Oh my goodness. Where to even start. I baked pies this week for Rainbow Bible Ranch’s pie auction last night, and of course was thinking back to the pies I baked last year for the same pie auction. So then of course I was thinking about just how much can change in a year. I have so many different thoughts I wanted to express today rattling around inside my little mind, thoughts of thankfulness, thankfulness for the blessings I’m reveling in, reflections on this season, reflections on the coming holidays, reflections on beauty and contentment and industriousness and home. But sometimes the words don’t come like I want them to and I muddle and puzzle and end up not saying anything at all. So sometimes it really is just necessary to write and see what happens.
A year ago, I graduated from the fire academy at Rapid City Fire Department. Like always, I got up early and then drove to Rapid City Fire Department Station 1, where I and the rest of the recruits did our graduation run in the morning, and then had an hour or two to get cleaned up and dressed for the graduation ceremony at the Civic Center. Brad and my folks attended, and Brad pinned my badge on me.
It was a weird feeling, going through all of that for a job I knew in my heart would be short lived if Brad and I were to get married. We were not yet engaged (he asked my dad’s permission Thanksgiving Day last year and asked me to marry him a week later!), and I was exhausted from academy and rather dreading going back to my regular shift, up to my ears in a job I realized was 100% incompatible with being a wife, or at least being the kind of Biblically-patterned wife I desired to be. I was wrung out and worn out. But I also knew that God was doing something, and although I wasn’t sure of His timing, I knew I could trust in His goodness. And I knew His hand was in Brad’s and my relationship.
I don’t have a feminist bone in my body. I had nothing to prove when I got on the fire department. I had no agenda. As a single gal at the time, it was a good job, in many ways a fun job, and was very compatible with my single life. But there is a reason certain jobs have a higher percentage of men than women, and no, it isn’t because men have it out for women. It is because it is much harder for women than men to successfully do certain jobs, whether it is for physical or emotional/mental reasons. And that isn’t anything for women to be ashamed of. It didn’t take long dating that tall, lean rancher to realize that not only was firefighter-paramedic not a job I saw as compatible with being a wife, but I had absolutely no desire to try to “make it work,” living this weird split existence as a tough paramedic one day dealing with drunks and drug addicts and mangled bodies and people trying to kill themselves and each other (too often successfully), and then the next being the kind of nurturing, gentle, home-oriented wife I so desired (and still desire) to be. God’s design is beautiful, and I didn’t want something as meaningless as a career to damage or warp that design.
After the graduation, Brad and I went back to his house and baked a couple of pies for the yearly pie auction at Rainbow Bible Ranch. Two peach raspberry pies. The auction was delightful and that recipe has become a favorite of mine.
Last night, we attended again, this time as husband and wife. How much can change in the short span of one year.
A year ago I was tired and struggling. This year, I am busier than I’ve ever been, and yet still I feel rested, and healthy, and whole. God has given me a life I dreamed of in my heart of hearts, married to the man I never thought I’d find, surrounded by so many things that bring me so much joy and give life so much meaning. My husband, my family, his family, meaningful work as a wife supporting my husband in his endeavors (which make them our endeavors!), projects galore, ten piano students, photography clients, and all the little things that come up that just keep things interesting. My cats and my chickens never fail to bring a smile to my face, and I love having abundance to share with others, whether it is eggs, or produce from the garden, or meat from our own cow herd, or a home-cooked meal. Or pies for a pie auction.
This wasn’t the streamlined, well-thought-out post I would have liked to have shared. But I wanted to share it. Because I am thankful. I have seen and lived how God provides what we need when we need it, and how He ordains and allows those circumstances that grow us, even if all those circumstances do is grow us in our trust of Him. I can look back just a year and see that, plain as plain.
God is good. And even when I can’t find all the words I want, at least I can say that.