The last post brought up a lot of comments about my relationships and now I wanted to write about them.
Shari is more like a mom to me than a sister. She is the more serious person in the family and it is okay because she has so much responsibility. She is into the dresses because it was what she was raised with and because skin cancer runs in her family and she is very protective. She also wants the girls to dress modestly. I don't challenge her on this because it is such a small thing and it is the one thing Shari really asks from me so I respect it but when she is not here it is nice to do the shorts and tanks. We do wear the dresses when we go out to work on the ranch or the garden to prevent sunburns and I ignored this one time and Shari warned me once and then after all day in the sun I was hurting. So the rule is about me being safe and not just being old fashioned.
My relationship with church and Jesus and faith is all kind of new for me. I don't write a lot about it because I don't know what to say about it right now. I am learning and I will say that the big things I am learning is that faith and obedience to God has a lot to do with why most families in our church are a lot happier than most families I know from outside the church. I know individual families can be happy without God but I don't know of any groups of families that are happy without God.
The 'rules' the church has have more to do with making sure we have good families than with making us robots who follow rules. I used to think all Christians were like drugged all the time and walking around like zombies repeating Bible stuff that had been brainwashed into them. Now I am seeing that there can be a lot more to it. Like the rules the church has for letting people get married are not about the church but they are about making sure you have a good marriage. There is a lot of attention paid to a man having a good job and then having a home and other things before he gets married. Because most wives do not work the church wants these things done before a marriage.
Like with Stevie getting married her fiance had to buy a house, he had to pay off his truck so there were no payments to worry about, he had to save up a year's pay, and then he had to put up a year's worth of canned and dry food so if he lost his job he and Stevie would be able to eat. While he was saving up for all this the church had him stop tithing and then a lot of people in the church were helping him out to get all this done. It is not like you have to do it all alone.
When it gets done the idea is that a new couple will not have to worry about money and money is a big problem for a lot of couples. This is a rule the church has that is not about the church but about the family.
We don't have a church building and we meet at people's homes every first Sunday of the month and do home church or small group church on the other Sundays. This saves the church money on paying for a building and the money goes to an emergency fund. Pastor Jeff gets a small paycheck every month but he gives that to a missionary in Honduras. Pastor Jeff told me that he gets much more from his work than money and he does not want the money to ever corrupt his heart so he gives it away to make sure. Christie is on the committee that manages the emergency fund and she says the goal is to have enough money set aside that if every family in the church lost their house the church could build them a new one. Right now she says they are past the goal of being able to take care of every family for a year if everyone lost their jobs.
Christie is the older sister I never had. She is smart and fun and she confuses me sometimes that she seems like a rebel but then she is obedient in the things that really matter. We are very close anymore and we are able to talk about anything and I really like that. There are things about Steve I can talk to Christie about that I don't think I could say to Shari and it is nice to have someone around for that. But then there are times when Christie is as serious as a heart attack and it is like she is this different person. When she is doing her work or when she needs to be serious it is like she just becomes this totally different serious person. And then she is the same person who will skinny dip with me late at night and have girl talk like she is 13.
Steve makes me so everything! I know I say Shari is like a mom to me but Steve is definitely a husband and friend to me. I love feeling his touch on me and I don't care if that is just bumping into him in the kitchen. He is so intense when he listens to me talk and he remembers little things I say long after I forgot I said them. He knows I like chocolate covered raisins and he knew this from me talking to Lauren one day and then the next day I had a big jar of chocolate covered raisins on my dresser when I woke up in the morning. He is always doing things to make me happy like the raisins and then giving me an office trailer to use for my chicken coop. I know he said it was an old trailer but it was still good and it could have been used some more so he made a sacrifice to make me happy. We hold hands a lot and sometimes we just cuddle and that is so wondeful to have his arms around me and all he wants is just to hold me. It's very nice when he wants more than that (-: but cuddles are so wonderful! I just feel so safe when I am with him and where I use to be nervous about sex at first now it is something I look forward to because it means I will be with Steve.
All this week Steve has been on a paving job where they are pouring concrete at night because it is too hot to pour it in the day time. He is not home yet and says he won't be home until after 10am and he left the house last night just after 6pm!!! He works really, really hard and he does it because he loves us. To know he is out there all night because he loves me and everyone else makes me love him right back. I know he is a lot older than me and I may lose him someday but I would rather lose him someday than to not have him at all. I don't know how to explain it but when I first met him I fell in love with him. I knew he was the one. He was everything to me that all the boys I knew could never be and he was so special and so much like a real man. Christie says Steve is like Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot but the difference is Steve never acts, he really is this way. I could write about him all day long and never say enough good things about him.
With the girls I am like an older sister and I do not ever try to be a mom to them. Shari is their mom and it is not for me to pretend to be wise when I am not. In a lot of things the girls know a lot more than I do and I really trust them with a lot of stuff. We get a long and we are friends and we love each other but I think that is because we are just trying to be who we are and not trying to be things we are not.
Okay. It has been really hot this week and the chickens are doing fine. I have learned to wet down this place in their yard every morning and then when it is hot you get to see all these chickens sitting there to keep cool. In the afternoons I have to shoo them into their coop and have the ac on to keep them cool but we have been lucky this year because there have only been a few really hot days. Not having hot weather has been bad for the tomatoes and squash and a lot of stuff is still small when it should be huge by now. It is not looking like we will get enough hot weather for the tomatoes and Shari says this might be the first year in a long time she has to buy tomatoe sauce instead of putting up our own. Steve is putting up firewood to season for the winter and is putting up more than the last two years because he says he expects a very cold winter this year and he says a lot of farmers and ranchers are saying it will be cold this winter.
I have to go but my happy thought is a winter time thought. I can't wait for the cold weather!
Hot chocolate, a warm blanket, and bare feet by a fireplace.