Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Time Flies

Time Flies

Luke is graduating tonight. Ok, I said it out loud and I'm still breathing. I'm just kidding, kind of. When my children were little people would constantly say " I remember when mine were that age, it goes by so fast!" or "You're going to blink and they will be headed for college!" Well, I must have blinked too many times because I now have three in college! How does that happen? The time really has flown! It truly seems like yesterday Luke was taking the "snack bucket" to kindergarten. He actually sent me a text after his exam that said "High school  is over...weird!" I lost my breath for a minute and had to swallow fourteen times to keep the lump out of my throat. I'm not going to lie, those women were right, 18 years seems like 18 minutes! Crazy, but it seems like last week they were   all under the age of five and we were playing with chalk in the driveway waiting for the ice cream truck! I'll never forget the day I took the twins home from the hospital. My sweet nurse was so worried about me having five itty bitties at home by myself! But if the truth be known, I could hardly wait to have all my little ducks at home! I definitely had my share of late nights and long days, but my heart is flooded with sweet memories of laughter and tender moments.

As I think about Luke walking down the isle for his diploma, I want to challenge moms to enjoy their children while they're at home no matter what their age! Their relationship with you and is the most important one they will have while they are young. So, make the most of every moment! Don't constantly farm them out to family and friends! Don't wish away teenage years! Instead, say "No" when someone asks you to volunteer. Say "No" to a girls weekend. Say "No" to that meeting and stay Home! Work puzzles, make forts. make masks out of paper plates, make cool desserts and rent movies. Nurture relationships at home. Then when you blink and they're headed for college you won't have a single regret.
A relationship takes time and effort. In other words, it's not easy, but it's worth it! My relationships with my husband and my children are treasures that I would die for in a heartbeat. If you have that, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't have it,  chase after it until you do! There's nothing like it! I'm off to graduation.
Love love love Ruthie

Friday, May 18, 2012

Yea! a new Blog site

I've just moved my blog from Blogspot to my self-hosted WordPress site. I'm so excited because I can now incorporate my picture galleries and note card sales with my blog into just ONE site.

I have put my new URL on my old blog site and will keep it active for a while. Be sure to bookmark so I do not miss your visit!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Voice

I could hardly wait to post this blog! Guess who still knows my voice? My Valentine! Saturday, Eddie was heading out to feed the cows and I couldn't get in the truck fast enough! A chance to see Valentine! I must admit, as we drove over to the pasture, I wondered if she would have anything to do with me, and crazy, but I wondered if I would even recognize her. I mean all of the babies are about the same size and the same color and really and truly, they all look pretty much the same.

We pulled into the pasture and all the girls came running for dinner. Oh my word! Guess who was bringing up the rear? Valentine and two of her new friends. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen. The three of them side by side following the big girls. I called her name and the three of them stopped. For a half of a second I held my breath. She lifted her tail with this little loop in it and then mooed at me at the top of her lungs. Eddie and I laughed so hard. That little loop in her tail and that moo. I'd know her anywhere. When I called her name again she came running. She walked around and around and around me snuggling me and loving me. Eddie and I could not quit laughing. It thrilled my soul to love on her. Her new friends stood close by watching her get lots of love, and you could so tell that they wanted to get some love from me too, but every time they would get close they would chicken out and dart away. What a sweet day!

On the way home, I laughed at myself for wondering if I'd recognize Valentine or if she'd recognize my voice. There was no doubt which one she was. It's funny because I can't tell the other babies apart unless they're with there mamas. But because I've spent so much time with Valentine I see all the little things that make her different. Her fur is a little different, she has a loop in her tail in a certain spot, and her moo is her very own moo! And when I call her name I feel like I can almost see her smile as she kicks her hind legs and runs to where I am.

