WE MOVED, Y'ALL!
As I write, I'm sitting at a dining table in a little cabin in the piney woods, and Howie (the bunny) is scurrying around my feet, exploring his new (temporary) home, while Bowie (the Doodle) is perched on his bed in the guest (bunk***) room looking out the window, protecting us from intruders (lol).
I'll start from here and work backwards. We're currently living at Camp Allen, where Kenton is a summer camp director, until we will likely buy a house and move to Bryan in the fall. This will be our third summer living at Camp Allen from May-August, and this year we decided to move out of our house in Navasota entirely for the summer (the past two summers we've kept our lease) and prepare for a new season of life, which we anticipate will occur in Bryan. Kenton will stay at Camp Allen and I will continue to be a wedding and portrait photographer. God has just moved our cloud a little, and the season of living in small town Texas felt like it needed to come to a close.
This move was hugely bittersweet. We're excited about what is to come, but we loved our house in Navasota dearly, and never did I ever think I'd live in a small town. God did so much in our lives while we lived in that little pink brick house on Moore Street in a small town Texas city of only 7,000 people. More on that later, but for now, I think I'll let this post be a monument to almost three years in a little home that God used to build our lives, our hearts, our vision, and our marriage. When I knew we'd be moving, I decided I wanted to take photos in our house to remember the season and the spaces of our pink house. They'll serve as an ebenezer for us, and we'll always be able to look back and remember this special time in our lives. So, I'll share some of them with you today, and give you a little tour of our home of almost 3 years, because this post is a monument! These photos in our little pink house were taken by a sweet photographer friend, Shelby Tsika. We're so grateful to have them!
Please enjoy this tour of our Navasota home and all the details and dreamy scenes of this little pink house!
That cute vine creeping up the brick over my right shoulder was one of the first things I planted when we moved in almost 3 years ago! It's survived 2 frosts and is doing exactly what I wanted it to, which is add a little whimsy to the front porch. And those succulents over Kenton's left shoulder? I've had those for 2 years and never done a thing for them, haha. They are happy little guys and just keep growing. Their blue table is a garage sale find from a cheery Saturday morning in Navasota. The "seek Him" sign hanging on our mailbox was given to me by one of my dearest friends from our church in Navasota, the one who's family is the namesake of our street, Moore Street! Love you Melanie!
Isn't Kenton cute? :) Also, that shirt I'm wearing is a Goodwill find, haha. It's actually one of my favorite shirts ever. It's a boxy crop top that sits perfectly on top of a high waisted jean. It's Croft and Borrow, which I'm pretty sure was popular in the 90's, lol.
I love this table! This is another hand-me-down from my parents, and I'm really grateful to have it. It's Amish made, so there are no screws or nails, and it was an anniversary gift my parents bought for themselves years back. When I was in grade school, I sat at this table with my dad, crying over my math homework. That was pretty common for me in fifth and sixth grade. If only I knew I'd one day study English at Baylor so THAT MATH DOESN'T MATTER GIRL!!!! But I do have to admit I treasure those tiny pencil markings that accidentally got carved into the surface of the table when I didn't use a notebook under my homework one night. I felt bad about it then, but now it's just part of the story of this little dining room table. That neat crock under the roses was a Warrenton find, the salt and pepper shakers were wedding gifts, and the coasters were a garage sale find that I'd been looking for for a while! The piece you see to the left in the photo below is a vintage wood (oak?) cooler Kenton's parents gave to us. It's incredibly cool, and we use it as a little mini bar.
Now onto the kitchen! The light hanging behind our heads is, you guessed it, a Warrenton find, but it needed wiring I bought it. On the way home, I stopped at a hardware store in town and asked the men behind the counter what I needed to make it work. Before I knew it, an electrician who was there shopping for supplies walked me out to his truck and wired if for me. I drove away feeling so loved by that small town hospitality, and I still have his business card on the refrigerator here at camp. Navasota friends, his business is ML Repair and his name is Michael Laster. His number is 979-421-0659 and he does all kinds of plumbing, carpentry, and yard services. And he's THE BEST. Hit him up!
