Enough Love

I was sitting on the porch holding my great niece.  She is six months old and pure joy.  She is one of the happiest babies I have ever met.  She is doing this delightful thing of clapping the bottoms of her feet together when she lays on her back playing and laughing.  While I was holding her, I was suddenly overcome with the notion that I have to love her and her sister enough to make up for the ones missing.  They should have my mother and father still here.  There are other family members whose health and other factors reduce the time and attention available to spend with them.  I want them to feel the love I felt from my grandparents and my parents. A love that flows through time and space to them.  So much love and delight from generation to generation.

I have to talk about him for a moment.  He cooked us the best ribs and chicken for dinner today.  He is so wonderful to take time to cook something special.  Everything he cooks turns out perfect every time.  I fixed some green beans with browned butter and almonds as well as herbed corn on the cob.  I had picked up some Hawaiian rolls to go along.  For a light dessert, we had pineapple angel food cake. .  My niece and her family were here.  My angel daughter was here.  We visited and cooked and ate and played with the girls.   I don’t think my niece and her honey ate any cake.  They had to get loaded and on the road to get home.

The porch is quiet now.  I am savoring the memories freshly made.  I sting in my eyes, though.  Missing my son and his bride.  They would have been here today, too, had they been in Texas.

On Friday, he and I went to Lockhart.  On the way, we stopped to see my cousin and her husband.  She is one of my anchors.  She remembers so much of the old ways and the ancestors from years past.   She is actually my mother’s first cousin and so of that generation.  Being with her always helps me feel better about life.

We went on to our destination and had time to visit with friends from Oregon.  My young friend is a delight to be around.  Her father is a good friend to us.  She keeps telling me she wants to come to Texas to go to college.  I have reassured her father I will keep up with her.  She is a senior in high school and Oregon is a long way from her Daddy, the rest of her family, and her friends.  The reality may be less appealing than the dream for her.  I am here for her if she needs me.  I remember her coming to the kitchen at the sale barn maybe 3 years old in her cowboy boots.  Enough love for her, too.

He raises longhorns.  I am on the paperwork, too.  But, he does the real business.  Sometimes I help by standing in the way to hopefully keep a cow going the right direction.  Maybe open or close a gate or pick up feed at the feed store.  Not much real help.  But, I love the cows.  We brought home a very nice cow to add to our herd.  We got her at the Butler Sale in Lockhart.  She was bred and branded by the previously mentioned cousins.  Longhorns are more than cattle to me.  They are living history.  They are part of my history.  As a Texan and an American, I understand the difference they made in making our nation what it has become.  Enough love for him to help out.  Enough love for history to appreciate what we have.

I have a cousin struggling with illness and her mother doing all she can to help her.  I have a friend dealing with a very ill mother and personal struggles as well.  I have another friend recently dealt a hard blow in her life trying to get her feet under her and regroup.  I don’t know what to do sometimes except go sit with them, call or text them, pray with and for them.  Enough love for them.

The wonderful thing about love is that there is always enough.  Loves brings love.  Genuine love.  The kind of love that needs nothing in return.  Unconditional.  The love needed comes from His Love.  He is Love.  God is Love.  Letting go and letting Him use me to love others.  That is what I want.  That is what He wants for me, too.  He wrote it clearly in His Book.  Enough love.  Always enough.

Labor Day.  Summer’s End.  A final fling.  Fall’s Beginning.  Another season.  Always turning and returning seasons.  As life has its seasons, love has its seasons. The labor of love is no real labor.  Enough love from Him, for Him, from him, for him.  Enough love from the ancestors to the descendants.  This is my season for loving.  The grandparents’ season has passed.  The parents’ season has passed.  This is my season.  My season to do the labor of love.  I pray I do it as well as they did.   Enough love to sustain through the seasons to come.  Enough love.