If you get a chance, read John 10:1-5.  It says that the shepherd "calls His own sheep by name, and leads them out... the sheep follow Him because they know His voice. And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."  Jesus is the shepherd. Do you know His voice? The more time I spend with Him the easier it is to hear His voice, and it is the sweetest sound I know. He calls you by name...He knows you. Ask Him to open your ears that you may hear His voice and follow Him.
Love love love Ruthie

My Valentine

Guess who went home to "greener pastures?" My little Valentine. Eddie and Luke loaded her up  on the cattle trailer sunday afternoon. As I walked out to the trailer from the house, I called her name and she just mooed! Oh my goodness! That sweet thing has completely stolen my heart! I put a little sugar on my hand and let her lick it all off for a little treat. My sweet girl was just talking up a storm. I gave her a little more sugar and we headed to the pasture. I asked Eddie question after question all the way there. "Will her mama know her?" "Will the other girls like her?" "Who will she sleep with at night?""Will she be afraid?" He answered every question as best as he could, but my heart still pounded a little faster the closer we got to Valentine's new home.

We pulled right into the middle of the pasture. All the cows and calves came running and mooing anticipating food from Eddie. He put pellets out for all the cows and they rushed in to eat like there was no tomorrow. Then Eddie walked over and opened the trailer for Valentine to get out. She hopped right off and walked straight towards the group to say hello. She is not shy.

I have to admit I've never seen cows walk away from food, but every one of them stopped eating to check out the new girl. I held  my breath as some of the older girls approached her and nudged her a little. The younger girls, all about her age, seemed excited to have a new friend on the playground. Valentine would run back and forth from us to the group mooing and kicking like a child excited to show off her new friends. It really was adorable. I will say, her mama did check her out, but she didn't really seem to know her. My heart sank  a little thinking about her not having that bond with her mama. We watched her for about 45 minutes, and when I felt like she was going to be fine we loaded up to leave.

It was suppose to rain that night, and as silly as it sounds, I wondered who she would snuggle with when the sun went down and the rain began to fall. I also thought what if she doesn't recognize my voice next time I come? What if she doesn't come when I call her name? What if she doesn't lick sugar from my hands anymore? What if she figures out she is a cow?

As we were leaving, my children asked if I was going to blog about Valentine going home. When I said yes they suggested names for the blog. Some were hilarious! But then someone suggested "Change"as the title. As I thought about that word, my mind began to travel in my own life reminding me that my home is undergoing change right and left. As my children are growing up and graduating and making their own ways, I am experiencing new adventures with and without them. Change. I want to invite you to travel down this road of "change" with me. I think traveling this road together will not only be more fun, but will illuminate that path not yet taken. So grab a good pair of shoes and let's do this adventure together.
I look forward to being with you!
Love love love Ruthie

David and Goliath

I love watching girls tennis. I guess it's because I played and coached for so many years. My husband, who is the only one in our family who doesn't play, has learned the game well from watching our children. He probably is the most nervous watching our children play. He plays every point off the court as they play on the court. He also has his signature "three claps" when he encourages them. They would know his clapping anywhere! I, on the other hand, sit on their court but don't keep score quite so intently. I'm not sure why. I think I'm less nervous not playing every point, and really, at the end of the day, they've done their homework and they always play with everything they've got , so win or lose it's always a great match! I've also watched too many parents put pressure on their kids to win and it's one big emotional roller coaster, and that's one ride I refuse to get on!

On the first day of the state tournament,  KK played two doubles matches and  two singles matches. KK's last match was about dinner time against a girl who she had played a couple of times but never beaten. Before she went on the court, she asked me for advice on how to beat her. She said as many times as they have played she had not been able to find this girl's weakness. She finally decided, without a doubt, she would simply have to out play her. We got a big hug and a high five and she walked out on the court to win. It was fascinating to watch. She played beautifully and with no fear. However, she lost the first set 2-6. You would have never known she lost the first set, her body language and facial expressions revealed nothing but focus and determination. I could tell she changed a few things in her strategy going into the second set, and it paid off. She was up by a game the entire set until the score reached 5-4. The other girl made a few adjustments and went on to win the set and match 6-2, 7-5. It was a great match. I watch KK meet her at the net and congratulate her and wish her well on her next match. I knew her heart battled the disappointment of losing and the pride of playing so well. I love that she came off the court surprised she lost, ready to play her again, and happy for her opponent's success.

