The Pates are spread out at the moment- spread out as in different parts of the earth spread out. Chris is on a biblical study tour in Israel (which has been amazing, although I have only gotten bits and pieces), and the kids and I loaded up and came out to the country for a bit, aka Granna and Poppy's house. Although we're apart, and we miss Daddy terribly, this was a timely getaway for us all. As I drove away from the city I love so dearly, I could feel weight peeling off and flying out of the window. It's hard to explain, but when God gives you a city to serve, love, and labor for, it's heavy stuff, a thick mantle. And although we love what we do, wouldn't dream of doing anything else, and have deep, deep rooted love for Houston and the people in it, sometimes you need to lay that very heavy mantle down to take a breather in order to be the best you can be. Liken it to a soldier leaving the battlefield to be refreshed, replenished, and rested to be able to go right back to the front lines of battle with tireless and gutsy resolve. 'Cause love is a battlefield, y'all. Thank you Pat Benetar (yeah, I did that).
So for me, coming here is very timely because it's just about everything that my life in the city is not. There's just something about the wide open plain out here that clears space to let my heart and mind breathe. The nothingness of the pastures that disappear into the horizon with the fullness of family is just right. Plus, let's face it- almost two weeks of being home alone with three kids didn't really sound as appealing as braving the road trip solo and spending some time with family. And I'm happy to report that although it was a long trip, my kids were traveling champions. An angelic anointing came over all three when we hit the road and they were perfect. I'm sure that's what we like to call grace. Anyway, among some other things, I hope to be able to get back to a little writing while I'm out here. This is the first step :) I still have every intention of writing a lot more, even though I hit that little bump in the road recently. I need to turn it in for the night, but here are a few pics of our time so far:
There's usually a new animal or two around when we come, and these four kittens were the new barnyard companions. Don't think they will all be staying around, though. Although I'm not a cat person, even I can't deny that kittens are pretty cute. Too bad they grow up to be cats.
Quintessential Elk City experience- going to the city park to ride the carousel, the train, and get a salty frog snow cone. This was Jaxon's first trip to the park.
We got a visit from my aunt, uncle, and sweet cousin and her little baby boy. He was a sweetie! So good to see them for a brief moment.
Cadence is busy from sun up to sun down on the farm. Not that this is much different from home, except that she has a lot more to do around here! She picked these leaves off of a tree, found sticks, and called this little project "Heartsticks" (hence the post title). She is her mother's daughter- got the crafty gene for sure :) Thought this was too sweet!
When it's over 100 degrees around here, cooling off is essential. Makeshift pool from a horse tank seems to get the job done. And provide hours of fun, too, of course! And in the background is Granna's awesome garden. Can't beat fresh veggies for dinner!
Oh yeah, he's having himself a good time around here.
Wide open plain. Tugging at my heartstrings.
Be back for more soon! I think I need Chris to hack this blog when he gets home to share some of his incredible pictures from Israel, too!
Peace out from the Pate house.