Lots of fun and exciting things have happened. There have also been moments where my heart has felt heavy and life has felt challenging.
Something fun was when I saw two foxes hanging out at a house just around the corner from me.
They were sitting together at the end of the driveway until one had an itch and needed the brick wall nearby to scratch it.
Karyn says that one is called Charlie and he is a regular around our neighborhoods.
I think this is true because Ben and I saw him again in another yard when we were walking home from watching fireworks on the 4th of July.
We had an amazing weekend in June at Camp Pathfinder in Algonquin Park with my extended family on my mom's side. We slept in platform tents and Ben and I paddled around the island, without tipping over, in a wood and canvas canoe. My cousin Warren showed us around his wood shop and explained how they make and maintain the canoes that we were enjoying. We visited with aunts, uncles and cousins and ate lots of delicious foods.
Our yard is still full of flowers and colors, although the weeds that we have not had time or energy to pull are becoming more assertive.
After about a month of thinking that my work was causing my heart to feel heavy, I discovered that I was mostly missing Ben.
I remember Kelli Anderson saying something earlier this year about how she doesn't look forward to the summer months the way most people do because she knows that it will mean that Philip is extremely busy with farming. I remember thinking something like, "Hmmmmmmm...that's interesting. I don't think I've felt that way. Summer is so much fun and I love summer!"
But now, I feel much more understanding and empathy because I have really been missing Ben.
He is so very busy farming. I cannot even describe how hard he, the Andersons and all of those work share volunteers work every day in order to grow and harvest delicious vegetables. They usually start really early in the morning and work until after dark. (I am beaming with pride as I think about how hard Ben works. And, I miss him.)
I miss the rhythm of the winter months when he can steal a morning at home if I'm going into work late or take off an entire Wednesday to spend with me. I miss waking up and starting our day together and having time and energy at the end of the day to connect.
And, I don't like these feelings of mine. I don't want to admit that I am not functioning as well as I can because I am not spending as much quality time with my husband as I desire and need. I don't like to ask him to see if he can leave work early because I need to see him, to touch him and to talk with him.
However, as I have discovered in the past month, the alternative is worse. When I refuse to admit my need and make my requests known, then my heart gets hard. I struggle to connect with Ben even when he is available because I have told my heart to stop desiring connection with him. In trying to cope with things by myself and not inconvenience Ben, I have actually made the problem worse.
God, in His kindness, has been inviting me to practice honesty with myself. It's not really Ben who has a problem with my needs. It's not God either. In fact, it's me who has the greatest problem with all of my desires, my needs, my feelings, my hopes and my fears. It's not God or others who are telling me to keep quiet and take care of myself. It's God and others who are inviting me into rich, authentic life where my requests are made known and intimacy brings joy.
I am responding to this invitation and my heart is becoming more light.
Still Counting Gifts:
- #1142: A really fun 4th of July spent with many special people
- #1143: I'm learning to play a new song on the piano
- #1144: We put up the lights in our screened-in porch and it's my new favorite place to eat and be
- #1145: How God's mercies feel new every morning
- #1146: All.the.rain.
- #1147: Sweet quality time with my husband this weekend
- #1148: Anticipating a fun weekend in Chicago
- #1149: Hosting friends at our house
- #1150: Releasing pent up feelings in a clean, healthy way
- #1151: Hope in uncertainty