This oak straight ahead was tiny when we planted it 11 years ago. It’s witnessed baseball, riding mowers, and child-sized Jeep rides….

It’s been a hot minute. Not exactly Wordsworth material, per se, but it is better still than the absolute writing desert I have traipsed through for three months on now. This is relatively painful for one who has admittedly told others that “writing is like breathing.” Cue the eye rolls. Call it writer’s block. What is absolute baffling is that it has not been for a lack of material. My mental energy has been spent making decisions about the usual family things and getting my own classroom together. Also, I just saw my college sophomore off to school and my high schooler and I have been having mutual conversations about how we miss him already. Also, I. Am. Exhausted.

Fun fact. Did you know that it is entirely possible (and probable) to be grateful and sad at the same time? My youngest and I went for a walk today. We walked past a house that my husband and I lived in two years after we married (and one year before we had our oldest child). Already I had been mourning my children growing up before my eyes… and quickly. My memories of that house were midnight trips to Waffle House, standing at the kitchen sink window that overlooked the front yard, and tying our Christmas tree to the window with fishing line after one too many falls (resulting in most of the ornaments breaking).

I always have mixed emotions. I assume we all do (please tell me I am not the only one). Today was blessed. That little walk with my boy with a gentle breeze fluttering the oaks (and a dog antagonizing an unsuspecting bull). We played on the swing set and just sat in the shade. We also took naps. There was lots of laughter today. There were a few tears, as well. Our oldest was home for several months and worked at the family lake. As I walked our road home with my youngest, it was quiet without Clark’s truck coming down the road. I cried (just a little, I promise) . “Mommy, don’t cry. He’s at baseball school.” said my little guy. My sweet daughter misses him, too. I know we raise them to fly, but so did the time and my throat has a lump in it from trying to be strong…

I almost felt like God was in these beautiful, low-lying clouds.

Sometimes I think I see things others might not see. It has nothing to do with my being more spiritual or closer to God. But I have a need, and although I do not believe in signs from God, I believe He is all around us if we look and still our minds and spirits. But that is the hard part, is it not? I get up on weekdays and literally do not stop until I collapse at night. How can I have the time to find God in the craziness of packing lunches, forgetting my school keys, managing a full classroom of preschoolers, taking care of my own children…I find it in the smallest of things. The rain, the five minutes I get to myself in the shower, a hummingbird at the feeder, watching my oldest continue to flourish in college, hearing my daughter tell a funny story, my little one giving me a kiss, low-lying clouds on a walk. And I remember the He is everywhere. When I do not see Him, feel Him, make time for Him, doubt Him, and even when it is hard….God is everywhere. Stop. Look around you. And listen.

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