Hay Bales and Cowboy Boots

We have completed another military move. That explains why I have been rather silent here.

The last month has been consumed with packing out of one house and moving across the country into another. In the midst of it all, I have been single-parenting as my husband trains and prepares for his next assignment; managing little boys’ emotions as they say goodbye to friends and neighbors; and helping our dog through yet another knee surgery.

We have moved to the great state of Oklahoma.

I must admit I feel like a foreigner in a foreign land. Our town is extremely small. A main street with a Super-Walmart, the local farm/feed store, a smattering of fast-food restaurants, American car dealerships, and 40 churches within the city limits – gotta love it! I never would have considered myself a city girl – but I guess I am.

For you country music lovers {I am slowly converting} I took this snapshot as we went through a toll along our drive. Toby Keith was on his way to Lawton, OK for the Army Post’s 4th of July celebration.

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On our way to church this past Sunday, I snapped this shot. This cracked me up! I must admit, I have never seen a single hay bale for sale before.

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Please don’t take me wrong. I don’t mean to offend or poke fun. But, this small town, midwest living is very foreign to me. It will take some getting used to.

During my first few days here, I found more spiders than I can count in our temporary lodging – including three in the shower one morning – not the way I like to wake up! The heat was a shock after our many years on the east coast. There is an ongoing drought here {please pray for rain – the farmers’ and their crops are suffering}. The dust kicks up and gets into everything. I felt out of place at Wal-mart in my bermuda shorts and Talbot’s top. I don’t quite have the OK “uniform” down yet. At the top of my shopping list is a great pair of cowboy boots.

Needless to say, I have struggled at having a good attitude about it all.

However, we are getting to know our new neighbors, the boys are quickly making friends, we have found a church we like, and I am allowing myself to be embraced by the generosity and humble spirit of this small town.

I had an epiphany this week.

No matter where we move, my comfort comes in the form of relationships. I can live in the middle of a city or the middle of nowhere – it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is if I can connect with the people around me and feel a part of something bigger than myself. It is that connection that makes this nomadic life of ours worth it.

The other evening, we walked to the end of our block to the stream bed – a father was there with his kids. He was poking a large stick into the thick mud. He must have seen our inquisitive looks. “We are turtle hunting – snapping turtles.” Sure enough, we found a few large snapping turtles. That was the excitement for the evening. What fun!

I introduced myself to a woman at the commissary yesterday – I had seen her several times and I figured there was a reason. A mom with two boys ages 1 and 3 with twins on the way. Her husband will be deploying soon. He is Security Forces. I now know why I kept running into her, I am supposed to be praying for her and her family.

The people we met at our new church gave us a very warm and hearty welcome. They spoke of their love and appreciation for other military families who are moving on and stated their joy at welcoming us. The military community is deeply loved here.

And finally, our neighborhood is the deepest blessing we have received so far. We are all so grateful to be back on a military base. We have been embraced fully –  home cooked meals delivered at dinner time, ready made friends for the boys, Nerf gun wars, trips to the base pool, dinner with new friends, laughter and fellowship. That what this life is all about.

I truly love this military life even if it takes me to places that feel foreign and unfamiliar. Because in the end, it is really the relationships that matter most to me.

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Thank you, Lord, for your continued provisions. Thank you for the “gang” of boys who have taken hold of ours and welcomed them enthusiastically. Thank you for the generous support and encouragement from those we are replacing. Thank you for fellow neighbors who believe in You and have committed their lives to You. Thank you for a husband who works so hard to provide for us. Thank you for the opportunity I have to stay at home and care for our family during times of transition. Please forgive me for my doubt and worry. May I continue to choose to see your mighty hand in the everyday. Amen.

purposed for this military life,

jana

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5 thoughts on “Hay Bales and Cowboy Boots

  1. Jana- can you email us your new address? You all are now living in the state next door! It seems like a road trip may be in store for us soon!

  2. Jana, my dear, you did it again!! You moved to foreign land and are seeing the very best in it and in you circumstances. I love your attitude and you!! I wish I had not gotten rid of my purple cowboy boots….they would be YOURS. Love, Shelley

    • Hi there, Purple cowboys boots. Hmmm…I would like to have seen them. I am going for red or turquoise details I think. There are many shops around. So, when I get a chance to shop without the kids, I will have fun. We participate in a cattle roundup in August. I will have many stories to share over these next two years. Love you, J

  3. Jana,

    I love your honesty in this post. I often find that moves to new places are always exactly what God intends, and He grows me in new ways.

    I completely understand about relationships. I find I like a place a lot more if I have the good, solid relationships :)

    I come from a “small town” in the mountains of North Carolina, so I find comforts in it, and its people. Country music has by far become a “comfort” to me. And I used to hate it 😉

    People of the Midwest are notorious for being nice, open, and welcoming. I know your warm, beautiful personality will fit right in a heart beat.

    So glad your boys are fitting right in (hooray for the versatility of children!)and you are easing into it, and reaching out to others. Much love to you from the east coast!

I would love to hear from you!