Posts Tagged ‘Historical Houses’

cw13-4Sometimes I think I talk/write too much in my Blue Cotton bloggy home about challenges and giving up. Yet, that’s what motherhood, marriage and child of the One True God is all about – Not giving up – not a walking-out-kind-of-giving-up but a giving up of quality, engaged, intentional relationship reaching and living – not going to give up on that.

We climbed in our car, drove through the still-green mountains, the tree-leaves teasing us with just a yellow and orange flame leaf glimpses of change about to come.

We drove on, when some moments, one or all of us just wanted to turn back. Some journeys are like that: sitting waiting while Dad had a business meeting – the two boys skin just twitching to explode energy, like black-birds cawing-cawing complaints – the boys sounded about a historical holiday trip, a burst tire on a dark interstate, semi-trucks blowing by, shaking us – our boys learning to be men – unpacking the trunk, helping with the wheel – and me praying on the roadside God’s protection – travel day plans run amuck.

Part of me so wanted to just pack up. Would this even work? Be worth while? Sometimes I see the plan – know it will be successful – but the raw nerves saw away at my confidence – and I blink. Yes – I blink just ready to settle, to give up, pack it in. The everyday – sometimes it feels like a flat tire on an inter-state, while life around me explodes – and nobody lets up – including myself.

God gave me two things that have always pulled me through: 1)Faith – and 2)something inside that just won’t let me give up.

Don’t get me wrong – sometimes not giving up can get just plain ugly. I wish not-giving-up acted like a smooth, rushing creek or river. It’s so much prettier. Instead not-giving-up reminds me of learning  to drive a stick-shift car: lots of starts and stallings, jerks and gracelessness.

That early Autumn holiday – it gave us about 36 hours of blessing – and history and heart moments.

We disengaged ourselves from the daily – and immersed ourselves in colonial history. Our home? The Market Square Kitchen in Colonial Williamsburg.

I loved my digs:

The boys perked up when they saw their place upstairs – all to their own:

We saw Fife and Drums playing our country’s quest for freedom. How melodious is the music of freedom:

We learned more about the Constitution – and people’s response through re-enactment characters who also took the time to talk to those of us passing through.

“Where are you from?” they’d ask.

“Tennessee by way of Kentucky,” we’d answer. Puzzled, they’d try to figure where that was. There was no Tennessee or Ketncuky in 1775. Finally, through good-hearted determination – we realized we were from Virginia by way of the Carolinas.

Through-enactment we saw more easily that freedom is a journey – and how far we’ve come in that journey

A Governor’s Palace Re-enactment Tour guide told stories of a government that used the show of power as a means of controlling the people:

and the importance of the people to arm themselves against ruffians and a government who errs in its perception of its relationship with the people

that medicine was home-grown, not always reliable and had far to go


Crime and Punishment would make a rousing dinner-table discussion: what kind of crime merits what kind of punishment? I wonder that if Colonial Williamsburg sold stocks along with maps, books and reproduction clothing – would there be one in every backyard? Just for fun and photos, of course. Seriously, though, when is too early to discuss the crime and punishment of a society – and the history of a culture’s crime and punishment?


And that I still would want to own a bookstore. We took home with us the Game of Life: Colonial Time – a book on etiquette, a map and a deck of cards.

I saw re-enforced one of my theories – in a sticky-faith manner – that when people intentionally connect with our youth, they become engaged and enjoy where they are(story to come).

We didn’t settle for a window-shopping experience

We went inside, asked questions, listened, me wanting to learn – and wanting my boys to learn not just history but something more:

The inside maze of my mind, my heart – this parenting, the daily – it’s all about not giving up, pushing through to the goal – isn’t it?cw13-13

These boys moaned, balked and begged – and then said, “This wasn’t so bad after all.”

I’m supposed to be “above all that” – you know what I mean. I’m supposed to be so noble, selfless and strong that I don’t need to hear it. But I’m not so noble as I need to be – nor selfless and strong. I needed to hear, “It wasn’t so bad.” I’m terribly glad I didn’t give up – and not just over the big things like holiday trips – but the little things in the daily – like homework, Saturday morning muffins when I’d rather be in bed, when the dog chews up grandbaby girl’s pup-pup, when unplanned moments shred the schedule – I’m not giving up. Glad to know this mama’s still got game!

