Sunday, July 5, 2015

the closed door and sweet surrender

 A door in the backyard of a house I just knew was to be mine...

We're home after a whirlwind trip back to Texas.  To be honest the whirlwind started long before our plane took off.  After our trip in April, we got home and Texas stayed on our minds.  We unpacked and put things away, but our whole Strahle Soulcation lingered.

So when some generous friends offered to let us house-sit for them back in Austin for two weeks in June we jumped at the chance!!  It would give us more time to explore.  To see the things we didn't have time to visit before. Little did we know a job opportunity would present itself.  Here comes the roller coaster...

A trip to San Antonio...the Alamo

The job for my honey sounded perfect.  The opportunity a once in a lifetime.  So he interviewed and was promised the brass ring and we looked into moving to TEXAS.  We had Realtors.  We told the girls.  We went through the emotional roller coaster of detaching and moving on.  Only to have one door after another close, giving us a clear no to what we thought must be a definite yes.

It's funny how we always pray for wisdom and discernment.  We pray for Gods clear direction.  But when the answer becomes certain it's like really sure?  Why did we go on this wild goose chase if it wasn't from you?  What was the purpose in all that upheaval?

Stanley's Farmhouse Dripping Springs 

I'm not really sure.  Maybe it's to appreciate what you already have.  To make things work where you're at instead of moving on to the next thing. Maybe it's a test to see how we would handle disappointment.  Honestly I think I might be failing in that area a little right now;)

When the no came we were still in Texas.  I'd had some doubts about a lot of things...housing was expensive.  Moving my shop and figuring out what to do with my business seemed impossible. There's always the fear factor with moving the girls.  Will they find friends easily?  Are we screwing up their lives?  Will we like it there?  Is this where we want to be forever??  Because quite honestly I'm tired.  I want to plant roots and build community.  I want my forever home. So yeah a lot was going on in my head.  And the initial let down felt like sweet relief.

The night we almost saw the bats:/ 

And then the disappointment set in.  The sadness found it's way into my heart.  I hate that it did.  I wish I could be all smiles and so at peace about knowing the path we're supposed to be on, but it came and I'm dealing, and it will just take a while to unpack mentally.  To set up house again here.

Remember when I said the whirlwind started a long time ago?  A few years ago I had a pull to Austin.  Some friends moved there.  Every article I read mentioned it.  One of my favorite blogs showed a farmhouse there that I immediately fell in love with.

Then I had the dream.  Our family was in a car driving toward a mountain range.  The dirt road was cracked open and really bumpy.  Then all of a sudden a flash flood came out of nowhere and our car was picked up, carried off the road and started falling... And I jolted awake!

So maybe the dream was prophetic and He was preparing me for the bumpy road.  Maybe the experience was necessary for me to trust Him once again.  Because no matter where we live or what the outcome is I know from experience He has a plan and it's a GOOD plan.  He loves us and cares about everything and He knows right where He wants us.  It ultimately comes down to trust.  And that's where I'm at.  Trusting Him once again for our every day, for every step, for every little detail of my life.  Sweet surrender.

Be a blessing.

 These girls!!  Love them so.
 My honey. 
Remember the Alamo? We do. Sweat running down our backs... Sharing life with my peeps
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

SOULcation part 3...Stalking Waco and meeting TARA!

Yep... still talking about Texas:)  So we were just sitting at our vacay home watching a movie when I get a Direct Message on Instagram.  Now normally if I don't know you I don't open those...cause you just don't know what you'll get, but I had just started following Val because my friend Dee raved and raved about her hand painted frames.  Anyway Val wanted to know if we would like to come to Waco for the day and get a little tour of the town.  SAY WHAT!!!  Code for STALK anything remotely related to FIXER UPPER!  You know that show right?  With the cutest couple ever...Chip and Joanna Gaines??!!  If you don't, climb out from under that rock and demand every back episode you can find.  They have made HGTV something not to miss!

I know it's a little cray to meet strangers at a coffee shop in some town you've never been to, but I'm kind of a pro at this sort of thing and I just had a feeling meeting Val and her sister Vanessa was going to be a good thing.  And boy was I right!  They were beyond sweet.  Like I wanted to put them both in my pocket and take them back home with me to Virginia.

They loaded us in their car and took us shopping, out to lunch at Vitex Barbecue, gave us a tour ALL over town.  We met Clint, the wood maker, from the show.  We saw his house next to his shop that was on season one.  We went to Joanna's shop, The Magnolia Market, and the Silo project they are working on.  They even drove us by Chip and Joanna's house!  Now that's stalking on a whole new level!!

We had a ball and left feeling blessed to our toes.  What amazes me and still does after years of blogging and Instagram is the immediate connection you can have with complete strangers.  I had no idea who Val and Vanessa were.  I didn't follow them on IG or know them at all and yet we bonded. There really are no strangers anymore.  The world over you can travel and because of social media we can all be friends!  Just love it!!!

Sweet Lydia:)
Jackie and Tara

Speaking of friends...  On our way home we HAD TO make a pit stop.  Many moons ago when I first started blogging I became friends with Tara Lowry.  Her and her cutie husband own and operate the sign shop Between You and Me.  Their signs are on Joanna Gaines site and in her shop!  I know such a small world.  They graciously made our family dinner and I got to meet another IG friend Jackie Kirsche!  I'm telling you people.  This trip... this SOULcation fed us on so many levels. It's people who make life interesting.  It's people and stories and the sharing of your S.O.U.L., your dreams...where God has taken you and where He's leading you. That's what it's all about.  I'm still there:)

Be a blessing.


 finally got my Austin light hung.  thank you Patrick!
 hot yoga and one on one time with my big chick this week!
 gorgeous weather, coffee and JESUS!
national donut day...carrie and karen:)
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Sunday, May 24, 2015

SOULcation part 2... Still dreamin' of Texas

There really are no words...  Even weeks later I still think about Texas everyday;) 


Be a blessing.

junk for miles
an ocean of blue flowered fields
homeslice pizza
tree swings
dirt roads that lead to nowhere and everywhere...
cows, critters and rusty goodness
sweet sweet people
memories curled up on the couch with my precious peeps
Gods graciousness for a trip covered in favor
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