Tag Archive | thoughts

Providers

I am so thankful for the two providers in my life — God and my husband Alexander.

Last month, Alexander was switching jobs and he took a short break in between to catch up on some house projects. As a result, our budget for the month was a little tighter than normal, including our food budget. And that was totally fine! — we made do with a little less than normal and God, in His awesome power and authority, provided not only for all of our needs but also for some of our wants. This month, however, I have my full food budget back. As I was shopping on Tuesday, I realized just how excited and thankful I am to be able to afford the healthy, wholesome food with which we stock our fridge and pantry. My hard-working husband tirelessly, steadfastly earns the money I need to simply buy groceries — what a precious gift and sacrifice that is.

To thank him for being my provider, I wanted to get him some bacon or sausage to go with the pancakes we were having for supper. That being said, I typically try to keep most of our meals as simple, unprocessed, and “whole” as possible so I couldn’t quite bring myself to buy the cheap, nitrate- and preservative-laden breakfast meats sold at most of the grocery stores. After searching the meat departments of Smith’s, Sam’s, Ridley’s, and WalMart, Natural Grocers sounded like a much better option, even if I had to pay a higher price.

And this is where God’s unfathomable care for the simple, day-to-day details of a homemaker’s life come into play. As I checked out at Natural Grocers with a box of marked-down bacon (I go for discount items whenever I can and Alexander had said he preferred the bacon to the marked-down chorizo), I learned that all of the bacon in the store — friends, we’re talking ALL of the bacon — was on sale for $2.99. That’s at least 50% off most of the prices and even cheaper than the bargain price I thought I was paying. And I had no idea that sale was even taking place until I had 1) followed God’s leading to buy a treat for my husband, 2) chosen to pay a little extra for something healthy, and 3) asked my husband if he preferred bacon or sausage. Never could I have orchestrated all that on my own.

Natural Grocers Bacon

(Yes, I went back and grabbed a second one…)

God has shown me time and time again this year that He is my Provider, but sometimes it takes a package of bacon to remind me of just how detail-oriented and caring a Provider He is.

Questions for You!

How has God provided for you this year?

In what ways has God shown you His care and attention to detail?

How do you show your husband gratitude?

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“NO”

There’s truth in the idea that the hardest word to learn to say is “No.” Really, it shouldn’t be that hard, right? Two little letters, but they can literally carry life-altering decisions in their combined voice.

I had to say, “No,” this week. And it wasn’t easy.

If you know me in person, you probably know that I’m a little horse crazy. I grew up riding my sassy three-quarter Arabian mare and I learned to drive draft horses in college. Now that I’m a married “city” girl, opportunities to get my “horse fix” are fairly rare so I’ll jump on just about any chance that comes along.

The other Sunday, one of my writer friends approached me about just such an opportunity. She and her family had recently taken a ride on a replica Conestoga wagon pulled by a team of drafts. In talking to the owner/driver, she learned that he was looking for more drivers because he had some big groups coming soon and he needed more help to man his wagons.  She could give me the driver’s information, if I was interested.

Horses?! Driving?! The Oregon Trail?! Of course I was interested!

The following Wednesday I met the owner for coffee and that evening we went on an overnight training/trial trip. The horses were beautiful and well-mannered. The wagons were authentic. The scenery was gorgeous. The guests were amazing. The owner was a patient teacher and was sure that with, with one more training run, I’d be fully capable of taking a team on my own.

But I wasn’t so sure. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the trip as much as I thought I would. Small issues repeatedly cropped up, making me uncomfortable. Concerns crawled around in the back of my mind. My own lack of ability and experience daunted me in light of having to be responsible for the lives of a wagon-load of people.

When I finished the trip and came home, I spent probably two or three hours trying to process all of the thoughts and emotions in my mind and heart. I talked with my harness horsemanship instructor from college and I poured out my heart (and tears) to my husband.

Part of me kept saying, “Get it together. You’ll be fine. This is one of your dreams and passions – it’s working with horses – are you really going to turn that down for pity’s sake? Are you just being a wimp? You can learn sooo much from him. Anybody from your draft horse class would have jumped at this opportunity. And he needs help; are you really going to let him down? Really, doesn’t it seem like God just dumped this in your lap? If you back out now, you’re a failure. You’ll disappoint a lot of people – the friends who hooked you up with this job, the horse owner, your draft horse buddies from college, yourself…do you really want that?”

But another part of me kept whispering, “I’m not comfortable with this. Some things didn’t seem safe. I really didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would (should?) and I’m afraid it’s just going to add more stress to my life. The time commitment is way more than I planned on…I think it’s more than I can afford considering how many other commitments I have. And the ability and strength required…to be honest I don’t feel confident in my ability to safely do everything that is required of me, especially if I have several people in the wagon with me! I don’t want to be responsible for their lives when I perceive my skill level as being potentially insufficient.”

Perfectionist, Give-110%, Wanting-to-please-everybody Lauren VS. Cautious, Already-stressed-out, Trying-to-actually-do-what’s-best-for-me-as-well-as-for-those-around-me Lauren

Do you know which side won? The latter. The side that was actually willing to disappoint people, to not be perfect, to back out if doing so was truly the wiser, safer option. I didn’t reach that decision on my own (huge thanks to my husband and my college instructor) or without any tears, but I finally said, “No.”