I really don't have much else to say about the kitchen, other than we spent a lot of time in there and it's also the scene of many a good conversation Kenton and I had over the past 3 years. What is it that we choose to sit on the kitchen floor to talk when the dining room table and chairs are literally inches away? I think the best impromptu connections happen when we're relaxed enough to not realize where we're sitting or how we're postured.. if that makes sense? Something about the kitchen connects people.
This little hutch below is another antique shop find, but it's not from Warrenton, unlike the majority of my house. I found this little guy in Tomball years back, right after we got married and I LOVE HIM. The enamel top is super useful and really pretty. I needed more storage space in our first house, which is why I got him, and he served me well in our Navasota home too. Also, we NEVER used those lights you see at the top of the photo (there's another one near the sink). They're just really harsh, ugly light. Lamps were all over this house. Whatever, I like lamps, okay? #thanksmom
Oh, my little office. I loved this bright little room. We actually did end up all cuddled in that floral chair pretty often, including the dog. But I'm dying laughing at the bottom right photo because of my face laughing at Howie licking Kenton's nose. Okay, aside: if anyone is interested in getting a bunny, please ask me all the questions! They're incredible pets and if you spend time investing in your connection with them, they really become attached to you! Exhibit A: Howie licking Kenton - that's a sign of affection in bunnies. Howie will literally snuggle with me, like he asks for pets all the time. It's the cutest! He also begs for treats like a dog. They're so much more than just cute, fluffy, little pets. However, they're a longer term investment than a lot of people expect (they can live 8-12 years) and they need care and attention like any animal. If you don't spend time with them, building a connection, they can become ornery, which I think is why a lot of people are surprised at how amicable Howie is when they meet him, because a lot of people have experience with grumpy bunnies. My best guess is that those bunnies probably didn't have a ton of human contact, and became quite introverted and a little hostile. But by nature, bunnies like to have buddies - they're extroverted and very sweet! So if you want a rabbit, consider the investment of time and consider if you're willing to build into the relationship. And when you get one, please stick it out and don't dump them! There are so many bunnies in shelters, too. Okay wow this took a turn. Sorry for the novel on bunnies. But seriously, if you have questions about owning, just contact me! Obviously I'd love to talk about it because wow this 'brief' aside got super long. My grandfather calls me Dr. Doolittle. I'll take it.
Those horse photos in the frame came out of a little paper book my mom found at a garage sale and gifted to me. I LOVE THEM. They're vintage and precious and have little blurbs at the bottom of each image explaining the horse and the type of riding for which they were used, like Hunter, Western Pleasure, etc. Rug is from Target (praises) and the little bench is from my f a v o r i t e antique store in Navasota, Granny's, that sadly closed about a year after we moved there, but not before I pillaged it for all the good stuff.
Here's a few more pretty details Shelby captured featuring my Anthropologie perfumes (Stella by Tocca, L'Aromarine Oceane, L'Aromarine Rose, Royal Apothic Wood Lily that sadly is no longer made, Royal Apothic Noble Carnation that is Kenton's FAV, and vintage Kate Spade), garage sale vintage books, a stack of current reads including Streams in the Desert daily devo from a sweet friend and The Road Back to You to learn about the Enneagram and also snort laugh at the same time, foraged things in jars and bottles, my dad's old bible open to one of my favorite passages, and a beautiful watercolor painting of my parent's hold house by my incredibly gifted cousin, Kate.
Finally, some photos in the precious backyard with Boo next to the hilarious old light post that still works but serves no purpose whatsoever, except to add charm and a gentle reminder that time is fleeting.
Moral of the story: God is good and I'm so grateful for that sweet little house and all the memories treasured there. Thank you Jesus! Next week I'll share what our now looks like now, living in our little cabin in the woods of Camp Allen!
