Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Life beyond the housing market

Hey, have you heard that we're trying to buy a house and it is proving to be rather difficult? Yes, I may have mentioned it once or twice or a million times. Thankfully, freaking out about that lovely little situation is not the only thing we do to pass our time around here.

Isaac has started baseball and has his first game in less than a month. Audrey starts softball practice in a few weeks. Elliot asks nearly every day if I have more information on his baseball season. (Not yet.) Asher thinks everything he touches is a ball and tries to put it in a glove and then whip it across the house. We are all working on teaching him the difference between blocks and balls for obvious reasons.

The sun is shining and we play outside, climbing on rocks and tossing pebbles. Elliot takes off his shoes and stands barefoot on ice until his little toes curl and he jumps off. He thinks this is fun. Don't ask me. We bring clay outside and create and we crush the ice on the side of the driveway and throw it down the hill and kick it and pretend we're soccer players.

We have favorite Minnesota friends come to visit for their spring break. It goes far too quickly and we miss them as soon as they leave.

We volunteer at a shelter in Denver with our church. We hand out canned goods and donated baked goods to people clutching donated plastic shopping bags, rummaging through our boxes of goods for something they like, something they can chew if they're missing most of their teeth, something that won't make their blood sugar spike too much if they're diabetic, something with an easy to open lid if they don't have a can opener. A man said that to me: "Do you have anything with cans that peel open? I don't have a way to open these other cans." He didn't care what was inside of the can; he just wanted something he could open. How's that for perspective?

Audrey reads about No Kid Hungry in an American Girl magazine and asks me if she can join other kids across the country in doing bake sales to raise money so that kids have enough to eat. She decides what we should bake, calls local businesses and our church to organize the sales, makes posters, and sells her goodies. She has already exceeded her goal of $500 and still has donations coming in online and a bake sale on Wednesday. She is feeding children who don't have enough food. How's that for perspective? (If you're interested in helping this great cause, you can donate to her webpage here.)

Pretending everything is peachy keen all of the time is unrealistic and dumb. So is lamenting every piece of life and thinking I have it so rough. Life is beautiful. And hard. And exhilarating. And stressful. And in spite of the ups and downs and ins and outs, every breath I take and every moment I get on this planet with these people I love is a gift.

So we get up and we make breakfast, hug our kids and teach math, stalk Zillow.com and wait for an email from our realtor, read history books and play in the yard, bake more cookies and fold the laundry, give baths and sing lullabies. Then we lay our heads on our pillows and I pray, thankful for another day, hopeful for better news tomorrow, and grateful for our home, Jim's job, our kiddos, our safety net, our friends and family who support and love us.
One of my favorite quotes-Frederick Buechner
 How's your week going? More beautiful than terrible? More brave than fear?


  1. Love it!!! I always loved the ideas that I saw in American Girl magazine, but my mom was not about doing them. However I have worked many a soup kitchen, and it was always a serving of perspective when you saw how kind the people were coming through the line.

    1. Thanks, Katie. Helping others definitely helps to take our minds off of our problems.