I’m back from New York. It was breathtakingly beautiful. From the time I left the state of NC there wasn’t anything but miles and miles of rolling hills, fields, and farmhouses. So many pictures to share of my time camping and visiting Farm Sanctuary, but I’m housesitting right now and don’t want to download my pics onto this computer..so that will have to wait. Coming soon, though. Possibly Friday?? 🙂
I can share some of my favorite moments and life lessons (it seems like God chose this time to show me some things about myself. Instead of being in constant conversation with Him throughout the trip, I spent most of my time listening to Him…it was a good place to be).
- Randomly breaking into “America, the Beautiful” several dozen times on the trip. Seriously- I couldn’t contain myself. I couldn’t get over upstate NY. The scenery was just too amazing. Luckily, one of the girls found my random loud singing amusing- the other, not so much. **I should also mention that while “America, the Beautiful” is a logical song selection for where I was, I also kept singing “Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. I have no idea. I sing whatever comes to my mind, and those two were the ones that kept coming.**
- Sliding in my socks Tom Cruise-style across the wooden floor of the People Barn at midnight. Pitch black. For no reason whatsoever. Oh yeah, there was a reason- because I could.. and no one was awake to watch me. (Since there were so many barns at Farm Sanctuary, we dubbed the only barn without animals the “People Barn” to distinguish it from the others.)
- Seeing pigs frolic in the fields. I had no idea that pigs could frolic, or that they wanted to. These were the happiest pigs I’ve ever seen. Pictures to come!
- The cramped night I spent sleeping in the backseat of the Honda because I thought I heard a bear outside of my tent. Oh, and the total two hours of sleep I got that night because after I learned there, in fact, wasn’t a bear outside of my tent, the weather decided to take a nasty turn (since I was safe in the Honda already–how polite of the weather) and there were thunderstorms for the next four hours. No. sleep. at. all.
- Hiking four miles in Filmore Glenn State Park. So much beauty…. pics to come.
- Becoming buds with Lila the goat at Farm Sanctuary. I now know what it feels like to have a horn rubbed across my butt for attention. Sweet, sweet Lila.
- Having breakfast at the People Barn every morning with…I wish I could remember her name! I think it was Joan or Joanie? Anyway, her and her family were from Pennsylvania. She owned two acres too. She gave me a lot of great advice on starting my own compost and organic garden 🙂 So grateful for those words of wisdom!
- Downing, inhaling, chugging-whatever you want to call it- a Red Stripe as soon as I got to my house. Oh- and dancing with Marley in celebration of our reunion. She’s quite the dancer. I’ll have to record it on video one day for you guys.
Things I learned about myself that I didn’t know…
- I can very easily step into a leadership position..even if I’m only pretending to know how to do something, I’ll do it with confidence.
- I have very low patience and tolerance for ungratefulness, back-sassing, and laziness.
- It’s hard for me to be around people that don’t care about the same things I do.
- How the words I speak can create or destroy the atmosphere around me. How they can build or tear-down. Inspire or deflate. While some thoughts I have should be spoken aloud, others should not. I need to think before I speak more often.
- How important words of affirmation are to me. I learned on this trip that I heavily rely on this from my husband, but without him there, I often felt defeated and incompetent.
This has been a rough two weeks for me. The trip wasn’t what I thought it would be. It was beautiful, so so beautiful…but I went hoping for a change of heart on some things, and I didn’t get them. If anything, those things were only affirmed more while I was there! I had about a day at home before I had to go to Charlotte to housesit for seven days.
The night I got home from my trip, Jason had to work. But I eventually met up with him for dinner. It was a great evening. We talked late into the night and when we woke up (both cell phones off), I made pancakes with homemade blackberry sauce. We did my favorite thing at our new house- sat at the table on our porch, eating breakfast, drinking tea, watching Marley run around and sniff. No traffic can be heard. No cars. Nothing. Just the birds singing. It’s the perfect start to any day. Those moments are my favorites.
But eventually we had errands to run, phones to turn back on. My mood turned sour because I knew I had to leave again that night. I spent the rest of the day in a grumpy state and I’ve regretted it all week. Instead of relishing precious time with my husband, I chose to be moody and put up a wall against his jokes and playfulness. I do this so often. Not only with Jason, but with everyone. I have to protect myself…so my heart says. I’ve only been married for about three months, but I wonder how many marriages suffer from this? Letting the stress of the day to day routine get under our skin, so much so that it dampens the time you have with your spouse? Are we being intentional enough in our marriages?
School started this week. It’s my senior year. By this time next year I’ll be finished! I went back on Monday…I went to my Cell Physiology lecture. As I sat there, waiting for class to begin, I watched students pour in the doors. I watched them choose their seats and laugh with their friends with such an ease and confidence I never possess…. This impending feeling of doom came over me. All of sudden, I wanted to grab my things and run out of the classroom. To hide in a closet and make myself disappear.
Voices began in my head- “They’re smarter than you. It’s so easy for them. They all remember the different types of cells from a year ago. You just took cell bio and can’t remember half of them.” The enemy started in–bringing with him the sense that I don’t belong at the university. That I try so hard and my grades hardly reflect my efforts. That this will be another semester of just getting by because I’m not enough…
I have this irrational fear that my true background will be exposed to my peers one day. That the fact that I don’t come from a well-to-do family is written on my face. That I ate spam and cheese during my childhood years because we didn’t have a lot of money. That I wore hand me downs and donated clothes all of my life because my mom couldn’t afford new clothes for us…Do these people see that? Not that I’m ashamed of who I am or how I grew up, but I often feel like I don’t fit in with the students at the university. Or fit in at a lot of places, for that matter.
My confidence lately, in who I am as a wife, a student, and a friend has taken a nosedive. I have spent most of this week feeling guilty about how I reacted to certain situations. The other is spent feeling inadequate and defeated. Not a good way to start the semester.
Times like this I have to remember who God says I am: He says I am beautiful. That I am smart and capable. That he wouldn’t give me anything that I can’t handle. He says that I am loved and that I am human. I will make mistakes in my marriage and my relationships, but that I grow from them is the most important thing. He says he loves the purity of my heart. He says I am strong and determined.
He says to trust Him. Completely.
It’s something I will work on. I don’t believe those words about myself that I wrote above, but I want to.
Sorry for rambling. This week has just been crazy. Though I am thankful for the opportunity to housesit (Jason and I are saving for a tractor!), I am seriously missing home. Jason is coming over for dinner tomorrow and we are going to a revival event at church afterward. Looking forward to it.
Pictures from the trip, Rick Warren book review (still!), update about the homestead, and thrift store finds (I’m never shopping at a regular store again…good, good finds this week!).
Thanks for sticking with this post,