I see two major enemies to trusting God in our culture, and their names are Entitlement and Instant Gratification. We believe we deserve certain things, and we believe we deserve them now. And this wouldn't be so bad if it didn't directly oppose how God chooses to work in our lives the majority of the time, which is through the patience of time and seasons. And it wouldn't be that bad if it didn't mean a skewed self image that inflates us to such a degree that we can't see ourselves for what we really are, which is dust. And dust has earned nothing to award entitlement.
If God works in ways that doesn't award entitlement, and doesn't abide by instant gratification, I can only assume that's why it's so hard for a lot of us to trust God. He takes too long to answer prayers and He doesn't award us for good behavior and He doesn't give me what I want and He doesn't meet my timing. And if that's how we're thinking, of course we won't trust God. We're using the wrong yard stick to measure his faithfulness. We can't measure His work according to our expectations and our definitions of success, especially if we're measuring His work in our lives with any influences of entitlement and instant gratification. That's like trying to measure the distance from earth to the moon with spoons: inaccurate and misleading. We need to convert our measuring system to Kingdom units, which can be found in scripture. When we start measuring God's work in our lives according to what the bible says, then our trust in Him will grow, because we'll learn that perhaps He wasn't unfaithful, we were just trying to measure Him with spoons. Or forks or toothpicks or coffee cups. Is this metaphor working? I feel like I may have just destroyed it with all that embellishment. MY BAD.
So. If you're looking for a new measuring system to employ, Proverbs is a great place to start. Proverbs is a book of wisdom. It's like drinking from a fire hydrant of good information on how to live life well. Self help books are very trendy right now, so if you're in the market for one, try Proverbs. Here are the two verses from Proverbs that influenced me to write this post. Both speak against entitlement and instant gratification, and both give great action points for all you do-ers out there.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.
When I first re-read those verses a few weeks back, both of them made it onto bright pink sticky notes that live on my window right above my desk. I've got so many now they almost inhibit my view. These verses tell me two things:
So, what kind of yard stick are you using to measure God's work in your life? What kind of yard stick are you using to measure your own efforts in your life? If after reading this you find yourself thinking you need more patience, this post may help! I think patience might be the most all inclusive solution to what entitlement and instant gratification does to our hearts. Well, that and gratitude. Entitlement and instant gratification have no grounds for permanence in the face of gratitude. If our minds are a white board that entitlement and instant gratification have marked all over, gratitude will be the eraser and patience will be the expo marker writing new, good things.
If after reading this you're not sure you struggle with entitlement or you're having trouble defining it, Brian Buffini has a great test for that. He says that if you ever find yourself complaining, that's where you believe yourself to be entitled..... YIKES. I mean the line at Starbucks, traffic, the ticketing booth at the airport, the wait for food at a restaurant, the rate of growth in your finances.... there's a trend here. It's easy to complain anytime we have to wait. Which means we tend to believe, whether consciously or subconsciously, that we're entitled to instant gratification of anything we think we need or want. Double yikes. Entitlement breeds instant gratification, instant gratification breeds entitlement which breeds.
And do you know Who never entitled himself to what He truly deserved?
And Who never rushed the process, even when He could have?
At the end of the day, I want to be about the journey and not the destination. These verses in Proverbs and the life of Christ teach me how to do that. God values process. It's all over scripture. Bible stories carry impact to us because they show a journey. It's so rarely about the destination. Joseph, Moses, Abraham, Joshua, Ruth, David, Peter, Paul... all of these people were on a path (a path leading to Christ!). Had they jumped the gun and abandoned trust in the Lord's process, they may not have a place in scripture. But they do, because all of them, in their own way, joined the Lord in His process in their lives instead of creating and following their own.
So the next time you hear yourself start to grumble, remember that tip about entitlement. It's stopped me in my tracks tons of times and it's really healed a lot of day to day grumpiness and self-absorption in my heart. And just pray for God to reveal where you struggle with all of this. He's faithful, and He'll meet you in it! He might not meet you at your timing (haha), but that's kind of the point!