Freedom

This time last year we were in the process of closing and moving into my dream house… not extravagant or grand but classic and “us.”  I thought it would be a wonderful place for our family for many years.  A home we could grow and love in and live out life together.

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I was wrong.  We lived there less than a year. We sold it, moved, and divorced.

It has been a literal, holy (or unholy) mess. And yet the children and I have survived, even thrived. My pinterest Fourth of July dream was shattered (I just wanted to furl that flag out the top windows, Lord, just once) but my kids are healthy and happy, scarred but thriving because of amazing people in our lives and God’s provision.  We are all scarred, but standing. And I wanted to update y’all as I think about God’s faithfulness and yes freedom.  This road to freedom I hope my family is on . . . sounds weird maybe but hang with me.

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It’s a bit of cheesy cliche, so obviously easy for a Christian to make all of the literal correlations between freedom in Christ and the freedom that came with the Declaration of Independence.  Believe me I am a sap and history major and I love them all.  But NEVER  have they been more real to me than this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love all of the New England and East Coast flags and instagraming of flags flying on Nantucket I am showing here today.  These images are my fave.  Nothing like a flag inside and out. I mean I love me a flag and a white house and some babies in blue and white stripes.  YES! The shallow part of me mourns the little party and flag out front I dreamed of for the new old house.

But never ever before have I been more aware of the need for true freedom . . . And yes I am tempted to tag a little Martina McBride video on the end here.  Seriously, I am not even close to letting go and being totally free of all of my emotional and spiritual junk, much less any marriage issues.  But i know that i know that i know, that working through “junk” in our inner selves and our closest relationships all under the umbrella of Christ’s love and God’s wisdom is the only way to true freedom.  It’s not popular or cool to say but I know it. It’s what I believe.  And tough season has mae me believe that more than ever. The opposite of freedom is what?  fear and bondage.  And Christ came to set the captives free, His perfect love casts out ALL fear.   He gives us (me and you) a spirit of power and LOVE not fear.

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I’ve have been pretty damn scared this year at various times.  And as I sat in our therapist’s office and ugly cried on Thursday and heard him say “God wants you to face your worst fear” I knew He was right.  We have to face our fears.  For freedom.  There is just nothing better than being free is there??? Watch your kids when they dance and play freely? And we could go on and on about theology and what the means and looks like but the first step is bravery to step out and face fear.

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So this fourth of July I love my country and the brave men and their families that stood up against crazy all those years ago and still today.  Because King George was cray y’all and America isn’t perfect but we have a beautiful and TRUE story of bravery and righteousness and God’s hand.  We are a city on a hill, or we were.  I can’t fix my country but I can work on facing my own fears and doing the things God created me to do, in my family and in my work and my sphere of influence.

And yes, you read that right. We are divorced.  The kids and I moved to a neighboring town and are doing well.  God provided us an amazing home to lease and my mom is living with us until her little house is ready for her move in.  The kids are spending a lot of time with their dad and are having a fun and full summer. And their dad and I have started counseling.  Finally.  Yes we realize it’s usually best to start the counseling BEFORE the divorce.  We didn’t do it that way.  We did do some counseling but not really get in there and get committed and serious about it until now.  The timeline is was it is.  What matters is we are finally getting help both individually and together. So please pray. Pray for fruit in counseling, pray for the holy spirit to move and change hearts and minds where needed.  Pray for truth. Pray for my boys and our parents and friends that have been caught in this unholy mess.  And for yourself if possible I am praying. Please get thyself to counseling.  I beg you. And if you don’t like the counselor or its just so so, keep trying, keep praying God will connect you with the person that can get up in your business and tell you and get your number and help set your feet back on the right path.  I know counselors don’t replace scripture or godly guidance but good solid counseling can be a huge part of freedom. And restoration.

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{Top three images from House Beautiful and this one of vintage flags from countryliving.com}

So I just wanted to say that.  Happy Fourth of July.  Let freedom ring!

We had a fun day in nearby Chappell Hill!