A part of me still feels hugely guilty, as though I let everybody down, as though I turned down an incredible opportunity because I was too cowardly, as though I’m a failure.

But another part of me is quietly realizing with every passing hour that I made the right decision. That maybe God was simply giving me this opportunity to make me more thankful for the life I do have as a homemaker with my husband, dog, and a quiet house. That maybe this is the safer option not only for the wagon guests but also for myself. That maybe it’s okay to turn down something I love because I love other things just as much if not more.

That maybe it’s a good thing to say, “No.”

Food for Thought

Runner Thoughts

Some days, let’s be honest, I just don’t want to run. No good reasons and no reasonable excuses. I think that more often than not, I’m just so focused on all of the other things I need to get done – craft projects, writing projects, general house tasks, etc. – that running seems like too much of an luxury, albeit a time-consuming and exhausting one at that, to be a valid use of my time. For example, yesterday I didn’t want to run, but once I laced up my shoes and hit the roads/trails, I was soaking in every moment of my freedom. Five miles of pure bliss makes my day ten times better, and that’s something I need to remember whenever I want to skip a run.

The half marathon is a little less than three weeks away. What?! So crazy…and so amazing. At the beginning of this spring I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to run 13 miles, considering all the knee and shin issues I’ve had in the past. The way God has brought me through the past several months of training and the way He has taught me how to fix many of the injury-causing issues is absolutely astounding. I am so blessed to be able to run for Christ, through Christ, and by Christ every time I put on my running shoes.

Wife Thoughts

It’s been a year … one crazy beautiful year of married life. Alexander says it feels like a year has passed; I say it feels like a much shorter time period than that! But, yes, we are still very much in love and still oh-so-happy together. Plus, not having to say “good-byes” each night or drive 6-8 hours just to visit one another has been a gift for which we keep remembering to praise God.

I really didn’t know what to ask for in a husband. Sure, he needed to be a Christian, a leader, a hard worker, a man of good character…but I never would have known how to ask God for the man He gave me. Alexander is everything I had hoped for in a husband, and so much more. I am truly blessed and humbled by God’s gift. And for all of you unmarried ladies out there…pray for God’s best for you. You might not know what that looks like, but God does. Pray for your future husband to be a man after God’s own heart. And never become so desperate for a man that you continue in a mediocre relationship; instead, be patient, accept the opportunity of being single, serve God where you are now, and prayerfully wait for His best for you (which, just for the record, might NOT be marriage…).

Writer Thoughts

I need to write more. Period. Writing has, unfortunately taken a back-seat in my priority list recently, simply because so many other tasks have been more pressing. At least blogging is a step in the right direction!

Also, I do have some article/story ideas. All having to do with horses, of course. For one I need to make the time to go interview a couple and see their team of drafts. I’m sooo excited for that (I miss working with drafts!), but finding the time to squeeze in that trip, let alone write up an article, is a little challenging.

Future Thoughts

I am so excited for the Jackson Hole Half Marathon – my body feels ready, the view is going to be gorgeous, I get to hang out with two of my best friends, this will be my first race ever…. Plus, hubby and I are looking forward to a weekend of camping out in the Tetons; it’s one of our favorite ways to explore and relax. If you’ve never been to the Tetons, do it. God’s grandeur in that place is extraordinary.

Alexander and I believe that God has laid it on our hearts for Alexander to pursue an electrician apprenticeship. The initial aptitude test for joining the program requires some highschool algebra skills, so we’re refreshing our memories on that topic. However, math has never been my strong point and Alexander has been out of high school for about 15 years, so this new endeavor is definitely a challenge and we are going to have to fully rely on God to get us through it. That being said, we truly believe that if God wants us to go down this route, then He will give us all we need to understand and apply what we’re studying. Our current goal is to be ready for Alexander to submit an application and take the aptitude test by early fall.

Our big project for the summer is tackling the basement family room/workout room area. We went to Menards the other night and found flooring and paint samples which will work well down there; our plans are to gut out the ancient shag carpet, carpet one half of the room for a movie/couch/office/game area, put laminate flooring on the other half for our workout area, paint the upper portion of the panel walls with a lighter color, and add much better lighting. We’ll probably have to do all of the flooring in one day or weekend because the padding under the old carpet is just crumbly and will easily track all over the rest of the house if left exposed….

Your Thoughts?

What thoughts have been running around in your mind lately?

Any special plans on the horizon?

Who’s celebrating an anniversary this month?!
*raises hand*

New Year, New Update

Dusting off the ol’ blog again! So here’s a quick life update to catch you up on what all has been going on in the Robinson household.

Sun and view of mountains on a run

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Life Lately

Hello, friends!!!

Life has been a little nuts here lately…. I shouldn’t be complaining because I’m honestly very thankful for how God is using Alexander and I in the church, yet I am definitely ready for a little Christmas break. Craft time, here I come! (Meaning, I still have to finish making Christmas presents….oops!)

So here’s a “quick” update on all of the craziness in the Robinson household.

Yes we're crazy

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Simply Run

Apparently it’s going to take a while for me to get into a good routine of posting on a regular basis. So much has already happened since I last blogged, and I’m not sure where to begin. Beautiful drives, hikes, the new home, exercise, food….

So I guess I’ll start with something that’s been on my heart a lot lately, and that I’ve wanted to blog about for several months.

Storm over mountains; view after run Continue reading