Day 26- Thankful For Home

Unknown-2We have moved a lot!  Since my hubs and I have been together, we have moved from California, to Idaho, to Minnesota and back to Idaho.  Whilst living in these various states, we have moved to different cities, and different homes.  Every one felt like home to us and our children.  It’s interesting to me when I run across people who for some reason are somewhat displaced.  Maybe waiting for a house to be built, and are in a “temp home”  maybe in between moving to a new city…and they say they cannot stand it, because it’s not home.

Greg and I have always had the feeling that Home is Where You Make It.  In all of our moving, every place felt like home…because, it was.  It was never the “dwelling” in which we were living.  It was the people, the family, the friends, the LOVE that made it our home.  I have told hubs that I could live in the plushest of mansions or the minimalist of huts, and it would be home as long as were were there together.  It’s true.  jolby-home-is-where-you-make-it-print-lg

Unknown-1You see, we learned years ago that our “things” are really only things.  Things on loan to us only for a short time.  Nothing we “own” is truly ours.  We know the Source for whom these things belong.  So for us, home is much more than our address and couches.

This week, we learned that our oldest is moving out of the state.  It was only a matter of time before this happened and we knew it.  Our middle is also moving out of the state.  In a few short weeks/months, we will have two children living in two different states.  We are so happy for them.  We knew to grow and to build careers that they wouldn’t stay here long.  So that leaves hubs and I wondering what to do?  Where to go?  We do not need this big house we are living in.  Our cub will graduate in 2.5 years…and then what?  Lot’s of praying is happening in the Nilges house right now.  Transitions will be happening.

UnknownIn talking to our older pups, they were astonished at the fact that we will be considering selling our house….we were met with “NO!” and “We want to bring our families here, eventually!”  “You cannot sell our home.”  Well, dear children, we are not selling our home.  I explained to them, that our house, this dwelling, is not what they think it is.  Coming home to anywhere that our family is, the love we share, the bond that is the NilgeFam5 is what true home is.  I had a friend say yesterday that “we have such a warm and loving home.”  I tend to think that has nothing to do with our address.

So today I am thankful for home.  A home full of love, affection, appreciation, family laughter, friendship, tenderness, messiness, affection, sensitivity, kindness, warmth, hospitality, favor, passion, snuggles, relationships, and appreciation.  I am thankful that we have been blessed with this house for now and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this home will be full of joy forever, wherever we are…even if it’s a tent, because the builder of this home is who makes it what is is.  A house of love, no matter demographics.  There is a difference between a house and home!

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~Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need. -Sarah Ban Breathnach

Day 22-Thankful For New Clothes

imagesI think women as a whole love clothing.  If you are like me, sometimes it’s not even about the purchase made.  I can window shop, browse, even try on, and not always have to buy.  I love the feeling of well-made clothing.  The articles you try on and know you cannot live without.  They fit perfect.  Enhance your appearance.  Feel good on your skin and make you feel great about yourself.

As we wrapped up our women’s group last night before the holidays we talked on this a bit.  Clothing.  We talked about authentic selves and how we oftentimes want to “appear” one way on the outside when in reality our inside is being tortured and is screaming for relief.  Women are tough.  We tend to hold in a lot for many reasons.  Hiding things from our husbands, our children, our families our friends; oftentimes to save them heartache and grief, but also out of pride.

images-3I have been on a quest and in a lot prayer for the past year for authentic relationships with women.  Maybe it’s my age, but I know that likely my heart has softened enough and has been reconstructed enough that I cannot stand being inauthentic.  I mean..I have pretty much always been this way, give or take the 20’s when we all struggle in this due to not even knowing who we are.  I turned a leaf in my late 20’s however, and gave up any false-self.  I do not need to compete, feel incompetent, or below anyone.  I became immune to jealousy, resentment, and envy.  It was amazing to take off those garments.  They bound me.  Made me itch.  Their fabric was coarse and cheap.  My prayer is that every woman would shed these clothes.images-2

I heard a quote from a friend last night that said this of women:  “We need to stop putting our best foot forward and honor God by putting our weak foot forward.”  As women though we oftentimes have a tough time at this.  We do not want to show weakness.  Allow it, because when you do, it’s freeing.  Everyone is in a struggle over something.  Everyone.  And those that take the time to come alongside others, in love and authenticity, and realize this struggle, gain so much.  The curtain comes down and that’s where a life-friendship starts.  We no longer feel the need to compete, be better than, slander one another or spread gossip.  It’s true.  It’s real and trustworthy.  It’s pure.  It’s beauty at it’s greatest form.