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My boys never sit this close so I am loving these silly pictures from today.  It’s the little things y’all, just getting muffins made and a few baby flags up and being with friends. And then taking a nap while it storms…yes!

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So thank you y’all truly.  For hiring me, reading me and supporting what I do. For praying for my family.

Nana’s new digs

My mom is in full blown house mode.  Her favorite place to be I think;  My mom was a real estate broker for overy 30 years and she and my dad were flippin houses before “flippin houses was cool” . . .And as I have said before my grandmother was a decorator and my mom’s grandpa was a home builder.  So this house fever stuff, it is in our blood!

And Nana has a new project y’all!

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(First things first, flag and chairs on porch, next up painting doors and cleaning up yard..I want her to keep the haint blue porch ceiling!)

Her new little home to be is less than 1,000 square feet (though she has noted the county has it on tax rolls for a bit more, they must be at least 40 sq feet off y’all);;…four big rooms with a tiny bath and laundry room.  On one of  her favorite streets in our new little town and has tons of potential.  We think it was built in the 1920s.   The same lady lived here for years and kept it in great shape and it seems her children really took care of it and made lots of updates along the way…great roof, insulation, new wiring.  Music to our ears. Nana might not be as into pink as the previous owner but it is sweet to find an entire house painted pink..how cute huh?!

And GREEN ceiling..yes!

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Along the way someone added drop commercial ceiling.  Nana already has that stuff down….she may or may not have removed some herself!

The laundry room is so cute with all of the windows and shiplap ceiling, the day they tore it down she was going to keep it as is…green and all…but as is often the case there are some areas that aren’t in great shape..so we will see what she does!

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She has been in the “getting bid” phase and its enough to make even my head spin! I will say she is a lot nicer to crews and craftsmen than my grandmother was….Joan was more into war department type tactics to keep her work on schedule. My mom is a little more “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” but beware she will turn Joan on you if needed.  It’s time to “get er done” y’all.

Tear out has begun on this sweet little house she scored.

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She may or may not go to BOTH Lowe’s and Home Depot every day! Nice wood floors under that carpet…woohoo…and the paneling could be torn back to the shiplap or she may just paint it, the issue is the drop down ceiling and the various stop and start points on the ceiling if that makes sense.  I see why sometimes people just sheetrock to cover a layer or remodeling remnants.

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I love that my mom can see a diamond in the rough and imagine the possibilities! (lol that look on her face..she is a “lawdy that ceiling what I gonna do…let me go make a list of the possibilities!;;) Not all people can look beyond pink walls and drop down commercial ceiling to see charm and cuteness.

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But she is smart and she realized it had good roof, updated plumbling and wiring and AC….pink walls are easy to fix! And it has some cute little details like old cabinets and built in ironing board and trim around windows…good trim!

And I admire my mom because she is much more frugal than me…. I am all “buy the SMEG fridge, why not!?”

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The little bath has been torn out…i think she is trying to decide about claw foot tub or not..and of course will reuse the cute cute little cabinet with latch..love that detail!  This bathroom is screaming for hex tile and pedestal sink!!

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After school shenanigans, Henry is following in the family tradition of “working on stuff”…looks like he is “programming” the AC for her..not! Drew is doing the first born thing…reading like the good citizen he is!;

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All in all, I know she is not thrilled with the pace things are going but no doubt she will have this whipped into shape soon!

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I can’t wait to see how it turns out Nana, in the meantime we are really enjoying having her with us.  I really mean that (most of the time except when she moves my stuff around but she is a laundry maven so how I can stay frustrated long right?!) . . . my boys are rowdy but she loves them and puts up with them and ME. I know we can’t live together forever y’all but DANG it sure is nice to have your mama in the next room when you are sad late at night or a storm rolls into town and all of your new fire alarms start screeching. God has wisdom (of course duh) in having her with us during this transition. One more thing to be grateful for in what is becoming known now as “the tough season.”;

Oh and it’s MOTHER’S DAY so happy mother’s day nana…we love you more than ‘a cheap bid on fast reno work!’  Truly!

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