home and here

I have no idea what bug found its way into my brain this week.

But, sometime last weekend, I decided I’d get up early, before my children. I decided to watch the sun rise over the mountains and to sip coffee and to pull my Bible off the shelf.

(Confession: That last bit says a lot.)

I’ve snuggled long and found words in books and finished a knitting project and made actual dinners and sat down to eat them and talked with friends in my living room while candles flickered in afternoon sun. I’ve made eggs for breakfast and red velvet cake and warm lunches for little tummies. I’ve lingered in the coffee shop to talk to strangers, made a to-do list and checked every box. I read blogs and left comments and had long conversations via skype and email and text and marveled at how technology really can bind hearts. I’ve been in bed before the day turns into tomorrow.

These days have been a bit of good and peace and tranquility in the midst of months in which I’ve run hither and yon, driving through more states than I can count in record time, at least, for a mom road tripping alone with two preschoolers. I’ve been away more than I’ve been home, since September. Someone asked the other day why I even rented this house, since I clearly don’t live here.

We haven’t lived much these past several months. We’ve survived. The boys have been out of control and I’ve lost too much patience and we’ve eaten too much pizza. The house has been so messy with scattered toys and half-unpacked suitcases that we’ve had to make paths to get to the next room. Dishes have gathered and laundry has piled and I’ve simply not had time between trips to put the puzzle back together.

I’ve spun in circles for far too long. I’m tired of spinning. So are my children.

So for now, I’m here, again, here.

Living my days, in a tiny mountain town where the snow makes its home for far too long, here.

In the midst of the coldest winter in twenty years, here.

Here. Present in my life again. Finding the moments that make it a life. For just a while, I’ve stopped running.

(Confession: That last bit? Says a lot.)

27 Responses to home and here

  1. Kate February 13, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    My husband is leaving us soon for a hardship tour. I keep thinking of ways to stay busy and running until the year is over – and almost always your blog comes to mind. I’m glad that you guys have found rest. Remind me how good it is to rest when I’m busy running :)

  2. LeAnna February 12, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Mmmm, sometimes it’s so nice to just exist in the here. I’m finding more and more that the Little’s in our lives need it. Well, I need it, too. Enjoy this time, in anticipation of your man coming home. I’ve been praying for peaceful transitions back into “normality” whatever that may be. ;)

  3. Christan/MamaBearPing February 12, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    I’m bookmarking this. And reading it over and over and over.
    I’ve gotta stop running. I’ve gotta start sitting at his feet.
    Like my favorite song says, “When I forget to drink from you I can feel the banks harden. Lord, make me like a stream to feed the garden.”
    (my favorite Caedmon’s Call song “Sacred” – I discovered it while my husband was deployed and it has encouraged me through the years).

    Thanks for sharing your heart. From one rushed mama to another, I’m so glad you took this week to slow down and enjoy your babies. And I’m thankful that you took the time to write so as to encourage the rest of us.

  4. nicole February 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    If I was in your situation, I wouldn’t call it running, I would call it surviving. Getting through each day the best you can until you are whole again. I hope this next month flies by faster than you can think. For all of you.

  5. Heather February 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    To which I sigh…”yeeeees” :) LOVE you

  6. Melissa Brotherton February 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    You’re allowed to go to bed before the day becomes tomorrow? I had no idea. I must try that. :)

    Your week sounds lovely, and the pictures tell a story of their own. Glad you are getting some time to be present. And I’m slightly jealous of the snow.

  7. Anna W. February 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Sometimes I feel like you and I are in very similar cycles. Since we’ve been in our new home (almost a month now) life is actually being lived. Books are being read, projects are being sewn, and motherhood is truly being enjoyed (not that it wasn’t before, but it’s still different now). So much about this post connects with me, despite how different our situations have been. I love it.

  8. Gretchen February 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    It’s so good to know you are there. I’m getting there. Slowly.

    Thanks for sharing from your heart and your home… (Hmmm, sounds rather like your blog’s name! ;) Imagine that.) It warms other hearts and helps bring happy to other homes.


  9. Sarah@EmergingMummy February 11, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    So happy to read this. I’m leaning into these wise practices again too. One part soul care, one part family care and yes to it all. Especially sleep and rest and a slower rhythm. Such love (and knitting! I didn’t know you were a knitter too! Makes me so happy.)

  10. Leah February 11, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    This post made my heart happy. =)

  11. Samantha R February 11, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I’m glad that you’ve stopped running and that you’re “home” and the still soft voice of peace is blanketing you now.
    Sometimes slowing down and listening is the best thing of all.