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever” (2 Cor 4: 16-18)

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cw13-16Sometimes, the worst place to live is in my head. You know how you avoid those dangerous streets, take another route – and find yourself in bigger danger? Well, there are days it’s like Fagan and his gang are trying to steal the peace in my head – and the sad thing is it’s like I’m Oliver – and I’m picking my own pocket, stealing from my own patch.

I’m facing a challenge right now, trying not to lose any ground. It doesn’t really matter the challenge, between you and me. Challenges can’t be compared. How He made us, planned for us, all that He stuffed inside us – we’re like snowflakes – all unique and one-of-a-kind. What pushes my buttons might not push your buttons. Because of that – judgement and quantifying need to just be set aside.

It’s not that you haven’t walked in my shoes – and I haven’t walked in yours. That’s just one dimension of the walk. It’s how we each were designed to walk. That’s why you might go from point A to point B to Point C while I travel from point D to point B to point G to point A to point C.

Maybe that’s why all snowflakes don’t fall the same way.

cw13-15I’m standing my ground, swatting at distractions like flies in a summertime kitchen while I’m canning – swatting and focusing on Him.

Focusing like a pitcher in a little league game focuses on signals from his coach. Waiting for the go-ahead.

It’s hard, this not running ahead on the spur of emotion. I feel Him standing there beside me, staying me with His hand, telling me to wait. He knows the perfect moment.

Most importantly, He knows what I am waiting for.

What I am seeing and feeling right now isn’t what He is seeing – though He knows my feelings – knows the battle being raged in this mind of mine, that risks becoming a run-down trap without Him.

No – right now is not where I wanted or planned to be. Yet, it is where I am in His plan – and while I’m standing here – He puts His arm around my shoulder, saying, “Look at the blessings I bring you. Think on them. Focus on what I give you today – and tomorrow, when it is right – you will see how it has all worked out for your good.”

“you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together” (Philippians 4:8-9)

In the middle of broken washing machines and boys learning to hand-wash shirts and pants, and Thanksgiving coming and I’m living behind on time, when thoughts finally are released to chase themselves down a rabbit warren of ideas – the boys come tumbling in bickering, needing help, needing a mom who is engaged and not lost in idea rabbit warrens – in the middle of all this – I need to be intentional in looking for these Father gifts He leaves me – gifts from the King to His daughter.

This week, I am finding them – intentionally, engaged –
as I sit on the opposite side of the counter talking to one son make a Normandy Pie for a school pie-baking contest
or watch a son read directions for homemade ice cream for his Mocha Mud pie – and we end up sharing. He gets the bowl; I get the paddle
tallying up the Freshman’s spiritual gift test – and seeing I did know him after all
Reading results from the Stanford Test, which was the country used until sometime in 2000, to test general knowledge – not tests over textbook content – and seeing my sons shine brightly.
sitting over chili and chicken noodle soup with friends talking about Sticky Faith, Spiritual Gifts and communication for our growing teens
a new washer and dryer, team-folded clothes
A splash of peppermint sweet cream in a blue and white coffee cup
a corn-beef sandwich with Havarty cheese on pumpernickel bread
snow flurries
a son learning to understand himself
grandbaby girl calling out to her Papaw
standing in the midst of these tall boys, trying to get a Christmas photo, their humor bouncing off and swirling around.
A friend willing to come push the camera button
my littlest, so like his daddy, whose robotics team came in 3rd place and is going to state – his first year and he handled his responsibilities coolly, smoothly, wonderfully.
A friend who has gone out of her way to care for me
My Mother-in-Law looking so good and sounding so strong after we almost lost her about 2 weeks ago
Watching my husband’s humor – with me and others – bring a big smile to my face
Nice people in the market place
God protecting my husband when he had another flat tire, this time during the snowburst, on the interstate, after dark (again).
Sons who enjoy coming home
Planning Thanksgiving with my family
Red cranberries, cinnamon sticks and cloves
Lavender Vanilla candles
Sweet people who don’t make me feel graceless in the daily
This Father that helps me when this mind like a house becomes run-down and falling apart.

“People with their minds set on you,
    you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
    because they keep at it and don’t quit” (Isaiah 26:3)

cw13-14All photos taken by Blue Cotton Memory in Colonial Williamsburg, Fall 2013 – all houses/buildings which I would love to live in!

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