Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days: Letting Go Like A Child

(Last full day at the farm, watching the filling and smoothing of our mud pit.)

Today has been a cranky, dreary, crampy kind of day. I've been in slow motion. But at least there were left-overs to be had.

Also, I had my first Caramel Apple Sundae from McDonald's. First of many. Say what you will about the joint, but they get soft serve right.

I want to thank you for your encouragement following yesterday's post. It was more difficult to write than most. It took longer. I deleted more. I worried that I might be misunderstood in some way. Still, I knew that I was supposed to write it, so I did. And hearing that I'm not the only one who thinks and feels those things was just the reminder I needed. It's settled: I really like hanging out with you guys.

Also? I feel loved when you ask how my kids are adjusting. It burrows this truth more deeply into my soul: we are real friends, you and I. We understand things about each other. Thank you for that.

To answer the question, the kids are doing fantastically well. I could learn a thing or two from my kids. I'm learning from them every day.

As we were finishing up at the "old" house on Saturday, Cory and I felt like we needed to try to create some kind of a moment for our family, an official farewell. A proper send-off. In the end, we all hopped in the van, ready to go home. The kids shouted a forced "Byeeee!" and I couldn't blame them, because I wasn't feeling very sentimental myself. After Cory went back solo for one more load, he said to me, "I took a walk around and felt like I should try to conjure up some emotion, but it just wasn't there. I was happy to be going."

It doesn't make sense that we feel this way. And I'm leery to believe that the sadness may not find us after all. But for now, I'm grabbing on to this gift of inexplicable closure. It reminds me of the day we went from trying to conceive a baby to knowing we would adopt. It wasn't much of a process. We just flipped that coin over and kept on living in joy. I know it doesn't happen that way for everyone and I don't think it's in some way worse when it doesn't. But I'm thankful for the way God has grabbed hold of me and tossed me to the other side of various fences in life. It helps.

Monday was our first "real" day in the rental. Silas hauled out the big bucket of Duplo blocks that he rarely plays with. In no time flat, he walked over and plopped this beside me at the desk:

I was floored. First the hair-dryers, and now this. Dude's got some mad building skillz.

And so it is confirmed, being a farmboy is also a condition of the heart.

I'm not alone in my slight displacement. I like knowing that we can keep searching for and finding the beauty, the nature, the farmy-ness around us, wherever we are.

In related news, Calvin and Ruby are enjoying bunking together.

We got lazy and decided not to put Siley's crib back together, so he's now loving life in a toddler bed. Why not pile change on top of change? It seems to be working. (Maybe tomorrow we'll conquer potty training?)

I'm still trying to adjust to the street lights at night while sleep eludes me, but you didn't come here to hear about me...

Our life is precisely the same today as it was two months ago. The kids still tattle and bicker and giggle and do cart-wheels in the living room.

We're still us. We're learning and growing. This move didn't up-end our lives.

And maybe our kids led the way. Maybe their resilience is rubbing off a little on us stubborn tall people.

*For the rest of the Letting Go series, click here.


  1. When we moved to Korea a few years ago everyone kept asking about our kids. Friends and family were so concerned that they couldn't/wouldn't be able to adjust well. And, honestly, the easiest part was watching them "adjust", which was practically no adjustment at all. They really saw it for the adventure that it was--a word we started using when we started packing for the move. From that move on, it has been one 'adventure' after another--and the kids are still adjusting just fine! I realize that as they get older, it might not be as easy, but I think it's good and healthy that they can adapt so're right, they are resilient and us grown-ups could learn a thing or two! So glad to hear things are well on your front.

  2. You know, I was thinking today about how four years ago I had a great job and could not fathom how we could go through life without it. Now, I sit on the side of a new job on the heels of two years without the prior. It's amazing what God can show us when we tell Him we can't do something.

    That Siley boy. He tears me up every time. What is it about that boy?

    That move didn't dictate who your are, it dictated who He is.


