Azaleas and a Grateful Heart

I am in love with this weather. It’s just the nicest thing to be able to have all the windows open and get some morning breezes… and hear lots of chirping birds in the background!

Some things I have been thinking about: how funny it is that the grass really is always greener on the other side; how grateful I am to be in such a sweet, simple season of my life (despite the tight budget somehow I know I will always be nostalgic for this short happy time so early in our marriage and family); how happy I am for a diet of real food, the ability to run, and coconut milk (my new-found love… heaven with cereal); and my recent, frequent prayer for a spirit of contentment.

Yesterday evening, after we tucked Will in and heard his little echo of “Nigh-nigh!”, Jason and I worked out in the yard together til the sunlight completely disappeared.

As he pulled up weeds and I sprinkled new grass seed and arranged the sprinkler, I kept catching myself getting too far ahead… “I can’t wait til I can afford curtains for every room!” and “Ohh I wish I could just go out and buy planters for an herb garden!” and “I want to travel so bad!”…

I have a few friends who are new mothers, but whose motherhood started almost ten years older than mine. These women are each so lovely, kind and humble – and oblivious of how I idolize them! – but they do experience certain advantages that often come with marrying and making babies later in life. Bigger houses, beautiful decor, nicer clothes, lots of toys for their babies, and the ability to go travel on exciting adventures with their families.

I know it’s not wrong to daydream and make plans for the future. But I hate when it keeps me from really enjoying the present moment.

I caught myself last night, and sternly forced myself to take a breath and let all of the blessings in my life sink in with the smell of new grass and the cool evening air.

It was humbling. I am surrounded by gifts from God.

Like these blossoms that popped up on the scarce-looking, untended azalea bushes in the front of our house…

I am tickled to death that they just so happen to be my absolute favorite coral-y color of azalea. We of course had no idea when we bought the house… we didn’t even think the bushes would bloom, they had been so choked out.

I take these blossoms as a personal gift from God. 😉

These azaleas are not the only undeservedly beautiful gift in my life right now. On Saturday, I was able to run 8 miles! That was such a huge accomplishment… I felt exhilarated and grateful to God for the grace to get out there and push myself.

And Jason is starting his MBA program this week at Queens – just a 10 minute drive from our house! I feel almost guilty even sharing this enormous gift… I know how rare and wonderful it is to have this opportunity!

I found a farmer right around the corner from my house who has a vegetable stand… I got things like a huge bag of fresh kale which made the most refreshing green smoothies. That was a simple but awesome gift!

You can’t have it all at once; this season when Jason and I are still basically just two kids who got married and had a baby before the honeymoon glow wore off… who are learning lessons in parenthood, finance, and home-ownership at the same time as simply growing up and becoming each other’s best friends… This isn’t the season of having money to travel and re-decorate and drive nice cars (or in my case, ride nice bikes because I want a Gary Fisher way more than I want a Lexus lol). It’s a simple, frugal season – and I know that’s what makes it beautiful.

I know that this is also one of the shortest seasons in your life – that early-twenties/newly-wed/first-baby season. My mom – shoot, even strange old ladies in the Grocery store – cant help themselves blurting out, “Enjoy everyyyy minute! You’ll always look back at this time when your first baby was little!”

I know they’re right.

I feel so blessed to just be so aware of this fleeting season. I want to fully embrace every minute of it! And the Penny-Pinching, Window-Shopping, Day-Dreaming, Envy-of-Older-&-More-Established-Moms-Temptation is all just part of the territory.

Someday… I believe… my ship will come in. And, most likely, I’ll look back wistfully at these days of skipping rocks on the water, so to speak, and learning to live with less.

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6 thoughts on “Azaleas and a Grateful Heart

  1. Fabulous as always:)
    Go get yourself a copy of “One thousand gifts”! I think you'd love her challenge of recording every gift—what an amazing, simple way to chronicle this beautiful season in your life:)

  2. Sometimes the older new mama wishes she started younger! And this one in particular isn't too proud to learn a few things from a younger new mama…even a Catholic at that! 😉 The Lord writes all of our stories individually and uniquely-when He provides a spouse, when He blesses us with children and what material/financial means He offers us-it's up to us to obey, be thankful and use His gifts and timing for His glory. Contentment is surely a choice and a spiritual discipline! If we cannot be content in Christ single, then we won't be content married: with 1 child, 2 and so on. If we can't live on a budget of $30,000 then we can't live on a budget of $300,000. The Lord whispers to His children that the blessings are rich indeed, but it's Him which our hearts crave and find ultimate satisfaction in. And yet…I must learn and relearn this truth countless times! Ah, the encouragement that I am not alone! Thanks Kallah! Xo

  3. I'm glad to see you're happy with what you have, dearest cousin! That's really all you can do – find contentment with what God has given you. Sometimes I revel in my freedom as a single twenty-something, then other times I wonder if it will make it more difficult for me to combine my life with a husband's, whenever that happens.
    Just love it! God has given you exactly what you need 🙂 The only mistake He made was putting you so far away from me!!

    I love you, girlie girl.

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