As I have thought about that match this week, I am challenged by KK's strength and confidence. Do you remember the story of David and Goliath? David was a young shepherd boy and Goliath was a warrior and champion. However, young David defeated Goliath in battle with nothing but a pebble and a sling shot. Well, not just a sling shot. If you've read the story in scripture you know David's faith was in God alone. David was fearless and scripture says he "ran" into battle to meet Goliath. He was fearless because his confidence was in Christ.
How crazy is it that we so often "run" to meet the "goliaths" of the day, but we run by ourselves? We don't take time to spend time in God's word and prepare for the day. We completely run into battle unarmed? Who does that? And it's not until we are completely exhausted that we turn to our Savior for help. KK walked on that court with not only a racket and tennis balls, but with God Almighty. She reminded me how to go into battle fearlessly and with my armor on head to toe. Even though her opponent won the match, KK was victorious that day.
Take Him with you on the battlefield today. Don't go alone. No matter what the score, with Christ it's always a win!
1Samuel 17:20-58
Love love love Ruthie

Lesson from Fox

I am so glad you stopped by! I have been missing you and writing and sharing and I am glad to be back. Last Sunday we wrapped up tennis season by heading to the state playoff tournament in Decatur, AL. Both the girls and boys teams qualified to go which meant all my children would be there participating. As we traveled, it rained on us off and on reminding us of the deadly tornadoes that surrounded us at the same tournament last year. Thankfully the rain brought only cold temperatures and 20-30 mile hour winds. However, if you play tennis you know 20 mile hr winds are not optimal weather for tournaments, but they far out weigh tornadoes.
Our last match of the day was about 9:00 pm. As you can imagine, it had been a long day and we were very cold and very tired! By this time the activity at the complex was winding down. While teams were heading back to hotels, my son, Fox, was just going on the court. I sat with the team on the bleachers next to Fox's court shivering and hoping for a quick win! As the boys warmed up on the court, it was pretty obvious that Fox had his work cut out for him. His opponent was strong! He had beautiful strokes and an awesome one handed backhand. All of us in the bleachers were catching eyes with each other and silently communicating that this guy was amazing and Fox was probably going down. In spite of our cheers of encouragement, Fox lost the first set in about 20 minutes 6-0.

I am not even kidding, his opponent had not even taken his jacket off. However, as he handed the balls to Fox to serve, something changed. Fox's shoulders went back, his eyes seemed to really focus and he disappeared int this other world. Twenty minutes later Fox had won the second set 6-1! We were all speechless. The eyes in the bleachers were now communicating sheer unbelief! I was no longer thinking about that hot shower and yummy bed, but wondering who was that boy and what was he thinking and could he hold on to win the third set? The boys did not break between sets but continued to play. Honestly, before I knew it, the boys were switching sides and Fox was up 3-0. His opponent actually took his jacket off at this point. I was shivering that uncontrollable shiver, whether it was from cold or nerves I have no idea. Fox carefully dictated every point, moving this other boy from side to side and hitting every angle perfectly. At 5-0 the other boy began to play with wild abandonment as though he had nothing to lose  and gained 3 games. Fox was steady and patient and never lost his focus and won the third set and match 6-3.

It was an awesome site to watch Fox decide to win that match in spite of the odds that were so obviously stacked against him. I've thought a lot about that match this week. Fox was prepared for that match. He had done his homework. He had practiced, he had played, he had worked out, he was ready. His opponent was big, but when Fox chose to focus on the ball and not his opponent he was able to play his game and take control of the match. It is so easy to lose site of the ball and focus on the opponent. But when we fix our eyes on Christ we win. Like Peter walking on water. When he kept his eyes on Jesus he was walking on water. The minute he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at everything around him, he became distracted and lost faith.
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace!"
Love love love Ruthie