  3. I"m so happy for you guys! Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!

  4. Let us know when Silas builds Fallingwater with Duplo blocks!

  5. I found your blog 3 days ago and i think i have gone back and read about every one of your posts from the last 6 months. i am so glad i found you. you say so many things that cut to the heart and i have been pondering many of the things you have written about. At any rate, glad i found you, and happy that you are finally moved into your next adventure!

  6. my kids never looked back when we moved. i just adore you fpfg/rg. you are an amazing woman. wherever you are, however it is that you are used. i just flat out think you rock. xoxo

  7. I'm on the other side of child rearing and when the last one moved out I thought I should be feeling something other than what I was- joy! Joy that she is happy and well adjusted. Joy that my husband and I can start to rediscover our marriage (which was nearly torn apart by the drama of another child with addiction issues). I wasn't sad or maudlin' at all...and yes- it must have taken a great deal of courage to write yesterday's post- it was powerful and I thank you for sharing it!!

  8. You have such a way with words and you speak from the heart. I look forward to reading your posts and following your journey in letting go.

  9. Our lives have been switched around a bit at times also - and just tonight I was hit by a wave of sadness - however I do feel that mostly we've been ready for the next stage ... I 'm glad your children are adjusting well - sometimes they do some crazy down-the-road acting out and it takes a while to realize they are just trying to figure it all out also. . . loved your money post :). xo ellie

  10. Your joy is overflowing {during moving, yuck!} that's God for ya' - no other way! Hugs!

  11. When my dear Emily moved away from home, she was full of joy. Inside I kept telling myself she'll be back, nobody will shampoo her hair, she'll be back. Two years later she has never moved back home, she is still full of joy, and her hair is so greasy sometimes I have to laugh. Letting Go... Thank you for the reminders...Reminding me where He takes all of His followers...through the story of their life...

  12. I am seriously loving your 31 days. I know it is born out of change and hard and rearranging our life. But what is spoken here, is so rich and true. And we do, let go of something each day, don't we?

    Just wanted you to know.

  13. I do come here to read about you, about how God is working in your life. You're still you. Yes, God's a good tosser.

  14. When I was young we lived in beautiful historic home...very elegant. Stuff happens and suddenly my parents didn't have the wealth they once had. We made a move much like your's. After time they got back on their feet and we moved on. OK they never had a home as beautiful as the first one, but it was a nice home. The funny thing is all that change really didn't change my life. I mean I had to change my school but we all had to face change together so it wasn't so bad really. I've always look at the whole thing as a great learning experience for me. I thought when life got scary..OK what's the worst that can happen? We just accept it and move on. I like money as much as the next person but it's certainly not everything. I used to get so frustrated when I was young when people would say "at least you have your health." I always took health for granted. Oh boy did I learn how true that is. I mean I'm fine but worrying over people you love is much harder than dealing with a set back. Set backs can improve. Your teaching your children a great lesson called survival. And your doing it with grace. There will be good days and then those bad days when we have to just fake it 'til we make it.

  15. how much do I love that you called yourselves tall people?
    LOVE it.
    thank GOD our kids resilience rubs off on us!!!

    I'm so glad that your kids are doing well...honestly, if our kids are okay, then all is well in the world around us.

    Wish our kids could build legos together.

  16. I agree that there is peace in feeling a purpose or call to something--like you say about going from trying to have a biological baby to realizing you are meant to adopt one (or three). We felt the same way; when the Dr. said IVF was the only way we both sat in the car afterwards and agreed it wasn't right. It didn't feel right. People struggle to understand that about us; why we would choose adoption over IVF, but it's how God has spoken to us in our lives.

    I wish I could say that I flipped a coin like you did, but sometimes I feel like I have not. I think it's because we are waiting for such a long time for something (a child, an opportunity) that we have already waited years for--the waiting is what makes my mind drift. But I know this is the right path. Another great post, dear!

