The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9.
Ah, our precious plans, goals, and dreams. We think we know where we’re going, what we’re doing, and what the reasonable outcomes could be. The stars seem to align, and each new day is fresh and exciting.
But then, oftentimes, the clouds rush in. Tiny raindrops swell to a downpour, sending us running for cover. We dry off, peer out the windows, assess the damage. And begin again with new plans, a new direction.
Last summer, we were sidelined by a badly broken toe for Big Country, right at the height of the work season and just as we began construction of the tiny house.
This past month, it has been Big’s injured knee and his subsequent need to drop out of Fire Academy and at least a few weeks of work as well.
But if we remember who it is that both summons and calms the storms, who allows the waves on the shore to reach only so far, who hung the sun and stars and who gave a rainbow in days of old as a promise . . . perhaps then we can trust our steps will be guided as well.
To continue the happy series of I Choose Joy, here are this month’s moments of joy and gratitude:
- Having Daddy home every day now! Not a worry to the kids, of course, and we all have enjoyed the extra hugs, songs, books, snuggles, walks around the farm, and everything else.
- Big reading The Hobbit to us, pausing here and there to show the kids an illustration or explain just how big the trolls were.
- Beach blanket picnic with the kids in the yard.
- Reading uplifting articles about the rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
- Picking grapes and making grape juice.
- Lunch with some friends on a Sunday afternoon . . . catching up, kids splashing in the pool, pizza, salad, and enormous cookies.
- Labor day campfire and hot dog roast.
- Coffee and the park with a best friend.
- Practicing writing numbers with Rig.
- Reading Winnie-the-Pooh to Rig up in the loft while his sisters napped beside us. Loft naps in general are the best.
- Watching Firebell contentedly prune the rosebush by herself. Ours don’t have any blossoms, but our friends’ bushes do!
- Chasing grasshoppers.
- The arrival of the Canadian geese, the deer, and monarch butterflies passing through.
- Rig helping load the young hens into their new wagon . . . so eager to work, and such a genuine help.
- Watching the mama hen cluck to her baby chicks, leading them to water.
- Rainy days, misty mornings, puddles, and pebbles.
- Shelling peas, shucking corn, and feeding the husks to the cows.
- Giving a massage therapy treatment to a longtime client. A relaxing break for both of us.
- Unpacking fall clothes for the kids . . . including my favorite, homemade bubble pants and Mamaw’s crocheted hats.
- Visits with our family-of-12 friends, talking for hours and getting closer to solving the world’s problems (just not quite yet).
- Sundays, our favorite day of the week. Driving through the countryside, watching the corn grow higher than the truck. Visiting wonderful friends. Singing worship songs the kids hum throughout the week. Sermons from the heart, lately from the Beatitudes.
- An unexpected gift from the dairy manager of ground elk and a ham roast. How did he know what would make our week? We are spoiled.
- And the most beautiful, vividly bright full rainbow we’ve ever seen, over the farm . . . a promise of a new day.