I suggest that you grab some coffee or tea, because this is very much going to be one of those rambly, chatty posts.
My daughter and her husband got married three days ago. The wedding was simple yet lovely, and tons of fun! It was worth everything seeing those two standing up there pledging their vows to one another. I was on a Mother of the Bride Facebook page and moms coming out their daughters’ weddings would remind us all to slow down and enjoy the day. So, I made an intentional decision to do that. I did truly enjoy it! I am extremely thankful for friends and family who stepped in to help with all the little things that I didn’t even think of. It may not have been such a calm and fun day if my friend Karen hadn’t of stepped into the role of day of coordinator. I roused my sister-in-law from sleep on Sunday morning to come to our hotel room and help us figure out how to bustle the wedding gown. We had a team of decorators, (my mom, sister-in-law, Karen, the bride and me) and it went so quickly. Everything was simply beautiful! I’m pretty sure that the party would have gone all night if we hadn’t stopped the music. It was fun watching everyone dance and celebrate. It was a wonderful day and I have found myself smiling every time I remember it. I hope that my daughter and son-in-law do the same.
The past several weeks have been insanely busy, and at last I think that life is going to normalize a bit. But, who gets to say what’s normal anyway? I am jumping right into our next project. We bought a 110 year old house in downtown Lexington. We are going to renovate it and turn it into an Airbnb. My husband has been wanting to get into real estate for a while, as it is something that our whole family can participate in. Our older boys are currently on the demolition phase of the project. After twenty-two years of being a full time, homeschooling mom, I am ready to have a career. My kids will be going to a hybrid, cottage style school three days a week, and I will be stocking, decorating and managing the property. We are hoping to find more properties as I’d like to have several to manage.
I confess that it’s strange for me to be sending my kids to school and starting a career. I have certainly loved and enjoyed my years as a stay-at-home mom. I loved homeschooling. But, it’s simply not where we are at anymore. It’s best for everyone to have someone else teaching the kids now. They have needs that can be better met by someone else, and I need a break from teaching. We have not been a family that did a lot of extra curricular activities, as church and homeschooling took up most of our time. We will have some extra time now for those kinds of things, and I think it will be good.
In so many ways my family’s life looks completely different than it did a year and a half ago. For starters, our family has grown! We ave added two daughters and a son-in-law to the mix. My house has been bursting at the seams over the past several months, and if you know me, you know that I have loved every second of it. Now that my daughter is married there is one less person in the house. My oldest son will be moving out soon as well. I am thankful for the time that I had with all seven kids at home…but I’m also looking forward to not running out of hot water halfway through a shower.
Mostly, I have learned so much during this season of life. In February of last year I sat with a friend who was dying. She had been an amazing teacher who impacted a lot of lives. She was a youth leader when she was younger, and several of those now adults came to our house and celebrated her fiftieth birthday a couple of weeks before. She had adopted two daughters and loved being a mom more than anything in the world. Rhonda loved and was loved, and it was beautiful. It was heartbreaking to see her losing her battle, but two days before she passed away, she reached for my hand, took a deep breath and told me that she was at peace. She knew that everything was going to be okay. Sitting there with a friend my age who was dying changed my life.
I learned that life is truly a gift from God. We should draw near to Him and ask Him what to do with the gift He gave us. I learned that at the end of your life, how you loved is what matters most. Also, she inspired me to be brave. One day my daughter and I were having a conversation in the room where (we thought) she was sleeping. My daughter was debating about doing something that she wanted to do, but was scared to do. My friend spoke up and said, “There are so many things I wish I had done.” That was all she said and she was silent again, but my daughter decided to do that thing that she was nervous about. In that moment, I decided that I was done being held back by fear. The fear of what others think has stifled me in many ways throughout my life, and I refuse to let that fear keep me from fully living anymore. As a result, I am definitely sassier, I ask more questions, I say what I think, I let people know that I disagree with them and I stand up and fight for others. I refuse to be timid or silenced. I am going to live the rest of my life boldly. It’s really fun living this way and I sure hope that I have many years left. I have learned that we all have our issues. There are bound to be mistakes and I think we all have regrets. We have to learn to forgive, be forgiven and move on.
I could go on and on, but I will stop here. I just want to end by saying how very thankful I am. I am thankful to my Heavenly Father who is ever close, leading, guiding, protecting and pouring out His perfect love in abundance. I am truly blessed.
And now it’s 10:34 A.M. and I am still in my pajamas. This is the first day that I have had to just stay home and recover from all the recent busyness, but I suppose that I should at least get dressed. I hope you have a great day.