  17. I knew that the kids would be fine. It is easier for them. Does Calvin have to change schools.
    Silas is the one building these masterpieces.....I think you have an engineer.
    You are sounding better by the way.

  18. I think it's brilliant that you're doing this series this month--you're so aware of what you're going through, of the changes you're making, both for you and for the kids. I don't think I was when we left Illinois. I think now I look back on it and it's sort of a blur, like we're on the other side of something...something I forgot to tap into for fear of finding sadness there...

    But you're feeling it all, processing it's a gift, really. I love it.

  19. God has funny ways of flip-flopping us and taking us on many different forks in the road...been there and have done that. I don't wish poverty-like circumstances on people, but I will say that it opens your eyes when you go through it. And "THROUGH IT" is the key phrase. God doesn't take you down a path and leave you there. He pulls you through! I can say that I am blessed to have been through 2 job losses with my husband in 2 years and 1 job that was just not cuttin' it this past year. He has followed through with his promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Some days you do get tired of being "thrify" but hey, we all have bad days :-) Love you and your family!

  20. No, the move didn't up-end your keeps you aware that live still *whirls and twirls*--regardless of where you are. And yes, sometimes more than one change at one time is the best medicine. (confused is confused--smile.)

  21. i'll tell you what...if my girls had not led the way we probably wouldn't be here. they were so brave and ready to go for it that it was contagious. love that! you will figure it all out.

  22. Clearly this move has brought out a new side to Siley's art! I love it all!

    Love the pic of Calvin and Ruby and his boots!

    Kids are so great. A few years ago my sister and nephew moved in with me. My townhome was not big and I was a bit nervous. Emerson..not at all! He was 4 1/2 and the first thing he did was say "I think we should unpack my stuff and put it in my new room!" so we did. He put all of his tiny socks away in his new "drawerer" and we hung up his cd's on a little nail on the wall, put up photos of the Backyardigans and he was pretty much settled within the first hour. It made me re-realize "Wow, I can learn a lot from this kid!"

    That townhouse is the only place I've ever missed. It's odd considering I moved into my current (and much larger home) house with my hubby, but I've always sort of missed that tiny townhouse. I also never really missed the huge mansion I lived in (rented!!) while in Tennessee. It even had eight fireplaces, but I never missed it. Go figure! Maybe you're just never going to miss the farm. Who knows?

    I think blackout blinds may be necessary for you and of course, more McD's sundaes! Thanks for the reminder! I've been eating like these are my last days on earth..and nothing has been feeling "right" I'm off to get your recommended sundae today.

    It will happen.

    Have a beautiful day!



  23. You have a beautiful heart, thank you for sharing.

  24. Piling change upon change. . .I read this scentence and read it again. When I think back on my life, I realize that this is exactly how I live (for whatever reason).

    This is a wondeful series and I am anxiously awaiting the next post! Thank you for sharing, once again.

  25. "We just flipped that coin over and kept on living in joy."
    Yours is one of the few blogs that make me want to read every.single.word.
    This statement utterly moved me. Will I take the obstacles and unknowns and decide to take joy from them instead of sorrow? Thanks for the challenge!

  26. Shannan,
    when I spoke of said divorce previously...well, we went from a nice house to an awful rental. I wanted each of my children to have their own rooms like at the old house. Well, my son was two. My daughter seven. He would pull on her and say "come seem me warey." which translated meant "come sleep with me, Laura." Broke my heart and cheered me. They shared a room at that house and the next house. Resilient. Strong.
    xo, Cheryl

  27. I look forward everyday to your blog entry. You have a wonderful writing ability, and your faith is amazing. You are living what you believe-I want to be like you.

  28. Glad to hear your kiddos are doing well!
    Kids can be so much better at change than us adults...but sounds like Gods got you covered as well! :)

  29. of course we come here to hear about you, it's true we're real friends :).

    praying for y'all and sleep for you, friend.

  30. So Silas is doing OK in his toddler bed? I plan to put our girl in her "big girl bed" when we move too. Hope it works!