Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Oh, mountain home

It's a soft breeze that blows through the aspens and slowly works its way over the open meadow, leaving the grasses and bushes angled in the direction of the wind.

It's as if that rush of air stole away a piece of my soul. I belong here, in this beauty, this earth, this wide open space.

There's a quiet calm in my heart on the porch of this cabin. This is the heaven of the living. Where the door's open to sunlight and babbling brooks and pine trees. From here on this stoop the rocks and the woods call my name.

Night spreads slowly over each branch and root until the earth is plunged into a thick blackness. Down from the barn I walk in the dark, each step illuminated solely by the light of the moon and the twinkling of the stars. I am the only human on earth.

Oh, mountain home! My heart beats in sync with the rustling of your leaves and the drip of your spring. Stay calm and stay still, you beautiful landscape, until we can reunite once more and I can be whole.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Joel Flake Family Reunion

At the end of July, we had a joint homecoming for my parents who were serving a mission in Panama and my little sister who served in California. All 11 of my siblings and their spouses and families came out for the event! Then we got to spend a little time together as a family staying at a friend's ranch in the mountains not far from my parent's house. It was so beautiful and so fun to reconnect with the people I love the most and hold dear in my heart. Being part of a large family has its challenges (where do we all sleep when we get together?!), but I wouldn't have it any other way. Each sibling (pictured above with my parents, after a silly volleyball game) adds their own unique flavor and we are bonded together in a way only families can. I am forever grateful for the beautiful family I am a part of.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Kokomo, Indiana

God takes care of His children.

We showed up to Indiana without a place to live. The first day we arrived, we hunted for a rental until 10:00 at night. The search proved fruitless. Ben said a simple prayer: "Heavenly Father, please help us to find a nice house in the country." The next morning we searched some more, to no avail. All of our options were gone. There was one house that had been listed that morning, but there were no pictures, and the house was even smaller than the upstairs of our Provo house.

 It's funny how we concentrate so much on what is wrong: I could not get over how small the house was. And Cheyenne had asked for a house "with stairs" so we had written off one-stories. It turned out to be exactly what we were looking for, a nice house, in the country, a fenced in backyard, which had been one of our requests. And it did end up having stairs, to the basement. God really does listen to our prayers. The abundance of God's love makes this house feel big now, and we are so grateful to call this place home.