to love (though at the time it was mainly work).

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 This was the year we began doing some outside jobs; four or five in this year actually.

Daddy had begun working on getting his GC license again and we were picking up a few small jobs for individuals.

Earlier in the year we had traveled so far as Statesville NC to work.

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It was also the year of the big snow (something very rare for South Carolina!).

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That was the last time I remember sledding – and the first time I remember sledding since 2003 when we had a huge snow over in Gaffney, SC.

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Our herd of goats was still small; Daisy, her two daughters Joy and Princess, and our buck Silver. We had scores of chickens though! And we loved every minute of chores. 🙂 I don’t think the goats liked the snow as much as we did though! 😀

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It was the first year we had more than one goat give birth at once (and the last year that kidding season was not so exhausting). It was also the year our little Rosie was born. 🙂

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We would take long walks on the dam behind our house, Carra and I together, and K would read to me.

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We had a special mothers’ day – of course, this was before we knew how much we would need to use that grill when a huge storm came through shortly afterwards and took away our electricity for two or three days! 😀

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Things were changing in our family; so slowly, but they were.

We weren’t always happy with the changes, but come they would, and the things that went on in this year, and the years before that, the Lord put within our lives to change us into better servants for Him.

Of course we didn’t know it at the time, and still are not often aware of it when He is working.

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I could go on and on about the changes of 2011. The things we went through; all the learning we did – a lot of it in cooking and canning! We had tons of pickles that year and preserves.

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Carra, I’m sure you’ll remember this blurry picture!

We thought this was the very pits of life, didn’t we? The month or more we spent at this home, working – and learning so much about our work!

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Glazing windows.

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And painting them – then trying to get them unstuck! 😀

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We thought this was just the worst part of our lives that could be imagined.

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It was the first time in 11 years that my sister and I ventured to have separate rooms.

And it worked.

Mainly because one sister was on the computer a lot at the time, while the other wanted to sleep!!

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And though we thought we were so, so unhappy….

We can look back now and see the joy that’s hidden in these pictures; the joy we didn’t really know that we had.

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It was a year of learning; of doing things we’d never done before, of experiencing changes we never imagined would come, and of touching new relationships that for a while seemed to send our family on rollercoasters – when really all the were doing was showing us hills and valleys that weren’t really all that deep or tall.

If only we could have seen this then.

If only we could have seen the Lord’s Hand in our circumstances, and learned then to love everyday as if it were our last, and to put our most into each moment for the glory of our Lord Jesus and the love of each other.

If only we could have seen this then.

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And today; as we work…trudging through hours of labor we outright despise, having no time at home as we think we ought, and struggling with relationships – within our family and without – as well as laboring in our own personal relationships with our Jesus….

If today we would just look up.

If we would take a lesson from our past.

All those hours we could have enjoyed and rejoiced in, even in trials and trouble, if only we would have seen Jesus’ working.

And what of today?

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In the simple things in life – and the most difficult – He is still here, still working.

Why can’t we just trust Him?

Why don’t we ever learn this lesson?

Instead of being downcast and depressed and drug down because of tribulation and struggles? Why can’t we embrace these hardships and hold onto Christ, knowing His is always a better plan?

Mobile Blogging…being a teen…growing up…and other things.

Well…unlike I figured…I have a nice deal of time on my hands today with which to write a blogpost – even mobile. 🙂 actually I have a LOT of time today!

The surgery is taking the whole day, so far as can be told right now, so everyone is sitting around talking, doodling, and otherwise killing time while we pray for Randy in the operating room and trust the Lord’s Hand will guide the surgeons as they work.

It’s a wet, chilly day today.
It was even worse at 2:00am when we got up!!

That’s writing-worthy!

As I may have mentioned before, I am more of a night type person. I like to stay up late, reading or writing. Getting up before the sun is not usually my favorite way to start the day. I don’t mind sometimes…but 5 is about as early as I can handle.

Well…in order to see Randy before they took him back to surgery, we had to make it 150 miles or so by 7:00am.
Which meant, in order to get chores done, we had to get up at TWO!

So…up at 2, chores at 2:30, breakfast 3:30, then on the road by 4:07. A two and a half hour drive and we’ve been in Winston Salem, at the baptist hospital since 6:44.
Thank the Lord we did get to see Randy before they took him back – but just before. He got ere just a few minutes after us and they took him in less than half an hour later!

Now we’re in the dreaded hours of waiting…aching…praying…starving…bored…waiting…praying…aching…thirsty…getting lost in the hospital…..
The list goes on.

But we’re enjoying it – despite the circumstances and the tiredness! It’s nice to see our relatives again, get caught up on the bits of news we’ve missed, and see Randy’s boys again.

Trai and Thomas have certainly grown – even since my first mention of them on my blog a couple years ago!
Watching them play games, organize their collection of miniature cars and trucks (and planes!), draw (and very well, I might add!), study up on their homework, etc. it reminds me of when I had just turned a teen (and a little younger).

13.
That was a beautiful year.
It should be really; the child is growing, feeling his age, learning more about life, but still young enough to enjoy it – all of it, not just parts of it like adults! – in their simplicity.

Hmm…
When I turned 13, my family was in the middle of moving to a new home, I was thoroughly enjoying both piano and writing, was busy with my school lessons, and only had the responsibility of my four year old cat and partial responsibility of our four dogs.
I and my sister took up violin that year and The Lord truly blessed that. Besides Mamas attempt to teach us guitar when we were six or seven, learning violin was our first experience with a stringed instrument. It was a LOT of work, but The Lord planted the desire to play so deep in our young hearts that it took off like wildfire and despite the aching necks and fingers, we learned quickly and loved every minute of it!

It was also the year that the Lord blessed our young bee farm; our whole family spent a LOT of time tending the bees, building supers, catching swarms, harvesting honey, and talking talking, talking about bees.

It was a year of learning, changing, expanding my mind (not through reading, I add, my affair with reading had already waned), experiencing new things and meeting new people.

I did not write much in my diary that year. I didn’t like where we were living, I thought everything exciting had been left behind at our old home. So, I didn’t care to write much about my life (I just wrote stories) though now I wish so much I had documented more about my first year as a teenager. (Though I do not in any way regret the hours I spent scribbling stories. The Lord taught me more in that year – and in the next two or three – about writing than I think I ever learned mechanically since.)

13 was a good year for me – I might not have felt so at the time – but looking back, it was a very good year.
But isn’t every year like that?
Every year we should appreciate the Lord’s working in our lives – no matter what we see in our natural sight. His work is so much greater than our ideas – our biggest dreams are so time compared to His plans for us.

May we learn to love each day, each month, each year as a gift from our Savior.
One day we WILL look back and see His Hand in our lives where before we saw only trouble and trials, and we will lift our hand in Praise to His Providence.
But how much more wonderful our lives would be if we could become conscious of this WHEN it is happening!

“For with Thee is the Fountain of Life: in Thy Light shall we see Light. O continue Thy Lovingkindness unto them that know Thee; and Thy Righteousness to the upright in heart.”
Psalm 36:9-10

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