  12. Caren February 11, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Praying for you until the other half of your heart returns. I must say your descriptions sound all too familiar and I have nothing like your reason. I am still not unpacked after having purchased a home last June. Too many years living out of boxes because where we lived was not ours and why get settled when we won’t be here for long and there isn’t enough room anyway? But now it is time to change my thinking, easier said than done. Glad to hear you are feeling plugged back in at least for the most part. Hugs to you and your little ones

  13. Sara Sophia February 11, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    This makes me feel like I’m reliving our conversation :)

    A good thing.

    In the midst of sick days and inconvenient fevers and blisters on tiny lips.

    There is no room for running circles on gray February days ……


  14. Elisabeth February 11, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Mmm … happiness! *Hug!* Praying you find rest and beauty “here” …

  15. Rebecca February 11, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Oh Ashley, I soooo get this. Because I’m doing alot of the same things, and I never seem to be at home enough to get the “just living” part of things under control. Even today the pipes froze and so doing dishes is nearly impossible, and normal living is difficult. I finally *want* to do laundry and I can’t!

    Thank you for being an encouragement to me. You are someone I greatly look up to and respect, because you have walk through pain– like me. And you’ve come out on the other side. I know about trying to put pieces back together….
    I don’t comment very often, but this post was demanding my to say Thank You , even if it just through blog, you are a huge encouragement to me!

    In Christ we are sisters, so I pray for you.

  16. Chantel February 11, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Ah, the running is exhausting, and yet sometimes the only way to let the heart finally find the strength to be still again.

    Sometimes inside I feel like I am still running my own hectic race against the pains and aches and memories that make moments of reality feel empty and mocking. Other times, I run because I’m afraid that if I don’t live as much as possible now, one day I won’t have the memories I crave to look back on. When really, it isn’t the running I need, but the slowing down, the treasuring the beauties i have been given, and letting go of the things I cannot fix.

    We are such complicated things, us humans, and our attempts to fix the breaks can be so exhausting.

    So glad you’ve had some quiet moments.

  17. Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama February 11, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Apparently we’ve been living the same thing these last months. Especially the part about the tunnels through trails of clothes and never properly unpacked suit cases. I can’t tell you how much better it makes me feel.

  18. abbyleigh February 11, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    all is beauty here.
    and i have the same red dove cake stand from etsy:

    yes, we are soul-braided sisters.
    love you.

  19. Miss Leah February 11, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    I’ve been following your blog since the “Germany” posts and really enjoy reading here. I’m so glad you’ve stopped running. Guess what? God has been working on me in the same area. And you know what else? Running isn’t fun. Relax and enjoy the place He has for you. I’ve been meaning to email you for a long time, then when you posted the last “becoming” post I thought I had to, just to let you know how much I understand; as you know, I haven’t. I’ve been too busy catching up on some of those things I’ve been running from. Hopefully soon, though and I’ll introduce myself. God bless. Have a wonderful day with Him today.

  20. Christine February 11, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    I’m so happy for you. So happy you have some peace and are able to just enjoy your boys. AND plan for the homecoming! : )

  21. Melanie February 11, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    I’m glad to hear it, it sounds very healthy. I’ve been a bit worried about you, too, although that probably sounds funny to you since you don’t know me at all…but I’ve been reading here for years. Just reading about your busy travels makes me tired. But then, I’m home so much that putting on shoes other than my slippers just doesn’t feel right. :-)

  22. Sidnie February 11, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    I run, too, Ashleigh.
    It’s easier when the days are long and hard and lonely.
    It’s easier to just leave the house a wreck, and forget about it, and come back when the day turns to night to tuck the boys into bed. It’s easier to sit on the couch and stare at the laptop when the moon dimly lights the night, and you can’t see the chaos that’s around you.
    I’ll run again when Spring rolls around. I’llleave this house that we call home, and I’ll run into the arms of family because the pain and loneliness will be too much. I’ll long for his touch, but instead, I’ll collapse into a hug from my mom.
    I love the little glimpse into your days- the multicam sticks out. :)
    It’s hard to be here and be present when all you want to do is run and escape. It’s hard to embrace a day when the sky is gray and the wind stings your cheeks.
    But we do it.
    We push through, and know that each day that passes brings us closer to Home.

  23. Elizabeth in Alaska February 11, 2011 at 1:44 am #

    I am so glad to hear it, Ashleigh. I’ve been ever-so-slightly worried about you. *hearts* The pictures are beautiful… I wish I could stop in a sip some tea and watch our children play together for awhile…


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