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A Lifetime

On June 30th, we will be married 30 years. A lifetime of growing together and alongside each other. A lifetime of figuring out how to keep in the same boat paddling the same direction.
Some things we have worked out:
When we don’t like each other much, we remember how crazy about each other we were in the beginning when things were really tough and hang on till we do like each other again. This doesn’t happen much anymore. For my part, I am crazier about him now than ever before. Love is a choice. Love requires feeding and pruning, grooming and tending.
We don’t argue anymore. This is difficult for me because I like to argue. But our rule is that if it is important enough to argue about, it is too important to argue about. Secondly, we don’t try to resolve any thing in the evening or near bedtime. Go to sleep mad, if needed, and if it was important, it can be discussed in the clear light of day. Most likely, it is one of those “Mama, he’s looking at me” things anyway and we won’t recall what the issue was.
I learned a long time ago the real meaning behind “Let the wife submit to her own husband.” Not to all men, but to him alone. And it is the wife’s choice. He submits to Christ, so this is not as difficult as it may sound. In such a situation, the blessings are immeasurable. He assumes full responsibility for our household and all our business. I do my part under his authority and consent. When something goes awry he takes care of it. I don’t have to fuss with anyone or anything. I am expected to keep up my end, but I am not left to keep up both ends. By my willing submission to his authority without exception, he protects, nurtures, encourages and loves me.
My only concern is that I am not doing enough for him. I want my part to be done better. He never complains outright about things, so it is not easy to determine if I am getting it right. I suppose if I mess up royally he would explain it to me.
I spoil him all I can, deferring to him and his plans. I want to be with him and do things with him. I don’t want a separate life only spending a few hours a month on a date or something. I want to be in the truck, on the buggy, on the tractor, on the boat right alongside him. It takes extra time and effort to take me along and help me with my gear. I guess he wants me there. He always expects me to load up.
He is my best friend. He knows me better than I know myself most of the time. He makes me tell him what I am worrying about. He catches my tears. He advises me and prays for me. He refuses to let me wallow in my depression. He checks me when I don’t check my own attitude.
He has no clue about shopping for gifts for me sometimes. But, then, one of our two greatest accomplishments helps her Daddy figure out just what it is I was wanting. That is fine, too. One of the things that makes him so precious to me is the father his is to our children. Though they are both nearer thirty than I care to recall, he is still fathering them in a marvelous fashion.

 

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Not that there are thorns on rose bushes, but that there are roses on thorn bushes.

Surveying the beautiful life we have and are sharing, it has not and is not always a rose petal laden path.

But, the roses on the thorn bush grow lovelier and more fragrant with each passing year.

Love grows richer and deeper with each passing year.

Not settled and ordinary, but robust and flamboyant, with deep roots and sturdy canes.

Yielding blooms in all seasons and all weather.

Not blown to pieces by the storms, but sparkling with raindrops caught in the ever returning sunlight.

 

 

Precious Liberty

This weekend has been something unexpected. Three days off, so lots of plans to play and see our family and friends. Plans to enjoy the precious freedom paid for by the life blood of countless others. Plans to create more memories of raining orchids.
Saturday, a boating accident very near our play place on the river took the lives of two people and injured another. We noticed debris in the water a few moments before another boater arrived with the news. My husband and our friend went to wait with the victims until the authorities arrived. Seeing body bags go by on the water rescue boat is not expected. I pray I never see it again. I am grateful my family and our younger friends were not with us that day. I am saddened for the loss of the families involved.
Sunday was all we hoped for and more. All the children and our friends had a terrific time swimming and lounging on the river bank. A couple of our precious friends surprised us with an overnight at a bed and breakfast just upriver. We had a lovely Monday morning over breakfast and some wet fishing hooks. The boys caught a few and the canoes didn’t overturn. So, all went well.
Late Monday morning, I arrived home to find my daughter, at my house puppy sitting for me, had taken care of my cooking for us to take to our son’s home. We spent the afternoon grilling and eating and swimming. They decided it would be fun to make a whirlpool in the swimming pool. I was in a floatie with my feet up. My son pulled me around the pool in his wake as the rest of the crew also went round and round creating a whirlpool flow. I laughed and laughed the entire time!
Life has been good to me. I will dwell on all the good and set aside the sad for another day. The orchids of these days have been especially fragrant. They are red, white and blue and smelling like precious life, freedom, liberty and happiness found.
I am ever mindful of the many who did not come home during war time and those who have been lost while keeping ready for war time. He served in the United States Army during peacetime. What a dashing soldier he made! He was and still is my warrior. Without him fighting my demons with me, I would not have gotten where I am today. He has taken on more than flesh and blood enemies on my behalf. He has stood shielding me with his prayers and courage and strength while Christ held him firm and the Father answered his pleas. More than a conqueror. Yes. He is.

 

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