Hello Lovelies! Sorry I’ve been so quiet this week. A lot has been going on. I finally got a minute to finish last weekend’s wrap up! Just in time for this weekend to roll around :) So here it is..better late than never right?
Wahoo! It’s Memorial Day Weekend! Which in the South means summer has officially arrived. The seersucker suits are out, the lake is calling..and we answered!
One of my friends recently purchased a house at the lake and we’ve been making “home repairs” ever since. Donna called me last week to ask for my help laying hardwood floor. If there’s one thing I can do its put down a nice floor :) A random skill for a girl but when your dad works in the hardware industry it’s one you acquire at quite a young age..4 years old to be exact.
Friday morning, we ran to town to grab some stuff from Lowe’s to do the floor. Donna is using a bamboo hardwood floor which is absolutely GORGEOUS!! Did you know..that bamboo flooring is not only Eco-friendly, sustainable but also 2x harder than oak? I was in love with it the second my hand touched it.
We weren’t in a hurry to get to the lake. The girls are teaching me slowly how to unwind and be still. I have a problem of wanting to do, go and be. I never really thought about how busy I truly am. I was excited about going to the lake. This trip was a chance to finally heal all of the wounds my former boyfriend had inflicted.
The lake was always “our thing” when we were dating. It was our time to spend together minus the stress of work and college. I used to crave those weekends with his family because I got to just be me and relax and kick back. His dad taught me how to just be still. He taught me that it was okay to take a nap if I was tired. It was okay to not be the one cooking for everyone all the time. When we broke up that was one of the hardest parts of the breakup for me. I no longer had quiet weekends away from the drama of my family and the stress of the “real world” job. I had no place to go and be still. Often at the lake, I would rise early (I’m totally an early birdie girl) and sit outside on the swing with my Bible and blanket. There is something holy and precious about watching the day come to life. I remember sitting and being still..listening to the flap of the egret’s wings and the chirp of the crickets. My soul was at rest. Our dog Major was always my morning companion. He moved at 100 miles an hour but during those morning hours he knew to be still. He would often hop on the porch swing by the water with me and lay his head on my lap. God and I spent some of the best Father-daughter time together by the water.
For three years I’ve craved that. It’s been harder to find the time, the stillness and the peace. At my house, there is typically never a quiet moment. Even after my family has gone to bed it seems there are 30 million things I need to be doing.
But when Donna asked me to the lake my heart began to lift. I knew it would be a weekend of work but of fun and fellowship as well. We got down late Friday night and met up with our friends Brett and Brett (whom we call Hudson because otherwise nobody knows who’s talking to who..).
Cruising around the lake on the boat brought back a piece of my heart that I thought was dead. My heart lifted its little head and began to smile for the first time in a long while. I haven’t been to the lake since that fateful weekend when I ended a very unhealthy relationship with the man who I thought I was going to marry. I often think that I’ve experienced what it feels like to go through a divorce. I spent 3 years of my life pouring myself into our relationship. Working long hours to have weekends off to spend with him and planning our future together. We had picked out a house, applied to grad schools and looked at wedding rings. He had already asked me to be his wife. I had already picked a date between our college graduations and was planning our wedding. My friends didn’t understand why I was so devastated when we broke up. But there was so much behind the facade of my smile that they didn’t know…it was dark and it was bad. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to tell that part of my story. I didn’t know who I was when we broke up. I felt so lost and alone. Most of my friends became his friends when we started dating. But when we broke up..they took his side. I felt abandoned, alone and afraid. I cried out to God but He was silent.
I know you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all of this. This weekend was about healing for me. It was closure to that chapter of my life I never want to live again. It was a sign that I am healed. My heart isn’t broken and I’m free. As I rode by the slew where Mr. D’s house was..I thought I would feel panic or sad..but I didn’t. My heart rejoiced. Because it knew that there on that little bench swing by the water my heavenly Father had been so close and had me wrapped so tightly in His arms that I could feel His breath breathing life into me. It was there that I laid down my burden of shame, of guilt, my idol of a man and my broken heart. It was there that my Savior set me free on June 10th, 2011. That fateful weekend I ended our 3 year relationship and ran back to the waiting arms of my King.
After that moment, I enjoyed the lake. I remembered why I loved it so much then and I why I love it so much now. Brett wanted to introduce me to his boss’ wife. SHE WAS A GEM Y’ALL! Brett dragged me down to the basement to show me her “woman cave”. An avid sewer, I was enthralled when I walked into the room. Mrs. Nancy is a quilter..and not a baby quilter..a legit, oh my freaking gosh you’re kidding me quilter. She looked at my wide bright eyes and with joy exclaimed..You’re a quilter too! I could only nod I was so speechless. For the next two hours we talked faster than I ever have in my whole life. She showed me quilt after quilt and gave me tips and tricks and patterns and scrap fabric and I thought I might die and go to heaven right there.
