Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Growing up I often felt as if I was not my own self but rather an extension of those around me. I never seemed to be introduced as "Melonie". If we were at home I was "The Preacher's Kid" or "Mrs. Brodbent's Daughter" (mom's a teacher). Once a year during our family reunions I became simply "Evalee's".
I thought that maybe when I got older and began to live my own life that finally I might be able to be me. Nope, not gonna happen. About that time my kid brother's (who is a child genius, started his own business at eleven, was a member of the chamber of commerce by fourteen, and graduated high school at sixteen) business started exploding and I turned into "Josh's Sister". Then I got married and I knew that now I would gain the honor of being able to be introduced as me. I waited eagerly for the first opportunity to arrive and stood patiently wanting to soak it in. "Hey! This is Mrs. Hixon, you know...Chuck's wife."
Because of this traumatic upbringing I tend to pay attention to how people are referred to. Last Wednesday Chuck and I visited a local church. As I was watching Hila Fay get settled into the nursery the new pastor came over and introduced himself. We chatted for a moment before it came up that he knew my father. I waited for usual "preacher's kid" joke but was quite stunned, and proud, when instead he said, "Yea, he prays for me every Sunday."
Wow! What an absolutely amazing testimony! How would it be to have such intense ministry (dad has bunches and bunches of preachers and ministry people that he systematically prays for, if you are interested you can find him on Facebook under Pastor Al Brodbent) that you are introduced by it? Or what if your christian zeal became so well known that you began to be described as, "You know, the one that leads all those people to Christ" or "She's that lady whose always going around helping everyone else"?
I know longer desire to be introduced as me. It seems as if finally I have warmed up to the idea labels. It also seems that one is never too old to be properly schooled by their dad. Love you Old Man, thanks for the inspiration.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Excuse me for a moment while I deter from my normal programming to step up on my soapbox.
As I've spent the summer outside sweating, along with my husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and toddler, weeding, watering, and picking the garden so that we can have fresh food on our table and canned goods to supplement us this winter, a thought occurred to me. Why, when our country is in such a monetary detriment, are we handing out money to able-bodied people? I'm not talking about the poor in health or physically disabled, but the people with strong back and workable hands?
Instead of enabling the weak of mind and motivationally challenged, how about giving them a community garden? Create a space, perhaps a rooftop garden, renovated vacant lot or people's own back yards, and teach them to garden. Provide them with seeds and instructions and mandate a certain amount of time that each person must work. Then give them canners and cans and have them store up for the winter. Sort of a don't work/don't eat policy. I figure if its good enough for my family....
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Imagine this: you are sitting all alone in the doctor's office. You've just been told that you have a fatal condition and mere moments to live. The doctor hands you a pad of paper and a pen and tells you that he'll deliver a letter for you.
Who would you write to? Your spouse, kids, parent or best friend? What would you say? Would you tell them how much you love them or remind them to always clean behind their ears and wear clean underwear? I pondered on this for a while and decided my letter would probably go something like this:
How do you start a letter like this? There are so many things to say. The most important is for you to always remember how much I love you. I know our separation will be most impossible to bear, but believe it or not each day will get better. You are my best friend, my lover, my gift from God and you and Hila are the hardest things to walk away from.
Tell Hila everyday how much mommy loves her, but don't idolize me. Tell her all my 2% times so she understands that I was far from perfect, except in how much I loved her. Hug her tight on her first day school, tell her how beautiful she looks and smart she is. When she gets her heart broke that first time, hold her tight and let her cry all the while whispering how much you love her. When she becomes a woman DON'T have that conversation with her, neither of y'all really want to go there...take her to Aunt Carla or Aunt Lisa.
At the moments when ya'lls hearts seems unbearable, go outside to a clear night sky and gaze up at the big dipper. Know that it is filled with my love and pours out each night over you both.
You are an amazing man, full of strength and courage and wit. I love you.
Does that sound something like what you would say? It seems crazy to do anything with those last moments but to devote them to letting others know how you feel...until you read 2 Timothy.
When Paul wrote 2 Timothy he was imprisoned in Rome. He knew he was going to die, but wasn't quite sure when the deed would be done. He writes a letter to Timothy (a letter that turns out to be the last one ever found) beginning it with a plea for Timothy to come to him and and filling the letter with last bits of christian instruction and wisdom.
When I really began to think of this I became quite convicted. How many of my "living" moments do I spend trying to further Christ's kingdom? Paul dedicated even his last moments to Christ, moments where any other person (or at least me) would spend tieing up loose ends and begging for their life. If Paul can go so bravely towards a death for Christ, surely I can do my best to live for Him.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
After many years of dreaming and talking Chuck and I have finally decided to build our dream house on the farm. In order to understand the significance of this move it would probably be best if you understood a bit about me. Between my father being a pastor and owning a consulting company, our family was constantly on the move. On average, I've moved every two years; never having lived in a house (or place) more than four years until I moved back to Wynne, Ar and met my husband.
Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that before I could legally take a drink I had travelled to every continental state plus traversed into Mexico and Canada; but a sense of longing courses through me whenever Chuck and pass by places that hold childhood memories I long to give Hila a sense of history, one place that she will always be able to refer to as home.
So with all of that Chuck are putting actions to our dreams. We have put a lot of thought and research into our decision. Because of cost efficiency and minimal upkeep we have decided to build a metal house, and after spending last week at my uncle and aunt's house climbing up and down their steps toting a 30lb toddler it will be one story. I have a goal to repurpose as many things from Chuck's childhood home as possible, even if the items are used in non-traditional ways.
Last weekend Chuck, his sister Lisa, and I tore down the old trailer. Next we will sort through the old house, then tear it down and begin preparing for laying concrete for our new home. And, to keep things interesting...we've set a goal to have our house completed by Christmas! Nothing like a short time-frame to keep life spicy!
Friday, July 8, 2011
Few people know me better than my best friend. It became evident in a small gift that she gave me earlier this week. It was a small, simple hat but it represents so much of who I am.
Growing up I hated the color pink, it represented weakness and "girls-girlness" pretty much everything I was opposed to. Until my mother came down with breast cancer and bravely fought and won her battle. Then pink became a color of strength and dignity and hope.
The camo makes me smile, reminding me of the first time my husband took me to the woods or his romantic proposal several months later under a canopy of whistling limbs. It represents good times with friends and family alike, and attests to the passion that hunting has become.
Argyle shows my quirky side. I was slightly obsessed even before it became a trend, and will continue to be even after it no longer graces the racks of all the popular boutiques. Even I don't understand the tie it has on me, but it is what it is.
It seems fitting, that on the anniversary week of Carla and I being best friends for six years, she gives me such a wonderful gift showing how completely she understands me.