Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 3-4-13
It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived in Kansas for over four years now. We still don’t seem to be any closer to ranching than we were back in 2009, but as I look back on all that has happened these past years, I can definitely say that there has been a lot of character building going on inside me during this season of my life. I still have a long way to go, but I am much more content and peaceful and less judgmental and worried than I used to be.
The other day I came across an old journal entry I wrote during the first month I lived in Hays. We moved to Hays when my daughter was three and my son was just 2-months-old. Here’s what I wrote:
Well, we have been in Kansas for almost a month now and it has been a crazy time. My hair needs cut, my hands are dry, I am coughing, my nose is stuffed up and I still need to lose some baby weight. In general I am in a bit of disrepair. Our dog really needs a bath. She stinks. The walls in the house we are renting are scuffed and need repainting. The floor squeaks terribly bad, so there is no sneaking in to check on sleeping kids in the bedroom. The people who lived in our house before were not clean. I still need to do a lot of cleaning (cupboards, cabinets, walls, bathrooms) that I haven’t gotten to. I can barely get the daily tasks of living done (laundry, ironing, cooking, dishes, feeding Garrett, running errands, etc.) let alone unpacking. Garrett won’t take a nap longer than 30 minutes and he screams all the way to and from town (a 15 minute drive each way). And, to top it off, we don’t have a dishwasher. I had no idea how much I love dishwashers. Hundreds of bottles and dishes seem to be multiplying all over the counter — I can’t keep up!
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When I read that I can still remember the desperation I felt that month. But now that that season is over, I can also see how much I learned from that time. For one thing, I have a huge appreciation for dishwashers and will never take them for granted again (and I am happy to report that I do have a dishwasher now). But I also learned that hard seasons pass and that I should try to enjoy every season of life that I’m in. In hindsight I can see that my attitude during that time really made things look a lot worse than they were.
Our first year in Scott City is almost over and I am proud to say that even though it has been tough at times, I really have been able to enjoy all the good things that this season offers. I’ve appreciated the school track being just down the street, the short drive to school, the fun local events and new friends.
Earlier this week I was reminded again to appreciate every season of life. A close family friend unexpectedly passed away. He was one of those men who was like a grandpa to me — he was at all of the family graduation parties, weddings and other special events. He farmed near my dad and they traded work and tools back forth. He was one of those guys who had always been a part of my life and he was a man that I assumed would be a part of it for many more years. I regret that I took his presence in my life for granted and never told him how much I appreciated him.
I encourage you to try to find all the good in your current season of life — even if the only hope is knowing that a different season will come. Don’t take anything — especially relationships — for granted. ❖
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