I have had the privilege of leading the aforementioned group of women over the past 6 weeks through a Colossians study.  This group of ladies are as real as you can get and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt our friendships are not superficial.  We will stand by one another through anything.  There is a deep connection there…a soul connection.  Ya know why?  We got real.   We laughed, we were angry, we cried a lot.  We dug into the layers beyond what the average person sees.  We took off old, ragged, shredded, decapitated, frazzled, frayed and broken garments and walked along side one another to find a new wardrobe.  We cleaned out our closets and helped one another “shop.”  We opened a closet full of things that were beautiful and graceful.  Marvelous and unique.  These clothes fit us perfect!  The clothing of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  We took off the old and put on the new and this new wardrobe is extraordinary!

What is your closet full of?

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~But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed…Col 3:8-10

Splendid Fall

It’s Friday and I am so happy for that! We have a full weekend with NOTHING on our calendar!  Thankful!

The past 3 weekends I (we) have been on the run, out-of-town.  One Canadian adventure to see friends and participate in some fabulous wine events/tastings for 4 days during their Fall wine crush.  A quick out-of-town to the Gorge to see Maroon Five with 7 crazy girls, only to have them cancel due to weather.  I mean…what’s a little hurricane force winds, right?  We had a blast, nonetheless….and last weekend, in Seattle.  Seattle was a wind down weekend.  After an amazing summer, we wanted a little closeness with our Cub.  High school flies by, as we saw with our older kids.  They literally step onto the high school campus as freshman, and in the blink of an eye, you are watching them cross that stage, being handed their diploma.  The older they get, the harder it is to really have that quality time.  I heard the idiom once that trying to have quality time with teenagers is like nailing jello to a wall.  That’s some truth right there!  Now, I’m not a helicopter parent.  I don’t hover over my kids and require them to sit on my lap when they would rather be (and should be) out exploring the World, becoming independent, and finding out who they are and their place in this life, but we really felt like we needed some good one-on-one time with her.  So off to Seattle we went for along weekend.  Everything about it was delectable.  We laughed, shopped (that girl can SHOP) indulged in some amazing food, and sought out some sites that we had not visited in a long time.

In Canada at the Farm to Table event.  Gorgeous 6 course dinner, paired beautifully with wines from the Okanagan Valley.

In Canada at the Farm to Table event. Gorgeous 6 course dinner, paired beautifully with wines from the Okanagan Valley.

What's a trip to Seattle without seeing the Gum Wall?

What’s a trip to Seattle without seeing the Gum Wall?

....and the Fremont Troll?

….and the Fremont Troll?

An afternoon in Who-ville.  Loved these Sonic Blooms and hearing their symphonic sounds and we walked under them.

An afternoon in Who-ville. Loved these Sonic Blooms and hearing their symphonic sounds and we walked under them.

What a great food city Seattle is.  We just enjoyed the moment.  Really savored our family time.  I adore moments like that.  When the world stops spinning, the other people around you are faded out into the background of your minds photo, and all that is there is the three.  We talked about past trips to Seattle, and had some funny stories of when it was the five. It’s weird being a parent with your last child at home.  Thankful are we, that we enjoyed every drop of our kid’s lives growing up.  And still do.  As our older two are off into the world, gleaning their careers, finishing school, and getting ready to move away, we are still proud parents, watching them, relishing who they are becoming as adults, but it’s still strange, to be on the cusp of an empty nest.  We have “trained them up” (Prov 22:6) and now it’s time for them to leap out.

On another note, I am LOVING this fall running weather.  The crispness in the air. The stunning scenery of the changing leaves.  This is truly one of my favorite times of the year.  The colors here are amazing.  God has given us such a beautiful world to live in, and right now, it’s like living in a painting.  I think I forget ever year…. I forget what it looked like, and then fall arrives, and I see it again with fresh eyes.  I am wowed every year!  Hope you are out enjoying it.

I have been laid up with an injury the past few weeks, which has taken me out of my fall marathon.  That saddens me.  But I am so thankful, that with a little rest and some therapy, it is starting to feel better.  I have been out doing some short 4-5 mile runs.  It’s not where I want to be, but it’s where I need to be.  And sometimes, after an injury, you come back stronger than ever, right?  I’m banking on that.  I’m trying to keep a good focus on my form, and trying not to overdo it on the days I feel strong.  That’s a hard thing for a runner.  I’m on “simmer”  which I suppose is just about perfect for Fall.  It’s giving me some time for the other things I love.  Reading, decorating, cooking new recipes (speaking of simmering) and planning my race season for next year.  I have a few races picked out that I am excited about!

Have you started planning for next season?  What races will grace your calendars?

Driving up my hill to our home and stopped dead in my tracks by the beauty of Fall

Driving up the hill to our home and stopped dead in my tracks by the beauty of Fall