When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that I would be closing down my day with such an abundance of gratitude in my heart.
I woke up earlier than I would have liked on an overcast Saturday morning. Today is the first official day of Christmas vacation. Not only do the kids and I get a break from homeschooling, but Daddy (who is a teacher) is home with us too.
I tried to burrow back into the covers, but my brain would not shut off with all the things I wanted to get done today. So, I put on
Since I was up and I could see the feral hungry look in the cats' eyes (and heard the bellowing from the goats, cackles from the chickens and shenanigans from the dogs), I decided to let my family sleep and do their chores.
I walked outside and literally gasped aloud. In front of me was the most gorgeous double rainbow spanning the sky. I ran back in for my
I wish that the bottom two lined up for the perfect rainbow look, but you get the idea. I had a moment of taking it all in and enjoying the fact that there were no other houses or buildings in the way. The rainbow looked like it started inside a tree and ended in an orange grove. I love everything about that.
As I was taking photos, it started to sprinkle and I rejoiced in the good soaking that our thirsty land and state would be getting. I quickly finished the feeding chores and made it back inside before it started to rain harder.
Back inside, it was lovely to sit by our propane stove and read my morning Bible reading and reflect on the goodness of God.
I thought by now, 17 months after moving out here to the farm, that I would have become immune to many of the charms of our farmhouse, but today (and really...this entire month) that was just not the case.
I am reveling in the fact that I have a mantle -- a real mantle in my house! I've always wanted to have a fireplace and mantle to hang our stockings and to decorate seasonally.
A few months ago, I persuaded my hubby that it was time to take down the Gothic candelabra that graced the fireplace and change out the 80's sconces. Not only did this bring our farmhouse back into the 1900's and beyond, it gave me space to do some decorating.
As you can see, last year I didn't try too hard. (You can barely make out the two Christmas trees kissing the bottom of the dungeon candelabra.) Granted, I was still trying to recover from the Big Move and this felt as about as much as I could do.
I'm sure you see the improvement. If not, I have a lovely candelabra and 80's sconces to sell you.
I also got to admire the second year I have hung twine from our wainscoting to showcase the Christmas cards we received. I love it even more this year.
From there, Hubby ventured out from the warm cocoon of our bed and was
This is one of those frivolous purchases that are hard for me to justify. However, they were much desired to bring up the height of our washer and dryer to cover some old plumbing, and allow for an eventual counter top that I would like to place over both units that will also keep socks and random laundry from falling down the gap in the back.
Being able to get them secondhand from another fellow country dweller (who lives on our same street but 20 miles the opposite direction) for a great price helped seal the deal. An unforeseen benefit is not having to bend over so much doing the laundry. And yes, now that I am above 40, these things matter.
It also only took us an hour, which is good for us. And we were able to do it with mostly joking around and with minimal strongly suggesting helpful hints.
Our scheduled event for the day was postponed due to the weather, so at that point, I gave up on some of the cleaning and hustling to prepare I had started to do and just relaxed into the day.
And it got even better...
Later that afternoon, I decided that the cold, damp weather was a perfect chance to literally fire up our indoor wood-burning stove in our farmhouse kitchen. We have always thought it was super cool to have, but for some reason, we have never actually taken the time to try it out. So, today was the day and it was fabulous.
But before we did, I had to set the stage. The lovely brass wood holder and fireplace tool set were actually in the other room for looks by the propane stove. It was so fulfilling to go and get them and place them by the wood-burning stove.
There is something about actual flames that a blue-tinted propane stove can't touch. And even better, Miss Hadley was able to use another item that I bought pre-move, a hand bellows.
She was in heaven being able to use it for its actual purpose and I was happy she wasn't blowing it in her brother's face or up her sister's nose.
And...well, I was just happy. There were many things that I was able to use for their intended purpose instead of just decor or for wishing. And I hope it doesn't seem shallow because ultimately, they are just things.
However, they all represent the comfort and sense of peace I have as I walk through my farmhouse and get to literally touch and marvel over the still amazing fulfillment of this amazing dream.
It was a
It started with a rainbow and in a way, it ended with one. A promise of the Ephesians 3:20 variety:
"God can do anything, you know -- far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!"