Happy New Year!

East view
East view

 

It’s been too long…

I haven’t blogged for awhile. You will not find me offering polite excuses. We all have busy lives. What I will offer is the truth:

This fall was a struggle.

My mom is fighting cancer. I’ve had some health issues. Cattle prices dropped. More obstacles arose on this new place of ours…and so forth.

I didn’t know what to say without sounding like I was whining. So I said nothing at all. I’m not absent; I’m just climbing a few mountains.

After visiting with others, I realized something. I’m not alone. Many people closed the year 2015 feeling battered, bruised, and beat-up. Fortunately, we are not defined by our feelings. Hard times aren’t the end. Perhaps they are opportunities to re-route us.

We’ve been working hard trying to bring our place back to life. It’s now been just over a year since we purchased our fixer-upper and we’ve experienced multiple surprises. We knew there would be a lot of work to do, but the extent has been challenging. The financial output to fix things? Excessive. You just don’t know these things until you find indoor wiring buried outside or inadequate piping spewing geysers in December in an outdoor water-line or… I could go on, but the problems aren’t the point. I’m sure each of you could name off a list of your own battles.

The point now is: Where will I put my focus?

Challenges certainly overplay the negatives in life, so doing a 180 ought to point my nose to where I want to go. For example: poor or wrong supplies were used on our place. The fixing is frustrating, but it directs me to the obvious: the right tools must be used in the right places. Taking this a step further, our time and energy is more effective when we put our talents and skills into areas that will propel us forward.

I also want to focus on being thankful. Not only does thankfulness put my focus in a good place, but studies have shown successful people practice gratitude.

What are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for: my hubby and kids, all my family, amazing friends and neighbors, beautiful views, a place to call home, opportunities yet to come, increasing health, my writers group (plus words themselves!), sunsets, increasing daylight, the moisture we’ve received this winter, new ideas to try, LIFE, God-given perspectives, for being drained to empty so that I can be filled back up, for livestock, blueberries and coconut (and other yummy favorites), and so much more…

May each day in this New Year bring opportunity to see beauty and creative solutions!

I'm so thankful for my views!
I’m so thankful for my views!

 

The Joy of New

It’s that time of year again, where we begin thinking and talking about new things, hopes for the New Year, resolutions, etc. I’m not much of a resolution maker, but I do love thinking about new things. I love the birth of possibility. As we begin thinking about newness, the atmosphere bubbles with creativity, and thus, life.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted for about a month. The day before Thanksgiving, we unloaded our UHaul and started a new adventure in Montana. We’ve lived in Montana before (although near a different city) and doors opened up for us to be able to buy a small ranch of our own. We’ve dreamed of this happening for eleven years now. Eleven years ago we bought ten cows and put them in a rented pasture to begin our ranching endeavor. We weren’t clueless to ranching; we realized this wasn’t how you run a grand enterprise, but it was what we had. We decided we’d rather do something with what we had than do nothing at all. We didn’t own land, couldn’t afford to and we scratched together to buy those cows. (I’ve written before on this tiny motley crew—they were laughable indeed, but affordable.) So to think that here we are now, able to have some land of our own, well—it truly is a miracle. Our place is quite the fixer-upper, but seeing beyond the current state into what it could be, we see potential in our spot. The views alone are worth it.

The house needs/needed a lot. Before we moved in, we spent a few weeks going back and forth between Idaho and Montana, trying to fix up what we could before we moved. Electrical, some plumbing, tearing down walls to open it up… The day we moved in, the septic system failed, backing up for weeks. We discovered it had been backed up and failed for so long, all the drains were plugged and we’d have to replace both the septic tank and the drain field. This was disappointing because we were told it was new…

Apparently new to one person, isn’t new to another.

On the journey to wanting to fix something up, trying something new, start an adventure…there are a lot of cow pies. (That’s the nice way of putting it. J) I’ve found myself excited, frustrated, happy, upset, peaceful, angry, and hopeful. The road to dreams worth pursuing is hardly ever paved.

I focus a lot on dreams and hopes because without them, we parish. (Proverbs 29:18) I truly want to see my own dreams come true, but not just mine, my husband’s, my kids’, my friends’, all of you, your dreams as well.

It’s a process and I like to perform so that it all looks pretty, but life is messy. Let’s not give up, but press on towards what is worth pursuing.

Happy Holidays and Blessings in 2015!

The views
The views from our new place.

 

Beginning our remodel
Beginning our remodel.
Getting walls prepped for texture and paint.
Getting walls prepped for texture and paint.

 

Further into the process
Further into the process