It was such a precious thing to curl up on her couch under one of her handmade quilts and talk shop. I enjoyed being still. Meanwhile..outside we were experiencing one of the first storms of summer. The lake is a beautiful but dangerous place in the summer. Storms can roll up quickly and you have to be prepared. One hit while we were at Mrs. Nancy & Mr. Mike’s house and he told us to settle in. I love people who have the gift of hospitality. To open your house to someone and make them feel as if they are home takes a special person. Mrs. Nancy had made Buffalo Chicken Dip and I was anxious to try it and see how it compared to mine. (I must say I like mine better..but don’t tell her!). We all had the best time listening to the thunder and watching the lightning dance across the sky. Most people hate storms on the lake..I’m the exact opposite. I find them enthralling. The patterns and colors of the lightning make me think God is painting the sky quick and fast.
After the storm, Mr. Mike drove us back to the house on the boat. It was so cold y’all :) I was a pop-sickle by the time we got back. Donna had arrived by then and was already busy laying floor down. I grabbed some knee pads and off we went working and chatting.
I slept so peacefully that night. It was as if the final piece of the chapter had been written and the seal has been closed on the chapter that was entitle Kat & Will. There is something wonderful about snuggling deep into the covers and completely being at peace.
The next morning I attempted to sleep late..that lasted all the way until 6am..I woke up at 4:30. I grabbed my Bible and walked down to the dock with my sweatshirt in hand. The sun was just beginning to peak up over the dam and I marveled at its beauty. The sounds of the lake in the morning are my favorite..the lap of the water, the splash of the ducks and the sounds of egrets and herons crying are like non-other. I didn’t even have any words to say. I just wanted to rest in the presence of my Savior. My heart was home.
I can’t tell you how long I sat in quiet. My brain was silent for the first time in so long I can’t remember when. I simply was….Still.
Eventually I made my way back up to the house and set about cooking breakfast for the crew. Donna had purchased a new griddle the day before which I had brought down to the house in my truck for her. I assembled it and started fixing the batter for pancakes. The rest of the girls arrived at the house about 9am. We woke the sleepy-heads up and everyone fixed their pancakes and dug in. I love to cook. Most people find it tiring, I find it invigorating. It’s like dancing to me..this slow beautiful waltz.
After breakfast we began digging out swimsuits and spraying on sunscreen. My cousin’s new bride was with us and when I tell you the poor dear is lily-white..I mean she’s lily white with red hair to boot. I was so concerned about making sure she was covered in sunscreen that I might have forgotten to apply it to my back in the middle. Needless to say I currently have a whooper of a fried back. So bad it blistered. As a lifeguard, I’m appalled at my lack of sun safety. Thankfully that afternoon, I had worn a rash guard, hat and shades otherwise they would’ve been taking me to the emergency room.
We spent the afternoon hanging out on the back side of Potato Creek. It was mostly the crew from my cousin’s church and it was fun to play with the little kids and teach them how to swim (somethings you just can’t turn off..like being a swimming instructor for 8 years).
That night I whipped up some burgers, hot dogs, coleslaw, beans and watermelon for dessert. I think I might have missed my calling in life as a wagon train cook.
It was in that moment that Donna made me realize something..she said: Kat, you need to sit down and be still. I realized that I am my father after all. He drives me nuts because he can’t sit still longer than five seconds. He’s always got to find something to do, somewhere to be..I drives me batty and here I was doing the same thing.
I said you know what..you’re right. So I settled in on the couch, curled up with a blanket and fell asleep right there. I can’t tell you what time I woke up. I slept through them cleaning up the kitchen and who knows what all else. I finally went to bed and fell right back asleep.
Sunday’s at the lake mean one thing to me..Boat Church! I had mentioned it to the gang on Saturday and surprisingly most of them wanted to go check it out. We all grabbed a towel, shades and hopped on the boat to head to boat church on the point. It’s a great summer ministry one of the local churches does. Memorial Day is the first weekend they have it and Labor Day is the last. I really enjoyed the sermon! The pastor is always spot on with his preaching.
After boat church, we headed back and I loaded up my truck. I had to work on Monday so I was one of the few of the crew that had to leave. I made it home in time to eat lunch with my mom and dad. We spent the remainder of the day doing nothing and eventually went uptown to check out Ollie’s Bargain Outlet..which is the best and worst thing that’s new in my town. I LOVE it…I’m a barganista maxxinista clearance is my middle name girl. I got some great new pottery for my soon to be back porch. I even found a new pot for my lime tree, Lolita.
But the best ending to an amazing weekend…my best friend got engaged :) I’ve been harbouring the secret of her ring for three weeks now. I was sworn to secrecy by her mom and boyfriend. I knew it was coming soon but wasn’t sure exactly when.
Her reaction was priceless. Robert popped the question and she said: “Are you freaking serious right now?”. She did eventually say yes after she stopped freaking out :)
So now I get to help my favorite Connecticut Yankee Southerner plan her wedding :) This weekend we’re headed to Charleston to scope out venues and wedding dresses. I’ve been told we’ll be looking at bridesmaid dresses too. I’m excited. Watching their love story unfold the past 3 years has been so fun. It’s going to be a wild ride to the wedding I can tell you that but I’m ready.
One Healed Bridesmaid-to-be Lemon