Out in the Field

I took our girls to my parents’ farm this afternoon because it’s harvest time! They looooove combine rides. Just the two of them with Grandpa. And lots of snacks! I’m not sure if it’s the ride, or all the snacks they love the most!

combineDad and KayliafieldcombineAfter dropping the girls off with their snacks, I was going to drive back to my parents’ house, but I caught a glimpse of this old, abandoned farm…

farmfarmappleshouseThis house is only three miles from my parents’ house, and I never knew it was there! Crazy. Totally going back for a photo shoot with somebody. Someday.

Oh, the smell in the air! Dry, dusty, hot harvest. I love it! The farm girl in me rises up this time of year! Next time I’ll beg the girls to let me come in the combine, too!

What Escape Looks Like…

This week has been slightly crazy. I’ll tell you more about that a different time, but for now, I just have to share that last night, it was time for an escape.

Ben knew I needed to get out of the house for a break, so he got the girls to bed while I took off.

riverThis is my favorite place to go around here! Last night was just as beautiful as ever.

grass and flowerAugust 2013 105 August 2013 146 August 2013 158 August 2013 143 riverI reluctantly headed for home, but happened to spot a dirt road I’d never seen before. I was going to just ignore it and keep driving home, but I suddenly decided to stop, because I thought, “Tonight is a good night for exploring.”

dirt roadAugust 2013 198 August 2013 197 August 2013 193 August 2013 190 dirt roadWhen I finally reached home, I felt refreshed and satisfied. I’d say it was a successful escape.

Saying “Yes” to Rest

My wise friend once reminded me that every time we say “yes” to something, we are saying “no” to something else.

After talking about this for a little while, we decided that obviously, the opposite must also be true: Every time you say “no” to something, you’re saying “yes” to something else.

You might be thinking, “Good grief, what’s the difference?”

For me, the difference lies in what is verbalized.

When I verbally say “no” to people, choosing to take more time for rest and space and family, I don’t go back and verbally commit my “yes” to myself or to my family. I feel like I’m saying “no” all the time, to everything, when in reality, all those times I say “no”, I’m actually saying “yes” to other important things, even if I don’t speak it out loud.

I get tired of having to say no. But if I think about what I’m actually saying “yes” to, I start to see what I am gaining.

Last weekend, I had a choice to make regarding a “yes” and a “no”.

I had reached my limit. I had pushed and pushed myself the whole previous week,  and it had been a crazy one.

By the weekend, I was just done.

We were invited to a potluck on Sunday afternoon, and I had really been looking forward to it, but I knew I needed to stay home. If I didn’t, my sweet family would pay for it the next few days. I needed to make sure I got enough rest to be ready for Monday morning.

So, I said “no” to the potluck, which made me feel disappointed and a little bit guilty, but I kept reminding myself of how the week would go if I didn’t just stop.

I sent my family off to the potluck with a pan of brownies, and I went to bed for a good nap.

When I woke up, I spent as much time as I wanted and needed for reading my Bible and praying.

I ate whatever I wanted to, without any unhappy girlies around to tell me how much they did NOT want to eat pasta with raw tomato sauce. (It’s my new favorite food, and it tasted about 10 times better without the complaining!)

I spent a few hours writing.

And then I took my camera, put on my rubber boots, and I drove to every spot I’ve been wanting to take pictures of for the last month.

So many times, we’re rushing off somewhere, and I see something beautiful, and think, “Oh, I wish we had time to stop so I could take a picture!”

I don’t need to think it anymore – at least until I find some new spots! But the old ones are all covered. I tromped around in the fields and ditches to my heart’s content, and it was absolutely wonderful.

I got all filled up with fresh air and sunshine, enough to last me through the next few days of clouds and rain.

I said many, many yes’s that day, and I loved it.

By the time my family came home, I was ready to greet them, feeling rested, refreshed, and ready for another week.

When I heard what a great time everyone had at the potluck, I felt many twinges of regret. It would have been great to be there. But I also knew how necessary it was to spend some time by myself.

Our yes’s and no’s always cost something. I keep forgetting that, because I need to choose one or the other so many times in a day.

This week, I’m hoping for the wisdom to see which choice to make, which answer to give – for the sake of my sanity, and for the good of my family!

How are you doing? Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed because you said “yes” a few too many times? Are you finding space and time to say “yes” to the things which bring rest and refreshment?

So Long, Summer!

Oh, how do you say good-bye to summer?!

I’m having a difficult time getting ready to move on! But as I was driving through town today, I caught sight of a beautiful tree full of yellow leaves, and they were starting to fall on the grass in the sunshine. I experienced my first official longing for fall.

Hopefully, those longings start to come a little more frequently, and soon, because fall is coming whether I’m ready for it or not!

But it’s hard to move on from a summer so good! I had no idea what to expect, back in spring. For the last five summers, we’ve known pretty much exactly what to expect. Camp life is quite scheduled and predictable, in lots of ways.

Moving to Niverville threw our family for a loop. When I thought of the summer stretching before us, I thought of pavement, no trees, and heat without a lake to escape to each and every day.

But you know what? I was pleasantly surprised.

Our summer has been filled with a wide variety of wonderful things. We all missed camp until it hurt, but we were still able to enjoy summer in a new and different way. I am so grateful for the opportunities we had to do many things we never did while living at camp.

For example. Both sets of parents have cabins in the Whiteshell, but we never had time or energy to spend much time there while living at camp. Packing up to go to the cabin seemed like too much effort when we were already living in the Whiteshell.

But this summer, we have enjoyed every single chance we had to take off to the lake.

A few days ago, we were at the cabin once again, relaxing together as a family, when Kaylia suddenly said, “Mama, is this ours now?”

Yes, it’s ours! It always has been, but now we have the time to enjoy it.

Another adventure we got to enjoy this summer was harvest! I grew up on a farm, and my childhood memories are filled with combine rides and the smell of hot fields in the sun.

It warmed my insides to see these girlies loving combine rides!

(I’m teaching them to recognize crops, and quizzing them when we go for drives. Sometimes we stop for pictures too, of course!)

There have been some big adventures this summer…

…and lots of little adventures.

Living at the lake is nice, but I have also enjoyed adventures on the prairies. I’m a “wide open skies” girl at heart, and it’s been good to be home this summer.

And now, what might fall have in store?


A Farm Girl At Heart

I love getting muddy.

I love rides on the tractor. (Even better, on the combine.)

I love the smell of stubble burning. (I know it’s bad for the environment, and all that, but when I smell stubble burning in the fall, it smells like home.)

I love fresh, green fields spreading out in every direction.

I love golden fields in fall.

I love lying on the ground, looking up and being surrounded by sky.

I love prairie sunsets.

I love seeing my little girls learning to love those things, too.

Deep down, I’ll always be a farm girl.