Like getting engaged at age 17 and married at age 19. Looking back on it now, as an ancient almost 30 year old (well, 28 actually, I still have a wee while yet) I realize I was just a baby. You know how it is at that age, you think you know everything, you think you're as mature as you'll ever be. But I was just a baby. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
But I did know that Rene was my soul mate and the only one I wanted to grow old with. And I knew that I was committed to him forever.
We've had some tough times. And then some tougher times. We've mentioned the "D" word that rhymes with mivorce and have been through counseling. Today, after 9 years of marriage, we feel like we've been through about 25 years worth! Right now we're going through a really good spot, we're strong and are building on that strength. Though we're still capable of having really sore, painful quarrels, like everyone. We're learning how to better manage these and bring issues to Jesus. I know there will be more tough times ahead. But I married the right guy. And I'm so thankful for him. And I know we'll get through whatever life flings our way. It won't always be easy, but we'll get through. Better together.
Which begs me to mention this website I wanted to bring to your attention. Remember sweet baby Kayeigh who I madethis video for shortly before she went to Heaven? After her death, her parents had some struggles in their marriage. It happens. They had spent the past year in hospitals, praying, hoping, longing, riding a rollercoaster, then suddenly it was all lost. And time to pack up and go home. And all the strains and stresses they had been putting off while focusing on Kayleigh, no doubt came the surface all at once.
Anyway, through their own marriage breaking down and then them working their butts off to rebuild it, they learned a lot about marriage and love and God. So Aimee (Kayleigh's mom) decided to start an online Womens' Marriage Ministry. On this blog she gives testimony, shares advice and posts challenges to help strengthen marriages. Even though I consider Rene and I to be in a good place just now, I've found the challenges really difficult! But it's good. It's refining and honing. I strongly encourage you to go check it out.
Other stupid but best things I've ever done include homeschooling 4 kids.
I mean, what was I thinking? They're constantly here, needing my love and attention and guidance. I don't get a break. No matter how sick or tired I may be, they need me and are depending on me and I have to just trudge on through. It is HARD. WORK. But ya know what? It's amazing! I couldn't say I love every minute of it, but I sure do love it. I really get to know my kids, I learn from them as well as teach them, they keep me real and focused. And at the end of the day I can tuck them in at night and be content in my soul that I didn't waste my day. I spent it with them. They're growing up so fast and I don't want to miss a thing. And I'm not. I'm not missing a thing. I'm right there, and that's everything to me. And I hope it's valuable to them too.
Dreading my hair.
Taking all those long locks and deliberately knotting them all up to make a hair style that many people have a a distaste for (especially in a white girl) might have seemed rather extreme. And certainly, during the really puffy and tangled stages where I looked like I was wearing a bad wig and I had to rip them 5 times a day until my fingers bled and I cried (which is not typical, I just have really tangly hair), I did at times think that it was a bit of a stupid idea to dread my hair. But, I LOVE it. I feel so authentic. It's the best hair style I've ever had. It's natural and I feel like me. It feels right. I catch my reflection and think, "ya man" I like it. I'm so glad I did it. They're still babies, but more manageable now. And hopefully in 3/4 of a year they'll be looking schweeeeet. I know hair is just a trivial matter, but it has been a good thing for me. To just decide I don't care what people think or say, I'm going to be authentically me, and content with that.
Moving to the USA
Coming back from London, visas in hand, heavily pregnant with 4 weeks left to fix up and sell our house, pack up all our belongings, say goodbye to family and friends and move across the ocean to a new Country, all over the Christmas period was a bit of a challenge. We moved when I was 35 weeks pregnant, with only 6 suitcases containing our entire lives. Photos, some toys, dvds and clothes. That was it. We were broke. Jobless. And some might say a bit stupid.
But it has worked out beautifully. Family took care of us, God took care of us. We are well integrated now, we have amazing friends and neighbours, a fantastic church , a great job and a much happier life than we ever had in Scotland. The kids are thriving, they have friends and places to go and things to do and see and are enjoying their life. We have ambition and plans and this really is the life we wanted and needed.
But some days. Like today. I look back and think about how it really was the most stupid thing I ever did. I feel homesick. Not for the weather, or for Tesco, or for 2 weeks off at Christmas. Nor for Chewin' the Fat or George Square, Boots the Chemist, galaxy chocolate or people who know what the word jobby means *snicker*. Just for Mum. A girl needs her mum. Even when the girl's frighteningly close to 30. She still needs her mum.
We used to go over there every Saturday and just hang out. Talk, watch X factor or play cards. She often cooked something yummy. Sometimes through the week if we were bored or needed a pick me up we'd just go to Mums. I hate the fact that my kids are growing up without getting to go to Mum's on a Saturday. Without hanging on her hammock in the back or sitting on the patio chairs at a barbeque. Sometimes I wonder if moving here was just stupid. If it weren't for the fact that I know the life my kids here is much better for them, and I believe they have a brighter future here, I'd gladly give up the better weather, cooking with cups instead of scales, friendly people, challenging and uplifting church, fantastic homeschooling network, huge washing machines and dryers, basements, attachment parent groups, local/sustainable foods connections, awesome natural birth grass routes movement/groups, ambitious/patriotic/optimistic mentality and even ranch dressing and grape flavored popsicles to have mum in my life.
*sigh*. I so wish she'd move here (as does like ALL her family here) but I know it'll never happen. She's happy where she is. I just wish the ocean wasn't so darn big. I do miss my mum. A girl needs her mum. It was a stupid thing to do. And it was the right thing to do. Sometimes that's just how it works out.