Butterfly Sparks Designs

Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekend Trip to Abilene

Our home away from home.

This week I joined Mark and the boys on a trip to Abilene to visit the deer lease. We drove out on Saturday morning. Got to visit with our friends - the Schuman's - then picked up the RV and went straight to the state park to set up. The boys went hunting twice while I watched movies, slept late and got to catch up on some reading. In the afternoon on Sunday they did a little trout fishing and then we packed up and headed home. It was a lot of fun. Here are some pictures from the weekend.

Mark and I went out for Sunday lunch by ourselves to Perini Ranch. The food was good but the bread pudding was amazing! Love this picture of Mark...

Here's Matthew and Mark on the fishing dock. They had just stocked the pond with trout, but we didn't catch much. Wish we had, love pan fried trout!

Here's Luke! Looking cool for the camera.

This is my first time to spend the night in the RV since we lived in it for 6 months in Biloxi, Mississippi. Mark was deployed to the area immediately following Hurricane Katrina.

The first month we were in Biloxi was crazy. Mark was navigating the emotionally devastating landscape. I was managing the emotionally devastating life change. After a month or so we put our kids in a local private school and we began to settle down. Once we had some semblance of family life, I began to enjoy the lack of activity. It was just us and our kids. Things got really simple, really fast.

I used to get up in the morning – go outside the door – pull the boys school uniforms out of plastic tubs – come back inside and make a nutritious breakfast (cereal in paper bowls). Then we'd drive them to school, go the library to pay some bills or maybe stop at the grocery store. Come back to the trailer. Clean (30 minutes). Start a load of laundry (this included a walk with the dog and a couple of trips back and forth). Now what? Make a few phone calls for Mark, schedule a few appointments, and fill out a paper or two. When all of my household “chores” were done then the best part of the day would come – reading! I read a lot of books in Mississippi. The library was near by and free. Our life was quiet, uncluttered, and peaceful.

You didn’t complain in that season. After all, we owned a beautiful new trailer with 4 bunks and a slide. We picked it out ourselves, stocked it top to bottom and stored everything else we owned. We managed to find an RV park where the electricity and cable TV were restored. If we really wanted to – we could pack up and drive away.

Families all around us were staying in tiny trailers where the bed and the table were one and the same. They had no clothes except what they were given off the Wal-Mart parking lot. Their friends were scattered. Their schools were destroyed. Their jobs were lost. Yet, almost everyone we met was nice, helpful, smiling and in general uncomplaining. We learned to focus on them and not on ourselves.

Christmas that year was different. We bought an 18 inch Christmas tree with iridescent lights. Grammy mailed my birthday present to me – it was the willow tree Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. Her note said it was sent with a hope for a future home. We put the nativity (which was almost as big as the tree) on our little table and strung some multi-color lights from the awning outside. That was the extinct of our Christmas decor. We waited to buy gifts until the last minute because there was no place to hide anything or to store any wrapped gifts. It sounds pitiful, but really it was sweet.

Early in the month of December I began to tell God that I really wanted a home again - a house really. It has been almost six months since we pulled out of the city limits of Abilene. I really wanted to get out of the RV and into something with some more space. More than that, I was thirsting for friendship and community; a sense of belonging. I felt like I wanted to stretch out, do something, and make a transition. Finally, right before Christmas Mark was released. Within a few days we drove to the metroplex and began to day by day figure out what and where we were supposed to go next. The rest is history, so they say.

I was so glad to get out of this 32’ trailer that I find now I have forgotten some of its benefits. Things like simplicity and close family and quiet. As I sit here in the trailer, it’s the first time in months I feel like I’ve really been alone. I’ve been alone lots of times, of course, but there’s been a lot of static in my life lately. A lot of background noise and competition for my thought life. As I take a few minutes to record my memories, acknowledge some important lessons and appreciate the friends we made in Abilene, I am made grateful again. It seems that every season and every circumstance has a purpose in God’s master plan. Sometimes that purpose and plan can only be discerned from the rear view mirror.

Looking ahead to the New Year, I wonder what 2010 will hold. I’m almost afraid to ask Him, but then I remember that my word for 2009 has been a lifeline and an anchor for me, even if it did produce wariness when I first received it. Every time I am buffeted by the winds of change and struggle to hear in spite of the static, that word has resonanted in my spirit. I am confident that whatever 2010 holds all will be well. All is not lost, nor are we without hope. He who promised is faithful!

1 comment:

Melissa Terry said...

Wow, this post brought me to tears. So many things are oh so close to home. Remembering your countenance after being freshly released from that season...so sweet.

So thankful for you...