First and foremost, I would like to thank you for the freedom I have discovered since my last post. Perhaps it was owning up to my part in the struggle that finally gave me permission to "let go" of something or maybe it was feeling a sense of confession that allowed me a self-permission to set this issue free... either way, I am taking deeper breaths and feeling like someone hit the slow-motion button on my life... and I am LOVING IT!
The true test will be the next time my ex and I have a disagreement. I will let you know if this new-found peace will permeate the situation and offer us both some new standing ground from which to work with. Wouldn't that just be great?
Your prayers, your advice, your love and encouragement are so very much appreciated. It still humbles me beyond words (yes, even I can be speechless at times) how many of you are out there taking the time to read these thoughts of mine... absolutely amazing to me!
And now on to sharing what has been on my heart since Saturday, which has delightfully been my beloved husband.
One of my favourite things about having finally discovered my soul mate is the process (or rather the gift) of getting to know him more and more. It seems so cliche to say that I love him more today than I did yesterday but it's true! Unless I have asked for his help in getting rid of the fluttering moth at my feet while I am rendered helpless trying to poor slow honey into my measuring cup and he decides to yell that it has gone up my pant leg instead... at which point I scream, drop the glass jar of honey - an allergen for Ethan, might I add - only to discover him laughing hysterically... in those moments I forget that I love him more today than I did yesterday. (If my high school teacher is still reading these posts, I greatly apologize for the huge run-on-sentence... hee hee hee!) But usually thirty minutes later, I can smile (mostly) and recall that even those moments make me love him more... either that or I have a really poor memory!
Our latest indulgence is sitting out on our newly screened in front porch and just visiting together as we watch the swarm of mosquitoes try desperately to reach the fresh blood they can smell through the screen.. ha ha, take that mosquitoes! The sound of nature around us is peaceful, the cool breeze is refreshing and the fresh air sets the mood for cottage relaxation. What better environment to enjoy each others' company??
Saturday night was no exception. It was one of those rare occasions when Duane had more to say than I did! And the stories he shared of his childhood left me grinning ear to ear falling more in love with the man before me and the family that helped shape the character that is "Duane".
He told me about Rocket, a steer he helped raise when he was a young teenager. Duane is an only son and he and his father shared an inseparable bond right from the start. If you knew Duane's father, you would know that he is a man of few words (or at least as I have known him, but I hear that others might smile at themselves and beg to differ!), of calm disposition (despite his great size) and a work ethic that could put the hardest working among us to shame! Duane's father is nearly fifty years his senior but that never once kept those two from knowing each other through and through. This was evident in how Duane could tell how far to move the hay bale wagon or the grain trucks just by looking at his father's face! They shared an unspoken language, or rather a "knowing" between them that is beautiful in my mind to have been witness to.
Well, this Rocket was a fiery little calf and he would leap about the cow pen but would always settle down when Duane would enter the pen. Not only would he settle down, but he would seek Duane out and nuzzle him similarly to the way a horse would! Duane even recalls Rocket lying on the ground and letting Duane climb onto his back and he would get up and strut around proudly with Duane as his little cowboy!
But alas, the day came to sort the fat cows from the lean for processing and to Duane's surprise, this meant watching Rocket make his way with the others who would be processed for human consumption... It was a harsh reality check for a young man who forgot that even the animals most unique in character, the ones that even touch your heart, continue on in the circle of life.
Not an easy lesson for anyone to learn!! I still shed tears when the chickens get their heads cut off! But somehow there is greater peace in being part of the process and knowing it is being done with appreciation for the animal's life than to imagine a cold, dark, machine operated plant that takes these animals' lives without a second thought...
Alright, so the slaughtering of sweet animals was NOT what I appreciated about my conversation with Duane on Saturday but rather learning more about his heart's appreciation for God's creation, His animals and our responsibility to care for them ethically and responsibly.
And the last story that touched my heart and made me love him more deeply was the one when his father had broken his hip. Duane was in his mid-twenties and he and his mother were the only family members left at the farm to care for dad. Duane didn't even think twice about taking over the responsibilities of the farm making sure that his parents did not have anything to worry about. But one day, Duane was in the barn processing cattle (giving their shots, castrating the bulls, etc...) and dad decided to sit in the barn and watch. Dad could barely make his way to the barn door let alone open it to let the cattle through and Duane couldn't figure out why his father was sitting there watching him...
until he finally asked him "Dad, why are you here?" And his father plainly answered "Because I like to watch you."
Duane couldn't understand why his father would want to just sit and watch him... until now.
He said to me "I look at Ethan and already know that I, too, will want to just enjoy watching him work. I finally understand what my dad meant."
And with that, we welcomed a father's day the next day with a new appreciation for my husband's role as a father to our children and a deeper appreciation for the love our fathers have had for us.
I pray that you all had good fathers in your own lives, or at least good fatherly figures. If not, I pray that our Heavenly Father has been or can be the rock in your life that loves you as you are MEANT to be loved. And if you are a father reading this, I pray for your sanctified role in the lives of your wife/partner and your children. Bless you all out there and praise be to God for the Father He is to all of us!
And to my husband - thank you for letting me "know" you and the many ways you fill my heart! And for graciously giving your permission to share who you are with all those who share in our lives through this blog. My heart is forever yours, my love.