The Greatest Adventure of All

Yesterday was rough y’all. I ain’t even gonna lie. (Yes, you should have read that with a bit of a country drawl or spin or whatever.)

But today? I rest.

Just after I write this……..

Okay, I quit my job. Like, just quit. No notice, no plan, no outlook – I just quit. Not many people agree with my decision. Let me just let you in on a secret – no one else lives my life. So, after some careful prayer, and some treacherous times mentally, it was best for myself and my family for me to jump ship – literally.

So, I am fully trusting God in all of this. Not that I don’t on a normal basis, it’s just this is HUGE. I have told many friends that I have for the first time in my life truly stepped out the boat, onto the ocean, in the middle of the storm, and am fully trusting in the Lord. Because I have no other choice.

Which leads me to yesterday……..

I am taking every opportunity given to me during this transition in my life. I am praying, seeking and believing that I will begin to fulfill Gods will and calling. That being said – I have begun training for the police officer training test.  Sit ups, push ups, lifting, jumping, running…… from a desk job to that. Yep. Right after I quit, I was almost bedridden with a back injury. It knocked a week and a half of conditioning off of my schedule. But I refused to give up. Yesterday, my back was hurting again, I didn’t hit my mileage, and I was physically tired……

And I was getting ready for a front desk interview……..

Like I said, I’m not going to miss an opportunity.

I’m at my parents house getting ready, when my amazing grandmother comes in the room. She is asking me questions and we are talking I am crying, ranting, sobbing about just wanting to be a part of my kids lives again and quit missing their talent shows, and field trips, and holidays, and wanting them to just be proud of me…….

She speaks and my heart is broken for the second time in two days by words……

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will ALWAYS  break my HEART…..

Not that she meant to – she would never mean to …. She will be so upset knowing it hurt me so. Sometimes hurt brings healing……

She said “Oh, Jenn….I wanted so much more for you. I wanted so much better for you. You are so smart! You could have so much more!”       I will tell the truth, I died for a moment. My soul died. I have never felt like I made anyone proud. Hearing those words, sealed my thoughts. It was true. And the funny thing is? Did any of the people who said things like that not think that I wanted better for myself as well?

Truth of the matter is, I do have better. I have the best.

I wanted to get married, have babies, and be a mommy. I wanted to to encourage each one of my babies to reach for the stars, travel, dream the greatest dreams. I wanted to teach them about Jesus and about singing. I wanted to show them how to suck honey suckles and build dams in a creek. I wanted to experience each season with them and help them see the miracle of each one. I wanted to show them how hard work accomplishes more than any kind of hand out man can give you. I may not own a home, have fancy clothes or shoes, I don’t have matching china, and you are lucky if you can find a pair of matching socks in my house……..but these kids right here? Man…….they are worth it all.

So, I will continue to pray. I believe God is revealing a path for me. It may not be the police force. It may not be a desk job. It may be serving . And if I have to waitress and serve the people who tore me down and made me hate myself in order for me to be able to see my daughter sing on stage or go to math competition with my youngest son or travel to an out of state football game with my oldest son – then so be it. I would rather serve with a healed heart, than miss out on the greatest adventure of my life —–

Photo Credits to (Amazing people, amazing photographers!)

Listen to the Whisper . . .

I don’t know why, but this time of year brings back so many childhood memories. The breeze seems to carry the giggles of the little girl I once was. It whispers, as it passes, “Take your shoes off. Put your feet in the soil. Enjoy it’s coolness. Remember your freedom. Remember who you are and where your from.” Tears flood my eyes, and I just have this uncontrolable urge to run through a hayfield or find a freshly toiled potato patch to dig my feet into. I AM a country girl at heart. I have a heritage that is full of amazingly strong men and women. I yearn to learn how to quilt, how to sew, how to can. I want so badly to plant a seed and watch it grow into something of sustenance. THIS is my heritage. Men and women who worked and worked hard. They survived and flourished. They worked with their hands. Their skin was sunworn and their laugh lines ran deep. They had pride in who they were and what they did.

Today, I listened to the whisper. I took my shoes off and went on a barefoot walk. I walked through the mud, I walked through the field, and I let the sun soak into my skin. If I could have ran to Fairview, I would have. If I could paint, my house would be full of paintings of my childhood memories. The way the sun hit the top of the hay. The way the fog rested over the hayfield. Bikes parked in the garage, the tree swing swaying in the wind – waiting for us to climb on and be daring. Crickets lulling me to sleep, the dew resting precariously on hay and vegtables. The smell of my papaw’s morning routine, and the aroma of my granny’s cooking. Knowing that right at 5, I could run out to the end of the driveway and ride back to the house on the sidestep of a pickup truck. Learing the basics of driving on an old tractor. Raiding the cookie jar. The taste . . . of homemade vegtable beef soup. Fried squash, fish fries. Eggs over easy and bacon at 6 a.m. Watching out the back door as the leaves changed colors and drifted in the wind. Knowing it was time to get the sled run ready for the winter. Knowing the quilting square would soon be hung and we would soon be tying knots in beautiful, breathtaking quilts. The first snow gleaming in the moonlight. The grandfather clock ticking away but never growing old. Tinsel on the christmas tree, homemade ornaments the main attraction. Christmas lights galore and brand new, homemade Christmas dresses being sewn.

I can’t explain why today they are all so vivid. I feel like I could reach out and touch them, they seem that real. If I could, I would grab that little dark haired girl and tell her a few things. I would tell her to soak it in. Don’t waste a single breathe. Know that you are beautiful just as you are. Don’t cry over naps and play in the creek just a little longer. Jump higher, ride faster, dare to dream. Be confident, no matter what.

I was daring back then. If you dared me, I would do it (which is why in the 1st grade I cut all my eyelashes off of one eye – thanks a lot Lanny Thompson!). I was brave, I was strong. Age has worn some of those attributes down. Which is maybe why I feel this so strongly right now. I have to get back to that place. I HAVE to get back to my roots, to who I am. My kids need to know their heritage. They need to know how to survive without a microwave and a t.v. They NEED to know what cold, fresh toiled soil feels like. They NEED to experience picking up potatoes. They need to know so much. Maybe, together, we can learn and acheive this. Someday, soon, I will get back to that place. The place that makes my heart sing, the place that my dreams visit. I will get that free spirit back, that strong will to succeed. I will be there soon . . . I have to get there soon.