Stories From The Tolbert Home

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The things money can't buy

           January has come and gone. I was looking forward to the freshness of the new year and it went by so quickly. I seem to have one thing on my mind lately and it is gratitude. The other day as I was walking around my back yard, which is absolutely huge, I had so many thoughts. One of them being that I cannot believe it is almost Spring! I was looking at my apple trees starting to show life, tulips starting to bud, grass is growing, plum tree is budding. So many new and fresh things. I was trying to pick a spot to put a garden, I have finally decided to do it! I think it will be something fun the girls and I can work on this Summer. We have this little nook in our back yard, its actually on the other side of one of our sheds, its very secluded, has no grass...kind of an akward square piece of space....well Dana loves the book the Secret Garden, she has decided that we can make that into our secret garden. I like her idea. So I am looking forward to the many projects we plan to take on this Summer. I am already planning them. I want to go camping, do a beach trip, zoo trip, children's museum, all sorts of things. kids work better on a set schedule, so if it means scheduling 2 months worth of things then so be it.
           All of this rambling to tell you my thought I had while in the back yard. Dana's Birthday is coming up, and each child's birthday is meaningful. But there is a different meaning to me when Dana's comes around. I was so young when I had her, she was my first, I cannot help but reflect on how far my mind has come. When she was born it took everything in me to just focus on finishing school. I loved her so much, she was my world(still is of course) but my values were so different then. Very self focused.I cannot believe how my heart has changed in these past 7 years. God deserves all credit. But what is emotional for me this year, I truly realized I am living the life I always dreamed of as a child.
             Ill never forget the day I was crying to my mother in law about...who knows what at the time...and she calmly told me "what the enemy meant for evil..God meant for Good" I may have brushed it off at the time, but it was the months to follow, the years to follow that statement would ring true. I would not be who I am today if God would not have shown grace on my life. If I would have chosen to walk a different way, it has not been easy, there have been many times I wanted to walk away. But many MORE times that I felt his strength.

I think about all the things I wanted as a child, this is no way negative towards my amazing mother. She did all she could!

I wanted a Sister....God gave me 2 little girls

I wanted my mom home with me to take me to school and make my lunch(but as a single mom raising 2 kids, that was not possible)....God let me do that for my girls

I wanted a family( we moved to Wa and had none) family now includes a very large church and a very large family on both sides of my husband.

I wanted salvation without the struggle....salvation doesn't come wasn't free...but God gave me peace to lay my own struggles aside, and gave me fullness in him.

I wanted friends...he gave me friends that are family to me

The one that brings tears to my eyes every time April 24th rolls around is I wanted a husband. I will never forget the first time I felt God's presence. I was sitting in this little rocker I had looking out my window listening to a Tuepelo Children's mansion a room I was not used to. My parents had just divorced. I was a daddy's girl and suddenly I did not see him every day. My heart hurt so bad, words could not express my pain at the young age of 5. I started to sing the simple songs on there. I prayed so hard that God would let my parents be married again...I sobbed and sobbed. His presence filled my room. Never did I ever EVER dream he would one day answer that...just not in the way I expected.

He blessed me with a family. He blessed me with a husband who devotes his life to God and to his wife and children. 

          I will save the mushy details for our Anniversary but basically I sat in my back yard and just started bawling as I realized all the things I dreamed of as a child, that I never even remember praying, maybe they were just a thought...God has restored. I am walking around in my beautiful back yard that we have had for 6 years! That is a long time to be in a home. This time in my life is new for me, I think I say that every blog! But it really is new, it's a new season. I hope to be of encouraging to someone else. I hope you know that God does restore, God does hear your prayers, he may not answer them the way we would plan but he gives us what we need. Thanksgiving was months ago, but sometimes we need to sit down and just make a list of what we are thankful know the things money CAN"T buy??

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